Buy NowTo send payments or donations to Earlsgames kindly click here or click on the Paypal button. Debit and Credit card payments are also welcome.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Job Offer....

I'm willing to offer you $XX,XXX per year...+ visa for 3 years, plus one free ticket back home every year etc, to work from .......... office in Dubai.
Got this email from an online Flash gaming site's administrators. What do you think?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Map Generator

The start of 2006 was kinda slow for Earlsgames. Been "busy" so to speak with other projects, and after my previous post, i kinda started to think about the kind of games i wanted to make.

So I stopped the usual routine of making games and focused more on learning more advanced methods of game making. So until such time, i'm afraid this Blog of mine will see fewer entries.

Anyways, that beside the point, i just wanted to show you this Map Generator thing.

I made this application for that big secret project I mentioned a while back. You can probably imagine how big the project is... and who wouldn't? It's not everyday a Flash game will have it's own map generator program.

Similar to other map maker apps like those of Command and Conquer, and Warcraft, the "generator" basically does the same thing, but on a simpler level.

It features a flat isometric 16x16 tile grid. Each tile can be raised or lowered to build the map that you want, and tiles can be "removed" to represent cliffs or bodies of water. The generator allows you to save, and load maps to the hard drive via .map files and export the map as an image.

It also features a texture editing mode (disabled in this version) so you can have a good feel of how the final map will look like when finished. You can have grass textures, wild growth, sand, bricks, rubble, rock, pavement, marble, and of course, water. I disabled the feature for the time being because it affected the application's performance. I still needed to optimize the code, but set it aside for now.

After making the map layout, all i had to do now was to export the map as an image, and send the image over to the map renderers who in turn will use a combination of 3D Studio Max (or any other 3D application they like) and Photoshop (or any other image editing tool they like) to come up with the final map.

Maps will have their own themes, depending on which part of the game we plan to put them in. Once the game is launched, the generator may be downloaded along with the game client so players can design and render their own maps.

These maps will then be submitted to us for review, making sure it fits proper specifications for the game itself. If the map is ok, it will be automatically be included in map updates so players from all over can download and use the map. Pretty cool eh?

The actual game is nearing the start of our "internal alpha" phase where all of the guys involved with the project will get to play it and give their comments. After that, we start finalizing alpha for the Beta release. The website is currently in development and should come out a couple of weeks before the Beta.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A developer's thoughts...

I've done a lot of thinking these past couple of weeks regarding the future of Flash games. As an active contributor to an online Flash Forum, i came to know the concerns of most game developers in regards to game portals (buyers), and online games' indirect competition with console (ps2, xbox, etc) games.

A number of professional developers are concerned with the turnover of low quality Flash games into the online community, being sold to gaming portals for substandard prices. There are a lot of game portals that take advantage of the "game-developer-wannabees." These sites, i would like to think, have the belief that "more games equal more visitors." Which of course it true. But what they fail to realize is that if those games are not quality games, then these visitors would stop playing even before starting.

Quality games? A lot of arguement has been poured onto this specific topic. What makes a quality game? Graphics? Sounds? Features that appeal to one's senses are a big plus, but does that automatically mean that a game is top-notched just because of it's realistic 3D graphics, and heart-pounding music and sound effects? I believe that packaging a game to attract players is not only about what's on the outside, but what's inside is equally or even more important. For me, three things make a quality game, the first being visual, the other two would be flawlessness, and experience.

A quality game should be flawless, in terms of how it was programmed; how game characters interact with the players, interact with themselves, executing of actions. In short, bug free. A game should survive without scratches. It shouldn't stop at a middle of a level, expected reactions should happen after an action. What good is a game if it can't do what it's supposed to do?

A quality game should provide a new high in gaming experience. Yeah, we've seen them countless of times, some good, some bad. But they're all the same. I'm talking about the "Attack of the Clones." It's funny how this StarWars title came and hit everything right on the spot. Clones are everywhere. How many different types of Tetris-type games have you seen? Hundreds to even thousands? It's Tetris. How many of Nintendo's Mario-type games have you seen? Those side-scrolling games where you collect items, jump or shoot at enemies along the way to reach your goal? Hundreds to even thousands? It's still Mario. And how many Space Invaders, Asteroids, Breakouts, are out there? Be my guess. We are playing the same games (with different packages) over and over again. Nothing new actually. A quality game is about new experiences. What good is a game if it can't do what it's supposed to do?

These three points are what's crucial in making the next hit game. Some may agree, some may not... but that's what i think, and that's another problem. It's a problem that a number of developers are contemplating about. The game concept. It's another issue for another day, but an equally important issue nonetheless.