Author: SFSAdmin

CashFlo Release Scheduled

Another year, another great game release, and hopefully only the first of many!

In their terminology, CashFlo has been code released. What does that mean? We have a release date! Wooooohooooo! So, on Feb 6th, jump onto your gameboard or table and snatch this one up fast!

They found a lot of bugs, and some especially difficult ones to track down as well. It left me searching through code until the very last moment. You’d think a board game would be pretty simplistic, but, lesson learned.. It’s anything but!

It did however give me a lot of ideas and a lot of reuseable code and things to work with for upcoming releases, and with each version and each game, some of those components get better and better and more and more robust, like the player select code.. Yea, I limit to 4 players typically, but if I had to my player select will handle pretty much whatever I throw at it, and it works surprisingly well. It was copied into Rogues and Riches, and is being copied into the next 4 projects as well. I have about 6 total projects in the work, so i’m hoping I can keep pace and release something new every 2 months or so. We’ll see how this goes! For now, it’s time to get back to work!

Cribbage Released and Climbing..

Cribbage was released on 12/5.. and despite the bugs, (that we have fixed!)  it continues to climb in sales, already surpassing Popalot and two thirds of the way to Tetridoku! Definitely surpassed my expectations, especially in the first 30 days. Now, there numbers and mine didn’t exactly line up, but theres a lot of reasons for that. I did see a bunch posts on social media where people had connectivity issues , so they’d only connect to a hotspot to download, and not stay connected while playing, which would in turn affect my tracking.. So, looks like my portion will be a little more than I expected.. 

But now that that is done and out of the way, it’s been back to work on some of the other projects sitting around, notably CashFlo, which is currently in beta testing and looking to be released next month. Also coming up will be Rogues & Riches, a board and card game based on robbing the vault and escaping before you’re caught! Definitely a lot of quick fun and strategy involved, and I’m having a blast with it!

Once Rogues is off to beta test, it will be time to move on to other projects.. still have goblins grotto, delve, opanico, skip, frustration and more.. I have enough on my plate to last through the year, and maybe then some.. Sigh.. That’s ok I guess, I am loving it and loving that people are having a great time playing my games! Thank you!


Bugs… There are always bugs…

Well, this just serves to prove.. No matter how hard you test, watch, examine, rewrite and try to bugproof your code, there will always be something. Just fired off another update for That Cribbage Game.. And trust me, I appreciate the feedback! The game has had amazing sales and everyone loves it, and every bug squashed just makes it better for everyone else!

So, turns out there was a bit of code that for some reason I was taking the boardsize and subtracting 1.. so basically what would happen, is in the rare case that you collected enough points to land on the 120 hole exactly.. the game just said, I’m moving you to 121, you won!!! Thanks to Heather and Mark who notified me and captured it on video, we found it, squashed it, tested it, and sent it off to be deployed.. 

This just says it doesn’t matter how many people you have testing and playing and for however long test, someone will always find something that slips through the cracks.. Mind you cribbage is a complicated game that a lot of people don’t even know how to play, that makes it much tougher for testing as well.. 

Enough rambling.. back to coding.. Got bugs in CashFlo to squash and I’m sure there are bugs in the 5 ongoing projects, so…. =D

Final Touches… And Another One Done…

Well, what was started back in June is now done.. Now mind you I took a 90 day break to work on That Cribbage Game, so if I started this in June, through December 1, works out to 6 months there, minus 90 for Cribbage, so about the same time frame; a full board game done in 90 days.. Rather proud of myself.. Of course due the timing and the time for testing, plus closures during the holiday season, it means this wont see publication until January, but hey, it’s done!

I still have to do up all the write ups and the media, screenshots, videos etc for it, and I’m sure I’m going to look at performance tweaks.. At least on the game table, which is lowest hardware, it’s running 15fps.. I am going to almost guarantee that’s due to images and compression, so once all that is tweaked, it should be 30fps.. I’m also sure it’s going to run much better on the game board.. better and faster hardware and all. 

So overall sine June, that makes 2 games done.. I’m rather proud of myself.. Now if I can cut that time down to 60 days or so?  Then i cant get the next 5 projects done next year.. Lol    5.. Lets see, Opanico, Gremlins Grotto, Frustration, Precision, and Delve.. 3 are clones of other popular games, and 2 are unique titles. All will be developed exclusively for the Infinity Game Table right now.. 

Anyways, thinking bedtime… it was a good day!

Next Projects… Yep with an S

Now that That Cribbage Game is in the hands of the testers.. and then was passed back to me.. then back to them. then back to me. then back to them. then.. well let’s just say it’s always a back and forth process and testers identify things that we as devs, just don’t see, or we saw it so much we just got used to it and it didn’t bother us, or some of these testers are relentless in trying to break things! BUT! That’s a good thing! I’d rather them find these little issues and get them fixed, even if it’s not something a customer would ever likely come across. 

To me, it’s release ready, it’s just a matter of them setting a release date, getting promo videos playing, and setting a price, which i still haven’t decided on yet. Leaning towards 6.49.. I want a little more than 4.99 but at the same time I don’t want to alienate people by going up 8.99 or something. Some people like me, will see a 8 or 9 dollar price point, and I’ll just skip the game because of the cost. 

I’m just hoping for a release to be set, ya know, on my birthday sounds good! Dec 4th.. 

Well, now is time to move forward..  I still have some work to do on CashFlo, but that’s almost done as well, it’s just a few minor AI pieces to work out, and then thats another title out the door for testing.. It’s crazy in what, 15 months I’ll have put out 4 titles? It makes a difference when you see a lifting of the financial burden from doing this. Even as a hobby, it has a pretty high financial investment even when your doing everything yourself, and when there is no return, you slow down a lot.. 

So next up on my agenda, are 2 different projects, the way I work, I get bored.. So 2 projects will allow me to jump back and forth and hopefully reduce the days that I just don’t wanna work on it, because I’m bored or burning out on working on the same thing day after day.. 

First, is a clone of a board game out there.. Haven’t on a title for it yet, but it’s a simple tile based game, laying your tiles down for points and seeing who can score the most.. Some of the potential titles:

 

  • Mine & Dine
  • Gremlins Grotto
  • Dwarf Delve
  • Crystal Caverns
  • Crystal Crunchers
  • Crystal Carvers

Something

OPanico

 

 

The second title, Opanico is a new card game loosely based on another game called Blink.. I was going to do a recreation or Blink, then I just started wandering, and well it turned into it’s own whole game, so.. I have the rules all written out, should be a very fast paced game based on matching colors, shape or numbers, along with the panic.. you’re timed on your turn, and if someone else looks like they might win, well you can ruin their day with a panic, and shuffle everyones cards together, and re-deal… 

So that’s what I’m up to.. Gotta a preference on names for the unknown above? Join us on Discord and talk about it!

 

Join us on discord to discuss!

Cribbage Final

Well, I think we finally have a final product, at least until I ship it off to the beta team and they start making a giant freaking list of bugs.. But that’s ok! 

There were definitely a lot of issues with this, and it’s not my coding or anything, it’s the low end hardware of the target platform. So in the game, there are 12 different cribbage boards, each one is composed of 5-600 GameObjects.. Nothing major at all there.. I was loading those into an array that the game would then instantiate the board it needed for that game.. Well apparently the IGT hardware can’t handle that.. It worked on every device I deployed it too, so I thought, ok, lets kick this over to the table and test it! And the only thing it did was crash. And of course, Logcat showed NOTHING of value whatsoever.. Basically it just spewed nonsense that didn’t give me any direction to look.

After spending hours and hours trying to rebuild scenes, and rewriting scripts, and stripping everything down to it’s most basic pieces, even at one point removing everything except the images.. no code, no animation, no sound, no voice.. Finally I stumbled on the gameboards.. Figured ok, gotta be memory, removed half of the boards from the array NOT even instantiated objects, and sure enough it starts working.. Sadly I had already completely redesigned the title scene and stripped out the player selection and joining into its own separate scene (which I may put back to the way it used to be).. 

Either way, the damn thing works properly now. Stuck the board prefabs in the resources folder, and loading the prefab from resources at runtime, so as not to hurt the tables tiny little memory feelings.. It runs great now, 45+ fps on average which is fine.. 1 or 2 tiny things to wrap up and do all the marketing pieces for, and I can ship it off. Definitely not going to write an entire game again without testing on the table every step of the way.. not again.. Still don’t understand why it cant handle 6000 objects, that’s a pretty minute number.. but hey.. It’s all good now!

Little Over A Month In

It’s been just a little over a month since I put my other project on hold and jumped in to start cribbage for the game table. It bugs me a bit that the other project is soo close to completion, but sometimes the break is good. It’s given me some time to rethink a few choices and I am going to redo something that’s bugged me from the start, the tokens.. 

But I digress, In just a little over a month cribbage is almost done. With selecting custom backgrounds to twelve different custom cribbage boards, with 4 lanes on each one.. to 24 different AI generated voice tracks to choose from for scoring out loud.. Player names are in along with a rudimentary tracking system based on names of games won, skunks, etc. I have a few tweaks to put in for the player select so that you don’t have to type your name in over and over, but it will store the last used name for that position as a shortcut.. 

Game wise, most of it is done. The pegging phase is almost done, as that’s the most complex in all actuality, the second phase counting your hand with the cut card is easy, the scoring is already done, its just a matter of the animations and displays.. Pegs are already moving around the boards and can already determine when they hit 121, or when they’re skunked.

Everything is shaping up beautiful for a project I’ve only been working on for less than 60 days, and I actually think it will be done before that 60 day mark. Which will be great, because we can get it into beta testing and get it published in time for the holiday season sales! It may only have30-45 days on the market so I want to give it as much time as I can.. I still don’t know what I want to retail for, but 5.99 kinda sounds good right now. Later after i resolve some other issues on hand, I can come back and add connected play to this and go for round 2.. 

Designing Cribbage Boards.. #%^!$@!

Designing cribbage boards sucks.. End of story…

So, first comes the task of finding proper templates to work with for some of the more common designs. Then spend several hours using those templates to draw out individual boards, and drawing out 4 colored tracks for each board. Then, you have to draw the outlines, and make sure you have some sort of guide so the holes are spaced evenly on the board.

Now that you’ve spent multiple hours doing that, Paint Shop Pro crashes, and claims it doesn’t have enough memory to even save your file.. ugh.. so another hour to reproduce those last changes.. And that is JUST the images!

Next up comes importing those images into Unity and then the painstakingly long process of placing everything. You might not think it’s much, but to achieve a consistent look and feel across all of the boards, you have to individually align and place all the holes.. Each hole is it’s own separate gameobject.. Oh yes.. What does that mean to you if you don’t Unity? It means I get to spend hours placing 520 individual objects on each board, across a total of 13 boards, meaning a total of 6,760 hand placed items.. Minimum of 2-3 hours per board.. yeah.. 

But hey, the way this is set up I don’t have to worry about anything with gameplay, the game knows where each hole is, and can automatically move the pegs properly to their next location, so it’s worth it in the end! I hope…

Now let’s hope I can live up to this and get this released by November like they asked! It should make a great bonus check in January for sure if I can get it done!

New Webhost

It was about time.. time for a new web host that is. My old provider gave me a LOT of flexibility, and to be honest, I am going to miss that. However, the server speed and everything seemed to really be slowing down, especially moving to wordpress. 

I’ve always hated wordpress, it’s a complicated nightmare of a system where everything you need is a plugin, and guess what, every one of those plugins wants you to pay like “Only $99 a year”.. now add that up for the 10-30 plugins you need, and yeah. To get your premium, you’re going pay out your a$$.. Fortunately if you look around and make do and settle, it may not be perfect but at least I dont have fork over a ton of cash.. Now the complexities of setting things up, thats another story. No matter what they say, wordpress is a pain in the ass to work with and set up. 

But, moving to the new host the speed is there, and updated database and PHP versions, which is something I needed. The new host is more convoluted, it’s one of those new “you can have up to 10 websites on this plan!” and of course, each website is like it’s own little virtual space, which means all my previous redirects and subdomains to different things all had to be redone and reworked to work within their system. PITA, but I think it’s done.. I hope so at least, since i already moved the DNS and yeah..

Also in the works, and slowing any actual work down, I had to design and get a new website up for my wifes daycare as well, so if you want to check hers out, here ya go:  http://littlefingers.online/

The final kink, is my little NAS server has outgrown itself in terms of age and capacity, so there is a nice upgrade going on and moving codebases and music and art packages and everything over to the shiny new Synology NAS with the 8TB drive I stuck in there. Doesn’t help that a lot of stuff is stored on this little 4TB usb drive, which is SLOWER than hell copying files.. Oh well..

It’s been a week of things keeping me from meaningful progress, but it’s stuff that needed to be done, and it’s almost done.. 

Cribbage Work

It’s interesting when you start working on a project. There’s things you plan for, things you think you planned for and then the things that you think you have covered until you realize you don’t which makes you replan your whole plan. Which is what tonight has led in to.

It’s not a problem per se, it’s just a matter of handling each players cards. In cribbage, you’re dealt x cards, and then you keep 4, and send the rest to the crib. That’s the part I didn’t think about.. The rest.. 

So in a 3 or 4 player game, it’s easy; you’re always putting one card in the crib. Queue 2 player mode.. crap.. now I have to rewrite things to allow for selecting two different cards to send to the crib. Fortunately I caught that early enough and it was a pretty simple fix, but it’s a lesson in planning. No matter how well you plan something out, it’s going to fall apart, or at least deviate.. End of story.. 

So code will continue, now that I have the ability to select cards to put in the crib, it’s now time to actually program that and the animations to move them there.. The rest, should be easy..

 

Famous last words, I know….

And just for fun…

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