Aug 28 2011


Spent Friday and Saturday playing Deus Ex: HR. SO GOOD.

Anyway, back to work. I’ve just patched Fear is Vigilance to fix a bug that stopped IE8 users from playing. That’s not cool! My server host sorted out the issues with Apache, too, so the server’s responding and everything even with lots of traffic. BONUS.

As a bit of a celebration for all this, here’s some of the Fear Is Vigilance soundtrack for download 😀

– Vigilance – Charity (Title Theme)
– Vigilance – Get Violent
– Vigilance – Ending (Long Mix)

This is the original version of the ending track, before I cut it down to make the ending a sensible length. It’s extra epic!

Aug 22 2011



I doubt anyone ever is a fan of ads, but it should hopefully bring in some beer money at least. Getting MochiAds to play nice in HaXe is a surprising amount of work – no-one supports HaXe! – but it’s done now. I’ll put up another tutorial post later like I did with the preloader, once I’m sure I’ve worked all the kinks out.

I’m going to make some final tweaks tomorrow, like making the end cutscene skippable. Then I’ll put up a site and start uploading the game to portals on Wednesday. o_o

Jul 27 2011


Well, I’ve emailed sponsors. I’ve put Vigilance up on FlashGameLicense. What’s next? I have no idea! I’m totally willing to believe that now the bids roll in and I make ONE MILLION DOLLARS. We’ll see.

I’ve also fixed a few things about the game. The biggest is the filesize: Vigilance was 20MB initially, since the ten minutes of music was all encoded at 256kbps. I’ve managed to cut that dramatically by switching from my old familiar mp3 encoder, BladeEnc, to LAME.

MP3s encoded to 128kbps with BladeEnc universally sound horrible. LAME? Well, it depends on the track, but I’ve got some at 128kbps and some at 192kbps. That seems to work for me.

All that, and now the game’s down to 12MB. Result!

I also made this icon, because FGL wanted one:


Vigilance is up for bidding for the next two weeks. After that, I’ll have to do a little work to integrate the sponsor’s branding, plus whatever else they want done to it.

In the meantime, I’ll continue work on Reels of Steel. I’ve also been thinking about doing a level for VVVVVV now that there’s a level editor. Now, I know it wouldn’t make me any money, but one of the nice things about being an indie developer is that you can just spend a week modding someone else’s game for the hell of it if you feel like it. I reckon I’ve got to do that some time or it’s just a wasted opportunity. 😀

Jul 25 2011


I admit it – I basically did nothing last week. But that’s okay! It was a holiday, I guess. Or something.

I’m making up for it now. 😀

Today I’ve been prepping Vigilance ready for sending out emails to sponsors and such. I’ve already put together a list of sponsors who might be interested, tiered by whether they carry or focus on “edgy” or “adult” games (most don’t!). I’ve also fixed the bug I was having in Playtomic analytics, which was entirely not their fault; I’ve ported their API from AS3 to HaXe for my own use, and that’s always going to cause trouble.

I’ve been putting off talking to sponsors for a while, spending my time with the game on minor bugfixes and tweaks instead, so I decided to just go through with it today – but then I hit some trouble with the deployment.  I decided to put a sitelocked, secureSWF’d version of Vigilance online (so it can’t be leaked across the Internet) before sending the link out to potential sponsors.

Now, I’ve used secureSWF before, and it introduced a random crash into the project I was working on. True to form it did it to this one, as well. That took me a few hours to track down, and while testing that I noticed a few other bugs. Now I’ve fixed those, the next step is to fire off those emails!

Right after I fix this bug.

Jul 01 2011


Today’s quick Vigilance adventure was in analytics. Specifically, playtomic.

This is a very cool (free!) service for Flash, iOS and Unity games that lets you track how long people spend playing your game, how long they spend in each level, and so on. Apart from sheer engagement (how long people play the thing) the best use is of course to identify difficulty spikes  on various levels.

Then something else playtomic supports comes into action. You can set values on the server which your game will automatically load whenever it’s played, meaning you can instantly change the difficulty to balance out levels people are finding unwinnable. How cool is that?

Anyways, I’m implementing this stuff right now for Vigilance. Hopefully I won’t need it. I’d like to think I’m already balancing the game sensibly… but we’ll see!

Jun 27 2011


First off, here’s some music! I had to get up before 7am on Sunday, and then we had this heatwave… so I wrote a track about how mornings suck, and then there are attack robots.

– too goddamn early

Now. Where to?

This GPS is the level select screen for Vigilance’s arcade mode. Each stage has unique rules and its own high score.

Besides adding those new stages, I’ve also overhauled the title screen.

Continue reading »

Jun 22 2011


Have you been good?

Of course you have.

Have a Merit Badge.

Yes, I found time this evening to bodge achievements into Vigilance. I didn’t want to go crazy with these – a lot of Flash games get ridiculous, right? – so there are only nine. Some of them are quite tough though!

Feature creep continues, though I’m running out of large things to add! I’m considering a level select screen so you can play Arcade Mode on all the different backgrounds in the game. The disco level is cool, but I think people will object to the sheer garishness of the animated floor, and besides it gets a bit dull playing it over and over.

Just for fun, here’s my remaining todo list.

Continue reading »

Jun 17 2011


Beta feedback is way helpful. I’ve been fixing a handful of issues in the game – some technical, some narrative – and it’s feeling that little bit more complete. All the game needs now is some artwork and text for the ending cutscene, some artwork and music for Arcade Mode, and I’m considering just a handful of achievements for the game as well.

I’m not sure whether I should talk about stuff from towards the end of the game on this blog. Would I be spoiling stuff? Maybe! I’ll talk about it anyway!

Continue reading »

Jun 14 2011


I’ve been busy over the weekend! Bit of a mixed update this, with very little visual stuff. I added character portraits to dialogue, and then I removed character portraits from dialogue. I added save game support, and put in an arcade mode. Combat got a fair bit of tweaking as well.

Here’s the faces. BUT THEY’RE GONE NOW:

Turned out these distracted too much from the action on screen, and they’re a bit naff and JRPG. It was fun learning to draw them though.

Arcade mode currently looks quite similar to night-time combat. There are some rule differences… namely, there’s a time limit, and you hit people until money comes out. I’m not sure what the subtext is there.

Speaking of combat, the AI behaves much more sensibly now with a variety of range and behaviour tweaks – they won’t chase you half a mile any more, they’re too lazy.

I’ve also started giving the player health back mid level. The longer stages were brutally hard – you ended up carefully watching your health bar, trying to mete out damage efficiently before you wiped out. To fix this, I reduced the amount of health the player has and now give you some back when you scare someone off screen or knock them out. The feel’s now much more immediate, since you can die more easily early on and you’re not quite so doomed later. Definite plus.

So that’s what I’ve been up to!

I know I said I’d stop on Sunday, but eh; an arcade mode was a good suggestion, and feature creep can be worth it 😀 The game’s fundamentally done now, apart from a few loose ends that need tidying (and Arcade Mode’s going to get its own quick unique backdrop and soundtrack).

It’s now in beta testing for difficulty/usability tweaks, which may run on a few days. I’ll try to avoid starting whole days’ worth of new work on the basis of testing; it should just be a few hours here and there until it’s done now.