Dear Old Man Bajo – An Indie Game Letter

We are big fans of Good Game SP in our home. They are the aussie Rock Paper Shotgun. If RPS was a tv show.

Dear Old Man Bajo and the Always Effervescent Hex,

Please put on your most excellent glasses of awesome, do some stretches and rub ointment on your arthritic playing fingers .. So that you can take a look at Ballikin, a 2d Game of epic proportions!

Let’s start with the most amazing reason why you should be dropping those fancy “we have a team of developers” and “we have vertexes” games in favour of Ballikin:

* Ballikin is the first game in history that has Pinkeyes.

That’s right, you heard correct. Ballikin has Pinkeyes. Nasty creatures.

This alone should be enough.

But if you want more reasons to take up your valuable gaming time, here we go:

* Kid-friendly.
* Adult-friendly.
* Not pinkeye-friendly.
* You can harvest stuff; be like death (the Pratchett one) with his scythe.
* You can make a flyswat!
* Lots of features incoming. Important stuff like making cakes and talking to npcs about the weather.

Also, just in case you were wondering:

* High definition images made in the best icon editor going around.
* Mind-altering audio assets created right here in our very own dining-room-converted-to-an-office.

Let’s get serious.

If you like the game, we will pay you five doll-hairs (the greatest – although it’s not a big list of good ones – David Spade line ever).

But seriously, we believe in Ballikin. It’s the game we started making so that we could make the game we really wanted to, but lately it’s turned into something special.

So, @bajopants and @hexsteph, if you find Ballikin to your liking, get in touch. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if possible, get some exposure through what you do.

(Ballikin has been developed by me, @stuandrews, with lots and lots of input from my five kids. We love games.)

Alpha 45 Build Notes

* (Change) Stone required for Marble reduced from 5 to 1.
* (Change) Stone required for Stone Pickaxe increased from 3 to 5.
* (Add) New Recipes added for Copper Pickaxe, Copper Sword, Steel Pickaxe and Steel Axe.
* (Change) The experience you get when you “Make All” is the same as when you “Make One”. That is, it’s the xp for making a single item.

Copper Sword and Pickaxes!

Copper Sword and Pickaxes!

World Select
* (Fix) Filter on the worlds was missing, so they all showed (regardless of which Player created them).

Game Data/Resources
* (Update) BIG BIG BIG. There is a game data file that contains the Audio files, and Recipes (and much more as we go onwards). This enables me to ship out resources without having images and other files just sitting there on your machine in folders. Images are stored in the exe itself.

* (Change) Overall increases in difficulty for Jotun, Demiwere and Bad Snails. Increased numbers for all enemy mobs. All enemy mobs have had their from and to “levels” increased a little, mostly the “to” increased.

* (Fix) When working out how much density to remove from the block, the code had been using the default power values for the tool, rather than the power value of the tool itself.
* (Update) You can no longer harvest a chest with items in it.

* (Add) When you discover a Waypoint, you get experience!

* (Update) “Hurt” sound will play when a Player steps on Lava.
* (Update) The amount of health that Lava periodically (quickly!) takes from a Player is increased from 10 to 15.
* (Change) When generating a new world, the Lava is now placed BEFORE the Ores.
* (Add) Chests are now randomly spawned into the Desert biome. They can possibly contain Coins, Blocks, Tools and Weapons.

Chest Spawning in the Desert!

Chest Spawning in the Desert!

* (Fix) When saving the Inventory, if the item was of type “Tool”, the code at one point used temp_Armor instead of temp_Tool. Bad code!

* (Fix) Doors and Campfires would not load on the second “load” after they had been placed.
* (Fix) Only one Chest would ever load (even if there were multiple chests in the world).

Picking Up Items
* (Add) When you pick up items, a message shows you what you picked up.

* (Update) Load window shown for the loading in of the player and world files (before the “Player” and “World” are chosen).

Showing Sentient Names
* (Add) When you press “X” (show items), it also shows you the names of any Sentients around.

Mob Names

Mob Names

Alpha 44 Build Notes

Blocks, Deposits
* (Change) Max number of Copper blocks in a region changed from 20 to 25. Max number of Iron blocks changed from 15 to 18. Max number of Silver blocks changed from 8 to 10. Max number of Gold blocks changed from 4 to 5.
* (Change) Rarity (which is based around radius from center) of Copper decreased from 110 to 95, and Iron decreased from 160 to 130.

* (Fix) Waypoints were not being saved to the game data file correctly.
* (Update) The surrounding blocks will now always be of the default Region biome.

Saving Game
* (Change) The code that adds in any changes to the Terrain has been updated to use a MUCH better function for pushing the xml substring back into the main xml data file. This _may_ solve the problem where the Terrain is mixed up between Regions (striated lines of different region blocks).
* (Fix) Non Block Blocks (yeah, I called them that) like Campfires, Doors and Chests were not being saved to the data file correctly.

Character Window
* (Fix) When clicking on a Recipe, the Description of certain things was not showing correctly (was using the Item description field in some parts of logic, instead of Recipe).
* (Fix) When double-clicking on a piece of armor (that wasn’t head, chest or feet), nothing would happen. There was no code to take care of all the other pieces of armor (and other equipment). Fixed.
* (Fix) On opening the window, the auto-display of Equipped items was not taking into account things like Hands and Legs (basically the code hadn’t been entered yet).

* (Fix) The “Saved Game” message (happens on quick-save, F5) was longer than the background when shown. This was a generic problem with all messages and their length (shorter ones didn’t have a wide enough background.

Sentient Repopulate
* (Fix) The code that checked how many Sentients there were in a Region BEFORE re-populating was not counting correctly, the total was always zero. So there would always be a full re-populate, on top of the existing. YES!

Alpha 43 Build Notes

Harvesting / Equipment Durability
* (Possible Fix) There was a game-freeze issue that could occur when two equipped tools would break at or around (yes yes) the same time. Could semi-reliably replicate. Made some code changes. Now cannot replicate at all. BUT I don’t think this means it’s fixed.
* (Fix) Was using a temp “Item” class instead of “Tool”. This was causing at least two of the gpfs (was in two separate places). Incidentally, the bad code was causing the durability of both Tools (if you wielded two at the same time) to decrease at twice the rate they should have (basically, was considering it as one tool).

* (Update) Messaging functionality and look updated. Basically, most messages are passed without any coords, and so are taken care of by the default messaging system, which will show them down the screen, moving them up as the top one is removed.

* (Add) When a game is first loaded, random “Tips” are shown.

* (Fix) The Waypoints were being loaded in the Player Init, which comes before the Terrain Init, but now with the new terrain logic, it only makes sense to load them AFTER the Terrain init. Basically, they weren’t working as they should have been.

* (Add) Your Kingdom has arrived, kind of! At the moment, your kingdom is denoted by a big silver radius.
* (Update) No enemy mobs are able to spawn inside the Kingdom (but they can wander/follow in.

* (Update) Kingdom (radius) now shown on map.
* (Change) Size of map window reduced, fits better within game window.
* (Update) Pressing “M” while in the map window will close it (as should ESC and clicking the red x).

Repopulation of Sentients
* (Fix, possibly) Possible fix of the slowdown that occurs when day/night happens and the sentients are repopulated. Mobs. Why can’t I call them mobs?