Elemental Focus

May 21, 2012

Relaunching The Cannon!
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 8:14 pm

With version 1.4 ready to go, The Cannon is now officially relaunching on PC!

While technically a ‘relaunch’ this is The Cannon’s first publicity push on PC, following important feature updates to both the game and IndieCity. With IndieCity gaining more and more important features, it has now reached an excellent time to give the game a proper launch. Hopefully this will lead to an increase in players, to really set the leaderboards alight with competition!

Click here to buy The Cannon on IndieCity!

Press Kit

About The Cannon:
In the Cannon you must control a super-cannon filled to the brim with fireballs, ice shards, electricity and vines to stop an upcoming onslaught. Ninjas, pirates, robots, monkeys, zombies and aliens all want to take you down and its all down to you to beat them back. The enemies have a full range of sound effects, with the pirates voiced by Paul and Storm (known for The Captain’s Wife’s Lament).

But behind the cliched overcoat is a deeply strategic game. Each weapon has different effects on each enemy, so you need to balance your weapons against each other so you don’t run out of energy at a crucial moment.

The game includes three quickplay modes and a fifteen level campaign mode. You can play the game your own way, with four difficulty options, unlockable backgrounds and remappable controls. Indiecity extras means that the game has 50 Achievements and global leaderboards, so you can hone your skills and compete to be the ultimate cannon-meister.

Finally, some notes on changes in version 1.4:
-Game time is now not affected by slowdown, so Timed music will always remain in sync.
-Vine collisions made a bit more reliable
-Ninjas returned to their original faster speed


May 9, 2012

Progress Report – 9th May, 2012
Filed under: Adventure from Tora,Diamond Digger,thecannon — Chris @ 11:48 am

I really need to think of better titles for these update posts…

After a long period of relative silence with little to report, I believe its time to give some updates on what’s going on in Elemental Focus world right now.

Firstly, as mentioned in the previous post, I’m preparing to relaunch The Cannon, waiting on PayPal support for IndieCity and just checking that v1.3 works fine in the meantime.

Secondly, Skies of Fire is coming along fairly nicely. The interface has been changed up and the graphics have improved a bit more as well. There’s also a new key gameplay element that I’ve added fairly recently that really changes the tone of the game. It brings back a bit of the silliness that I seem to work much better with. As IndieCity has now launched their underground system, expect to see a playable beta of the game by the end of the month, with release hopefully no more than a month afterwards (although if it comes to it, July 4th isn’t exactly a bad release date for a game about fireworks).

Adventure from Tora is still on the cards but is now going to be taken in a different graphical direction. Of course, this makes the clips from the showcase even more irrelevant because it was only really graphics that they showed. It’s not far enough along to talk about properly, but it should end up being our first non-XNA PC game.

Lastly, Diamond Digger should also see a new batch of levels reasonably soon and there’s another little thing in the works that’s a little different from what we’ve done so far…


May 4, 2012

The Cannon v1.3
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 11:35 am

The Cannon has been updated with a series of bug-fixes and other small tweaks, including:
– “Thank you” medal fixed to unlock at 4 hours instead of 40 (whoops!)(will unlock if you’ve already exceeded four hours)
– “Far Reach” medal distance reduced due to previous difficulty in achieving it.
– “Faster” medal unlocks at 60 enemies killed instead of 80.
– IndieCity connection code made slightly stabler
– Collision code improved
– Campaign will now spawn set numbers of each enemy instead of the previous random valid enemy approach
– Small performance improvements
– Fixed the bug where the full credits would not show after completing the campaign has been fixed.

At the moment, I’m preparing to relaunch The Cannon, which will happen shortly after paying with PayPal becomes available on IndieCity. I think a relaunch is justified given that the original PC launch was alongside IndieCity’s launch making it tricky to get any exposure.


December 20, 2011

The Cannon is now on IndieCity!
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 11:16 pm

http://www.indiecity.com/game/Cannon

The Cannon is now fully available on IndieCity

This means that if you’ve got a laptop or a PC made within the last 6 or so years, you’ll be able to play Elemental Focus’s first game, but now with mouse and keyboard controls! This is the same game that received lots of great reviews back when it launched on XBLIG

It only costs £2, but if you’re here reading this blog and still don’t trust that you want to buy the game, you can also demo it for free!

It’s worth downloading the IndieCity client because with a little growth, it’s going to be a really good platform and even now there’s lots of free games and demos to explore. The point of the channel is to make discovery of new Indie game much easier so it might throw up a few gems which could become some of your new favourite games (its alright if they’re not mine ;))


November 11, 2011

The Cannon has gone gold!
Filed under: Diamond Digger,thecannon — Chris @ 9:59 pm

Sorry for the rubbish updates this week, no excuse really, aside from not having a humoungous amount to talk about.

The PC version of The Cannon is now FINISHED. All things going well, my work on it is done. It has now been submitted to IndieCity’s CAP process. Assuming that the Community Approvers find no reason to fail it, then it should be released at the same time as IndieCity launches.

This, of course, means that work on Diamond Digger is starting up again. All things going well I expect it to be released by the beginning of December, which actually isn’t that far away. So, here are some release details (and dates are subject to chance, mostly due to various approval processes and things going horribly wrong):

Projected XBLIG launch date: 1st December
Projected IndieCity launch date: 7th December

As the game has progressed, the puzzle mode has quickly become the core of the game and at the moment, the game will be launching with 50 puzzles (+ 8 in the tutorial), in addition to the quickplay modes. However, that will not be the end of it.

My intent is for every 1000 sales the game makes (across both platforms), up to 5000, I will create a patch which will add a further 10 puzzles for free! Yes, you may say, if this goes the way of The Cannon, then no new puzzles will be added, but I think its reasonable to ask given the amount of work that goes in to the puzzles. (plus I’ll reach it if you get your friends to buy it!).

Obviously no poll this week (I’ve left it a bit late really)


November 3, 2011

Trailer for PC version of The Cannon
Filed under: thecannon,Video — Chris @ 1:55 pm


November 2, 2011

Art (almost) Tuesday!
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 2:22 pm

In order to celebrate the re-release of the Cannon on PC, the game is getting a fresh splash screen and box art, made by none other than @aeonsummoner

The in-game art basically remains the same, so it doesn’t solve the criticism of graphics, but its nice to give a cleaner look as people start the game.


October 24, 2011

Control Scheme Shenanigans
Filed under: Poll,thecannon — Chris @ 10:56 pm

I’m still working through the control scheme for the PC version of the Cannon. The original was designed around the 360 controller and while these controls are left in for anyone using a 360 controller, I need to design a new scheme for your average PC user.

This has proven to be a little more fiddly than you expect. The original design I had was similar to the controller, but not needing the click the mouse made one feel quite disconnected from the game. However, another scheme I tried just became confusing very quickly. I may leave multiple options in, but I need to have a sensible default option. The danger I have here is not to get used to using an odd control scheme otherwise I’ll have a skewed view. Might be time to pick a couple and get some other people in to try them out!

Anyway, here’s this week’s poll!



October 21, 2011

No new screenshots…
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 11:49 am

I did intend to put some new screenshots for the PC version of The Cannon yesterday, but have made some last minute changes to the controls which alter how the interface needs to be displayed, so now sort of need to change it.

As such, the screenshots I can currently get wouldn’t be final, so I’ll leave them until next week.

Poll content will be up later this evening!


October 19, 2011

The Cannon is coming to PC!
Filed under: thecannon — Chris @ 8:55 pm

Pretty big announcement today (see the title)

It will be released on IndieCity, a new PC platform for indie games that is currently in the process of launching, in under a month. I can’t even give you a solid date yet as I’m not even sure whether I’ll be finished before IndieCity launches or not. Here’s how it shapes up compared to the XBLIG version

New Features:
-Global Leaderboards
This is definitely the feature that I was most disappointed to cut from the XBLIG version, almost entirely because you can only do peer-to-peer leaderboards and as well as being rubbish, there can be a lot of effort involved in setting them up. However, with IndieCity, this all becomes very easy, so you’ll now be able to compete with people all around the globe for high scores, putting a lot of replay value back into the quickplay modes.

-Achievements
The original game had 50 medals. The re-release has 50 IndieCity Achievements, which are almost all the same as the original (a couple are different due to changes in the game itself). Given all the different achievement systems cropping up, having these isn’t much of a development upon the game specific ones I had before, but they’re nice to have. As before, unlocking certain numbers of achievements will let you access bonus content.

-Mouse Controls
As the game is on the PC, I can’t rely on people having gamepads, so I’m building a new control scheme which uses both the mouse and keyboard (one hand on each). The aim will be for all of the keyboard controls to be remappable if you don’t like the defaults.

Sadly, a couple of cuts need to be made as well:
-Multiplayer
With the game needing the mouse to control, it isn’t possible to have more than one person playing at once. As a result, the multiplayer modes from the original have had to be dropped. If the re-release is popular enough, I may be able to add in online multiplayer, but given the amount of sales the original XBLIG release made, it’s a lot of effort for something that won’t benefit many people.

-Score/stats link up
As I’m using the IndieCity leaderboards I can’t associate stat sets with scores anymore. This isn’t a major loss, it’s just something that it was neat to have before. The post-game screen will still give you the breakdown of kills for the game you just played.

And here’s a couple of other changes:
The interface is being overhauled. It’s now a lot simpler, but more consistent throughout all of the screen and is reminiscent of a military HUD.

Ice then fire is no longer an insta-kill on applicable enemies. This was fairly overpowered in the original, but was held back by aiming being tricky at times, especially with enemies a long way away. With point and click mouse controls, almost the entire game breaks down into ice then fire with little punishment for repeatedly doing this. Everything else will be balanced accordingly.

And of course there’re a few other things that I haven’t firmed up yet. I’ll put up a couple of screenshots of the new interface and such tomorrow!


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