My competition entry is porting Tunnel Lords to a new venue. She is an existing game that I started during Competition #4 and completed during Competition #7 (Work occurred outside the competitions as well). Stretching the rules of the competition a little since it isn't a new game, but hopefully no one minds.
- Tunnel Lords on Xbox 360 Indie Games
- Tunnel Lords Trailer (You Tube)
- Tunnel Lords on Steam Greenlight
Tunnel Lords has been available on Xbox 360 Indie Games since 7 January, 2016. I’m very pleased with the results, with a ranking of 4+ out of 5 stars. Tunnel Lords includes a nice demo and costs $1 USD to purchase. She (I guess programs are feminine, similar to sailing vessels or starships) was programmed over the course of 1 full year (Jan 2015 – Jan 2016). I worked part time consistently the entire year except for around when our second child was born in May of 2015. For content, my brother composed the music and half of the sounds. My wife drew about 80% of the graphics. I did all the programming and the remaining sounds and graphics. The game was completed on a shoestring budget (unless you include our time costs, which were very high), with us spending about $200 outside of purchasing the XBOX 360 for testing and deployment. Tunnel Lords was programmed in C# using XNA 4.0.
Unfortunately, the XBOX 360 Indie Games Marketplace will cease to exist in September of 2017 and I would like the game to live on past this. In this pursuit, I’m learning that a quality port is more difficult than it sounds. (Perhaps with more experience and better coding practices on my part it wouldn’t be so bad to port, but it is what it is.)
First Port Solution: Steam via Greenlight
We submitted Tunnel Lords for Greenlight on 22 May. So far, we have received some fairly brutal comments (I think Steam users are known to be tough on developers) and will need a fair amount more time to gain needed support to be Greenlit. I did zero marketing for the Greenlight launch and Tunnel Lords contains simple graphics that are not appreciated by the average Steam user, so I have not prepared the game for an easy Greenlight. Since you cannot share a demo during Greenlight, the viewers only have the screenshots and trailer to go off when voting for the game.
Sprint 2 Goals
- Research and choose an installer for Itch.IO
- Learn how to use installer to check if XNA Redistributable is installed via the installer.
- Learn how to either bundle XNA Redistributable or point to install link with installer.
- Stretch Goal: Improve Fire animation on death by adding a third frame
- Stretch Goal: Make fire animation when Drillship is flying more impressive.
- Change End of Demo Screen to work with Itch.IO.
- Research deployment/install options through Itch.IO.
- Create a separate Tunnel Lords demo installer.
- Add basic keyboard instructions to screen.
- Develop method to switch between game pad and keyboard instructions.
- Research Screen Resolution Best Practices.
- Add Ability to manipulate screen resolution to options screen. (If appropriate)
- Develop PC save/load game function.
- Develop PC delete saved game function.
Pending Steam Greenlight Backlog
- Research how to wrap the Steam C++ API in C#.
- Make fire animation when the drillship is flying more impressive.
- Add Steam in game achievements.
- Write an overview of my experiences in the first week in Greenlight
- Build a test studio page on Itch.IO.
- Build a test game page on Itch.IO.
- Add a transition animation when drilling into a new tile.