Bowmaster Winter Storm Beta Update 0.2.12

This week has a few yet very important updates. Enjoy! Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Gather Artifact missions do not start showing up until after level 6.
Added a status bar to Protect The Town missions to let you know how many structures are remaining before it’s Game Over.

Next Update: Bug fixes (report bugs if you see any), Game Balances, and Graphical Updates. Also, in the future I may allow the hero to pick up artifacts, so stay tuned for that (feel free to discuss in the blog).

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. Hope to see more stuff next week. Blame it on my desire to work on top secret experimental flash experiments (other than Bowmaster). Dragon Age 2 and League of Legends might be partially to blame.

Bowmaster Winter Storm Beta Update 0.2.11

This week includes some game balancing and bug fixes. Let us know what you think or if you notice any bugs by leaving a comment in the blog. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Updates:

Adjusted how damage is inflicted by wave arrows.

Increase duration of flames from flame wave arrow.

Increase freezing power of Ice related skills.

Adjusted how sound effects are played. (e.g. reduced volume of melee fighting, but left projectiles and explosion impact sounds at normal volume).

Increased the max ranks for blunt, slice, pierce and fork arrows.

Increased the impact Ice has on making units weaker to blunt damage.

Fixed bug that caused the music to play and then suddenly stop during the loading screen. Music should play or not play correctly depending on your current profile settings even during loading.

Debug Note from Jason: I added some debug code that may show up in a pop up window if an error occurs. I noticed the error during testing but it seems to be a rare occurrence. If you’re game halts and you see a popup window then be sure to leave me feedback and maybe send me a screenshot. You can contact me by leaving a comment in the blog, using the contact form on the blog site, or by emailing lostvectors (at) gmail.com

Bowmaster Winter Storm Beta Update 0.2.10

This week introduces a cool new feature called the “Final Wave.” When the enemy army gets low on reinforcements it uses the remaining forces all at once in a final push towards your base. At this point, certain types of units have a chance of jumping into battle from off screen instead of just walking (archers, grunts, and shield grunts). The Final Wave is a balanced set of units meaning that you don’t have to worry about seeing a bunch of large dragons, spitter monsters, golems and siege weapons come out all at once. The goal of the Final Wave is to make the last part of the battle seem more exciting than before which sometimes ended up with a small trickle of enemies being released. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Another important feature is the introduction of on-screen unit caps by group type. In the past units were only capped by specific type. For example, the system could limit the number of big ice dragons to one on screen at a time, but it couldn’t say only one of any type of large dragon. So you would still end up having 1 ice dragon, 1 ice medium sized dragon, 1 ice small dragon, 1 fire dragon, 1 medium fire dragon.. etc… so a maximum number of up to 9 powerful dragons on screen at once (not counting pest dragons). Now the game can limit units by group type. Presently the max number of any type of big dragon (doesn’t include pest dragons) is 2. Spitters and siege weapons have been grouped together and are now limited to 3 on screen at once. Due to the decrease in number of these types of units their hp values have been increased slightly.

Other updates:

Increased speed of shield unit when shield is being held up from 35% normal speed to 75% normal speed.

Added Archer jumping and launching animation.

Fixed issue that caused high level grunt skins to show up on low level grunts.

Next Update: Game Balancing, Bug Fixes, and Graphical Updates

How it’s made (and why so long).

I was responding to the following comment in this blog post when I realized my response was becoming quite long and maybe deserves its own post. And I’m not trying to pick on Howse or feel in anyway provoked. This post just shares some thoughts I’ve been thinking that Howse reminded about that I haven’t really stated before. So here are some thoughts and some information about me and what I’m all about :)


Howse:

I’m only gonna mention this once: this has taken you so much longer than your original projected time that it makes me rofl.

Still, you’re doing amazingly. I love the game anyways, no matter how incomplete it is. I’m glad you’re taking your time with it, making sure that there are no flaws in the final release. This game will surely be an internet sensation upon completion. Keep up the good work! =D

Thanks. Yeah, believe me. I never thought I’d be working on one game for so long either. Life has a way of happening in ways you don’t always anticipate, and I can’t really complain — I’m pretty happy with my life. Since I started developing BM2 and WS over 4 years ago, the economy took a dump, I moved twice, changed careers from Software Engineer at Boeing to working as a full time Flash Developer for Honda and just this last year I got married, my wife and I rescued two animals (girl dog named Biscuit and boy cat named Mr. Bitey) and my wife recently started a new job after being unemployed for over a year.

I love making games and wish I could spend more time doing it but the reality is that I only have so much time to allocate to personal Flash game development while maintaining my independence along with doing all the other things I like doing like playing League of Legends with my wife, snowboarding, bodyboarding or playing PC games.

I could maybe get a job working full time as a Flash game developer but then I might not get the freedom to develop the games I want to make with full control over the design. Not that I don’t like being a team player, but commercial games usually involve a team of people (designer/artists/animators/developers) and the goal is to make a good game to make money. The pressure to make it good sometimes restricts creativity as games will go with proven formulas. On the flip side, new games that use existing mechanics that “have been done before” may even be frowned upon for lacking in innovation. To be independent gives so much freedom — freedom to re-make something that already exists but with your own twist (who cares if it already exists… I want mine with zombie bears and green blood but theirs didn’t have that) — freedom to do something super wacky ().

However, I’m sure there are studios out there that do great things and foster creativity through team collaboration and produce super high quality stuff. To them I say, “Are you hiring? If not, stop being so cool, you’re making me jealous.” 😉 But like I said, I can’t complain. I count my blessings and I feel quite blessed. I get to play with Flash all day at work, and while it’s not for making games it keeps me sharp and it doesn’t burn me out. I can come home and fire up Flash again for some game development.

I have so many design ideas and concepts for new games that I just can’t wait to develop that it can be a real challenge to stay focused on the primary objective which is to finish the latest Bowmaster. Despite my focus and my current strategy to publish weekly updates for Bowmaster Winter Storm, I still sometimes spend time prototyping and experimenting and I can definitely feel my personal Flash skills “Leveling Up” — I can’t wait to use the lessons I’ve learned so far to make my next big game.

Just know that however long it takes, I will finish BM WS and BM2, and I plan on making many more games after that for years to come. Stay tuned!

take care,
-Jason

p.s.

how it’s made (because it’s in the title and maybe you’re curious):

On weekends: I find some block of time to try to accomplish the bulk of next week’s update. Sometimes I have a busy weekend and can’t work on flash stuff and so I try to make this up with doing stuff after work on the weekdays. Without compromise, Saturday starting at 5pm it is date night with my wife.

Weekdays: I come home from work and after doing some chores I work on Flash game development tasks (either finishing up the work I started that weekend or trying to play catch-up if I didn’t have time to work on the weekend). I often let myself get interrupted for some impromptu PC gaming if I get a Steam invite or sometimes I play Volleyball after work. Dinner is at 7pm and the rest of the night is off; the time is spent relaxing with my wife — sometimes it involves killing zombies or destroying nexuses.

Thursday Night: Wrap up weekly update (best case scenario) to be posted next morning.

Friday Morning: Upload new files, or wake up super early to finish last minute updates. Worst case: post later in the day in the evening (haven’t slipped on posting on Fridays in a long while).

Friday Night: TGIF.

Saturday Morning: if possible, start next week’s content development.

So this is how I go about doing what I do as a Flash Game Developer, all the while and in between trying to be a good husband, son, brother, uncle, pet owner, employee, friend, neighbor and human :)

Bowmaster Winter Storm Beta Update 0.2.9

New Allied Grunt Unit Graphics! This week is the first of several graphical updates planned for Bowmaster Winter Storm. The Human Grunt soldier now has unique skins for each rank from 1 to 10, with each skin looking more impressive than the last. Also new this week is the change to the color of the health bars and the way unit rank is displayed. Play Bowmaster Winter Storm

Green hp bars are for allied units, and red are for your opponents. The symbolic rank icons have been replaced with colored number rank icons just below the hp/mana bars. Your units have green icons, and the bad guys have red icons. The rank is represented by the number in the middle of the circular icon. Now it should be easier to assess the situation when your units are in battle and mixed together with enemy units.

Also the Priest’s heal power has been slightly increased.

Next Update: Continue to implement more graphical updates to units. Game balancing tweaks and bug fixes.

As always feel free to provide feedback. You can do this by contacting the LostVectors.com email or by submitting your comment to the blog for all to see.