New Image on the V1.1 Gallery….

I’ve added a new image to the v1.1 gallery. Mayhem Lobby with Chat window.

Players will be able to chat in the Mayhem lobby with other players in that game while waiting for more players to join.

The game Host decides when he/she wants to start the game and whether AI will fill empty spots that humans haven’t joined yet.

More to come soon!

New Cubemen v1.1 Gallery Page

I have started a new Cubemen v1.1 gallery page to showcase the new content I am working on during development. I have just added a first look image of the new Mayhem game (me v.s. 5 AI on the first playable level “SO IT BEGINS”).

I’ll be adding new images here as quickly as I can as work progresses on v1.1 and just to let you all know, it’s going REALLY well πŸ™‚

So so everyone is clear, I am not rushing v1.1 out the door. I am making sure it’s perfect and it’s everything it can be. No ETA to announce yet.

Cubemen 1.1 – New Mayhem Mode

Here is a screenshot from the level selection screen in the new Mayhem game mode coming in Cubemen 1.1

MAYHEM is a 6 way online game. Up to 6 online players at once on a new set of specially made levels.

Select the number of online players, whether to fill empty spots with AI and how many waves to play.

Of course, you could just play you versus 5 AI if you want to get thrashed!

More images and gameplay info coming soon!

Cubemen 1.1 – Check this out…

I am VERY excited to showcase one of the cool new features coming soon in the Cubemen 1.1 update.

Cubemen Character Customisation for your team and the opponents team.

Of course, if you are playing a network game, your opponent’s Cubemen will look like how they have customised their units.

Cubemen 1.0.6 partly out…

Cubemen 1.0.6 is now out on iOS and on Steam and half out on Desura (Stand alone installers are updated, but client updater is still in the review queue).

Mac App Store versions are still “Waiting for review” with Apple. I really wish there was a way for the same game on both platforms (iOS and MAS) to be linked so they get reviewed and released at the same time.

I could have help back the iOS version until the MAS version was ready but I really wanted to get the crash fixes and performance improvements out to everyone on iOS as soon as possible.

We have also has some web sever downtime the last few days. We host with DreamHost and they have had one of their three data centres go up and down like a yoyo for the last few days and lucky us.. that’s where our server is.

Of course all of our high scores and ratings, ranks and game stats are stored on the web server, so interruptions to that causes interruptions to some features in Cubemen. Sorry. DreamHost are usually 100% reliable. I hope they get the issues sorted soon!

 

This can’t be real, can it?

Surely this is a fake mockup – I mean, what else could it be?

Cubemen 1.0.6 is Ready!

I have been hard at work (again) on the latest update to Cubemen that focuses mainly on stability and bug fixes as well as some improvements to game mechanics and some spit and polish.

This version is going into submission this weekend.

Here is the complete list of changes:

ADDED

  • Added new Defense Level – UpDown
  • Added message for No Support for GMA950 cards on game start (OSX)
  • Added message for No Support for iPad1 on game start (iOS)
  • Added message about network games and version number
  • Added device icons (mac, pc, ipad)
  • Added more music loops
  • Added sound-fx chime when player joins network game
  • Added framerate threshold for dropping VFX on iOS devices at low frame rate (Check Options screen – on by default)
  • Added incrementing cost for units (This changes the game slightly for those that spam levels with GRILLS)
  • Added move lives to Beginner (15 lives) and Easy levels (13 lives)

IMPROVED

  • Improved performance where possible
  • Improved Mortar unit at short distance and stationary targets
  • Improved online game connection screens ( Now Looks Nicer)
  • Improved Endless mode – It’s now harder πŸ™‚

FIXED

  • Fixed Skimish mode players not attacking other players when no non player units on the level.
  • Fixed imbalance on AI Grenade units in Skirmish mode
  • Fixed skirmish game stability and syncing
  • Fixed more crash bugs
  • Fixed bug where stats used for achievements were not storing correctly ( stats and achievements could now be out of sync, but they will re-sync over time )
  • Fixed humped bonus times
  • Fixed Last Stand – Best scores To Beat not loading in properly

My last four days – Funny? Maybe :-) – Long Read

The launch on iOS and Mac App Store sent me into a crazy spin. It’s true. I didn’t get much sleep the last few days and spent 95% of my time in front of my keyboard coding like a maniac!

So, what happened?

Well, like all good planning, once the event hits, things often don’t go exactly to plan.

Cubemen had been out on Steam for 2 weeks before the iOS launch and had been on Desura for many weeks before that.Β The iOS version has been in version sync since Cubemen 1.0, and every build was tested on iPad 2 (and then 3 when it was released).

I had no crash bug reports from any users and I haven’t experienced any (and I have played a lot of Cubemen), so I thought the game was stable.

When the iOS version launched and Cubemen was featured in almost every country, sales went through the roof, which was awesome, but as more people played the game, the chances of unfound issues appearing increased and the next thing I knew I was getting crash bug reports from iOS players.

Unfortunately, over 95% of these reports were via the App Store review process. I don’t really care about getting 1 star reviews that say, “App crashes”. What I do care about is that there is no way to contact the reviewer, so I couldnt get any for information about what the player was doing when it crashed.

Can you imagine how hard it is to track down a crash bug in a game the size of Cubemen when the only information you have is “It crashes” ? I didn’t even know what device they were using or what iOS version.

Panic set in, so I stayed awake for almost 3 days straight TRYING to reproduce a crash bug with almost no information. To make the challenge harder, those that did contact me directly (thank you very much to those people), reported that the crash was totally random. They would play a level and have it crash, then play the same level again 2 more times to get re-production steps, but the game wouldn’t crash those 2 times. Sheesh, what a PITA πŸ™‚

So after 3 days of frantic code re-factoring and implementation of “saftey” code wrapped around possible dangerous code areas, I gave the new 1.0.4 build to the few users that did contact me with crash reports and asked them to hammer it. And hammer it they did, and reports back were… no crashes!

You’d think that this is the end of the story and everyone lives happy ever after, right? Wrong.

While I was waiting for the testers to get back to me about the 1.0.4 build and it’s stability, I has some free time, so as usual, instead of sleeping, I looked through all of the customer feedback for the next issue that was bugging most (I always read all customer feedback and always address issues and concerns that fall in line with my vision for y games).

I found an issue that had been bugging many players – Some times units get pushed off the level or their position by enemy units or enemy fire, as all units in the game including projectiles are physics items with mass and colliders.

The design was that if a unit fell off and couldn’t get back to their position, you could sell them and get another unit. That it seemed players didn’t like that, so I decided to change the behaviour and added the feature that if a Unit fell too far away from their position, they would reset back to their starting base and re-walk back to their position.

I tested this in defence levels and it works great. I was really happy with the solution and felt that players would also be happy that I not only listened but found a great solution for them.

Email starting to ping, and testers were reporting a stable build and I had about an hour left before the US woke up (I am in Australia) so I decided to get a build into review for iOS and OSX immediately so I could email the review teams and get expedited approvals to get the bug fixes out to players immediately.

So I did, and then went to bed after almost 3 days of no sleep.

I woke then next working (after only 5 hours sleep) ready and pumped to go do a guest lecture at Deakin University about the games industry, and checked my email and saw that the iOS version was approved (Yay Apple review team).

I jumped in the shower and got dressed, then checked my email again (addict) and found about 15 bug reports.

Skirmish mode in 1.0.4 was busted. Blue men were spawning at the Blue base and Red men were spawning at the Blue base!

I has tested the Defense levels with the new player reset feature, but I had rushed and not tested the Skimish modes!!!! AAARGH!

Coding and making critical decision with no sleep is just a SILLY IDEA. I knew this, I know this, I never do this. But this one time I did in my eagerness to get a bug fix out to everyone and in doing so I just swapped one issue for another!

So I quickly fixed the bug(was one tiny line of code) and re-submitted 1.0.5 and Begged Apple again for another expedited review – The awesome guys at Apple really must be sick of me by now – and I went to do my guest lecture all bummed out!

Half way to the University, my phone started pinging (email alerts) .. one… two… five… I thought, Oh Oh, what the F&^% now!! So I pulled over and checked my phone. Cubemen 1.0.5 on iOS has been approved! 20 Minutes! Approved. Holly Cow!

So I put a smile on my face and went to the guest lecture and told everyone there this story and how crazy and hard Indie Dev Life is, and even through all of this stress (self induced), there is nothing I would rather do with my life!

So what have I learnt from this?

  • DON’T RUSH. Not even when sleep levels are good, definitely not when sleep is non-existant.
  • My customers are a HUGE priority, but I am still more important.

I am passionate about what I do and I really care about my customers experience. I have been told many times that I am too passionate and care too much. Maybe, but thats just who I am.

I will always strive to make my games the best they can be, and I will always listen to my customers, but I have to clam down a bit and work at a more sustainable pace.

The last four days of craziness have passed and everything worked out for the best, but it’s not something I want to go through again any time soon.

If you read this far – thanks!

New Cubemen update submitted! Again!

We have submitted the 1.0.4 iOS and OSX update to Apple for review, and hope to have it out to everyone as quick as possible.

I’ll be honest and say we cant be 100% sure we have fixed every single fringe case of the iOS crashing some users have experienced, but we have squished a few and this version of Cubemen is extremely rock solid.

Our testers have been hammering it all day and no one has experienced any crashing… but what they have experienced is better performance, better unit targeting and firing and more cool new features!

We didn’t get every feature we planned into the 1.0.4 update, because we opted to focus on stability first, but we did get a lot done and this new update was never going to be the last, so everything we have planned will eventually make it in.

This is the final list that made it into the 1.0.4 update:

  • Added new Defense Level – Spikes (Hard)
  • Added new Defense game mode – Sudden Death. Start with 1 life and that’s all you get.
  • Added click/tap ANY unit on the level to see the units details (Name, Weapon & Health)
  • Added player unit target choice – Target Closest & Target Furthest
  • Added support for 2560 x 1440 & 2560 x 1600 resolutions (Desktop version)
  • Added more hints
  • Moved player units main details to bottom left of interface and added unit cooling/ready state display
  • Improved targeting/shooting of Cubemen (especially Mortar and Flamer)
  • Improved performance & optimised shaders
  • Tweak Ripples level to make it easier
  • Fixed spelling mistakes
  • Fixed bug where “Pick New Level” after game end didn’t display the level selection screen correctly
  • Fixed random crash bug on camera switch
  • Fixed random crash when Lazlo Laser unit fires
  • Fixed in game rating button not going to correct page (iOS)
  • Fixed game sometimes getting stuck during first play help stopping waves from starting
  • Fixed bonus packages not triggering when falling on units
Because Sleep is only for sissies and the updates were still waiting for review, I decided to add more to this update and tackle another gripe many players have.
  • Player Units that fall off the level or too far away from their spots get reset back to the base and re-pathfind back to their wanted destination
  • Improved Mike Medic pathfinding
  • Improved occasional overshooting of destination when Units walking

Now an even better comprehensive list πŸ™‚

Once we have a confirmation of when 1.0.4 will be approved, we will update the Steam and Desura versions to ensure all versions are the same.

We cant wait to get this update into everyone’s hands!

Cheers πŸ™‚

 

Cubemen 1.0.4 update going into the hands on testers!

I am happy to announce that the next update for Cubemen (1.0.4) is now in the hands of out beloved testers. Stay tuned…