Jeff Hangartner – Revealing the Path Less Travelled in Video Game Industry

Jeff HangartnerJeff Hangartner, the founder of the gaming start-up, Bulletproof Outlaws has been a professional developer of games over the last half a decade. Creator of Pixelation, the 1st Pixel Art Forum and also originator of the Pixel tutorials which have been published in the form of a book. Jeff has always been a pioneer of the gaming industry.

CG Today is proud to present Jeff’s exploration as he shares the whole process of creating a start-up right from day 1. With the belief that gaming development is coming back to its original “one programmer in the basement roots” idea, Bulletproof Outlaws is chronicling every step of its start-up process from strategies, to marketing, setting goals and outsourcing, successes and failures. The aim is to help other developers who have ideas but are intimidated by the whole start-up process and are not sure how to go about it.

You can visit his website Bulletproof Outlaws to know more about him or send an email to get connected.

Bulletproof Outlaws - A Diary of a video game studio!

Today was my business class and we watched a DVD lecture of John DeMartini. It mostly covered psychological stuff. The guy is pretty charismatic, and the points he was making about focusing on what you want to do were good ideas. One of the exercises he suggested is to write down the tasks you do daily, in order of which ones you like doing the most to which ones you dread doing, for a long period of time, and down the road when you look back at these tasks you’ll notice a trend in your top 2 or 3 things… those are the things you should find a way to do something with in your life, because those are the things that are important to you and bring you joy.

I like playing videogames, I like drawing, and I like writing. So the goal I’m working towards is to find a way to make money drawing in the videogame industry, and writing about it. Makes perfect sense! I’m lucky, I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was a little kid, but a lot of other people aren’t so fortunate and don’t really have an obvious direction for their life. I’d be curious to see if this experiment helped people in that situation!

The throwing-star now appears, and it looks awesome on the iPhone’s screen. I remember doing Game Boy Advance games, and it was always so depressing to see your art on the actual screens…you’d have to boost the saturation and brightness up way over the top because the screens would darken and dull the art. The later versions of the GBA had better screens but the first-gen was just brutal. Even when you did get your art to show up it still looked pretty murky depending on the lighting conditions in the room.

Most of the animation tool kinks have been worked out.  I’ve re-done the animation files for the dynamite and the water-splash effect that will appear when the ninja slides left and right.  In the animation files I add in commands to certain frames of animation that say things like “playSound voice1.wav” or “gotoAnim 3″ or “checkDamage” and these trigger functions Derek is writing in the code that will do those things.  I think this is the most efficient way to do things, because it means I can do a ton of the work on the art side and we can hard-code as little as possible.

Got the fire arrow’s animations redone today! This is going pretty quick, it’s just boring, and I’ve already made videos of this stuff as I was developing it so there’s not much to really post up! Derek has come down with the flu so the programming side will slow up a little bit this week. That’s alright with me though, it gives me time to catch up on the art side. Originally I wanted to be fully done all the art before even talking to a programmer, but it’s working out alright. Next game I’ll understand what to expect in terms of how the animation files need to be set up, so things should go much smoother!

Got the riceball and the sushi to go, then I can get back to the menus, title screen, redoing the background art, etc.! Slowly getting closer and closer!

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Bulletproof Outlaws Diary