Author Archive: sprajt

Monthly Report #1 – December 2015

Today we are starting with a Monthly Report series. The series will be published every month to make a summary what we did in the previous month and show some statistics regarding Sapu’s “publicity”. As it is first post of the series, I’m sure that the overall scheme will change over time and adjust with the aim of providing updated status of our development in the best way possible. At the end of the post I’ll try to cover the most important features which we would like to add in next (current) month. So let the summary begin!

Main tasks

Start website (captain obvious at his best 🙂 )

After some positive feedback that we got from you, we are pretty happy about your first reactions. Kind people from reddit didn’t shy to give us constructive criticism and we’re working on adjustments now. The main goal is to create landing page which will explain what the game is about in nice and concise fashion. But to do that, we need some polished images/gifs and that’s why it is not implemented yet. But we changed the background and replaced this “pretty boring white” for something more atmospheric. We hope you like it!

Improve gameplay experience

In December we started the campaign for “better gameplay experience” to finally feel the enjoyment while playing. Here are some tasks that we have worked on:
• Implemented feature that dynamically adjusts camera position based on the location where player holds cursor.
• Added Camera/screen shake
• Dealt with minor adjustments with projectile spells (increased their speed etc.)
We are still not happy enough with the gameplay and I think it is 5-6 features away from being “fun”. As soon as it will feel like that, we will finally show first glimpses (gifs) from our game and I can’t wait to do that.

Complete environment for 2 scenes

Well, we didn’t finish any of these two scenes due to some continuous iteration which was meant to improve gameplay on one of the scene and quite frankly our inexperience with such processes. I’m sure that we will make up for those backlogs in January.

Other tasks

• 5 bugs fixed
• 6 animations added
• An easy way to adjust single sound volumes implemented
• A script that allow us to change transparency of object dynamically
• Visited Gdynia Game Festival, talked to other developers and attended to some game-dev related lectures. Also distributed around 60 business cards!
• Implemented a system that allows us to easily add different languages to the game

Followers

First followers report. The numbers are pretty mediocre but hey – we’re just starting! Also the fact that no one saw any screens from the game didn’t help keeping interest.

Website

330 page views and 152 users. I’m curious what will be the numbers at the end of 2016 🙂
DecemberWebsiteStats

Social Media

Facebook count: 36 likes
Twitter count: 6 followers

Main tasks for next month

Website

• Improve its look,
• Add landing page with screens!

Improve gameplay experience

• Add lightning system,
• Improve player movement
• Add absorb capability for some spells
• Add 2 new spells
• Improve ranged enemy behavior
This will allow us to seriously proceed for the next level to finally create experimental demo to showcase the game to some players and see their initial reaction.

Complete environment for 3 scenes

• Including finishing 2 unaccomplished from December

Well, that’s it for the first Monthly Report. How do you like it? Wow… I’m so excited for this year! Are you?

What have we done?

It is my first post and I’ve spent last 10 minutes thinking about how to start it… Well I guess that I will start from the beginning. How many times you thought about your career? Did the way of paying your bills and approach to pursue your job goals were planned very carefully? If yes, this either means that:

• you was one of those well-organized, serious and resolute teenagers
• you found your passion respectively early
• (hopefully not) your parents choose your career for you.

For more than 20 years I have struggled to find my way and career path. Somehow I had that feeling that everything will be just fine since I considered myself as a smart guy who can adapt quickly to new and unknown situations. While I still think that way, I also discovered that since I will dedicate approximately 1/3 of my life to work, it needs to be a job that I am passionate about. “But which of my interests can be turned into profit?” I asked myself. After some days of struggle, mixing different approaches, combining my down-to-earth attitude and impossible dreams I finally found It. Area that I was enjoying pretty much all my life, but I had no knowledge about its backstage and how it was done. But it only made me even more motivated to get to know everything about it. So finally, I opened web-browser and searched for…

How to make a game?

Oh boy this activated overwhelming tons of information that at that time looked like a total mess, including:

• Numerous programming languages
• Multiplicity of game engines
• Different platforms
• Art styles and approaches
• Distribution possibilities
• Legal issues

And many others… I couldn’t find a blog that would carry me hand by hand in an easy-to-read way and help me take first steps. That is why on this blog I want to describe our path in such complex world of game development. I want this blog to be a motivational gateway that will help survive other game devs who just started in this somehow hermetic domain. Instead of such blog I found either programming tutorials or… those forums, where so many people thinking they’re the world’s biggest brains, tried to tell me what is good and what not. I read about what I have to do to be successful and if I won’t do that, I will be a looser doomed to fail. Unfortunately (for them I guess) I had that feeling that they only tried to boost their “expert” egos, rather than actually helping novice game devs. But those guys, that sometimes lost double-digit years for game development with mediocre or poor results, did teach me one thing – game development is not an easy task for anyone, especially for a studio consisting of one person. Even though I accepted to imagine myself as a single developer that creates a game for years after regular job, I’ve started to doubt my skills and felt less motivated to pursue this path.

Teamwork kid, teamwork

Since I’ve always enjoyed being in various teams whether on regular sports or even e-sport games, I’ve started to think if I can find and inspire others to join me. I felt that by combining different talents this could only turn into more efficient and encouraging work. Thus later on, I approached my high-school friend Qra and asked him if he is willing to sacrifice his free time into such insecure idea as it was back then. Fortunately with the combination of some beers and snooker games he didn’t hesitate too long and was very interested in it. We started to learn more about game development and our respective, not so defined roles. As we discovered more and more, our initial plans were very realistic – “let’s just create a boy that can walk around and enter some buildings”. I think that such unambitious plans were due to my poor programming skills mostly with the addition of Qra’s doubts about his artistic talents. Even though I had Qra on my side, I still thought that it was too much for me to do and that this would take too many years to make a game that meet our ambitions. I guess it is natural feeling when amateurs like us, wanted to create pro game like we desired. That is why we decided to find this one big missing piece in our Sapu puzzle, which was a professional programmer/developer. Some weeks later, sticking to proven strategy, I invited our another long friend from high-school Sarseth for a beer and introduced him to our idea. Luckily for us (and maybe even for You – potential player :)), he also did not hesitate too long.

Although grabbing my real-life friends may seem as quick and easy action, I prepared a lot for those two meetings because deep inside myself, I felt that for one: it is not easy to convince another person for such commitment, and two: it was crucial for me to stay positively motivated about my professional dreams. That is why I am very happy that both guys agreed to team-up with me and thus together make something that can be life-changing experience for all of us. I think that the whole process of negotiating and convincing other people to work with you with no guaranteed profit, deserves to be described in another post, which I will cover in future.

What will you find on Sapu website?

Judging by those first paragraphs you may notice that this will not be just simple blog about the process of Sapu game development. Of course, as the time goes by, I will share more information about the game itself describing our progress, showing images, gifs and other stuff. However, I will also share my thoughts and feelings that are not solely related to technical aspects of game development. I’d like to look at myself and our team from imagined distance. I feel that in a long term, it can be very helpful for not only us as a team, but also as individuals. In opposite to many bloggers, I won’t be your big guru – been there done that guy, that has his structured, never wrong opinion on every topic. I will describe various elements of game development process as well as share our ups and downs in a transparent, straight-forward manner. Instead of saying “do this because I said that”, you’ll read how we approached different problems and see if you can learn from our mistakes or can benefit from things that we did right. By doing so, I’d like to connect with other starting up game developers to share our passion and motivate ourselves.