Tuesday 19 October 2010

Greedy Bankers Levels Up!

It's finally here! I've been working on the updates to Greedy Bankers for a while, and can finally announce the release of the Halloween version of the game: Spooky Bankers!

Spooky Bankers is version 0.3 of Greedy Bankers, with some nice Halloween effects added in. Why? Because October is cool, my friend. All those autumn leaves and the chilling sense of forboding around the 31st... :)

Download Spooky Bankers (Greedy Bankers 0.3) from here

Coming soon to iPhone and iPad!

I have decided to produce and iPhone/iPad version of the game, which will make use of the touch-screen interface. It seems like a fairly obvious direction for the game, so I'll be getting on with it as soon as possible!

Greedy Bankers has its own website!

I've also started up a website for Greedy Bankers, which will feature more updates, special content, and downloads. At the moment it's had a nice spooky facelift to coincide with the new version.

You can also follow Greedy Bankers on Twitter: @greedy_bankers

Finally, I've produced a new trailer for the game, which you can view here.

Updates in the new version

The new version also includes a lot of updates - some minor and some major. I've been testing the game out on people for the past couple of months and have made some changes accordingly. I'll list them below:
  • New soundtrack - The old version had a placeholder soundtrack that I have now replaced with some neat Creative Commons music. I want to add my own music, but am a little out-of-practice at the moment!
  • Magic orb - One of the problems with the old version is often a game would end because the screen was too full of rubble and there was no space to make large gems. The magic orb transforms rubble to gems, and gives the player a chance to turn the tables.
  • Improved display - To some players it wasn't obvious how close they were to the goal at a given point in time. I tried to make the display easier to glance at, and added in the growing-stack-of-moneybags graphic to help.
  • Balancing improvements - The player needs to always feel that they have a chance to cling on when time's running out. In the earlier versions it was easy to reach a point where there were obviously not enough gems on-screen to make the target. The drop-rates now change depending on how many gems are on-screen to combat this, and give a player a better chance to bounce back.
  • Pause screen - This is a pretty obvious addition, which for some reason I hadn't thought to put in before.
  • In-game hints - Another big problem was that many players got confused at first, and the instructions could not be read while playing the game. Hints now appear when you start the game, and can be switched off if you don't like them.
  • High-score saving - Again, another one that I'm not sure why I hadn't added earlier, even though it seemed like an obvious addition. The game now records your best score and level.
  • Mouse clipping - Some players didn't like the way that the mouse sometimes became detatched from the gem, but you were still technically holding it. Now the cursor should stay with the gem that it is holding.
Please let me know what you think! You can comment below, or on my portfolio site. I really appreciate your thoughts!

Sunday 3 October 2010

Monster Mash and Much More...

It’s been a while since I made my last blog post, but I’ve been busying away on a number of games and projects. I’ve been working full time on game development since I graduated in July, so an update on what I’ve been doing is in order!


I took part in Ludum Dare 18 in August, where I made Mind Control Monster Mash. It wasn’t a massive success as a game, mostly due to poor controls, but it was enough to show me the premise worked. As a result, I’ve started the project again from scratch and have big plans for it!

Greedy Bankers

In July I released version 2 of Greedy Bankers, and then took a bit of a break from the game. I’m working on version 3 now, fixing some of the small bugs, tightening the mechanics and addressing some of the issues that players pointed out.

The new version should be a bit faster and I’m adding a few power-ups to spice up the gameplay. I want the player to be able to do something to fight off the robbers who some players found frustrating. I also want to make it easier to fight tooth-and-nail to stay in the game, to increase the tension. So far adding these power-ups has highlighted a couple of bugs which I need to sort out, but they’ll be on their way out soon.

I’ll point out all the changes when I publicly release the new version later this month.

Version 3 has another special surprise coming up, but I will keep my lips sealed on that for now. It should be fun!

Mind Control Monster Mash

Following my Ludum Dare entry, I began working on a new version using FlashPunk in early September.

Your city is attacked by giant Godzilla-esque monsters, and you must use your team of monsters to fight them off. You can hypnotise a certain number of enemy monsters and take them under your control. Different monsters are good at fighting off different other monsters, so you need to think strategically in order to win. At its heart it’s a strategy game, which will be simple to pick up but allow players to develop their own complex tactics.

The game is in the early stages at the moment, but is developing nicely. There’s a lot of animation for me to do, as I want the artwork to be fairly detailed. Animating the monsters is harder work than I’d anticipated, but I’m very happy with how it’s progressing.