Elemental Focus

April 25, 2013

Games For Everyone!
Filed under: Site Updates — Chris @ 8:20 pm

So just a quick bit of housekeeping: Sorry things have been a bit slow (and it’s been 10 months since the last post), I both have a job now so I have monies to do things with (although less time) and the game dev stuff I’m working on hasn’t really had much to shout about, until now!

Here at Elemental Focus, we’re looking to create great games that as many people can play as possible. To this end, we’re currently working on having our games embedded on the website. However, this is something we’d like to maintain for a while and the current direction of computing could make this a bit fiddly.

You might have noticed that more and more people have tablets and now do the majority of their internet browsing on either these or mobile phones. The general shift of how people use computers is to these mobile devices, in much the same way that several years ago there was a shift from desktops to laptops. There will always be people using older forms of computers as they’re just more efficient for certain tasks, but we want to look at what the majority of people use. Following this, surely we want to make it possible for people to be able to play the games on our website through their tablet or phone?

Well, there are some serious limitations to this. Due to the current way in which tablets work, the only way to actually code this to work is through javascript and html5. They’re powerful tools, but a lot more fiddly to use than game creation tools like Unity (that would still allow us to embed games on the site). There’s also the aspect of controls: there’s a very vocal portion of the gaming community that denounce touch screen gaming and while I personally feel it has it’s moments, it’s not something that I’d want to be restricted to doing solely. Obviously we could create different versions of games or even different games entirely for different devices, but what we really want is a central hub for the games, a FOCUS point (eh? eh?)

The ideal situation would be more of a shift to hybrid devices, allowing tablet users to download plugins like unity to play the games and having a keyboard on hand to use if the game requires it. The problem is this requires knowing exactly what the future holds, something that no-one has ever (proven to have) been capable of.

So what do YOU think? I’m really interested in getting some feedback on what other people think about this situation? Are people actually likely to want to play website based games on their tablets? Is it worth restricting what we can make? Are there any other options I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments, on our facebook page or on twitter (@Gingerlink)

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!

January 2, 2012

2012 update schedule
Filed under: Site Updates — Chris @ 10:20 pm

Happy new year! Welcome to 2012!

To reflect the event of the Earth reaching a rather arbitrary point of its rotation, we’re restructuring when blog updates will occur and what each will contain. The aim of this is to provide more consistent updates with more consistent content, even if the total number may drop a bit on account of not trying to update on every weekday.

Mondays: Screenshot/Artwork/Video
Some form of media which could show progress or ideas. A while ago, for several weeks, I was posting artwork (mostly @aeonsummoners) on Tuesdays, so this is a continuation of that.

Wednesday: Article
I’m not a great writter, but I’m building up an increasingly large list of things that I’d like to write about. Some of the articles I’ve written before seem to have gone down quite nicely and I think I’ve got some good topics, even if my writing isn’t the best.

Friday: Progress updates
Fairly standard really, progress updates a week apart should mean that there should be plenty that I can talk about. How things are going, being it coding, ideas, reviews or sales.

Polls for content may return at some point although its unlikely that they’ll be a weekly thing.

Any other pieces of news, particularly urgent or current ones such as game releases, will be posted as and when, with links from the usual channels (i.e. facebook and twitter)

December 10, 2011

Site Updates
Filed under: Site Updates — Chris @ 4:08 pm

As you may have seen, the front page of the site has been updated to be a lot cleaner and very content focused, instead of just a list of stuff. It’s very Cannon focused at the moment, but we will continue to cycle in new videos and screenshots over time and within the next few days there should be a few more Diamond Digger items there too.

The idea is that in the future, the content there will be representative of our previous few games, with one screenshot from each of our five most recent (or five most focused on) games. This will then provide an extra link to the games pages themselves.

To tie into this, over the next few days, the games page will also see some updates. We will try and focus all of the data and information for each game into its own page, instead of having multiple pages per game like it is at the moment.

If you’re interested in our work, please follow us on twitter and join our Facebook page (both shown on the right of the front page). We’d really like to expand these and they will see more regular activity soon.

P.S. The info page has also been updated to match recent developments.

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 1, 2011

The Big Announcement
Filed under: Project Flame,Site Updates,Video — Chris @ 1:06 am

So all of this time, since the release of The Cannon, I’ve obviously been working on something new. I need to occupy myself with something, surely?

Well, firstly, I’d like to announce Game Season.

This will be a collection of about 13 games, released one per week, which ought to be starting sometime in April. That’s right, 13 games with the same release schedule as a tv series! Rather importantly, these will also be primarily developed for PC but may also see a release on XBLIG depending on what happens.

Obviously, this is an absolutely mammoth undertaking and with the limited success of The Cannon, I’m going to need some support. Therefore, I’m starting a RocketHub opportunity in an attempt to fund it!

You can find the RocketHub page here: http://rockethub.com/projects/3384-game-season-a-series-of-video-games. Please please please go and help fund this, even if its only a dollar. At the very least, go and see what the rewards are. I think I’m offering some pretty awesome things there!

Of course, that video also shows off a couple of games, so while I’m here I would also like to announce three new games! Even if I don’t raise enough money, these ought to EVENTUALLY see release, but could be held back as I need to find funds elsewhere.

Skies of Fire
You’re in charge of creating the most kick-ass fireworks display ever!

Diamond Digger
A puzzle game with a unique mechanic. Get the diamonds to the bottom of the screen!

Adventure from Tora
An RPG game which has heavy D&D elements within the battles. Let me just say this, Tora turns out to be pretty mysterious in itself.

More on these soon, but seriously, please go and check out the RocketHub Project!

September 26, 2011

List of +3 Mailing
Filed under: Site Updates — Chris @ 6:41 pm

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m starting up the Elemental Focus mailing list, for anyone who doesn’t want to come to the website as much (I’m kidding, please stay!). E-mails will be fairly rare and will only be sent out when there’s a big announcement (so at the end of this week), such as a trailer for a new game, or the release of a new game itself.

So if you’re interested (and if you’re here, I hope you are), you can click below and enter your e-mail address to sign up. You don’t have to fill in your preferred platform, but this is the kind of information that’s particularly useful in working out where to take things next.

P.S. I’ve received some new music from Maestro. It sounds amazing!

August 29, 2011

The State of Play
Filed under: Site Updates — Chris @ 11:04 pm

With the dust settling on The Cannon, it is important to assess where I am with game development. Fresh out of university, I am currently creating games full time, but without a regular job and the limited success of The Cannon, my funds are fairly limited. However, there lies a problem in that if I start a full time job in the field I would be expected to go into, I will no longer be able to work on indie games on the side (with the multitude of IP related issues when working in a software company).

What does this mean? Well…

1) I will continue development on indie games until at least the end of the year. Being able to continue past this point will depend on the success of games I produce up until then, the amount of support I receive and my capacity to find a part-time job.

2) I will be looking for such support in the near future. This won’t be simply ‘please donate’ however. More on this soon, when I have some more media to show off.

3) Expect to see both XBLIG and PC releases. Any PC ports will have reworked control schemes and should also have online leaderboards.

So there’s an insight into how things lie at the moment and what the (slightly) further future holds.

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