^ Game in review screenshot above ^
Trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_uhh_q5emA
I’m glad I can start using my blog again. I decided not to do blogs, or as some people in the community noticed, weekly updates, over the last 2 months. I wanted to play my hands close to my chest…. I had a reason though…. I was close to submitting my game!
I didn’t want to post media after Day 1 of the game’s storyline. Most of you know by now, Version 1.0 of the game has a short storyline. The storyline events last for 3 days of Protector school. I will be doing free updates to expand the game in very way so don’t worry…. For free too (free updates after you purchase the game initially). Basically, about 2 months ago, only day 1 was fully coded.
There was also no ZENFORMS coded into the game and only about 20 attacks in the Attack Database. Battle system also needed work. So this was going to be my area. I was going to put the head down, finish the battle system, and add the ZENFORMS. This proved to be my biggest time soaker. Because ZENFORMS is different, and each ZENFORM under the Adult stage has 3 version, it meant instead of making sure I did the first 24, it was like coding for 72 creatures in the game. I kept setting myself 2 week deadlines. Before my 25th birthday was a deadline, didn’t happen - that was August 6th. I then had a10 days all to myself in my sisters apartment (minding it while she was away) and gave myself a deadline before that finished, didn’t happen, but I was close. By this stage though all of the first 24 ZENFORMS were coded. This included stats and movesets for each color/version of ZENFORM. 145 moves are in Version 1.0. That’s a lot considering in Pokemon Red/ Pokemon Blue - there was 161 for 151 Pokemon. I have 24 (actually, I’ll say 72 since that is a fair comparison) creatures, with a possible 10 movepool/moveset and 145 moves. It’s impressive, but now I hope this is giving you a mental image of what took me so long.
So that done. Now, lets finish off the storyline code. I still have 2 days left. I have about 8 bugs, some of which are still in the release version 1.0….
It’s not september and I’m getting worried. I haven’t been talking about updates on development and thanks to the admin statistics on Facebook page and the CP website, I can see numbers/interest dropping…. Fast….. I need to react fast.
I ask Jason/Martyr, an old friend of Calis Projects from way back in the fan game days to help me out with the trailer. I originally planned making the trailer more dynamic, mixing gameplay with shots of me actually playing the game (like me posing on a chair with my iPad or an iPhone). On the day my friend Peter was coming over to film it, I decided to drop this idea and just send Jason footage of the game directly, it was quicker and easier to edit. He gets to work on that. I gave him a rough guide of the shots I needed and he edited it all. After 2 revisions, I was happy. The music in the trailer is the ZENFORMS theme, it’s designed to be short and loop, but so far it really is the only negative comment to the trailer, so that is great. I didn’t want to make trailer music, I felt it HAD to be the theme song.
Wrapping up development on the last 2 days of storyline events was not fun. I hated testing the same part over, and over, and over, and over again. You know what I did to break it up? I loaded my save file and just played my own game. Did what I wanted. I actually spend about an hour just playing and grinding away on the first road raising a Rinba called Jazz.
The last day of development was hell. I put it into my head “I am not going to sleep until this is submitted to Apple!” - I regretted that, but stuck with it.
The game finished up coding about 3AM on the “last day” (now + 1). Time to send it to Apple right? Well this was my first time doing it and it was not easy! Everything was filled out online, actually since April lol, but the game would not package and send. It kept failing when creating the package. Something about compiling was wrong. I was googling guides, looking up everything in the settings. Not joking - after finally sorting it all out, the game submits to Apple 5AM my time…. 2 hours….. Those 2 hours were the worst for me. I was “done”, with Version 1.0 at least, but I had this giant hurdle to jump. When It did send, I was really happy. Not for the project, but thankful that it finally sent to Apple. I was so tired. I just wanted to go to bed. I posted that image of ZENFORMS submitted to Apple before I went to bed on both my personal and CP Facebook pages. The response was mental. Very very positive. As I was in bed, I’d notice my iPad light up often - notifications from people commenting…. I decided to just wait until the morning and enjoy it when I was wide awake the next day. Thanks very much to everyone who commented or liked. It was crazy seeing that!
If the game gets rejected for whatever reason, I don’t care now, I’m happy…. Well I will care, but you get where I’m going with this. This game has been in development since March 2010. I didn’t even see it as “a game” until I let people play it (my friends, and later the irish game devs) - which was August/September 2012 (as in now lol). I always say the game in chunks… Or pieces like a jigsaw, and I knew those pieces fit together, but I still didn’t see it as the full picture. Now I do, and I enjoy my game. I’m proud of it. I’ll gladly fight over it since I believe it can stand on it’s own against other games in the genre. The game is my artistic expression I’ve wanted to express since I was 17 (my pokemon fan game days). It was a long road, not always fun, people leaving the project randomly left and right, making old friends and teaming up with old enemies…. Yeah…. Yoel and I didn’t get along when we were younger, now its a pleasure to work with him lol. I never wanted to “cash in” with this project. I still don’t. I’d like enough people to buy this so I can rent a place of my own. I’d like people to help me advertise it since I don’t have any ads. The more money the games makes, the more I’ll just keep working on it rather than leaving the project to try something else. I’m not saying I WON’T work on something else, but ZENFORMS: Protectors will always be supported by me ….. until I decide to do Z:P2 in 2 years time :P