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  1.    #1  
    Fellow Treo-buffs:

    Here is a killer new game that I designed especially for the Treo 650:

    "Bubble Ship Boy" from (my new brand) littlebig mobile entertainment

    You are invited to Buy it / Try it now at http://www.littlebig.ca

    http://www.littlebig.ca/banner_littlebig.gif

    http://www.littlebig.ca/screensTop.jpg

    The graphics look uber clean and cool on the Treo screen. Here is a full 320x320 screenshot:

    http://www.littlebig.ca/Image-0466.gif

    Gary
    Last edited by garyduke; 04/20/2006 at 12:26 AM.
  2. #2  
    Looks cool , will try it :-)

    With which lang code did you write it ? how long did it took you ?

    Mazal Tov and good luck !!!
  3.    #3  
    Thanks, drz400sm!

    I worked my tuchas off on this game ... deciding to invent a story and characters and interesting sound effects instead of just generic arcade shapes and blips really added a lot of work to the already-full pile... I just figured-- the gameplay is pretty unique, why not make virtually everything about it unique and fun too

    Funny, I wrote the gameplay code back in ~2000-- about six years ago! Since then, I'd played the game with just lo-res chintzy graphics just for my own amusement; but I never got tired of fooling with the game and never found a game that played the same way.

    I also loved the game dodgeball (aka king's court) in school-- where the other kids throw balls from the gym edges and you have to avoid getting hit.. I think part of this love of dodgeball game into play with this game. Although here, the dodgeballs have minds of their own -- bohahahaha.

    It wasn't until September of 2005 that I decided, you know what, before Palm OS changes to OS 6 (yeah, like that'll happen soon.... ?!?!?) and I have to rewrite everything or something happens to me (!) I need to finish this darned game already!

    But I wanted to "do it right", and use elements that I would have liked to see in other games. One thing I hated was games where the gameplay was fun, but it has no end, no purpose... you just kept playing till you got bored. Here, I decided to take fun gameplay but graft in an adventure quest idea. I also think the game is unique in that you are always progressing upward in the game, first from the bottom of the ocean, the to the sky, then into space, then into Deek Furple's battle ship

    I merged my love of 80's arcade games, scrolling shooters (although as we know, you're a pacifist in the game as you don't shoot!), and games that had full screen cutscenes between levels (too many games have a cutscene, but it's only at the beginning of the game, and that's it... or it's the same graphic each time just different text...)

    All told the bulk of the game was done from early September 05 to the end of March 06... with a good deal of time in Jan, Feb and March devoted to some family obligations which slowed the last leg of development and such to a crawl.

    This is a good chunk of time for a concentrated, Bite-Size Epic, but that's largely because of the attention to detail that went in to producing the game... All the significant game art I directed (that is, directed two artists , Ian and Miguel, that I hired to work with me on this) and/or edited as well to bring up to production values I wanted, these are the sprite art, cut scenes, the background art and the great character montage that form the logo. The animated water tiles (look very closely and you'll see water gently bobs) hadn't changed from my original code from 2000, and I had to do the space background to save cost, but the other incredible background art is Miguel's.

    And I'm sure you'll agree the game background art, esp. on level 2 and level 4 is fan-tas-tic!!! all this in spite of the palette juggling hoops I threw at Miguel. I wanted to squeeze everything in the game into 8 bit palettes.. I dind't want the game to run in 16 bit color because that would sacrifice some speed. I think it turned out simply, amazing.. and to boot the full size GIFs used for promo perfectly preserve the colors (GIFs are limited to 256 colors)

    One think was annoying was having to reserve a whole bunch of Palm OS colors that are used for the graffiti area in 320x480 palms.

    And tweaking the entire game so it wasn't too easy or too difficult for a wide variety of players, that was a big task in itself... I noticed that for instance an 11 year old with patience and smarts would do quite easily what an adult or an impatient 13 year old couldn't do without getting really mad and frustrated Having two games Game A and B and choice of 3 different ships with differnt speed to sheild ratio helps mix it up and let players play to their ability.

    I spent a great deal of time on the sound for the game as well, sourcing licensed sound effects and often creating my own sound effects. Not having any more budget to work with any more artists, I designed the littlebig mobile entertainment brand logo (not bad for a developer recently *** quasi artist and did the game's UI graphics myself which I also wasn't planning on doing.

    I had a great team, and Ian and Miguel, the artists were a joy to work with, especially Ian who made such sacrifices being a student at an animation school here in Toronto. I can't say enough about Ian, he was amazing to work with and totally able to listen and to take criticism. In addition to paying his flat fee, Ian will be getting up to 15% royalties on game sales for minimum the next two years, as I really want him to benefit from the countless hours of work he put in.

    The computer voice you hear when a power up is retrieved is actually a woman named Jodi, who is the voice of a morning DJ in the States, I can't remember which state at the moment. I've never met her, only virtually. I had to hire Jodi, because AT&T labs wanted to charge me $1,500 just to have the license to use about THREE SECONDS of their natural voices audio which I had originally in place. I had also had a telephone bandbass effect on and pitch shifted as well, so it hardly sounded like the original. But they wouldn't budge on the price, so I had to hire real human voice talent to record the same 3 seconds of audio! After I processed it the same way I did the "AT&T natural voices", it sounded almost the same! (I actually gave Jodi the original AT&T voices to use as a guide.)

    The two artists Miguel and Ian that I worked with and directed, I was meeting with them personally a lot. Mostly Ian, who worked on the sprite art and cutscene art. I remember driving in and out of town to visit Ian a few nights a week, an hour and a half round trip each night. But it was a labor of love from the beginning and Ian really had a talent for listening and was very serious about doing his best.

    To design it, code it, produce, market, etc. etc. (take a look at the full credits in the Game Guide to get an idea of how much different stuff was going on from the whole team) took more time and money than I may ever make back from this arguably "niche" game... but I wouldn't trade the experience or the end-product for the world. The budget was several hundreds of times less than the mega blockbuster PS2 games, but I bet it is more original than many if not most of them!

    If I have to see yet another bloodthirsty first person shooter game I'll puke... we need more fun and original games, like Katamari Damacy and such to keep things fresh. In the 80's games were cute, and fun, with original gameplay-- e.g. pac man, donkey kong, mario bros (the pipes and turtles and POW version --- now everything is so violent and adult rated... what's going on ... where's the pomp and fun??? I will say that playing Guitar Hero at an artist friends house was the most fun I've had in years on an arcade game

    In Bubble Ship Boy, n-droo never "dies" in the game, he just gets the Bubble cracked and has to radio for help (although this is not that obvious... we took out an "SOS" overlay on the game over screen, b/c SOS is soo... terrestrial in an Earth way, and n-droo is well, not of this earth . Did I mention that this is a game where you never fire a weapon, ever ?? You just disarm an crazy purple boy who can't get over the fact that him team was shamed in the last intergalactic dodgesphere tournament?

    ok I got to stop espousing my game and get off my soap box, as I've probably become too self-righteous in my increasing age... this happens as you get older I got to try to tone down a bit?!

    I've rambled on too far here....

    In summary, Bubble Ship Boy is meant to be happy, campy fun and truly original game that all ages can enjoy.. fun in a happy, family friendly arcade kind of way that is missing a lot these days! I hope you all try the demo and decide to buy the game so you can save n-droo's home planet, "Velition". There are also two alternate endings for Game A and Game B so you'll have a reason to play it on hard after you manage to complete the "easy" level

    As for your other question, you'll just have to "C" if you can guess...

    Gary
    Last edited by garyduke; 04/23/2006 at 06:41 PM.
  4. #4  
    Very cool! Any RPGs in the works?
    Apple iPhone 8GB
    Apple 15" Macbook Pro 2.33 Ghz C2D
    Retired Treo 650
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by garyduke
    Thanks, drz400sm!

    I worked my tuchas off on this game ... deciding to invent a story and characters and interesting sound effects instead of just generic arcade shapes and blips really added a lot of work to the already-full pile... I just figured-- the gameplay is pretty unique, why not make virtually everything about it unique and fun too

    Funny, I wrote the gameplay code back in ~2000-- about six years ago! Since then, I'd played the game with just lo-res chintzy graphics just for my own amusement; but I never got tired of fooling with the game and never found a game that played the same way.

    I also loved the game dodgeball (aka king's court) in school-- where the other kids throw balls from the gym edges and you have to avoid getting hit.. I think part of this love of dodgeball game into play with this game. Although here, the dodgeballs have minds of their own -- bohahahaha.

    It wasn't until September of 2005 that I decided, you know what, before Palm OS changes to OS 6 (yeah, like that'll happen soon.... ?!?!?) and I have to rewrite everything or something happens to me (!) I need to finish this darned game already!

    But I wanted to "do it right", and use elements that I would have liked to see in other games. One thing I hated was games where the gameplay was fun, but it has no end, no purpose... you just kept playing till you got bored. Here, I decided to take fun gameplay but graft in an adventure quest idea. I also think the game is unique in that you are always progressing upward in the game, first from the bottom of the ocean, the to the sky, then into space, then into Deek Furple's battle ship

    I merged my love of 80's arcade games, scrolling shooters (although as we know, you're a pacifist in the game as you don't shoot!), and games that had full screen cutscenes between levels (too many games have a cutscene, but it's only at the beginning of the game, and that's it... or it's the same graphic each time just different text...)

    All told the bulk of the game was done from early September 05 to the end of March 06... with a good deal of time in Jan, Feb and March devoted to some family obligations which slowed the last leg of development and such to a crawl.

    This is a good chunk of time for a concentrated, Bite-Size Epic, but that's largely because of the attention to detail that went in to producing the game... All the significant game art I directed and/or edited as well to bring up to production values I wanted, these are the sprite art, cut scenes, the background art and the great character montage that form the logo. The animated water tiles (look very closely and you'll see water gently bobs) hadn't changed from my original code from 2000, and I had to do the space background to save cost, but the other incredible background art is Miguel's.

    And I'm sure you'll agree the game background art, esp. on level 2 and level 2 is fan-tas-tic!!! all this in spite of the palette juggling hoops I threw at Miguel. I wanted to squeeze everything in the game into 8 bit palettes.. I dind't want the game to run in 16 bit color because that would sacrifice some speed. I think it turned out simply, amazing.. and to boot the full size GIFs used for promo perfectly preserve the colors (GIFs are limited to 256 colors)

    One think was annoying was having to reserve a whole bunch of Palm OS colors that are used for the graffiti area in 320x480 palms.

    And tweaking the entire game so it wasn't too easy or too difficult for a wide variety of players, that was a big task in itself... I noticed that for instance an 11 year old with patience and smarts would do quite easily what an adult or an impatient 13 year old couldn't do without getting really mad and frustrated Having two games Game A and B and choice of 3 different ships with differnt speed to sheild ratio helps mix it up and let players play to their ability.

    I spent a great deal of time on the sound for the game as well, sourcing licensed sound effects and often creating my own sound effects. Not having any more budget to work with any more artists, I designed the littlebig mobile entertainment brand logo (not bad for a developer recently *** quasi artist and did the game's UI graphics myself which I also wasn't planning on doing.

    I had a great team, and Ian and Miguel, the artists were a joy to work with, especially Ian who made such sacrifices being a student at an animation school here in Toronto. I can't say enough about Ian, he was amazing to work with and totally able to listen and to take criticism. In addition to paying his flat fee, Ian will be getting up to 15% royalties on game sales for minimum the next two years, as I really want him to benefit from the countless hours of work he put in.

    The computer voice you hear when a power up is retrieved is actually a woman named Jodi, who is the voice of a morning DJ in the States, I can't remember which state at the moment. I've never met her, only virtually. I had to hire Jodi, because AT&T labs wanted to charge me $1,500 just to have the license to use about THREE SECONDS of their natural voices audio which I had originally in place. I had also had a telephone bandbass effect on and pitch shifted as well, so it hardly sounded like the original. But they wouldn't budge on the price, so I had to hire real human voice talent to record the same 3 seconds of audio! After I processed it the same way I did the "AT&T natural voices", it sounded almost the same! (I actually gave Jodi the original AT&T voices to use as a guide.)

    The two artists Miguel and Ian that I worked with and directed, I was meeting with them personally a lot. Mostly Ian, who worked on the sprite art and cutscene art. I remember driving in and out of town to visit Ian a few nights a week, an hour and a half round trip each night. But it was a labor of love from the beginning and Ian really had a talent for listening and was very serious about doing his best.

    To design it, code it, produce, market, etc. etc. (take a look at the full credits in the Game Guide to get an idea of how much different stuff was going on from the whole team) took more time and money than I may ever make back from this arguably "niche" game... but I wouldn't trade the experience or the end-product for the world. The budget was several hundreds of times less than the mega blockbuster PS2 games, but I bet it is more original than many if not most of them!

    If I have to see yet another bloodthirsty first person shooter game I'll puke... we need more fun and original games, like Katamari Damacy and such to keep things fresh. In the 80's games were cute, and fun, with original gameplay-- e.g. pac man, donkey kong, mario bros (the pipes and turtles and POW version --- now everything is so violent and adult rated... what's going on ... where's the pomp and fun??? I will say that playing Guitar Hero at an artist friends house was the most fun I've had in years on an arcade game

    In Bubble Ship Boy, n-droo never "dies" in the game, he just gets the Bubble cracked and has to radio for help (although this is not that obvious... we took out an "SOS" overlay on the game over screen, b/c SOS is soo... terrestrial in an Earth way, and n-droo is well, not of this earth . Did I mention that this is a game where you never fire a weapon, ever ?? You just disarm an crazy purple boy who can't get over the fact that him team was shamed in the last intergalactic dodgesphere tournament?

    ok I got to stop espousing my game and get off my soap box, as I've probably become too self-righteous in my increasing age... this happens as you get older I got to try to tone down a bit?!

    I've rambled on too far here....

    In summary, Bubble Ship Boy is meant to be happy, campy fun and truly original game that all ages can enjoy.. fun in a happy, family friendly arcade kind of way that is missing a lot these days! I hope you all try the demo and decide to buy the game so you can save n-droo's home planet, "Velition". There are also two alternate endings for Game A and Game B so you'll have a reason to play it on hard after you manage to complete the "easy" level

    As for your other question, you'll just have to "C" if you can guess...

    Gary

    Thank you for your detailed response , enjoyed it a lot :-)
    I myself am a programmer , used to code a lot for ppc (using evc++ ) and since i got my treo 650 I always wanted code something (this what happens when you are to bored... :-) ) for my treo...
  6.    #6  
    MacUser--

    Thanks!

    Hmm.. No plans as yet for an RPG (which would be better another Palm RPG or another outing that is unique like Bubble Ship Boy?)

    We may consider producing an RPG that pokes fun at RPGs while being very different in play!

    Is there anything you'd like to see that's not currently in very cool Palm RPGs such as Legacy or Arvale?

    Cheers,

    Gary!

    littlebig mobile entertainment
    http://www.littlebig.ca
    Toronto, CANADA
  7. #7  
    I would like a very good point of Zelda or Final Fantasy to my palm please. And i would like it in .prc format fully working, with excellent graphics by tomorrow morning.



    Ok we can all dream but I would love a Final Fantasy VI Pocket version or something. (Besides an NES emulator running such games)
  8.    #8  
    Hmmm... ya, sorry I'm a bit late on that one-- I'll get right on it =)

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