Bullfrog Teaser Screen Shot

I haven’t posted any updates on my development progress on Bullfrog for a while. I’ve been very busy trying to get the game ready for the OMG Cup 2005 deadline of Midnight, November 28.

Once I get through the deadline, I’m planning on writing a postmortem on the development of the game. I’ve learned a ton throughout the game design and development cycle and will try and share as much of it as I can.

For now, here’s a teaser screen capture straight from game play.

Not all the final bug animations are included, but it gives you a much better peek into the final look.

You can get the latest version of Bullfrog on my game downloads page.

OMG Cup: One Week Left

One week to go until the Original Mac Games Cup deadline.

The game is code complete barring no bugs or serious performance issues over the next week of testing and game play balancing.

The majority of the work left to do is to incorporate the final artwork. I’m only waiting on the final animated sprites and the background scenery to be completed.

I’m tired and ready to be done. Just one last push through to midnight November 28th.

Bullfrog Alpha v0.80 Released

I’ve been very busy with the new day job. It’s really taken a huge chunk of my time. Fortunately I’ve been able to eek out enough time to finally ready a new build of Bullfrog.

This past week of heads down game programming has produced the following changes for this new release:

  • heavy bug animation optimization
  • added “loading…” title screen during pre-rendering of animation frames
  • all rotations are now pre-rendered for improved performance
  • rebuilt the bug rendering system to support full unlimited animation frames
  • upgraded project to Xcode 2.2
  • ScoreBoard is now renderred directly on the main game view instead of its own custom NSView

Items still to complete:

  • Add more bug varieties
  • Incorporate actual animation artwork
  • Add background to game view
  • Play Balance Levels/Rounds
  • Instructions/Help Screen
  • Options preferences need to be saved between sessions
  • Custom Control bindings
  • Allow player to enter their name for high scores
  • Registration/Demo handling
  • Difficulty Levels?

Some of these features most likely will not make it into the game by the OMG Cup deadline of Midnight November 28. But I’ll do my best. The OMG Cup only requires the game to be in Beta condition to be eligible, so some of the minor things can probably be pushed off until after the contest.

Download Bullfrog

Game Icon and Artwork – Part 3

In Part 2 of this series of articles, I presented Jordan Langille‘s initial sketch for the application icon for Bullfrog. His first try was dead on with what I was looking for.

After approving the sketch, Jordan set off to create the initial version of the icon graphic. A week later, Jordan came back with his first attempt at rendering the sketch into actual icon ready art.

I found this version to be a great conversion from his original sketch, but not perfect. I wanted some changes made.

Here are the exact comments I sent back to Jordan.

Looks pretty good. I like the eyes, the back legs and feet very much.

A couple of changes though:

The front two legs look strange to me. They don’t look like they are in the right perspective. They also look like they aren’t quite long enough, like they aren’t really reaching the ground.

The frog’s face and the center point between the front legs don’t quite line up either.

Also his left back leg and left front leg are too close together when the graphic is smaller. They look like they merge together. Maybe some space between them?

Also it looks like he’s resting on his butt instead of squatting on his hind legs. The heel on the right back leg gives me this impression.

Twenty-three hours later, I received an updated version.

Perfect! The front legs and eyes are now lined up. The frog now looks like he’s resting on his legs instead of his backside. Jordan also made the whole frog skinnier, which made the whole image look a bit more balanced.

The next step, creating a Mac .icns file that can be linked with the compiled binary of Bullfrog. Once that is completed, Jordan will attack the artwork for the in-game animated sprites.

Game Icon and Artwork: Part 1, Part 2

Bullfrog Alpha v0.60 Released

A new version of Bullfrog is now available with tons of enhancements. Though a majority of the work went into the refactoring of the cocoa and objective-c code.

These were important changes that allow for adding new bugs in future versions. It also allows me to move away from procedurally built levels to designed levels to allow for better play balancing.

Below is a list of changes that went into this build.

  • fixed high scores bug for adding ties
  • added title to main menu
  • added copyright to main menu
  • added high scores
  • added main menu screen
  • added options menu
  • added round starting screen
  • added round completed screen
  • added game over screen
  • added ‘esc’ to quit game, leave options, leave high scores
  • player can now toggle sound effects
  • player can now toggle ambient sound
  • major code refactor
  • added floating time bonus indicator
  • added floating point bonus indicator

Update: 11/16/2005 — Bullfrog updated to Alpha v0.80

Download Bullfrog

Game Icon and Artwork – Part 2

This morning, Jordan Langille delivered his sketch for the Bullfrog application icon. He was able to create what I had in mind on his first try. Now, he’s working on turning the sketch into an actual application icon.

I set Jordan to work on the application icon first, because I felt having the icon to display on the product page would be helpful for marketing purposes. You know, first impressions and everything.

Once we have the application icon designed and finalized, we’ll start working on the in game graphics. Ideally, I’d like to have the game artwork match the icon in style and feel.

Game Icon and Artwork – Part 1

Bullfrog Alpha v0.56

After some really good feedback on the initial alpha release, I’ve made some minor changes that should improve game play quite a bit.

The main complaints:

  1. bugs are too hard to hit
  2. tongue recharges to slowly
  3. frog’s movement is too [fast, jerky, jittery], i.e. low frame rates

Release Notes:

  • doubled the size of all the bugs so they are easier to hit
  • frog’s tongue is now fatter, longer, and recharges faster
  • frog’s recharge rate is now frame rate independent
  • removed the blue pond circle for performance reasons (gained 2-5 frames per second)

Update: 11/16/2005 — Bullfrog updated to Alpha v0.80

Download Bullfrog