Blog: February 2017

It’s been a busy month, mainly because I’ve had some holiday time off the day job!  This means I’ve managed to squeeze some more hours in.  So let’s review what I’ve been up to! First off, my greatest / most satisfying achievement of the month came in my completing of the graphics engine.  It’s probably taken up 40% of my time over the past couple of months, but the reward is that I now have an engine that I can start each project with. What this engine does is scale the game just how I want it to, on any device.  This is critical for HTML5 games, as they can be played on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc. etc.  Having an engine that makes the most of all those devices is therefore so important – and I now think I have it. Work paid off!  What thrills me most about this is all the extra time I will have in March and onwards to work on the games, rather than having to build the engine. Second up, as I mentioned in my last post, I partook in my first Game Jam – GMC Jam 3.  This was an interesting experience.  At points in the peak of stress, I thought I would never do another, but as soon as it was over I wanted to do another one straight away!  They’re addictive, and based on my experience of this one, very good at pressing an idea out of the grey matter.  I came up with Veggie Patch, which I’ve now fleshed out and hope to finish in the next week or so.  I’m not sure I would have developed this game if it hadn’t have been for the pressure of the Jam.  So for this reason alone I think they’re a great idea. As for my performance, Veggie Patch didn’t do too well, finishing 19th in the end. I ranked as high as ninth and as worse as last, but on reflection this isn’t surprising.  Jam voters are hard-core indie developers.  Veggie Patch is not their thing – they are not the target audience.  My wife however, who barely touches games and has ignored all my previous projects, couldn’t put this one down.  There is the Veggie Patch audience!  Personally I think the game is fun and addictive.  It has a lifespan, as once you have unlocked everything and nailed the perfect year, there is not much more to do other than try and beat your best year’s profits, but overall I think the game provides some quality time.  Testing has seen it be a big hit with the casual gaming ladies, so I guess this is the best audience to target! If you do want to do well in a Jam, I recommend a couple of things.  One – make a game for Jam voters.  Make a space game or a puzzle platformer or similar.  Something they like to play.  Voting is largely swayed by personal preferences, it’s not being judged objectively.  It also has to be polished with ‘solid’ graphics and sound, so if you can, get a team together to make the game.  In this Jam you could have 3 people – if you can do it.  You don’t get marked any differently and your project will be infinitely better.  Or, just enjoy the taking part and create something you want to :) So aside from all this, I’ve worked on Veggie Patch, Evil Elves and completed some minor alterations to the website.  Oh, I also set up a Twitter @IndieDevBateman!  Come follow me, say hi.  I’m hoping to move on to my next project early March, which will be modifying Square Pegs Round Holes for HTML5.  Then I’ll be onto a fresh project, for which I have a couple of ideas…
GET IN TOUCH EMAIL:  contact@michael-bateman.com

Blog: February 2017

It’s been a busy month, mainly because I’ve had some holiday time off the day job!  This means I’ve managed to squeeze some more hours in.  So let’s review what I’ve been up to! First off, my greatest / most satisfying achievement of the month came in my completing of the graphics engine.  It’s probably taken up 40% of my time over the past couple of months, but the reward is that I now have an engine that I can start each project with. What this engine does is scale the game just how I want it to, on any device.  This is critical for HTML5 games, as they can be played on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc. etc.  Having an engine that makes the most of all those devices is therefore so important – and I now think I have it. Work paid off!  What thrills me most about this is all the extra time I will have in March and onwards to work on the games, rather than having to build the engine. Second up, as I mentioned in my last post, I partook in my first Game Jam – GMC Jam 3.  This was an interesting experience.  At points in the peak of stress, I thought I would never do another, but as soon as it was over I wanted to do another one straight away!  They’re addictive, and based on my experience of this one, very good at pressing an idea out of the grey matter.  I came up with Veggie Patch, which I’ve now fleshed out and hope to finish in the next week or so.  I’m not sure I would have developed this game if it hadn’t have been for the pressure of the Jam.  So for this reason alone I think they’re a great idea. As for my performance, Veggie Patch didn’t do too well, finishing 19th in the end. I ranked as high as ninth and as worse as last, but on reflection this isn’t surprising.  Jam voters are hard- core indie developers.  Veggie Patch is not their thing – they are not the target audience.  My wife however, who barely touches games and has ignored all my previous projects, couldn’t put this one down.  There is the Veggie Patch audience!  Personally I think the game is fun and addictive.  It has a lifespan, as once you have unlocked everything and nailed the perfect year, there is not much more to do other than try and beat your best year’s profits, but overall I think the game provides some quality time.  Testing has seen it be a big hit with the casual gaming ladies, so I guess this is the best audience to target! If you do want to do well in a Jam, I recommend a couple of things.  One – make a game for Jam voters.  Make a space game or a puzzle platformer or similar.  Something they like to play.  Voting is largely swayed by personal preferences, it’s not being judged objectively.  It also has to be polished with ‘solid’ graphics and sound, so if you can, get a team together to make the game.  In this Jam you could have 3 people – if you can do it.  You don’t get marked any differently and your project will be infinitely better.  Or, just enjoy the taking part and create something you want to :) So aside from all this, I’ve worked on Veggie Patch, Evil Elves and completed some minor alterations to the website.  Oh, I also set up a Twitter @IndieDevBateman!  Come follow me, say hi.  I’m hoping to move on to my next project early March, which will be modifying Square Pegs Round Holes for HTML5.  Then I’ll be onto a fresh project, for which I have a couple of ideas…
GET IN TOUCH EMAIL:  contact@michael-bateman.com

Blog: February 2017

It’s been a busy month, mainly because I’ve had some holiday time off the day job!  This means I’ve managed to squeeze some more hours in.  So let’s review what I’ve been up to! First off, my greatest / most satisfying achievement of the month came in my completing of the graphics engine.  It’s probably taken up 40% of my time over the past couple of months, but the reward is that I now have an engine that I can start each project with. What this engine does is scale the game just how I want it to, on any device.  This is critical for HTML5 games, as they can be played on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc. etc.  Having an engine that makes the most of all those devices is therefore so important – and I now think I have it. Work paid off!  What thrills me most about this is all the extra time I will have in March and onwards to work on the games, rather than having to build the engine. Second up, as I mentioned in my last post, I partook in my first Game Jam – GMC Jam 3.  This was an interesting experience.  At points in the peak of stress, I thought I would never do another, but as soon as it was over I wanted to do another one straight away!  They’re addictive, and based on my experience of this one, very good at pressing an idea out of the grey matter.  I came up with Veggie Patch, which I’ve now fleshed out and hope to finish in the next week or so.  I’m not sure I would have developed this game if it hadn’t have been for the pressure of the Jam.  So for this reason alone I think they’re a great idea. As for my performance, Veggie Patch didn’t do too well, finishing 19th in the end. I ranked as high as ninth and as worse as last, but on reflection this isn’t surprising.  Jam voters are hard-core indie developers.  Veggie Patch is not their thing – they are not the target audience.  My wife however, who barely touches games and has ignored all my previous projects, couldn’t put this one down.  There is the Veggie Patch audience!  Personally I think the game is fun and addictive.  It has a lifespan, as once you have unlocked everything and nailed the perfect year, there is not much more to do other than try and beat your best year’s profits, but overall I think the game provides some quality time.  Testing has seen it be a big hit with the casual gaming ladies, so I guess this is the best audience to target! If you do want to do well in a Jam, I recommend a couple of things.  One – make a game for Jam voters.  Make a space game or a puzzle platformer or similar.  Something they like to play.  Voting is largely swayed by personal preferences, it’s not being judged objectively.  It also has to be polished with ‘solid’ graphics and sound, so if you can, get a team together to make the game.  In this Jam you could have 3 people – if you can do it.  You don’t get marked any differently and your project will be infinitely better.  Or, just enjoy the taking part and create something you want to :) So aside from all this, I’ve worked on Veggie Patch, Evil Elves and completed some minor alterations to the website.  Oh, I also set up a Twitter @IndieDevBateman!  Come follow me, say hi.  I’m hoping to move on to my next project early March, which will be modifying Square Pegs Round Holes for HTML5.  Then I’ll be onto a fresh project, for which I have a couple of ideas…
GET IN TOUCH EMAIL:  contact@michael-bateman.com