• Games Industry,  Wii-U

    Wii U has all the toys!

    The Wii U is reaching the end of its lifetime, soon we assume to be replaced by the as-still mysterious NX. I’ve spent nearly three years making games for Wii U in one way or another, and I plan to continue that for as long as Nintendo will let me. Why? The Wii U has all the toys a game designer could want. Both touchscreen and buttons. Motion control as well as more standard console controller setup. This range of choice when it comes to input methods means a much wider variety of genres become possible. I grew up as a PC gamer and I love strategy games like Civilisation…

  • Flight of Light,  PS4,  Wii-U

    Kickstarter Launch!

    We’re raising funds for Flight of Light’s soundtrack over on Kickstarter! The money will be used to pay a number of different musicians to compose the game’s soundtrack. If all goes to plan, there’ll be four musicians creating two pieces of music each to fit the game’s initial nine levels. (The ninth music track has already been composed by freelance musician Lawrence Shahid, which you can listen to in the trailer above!) For the next month, we’ll be putting out updates on how the kickstarter is progressing alongside the usual dev diaries and updates on the game’s progress.

  • Flight of Light,  Games Industry,  Wii-U

    Why I’m making a motion control game in 2016

    When I first started developing for the Wii U, it had already been struggling for the couple of years since its release. Nintendo were keen for more games to showcase the console’s GamePad, and being the bright-eye’d naive young developer I was, I arrogantly thought I could step up to that challenge! After spending a bit of time getting the devkit and tools up and running, I realised the Wii U also supported Wii Remotes as well. I wrote out a list of game concepts for both GamePad and Wii Remotes to prototype when my current project was completed. Well that project fell through, and added to that, I’d got…

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  • Flight of Light,  PS4,  Wii-U

    Shiny Circles

    Upgrading Flight of Light’s graphics had major and unexpected effects on the game’s playability Previously, most of the game’s art was cobbled together placeholder assets, many of which had gone through multiple iterations of gameplay alterations, to the point where they no longer made sense or didn’t fit with everything else. That was fine for when the game was constantly changing. With the game’s recent change of direction, it also became clear the game’s graphics needed a major overhaul. However, having swapped out the old assets for shiny new ones, it quickly became apparent that the playability of the game had been impacted far beyond what we expected. The biggest change…

  • Flight of Light,  PS4,  Wii-U

    Change of Direction

    Back in May, we pitched Flight of Light to a number of potential investors. However, none of them were particularly interested in the game. A disappointing experience, but on reflection came the realisation the game lacked focus. It felt schizophrenic, two competing personalities and styles, neither of which was really fulfilling its potential. We decided to redirect attention towards the futuristic neon racer side of the game. The simple reason that it was the closer of the two to being finished. It’s also much more technically within reach to make a really good job of it. I initially spent a number of days trying to improve the algorithm for the unfolding triangles…

  • Flight of Light,  PS4,  Wii-U

    Fly Faster – FoL Update

    We’ve produced a short teaser trailer for Flight of Light. This shows the latest gameplay and much improved graphics. We’ve also updated the Flight of Light website and presskit with new screenshots and information about the game: We’ll be going into more detail on how the game has changed in future blogs and videos over the next couple of months.

  • Totem Topple,  Wii-U

    Elements of Damage

    Introducing damage types into Totem Topple proved to be a relatively quick way of creating more variety and dynamism within the game. It allowed for new and interesting enemies to emerge later on in the game, and added an extra dimension to the game without burdening the player with too much extra to learn. Change of Plan Originally, the plan was that whatever damage type was selected when the player placed a beak (turret) or wing, that would be it’s damage type for life. However, this lead to issues whereby players would be stuck with a lot of ineffectual turrets that didn’t match the damage type of the latest wave…

  • Totem Topple,  Wii-U

    Totem Tutorial the 3rd

    (Epilepsy warning: Contains flashing images) The tutorial system in Totem Topple is something that we’ve wrestled with over a number of iterations. In the launch version of Totem Topple, it worked, in the sense that it gave players enough of an understanding of how the game’s basic mechanics worked to be able to play. Similarly, the complimentary Help system worked well in allowing players to see the underlying stats and numbers for the various heads and enemies. However, the fact that many players resorted to using the Help showed how much the game was lacking in visual feedback. Many of the minor changes made to Totem Topple for the 2.0…

  • Totem Topple,  Wii-U

    Rescuing Totem Topple

    I was pretty gutted with how Totem Topple was received after it launched back in November, both in terms of poor reviews and poor sales. The first reaction is always to get angry, but looking back on the comments, I quickly realised that most of the criticism was justified. When placing myself in the shoes of reviewers or players coming to the game with fresh eyes, the responses to the game were perfectly rational. One video of the game was particularly telling: I watched as the player died, died again, died again. Then they checked the in-game help, compared what all the different totem heads did. They devised a strategy,…

  • Wii-U

    Closing the Loop

    In many ways, Nintendo have been playing catch up with the rest of the industry in the last few months, with their new account system and first mobile app Miitomo launching recently. Nothing exemplifies this more so than the nintendo.com website, which finally allows people to buy digital download games without having to log onto their console. For most consumers it’s a cool, if minor added convenience. However, for developers it represents a major fix to a once horribly convoluted purchasing process. Essentially, developers and publishers can now link directly to a place where people can actually buy their games, no matter what device they are on. This opens up…