Sunday, November 20, 2016

Q2 I2 Project Benchmark (2016-2017)

Welcome back!

So right off the bat here's a summary of what we've done so far from our plan:

 - Made a random universe generator with planet systems
 - Made a random planet generator with planet types and terrain
 - Made a player ship controlled using a virtual joystick that can navigate between planets (on a plane) and around planets (on a sphere) with somewhat consistent physics
 - Made some basic customizable missions with UI

Here's what it looks like so far:


Or you can just check out a video of it right here:
https://youtu.be/-27Asn81giA

And yes, for any of you who dared turn on their volume, we do in fact have an original soundtrack. It's not that good, but it's a start.

Looks simple enough, right? But just to give a sneak peak, since last time we were unclear as to how complex the process was, here's a fraction of the code that makes it all happen:



Not so easy, right?

And don't be fooled: a lot of this code looks simpler than it actually is. Most of those blue words (but not all of them) are classes that Unity has already created (not to mention highlighted) for us, so any coders out there know that for each line of code there's a lot more going on, like rendering 3D objects and detecting collisions, etc.

But enough coding nonsense. This probably means nothing to you anyways.

So is there anything else to do? Well yes, there is. A lot, actually. In case you didn't know, our game concept hasn't been finalized, and we still don't have a name for it yet, even after three months (thanks a lot, Southard). What we do know though is that this will be a story-driven game, but with a new universe each play-through to shake things up.

Otherwise our big plan hasn't really changed, as we still plan to release the game some time in April. In fact, the game is already available for testing, but we probably won't be making that information public until the gameplay gets a bit more exciting.

A breakdown of what we still have to do:
 - Finalize the concept and story (hopefully by December)
 - Program the enemy AI (hopefully by January)
 - Implement the story in conjunction with the AI (hopefully by February)
 - Open beta testing to get user input (probably in March)
 - Publish the game

So what do we need to learn to do this? Not a whole lot, actually. We'll probably have to learn a little bit more about AI and procedural generation here and there, and at some point we'll need to figure out how to save a game, but it's not hard to find out how to do these things online. In fact, we've already used AI in games like Swipe & Shoot, and we've already learned how to save games in Replay (what's that?), so we already have a little experience in those aspects.

I guess that's all. We don't have anything new to buy (we make all our own models, artwork, and music), and we've got a pretty solid plan so far. All we need to do is do it.

And sorry about all those run-on sentences.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Space Exploration Game Update 1

Normally I don't make these updates this early...but we have actually made a lot of progress that's worth noting over the past few weeks so I figured that now would be as good a time as any to show what we've got.

Now, we can't show EVERYTHING...but here's a sneak peak of the awesomeness to come. At this rate, we might even be done by December, but hopefully we'll have a lot more to do.

Here are a couple screenshots:




And of course, since these don't give much context:
https://youtu.be/c5UUu5Ya4Gc
Here's a quick demo on mobile!

I know the lighting is all screwed up, but fear not, it's a work in progress. We have only been working on this for a week, after all. Well, the concept was created 2 weeks ago...but that's not important.

Anyways, since you're probably wondering what you do in this game...

...

well let's just say that we are still wondering what you do in this game too. We know it will be resource gathering, but that's about it. No endgame, no challenge, no nothing. For all we know this could just be a test game since we do have like 6 more months to work. So if you actually care...that's too bad.

Welp that's all for now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Q1 I2 Project Benchmark (2016-2017)

BIG GOAL
So as a couple people may remember, our project last year was making an original app (called Swipe & Shoot) that we successfully put up on the App Store. You can see all the previous updates for any information. I mean, the character is used for like all my profile pictures at this point, so you've probably seen SOMETHING from it at some point.

Anyways, this year we have a similar plan, though we don't plan on continuing with Swipe & Shoot. Instead, we've got a brand new idea for a completely new game. And whereas Swipe & Shoot didn't involve a lot of new skills to learn (other than dealing with Apple review system), this new game will have all kinds of new stuff to learn, mainly focusing on procedural generation for making a universe filled with planets to explore, though we haven't settled on an actual reward or end game yet.

The game will be known as SPATION*, and will feature a fully 3D low-poly universe with unique planets to explore. Players will control a ship and navigate the cosmos on a 2D plane, and can enter a planet's atmosphere to gather resources. We can't tell you everything yet, but trust us, there's a lot to come.

PLAN OF ACTION
Month
Actions
September:
Finalize concept, begin creating generators for universe and planets
October:
Add player ship and controls while planet terrain is designed and added
November:
Continue work from October
December:
Work on core gameplay
January:
Work on core gameplay
February:
Begin work on music, finalize core gameplay
March:
Continue work on sounds, begin more testing, debugging, and marketing
April:
Upload and share!

As you can see, our plan of action is pretty simple, though it's somewhat unevenly spaced out. Changes will probably have to be made throughout the process, especially with any projects (inside and outside of school) that may come up. For example, I'm currently working on two other projects (which will not be mentioned), and I'm taking a random extra computer science course that ends in December. Meanwhile, Jack is still working on his own multiplayer game, so who knows where that will take him. Fortunately, the second half of the year has a lot less stuff to do than the first half, so things can be pushed back with little to no consequences.

RESOURCES
So my projects tend to be pretty independent, with the outside help usually only going as far as my dad and maybe a friend who knows a little more in a certain field than I do (like databases or something). And with Swipe & Shoot, that was still the case. We basically made the project on our own without any outside help, and we're not exactly sure what we'll need this year. We've got all the resources, and we've got our own ways of learning the necessary skills for the project, so all that's left is time. Last year, we usually worked over FaceTime whenever we found time, whether at robotics, at home, or even at school. This year though, we're thinking of working at Coding Club meetings (since why not) instead of robotics meetings, which conveniently happen to be at the same time anyways.


Long story short, we don't really need much yet. The project doesn't take a lot of "materials", and the only department we'll probably need help in is beta testing. But that comes later. In the meantime...be patient. Updates on what the game is actually like and what it will look like are coming soon.

Prepare for awesomeness guys. Trust me, this game has potential.

*note, game will not be known as SPATION

Monday, May 9, 2016

Swipe & Shoot is ON THE APP STORE!!!

Welp, guess this is it. We've completed and uploaded our first app to the App Store! Guess Android users are going to have to wait...though I don't think Google Play is all that hard to work with. Oh well.

Anyways, you can actually download Swipe & Shoot now, with no limitations, no beta testing sign up form. Just look up "Swipe and Shoot" on the App Store and HOPEFULLY it will pop up. If not, then we have made a terrible mistake. Either that or an actual non-SHC person somehow found our app, gave it a review that it probably deserved, and lowered its ratings a ton. And yes, it is 100% free with no ads, no IAPs, just pure Swipe & Shoot goodness. And when I say goodness, I mean the best that we could do. Progress kinda slowed in these last few weeks, in case it wasn't obvious.

But before I finish this off, I'd like to thank all of you beta testers for giving us some ideas and feedback during those middle stages. You've all been a great help to the project, but let's be real: some of you helped more than others.

And speaking of help, we'd like to thank our dads for their help. My dad for his coding support in times of intense stay-up-all-night bug fixes and problem solving, and Jack's dad for his expert UI knowledge and graphical design. If you saw the app now, it looks WAY better overall. Trust me. 

And, of course, we'd like to thank the I2 program, and Mr. Musallam. This app probably wouldn't be where it is today without all you I2 folk.

So I guess that's it. Swipe & Shoot is done, for now. Thanks for reading.



WAIT!!!!
We forgot to celebrate...uh...here's a picture of our app on the App Store!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 25

The showcase is nearly here, and the game is nearly complete!

As usual, these updates are completely useless, though they do act as a sign of "progress". Regardless, here's what's happened so far for those who care.

First of all, the last of the desert levels (which are probably the most intense, challenging, and epic levels of them all) have been complete for a few weeks now, and we've mostly been fixing some minor bugs and glitches that have been around for some time. We realized that some of the bugs will be in the final game, and that's okay, considering the level of quality one would expect from a game made by a couple of high school freshmen over the course of a few months. Some of these glitches include the classic "shooting through walls" (which we have now reduced, but not removed), enemies randomly disappearing, and all sorts of wacky physics glitches that have now become somewhat standard.

We've also done some minor refinements to the core gameplay, including replacing the straight swiping line with a more accurate arced line, which will allow the "hardcore" players to have swiping precision.

Other than that, the game will be up on the App Store (may take a little longer for the Google Play store, but we'll see) before the showcase (assuming that Apple doesn't just troll us and make us wait three weeks), and we'll be doing our best to advertise the game in the meantime.

We greatly appreciate your support, dear dedicated reader, for wasting your time on these pointless updates and helping us by pointing out all the problems with our game. Hopefully, your time will not have been completely wasted in the end.

And since you probably want some pictures, here are a few:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 24

It's almost Easter, and we'll be working a lot (hopefully) over this spring break. In the meantime, it may not be visually stunning, but we now have background audio files, and the first ever level with ambient sounds!

Some of you might not be aware of this difference, but these minor details can really help make the game better. A lot of games have ambient background sound effects that add a little bit of atmosphere and realism. Plus, it fills that awkward silence when you aren't shooting.

Well, regardless as to whether or not you care, we are in fact still working on Swipe & Shoot. If all goes well, we'll have all the levels done by the end of the month. But let's be honest, that probably isn't happening.

Oh yeah, one more thing...


New weapons on the way!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 23

It's been a while, but we've been working hard!

So far the desert levels are coming along well, and we have sketches and designs for the epic final level (for this version). We can't wait to show you...but we haven't started yet. It's going to take a little while before it's done.

In the meantime, we've been making new weapons, new levels, new vehicles, and tweaking all kinds of stuff. Here's a quick look at the level we're working on now...

And here's a look at our next project...

So get excited! Please. We'll be attempting to advertise the project once again, so if you're dedicated enough, help us out and spread the word. Be ready for what's coming. Hopefully, it will be awesome.

We'll also be releasing new versions on TestFlight followed by an intensive glitch hunt. Once glitches have either been solved, acknowledged, or reduced, we will be releasing the game to the app store, ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Q3 I2 Project Benchmark (2015-2016)

Hello again, Mr. Musallam, or I2 scholar looking for a project to write about!
(And by the way, this project is awesome...so write about it! Jk no pressure...)
[Also, if you aren't Mr. Musallam and are just a teacher reading this because...or are not an I2 scholar...then I'm glad your here. Just note that just because my greeting didn't necessarily include you, it doesn't mean to exclude you from this post.]

AND BE WARNED...THIS POST LOOKS LONG BUT YOU ONLY HAVE TO READ THIS FIRST BIT. THE REST IS JUST BECAUSE...


As usual, these first two paragraphs are a quick summary, for you people who don't have time to read, and then I'll go more in depth afterwards so you can get all the details (if you really need them).

So in case it wasn't already obvious by the insane amount of useless updates on this blog, my I2 project, Swipe & Shoot, has been making tremendous progress over this quarter. As a quick refresher/introduction, Swipe & Shoot is a mobile game I've been designing with a friend almost completely from scratch (though using an awesome game engine called Unity3D), where you swipe to launch your character and tap to shoot anything in your path as you battle through an epic campaign. There are also tons of cool weapons, and endless zones for endless training/fun. Check out more information here if you are still confused. You can even play it if you want. We've surpassed most of the goals I set last quarter, and are still ahead of schedule despite...conflicts...which you can read about below!
Anyways, we've successfully multiplied the number of levels by over 10 (which to be honest, isn't all that impressive considering that we had literally one level when I wrote my Q2 I2 Benchmark), added three awesome vehicles, added a level select screen, more than doubled the number of weapons, added costumes, and most amazing of all, we got people to actually beta test our game! And we didn't even have to pay them! At one point, we had over a dozen testers! If you're curious as to why we don't have as many testers anymore, I'll get to that below. But since these paragraphs are getting a bit long for a summary, I'll wrap it up by saying that this project has been a huge success so far, and I really hope to release this game to the app store, as bug-free and optimized as possible, by the end of the school year.

But for those who want more...information, here is an even longer section that should have all the information you need.

First of all, I have no major changes that I feel need to be made to this project. We were WAY ahead of schedule for a while, but now after about a month of...relaxing...we're ready to get back at it and finally finish this game. In case you forgot, or are too lazy to find my Q2 Benchmark (which you'll have to find amidst over 20 Swipe & Shoot updates), I planned to have found beta testers and essentially finished the game by March (which is this month). Which I did. We had several beta testers who provided awesome feedback during the crucial early stages, and we are just now completing the final levels to the game (as of this version, as we hope to release a few additional levels per request of our awesome beta testers in the future).

But for this version, we will have three level areas (Nature, City, Desert), each with 5 campaign levels, 1 endless zone, and 2 costumes. We also hope to add about 3-5 new weapons to this update (making about a dozen levels total), as well as a couple new vehicles (which makes about 4-5 total vehicles). 

So for the rest of March and the rest of the year, our plan is as follows:
March:
Finish the final stages of the game, revive the hype
April:
Fix bugs, figure out how to publish game
May:
Present the final product, make it available for all!
Also if you didn't notice...it's almost exactly the same as I had before.

Moving on, I'm sure many of you want to see some proof of our progress. Well if you do, the first thing I'll say is that I have over 20 updates documenting our changes to the game as they happened (did I not already mention that?), so you can feel free to check those out at your leisure. They have pictures, videos, and summaries of the changes we've made over the weeks. If you want, you can also go here to see a full playlist of our videos on Swipe & Shoot. It even includes a full playthrough of a very recent version.

And if you want some pictures, well check here for some photos from previous versions, or check here out to see the game as it looks now. Here are a few highlights:

And like last time, if you like mobile games, check out Sawyer Dobson's project ('19) at 19sdobson.blogspot.com, who is also making mobile games, but without all this fancy 3D physics engine stuff! I've seen some of his games, and they're pretty good, especially when considering that he started coding this year (or so he says...). In some ways, his project is more impressive than mine, so go check it out! Though Sawyer, if you happen to be reading this, I'd suggest trying to make a game of your own if you have the time, because it's always fun to put your newly acquired skills to the test in an original idea. But again, only if you have time. You are only planning to learn this year.

Or, if you want a project with a physical final product (well, sort of...), check out Adam Mar's project ('18) at 18atmar.blogspot.com, where he's creating a prototype for a 3D hologram! It's awesome to see "science fiction" become real, and let's be honest, holograms are awesome (as he himself has stated). Who wouldn't want a 3D hologram of Swipe & Shoot to play? But seriously, check it out, it's no joke. And it probably won't be playing Swipe & Shoot anytime soon, but that day will come. Maybe. I really don't have any suggestions for his project, but perhaps he could mess around with his prototype to see what random effects he might end up with. From experience, mistakes lead to awesomeness. Sometimes.

But if you somehow aren't interested in either of those, then try Canavan Neeson's project ('17) at 17cneeson.blogspot.com. He's creating a course on cryptology, which has always been an interesting subject for me. As someone who always likes to hide message in games, messages, or even blog posts (don't look, there's nothing here), seeing someone who is interested enough to create a course on the subject is, well, exciting. My only suggestion would be to spread the word EVEN MORE. For me, simply asking people if they wanted to test my game was good enough, but for a full course, it may take a little more than that. I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who are interested enough to test it out and give feedback (and I'm sure that he's already found those people, it's just that at the time of writing this post, he hasn't mentioned anything yet).

And if you've scrolled down this far, your probably curious as to what "conflicts" I mentioned earlier in my project. Well, it wasn't just the Seussical rehearsals. And it wasn't just my friend breaking his computer (which had the most recent version of the project on it). It was this awesome game I released called Block Bomb Survival 2, which, as you might guess, is the sequel to one of my old games from last year (called Block Bomb Survival). It's a really fun game, and although it may not be visually impressive, the gameplay is pretty fun (in my opinion), and it can be a fun way to spend your time (if you have any).

Basically, you dodge bombs that rain from the sky, as they blow up the terrain. Winning is simple, just reach the bottom (100 layers down). But just because it's simple doesn't mean it's easy, people have had to play for hours before they were able to beat the core game. But that's not all. There are dozens of gamemodes, and if you can get all the stars, excluding the ??? modes (which means getting 100 on every gamemode), you can win a grand prize! Now I am aware that only you and a handful of others will ever read this, so you can take that opportunity to either keep this competition to yourself, or to spread the word and the fun for me!

Oh, and if you want to play or find out more information, check here.
I also posted about this "competition" earlier, so check it out!
OR just download it using these links

And last thing, I am aware that this "directly-to-the-reader, first-person" style of writing is kind of weird and annoying. But it's just how I write when I don't have a rough draft or a specific set of guidelines for writing. So don't judge!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

BBS2: Competition!

Based on the level of commitment a few people (including one notable player) have shown for Block Bomb Survival 2, I've decided to start a small competition for anyone interested. If you want to win a grand prize (undecided) and have some free time on your hands, be prepared for our Block Bomb Survival 2 competition!

The first person to beat every gamemode (excluding the "???" gamemodes, because those are locked for good reason) will win a super awesome prize, as well as permanent bragging rights as the true Block Bomb Survival champion! All those who win after that first person will receive minor prizes as well, and the satisfaction of truly defeating a hopefully challenging game. I'll be fixing any minor issues before the competition really starts (a couple gamemodes in particular are a bit TOO challenging). A couple of rules if you are considering:
- You can play wherever you want and whenever you want, even at home (if you are that dedicated)
- NO HACKS OR CHEATING (I won't tell you how to hack or cheat, but just don't do it)
- You should probably tell me (and show) that you are at least starting, so it won't be super awkward when you show up with every gamemode beaten
- You can have multiple people playing on the same device, but only ONE can take the grand prize, just so you know
- You cannot simply show a screenshot to win, it must be in the actual game
- You must be playing the latest version (though any older versions are probably more difficult)

Hopefully this will be at least some fun. If you want to train now or just play for fun, you can play online at njew.icnc.com/SHC/MoreGames/BBSurvival2, or for a less laggy version, download the game on your computer using these links:
Mac Download
Windows Download
Just download the entire folder, and the game will be there.

And again for the zero dedicated Swipe & Shooters, we have most of the new levels complete already, so hopefully the new update will be out soon. I've just been busy with rehearsals and such.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

BBS2: Available Now!

Not much to say here, just check it out! Celebrate the one year anniversary of one of my old favorites!


Play it now here:


Now just note, this version is not only VERY SLOW, but also filled with minor glitches, like the buttons being completely black. Don't ask why that is, just roll with it. If you guys like it, let me know!

And again for you Swipe & Shoot peoples (there aren't very many of you anymore), hold tight, because now that this is done, we'll be working nonstop on Swipe & Shoot for you guys. Plus, Jack's computer is new and improved (kind of like BBS2...), so he'll be able to work as well. HOPEFULLY.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BBS2: Announcement

So in case you haven't noticed, there has been a noticeable break in Swipe & Shoot progress, and we are aware of this. Jack recently punched his computer out of commission (literally), so he hasn't been doing any work. And I have been working on something new.

See, last week was the one year anniversary of one of my old games, Block Bomb Survival. It's a simple fun game I made in about a day, where your goal is to survive endless waves of bombs and reach the bottom of the level, which is 100 blocks down. So to celebrate, I decided to make a sequel to this old classic (for myself, since no one here would know about Block Bomb Survival), which would fix old glitches, add new features, and be a better game overall. And I succeeded, even though the game is still essentially the same. In fact, several people have shown support for this temporary project.

So if you want something to do in this break in Swipe & Shoot progress, try out Block Bomb Survival 2! Now with 24 unique gamemodes plus whatever gamemodes you decide to create (that's right...in-game customizable gamemodes!) hopefully this will satisfy your gaming needs. If not, then don't worry, we have 2 awesome weapons already made, and 5 levels that are nearly complete for the latest Swipe & Shoot update! Oh, and about that update, apologies for the inconvenience, but it should be up soon. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 22*

The new update is finally here!

After working for a while at a slightly slower pace than before, we are (finally) here with the latest update to Swipe & Shoot!

So why isn't it out yet? The problem is simple, somehow our app size reached over 300MB of space, so we'll save you guys the trouble and try to resolve the issue before releasing it. In the meantime, check out these awesome new features that we've included, some of which you may have already seen!

3 new levels including Level 9, the rooftop motorcycle level, Level 10, the tower level with an elevator, and City Endless, a fun new endless mode with more deadly enemies, more weapons, and tons of secrets for you guys to exploit!

And...
We also fixed up the nearly impossible Level 8, so now it's a bit easier. Well, okay, a lot easier.

But wait, there's more!
We also modified the main menu, with an all new costumes menu! Unlock cool costumes as you play, some more rare than others (though they're all equally easy to get with the press of a certain green button...).

Not enough? Well...
We also added an awesome new vehicle that many have seen already. It's deadly, powerful, and awesome. Well, it will be even more awesome in the open levels. But for now, it's hidden away....

Sadly, that's about it, but hopefully this update is good enough for now. We've got new weapons, new costumes, new levels, new vehicles and more coming soon, so be prepared! This game is nearly complete....

Oh yeah, don't forget to check out our new temporary website (temporary meaning it will be improved with superior code later) here: njew.icnc.com/SHC!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 21

Sorry for the huge break between updates on the game, but just so it's clear, we have been working on Swipe & Shoot. Not as much as before, but there will be some pretty good behind-the-scenes changes in the new update, hopefully coming out later this week.

In the meantime, I've also made a new temporary website, with easy access to the game, updates, videos, beta pictures, and more! Feel free to check it out here: njew.icnc.com/SHC. Well, gotta work on some more stuff, but just know, the new update is coming soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 20

First of all...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Well, birthday eve, I suppose. Anyways, we made some decent progress in Swipe & Shoot today. It wasn't tremendous, but it wasn't small either. First of all, Level 9, the level designed to top Level 8, is now complete! It's debatable if it's more difficult after all, but it certainly was quite a struggle to beat. Here, check it outhttps://youtu.be/fyzpqRlzq9c.

We also started on the latest level, Level 10, loosely inspired by an idea pitched by beta tester Luca Herlein. Here's another preview, this one much lower in quality. It will have a roof eventually, so don't worry. Check it out: https://youtu.be/Tg8aGPyTvdU.

Alright I have to go, so don't delay! Check it out today!

Trust me guys, there's some awesome stuff coming. Also...20th update!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 19

Just a quick update to say that, for those who somehow haven't found out yet, the latest version of Swipe & Shoot is fully functional and available to test. Be sure to send us your feedback to the NEW address, swipeandshoot@gmail.com, where we will be collecting all of your feedback. We still have work to do, so keep testing and have fun!

And for those who don't believe all the levels can be won, check out this video: https://youtu.be/vbEueuUaRdk to be proven wrong. 

And for those who don't believe I made it through the whole thing without dying, check out this video: https://youtu.be/m6K4igQ4aZE to be proven right. 

AND...if you send us a screenshot (again to the above email) of the victory screen on Level 8 (don't just take a screenshot of the video...so to be sure you'll have to get a different score), you'll receive special rewards! Even more rewards if you're first!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 18

There are only two reasons for this update. One is to set the record for the shortest Swipe & Shoot update. The second is to say that we appreciate your patience, but for some reason, the app now crashes upon launching. In fact, you guys are probably better off than us, because at least you can play at all. The update is complete and optimized, we just need to fix this problem first. Again, thanks for your patience!

In fact, to reward you guys' patience, I'll reveal to you loyal readers that there is a hidden sniper rifle in one of the levels. Only three people know where it is, so good luck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 17 (w/ feedback)

I know I normally don't post multiple updates per day, but this update, though semi-minor, is pretty important. Plus, I guess I'll include some updates regarding feedback here too...

Firstly, the app is through beta app review. However, we have decided not to open it for testing because we want to fully optimize (or at least somewhat optimize) the levels and overall game to minimize framerate issues. Some levels are nearly unplayable due to the lag, even on slightly newer phones (though it hasn't been tested on the iPhone 6 since we don't have one, so maybe it would work fine?). Anyways, we hope to open the app up as soon as possible, but if you REALLY want it now, just let us know somehow. And why mention this here rather than on Schoology or in person? Well it's simple: we aren't going to release it to the average casual Swipe & Shoot players until it's good, so only the hardcore blog-readers like you will have the power to get Swipe & Shoot released early.

But to satisfy this update, here are some bits of feedback we received last week that we will include in the full game eventually:

Glitches:
No glitch comments yet...

Levels:
We do have bigger maps, even in this version. In fact, all the maps look a bit bigger now, but you'll just have to see for yourself. One map in particular is going to be much larger (well, longer rather than larger) than the others, so prepare yourself. We also rearranged the endless map, so it's now a bit bigger (almost too big), and more suitable for endless play.
Regarding the "tower" idea (Luca Herlein), there are rooftops levels now, and there will be a "climb-the-tower" style level in the game, just not exactly as you described it (so we don't have to make each floor with a unique design).
On a separate note, the next "level set" will be pretty quick to make and filled with some other highly-suggested features, so stay tuned.

Weapons:
We haven't received much feedback regarding weapons (previously approved weapon suggestions are still going to be included), but we WILL be eventually adding a laser weapon (Nathan Cramer), but we probably WILL NOT be adding a grappling gun (unfortunately). Maybe it will work later, but for now, it is not a high-priority weapon.

Audio:
No comments on the audio, though we DO PLAN ON ADDING IT ASAP. We just need to find sounds and make music...

New Areas:
The historical settings idea is great (Zachary Jennings), but we may just add it as it's own level pack. That way, despite there being multiple battles in multiple various locations, we don't need to create tons of new levels based around each battle/war. Other than that, no suggestions for areas that we can remember, except for the factory idea. We might just put that into another level pack, but I hope that gets added.

That's all.

Swipe & Shoot Update 16

Just a quick update while our teacher has yet to arrive:

Firstly, in order to play the web version, you will NEED TO CLEAR YOU CACHES. Here's a page on my old website that tells you how to do it in various browsers:
http://njew.icnc.com/clearyourcaches/

Secondly, we are aware that the mobile version (the web version is still untested) is full of framerate and rendering issues right now, so optimizations are being made. If you hate those, DON'T UPDATE YET.

Also, since it's worth mentioning, here are some things we plan on implementing for the next update, which won't be quite as amazing as this one:
- Arrows will be over enemies as well
- Improved main menu
- Overheating for weapons
- At least 2 new levels
- 1 new endless zone

And for those of you who gave feedback last week, just know that we'll be gathering it together and deciding what will be included soon...
(though I'm pretty sure none of the people who gave feedback last week read here)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 15*

No jokes here, because the AWESOME NEW UPDATE IS OUT!
Well, getting beta app reviewed...but still complete. So sorry for the late update (time-wise and date-wise), but it's not like anyone was waiting, so...

So while you are waiting, here are some sneak preview screenshots of what we've got in store!





We can't spoil everything, but we put a TON of work into this new update, and crammed it with new features, minor bug fixes, and more. Here are some of the big changes:
 - New levels
 - New weapons
 - Perspective change
 - Basic title screen
And some minor ones, that still took a long time, so they're worth mentioning:
 - Added visual borders
 - Somewhat more balanced enemies
 - A weapons menu
We couldn't fix everything wrong with the old version, and we haven't been able to implement all of the new suggestions yet. In fact, now there's probably a bunch of new problems, but hopefully this new update will satisfy those of you who continue to play. We gave you guys credit in the credits, so if we forgot to mention you, let us know!

We are also aware of lag and optimization issues, so those will be addressed ASAP.

And if you just so happen to be wondering why this update didn't come out on Sunday, there are a couple of reasons. One reason is that we were playing a video game for most of the day...but the other reason is that I wasted the rest of the day making this other game, that turned out somewhat fun but also extremely frustrating (to beat).
Check it out: njew.icnc.com/SHC/AsteroidEscape/index.html
It's not going to be a major focus of ours, but if you like it, let us know. And yes, there are many problems with the game, but again, I made it in about 3 hours, so it's not perfect.

Okay, I need to go now because our weekend is over. More features coming soon!

PS Also I added the asterisk to this update because it's for an actual update to the Swipe & Shoot app. If you want to find new features, just like for the asterisk!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 14

No introduction here, just wanted to say to all of those who keep up to date here that the new Swipe & Shoot update will hopefully be released THIS SUNDAY, so you don't have to ask anymore. I won't spoil everything just yet, but here are some things to look forward to in the new update, some of which were suggested by you!
 - 5 new weapons
 - 3 new levels
 - A title screen
 - Minor bug fixes
Gotta get back to work, but we hope the update comes out successfully and quickly! Remember, it will have to go through the BETA APP REVIEW once again, so we will hope to release it a little before then so it reaches you on Sunday. But regardless, we thank you for your patience. We put a ton of work into this new update and it's full of new features., so we hope you keep playing and having fun!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 13

Unlucky 13? I don't think so...

Don't want to get into too much detail, but we've got 4 awesome new weapons ready for the new update! And sure, we have only about 3 people playing the game who will care about this, but hopefully that number will grow once some of those bugs are fixed, title screens are added, wheat fields are optimized, motorcycles are easier to control, and that darn void gets fixed. (And in case you couldn't tell by the fact that I mentioned those things, ALL of those will be/have already been addressed in the latest version). So I won't spoil too much now, but if you want to find out about those 4 weapons and how awesome they are, you'll have to search for it! It's somewhere on the Internet...

Well I guess if you made it here then you're dedicated enough. You and the two other people who are awesome enough to check here probably aren't expecting this anyways, so just find it here: https://youtu.be/GngtwXZQF7A. And I hate to spoil the surprise, but one of them isn't actually supposed to be all that good. So I'd say 3 awesome weapons. 
And since you might be wondering, the sniper rifle is a hold-and-release weapon. And it's not really meant for nature levels, so don't worry about not really being able to see the green laser. And by the way, that "death" sound effect is temporary, I hope. Well, I have to go write an essay now, so...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 12 (w/ feedback)

So I'm thinking of doing these on a regular schedule rather than whenever feedback comes, but we'll see. We don't get much feedback in general, but long-time supporter Nicolas Chin gave us a ton of feedback a few days ago that's worth mentioning.

Glitches:
No comments on glitches so far, but we have fixed the "shooting-through-the-wall" issue mentioned earlier. It will be included in the latest version.

Levels:
Nothing major regarding levels, though you may notice a slight change in Level 4 and a different change in Level 3 for reasons mentioned before...see if you notice. 

Weapons:
A flamethrower was suggested, which we have considered implementing before, but it will take some time to put in. We'll see if it works out, but it would be an awesome and unique addition. 
On the subject of weapons, we also plan on including another of Nicolas's suggestions, an overheating system (of sorts). Overheating will be time-based and different for each weapon. The weapon will glow red as you shoot, and will prevent you from shooting if you continue to shoot after a certain point, though we decided it won't damage the player. 

Audio:
Nothing new here

New Areas:
Wasteland was mentioned a second time, so it seems that a wasteland area will be something to expect.
A jungle was also mentioned, though based on the perspective and gameplay, it may be a bit too difficult to navigate, or if made less tree-dense, too similar to the nature areas (though there would be some differences like treehouses and such). 
A beach idea also sounds pretty cool. Imagine the possibilities with water...though remember, water physics are...interesting...so it will take some time. 

Other Things:
Just to address some other ideas that Nicolas mentioned:
He also suggested we add a home/title screen, which I suggested to Jack a while ago as well. It will be included in a future version, but it's just up to Jack to make the art and stuff...
A leaderboard was planned as well, but there's one major reason it might be the thing that takes he longest to implement. See, leaderboards and other server-based storage requires use of databases. A lot of people know about them, but I'm not one of those people, so it might have to wait until next year (maybe my next I2 project...if I'm still in I2). 

And speaking of databases, if you want to see someone who actually spent a long time learning about databases and has some games to rival my own, check out lernerone.com, an ongoing project featuring games made by the creator of the website, Joseph Lerner, as well as some games of my own. It's WAY better than my website (which I will not link to because it really is pretty pathetic), and even though he doesn't go to SHC, he's still a smart guy and he's made some great video games. A lot of our games are really old and require Unity Web Player, but there fun for what they're worth, and have some elements that were re-used in Swipe & Shoot.

And in case you were wondering, no, he did not ask me to add that bit, I actually asked him if I could. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a whole new project to start on, that's a little more...deadly. And no, you won't get that reference until and if the game comes out. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Swipe & Shoot Update 11 (w/ feedback)

First of all, thank you again for all your feedback so far. Although I can't work yet, we will do our best as soon as I get back. 

One other thing to note before I get into the details, updates will be posted here every once in a while regarding what ideas will be implemented from you guys, and what we won't or can't put in. We'll put the names of those who provided the feedback, if they chose to put their name with the form. 

Glitches:
Regarding the "shooting-through-the-wall" glitch noted by Sawyer:
We were aware that this existed, but there were minor gameplay features that were lost with the code that prevented the glitch. Jack suggested we remove the code for now, which we did for the beta release. This code will be re-implemented and refined as soon as I get a chance, so do not fear. There are other glitches too, but we'll have to wait and see if you guys find them...

Levels:
Both of the people who submitted feedback so far: Darian and Sawyer, agreed that Level 3 was too difficult. Though not as much for Darian. We have a way to solve this issue, and in addition, we will add a "beta unlock" feature that will unlock all levels, so that you can test every level, even if some are too difficult. That being said, although it's acceptable for the first few levels, we can't make every level too easy...

Weapons:
Both melee weapons and grenade-type weapons will be added. We just need to wait for Jack to make the models...

Borders:
So far, people like the borders, but would rather have a visual added rather than the blue void. We will decide what to do AFTER we receive more feedback.

Audio:
So far, our two testers would like there to be ambient sound effects. Though one of them didn't turn on the sound, so we'll have to wait for more feedback. 

New Areas:
So far, we think the "Nuclear Wasteland" idea from Sawyer is great, and we love the "Star Wars" themed idea from Darian, but just to be safe, we might just generalize it to be a "futuristic sci-fi" area, with some nods towards Star Wars included (like a lightsaber-type melee weapon!). Now remember, new areas take the longest to implement, so you can either be patient with Jack, or send emails every other hour to 19jsouthard@schp.edu and tell him to hurry up. 

That's about all! Keep checking back here if you want to see if your suggestion will be in the game! 
Also, I think that this might set the record for longest non-required blog post here...