krish – 起死回生 [Wake up from death & return to life.]

November 5, 2014

Giving up Everything to move forward in Life!

Would you call me crazy if I said I don’t need a house, don’t need the TV, the car, the sofa, the dining table, the Fridge, utensils, cooler, suits, and a ton of stuff that we all keep inside 4 walls and rate our success in life with how much more we can stuff within those walls?

Would you call me mad, a lunatic, if I said life can be lived on a single backpack?

It’s 3:00 am, I’m awake despite being sick and short of breath due to Asthma.
Meditated for a bit, feels better now.

Dark room, silent surroundings with everyone asleep, good for thought process.
Two months, I’ve backpacked Malaysia and Singapore for 2 reasons.

  1. To find investors for my start-up and
  2. To assess if I can survive with one backpack.
A backpack with life's essentials is all I seem to need.

A backpack with life’s essentials is all I seem to need. Pudu Raya Bus Terminal, Malaysia .. waiting for bus to Singapore.

As I reflect on my thoughts and feelings I went through while backpacking,  I do not seem to need my urban luxuries of life to make anything better of it.

My car, the TV, and the seemingly un-ending list of items stuffed in the apartment, I can survive without it.
With the goals I have set for my life, none of this matters.

All I need is a laptop, and few clothes.
Should an Indie game developer need more than that?

Working on my upcoming game while backpacking. One laptop, a drawing tablet and access to Internet - thanks to a host who gave me shelter.

Working on my upcoming game. One laptop, a drawing tablet and access to Internet – thanks to a host who gave me shelter.

I always knew my life isn’t going to be about settling down at a place.
I’ll never fit in a society, a structure or an organisation, or the very nature of people to own more materialistic things of life to climb that social ladder, the society with it’s rules that I can’t find a logic too.
Quit my job 4 years ago to do what I love.
Toured quite a few places in India on my motorbike, but something is still holding me back.

Yes! the Possessions I have. Possession of things in life that needs you to stuff them inside 4 walls and call it home, are holding me back.
I need to let go to experience new things this world has to offer.
I need to make more friends, I need to meet more good people with positive vibes around the globe, see the world and immerse myself in the nature/beauty/history/stories that Earth has to offer.

This is it. I have to do this.
There is no reason to wait any longer.

I need to travel without boundaries,
I NEED to be FREE!

So, here’s a list of stuff that I’m giving up from my current life. (Click to go to the link)
A lot of “Free GiveAways to Friends” yay!, and a few things on sale. 🙂
If you’d like to see videos of my travels, you can subscribe to me on Youtube – click here.

Pantai Tengah beach, Langkawi, Malaysia. Nice place to sit and think of game ideas.

Pantai Tengah beach, Langkawi, Malaysia.
Nice place to sit and think of game ideas.

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January 14, 2013

Mom playtesting my game – Tank ’em Up!

Ah, well Mom sweet Mom is here to visit me again, and concerned about how I am doing living all alone(yet again), staring at empty walls of my house and with unlimited emptiness of my heart.
I don’t discuss my work life with my mom, .. come think of it, I don’t discuss my personal life either… because I think I shouldn’t make her feel worried because of the decisions I take in my life ( and almost all of my decisions are considered weird according to so called society norms)

Anyway, I decided to show my mom what I was working on, and asked her if she would like to play my game “Tank ’em Up!” (under development)

Here’s a set of expressions she had while playing the game AND what I added some dialogues of what she might be thinking; for fun 🙂

Phase: Start of Game
Mom:  What the Fuck is this Shit!  I thought computer guys are supposed to fix broken computers, make train ticket booking stuff and so on… and he is wasting his time drawing all these tank and what not.
Dammit, the kid who runs internet cafe at the village is at least working… and we made this guy Engineer for this shit!

At start of the game :)

At start of the game 🙂

Phase: Able to move the player tank around the level map
Mom: Oh, this thing moves.. hmm like I can drive this thing huh….  not bad.. so its not a stupid drawing after all.

Able to move the tank in my game "Tank 'em Up"

Able to move the tank in my game “Tank ’em Up”

Phase: On driving through the first mine and getting her tank blown up!
Mom: Heh not bad at all. He probably won’t starve to death… lets hope.

On getting the tank blown up to a landmine

On getting the tank blown up to a landmine

Phase: On figuring out that she needs to blast through the obstacles to progress in the game rather than to turn back and drive!
Mom: LMAO.. Why can’t I just honk instead of shooting things 🙂

Why can't I just honk

Why can’t I just honk these guys occupying the road?
Maaa.. you’re playing a battle game!

Phase: Mom’s tank getting PWNED by one of the mini-bosses
Mom: ROFLMAO… this thing is fun… may be you could earn a living as a comedian rather than computer guy

Pwned by mini boss in the game :)

Pwned by mini boss in the game 🙂

Well so now I have no idea what is so funny in my game 🙂 Scratching my head!

December 12, 2012

Indie Game Dev/Designers – Things to Do, Things Not To.

Couple of hours ago I got a request for a game review by an Indie/seemingly Indie dev.
Playing that game, and even some similar games earlier makes me write this list of Do’s and Don’ts for an Indie.

SideNote: Yes, I tend to play a ton of games to learn design flaws and excellences, as an Indie myself; I think its a must..

I however, will avoid making references to those games; because I consider it rude/too harsh on young Indies 🙂

So, here’s a list of Don’ts to start with.. and I’ll keep adding/updating the list as I come across more and find time to instantly add it.

If you’re an Indie, you might wanna skim through this list.. I know it gets excited and hyper to launch a game, but a quality stuff matters more than just throwing something half done out there and then asking around people to review it.
Take it with a pinch of salt 🙂

Indie DONT’s:

1. Don’t release your game as a version 1.0 / any stable to any app store before it actually is a properly done game.
Most of the games I get asked to review look like prototypes.
Please take feedback from other Indie game devs who have already released a good game before considering your game ready for app store shipping.

2. Don’t spoil the gameplay by accompanying it with horrible art.
I’ve seen some games have potential due to their gameplay, but the art sucked to an extent that it made the game eyesore and I stopped playing after 3-5 minutes.
I’m not saying everyone can be a great game artist, but if you don’t have the skill.. please take external help.
Your game will end up selling more and you will see rewards.

3. Don’t spoil the gaming experience by using ear-paining sounds / using no sound at all.
Game sounds are as important as Game Art is. Please get some good sounds in the game…unless your game is the next Limbo.
The player needs to be hooked up both visually and acoustically.
I simply tend to fall asleep if there is no sound in the game; if there is a horrible one, I’d anyway turn off the sound and hence again fall asleep.

4. Don’t ignore your Animations.
Games run on different devices, they can be slow/fast. They could be loaded with other processes eating up the memory.
If a gamer clicks/touches on a certain option on your menu and has to wonder whether the “touch/click” did happen or not… then you’re in trouble. You were probably missing a simple animation that changes color of an option on touch.. letting player know that ‘ok you have touched this option, now wait’.
That’s just the simplest level. There are tons of places where devs/designers seem to miss simple animations that make the game feels responsive.

5. Don’t LIFT art from other games and put them in your Stable release.
Again on the topic of art, I happen to notice a game that uses another game’s Protagonist (developed by a different entity; so not your property) and change the ‘color’ and use it as one of the Antagonist in their game. Not just that, they’ve also used couple of minions (with color changed) in their game.
Which is kinda shocking, because Yes, you can use art from internet for prototyping, you can use license free sprites in your stable release too, BUT using another game’s IP (Intellectual Property), in your STABLE release! A Big NO.
You should be just thanking your stars that your ass isnt sued already.

6. Don’t ask your friends/family/colleagues(non-gamers) to write a Nice review with 5 star rating on app store.
The moment a real gamer looks at those reviews / even a real investor looks at it.. we know that it’s a premeditated review. And on top of that, when we play the game and it turns out to be not-that-great… your game loses even more respect (and even you as a developer lose respect) to have asked people to write “This is awesome. You exceeded my expectations” and also give a “5 star rating”.
I encounter those, I don’t play another game from same developer.. I don’t even care to look at it.
Have some standards, Have some respect to the appstores that might get you revenues later. Don’t forge it. Get real reviews from real gamers.
I’d anyday be happy to play a 3.5/4star rated game that is fairly good, than play a 5 star rated game that has forged reviews and is crappy as hell.

7. Don’t overlook minor User experience stuff
Games that don’t have a ‘Turn sound off’ option, that don’t give enough visual feedback on touches, that don’t have a tutorial on how to play, that has a misguided ‘help’ button, don’t have an exit button/option, don’t bother to reward users on small achievements.

8. Don’t be like an ad serving Porn Site
I agree its difficult for us Indie’s struggling with revenues, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go and put ads at places where player NEEDS to touch/click in order to play the game; forcing users to either click the ad or making user accidentally click ads in between gameplay.
Both are terribly annoying!
I’ll give you an example: Today I played a game that has all its ads stacked up at the end of each level/within a “more games” option in the menu (ads, cross game promotions etc). and then another game that had its ad placed at bottom-center of the screen where I needed to “swipe” to play the game.
Guess what:

First game – I played for 20 mins. I finished couple of levels, wrote them a nice review on app store. Gave 5 star rating. Wanted to tweet but their tweet button was bit broken sadly. Clicked on 11 of their ads featuring other games, downloaded 9 of them and will play them tomorrow. The game still exists on my tablet and I’ll play it again.

Second game – Looked at it 3 secs. Tried to play without touching the ad on accidental swipe. Hated it. Closed. Uninstalled. Will never play it again or may be even not look at another game from same publisher.

9. Don’t have unambiguous/endless/vague objectives if your game has levels and is not an RPG/Puzzle
Damn you if your game says it has 150 levels, and I’m playing the first level since last 15 minutes and your game is a ‘Casual’ genre. Of the 15 minutes, 5 minutes I try to figure out what the fuck I am supposed to do (lack of tutorial), 10 minutes after figuring out due to self-intelligence I’m just killing same minions again and again, with same difficulty level, with no sense of when the stage is “marked” complete or what are the objectives to be met to complete a stage.
Game is uninstalled and it will be long time before I look at another game that says same publisher.

Contributions from Redditors 🙂

11. Don’t advertise your game before it’s ready to be advertised. – by HollisFenner

12. Don’t Bite more than you can Chew! – by ChainsawSam

13. asskickingjedi and MrFidelmios have a list of valuable advises which I thought would be injustice if shortened to put them here.
So linking you directly to it – http://www.reddit.com/r/IndieGaming/comments/14po9p/indie_game_devdesigners_things_to_do_things_not/
Alrighty Guys, that’s it for now.. As promised I’ll keep updating the list. Gotta get back to work 🙂

December 8, 2012

Right Now: What am I up to?

Dec 08, 2012. 02:03 am IST – A new logo coming up for Toonheart.

 

Finalising the logo for my gaming startup - Toonheart  :)Dealing with hand sprain but it can't be helped.... Work is Work.

Finalising the logo for my gaming startup – Toonheart 🙂
Dealing with sprained wrist, but it can’t be helped…. Work is Work.

Nov 18, 2012. 01:41 am IST – Still working on my prototype game.

Fighting 13C weather off with my biking balaclava,

Indie Game Dev’s Life.

and listening to this in loop mode.

To read my past time entries click on (more…)

November 30, 2012

Muahaha Video Sneak Preview of Tank ’em Up!

Read here – http://blog.toonheart.com/sneak-preview-tank-em-up/

November 29, 2012

Prototype – Tank ’em Up!

Exciittttttinggggg News Fellaws…………

Announcing Prototype – Tank ’em Up!
My first game to go into Development Phase!!

Tank ‘em Up! – 1 page idea? 1 stage gameplay mashup for prototype

Not bad for 1 Page Game Idea 🙂

Read more here – http://blog.toonheart.com/prototype-tank-em-up/
Woooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Psst, someone asked me what music I listen to when I work… Well, here’s my playlist –

November 16, 2012

Started giving back to the GameDev community

Yippie! Just contributed back to the Indie game developers community with my first tutorial on solving an Artificial Intelligence behavior for enemy units in a game.

Thanks to all the gamedevs who have been writing tutorials, sharing their ideas and how they solved particular problems … I’ve learnt from couple of tutorials myself. Thank you for being generous and not being selfish / afraid that someone will steal your potential idea.

This is how Open Source works .. even at sharing knowledge.

Interested people can read my tutorial at http://www.scirra.com/tutorials/408/enemy-ai-for-range-of-fire-and-line-of-sight-top-down-player/

More will come as and when I find time…

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