I'm a video games programmer from Moscow, Russia. I have worked in game industry since 2008 on MMOs and mobile games, but I really want to make niche old-school RPGs instead :)
In my free time, I like to play rock'n'roll on my guitar and travel.
So, I’ve been promoting Return of Dr. Destructo for more than a week now, and the initial surge of interest is already beginning to fade. Time to gather some statistics!
Downloads is the most important part of statistics for me, because it shows how much people played my game. Let’s look at breakdowns by platform and by site:
Linux (32+64 bit):
So, a total of 169 downloads. Not too bad for a relatively undistinguished free game, but nothing to write home about, either.
Direct downloads from site:
Direct downloads came from many sources where I posted links, but in terms of single best site to get players, IndieDB seems to be the best so far. Most of IndieDB downloads came on the first few days, and tapered off quickly after that, but there was a surge of about 30 downloads after the news of game release got posted in IndieDB Facebook group.
After more than three years of development, the final version of Return of Dr. Destructo is here! I don’t have much else to say right now, so just watch the trailer and download builds for Windows, Linux and MacOS X.
The full set of downloads are available at game’s site, but here are some quick links!
That programs have bugs is a given in modern times. We all make mistakes, and even if we don’t, we use somebody else’s code, which may contain errors. When your program crashes on user’s computer, you should know about it, and that’s where Crash Reporting comes in. We all have seen it in Windows, MacOS X and even in KDE applications. But what if you want to add such capability to your own project?
As long as you’re only using mobile platforms like iOS, Android or Windows Phone, you have a rich choice of 3rd-party APIs which allows generation, collection and processing of crash reports. iOS has TestFlight. For a cross-platform applications, you may use HockeyApp SDK or CApptain. But on desktop, your choice is limited.
Actually, I was unable to find any free alternatives to Google’s Breakpad. The good news, however, is that Breakpad is a well-tested piece of code (it is used in Mozilla Firefox and some other major software products) and it’s certainly cross-platform. In fact, not only does it support desktop, but also mobile platforms!
However, its integration is far from straightforward.
So I missed a whole week this time. But I have an excuse, or even a pair of them! First, I’ve been working on the new menus’ UI all this time, and now it’s nearly finished, though a few rough spots remain here and there, mainly due to gamepad support being somewhat inconsistent. The new controls menu with support for gamepad and (in future) touch controls also took some time to get right.
Another excuse is, Wasteland 2 came out. And it’s good. No, it’s not astonishing, and it probably will never achieve such cult status as Fallout did, but it’s quite enjoyable once you get past the brutality of first-levels combat, and so I spend some of my free time playing it instead of coding.
Here’s a screenshot of the new menu UI. It’s quite similar to mock-ups that I posted before, no big surprises here, but it’s an actual, in-game screenshot, just to document progress I’m making.
I missed the Monday with a weekly update, didn’t I? Also, most of the rest of the week. Not that I’m really on a tight schedule here, since I guess I have about two regular readers. But it’ a slippery slope, which ends with only writing to this blog two times a year, and I’m hoping to avoid it. So, here’s the latest news.
We’ve made some more progress on UI, and now have a final variant. I’m now waiting for Oleg to create a texture atlas out of it, so I can finally begin programming.
Since there wasn’t much to do on coding front last week, I concentrated on two thing: making Return of Dr Destructo easier to compile and checking out a new feature of Emscripten called Asyncify.
In this weekly update, I would like to talk about game’s difficulty, options and UI.
The modern notion is that game’s options should be as simple as possible. It is even preferable if a game has no options at all, which is often the case for browser and mobile games. While I see some validity in this point of view, I simply can’t embrace it. For me, exploring various menus, ways of tweaking a game, was always a pleasant part of experience, especially when it comes to difficulty options. Continue reading →
I have nothing to show you from Return of Dr. Destructo this week, since the changes I’ve made are important, but invisible. So let’s talk instead about other people’s games.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been replaying one of the lesser-known, but still much loved turn-based squad tactic games, Blue Byte’sIncubation: Time is running out. I bought it on Good Old Games as a part of Battle Isle pack some time in the past year, but I have already played it before, long ago, and remembered it fondly. Well, let me tell you that replaying it didn’t disappoint me at all! Even though I found graphics ass-ugly and camera just awful.
So, Return of Dr. Destructo has been in development for three years already. I first started coding sky drawing routine somewhere around August of 2012. I’m still missing a few pieces of the new art, and mobile versions are not ready, and the new UI broke some screens, because a lot of stuff was hard-coded to save time.
So, for the last week I got back to writing code for this game and fixing things. There isn’t much to report just yet, but you can check out an updated version of High Score screen: