Contact Info / Websites
Three points of discussion for you today:
First and foremost, to anyone who remembers the name, Escape from Camp Crystal Lake should be finishing up production by the end of the month. It's the long-forgotten sequel to 2003's Escape from Elm Street / 2005's Nightmare House. Keep in mind though that it's NOT an escape game ala my escape series, it's a full fledged point and click game. Check here for preview article on it and screenshots.
Next up, I will no longer be attending PAX 2008. Things got mucked up with my hotel and flight situation, and long story short it cost too much money to fix. That being said if you're attending PAX and are planning to pay full price at the door, you may want to consider buying my already pre-registered 3-day pass at a discounted price.
Lastly, Territory WAR Online has been uploaded to Kongregate this week so if you're a fan of the game show some support and give it a vote!
It's been a long time coming but I'm happy to say that Territory WAR Online is finally playable here on Newgrounds! The game itself has actually been in full launch for about two months now, but following initial release we ran into all kinds of issues that needed fixing/upgrading/testing/etc. Making a game is one thing, but making an online game that needs to handle thousands of players a day is a whole different story.
I need to take a moment here for some very special thanks- To XGen for making the online portion of this game possible. To Poxpower and Swain, who provided the game's vastly improved artwork. To Josh Kemp, Jason Turner, GoreBastard, and DarKsidE555 who provided the game's custom soundtrack. And to the beta testers, who helped me squash out plenty of bugs and tighten up the gameplay. This project was huge and could have not been completed if it wasn't for the help of the aforementioned people. For a more in-depth writeup on the scope of this game, feel free to check out the article I have on my site. And before I forget, shout out to Mindchamber who provided the character animation for my intro animation that you'll see in the game.
So why the demo version and not a full version here? Well, there's a few reasons. Up to this point, we haven't released anything outside of our own sites that isn't the demo version. Releasing to large sites like Newgrounds brings in huge influxes of traffic, and we have to be careful not to overload the servers. The demo version is much less resource-intensive as all it does is pair up random players against each other. The full version has multiple lobbies with active chat and stat tracking, which leads to a much higher volume of message traffic. Also, unlike regular flash games, online ones actually cost money to run. More traffic = needing more and better servers. So ideally, if any sites are actually interested in running a full version we have to work out some kind of revenue sharing deal to cover the costs. And honestly, that's just a real pain in the ass. I brought up the issue with Tom and he said to just go ahead and stick with the demo version, to make it easier all around.
So with that said, go play! And check out the free full version at www.territorywaronline.com!
Ok so I'm a bit late with the Big Apple Con stuff. There's really not much I can say at this point that hasn't been said already- listing everyone's names again would be kind of redundant too, heh. Regardless, it was a lot of fun and something I look forward to repeating in the future- hopefully with more fans turning out each time. I went ahead and wrote up an article for it on my site:
In other news- if you haven't heard yet, Territory WAR Online is now in full scale launch. We're still working on tweaks and adjustments to the game, so hopefully it will be ready for distribution on sites like NG shortly. In the meantime though, join the thousands of other players at www.territorywaronline.com !
I have other games in the works too, but I have a lot of other stuff to get out of the way first so no sense building up any hype for them just yet.
I'll leave you with this picture of Krinkels, Swain, and Tomamoto [left to right]
They'll kick your ass.
That's right, instead of hearing me talk about how close the game is to done, you can play it!
What's a soft launch? Well, it means the game is done but we're trying to keep it low key for a little while. Believe me, I've fixed a LOT of issues from the original beta, but it's quite possible that some still exist. After we feel we have a nice, stable version on our hands, we'll proceed with 'full launch,' and then distributing the game around to other websites. If you find bugs you can email me, pm me, post here, or post on XGen
btw if you see ".Afro.Ninja." in the lobby, that's me
For anyone unaware, PAX is the Penny Arcade Expo- it's being held in Seattle, Washington, August 29-31. Basically, an expo for video game nerds.
I plan to attend, and was curious to see if anyone else was. Right now it looks like I'll be joined by BoMToons, and TropicalParadise from the bbs. Comi-con seems to get most of the attention, as it's a bigger and has been longer running. But I'm not that big of a comic book fan, so PAX seems a little more appealing to me.
I may still attend comicon this year but that's undecided as of now.
Also, there's a crazy rumor going around, something about a Territory WAR beta...
Seeing as how I made previous comments about getting this game to beta stages by late february/early march, I thought I should make an update on the situation.
First off, the game itself virtually done. There are a few missing assets, but nothing major. The problem? Implementing the stats system, and making it hack-proof.
I want people that play Territory WAR online to feel a sense of accomplishment with their records. And when someone comes along with a hacked profile, or is able to cheat the game, that takes a lot of fun out of it. The only problem is that with code execution being on the client side, it's virtually impossible to make the game 'hack-proof.' That being said, hacking this game should prove to be damn hard. People comment that stick arena is easily hacked, but that's because when stick arena was released, it had no security implementations. Territory WAR has several. I'm not going to describe any of them though- the more I explain, the more a hacker has to work with. Script kiddies need not apply. I ALMOST hope that someone hacks this game, because the hours they would have to spend sifting through obfuscated source code and encryption strings would be a testament to their pathetic nature.
I still hope to have something significant released this month in the Territory WAR universe. But for now, I'll have to leave you with another screenshot from one of pox's stages. By the way, don't be surprised if you see a cameo level from a certain blockheaded flash artist too. (HAHA GET IT?!!? I sure don't)
Today I felt it was time to finally post the first screenshots of the game in action, instead of just talking about it some more. A quick sum up: A revamped, remade version of Territory WAR with better graphics (thanks to poxpower), a new engine, new weapons, new levels, and most importantly, online play! Which of course wouldn't be possible without xgen's mmocha server technology.
I just submitted my new video to the portal, How to be a Guitar Hero. Which brings up an important question. What do you guys think of video submissions on Newgrounds? Do they fit in at all? Should they be removed? Should their be a separate section for them?
As we know, Newgrounds is a flash only site. There's audio too of course, but meant to be used with the flash. The reason we can submit video is because flash supports embedded video. Flash, however, is not a video editor. And unlike youtube, there are some problems with this. First is the size limit. Video takes up a lot more space than vector graphics, obviously. The youtube file limit is 100MB, which is pretty excessive in my opinion, but allows for more freedom. The NG file limit is 10 MB, which is almost excessive for standard games and movies, but is barely enough for video. I had to compress my video at 130 kbps, 270 kbps less than 'normal' quality. But my video is also over eight minutes long, not exactly the norm.
Also an issue is the sound synchronization. Flash has always had issues with this, and video is no surprise. The reason it works on youtube is because the files are streamed from the server. When you submit content, you submit any kind of video file you have, youtube converts it to .flv, and streams it in the flash player. If you want to submit it as an .swf to newgrounds though, you have to embed the entire file into the .swf, which flash itself recommends against, resulting in issues like sound sync. There's probably a trick I don't know about yet, but even the classic 'stream looped silence in the background' trick didn't work this time, heh.
Anyway, there is a large pro to this- not anyone can submit a video. That's why you don't see the portal flooded with random pointless videos like you see at youtube- shit people film in a couple minutes and call it entertainment, or the mundane 'video blog' submissions from random people we probably don't care about. The extra step of converting and compressing is a turn off. If NG had a video section though I would hope that people would be strict in their blamming/saving. IE, entertainment videos are great but 'v-blog' type stuff would get blammed quick.
Is video a step in the next direction for NG? Maybe. It's a step in the next direction for me. Making games has always been my thing, with a little bit of animation thrown in there too. But I just want to entertain people, that doesn't mean it has to be with a flash game. Video is fun to make, it's more engaging than sitting in front of the computer all day and typing lines of code. Just enough to be a nice break in between making your next game or animation. I think other developers could agree :)
I've been waiting a while to make a news post
If anyone is curious why my newest Escape Game has been out for over a month now, but not on NG, there's a reason for that. The Escape Games are sponsored by Addictinggames, but they're non-exclusive. Meaning I can continue to upload the game wherever I like. Since AG sponsors it though, I at least have to wait for them to upload it to their site first. But when they did, and I woke up the next day, I was getting waayy too much traffic from it. My server was barely handling it. So submitting to NG would have just been overkill.
Rather than waste traffic and piss people off because they couldn't see the walkthrough page, I decided to wait until my host could set me up with a dedicated server for my account. This took longer than expected, but I did get a free 2-month deal for the wait. It worked out anyway, because KT-Records wanted to finish the full version of my 'Afro Ninja theme song' first, a loop of which can be found in the end of the now uploaded Escape #3
If ninjas could fight to music, I think they'd pick that song
Ah, ok, I'll give in and use this as a blog now.
I just bought Picross DS for... er.. the DS. And it's pretty awesome. I think of it as a more entertaining sudoku. Same principle- fill in the squares based on the clues. Only with picross you create a picture each time, and the grid can change sizes. There's also more little rules to follow with picross.
If you're interested in trying it out, I suggest looking up the game 'Armor Picross' (made by kenney and syko227)
Picross DS also features 'daily picross' which gives you some sort of goal to accomplish once per day, and it tracks your progress over time. Neat stuff.
Also, I hope everyone that wanted stickers sent me an email, cause I got them all sent out today. Sorry!