We are a two man Indie Game Development team from South Africa. Our first game, Star Chronicles: Delta Quadrant is available on Steam (Click to buy Delta Quadrant) - our second game, Catch a Falling Star, is in the Greenlight process! please vote for it :)
We've been keeping an eye out on feedback and comments from our players, and have listened! Based on the feedback and reviews we got (yes, even the bad ones!), we've just released version 1.25 for Star Chronicles: Delta Quadrant. Here are the notes:
Delta Quadrant 1.25 - Change log
Removed double esc to quit game. New quit popup menu will appear on first press of esc key.
At the end of the first turn on a new sector a exit to skills popup menu will appear if the player has any unspent skill points.
New menu music by Scheve (Thank you!)
Items on the ship screen doesn’t stay selected when you return to the ship screen.
Fixed a bug that caused the player ship to move while clicking on the interface buttons at the bottom.
Fixed the bug that allowed the player to move while it was busy with the enemy turn.
Map can be scrolled with mouse scroll wheel and keyboard keys: (UP - R, Up Arrow, Page UP, NumMinus) (Down - F, Down Arrow, Page Down, NumPlus)
Map will now follow player ship movement
Dismantle, Salvage and Convert will now scale with item rank and player level.
Added a new setting to the settings screen - Single Click Attack (Will attack enemy on first click without confirming the attack and damage)
We want to give a big thank you to everyone who has played the game so far, and for each person who took the time to write a review - even the negative ones! We appreciate your time and support!
When we started with the idea of Catch a Falling Star, we saw an opportunity to add some localization to it - that is, to have the game be in more than one language. The game doesn't have a story line, so the text is really not a lot. "Play" here and "High Score" there, etc.
We bought an asset on Unity's Asset store that helped a great deal, it's called G2U (which stands for Google 2 U), check it out here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/11818 - if you plan on adding multiple language support to your game, I'd highly recommend it.
The nice part about G2U is that it connects to a Google Docs Spreadsheet, so it's really easy to have several people be able to edit it. This spreadsheet basically contains the different versions of text for each language you plan on supporting.
To start with, we'll have language support for Catch a Falling Star for English, Afrikaans (because we're Afrikaans hehe), French and German. Now, we are using Google Translate, so hopefully the fact that the stuff we're translating is simple words or phrases makes it accurate enough.
In our Spreadsheet we have the first column basically being the unique identifier, with each column having the English, Afrikaans, French and German versions. The nice thing, adding a new language would be as simple as adding another column and filling it in.
Now, in Catch a Falling Star, a lot of the elements are actually images and not text. This makes localization a bit more work, since each image containing text I basically have to make several versions for. Luckily, we don't have too much text in the game, so it only took an hour or two.
Next enters Jayson - damn what a great coder he is. He created a very easy to use, but very powerful script to implement this in our game. The script is all of 115 lines of code (so far). And boy does it make implementing it so easy! We created a localization manager, and plopped the script onto that. All you need to do then is simply populate the array with all of your objects that has different language versions. That's really pretty much all it takes to get it to work. And does it work well!
Check out the 4 different login screens:
It works great!
(by the way, if you're French or German, and you see a mistake, please be so kind and point that out in the comments below - would really appreciate that!)
A simple thing like adding multiple language support to your game can make a massive difference. Not everyone can speak English after all, and I think our players will really appreciate the extra effort we're putting in :)
Ahhh the joys of struggling with something for a few hours, and then all of a sudden finding a very simple solution for it.
From version 4.6, Unity added a new set of UI elements you can use to easily make user interfaces for your games. Now, I've only really been using Unity since version 5, so I don't know most of the struggles a lot of you guys out there know.
In Delta Quadrant we used nGUI, because when development for that started there wasn't UI yet...
Anyway, with Catch a Falling Star, the task for the menu system has fallen on my shoulders, and I'm glad it did. I've learned a huge amount by building the menu and settings screens for the game. And, as with learning anything new, it included some hairs going grey or being pulled out out of frustration.
Today, for example, those damn carets drove me crazy! One of the UI elements I am using in the game is the Input Field. This is basically a text box allowing the player to type in something. Like any decent text box, it should have a caret as well - you know, that blinking thing showing you where you're going to be typing the next letter. As I'm writing this, it's here as well, and it's a handy thing for sure - I would be sad to not have it in my life.
Except, for some reason, the Unity UI Input Field's caret is NOT AT THE RIGHT POSITION!! And it drove me semi-insane today! I mean, just look at this:
I tried everything just to move that damn caret up - I did figure it out in the end, thank goodness, but hell, why does it do that Unity people??
It turns out that it has to do with the position of the pivot of the Text component. Here's the default values:
It turns out the pivot determines where the caret will be placed. Changing the Y value to 1.5 instead of 0.5 actually puts the pivot outside the text box, but that doesn't really matter in this case. It does, however, fix this extremely annoying bug :)
Now, isn't that a beautiful site to behold? I hope this little trick can save you some of the headaches I experienced. You might have to tweak your values slightly, but this helped me a great deal!
Catch a Falling Star will have a few themes to keep things interested. At launch, there will be 5 themes - Island, Lush Valley, Under-the-Sea, Japan and Space. We definitely plan to do more in the future though!
I've already mentioned the Japan theme in a previous post, but I just like it so much I'm posting it again!
Feast your eyes on the two new concepts, Japan and Space:
They are gorgeous, Natalie from Sugar+Spice Design has done an absolute STAR job creating them for us! We cannot wait to get them into the game and animated!
We are making awesome progress with Catch a Falling Star, and I'm happy to report on some of it in this post :)
Firstly, we have decided to not limit the game to Android anymore. As developing continues, we actually found that the game plays very nicely on PC as well, especially with a controller!
We bought a great Unity asset that has proven extremely useful for implementing all kinds of controller support to our game - it is called Rewired, and it handles everything for making your game work with a controller - check it out here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/21676
Then, one thing we're sorry we never did for Delta Quadrant was localization - making the game available in more than one language. Since Catch a Falling Star won't be having too much text in the game, we decided to build in multiple language support from the beginning :) This functionality was done by Jayson this week, and it works exceptionally well. Going to make adding more languages a breeze!
Lastly, Player Data :D
This one excites me a great deal! We have an in-game currency called Star Bux (see what I did there haha!) - you earn Star Bux by catching coins while playing, watching ads (on the mobile versions), or by completing daily challenges. Then, with the Star Bux you can unlock additional baskets and themes to play with.
Now, we could store the amount of Star Bux you have locally, but that would make it easy for people to hack and modify, so we decided to look for an online system we can use for this. Our search led us to the very awesome PlayFab - it's quite a system! And I had a ton of fun implementing it this week.
At first I didn't know where to begin, but they have great support and they are Unity supporters! So there is a Unity SDK for PlayFab already. And they have a few example projects that made it so much easier.
Anyway, now Star Bux is stored on PlayFab for each player. They also have a system called the Catalog - basically the part that will handle the inventory for the players. In our case, we have the baskets and themes as part of the catalog. We can give each item various attributes and how much Star Bux it'll cost, etc. This makes it extremely easy to make modifications in the game without having to rebuild the game. Each basket and theme the player unlocks will get added to his/her inventory. PlayFab can also store various statistics, and we can decide exactly what to store. For example, the high scores, how many times they've played, how many power ups they've caught, etc. The possibilities are endless!
And the best part? You can login with Steam, Facebook, Google, iOS Game Center, Email Address and Kongregate to mention a few!
For now I've added the base functionality for PlayFab - a player can log in on his PlayFab profile, I can retrieve how many Star Bux he has, and what his high score was. I can also send the commands to modify those values.
It was a good week indeed! We can't wait to load a playable demo.
Oh, and let me wrap up this post with one of our most beautiful themes yet: