Contact Info / Websites
2010-03-15 20:55:21 by EntropicOrder
Zeebarf and I, two of the creators behind Paradox Embrace, have teamed up to form a company together called ClickShake Games, all thanks to the Power of Three event bringing us together (thanks Tom!). We're both now working on games full time so this year should be some exciting times. Since Paradox Embrace, we've released 2 games for Comedy Central. The first is Buy Buy Buy!, an auction game with 100 funny items. Then just recently we released a really funny point and click adventure game called Ugly Americans: Citizen Ugly for the animated series premiere coming this Wednesday! It has 45 different screens you travel to and from, with loads of items to find, combine and trade, so it's pretty epic. Head over to our site to try out our latest games.
We also just got back from the Flash Gaming Summit in San Francisco last week and had a really great time. We met Mike, Luis, BomToons and JackSmack from Newgrounds, as well as folks from HeroInteractive, Armor Games and Kongregate and others. The Summit, put on by MochiMedia, was heavily geared toward monetization as people are taking Flash games more and more seriously as a way to make a living. We posted pictures from our trip out there on our Facebook page. Here's Luis, Mike, Jay (Zeebarf) and me (Steve AKA EntropicOrder):
Paradox Embrace has finally been released, so go play it and get some medals! This is our Power of Three submission that Zeebarf, Caulder Bradford and I started working on more than 6 months ago. It's the biggest game I've ever designed and programmed and I'm really excited about finally being able to release it. It's a bit of a casual game but has some nice challenges as well, especially with the speed run medals you can earn. It's got 9 huge levels, 10 music tracks, roaming enemies, and keys you have to find to unlock the way to the trophy at the end of each level. Check out the new screenshot at the bottom of this post.
It's been such a blast working with Z and Caulder. It's so much better working with really talented people instead of trying to do everything myself. I am very grateful to Tom for setting up the Power of Three event, as we might not have met up to work together otherwise!
The thing that took the longest for me to program was the collision detection engine. I coded it from scratch using AS3, though I did reference some things online. The single most helpful article I found is this one: Point-In-Polygon Algorithm - Determining Whether A Point Is Inside A Complex Polygon (yeah, I didn't use hittest()). That algorithm is so well thought out and thoroughly explained that I recommend it to anyone interested in setting up a complex collision engine. I also used line segment intersection functions as well. The rounding error problem became a very difficult, time consuming problem to resolve when checking for collision with complex polygons, but implementing a detailed buffered debugging log that doesn't clog up my trace log that can be flushed at the touch of a button made it a lot easier. Also, one thing that Flash does is mess with x and y coordinates, so 5 might come out to be 5.00000001, or 3.0372 might come out to 3 (this is seperate from general rounding error in programming). I had to use myX:Number and myY:Number for calculations and then set x and y to myX and myY for visual placement only. But enough about programming...
Designing the game was really fun and I worked pretty closely with Zeebarf on this part. Designing the levels took a lot longer than I estimated but they came out much better than I had even originally planned for so I'm really happy about them. I used a level editor I created for the game which allowed me to place, rotate and stretch free-form tiles and lay down collision areas and viewpoints (for the initial level pan). Getting the editor just right took a good chunk of time as well, but it was well worth it.
So I hope you enjoy the game. Either way please leave a review as I'm anxious to hear yall's feedback!
P.S. If you had issues with the D button teleporting you, please clear your cache and make sure the game says version 1.2 on the menu. Progress earned prior to version 1.2 will be lost due to the filename changing so you may need to redo some levels, but I will ensure that problem does not happen again. You might want to rerun some levels anyway to get better times to earn all the medals anyway.
Finally, does anyone know if it's possible for us to post a link to a NG game like Tom does with the thumbnail and all the extra information about the game automatically?
Hey guys I just made a silly little game about Taylor Swift hitting Kanye West with her moonman award while he tries to grab the mic from her. You get to send him flying back to his seat which is pretty satisfying if the way he acted at the VMA's got you all riled up. Here's the game: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
Also, our Power of Three game is coming along nicely and should be wrapped up in the next couple weeks in time for the next free upcoming games calendar slot. If you haven't heard about it yet, it's called Paradox Embrace and it's a puzzle platformer. Zeebarf's art is really amazing and the levels are really pretty massive and organic. Caulder is also doing some pretty cool things with the audio. I can't wait to release this game as it's going to be the biggest game I've ever designed. You can read more about it and see a screenshot here: http://www.entropicorder.net/blog/para dox-embrace-preview/.
And now for a brand new screenshot of Paradox Embrace never before released. If you think it looks interesting check out the link above where I've got a different screenshot you can check out. Paradox Embrace will be out most likely sometime in October.
I'm looking to partner up with a talented artist to do paid work on Flash games with me. Initially I'm looking to publish polished yet relatively short-term projects like puzzle or platform games, but eventually I would like to find a partner that I can work with over the long term on bigger projects like multiplayer type games. I will do all the programming and can help with some art, and what I really need help with is character animation and level design. We can either collaborate on the game concept or I can provide the direction and you just provide the animation.
I do Flash games part-time only currently, so I'm not expecting a full-time partner just yet and will be happy to collaborate one time only if you'd like. However, ideally I am looking for someone pretty serious about finishing projects and making games professionally if possible.
Check out EntropicOrder.net if you're not familiar with my work. I'm an experienced programmer with years of Flash game making experience. Here's an example of my work:
My wife and I put together an animal themed game site called PlushQuest.com. If you have any family friendly animal games you would like to feature on it, you can send them to eo_com (at) hotmail.com.
I have a new animal game of my own started that I'm planning to feature on the site as well.
Feel free to let us know what you think of our new site.
Starting a project is easy. You've got Flash, a ton of ideas, and you know how to animate and code. Now for the hard part: finishing your project. Many developers (including myself) have tons of half finished projects sitting around that may never get finished, and here are some tips on how to see your ideas through to completion.
Start with something small. If you shoot for the sky on your first try, there's a good chance your project will not get done and will do nothing more than collect dust. Once you get some easy things done, you can put them out there which feels great, and you can use the community feedback to improve your next bigger project.
Write down your ideas. Many Flash creators are doing it for fun, so you probably want to just dive in and play with Flash. However, you're probably also doing it to get it done and out there for the world to enjoy. Putting your thoughts on paper or in a text file can keep you focused on what your goals are and how close you are to completion which can keep you motivated during those tough times when you can't seem to get that drawing to look just right or that bug seems to keep eluding you.
Keep the scope of the project under control. Coming up with interesting ideas is the easy part. Limiting your ideas to just a handful of the best and rejecting some of your cool ideas is hard. Developers frequently face a problem called scope creep where the brainstorming and prototyping phases never really end, the goals keep getting bigger and bigger, and the release date keeps getting pushed back further and further until it becomes known as vaporware. At some point you have to commit to a goal and a vital few of your ideas. Keep writing down your other ideas, as some of them might be able to get into this release or some of them you may be able to combine into a sequel.
Cost vs Benefit Try to evaluate possible features in terms of how much work it will take to implement versus how many people will enjoy that feature and by how much. In most cases quick and easy features that will polish the game in subtle but major ways are probably worth the effort, whereas massive undertakings that only you and your closest buddies will even get probably need to be tossed. This little formula can help you keep the scope fun and reasonable.
On a more personal note, I had tons of half finished projects that are all completely gone now because my computer was stolen. Now I have a renewed focus on getting my games out there with the realization that my time is valuable and finite, so when I'm staying up until 2am furiously coding away I know that my efforts will all be worth it when I get to click that upload button.
EntropicOrder has been developing Flash games since 1998. Check out my latest game Buried Alive! It's a challenging Tetris-inspired action/puzzle game with 6 unique levels and bosses. I definitely had to use the techniques described above with this game as it would have taken twice as long to make otherwise. Here's a little preview of my next game in the works.
My site and games Rooftop Skater and Sik Trix BMX have moved to http://www.entropicorder.net/. I'm preparing to make some fun new games in 2008 and I've got a big new project 6 months in the making that I can't wait to tell everyone more about (but I'm going to wait anyway :-X).
Add me to your myspace at http://myspace.com/entropicordergames.