Zerocron Beta

Finally, I think it´s time for a closed beta of Zerocron, or else I´ll get stuck in endlessy tweaking the game.

Also I decided to release it as freeware / donationware, and somewhen sell a collectors edition in physical form. Promoting the game, creating extensive videos or trying to get it greenlit on steam really bores me to death, thus killing my motivation, even if it´s the right way to make a game successfull. But I don´t think there´s much money to be made with a simple shoot em up these days anyway ;).

Known things to do:

  1. Extro is missing
  2. More music would be nice
  3. Sound effects and volume need finetuning
  4. Bosses may be to easy since my last changes
  5. Credit roll is boring and will be replaced
  6. Xbox-Controller support missing
  7. Highscore leaderboard

Known Bugs:

  1. Joypad detections slows game down for some seconds after starting
  2. Some backgrounds have a display bug at the bottom

As an easteregg, I wanted to include the space station of Environmental Station Alpha as a background image, but sadly got no reply by it´s author, Hempuli. So I removed it and replaced it with incredible pictures of Pluto (thank you, Nasa)!

Since my PC is still to slow for screengrabbing-software, here a new preview, filmed with my camera:

Deluxe Galaga / Warblade

Warblade
Warblade

I wasn´t sure if it still was possible to buy Warblade / Deluxe Galaga (see my last post…) or if my money would be lost on some paypal-account, but I just had to try and some days later I got an email:

First of all We want to regret that it has taken a long time and that you have
not received an answer or the product you paid for.

We are sorry to inform you that Edgar has passed away this spring (2015) after a short illness.

We are currently working to send out the Warblade game to everyone who bought the game.

We also want to thank you so much for buying Warblade !!

Yours sincerely
Warblade Team

So, better late than never, I guess, thanks Edgar and whoever now manages the warblade-orders. And since then I had a lot of fun playing the full version of warblade with my son. It´s not easy to keep up with him, he´s quite good at shmups ;).

No More Deluxe Galaga

I just found out that Edgar M. Vigdal, author of one of my favourite SHMUPs died earlier this year.

I remember how impressed I was that he constantly worked on Deluxe Galaga and its successor Warblade since the good old Amiga times in 1995. Thats 20 years! Hell, he even had a successfull kickstarter campaign running for Warblade MK II and started a Deluxe Galaga Remake. God, how that frustates me.

Zerocron changelog

While visiting my favourite Arcade/Flipper-museum (http://for-amusement-only.de), my games had their first betatest, which was quite helpfull.

Especially Zerocron got a lot of small changes afterwards:

-no more shootable asteroids in the shoplevel (too confusing)
-the size of the levels now increases while progressing, which reduces the difficulty a bit and gives the turbo more sense
-the first level of all weapons is now free
-credits are worth more
-replaced the radar into a less original but more intuitive box, originally it was surrounding the player
-tweaked a lot of effects, added screenshake for smartbombs
-added a rebound-shot as bonusweapon

Thanks to Ariane Fugmann for betatesting!

New credit-animation for Zerocron

I still wasn´t happy with the look of the ingame credit-coins, so instead of pixeling, this time I rotoscoped a real coin with the same setup I built three years (yes, years!) ago for the asteroids. DSC_0001

The whole process took me about four hours for bulding the setup, removing the background, stabilizing the image and, ridicoulusly the most, experimenting with a proper darker border and size ingame.

Large version:

coin_large

Small, ingame version:

coin_scaled_border

Old, pixeled version:

coin_old

Doesn´t look like that much work, does it? 😀

diy arcade joystick usb adapter/interface

And now for something completely different:

Some time ago I bought an old poker-arcade-cab and now started to rebuild it into a pc-driven arcade-cab. Since the whole JAMMA-approach exceeds both, my budget and current knowledge of electronics, I decided to do it on the cheap.

Since I got brand new arcade-buttons and joysticks as a birthday-gift last year, the first thing I needed was a way to connect those to my PC. So, i dismantled an old USB-Joypad and simply screwed it on a board, I used a cut plastic-corc as a spacer.

Now I soldered cables on each contact and connected them using a wire connector. This was my first time soldering a circuit-board, it was easier than I thought, but I was glad I had some desoldering wick ready.

Material used so far:

-Old USB-Joypad
-Plastic Corc
-Screws
-Cables, from scrapped PCs / Resets-& Power Switches
-Some Cable straps

New mini-arcade game QWERX

In the last three days (well, more evenings), I created a new mini-game called QWERX.

It´s a very simple arcade-style game, you have to collect marbles while avoiding to hit the QWERX. Every level you have to collect one more marble, attached marbles increase your inertia. Until now I didn´t get past level 30 :).

qwerx

Controls are Cursor or AWSD and space to release all marbles.

As sprites I reused Ron Buols wonderful marbles, which I already use in Marbellous.

I called it QWERX because the enemy reminded me a bit of Qix.

It is still beta, if you find any bugs please report them to me.

Download QWERX (Windows, 2.6MB)

Marbellous

Marbellous is nearly finished, I just have to add some more levels.

Last week I planned to make fotos of some marbles to use as sprites. Sadly I couldn´t find my marbles anymore, so I looked around a bit and found a website containing impressive fotos. I asked the owner, Run Buol, if he allows me to use some of his pictures for my game.

runbuolmarbles

He did and even attached some incredible fotos. So, behold the result! 🙂