31 December 2015

Chaos Symbol - 2015 Year in Review

Well it's that time of year where I put up one last blog post for the year detailing what's been going on in Chaos Symbol for the past year. This one is going to be a special one though as it will also cover 2013 and 2014.

Each event will be colour coded. Any event not in these colours is a generic event.

Pink = Game enters development
Cyan = Game released
Green = Game update launched


  • 3 Dec - Project Plasma's development began.


  • 7 Sep - Chaos Symbol blog launched and first post made.
  • 23 Sep - Project Plasma released as an open beta.
  • 21 Oct - Project Plasma v0.9.1 goes live.
  • 23 Oct - Project Plasma v0.9.2 rushed out for legal reasons.
  • 29 Oct - Project Plasma Halloween Sale begins
  • 9 Nov - Project Plasma v0.9.3 goes live.
  • 24 Nov - Project Plasma v0.9.4 goes live.
  • 21 Dec - Project Plasma v0.9.5 goes live. This update is known as the Solstice Update.
  • 24 Dec - Project Plasma Christmas Sale begins
  • 30 Dec - Project Plasma v0.9.6 goes live.

January 2015

  • 18 -Project Plasma v0.9.7 goes live, the final open beta update for the game.
  • 26 - Pricing system changed. This change results in a change of currency as well (GBP to USD.)

Februrary 2015

  • N/A

March 2015

  • 9 - Project Plasma v1.0 goes live, putting an end to its status as an open beta game.

April 2015

  • 2 - Project Plasma v1.0.1 goes live to make up for the fact that Project Plasma Mobile was delayed.
  • 5 - Project Plasma v1.0.2 goes live - biggest update yet.
  • 8 - Playthrough Program announced - will be launched early 2016.
  • 12 - Project Plasma Mobile released as a prototype game for Android devices.

May 2015

  • 22 - Development on Iron begins.
  • 30 - New naming convention for upcoming games.

June 2015

  • 8 - To-do list launched, several deadlines missed or probably won't be achieved.

July 2015

  • 28 - Project Plasma v1.0.3 goes live. Game enters a long hiatus as Iron and Thallium take priority.
  • 30 - Project Plasma officially tested on Windows 10, works well with no issues.

August 2015

  • 1 - Yorkshire Day! Project Plasma gets given away for free.

September 2015

  • 21 - Pre-orders for Iron were supposed to go live... but didn't.
  • 23 - Project Plasma Birthday Sale begins.

October 2015

  • 21 - Iron goes up for pre-order, actual name revealed. Thallium subsequently released as a pre-order bonus game. Unfortunately pre-orders went up a month late.

November 2015

  • 2 - Chaos Symbol Post-Halloween Sale begins.

December 2015

  • 1 - Comments enabled for Project Plasma - later evolves into a full community forum.
  • 20 - Chaos Symbol Christmas Sale begins.
  • 23 - Itch.io Secret Santa. Project Plasma given away to one lucky guy the following day.
  • 25 - Iron was supposed to be released, but wasn't. (Statement to be released regarding this.)
  • 30 - CHAOS 6 announced as a pinball game and development begins due to GameMaker: Studio not constantly crashing and refusing to work.
And that's a wrap for this year I guess. Here's to 2016 and the upcoming release of Iron and not-too-distant release of Project Plasma 2 (seriously can't wait to get to work on this.) The development process of a couple of games has been pretty rough (PP was pretty rough, PPM was worse, Iron is currently giving me hell) but I'm hoping to smooth all that out next year and hopefully we can all look forward to a fresh start.

Proceeding onwards...

30 December 2015

CHAOS 6 Details

GameMaker Studio is currently down. Yay.

That means I can't work on Iron. Yay.

That means I can't start work on Project Plasma 2 either. Yay.

So with CHAOS 3 and 5 incapacitated for the time being and CHAOS 4 already released I guess it's time to give some details on the next title - CHAOS 6.

First off, I'd like to draw attention to this tweet:
And that's exactly what CHAOS 6 is going to be.

CHAOS 6 is a 2D pinball game heavily inspired by Psycho Pinball, a similar DOS-based game from 1995 which I started playing again via DOSBox. This is going to be the first Chaos Symbol game to not use GameMaker: Studio. Instead, this will be a free game that will be made using Scirra Construct 2, as this game is free, there will be no pre-orders and no bonus game being released alongside it.

I was originally planning on doing an engine switch with CHAOS 4 (Thallium) where I planned on using an engine called Duality, however the learning curve here was far too steep and I was running low on time so I decided to stick with GM: Studio.

CHAOS 6's development will start as soon as this blog post is out, however once I get GM: Studio back up and running then I'll be back to developing Iron. Expect CHAOS 6 to arrive late 2016.

23 December 2015

Iron and its Catastrophic Development

Iron is being released on Christmas Day... but not as a full game... or even an open beta.

Progress on Iron has been well... shit...

There is absolutely no way I'll get even the main storyline done by the 25th December deadline which is just over a day away however I don't want to leave you guys hanging so I've decided to do several things.

  • Release Iron as a WIP-game with the unusually low version number of 0.7. This will be open to all and will be a closed alpha at v0.8. It will then once again be available to everyone as an open beta at v0.9. I hope to get to v0.8 (completed storyline) by the new year.
  • Slash the price of Iron down to $1.00 USD until the open beta. This price slash is effective immediately and will be applied on top of the current 60% sale that is happening right now as part of this year's Chaos Symbol sale. The price will return to $1.50 when it hits v0.9. Thallium will remain a bonus game for Iron until v1.0.
I have spoken out against releasing incomplete games in the past, however this will be a one-off as I did promise I'd upload whatever I had by Christmas and I do not intend to do a U-turn on that topic.

I'm sorry this has happened and it won't happen again. I will make sure the first mission at least is done by the time it gets released but Iron's development process has been a complete disaster. Project Plasma's was bad, PPM's wasn't much better, but Iron has definitely taken home the prize so far.

Itch.io Secret Santa 2015

Hello guys - I'm pleased to announce that I am officially taking part in the official itch.io Secret Santa 2015 set up by itch.io user RAWRsoft! Official thread can be seen here.

What's happening is that we all sign up for the Secret Santa and we each get a person to send a random game to for free. Right now no one knows who their Secret Santa is nor does anyone know what games we are getting. As far as what game I'm giving myself... that has been decided but not revealed for obvious reasons.

At midnight EST (5:00am GMT) we'll be paired up with someone so watch this space... Tomorrow I will hopefully be giving a free game away to some lucky lad or lass.

I will also be putting up another blog post at some point before Christmas about Iron, unfortunately I have some bad news! But that's for next time.

All shall be revealed tomorrow... both the good and the bad.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tim Rodriguez who was the lucky one to be chosen to be my Secret Santa recipient! He's now enjoying a nice free copy of Project Plasma!

20 December 2015

Chaos Symbol Christmas Sale

So it's 2:47am right now - better make this a quick one.

The official Chaos Symbol Christmas Sale 2015 has begun! With both Project Plasma and Iron (and by extension, Thallium) being available for a sexy 60% off!

This sale is on from 19th December to 6th January. Dates inclusive.

1 December 2015

Comments Enabled on Project Plasma

First off, welcome to the last month of the year... I shall use this as an excuse to put this epic song up.


Anyway, I'm already digressing I've not even started yet.

A rather quick blog post coming up here, I'm announcing that I'm officially enabling comments on my first indie game - Project Plasma just as I have done with Iron and Thallium. Feel free to leave any PP-related comments on that page.

Comments on Project Plasma Mobile will remain disabled as I'm well aware that PPM sucks and I'm sure those are pretty much the only comments I'll be getting.

Project Plasma: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma
Project Plasma Mobile: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma-mobile
Iron: http://archangelatom.itch.io/iron
Thallium: http://archangelatom.itch.io/thallium

15 November 2015

Games Needing Downloads for Physical Copies (Rant)

So Fallout 4 came out a few days ago. Yay.

I have enjoyed the past two installments of the Fallout series, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas (NV) although I was disheartened by the fact by the fact the Bethesda decided to get in bed with Valve and their Steam service (a service which I am openly critical about) and require the game to use Steam and their highily intrusive DRM system. (Yes it's intrusive, any software that forces its way onto your computer just to play a game that otherwise isn't remotely affiliate with Valve/Steam against the user's will is very intrusive, I don't give a shit who says otherwise.) I have not used Steam in over three years and probably won't be using it again for a long time to say the least.

However recently I've seen some rather shameful abuse of the online-only system. Not only is it being used as an intrusive DRM system, it is also being used by big developers - case and point Bethesda - to ship the game with only part of the game and forcing the end user to download the rest via Steam.

A few people may have seen these tweets from my Twitter account:

Well, that's me basically summing up the situation but they don't quite tell the full story.

I'll start by reiterating what I said on Twitter, the fact that they're forcing users to download the game online poses a major issue for people with slow internet (not everyone's using bloody fibre-optic you wazzocks) and God forbid if you're one of the few who's not got internet access at all. People buy physical copies to avoid having to download the game, or to avoid using services like Steam or Origin (Steam being the main bastard) however this advantage is now being sadly nullified by big names such as Bethesda, Valve, and numerous others and is the reason why I've considered switching from PC gaming to console gaming. Steam and other DRM services need to keep their grimy hands off physical retail and stick to their own domains online.

I'm not referring to it as the so-called PC Gaming Master Race as a master race wouldn't allow themselves to be fucked up the arse by a heavy DRM-laced system, I'd also like to use this moment to point out the incredible irony behind this image. Plus it's also amazing how some of these "PC Master Race" people actually see the Steam service as a distinct advantage over console gaming, case and point - this image. There's PC gaming, but there's no PC Gaming Master Race (eagerly awaits controversy and butthurt fanboys.)

The other issue I see here is a bit more deep-rooted than the simple lack-of-good-internet argument I put forward previously. I am seeing this as a way of forcing users to use an online service against their will or to force greater integration with Steam. Like I said I am an outspoken critic of Steam and its lack of openness and how it restricts the freedom gamers have with their games and the less I personally have to do with it the better. However less about Steam, this rant is directed at Bethesda and as much I think Steam is a real abhorrent piece of shit, let's get back to the actual point of this rant. Other people share this viewpoint and personally if I see that a game requires Steam and there's no alternatives, I will personally avoid it as will the majority who share my opinion.

If that's really Bethesda's motive in this, then I will personally be staying well clear of their products in the future although in all fairness, this does seem like a rather far-fetched theory. That being said they did announce that they were partnering up with Steam, and if they are trying to get people using its online service then maybe I'm spot on with what I say. Surely if they'd just ran out of space on a single disc they'd include multiple discs or use a larger storage medium such as Blu-Ray. I just read up that the game is a 24GB download, a Blu-Ray disc can hold up to 50 GB storage. Why not do the logical thing and switch to Blu-Ray?

However it all boils down to this - Bethesda's tactic of forcing users to download a massive game via Steam exposes their blatant disregard for the physical retail market and why people may decide to go for a physical copy over a digital copy. As mentioned previously, there are people out there who may not be able to download such a large amount for whatever reason, whether it's slow internet or whether they have a quota on their connection (before late July this year for instance I was using a connection which had a 40GB quota, bear in mind that I'd be downloading and streaming plenty of other things as well.) I do not use Steam or any similar service, I will avoid any game that forces Steam (or similar service) up my arse and I will certainly be avoiding any game forces me into a 24GB download despite having bought a physical disc. Disgraceful.

That being said, I honestly can't say I'm all that shocked, they forced Steam up our orifices with Skyrim and Fallout NV. It was only a matter of time before they went full tilt and did some bullshit like this.

I will conclude this rant the same way I concluded my second tweet - Shame on you Bethesda!

1 November 2015

Iron and Halloween

Okay so first off Happy Halloween guys. Yes I know I'm a bit late with that but I've been in Leeds all day today and I'm absolutely shattered (I literally just flopped straight into bed as I soon as I came home) so I'll try and make this relatively short.

So guys the first thing I want to cover is Iron which I did say is gunning for a 19th November release but this is a sadly unrealistic goal after seeing how much progress is being done, however I do want this brought out before the year. Like I said in my last post on here this is something that I'm standing by on. The release date however has been moved back to 19th December and what I will do I will try and get the main campaign complete by this date. At this point I will then release game as an open beta at v0.9 like what I did with Project Plasma. I didn't want to do this with Iron but reviewing the circumstances I feel this is the best course action for both me and you guys right now.

The second thing is the lack of Halloween sale. Every year, I put on a Halloween sale however I unfortunately forgot to set the dates for a Halloween sale this year. The result? No sale unfortunately. However instead I will be having a Post-Halloween Sale starting on 2nd November and spanning until 8th November. Another thing I'll do to make up for this is increase the discount from 25% like what we had last year to 30%. This sale will affect Project Plasma and Iron. Thallium will be affected due to it being a free bonus game for those who pre-order Iron.

Fun fact: The 2014 Halloween sale was the first sale I put up on itch.io.

Anyway that's all from me this time. Hope you guys are having, or in my case have had a good Halloween. I'll be working on Iron like hell from here on out and I hope to start production of Project Plasma 2 in late December (around Christmas time.)

25 October 2015

Statement Regarding Iron and Thallium

So guys, as promised, I am releasing a statement regarding Iron's late pre-orders and future and hopefully you guys will be able to understand why things have been a bit rough lately with this game.

On Wednesday 22nd October I put pre-orders up for Iron, more than two weeks (17 days to be exact) after it was due to go up. The delays were down to the fact that I wanted to get Thallium ready to be released as a bonus game alongside Iron's pre-orders like I promised. Normally I have very little problem with releasing games late (although it is best avoided when possible) as usually they are delayed to fix a bug (as was the case here) or to make last minute improvements which is important as a game will be delayed temporarily, but will be known forever as a shit game if it's brayed by critics (Sonic 06 being a good example, or even the so-bad-it's-hilarious game Big Rigs.)

The bug was involved the upgrade shop where buying a damage upgrade wouldn't deduct however much Thallium it cost you to buy the upgrade. I fixed this, but I was only able to find the issue (or rather, find a fix for it) a while after pre-orders were due up. This is partly my fault, I didn't put as much work into it as I could have, however there is now a very big thing eating up a lot of my time since September - college.

I am currently at college for two days per week this year which is pretty lenient compared to a lot of cases. However as assignments are given out I often need to spend time at home to complete them, as was the case recently. Obviously I need to place assignments above my career as assignments have set-in-stone deadlines, whereas when I set a deadline for a game, it is much more flexible and I can change this as I see fit. I work past one of my game deadlines, fair enough. But if I miss a college deadline, I'm in the shit pretty much.

The good news is that the half-term holidays have come around now and all of my assignments that were due in have now been handed in and I have no assignments to work on over half-term. This means I can focus my efforts on Iron full-time this week.

The deadline I have set for Iron is November 19th as I iterated before - this hasn't changed, however there is a good chance in light of recent events that I will end up working past that deadline so a December release is possible. One thing I am adamant about is I will make sure I have this game released before the new year. Also, I haven't had the chance to upload screenshots of Iron yet to the official itch.io page, these will come over the course of this week so people will know what they're in for.

In the mean time, I best get going and working on Iron. My November 19th deadline is less than a month away although this deadline is flexible and can be changed if I need to change it.

Iron: http://archangelatom.itch.io/iron
Thallium: http://archangelatom.itch.io/thallium

21 October 2015

Pre-Orders Now Up!

I am happy to announce that pre-orders for CHAOS 3 are now up and running!

There have been a few delays but you can pre-order Iron now for $1.50 and get a itch.io download key for its accompanying bonus game Thallium on the side for free! This offer applies for as long as Iron remains in development but hopefully Thallium can tide you over until then.

I'll be releasing a statement as to why Iron and Thallium were both put up so late tomorrow (if I have time that is.)

Iron is a 2D game which is made mostly by me, although many of the sprites have been made by a friend of mine from college who goes by the name of RetroBlade98. He's also been working a few things of his own and you check his itch.io page out here.

Thallium is wholly my own work contains a mix of unique 2D graphics, 3D Blender graphics, and one re-used (two counting its recolour, although that made specifically for this) sprite from my last major release, Project Plasma.

Unlike Project Plasma and its little bitch mobile equivalent that shall not be named, Iron and Thallium both contain soundtracks that are actually my own work and are not downloaded from a creative commons site. Iron can be pre-ordered from its own page, whereas Thallium's page serves as just an information page and can only be acquired by pre-ordering Iron.

Iron: http://archangelatom.itch.io/iron
Thallium: http://archangelatom.itch.io/thallium
Project Plasma: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma
Project Plasma's little bitch mobile equivalent that shall not be namedhttp://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma-mobile

13 October 2015

Scottish Independence - A Year On (Anti-Rant)

Exactly one year ago today I posted a somewhat controversial rant titled "The Rabid 45" which took aim at the protests and rallies that occured as a result of the No outcome of Scotland's independence referendum last year. I've had a few people approach me asking me whether my views on this have changed since I uploaded that rant and I can safely say they have for the most part, even to the point where I put a big strikeout through the whole rant back in early-mid August.

For those haven't seen the original rant, it's all here.

Several things have happened since then in the UK politically, the Conservative party (Tories) won the general election again (something that I can't say I'm overly happy about) and I can say I am somewhat more sympathetic towards Scotland and I will admit, I have warmed slightly to the SNP although I still strongly oppose their advocation of seceding from the country. Such a move would weaken the UK as a whole and I can see it being devastating for Scotland as well.

I read up on the SNP's manifesto for Scotland's First Minister election on Yahoo and one of the things that's been added is that another indyref is possible. I personally don't feel this is fair as the SNP are almost proposing a neverendum, or referendum after referendum after referendum ad infinitum. I see this as an abuse of democracy so that country leaders can get their way without being called dictators or megalomaniacs.

Scrolling down to the comments I noticed a shitload of anti-English racism from many of the nationalists. Now before I go on with this I'd like to emphasise that I understand that this is certainly not what all SNP supporters are like, I am well aware that the racists I saw in the comments only represent a toxic minority of the party. Sadly they happen to be a rather vocal minority.

The nationalists I've seen on Twitter on the other hand are the complete opposite and don't share the anti-English sentiment that I saw on Yahoo. When David Cameron made a comment about Yorkshire people hating each other, the nationalists stood by Yorkshire's side and supported us. I do not believe the SNP are bad people, as they are willing to work with the UK even if they were to get independence, however like I said I cannot agree with some of their ideologies, like secession from the UK.

There are still a few points that I firmly stand by however, for example I'm still suspicious as to where all of the donations made to that nationalist rally (Hope Over Fear) ended up going. If he pocketed the money then shame on him however I'm not going to accuse anyone or anything, although I still feel we should all know where the money was going to ensure that the nationalists weren't getting scammed or tricked.

I am also still in the belief that any further pro-independence rallies are pointless, kick up an unnecessary storm, and don't solve anything. Yes it's good that you're passionate over something and that you share a common interest but all these rallies are are just anger vented and made vocal. The #CameronMustGo hashtag that was trending before the election was a similar concept, however this was online and caused far less disruption. On top of this, these rallies are only really any good when a referendum is looming (like say, in the month leading up an indyref.) Eventually people will get bored and be like "oh yay another rally whoop-de-doo" and move on with their life. Putting these rallies on whenever you feel like it doesn't solve much as when the indyref comes round, all of the enthusiasm for independence may have faded.

To conclude, I am more sympathetic and my opinion of the SNP has gone up considerably considered this time last year I despised the SNP. Most of my hatred towards them however was blown way out of proportion and was mostly a result of me not understanding the party and it supporter's fully. Likewise, there are still a few points that I put up last year that I stand adamantly by and all-in-all I feel that both sides can learn a few things from the whole scenario.

Also, maybe referring to SNP supporters as "the rabid 45" was over the top and unnecessary, for this I apologise. I won't, however, change the name of the rant so people know what to look for when I refer to that rant.

On a side note, this will likely be my last politically orientated blog post for a while. Politics are one of the subjects I tend to avoid talking about here unless something has really pissed me off and I will admit I'm now having second thoughts over the rabid 45 blog post I posted beforehand.

23 September 2015

Project Plasma Birthday Sale - Now On!

To celebrate one year since the release of Chaos Symbol's first indie game, I officially present to you the Project Plasma Birthday Sale! For today only Project Plasma will be available for half price!

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who has supported me, both in real-life and online, over the last few years throughout the development of Project Plasma, Project Plasma Mobile, and CHAOS 3/4. Your support has not gone unnoticed. Here's to many more good years of Chaos Symbol and hopefully much bigger and better games to come.

Have a good old Yorkshire pint of John Smith's, it's on the house you guys sure as hell deserve it!
(Image from http://www.sallykirkman.com/blog/who-will-win-the-grand-national-2013)

Project Plasma: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma
Project Plasma Mobile: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma-mobile

21 September 2015

CHAOS 3 Pre-orders Start Today

In just over eight hours from now, pre-orders for CHAOS 3 will begin at 9:30pm BST time. Here's some info on what to expect from today and the upcoming days.

The name of the game will be revealed when pre-orders go up at 9:30 along with its bonus counterpart, CHAOS 4 however what I will tell you all now is what you can expect from both games.

CHAOS 3 is a platformer game set in the relatively-near-future and is based around a soldier who returns to action and is being sent on various menial tasks as he has been out of action for a while however things quickly turn dark.

For the bonus game, CHAOS 4, you'll be seeing something a little more basic, it is a simple game similar to Asteroids where the player shoots asteroids and enemies alike in a playfield with procedurally generated entities. This game will be a little more competitive than CHAOS 3 as it will feature a high-score board which will allow friends to compete with each other to see who can get the furthest. This will re-use one sprite from Project Plasma but the rest of the content is completely unique.

And for those who are wondering, yes bonus games are eligible for updates and CHAOS 4 will be receiving a few updates over its lifetime, however as is the case with Project Plasma Mobile, CHAOS 4 will be at a lower priority than CHAOS 3 due to it being a bonus game, however it will still priority over prototype games.

That's all from me for now - see you all in a few hours!

UPDATE: Due to various issues, pre-orders have been postponed to 28th September. I apologise prefusely for any inconvenience, however CHAOS 4 is currently not ready yet.

14 September 2015

One Week Until Pre-Orders

In literally just seven days, CHAOS 3 along with its counterpart CHAOS 4 will go up for pre-order. This blog post will let everyone know how things will work with these two games.

You will be able to pre-order the game via Itch using its pre-order system which works just like you bought the game. When pre-ordering the game you will also get CHAOS 4 for free as a bonus game, however the jury is still out as to how I would distribute that.

The options I am considering are...

  1. Include it within the files for CHAOS 3, so when you pre-order it you instantly get CHAOS 4 off the bat, although this would give me less time to polish the game.
  2. Make a separate page for CHAOS 4, and when CHAOS 3 is released I send a group email out with a download link for CHAOS 4. Such a system can be abused however.
  3. Send out download links for CHAOS 4 specifically for each person as soon as they pre-order CHAOS 3. When a game is bought I will know the email of the person who bought it which will enable me to send them a link to CHAOS 4 directly.
I will also contact itch.io directly to see if there are any other options.

CHAOS 3's release date has also been pushed back - I simply need more time to finish it. The new release for CHAOS 3 is 19th November however pre-orders will start on 21st September. Project Plasma 2 will enter development about two weeks after the game's release.

That's all from me this time, hopefully my next post will be one announcing the pre-orders for CHAOS 3 where the name of both games will revealed.


15 August 2015

A Change of Plan

I've recently been dwelling on the development of CHAOS 3 and CHAOS 4. While CHAOS 3 has now been going relatively well the development progress of the bonus game CHAOS 4 has been... questionable.

I have devoted all my effort and resources on CHAOS 3 which is obviously going to be the main game I'll be releasing in just over two months, this game will be available on itch.io as per usual and will differ from my previous titles in the way that it will be ported to Linux as well as having the usual Windows release as well. CHAOS 3 is going well and will hopefully be out by the deadline that I have set. (1st November)

CHAOS 4 on the other hand isn't going so well.

As I said above I have devoted all my efforts onto CHAOS 3 while focusing very little on CHAOS 4, to make matters worse, I planned to make CHAOS 4 in a whole new engine called Duality as opposed to GameMaker Studio that saw the development of Project Plasma Mobile (not Project Plasma) and CHAOS 3. I have been playing around with Duality today and holy shit it's miles different from what I'm used to and it will take some time to learn. However I currently don't have that time right now so as a result, CHAOS 4 will follow the path of CHAOS 2 and 3 and be made in GM Studio. There will probably be a Duality-based game in the future, but due to time constraints this won't be it.

CHAOS 5 won't be it either. (Roll on CHAOS 6 maybe?)

This is good and bad as it means I won't get the experience I want with this engine, but it does also mean that a Linux port will be available for this game as I bought the Ubuntu module for GM Studio yesterday. As I want to give out CHAOS 4 download keys to on the same day as CHAOS 3's release, the lack of development may push the release of both games back by a few days although pre-orders will still start on the day planned.

Which, in case I haven't said this yet, will be 21st September. The actual names of these two games will also be unveiled on this date.

Another thing I need to get across is that I start my next year at college at the beginning of September so obviously this will have an impact on the development of CHAOS 3 and CHAOS 4. Hopefully I should still have a lot of time to spare however as it will be the beginning of the year and there shouldn't be much coursework on so development should still go relatively smoothly.

All of the dates that have been set will be shown on the Game Changelogs page of the blog.

9 August 2015

Upcoming Updates for PP/PPM

Yes, another early-hours blog post.

In my last blog post I put out I talked Project Plasma Mobile (CHAOS 2,) CHAOS 3, CHAOS 4, and I briefly touched up on Project Plasma 2 (CHAOS 5) and gave estimates as to when these games (or in the case of PPM, an update to the game) would be available.

To recap...
  • CHAOS 3 will hopefully be out in late-October. (Halloween maybe?)
  • CHAOS 4 will be a pre-order bonus that will be given away as a free download to all those who pre-order CHAOS 3. Pre-orders will likely go up next month if everything goes well.
  • Project Plasma 2's development will commence in December and will aim for a June 2016 release with CHAOS 6's development starting shortly after that. (I know I didn't mention CHAOS 6 in the post but I've got basic game ideas planned all the way up to CHAOS 9 so yeah)
However I was focusing mostly on future, currently unreleased games whereas I didn't focus much on my current titles - those being Project Plasma (CHAOS 1) and Project Plasma Mobile (CHAOS 2.)

The next update for Project Plasma will either be called 1.0.4 or 1.1 depending on whether I decide to release a big update or not. If it's 1.0.4, expect a few minor tweaks and bug fixes. If it's 1.1, expect some major new content that will likely be in the form of bonus content for those who've completed the main 25 levels of the game. Currently v1.1 is looking more likely as I've got a bonus boss planned for the elite players among you who are able to complete the bonus level (X) while meeting a certain, yet-to-be-decided criteria. (Mostly involving time, score, health remaining.etc)

Project Plasma v1.0.4/v1.1 will be arriving in late-September, just before the release of CHAOS 3. I know I said Project Plasma wouldn't receive any more major updates but I thought of a couple of big ideas and I simply couldn't resist including them in the next (or upcoming) update.

As for Project Project Mobile (aka the little bitch brother of Project Plasma) this will be a major update that will add two more levels to the game. This will likely arrive a few days after the release CHAOS 3 so we can expect this to be released in early November. All this will do is add in levels 9 and 10 as elite levels within the game however as I keep reiterating - this game is a prototype and is currently at the absolute bottom priority for updates.

That's all from me for tonight.


4 August 2015

PPM and CHAOS 3 Related News

It's past 3am here and I'm tired so I'm gonna try and keep this relatively short.

People have been wondering what the hell's been going on with PPM 1.1 which was due out last month, however I didn't put it out last month as the development of CHAOS 3 wasn't going as smoothly as I hoped. Project Plasma Mobile v1.1 will mostly be arriving after the release of CHAOS 3 and it's accompanying bonus game, CHAOS 4. It will most likely arrive at the same time as PP v1.0.4 which I plan to just be a minor update. To recap, PPM v1.1 will bring levels 9 and 10 to the game. These will be Elite levels which work similar to levels 23, 24, and 25 in the PC version of the game.

The good news is that CHAOS 3's development is now back on track and the development process is running much smoother. Expect to see CHAOS 3 this November, pre-orders will likely open up in October. These are my personal target dates and are flexible.

CHAOS 4 will likely be first seen with the pre-orders however it is possible that CHAOS 4 won't be handed out until CHAOS 3 is released to the public. Instead what I'll likely do is hand out a link to everyone who pre-ordered CHAOS 3 so they get access to CHAOS 4. This link will likely be deleted after a set amount of time to prevent abuse. The names of both CHAOS 3 and CHAOS 4 will be revealed when the games are up for pre-order.

As mentioned in a couple of older blog posts, CHAOS 3 will use GameMaker Studio as its engine (same as PPM) whereas CHAOS 4 will make use of an engine called Duality, an engine rarely seen in games so I figured I'd give it a try.

As for CHAOS 5, well I can reveal to you all now that this will be Project Plasma 2 and the development of this will probably start around Christmas time this year, PP2 however will be covered in a future blog post as it isn't very relevant to what I'm talking about here but I hope to have that released by May 2016 although this largely depends on when development of this begins and of course when CHAOS 3 and CHAOS 4 are both complete.

Anyway that's it from me tonight, fuck I need to get to bed.

1 August 2015

Yorkshire Day Sale and Recognition!

So I am happy to announce that to celebrate Yorkshire Day, I have lowered the price of Project Plasma to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - FREE, for today only.

Not only but it seems Project Plasma is finally gaining some recognition as it has been featured on a French website called Best App Sale which specialises in games that are currently on sale on a variety of a platforms such as itch.io, Steam, and Xbox Live.
Recognition at last lads.
After today the Summer Sale (which I forgot to fucking announce) will commence as usual with its 20% discount.

30 July 2015

Windows 10 and Project Plasma

So Windows 10 is finally upon us and I never knew that an operating system could create so much hype on the internet. Wow.

So anyway, I have currently been developing games using Windows 7 Professional (formerly Home Premium) and have always focused on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (and 8.1 which is basically just Windows 8 Service Pack 1, same OS pretty much) as well as the Android mobile operating system.

Anyway Microsoft has been developing Windows 10 for a while as I'm sure many of you are aware of by now but up until now it has been a mere preview of the OS, as such, I have never been given it much attention although Project Plasma should still work on there. I have not had chance to test the game on Windows 10 as I don't have the OS yet (still on 7 but I'm downloading the upgrade as I type this but the internet round here doesn't exactly set the tarmac ablaze) and I was only able to test on Windows 8 (and 8.1) due to the fact that my old college had Windows 8 installed. Project Plasma was still in development back then so I had the chance to test it out on that system. That is how I found out about the audio bug that caused the game to crash.

What I'm trying to say is, I do not know how Project Plasma will run on Windows 10 at this moment in time as like I said I've not been given the chance yet to test it out on this operating system since I have not used the technical preview of Windows 10 so obviously I haven't tested Project Plasma on Windows 10. I'm fairly confident that it will work, but not certain. I shall attach an update to the bottom of this blog post tomorrow once I've done testing it out on Windows 10 and let you know how things pan out.

Alternatively if anyone here already has Windows 10 and has played Project Plasma on that operating system, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or through a comment below to tell me how it ran (if it did,) this would be much appreciated.

UPDATE: I have just finished testing Project Plasma on Windows 10 (brilliant OS by the way, Microsoft really learnt from their Windows 8 fuckup) and I encountered no issues. It may tell you to install something called DirectPlay but once this is installed Project Plasma will run with no issues. (Tested with PP v1.0.3)

28 July 2015

Project Plasma v1.0.3 Changelog

So here's PP v1.0.3, I am aware that it is overdue (the to-do list I posted stated this would be out on 5th July) but development of CHAOS 3 hasn't been going as smoothly as I had hoped (PPM v1.1 will also be delayed.) I'll be going into more detail on that in a future blog post but for now, here's PP v1.0.3.

This update is exclusively for the full version of the game and will not be ported to the demo version (so the free demo will remain on v1.0.2.)
  • Save files now have their own file extension and go under a different file name.
    • The save file for most levels is now called "pp1save.PLSV" (previously called playersave)
    • The save file for level X is now called pp1Xsave.PLSV (previously called playersaveX)
  • The long thin lasers fired by the bosses Dynast and Crystalline now deal 25 damage. (Up from 20)
  • The thin shots fired in Crystalline's final phase now travel at a higher speed. (13 speed up from 10, re-fire rate has not been changed.)
  • Health packs now heal the player by 20%. (Down from 30%)
Also from this point on, all PP updates will be uploaded as .7z archives (they were formerly .zip archives) to keep the uploaded file size down. This means faster uploads for me and faster downloads for you although it will mean you'll need to download some external third-party software to open the files. I personally suggest using 7-zip as its free and doesn't nag the shit out of you for not buying it like WinRAR does.

7-zip can be downloaded here
Project Plasma can be purchased/downloaded here
Project Plasma Mobile (prototype) can be downloaded for Android devices here

8 June 2015

Things To Do

Here's a little list I made of things I need to do regarding Chaos Symbol. I figured I'd make this public so you guys can see what I'm working and in some cases when it will be released.

  • Create and release CHAOS3. (Target date - Early October, no exact date yet)
  • Create and release CHAOS4. (Target date - Same as above)
  • Release that rant I keep promising. (Target date - None in mind, probably some time this month)
  • Make a "Year in Review" post. (December 31st)
  • Release Project Plasma v1.0.3 (Target date - 5th July)
  • Release Project Plasma Mobile v1.1 (Target date - Late July)
  • Expand to other distribution sites 
    • Currently exclusively on itch.io and will be there for the foreseeable future.
    • GOG is my first choice when it comes to expanding to other distributors.
    • I did plan to expand to Desura and I even set up a page for Project Plasma on there ready for publishing, but...
    • Steam? Not yet, probably not for a while but it will likely happen at some point.
    • I am open to suggestions if anyone knows of any other places that will accept indie games.
  • Submit Project Plasma (and Mystery Game 1) to reviewers.
    • CHAOS3 will be sent to reviewers from January 2016.
    • Project Plasma will be sent out from 13th June.
    • Project Plasma Mobile will not be sent to reviewers due to it being a prototype.
  • Add official Chaos Symbol branding to PP and PPM.
  • Start work on Project Plasma 2 (Most likely beginning of December)
So that's my list of things I need to do. Like I said I made this public so you guys can see what games I'm working on and when to expect certain things that I may have promised in the past have not yet delivered.

30 May 2015

New Game Naming Scheme!

Mystery Game 1 is dead.

Say hello to CHAOS 3!

CHAOS 3 is the new codename for Mystery Game 1. Why CHAOS 3? Because this is Chaos Symbol, and Mystery Game 1 is Chaos Symbol's third game. Hence, Chaos 3rd, or CHAOS 3.

This is a matter I brought back in late-February when I introduced the concept of Bonus Games to you all (see here) but I'll reiterate some of the key things relating to this here. Using Mystery Game 1, Mystery Game 2, Mystery Game 3, and so on just seems too relative - in other words after Mystery Game 1 is done, Mystery Game 2 would become Mystery Game 1 and so on. With a naming convention like CHAOS 1/2/3.etc, that issue completely goes away.

Here are first five CHAOS games.
  • CHAOS 1 - Project Plasma
  • CHAOS 2 - Project Plasma Mobile
  • CHAOS 3 - Mystery Game 1
  • CHAOS 4 - Bonus Game 1 (to be released with CHAOS 3 as a pre-order bonus)
  • CHAOS 5 - Project Plasma 2
And there you have it, I also revealed my next project after CHAOS 3 and CHAOS 4 are both done (I'm combining those into one game project but they have different codenames because they are different games.)

So from now on, there is no Mystery Game 1, just CHAOS 3. Have fun.

Next post may very well be a rant, this one is long overdue. I will also be updating and appending a long section onto one of my previous rants. Stay tuned.

22 May 2015

Mystery Game 1 - Now In Production!

I am happy to announce that production has now officially started on Mystery Game 1! Mystery Game 1 is a platformer game which will be designed to run at full HD resolution - that's 1920x1080, although if your computer is running on a lower or higher resolution it will be scaled downwards/upwards to fit your monitor's resolution.

A release date is not yet known but I'm hoping to have Mystery Game 1 out by late-September/early-October this year, putting its release around Project Plasma's first anniversary (23rd September.) Mystery Game 1 will also be up for pre-order hopefully around mid-August where people who pre-order the game will be able to bag a special bonus game!

Names have been decided for Mystery Game 1 and its accompanying bonus game, but will not be revealed until nearer the release. Expect to see teasers for the next game flooding down my Twitter wall over the next few months along screenshots of the game and no, it won't be a half-arsed prototype like Project Plasma Mobile nor will it be up as an initial open beta - this is a full game and will likely be released as such although I reserve the right to change this if I see fit.

Mystery Game 1's production would have started around 6-7 weeks ago during my college's Easter holidays however this unfortunately didn't happen due to coursework and Project Plasma Mobile being delayed. I am still yet to put an update up for that to increase its level count from 8 to 10 however PPM really isn't at the top of my priorities right now since it is just a prototype.

It has been over a month since I posted here so I figured this post would also be a good way of giving this blog a bit of a reboot.

Watch this space...


18 April 2015

An Apology To Those Who Do Follow-4-Follow (Mini Rant)

I would also like to apologise to those who follow me in the hopes of getting a follow-back. I'm sorry that I don't do follow-to-follow and I'm sorry you aren't interested in my content and I'm also sorry for letting you down with all of that.

And I TOTALLY meant all what I just said up there...

Look it says in my damn Twitter profile description in big all-caps that I don't do follow-4-follow...
It doesn't take a fucking rocket scientist to work this out...
If you choose to follow me for the sole reason for wanting a follow-back then you're gonna be disappointed. If you want followers then earn followers by posting interesting content, not follow others in the hopes of getting a follow-back - that's just fucking cheap.

This rant isn't aimed at people who follow others because they are interested in their content, this is directed at people who follow others in the hopes that they will get a cheap follow-back. This rant could also apply to sub-4-subbers on YouTube who do a similar thing to get subscribers.

End of what could very well be the shortest rant you'll see on this blog ever.

12 April 2015

Project Plasma Mobile Released!

Project Plasma Mobile is now up and ready via itch.io! This game is available as a free game that is available to be downloaded and sideloaded onto pretty much Android-powered device!

Download Project Plasma Mobile

Now, this is something I can't stress enough - this game is a basic prototype, it will not amaze you, it probably won't even look good. My focus here wasn't to make a great game (I know many of you aren't going to want to hear that but it's the truth I'm sorry) it's just a prototype, an experiment to see how a touchscreen device copes with what is essentially a pseudo-port (wrong terminology?) of Project Plasma.

If you're wanting good gameplay, go download the original Project Plasma. It's not a freebie, although there is a free demo available now. Project Plasma Mobile is an experimental game and nothing more, but hey at least it's free.

11 April 2015

Project Plasma Mobile Is Coming! What To Expect

Wow April 2015 has officially overtaken October 2014 in blog post count. Well putting that aside let's get on with the real point of this post.

Project Plasma Mobile is right on our doorstep - it's being released tomorrow at 10pm BST time which I know is a little later than normal. The reason why it's so late is in case I run into any technical issues like I did when I was uploading PP v1.0.2 on Easter.

PPM will initially have 8 levels however I will likely add two more levels onto it to round it up to 10 in an update. In the highly likely case that this will happen, then levels and 9 and 10 will be Elite levels, like levels 23-25 and X in the PC version.

Most of the graphics here are being re-used from the original PP however the backgrounds (mostly) and the bosses are new. As I'm releasing this game as a mere prototype and not as an actual release per-se (like with the PC version) these boss graphics will be kept in their basic, MSPaint-looking form. This will not be in the case in future, non-prototype games. The point of this game isn't to create an impressive mobile game, it's more of an experiment to see how a game like Project Plasma would cope on a mobile device.

The game's audio has also been widely re-used from the original game.

Updates for this game will be very few and far between. The first update will probably come fairly quickly, this will likely be the update that adds levels 9 and 10, but after that expect very, very few updates for PPM except for a few bug fixes. Again, this is due to it being a prototype.

Most of the weapons available in Project Plasma will be available in its mobile equivalent however we'll be saying goodbye to the Directional Cannon as the aiming of this gun would interfere with the movement mechanics of this game. All other weapons are still there.

As for compatibility, it has pretty much every single Android mobile device covered.

  • ARMv5 support. This is in place to allow compatibility with extremely old devices that use old ARM architectures such as ARM11.
  • ARMv7 support. The vast majority of devices have this kind of architecture. By extension it will also be compatible with 64-bit ARMv8 devices.
  • MIPS support. I don't know any Android devices that use this architecture (although I'm sure there are some out there) but if you have managed get hold of one then it should work on it. MIPS64 devices should theoretically be able run PPM as well.
  • x86 support. Intel devices. If you have a phone/tablet that has an Intel Atom chipset in it then it will run PPM. 64-bit x86 devices (x86_64, or just simply x64) should also run PPM by extension.
If you're on a WinPhone or iOS device then sorry, but you're out of luck this time. Project Plasma Mobile is an Android-exclusive title. Watch this space though, as I do have plans to expand to other platforms both in the mobile space and the desktop space.

Project Plasma Mobile's itch.io has been officially made public but there's nothing to see there yet. Still if you want to check it out then follow the link below and you'll see... pretty much nothing right now...

Remember, 10pm BST time tomorrow... although remember, it is just a prototype game and little more.

8 April 2015

Playthrough Program - A Way To Get Chaos Symbol Games For Free, Coming Soon

Soon I will be introducing what I'll be calling a "Playthrough Program." This is basically a way to get certain paid games that I sell for free. This upcoming program will be open to gaming YouTubers who have a certain amount of subscribers. My motives behind doing this are to simply help me get my games out there.

Mystery Game 1 will be the first game that will be a part of this program and I will likely expand it to Project Plasma at some point as well. Bonus Game 1 will also likely be eligible for this however I have not made a decision on this yet.

I will be providing more information on this via a separate page on this blog at some point. This page will state the following.

  • What games are eligible for the Playthrough Program. (Games will come and go from this list as I see fit)
  • How to get free games through this program.
  • The requirements of getting games through this program.
  • Any terms and conditions you need to be aware of.
Obviously free games will never be eligible for this as free games are free anyway (Project Plasma Mobile for example.)

Bonus games will also appear on the Playthrough Program from time-to-time, typically around the release of their accompanying mainstream game or during said mainstream game is up for pre-order.

Watch this space...

7 April 2015

Mystery Game 1, Bonus Game 1, and Project Plasma 1/M/2 Info

Sixth day in a row. Oh baby this blog's on a roll this April. Anyway as the title suggests this post is all about Mystery Game 1 and its accompanying bonus game, Project Plasma, Project Plasma Mobile, and Project Plasma 2. Let's do each game in order of its planned release.

Project Plasma

I mentioned in the v1.0.1 changelog for Project Plasma that PP has pretty much ran its course now and that I want to devote more time to working on future projects which will hopefully be much better than PP. The main reasons for this is the fact that I want to make something that is better than PP since PP was basically a result of me vomiting my ideas into GameMaker 8.1 one cold December night and I probably didn't put as much effort and time into as I should have and complete revamp would take far too much time which could be used in making a game that is better from the start in less time.

The other reason is simply because I want to get experience at working with other game engines and other genres. Anyone who was following my Twitter last night will have seen a multitude of tweets that were posted by me which were literally just me going on about what game engines I'm looking at and what game engines are going on the shitlist.

There will be a v1.0.3, however this update will be exclusively for the full version of the game so the freeware demo version will be staying at v1.0.2 for now. Don't expect much from v1.0.3 however, and it certainly won't be coming before Project Plasma Mobile is released.

Oh and this is a little callout to the cheapskates who I used to talk to on Skype who kept asking it to be free... go fuck yourselves. That is all, thank you kindly. (There is a demo now so there really shouldn't be any excuse anymore asking PP to be a freebie, save some cash and buy it or just play the demo.)

Project Plasma Mobile

Project Plasma Mobile is a GameMaker: Studio game which has already suffered one delay and hopefully it won't suffer again. PPM's release is scheduled for April 12th and will be an Android-exclusive mobile game. PPM will be released as prototype however because of its nature as a prototype, it will be subject to very few updates (but there will likely be some) and work on Mystery Game 1 will begin pretty much straight after.

Mystery Game 1

Mystery Game 1 will be a platformer game made with GameMaker: Studio. I have decided on a name for this game, but I've decided not to disclose it yet. There really isn't much I can divulge about it at this point in time other than the fact that the storyline, and likely the gameplay as well, will be in a similar vein to the Japanese indie platformer Cave Story by Studio Pixel. You could consider that as this game's "role model" or inspiration if you will.

If you've not heard of Cave Story... here it is. It's considered by many to be the original indie game as we know it (although there were indie games around before that.)

MG1 will be available for pre-ordering shortly before the game's release, and that's where the next game comes in...

Bonus Game 1

This elusive game won't be made with GM: Studio. Remember earlier when I was talking about experimenting with other game engines? Yeah this is where BG1 comes in.

BG1 will not be made with GameMaker: Studio, instead, it'll be based on a game engine called "Duality" by Adam's Lair. It looks pretty complicated but I'm sure I'll be able to work it out... maybe with the aid of a few tutorials. This game will be a bonus game that will be exclusively handed out to people who pre-ordered Mystery Game 1. This game will be handed out as soon as MG1 is released, after that, BG1 will become a rare gem, although I may still offer it as a prize if I do any competitions in the future.

As this will be my first game with the Duality engine, you could consider this to be a prototype as well. This game will never be made public and no I will not be giving it out to anyone so don't bother asking.

Project Plasma 2

The final game I'll be covering in this round-up will be Project Plasma 2 which will see a return to GameMaker: Studio regarding its engine.

Project Plasma 2 will continue from where it's prequel left off in terms of the game's storyline while looking over towards the game's technical side it will fix many of the issues and qualms people had with the original PP. Expect better graphics, audio that I actually made myself instead of going to Creative Commons websites like I did with PP, and better mechanics overall.

There will be no Project Plasma Mobile 2 however, you can read more about why that is the case here.

Project Plasma 2's accompanying bonus game may or may not surprise some of you...

After PP2

I do have a few games planned after PP2, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I like focusing a short distance into the future when it comes to stuff like this, but I don't want to focus too far into the future as I'll end up focusing on that instead of everything else I planned before it. I'll probably do another post like this when we come up to the release of PP2 but until then, watch this space...

6 April 2015

Chaos Symbol Website - Coming Soon

No I don't mean this blog.

There will be an official Chaos Symbol website coming soon. How soon? I don't know but it will be coming, I do have a lot of stuff on my plate right now though (college coursework, Project Plasma Mobile, Mystery Game 1.etc) so this won't be done in a hurry.

More info coming soon - watch this space.

5 April 2015

Project Plasma v1.0.2 (Easter Update) Changelog

Happy Easter everyone!

As promised, PP v1.0.2 has now been released with some minor changes and fixes. This is a comparably large update as opposed to the previous updates we've had on this game so while v1.0.1 may have been worth the skip, this one is worth downloading.

This update is massive, even bigger than I expected it to be. Hell, I'd say this update is bigger than the v0.9.5 and v0.9.6 updates (possibly combined) I made back in December 2014 (and they were both pretty big.)

  • PROJECT PLASMA DEMO IS NOW UP. This has been a long-awaited feature among those who are wanting to try before they buy. I really should have released this on the v1.0 update but I completely forgot so here it is now!
  • Fortress (level 12 boss) is now slightly more aggressive in its behaviour.
    • Fortress's shield segments now have 50 health. (Down from 100)
    • Fortress only has 5 shield segments as it was somewhat glitchy with 6.
    • Fortress will now attack when 3 of its shield segments are down. (Down from 4)
      • Remember: You need to use the Machine Gun to destroy Fortress's shield! All other weapons are completely ineffective against it!
  • Made some amendments to the Spritework Documentation.
    • It is now called "Graphics Documentation" and now includes some of the backgrounds which were made with WeaveSilk. I didn't know that any works made with this tool were licensed under Creative Commons Attributions. In other words, I can still use them for commercial purposes, however I need to give credit.
  • Project Plasma's executable file (plasma.exe) now has an icon again.
    • Turns out a recent update to Avast AntiVirus was preventing GameMaker 8.1 from exporting the executable's icon. Another reason to move away from GM 8.1 I guess.
  • Crystalline is now available to fight in Boss Attack.
  • Outpost Reactor Core's icon on the Boss Attack menu is correct.
    • It was originally just a plain, solid circle, which is what the reactor core originally looked like pretty much.
  • Changed the menu button's position so it shouldn't move up slightly when at the top of the level (aka boss fight.)
  • Menu background now appears on level 25 when the player calls up the in-game menu.
    • This fix has also been carried over to the boss attack levels.
  • Repair capsules are now visible on boss attack levels.
    • This fix has also been carried over to the tutorial level, if you somehow manage to get a repair capsule there that is.
  • New sprite for the blue homing enemy that constantly follows you (seen mainly on levels 3, 4, and 5.)
    • This enemy now has a red centre as opposed to a blue one.
    • The version that throws itself at you has also seen a colour change (to purple) whereas the version that flies along an irregular, drunken path across the screen and back is still blue.
      • The purple variant also rotates at a modest pace.
  • Fixed Spiraller's boss name only showing up as "Spiral" on level 2.
  • More enemies added to level X.
  • Fixed glitchy loading bar.
    • This wasn't an issue in v1.0.1, however in an unreleased version between v1.0.1 and v1.0.2 (v1.0.1_01?) the icon graphic was the loading bar for some weird reason.

4 April 2015

Project Plasma v1.0.2 and Voiceless Info

Two things being covered this time. Project Plasma's Easter Update and Voiceless.

First up is PP v1.0.2 which is coming tomorrow. This version will include many fixes and changes, however perhaps the biggest change will be the PP demo which is coming tomorrow. This demo will feature the first four levels of Project Plasma plus level 17. After level 17 the game will end and abruptly take you to a screen which will in turn take you to the main menu. This demo will be a free download open to anyone who is interested in buying the game but wants to try before they buy.

Because this game is a demo, it will not be guaranteed to get the latest updates (e.g. when v1.0.3 comes out, the full version will get it, but the demo will not.) In fact, the demo will only be subject to updates when something that is included in the demo version has been changed, so for example, if an update changes something in level 18 and nothing then the demo won't be updated, however if there is a change to level 2 then both the full version and the demo will receive that update.

To start, both the demo and the full version will be on the same version (v1.0.2) however the demo may or may not receive the v1.0.3 update, however this depends on what is being changed.

Next up is Voiceless. Don't remember it? It was a game project I was working on a few months back before the release of Project Plasma v0.9.7 however I decided to postpone it. This game has not been cancelled completely, only postponed, however I'd just like to say that Voiceless probably won't be in my mainstream line of games (as in one of my main releases.) Instead it will likely be a bonus game that will be available as a pre-order bonus to people who pre-order another mainstream game.

Voiceless will NOT be Mystery Game 1's bonus game, I have something else planned for that.

More info on bonus games can be found here.
1st January 2016 Update: Voiceless has now been completely cancelled and is not going to be developed.

3 April 2015

Project Plasma Mobile 2 Won't Happen

One point of interest lately is Project Plasma Mobile which as people who have been following this blog are aware, has had its release pushed back to April 12th but there is one question remaining here.

What about PPM2?

Well it's not gonna happen. This is because Project Plasma is too complex to port to a touchscreen device such as a tablet or smartphone without having to sacrifice some of its key mechanics and not making any sacrifices like this will result in an extremely hard to play game that would work fine with a keyboard or controller, but it wouldn't work too well with a touchscreen as you'll more than likely find out when PPM is released.

PPM will still go ahead as planned as I've promised to have this title released, and there will definitely be a PP2 (for the PC) but there will be no PPM2 as I simply feel the game is too advanced for a touchscreen device, and that complexity will only go up with PP2.

2 April 2015

PPM Delayed, Project Plasma v1.0.1 Coming Instead

No this is not an April Fools Prank (mostly because it's 2:05am here and the date is April 2nd now)

So I've unfortunately had to delay the release of Project Plasma Mobile to 12th April from the originally planned date of 31st March. However, to make up for this I've decided to bring out Project Plasma v1.0.1 which will come with minor changes and fixes. I also, for the first time ever, have decided to release this changelog before releasing the update.

The changelog for the upcoming update is as follows:

  • The first log disc no longer needs ultra-hard mode to be acquired  (This reverses the change made to it in the previous update)
    • There will likely be an incentive to encourage players to play on ultra-hard mode.
  • Spiraller (level 2 boss) now gives more cash upon death. (900 up from 750)
  • Larva (level 1 boss) now fires missiles at a reduced rate.
As for the demo that will most likely arrive in the 1.0.2 which will arrive on Easter. The 1.0.2 update will be dubbed the "Easter Update" which was originally going to be the 1.0.1 update.

Also don't expect many more updates on Project Plasma, as I do have PPM to finish off as well as Mystery Game 1 to plan out and start working on. There will be probably at least two, maybe three updates after this one but that will likely be it since I will be allocating my time towards my future projects.

The only PP update you can expect between now and the release of PPM would be the 1.0.2 update, after that there will probably be a 1.0.3 update at some point maybe another one or two updates following it. After that though that will be it for PP and I'll be moving on to new pastures so to speak.

The upload process for the 1.0.1 update will begin on April 2nd at 8:30pm BST.

UPDATE: Currently I'm having issues regarding the game's icon. For some reason I can export the game, but the icon will be blanked (well fucking done GameMaker 8.1.) Hopefully I'll be able to resolve this before upload time but if I can't then I will still upload the game at that time as normal since it's only affecting the icon and isn't actually affecting the game itself. Regardless, this just adds yet another reason as to why I'll be ditching GM 8.1 for the more modern and far more obedient Game Maker: Studio.

30 March 2015

Project Plasma Mobile - Delays Likely

I have been swamped with a shitload of coursework throughout the past few weeks and as a result I wasn't able to get very much done regarding Project Plasma Mobile. As a result the game is still in an unfinished state and remain that way for another couple of days. I'm still aiming for a 31st March release, but don't be surprised if I end up pushing the release date back a few days.

Also as a result of this, the game will come with very basic boss graphics (other graphics are being re-used from Project Plasma) although I will be fixing these graphics up with future updates if this is the case.

UPDATE: As expected, the game's release has been delayed to 12th April. However there is a chance I may get the game finished before this date, in which I'll either release it early or work on some last minute tweaks (which will probably be desperately needed.)

28 March 2015

Premium Smartphones (Rant)

I was looking at some comments on GSMArena, a website primarily focused on delivering news on the latest mobile devices and gadgets and looking at some of the comments I saw on there made me facepalm beyond belief as I saw how snobby and uppity some of the comments about what the device is made of. Yes, people not complaining about the spec of a device, but the fucking material it's made of.

The manufacturer that comes under the most fire for this would be Samsung. Now if I was to choose a flagship device, Samsung wouldn't be first, second, third, fourth, or probably even fifth choice but I will defend them here - the Galaxy S5 was a good, well made phone. Yes I said it, come get me metal-phone fanboy snobs.

The Galaxy S5 wasn't made from any materials that many of these phone snobs would consider premium, many people ended up snubbing it as it was made of plastic without even taking a glance at the internal spec. The build quality was fine as well. Was it the best? That's up to debate, but you couldn't call it a cheaply made device either way.

Why? Because the Galaxy S5 didn't sacrifice features key features for the sake of trying to make their device more premium and they came under fire for it. Sadly, Samsung succumbed to the metal-phone fanboys and ended up sacrificing three key Samsung Galaxy Sx features just for the sake of giving their phone a premium build.

  • Waterproofing - Present in Galaxy S5, gone in Galaxy S6
  • Removable battery - Present in all previous Galaxy Sx phones, gone in Galaxy S6
  • SD card slot - Present in all previous Galaxy Sx phones, gone in Galaxy S6
Now I understand there is a lot of blame to be shifted over to Samsung for all of these missing features. What Samsung has done with the Galaxy S6 is they've given it a metal unibody, in other words no part of the device comes off (like the back for example.) However Sony have been using unibodies on their Xperia Z line of devices for years. All of their devices (so far at least) all of those features that the Galaxy S6 did away with.

However, one could argue that this is simply because this is Samsung's first attempt at a unibodied device (that I am aware of at least) and maybe they simply thought they weren't able to put these features in the device which would excuse the lack of SD card slot and the non-removable battery, however how they weren't able to waterproof a device with a unibody (which is harder for liquid to get into by default) is beyond me, especially when they have been able to waterproof previous non-unbodied devices in the past.

Anyway, I'm digressing now. This rant is supposed to be aimed at metal-phone snobs, not at Samsung, but my point still stands.

Another issue with all these include the price going up because of the company being forced to use more expensive materials, oh and don't even fucking bother saying "oh well you hate it cos you can't afford it," that shit pisses me off to no end because it just highlights how much of an elitist, obnoxious snob you are and how you don't even have the decency to hide it and chances are you're probably a very unlikable cunt in real life who'll probably be forever alone and I'd probably want to punch you in the face if I ever met you in person.

I could go out and buy a 128GB iPhone 6+ off-contract if I wanted to, and that thing costs around £700, £650 at the very cheapest at the time of typing of typing this strongly worded rant. The reason I don't is because I can get a cheaper smartphone, a MUCH cheaper smartphone that still has good performance and will run anything I want to run so if you're an elitist snob save your "just because you can't afford it" card because it won't work and it just shows you up to be the elitist cunt that you are. This isn't made to be a dig at Apple fans with the iPhone reference, although I've noticed that MOST of the people who say this are Apple fans. Broader strokes paint the fence faster.

There are literally people out there who would choose a metal Snapdragon 410 Android 4.4 phone over a plastic Snapdragon 810 phone with Android 5.0. I would personally rather a plastic phone since plastic is far more durable and doesn't dint (or dent) so easily or interfere with phone signal. What happens if you drop a metal phone on a hard surface? The body dints and chances are the screen would be spider-webbed if it landed face-down and the phone looks like a metal bin with a glass front as a result. A plastic phone? Depending on the type of plastic used and how brightly coloured it is there might be a scuff on it but apart from than it would look good as new, and for glass-bodied phones like the iPhone 4s or the back of the new Galaxy S6... well, I think it's obvious what would happen here.

There is a reason why all rugged phones are made from plastic. The Samsung Galaxy Xcover series? Plastic. Samsung Galaxy Rugby? Plastic. Doogee Titan? Plastic. I could go on.

Overheating? What happens when you're playing a high-end game and your CPU heats up? With a plastic phone you'll feel it get warm but it won't burn you. Metal on the other hand is a better conductor of heat will burn you much more easily. Not only that but most people put cases on their phones anyway to protect them from the dangers of the great big world, no point having that swanky metal/glass phone when you're covering it all up with a PLASTIC, silicon, or rubber case.
Please strip whoever made this of their Photoshop license along with any Apple products they may own. A good slap across the face would be in order as well. (Also the Apple A6 chip is dual-core, not quad-core and the iPhone 5c is plastic.)
Image from: http://www.bargainteers.com/leaked-iphone-lite-heavy-on-the-plastic/

Face it snobs, put your premium material bullshit aside and sit down. Plastic is the superior material to make a phone from because of its higher durability. It may not feel as premium as metal or glass but if you're not an obnoxious snob you'll weigh up the facts and see that it's what a phone should be made of. Looking at all of this, what material do you still think is more premium?

But hey, I guess some people are willing to have an easily-dinted/scratched phone which scorches your hand when it gets hot. Suit yourself.

I originally planned to make a mobile-based rant based on another, more obscure aspect of mobile devices however I feel this is more prominent and overall, a bigger issue in the mobile industry. Bite me, phone snobs.

9 March 2015

Project Plasma v1.0 Changelog

And we're finally here at v1.0 of Project Plasma. The game is now officially out of open beta and will be at full price. Although because I'm nice, I've decided to give you guys an extra seven days to get the game at half price before the price goes up. So, let's roll out the changelog.
  • Two easter eggs added. (Level X was the only real easter egg before this update.)
    • Ultra-hard mode added. I'm not going to describe what it does yet (other than make the game harder obviously) or how to enable it, but if you beat the first five levels with it enabled I will truly respect you. This easter egg is vital to unlocking Level X now as the first log disc can only be found on UH-Mode. I can be so cruel at times...
      • People who keep track of video gaming pop culture will likely figure out how to activate ultra-hard mode pretty swiftly. That is the only clue I'll be giving you...
  • New vortex graphic. (As seen on levels 7 and 11)
  • Added another enemy ship to level 25.
  • Free demo version of the game will also available to download. (Will be up sometime during this week)
    • The demo features the first four levels of the game plus level 17 to give people a chance to see what the game is like from both ends of the game. Easter eggs and any extras such as Level X or the Music Hub are not available in the demo.
  • Equinox's laser turret now turns slightly faster during its second attack phase.
  • Level 24's pre-level/intermission text has now been modified slightly.
This does not mean there will be no more updates for Project Plasma, there will likely be a few updates in the future, but these will most likely be only very minor tweaks and bug fixes however the game is now fully released and a free demo is also in the works.

Also, I am aware that the game has been uploaded a day later than I previously promised. Once again GameMaker 8.1 decided to screw me over and I had no end of problems trying to fix this issue that stopped the game from exporting (it would get near the end and fail, though I was able to playtest it just fine which was strange) so I had lots of fun sorting that out. GameMaker 8.1 will NOT be used in any future games, GameMaker: Studio (which is far less of a pain in the arse to use) will be used instead.
Now back to work on Project Plasma Mobile, and then after that - Mystery Game 1!

2 March 2015

Project Plasma v1.0 Delay and Unreal Engine 4 Stuff

Two things getting covered today. Project Plasma and a topic that I doubt anyone who reads this blog would expect to see, Unreal Engine.

First off, Project Plasma v1.0 (no longer v1.0.0) has been pushed back to next Sunday due to personal issues. This update will definitely be out by then and if I feel something needs to be fixed I will do so in a small follow-up patch (v1.0.1.)

Next up is Unreal Engine 4 which has officially gone free, although you do have to pay royalties to Epic Games, the developers of UE4, once you earn a certain amount. Still this is a bullet I'm more than willing to bite if it means I, along with over developers, are able to use this powerful engine for free.

So, what does this mean? Does this mean Mystery Game 1 will be made using UE4?

No. Sadly I lack enough skill and experience with that engine in order for me to make a fully fledged game with it. Mystery Game 1 will be made with GameMaker: Studio, just like Project Plasma Mobile. What this does mean however is that you can probably expect a UE game somewhere down the line. At my current rate of learning/experience gathering, we'll probably be into Mystery Game 5 or 6 by then.

The next post will likely be a rant, while it won't be the rant I began typing up last month it is based around a similar topic. If it isn't a rant, it'll be PP v1.0's changelog. Stick around.

22 February 2015

Introduction to Bonus Games, Naming Conventions, and Where's That Rant?

Here's a little thing I decided to introduce - Bonus Games!

A bonus game is a game that can only be bought at a certain time, usually coming with a game that is up for pre-order. Bonus games will only be available to those who pre-order a certain game (you know, sort of a pre-order incentive) and will be much smaller than their parent game that they come with, but it gives people a little bit extra for pre-ordering.

Project Plasma Mobile will not have a bonus game with its release, however the game after that (dubbed Mystery Game 1 for now) will likely come with a bonus game. I will also be probably up with a new naming convention for future games as referring to them as Mystery Game 1, 2, 3 and so on seems a little too relative. Once Mystery Game 3 is out, I could refer to it as Mystery Game 4 or go back to Mystery Game 1, increasing it to 4 would confuse new readers. For now I'll keep with this naming convention though.

The first bonus game has already been planned...

As for the rant I promised last time, well I've decided to hold my tongue on it for now. It will likely resurface at some point though but hopefully not for some time yet.

18 February 2015

Let's Pick Up The Pace

I think it's fair to say that when it comes to game development, I've not exactly been rushing myself. In fact, I've actually been going the other way and working too slowly.

Take Project Plasma for instance, I could've probably got that out around 3 months earlier than I did. I could've had it out for late-June, have the mobile port for September/October, then be working on my next project (noted as Mystery Game 1 on this blog) and have it out for April. Instead, I ended up procrastinating too much - I ended up taking too many breaks for too long and this had a severe detrimental impact on the game's development. This is also why Project Plasma isn't as good looking graphically as it could have been.

Anyway, for the next few game projects I'm going to be working myself into a bit of an overdrive. I will be working much faster on games while hopefully not rushing to the point where they turn out like crap. This is partially because I have several game projects planned and partly to make up for time lost during Project Plasma's heavily procrastinated development. PP v1.0.0 will hopefully be out on March 1st although if I feel any additional work needs to be done I will be pushing that back to March 8th, but no later. Project Plasma Mobile will appear later in the month (most likely to be released between March 28th and March 31st although as with Project Plasma v1.0.0, it may spill over into early April if I feel anything extra needs to be done, although this is unlikely as this game will be released as a prototype.

Obviously I will still be taking some breaks from all of this, everyone needs to do that in order to avoid burning out. However there is a strict line between taking a break and flat-out procrastinating and I crossed that line and ran a mile beyond it with Project Plasma.

The next blog post will sadly be a rant however I've held my breath on the matter the rant will regard far too long and I feel it's time to speak up. More than that at the time though.

16 February 2015

Project Plasma Mobile Info

Since PP Mobile is in the works I figured I'd post some info about what's coming. This includes things like device requirements and what you should expect.

First off, the OS. The game will be an Android-exclusive game that is compatible with devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher. The game won't use any fancy 3D graphics like many other Android games out there use, but it will still lag on some older phones. One of the devices I tested it on was a Samsung Galaxy Y. Not only did one of the weapons not work properly, but it also lagged immensely. I tested it out on a quad-core tablet and an octa-core phone however and both of those devices ran the game without any problems.

Device Specifications

If your device runs a dual-core CPU or above (aka most smartphones and tablets out there) you should be fine, hell the main reason why the Galaxy Y lagged is down to its low RAM and old chipset so even if your device has a single-core processor it should still run well if it has a competent chipset and a healthy amount of RAM. Here are some specs that I suggest, note that these are merely rough estimates.

Minimum Specs

1.0Ghz CPU or higher (architecture shouldn't matter - it should run it all the same)
GPU that supports a resolution of 960x540 at least (although the display doesn't have to use this)
Multi-touch (at least 3-point)
Android 2.3 Gingerbread or later

Recommended Specs

1.0Ghz dual-core CPU (or 2.0Ghz single-core) or higher
5-point multi-touch
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later

As you can see by those specs, all modern phones nowadays should be able to meet the above requirements. Most phones nowadays have dual-core or quad-core CPUs with the occasional octa-core device being sold somewhere. Multi-touch is a feature supported by around 99.5% of smartphones today and all modern GPUs are able to support at least 1920x1200 (the new Snapdragons can even go to 3840x2160 I believe, that's 4K HD for those aren't up on all the tech stuff) so that's certainly not a problem and I really don't think anyone in their right mind will be releasing a device with anything below 4.3, let alone 2.3 on now we have 4.4 KitKat and now 5.0 Lollipop.

The game will run at a resolution of 960x540 since some older devices have chipsets that can't handle anything much higher. The sacrifice that's been made here is of course the fact that the game won't look so sharp, especially on phones or tablet with larger screens, the Sony Xperia Z3, THL W300, or the LG G3 to list a couple of examples.

The Interface

The interface may be a little hard to handle on smaller devices (screen sizes lower than 4.5'' especially) but tablet and phablet users should have little trouble playing the game. If your device's screen is 5.0'' or bigger you should be fine. Most devices have screen sizes similar to this nowadays so most people should be fine, even if your screen size isn't this big you probably won't have much trouble playing it. Here is what the game will look like during gameplay.
Project Plasma Mobile running on a Medion Lifetab E7318 (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean)
Yes I know the photo is sub-par. It's only for demonstration purposes anyway. The arrows used to previously control your ship are no longer in use, you now control the ship by touching the playable area and moving the ship to where you want to go.

Weapon Changes

As playing a bullet hell shooter is much harder on a touchscreen device than it is on a PC or games console, I have made a couple of the weapons more effective.
  • Directional Cannon has been removed. This gun would be near-impossible to use on a touchscreen, especially considering the player controls their ship by touching the playing area on the device's screen.
  • The spread shot is now slightly faster in the mobile version. (It has same fire rate as the Trident.)
  • Plasma Shot's snaking path is now wider and it has a somewhat increased fire rate over the PC version, it also moves at an increased speed (8 as opposed to the PC version's 6)
  • Missile launcher ammo boxes give 50 missiles as opposed to 25.
  • Trident ammo boxes give 300 ammo as opposed to 150.
  • Spreadshot ammo boxes give 500 ammo as opposed to 400. (Due to the fire rate increase)
  • Side-missiles removed. (For now, they might come back later in development)
And now the enemy weapon changes
  • The purple shot bullets now deal 7 damage as opposed to the 5 damage in the PC version.


I originally planned to put a price tag of £1.75 on the game, however as I want to release the game as a prototype idea first, I will be making it free. This will allow you guys you get a free game and I will be able to get feedback on whether a mobile Project Plasma is a good idea or whether it should be shitcanned. If a PPM2 is released though, that will likely have a price tag on it. It won't be too high though, most likely the aforementioned £1.75, possibly even a bit lower.

There will be no micro-transaction system of any kind in the game, the game will be 100% free. However because this is merely being released as a prototype, there probably won't be many updates for it except for a few bug fixes.

The good news is because this game will be free it opens up the possibility of putting in Google Play as it turns out the issue I brought up earlier in this blog about Google forcing you to put your home address and all that down only applies for paid apps I believe. This is something I'll need to do some research on though, more on that soon.