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Messages - JeffNevington

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Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Guess Who Will Post Next... II!
« on: March 23, 2021, 03:13:47 PM »
No, it's me. Obviously.

This time Tusky is next.

Skill Needed Adverts / Looking for artists [Paid]
« on: March 23, 2021, 03:10:34 PM »
We need some more help working on Empires of the Undergrowth and other future projects. There's lots of scope for creative freedom given how small our team is.
If you want to work in games, are familiar with UE4 & like drawing foliage or designing menus (or both), then this is for you.

These are full time work-from-home positions (unfortunately UK only though):

Superb. Interested in seeing if someone applies after seeing it here!

We're hiring for our first external employee at Slug Disco to help take some of the pressure off, particularly in the marketing department.

The job is full time and will be permanently remote so we can consider applicants worldwide. A part time option might be possible.

Here's the post:

You don't need a background in marketing, but an appreciation of what it takes for a post to get to the front of /r/gaming on reddit would be helpful.
We need someone quite organised ideally who can take a bunch of jobs on and prioritize what to work on themselves on any given day.
An interest in gamedev, and playing RTS/management games would be good.
If you can handle a bit of PHP from time to time, that would be fantastic (but really not necessary to apply).

Hope it's okay to post this here, feel free to shift it otherwise  :ogre:

I would love to put in a level editor - you are right it would give it so much more replayability.  Our original in-house engine that ran our 2015 mobile version did actually have an editor for 1v1 missions against an enemy colony... Amazing how that has gone from a reality to a distant, complex goal in UE4.

I'm not sure what the best way of doing a level editor would be these days.  You would think it would be easy as we use hex-grids for everything, but the ants go up and down ramps that are neatly placed by hand.  The ant entrances are also placed by hand, there are invisible pathing penalty zones and impassable walls on ledges that have to be edited manually in certain circumstances.  Even if we made a system whereby those could be placed easily, painting the surface is also not automated, its also a manual process, blending the non-tile grid objects into the tile-grid ones.  Finally we would need a way for the user to add enemy colonies, define their behaviours, trigger creature spawns & events etc... Would be quite a lot of work.

We are going to have a meeting next month to assess the current situation and what we need to do next.  The leafcutter update has been really well received but as we feared, its really just a 3-4 hour additional burst of content.  Once it's done, it's done (unless you have a thing for harder difficulty modes).   Skirmish mode, map editor, multiplayer & improved freeplay will all be on the table for discussion.  I would also like to finish the game in this lifetime...

The fez spider is not technically a spider.  They are of the order Amblypygi but commonly known as "whip spiders".  Not a scorpion - not a spider, something a bit similar to both, but is actually neither.  It walks on 6 of its legs, its two front legs have become long modified antenna-like structures for feeling around (the two big arms on its face are enlarged pedipalps).  One crawls on Ron Weasley's face in The Harry Potter movie - Goblet of Fire.

Awesome - I hope you enjoy it.  It will be interesting to see if this breathes much new life into it.  I worry a bit that its not that much content wise, it's basically another 2-3 hours worth.  It just takes so long putting it all together. 

At least we managed to get the new spider hats in. 

Just mopping up the last of the horrific game breaking issues now...

Bigosaur / Re: EGX Rezzed 2019
« on: April 12, 2019, 07:27:27 PM »
I'd love to get some press coverage for our upcoming update but I just can't bring myself to send out another set of emails not knowing if they be read or not.

- and we also don't have time to put a nice little gift press kit together and post it.. In fact, maybe I'm too paranoid about this sort of thing but I would be worried about it back firing and all the indie games press posting stories on how we tried to bribe a review out of them  :-X

If only we were publishing on switch.  I need to hire a porter.  If I had someone to clean and keep my house in order, I'd have time to port the game.

Bigosaur / Re: EGX Rezzed 2019
« on: April 11, 2019, 01:35:32 PM »
Press seem almost impossible to attract by doing anything actively.  I remember on our first kickstarter sending dozens of emails out, each specifically personalised to the writer, spent 30-60 minutes on each one spamming away.  Complete waste of time in the end.

Smaller sites will write about it if you give them plenty of text, and good images so they don't have to do much, but I wonder if it really makes any difference.

Some articles came in appeared eventually without us contacting people.  I think they happened via interest in the game on Youtube.  Don't forget - if you get press attention it can go two ways too - A Serbian print magazine did a 2 page spread completely slating our game, it was horrific. 

I am dying in a sea of self imposed crunch.  There is something wrong with sound concurrency, half of the music isn't ready, we're trying to crow bar German and Chinese subtitles into the game, the whip spider's inverse kinematic legs are getting stuck on ledges, the preying mantis sometimes gets an ant perpetually stuck in its mandibles, but one way or another its going to be sorted by the 25th. 

Bigosaur / EGX Rezzed 2019
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:16:26 PM »
Hi Bigosaur,

I just wanted to thank you for sponsoring the RPS mixer.  I had 3 pints of stout and a gin and tonic.

Were you there?  After I saw Son of a Witch on the RPS poster I thought you might have a booth in the show. 

Yeah, I would hold out for the Leafcutters if you want to see something new.  A video log would be superb, if you wanted to do that, I'd post it around heavily :D.  I can't say that will make you famous though.  I'd actually like to do one myself, I don't get any opportunities to just play the game as a whole.  I'm always just testing little pieces of it.

Computer Game Development - The Indie Alley / Re: Game dev chatter
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:15:10 AM »
I wrote a one-year retrospective on moving to Seattle for indie game dev:


Considering Moving to Seattle as an Indie Game Dev? My one Year Retrospective

If you want to move to Seattle to pursue indie game development, I’m now you one year into the future. Looking back at my experience, I have attended many more gaming events than before, met countless developers in my shoes, fostered promising business connections, and got a chance to showcase my upcoming game frequently. But there are some disappointments as well, such finding a flourishing social life like I had before. Here are all the pros, cons and what I learned from living in Seattle for a year.

Continue Reading ->

Edit by Glaurung: link URL cleaned up

If its any consolation, I have never managed to make friends in game developer circles apart from the people I work with directly.  Then again, I find it difficult to even make business related connections in this game.  I have fairly cynical view, that any time I meet another indie dev they must have some sort of agenda - maybe its because of the places I have tended to meet fellow devs.  I treat gamedev meetups and events as work outings and always feel like I'm on the clock.  Especially if money is tight, its hard to relax. 

My first big event was to attend GDC back in 2015.  This was before gamedev was anything close to a career and I was still safe in the cradle of academia. I had managed to get a free ticket, along with some other UK devs (all of whom I did not know).  We were all in the same boat, everyone had a small project nearing completion.  After arriving, only one of the group was interested in meeting up during the event, the rest all had their own plans and seemed to be putting on a facade of business-like self-importance when I tried to chat to them as humans.  I assume these people, although fellow nerds deep down, were probably under immense stress and felt they needed to dedicate the precious time at the event towards more influential contacts (they are probably doing it right as my contact network remains impressively insignificant).  I left the event feeling like I spent the whole trip in a bubble, just observing everything that was going on.

Since then I have attended a handful of conferences and meetups.  The meetups are always fairly awkward.  I find myself surrounded by people with the same interests as me, but everyone always seems to be on their best behaviour, very rigid.

I can't believe its been almost a year since all of this post-release chat.  What's more worrying is that a lot of this feedback still hasn't been properly addressed...

It's incredible how much time we have sunk into optimisation and bug fixing over the last 11 months, I think in the run up to release we became experts at brushing issues under the rug.  Anyway, I'm much happier with where we are now in terms of a robust ant simulation game foundation.

The team is now desperately trying to speed towards a major content update where we unveil leafcutter ants.  There will be more creatures added than were in the original early access release, and some really in-depth mechanics to emulate the complexities of leafcutter society in game-form.  I'm just hoping people are still interested (especially those who haven't bought Empires of the Undergrowth yet!).  :ogre:

I love your library, what do you use to produce the tracks?  Some sound a bit like midis for old point-and-click adventure games, very nostalgic.  Do you ever post these on reddit?  I think the gamedev group would appreciate them.

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