Over Cloud 9's Blog

A boring record of whatever that comes in my mind

Finally- a 2D game engine that can build games for multiple platforms!


Yoyo games have released Game Maker Studio- a 2D game engine for noobs and professionals alike that can build games for any platform(PC, iOS, android, social, HTML5, etc) from a single code base. Now no worries about porting a game build on one platform to the others! Now you can create a game on any platform and build it for all the other platforms (except for consoles though).  What is even better that it is priced at only $99!

I had been waiting for a looooooooong time for something like this. While Unity 3D is a powerful game engine for making multi-platform games, it is primarily best for 3D game development. Making 2D games on Unity can become a big pain in the backside. Most 2D game engines do not support multiple platforms or are limited to a few. Also they are not noob friendly. They require some knowledge on programming, which means a developer with non-programming background cannot make games on his own on them.

I have worked on Game Maker (Windows) and the user interface is very simple and easy to learn. You can make a game without any programming skills. And their community is very helpful for newbies. If you wish to further customize your game, you can use Game Maker Language  (GML) scripting in it which is very easy to pick up. If you have basic logic  of how a program works via just ‘if’ and ‘else’ statements, you can make a more complicated game.

Yoyo games have been around 13 years in business but not very well known to most developers. Some of popular games created in this engine is Legend of Fae and Super Crate box (Serious Same games developers) and also published on Steam. It’s not that it does not have any limitations. But considering the limitation of not being able to make a multi-platform games on other 2D engines, Game Maker’s short comings can be solved in a round about way. Think of it as generating more revenues from different platforms. I thought of sharing this so that those who aren’t aware of this nice little piece of gem, they should definitely give it a try.

My post might seem outright advertisement for Game Maker Studio lol :D . If you know of any other 2D game engine which is capable of making games for multiple platforms, please post it in the comments.


Life of an Indie- Part 2


It’s been long that I blogged about anything. Shifting to a new place has done one bad thing- high cost of living. Self funding in business and living on your own without any external source of income other than games is taking its toll on game development and my general sustenance. For the past two months, I have been struggling to make payments to artists due to the restrictions raised by Reserve Bank of India on international payments. The progress has slowed down because of that and forced me to come back to my home and work from here for sometime. I am hoping to complete the ship game in two months if things go as planned.

In the mean time, I thought of making a comic series based on ‘Pascal’ from my game and sending them in newsletters. He was quite popular amongst players and it would nice if players can enjoy more of his outrageous jokes outside the game. Here’s the first one, the others will also be posted in my blog apart from the newsletters (Click on the image to enlarge).

The problem of being an indie is you get a lot of money once your game is out for a month or two. After that sales start decreasing, and unless you have a lot of your own game titles or affiliate sales, you will start to feel the pinch. Being an indie is not just making games, but making a living too! And to make money, it is important that you understand and take care of the business aspects of game making. In my earlier post of ‘Life of an Indie’ series, I had mentioned the problems one faces in this career. In this post I will be discussing how I have solved some of those problems and plan to solve for those who are facing this. So let’s take the issue one by one-

1) Sustenance- This is a major issue for indies. From what I have heard or seen other indies doing and also what I have done, here are some ways to manage a sufficient income to sustain yourself (can’t say if you have a family).

a) Get a job which is less time consuming and if  this is your first game in development. Teaching is a good option as it is not as exacting in terms of time and energy like other jobs. You will have a fair pay and sufficient time to do a game in your spare time. I am sure there are plenty of other online freelancing or contract based work that you can do depending on your skills. Read the rest of this entry »


Life of an indie - Part 1


All these while I was doing some background research on the game industry in general and trying to collect nuggets of information that might help me enhance our business. For that reason I have been keeping quite all these days.

As you might have already noticed, we have changed our forum layout again, trying to bring it as close as possible to the original site to maintain a flow of navigation for new visitors. Also, I finally completed Arevan: The Bitter Truth’s official strategy guide which is available here. I also plan to add a FAQ section to my website so that players can solve certain kinds of problems on their own quickly without having to post in our forums or mailing us. If you have any other suggestions regarding the website you can think of, then do let me know…

I would like to drop a note of heartfelt thanks to Indinera and Titaness for arranging an interview about my indie career. It was quite a surprise considering I haven’t shattered the world yet :D . You can read it here (they have used my username over_cloud9 for addressing in it). Currently I’m dabbling on 3D game development in Bangalore, with assistance from my co-developer Manjith from Phantasm Games. He has come up with a AI rich tank strategy game, Armoured and Dangerous, which I had been marketing in between. We have been thinking of doing a joint project in 3D, but we are both neck deep into our own stuff. Let’s see how it proceeds in near future.

Coming back to the topic, ‘Life of an indie’ is a series based on my own experiences and that of the things I have observed other indies struggle with. This series will not be updated in a series ;) , instead it shall be episodic depending on the outcome of the research that I’m conducting. My aim is to not become another industry veteran in gaming dishing out general opinions, neither to claim or pose myself as a veteran in the first place. I have taken independent game development seriously enough to consider it my profession, so an honest narration of my experiences might give other upcoming developers some idea about what they are going to get in this career. Instead of whining about what I don’t have and what cannot be done, I thought of doing something about the things which have long posed problems to indies. This is my current piece of research going along with the ongoing projects, and my aim is to overcome these problems sooner or later. But this will not be a one way or a quick process, I need your feedback to get a better understanding and for bouncing off ideas. I might try things which others didn’t attempt in fear of the untested waters, so I need to do a lot of experimentations which might sound off beat or weird. Some of the experimentations might fail as well, but as long as it serves the purpose, I don’t mind taking the extra step forward ;) Read the rest of this entry »


Marketing games…what I learnt.


Many things are happening, so much that I had not been able to even update my website like I used to. Had been busy promoting Arevan last month apart from the 101 others things I got myself into. Instead of moving over to my next game project, I thought of doing something new this time. I want to experiment with 3D gaming, and will be shifting my base to Bangalore for a couple of months for that. Honestly speaking, after working with RPGmakerVX, I am not satisfied with what it can offer. There are so many limitations to it…though I can’t complain much as this is the best I can get from a customizable commercial engine. So before I move over to my next project, I want to expand my horizons and learn something new this time.

In my older blog post, I had discussed how I had planned to market my game. In this post, I shall discuss which of the methods were success and which ones were failures. I shall discuss it with respect to the points I had mentioned in the earlier blog posts for the assessment of it’s performance.

  • Primary release of Arevan on my site, Amanda’s and Indinera’s.

This had worked really well. There is nothing else that I need to say. Both of them have been simply awesome in their cooperation and have generated a lot of sales for my game.

  • Sending press releases to game sites.

Press releases were a huge boost in promoting the news of our first release. Since we’re new to the indie scene, identifying ourselves in our niche was an important step. That really helped us gain exposure and visibility in gaming industry, particularly in India. Many Indian studios, sites, and game related companies took notice of our site and were eager to cover it. Read the rest of this entry »


Speed up a wordpress website


This is my first time tweaking and optimizing a website and its proving to be interesting every day.Sometimes my walkthrough writing is entirely paused due to this.Powering the site with wordpress made things really easy.I didn’t know that the average page loading time can affect google rankings and even drive away visitors.Since then,my main concern has been optimizing the image size,image loading,reduction of javascripts and plugins dependant on them and moving them to the footer.There were many helpful resources on editing the htaccess file(I was quite jittery at first) and the entire process was a cake walk.With the loads of things I’m learning everyday on website optimization,I may soon start my own ebook on this topic :P .There are a gamut of website which have self help tutorials to assist noobs like me to tweak website and wordpress.I’ll list a bunch of the most useful links at the end of the post(it might help others who are absolutely lost like I was when I started).This helped me add many tit bits that could help the pages load faster.However,this is not enough.There are many new things that I plan to add,but not sure whether I’ll be able to handle so many things in so little time or not.Thinking of coming up with a BigFish games mini store to cater players who may like to ‘taste’ games other than RPGs.With the new year coming forth,I wish there were 48 hours in a day to finish everything I planned! Read the rest of this entry »