Alpha Teaser.

I was advised to secure my Steam storefront in order to get my game’s name out and start on SEO and all that. Okay, makes sense. However the game is still in alpha and in lieu of not having a game teaser on the store page, I sided with ‘better this than nothing.’

So, in the spirit of ‘winging it’ here is a short teaser for Super Galaxy Boy. Please enjoy.

While this isn’t a massive achievement in the grand scale of things, it is somewhat of a milestone and gives a chance to reflect back on the last 80 days since I’ve started this project and what the future of it holds. The game I designed on paper is coming to life on screen and I am focused on sticking with the rules I set forth because as of right now the strict discipline is paying off.

I don’t want to jump the gun on anything because it is still so early but I am delighted to see all the feedback – both positive and critical – and all the genuine love and support people have shown. Anyone in game design knows this definitely isn’t a ‘get rich quick scheme’ and so the life of this project is built on feedback and support that comes from everyone willing to share their time to voice their thoughts. These traits are invaluable to me as both a game designer and as an ever-growing human being.

Thank you for riding along on this journey with me. I promise there will be cake and pie when we arrive at our destination.

– Michael

Super Galaxy Boy Music.

I’m going to try something terrifying for this game and that is to design the soundtrack myself. Only problem with that is I don’t know how to make music or play an instrument.

Super Galaxy Boy has roughly an 11 months window for primary development, which provides me with 9 months to learn an instrument and compose a simple soundtrack for the game that reflects the adventure I am attempting to create.

That being said, I went out and bought a piano and settled in to begin learning the basics of music and I have begun many hours of practice per day. On average I am doing 2-4, much more planned on the weekends.

I have also begun and will continue to stream my daily practice sessions online. This is not for entertainment value per-se but to share my learning experiences with the world day by day – and also to document the process for a study at the end of a year of playing.  This will include composing the music for Super Galaxy Boy!

I want to offer up my fear of embarrassment as a journey for others to pick up the brush or an instrument and create. If a bumbling giant like myself can pick do it then so can anyone else.

Right now I am streaming on Youtube, but I may switch to Twitch. I am weighing the pros/cons this weekend and will make a decision on Monday. I will be posting more on the blog here as well as I continue down this journey with music and I look forward to you riding along!

Midsummer progress update!

Firstly: Apologies for the delay in updates. Life is busy and gamedev comes and goes as time allows.

A lot has BEEN done though since the last update! Wow! Let’s take a look.

New game intro:

New enemies!

New ‘camera flip’ zone mechanic:

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There is a ton of working being done on the Alpha right now for private testing and stability feedback. I expect more invites to go out at the end of July as predicted.

Currently World 1-6 are getting a light layer of atmospheric polish as I prepare the groundwork for the first boss fight.  Here is a sneak preview of the boss concept art:

If you’ve not already signed up for alpha access, you can do so right here!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to hit me up on Twitter, @FormalCloud.

Let’s do the time warp again!

I’m building a puzzle system that I can nest within itself, in that regard I’ve created “Timed Event Zones” that are at the core a simple race to beat the clock.

Dynamic event triggers allow me to easily create new obstacle combinations with the added challenge of a time limit within larger worlds that don’t remain a stagnate overarching experience. I would rather give the player a world of micro challenges that can be repeated easily than one long unforgiving challenge as an entire level.

With repetition in mind I have designed to the collectables that are spawned within this system to remain with the player even at failure. Level specific items such as Star Keys or Spaceship Gears will not fall under this ruleset so that challenges are rewarding.

As you can see by the above gif, failure to reach the ‘finish line’ in time results in the event being reset with the player being teleported back. I’ve handled it this way so the player can jump right back into the challenge without long delays.

This game will not be for the faint of heart in terms of difficulty and as such I want to make the quality of life in between challenges as streamlined as possible. If you’re going to die a lot, you should be back in the challenge as quickly as you can.

Apple Pie.

The late great Carl Sagan once said: “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” In my case it is a video game but the rules still apply.

Now that I am focused on level design I am learning a lot about how difficult it really is. I am not surprised at this, however I was wise to set aside a lot of time to give myself room to build and destroy over and over until I get it right.  That being said, as difficult as it is the challenge is VERY welcoming! It’s a fun challenge and the rewards are equally good.

I will be focusing solely on level design for the alpha build that will be accessible to some in June! Woo! I will continue to try and post more but there is such a thing as “too much” at an early stage and I am focused on success.

Success is always built atop failure. Here are some of those times.

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Now I know that isn’t right.