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One of ‘those’ posts

14 Jul

Yep, it’s one of those posts that sometimes pop up on blogs that were once very active. After several years of a lot of activity posting about the development of my games and prototypes, working as an Indie game developer, it’s all suddenly very different. I wanted to write some notes here as I’ve pretty much stopped altogether.

2013-07-14 11.20.27

One of the biggest drivers for change in my life has been the birth of my beautiful daughter, Pixel Maya Paton (My wife’s choice of name, and happens to be the same as this blog name!). As of writing this she’s about 3.5 weeks old. Life is suddenly very different, revolving around the needs of our highly dependant little person. It’s a wonderful change and one that I’ve looked forward to for most of my life, a little Paton. Other big driver in what I do has been lack of financial success, burn out and the need for a certain measure of financial security.

A while ago I was blogging about the tower defence game I’d been working on for several months and for most of the time I was enthused about finishing this game and bringing it to life. But then my eyes started to open a little. One of my biggest problems with developing my games has been to develop a relatively straightforward game mechanic and then just pad it out with more levels, not really expanding the gameplay or fun the more you played the game. Some of my games have indeed been quite fun, and even somewhat popular, but for me I’ve really begun to feel that I’m repeating the same mistakes in game development over and over. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, and has indeed been a process that I’ve needed to go through. The nature of my skills, being self taught mean that I often get hooked into cycles of doing things until I reach an ‘Aha’ point, then move on to different things.

And so, a few months back I canned the idea of even finishing the tower defence game, it had actually reached about 80% completion for what I originally had in mind, but suddenly the gameplay lost its appeal and I couldn’t see the depth and fun in the gameplay anymore. I love the concept, world and several of the mechanics in the game, but it’s over. I’d even considered scrapping the core gameplay and implementing a TD plugin system had more of the gameplay elements I was looking to add, but then suddenly it was too late and my motivation had moved on. I’ve chalked it up to experience and moved on.

Its easy to hold onto things when they’ve long lost their real appeal, fearing that my motivation, my skills, passion have dried up. But its also easy to get stuck into cycles of bad habit. For me to see my failures more clearly and move on is more important.

So what am I doing now? In the lead up to my daughter being born, I had a couple of false starts with a few companies, trying to find where my skills lie in the employable space. The rejection of Flash as a widely used technology affected my job prospects quite heavily, and I’ve not wanted to go down the HTML5 path if at all possible. Finally my pursuit of Unity3D as my main platform has proved a good choice and I’m now working a 2 days a week for a company (developing games and augmented reality apps using Vuforia) and the other 3 days for a private client (developing a game, probably more after that too).

My passion for making games has changed dramatically, and how could it not after making well over 100. I still love games, still love sketching ideas for them and thinking about how I might make something. But for the short/medium term it’s all about providing for my family, which as an Indie game developer I personally had no chance of doing the way I was working.

On a more positive note, I did get a Ouya recently and this is something that excites me. I’m extremely tired of the touch screen controls and have wanted to make games using a controller for quite a long time, but there;s been no practical way for me to publish anything using a console like control (The bigger consoles have definitely been out of my reach). After some initial hassles with setting things up for publishing I have finally been able to get something running on the Ouya, and it’s exciting stuff for me. I chose to test out a prototype I made a few months ago, which is based around my Deep Sea Diver game idea.

Here’s a video I made recently just after I’d got it working:

ouya with controller from Terry Paton on Vimeo.

Now lets be clear, at present I’ve pretty much given up even considering to make finished games for myself any more, it’s all about client work. BUT I do still really enjoy tinkering with ideas, playing with code and creating little worlds to play in. This gives me a freedom like I haven’t had in a long time, the pressure to finish ‘complete’ games has been immense and really started to ruin the experience for me, where what I want to do for the moment is prototype and play, get some love for my craft back again. I’d like to explore this game engine some more, now that I’ve got a new control scheme and platform to play with … but I’m also saying that I possibly won’t.

Anyway, lets wrap this up. It’s been amazing blogging and sharing my work over the years. I hope people have enjoyed the ride, learned something from me, and even been inspired. I’m starting to move on to other things, wanting to explore new interests in life … before my life runs out. I’m now what I consider about halfway through (expecting to reach to 80) and I’d like to be more.

Some final more philosophical thoughts …

Often times life can be a shitty experience, but through hard work and focus that can change. Trust me it will probably get shitty again, but you’ve got to make it worth it.
Do what you love, even if you don’t have much time. Earlier in life I drew 100 pages of hands, about 5-10 hands per page and it helped me to draw a whole lot better. It took about 10 mins a page per day.
Ignore people who shit on your ideas. People seem to like to criticise what they don’t understand, or what seems strange or confuses them. Often it will be subtle and undermine your confidence. Get away from those people and that kind of influence. Ignore that crap and follow your gut instinct. People say stupid stuff sometimes.

Rock on!

 
9 Comments

Posted in Misc

 

Source code to 6 more AS3 games! (Part 5)

02 Apr

IMPORTANT: Due to bandwidth problems I’ve moved all the links, but the good news is that all downloads of all my games will be on one page. Please visit this page to download zips of each file: http://pixelpaton.com/?p=5707

Following on from my previous posts (Part 1 & Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4) I’m giving away more AS3 Flash game code. For more information why I’m doing this, please read the first post. I’ll repeat the terms and conditions at the bottom of the post, but otherwise, lets get on with it!

IMPORTANT: Please read my blog post here (http://pixelpaton.com/?p=5265) for ‘conditions’ of use for this source code.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Some of these game were made with Flash Builder 4.6 or less (and sometimes the Flash IDE), Flash Builder 4.7 seems to break the games, especially embedding of images and fonts.

Jacks (Blackjack)
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/jacks/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Deep Sea Diver
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/deep-sea-diver/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Meteor Storm 1
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/meteor-storm/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Puzzpix
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/puzzpix/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Xmas Cannon
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/christmas-cannon/
Source: see note at top of this post!

3D Deathchase
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/3d-deathrace/
Source: see note at top of this post!
3Ddeathrace
————————

You can email me at terry@terrypaton.com or catch me on twitter (https://twitter.com/terrypaton1) / google plus (https://plus.google.com/114101814013862230773/posts) .

If this source code help you in any way, I’d love to know. Cheers!

 

Update on my Tower Defence game

30 Mar

Well it’s been a while, but with good reason. My wife and I packed up our lives and moved house away from our country living and back to the suburbs. I’ve now gotten a full time job, moving away from full-time indie game development, and we have a baby Paton on the way in about 3 months. So without internet, and time, the development of this game had to slow down immensely. But I’m getting back up to speed again and I’ve made quite a lot of changes to the game since my last video update.

I’m getting pretty close to a good solid game engine now, with just one majar thing to work out, then LOTS of small things to tweak and adjust. The graphics are still very much placeholder, I’m not really sure how the final game will look at this stage, but I like to keep polishing things as it gives a more realistic setup for when real graphics are finally used.

Due to the game play needing more flexibility I switch over from using the built in pathfinding solution in Unity (Pro version) to using an A* method. I ended up buying the excellent ‘Simply A*’ from the asset store and worked with the plugin developer to tweak things a little. The developer was great help and for $20 this plugin saved me a lot of time and hassle. As I had already set my game up with a completely different method of pathfinding it did take quite a bit of effort to adapt my game to an alternative method, but it’s all working well now. The biggest change brought about by using A* is that levels are now more dynamic and pathways can be created by the player, rather than being baked and unchangeable.

Here’s a couple of videos where I talk about the pathfinding …

Pathfinding demo 1.mov from Terry Paton on Vimeo.

Pathfinding demo 2 from Terry Paton on Vimeo.

Check it out ‘Simply A*’ here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/6385

There’s still quite a bit of work to go, but it is progressing. Can’t wait till I start getting new graphics into the game!

 
1 Comment

Posted in Unity

 

Source code to ALL the AS2 and AS3 games I’m sharing

14 Mar

Due to some bandwidth problems I’ve collected all the source code for my games I’m giving away into one place.

IMPORTANT: Please read my blog post here (http://pixelpaton.com/?p=5265) for ‘conditions’ of use for this source code.

ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Some of these game were made with Flash Builder 4.6 or less (and sometimes the Flash IDE), Flash Builder 4.7 seems to break the games, especially embedding of images and fonts. Some games were also made in the Flash IDE (the AS2 games we’re all made with it), the point is … there maybe a large variation in the quality and errors in each of these games, be warned!

Another NOTE: You might get a warning from google that they are unable to scan the files for viruses. It’s because the files are over a certain limit and Google won’t scan them. They are safe to download though.

—– Actionscript 3 —–

Meteor Storm - http://bit.ly/10uSQkg
PuzzPixhttp://bit.ly/XEXyzT
Xmas Cannonhttp://bit.ly/10rxMgi
Deep Sea Diverhttp://bit.ly/13NQ5lO
Blackjackhttp://bit.ly/10l7BZC
3D Deathchasehttp://bit.ly/11g3Ohp

Blockworm - http://bit.ly/WJ9ZLu
Galaxy Gemshttp://bit.ly/16tU6KT
Meteor Storm 2http://bit.ly/15O5jVc
Pogzhttp://bit.ly/Z1evPX
Treasure caves 2http://bit.ly/Wp8vUo

Deep Sea Diver 2 - http://bit.ly/13UEyzS
Mazeballhttp://bit.ly/XKRR2A
Bowling 3Dhttp://bit.ly/ZOxYHP
Breakit 4http://bit.ly/ZqVBV5
Body Defencehttp://bit.ly/10QTM8w

Flipithttp://bit.ly/ZOyqpK
Maus Traphttp://bit.ly/10QU9Qp
Salamandahttp://bit.ly/151VjoX
Tantalushttp://bit.ly/ZQjyqQ
Vector Defenderhttp://bit.ly/XLMwYR

Darts 3Dhttp://bit.ly/WqcJuT
Robot Arena - http://bit.ly/16v0n95
Drive 2http://bit.ly/ZQqiVE
Stunt Runhttp://bit.ly/Z1WD7t
Wastehttp://bit.ly/YdItB5

—– Actionscript 2 —–

Gyrustakehttp://bit.ly/10SKZD6
Hangmanhttp://bit.ly/16v0dyl
Jetpac2http://bit.ly/10SL3Tj
Labyrinthhttp://bit.ly/13YtZMI
Matchhttp://bit.ly/13Vsdf0

Meteorhttp://bit.ly/12TtIuN
Minefieldhttp://bit.ly/XzYTtd
PlanetXhttp://bit.ly/16v0xND
Puzzpichttp://bit.ly/Zr1r8H
Skeethttp://bit.ly/ZL2HDx

Snowboardhttp://bit.ly/YtyI3Y
Space Ace - http://bit.ly/13VsqPb
Spanghttp://bit.ly/Z1WMHX
Virushttp://bit.ly/Z703ZS
Wormhttp://bit.ly/16v0HEG

Amoebahttp://bit.ly/YulHEh
Asteroidshttp://bit.ly/XaF7P4
Bouncehttp://bit.ly/10SLME7
Buckethttp://bit.ly/ZCPyLs
Cavern Run - http://bit.ly/10SLRYk

Drivehttp://bit.ly/12TtW5h
Escapehttp://bit.ly/YdIVz9
Fireawayhttp://bit.ly/ZQqUdT
Frogit 2http://bit.ly/Zr1LUZ
Grid Memoryhttp://bit.ly/WK9TDA

You can email me at terry@terrypaton.com or catch me on twitter / google plus.

If this source code help you in any way, I’d love to know. Cheers!

 
 

Source code to 5 more AS3 games! (Part 4)

13 Mar

IMPORTANT: Due to bandwidth problems I’ve moved all the links, but the good news is that all downloads of all my games will be on one page. Please visit this page to download zips of each file: http://pixelpaton.com/?p=5707

Following on from my previous posts (Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3) I’m giving away more AS3 Flash game code. For more information why I’m doing this, please read the first post. I’ll repeat the terms and conditions at the bottom of the post, but otherwise, lets get on with it!

IMPORTANT: Please read my blog post here (http://pixelpaton.com/?p=5265) for ‘conditions’ of use for this source code.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Some of these game were made with Flash Builder 4.6 or less (and sometimes the Flash IDE), Flash Builder 4.7 seems to break the games, especially embedding of images and fonts.

POGZ
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/pogz/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Blockworm
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/block-worm/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Meteor Storm 2
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/meteor-storm-2/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Galaxy Gems
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/galaxy-gems/
Source: see note at top of this post!

Treasure Caves 2
Live game: http://mrtobi.com/treasure-caves-2/
Source: see note at top of this post!

————————

You can email me at terry@terrypaton.com or catch me on twitter (https://twitter.com/terrypaton1) / google plus (https://plus.google.com/114101814013862230773/posts) .

If this source code help you in any way, I’d love to know. Cheers!