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.