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.

Here’s a rough of the ninja doing a wider dodge.  I don’t know if this’ll actually make it in, I just needed a break from re-sizing art and looking at numbers and filling out forms all day so I doodled this quick haha  I’ve got Camtasia and I tested it out and it doesn’t slow my laptop down so I should be able to record some actual drawing when I get to making new art for this game down the road.  Looking forward to putting some of that up because I always like watching those videos and seeing how other artists draw!

Bulletproof Outlaws - Ninja Flip

Today I got the major workload of the old animations all set up.  This has been kind of a pain for me because I’m not just doing it, but I’m trying to come up with an efficient repeatable process I can use for the future. You can ALWAYS slog your way through grunt-work, but if you can come up with Macros or use a certain order of steps, etc. to speed it up, it’ll pay off in the future even if it means the first time you do it takes longer while you figure that out.

I’ve got a bit of a process going now… I’m planning to put my game on iPad, iPhone 4, and iPhone / Touch, so I’ve got 3 different screen resolutions to worry about.  In my old days of doing mobile game dev for old crappy phones where we’d have to port a game to like 8 different screen sizes, and I learned the hard way that it’s always fastest to do your art on the biggest screen first and scale it down.

So even though I think the iPhone 4 version will be my favorite and is the one I want to focus on the most because it’s the system I play games on the most myself, I’m exporting the art to iPad size first.  That way I can just copy all the art and use a Batch process to shrink it down :

iPad to iPhone 4 = 93.8%

iPad to iPhone = 46.9%

Bam, done. I think HUD/UI elements will have to be re-arranged a bit for each screen size, but at least the core game elements can be easily converted from screen to screen.  I’m going to do the HUD/UI with that portability in mind, so they’ll probably be floating elements.  I actually haven’t given much thought to that stuff yet, haha  I’m going to have to pick fonts and a general UI “theme” at some point.  I think it’ll be something bamboo/tree-ish… wood and leaves and all that jazz.  I’d like to have seamless transitions where the UI pulls away and reveals the game screen and such… not sure if that’s possible with load times and all.  I’ll come up with something!

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