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!

Almost back to full health, so today I got back to drawing! I have two major effects I need to make: The fire arrow‘s fire, and the dynamite‘s explosion. I think the explosion will be more difficult to tackle because it’ll involve both an explosion and smoke clouds, so I decided to give the fire arrow a go first. I’ve done effects like this before in Mage Knight for the Nintendo DS (terrible game, don’t buy it haha) and I developed a pretty fast workflow. I decided to record my desktop to see if my little laptop would blow up or not and it survived so I’ll record more art videos as I go…I also don’t know why the cursor shows up as a black box, but I’ll look into that for next time!

I’m getting to the point where I’m going to have to name my game something other than Game1 haha I am terrible with names. I’ve called past hobby projects stuff like “TheGame”, “Untitled”, “blahblah”, etc. Plus now that I’m making stuff I’ll actually sell I have to consider copyright issues and everything. If I name my game “Ninja Game” and there’s already a “Ninja Game” on the app store somewhere, I’m sure that’s going to end in tragedy all-around.

In my post titled “How to distribute a Press Release when you have no money” I discussed a bunch of free and pay Press Release distribution services and which ones I submitted to, how much money I spent, etc. It’s been about a month now, so I figured I’d update with the results of the different services. Google Analytics makes it super easy to spit out this info, thanks Google, you’re my superhero!

Now before I start, keep in mind that I have NO ACTUAL PRODUCT/SERVICE. Until my first game is done, all I’m offering is some game development information. Because I’m not actually offering anything (like “follow my blog and get a free copy of my game”) I don’t actually expect to have many readers at this point. I’m expecting the numbers to be low in general. When I have an actual game up people can buy and offer feedback on and all that jazz, I’ll have more viewers.

I’m a big fan of flashy glow effects in games. I had a reputation where I used to work for going over the top with flashy effects. They’re kind of mind-numbing to make when you’re animating a little speck of flame flicking out and disappearing but the end result is usually awesome looking and worth all the trouble. For the dynamite I needed an explosion and decided to go with a smoke cloud and an old school “circle explosion” flash…lots of old video games and cartoons used this and I’ve always dug it… also drawing a circle is easy, haha YouTube compresses stuff kind of ugly, so here’s a frame from the explosion in good quality:

Bulletproof Outlaws - Explosion

And here’s a video of the explosion in motion:

I was going through the Game Design Doc looking for something and passed by the word “tutorial” and realized I didn’t even think about a tutorial or loading screen haha Whoops! No biggie, I figure there’s not much to the game so it won’t be hard to figure out… Any information needed should be able to go on a loading screen. I’m guessing because there’s so much art in the game there will be a bit of load-time going on… might as well fill that with something useful!

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Bulletproof Outlaws Diary