HuskyGames Dev Diary 005

We hit a solid brick wall this week. A brick wall made of technical limitations. A major part of our game design hinged on syncing music and animation. Without that sync a certain, erm, playability would be lost, i.e. all of it. The technical limitation is that Corona doesn’t currently support an accurate method of such syncing. It’s not that Corona is buggy, it just does not have a way of hooking into the audio stream so as to sync up animation. There are ways around it, but the timing mechanisms are not accurate enough to make the gameplay work. I’m only talking about a millisecond here and there, but over a few beats of music the sync is lost.

With this in mind, development stalled while the Nofster and I worked out what to do next.

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There were a number of options:

1. Buy a PS3 dev kit and write GTA VI for Rockstar. I was quite keen on this idea, but Corona doesn’t work on PS3 yet so we shelved it.

2. Buy a 360 dev kit to replace our central heating for the winter. We did actually do this and are now much warmer.

3. Write an iPad 2 simulator with features that people would actually like in an iPad 2. I started to code this, but then I saw that Apple video for the new iPad magnetic cover and I’ve been watching it on repeat ever since.

4. Trawl through our list of game ideas and pick a new one to work on. This list included: a tank, a plane, a springy jumpy thing, a ball, and a leaky pipe.

I am happy to report that, after finally turning off YouTube and that Apple video, we made a decision. Our new project will involve a ball. And a return to a game I first created some twenty years ago. Those that follow me on Twitter are no doubt now doing a gleeful Hodgson-esque face rub: Slamball is on its way.

Except, for legal reasons, it won’t be called Slamball. It will be called <SomethingEvenMoreAwesome>ball Manager. Possibly.

The new game is a management sim, based around a fictitious sport that is a cross between football and rugby. But with more violence. Somewhat like an Old Firm football match, in fact. It’s going to be a bite-sized game though. The sort of management sim that lets you play a whole season in less time than it takes Ashley Cole to finish shooting practice. Ok, maybe not that quick, as Ashley has been known to stay behind to take some extra shots.

The game will strip away a lot of fluff and let you get on with managing your team: buying and selling players, training them, picking the team, and then watching as your tactical plans are ravaged by those of your opposing manager. This is all by design. It’s the sort of management game that I want to play. I want to be able to fit in a few matches in my lunch break, and a couple of seasons while I’m pretending to show an interest in Celebrity Gypsy Wife Swap Jungle Weddings. The interface will be slick, so that everything you want to do can be accomplished easily. In fact, while things are going well – no injuries, for example – it’ll be easy to power through fixtures and just get on with the quest for trophies. No, not those Trophies, silly. Well, maybe…

It’s been a strange few days. Both Nofi and I were hyped up for the original game and were equally down about its demise. However, we’ve got a way forward and we’ll be working hard to make the new game a reality as soon as we possibly can. And, of course, the original idea will stay in stasis until such time as Corona implements an API that will enable it to work.

I’d like to thank the guys at Ansca Mobile for their excellent work on Corona and their support. I’d also like to mention the Corona Community, which helped out on a few occasions when the brick wall sprang up in front of us. I’ve learnt a lot about development in Lua and Corona over the last couple of weeks, and I’ll be putting all that knowledge into practice on the new game.

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29 Comments

  1. That is a shame, but good luck on this new game!

  2. Slammin’.

    May I suggest you name the game “Murder Ball”? I’d buy a game called Murder Ball, and I wouldn’t even care if it worked.

    • Can we suggest names? I vote for ‘Impenetrable balls’.

    • Ultimate Ball Handler! .. no wait – Pocket Ballplay.. oops no..
      ….actually Murder Ball is a much better title. ;)

      • You have no idea how much your comment made me laugh.

    • there’s already a murderball.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kaT5dDiISw

      it’s a film about wheelchair rugby.

      • Brutal. I remember the trailers for this a while ago, I should seek it out, it looks pretty inspiring stuff.

  3. Aw man! Gutted for you guys. Though now you’ve been forced think … I guess outside of your comfort zone, you’ll produce something super duper epic! Best wishes and I very much look forward to the next Dev Diary. :)

  4. Murderball. Nice.

  5. That’s a shame guys, a least you know more about what you can and can’t do with Corona. Best of luck with the new game even though it doesn’t sound like my cuppa – i’ll still be enjoying the diary in the meantime.

  6. That sucks, sorry to hear that. This game concept however has made me excited for an iPhone game for the first time in 2 years, so I look forward to seeing it’s development.

    (Btw, still planning out programming for mine, its gonna take a whiiiile….)

  7. Sorry to hear that, looking forward to this ‘sim’ game then…

  8. @TSBonyman you will love!

  9. @TSBonyman it.

  10. Shame to hear you had to give up the old game (any chance of finding out what it is or is it to become the ultimate tease!), but the new game sounds pretty awesome! I’d buy it (if you release an Android version, pretty please!).

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