Sunday, January 18, 2015

進度管理工具

今天聊一下我們在進度管理工具上的一些經驗。其實之前一個人開發引擎時,也想過使用Scrum的工具來管理開發進度,不過因為只有一個人,最後也就不了了之。Space Qube開發時基本上也只用了不同顏色的便利貼來管理。直到開始Qubot的開發後,因為團隊變成四人,才開始認真找尋一套工具來做進度管理。

基本上由於我們很窮:(,所以都是找尋在一定人數以內可以免費使用的工具。好在我們團隊人很少,所以倒是有許多符合條件的工具可以選擇。我個人比較喜歡視覺化的工具,所以傾向使用那些能把每個backlog/task做成 card view的工具。本來覺得Trello用起來不錯,但是實際套用在Scrum上卻不是很好用,所以最後選擇了Target Process。Target Process事實上做得很不錯,在所有試用過的工具中沒有一套能跟他有得比的,同時又提供五人以下的團隊免費使用(但是後來他們加上1,000個entities的限制 :( ),無奈我們很快就突破他的免費使用限制,而USD 25/person的月費實在不是我們負擔的起的,於是我們只好繼續尋找其他的可行方案了。

之後朝著在負擔範圍內的付費工具尋找,用了許多服務,都沒有滿意的,直到找到了Scrumwize,這套工具雖然沒有Target Process那麼好,但比起其他我所找到的工具卻是好上許多,在各種方面都如速度,視覺化設計,附加檔案,組員管理等等都算符合我的要求,USD 9/person的價格也勉強可以接受。不過因為它只有30天試用期,讓我有點猶豫,這時有很多人向我推薦Asana協作平台,加上它的創辦人又是Facebook的前創辦人,所以我就決定嘗試看看。

一開始我並不覺得Asana符合我的需求,因為它主要針對的是多人協作平台,並非 Scrum,所以很多Scrum需要的東西他都沒有,像是burn down chart跟sprint/backlog管理。一開始的感覺跟Trello很類似,覺得要拿來用在Scrum可能有點困難。不過實際用了以後,發現他在團隊協作的部分做得很不錯,介面設計非常簡潔實用,對於task的comment的功能我也非常喜歡,加上支援很多雲端檔案功能,讓附加檔案變得很容易。所以最後我們決定使用Asana來管理我們的Qubot專案,雖然他並沒有backlog/sprint這些功能,但是我們用section的功能來解決這一個問題。同時我們也把它用在會議紀錄以及bug list上面,用到目前為止我還算相當滿意 :)


Saturday, January 10, 2015

變形效果測試

這個元旦假期花了一點時間測試一個遊戲中要用到的變形效果,經過一些調整後,效果還不錯。


另外搜尋影片時無意中搜尋到2013年時我們在TGADC的分享,那次應該算是我回台後第一次公開分享吧,所以放在這裡紀念一下 :)

我好像還是留長頭髮比較合適.......

Friday, January 02, 2015

給所有還在努力前進的Indie Game Developer

結果2014只貼了兩篇文章,本來是想在2014年底前貼出這篇的,結果因為在寫一個想做很久但一直沒時間做的遊戲效果所以拖到今天才貼 :P

轉眼間回台灣成為獨立遊戲開發者已經過了兩年多,這中間起起伏伏,心情也跟著不斷波動,幸運的是直到今天我還在這條路上努力前進,同時身邊還多了更多的夥伴一同前進。雖然前進的速度時快時慢,但我堅信只要每天持續前進一些,就能朝夢想更近一些。

2014年時Angela Aki的這個MV帶給我許多的感動,在2015年的一開始,希望分享這個MV給所有還在努力前進的獨立遊戲開發者,只要相信自己的信念,堅持前進,就沒有人能夠打敗你。


追求夢想的路從來都不會是容易的,大家都是在不斷的痛苦掙扎中慢慢前進。Danny Choo的這篇我在日本的創業之路詳細地記載了他的創業過程,很值得獨立遊戲看發者做為參考。我們在2013年推出Space Qube遊戲之後其實也面臨了一段找不到方向的痛苦時期,記得那時每天起床時都很痛苦因為不知道今天能做些甚麼,所幸之後能夠及時找到方向,但是緊接而來的卻是趕工地獄 :) 

2014年的TGS則是另一個轉捩點,在TGS之前,我們只能相信自己的直覺去做我們覺得最好的遊戲。2014 TGS是我們第一次將遊戲的雛型公開,也是我們花了最多預算參加的一個遊戲展,所以我們也很擔心如果展出的結果不如預期的話該怎麼辦。TGS前的兩個月每個周末都是在辦公室中度過的,不過意外的是這次TGS前一天我居然能有五小時的睡眠 ^^。TGS之後,我們的新遊戲Qubot得到了許多關注,也在TGS期間得到最佳新秀獎的提名,至此我們才確定了我們是走在正確的方向上。


Qubot的配樂還是由前洛克人配樂松前真奈美所創作的,這也是之前完全沒預料到的發展。總而言之,接下來應該還有很長的路要走,不過我是絕對不會認輸的 :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 TGS之前


這是2014 TGS 參展前錄的兩段GIF,一直忘了放上網路。可以看到有許多東西都還是暫時代替的物件,蠻有紀念價值的 :)

Saturday, September 06, 2014

重新啟動

之前本來把這邊變成Qubit Games的dev blog因此後來貼的文章都用英文,不過現在既然公司的網站以及blog都已經建立好了,因此想把這邊再回歸成我個人平常記錄一些生活中發生的事情以及遊戲相關技術的地方。之前在加拿大時張貼的文章現在變成一個很好的回憶,因此我想之後即使再忙,也會找時間在這貼些東西,也可以為之後創作的遊戲做一個很好的紀錄。

今天講講為何我的引擎叫做LynxEngine吧 :) 其實我本來的引擎是要叫做TigerEngine的,但是那時我想先做一個小的引擎試試,只有非常簡單的功能,然後才要開發完整的遊戲引擎 TigerEngine。所以我將這個小引擎取名為Lynx,也就是山貓的意思,一樣是貓科動物,比家貓大,但比tiger小,表示他是介於繪圖引擎跟遊戲引擎間的一個引擎 :) 但是後來得發展是LynxEngine功能越加越多,我也懶得再開發一套新的引擎了,所以最後Lynx的名字就一直沿用下去了...... 早知道一開始就叫做TigerEngine了,我比較喜歡Tiger這個名字  orz 

我最早一個引擎叫做VedaEngine,全部是用C+Assembly寫的,沒有用任何C++,連D3D API都是透過vtbl來呼叫。VedaEngine還包含遊戲編輯器,也是純C + Win32 SDK寫出來得,當初XBOX上的遊戲就是用這引擎做出來的。Veda就是吠陀的意思,那時真的很假文青 XD

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Making of Space Qube, Part One

I always want to write something about the process of making Space Qube but can't find time to do it. I uploaded few interesting videos today for an interview so I decided to write something today otherwise I probably will never do it :)

Stage 1, Prototype

At the very beginning, I was working on the prototype using my spare time when I was working for AMD. I created the voxel editor first then I though it would be cool if I use it to make a shooting game. I choose space as background because the performance of rendering a lot of voxels on iPhone 4 was not acceptable. So I came up the idea to use space as the background then I can avoid rendering a lot of voxels :)

The original idea is making a super simple endless game in short time because I didn't think I will be an indie at that moment, I just wanted to make a iOS game after work. The original gameplay is that the player just shoot and try not to collide the enemies. The enemies will try to hit the player and the speed of game becomes faster and faster until the player die.

The editor and gameplay prototype


Stage 2, Mock-up

After having the prototype, I thought I will need an artist to help me out. So I asked my old friend, Bic, to help me out. He also had a full-time job so he can only use his spare time to help me. At that time, I thought the casual art style should fit to our gameplay. So I captured few textures from Angry Birds Space to mock the game. The background layer system was pretty much done at this stage.


Mock-up game using the textures from Angry Birds Space


Stage 3, Pre-Alpha

Then Bic made the textures according to my idea to replace the mock-up textures. The god-ray post-processing effect has been added to the game at this stage because iPad2 is powerful enough to render this effect. I was thinking 8-bits casual art style is a perfect match to Space Qube but I think I was wrong when looking back now :)

The original art direction tried to emphasize the 8-bits pixel art


Stage 4, Alpha

At this stage, I was still working for AMD but Louis just quitted his full-time job to go indie. Louis knew I was working on Space Qube for a while but he can't help me out since he was busy. Now he had time to help me out. So we started working together on Space Qube and I also decided to quit my full-time job to focus on making Space Qube. After Louis joined, he made a big change on the art direction. The result is the current Space Qube and I think he made a good decision on the art direction and lift Space Qube to a higher level. At that time, we already had the idea of adding bosses at the end of each level but I didn't implement it yet.

Big art direction change after Louis joined


That's pretty much the evolving process of Space Qube and the game actually changed a lot since the first prototype as we keep polishing it. I actually didn't know we can walk so far when making the prototype but we did it. Although Space Qube is not perfect but I think we have done all our best to polish it as much as possible. It is really interesting when looking back the whole evolving process. We also learned many things during this period and it should help us to make a better game in the future. I also didn't know I will become an indie so quickly when making the prototype but I was very happy about being an indie so far and hopefully I will be happy about being an indie forever :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Qube System and Weapon Upgrades


Hello everybody, today I am going o share you some improvements of the gameplay since we made a lot of changes after the open beta. We collected some numbers fromm the players so we adjusted and changed many many thing according to the feedback from the players.

1. Qube system. We created a new Qube system and you can think it's a in-game currency. So the players can use Qubes to create their own space ship, they can also use Qubes to upgrade their weapons or buy other itms. The most interesting part is that now the players can create space ships with different attributes. Before open beta, the player created space ships only have appearance difference but now all player created space ships are not only different in appearance but also in attributes. So the less Qubes the players use to create the space ship, the faster but weaker the space ship will be and vise versa. So every player can create a unique space ship which is the best fit to the player.

2. The game is totally free now. Since we decided to use Qube system in game, we also decided to change the game to a total free to play game. So you can play all levels for free! You can earn Qubes by playing game then use the Qubes to create more space ships or upgrade your space ships. Of course if you don't have time to earn Qubes in the game, you can buy some Qubes in our store

3. Weapon upgrade system. The most exciting changes we made is the whole new weapon upgrade system. In Space Qube, there are three different weapon power-ups you are able to use: bullet+, laser and missile. Now all of those weapons can be upgraded. For example, the first level missile can fire only 2 missiles at one time but the level 4 missile can allow you to fire 8 missiles at one time! It's very interesting to see your space ship to fire so many missiles and destroy the enemies like crazy

Here is a video which basically shows off all the changes we made so check it out. We are welcome to any feedback, even we can't add it to the first build but we can always add it to the updates.