30 December 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.6 Changelog

So Christmas (and my birthday) have both gone and passed for another year and I'm releasing another update to Project Plasma. This is update v0.9.6 and it focuses heavily bug fixes and tweaks. It also features major improvements to the game's Epilepsy Mode.

  • Audio bug fixed on level 15 where the game would crash during the boss fight with Davagon.
  • Various changes made to Davagon
    • The boss's silencer bullets no longer attempt to fire at the player (I'm saying attempt cos they always went is a completely different direction) and instead shoot diagonally. They also shoot at much higher intervals (1 every 15 secs down from 2 every sec.)
    • Davagon cash rewards quadrupled.
      • Davagon now gives 33000 cash. (Up from 8250, seriously it has 80000 health 8250 cash for that is just unfair)
      • Score rewards remain the same (9200)
  • Sprinter's jammer bullets now fire in a spiral due to the same bug that affected the Davagon's silencer bullets.
  • Trinity now has a multi-coloured explosion upon death. (Blue, Red, and Yellow)
  • Sawblade's explosion is no longer green.
  • Hellfire's outer ring, Davagon's turret, and Sawblade as a whole will now spin much slower when Epilepsy Mode is on. (Speed reductions vary)
  • Crystalline's death explosion is now blue.
  • Decurion will now fire immobiliser bullets in boss attack.
  • Tempest's switcher bullets now fire at a significantly reduced rate (shot interval octupled.)
  • Tempest now enters its second attack phase at 5000 health. (Down from 10000.)
  • Directional Cannon ammo now costs 5 cash. (Down from 10.)
    • Now you finally have a use for that annoying leftover 5 cash from killing that annoying enemy that has to give a non-round amount of cash upon death.
  • Switcher and jammer effect bullets now have their own unique sound effects.
This update was released in a hurry due to an imminent computer upgrade (which means I'll be away from the computer for around a day) and I was only able to test levels 1-23 so there may be bugs in levels 24 and 25 that I may not have covered. I'll be testing these last two levels after the computer upgrade and doing further bug fixes if necessary in 0.9.7. Also, v0.9.7 will likely be the final open beta before 1.0.0 which means that you've not got long left before the price goes up if you're looking to buy PP!

Also PP Mobile will be arriving on itch.io shortly in the new year as well. More than that in the next blog post!

27 December 2014

Game Development Timeline

I figured as I am currently working on my second game title (a follow up to Project Plasma, but still) I figured I'd post a timeline of what I plan on putting out. This timeline goes from September 2014 all the way to October 2017. All dates are in European format (dd/mm/yyyy)

All dates below are estimates or goals that I want get the game released by.

  • Project Plasma (23/09/2014)
  • Project Plasma Mobile (--/03/2015)
  • Mystery Game 1 (--/09/2015)
  • Mystery Game 2 (--/03/2016, most likely Project Plasma 2)
  • Mystery Game 3 (--/08/2016)
  • Mystery Game 4 (--/10/2017, this will probably be a particularly big one, hence the big time gap)
I am currently working on a graphical representation of the above timeline as well. Hopefully some of the game will be released sooner than the date stated above and if that ever does happen I will update the above list accordingly.

Work on PP v0.9.6 will start on the 29th December and I'm hoping to get it out before the new year. After that release work on PP Mobile will resume for a release in March. I will also be posting a few things about PPM soon for anyone who's curious about what's going on with it.

24 December 2014

Project Plasma Christmas Sale On Now!

As the title says, the Project Plasma Christmas Sale on right now. Save 50% on Project Plasma right now!

Not only that but the 26th December is my birthday, so if you wait til then, you can get an even bigger discount!

Anyway, I won't be working on PP or PPM for the rest of this week. I've just released a fairly big update for it (0.9.5) and I'm taking a break for Christmas. Work will resume on Monday 29th December on PPM and I'll be working on PP v0.9.6 in the New Year.

Merry Christmas everybody!

21 December 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.5 (Solstice Update) Changelog

PP v0.9.5 is a huge update. Bigger than any of the updates done previously.
  • More station debris added to Level X
  • More enemies added to Level X
  • Arachnid Mk2's central body now shoots bullets and rockets even faster and fires in bursts of six instead of bursts of five.
  • Player stats added to the main menu screen.
    • This includes things like the player's current score, cash and how many levels they've completed.
  • Fixing pre-Level X text to accommodate the level 25 boss's name change from the 0.9.1 update.
  • Fixed Orbital Mk2's name in the pre-Level X text (originally said "Orbiter Mk2" when it should've been "Orbital Mk2")
  • Tweaked a line in the pre-Level X text.
    • Also added a line.
  • Fixed Plasma Shot not showing up in shop. (This bug meant you weren't able to see the price of the Plasma Shot or how much you could buy in one go.)
    • For the record the Plasma Shot costs 300 for one shot.
As usual, the game can be bought here:

24 November 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.4 Changelog

PP v0.9.4 is now live. It's nothing too fancy, just a few bug fixes and tweaks. I would've had it up a day earlier but I was hit with a nasty spell of food poisoning which came in tandem with a stinging headache and I just didn't feel up to doing anything but lying down with the lights off and the curtains shut, not to mention I had to hang my head over a toilet and yell RALPH if you catch my drift.

Anyway, enough of my food poisoning experiences, on with the changelog!
  • The boss attack version of Seeker now has 16000 health as well (I forgot to increase the boss attack version's health in the last update.)
  • Each of Seeker's attack phases have been recalculated according to its updated health values.
  • Bullets from the scrolling turrets (levels 9, 10, and 17) now move slightly faster. (9 speed up from 8)
  • Level 9 boss renamed to Sprinter (previously called "Juliet" but this name made no sense)
PP v0.9.5 will be a big update, far bigger than any of the previous updates however it will also take much longer as it will primarily be a graphical update. It will also feature major improvements to levels 7 and 11. The extra level will also be heavily affected by this update.

9 November 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.3 Changelog

PP v0.9.3 is now live and it comes shipped primarily with slight tweaks to some of the bosses as well as the game's Epilepsy mode. It also contains a couple of bug fixes.

  • Epilepsy mode now affects more things. (More info on Epilepsy Mode here.)
  • Seeker's health increased to 16000 (up from 15000.)
  • Seeker's cash reward increased to 3050 (up from 3000)
  • Seeker's score reward increased to 4400 (up from 4200)
  • Sniper's fire rate has been decreased slightly.
  • Effect bullet trails are now layered below objects rather than above them. (So any effect bullet trails won't obscure the HUD anymore)
  • The status icons that show that the player is under the influence of a certain effect are now laid out correctly and no longer obscure each other if the player is under the influence of multiple effects.
    • What I mean by this is, there are two rows in the HUD where the status icons are. These icons are located at the far right edge of the HUD and show when the player is under the influence of a certain effect triggered by an effect bullet. Before, the "Silence" and "Switch" effect bullets stacked on top of the "Immobilise" and "Jam" icosn so if you became immobilised and then you got hit with a silencer effect bullet - the silencer effect icon would that the immobiliser icon as they were both on the row. The same applies for the Jam and Switch icons. This has been fixed and you can now see all of the effect bullets.
You find the game at the usual location: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma

Happy gaming!

29 October 2014

What Is Epilepsy Mode?

I have made numerous mentions of an Epilepsy Mode within Project Plasma but people don't quite know what it is.

Epilepsy Mode is a feature in Project Plasma that reduces the flashing of certain animations (such as bullets) to make the game easier to play for people who are prone to seizures (such as people with epilepsy.) A lot of bullets have rather quick flashing animations within their sprites or just generally move fast which can make the game uncomfortable to play for people who suffer from seizures. An example of where this becomes a big problem is on the level 15 boss fight against Davagon.
Those purple bullets flicker slightly (hence why some of the bullets there are a slightly darker shade of purple than others) which isn't noticeable if there aren't that many of them on screen, but in cases like the above where every bullet that is being fired from the boss is like that then it becomes very noticeable and that's when people start getting uncomfortable during gameplay.

Other cases where epilepsy can become a problem include some swarms on some levels, the boss fight with Crystalline, and some parts of the boss fight with Dynast. However the boss fight with Davagon is probably the worst when it comes to this.

28 October 2014

Project Plasma Halloween Sale 2014

The Project Plasma Halloween begins in around 45 minutes from me typing this! 25% off the open beta price! (So £0.75)

As usual you can buy PP here: http://archangelatom.itch.io/project-plasma

Have fun!

UPDATE: Wow as soon as I announced the sale on Twitter with this tweet...

My Twitter just exploded with retweets, favourites, and several more followers... literally within seconds! Huge thanks going out to you guys I really appreciate the support!

23 October 2014

Urgent Fix for Project Plasma (v0.9.2 Live)

I have recently discovered that I need to fix something on Project Plasma. This fix is regarding a font change. "Now what's so urgent about that?" Well I'll tell you.

Project Plasma makes heavy use of two fonts - OCR A Extended (seen a lot on the HUD) which as many people are well aware of is a default font that comes with Windows. The second font is a font called Skirmisher which is made by a font developer called Iconian Fonts. The Skirmisher font can be used freely for non-commerical uses but it is donationware for commerical use. In other words, you can only use the font for commercial purposes if you donate a sum of money to the developer. This is what I did in order to get permission to use the Skirmisher font for Project Plasma.

However, before Skirmisher was used I used a font called Vyper, also by Iconian Fonts. I originally planned to use Vyper for Project Plasma instead of Skirmisher. Back when I made this choice I was unaware that the fonts were so I happily used Vyper for everything and later on I started using Skirmisher. When I found out that certain fonts have licenses I realised I screwed up by not checking what license each font I used had.

Since I didn't want to spend too much money on this game., I had to choose between Vyper and Skirmisher, I chose Skirmisher. I changed all the fonts from Vyper to Skirmisher (which meant I had to redesign a couple of graphics as well) and donated $20.00 to Iconian Fonts (about £12.30 at the time) to use the font commerically. I emailed Iconian telling them that I made a donation to use the font for the game and they replied with what was essentially the "go ahead" signal to use it. Project Plasma v0.9 was put on sale almost immediately after.

Unfortunately I just realised that I forgot to change the font from Vyper to Skirmisher in the highscore list at the end of the game. So that's pretty what this update will be about, changing the font from Vyper to something else on the scoreboard. I know it's a very minor update but it's certainly necessary - as an indie developer I really don't think it'll go down too well if someone has to take legal action against me, especially if they've only just recently released their first game!

PP v0.9.2 will be worked on immediately but probably won't hit itch.io by tomorrow afternoon due to my college hours.

Also, I strongly suggest anyone looking for some good fonts checks out Iconian Fonts. The guy who makes the fonts has a huge selection available. You check the selection out for yourself by following this link below:

Update: Project Plasma v0.9.2 is now live. Get it here.

21 October 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.1 Is Now Live!

Yes it's true, god knows how long after I announced I was postponing it's about to hit itch.io! PP v0.9.1 isn't a very big update - it doesn't really do much, although it will make it easier for rookie players in the early levels.

Here is the full list of what has been done.

  • Asteroids are now packed less densely on level 1. (Less asteroids basically, spread further apart. Yes I'm aware there a variety of off-colour jokes that can said to that...)
  • Grey asteroids now do 60% health damage to the player. (down from 70%)
    • Blue asteroids in the later levels still do 70% collision damage.
  • Grey asteroid kill rewards increased.
    • 40 points, up from 30
    • 120 cash, up from 100
  • The level 25 boss has been renamed from "Archangel" to "Dynast."
    • This is because I have big plans for a future game and I want to save the name "Archangel" for that. Don't expect it any time soon though.
The ZIP file has been compressed and I'm just about to upload it to itch.io. It will be is now available to download at the usual location which I've provided a link to below.


13 October 2014

The Rabid 45 (Stricken-out Rant)

10th August 2015 Update: Well as you can see I've literally gone put a massive strikeout throughout this entire blog post. This is because a lot of what was said in here I actually take back (although there are still a couple of points which I still stand firmly by.) After the 2015 General Election and Budget 2015 (among other occurances of David Cameron's cuntery) I understand completely why the event mentioned in here took place and I even support the cause they were fighting for, just like I support the #TakeUsWithYouScotland campaign a couple months back. I'll likely be releasing an entire blog post relating to this within the upcoming weeks. This blog post is left pretty much intact (except for the obvious strikeout) for archive purposes.

13th October 2015 Update: I urge everyone who's reading this rant to read this first. As mentioned before, there are many aspects of this rant that I've U-turned on and that post served as a counter-weight of sorts to this one. This rant shall remain up (and stricken-out) so people can refer to this should they need to.

Oh boy, we're now on post number 6 and so far three of those posts have been rants. Not exactly a good track record but holy hell I really need to get this off my chest.

On 18th September, Scotland held a referendum that granted a vote on whether it should become an independent nation or not. The result was approximately 45% yes to 55% no, the No vote won and Scotland remained in the UK. This sadly provoked a HUGE backlash from the Yes voters who are still campaigning for independence despite the referendum ending over three weeks ago. If you've been following my Twitter you can see I've just about hit the end of my tether with these sore losers.

My point? JUST STOP

Honestly? I can understand you guys being pissed for a few days but this going on for weeks now, honestly accept the result of the referendum and move the fuck on. By protesting and starting these mass revolts, you're just showing yourselves up to be ridiculously immature. It won't solve anything.

The most recent revolt was started by a man called Tommy Sheridan, a disgraced politican who has been denounced by many mainstream Yes campaigners, this guy staged a rally in a vain attempt to get more people to his side. I'm going to take a few things from the "Despair in the Square" post I saw on another blog - it's not a "rally," it's merely a shit-ton of despair made more vocal. Now there have been successful rallies, rallies that really encouraged people, rallies to fight against something that was truly bad or negative (for lack of a better word.) This rally would not fall under any of those.

This rally is just... pathetic if I'm completely honest.

Also, there seems be some vague evidence showing that ol' Tommy Sheridan is merely pocketing any money he gains from this for himself while giving as-little-as-possible back in return. Great work Sheridan, gather a load of hopeful Yes-campaigners and use them as your personal mini-banks/ATMs. You absolutely sicken me.

If you don't believe on that last point I just brought up I suggest you give this article a read. You'll find some pretty enlightening, and shameful, information in there... I wonder why Sheridan has declined to comment on this...

Now here's the part where I bring up arguments put forward by the 45ers and smash them in one fell swoop each.

Let's bring on the first contestant!
Most of the people voted for independence and who those who didn't voted out of fear/uncertainty/doubt/were brainwashed.etc.
Uhh no... 55 is bigger than 45. Most of the people voted against independence. I believe the phrase "silent majority" applies here - there were more No voters, however if you didn't look at the outcome at the end you wouldn't think that as the Yes voters were merely more vocal and all of these pathetic rallies prove my point.

Don't count the thugs that started terrorizing Glasgow on the night of the referendum, they were not part any No campaign, they were just chavs and thugs who have been denounced by various No campaigns such as Better Together, but even if you did count them in, they just did it for a single night. The rabid 45ers have been sore over this for weeks on end. Oh and no I'm not condoning what those thugs did, the terror they struck into the people of Glasgow is absolutely inexcusable.

As for people voting out of fear/doubt and so on, that may very well, and most likely in some cases to be true. An independent Scotland would, for a time at least, suffer direly in many areas. Whether it would recover or not, I don't know and I never will for a couple of decades at least but I think it's unfair to say they were all like that. Some people do believe or not do their research.

Next please...
Scotland will/should declare a UDI
Out of all the things I've read, this has to be the fucking worst and most poorly thought out thing ever. Do you guys know what would happen if Scotland did this? It didn't work out too well for Zimbabwe did it?

If Scotland declared UDI rather than having a civilized referendum, they would be practically driven into becoming a third-world country. When a country declares UDI from a nation (in this case the UK,) the parent nation gets all of their assets. Scotland has a lot of oil right? Well not anymore as that would go to the UK. Their military? Another gift to the UK with love from a now independent-but-struggling Scotland.

A UDI is basically declaring independence by brute force and it would be catastrophic for Scotland if it happened. Not to mention it would take decades before Scotland would be recognised as an independent nation should they take this route.

I'm gonna go ahead and take on one last argument the 45ers keep proposing...
Fuck it, I'm gonna use this last bit to speak out against all of these childish rallies as a whole rather than just keeping on nitpicking at individual arguments. Broader strokes paint the fence faster after all.

Let's face it here, you guys lost graciously, fair, and square. Unlike historic clashes where the Scots wanted independence from the Brits, it was resolved in a civil manner (well civil until now) without any bloodshed what-so-ever. Alex Salmond, the guy who proposed the referendum in the first place took his defeat like a man. He accepted that it was 55% vote against him without any qualms or tantrums - this level of maturity and nobility earns my respect.

I feel that this should be celebrated to some extent, you guys should be grateful that no lives were taken and no blood was shed in this unlike past battles for independence. All of this could have been a lot worse and yet it's bullshit like this that's escalating the whole scenario to an event reminiscent of those told in history books - after the whole thing was supposed to have been resolved!

Just grow up, you lost, suck it up. Maybe there'll be a second independence referendum in the future, if that happens, then you can have your say once again. All of these rallies won't do shit, I'll reiterate - they just show you up to be extremely immature. Will Cameron deliver his promises to Scotland and give them more power? Well we'll see, this could very well be the wake-up call he needed to get his act together - only time will tell I guess.

Now can we please just get along and focus on destroying a much bigger threat to our nation (and other nations?)

5 October 2014

Indiegogo Misuse (Rant)

Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site similar to Kickstarter where you pitch a project you want to proceed with and try and get funding for it in order to make it happen. At least, that's what it was originally intended for...

I went through Indiegogo the other day to see if there was anything worth checking out, particularly in the gaming section of the site. I saw some pretty worthwhile projects, unfortunately I also a lot of BS like this...

Oh and my personal "favourite..."
Scrounging at its lowest form right here people.
Seriously guys...

Indiegogo is a site for getting funding for projects, NOT for funding your PS4/Xbox One/new gaming PC.etc. (Protip: If you want to see more like that, just search up any console name on Indiegogo.)

That last one is just classic "my sister is sick so I need a PS4." Okay so you're sister is sick, yes that sucks, but why do you need a PS4 for her? Is there really nothing else for her to do? If the answer is no when get your own money and buy your own PS4. A lot of these people aren't offering any incentives for people who fund these mouth-breathers either, luckily the majority of them aren't buying into their sob stories (or in the case of the fourth guy, not buying into a load of cussing on the funding page.)

Unfortunately, some people are funding these guys. This is exactly the kind of crap that needs to discouraged and flushed out of crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo, and this shit can be discouraged by simply not funding these muppets. Sad thing is, one person actually managed to get their console through media like this? Why you ask? Because she was a girl gamer...

Now I'm not being misogynist, but I believe that women should be treated exactly the same as men, and that doesn't mean giving them extra advantages just for being a woman, and no it certainly doesn't mean treating them like they're below men either. It means giving them the exact same status men have. If you wouldn't fund one gender who pulls this crap, don't fund someone of the other gender who pulls the same crap.

This pisses me off so much because so many legit projects that do deserve a level or merit end up getting pushed down and forgotten about as these layabouts beg for money only for them to not give anything back in return.

Not got any money for a PS4? Well, I have a solution for that! And no it's not post more sob stories on crowdfunding sites. It's a great solution that benefits society as a whole and you get your console. And the grand solution is...


Indiegogo is a great site, but it's sad to see it constantly get abused on a regular basis by people who seem to think they can work their way through society by mooching off of others and grovelling for cash. These are the guys who'll probably end up sitting on the streets begging for spare change when they finally move out.

That reminds me, I need a new graphics card and CPU for this computer. Got any change to spare, anyone?

4 October 2014

Project Plasma v0.9.1 Postponed

Yesterday, I posted a tweet on my Twitter notifying everyone that Project Plasma v0.9.1 will be released this weekend. (While making a playful jab at Microsoft and their upcoming Windows 10 OS in the process)

Well, this might not be going ahead as planned.

For reasons I do not wish to disclose right now PP v0.9.1 might not make it out this weekend (I'm saying it might not, not that it definitely won't.) The trailer on the other hand will be made tomorrow and should appear on Saturday on Sunday if not tomorrow.

PP v0.9.1 will most likely be pushed back to next weekend.

24 September 2014

Bad News For Android Developers (First Rant)

I really hoped my first rant on here wouldn't have been only on my third post but sadly that has happened as I have just found something quite alarming regarding app submission to Google Play while scrolling through Gamasutra today. Developers will be required to submit their home address (yes their physical address) to Google in order to develop apps and release them on Google Play and anyone who doesn't runs the risk of getting their app removed.

Doesn't sound so bad right? Surely only Google will know your details and no one else right? Wrong. Your address will be made public on every app you submit, effectively allowing everyone to see where you live.

Yes you read that correctly and I am quite frankly disgusted by this shocking decision Google has made, not to mention incredibly shocked. I am well aware that Google are known for data mining a lot, but this is just taking things to the extreme. I could respect this if their home details were at least made private but no, they will be public and these changes will go into effect on 30th September this year.

So, anyone who has read the Project Plasma page will see that an Android app has been confirmed for the game. I can tell you now that I certainly will not be distributing any games via the Play Store if this goes into effect, I sure as fuck do not want everyone knowing where I live thank you very much. If I do distribute any Android apps they will be distributed via Itch, the site that is hosting the PC version of my game which also allows for Android app uploads as well. I feel that Itch will become much more appealing to indie Android developers than the official Play Store should this drastic change go into effect.

After reading through the comments on the Gamasutra article, I noticed one popular theory is that they are doing to prevent virus-makers from uploading malicious apps to the Play Store. Hopefully by de-anonymising them, they won't upload any dodgy apps. However, this hasn't been thought through, especially with malicious trends such as "swatting" going on. (If you don't know what swatting is, watch this video on it by MinnesotaBurns below which explains what it is. It is a horrifying and extremely stressful experience.)

I'm sorry, but the last thing I want is some little kid, or some guy who doesn't like my stuff send a SWAT team down to my house or do other incredibly malicious things that can affect both me and my family in real life simply because they didn't like my game or because of something I said. There sadly are people who are callous enough to do such a thing and I feel that making addresses public is a poor move by Google, and that's putting it very bluntly.

If I decide to make any apps for iOS or Windows Phone, they will be uploaded to their respective app stores as per usual as I don't think Apple or Microsoft are going to such lengths to prevent malicious apps (and hopefully they never will.) This only affects Android apps via Google Play. Once again, I would like to express my severe disdain towards this unfortunate decision Google has made. If this is a way to dissuade virus-makers from uploading to Google Play, it really hasn't been thought through properly and I seriously hope they reconsider this move.

I don't mind submitting my details to Google, but I sure as hell don't want to make that shit public.

Original Gamasutra article:

23 September 2014

Project Plasma Released!

I am exhalted to announce that my first game, Project Plasma has officially been released via the relatively new distribution platform Itch!

You can download the game at the temporarily reduced price of £1.00 (use Google to convert that to whatever currency your country of residence uses.)

Buy Project Plasma!

The price during open beta will remain at £1.00, however this will be increased to £3.00 during the full release.

Hope you guys enjoy! You can report any bugs or suggest any improvements either via Twitter (@ArchangelDPX) or through the comments on this blog.

Next step: Try and get it on Desura and GOG! (Steam I'm afraid will have to wait a while due to their absolutely atrocious Greenlight system)

7 September 2014

First Post!

So... this is my blog I guess. It's really a work under construction but it'll become more unique when it's all fully set up, something which I'm pretty much in the process of.

So what's this blog gonna be about then? Well...

  • Game development (This is first and foremost what this blog will focus on)
  • Technology
  • General Stuff
  • Anything I Feel I Need To Say (I like to speak my mind on things a bit)
Things I need to do...
  • About me page
  • Actually do something with this blog.
So yeah...