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!

So today I wrote up a bit more detailed version of the project, basically the list of core features for the game. I have the full GDD done but I don’t really want to hand it out all over the place, especially when I know I’m only hiring 1 out of like 6 people for the project. I’m not bothering with Non-Disclosure Agreements because, well, I’m writing all about the game on here as it is…it seems kind of silly to worry about an NDA.

Well it’s been a helluva weekend! In the midst of dealing with the replies from the freelance sites and tightening up the Game Design Document, I got chatting with with Derek of Ravenous Games (Ravenous just released League of Evil for the iPhone, go grab it it’s the best old-school 2d platformer on the system!  And hard as hell haha) and he said he’d be interested in the project.  So in an unexpected turn of events, a few E-Mails later we decided to team up!

Well after 41 days we finally get into actual game development! It took a lot longer than planned, but as a solo operation there was a lot of miscellaneous business things to take care of beyond just drawing the art. Marketing, Tweeting, E-Mailing, writing the GDD, buying the necessary hardware/software, updating the blog, etc. plus on top of it I still have my business course once a week that eats up most of the day. Fortunately some of that stuff only needed to be done once, and I’m slowly getting it down to a daily routine but it may be a couple months before I fully achieve the scheduling I’ve planned.

So naturally the first of hopefully few problems has popped up right at the start haha Turns out the animation tool is not quite as easy as I was hoping it’d be to get running. I figure down the road when I have all the kinks in this workflow hammered out, I’ll be able to follow the ideal schedule (while the programming is being done, I can start designing and doing the art for the next game and just check on the builds daily to test for an hour or so)…but for this first game I’m going to be hand-holding the thing all the way to the App Store to learn the ropes.

The ninja now slides to the left and right. It’s basic and needs to be tweaked, but at least he’s movin’! Rain effects have also been added, and they look good but the raindrops themselves are verrrrry slowly rotating over time haha Like a couple degrees of rotation a loop, so over time some of them end up totally horizontal! Not quite what I was going for haha I suspect it’s looking at like, the amount of rotation on the first frame (since the drops are straight vertical as a .PNG file but rotated slightly in the animation tool) is being added each loop so if the drop is rotated +4 degrees, next loop it becomes +8 degrees, next is +12, etc.

Bulletproof Outlaws Diary