Time Trial Game Mode and Original Music for Kasplat!

Welcome back to the Geekabyte Games Devlog! It's been a busy fortnight for us here at Geekabyte Games and we are super psyched to show you what's new and what's in the pipelines for our balloon busting, paint splattering, indie arcade project Kasplat! As always, make sure to follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with development and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates!

The biggest update this time around is the brand new addition of the Time Trial game mode, and the soon to come Endless Game mode for Kasplat. Complete with a new mode selection screen, the Time Trial game mode is now functional, providing the player a new way to play the game. Given 3 minutes, hit the highest score you can before the timer runs out and earn bonus time for epic color combos. There are also exclusive powerups just for the Time Trial game mode including Freeze Time, and Double Time Bonuses powerups!

Take look at the video below to get a quick glimpse at the new Time Trial game mode in action.

You might have also noticed some of the brand new sound effects added to the game this fortnight. While the music you hear is still a placeholder, the SFX are a brand new addition to the game and we hope they will help make that paint splattering experience that much more satisfying.

Speaking of music, we have some big news to announce; Kasplat will now be featuring dynamic, original music from local Brisbane composer Sean Telford! With the use of some clever software and skill, we will be bringing you dynamic music that will build and intensify with the game and we are super excited!

 The brand new Mode Select menu. On feature; the new Time Trial game mode and soon to come Zen endless game mode.

The brand new Mode Select menu. On feature; the new Time Trial game mode and soon to come Zen endless game mode.

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Kasplat Teaser Trailer and the Indie Dev Showcase!

The Geekabyte Games Devlog is back after a short hiatus, so a big welcome to all! Sorry for the short break once again, but we are back with some great new updates for Kasplat. As always, make sure to follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with development and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates!

This week Geekabyte Games was lucky enough to be invited to show off Kasplat at a local Indie Dev Showcase in our very own Brisbane. Hosted at River City Labs, the night was a huge success with a wonderful turn out of willing testers. We were excited by the number of people who wanted to jump in and try Kasplat as well as the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received once again for the game. We were also able to present the very first Kasplat Teaser Trailer which was very cool to see featured on the big screen. Check out the trailer below.

Once again there were some great comments from other developers. Suggestions for improvement to the responsiveness of the game, as well as the new powerup system which we can't wait to jump into implementing. 

The event also allowed us to debut the very first Kasplat High Score Leaderboard! Albeit in a somewhat more analog form. This little bit of fun was a huge success on the night with testers able to vie for the top 5 scoring places over the evening. Big congratulations to "Hurdles" who ended the night in number one place with a score of 37066, we as to all the other top 5 finishers!

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Finally we wanted to extend our thanks to River City Labs and Kaydos Walsh for organising the marvelous event and making it such a huge success. As well as a bit thanks to all who came along, both devs and not and to all those who played Kasplat and gave us valuable feedback!

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We're Back! Netherworld Indie Dev Night.

Welcome back to the Geekabyte Games Devlog everyone. I we hope you had a fantastic holiday season and we are super keen to catch you up on what's going on with Kasplat! As always, make sure to follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with the development of Kasplat and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

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This week we were lucky enough to be invited to present the current version of Kasplat at an indie developers night, hosted by the awesome, local Brisbane gaming and arcade bar, Netherworld! The night proved a marvelous success with a veritable horde of attendees trying their hand at bursting balloons. 

The wonderful feedback we received was invaluable, and overwhelmingly positive with many attendees querying the release date and telling us how much they enjoyed the game. All of our recent enhancements to accessibility and simplicity discussed in previous Devlogs showed it's worth as almost all testers found the game very easy to get into and work out. 

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We were even lucky enough to garner some glowing feedback including props like; "It's great because it's easy to get into but hard to master" and "I actually like it better than Fruit Ninja".

However with any amount of compliments a healthy dose of reality is important and there were some great suggestions on the night as to how we can further improve the play experience or make some game mechanics even more intuitive or self explanatory. The biggest flaw was most certainly that players took a short while to fully grasp the game's color combo mechanics, despite the recently added tutorial pop-up prior to the start of the round. This was to be expected, but along with the criticism came some fantastic suggestions for improvement such as a glowing outline around colored splats to indicate the color combo area. This will be something we will continue to look into and improve over the coming weeks. 

Now that the holidays are behind us we look forward to once again digging deep into the development effort on Kasplat, so stay tuned next week for another Geekabyte Games Devlog update!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Devlog readers! We apologize for the lack of Devlog entries last week, but alas, 'tis the season to be lazy. With the holiday season upon us, I'm loath to announce that the Devlogs and other development news will be running a little dry until the new year as I will be away on holiday. So we very much look forward to sharing more updates with you next January. See you all then!

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High Scores and Splat Performance!

Welcome back to another Geekabye Games Devlog! Make sure to check out our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with what's going on with Kasplat, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

We have an exciting Devlog for you this week, performance optimization! I know, awesome right? Maybe not so exciting, but incredibly important nonetheless and necessary if you want your balloons gliding smoothly across the screen and not jittering around in an abysmal display of low FPS. To spice things up, we also had some fun this week implementing new powerus, adding game stats and tracking scores so you can gloat to your friend when you smash their high score!

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This week we tackled the biggest culprit of performance issues in Kasplat, those juicy paint splats. If popping tons of balloons didn't already cause performance issues, pulling out the Paintball Gun or Super Soaker and lathering the screen in splats would certainly do the job. The answer? Batching. Batching is a bit of a technical term and can be done in an array of different ways, but the general gist is that batching objects lets you send them all to the GPU (Graphics processing unit) to be drawn on the screen in one go instead of drawing each object one at a time every single frame. 

The job this week was to get batching working with our splat sprites (images). This primarily involved combining all the splat images into a texture atlas (a big collage image that contains all the splat images). Then when it comes time to popping a balloon, you use the atlas as the displayed image and offset its coordinates so that only a small part of the atlas (one splat) is displayed on the splat object. Once this was done, out splats could all be drawn by the GPU in once go, drastically improving the performance of Kasplat.

We also got some brand new powerups implemented this week, including; Bouncy Balloons, Crazy Colors, Double Darts and Transform Tar. Check out their brand new powerup icons and descriptions below. We can't wait to let you try them out!

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This week also saw a new feature added to Kasplat, stats! These stats aren't the boring ones you hear about in math class. At the end of a game, the player can tap on the stats button to see a breakdown of how they went that round including; score, game time, how many darts they used, what their highest scoring splat was and much more. Not only a great way to help you improve your game, but also a fun way to compete with friends and show em who the top popper is!

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That's it for this week's Devlog, thanks for coming and we hope you join us next week for more Kasplat development updates! 

Toon Shaders and Tutorials!

Greetings Devlog readers and balloon popping enthusiasts, and welcome to Geekabye Games Devlog number 6! As always, make sure to follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with the development of Kasplat and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

Last week we mentioned some early plat-testing and this week we were fortunate enough to have a few more people test out Kasplat. So far people seems to be very much enjoying the game, once they understand the core, color matching mechanic. However therein lies our problem. testers immediately understand tapping the screen to shoot darts and pop balloons, however it takes outside intervention to inform them that score and dart bonuses can be attained with clever timing and color matches. 

After much thinking and a few mock ups, we have settled on a short 2 line tutorial tip when the game starts, accompanied by a cute, animated diagram indicating the details of the color combo system to the player.

In addition to the new tutorial tip, we have a brand new look for the Kasplat balloons. We spent a little time this week experimenting with a cool toon shader to give the balloons that bright, vibrant, cartoony look. We feel this better reflects the feel of the game and integrates more nicely with the similarly styled user interface. Make sure to let us know what you think! We have also included a little footage of some of the newly implemented powerups for you to check out. 

Next on the todo list for Kasplat will be the addition of sound effects, more powerups to play with along with much more! Make sure to check back next week to see what we get up to next!

Powerup Effects and Super Soaker Silliness!

Welcome back Devlog readers to the 5th, weekly Geekabye Games Devlog! Before we get into the trials and tribulations of this week's development effort, make sure to follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with the development of Kasplat and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

This week's Kasplat development was mostly spent implementing the first round of powerup effects. Last week we gave a sneak peak at the "Slow-mo" powerup. This week we are proud to say that all 7 of our first round powerups are in the game and functional. Here's a rundown of what they all do.

Big Balloons: All balloons are double size for a short time, burst giant bobbling balloons in a huge splat and be awarded loads for points for your effort!
Endless Darts: No dart limit! Rapidly fire darts to your heart's content, at least until Endless Darts runs out.
Monocolor: All balloons are the same color for a short time. Create epic chains of the same color for crazy color bonuses and even crazier points!
Paintball Gun: Take control of a paintball gun for a short time, rapidly fire splatters of dripping color across the screen where ever you please.
Double Points: Every popped balloons awards double points for a short time, so make it count!
Slow-mo: Things getting a bit hectic? Dial back the passage of time temporarily and watch the balloons drift in slow motion across the screen just waiting to be burst at your leisure.
Super Soaker: If you've ever accidentally popped a tricksy black balloon leaving a nasty splatter of oily black, fear not, the Super Soaker can remove any stain, including pesky black paint. Just point and squirt!

We have had some great results this week allowing people to play test Kasplat with the new powerup effects. We can't wait to let you all give them a spin when we move into an open beta later in development!

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Our biggest challenge this week has been getting the Super Soaker powerup to work correctly. The Super Soaker allows the player to temporarily shoot a stream of water at the screen, clearing any paint or oil that it touches. From a technical stand point this was and continues to be quite tricky. You see when a splat of oil is produced from popping a black balloon, it is rendered on a layer above all the colored splats. This means that no colored splats will go over oil and is what makes the oil so nasty, as it deprives the player of valuable splatting space. 

The way we are currently creating the "water splats" that are produced by the Super Soaker is actually a little bit of trickery; we are creating a splat with a texture that is the same as the background and then settings its scale and offset to match perfectly with the backboard. This creates the illusion that the splat has removed the paint in that location and is now transparent.

Unfortunately there is a downside to this approach. If the water splats are designed to clear the oil as well as other colors, they must be rendered on top of the oil splats. However after using the Super Soaker, the player will naturally want to paint new colored splats in the newly washed screen areas. However as water splats are rendered above the oil and the color splats are rendered below the oil by design, this is somewhat of a problem. Our current challenge is somehow allowing new splats of colored paint to cover over water splats, but not cover over remaining areas of oil. Stay tuned next week to see if/how we manage to find a solution!

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Powerups and Play-testing!

Greetings to all our new and returning readers! Welcome to the 4th, weekly Geekabye Games Devlog! In this Devlog edition we will be talking about the new powerup system as well as some of our recent Kasplat play-testing experiences and how the game has changed and improved as a result. Before we get into it, as always make sure to check out our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to follow the development of Kasplat and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

Last week we spoke briefly about the new powerup system we were working on. This week we are excited to share some of the details with you! During the game, glittering star-shaped balloons will intermittently fly across the screen. When popped, the star balloons explode in a ball off dazzling sparkles, which is cool... but we know what you really care about is the awesome random powerup rewards they grant.

The powerups appear as an icon in the bottom corner of the screen and can be tapped at any time to apply the effect of the powerup and give the player a big advantage for a limited time. Powerups range from the classics like Slow-mo and Double Points, to the less usual characters like Big Balloons and the ever amusing Paintball Gun. Here is just a taste of some of the powerups we have in store, with lots more to come!

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We are super excited to share with you all a first-glimpse gameplay video detailing how powerups are attained and used in Kasplat. Make sure to let us know what you think!

In other news, this week we were lucky enough to have some local Brisbane devs try out Kasplat and we got some brilliant feedback. Over-all, people seemed to really like the game and had a lot of balloon-bursting fun, but as always in the early stages of development, there were things pointed out to us that could be improved. The biggest issue during testing was that first time users didn't immediately realise that they had a limit on the number of available darts, nor did they notice that they were suffering a dart penalty when they missed a balloon. This meant that when the Game Over screen appeared, players were left wondering why they lost. This can't do!

To address these issues, when the game starts an animation now plays that shows the users dart pool "spin up" from 0 to 30, this helps attract the players attention to the dart limit. Secondly we made the UI pop-up that appears when you miss a dart more prominent and also added the word "MISS" to the icon. Finally we changed the game over screen to now say "OUT OF DARTS!" when the player loses. We can't wait to get these new changes into play testing to see how the player's experience is affected. Check out the screenshots below to see some of these adjustments in action.

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Injecting the Juice Into Kasplat!

Welcome back to the Geekabye Games Devlog. This week we talk about juiciness in games and how we are injecting juiciness to create an engaging and viscerally satisfying Kasplat! As always please check out our FacebookTwitter and Instagram to show your support and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates and gameplay!

Juiciness might seem like a strange word to use when talking about games, but understanding what it means and how it impacts the way players perceive and engage with your games is vital. In essence, "Juiciness is sort of a catch all phrase for things that make the game feel good to interact with". Things like cute or exaggerated animations, fun sound effects, crazy particles or any number of other elements can all contribute to the juiciness of a game. If you are interested in more ways to inject juiciness into games, be sure to check out this great presentation on the YouTube channel grapfruct.

This week, we have been hard at work pumping some much needed juiciness into both the UI and the paint splatter effects of Kasplat. Check out this new gameplay video that shows some of the new additions and updates, then read on as we delve into more details of this week's progress below!

If you've been following the development of Kasplat you will see that this week has yielded a much more visually interesting and capturing game experience.

Most of the user interface is now animated! The users score text wobbles and pulses as new points are scored, there are UI pop ups when you miss or pop balloons, and the new color-combo scoring system is integrated to reward the player with a "SPLAT BONUS" when they create large splats of the same color, giving the player some dart back in addition to the normal bonus of extra points. We also added a proper game over screen which is also fully animated to juicy effect. 

One of the biggest changes this week was also the simplest; when being popped balloons now rapidly expand for a fraction of a second before disappearing and leaving behind their juicy splatter of paint particles. This simple change drastically improved the "pop effect" and helped to make bursting balloons an enjoyable and satisfying experience. 

Finally you may have noticed the star shaped balloon stamped with a "?" toward the end of the video. The star balloons are tied to the new powerup system currently in development and upon being popped, explode in a sparkling array of star particles. Popping star balloons will soon yield a powerup effect to the player for a short while. Though we can't say too much about the powerups just yet, check out future devlogs for a full rundown!

So there you have it, Kasplat with a little more juice! There is still a long way to go and nothing is final, you can look forward to seeing future updated like sound effects, more animations and more particles added to further amp up the juiciness of Kasplat. But for now, we hope you enjoyed reading and can't wait to have you back next week for the fourth edition the Geekabyte Games Devlog!

3D Models and Colour Combos!

Greetings gamers, enthusiasts and those who are just a little interested in how games get made. Welcome to the second entry in our Geekabyte Games, weekly Devlog! As always, make sure to give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter for more great news and updates. 

BIG NEWS: Our game Mind Control, has just gone completely FREE on the App Store and Google Play. Make sure to grab a copy and let us know what you think!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MIND CONTROL FOR iPHONE OR ANDROID!


This week we made loads of great progress on Kasplat thanks to our new team member, Wesley Heard, we managed to get a whole lot of brand new 3D assets modeled up and texture mapped to replace some of the current placeholder models. These include a new balloon model, new star shaped balloon (Which will be used in the upcoming powerup system) and a new dart model. The dart model also has a texture mapped flight so eventually we can have a whole range of custom dart flight designs for you to choose from!

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In other exciting news, we have now fully implemented the color-combo/scoring system for Kasplat. When popping paint balloons, the aim is to create large splatters of the same color, this will yield a rather impressive points to a clever player. This system provides an element of strategy to the balloon busting mayhem of Kasplat and will make you think twice about popping that juicy red balloon right in the middle of your artfully constructed mega-splat of gooey green.

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Thanks for reading this weeks Devlog update! Make sure to check back next Friday for more progress and development insight from Geekabyte Games.

 

Welcome to the Devlog, and other new stuff!

Hi folks, and welcome to the very first Geekabyte Games devlog! Here we will be posting updates about the development progress of our new game KASPLAT, from development challenges and hurdles to new features and lots more! So make sure to keep up on the game's development and be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for a heads up when a new devlog comes out.

This week we have made loads of progress on the (very) early prototype of KASPLAT. We managed to get a lot of the basic game mechanics implemented. Balloons of all sizes and colors now fly up into the air ready to be splattered when you tap on them to send a dart hurtling their way. We have a new, albeit quite basic main menu and you can now pause the game and restart the round with the new pause menu (screen shots below).

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One of the biggest challenges we faced this week, was how to track how many points the player received from splattering a balloon. The aim of the classic game mode is to create larger splats of the same color by bursting same color balloons near each other for a bigger points bonus. After lots of fun beating my head against the desk and a little code magic we managed to create a working solution. Each time a balloon is popped and a splatter created, we break the splatter up into loads of squares that match up to a corresponding grid that cover the whole screen. This grid matrix keeps track of what color is currently filling which bit of the screen at any given time.

Of course the player will never see this grid, all they see is dripping splats of delicious color. However its implementation was a major hurdle this week and we are glad to have it working. The next step will be to check a splatter for any adjacent splats of the same color and give the player a points bonus if they join same color splats together into bigger ones. 

Stay tuned next week for more updates on the score tracking and lots of other new (and more exciting) features that are in the works, including powerups and special bonus balloons!

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