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Platform check: Gamee mobile games

By | Development | No Comments

Mobile app, Gamee, is holding a new competition for Construct game developers. The prizes are pretty good (not fantastic), but the Gamee player base IS fantastic, with many of the games having millions of plays. Ultimately the idea of one of my games getting millions of plays is more appealing than prizes, so I’ve decided to enter.

Millions of Plays

As you can see in this screenshot, it isn’t unusual for games to get over 10 million plays, and the platform is designed for social sharing and competition.

The games on the platform are simple, quick and fun. It’s a great combination that has been drawing me back for a bit of play every day. Contests, challenges and leaderboards are baked right in to Gamee, and it definitely feels like the more friends you have playing the more fun it would be (which probably explains how they have grown so quickly).

Monetizing a Game

One of the key questions every indie developer eventually needs to ask is, “can I make money off my game”? I reached out to Gamee on Twitter to see how monetization would work if I launched my game on their platform.

While that wasn’t the most reassuring answer, some things are worth a bit of a gamble.  So I have decided to start a 2D game project, Tag Team Dungeon, for the Gamee platform. Even if it doesn’t do well in the competition, I could always release it on mobile as a stand-alone game that is ad supported and make a couple dollars off it.

Here’s a clip from my live stream as I try to make a prototype for Tag Team Dungeon.

Watch MAXIMUM SPEED! from EgoAnt on

For more updates on how the contest is progressing, be sure to follow me on Twitch or Mixer!

$100 Steam Gift Card

Time to kick up my stream game with a giveaway!

By | Development | No Comments

My 2018 career goals are all about three things: X-reality development (AR/VR/MR), game development, and live streaming. I really believe that all three (and the blending of all three, especially) are the future.

So, to help build my channel I have traded in a bit of cryptocurrency I had kicking around to help promote my stream! Please share and enter, and pop by and visit me on either Twitch or Mixer to keep up with my progress on the games I am working on.

Meet EgoAnt, a VR developer and creative streamer!

My first impressions of Unity 5.6 and Facebook Gameroom

By | Development | No Comments

Late last year I went to the Unity conference, Unite. While I was there hey were discussing the features of the upcoming 5.6 update. They definitely weren’t holding back – lots of UI improvements, drastic changes to lighting, and an update to the particle system. All good things.

But the thing that stuck with me, for some reason, was the launch of Facebook’s desktop gaming client, Facebook Gameroom. While I certainly didn’t have dreams of the original Facebook games rush, I have always considered Facebook to be a viable option for launching games. At the end of the day one of the biggest things that matters in gaming is having people play your games, and Facebook knows how to get players.

Getting started with Gameroom

I had previously installed Gameroom to check it out. There are quite a few good games in there, and Facebook has provided a handy wrapper for the older-style HTML games. The addition of downloadable titles just extends their already huge library.

The interface is a little sparse, but seeing as it targets a more casual core group than Steam, that’s probably a good thing. Best to start clean. Installing and playing games is a breeze. Most games appear to use the Freemium model, though Gameroom does support paid games, too.

Once I had downloaded Unity 5.6 and gotten familiar with it a bit I started looking into the new publishing settings. Setting up to publish for Gameroom was a bit of a hurdle since I hadn’t built a Facebook app since… ummm…. some time in the 80’s, maybe? 😉

Setting up a Facebook App

I went to the Facebook developer section and set up a new app.  It was fairly straightforward, until I got to the part of the tutorial where it told me to add “Gameroom Native” as a product. For some reason it wasn’t showing up for me. Turns out I had to add “Facebook Web Games” as a platform under basic settings – and then it started showing up for me.

I also had to add “localhost” as an app domain, that allows the Unity executable to make queries to Graph (the Facebook API).

Building and testing

Once I had the app set up on Facebook I went into my build settings in Unity and copied the appropriate keys into the build settings. Then I downloaded the Facebook package for Unity, installed it, and added even more settings. The code was fairly well documented and in fairly short order I had a build that could run in Gameroom.

To test it out in Gameroom just click on your user icon at the top right and select “[DEV] Debug Unity”. This allows you to run your Unity .exe file right in Gameroom. Overall the learning process took me about an hour to get to this point, I probably spent more time making the robot featured in the screenshots on this post.

I’ve named him Stu

I will definitely be testing this out more, and am eager to see if Facebook starts pushing VR developers towards Gameroom in the future – it seems like an obvious direction considering their ownership of Oculus. For now I’ll occasionally put in a bit more work on Robot City Sewer Stewards – the joke game that I feel I need to build.

I’ve named the main character Stu, and I will go into more depth on the game idea in a later post. For now it’s just good to be back to making games again.

Adding character to DAWT

By | Design | No Comments

So DAWT has been stalled for… Well, let’s just say a long time. If I put an actual figure to how long I have been pulled away from my pet project I’ll freak out.

But lately I have been really getting back into it and one of the things that struck me was that the biggest thing it was missing was character. Not characters, I had plenty of those, but they were all the same and other than their appearance there was no reason to chose one over the other.

During my development hiatus I was playing a lot of Overwatch. Let’s just call that research, because ultimately I realized that what DAWT was missing was the kind of variety that Overwatch provides. I shied away from the idea at first because it seems like a lot of work. But using Steam’s early access program I can roll the characters out slowly and tune them as I go. Maybe start with 4 and go from there.

The other thing I realized was that I need to make each character more expressive. I have been making adjustments to their eyes and eyebrows so they can have more personality and expressions. Again, I’m taking some cues from Overwatch here. Their latest character, Orisa, has brilliantly designed eyes. They are simple and convey emotion perfectly.

Even though she is a very detailed model, her eyes are quite simple. I’m going to use this as inspiration for some of my characters.