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December 29, 2017

Recently we entered our game, The Forbidden Arts, into the Windows Dream Build Play contest. One of the requirements for entry was to build and publish the game on the Windows UWP platform, although it isn't required to be live in the store. We didn't have the smoothest ride, but we did make it to the end of the road. I'm writing this Blog to help other developers who might be struggling to port your Unity game to Windows UWP. At the time of writing, we were using Unity 2017.2.1 and Visual Studio 2017.

First let's begin in Unity. Most of The Forbidden Arts' code is compatible with Windows UWP, but there are some parts of .NET that are not. Be prepared to change some of your code. For example, System.Reflection is not supported in UWP development. We had to rewrite any code which used System.Reflection, but it wasn't the biggest deal. Just take note you will likely encounter errors with your game and have to fix them before proceeding to port the game. This of course, depe...

November 18, 2017

The title says it all. Zelda has Hyrule, Mario has the Mushroom Kingdom, Elder Scrolls has Tamriel and so on. We need a name for the world the game takes place in. We are asking for suggestions from anyone and everyone. If we choose your suggestion we will give you a $50 gift card to Steam, or simply $50 via Paypal. We will make an announcement on Facebook/Twitter with the winner when and if one is chosen. Please email info@stingbotgames.com, or if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you can simply reply with your suggestions.

Thanks for being a part of our development process. We look forward to hearing your suggestions!

August 31, 2017

Music can really strengthen a game and make you fall in love with it. Mario 64 would have been a very different experience for me if it wasn't for the beautiful melody that is Dire Dire Docks. I remember swimming around collecting red coins just to listen to the music on repeat. Or how about the original Mario on NES? Remember the first time you entered level 1.2? Such a simple theme and so classic. Makes me happy just thinking about it. Music can play with our emotions and make us feel things we didn't know we could feel. It does truly have a profound effect on us.

Game development is actually something a bit newer to me in my life. I actually have the most experience in writing, recording and playing music. I started playing piano at the age of 7 and guitar at 15, which then led to singing, playing bass and drums as well. I played in a band for 8 years in my late teens to mid 20s, toured some of the world and I've released 3 albums and several E.P.s. I have and will always love music....

July 9, 2017

As an indie game developer it’s very difficult to juggle time between development and marketing, so I decided not to spread myself too thin. I wanted to focus on just a few social networks to promote our upcoming game, The Forbidden Arts. I decided on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.  With nearly 2 billion users, Facebook was a prime choice and should be a no brainer for anyone wanting to promote their business or services on a social network.

Once I got started with Facebook and began to build a following for the game I realized how expensive Facebook promotions actually are. This isn’t meant to be a deterrent from using Facebook. Quite the opposite. I value Facebook quite a bit and we intend to use it as one of our main sources of marketing in the future. This blog is intended to shed some light on our experiences with such costs, and how we run effective campaigns.

I decided to run a test for this Blog. I posted a promotional image to the Forbidden Arts Facebook page.

Before I ran this c...

April 3, 2017

How the player navigates a game world is very important in game design.  The 90s are long gone, and so are the days of creating expansive game worlds where players must set out on foot with no way of speeding up their travel besides a horse or using a potion to increase run speed.  Open-World games have done a lot right when it comes to traveling within a game’s world.  I’m going to reference two modern masterpieces that really do a great job with traveling and exploration: The Witcher 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Both games are fantastic and I highly recommend playing them for both entertainment and/or honing your craft of game development, whatever that may be.  Each game focuses heavily on exploration, but I feel one game does a little better of a job than the other: Breath of The Wild.  In both games, once the player discovers a new area, they will then learn what places of interest are available within that area.  In the case of Witcher, discovering road maps, c...

March 21, 2017

The Green Vale is a beautiful forest filled with magical beasts.  Early in development I envisioned this area to be the kingdom of Pyromancy, complete with a large castle and villages.  As the story evolved, the forest did too.  I started to populate it with standard creatures such as bears and wolves, and eventually introduced a stronger fantasy element by adding creatures such as Griffins, Druids, and Dark Elfs.  The Dark Elf race made an important footprint in the scene and magic has become a very important part of the environment.  The Forbidden Arts is not your typical action platformer in that there is a strong focus on story and character development.  With a good story comes quests, and the player will engage with many NPCs in the first few environments, offering social interaction and some very important character development early in the game.  There will be many beasts to tend to in the forest, but the Forbidden Arts isn’t just about fighting, running and jumping from level...

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