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Wow, it's been a while.. my life has been pretty hectic since Chaos Faction 2 was released. I've now moved to a different city and have a full-time job working at 4T2 Multimedia. Pretty sweet setup, I now get to make games for names like LEGO and the BBC. Not really what I want to be doing long-term though but I'm having fun and the experience I'm gaining is invaluable.
Anyway, in case you're interested I've been asked to contribute to Flash MindMeld - a collaborative e-seminar where "60 of the greatest minds behind flash games" (including Tom Fulp, Brad Borne etc.) each record a 60-second talk about what makes a great flash game. So if you want to hear what I have to say in my horrible British accent then tune in on Feb 15th.
So, like, I've just released this game I've been working on, called CHAOS FACTION 2! Play it HERE!
Remember, the reason it's not on NG just yet is that it's exclusive to Armor Games until May 7th, that's 4 weeks from now. It's part of the sponsorship deal with AG, as they have been extremely supportive through development, and have also contributed a lot financially. Also we will be using this period to continue debugging the game so that when it goes public it will be working smoothly for everyone.
Anyway, I would really like some feedback. The reviews so far on AG have hardly been that insightful so I'm relying on you guys for some more detailed comments. Give it a play and post anything you want to say here.
Also remember to check out the CF2 forum for CF2 related stuff, including custom level competitions!
So all the main elements of the game are finished, which means it's beta time! I've sent out a copy of the game to a few friends and trustees to give it a play through and make suggestions and comments, and report bugs. I've been getting a lot of feedback so I'll have quite a few things to do before it's done, but these changes aren't that huge so I'm getting through them quite quickly. As ever you can follow progress on the DP forum.
I also want to take this opportunity to remind people that CF2 will be exclusive to Armor Games for 4 weeks after its release, and also Dissolute Productions. After that period it will be available everywhere forever. Sorry, but it's part of the sponsorship deal. Of course I'll make a post here, on DP and anywhere else I can think of as soon as it's out. And again, if you want an idea of when this might be, keep checking the progress log.
Firstly, and most importantly, a belated merry Christmas and a happy new year. As I hope you have gathered, it's because of these two that CF2 wasn't out when I said it would be. In fact for the last 2 weeks I've been totally tied up with family business and festivities, and YOU LOT should have been too, rather than pestering me.
Anyway, I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma. Do I just release a buggy incomplete version of CF2 now just so people have something to play, or do I wait until it's really finished so I can release the final product in all its glory? After discussing it with some friends I think I've decided on the latter. I know people are getting incredibly frustrated, but ultimately I think it's worth taking a bit of abuse to create a masterpiece.
So here's the promise. Rather than giving estimates for the release date, from now until it comes out I shall keep you regularly updated on progress. I've started a new topic on the DP forum here, and I'll try to post every day with what I've been doing and what's left to do. That way you can get a better idea of when it will be finished, and you can also give input or ask questions too.
I can only continue to apologise about the delays, but bare in mind no one wants this game finished more than me, so however frustrated you are, just remember I'm feeling ten times more so.
So, if you're still waiting for the release of CF2, THIS is the space to watch.
So, I got a great response for the voice acting post I made for Chaos Faction 2 a couple of weeks ago. I got a lot more recordings than I was expecting, some usable, some.. not so much. Anyway, the good news is that if you still want to try out for one of the personalities, we could always do with more clips. Feel free to try any of the personalities listed in my last post, but specifically we need Kids, Generic Male, and Animal. If you want to have a go, read over my last post and record the 7 sounds needed for each personality. (remember Small Grunt onwards are sounds for the personalities, not personalities themselves). Although anyone is welcome to try, I'm particularly interested in pro/semi-pro voice actors, so if you're looking to showcase your voice then this is a good opportunity.
As for the game itself, it's getting dangerously close to completion. All the levels are done and I'm starting to move onto sounds and the intro. I'm aiming to have it done before Christmas, but I'm not sure it's such a good idea to release it then as people will be preoccupied with festivities, so I might leave it until a few days after. I'm not sure what the record is for how well games perform when released around Christmas, so I'll think about it.
Anyway, James O'Reilly aka. Mungo of Ragin' Brain Pictures has been doing some teaser art for the game (below). He's been doing a fantastic job with the artwork and animation for the game, it's made such an improvement on the presentation. If you're looking for an artist/animator for a game I'd highly recommend him, just get in touch with him through his website: www.james-oreilly.com.
(I didn't attach the images because it squashes them up too much. Just follow the links.)
So the gameplay for CF2 is pretty much done and we're finally starting to think about sounds, and this is where you come into it.
The characters in CF1 were a bit lifeless, and as part of our effort to give them more character this time we want to give them a more varied range of sounds as they react to the gameplay, which means voice acting! We've split up the voices into 5 'personalities', and the sounds into 7 types.
The personalities are:
A cartoony kid's voice, think Nes and Ice Climbers from Super Smash Bros. Might want to get younger brothers/cousins to have a go at this one.
eg. Waluigi, Murdoc from The Gorillaz etc., this will be for the bully characters, the scientist and the ghost.
Just a generic male voice, like Fox and Captain Falcon from SSB.
This will be for the pirate, farmer and builder, so it shouldn't be too specific to any of these (no Yarrrs, ooh-arrs etc.)
Growly and snarly, think lions, tigers, bears, zombies.
And the sounds we need for each personality are:
Small grunt (eg. hah!, huh!, rg!)
This will be for regular kicking/punching. These should be short and punchy (lol.) no more than a fraction of a second.
Big grunt (eg. Haaaaa!!, Rrrrraaaah!!, Yaaaaagh!!)
For more powerful 'rage' attacks (like special moves in Street Fighter/Tekken)
Get hit (eg. oof.. ah.. ng..)
Again, short and punchy.
Die (KO'd) (eg. aagh!, no!)
Fall off ledge/hit a long distance (eg. Aaaaaagh...!, Noooooo...!, Waaaaagh...!)
Sneaky laugh (eg. heh heh, heehee, *chuckle*)
When players pick up a crate, blow someone up with a mine, hit a switch etc. Maybe a bit like in Worms.
Happy (eg. Yeah!, Haha!)
Get a multikill, win the match etc.
We would need several variations of each of these sound types for each personality. (4 or 5 grunts, 4 or 5 deaths etc.)
We can't offer any money for the clips we use, but you will of course be immortalized in the credits for the game and be the envy of all your friends. So if you have a microphone, start playing around, have some fun, and send the results to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bear in mind we are more likely to use good quality recordings, also don't bother with additional effects (reverb/echo), we'll add them later if necessary. However if you want to shift the pitch, that's fine.
Thanks, -George Eade (EON)
Ok, I've just taken my last EVER exam, which means that I'm out of full-time education for the first time in my life. That means CF2 will have my full undivided attention until it gets finished without the distraction of menial interferences such as studying.
I'm not going to set a release date, but bare in mind the reason I failed to make the previous ones was because I was studying for my final year at university. Now I have no other commitments until I go to work for Armor Games next summer. However I'll occasionally bring out some artwork and maybe a beta so you can see the progress for yourselves. But until then, I have some serious Flashing to catch up on...
I'm at University. I'm in my final year. I have done NO revision during the last 8 months and have 7 exams to revise for by June. Studying is now my primary concern and has been since Easter. Ergo, work on games (such as, oh I don't know, CF2) has kinda come to a standstill.
You might then ask what the hell have I been up to since last summer when I initially had the release date planned, and to be honest, CF2 has been coming along steadily, but there's just SO MUCH I want to pack into it which is why I keep pushing the deadline.
Now I'm not going to make any promises since I'm clearly no good at keeping them, but what I will say is this: on Saturday 13th June 09, I will have finished full-time education for EVER and will be free to work on flash games FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. That means 24/7 working on CF2 until it gets bloody finished.
Anyway, to keep you going until my next update, here is some character art by James O'Reilly, who is doing most of the graphics and animation.
Time for a fix. Play the updated version here. If you've tried to play it recently you'll notice it gets stuck on the grey lines before the loader. Turns out this was something to do with the built in flash player version detector I put in.
But never mind about that, because Chaos Faction 2 in on the way! And trust me, its awesomeness will far exceed that of CF1. So far the game-play is so much better, and with the help of the other artists being drafted in for the level backgrounds, animation and music, this should be one slick game.
But I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer than initially planned. The original release date of September 2008 is looking increasingly unlikely, so it might be as long as Easter before we see it finished. Sorry about that. Anyway, I might bring out some demos and tasters some time. Remind me if I don't.
Also, has anyone noticed that flash player in Firefox now runs at the proper frame rate? How FREAKING AWESOME is that?? This basically means games will run much MUCH smoother now. Before, SWFs would always lose about 25% of the frame rate when played through a browser, but not any more! This was always such a major issue for developers, and it now appears to have been fixed. Test it yourself, open this link in Firefox and then in IE. The true frame rate is 30. Be amazed!
Ok, so Epsilon was insanely popular and did far better than any of us were expecting. I was amazed it stayed in the top 50 for as long as it did, I really wasn't expecting such an appreciative reception. And to think I was planning on giving up half way through the game because I thought it was crap...
But anyway, now that's finally out the way we've started on another little project. That's right, for all you Chaos Faction fans endlessly pestering for a sequel, Chaos Faction 2 is now on the way! The original release date was for the end of September, but due to unforeseen factors (namely remembering that flash games do actually take a while to make) that date is now looking more like Christmas time. But the wait will be worth it. We've got the likes of Michael Swain working on some level designs and graphics, Geier Arnold on the music (he also did the music for Epsilon), and we'll hopefully be getting in some other artists to help out with other aspects.
That's all I'll say for now, but you can read up more on what's planned for the game here, and have your say on what you think should be included.