Elemental Focus

July 5, 2012

Happy 4th July!
Filed under: Site Updates,Skies of Fire — Chris @ 12:19 am

The lack of Skies of Fire that you see before you comes from a combination of illness, time spent making job applications and having interviews and a new project which I believe is important to focus on as much as possible right now. The lack of a Skies of Fire themed release today is particularly a shame given some recent additions which make July 4th an even more appropriate release date, but alas it cannot be. Once it’s at the right stage, there’ll be a demo up on IndieCity, which will hopefully be before (British) bonfire night!

This ‘new project’ I’ve mentioned involves taking this site and how we create and present our games in a completely different direction. We’re still working out several kinks and finalizing the matrices, so over the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing a few articles on several topics that this new direction addresses and should hopefully allow you to see what it is we’re doing. So on another ‘when it’s ready’ note, watch this space!

February 23, 2012

Skies of Fire Trailer – Out with a bang!
Filed under: Skies of Fire,Video — Chris @ 12:34 pm

23 February 2012, Cambridge – England
Elemental Focus have just released the first trailer for their upcoming fireworks game.
Watch it here (best enjoyed in 720p and full screen):

About Skies of Fire:
Skies of Fire lets you loose with the box of fireworks over 8 different locations and events. Make the most astounding displays possible to dazzle the crowd and propel yourself the global stage. Choose from 20 different fireworks, each with its own unique style and each one can come in whichever colour you want it to! Featuring a dynamic scoring system which focuses on building up a crowd and ending in a big finale. Skies of Fire will be released for PC in Q2 2012. For more information, please email chris@elementalfocus.co.uk

About Elemental Focus:
Elemental Focus is a small variable team of game creationists focused on delivering fun games around unique concepts. Elemental Focus was established as a brand in 2011 with the launch of their first game, The Cannon, on Xbox Live Indie Games. Since then, they have been releasing games on PC with IndieCity, firstly with a port of The Cannon, adding multiple new features and then with their second game, the puzzle game Diamond Digger. Elemental Focus is currently working on the titles Skies of Fire and Adventure from Tora.
Webpage: www.elementalfocus.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ElementalFocus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElementalFocus

February 13, 2012

Skies of Fire screenshot: The shop
Filed under: Screenshots,Skies of Fire — Chris @ 10:39 pm

For the first time since I decided to do screenshots on Monday, there’s a screenshot! This shows the shop screen from Skies of Fire, which I will now guide you though.

The shop in Skies of Fire is where you buy your fireworks before each display. You have a set budget and you need to separate this out over your different sets. You can choose four different types of firework and which button (and colour) you assign each firework to.

The shop will give you all of the necessary information, the icon that the firework will have in the sidebar, the name of it, a short description and its cost. In the middle of the screen, there’s also a demonstration of the firework, so you know exactly what the firework will do.

The auto-assign option will take away any effort and choose your fireworks for you. There are some biases in the auto-assign, such as spending more in the final set and including the most recently unlocked fireworks. If you’re really lazy, there’s an option in the settings that will skip the shop and always auto-assign your fireworks. This is not-advised unless you want to save time, each player will have their own display styles and will have their own selection of fireworks that they’ll like to use.

Also, along the right is the redesigned sidebar (last seen on top of a large ugly block in the winter showcase). It now has no background and is semi-transparent to add to the ethereal feel of the game.

February 10, 2012

Progress report: 2012/02/10
Filed under: Diamond Digger,IndieCity,Skies of Fire — Chris @ 6:18 pm

Firstly, in case anyone was still wondering, my current main project is now Skies of Fire, the firework-em-up game that I announced when proposing my Game Season idea. You can find the first footage here.
That footage is now a little old, the interface is now slicker, the scoring isn’t so ugly (and probably clearer) and the fireworks themselves are a bit brighter. The game is coming together quite well and I’m looking forward to getting to see how the base system plays once the scoring system is completed.
I’ll go into more detail about how that’s going next week (if we’re we’re lucky then there may be a new trailer).

Secondly, IndieCity is now becoming my main distribution platform, I’m now putting my weight fully behind this growing site. This means that I’ll be building new games ground up for the PC (which will stop the difficulty I have in porting controls). My hope is that as IndieCity grows, the achievements and particularly the leaderboards become active and very competitive. Even as it is at the moment, it’s very easy for players to communicate with me about the games, with any issues or tweaks they may have, and I’m happy to oblige for the people who’ve spent time and money on my game. This is helped to no end by the extremely easy updating process, meaning that I don’t need to wait two weeks and put in a ton of effort to make a small fix. If there’s a bug report, there’s normally a fix before the end of the day.

On that note, both of my games will continue to receive updates as and when. The Cannon is unlikely to have anything major added to it as I launched it pretty much fully formed. On the other hand, Diamond Digger has the potential to grow a bit. While at the moment the sales incentive doesn’t look as though it’ll come to much, if I have the time I may add a couple more puzzles anyway. There are a couple of other little updates that may also be added depending on time and popularity.

October 31, 2011

Game Season is a bust

Due to the funding received through the rocketHub project being miles away from the funds that I need to complete the games in Game Season, it will no longer be taking place.

So where does this leave me?

Well, with the funders’ permission, the money will go towards general development of future Elemental Focus games, primarily Diamond Digger and Skies of Fire. These two games will almost certainly see the light of day at some point. However, to continue working on development, I’ll either be getting a part-time job (cutting into development time) or my games need to start selling a bit better. If this doesn’t happen, then I’ll need to cease development before the end of the year.

Only if I am able to continue developing, will I be able to produce Legend of Tora and other games, because otherwise I’m not going to have anything to live on. Failing anything else, I’ll have to get a proper job working for a software company of some sort (maybe game development, maybe not) and IP clauses in contracts would no doubt stop me from developing on the side.

But anyway, moving forward while I can, here’s this week’s poll.

October 18, 2011

So this is how the scoring works…
Filed under: Poll,Skies of Fire — Chris @ 1:05 pm

Apologies for things being a little late. This was the winner of the poll for content on friday, but is obviously only going up now…

The aim in Skies of Fire is to create the most impressive fireworks display you can. Of course, this is very subjective and where the game is in development, the true scores themselves still have a lot of tweaking to go through, but here’s the gist of it:

Firstly, the biggest factor you need to pay attention to is crowd interest. The interest will start fairly high, but will drop if there are big gaps in fireworks or lots of repetition. You need to pull off high scoring sequences or use particularly unique fireworks if you want to increase it again. Keeping crowd interest is critical to your score as each firework’s score depends on the crowd interest at the time. If no-one’s watching any more, it doesn’t matter how impressive it is. Sadly I didn’t have this working properly for the game season trailer, but its represented by the bar on the right.

Each game is separated into multiple sets, averaging three, but this may vary depending on the level. The final set is worth the most, so this is when you want your most impressive fireworks, but the problem here is that you need to have kept crowd interest high through the previous sets, so this makes for a careful balancing act.

Each firework has its own base score, depending on the firework, and added to this will be a height bonus. Height is determined by power (which is the length of the firing arrow when you arm the firework) and direction. So for example, you lose height by firing a firework off at an angle, but without doing this, you’re also limited in other bonuses you receive.

Each sequence (how long a sequence is can be pretty much defined by the user) also has its own bonuses, including length, symmetry and sky coverage.

Hope that covers what people are interested in seeing. This is all subject to a bit of change, but this is roughly what to look out for.

Here’s the poll for this Friday, which will be on time this time! In case you didn’t notice last week, you can now vote for multiple options at once!

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