Happy new year. I have big news.
As of midnight on the morning of Jan 1st, 2016, the software development company I started is officially gone. I have formally merged with a business partner (that I worked with a lot last year) to become WestEdge Collective. How does this affect the game? Well, BattleCrypt stayed as my personal property and IP. So it doesn’t directly affect it. But where I used to be able to invest in hardware to work on BattleCrypt, or spend some company time on it…that would now be irresponsible and a conflict of interest with the new company. This new partnership will also mean more stress and longer hours as we figure out who we are and strengthen our client portfolio. Those things will affect the time and resources I have to devote to BattleCrypt. But rest assured that production continues, as you will see in this and future blog posts.
Lately I’ve been working on one of the least fun parts of gamedev for me: UI development. I have been trying to unify how menus, character selection and other UI works. I decided to pattern UI after Smash Brothers or the Wii/U in general in terms of each player controller having a cursor. The main reason for this is it makes it easy for the game to work via mouse/keyboard or a controller. It also makes it easier to build UI that doesn’t have a clear way to scroll through UI buttons. This is important for things like character selection screens where you have 4 players each making different character choices at the same time. I am allowing characters to drop a “marker” on the player they choose very similar to what Smash does.
This has caused a lot of problems that I’ve been working on solving. Namely, changes in camera movement and the zoom level – which happen all the time during gameplay – can leave cursors and cursor positioning in funky states. I’ve had a ton of bugs to try to work out and I’m not totally convinced that this is even a good idea now that I get it working.
While I’ve been working on this, I’ve also had some help from Vic Chelaru – creator of the FlatRedBall game engine that powers BattleCrypt. He made some important additions to the repo to make it easier to build the project and easily get all of the dev tools in use. So far, since I’m the only dev/artist/etc I haven’t worried too much about how easy or hard it is to spin up on the project like I would on my professional projects.
This will be important for something that I’ll be announcing soon 🙂