Wow! It’s been almost 6 years since my last update. I did not intend to stop developing this game, but life happened and I lost track of this goal. I’m not making any excuses, though. I should have kept going in some capacity. I apologize to my few fans that were cheering me on. I am currently getting back on this horse and plan to ride it out until my sun sets.
I’ve actually been back in the dev chair for about two months now and have made tremendous progress on the game. The UI is different, the gameplay is refined, the physics react better, and there is now a good feel to progression in the game. What was once just a few bottles going across the screen is definitely turning into a fun and challenging casual game.
For me… BEER CHEER is much more than a game. It’s the embodiment of my love for craft beer and my love for gaming. It’s an experiment in creativity that has blossomed into a digital work of art. It’s like cracking open a fresh bottle of Deschutes Red Chair while riding the actual Red Chair on Mt. Bachelor. Yeah, that feels so good!
I can’t wait to see the leaderboards full of players competing for high scores and hopefully wanting more levels to challenge their fingertips. This is all really a dream at the moment, but it’s starting to take shape. There will be ever increasing challenges from here out and I am not even clear about how I will market this game. I am hoping it will make its way into the right hands and people will accept it as not just beer game, but a game of skill and strategy mixed with a little luck.
At the moment there are a few more bullet points I need to cross out before release. I’d like to get a few more obstacles and power-ups into the game and I need to continue balancing out the gameplay for each level/scene. If you would like to give me feedback or encouragement please sign up for the closed and open testing phases and join the Discord channel for live chat.
Oh, week 13 where do we start? Well, it was recently National Beer Day and a pint or two should be a requirement. This means that all individuals of the drinking age should be required to drink at least one pint of craft beer. Today I’m asking you to call your representatives as we work to pass this through the legislature. This would all be government funded of course. Dream big or go home!
Yeah, that’s pretty much what this is all about. I mean what are we all here for? I have a few game ideas that may or may not take off. Won’t know unless we try right? Well, this week was spent brainstorming a few ways to market the game upon release. I also spent a good amount of time on other projects so this bit will be a little short. Within the game, players can now exchange BEER CHEER for Beer Tokens. This will reward better players with options to purchase items without real currency. I want the game to be free-to-play for those who spend time consistently making it through levels. Hopefully, they will also be able to use that BEER CHEER for actual beer!
Well, other than that I don’t have much for updates. At this point in the cycle, I may switch up to bi-weekly updates. Unfortunately, for the game, I may be taking up some part-time work. This would of course slow up progress some, but hey we all got bills yo!
Anyway, on a serious note. On National Beer Day (NBD) I fell in love with Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond, Oregon. It wasn’t love at first sight, but at first sip! In celebration of NBD, Wild Ride hosted their Porter Mania which consisted of 12 experimental porter taps. Although, some were already in production such as the Peanut Butter Nut Crusher which was my first awesome taste on this Wild Ride! Nothing prepared my wife and me for this amazing Porter experience. We traditionally stay away from porters in favor of stouts. My first glance at the tap list was quickly repeated in mouth-watering awe. The variety was really good, and what was this habanero & jalapeno porter all bout? As we made our way through the brewery from table to table tasting everything from Raspberry & Peanut Butter to Milk Chocolate & Mint. Surprisingly, the Bacon & Black Pepper porter was tolerable. A particular roguish pink bottle has kept me far away from any beer that claims to tame the bacons. I would like to see them refine a lot of these as it provides tremendous variety to their game. Unfortunately, some of them like the Coconut porter did not sit right as the coconut flavoring seemed a little too syrupy. I am now realizing they have already bottled this one. Hey, if it has some fans then more power.
Overall, the event was pretty amazing and the food carts were on point. I truly had one of the best burgers I’ve picked up in a while. It was huuuuuuuuuge, and super tasty. I’m hoping as the crowds persist they offer some more bathrooms as the line was pretty annoying to deal with. The following day I saw they have already ripped up the entire parking lot where we just sat by the fire pit. More bathrooms? Regardless, I’m a fan of a few Wild Ride beers and attending this event put a little more behind that. My wife thought the spot might be a little too country for our taste, which is actually pretty expected in the area. For my first trip they made an impression that we would be welcomed back… so, if you’re in Redmond, Oregon make sure to swing by. My favorite WRB brew at this time is the Peanut Butter Porter, but the sours have my wife and I both coming back.
Yes, it really is dev update #12! The time is flying by and every day I am making decisions about what to keep in the game and what will take too long to develop. This month, April, I was supposed to be opening up the beta version of the game for everybody. I am still working hard to do that, but I am running a little behind. One of the setbacks has been making sure my Google Play account was set up correctly under the right business. This is currently an ongoing process as I work with a Google rep to correct issues. Another pain in the ass has been setting up an Apple Developer account. Wow! Apple makes you pay just to be able to use their test flight program while the app is in beta. But before that, you have to apply for a DUNs number. In this regard, Google is way more approachable and I appreciate that.
Between coding and business admin, I did get a chance to enjoy a few beers last week. We headed up to Mt. Bachelor for some “Spring” skiing and had a great day while enjoying a few good beers. One big surprise was the Hawaiin Crunk by Riverbend Brewing. It was surprising because I visited their pub several years ago and was not too impressed. Well, it looks like with their release of a series of Milkshake IPAs they have found a good spot. This was actually my first Milkshake IPA ever so I am a little biased, but this one has piqued my interest and I will be trying there others. Unfortunately, the Your’e In the Jungle Baby by Evil Twin Brewing did not hit my tongue with the same note. We ended up fighting with this one and making a few bets as to who could finish the beer, but eventually, half the can went down the drain. Just not my style, sorry. The can is beautiful though! I do applaud Evil Twin for their unique brews and urge them to continue. Even if I didn’t like it I enjoyed giving it a try if that makes sense.
After heading home from the mountain we hit up Crux Fermentation Project and enjoyed the infamous Crux Stout and the Cocoanut Stout as well. Crux is always a great place to enjoy a beer or two with the family, but with all the construction and road closure going on I may stay away for a month or two. It was really a hassle to get in there. We will be back though once things settle down. When we got home it was almost necessary to pop open a bottle of Crux’s Fabled Grapes Wild Sour Ale. Now, this was a real treat and one I could sip on all night. The wax-tipped bottle AND cork make for a classy bottle affair. We had some family in town who were here in Oregon to bottle their new wine, and they were pretty impressed. There are still a lot of people that have not experienced beer like this.
Over the weekend we hit up Bend Brewing Company for their annual Easter egg hunt. While there I had a chance to try the Chocolate Jackalope Stout. It’s beers like this that keep me coming back to BBC time and time. Plus the fact that they have a great space on the South side of the building for kids to play while we adults can chill on the patio or by the fire pits.
Well, after a few people in town and a pretty busy weekend, it’s back to game dev. I have a lot of scene/level balancing to do this week. As the game evolves with new mechanics the difficulty level has to be tweaked and some scenes have to be reorganized to make the progress seem as fluid as possible. I have a good friend in South Carolina helping me out with play testing, and she has dug up some really good stuff for me to fix. So, hopefully, next week I can release this piece for beta and not have to worry about signups anymore.
Well, that’s it for this week’s bits. Please keep drinking good beer and stay tuned!
Yes, it is very apparent that this game is taking longer than expected. Before I ever attempted to develop a game I knew the difficulty many triple-A studios have with shipping a game on time. Why should I ever think I could deliver my FIRST game on time? Well, I don’t really, but if I don’t set some deadlines then this thing will NEVER get finished. I can keep coming up with new ideas and implementing new game mechanics that lead to more development time, but at its core, the game will probably not ever change. It’s a piece of software that evolves over time as we improve and innovate. Therefore, I do plan on pushing this game live in some capacity by the Summer of 2018. Fighting scope creep is real!
Another thing on my mind this morning is a live video that was streamed by @Pete_Alport through Instagram. This was my very first time ever tuning into Pete live and I thought to see a cool snow shoot or a dope scene as depicted in his photos. As the stream came into focus and the sound kicked in I could hear a very disturbed Pete that said some really heartfelt words about the importance of drinking responsibly. It made me take a look at myself and question why I do the things I do with alcohol when at the mountain. Granted I don’t drink and drive to or from the mountain, but yeah I do enjoy a brew or two in the parking lot before I go snowboarding. Usually, it’s one, but I can say I have had more on occasion. Pete kind of upset me because he said that constitutes me being a piece of shit. Well, I don’t agree, but for various reasons.
I go to Mount Bachelor to relax and chill out on the slopes. I started riding when I was 26 years old and TRUST, I have fear when I’m on the slopes. I’m not trying to set any speed records. I’m not trying to hit all the jumps and jibs while wowing people on the get-backs. I’m just there to float on the pow and ride through the trees on deep days. This is not necessarily a sport for me. I like to watch the sports part of it. I extremely enjoy watching the half-pipe and boardercross events, and I hope none of those guys are drinking beer, but for me that ain’t happening.
If you were to ask me why I drink beer when I ride… well, I enjoy craft beer. I enjoy the process that goes into making a craft beer. I truly enjoy the art that is put on a bottle or can of craft beer. I don’t sit and drink beer all day while working, so when I go to the mountain to relax and chill I also take some of that free time to enjoy a craft beer. If I have one beer I can casually burn that off with a few nonchalant runs. Beer and burn just bring joy to my heart. It’s much like a beer yoga or beer race event. You get to enjoy all the calories and burn that shit off too! Good stuff!
Now, if you see me at the mountain with multiple bombers in tow or on the river trail with a backpack full of beer please know that unfortunately I don’t get to drink all the beer I promote through my game or merch. Well, I don’t get to enjoy them at THAT particular time. I may have one, but the others are for pics and other promo material.
With all that said I am still taking a long hard look at myself. I do not want to ever put anybody through the pain of losing someone due to drunk/buzzed driving. There are just some risks that are not worth it on any level. So yeah, I agree with Pete on many things and will take in his words deeply. It’s good knowing that people care and that we are going to push others to clean up and be responsible. Because, yes I do see the things we promote and do as influencers. We just need to make sure we are promoting and doing these things responsibly. If you are over the limit then obey the law! Please realize that it’s not about you… it’s about a family of five in the other lane trying to get home safely after a beautiful day of skiing at Mt. Bachelor.
Alright, alright, alright… back to some good game dev bits for this week. I’ve used the past week to put some more polish on the game. There are now score effects when beers are cheered. Every time BEER CHEER is scored it is now easier to tell because the score animates when increasing. There is now a “Win” message at the end of a completed scene that gives some stats on how you did that round. In respect there is also a game over screen that lets the player know why they failed with a polite message from the Beer Snob. You should also notice the camera shake added for many many things such as bottle breaks, bottle explosions, bottle infections, bad bottle crosses, and game overs. In order to achieve this effect the camera had to be mounted to another game object. This threw off all my cameras for every scene which I had to manually correct. Ugh… Hey, this is game dev right?!?!?
This week I should be working on some more polish, and a few more scenes. Maybe… just maybe a new game mechanic. But that may push the release out a few months.
Hey guys and gals and welcome to week 10 of this barrel system! I hope you all have settled back down after chasing rainbows and are now cuddling a delicious ale while counting your gold. If you didn’t find any, don’t fret because that lightning strike missed me too! I did, however, have a great time with my family over the weekend which is something no pot of gold could ever replace.
I also could not replace the cup that was used for Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond that I purchased at the Traxxas monster truck event last Friday. I manned up and threw it down like I was at a Monster Truck event! I also had to man up and buy the kid the obligatory monster truck toy that every toddler in the building seemed to have their hands on. Hey, anything to keep him there til the end while Dad watches multiple trucks destroy themselves through competition. MERICA!
And what would we do here in America without the Irish blood that flows through our veins? In search of something green, I hit up Boneyard Beer for a dope trucker hat at a decent discount. Plus they had their milk stout on tap and Incredible Pulp, which is all the green I really needed. The only other thing I need is for their new pub to open!
Speaking of pubs, we hit up Sunriver Brewing for lunch this past week to get a break from the desk. The pub was packed, and we were able to get the last table without waiting. I ordered the beef sliders and a Sunny D. Both were incredible. The sliders were a little raw which she told me to expect. They were cooked just as described, but I think I will keep mine on a little longer next time. The Sunny D was much hazier than I thought but went down as smoothly as any other IPA I’ve had.
Well, as you all know in between sips I do a little game development here and there. This week was no exception, and I am excited to announce that the Google Play Games saves are now working much much better! I will never say perfect, but a lot of progress was made. Saving high scores is now working again, and clearing up some errors also fixed some seemingly unrelated issues too! Big shout out to Bill for once again stepping through that code with me as we walk each other through Unity and C#.
Another big advancement was the addition of bottle replicators. These handy devices are used to replicate a bottle continuously through the line. Players can use them to create more Cheers bonuses and fill six-packs faster. They are also great for fulfilling Bottle Card requirements. When a beer is placed in a replicator the beer is shown on the replicator’s screen and the production line will then start brewing that beer.
I’ll be making some major changes to scene difficulties this week as many of the scenes are now unbalanced due to major changes from the previous weeks. I may also take a break and work on a new design idea I’ve been pondering. Until next time my fellow sud sippers.
Over the past week, there have been many great gains on the game front! A ton of new bottle art has been added to the game, and I have streamlined the process of adding new bottles. It’s not a very lengthy process, but nonetheless… The core bottles in the game are currently all based on art provided by www.Vecteezy.com. Many of these vectors I had to manipulate or redraw in order to create the bottle animations, but Vecteezy has been a great place to start. The files I am using are approved for commercial use as long as I give credit, which is no problem considering the time it saved on the initial prototyping.
I encourage people starting out to use any free assets that you can. At some point, I may have to redraw all the art, but it has been great to just get things working and figure that out later. As well as vector art and sprites many of the particles were purchased from the Unity Asset Store. Being able to pull together assets has been tremendously effective with development. This is definitely a golden era of game-making. Unity, Unreal, and the game dev community, in general, are in a pretty ripe stage. If you have an idea for a game and want to learn to create then the time is now!
Last week’s art additions were also accompanied by some good hop additions! The week started with a dose of Hazy Expectations by Matchless Brewing on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor. It was a beautiful day that felt more like being at the beach than at the mountain. I grabbed our kid’s wooden sled and a can to keep me warm while the little one made snow castles. I ended up stripping us both down a few layers as the Spring… I mean Winter sun exceeded ALL expectations whether hazy or not! After coming down from the mountain high I headed over to my wife’s inaugural showing of Wedventure LIVE at Spoken Moto where Deschutes Brewing provided Fresh Squeezed to the cast and crew. The night was pretty amazing and I learned a ton about live production just by being in the building. I also learned that Oblivion Brewing had beer on tap…hmmm…
Later in the week, I checked out the Bend Unity Meetup where upon meeting some really cool guys into making games, plus one guy who is already an amazing game developer! The coordinator, Roger Miller, was more than helpful by answering some good questions and giving me a few minutes to demo BEER CHEER. The meet-up is geared towards Unity beginners, but I just love that I can go somewhere in town and be around people making games… all while drinking an awesome Oregon-brewed beer. We all split a bottle of Level Brewing’s Let’s Play while discussing Unity character animation. Pretty much the stuff of dreams for this beer nerd!
In the coming week, I will be adding yet another game mechanic, and refining those I’ve already added previously. I’m getting to the point where I need to decide what is necessary for launch or not. The scope creep is real!
Well, as usual, it’s on to more lines (code) and hopefully a few more beers in between because that’s the only way I will read them probably.
This is week 8 of the dev blog log jog. I am currently trying to stay focused on making this happen in 2018, but as everyone knows drinking beer and making games is not a fast process. Well, drinking beer can be, but I like to savor the hop gold in every pint. I chugged a few beers in my day, but that was usually because the beer tasted awful. Now that I’m off that funky fresh rocky mountain water I tend to slow the pace and intake the full body of my beers.
Speaking of beers! This week’s craft coding choices had me writing “for loops” and “if statements” like a pro! One of the first craft beers I ever had upon arriving in Oregon was Dead Guy Ale. Recently, Rogue Brewing started canning this little treat and it’s a nice malty escape for sure. Next up was the Coffee Porter by Anchor Brewing. I’m usually not a morning beer type of person so I had this one in the evening while working on scene 10. Now, I’m trying to decide if I should be a morning beer type of person. I finished off last week’s coding sessions with the Galactica IPA by Clown Shoes. I was totally taken off guard by goodness in this can! I have always been a comic-reading beer nerd so can art like this will probably be the norm around here. I love it when breweries use these marketing routes and the beer actually taste good too.
So, in between sips, I was able to get some game development done. In preparation for release we of course would like the game to be on the iOS platform. Well, last week I was able to get the game running on my wife’s iPhone and plan on getting it into the Test Flight Apple Developer Program here soon. That was a big step as a major part of the smartphone market is on iPhone despite my detest… . I’m such a hypocrite as 95% of the game has been developed on my MacBook at this point. Laptops and phones are two different beasts, though… I am just thankful I was able to export from Unity and build from Xcode with a few bumps. It took a good bit of time to massage the code and settings so that finally it built. Plus a lot of Google searches. Good week indeed!
So, every week on this roller coaster of life I try to keep you (hi mom) up-to-date on the progress made with my indie-developed mobile game called BEER CHEER. Guess what?!?!? This week I am going to do exactly that! No frills, no fluff, and frankly… no funky fermentation will be added to this story.
Last week’s episode concluded with the resurgence of the Google Play Saved Games issues I have been having and my plans to fix them. Well, last Saturday after about two hours of shoveling snow I headed over to my beer buddy Bill’s bungalow to break bread. We dibbled n dabbled with a few dry-hopped brews and ended up using Wild Ride Brewing’s peanut butter stout as our choice coding elixir. The other runner-up for best algorithmic ale was Stoutello by Knee Deep Brewing. I found the can at Market of Choice for $3.29 and you can bet if it’s there next time it’s mine. We also split a bottle of Worthy’s Powder Keg which was surprisingly one of the better-tasting Winter ales I have had this season.
Anyway, we ended up finding the bug(s) in my previously written code and sending them to a land far away. Now, when the player signs in on another Android device or deletes their local data, there is a copy always available in the cloud provided by Google. The great part about all this is I get to do it all again for iOS integration! Yay! Such joy! I am hoping it is pretty similar. I am thankful to be able to use these services and not have to worry about those backends for now, though. I could be writing up a custom leaderboards database through AWS, but this will do… for now.
Along with the technical updates over the week came a shit ton of player progression and play updates. In scene 11 there are now bottle cards that display in the top right-hand corner. The objective is to get the displayed bottle over the finish line before any others. If you cross any other bottles there is no progression and depending on the difficulty level of the scene you could be further penalized by bottle health depletion or bottle progress loss. The mechanics of this addition will probably change, but the mainframe is there.
Previously, a player was able to set bottles aside for an unlimited amount of time. Now, depending on the scene this time period is limited. Be careful how long you set your beer down! I’m finding this addition makes the game much faster and more strategic. In the movement to add more complexity the game timer is now working. If you fail to get the needed bottles across the line before the timer then game over. And guess what?!?!? You also need to get at least one cap of BEER CHEER to proceed to the next scene as well! Ahhhh snap! Shit just got real.
Getting the saved game data to be persistent was a pretty big milestone. That was hump I have been resting on for almost 3 months, and the progress made in 3 hours was incredible. Big thanks to Beer Buddy Bill for stepping through that with me! We also discussed the port to iOS and feel that is a logical next step. So guess what I’m about to get my hands into now!
v.0.85.69 Build Notes
Google Play Saved Games added
Data persistence issues resolved when new scenes are added
You have to have at least one cap to beat the current scene
If you set aside a bottle too long it will break
The game timer now works
If you don’t put a cap on a bottle you receive some damage
Next Bottle Cards have been added
Appreciate the click and scroll. See you next sip!
Welcome back to the long road ahead part six! This journey will take you over bumps, twists, a few turns, and fortunately a few good beers before it’s over. Hopefully, you won’t be puking at the end of the ride, but instead enjoying a good ‘ol buzz of BEER CHEER!
Last week was a big one. I was able to catch up with Bend Brewing Company (BBC) and we are now working to bring their beer bottles to the game, and also offer some cool prizes for redemption at their pub located in downtown Bend, Oregon. This week you can see some of the early progress that’s been made to the scenes for BBC as we work to bring a unique experience that BBC fans will enjoy while waiting on their next Hop Head at the pub.
Along with a ton of new artwork added to the game I have been hammering out bugs as usual. There were a few show-stoppers that kept the player from moving between scenes. These have been removed with a forceful stomp to the face. A lot of UI work has been done to scene transitions as well making it appear a little smoother.
This week will be filled with more bug squashing, and hopefully, I can get some work done on the Google Play Saved Games issue. The goal is to have that done within the next week or two for sure so that I can start iOS development. It’s more than apparent how many people have iPhones, so we gots to make the jump. Along with all that be on the lookout for additional game mechanics, and some scene tweaking.
My family also celebrated my Dad’s 83rd birthday over the weekend. He celebrated with a requested can of Coors Lite and the presence of his three grandsons. My father has always been an old-school guy. No matter how many Ching Chings or Boneyard RPMs I put under his nose he turns up only for Coors. After 83 years he can enjoy whatever beer floats his boat, I guess.
Thanks for stopping by once more. I hope you got a good snore. Hey, that rhymed.
This morning the elliptical machine told me that I had too many IPAs over the weekend and that I was probably not going to beat any records. Unfortunately, BEER CHEER is a thing to be moderated. As with all good things in life (ie chocolate) we must learn to balance our indulgences to maintain healthy symmetry! The good thing is… the more I work out during the week the more I need to balance that with a beer or two on the weekend! Lessons for my fellow beer-bellied gamers. Lessons!
Last week was a whirlwind of baby and beer bottles as I walk a thin line between not getting them confused. The major update of the week is a new mechanic for the conveyor belts. Some conveyor belts will have a cheer meter or cheer switch. Currently, there are only cheer switches making a debut on Scene 10 for this version. In order to change the direction of the conveyor belt you must perform at least one cheers. If your cheer meter depletes the conveyor belt will switch back to the incorrect direction. Tricky tricky huh!
v.0.85.64 Build Notes
Cheer switches have been added.
BEER CHEER bonus bug has been fixed.
“Cheers” is now said every time there is a cheers.
Added new “Cheers” voices (Mom & Ezra).
Scene management code has been reworked for 3rd time.
New Scenes added to SM alpha location.
When empty bottles cross the finish line progress is removed. They must be recycled.
Exit scene button has been moved to left side of screen.
Retry and Next buttons have been moved to lower left of screen.
There were a lot of technical issues with scoring that was fixed and I am happy I invested some more time into figuring out how to limit the hit detection between two 2D objects in Unity. It is a little trick that tells the other object to become the sub-object, but it eluded me for a while.
Not only was there a lot of development progress this week, but there were lots of marketing starts as well. Unfortunately, I can’t share all of those tidbits at this time, but hopefully, in next week’s update, I can let the cat out. Thanks for stopping by and checking in.