A little update

Since I now have a full-time job, I removed my Patreon page and my silly “donations” form. I also ordered a brand new notebook; it’s ridiculously powerful so I can run GameMaker Studio 2 with no lag (and in Full HD resolution).

Lately I found myself willing to create content but the very same job that gave me financial freedom, is kind of keeping me from making progress on my own projects. I guess I should stop planning ahead and just go with the flow.

What’s next

Now that I have a full time job, I need to re-assess my priorities. Game development will always be a part of my life but in a lighter, brighter and smarter way. I’m focusing exclusively on my own projects while keeping an open approach for the future.

I have no immediate plans on releasing or developing commercial games. Right now I’m focusing on creating some content for this blog and for my Patreon channel. Maybe even my YouTube channel (but don’t hold your breath).

3 Platformer Engines

While developing Fuzeboy I learned a lot about platformer engines. I decided to share my knowledge with my Patrons so I’ll be creating three platformer engines, each one with a different level of complexity. Patrons will be able to download said engines and use them for any purpose, commercial or not, with or without crediting me; feel free to modify anything without my written consent. I basically give up any right I might have over them.

Basic Platformer Engine

This basic platformer engine will have all the characteristics of games such as the first Super Mario Bros. (8bit NES era). Basic platforming with no slopes, underwater physics, simple shooting mechanic, enemies with elementary AI, score points, basic health, basic powerups and maybe a couple of extra.

Intermediate Platformer Engine

While some characteristics will build upon the basic platformer, new problems will call for new approaches and a redesign of some game components. We’ll start using managers like the video manager, input manager and data manager. We’ll look at video scaling and we’ll add slopes and ladders. Also we introduce the 8-way shooting and the advanced animation system (the one I used in Fuzeboy). One way platforms, moving platforms and more.

Advanced Platformer Engine

This is a totally different engine. I’m thinking Super Metroid here. Powerups & inventory, room transitions, gamepad support and input customization, data saving and loading, complex world interactions, triggers, complex camera behavior, cutscenes, dialogues and much, much more.

GameMaker Studio 2 Courses

Just to reiterate that I’m not leaving game development altogether, I’m organizing GameMaker Studio 2 courses at my day job office. Right now we’re thinking about organizing classrooms for the locals but we might scale a bit and extend the offer to schools as well. This is something I’m making in real life so, no online courses for now (for those, look into Benjamin Anderson’s courses). So yeah, I’m also teaching GameMaker Studio 2.

The GameMaker Studio 2 Book

I was writing a book about making an Advanced Platformer Game in GameMaker Studio 2. Turns out making a book is way more complicated than making the game itself. For now I’m leaving this on the table but I won’t be actively working on it in the immediate future.

Kren – Deep Silence

Going back to my own projects and talking about long term plans, means going back to Kren. During the past months I developed a solid engine, written a sound storyline and found a group of people (all friends I know in person, in real life, here in Italy) interested in its development. We’re working weekends to draw concepts and storyboards but it won’t be until next January when I’ll be discussing and showing more substantial material. We take our time and we want to plan it well from start to finish, ironing out all the details.

That’s all for now

So that’s it. I’ll upload some new content soon.

How to Fund Your Indie Game with Bitcoins and BitConnect

Funding a game

There are plenty of ways in which one could fund an Indie Game. Most of them require third party investors (Indie Fund), backers (KickStarter or IndieGoGo) or patrons (Patreon). You could even try the good old donation route (GoFundMe). Obviously you need a good idea, a well structured project and a business plan. You need to convince others that you’re going to deliver a great game!

Those are all fine ways to fund your next indie game and they all share a low risk profile (at least for you, the developer). Low risk is desirable for most indie game developers, most of the time.

But then there might be another way. A very risky but potentially profitable one. One where you don’t actually need to ask others for their money (given you have at least a small initial amount of money):Bitcoins and bitconnect!

Why would you want to do it?

You don’t! In fact the very high risk profile of this kind of investment kinda makes it look like betting. You basically bet that the price of Bitcoins will keep rising.

Bitcoins and the underlying technology (the Blockchain) are spreading faster and faster. Banks, financial institutions and big names such as IBM (even the European Union itself) are looking into ways to invest in these technologies.

I don’t care about the blockchain. I don’t believe in the future of Bitcoin as a legit currency becoming legal tender. I just wanted to jump in for some quick profit. And so I did, this summer, investing a small amount of money in Bitcoins. And I got lucky.

I am still making profit but I got all my initial investment back, safe into my bank account. So in case this bubble blows up (and it will), I haven’t lost anything but time (and actually gained some money in the meantime anyway).

Where do you get bitcoins?

You can buy Bitcoins with real money (bank transfer or credit/debit card).

It all starts with Coinbase or Litebit.eu. I usually buy Bitcoins from LiteBit via SEPA bank transfer. It takes up to a week for them to deposit the BTCs. Given the daily volatility and fluctuations of the BTC, whenever I need them immediately, I use Coinbase, which accepts credit and debit cards, effectively getting me bitcoins instantly.

Both of these websites require thorough verification of your identity, phone number, bank account and ID documents. If you don’t feel comfortable giving away your details, don’t use these services.

Earning 30% to 40% monthly with Bitconnect

BitConnect is another shady beast. It’s a coin (the BCC) and an investment platform (or an elaborate scheme) working with its own coin.

Basically you deposit your BTCs from LiteBit or Coinbase(or wherever you keep them). Then buy BitConnect Coins (BCC) (they have an internal exchange for that) and then supposedly“lend them”to a trading bot which pays you back a daily profit of around 1%. That’s around 365% yearly.

As I said the profit is daily. It means that they pay out every single day. And you can withdraw that profit.

Actually there’s more. In fact you can re-invest that daily profit back into your initial lending to get back a compound interest (or lose all your money if the bubble bursts).

All this lending and profit is calculated in US Dollars (even if you’ll be using your bitconnect coin balance). So if you invest, say, 1010$ for a minimum period of 239 days, you’ll get paid around 1.1% daily… which means around 11$ each day (or 333$ monthly). Not bad.

It’s working pretty fine for me and I have nothing to lose if it all goes titsup.

Personally I believe this platform will last until Bitcoin will last. The reason behind this is that it seems the bitconnect coin mimics the performance of the bitcoin. So as long as people believe in bitcoin, the bitconnect platform should keep on paying lenders their interests.

What to expect from bitcoins and bitconnect?

No one knows. This bubble will burst. We just don’t know when. I’m trying to make some profit while I can and I reckon this is not the preferable way to fund a game dev activity, but it’s the only one I could think of where I don’t need to ask money to anyone. I own my money, I don’t need to show my game to anyone and I manage my own schedule, features, work hours and whatnot. I take all the risks, with all the gains and all the losses. It’s like a game… about funding a game… it’s a bet.

Until it lasts, I’ll have a sort of passive income.

Ok, you made profit... now what?

Same process in reverse:

  1. you should sell your bitconnect coins (BCC) for bitcoins (BTC) at current market price (at the bitconnect exchange).
  2. withdraw your BTCs and deposit them on either LiteBit or CoinBase.
  3. Sell the BTCs for Euros and cash in on your profits.

OpenGameArt and Patreon

Today I made my first contribution to the opengameart.org website.

(opens external link)

It’s a simple edit of Michele “Buch” Bucelli’s sci-fi interior tileset. I adapted it to be used in GameMaker Studio 2 with the 47-tiles autotile feature (I needed it for a personal project of mine).

I’ve also opened a Patreon page.You can directly support my writing and game development projects there.