Jeff 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.
Whew! What a busy week! But things are going awesome…after a last minute epic “nahhh I don’t feel like compiling” issue with XCode 4, I was finally able to submit Elusive Ninja: The Shadowy Thief on Friday around 9:30pm. I googled around for lists of reasons for App rejections people had been given by Apple and had to do a handful of little last-minute fixes…like tweaking the tutorial to not look exactly like an iPhone/iPad, and adding a glow to the Openfeint button when you press it, etc. I managed to fix almost all the visual glitches, there’s just one where the title screen is loading where it shows a blue box for a split second before acting normal. No idea what’s up with that one, haha
It turns out the HD iPad version is going to have to be released separately. The game isn’t running lag-free on the iPad, and that might not be fixable given that the iPad isn’t very powerful…I figured the game would run fine on an iPad 2 but apparently there’s a visual glitch that looks a little something like this:
So I’m gonna have to look into that and probably pick up an iPad 2 to test on. That’s alright though, it just means the HD version will get it’s own launch date.
I’m about to go meet up with an Accountant. Apparently I must’ve thrown out my tax stuff from last year because I can’t find it anywhere, and for this year I’ve got a big pile of receipts and bank print-outs that I hope will be useful haha I hate doing this kind of stuff but I guess it’s gotta’ get done! And I’m leaving it till the last minute because…
…I’ll be going to E3 next week! Woohoo! The timing is a little scary, I’m hoping to get Elusive Ninja approved right in the nick of time for people to be playing it at E3, but with the last-minute bugs and everything I cut it pretty close. I’m planning to do some kind of advertising there too, I’m thinking of business cards with the ninja on them and a link to the App Store. I wish Apple had a temporary “Coming Soon” page for the apps because getting a big old “that doesn’t exist” error is rough in terms of landing impulse buyers who likely won’t try the URL again if it didn’t work the first time.
It’s also scary because if the game should happen to have some crazy bug in it that makes the game broken, I won’t be near a computer to do much about it. I’d really rather be able to monitor the launch week with my laptops at the ready, but hey, what happens happens. If something’s severely broken I’ll fix it when I get back and re-submit, there’s not much else I can do! I think it’ll be fine, but as a developer you always worry a little about the worst-case scenario haha
I still have to fill in a lot of the Bonus Feature content before Monday…there’ll be a post-mortem and the Game Design Document with descriptions of what made it into the final game and what got cut and why, etc. Plus I have to make a trailer, write up the FAQ, finish up the website, etc. etc.
Lots of work to do still, but it’s nice to have submitted the game to Apple. It’s a big load of stress off the shoulders because I can finally mark that giant task as Done and focus on the rest of the stuff! And hey, I’m one step closer to the finish line!