We have added the Art of Bullet Age Blog directly to our website tabs. This should make it more convenient for everyone to see what we are up to and how the game is progressing. We hope you enjoy our Artbook in REAL TIME!
We are really excited to announce that Halfbot will be participating in the Nitrome Game Jam. Nitrome has been a huge inspiration for us and we're such big fans of theirs. This will be Halfbot's first ever game jam as a team and we're so pumped to be a part of it! The week long jam will be a nice little break from the tireless work we've been putting into Bullet Age. It's always nice to step away and give your creativity a break, so this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
The NITROME GAME JAM is open to all, if you're up for the challenge go check out the link and be a part of what is going to be a very entertaining event!
If you are like me, you really love Art of Books. As an artist, these books have help inspire my career and pushed me to learn and get better. I love seeing work in progress. So for Bullet Age we are going to share this side of development with you in real time via The Art of Bullet Age art blog. We will be posting art, animations and sketches throughout the course of development, so please check it out. If instagram is your jam than you can also get a taste of the same thing with Halfbot's Instagram page.
We are proud to announce our next game "BULLET AGE" coming in 2015 to PC and more!
"Bullet Age is a 2D Platform Action-RPG that draws inspiration from our favourite classic games like Zelda, Metroid and Cave Story. Bullet Age takes you into a world that is in a state of war and utter chaos. Battle creatures, mercenaries and the Evil ARC regime as you uncover a plot that will send you on an adventure full of gun fights and sword slicing action!"
We'll have more information about the game in the months to come and we'll continue to post information, videos and artwork related to our production via twitter @Halfbot as we've been doing for the past 4 months. We can't thank you guys enough for continuing to support our projects and sharing them with your friends. It really means the world to us.
We want to publicly thank an organization that has really made the development of Bullet Age possible. The Ontario Media Development Corporation has awarded us a grant and by doing so has allowed us the opportunity to work on Bullet Age full time. This would not be possible without their support and we can't thank the Ontario government enough for supporting game developers and media outlets here in our province. They really care about our industry and they want to see Ontario developers succeed. Prior to getting this grant we had been struggling to pay our bills and develop games full time. We were forced to take on other work, and Halfbot development took a back seat to supporting our families. It was a big struggle to find the time to work on the projects we wanted. This had been plaguing us for the past few years. So it's a huge relief to finally have the ability to dedicate our time to the thing we are most passionate about, making games!
2014 is going to be one hell of a year and we're working our butts off to make Bullet Age the best game we can possibly make.
I have been worried about our aging website for a few months now. It got neglected for months. Comments went unanswered, plugins were never updated, and worst of all, it did not get an updated since March of this year. The final straw came this morning, I browsed to the website and noticed our twitter feed was dead. The last bit of communication to anyone visiting our website was now gone. It became a question of fixing the twitter feed or finding a better solution. I chose the latter.
I wanted to check out www.squarespace.com for months but didn't have the time to dedicate to learning a new CMS. Today I decided that I would give it a go for two hours. That's it, just two hours and then back to our current project: [SECRET GAME NAME OMITTED].
Signup was super easy. Squarespace offers a fourteen day trial without the need to enter anything but an email address and password. From there, I picked a random template, entered a few details and off I went, not even taking the time to watch the quick introductory tutorial. I only had two hours after all, so I did not want to waste any time watching a video.
The interface was very familiar. It reminds me of a well designed Wordpress theme, something like what you could buy from one of the top developers on themeforest.
If you guys ever need a new host for your site I would highly recommend taking a look into Squarespace. Sometimes the hype actually exists for good reason.
We look forward to sharing more of whats going on at halfbot with everyone. Please let us know what you think of our fresh paint job!
Exciting times at Halfbot as we are finally moving onto a new project! That's not to say we haven't tried countless times over the last year to make a new game. Between supporting Blocks and Super Crate Box, we've tried to come up with quite a few different ideas, but none of them seemed to resonate with us We have scrapped and shelved so many ideas it's actually kind of scary. It's been over 2 years since we released The Blocks Cometh and we were so proud to be able to work with Vlambeer to bring Super Crate Box to iOS but it wasn't our game. We are anxious to put a NEW Haflbot game out there. You probably already know this and if you don't then listen up "making a living as an indie dev is hard!" If you only support yourself, live at home or a cheap apartment, then it's maybe a little easier to be successful with it. However if you have a family to support and a house to pay for, it's a lot fucking harder. This is the category we fall in to. It's made us rethink our business plan over the last few years. We've both taken on freelance work to pay our bills and by doing this to take the pressure away from making a living from our games. I highly recommend this for any start up or struggling dev. The game market is really tough out there. It's a gamble to put all your resources, time and money into a game and expect that game to make enough money to pay for the next one. Making an amazing game is the best chance you have for that gamble pay off, but I can be honest. Not everything we make is amazing and it's too stressful to add that pressure to our development. We're lucky enough that we can handle the art and coding ourselves, this allows us to save thousands of dollars in development costs. So our advice to you, cover your bills first and worry about making games second. You'll enjoy the process a lot more.
Our process has changed a lot over the last few years. We've gone from full time development to part time. It's actually not that bad. As long as you can stay focused when you sit down to work, you'll be surprised how much work you can do. 4 hours of focused work can be just as effective as 8 hrs of work with the internet close at hand and other distractions.
So, back to the new game. We have a new plan moving forward and we hope this works out for us. I'll quickly lay it out for those who are interested.
1. Make a multi-platform Engine (In this unpredictable market it's best to aim for multiple platforms and cast a larger net.) This is almost completed! Melvin is a beast and has put together a great engine for us. Just a few tweaks left to make before diving into the prototype.
2. Make a prototype (After testing your game ideas on paper and playing them in your head the next step is to build a prototype. This is the best way to test out an idea before spending too much time on a game that might not work how you think it should.)
3. Make a 1 level demo (This is something we've seen people doing successfully at shows. It allows your team to present your idea to the public, build up hype and most of all get crucial player feedback.)
4. Showcase the demo at PAXEast 2014 (We loved how interactive PAXEast was when we attended in 2012. The way gamers engaged with developers, we felt it was the perfect place to demo a new game. Of course there is a cost investment to doing this, so you have to really be ready to showcase something you are proud of and is ready to WOW the public.)
5. Take user feedback and apply it to the demo
6. Make the full game
Sounds easy enough right? I'm sure we'll make a bunch of mistakes along the way but we'll continue to learn and challenge ourselves to be better game makers.
So in the meantime! Why don't you check out this mock up we made for the prototype in mention! More info on the actual game to come!
Thanks for hanging in there with us!