Monday, January 9, 2012

Pokemon Tower Defense: Weekly Progress for v5.5, school is starting, looking for a programmer!

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Visit the PTD: Pokemon Center - a place to trade pokemon, get your Daily Code, adopt Pokemon, view your items and change your avatar!

A new week a new adventure in video game development here at Sam & Dan Games. Since the explosive popularity of Pokemon Tower Defense things have changed a lot for Dan and I, and we decided from the beginning that we wanted to make a different kind of game company. Most game companies follow a similar path of developing the game internally for a number of years and then release it into the public making only slight changes based on user input. This method is not incorrect by any means. The developer has a vision of what he wants for the game and takes his time (or however much time he can afford to spend) to make it as close to his vision as possible. They do play test with gamers and non-gamers. I can imagine. to gather some feedback on the game. The process is proven and many companies use it to great success. But we knew that if we wanted to stand out and provide something unique to our players we needed to be different.

So we thought about what we would like other companies to do, or what were new independent companies doing that we really liked. One such person/company was Markus Persson aka "Notch" from Mojang and their hit game Minecraft. While I'm not an avid Minecraft player, as a game designer I can see the appeal of the game. But what really sticks out for me is the method in which the game was released and updated. If you haven't noticed we followed a very similar approach with Pokemon Tower Defense. Releasing a game in it's early stages is a risky thing to do. What if somebody steals the concept? What if players are turned off by an incomplete game? These are all things to keep in mind while using this process. To me it means that I get to know how the players feel about your game at a stage were you can still make changes to it. Pokemon Tower Defense is really close to being done, and your feedback as been integral in the making of it. Sometimes you picked which avatar we should get, or if Joey should battle somebody, even which direction we should head in. Those were choices that I gave you guys to directly affect the game. But your emails and comments gave me great insight into which direction you the players wanted to take it in. While I didn't follow every little request (that would be a horrible thing to do) I did follow request that I felt and many felt should be implemented.

We are getting close to the end of PTD 1. 3 more badges to go until the final showdown, very little new pokemon to add until all 151 are in the game, and less than 100 new moves to add. This game belongs to all of us that have participated in creating it. Even those who are no longer around but helped in past times. Because the game is near completion, you won't be seeing a lot of new features most of the focus will be on finishing what is already there. So what's next for us?

My main priority right now is finishing the PTD story mode. This will grant everybody access to the original 151 pokemon. My main goal with this game was to make a good pokemon tower defense game and I think I have accomplished that but it's still not completed. While I'm finishing PTD I will work with Dan and Kevin on Hero Tower Defense. On top of that I'm going back to school! Starting this week I will be taking two college courses on my way to finishing my Computer Science degree. The great thing about being an independent developer is that you can set your own schedule and work around things in your life. So I will have the task to balance game development with going to school, doing the homework and studying for test. Life is all about balance!

So when PTD story mode is finished I will move the focus to HTD and really try to get that game going. Just like PTD we will be showing you the game as we make it so that you guys can give us your feedback. Once the game is in a good playable form with some levels ready we will deploy it to websites such as newgrounds, playtowerdefensegames, etc so that we can attract new people that are interested in that game. But I never like just working on one game... So while working on HTD and HTD being the main focus I will work on... Pokemon Tower Defense 2! Yes you heard it right! The sequel to PTD is officially announced! The game will focus on the 2nd Generation of Pokemon from the Johto Region and along with all that many of new features that you guys have been requesting:
  • 100 new Pokemon to capture and raise
  • New Story Line
  • Held Items
  • Pokemon Genders
  • Pokemon Breeding
  • Eggs
  • Day Care
  • Day and Night Cycle
  • Different Pokeballs
  • More Items
  • More Achievements
  • Better Interface
  • Being able to transfer your old pokemon from ptd 1 into ptd 2
  • More Avatars
  • and more!
As I said before Hero Tower Defense will be the main focus after PTD 1 is done but PTD 2 will be worked on by me and a few other people at the same time. Along with this game I will be working on other side projects that will take a lot longer to show to you guys. Which brings me to my new next point, we need a programmer!

Looking for new people that want to work with us is actually a pretty hard ordeal. We had many great applications for the artist position and we were fortunate to find Kevin which has shown that he has what it takes. With artist the quest of finding one is a lot simpler, since with art what you see is what you get. With programming it's not quite as easy as looking at a portfolio. But let's do it anyways. This programmer position will let you work with Dan, Kevin and I on all the latest projects that we have here on Sam & Dan games have going. Be a part of our team! We are in need of programming in pretty much all the areas of game development so if you are an expert in gameplay,  interfaces, or tool building apply today!

Here are the requirements.
  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Must have at least a year experience using Action Script 3.
  • Must have mastery of OOP.
  • Must have Adobe Professional CS5.5 or compatible software.
  • Must have a passion for Gaming.
  • Must speak and write fluent English.
These next ones are things are pluses that will make you more likely to be considered:
  • Have published a successful Action Script 3 Flash game on the web.
  • Have worked on a published game using different languages and engines.
    • C++, Java, C#
So there you go, like the artist position this is a paid position. Here is what we want to know from you:
  • Email to with subject "Programming Job Opening for SnD Games" (Can you follow simple instructions?)
  • Your experience in programming: What languages, how long, etc (Do you meet the requirements?)
  • Examples of your work: Published games, tools, widgets, etc (Do you have any of the plusses that we are looking for)
  • Why you want to work with us? and why should we pick you? (We want to see your passion!)
So let the search begin! I'm looking forward to the applications!

Okay.. So this has been a long post but I haven't really expressed myself fully recently and I wanted to get some stuff out there :)

Now on to the Weekly Progress! I won't reveal too much of what it will be on, the PTD First look by GraphicForce will take care of that. You can expect that (the first look) by the middle of the week.

PTD First Look Video for v5.5

New Story Level (100%)
  • Level Intro (100%)
  • Level Layout (100%)
  • Level Waves (100%)
  • Level Ending (100%)
  • Implement in game (100%)
New non capturable pokemon (100%)
  • Add graphic to game (100%)
  • Add stats to game (100%)
New Achievement (100%) - Celadon Challenge!
  • Implement in game (100%)
  • Implement in server (100%)
New Ability (100%) - Sand Veil - Sandshrew, Sandslash, Digglet, Dugtrio - Sand Veil increases the evasion of a Pokémon in a sandstorm and if on a Pokémon whose type does not already, grants immunity to damage taken from sandstorms.
  • Implement in game (100%)
New Mystery Gift Pokemon (100%) - Grimer!
  • Implement in game (100%) 
  • Graphics (100%)
  • New Moves (100%)
  • Implement Moves/TMs (100%)
  • Implement in Trading Center (100%)
  • Implement in Adoption Center (100%)
  • Implement Shadow Version in Game Corner and Daily Code (100%)
  • Implement in Save code (100%)
Rework Daily Code prizes (0%)- This is coming thanks to all your feedback!
Level Cap Increase (100%)
  • New Move due to increase (100%)
    • Implement in game (100%)
    • Implement new move in pokemon center's name database (100%)
  • Implement in game (100%)
  • Implement in trading center (100%)
Pokemon Center new look (70%)
Bug Fixes (100%)
  • Bug with trading pokemon in game (100%) 
  • Add missing information for the move Spike (100%)
Add Ditto, Shellder and Psyduck to the adoption center (100%) 
Add Ditto, Cloyster and Golduck to the adoption center (100%) 

Hero Tower Defense Programming Progress:
Interface - Targeting Functionality for your units (100%) 
Interface - Selecting a specific skill to use against a particular target (100%)
Graphics - Implement new interface graphics (100%)
Interface - Implement zoom in/out buttons (100%)

The list will be filled out with more things as the week goes on, thanks for the continued support and as always let me know what you think!


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