dinsdag 3 december 2013

New Tappingo info and Vine Video!

 Here are two new screenshots showing off the big-sized puzzles and a Vine video! Have fun! More info about the game here: http://www.goodbyegalaxygames.com/Tappingo

dinsdag 5 november 2013

new Tappingo screenshots!

Here are some awesome new screenshot of Tappingo. The new amazing puzzle game I’m working on for Nintendo 3DS e-shop! Check them out!


From the creator (Hugo Smits) of DSi-Ware award winning games 'Flipper', 'Ace
Mathician' and 'Color Commando' comes an all new puzzle game for 3DS e-shop!

Solve pixel art puzzles by making numbered blocks extend into lines. Sounds easy? Wait
until you find out these lines keep running unless they hit something! Be smart and use
other blocks and lines to stop the line at the correct lenght.

Gameboy had Tetris, Nintendo DS had Picross. Now 3DS players get their puzzle craze
called Tappingo!

more info: http://www.goodbyegalaxygames.com/tappingo/

donderdag 11 juli 2013

Tappingo for Nintendo 3DS e-shop!

I’m very happy to announce Tappingo today. It’s my first 3DS-Ware game, and I’m really excited about the new platform and the new e-shop!

Tappingo is a puzzle based game where you have to solve little puzzles of pixel art (a bit like Picross but with a different mechanic). It will feature many puzzles (over a 100) in all kinds of categories (sports, animals, computers,etc).

The game will be published by Circle Entertainment, just like our previous games. We hope to release this game into the e-shop at the end of the summer!

Over the coming months I will release more details, screenshots and trailers.

For now; please go and check out the Tappingo website (which also has the first screenshots) over here: http://www.goodbyegalaxygames.com/tappingo/

vrijdag 14 juni 2013

A dream comes true!

Today was a special day for me. I went to the toy store in my hometown together with my dad. More than 20 years ago my dad took me here, to get a Nintendo GameBoy and my first game; Fortress of Fear (by Rare!).

Today I’m standing at the exact same spot, but this time I’m pointing at one of my own games. I knew Maya would be up there, but I was surprised to see some of my other games as well.

My hometown is quite small and only has one toy store (and no game shops). The man owning the store still knew who I was from back in the day. I came in there a lot, to stare at all the games I could not afford :)

He knew I always wanted to make games, and was happily surprised to find out I actually did it!

I cannot help to think that maybe this summer a dad will take his son to this toy store,  and get him a Nintendo (3)DS. Maybe , just maybe, the boy will pick out one of my games as his first. What an awesome feeling!

donderdag 9 mei 2013

Color Commando OUT NOW!

So today Color Commando was added to the European DSiWare shop, and I was finally able to download my own game! I bought a brand new Nintendo 3DS XL for this occasion, and boy, what a great system for playing DS games!
Anyway, you should go and check Color Commando out now! It’s only 200 points (2 euro/2 dollars) and it’s full of awesome!
The biggest Nintendo news site called it a ‘Mini-Masterpiece’ and rated it 8/10

zondag 24 maart 2013

Goony for DSiWare!

A really good friend of mine, Peter, just released his first DSiWare game! Peter worked on many retail DS games, but decided it was time to spread his wings and eat noodles every day. In other words, he started a indie studio. And just like me, he’s doing 80% of the work on his games!

Anyway, his first game is Goony.. a endless runner! Very addictive and fun! It got a 7/10 from Nintendolife and it’s only 2 bucks… so go buy it and support small indies!

One of the really cool features of Goony is that it allows players to come up with their own bricks and share them with QR codes. So to celebrate the release of Goony I decided to make some bricks!
Hope you like them :


maandag 18 februari 2013

Homebrew on the Nintendo 3DS

When I started programming and development for the Nintendo 3DS, I was really annoyed. The tools provided by Nintendo are not really sufficient and there are tons of things a developer needs to do by himself.
Developing all these tools by yourself take up a huge amount of energy, time and money. This would not be a problem if you are a big developer/publisher knowing you will release at least a few big retail titles (you will earn back the year you invested in creating a framework).
But for a indie developer this is almost undoable. You basically have to work for a year or so to create a framework. And when that is done, you cannot really make any money since a framework is not a sellable game. You still have to build that on top of the framework.
And this is why Goodbye Galaxy games has not released anything yet on the Nintendo 3DS.
Anyway, I have been very busy the last few months building a framework and tools so I can easily create games for the system. Hopefully we will announce some games really soon :)
The biggest thing I was missing are emulators (or simulators) that would allow me to run roms on my computer. Now obviously most readers only know emulators and roms as something bad. But official developers also use emulators to quickly check their own games.
Sure you can use official development kits for this, but it’s not always efficient to do so. You see, loading your game code into a devkit takes up quite some time. Before anybody panics and thinks the devkits are slow; they are not. But it still takes up between 30 to 60 seconds.
This does not sounds like much but here is how the process goes during development :
-          Wait 30-60 seconds to boot game
-          Check if enemy is standing in the correct spot
-          Nope, he needs to be bit more to the left
-          Make change in code
-          Wait for compiling code
-          Wait  30-60 seconds to boot game
-          Nope, still needs a bit more to the left
-          Wait for compiling code
-          Wait 30-60 seconds to boot game
As you can see this becomes quite annoying quickly.
And this is where emulators come in. Doable click on the rom icon and ‘BOOM!’ your game is running on your screen. No more waiting!
So next to a framework I wanted to build something that I could use to quickly prototype with. And I came up with my own awesome BASIC interpreter. It works a bit more like Visual Basic as in the fact that it has sub routines and functions and no line-numbers.
It also is more than just a interpreter there is a complete suite build around it. You can basically load in any kind of graphics asset file into the library (just like you can do in Adobe flash)  and then use it in your game.
And the best part of course; you can run your code straight from the program by pressing ‘run’. It even comes with a debugger (although many improvements could still be made).
When you’re done you can save the pre-compiled data + assets into something that you can save on a SD card or read as a QR code. Making it super easy to test it out on real hardware.
The program/app on the 3DS that can read the pre-compiled data and assets, works a bit like the Petit Computer DSiWare app (except you cannot write code within the app).
And now for the title of this blog post; I’m thinking about releasing the program/app in the Nintendo 3DS eshop for maybe a small amount (2$ or something?). And release the programming-software for the PC for free.
This way, just like with Petit Computer, anybody who would like to create little games for the 3DS could do so! This could be an amazing break through!
We had all these talks about piracy and homebrew the last few weeks. And the problems with homebrew is that most of these hacks later get abused for piracy means.
Now image you can just use your retail 3DS to make games for, and you don’t need to hack it! No need for a R4 card! No need for weird custom hardware or tools! No need for piracy!
Would that not be amazing ?
The reason for this blog post is to see how many people would actually want to use this. Since it will still take quite some effort to create something really perfect (debugger needs work, the overall editor functionalities could be expanded, there’s no 3D engine at the moment only 2D games that can have a different Z axe for a 3D effect).
So let me know what you guys think!
Here are two screenshots of the suite :

vrijdag 15 februari 2013

Color Commando Trailer!

Today I would like to show off the Color Commando trailer! Please take a look.. it’s awesome :)



The game is currently in LOT-check so there’s no release-date yet but expect it soon. For everybody that’s wondering; the game is going to cost 200 Nintendo points. Although the game is not bigger than Ace Mathician, it is a lot harder (specifically a lot of hardcore platforming) so I expect it to take a bi longer for most players to finish!
For more information please check :


vrijdag 18 januari 2013

I'm gonna miss the Nintendo DS


What a day it was today. I got out of bed at 6:00 am and quickly took the train to Doetichem to meet Ivo

at the Engine-software HQ. We talked the whole day about Nintendo development and Nintendo 3DS. I’m going to help them out with another retail Nintendo DS project which I’m really happy about… it’s probably the last chance I get to make something that ends up in retail and for once it’s not a bejeweled clone!

When I got home, I put in a pizza and opened a bag of Maltesers (M&M where already gone) and went straight into code-mode to finish up Color Commando.

These next few weeks are probably the last time I touch Nintendo DS development. It made me reflect on the past few years. It was awesome. I grew from homebrew into a legit official Nintendo developer and I dare to say we (everybody who helped) made some great games.

Actually.. I worked on a lot of stuff. I made 4 complete original games, I helped people with porting, I worked on some retail games (I even did one retail game all by myself!) and I collaborated with other indie developers.

I spend 16 hours coding for Nintendo DS today… and I still love it. I tell ya! I’m gonna miss that little machine!

Man, I can still remember opening my original GameBoy Classic and starting to hack it and make some small games for it. That was almost 17 years ago.. time flies!

And now, in a few weeks, I will be able to buy my own games at the local game store where I bought the my Gameboy Classic that started it all so many years ago. What an experience that is going to be!

zaterdag 12 januari 2013

Pirates did it!

Dreamrift is saying that publishers don’t want to publish original titles due to piracy…

Of course publishers say it’s piracy! It’s less embracing than having to say you don’t know how much longer the company will be around, that it can be over any game now.
This is the harsh reality since 2009/2010 when the financial crisis really hit home in Europe (consequently the time publishers starting to say piracy took off big time on the Nintendo DS).
Normally a publisher could loan from a bank and use the money to invest in new game projects. But thanks to the financial crisis, publisher aren’t able to loan anything from the bank (hell, some banks didn’t even exists anymore).
How can they fix this ?
Simple, all the publisher has to do is invest its own profit/earnings into new projects!
This plan goes perfectly well until one game flops and does not make enough profit (or even worse, loses money). Then they cannot invest into new projects, thus no new money comes in and the company goes bankrupt.
In other words; publishers are on extremely thin ice.
So how do you make sure a title makes a healthy profit ?
Not by publishing risky titles. This includes original IP’s or hardcore games. Because there is no way to tell for sure if this will sell well. And with the complete company on the line, they cannot afford it.
So how do we ensure a hit then ?
Well, by publishing game types or sequels of games we already know that will sell well. For example, most publisher had already published a number of casual titles on the Nintendo DS and PC market. They know the sale numbers of those games.
If you know the sale numbers you know how much income you have.
Now deduct from this the profit you need to make to pay the bills and be able to invest into a future project. And what’s left is exactly the amount of money that can be spend on marketing and development.
This is what we call a safe bet.
And now you know why Flipper isn’t standing between all the bejeweled clones in your local game store.

donderdag 3 januari 2013

Ace Mathician is GOTY 2012! Again!

Whoa! Talking about starting the new-year awesome: Ace Mathician is GOTY (Game Of The Year) over at nintendofansonline.co.uk (check the full article here). I’m super happy and super amazed since I had no clue that Ace was even making a change at winning it! So this comes as a total surprise!

Thanks everybody!

woensdag 2 januari 2013

Piracy to blame?

This blogpost is a response to the blog post about piracy written by Jools over at: http://joolswatsham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/3ds-piracy.html

Jools writes about his fear of the 3DS getting hacked and how his game Dementium II sold around half as much as the first game (Dementium). Jools blames these poor sale figures solely on piracy.

Every time a developer brings up piracy it feels to me they are putting their heads in the sand. It’s such an easy scapegoat to point your finger at, especially without any factual proof. 

There are tons of other reasons that seem just as legit as piracy. For one, the game wasn’t as wildly available (at least I haven’t seen any copy on store shelves). Secondly, it came late into the Nintendo DS lifecycle opposed to the first game. At this point the Nintendo DS established itself as a casual gaming handheld, yet the game was aimed at a more mature and hardcore public.

This might also be the reason why the game wasn’t as wide spread as the first game. Shop owners might have been more inclined to put the latest puzzle games on their store shelf instead of a FPS game.

I notice this myself all the time. While I struggle to find a publisher willing to publish my own original titles as retail products, I have no trouble finding a publisher willing to put out yet another bejewelled clone (in fact, a bejewelled clone of mine is coming to stores this February).

The above mentioned problems are all speculation, but so is the claim of piracy.

Another point of interest might be the pricing of games. Especially in Europe (and this is interesting because he talks mainly about poor sales in Europe). An average game upon release costs between 40 and 50 euro over here. Now this is ‘expensive’ but doable where I live, in the Netherlands. Over here the minimum salary is around 1200 euro. However, the game prices stay the same even in countries that have a minimum salary of around 300 euro. 

How many games can be expected to sell in a country where the average game takes up around 16-20% of a family’s income? 

I also think it’s important to take a good look at the quality of games.

As it turns out Dementium II is a really good game. The people who played it (including me) all seem to really like it and the game got a lot of good reviews.

However, most of the Nintendo DS library of games consists out of horrible shovelware and quick cash-ins. Making it even worse by bearing a famous (kid) brand and getting ill-informed parents to hand over their hard-earned money only to see their kids toss the game away after 30 minutes of play.

This hurts the complete industry. Why? Because it is already a big gamble for them with famous kid brands they at least know from Saturday morning TV. So imagine how big the gamble feels like when they are holding Dementium II in their hands, a product they have never heard of, from a company they have never heard of. 

And how many times can a gamble go bad on them before they resort to other means of obtaining the products?  I’m not justifying piracy, but I can at least see where they are coming from.

The seal of quality means nothing. It only makes sure the game doesn’t lockup or mess-up the players system. It does nothing to prevent poor quality of game design or length versus price. My cousin once got a famous kid game that consisted out of 8 mini games that could all be played through within 30 minutes. You feel miserable if you spend money on such a product as a parent!

Jools goes on to claim that ‘If these hackers really want to mess with the guts of a 3DS, why not become legit developers for it and let the world enjoy their talents’.

I started programming and hacking on the original Gameboy Classic when I was around 11 years old. Most of the hackers/programmers are quite young. Should all those young people go and rent office spaces and buy equipment worth of thousands of dollars? Because that is what Nintendo requires of legit developers.

Most likely they cannot even produce a game good enough to publish, because before you can make good game you need to make a lot of bad ones. That’s how you learn the craft. I remember looking and trying to take a part Super Mario Land and learn a great deal from it. Like you said yourself; many of today’s great programmers used to be hackers back in the day.

So it seems only natural that many of the great programmers of the future are the hackers of today.
The world has changed, and it seems that Jools (but also Nintendo itself) are a bit disconnected. We live in an age where bedroom coders can create the most creative and awesome products all on their own. Not only that, but they are welcomed to do so by the hardware manufactures. In fact it is these hardware manufactures that provide the needed tools... for free!

You can look for this at the PC and smart phones. But even more close to home; like Microsoft and XNA for the Xbox. Or what about Playstation Mobile SDK? All free! and you can test your games with a normal retail PS Vita! 

Nintendo hasn’t changed a bit on this level, which is almost ironic since Nintendo is THE platform for unique and creative games, making it only seem natural to support indie development.

So instead of blaming piracy (which occurs on every platform) or blaming hackers for something we all did at one part of our lives, I would like to suggest that we take a hard good look at ourselves and our industry and try to improve.