Welcome to our attempt to document our progress.
Feats and Fireworks
Stephen has been hard at work redoing all the saving of statistics so we can link these to a screen, as well as eventually in game achievements. Some more work has been done on scaling, while some is still outstanding. We added some firework animations to the success screen, which still need to be made more random, but we like how the game is looking and playing so far. Check it out!
Birds, Bugs & Buttons
First, huge congratulations to Sara for being successfully admitted into a college video game design program! We're all very excited that she'll be attending college in September and learning and improving tons of skills for video game art. Sara is currently hard at work on a deck full of beautiful birds. Monica has been working on a few button variations for the menus as seen below, and Stephen is fixing a bug that occurs on iPhone if you rotate the screen. Hope to have a video up soon with the new menus in place.
Android and iPhone
So, we're now registered with Google Play and the Apple developer program, and have been doing builds to our Samsung Android A3 phone and Apple iPhone XR. The game is playing well on mobile devices so far, we're spending a lot of time with the UI, getting some nice-looking buttons and screen resolutions. We've also added options to how many cards are displayed so that if people wish to play an easier mode with as few as 12 card they can, up to 36 cards. Sara is working on a new deck, Monica is prototyping flow and screens, and Stephen is busy with all the back-end programming. Our initial release plan is to Android, iOS and Steam. Hopefully after that is completed, we can try for console releases to Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Should have some new videos and screens to share soon!
Eat your vegetables!
Sara has finished yet another deck, this time some good-looking vegetables. Stephen has been making a ton of progress on card layouts and had an Android build we've been testing. It's quite fun to be able to play on a phone. Added on the screen are a number of moves counter and timer as we get prepared for adding different game modes. Also, the options screen has been reworked from using a drop down which isn't very friendly to some platforms to using a scrolling left or right option. Once a few more screen elements are cleaned up a new game play video will be added to YouTube. Happy holidays!
Lively lizards and lots of code changes
Sara has completed another deck, this time fashioned after her favourite pet lizards. We also have a brand new Match It! title screen too, that looks great in game. She has another deck that is completed but is just getting some finishing touches added. Stephen has added Sara's new art assets into the project and has made many updates as well, including adding a save state for options so that deck selection is saved and adding in the quickest time and number of matches made into the statistics screen. There is also a pause menu now that allows you to check your current progress as well as quit the current game. He has also worked on an android build and next up is a screen configuration option to allow for a better layout on mobile screens and better deck selection.
smrStudio website is live!
Monica finishes the initial website design and gets everything promoted. There likely will be some optimizations to be made for different screen sizes, but we're live!
New screens and fish
Stephen has a new build which includes an option screen that allows you to pick between the fruit and fish decks, and a credits screen which just shows our smrStudio logo and our names. Also, the game doesn't just have a black screen upon completion, a stats screen pops up at the end now telling you how many matches you attempted and how long it took to finish your game. After ending, you get the option to go to the main menu or play again. We also have a stub for statistics that will be worked on in future builds. Next steps will be to have Sara finish the game logo and customize the buttons, and get the statistics working.
Swim beautiful fishies
Sara completes work on her fish deck. The artwork all makes us miss our salt water aquarium!
Monica registers smrStudio, Inc. with the Canadian and Ontario governments and we're now an official business! This apparently also means we need to file taxes, so there's that... But we likely won't make any money from this venture anyway. We also register the smrstudio name for .com and .ca domains for our website. Monica starts working on learning html/css since it's been awhile since anyone around here made a website.
We have a matching game that runs. Stephen made a ton of progress in August and September on various items, such as creating a proper element list, rendering the fruit cards, scaling screen sizes, algorithms for matching and randomly placing the cards. Right now the game just finishes and the only way to play again is to launch it again, so plans for the next build will be to include an options screen and some results.
Stephen gets the initial build done and adds Sara's fruit assets to the project. There's a splash screen with the Unity Logo and the smrStudio logo, and the cards show on screen and... that's it!
Sara completes work on the first deck, which is all different types of fruit. She does her art in Adobe Photoshop and creates square cards so that they line up well in the grid we are planning. Below is a quick animated gif of the cards.
Brainstorming, Tutorials and Social Media
smrStudio brainstorms on some game ideas and settles on a matching game. We come up with some basic rules and game modes. Card decks will be composed of 36 cards, 18 pairs to belong in a 6x6 framework. This may need to change on some platforms (mobile) but initially it will be a square base with square cards.
Stephen researches game engines and it's decided we'll go with Unity as it is popular and seems to be a good choice for the match game and future development. Unity is installed and Stephen starts going through the basic tutorials. Initial setup is done with github so we are using proper source control. Stephen creates the roll a ball game from the tutorial.
Sara completes the initial design for the smrStudio logo, with her tangerine leopard gecko Peach as her source of inspiration. She decides that her first card deck will be comprised of fruit.
Monica starts up a OneDrive share to keep all our information shared in one location and registers the smrStudio name on various social media accounts.