Category Archives: Game Development

Javaground’s Own Game: UniWar!

UniWar Logo

Javaground is finally releasing its first internally-produced, original IP game: UniWar. This game is our CEO Alex’s brainchild, and it’s turned out amazingly. UniWar is a turn-based multiplayer strategy game, and it’s incredibly addictive. You can play with up to eight players in various team configurations or free-for-all, and there are three races, each with their own totally unique units. You can believe that balancing those units took some time, but the game plays very well now.

uniwar-screenshot-4Alex has been doing a lot of promotion for the game. My favorite article includes a video demo of UniWar that Alex demonstrated at the Game Developer’s Conference a couple weeks ago. He’s absolutely right when he says people at the office are addicted to the game. I have multiple matches going on at once, and occasionally take a break from my work to play. So in a way, I’ve also been doing Quality Assurance work lately…

There are a few other articles talking about the game as well, here at Pocket Gamer and elsewhere. My heart goes out to the poor soul on this forum who claims to be checking the internet every few hours for UniWar updates.

The game was just submitted to the Apple App Store for release on the iPhone and iPod Touch this morning, so if all goes well, it should be available in a week or so. The game will also be released for a whole slew of regular cell phones, so more likely than not you’ll be able to play the game on whatever phone you have! More updates on the non-iPhone versions to come soon.

That's my green army on the left.  Go humans!
That's my green army on the left. Go Sapiens!

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Javaground Update: Underworld Mobile Game

I haven’t written about my game dev progress in a while, and in fact a lot has been going on. Right before Christmas I wrapped up development of the game Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. This was a very quick project, intended as a marketing tool for the movie (which was released January 23rd). It was a fun project because I got to write it from scratch, and I had a lot of creative freedom over it. And since the timeline for development was so short, we weren’t slowed down by multiple art or gameplay revisions. Underworld is a simple fighting game, where you can play as a vampire or Lycan (werewolf) and duel to the death against the other race. We ported to over 100 devices, though unfortunately it was for international markets only, and therefore not available to U.S. customers. The one version that is available to Americans is for the iPhone. This was one of the first iPhone apps we’ve written at Javaground, and I’d highly recommend checking it out if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s free. 😉

Underworld Screenshot 1 Underworld Screenshot 2 Underworld Screenshot 3

Underworld Title Screen

Goldfinger Downloadable Pack Available; First Top Agent Review!

We’ve released the latest downloadable pack for James Bond: Top Agent. You can download the pack for free from the “Download Packs” menu option in the game, though you may need to still have a valid subscription on some carriers. Make sure you finish the Die Another Day pack if you’ve started it though, since this will overwrite your old pack.

James Bond: Top Agent Goldfinger Pack - Screenshot 1?James Bond: Top Agent Goldfinger Pack - Screenshot 2?James Bond: Top Agent Goldfinger Pack - Screenshot 3 James Bond: Top Agent Goldfinger Pack - Screenshot 4

Also, Top Agent has gotten its first review! It’s from a reviewer in the UK, where we were unfortunately not able to support the networked aspects of the game (multiplayer challenges and pack downloading). I think it’s a very fair review, and a 6 out of 10 isn’t bad at all from someone only reviewing half of the game!

James Bond: Top Agent

James Bond: Top Agent, the game I’ve been working on for nearly two years, has been released! It’s a multiplayer cell phone game, in which you can level up your character and send challenges back and forth with your friends. My role was developer: I programmed the game. I was also able to provide some creative input into the game design itself, for which I am very thankful. Sony has an official Top Agent webpage, check it out here.

Top Agent Title Screen Top Agent - Ice Bed Top Agent - Graves Punch Top Agent - Main Menu Top Agent - Sub Fight

You can purchase the game from most major carriers, if you’re interested. But if you do get the game, you best be sending me a challenge! My Agent ID is 0CAA8, and Amanda’s is 0CF65 (the first digit in both is a zero). Just add me to your buddy list, then challenge away! And don’t worry about losing; I got my hiney handed to me in the first four challenges Zack sent me. I’m cursed with poor performance at any game I create, dating back to Kung Fu Masters with Chris Owens.

And if you’re looking for it, my name can be found in the About text of the game, two-thirds of the way down (apparently that’s just where developers’ names go).

Top Agent Javaground Poster

New Star Wars Fun!

Lucasfilm released a trailer for their upcoming animated TV show, Clone Wars. Hot dog! I’m not sure why they decided to make another animated series with the same name as the last one, but it definitely sounds exciting. The appeal of TV shows about the Clone Wars is that they can concentrate on all the epic battles the prequels spent most of their time not showing.

The other source of my excitement is LucasArt’s latest game, The Force Unleashed. It sounds interesting for a number of ways, but what appeals to me the most is one of the next gen technologies they’re introducing with it, Digital Molecular Matter. Watch the demo video for all the hyped-up banter, but what it breaks down to is objects that can break based on their physical properties and the force applied, as opposed to using pre-scripted breaking animations. Including walls. And rancors. Lots and lots of rancors.

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In more depressing news, some neighborhood kids are in my living room playing The Simpsons: Road Rage, and they just accidentally deleted my save game, which means I lost all four levels and all 20-some characters that Amanda, Zack, Reed, Jason Upstairs, and I spent countless hours unlocking. I’m going to go pout for a while.

Vacation!

Amanda and I will be on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico starting, well, now. Until next weekend. If you need to get in touch with us, we’ll be checking our cell phones once a day, so leave a message after that beeping sound. And don’t fret for the animals, a good buddy of ours is house-sitting till we get back. Expect lots of tropical pictures upon our return!

P.S. In case you haven’t heard, which I think is mostly impossible, Blizzard has announced StarCraft II. And it looks like it’s going to be pretty similar to the original, which is awesome.

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As ashamed as I am to say this, all I want this game to be is an excuse for me to play SC again and still enjoy the pretty graphics my new-ish computer yields.

Wow I Need to Post More Often

Yeah, not a big post today. Just wanted to let y’all know that I hate DRM. And that’s bad, because I hardly hate anything.

In better news, Gamasutra’s front page article yesterday was a press release for a bunch of mobile games from Sony. Or should I say, JAVAGROUND??? Yeah, many of the games on there were developed by us. Way cool.

In even better news, it suddenly got way hot, I’m sweating out of my fingertips, and going insane with joy about it. I love the heat.

Two Notes

Javaground, the company I work for, has updated its website. Of particular interest is the company history, much of which I didn’t know myself.

Also, I want to ask everyone to pray for those connected to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Greg Stakor and Carrie Fassett are okay, thankfully. But there are many who need our prayers and support right now.

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