I am a professional software developer with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and a full-time software development job. I have a very wide range of programming skills, but my most recent interests have been designing systems to run in the cloud (aws, gcloud, etc).

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I just released my first game on Android. The Nook and Kindle versions should be out in a day or two, and the iPhone version should be around 2 weeks. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Paid to make game

lancer611 Blog

So I got a job to make an Android and iOS game a couple of weeks ago, teaming up with another guy who is doing the art. The deadline is Dec. 2nd, and we're progressing pretty nicely so far. Of course theres a lot of work to do yet, but I wanted to share what we've come up with. Take a look at a video of the current functionality:

This video is of the game on my computer. I'll soon start deploying to Android and iOS for testing purposes.

Unfortunately though, Tile World has been put on the shelf until this job is finished. The good news is that the things I learn while developing this bug game will then be applicable to Tile World, once I pick it back up.

Hope you enjoyed!

Spriter is a tool I found (actually Niteshade pointed me to it) which makes 2d animation very easy. Go to Brashmonkey.com to check it out. I'll not go into detail, but I'm a terrible artist and I made this: Indiedb.com, so I can only assume that this tool would be even better for good artists.

Moai (Getmoai.com, only 2d (for now)) is the engine/platform I'm using for the game I'm developing (Indiedb.com). I chose it mainly because of the flexibility it offers, but as it turns out it offers much much more. For one, it deploys to iPhone and Android with (mostly) the same code, which is key - as I wanted to develop a mobile game =P. Other important features:

  • The game code is in lua (a common scripting language for games), which is a nice deviation from the C++/C#/Java I do at work.
  • It also runs on Windows and Mac, which is incredibly useful while developing. While I'm implementing features, I can always test/debug on my pc - and only have to deploy to my phone when I feel that I have everything ironed out.
  • Moai comes with free sandbox cloud support. I have a database, with code (also lua) for handling requests from the game clients (phones, pcs, etc), all through the website. This made it extremely easy to get multi-player working. It will also make it a breeze to implement leaderboards, acheivements, and notifications.
  • Another plus (though I haven't used it yet) is that the platform is open source, so you can go into the C++ and make changes if you need some kind of major change.
  • Several big/successful games have been developed with Moai (Getmoai.com).
  • UI, images, and animation are all incredibly easy to add to your project.

I have encountered a couple of problems along the way, one being that it was pretty difficult to figure out the process for deploying to my phone, but since I figured it out its no longer a problem. The other thing is that Moai doesn't yet implement the Android keyboard, so I had to do my own custom implementation (just an hour or 2 of work).

All in all it is an extremely useful platform that I would recommend to any capable developer. It is an all-in-one solution for developing mobile games, w/o needing other platforms or multiple programming languages.

Back online

lancer611 Blog

Because my previous employer provided a company laptop, which I was able to use as my personal pc, I needed to order a new computer. All the parts got in today, and I just finished putting it together and installing Windows. I got this build for $550: Pcpartpicker.com. Later on I'll likely upgrade with another hdd and/or ssd, and probably a nvidia card as well.

But anyway, now that I have a computer again I will resume work on my project Indiedb.com. Multiplayer is fully functional, so as soon as I get the Android keyboard working, I will probably release an alpha version. All I need is a sprite animator and I'll be set lol.

On another note, looking forward to starting my new job on Monday. The week off has sure been nice, but I got bills to pay, so I might as well have a job I enjoy =P

Last day tomorrow

lancer611 Blog

I ended up accepting the new offer of employment, simply because I couldn't turn down a position with such an established and industry leading company. I've pretty much finished up everything my current (soon previous) employer needs from me, so they are giving me next week off. I will be starting my new job on Oct. 8th.

As a recap, I have thoroughly enjoyed my work the past (almost) 3 years. The people here are courteous and easy going, and my boss has always been pleasant to work for. I have learned a lot in my time here, exploring new technologies, and applying my expertise to the geospatial field. Also, I will greatly miss my company provided i7 laptop and Targus backpack. =(

However, I know that better things await me at my new job. It is a very large company with plenty of room for me to move up, and even sideways if I ever want to. There will always be new and interesting projects in a variety of interesting fields. Also, a shorter drive is a bit of a plus. =P

2 Weeks Notice

lancer611 Blog

I recently received a great offer of employment from a top tier USA company, which I promptly accepted. I just put in my 2 weeks notice and my boss wasn't very happy because he can't match the salary of the offer. I really don't like being in this spot - I enjoy my work here, and the people are great, but I have to do whats best for my family and my career.

On a lighter note, I created a game page for my project in the hopes of spurring the interest of some good artists =P Check it out:
Indiedb.com. I will probably have basic, but complete multi-player support finished by Monday.

EDIT: My current employer decided to match the offer after all, and give me a bonus to boot xd.

Combat, HUD, and Zoom

lancer611 Blog

The combat is *very* basic. Make sure you have a unit selected, then target another unit in range (highlighted yellow). Click 'Attack' and the HUD changes accordingly. Units now have a death animation (still from opengameart.org), and are removed from the game after death.

The HUD is also very basic. I just want'ed something functional for development and testing purposes. It will obviously be replaced with something nicer in the future.

Lastly, I implemented a zoom feature. Right now theres just a button in the bottom right which just toggles the zoom level between 2 preset views.

I should also mention that there is some new art for the tiles. It is just a trial run by an artist I found, but they are much better than what I had, so I just left them lol.

Check it all out here:

Firstly, I implemented a 'travel range' for units. This basically limits each unit to a specific distance that it can move per turn. When a unit is selected, all of the tiles in range are highlighted.

Secondly, I implemented creation and placement of units. When a unit is not selected, clicking a tile pops up a list from which you can choose from a selection of units. The unit that you select is then placed at the tile you clicked on. (The grey box to the right of the list is a scroll bar)

These 2 features took about 2-3 hours of work (including some refactoring).

Check it out here:

Still looking for artist:

Its not much, but I'm just excited about how easy it was to add these new features. Basically I just found a free sprite sheet at opengameart.org, added it to my game, and implemented the sprite animations. I also changed the game to support selection and moving of multiple units on the map. Feel free to check it out here:

EDIT: I should have mentioned that these features only took about 30-45 minutes of work total.

EDIT2: Many more features (and a new blog) since this post.

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