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Mitron

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A member registered Apr 24, 2017 · View creator page โ†’

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Thanks for the tip!  I wasn't planning to bother with the Google store paper work - it's just a hobby project and I haven't registered for a Google Play developer account.

Besides, interested to see how well it does on itch.io!!!  (although a feature spot would help for people visiting itch.io from an Android device!  hint hint ;) )

Hey all,

Xmas is looming!  What better way to relax during the festivities, than zooming away in space chased by pesky aliens on your favourite tablet or phone?  

Well - wait not more:  Holey Suit is available for download on Android!!!

Available since September for PC, Holey Suit has since accumulated over 1500 downloads here on itch.io!  Whether you haven't come across it yet or tried an older version, why not give it a shot on your tablet?

Holey Suit revolves around a simple mechanic:  you are in space & shoot to move!  Aliens are patrolling your ship's wreckage looking for survivors to exterminate - can you reach the escape pod before you run out oxygen?!




Game page is HERE.

Enjoy!!!

Mitron

Pushing Holey Suit to the finish line!

I thought I'd put a final post on this dev blog:  Holey Suit 1.0 is now out!

Holey Suit has been my background project for nearly six months now.  Originally started around the GMTK Jam (although never published then) it's been a hell of a ride.   Couple of things I am very happy about: 

  • This is the first project I complete, ever!  So big pat on the shoulder to myself for polishing and closing off the game.
  • Since its original pre-alpha release it accumulated over 2000 downloads across Gamejolt & Itch.io.

Overall, a great experience.  Really happy to have published on both itch.io & Gamejolt - both platforms are different but the communities on either are great and the people behind them have done an amazing job and make life for little dev guys like me very easy.

Here's the latest stats, FYI:


Note: amongst the 1571 figure, not all the downloads are for the game executable.  Some are for the manual and the music and account for around 300 of the total.  Still pretty happy by the number of peeps liking and downloading the music, which was made with GarageBand on my iPad :)

Some explanations: I believe the spikes in downloads are down to people having installed the game with the itch.io app, as these correlate with me pushing an updated version of the game, which I imagine triggers an auto download.  It would also explains why spikes in views (the November spike for example, down to a post of Reddit) doesn't necessarily translate in downloads.

Either way, despite being the game no longer being on the front page (you can see in previous blog post that this translated in a serious downloads spree) it still gets a few downloads a day.  It also got a review (and 70/100 score!) on a Czech game magazine website!

So what next for the future?  I'll probably still do bits and bobs on Holey Suit,  but for now I'd like to move to the next project!  I have several ideas I'd like to toy with, so stay tuned!

Until then...  Go try the game if you haven't yet, and feel free to leave a comment ;)

Yo yo yo everybody!

I thought I'd push a little extra on the forum after my last dev blog.  Recap: I have just release Holey Suit in High Definition.  Check it out there;)


I also took the opportunity during this big update to change one of the core mechanic of the game: weapons.

Prior to the update, weapons would recharge automatically.  This fits pretty well in a sci-fi game, the idea being your character's suit had a reactor to power weapons etc.  People couldn't be too trigger happy as it would mean they would run out and have to wait for energy to regenerate.  So it forced a nice balance of shooting frantically and pace yourself to allow the energy to regen.

Another mechanic in the game was crates:  I'm not shy of my Vlambeer's influences, and Holey Suit's weapon system was heavily influenced by Super Crate Box in which you need to collect crates to equip weapons.  Sometime the weapon is great, sometime not.  Roll of dice, but one thing was sure: it keeps players on their toes!

Holey Suit was sitting on the fence with its crate system.  Picking up a crate would give you a weapon, but since your energy would automatically regenerate, players were not pressured to pick up another one if they liked their weapon.  Worst: players would get frustrated picking up the wrong weapon.  I tried my best to keep the weapons balanced, but since all weapons promote different play styles, everyone would have their favourite.

Bottom line: I was trying to mix two designs which do not seem to marry well.  On one hand, I was giving players the ability to stick to their favourite weapon (through regenerating ammo), whilst getting them frustrated when they picked the wrong one.

Conclusion?  From now on, energy no longer regenerates!  Players might love it or hate it, but it will certainly promote the Super Crate Box play style I originally intended for the game.  

Now: crossed fingers this doesn't put people off.  Balancing game mechanics is an art, changing things halfway is a bit of a gamble and I hope this change is received well!

Hello everyone, fresh addition to the Holey Suit dev blog!  

I guess some of us on Itch.io had the eternal debate:  should  I also publish my game on Gamejolt?  Maybe most of us here publish on both sites, why the heck not?  

I did.  Nearly a month and a half after launch, I thought I'd do a quick analysis on how the game did on Itch.io & Gamejolt.  Drum rolls.... 

Itch.io


 Gamejolt



I'm afraid results aren't as good on Gamejolt!!  Why?  Well, for a start - Holey Suit got a feature spot on its initial release on Itch.io, which definitely helped!   Second, I struggled for a bit with the Gamejolt categories/hashtags system - the game was getting a poor conversion rate (i.e. only a few people were looking at the game page and then downloading it).

A month down the line though - you can notice both graphs ease in to slower download rates.  In October, I am getting roughly 5 to 6 downloads a day on average for both sites, although in general the game is still doing slightly better on Itch.io.  This tells me at least the game page is properly configured and people are finding & downloading the game.  Not an amazing download rate but steady, so I am very happy with that!

For a full fledged analysis, check out my dev blog!  I go in a lot more detail on the above & share tips on my strategy on both platforms:  https://hotchpotch.games/holey-suit-dev-blog-6

And of course, don't forget to check out the game!!!!! 

https://mitron.itch.io/holey-suit

Enjoy!

(Edited 1 time)

Hey all,

Quick announcement: this weekend only, play Holey Suit as a deadly Space Pumpkin!!   

Orange colour theme, all weapons unlocked, and the Mighty Pumpkin Challenge: an escape pod way, way out of reach!!!!!  Do you have what it takes? ;)

Recap for those that missed the game back in September:  Holey Suit is a quirky physics game set in space (no gravity!).  The game is still in pre-alpha, and I'm actively working on the Story Mode.  Updates to come out soon!  The game is built it in he spirit of Vlambeer games so beware: it's hard (but not unfair)!!! :)

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween all!!!

https://mitron.itch.io/holey-suit

One simple thing that helped my game Holey Suit:  announcing the release on itch.io forums ;)

I posted on the  "Game Development ยป Release Announcements" forum after pushing the release button.  I followed the instructions for that topic, i.e. wrote an enticing description of the game, and back this up by a selected few fun screenshots.  You can see the post there, nothing rocket science.

Indirectly, the game was spotted by Leaf (I suppose other moderators also regularly screen this topic) and got featured on the site.  This really helped with the downloads - I am forever grateful for this!  So I guess that counts as a way to reach out to the moderators at itch.io?

And yes, a good game page helps, but you needn't go crazy.  I like the minimalist look itch.io promotes, and with a few simple tweaks (CSS helps, but not mandatory) it's very achievable to have a nice looking page.  One of my favourite page is https://juegosrancheros.itch.io/fantastic-arcade-2016, and as far as I'm aware this doesn't even use CSS.  Just uses a nice colour theme & transparent banner at the top.  Sleek!

Thanks for the video - that was a really entertaining watch!!!  

One piece of advice:  bluetooth headset!  ;)  Just worried you might knock your computer off one day :)

Got it.  I was coming at it from the angle of free games, but now that you mention it I understand for paid games number of downloads would be sensitive data!

How about number of page views, would making that public be possible?  That stat is readily available and a good indication of the traffic for the game - in reality it only correlates to a fraction of downloads so you can only guesstimate from it.  It would supplement nicely the number of reviews stat and isn't too sensitive hopefully?

But yes - a rank would be the icing on the cake!!!  Basically what I'm aiming for is for my game Holey Suit to become the next Right Click to Necromance or RogueLight, it would be good to gauge how far I am from this  ;)

Thanks - that's very encouraging!  Keeps my motivation up to keep working on the game ;)

(Edited 1 time)

Just did a bit of googling and as it turns out, there is a discord itch.io channel!  Not well advertised, but might be a good place to start ;)

https://itch.io/chat

I do everything solo - dev, art, design, PR, blog etc.  That means a lot of bottlenecks, especially since I have a full time job - I only do game dev as a hobby in my spare time!  This means focusing on efficiency: simple art, simple game design, and any shortcut I can take in general.  I found PR is a definite bummer, so you're a good spot if you have a friend handling this.  The more time you can focus on game dev, the better!

No idea if working solo is a recipe for success, but enjoying it to date.  I've got quite a few blog posts early on my website, for anyone interested to read straight into my brains :)  A few months back I was frustrated that every development blog I was reading always started with what seemed a complete game to start with, so I decided to build a blog that would focus on the inception of building a studio + game.  I came to understand why indie website always seem to start towards the end of a game creation: most devs leave it to the last minute to work on PR!

So my website is an attempt to document everything I have done from scratch - company logo, how I work, projects I was working on etc.  My latest game Holey Suit has posts about it from its inception.  Hopefully it's not too dull to read, but is relevant to your this post I guess ;)

Hey all,

Apologies if this was asked before, but is there a way to find out how well games on itch.io are doing in general?  (i.e. not your game's stats, other games) 

I've just released a game and really happy with the results so far (700+ downloads in three weeks), but it is hard to gauge if this means the game is doing well, at least in comparison to similar ones!

I can't seem to see info on game pages like number of views/downloads, but maybe this is all by design?  As far as I have noticed, the only way to measure a game success is the number of comments / community posts.  Or maybe I am blind as a bat and there is a download number somewhere, in which case just ignore me!

Cheers!

Feel free to reach out!  I like the look for your game, minimalist & slick!  I am neither famous nor post interesting content (bar releasing a game 3 weeks ago!) but happy to bounce off ideas.

@notimetoplay has a good point with the jams - it is a good way to connect with other devs.  There's also a heap of discord channels out there with devs/players to chat with.  I personally like the Butterscoth Shenanigans discord, these guys have built a great community!  They also have a fun weekly podcast full of industry tips.

Hey all,

Although I released my game in pre-alpha two weeks ago and am regularly pushing updates & devblogs, I realise there is little or no context available to the itch community on the actual game!  I thought I'd write a post on the forum to give some background on how the game came about.

First thing, here's the link:  https://mitron.itch.io/holey-suit

So, where did the game concept came from?  Had I thought of a space survival game with quirky controls from the onset?  Heck no!!!

Holey Suit!  Characters.

GMTK Jam

The game actually came about because of Mark Brown's GMTK Jam.   It was hosted on itch, so you folks interested by game dev probably heard about it already!  Mark Brown produces the Game Maker Toolkit youtube channel and has been a great source of inspiration for me.

As it turns out, Holey Suit wasn't released as part of the jam at all.  It was actually started two weeks before the jam, because GMTK Jam fell on a weekend I wasn't available!  I still really wanted to have a go at it though, so why the heck not, I decided to pick a theme ahead of the jam and go commando.

As it turns out - the theme I had picked (dual purpose mechanics) was indeed the official jam theme.  By jam weekend I was still under the allocated time (48hrs) but decided it wasn't fair (and against the rules!) to post Holey Suit as an entry.

Holey Suit Bazooooooooooka!

Going Commando

I actually had wanted to experiment with the "shoot to move" mechanic for a long time, so it didn't bother me too much to miss out on the jam.  Besides - the jam was hugely successful and received hundreds of entries - very unlikely the prototype I had back then would have made it to the top.

The development process actually felt a lot more natural spread across weeks, not hours, and a few of the fundamental mechanics I established as ideas matured in my head.   I posted a full fledged post here on my website if you want to read more about it.  Within a few days, I basically had nailed down the premise: survival in zero gravity.  The rest was just designing mechanics that suited the theme, and as elegant as possible.



What next?

So the game is out and has been doing fine so far, with 700 downloads in just over two weeks, and a few let's play on youtube.  I was lucky enough that @leafo featured the game on the front page!  I'm hoping downloads carry on as I keep adding new content to the game.

The game will remain in pre-alpha for a while - I think it reached a status where the arcade mode is more than playable.  My objective is to add a story mode next, with missions to complete.  This will take time, but I think will be rewarding & hopefully will be well received by players!

As per the game page, this is a hobby project.  I am not planning to make monies from the game, this will remain free.  What I ask in return is that anyone that enjoy the game rates it, post a comment or feedback!  



Hope you enjoyed the read, and stay tuned for more Holey Suit updates & content!

I can be found on twitter here: https://twitter.com/HotchPotchGames 

And my website is there for full blog posts about the game: https://hotchpotch.games

Hello there!  I checked out your YouTube channel - good stuff!  My game might not quite fit with your general story-driven let's plays, but I see you did one for the Walking Vegetables, mine is in the same arcady/fun vein.

https://mitron.itch.io/holey-suit

 Disclaimer: controls are a bit quirky and game is a bit hard.  On the plus side it has potential for some raging and screaming, which can make for an entertaining let's play ;)

Gimp all the way for general stuff and post-processing.  I also used Inkscape sometimes, for more precision work like logos etc.

Recently I've had a go at Art Rage on my windows tablet - tricky to get used to (it mimics oil painting) but got some good and fast results.  You can check what it looks like on my game page.

For pixel art, everything is done with Pixartu on my iPad, my all time favourite app!  That means I can work on the train to and back from work, not a minute of spare time is lost ;)

I wrote a devblog on tools/software I use a while back, feel free to it check out for more details on what I use to game dev!

https://hotchpotch.games/my-indie-dev-kit

Thanks a bunch! Really enjoyed watching your play through - definitely a lot of screaming :)

Point taken on board with the level based progression.  I have added some extra feature  to the game this week and loaded a new build today, with  some adjustments  on the hardcore mode.  Respect to you for persevering with it so much, it definitely wasn't balanced :)

More goodies to come, so enjoy the new build and stay tuned!

This was a fun watch, thanks a lot for the insightful feedback, much appreciated!  There's definitely some balancing to do.  The level idea is interesting, my intention was to re-shape the tutorial in the final version so it explains the mechanics as well as why the ship exploded, but I could push this further and have some sort of a story mode with several levels!  TBC ;)

Haha thanks, glad you enjoyed it!  Still working on the balance but I take your point on board, need to add some more juice to the game.  Leave that with me, I'll ping you when things are more fleshed out ;). And thanks for editing in the audio!

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the video this was fun to watch!  The "Oxygen Not Included" mode should be a good one for speed runs - in that mode you only have the O2 you start with and no chance to refill, so you're against the clock ;)

Will keep you posted as I had new stuff in!

Sounds great - I'll definitely ping you as I had new fun stuff in!!!

Love it!  Thanks a bunch for trying the game out.  And yes I haven't implemented the music & sound FX yet.  Soundtrack is available for download, I just need to code it in!

Yoah, that's amazing - thank you so much!

Hey all!  Just released this week on gamejolt: Holey Suit, to the escape pod!  

A quirky physicy arcade game set in space (no gravity!). 

This is an alpha release, I still have work to do on the game (music, sound fx etc) but it is very playable and fun in its current form.  Beware, I built it in he spirit of Vlambeer games so it's hard, but not unfair ;)

Check it out, I'd love some feedback!

https://mitron.itch.io/holey-suit




Hi all, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and any feedback on the game!  Holey Suit is currently in pre-alpha and development is undergoing; check the dev blogs for update!

Hey randomphantom - thanks for your feedback!  I replied on my page but guess you won't get the notification there, so I'll copy paste the bit about the music since you ask the question here too ;)

I used FMA for the music, no software involved :p  http://freemusicarchive.org/mu...  

The author is professor cliq, I really like his music and his tunes can be used with attribution.  Also... listen to "Bust this Bust that" from him, that's the music from... Flop Rocket!!! :)

@randomphantom, thanks for your comment!!!  I used FMA for the music, no software :p  http://freemusicarchive.org/mu...  

I copied from the best: Listen to "Bust this Bust that" from the same artist, that's the music from... Flop Rocket :)

Not sure what you mean by the controls - do you mean the middle button to shoot is awkwardly placed?  I kinda crammed the controls per player together on three adjacent keys, because the game is meant to be played three people on the same keyboard - as a result it's best to keep the space for each hand tight!  In single player you can play with the mouse, which gives you a bit more precision.

I like the placeholder art - nice touch, even if you don't have the graphics for it yet, better to have something out there than nothing at all ;)  Nice change to the rest of the action games out there (seems most of us followed BS's advice :p ).  One nag: different tunes for each level would have been a nice touch.

And good job with your video review stream btw - the BS community is awesome thanks to chaps going the extra mile like you!!  Thumbs up!

Cool concept!  My only nag is there is little reason to attack enemies, it's just as easy to dodge them especially when shooting them cost you life!  But overall good execution.

Great music!  I like the graphics too.  Reading your game page you've only been into game making 6 weeks so good job, this is quite a finished product you have here under 48hrs!

Thanks for the feedback both!  Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

No problemo!  Always nice to see people the extra mile with their submissions :)  By the way I fixed that problem you reported on my caterpillar game (levels not resetting).  Thanks to raising it, as it was off my radar - it didn't show on my laptop but occurred on other setups.  This was down to a technicality with game maker and surfaces.  One bug down!

As mentioned on Discord - love the graphics!  Music is pretty cool too.  In terms of the game difficulty:  there's a steep learning curve to figure out how to defeat the IA.  At first the game very frustrating, because the bombs are fast, change course mid-air and basically are unavoidable when they get too close.  

Then you learn to snipe them one at a time from afar, and backtrack the hell out of the way back to the left whilst shooting frantically.  Once you got that technique going, the game becomes somewhat easy but still requires you to execute every step perfectly whilst not falling in the holes.  

Overall - fun game, I like the panic that comes when backing away from bombs.   The difficulty could probably be better balanced, but I guess this might be intentional:  I guess you guys wanted to make the game sort of  Flappy Birds meets Dark Souls? ;)

The top down view reminded me of gauntlet!  I'm behind merlin4's comments - some more visual feedback on hitting enemies / enemies pushed back on hit + player slides forward when swinging the hammer would give the combat more momentum.

I like the fact there are multiple enemy types to spice things a bit.  Have you thought of adding more hammers to choose from for the player?  some with longer reach, slower but more powerful etc.  I think it'd add some more variety to the combat.

Simple but efficient!  Love that you went sailing in the middle of the jam, was it for inspiration?  Are you a pirate too? ;)  

Probably needs a bit more polish - the game is certainly fun but overall I feel the game doesn't quite feel challenging enough.  More pirates / more points to progress through the levels quicker might do the trick!

I think you're off to a good start!  I like the splash screen - reading the comments you didn't spend much time on the art, so thumbs up for producing something that cool.  

I think there's room for improvement for the platformer mechanics - I think some acceleration / deceleration would give it a nicer feel.  Check out that post by Zack Bell - he's my go-to reference for any game making programming!  https://zackbellgames.com/2014...

Music is sweet too!

Haha, I love that you just end up killing yourself if you jam the shoot button!  An amazingly fun & complex game - love the mechanics.  Go gun ho and end up in bullet hell.  Go stealth and have a hard time dodging things around.  Brilliant & unique!  Art style is simple but neat, visually impactful, and the game is nicely polished.  Transitions between  circles is super smooth.

Some criticism now, because someone has to! :)  The music is moody which suits the game, but I'm not too keen on the sound effects.  Maybe they sound too arcady if that makes sense, it's hard to explain why but I feel they are a bit off!  Also the levels don't seem random either, which impacts reputability (not that I was able to finish the game!!).

But overall - this is a gem of a jam game.  Bravo for coming up with the concept and polishing it off under 48 hours!  If there were winners in this jam, I think it'd be a gold medal for you ;)

Fun shooter!  I'd have more screenshake on shooting though ;)

I like the music!  Is that you playing the guitar? If I had time to do music for my game I would have - although I play poorly! ;)

Nice work!