Sunday, July 15, 2018

Adobe Flash EOL

Well, Adobe has given us some poor news a while back.

Even though it had become evident over the past few years that flash was a dying platform, they finally set the timer for the true end. According to the Adobe blog post found here, flash hits end of life in 2020. This means the end of the platform that all of our games are made in (only exception being that one test 3D first person shooter, never mentioned on the blog).

While this news isn't greatly unexpected, it means a difficult change for us here at Time Bending Games. As lead developer, college has slowed development on Battle Ball and others, as can be noted by the long time between small releases. Additionally, Co-Developer Nick Jensen has (mostly) moved on to a career in professional software development, having little time or ambition to continue his projects (mostly referring to SpaceShipCraft).

Q:   Is it the end????
A:   THIS IS NOT THE END! The bad news stops here, as plans are still being made. In fact, last week I worked on implementing a whole new update check system for Battle Ball in an attempt to shift towards a standalone game. With the change in market, players are looking to different outlets to game. No longer do we see the era of web browser based games. Instead, we are seeing a migration back to downloaded games, in the form of the now giant Steam.

Q:   So you are moving to steam? Is that the future?
A:   Not exactly. What I do know is that we need to get out of browser development, and have it happen as quick as possible. While Adobe did mention the end of Adobe flash, it mentioned that this has no bearing on the end of Adobe Air. As some of you may know, Battle Ball and Space Conquest are now on ActionScript 3, and are perfectly publishable to Adobe Air (and thus, standalone exe and mobile apk format). This is the future of our games. If all goes according to plan, I am going to try to get all of our projects running on ActionScript 3 and have them published to exe format and (hopefully) mobile. Steam, however, is a whole different can of worms. Steam charges $100 to publish, an amount of money I can't afford to invest so heavily in games I make no money from.

Well that's all for today,

As always, Cheers. Even cheers to the bad news :)


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Space Conquest v.6

What has happened?? Is this the apocalypse? Have the walls caved in on reality? No my friends, this is actually a Space Conquest update, with the last update over 4 years. We had pushed it to the side for quite a while, and when we tried to revisit it about 2 years ago, effort seemed futile because it was written poorly, had bad performance, and was in an outdated language called ActionScript 2 (Just like SpaceShipCraft still is, hint hint).

However, ActionScript 2 days are gone for Space Conquest. With this version, we have migrated all of the code to ActionScript 3, enabling the future option of exe versions, full-screen, and mobile development. Additionally, through the conversion to ActionScript 3, we have done some rudimentary code cleanup to make the project somewhat manageable (more on that in the next version). As a byproduct of the conversion, we have seen a much more stable frames per second, which is very encouraging.

Here are the release notes:
  • Code migration - as mentioned above, it is running on AS3.
  • Code cleanup - this release decreases the amount of lines of code dramatically 
  • Level addition - this release has added 4 more levels, all of which are unique and add some great new enemies to fight.
  • Main Menu - Space Conquest now has a title! Additionally, we moved the buttons to the bottom to reflect a more balanced main menu.
  • Cursor - the cursor now changes depending on if you are clicking, as well as changes between menu and regular game-play.
  • Balancing - this game features a ton of balancing. You can find this in about 6 different achievements, where we have lowered some of the pack pickup requirements, while increasing a few of the damage dealt achievements. Also, we have started off new games with more health, faster health upgrades, more energy, and slightly higher fire-rate. A few more balances were made to other upgrades as well.
As with any major change, there may be some bugs in this release. We tested pretty thoroughly, but I'm sure a few bugs slipped through the cracks. Please help us exterminate them. Until next time,



Monday, February 26, 2018


Hello Everyone!

As many of you already probably know about, we have a game called SpaceShipCraft available on our main site.

But why haven't there been any posts about it?
I feel that it is now time to mention its existence as the extent that the project got to surpassed our expectations and now deserves a mention on the blog. We do not currently have a versioning system in place for the game either, which also contributed to me not posting any updates about it. However, these reasons are no longer strong enough to not give it a good mention. Here is an overview of the games mechanic, and some possible future features:

Game features:

  • Fully designable, paintable, and expandable ships. Our ship design system includes a wide array of spaceship parts, meant to have full customization through independent key binding.
  • Ship editor - Ship editing takes place on a 32 by 32 grid, with the only restriction being all parts must connect to the bridge, and the ship must have a bridge (bridge being the 'command center').
  • Online multiplayer - The main focus of this game is online multiplayer in which you face off in free for all with your ship against everyone else's. This is where your design starts to really matter, and design efficiency really starts to shine.
  • Physics engine - albeit inefficient in rendering, the game has some very 'lifelike' two dimensional physics, all thanks to my brothers efforts. This makes the game both difficult and really fun. The physics extends not only to maneuvering the ships but for bullets and collisions too, allowing for real-time collision and part destruction. This is the heart of what makes the game fun.
  • Import system and ship sharing - Not only can you save 10 ships locally, but you can share them using the import/export feature. to accompany this, we have created a global google doc to let players try others ships. This document can be found at this link:

Development Status:
Currently I would like to consider this my brothers project. He was the lead developer on the physics of the game, while I assisted in menus and did most of the server side extension coding. He also helped with the game concept, as to what parts we wanted to be available to the player, how to balance game-play, and what we wanted for the future. I was in charge of all of the in game art, from parts to the star parallax to the (rather basic) menu layout.
We did work on a development version that introduced multi-room online gaming, but the future development has been put on hold since our lives have become more busy.
I hope we will someday be able to return to development of this promising game, but for now, I would like to leave at least a shout-out to its existence. Like always, feel free to comment with any suggestions you have.