Fall of Angels is a JRPG currently available for iOS. An updated and expanded port is being developed for PC; a demo is available for download from our website. With Fall of Angels we wanted to blend a story driven adventure with puzzles and exploration, so we have filled the game with tools to use, first-person interactive puzzles, abilities to learn, and multiple game modes.
A beta demo of the Fall of Angels PC port is now available via our website. It contains all of the content that has been converted up to this point in time, which is around 90 minutes game time.
The development of Fall of Angels is postponed until further notice, but we had made such a large start on the conversion that it seemed a shame not to put it out there. Hopefully development will become viable and resume one day :)
The 'Fall of Angels' Kickstarter campaign was cancelled today. It became apparent some time ago that it wasn't going to meet it's target (not even close), so it was finally time to call it a day. It is a huge shame because the game has so much potential and so much work has been done on it already, but without funding it is no longer viable to continue game development.
Perhaps one day in the future circumstances may change (fingers crossed for that lottery win), but for now 'Fall of Angels' is no longer in development. I give a huge thank you to all who supported us.
I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Fall of Angels, which unfortunately has been a slow starter so far. Part of this is due to factors like exposure and momentum, and I think part of it is the video that we uploaded initially with the campaign; upon reflection it was too long, too slow, and lacking in any energy. We've replaced the video with one that has an entirely different tone, pacing, and length.
The new video is snappier, lighter, shorter, and more to the point. It's a video that I'm happy with, and one that I think better reflects... well, me. I had fun doing it, which is always a good sign.
Except the bit where I had to edit out the sound of the neighbors screaming at each other, I could do without that every day...
I've also started pushing even harder to get exposure for the campaign. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do! And tell anyone that you think might be interested. Put it on your blog! I don't mind. Twitter. A tattoo would be nice! Put it somewhere highly visible.
Development of the game itself is really fun at the moment. The expansion that we are doing to every facet of the game involves taking the base that we already have, and then creating new routes and secrets that make it bigger and better. We are designing new items, and creative puzzles to go with them. The solid grounding of the existing iPhone version really frees us up and allows us to focus on making things that are fun, safe in the knowledge that the core of the game is already there. We've also had plenty of time to reflect on the iPhone original, and think about elements that can be tweaked and improved upon. I'm really excited for where this re-imagining is going!
Fall of Angels is an adventure RPG that our small indie team has been slaving over for two years now. Today the 'Fall of Angels' team embarked on an adventure of our own: Kickstarter.
We've had some fantastic success with the iPhone version of Fall of Angels, and following on from that we have started a re-imagined version on PC and Xbox 360 (XBLIG). The problem we have is funding, and after several recommendations from fans we have set up a Kickstarter campaign to hopefully generate the necessary funds to make this the epic adventure that it deserves to be!
... but wow it's scary.
I'm not a businessman, far from it. I can code, I can design, I graft as hard as anyone I know. I have the heart and determination to bring this game to life. Promoting our game- and myself- is something that scares the bejezus out of me though. I'm not comfortable being in a limelight at all, let alone trying to actually get the attention of the limelight. I sent out a tweet earlier about the campaign, and I was wiping my brow like I was diffusing a bomb and managed it with only seconds to spare.
But, I have 30 days to convince the world to help make this dream happen. I believe in this project, and I believe in this campaign that could change my life. If making it happen means hurtling out of my comfort zone like I've been shot from a circus cannon, then it's worth it.
So with that said...
...please check out my Kickstarter campaign... Fall of Angels Kickstarter Campaign
Last month Eurocom Entertainment Software laid off its remaining staff and ceased trading. This makes me sad firstly because they were a fantastic dev studio based on my doorstep in Northern England with over 20 years of history making games. But on a more personal level, it was my home for several years.
I got a job as a developer for Eurocom after finishing at University, and the amazing people there taught me more about games development in a month than any amount of study. I had the privilege of working alongside some true masters of game development, and some wonderful people that would give all the time in the world to teach the fresh faced newbie the tricks of the trade. I still have the lunchtime walks to feed Donkey etched into my memory as some of my happiest times; what I wouldn't give to relive them.
The good people of Eurocom also introduced me to Dragonforce, which is the best programming music ever and anyone who says otherwise just can't handle their awesomeness.
I wish the very best for everyone affected by Eurocom's closure. I'd love to hear from the hard to find friends that lost contact over the years (where are your Facebook profiles???); please get in touch if you ever read my ramblings.
On a less personal note, what does this mean for the industry? The decline in console game sales has been credited with Eurocom's untimely demise. Is this closure an indication that the industry is in trouble? Or is it just slowly changing to an online-only distribution model? The well known franchises that release vacuous identical sequels every 6 months (mentioning no names) still sell well. But just because Call of Duty sells well doesn't necessarily mean positive things for the industry... how many once great games franchises have debased themselves by trying desperately to pander to the same audience in order to increase sales because it's getting harder and harder to sell enough games to fund the increasing cost of modern games?
Perhaps the industry is merely changing, perhaps we aren't heading for another 80's style crash like some more extreme observers predict. There was a time when every other game was a Mario clone, and a time when we were drowning in Street Fight II clones after all. Perhaps the changing climate combined with easier distribution methods for small units (hehe) to release their games is making it ever more possible for indie developers to shine. Fingers crossed for that last one!
Time will tell. The casualties of these changes are a sad sight to see, either way. RIP Eurocom, you will be missed.
Happy holidays everyone, I hope Christmas has been as good to you as it has to me. In addition to the planet that I live on not coming to an end on the 21st I got a whole bunch of classic games that I missed the when they first came out, which combined with the Steam sale has made sure I won’t be clearing my games backlog for a long time. I’ve also been given a bunch of huge bags of peanut butter M&Ms, which you can’t get in Europe. They are the food of the Gods. I NEED THEM.
This year has been a fun one for the development of Fall of Angels. The iPhone version was completed early 2012, and after a few interim projects work began on the PC/XBLA version later in the same year. It’s given plenty of time to get feedback and reflect on the game, and this knowledge is going to be put to good use. The PC/XBLA version will be expanded in scope and scale, in addition to improved graphics on the new platform. This post marks the beginning of a much greater quantity of updates on our progress on the website and indieDB page.
On a much sourer note, the pigeons that sit on the trees near my house coo-ing all day seem to have increased in number and coo volume. I’ve asked them nicely to shut up, but they just stare at me and do that thing where they jerk their heads from side to side, so I’m looking at the logistics of burning down all of the trees in my neighbour’s gardens. Hopefully 2013 will see an end to this insurmountable menace.
Happy New Year everyone!
Fall of Angels is currently undergoing a port from iPhone to XBox and PC. It's extremely exciting, and I am thoroughly enjoying working with Visual Studio and the XNA framework. Mmmmm.
It's been ongoing for a few months now, but is taking a bit longer than expected. This is not anything to do with the port, but rather other projects demanding my time- in an ideal world I'd just spend all day making games, but until Nintendo or Square agree to start funding me, bills must be paid. It is picking up momentum again now though, and hopefully there will be some awesome screenshots to post soon.
On a side note, once under your skin it is absolutely completely impossible to put game development on the back burner. I walk past a pub and instantly get nostalgia for the times spent planning games in there (we're British so we meet in pubs). I go for a walk in the woods and along the moors and start thinking of similar settings in FOA, pining for rpg adventures (probably not a healthy attitude towards the outdoors).
tl;dr - Really glad to be back on it!
Isn't saving your game a minefield of possibility and potential disaster?
Probably not, no.
It is quite interesting though. I've recently been playing LIMBO, a fantastic game on a bunch of formats including PC. It's an indie platform game, though to call it such is to do it a disservice- it doesn't rely on pure platforming for its thrills, rather an ingenious run of puzzles and set pieces. The graphical style is sublime as is the audio, but this isn't a review (however: buy it because it's awesome). What it got me thinking about was the way in which save-game/restart points are handled in video games. LIMBO auto-saves before every new puzzle/trap, so if when you die the first few times you don't have far to go to try again. It's brilliant because it removes frustration almost entirely. I couldn't help but wonder that if it was made by someone else (read: big name publishers) it would have split the continuous flow up into explicit stages, and forced the player to replay entire sections to get back to where they died; thus artificially expanding the play time at the expense of your sanity.
But then I thought- when the hell did I become such a wussy?
Platforming progenitor Super Mario Bros. had exactly that style of restart system, in addition to having no saves whatsoever- World 1-1 for you every single time you start sonny. Hell, SMB3 did the same and that sucker was massive. That's how real men used to play games (real men have always been Nintendo's firm gender preference), and we never complained. We played those bad boys until our hands bled on those sharp-edged pads and our lungs collapsed through blowing the cartridge over and over (stop sniggering at the back). If modern platformers were like that I'd be outraged. Yes, actually outraged due to a poor awareness of perspective.
The same goes for games from the same era that had passwords, passwords that were huuuuge. Seriously, you think I'm going to write a 30 character password down every time I want to save my game and not once come around to your house to kick your family pet? Apparently that was a fair assumption, because we never complained.
Even as recent as Final Fantasy X we had fixed save game points in RPGs (I stopped paying attention to the series after that one, here's why: Youtu.be). Don't get me started on the Metroid Prime series, I love those games more than strawberry toothpaste but for the love of all that is holy those save game points were a million miles apart, and that really poked my bear. Resident Evil had that annoying ribbon system, which would many years later be transformed into Resident Evil: Revelations' absolutely genious system- the 'only one save file per account, no going back to redo a level that you like buster, hahahahahahaha, we're not even going to give you advance warning when the autosave is about to take place, hahahahahaha, we're going to give you a useless one-dimensional partner to keep annoying now that you're angry hahahahaha' system that makes me want to punch a tree.
Fall of Angels allows you to save your game at any point. This is partly because it is on a phone so you may need to quickly save and dash when you see the train ticket conductor coming your way, and partly because fixed save points seem so 17th century.
Has our attention span dropped? Have we become wussier? Or did we just put up with that crap in the 80's/90's because save game files hadn't been invented yet and we had worse things to worry about ? Perhaps it's because the amusement arcade is no longer the starting point for video games, so games are no longer made with a single play in mind.
Or perhaps nobody cares. All I'm saying is next time you boot up Fallout 3, start a new game and play it through without using savegames you big girl.
(Parts 1 and 2 can be found as earlier blog entries, and are probably worth reading prior to this one).
My one hour demo of the RPG I had designed over the course of my bus stopover was pretty cool I don't mind saying. It was written in QBasic.
Now depending on your level of coding knowledge that either means nothing to you, or you just rolled your eyes/laughed out loud. See, QBasic is to programming what bashing a coconut repeatedly into your face was to the tool development of our caveman ancestors. Someone probably did it at some stage, but everyone else quickly learned from the resulting mess. Unfortunately QBasic was all I knew- the Computing teacher at my school (who was later fired for poor performance) only knew one language that he could teach us, and had merely hinted at some mythical Excalibur-esque prize for the greatest of programmers known as 'See-Add-Add', a prize that we would likely never taste. He also pronounced the word 'cache' as 'kay-sheh', but I digress.
Suffice to say QBasic was never going to allow anything beyond an NES level game, but by-golly I did it.
I was really proud actually, I wrote my own tile editor, character designer, level editor... the lot. After a great learning experience I had a demo, around one hour of exploration and battles that bear striking resemblance to Fall. I then decided it was going to be necessary to develop using a proper toolset on a much better system than the one it was currently on if it were ever to be seen by a wide audience. Alas university cranked up the workload, and time went out of the window. Incidentally they didn't use see-add-add at university either because of their belief that C and it's many variations were going to be obsolete by 2005, so I had to teach myself in my spare time along with DirectX and openGL. Good thing I didn't have anything better to do at the weekends than X-Men cartoons and waiting for broadband to be invented.
I still have all the code and programs- including the demo- which would make for an interesting experience, but unfortunately it won't run on modern computers. Without going into boring details the architecture of PC's has changed over time, so ironically my 8-bit quality graphics runs unplayably slow on a PC that can run Skyrim at maximum resolution. One day I may look into the options regarding salvaging it, but I have bigger fish to fry at the moment (Spoiler: Fall of Angels port to PC).
The demo did help me get a job at Eurocom Entertainment Software working on the latest Pirates of the Caribbean game amongst other things though, so it was productive in that sense as well as the personal experience. And it will make a great easter-egg in a future Fall of Angels instalment.
Last week I began porting Fall of Angels to other systems with a desire to bring our game to new audiences. I haven't been this excited about a project since, well since I finished Fall of Angels on iPhone. Once again I find myself getting up before my alarm goes off and jumping out of bed because I want to work, which is a fantastic feeling when compared to dragging my resentful carcass through the day in a manner that would make George Romero proud.
I just had to double check whether I meant George Romero or John Romero. One was a movie director, the other has just fabulous hair. Seriously, do a google image search.
So my porting start has shown me two things right off the bat:
1) Visual Studio 2010 marks the official first time that a piece of software has made me feel. Right here... (I'm pointing to my chest)
2) Fall of Angels is a huge fu truckload of code
I've never been one to get excited about technology or software. Probably because I have always used it for work (combined with not being attracted to computer hardware)- it's all just a means to an end. However having not used Visual Studio for a few years and coming back to it after having to use a number of other IDEs finally made me feel an emotion that isn't on Yoda's dark side roadmap. It's sleek, efficient (no hanging or stuttering, no suspicious background activities hogging resources), has an intellisense that actually works, fast and feature-rich, proper debugging/error messages, oh I'm getting in a sweat just thinking about it. It's an actual professional-grade piece of software. When I saw that there is actually real documentation for it's functions and libraries, I cried. Thank you Microsoft, this makes up for hotmail. Don't look at me like that, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
The porting is speeding along just nicely. I'm sure there will be a roadblock or two that I don't see coming just yet, but for now it's smooth sailing. There is a ridiculous amount of code to convert, but it's all good fun so I don't mind one bit. I even think that the pigeons have learnt to stay away from my chimney. The world is good. SMILEY FACE