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Jungles of Maxtheria
COMING SOON (2019)

Main Menu

Junles of Maxthera (Picture 1)

 

Apes Live in the Trees

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 2)

 

Swing On the Vines Over the Quicksand

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 3)

 

The Blue Key Opens the Blue Door

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 4)

 

Use Bridges to Avoid Vulture Attacks

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 5)

 

Logs Roll Down Hills Obviously

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 6)

 

Unfriendly Plant life

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 7)

 

Yellow Keys Open Treasure Chests

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 8)

 

Some Walls Can Be Destroyed

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 9)

 

Use Grappling Hooks To Swing Over Far Places

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 10)

 

Traps Move Up/Down & Swing Left/Right

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 11)

 

Treasure Chest are Full of Goodies

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 12)

 

Thumpers Thump Down Really Hard

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 13)

 

Scorpions Live in Dark Places

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 13)

 

Swimming with the Sharks

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 14)

 

Collect Goodies to Get More Stuff

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 14)

 

Training Mode Teaches First Timers How to Play

Pitfalls Of Nathera (Picture 14)

 

     Play as either "Hot Spot" Harvey, his cousin Roxy Roks, Junior or Missy searching for the lost treasure of the infamous "Jaxton Max".  Your quest for fortune and glory will not be easy however.  This adventure is full of baddies aimed at stopping you dead in your tracks.  Use knives to dig through walls, bullets to battle the baddies, grappling hooks to jump over long distances, oxygen tanks to breath under water and torches to see what lurks underground.  Collect keys to get past locked doors and to open treasure chests.  Avoid the quicksand, tar pits, spikes, fire pits, thumpers and other traps along the way.  Few ever return from their expeditions into the deep jungles.  So, if you are brave enough, the "Jungles of Maxtheria" awaits!

 

Gameplay Footage

 

 

AWARDS (See more info in the blog below)

      - Free Play Florida 2019:  "1Up" (Won).

      - Indienomicon 2019 The Indie Awards:  "Best Mobile Experience" (Nominated-Made the Final 4).

      - Otronicon 2019:  "Best Platformer Game" (Won).

      - Free Play Florida 2018:  "1Up" (Won).

      - Otronicon 2018:  "Best Platformer Game" (Won).

 

 BLOG OF UPDATES

      - 12/01/2019 - The YouTube channel "Biff's Gaming Videos" did a video called "Free Play Florida 2019 (Part 2) [Arcade Expo]".  In it, you can see "Jungles of Maxtheria" in the beginning of the 2nd video and then a full overview of the game at 00m:37s (there are 3 parts to the video with this being the 2nd one).

"YouTube's "Biff's Gaming Videos" - "Free Play Florida 2019 (Part 2) [Arcade Expo]"

 

 

      - 11/24/2018 - At "Free Play Florida 2019", SlifkerGames' "Jungles of Maxtheria" won a "1 Up" award that was given out to us by the event for the second straight year.  Thanks to everyone at "Free Play Florida" who ran, worked, volunteered, attended or otherwise was involved in the event.  This is truely an honor and thanks for the respect.

"Free Play Florida 2019"  1-Up Award for "Jungles of Maxtheria".

Free Play Florida - 1Up Award

 

       - 11/23/2018 -  At "Free Play Florida 2019", after seeing Jerry Buckner, I walked over to him when no one was bothering him.  He had a bunch of "Pac-Man Fever" stuff on his table.  I said, "I really liked your song..........Merry Christmas in the NFL".  He chocked and asked how did I know about that (as he thought I was talking about "Pac-Man Fever").  I went on to explain how I have the song and play it every Christmas.  After which, I proposed he make an undated version with today's NFL.  If that ever happens, then you know who to thank.  "Merry Christmas in the NFL" was released in 1980 under the group name, "Willis the Guard and Vigorish".  "Pac-Man Fever" was released later under the group name "Buckner and Garcia" (which peaked at #9 in USA and was #42 for the year 1982's Billboard Top 100).  In 1982, the extended version of the song "WKRP in Cincinatti" was released.  This was a real honor.

Jerry Buckner ("Buckner and Garcia" Musical Group that did "Pac-Man Fever" song).

Jerry Garcia - Pac-Man Fever

 

      - 11/23/2018 -  At "Free Play Florida 2019", at 4PM, there was a panel made up of Ex-Activison types:  David Crane (Activision Co-Founder and Atari 2600 Pitfall!), Dan Kitchen (Atari 2600 Ikari Warriors, Ghostbusters and Double Dragon) and Gary Kitchen (Atari 2600 Donkey Kong).  It was called, "Activison: How to Take on Atari and Win".  Their was someone asking questions and they gave answers.  After it was over, they were out on the show floor for a bit.  So I briefly talked to David Crane about "Pitfall!" and also "Jungles of Maxtheria".  I'm hoping I get another chance to talk to him again in more detail.  You can see me standing next to him in the picture.  I was on my tippy toes and he was still hovering over me.  That's a big dude at 6'5".  Good times.

David Crane (Activision Co-Founder & Atari 2600 VCS Pitfall! Designer/Programmer).

David Crane - Pitfall Activision

     

     - 11/22/2018 - At "Free Play Florida 2019" (Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando, Florida), SlifkerGames showed off "Jungles of Maxtheria".  We still have some minor tweaks left to do to the game but it is basically done.  We were located in a square block of tables with other indie video games developers.  Other games in our group were: "Oink", "Nano", "Jai-Alai Heroes" and "Floppy and the Sleepy Planet".  It was actually a good location that was not in the dark (unlike last year where the overhead lights were turned off in our section).  Directly right in front of our booth were Billy Mitchell & Walter Day ("King of Kong:  A Fistful of Quarters" video documentary) and Jerry Bucker ("Bucker and Garcia" musical group that did songs like:  "Pac-Man Fever").  They were maybe 10-12 feet away directly in front of our booth.  Billy Mitchell was playing on his Donkey Kong machine there for most of the weekend.  This particular machine you could buy for the low price of just $1,400 (you can see the price tag on the side of the unit).

"Free Play Florida 2019"  Booth Located Directly in Front of Jerry Buckner and Billy Mitchell/Walter Day.

Free Play Florida - Booth

 

"Free Play Florida 2019"  Booth Setup.

Free Play Florida - Booth

 

      - 09/13/2019 - I made a new gameplay video and uploaded it to YouTube, FaceBook and to this page.  There were minor things that changed in the last few months so I just wanted to have a new video to more better show the final game.  All that is left now is 1 bug to fix.  It's a gravity issue I thought was fixed but wasn't.

 

      - 09/13/2019 - Update!  We are basically done with "Jungles of Maxtheria".

      - We just finished verifying stages 5 and 6 as complete.  So now all stages seem like we have done all that we can to them (or at least as much as we are going to do).

     - The menus were also verified along with the langauge translations (this is everything that is not on a stage).

      - I fixed a bug where when a bad guy would take damage, then the gravity would stop.  The bad buy would pause in the air for a few seconds until he became healty again. That is now fixed.

     - The only thing left to do now is the video.  We are going to record video of the gameplay and then turn them into promos.  Up unitl now, I have released only gameplay footage.  While this is nice, it really doesn't sell the game.  That is why we need promos.  I'll also use this gameplay footage as a demo for the start menu.  If the user does not select something from the main menu in an alloted amount of time, this video will play.  Currently, the video that is there is outdated.  This video is great at conventions.  If no one is playing the game, the video will play.  That way someone walking by can see the game in action.

 

      - 09/10/2019 - We just finished the multi-language support for "Jungles of Maxtheria".  It is completely in English (obviously).  Also, there are Spanish, German and French translations for most of the text.  The text that was not translated are in the main menu area.  However, this info is also repeated in the gameplay via signs so they are not really needed.  They are redundant.  In the future we may add even more languages.

"Jungles of Maxtheria" Menus in English, French, German and Spanish.

French

German

Spanish

 

      - 09/02/2019 - I took a break from level design of "Jungles of Maxtheria" and put in multi-language support.  Currently, the entire game is in English with Spanish being the next language to be fully translated.  It's easy finding someone who is a native Spanish speaker as we are based out of Florida.  From there, some other main languages may be put in such as:  French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and/or Russian.  Translating a word or phrase is easy.  This can be done with Google Translate and verified by any native speaker.  However, the instructions are the tough part as they pretty long.  This would take a native speaker and some time so I am not sure which languages will be put in.  Probably for the time being we'll put in a number of languages for everything except the instructions.  The screenshots below were translated with Google Translate and have not been verified as being correct.  They are for illustrative purposes only.

"Jungles of Maxtheria" Main Menu in a Different Language.

Spanish

 

     - 09/01/2019 - Stages 4 and 5 has now been verified completed.  So we just have stage 6 and the menus to verify before we can say we are done.  It's really close now.

 

     - 08/29/2019 - November 22-24, 2019 SlifkerGames will be attending the "Free Play Florida" show at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida.  We will be showing off a finished version of "Jungles of Maxtheria" and possibly another game.  This is a 3-day event with arcade video games, pinball machines, guest panels and a whole lot more. Scheduled guests are: David Crane (Activision's Pitfall!), Warren Davis (Arcade's Q*Bert, Joust 2, Terminator), Jeff Lee (Arcade's Q*Bert, Q*Bert's Cubes, Krull), Gary Kitchen (Atari 2600 version of Donkey Kong), Dan Kitchen (Activision's Ghostbusters, Ikari Warriors, Double Dragon for the Atari 2600) and more.  Stop by the SlifkerGames booth for a FREE drawing.  Last year we gave out 2 X-Box systems.

      "Free Play Florida" Main Page:  http://wp.freeplayflorida.com/

   

     - 08/28/2019 - I think that we can finally mark stages 1, 2 & 3 as complete.  Yeah!  I played these entire levels maybe 20 times in the last few days.  We had to test every trap, baddie, collectable and basically everything.  We did this by cheating and giving the main guy unlimited health and inventory.  Because we knew where everything is, we had to do the opposite of what we wanted to.  This is where we found the bugs.  You'd be surprised as the number of things that can go wrong.

 

     - 08/21/2019 - As we have mainly used a joystick controller (and sometimes keyboard/mouse) to play "Jungles of Maxtheria", we have not given the touchscreen variation a lot of attention lately.  So, as we have beta tested the game out on Android devices, we have noticed some touchscreen issues.

     - The sign buttons did not work properly.  When the player read a sign, it would go fullscreen and then there was no way to get rid of it.  This has been fixed.

     - I redid the different touchscreen layout variations of onscreen buttons.  There were a lot more variations but it was reduced to 8 as these are plenty.  Four of these are for right-handed people and four are left-handed people.  As we played the game on touchscreens, the layouts we had before were OK but not great.  So we messed around with the layouts and now have new ones that we think work pretty well.

"Jungles of Maxtheria" running on an Android touchscreen device.

Mobile Touchscreen

 

     - 08/08/2019 - We have gone though stages 1-6 yet again looking for bugs and fixes.  We made a number of them, but not that many as the game is bascially done.  One of the changes is that we added lighting effects.  Before, the entire underground was black.  Now, where there is an opening to the surface, the light shines through to the bottom.  It allows one to see the dirt and any collectables that may be there.  This gives it a little extra something that really spices up a game yet noone will ever notice.  Next up, one last beta run-through of the entire game to make sure we got everything.

Openings to the surface now have lighting effects.

Lighting Black

 

     - 08/03/2019 - Over the month of July, SlifkerGames has been beta testing "Jungles of Maxtheria" going through each of the stages one-by-one.  I fixed and changed a bunch of things.  Too many to list.  Now the bug/change list is no more.  Everything we wanted to do is done.  So now we will go through the game once again looking for anything that needs to be changed or fixed stage-by-stage.  After that we will release the beta as a release candidate (RC Beta #1).  An "RC Beta" means that we think the game is ready to be released but wanted more people to test it out to see if we missed anything.  It's better to play it safe before letting the world see the game.  To date, there there have been a whopping 402 versions exported from the game over the last 2 1/2 years.  Wow!

402 Beta versions is a lot!

Beta Version 402

 

      - 07/11/2019 - I just finished adding new baddies and beta testing stages 5 and 6.  I am now working on finishing the ending to the game.  The ending works, but I wanted to jazz it up a bit.  It should be something special, but not too long.  It's been a long journey these last 2 1/2 years.  I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully, it's not a train).

 

      - 07/05/2019 - Stages 1-4 have new baddies and been beta tested.  There have been dozens of little things fixed/changed.  Here are a few of them from stage 4.

     - Lots of graphical stuff like trees and bushes out of place.  Even though this does not affect gameplay, the look of the game matters.  So I have gone out of my way to tweek the details as much as possible.

     - Swaping out the old baddies with new ones (new attack patterns).  As noted earlier in this blog, the baddies were completely redone.  Now I am replacing the old ones out with the new ones.

     - The plant that spits out seeds had no sound effects.  Now he does.

     - There was a crab on the surface.  The crabs all should be on the water's floor.  I guess I had his position wrong to start out at.  He is now safely in the water where crabs should be (well, until a predator comes by).

     - I noticed a couple of the skeletons started out looking in the wrong direction.  For baddies that patrol, it's fine as they go left and right and so forth.  But these skeletons act as guardians to certain areas.  It's important to have their backs to doors and walls that they protect.  Fixed.

     - When the small snakes got hurt, they did not properly show the hurt animation.  When hurt they also damaged the player (but they shouldn't do any damage when they are hurt).  They work properly now. 

     - A moderate change:   I added collectables at the tops of some trees.  If the player climbs up some vines from the surface, he will find gemstones or inventory items.  I tried not to over do this.  There are plenty of things to collect under the ground.  I just wanted the player to explore a little bit here and there verses just zooming to the end as fast as possible.  So for the player who looks, there are things to find...just not everywhere.

     - A big change:  the grappling hook now has auto-retract.  At shows people had problems getting the grappling hook to work properly.  They had to move up the rope, swing and release.  I changed it so that once the grapple attaches to the ceiling, it auto retracts and takes the player upwards.  Hopefully this makes the grappling hook easier to use.  Basically, I took out 1 step to make it easier to use the grappling hook.

At the tops of some trees, there are things to find

Tree Genstones

 

      - 07/02/2019 - We have been changing out the old baddies with new ones starting with stage one.  We then are going through the stages one-by-one looking for bugs or anything else that needs changing.  We have found a few here and there.  I just finished the third stage (of six).  We are not adding anything more, just tweaking what we already have.  Every little fix makes "Jungles of Maxtheria" just a little bit better.

 

      - 06/29/2019 - The laptop hard drive crashed a few days ago.  Luckily, I was able to recover the data from each of the games.  I had to buy a new hard drive and an external adapter to transfer the files to the new hard drive.  Then I reinstalled windows, all of the software and the settings. This took a few days.  The good part is the computer runs a lot faster now.  I guess there were lots of bloatware and old stuff slowing it down.  Also, the old drive had been going out for a while which slowed down backups.  Now the laptop runs great again.  Back to programming.

 

      - 06/21/2019 - Fixes and updates.

     - After it rained the other day, which in Florida is everyday, I saw a rainbow.  I thought to myself that would be a good addition to the game.  So I added a raindow far off in the mountatins on each stage.  These are near where the Shrooms are at.  It just made sense to combine the two.  Now when the player sees a rainbow, he knows Shrooms are near.  Maybe I'll add a pot of gold there too.  Who knows?

      - I have completely redone all of the baddies once again.  I am in the process of placing them into the game (there are hundreds of them).  There were issues such as some of them always chasing the main character even when he went far away.  I am beta testing all of the stages after I put them into as well.  This allows me to find little things that need tweeking.  I just finshed stage one, so it'll be a week or two before I get through all of the six stages.

      - Lots of minor bug fixes.  As I test out the stages I see little things that I want to change.  There are way to many to list.  Just little stuff.

Where there is a rainbow, there are Shrooms

(or is that where there are Shrooms there is a rainbow?)

Rainbow and Shrooms

 

      - 06/13/2019 - The YouTube channel "The OVG" has a video called "Indie Games Rely on Exposure" released on 6/13/2019.  In it you can see Michael Slifker being interviewed about exposure of indie games at shows.  "Jungles of Maxtheria" footage is used as b-roll overtop of the audio.  This was shot at the "Ongaku Orlando Overdrive 2019". 

"YouTube's "The OVG" - "Indie Games Rely On Exposure"

 

 

      - 06/13/2019 - I redid all of the clouds.  There was an issue in the first stage where they did not display properly.  So I erased them all and started over.  So I created new clouds but made 2-3 times as many.  Now there enough clouds to cover up more of the blue sky and to give a better 3D look.

Lots of New Clouds

Clouds

 

      - 06/12/2019 - More additions and fixes.    

     - There was a bug I thought I fixed previously.  When a player cheated by having unlimited health and then restarted the game from the main menu, the unlimited health would still be active on the next game.  This is something that I found out at the "Orlando Overdrive" because people were playing and restarting the game all day long.  I would have never found this bug out playing it by myself.  One reason that if the game is exited to the desktop, then it will not happen when the game is relaunched.  At the "Orlando Overdrive" the game was restarted many times but never closed out to the desktop.  See, these shows do pay off.  It should work properly now.

     - One of the attendees at the "Orlando Overdrive" suggested that I have an area where the player could jump on top of a long line of baddies.  I thought about it and added it in stage 1.  Now there is a long area of water that has lots of crocodiles.  The player has to jump from one to the next and to the next (and so forth) landing on their backs while avoiding their mouths.  It's kind of fun to do.

      - I added ladders that move left/right, up/down and even spawn from nothing (starting closed and then open up to full length).  So some of the ladders now will move around making it harder to get on and off of them.  There are also ones that will only spawn if you find its special location.  When you do, then that ladder will reveal itself.  I thought this was kind of fun in making the player search for the the trigger. The player can still finish the game without finding the ladders that spawn, but I made sure it is a lot easier if he does find them.

Some Ladders Now Move U/D, L/R or Spawn From Nothing (This Ladder Moves Up/Down Making It Easier For The Player To Get To The Top Area)

Ladders

 

      - 06/11/2019 - The YouTube channel "The OVG" has a video called "The Monday Report #2: WalletHub" released on 6/10/2019.  In it you can see "Jungles of Maxtheria" shown, not once, but two times at :08s and again at :40s.  This footage was shot at the "Ongaku Orlando Overdrive 2019" on Saturday.  The video is about Orlando's ranking of video games and gamers so they use footage they shot from Orlando indie video game developers.

 

"YouTube's "The OVG" - "The Monday Report #2: WalletHub"

 

 

      - 06/09/2019 - SlifkerGames was at the "Ongaku Orlando Overdrive IV (2019)" yesterday.  We showed off "Jungles of Maxtheria" and "Irata Ja-Ja-Jiggy Jigsaw Puzzles" (this has over 400 Atari themed jigsaw puzzles in it.  It is completed but we will hold off from releasing for a few months.  As of right now we don't even have info about it on the web site yet.). This was a day long event with a room that had musicians on-stage with a dance floor full of people and another room of indie video game developers.  I got to meet a number of people who were more than willing to play the games but also give ideas of how to better them.  Just before midnight, SlifkerGames gave out an X-Box 360 system.  Anyone who played "Jungles of Maxtheria" got a free raffle ticket.  If that same person then 'liked us' on FaceBook, he would get a second free ticket.  It took just 2 draws to get the winner who goes by the name of Christopher (picture below).   A big thanks to everyone that came out there.  Good times.

 

Orlando Overdrive 2019 - "Irata Ja-Ja-Jiggy Jigsaw Puzzles" with Atari 2600 Pac-Man (Top)  & "Jungles of Maxtheria" (Bottom)

OrlandoOverdrive2019_A

 

Orlando Overdrive 2019 - Michael Slifker with the X-Box 360 Winner Christopher

OrlandoOverdrive2019_B

 

Orlando Overdrive 2019 - Michael Slifker showing off "Irata Ja-Ja-Jiggy Jigsaw Puzzles" with the Atari 2600 version of "E.T." Box Scan (Top) and "Jungles of Maxtheria" (Bottom)

OrlandoOverdrive2019_C

 

      - 06/07/2019 - More bug fixes and additions.

     - Added SFX for when the player is under the water and swims.  When the player now swims, there is a swim stroke sound effect.

     - Added SFX for when the purple plants attack.

     - Fixed a bug where the purple plants would slow down the game's framerate.

 

      - 06/05/2019 - More bug fixes and additions.

      - There were timing issues with slower computers thats I fixed.  There's a bug in the timing system, so I changed how the guys react.  The timing may be a little off on slower computers but it shouldn't be a big deal anymore.  This is more of an internal thing.

      - I changed the title screen slighty.  It has different colors and a different animation.  This was because there is a bug in the animation system, so I just changed the animation to get it to work.  That's how it goes sometimes.  Sometimes the systems we use have bugs so we have to come up with work-arounds to get them to do what we want them to do.

     - Before, the default controller picture showed an Windows 10 setup using a Logitech controller.  I expanded the controllers out and now have the following:  QWERTY keyboard, Windows 10, Linux, MacOS, X-Box One, Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4.  I am waiting for Atari to finalize their modern controller to add that in (athough it probably will be the same as Linux).  These are able to be seen in the controller help area. However, until the game is released on those particular systems, they will be disabled as they are not needed.  Basically, each system has a different set of mappings for the buttons/axises.  So on whatever system you are using, you use that particular mapping.  So I added the support for them now to save time later.  The idea would be just to activate the controller mapping for whatever system you are playing the game on and deactivate the rest.  The acutal pictures may look a little confusing, but remapping buttons is usually only for power users.  Most people just use the default.  Remapping allows a person to change the buttons to his liking.

X-Box One Button/Axises Default Map

XBox One Controller

 

 

      - 06/04/2019 - SlifkerGames just got confirmation that we will be attending the "Ongaku Overdrive:  Orlando Overdrive 2019" this Saturday 6/08/2019 from 5PM - 11PM.  We were there last year showing off an earlier version of "Jungles of Maxtheria" with a slightly different name.  "Ongaku" is Japanese for "Music" which means it's a music festival.  It is being held in Winter Park, Florida at "The Geek Easy" (Semoran Blvd. at University Blvd.) (114 South Semoran Blvd, Ste 6, Winter Park, Florida 32792).  This is a bar/restaurant/lounge/comic book store so there will be food and drinks. This event is actually a music event that has several video game music acts that will be performing all day and evening long. They decided to open it up to indie video game developers in their "Independent Games Showcase".  So you can come out to listen to music, drink, eat and play cool games that have not been released yet.  There is a $15 cover at the door for the event and is 18+ only.  The music festival continues on after the video game developers leave until 1AM.  SlifkerGames will be giving out a free Microsoft X-Box 360 setup.  All you have to do it play "Jungles of Maxtheria" for a few minutes to get a free raffle ticket.  If you want a second free ticket, just like us on Facebook.  It's that easy.  The odds are really good for you.  Just stop by our booth and play.  It's that easy.  For more info:  http://www.OngakuOverdrive.com/ or the direct link at: http://ongakuoverdrive.com/orlando-overdrive/

 

      - 06/03/2019 - The main player has more feet sound effects now.  When he jumps and lands there are now different sound effects that get played.  Before, there was nothing but footsteps for the main player (one set of sounds when on the ground and a different set of sounds when on the ladders).  I think it just adds a little suttle effect when jumping and landing to spice things up a bit.  So that's were we are at.  There are maybe 5 bugs left.  Then as we beta test the whole game, we will spice things up here and there for that special touch.

 

      - 06/02/2019 - I fixed a really annoying bug.  The baddies would bobble up & down by themselves.  Even when they were supposed to be completely still, they moved up & down.  This was a tough bug to figure out.  The issue was that the gravity would pull the character down, then the feet would touch the ground & the push the character back up a little (so basically, the character was bouncing off of the ground like a basketball).  It would just keep doing this over & over & over.  I fixed this by giving a bit of a look-below the feet.  So now the feet look downwards a little past the ground.  This way the feet have a buffer before touching the ground.  It seems to work right now.

Characters would bobble up & down a little bit when still.

JOM Bobble Up and Down

 

      - 06/01/2019 - I completely redid the apes from scratch.  There are now two sizes of apes (small and large) and there are two types (ones on the trees and ones on the ground).  When the player gets near one of them, an ape in the trees will fall to the ground.  If the ape is already on the ground, then he will jump up high into the air to attack.  So apes have a different attack approach than the other baddies.  They can either jump on the player from the air or charge him from the ground.  Their behavior is completely different than before which is a really good thing.  There are also limits to the left and right that they can go.  There are invisible walls set up so they don't go into areas where they can get stuck (like the water).  I just thought this was a neat way to mix things up a bit.

Apes will fall out of the trees to attack when the player gets near.

JOM Notes

 

 

      - 05/25/2019 - Because the game engine I am using changed their 2D animation and IK tools, I was forced to completely redo all of the snakes. It took a day to figure out what the issues were, then a day to learn how to fix them and a day to fix/implement them.  So every snake was redone from scratch.  This is a good thing as I changed the characteristics of how they work.  For snakes that do not attack they will be still, then when you get close to them they will animate and then when you get far away they will be still again.  However, for snakes that do attack the player, once you get close to them and the animation starts, then the animation just keeps on going.  They never get still again.  I thought this would be a neat little tell between snakes that attack and snakes that do not.

1) Green box around snake's mouth does damage if it touches the player.

2) Green dots are the bones in the snake so it can change shape.

3) Animation keyframes changing things during the snake attack animation.

4) Name of the animation on the snake that plays.  There can more more than one animation on a charcater such as:  idle, attack and walk.

JOM Snakes Animation

 

      - 05/23/2019 - More bug fixes.

      - On the big hammers/thumpers that come down and pounce on the player, I changed how they worked.  Before, if the player touched the bottom of the thumper, he would get hurt.  Now, the thumper does no damage when it goes up.  It just damages the player when going down.  This way the player can jump up and hit his hit on the bottom of the thumper and not get hurt.  This seems to make more sense.  If you touched the flat end of a hammer with your hand, it would not hurt you.  However, if that same hammer smashed down on your hand, it would hurt.  Same idea.

      - There was a weird bug that I fixed.  After changing scenes/stages, if the character had the unlimited health cheat on, it will still be on but show if off.  By activating this cheat, a star goes on top of the character's head.  This is how you know it's on.  So I messed around with it a bit and fixed it.

      - The wolf and the plant projectiles have new SFX.  The old wolf SFX just sounded too much like a dog in pain.  This sent chills up my spine as dogs are our best friends.  I made it more of a growling noise.

     - I added controller layouts for Nintendo Switch and Sony Playstation 4.  Right now this is in the help area.  It's just a shortcut to swap the key layout.  This probably will be disabled in the final version or may just default to the system it is being used on.  One can always map the keys to however he wants anyways.  This is just a shortcut in case a player wants a different layout.  The buttons on different systems are different.  Confusing for a player to change systems sometimes.  Currently, the default joystick controller is set to X-Box/Windows 10.

      - After respawning, the arrow cheat did not work properly.  This was because after the scene was reloaded, the keys were recreated and the used ones turned off.  So, I was pointing to objects that were turned off and thus the game could not find them.  I added a pointer in after the area created and before they get turned off.  That way the pointer never gets turned off.  They work correctly now.

 

Arrow cheat pointing to keys in the current stage.

JOM Notes

 

 

      - 05/19/2019 - Over the last 3 months, SlifkerGames paused from working on "Jungles of Maxtheria" and worked on several other games.  It started by fixing "Study Whatty: Poker Drills", expanded to making Easter Eggs, to creating "Ja-Ja-Jiggy Jigsaw Puzzles" to another jigsaw puzzle game (not published yet) and then upgrades/content for several other "Study Whatty" games (not released yet).  It was a sort of progression that I had not intended to do.  One thing led to another and so forth.  These games are under the "Study Whatty" line of games.  They are educational games designed for schools.  It will be big when we are ready to release them, hopefully all at the same time.

      Currently, we are working on finishing "Jungles of Maxtheria".  We played it over and over several times all of the way through.  I took eight pages of notes. These were mostly bugs but some were changes.  I have sense gotten the list down to 1 1/2.Pages.  Most of these are issues with the baddies and the treasure rooms at the end of each stage.  These should be quick and easy to fix.  Then there are some bigger bugs I will have to work out.  Below is a quick peek at notes of things I am working on.  It's getting close to being completed.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I just hope that light is not a train coming from the other direction.

List of future changes for "Jungles of Maxtheria".  Only 1 1/2 pages left.

JOM Notes

 

      - 04/07/2019 - "Jungles of Maxtheria" did not win the Indienomicon 2019 competition, however it was good to be nominated.  Congrats to the winner.  Another good game.

 

      - 03/08/2019 - SlifkerGames showed off "Jungles of Maxtheria" at the March 7, 2019 Indienomicon.  This is a group of independent video game developers that have monthly meetings held at the Downtown Orlando, Florida Library's Melrose Center.  There were several other companies showing off their games as well.  We held a free drawing for an X-Box 360 for anyone who checked out our game.  My parents were there (as it was my dad's 81st birthday), so my mom picked out the winning ticket.  Also, "Jungles of Maxtheria" was nonimated for an award that will be announced at the April 4, 2019 meeting.  Voting is open for this at https://tinyurl.com/indiewards2019/  .  Go there, log in and vote!  Awards are cool.

Showing off "Jungles of Maxtheria" to guests.

Indinomicon 1

 

Showing off "Jungles of Maxtheria" to even more guests.

Indienomicon 2

 

Main stage showing the game off nomination for "The Indie Awards".

indienomicon 3

 

"Carlos" won a X-Box 360 in the free drawing we had.

Indienomicon 4

 

      - 02/08/2019 - "Biff's Gaming Videos" on YouTube posted a video about the Otronicon.  About 8 minutes into it they show off "Jungles of Maxtheria".  First, they talk about indie games in general using our game and then they talk about the game.  Unlike last year, there was no interview.  No biggie.  Also, it won the award (a "Biffy") for "Best Platformer Game" for the second year in a row.  Cool beans!  As the OSC gets their funding by private donations and public grants, they need to remain neutral on things.  An independant group of people were selected, they played the games, filled out the forms and voted for the winners.  "Biff's Gaming Videos" made a video during the event and later announced the winners.  I was at the booth all weekend and did not partake in the voting obviously (but I really wanted to).

Biff's Gaming Videos - Otronicon 2019

 

 

 

      - 02/03/2019 - New pictures posted to the left side of this page.

 

      - 01/31/2019 - A new gameplay video was uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and above on this page.  This is in HD 2K.  There were additions done after "Free Play Florida" so the video shows them.  This should give a very accurate representation of the final game (which is currently in final beta testing).

 

      - 01/25/2019 - Some more bug fixes and changes.

      - Sometimes when a player viewed a sign, the sign did not go away.  It seemed to get locked in the “on” position.  It would not go off and thus one had to restart the game.  I think, I might have, possibly, maybe, I guess, assuming, have fixed this.  I think the issue was that there were multiple copies of the same named variable so the computer was becoming confused.  Basically, there were 5 copies of the same named variable:  some were “on” and some were “off”.  The computer would get confused to which once was the actual one being used.  I deleted out all of the copies and it seems to work fine now.  Of course, once the game is played by a group of kids at a show we’ll know for sure.  They find every bug.

     - Before, when a player used the cheats, turning off the underground black or turning on the area numbers, these settings would carry over to a new game being created.  I fixed this so they do not.  Now, when any new game is run or respawned, the black will be on and the area numbers will be off by default.

      - There was a bug with the arrow keys help.  If the player respawned or started a new game, then they would not show correctly.  They would always start on and sometimes had the wrong number of arrows showing.  I think I fixed this.  Now it should always start off on a new game and a respawn.

      - Before, each stage would say something like, “Welcome to the Jungle Stage: 1”.  I changed it so that the sectional part is there as well such as: “Welcome to the Jungle Stage: 1-1”.  Part 1 is at the beginning of the stage and increases after each checkpoint (some doors do not have checkpoints so the part number may jump over a number).

Showing the stage and the part.

Stages

 

      - 01/23/2019 - Some bug fixes found by players at the "Octronicon 2019".

      - I adjusted the grappling hook so it's a lot easier to use now.  People have had a tough time with it in the past so I made the swing farther.  Before, the time it took for the swing to slow down was real fast.  Now, it's a bit slower.  The result is that the character swings farther left and right before stopping in the middle.  Hopefully, this will help players get over traps easier.

      - Before, when one was not under the ground and the torch was pressed, it would consume a torch and then just blow it out.  Also, when not in the water and the oxygen tank was pressed, it would consume an oxygen tank.  I thought by having it this way it would be a penalty if the player did not use them correctly.  I have since found out that most people just start pressing buttons when a game starts.  People don't like reading instructions and instead just figure it out.  By doing so they consume all of their torches and oxygen tanks.  I changed it so that now a player must be under the ground to use a torch and under the water to use an oxygen tank.  It does make more sense this way as well.  However, I still have it so that a player can press the buttons multiple times in a row consuming multiple torches or oxygen tanks.

      -  I changed the "Start New Game" to just "New Game" on the start menu.  The reason was that people at the "Octronicon" kept thinking this was where the game started.  It was not.  So I changed the text to make it easier to understand.

      - On all of the menus, I had Up/Down or Left/Right be used for navigation doing the same thing.  This confused a lot of people at the "Octronicon".  I took out the left/right.  So now to move though the menus, it's only up or down.  This seems be easier.

      - At the "Otronicon", we found an area in the game that was missing black for the underground.  I added the black in.

      - The water breath timer was changed from a clock to an oxygen tank a while back.  The training mode still had the clock showing for a couple of parts.  I switched the icon on the UI to show the oxygen tank instead.

     - Some of the audio levels were adjusted to make them sound better.

     - Before, the character just played a grunt anytime he got hurt so I added in a death sound effect for the characters.  Now, when a character loses all of his health and respawns, the respawn SFX will play (instead of the grunt).  This is a little cue to the player that he lost all of his health and will respawn.  It's these little things that no one notices that spices up a game.  This was one of the many things I learned just by standing back and watching other people play "Jungles of Maxtheria" at the "Octronicon".

     - Whenever it would rain or snow, the particle system would do so.  However, at the "Octronicon" I found that when a player moved upwards or to the left, then some of the particles (rain or snow) would not hit one side of the screen.  So I moved the position of where the rain/snow starts a bit.  Now the rain/snow fills up the whole screen no matter which direction the player is going.

Rain starts off camera at top-right & falls down-leftwards into cam view.

The Rain in Spain

 

      - 01/21/2019 - SlifkerGames attended the "Otronicon 2019" at the Orlando Science Center in Orlando, Florida from Jan. 18-20, 2019.  We showed off "Jungles of Maxtheria" to many, many, many, many, many guests.  The game content is now complete but we have to fix a boatload of bugs before it can be released.  I'm thinking March 2019 maybe?  It really depends on how quickly we can isolate and destroy those pesky bugs.  What's amazing is that I can play the game for a couple of months with no bugs at all.  Then, when you unlease the game to a bunch of kids, you'd better duck.  Bugs will be flying your way every few minutes.  To anyone that played "Jungles of Maxtheria", thanks.  To anyone that crashed my game......a bigger thanks.  You all got to see a game before the rest of the world will and I get a list of bugs to improve the game.  Now, on to fixing the rather long list of bugs.

"Otronicon 2019" at the Orlando Science Center.

Octronicon 2019

 

      - 01/14/2019 - Some more things that were done.

      -  I fixed another bug.  When the player used the location cheats from under the water he would then reappear at his desired location above the ground somewhere.  The thing was that the character would still be in swim mode.  I fixed it so he is set to normal walking mode now.  There still is another bug if the player uses the location cheats from while in the middle of a ladder.  He'll move to his new location but start out in the air as if he is still on a ladder.  I'm working on fixing this.

      -  I added a grey background behind the torch timer.  This makes it look nicer and is easier to tell it's a timer.  Before, it just reduced the clip of the torch from the top towards the bottom making it disappear.  Adding a grey background now shows the full torch at all times.

Underground torch timer now has a background.

Torch Timer

 

      -  I changed the oxygen tank breath timer from a clock to the oxygen tank itself.  It just seemed to make sense.  Also, it now has a grey background like the torch timer.  It just looks better.  The grey background is like an outline so the viewer can tell it's supposed to be a timer.

Water oxygen breath timer is now an oxygen tank with a background.

Water Timer

     

      - I added a quick intro to each stage.  You meet Jaxton Max at the start of each stage and he gives a little piece of advice.  This doesn't do anything to the game except spice it up a bit.  It sort of like a cut scene but not as long.  I don't like long cut scenes getting in the way of a game that I am playing.  I just want to get to the action part and play.  However, something seems better than nothing, so I just made these quick intros up and it seems to be a nice addition.

Jaxton Max giving advice at the start of each stage.

Jaxton Max

 

      - 01/12/2019 - I put in arrows to help the player find keys if he wishes to do so.  These 10 help arrows point towards each of the 10 keys on the current stage.  Each arrow is shown over top of a empty key slot and thus does not show up if a key has already been collected.  The player can turn this feature on or off whenever he chooses.  So if he gets stuck and just can't find a particular key, he now has a way of getting that info fast.  I envision this being a part of the full computer versions but would be an extra add-on for mobile (along with the items cheats and location cheats).  This is just one of the many additions I have thought up during beta-testing to make "Jungles of Maxtheria" just a little bit better.

 The 10 optional help arrows point to where each of the keys are located.

Arrows Help

 

      - 01/10/2019 - A couple of more updates.

      - The particle system has been fixed.  So it rains and snows once again.  Unity changed the way that particle systems worked in their latest update.  A lot of people had their particle systems stop working because of that(the particle system is used to make effects like:  rain, snow, fire & smoke).  To fix the issue it was as simple as clicking on a single button.

      - At the end of each of the 6 stages, I am adding a bonus treasure room to spice things up a bit.  Stages 1-5 bonus rooms are now complete.  After the 5th door (white) on every stage, you meet the infamous Jaxton Max who lets you enter a treasure room.  There is a hourglass timer that pops up so you only have limited time to collect as many goodies as possible.  After the timer is up, Jaxton Max gives some advice and the next stage loads.  I designed it so that the player can only get a portion of the items in the room.  However, taking a different route while collecting the items may allow one to collect more and better goodies.  When I do stage 6, it will be the ending to the game so I want to do something special.  I'm not sure yet what it will be, but it should be fitting for the end of a game.

Jaxton Max letting you into an end-of-stage treasure room.

Treasure Room

 

      - 01/01/2019 - The holidays have been good for the shear amount of work done.  Here are more things that have been done.

      - I created an area for mobile users to purchase the full game and cheats.  This would only show up if one is using a mobile device.  I am thinking that with mobile devices, the game will be offered for free with limitations.  That way a player can test out the game before buying it.  Then if the player wants, he can purchase the full game or location/items cheats.  I put in a lot of cheats that some people may want to use.  Cheat or don't, it doesn't matter to me.  It's up to the player of how he wants to play.  So let him.

     - The new version of the Unity game engine(2018.3.0) seems to have created a number bugs.  One is there seems to be an issue exporting out to Android.  So now I have to figure that out.  For the time-being I can't install "Jungles of Maxtheria" on my Android phone.  It also messed up the weather system.  So for now, it doesn't rain.  The rain sound is there, it gets dark and the lighting still works.  It's just the rain (there's an issue with the particle system culling).  They know about these issues and are working on the fixes.

 

      - 12/23/2018 - A couple of more changes.

      - The underground dirt was completely redone.  Before, when the dirt touched the surface, it was a solid horizontal line cutting it off.  This just looked weird.  I added in a top to the dirt so it looks more real (it is wavy and has a black border on top).  Because of this I had to redo the tile map for the dirt destroying the old tile map.  The result is that I had to redo all of the dirt on all of the stages.  That just means the dirt in each underground room is probably different now.  No biggie.  The end result is exits of the rooms to the surface now look a lot better.

The top of the dirt piles are no longer flat.

Main Menu

 

     - I added a variety of bridges.  When you walk over a bridge, sometimes the bridge stays solid (brown), sometimes the bridge collapses (dark brown) and sometimes the bridge collapses but will regenerate itself after a given amount of time (light brown).  This adds a bit of fun and excitement to static areas.  This was something that I wanted to do right from the beginning but never got around to it.  I'm glad I did because it does spice up some areas.

Bridges get you over things, but beware of the old ones that may break.

Aqua

 

 

      - 12/18/2018 - I added a few more bells and whistles.

      - When the character goes under the water now, he now turns blue (cue the Eiffel 65 music.).  It gives a sort of underwater blue (or aqua) look.  When the character returns to the surface, he goes back to his normal sprite colors.

      - I also added bubbles to the character that gets made after every 5 seconds after going under water.  This gives a simple non-breathing underwater effect.  It can be also used to count how long the character has been under the water.  You can use that to know how long until you need to get to the surface or to use an oxygen tank.

Under the water now changes the character to blue and has breath bubbles.

Aqua

 

      - I took out the old main menu brown background.  It was an OK looking static background that just kept moving to the left forever.  I changed it to a new background that consists of 10 PhotoShop files with alpha transparency on 10 different layers that move at 10 different speeds.  This gives a parallax look like how the game play actually is.  These are set to keep moving forever.  As a picture moves left, the far right of the picture ends and the left side of a new picture starts.  This way you always having a moving picture.  I just thought it'd look better by doing this.

The left side shows the new main menu as it appears to the player.  The right side shows the 10 pictures making up the 10+ levels of parallax scrolling.

Main Menu

 

 

      - 12/12/2018 - A few more bug fixes.

      - Many of the doors had the wrong sprite layer after being opened.  The doors looked fine when closed, but when opened the outermost door was off.  It would move from the inside to the outside.  This just means is was on the wrong layer.  I just changed their layers so they now the doors look correct when closed and when open.

      - In the settings menu, when you would change the overlay to “on” or “off”, it did not update the info in the start menu.  It would be “on” (verified from the variable info) but the start menu would have the “off” text box highlighted.  This now displays properly.

      - Some security was added to the game.  It’s not much but it is something.  We are a very small indie video game company and can not afford people copying the game.  We need every penny from sales just to pay back the last 2 years of bills.  Thanks for understanding.

 

      - 12/10/2018 - I added buttons to the UI icons at the top of the screen.  Now, when you mouse click or touch one, its hot key is activated.  You do not have to press the pause button and go through the menus anymore.  If you do not have enough coins to purchase the item, then it will not let you.  This is just a fast way to buy an item or two real fast (such as a torch if you run out).

     - Press on the UI of the knife, bullet, torch, hook or oxygen tank to instantly buy 1 of that item.

     - Press on the character's UI icon at the top-right to instantly buy 1 health.

     - Press on the top-left UI stage numbers to toggle the on-screen touch buttons on/off.

    -  Press on the top-left UI coins to change the on-screen touch buttons layout.

     - Press on the top pause UI icon to enter the full pause menu (buy/sell market).

     - Press on the top-right UI keys for audio adjustment.  This area actually has two buttons:  one of the left 4-keys and one on the right 4-keys.  The left button will mute the audio (music and SFX).  The right button will reset the audio to 0 dB (music and SFX).  These audio buttons do not have there own icons.  It's a hidden feature on top the keys UI area.  So if the boss walks in while you are playing "Jungles of Maxtheria", then you can mute the audio real fast.

On-screen button overlay "hot key" on/off toggle.

Overlay 2

On-screen button overlay "hot key" to change to the next layout.

Overlay 1

 

      - 12/09/2018 - Before, the UI at the top of the screen had a placeholder for a future addition.  I just changed this to a pause button.  If a person mouse clicks on it or presses it from a touchscreen, then the pause menu will appear.  Also, the character's icon at the top right of the screen does the same thing (for now).

     - On a side note, there are just 2 bugs left and 3 things that I want to add to the game.  They are big things to do, but the end is in sight.

The new pause UI button. 

Pause UI

 

      - 12/07/2018 - Here are a few more bug fixes.

      - After fixing the yellow keys last week, I noticed that the keys did not update properly (yellow as well at the other colored keys) when using the cheats.  Now when using the cheats the keys update properly for all of the keys.

      - When going under the water, there was an occasional bug.  Sometimes when the player got hurt, the breath timer icon UI at the top of the screen would stay off.  The timer would still work, but the icon UI was just not being shown.  This now works properly.

      - After making the demo game play from the main menu, I found that the bar at the bottom of the screen did not appear at the same time as the video.  The video bar at the bottom of the screen now dissolves in three seconds after the video.  So now after 1 minute of the main menu playing with no button being pressed, the video automatically plays.  Three seconds later the bar (with the text) dissolves in.  This just looks nicer.

The bottom bar is for demo mode from the main menu. 

Video Bar

 

      - 12/02/2018 - There were a few bug fixes.

      - The UI yellow key icons at the top-right of the screen did not display the correct number of keys.  They do now.  As simple as it sounds, it was not easy.  This took several days and several rewrites of code to do it.

The yellow keys icons at top-right now display properly. 

Yellow Key Icons UI

 

      - Before, a player who respawned on a stage or continued a game from the main menu would always start at the last door checkpoint.  Now, when the player continues a saved game from the main menu he now starts at the beginning of a stage.  However, if the player dies during the stage, he respawns at his last checkpoint.  This tries to make a player finish a level while the current game is being played.  On the continue from the main menu, any used yellow keys are gone, any opened treasure chests are still open and all doors/non-yellow keys are reset.  It's a penalty for not finishing the stage in one sitting (and avoids a player from getting treasure, then restarting and keeping it thus raking up lots of coins).

      - The bar on the main menu disappeared and stopped animating when I put in the gameplay video.  It now shows up again, 

 

      - 12/01/2018 - The mushrooms were changed a bit.  Before, they were static and just acted as barriers so the baddies wouldn't go places they were not supposed to go (the same thing that the tree stumps do).  Now, some are destroyable.  At "Free Play Florida" I noticed a young girl trying to destroy a mushroom.  She kept trying to stab one with a knife over and over.  After talking to her about it, I decided to have some mushrooms be destroyable and then give something out.  The larger mushrooms are not destroyable but the smaller ones are.  If one damages a mushroom 2 times, then it will turn into a gem worth 10, 20, 30 or 100 coins.   There is also a small possibility it will turn into one of the inventory items as well.  I do learn a lot just watching other people play "Jungles of Maxtheria".  They do things that I never would because I know better (because I programmed it).  Weird how that works.

The smaller mushrooms are destroyable but the larger ones are not. 

Mushrooms

 

      - 11/28/2018 - Some of the animated traps with spikes were modified slightly. 

       - The first thing is the invisible walls (colliders) around the spikes are now smaller.  This gives a little bit more room before the player gets injured.  So instead of having the colliders along the edges of the spikes, I cheated them in a bit.  This way the character doesn't get killed instantly on the edges of spikes, but can touch the outside of them just a bit and be OK.  A lot of games do this.  It may not be technically correct but it makes the game a little more playable.

      - Also, some of the animated spikes retracted into walls.  Some of those walls did not have invisible walls (colliders) around them.  So if a character touched a base, he would get killed.  The reason is that he would just touch the spikes.  After putting colliders around the outer bases, a character can now touch the base when the spikes have been retracted.  This was evident on one particular stage because the player would jump, hit the base of a trap and get hurt.  Now he will not get hurt until the spikes come out of the base again.

Example of colliders which are like invisible walls (the green boxes). 

Colliders

      - I added 5 minutes of video gameplay.  This was added for shows so that people walking by the booth can see the game playing if no one is at the computer.  It's like a demo that one might see in an arcade game when no one is playing the game.  From the main menu, if a certain amount of time passes, then it runs the video.  During the video, a person can press a button to reload the main menu.  If people like this feature, I may include it in the final game.  However, there are issues with different systems and what is needed for playback of videos.  We'll see, but I am leaning towards it.

 

     - 11/24/2018 - Here's a few more bug fixes and changes.  There will be more to come (I have a list to finish going through).

     - At the top of the screen, I added a new look to the UI.  The keys now have a background around them.  Also, each key is dark if the player does not posses it.  If the player does have that key, then it will be fully bright colored.  This led me to do the same with the stage numbers at the top-left of the screen as well.  The numbers are now greyed out if the player is not on that stage.

      - There were 15 music cuts before.  Some people did not like some of the slower selections.  I removed 9 of the 15 cuts and added 13 faster electric cuts.  This makes a total of 20 music cuts (1 for the main menu and 19 more for the gameplay stages).  I am not sure if this makes sense as the game is about a guy going though the jungles looking for lost treasure.  The slower cuts were more jungle themed.  The faster cuts may not work right but I’ll give it a shot and see.  With about 60 minutes of music, that should be enough time to get through a whole stage without repeating music cuts.

      - At the start of each level, the stage started with a phrase indicating if the game was set to many or few baddies.  Sometimes a bug would show the stage as “Stage 0”.  I fixed the numbering so that it shows the correct number for the stage (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6).  Also, I changed the text associated with them.  Now each stage has its own catch phrase such as “Welcome to the Jungle” for stage 1.

     - Stage 5 did not have enough gems to collect.  It was a little too hard for some people to play.  I added more gems in the middle and towards the end of the level.  We’ll see if that helps.  Balancing any game is tough.  I've been playing the same game every day for 2 years now so I think it's too easy.  The idea is to increase the hardness from one stage to the next stage.  Eventually, on stage 6, it should be a lot tougher.  However, the player at this point would be much more experienced and thus should be able to handle it.

 

     - 11/22/2018 - At "Free Play Florida" some bugs were found and I had a few ideas.  I am now implementing some fixes, changes and additions.  Here are a few I did with more to come.  Thanks to everyone who played "Jungles of Maxtheria" allowing me to see the game though other people's eyes.

     - When starting the game from the start menu, the ‘Character Select’ sound effect would not finish on faster machines.  It got cut off after ½ of a second.  It will now wait 2 seconds so the whole phrase can finish no matter how fast the computer is.

     - On stage 1, just before the big hill, I added a tree stump.  This stops the logs from rolling on top of the ladder.  The ladder is needed to climb underground and thus should not be blocked.  Before, if a player went up the hill first, then the logs would roll down the hill and stop over top of the ladder's top entrance.  With the tree stump between the ladder and the logs, the logs will not do this anymore.

     - I added a variation to the ladders.  It used to be all of the ladders were complete from the top to the bottom.  Now, some of the ladders are broken.  Some are missing the bottom.  So basically, they hang from the ceiling and do not touch the floor.  This means the character has to jump up to get to these ladders.  There are 1-3 broken ladders per stage.

     - The 'player prefs' information had the wrong area to delete the 'player prefs' in regedit.  It still told you to delete an old link.  I changed the text to “JunglesOfMaxtheria”.

     - After resetting the player prefs, on the start menu it came up with both ‘new game’ and ‘continue game’.  At this point, there are no saved games any more so you can not continue a saved game.  I made it so the ‘continue game’ text does not show up until a new game is created.

     - I noticed that one of the treasure chests would spawn a rat in to the middle of a wall.  So I went through all of the treasure chests and made sure that whatever they spawned did not spawn on top of something else.  When I did this, I found a couple other items that spawned on top of other collectables.

 

      - 11/17/2018 - "Biff's Gaming Videos" gave us a shoutout in their "Free Play Florida 2018" video on YouTube.  There is a quick clip of the game at 02m:05s in the video and another one at 19m:30s.  Thanks. 

"Free Play Florida 2018" by Biff's Gaming Videos - YouTube Video

 

 

      - 11/11/2018 -  "Free Play Florida 2018" day 3.  On the last day, they had someone go around and give out awards.  These were given to select people who excelled at what they were doing by giving good service, good-fun product and a good time over all.  I asked about the award.  He said that many people gave high marks to myself and "Jungles of Maxtheria".  He also said that his daughter had stopped by the day before and had a great time playing the game.  So thanks.  I love to hear that kind of stuff.

     I also gave out the second X-Box 360 system.  There were a bunch of kids all wanting the prize lined up.  This time we drew several tickets before getting a winner.  Each time I picked someone random to do it.  The winner?  It was one of the few adults there.  After he won I told him that the odds were favoring one of the kids to win.  Who knows?  Maybe this will find it's way under the Christmas tree this year...or maybe it won't.

     So it was a fun event.  After standing for 3 days I was just glad to get off the feet and watch some football.   It was nice to see UCF (hey, I went there) win again and stay undefeated.  Now, if only the NCAA division 1 playoff system wasn't rigged then maybe UCF would be allowed to be in the playoffs.  I won't hold my breath.

"1Up" award from "Free Play Florida 2018". 

1 Up Ribbon

 

"Paul" (ticket #147) was the winner of Sunday's X-Box 360 raffle. 

X-Box 360 Winner

 

      - 11/10/2018 -  "Free Play Florida 2018" day 2.  This was a really long day.  After 15 hours of standing, it was good to go home and get a few hours of sleep.  Everything below the knees just hurt.

     I decided to give out 2 X-Box 360's that I had from home to anyone that sat down and played "Jungles of Maxtheria".  So at 9:30pm on Saturday night, we had a raffle for the first one.  I shook up the container with 100 or so tickets inside.  Then I picked someone standing in front of me at random.  I said, "Here, pick your own ticket".  He grabbed a ticked, gave it to me, I announced the number and guess what...It was his ticket.  Everyone thought I was joking.  But yeah, it was his own ticket.  How often does something like that happen?

 

"Ant-Man" (ticket #118) was the winner of Saturday's X-Box 360 raffle.

X-Box WInner

 

      - 11/09/2018 -  This was the first day of "Free Play Florida 2018".  Warrren Davis stopped by the booth.  He programmed arcade games such as Q*bert (1982), Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).  I took this time to explain the game to him and also to ask him a few questions.  One question was if he still gets royalties.  He said 'no' because companies like Gottlieb and Williams didn't pay them out.  However, he said that he did get paid from Mortal Kombat because he found a way to fit in an extra character that they thought was too big memory wise.  He didn't program the game but got a 'special thanks' for helping out.  After he left, I told a couple of other people that meeting him in NFL terms would be like meeting Joe Montana at a local sports bar.  Really cool.

Warren Davis (Q*bert, Joust 2 programmer) stopped by the booth.

Warren Davis - QBert

 

My dad helped out at the booth on Friday.

Free Play Forida

 

      - 11/08/2018 -  For the "Free Play Florida" event this weekend, I needed to get a banner printed up to put behind the booth.  This was a large format 6'x2' color banner so it needed a special printer.  I went to a nearby "Office Depot".  First it was printed on to paper, then 10 grommets were added to the outsides, then the white border was cut off.  Thanks goes to the two employees that stayed 15 minutes after close to make it happen.  The stand just came in today so I had a chance to see if it worked.  The picture below shows a test in the living room with tie-wraps attaching the banner to the poles.  It works great.

"Office Depot" printing out large format 6'x2' color banner.

Printer A

 

"Office Depot" adding grommets to edges of the banner.

Printer B

 

Banner setup as a test in the living room.

Printer D

 

      - 11/06/2018 -  To get ready for the "Free Play Florida" event this weekend, I stopped by the Florida Mall in Orlando.  I just wanted to give a shout-out to the "T-Shirt Factory" for making our T-Shirts.  They have a kiosk by "Dick's Sporting Goods" and will make them while you wait (T-Shirts, hats, whatever).  Cool beans.

"T-Shirt Factory" peeling off excess sticker.

TShirt2

 

"T-Shirt Factory" putting sticker on the shirt.

TShirt4 

 

"T-Shirt Factory" owner showing off the final T-shirt.

TShirt-1

 

      - 11/04/2018 -  SlifkerGames has finally finished in-house beta-testing the final stage (stage 6).  There are several global bugs that will need to be fixed before we release "Jungles of Maxtheria" to open beta-testing for others to play.  This should be done by the end of the month.  There's really not much left, but I want to make sure the game is solid first.  No one likes bugs.

     As I have mentioned before, we will be showing off "Jungles of Maxtheria" at "Free Play Florida" on Nov. 9-10-11, 2018 (Fri-Sat-Sun) at the Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando, Florida. Stop by the booth to play the game and enter into a FREE raffle for a classic console (Atari?  Sega?  X-Box?).  Here is a sneak peak showing the banner that we will be displaying over top of the booth.  This is a modified banner I created for the January, 2018 Octronicon (it is 6 feet by 2 feet).  For more information about the event visit:  http://wp.freeplayflorida.com/ .

"Free Play Florida 2018" banner.

Show Banner

 

      - 10/25/2018 -  The name of the game was changed to "Jungles of Maxtheria" and the main baddie is now called, "Jaxton Max".  It is really tough to find words on the internet that have not been used so you have to create new ones.  I think this is a pretty good name and theme.  So basically the infamous Jaxton Max runs Maxtheria and has spread his treasures around the land.  You have to find his lost treasure.

     I fixed a bug on the mountain textures for the Android builds.  It crashed when doing the builds and made the sprites all blue for some reason.

      I fixed the beta's main screen to allow beta testers to see the first screen better.  It was to small to read.  Sorry about that.

     Currently, I am working on the 6th and final stage.  It is a total redo of the stage.  I have added a number of things and changed the layout.  Should be a lot better when I am finished. 

 

      - 10/21/2018 -  The name of the game was changed to "Jungles of Dytheria" (The 'Na' was switched to 'Dy').  The reason is that I did a search online and found that in the game "World of Warcraft", there is an area called "Natheria".  I did not know this.  It doesn't seem to be trademarked or anything, but to avoid any confusion, I just changed the name.  There doesn't seem to be anyone using "Dytheria" that I could find.  It may change again.  Who knows?  It is just a working title.  No biggie.

     Also, I finished redoing the animation of the characters as well.  That was a royal pain in the butt.  There are a tons of steps that have to be done one after another after another.

 

      - 10/18/2018 -  We just finished "In-House" beta testing of stages 4 & 5.  There were not as many bugs as there were on the earlier stages.  This is probably because some bugs were more of a global nature between the levels and thus were already fixed.  I also added some motion to the apes.  Now, when the character gets close to an ape, the ape will jump up in the air for its attack.  This makes it a lot harder to attack apes.  I had to change the keys and doors layout.  After walking through the purple door on stage 5, you would get locked behind it with no way out.  So that door is no longer a checkpoint that locks after you go through it.  I am currently redoing the animation of the main characters.  There were a few minor things that I wanted to fix.  After that will be the final stage 6 (the treasure room).

 

      - 10/10/2018 -  "Jungles of Natheria" has been in "In-House" beta testing for the last week.  Stages 1, 2 and 3 have been tested over and over and over.  We just finished those 3 stages usually 2-3 days per stage.  We found a slew of bugs that were fixed.  The big ones were mostly level design issues.  Either there were not enough collectable coins to buy the needed items or the player would get stuck inside of a rock.  Yeah, that is an invisible collider issue.  There were areas that pushed the player into a corner and then he would pass though the rock.  Another issue was that the baddies would bounce off of each other when they touched each other.  I changed this so that they now pass through each other going about their merry ways.  There are just too many little things to mention them all.  I did find a couple of global issues as well.  These will be fixed after all six stages have been tested.  Not a biggie.  I just have to keep going and finish up on the last three stages.  After that, we'll advance to the "Closed" beta testing phase (that is when friends, family, team members and people we know play the game looking for bugs).

  Example of a bug:  How did "Hot Spot" Harvey get inside the rock?

Bug

 

      - 10/03/2018 -  I added a number of smaller things this week.

      -  The character's knife attack was modified so he does not stop in mid-air anymore during the attack.  Gravity now will pull him down during the attack.

     - The bullet's height was reduced to make it look more like a bullet.

     - The bullet now has gravity applied to it.  Before, the bullet always stayed on the same height during flight.  Now, as time progresses, the bullet will slowly fall towards the ground.

     - The time the torch stays lit is now 60 seconds reduced down from 90 seconds previously (30 seconds for locked mode).

     - The breath time under the water is now 45 seconds increased from 40 seconds (22 seconds for locked mode). 

    -  There is now a full unlocked version and a reduced locked version.  The idea on mobile is to allow people to download the free version with limited levels and things then if the person likes it, he can buy the full unlocked version.  For computers and consoles there would be only the full version with everything available.  The locked version limits the amount of items that the character can hold (3 per item as opposed to 99), it limits the torch and breath times to 50% (30 seconds for the torch and 22 seconds for the breath), it has a max health of 3 (as opposed to 5), the most a person can carry at a single time is 500 coins (as opposed to 99,999) and most of all it limits the number of stages that can be accessed.

 

      - 9/30/2018 -  I just added a little bit of security into the game.  I know that someone who is motivated can crack just about anything, but this just makes it a little harder for the casual user to do so.  I would hope that anyone who gets the game will not copy or distribute it.  I have spent the last 2 years of my life working on this full-time borrowing money from relatives to pay the bills.  Just remember that I am not some big company making a ton of money that can absorb those losses.  It's too easy to just see a few movies making over a billion dollars a year but forget that the other 99% of films have a tough time breaking even financially.  The profits from "Jungles of Natheria", which will not be much, will go to feeding my family.  Thanks for understanding.  Next up, redoing the instructions as many things have changed lately.

 

      - 9/28/2018 - So now there are four characters to choose from;  1 adult male ("Hot Spot" Harvey), 1 adult female (his cousin Roxy Roks), 1 younger male (Jr.) and 1 younger female (Missy).  Attending shows, I have found that younger kids like playing with the younger characters and older people like playing with the adults.  Also, females prefer playing with a female character when possible.  Having several characters to choose from will make the game just a tad bit more enjoyable to whoever plays it.  Now, the next part is to add a little bit of security into the game.

 

      - 9/18/2018 - I just finished the respawn and checkpoint system.  When the player walks through a door, it closes and locks behind him.  If there is a white flag there, then that is a checkpoint (not all doors on all stages have checkpoints.  This makes some stages harder than others.  It is really dictated by the in-game puzzles as some areas can not be blocked with locked doors).  When the player gets killed, he is respawned with all of his stuff at the last white flag checkpoint.  This seemed like a simple 3-day programming job but took 3 weeks.  There were a ton of little things that needed to be done that I had not even thought about.  The biggest issues were the yellow keys and the treasure chests.  I redid the code a number of times until I finally settled on a compromise.  If the player respawns, then the open treasure chests stay open and the used yellow keys are not respawned.  Also, when changing stages all of the yellow keys are lost.  That way you start each stage with 0 keys.  This gives an incentive to seek out the treasure chests and use the yellow keys to open them before going to the next stage.

     "Jungles of Natheria" is starting to look like a finished game.  There is not much left to do before it goes into beta testing (hopefully, next month).  It is so close to being ready that I can taste it.  Up next:  adding 2 more adult characters.

 

      - 8/25/2018 - We just tested the game out on several Macs.  The frame rates are at the bottom of the page.  We did have an issue with the Logitech f310 gamepad controller not working.  It does work on Windows and Linux.  If a USB controller does not work for you then you might need to get the drivers from that manufactures website.  For this one we needed the "Logitech Control Panel" which has the drivers needed for Mac.  The game does supports controllers.

 

      - 8/24/2018 - I just finished adding some motion to the game.  It needs a little jazzing up here and there.  Now, whenever something is collected (like a gem), it flies off the screen.  Also, I went through all six stages and checked the code that places the keys and treasure chests.  I found a few bugs in their placements.  I fixed them.  It seems like a simple thing to do but we're talking over 3000 lines of code just to do that.  They should be OK now.

 

      - 8/17/2018 - There are now 2 versions of the game: standard and easy.  This was already programmed into the start screen as a selection.  The difference is that the easy version has less baddies while the standard version has all of them.  The game was designed with a full set, so I just disabled some baddies for the easy version.  Because the player still has the same cost for items and has the same number of items that can be collected, it makes the game a lot easier.  In the easy version the player has a lot more money because instead of buying bullets or knives, he can use that money to buy potions to improve his health.  The reason this option is included is because at some shows the younger kids wanted something easier to play while the older teens wanted something harder.  This should satisfy both age groups.

 

      - 8/15/2018 - It took 3 whole days to get "Jungles of Natheria" to pause correctly.  It should have taken 1 minute.  The issue is that the game engine freezes the characters globally but not the animations.  They have to be frozen one-at-a-time. There are around 300 animations in each stage.  I had to go find every single one of them and program them to freeze.  With the baddies it's just 1 line of code.  The only things that I decided not to freeze when pausing are the fire animations and the weather cycle.  That way the fire flickers but they don't grow or shrink in size.  The weather will still go through the day/night cycles as well as the rain/storm/snow cycles.  It's just a design thing.  It doesn't affect the game either way.  Now, on to making an easy version and a standard version of the game.  This should not take long.

 

      - 8/12/2018 - I just received confirmation that SlifkerGames will be attending "Free Play Florida 2018" showing off "Jungles of Natheria".  It will be from November 9-11, 2018 at the "Caribe Royale Resort" in Orlando, Florida (near Lake Buena Vista).  This is a big event that will have hundreds of arcade video games, pinball machines, tournaments, consoles, guests and lectures.  Way too much to do.  Scheduled guests are:  actor Bruce Boxleitner (Tron, Babylon 5), programmer Warren Davis (Joust 2 and Q*Bert) and programmer Brian Colin (Rampage).  Tickets are $25 a day or $55 for the weekend ($5 parking).  For more info go to: http://wp.freeplayflorida.com/ .

 

     - 8/12/2018 - Stage 6 is now done.  That concludes replacing the baddies with new ones on every stage.  All together the baddies have taken around 4 months to do total.  There are other things to do:

  • Add 2 adult characters to the game.  This will be a male and a female to go along with the younger versions in the game now.

  • When paused the action still continues (hammers) so pause the game properly.

  • Redo the instructions as they have old information.

  • Make something after each stage is complete.  This may be a boss or bonus stage.  I was thinking possibly have a bonus room with stuff to get with a timer.  So the faster a player gets to the end of stage then the more time he would have to collect stuff.  Also, the game needs an ending.

  • Separate stage 6 as a bonus level so the game ends after stage 5.

  • Make a mobile option.  When the game is released on Android or iOS, then it probably will be free to play.  However, there will be things missing.  I'm going to add an IAP store to purchase add-ons or to buy the game outright.  That way a person can play the game for free and see if he wants to purchase it.

  • Add checkpoints to the game probably after the 3rd door on each stage.  That way if the player is killed, then he will restart after the 3rd door on that stage.  If he decides to go back to the main menu, then the next time he will start at the beginning of the stage.

  • Balancing the game by figuring up if there are too few or too many collectables.  Also, see if the baddies have the proper speed and proper health points.  Some may be too easy to get past while others may be too hard.  It's close now but I think it could be better.

  • Change sound effects on the menus so going up is one sound and going down is another sound.  Currently, navigating some menus is the same sound effect both ways.

  • Beta testing.  Fixing any bugs that may pop up.

 

      - 8/11/2018 - I just finished placing the baddies into stage 5.  It was the easiest level to do.  Mind you, everything else was already done for the stage.  I just replaced the old baddies with a new set.  When the game is released, the end of stage 5 will mark the end of the game.  However, there is a stage 6.  This probably will be a bonus level.  Maybe on mobile if the person buys the game then he'll get the extra stage or something.  I'm not sure how I will do it right now but stage 6 will be included in the final game.  I didn't spend all of that time creating it to not use it.  Now, on to stage 6.

 

      - 8/08/2018 - Stage 4 is now complete.  A few minor changes had to be done but it all works like a charm now.  Over the last week I have done a number of other things as well.  I went to several computer stores and played the game on many Windows 10 laptops.  The information on the systems and frame rates are listed at the bottom of this page.  I also installed Linux on my older laptop and tested the game out there as well.  It worked exactly like the Windows version without modification.  The game was also tested out on an Android Samsung Galaxy S9 cell phone.  So, the Android version works too.  You have to change the setting to touch screen which will display the on-screen buttons to use.  I also created a set of Forums for tech support and discussions.  If you click on the "Discussion Forums" link at the top left of this page then it will take you there.  Each game from SlifkerGames has its own area.  Feel free to ask questions, report bugs or talk about the games there.  Finally, I changed the SlifkerGames Facebook page a bit and deleted the Facebook SlifkerGames group.  It is no longer needed as we now have the Forums instead.  Now, on to stage 5!

 

      - 7/31/2018 - Stage 3 is done!  I added baddies and tons of things to collect.  This took all of 3 days.  It's really not a big deal as mostly it's placing what has been already created.  I did things like making 2 more versions of the crocodiles, fixing some bugs and changing the level geometry (there was one place that the main character would get stuck in with no way out).  So, after placing the items, I played it a bit and found around 25 issues to deal with.  After that, it's fixing the issues and playing the game to look for more issues.  This is done over and over until they all have been dealt with.  Now it's on to stage 4!

 

      - 7/28/2018 - I just finished stage 2.  The baddies were replaced with new ones, the collectables were redone and some minor issues were fixed.  I did make some minor modifications to the level but that is about it.  This only took 2 days which is a lot faster than the 3-7 days I thought it would take.  There will be global things to do later after finishing all 6 stages but those things can wait.  Now, on to stage 3.

 

      - 7/27/2018 - This is something that may of be interest only to me.  Over the weekend I found a new 2D crocodile online to replace the current ones.  Basically, people will do graphics work and then post them for license on websites.  So, I purchased one for $4.50.  Anyone can buy the same croc and use it in their own games.  So, that means you do not own it but have licensed it out to do whatever you want to it.  This is a cheap way to go instead of hiring a graphics artist to start from scratch which may cost hundreds of dollars.  So, after downloading, I was creating new animations in Spriter when I got an e-mail from the bank.  I logged on to my bank account and found a bunch of transactions.  This started just after the purchase.  The bank let a few through and then shut down the rest.  I had to mark which ones I did not authorize.  The account was frozen and a new card was issued.  I just got the new card finally today.  There was no liability to me as the transactions were reversed.  As far as the crocodile goes, I animated it, created 3 different versions with different colors and then 2 variations of each.  I gave them new AI to go along with the new animations (the will open their mouths and try to bit a character that gets to close).  This gives a total of 6 different crocodiles.  The old crocs were removed and the new ones put in their places.  This finishes out redoing the old baddies and level 1.

 

      - 7/26/2018 - Stage 1 is now finished.  The baddies have been placed, the geometry is done, the collectables are finished and it's pretty much done.  There may be global things that may change later, but for the most part stage 1 is done.  Doing the baddies alone took a month for stage 1.  I didn't like what was going on so I ended up changing how they worked several times. There are 6 stages of geometry finished (all they need are baddies), so I still have to put in the baddies for stages 2-6.  After that, I will have to balance the game so it's not too easy and not too hard.  I'm estimating 3-7 days per stage.  My target date is to have a full 6 stage game ready for beta testing by Labor Day (9/3/2018).  After playing stage 1 several times, it seems it takes about 45 minutes to complete the first stage.  Now that's assuming you know where things are and how things work like I do.  When others play, they will get killed and restart several times before figuring things out.  This should give players a good bang for their buck.  Now, on to stage 2!

 

      - 7/10/2018 - I am in the middle of completely redoing the baddies.  The ones you see in the video are just place holders.  There are now about 40 different baddies each with 2-4 variations.  This gives a wide array of possibilities for the player to encounter.  Hopefully in the next week or so they will be finished and placed into the game.  Some of the baddies that have been created this month include: vultures that drop eggs from high above the player, tiny rats that attack the player's feet, a floating character that steals items from the player and skeletons that are doomed to walk the depths of the underground.  It should be fun to see all of them placed.

 

      - 6/25/2018 - I just updated the weather system (rain, snow and time of day).  The reason is that the game engine I am using stopped support of the old legacy particle system.  So, if I wanted rain and snow, then I had to redo them or stay on the old game engine.  Luckily, the guy who wrote the new particle system helped me redo some of the code.  I thought it would be a big thing but it turned out to be fairly easy.  This all should look pretty close to what it was before.  Now, the next big thing is finishing up on the baddies.

 

      - 5/21/2018 - YouTube's "Biff's Gaming Videos" just uploaded an event video of the April, 2018 "Ongaku Overdrive:  Orlando Overdrive 2018".  "Jungles of Natheria" is shown at 2m:30s into it.  It is also shown on the wide shots before that.  There are no interviews.  Now, what I did was raffle off a free Atari 2600 Jr. to anyone who played "Jungles of Natheria".  Towards the end of the video you can see footage to the drawing and the winner.  Cool beans.

Biff's Gaming Videos - Orlando Overdrive 2018

 

 

      - 5/03/2018 - I just completed a total overhaul of the treasure chests.  Before they were generic that could be placed anywhere.  That worked, but I wanted more.  Now, each chest is unique with it's own set of treasures and baddies.  This also required changing some level geometry, changing locations of some chests and locations of some keys to make it work.

 

      - 4/19/2018 - At the "Orlando Overdrive", players discovered some bugs.  I have spent the last few days fixing them.  Below is a list of what was done.  Thanks to everyone who played "Jungles of Natheria".  By finding bugs lets me make a better game for you to play next time.

- The treasure chest kept playing the same sound effect of the door opening even if it was already open.  Fixed.

- The main menu got 2 changes.  The first is the green/blue bar now moves looking like a barber poll.  The second is the SlifkerGames logo now gets bigger and smaller.  It just looked weird that other things were moving and these were not.  Changed.

- The moon was removed as it just didn't work.  This was left over from the Time of Day effects but each day is to short for the moon or sun to move.  Removed.

- There was a bug if you left a menu and came back, then the cursor guy would be on the wrong menu item.  This was due to the fact that when the menu would pop up, it was not updating where the cursor guy is placed.  Fixed.

- In the cheats menu the white and purple keys were not displaying properly.  They showed yellow/blue icons in their places.  Fixed.

- As I changed the level design the last couple of weeks, it changed the ceilings of some areas where the guy could not throw the grapple up to the ceiling.  I lowered those ceilings.  Now in those areas one can throw the grapple up to the ceiling.  Fixed.

- There were little areas here and there where the black was not there or the dirt was missing.  This was due to changing the level design.  Basically, the black that you see are just a series of black pictures.  When I changed some levels areas, I did not add some in those locations.  Fixed.

- A suggestion was made that when it snows in the winter to change the trees, mountains and hills with snow on them.  This would give it a winterly feel for those 3 winter months (Actually, as of right now each day equals a month and each day is 90 seconds long in real time.  So, a 12-month cycle takes 18 minutes in real time.  If they are any longer then the player might end the game before going through all of the seasons).  I really like this idea.  Possible: under review.

 

      - 4/15/2018 - The "Ongaku Overdrive:  Orlando Overdrive" was last night.  I showed off "Jungles of Natheria" there along with about 6 other companies showing off their games a well.  I had 2 systems running so 2 people could play at the same time.  When I was leaving home in the afternoon to go there, I grabbed one of my Atari 2600 systems (complete with Asteroids, 2 joysticks and paddles).  I decided I'd have a free raffle for it as long as people played the game.  So, I gave out raffle tickets supplied by the "Geek Easy" to any non-employee that played my game.  At the end of the night they had the raffle.  I didn't get his name, but the winner seemed happy enough.  Now, I did forget the A/V cable so I ran home and picked it up for him just before midnight.  I think the reason of the missing cable was that my car's battery died as I was loading the car.  Instead of checking the Atari, I was busy trying to get the car to work.  AAA came out and replaced the battery for free and I was on my way.  I also forgot my pant's belt as well.  When I got to the "Geek Easy", my pants kept falling down so I to called my parents to bring me a belt.  What's interesting is my dad used to have a photography studio in the same building couple of doors down back in the 1980's.  So, my parents got to reminisce about the good old days there.  Anyways, I do like this idea of giving out systems to get people to play the game.  In the future I'll probably raffle off more classic game systems at these events.  A fun time was had by all.

"Geek Easy:  Orlando Overdrive 2018" Booth

Overdrive_1

 

"Geek Easy:  Orlando Overdrive 2018" Atari 2600 Raffle Winner

Overdrive_2

 

      - 04/12/2018 - This would be only of interest to a select few but I thought it would be interesting to share how a programmer thinks.  I added a 'Convention Mode" to "Jungles of Natheria".  This is a special mode that I can trigger to do certain things.  It's not really a "cheats mode" per say but more of things I do not want to happen that in a normal game a player could do (BTW: there is a huge cheats area, but that's something different).  A video game store employee might call it a 'Kiosk Mode".  When I have shown off the game before, there's always someone that exits the game to the desktop or does unexpected things.  So, I added a mode to the game that won't allow certain things.  That way I can leave the game unattended and not have to worry about the game sitting there on the Desktop until I get back.  ..and yes, I told you this would only be of interest to a select few.

 

      - 04/11/2018 - I just received confirmation that we will be showing off "Jungles of Natheria" at the "Ongaku Overdrive:  Orlando Overdrive 2018" ("Ongaku" is Japanese for "Music").  It's Saturday April 14, 2018 from 4pm - 11pm in Winter Park, Florida at "The Geek Easy" (436 and University Blvd.).  This is a bar/restaurant/lounge/comic book store so there will be food and drinks. This event is actually a music event that has 9 video game music acts that will be performing all day and evening long. They decided to open it up to indie video game developers in their "Independent Games Showcase".  So, you can come out to listen to music, drink, eat and play cool games that have not been released yet.  There is a $15 at the door for the event.  For more info:  http://www.ongakuoverdrive.com/

 

      - 04/10/2018 - I finished a complete redo of the doors, keys and treasure chests.  Each stage now has 5 colored doors (blue, green, red, purple and white). Each door has a single colored key to open it of that color.  The new treasure chests use any yellow colored key to open them.  There are 5 treasure chests per stage and 5 yellow keys too.  A player can hold 1 door key of each color but up to 5 total yellow keys.  The doors are set in given locations.  When a new game is created, each treasure chest is randomly placed in 1 of 2 spots and each key is placed in 1 of 3 spots.  The locations are saved to disk.  That means if a player resumes the game later, then the location of the keys and treasure chests are loaded and placed in the same spots as before.  By doing this really has changed the dynamics of the game.  So now the player has better replay value.  It's not the same game over and over.  Whenever a new game is created, then new spots are randomized and saved over top of the old locations.  Then when a game is resumed, the old spots are still there.

 

      -  04/07/2018 - Changed the name from "Pitfalls of Natheria" to "Jungles of Natheria".  Working titles do change names from time to time.  The guy and girl's names were changed as well although I am not completely happy with that.  They may have their named changed again sometime.  No biggie.  Anything and everything is open to change, deletion or addition if it makes a better game.

 

      - 03/29/2018 - I had set the keys to be at the same X and Y coordinate positions for every game.  This was fine, but I needed more.  So, I set up randomizers for them.  Now when a game starts, it picks a random position for every key (each key may have up to 6 positions that they can be at).  Also, I set it up so that when a new game starts, the keys are randomized and their locations saved.  Later, if you continue the game then the keys will all be there at the start of the stage.  Whenever a stage starts, all doors are locked, keys are placed in the scene and the player will not possess any keys in his inventory.  That way you can just start the stage anew.  BTW:  everything else is saved between games and will load for a saved game (inventory, health, coins, etc.).

 

      - 03/27/2018 - I have busy working hard with changes.  Here are some of them since the Octronicon.

- Complete redo of menu system.

- Complete redo of controller input.

- Added percentage bar showing how far in the stage one is (at top/left of screen).

- When health is at 1, the guy turns red.  At health 2 it is yellow (top/right of the screen).

- Added new UI layout (top center of screen).  Now one can change its look to keyboard, joystick or user config.  A user can make it look however he wants.

- Added persistence between stages.  Going to another scene saves the items and health.

- Added treasure chests.  You need the yellow key to unlock and random things will come out.

- Got rid of the yellow doors.  So now there are 3 different colored doors.  This required a remap of the doors.

- Added random spots for the keys to be placed at.

- Added an orange hue around the guy underground with a torch.

- Added animation for torches.  When using a torch, the guy now holds a torch.

- Added a way to delete the player prefs.

- Complete redo of the start screen.  Now you can choose things like continue game, UI layout and such.

- Complete redo of the touch screen button layout.  The new ones should be easier to use on a mobile device.

- Added a frost wizard looking guy to use as a pointer in the menus.

- Partial redo of the time of day/weather system.  This will have to be completely redone as the engine Unity is discontinuing the old particle system in April 2018.  This will be a pain, but the game should run a few frames faster when I do this.

- Added a help area with pictures of the keyboard and a Windows 10 controller.  As I get more controllers, I can add them here.

- Added placeholder baddies.  Baddies need better AI and better placement in the game.  Not a big deal but am holding off until last to do so.

- Changed the market buying items.  Before, after buying an item, it got more expensive.  I changed this.  Now the items stay the same price.  That just didn't work.

- ...and a whole bunch of little things.

 

      - 02/22/2018 - The "Melrose Center Creative Expo 2018" went pretty well.  I was in the training room with several other independent video game companies.  Some were even at the "Octronicon 2018".  What a week.

"Melrose Center:  Creative Expo 2018" Booth

Melrose Center 2018

 

      - 02/12/2018 - I just received confirmation that I will be showing off "Jungles of Natheria" at the "2018 Melrose Center Creative Expo" at the downtown Orlando, Florida public library.  It is this Saturday Feb. 17, 2018 from 1-4 pm.  It should be a smaller event.  They will be giving out awards to people who used the Melrose Center to create things.  As I did the work elsewhere, I am not eligible.  However, they are allowing independent video game developers to show off their games.  So, I will be there.

 

      - 02/10/2018 - "Biff's Gaming Videos" on YouTube posted a video about the Otronicon.  About 22 minutes into it they show off the game and interview my niece Laci.  Also, it won the award (a "Biffy") for "Best Platformer Game".  Cool.  Our first award.  I am honored.  Thank you BGV.  Hopefully more will come in the future from other events.  As the OSC gets their funding by private donations and public grants, they need to remain neutral on things.  An independant group of people were selected, they played the games, filled out the forms and voted for the winners.  "Biff's Gaming Videos" made a video during the event and later announced the winners.  I was at the booth all weekend and did not partake in the voting obviously (but I really wanted to).

Biff's Gaming Videos - Otronicon 2018

 

 

      - 02/10/2018 - I found this video with a brief shot of "Jungles of Natheria" at 19m:20s - 19m:40s into it. 

RMS: Otronicon 2018 showcase/walkthrough YouTube video

 

 

      - 01/29/2018 - Joystick, input and menu system were completely redone due to feedback at Otronicon 2018.  Now there is a 'default weapon' (the knife) that is mapped to button 2.  Moved the settings from button 3 to on the screen.  You have to move the currently selected item to use it.  This allows button 2 to be the knife and button 1 to be the bullets at the same time.  Also mapped the torch and oxygen tanks to buttons 4 and 5 as hot keys.  Some joysticks may not support these buttons so they are also able to be used via the currently selected item (yellow striped rectangle).  So, you have use 4 items plus jump with a button press.  The hook and the pause menu need to be accessed thought the menu.  The main menu and settings menus were gutted and redone.  This was a big project:  three week's worth but well worth it.  Thanks for those at Otronicon with the suggestions.  I did listen.

 

      - 01/17/2018 - Here is a link to a video of Otronicon 2018 sent to me from JoAnn Newman at the Orlando Science Center.  There is a quick clip of the game at :32 seconds in the video.  The whole video is 1:37 long, so a 2 second clip is pretty good.  Thanks. 

OSC Thank You - YouTube Video

 

 

      - 01/16/2018 - Started making changes from feedback at Otronicon 2018.  I didn't want to do these things just yet, but the people have spoken.  It's basically joystick input and the menu system.

 

      - 01/12/2018 - 01/14/2018 - First public showing of "Jungles of Natheria" at the Otronicon 2018 at the Orlando Science Center.  I heard the word 'cool' a billion times boosting my confidence level of a hit game.  There were 2 laptops running 2 games.  There were always people in both seats at all times.  As soon as someone got up, someone sat down.  I think it was a big success.  Thanks to all who stopped by, played the unfinished game and made suggestions.  I did listen.

"Orlando Science Center:  Otronicon 2018" Booth

Melrose Center 2018

 

      - 01/09/2018 - Otronicon 2018 just e-mailed me confirming that I will be attending.  I will be doing Fri-Sun (not Mon).  I have a lot to do by then: logos, banner, business cards, t-short, instruction handouts and such.  It's 3 days away and the game is not working.  I am optimizing it to go faster and smaller on the hard drive.  Not the best time to show it off.  Oh yeah, the baddies have to be added to the game.

 

      - 12/15/2017 - Here is the link to the Orlando Science Center's Otronicon 2018 page of the game.  Otronicon Website - Pitfalls of Natheria page

 

      - 12/07/2017 - I attended Indienomicon at the downtown Orlando Public Library (Melrose Center).  Rupert Meghnot (Burnout Game Ventures), who I met at Florida Free Play 2017 around Thanksgiving 2017, talked me into showing off "Jungles of Natheria" at the upcoming Otronicon 2018.  That night I signed up.  They said they would e-mail me back with confirmation.

 

      - 11/24/2016 - (Thanksgiving) - First private showing of "Jungles of Natheria" at my niece's place to family members.  Very early on but basics do function.

 

      - October 2016 - Full-time work began on "Jungles of Natheria" in October 2016.  First as a 3D platformer, then a 2.5D side-scroller (that's a 3D game with the camera going left and right only) and finally a 2D side-scroller.  The 2D side-scroller worked the best.  It had to be small enough for Google Play Store, fast enough to run on mobile, cheap enough to make and easy enough for one person to do.

 

Alphabet Google Android:
    
Requires Android 32-bit (for now, but they are dropping 32-bit support in 2020) or 64-bit devices.  Requires Android 4.4 (KitKat) (API 19) and OpenGL ES2.0 or newer. As of the end of 2019, less than 4% of Android users use an OS older than API 4.4.

Alphabet Chrome:
     Most Chromebook (Chrome OS) models starting from late 2016 should have the Google Play Store pre-installed to be able to download and run Android apps.  Also, there are some Chromebook models that will run Linux apps as well.  Some older models are being upgraded as well for Android and Linux support.  Check first before you buy.

Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad):
     Requires Apple iOS 10.0 or newer.

Apple Macintosh:
     Requires Mac OSX 10.12 or newer.  Requires a graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities or better.

Linux:
     Requires Ubunti 16.04 (or newer) or Steam OS.  Requires a graphics card with DX10 capabilities (shader model 4.0) or better.  EXECUTABLE FILE: Look at the last few characters of the filename.  ".x86" is the 32-bit Linux version. ".x86_64" is the 64-bit version.  After clicking on the icon to run the game, a pop-up may appear.  Say 'Yes' to make it an executable file and run.

Microsoft Windows x86_64:
    
Requires a graphics card with DX10 capabilities (shader model 4.0) or better.  Has both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions.  It will work on Windows 7 SP1 or newer including Windows 10. 

Microsoft Windows 10 (UWP):
    
Requires Microsoft Windows 10.  Has both 32-bit, 64-bit and ARM Windows 10 versions.  Requires a graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities or better.  It will not work on Windows operating systems before Windows 10.

COMING SOON (2019)

- Currently in beta-testing with a multi-platform release projected in 2019.

 

FRAME RATES

- The game seems to run fine on most systems (except the very cheapest models of course).  The main issue that affects the frame rate speed is the screen resolution.  The higher the resolution the slower a game will run.

     - It seems the game runs fine at 60 FPS at a resolution of 1366x768 (this has been the standard laptop resolution for many years).

     - Most mid-range to high-range computers will run the game at 1920x1080 (2K HD) at 60FPS.

     - Running the game at 4K UHD screen resolution is not recommended.  The frame rate may drop to around 30 FPS and look fuzzy.  This is the case with most other games as well.

 

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