Check it out below! Let me know what you think in the comments. What should I showcase to let other people know what the game is all about?
First off, I'm really excited about this. When I started Doggo it was mostly for me to learn to code, and have a fun project. As it grew I grew attached to it, and really wanted it to be something people would enjoy. I submitted it to the Big Indie Pitch at GDC this year and got accepted! So I'll be showing the game off and maybe have a shot at winning and getting some publicity for the game. If I won I could actually take the money to market it a bit and even release on iOS, which would be nice. I'd also like to make a version that can run in landscape mode and port it to PC possibly. Who knows!
So on that note, I've been furiously trying to crush bugs. There are a lot of things I made early that just didn't work quite right. Fixing them though took a lot of time. Today I finally tackled the biggest problem that has plagued me for a long time: enemy AI & collision detection. Turns out for the AI, its still dumb, but not quite as dumb. I just needed to sit and really think it through. For the collision detection, I had a few weird errors and dumb checks for OnCollisionEnter2D which only complicated things more than they needed to be. Now it's all a lot smoother!
I've wrestled with releasing Doggo for free vs an upfront cost. Everything I've read suggests having an upfront fee is the way to go for an indie dev. I just won't get enough downloads to make a free version generate any revenue. I'd need millions of people to play, daily, and the game just isn't made for that. Maybe in the future I'll make a Doggo Dungeon 2 that is really replayable, random dungeons, etc. This one is a single story, and I like it that way.
I started Doggo Dungeon almost 2 years ago now, and its been a great learning experience. I am at the point now that the game is in a "done" state. I feel like the game is in a state that I'm ready to show it off now. This was a great first project and I hope that if it's well received I can keep adding to it,or maybe taking what I learned and making a sequel that won't look like such spaghetti code from the start! Either way, welcome to Doggo Dungeon.
A lot has happened since the last post. My son was born 9/25/18, and needless to say, I've been very very very busy with him. I'm really eager to finish up doggo dungeon though and have my first real game released on the app store. Even if it's a bit rough, I'm hopping it's more a diamond in the rough than anything. There is one last big thing to complete though: the final boss fight and cutscene sequence. Once that's done the game could be considered "complete" even if there are a lot more things I'd like to add, it at least won't feel incomplete. It's been a really long journey, and I'm hoping that I can still complete it soon. I was aiming to have it done by Christmas but really underestimated how little free time I would have with my new kid here. I'll still try to have it ready by then if I get some time.
Pixel art of final boss
Final story sequence
Final boss battle AI
Final boss animations
Those are all the P0 tasks!
1 month and no post! Well I have been hard at work on the game. Also, I have plenty of other craziness in my life right now with work, and a kid on the way. Doggo Dungeon though is coming together nicely. My biggest fear is that it's not fun enough. It's such a big amorphous thing to define. The controls are always being refined. It's amazing how much work goes into making something feel the right way. I've added lots of things to collect and find which help break up the game play. Lots of more puzzles too. I'm hoping to release it in an alpha state soon because once my son is born I doubt I'll have much free time to work on this. I really just want to get it out, and even if it does bad it's something I made from scratch, and that's pretty special to me.
There is a myth that I heard growing up that dogs and other animals can sense spirits. This always stuck with me. Since they seem to sometimes see something you don't. So sticking with that theme I've added ghosts to Doggo Dungeon! These poor spirits can't pass on to the afterlife since they have some unfinished business. Now you can help them out with their quests to move on to the next life. Right now there are only a couple but I'd like to add at least one per stage as an extra goal for the player. As with most things in the game I have it in as a proof of concept but have yet to propagate it across all the levels to really feel cohesive. Also so much more to do!
It's happening! The game is finally in a state that it can be shown to people. There is always more work today, and I definitely feel I could add a ton more polish to the game. At the same time, having some feedback from people can be encouraging and help spot things I would have thought of on my own. I need to get together all the images and some kind of trailer to go on the google play store. I really want to have a version of this game out and live before my son is born. I know afterward I'm going to be stupid busy for a long time and might be hard to pick up where I left off. Momentum is key here. So I'll keep widdling down my list of To Do's and see where I end up. At the very least right now you CAN play the game from start to finish. It just falls flat in some areas and also lacks a lot of polish that people expect.
This last week I banged my head against a wall trying to find a good way to build cutscenes in unity. There are a lot of moving parts I wanted to have happen at once. Then I found unity timelines. Which was exactly what I was trying to build, but better. Unfortunately it has crap documentation, and the internet as a whole hasn't really put out any good comprehensive tutorials.
Now that I've muddled my way through it got it to do what I want I think I need to make a tutorial video to share with everyone else who might be confused. It's really a great system. I'd been avoiding any large cut scenes in the game since it was a big undertaking. I just got to building the final stage of the game and needed to have a scripted scene. I'm really happy with how its turning out. Stay tuned (hopefully) for a youtube video on how to use timelines!