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Dirk Dashing 2 Production Update

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My Game Company have sent out their May 2011 Newsletter, written in it is a little snippet regarding Dirk Dashing 2 progress.

QuoteDirk Dashing 2 Production Update

Jesse Hopkins has been officially hired to compose the music soundtrack for Dirk Dashing 2! We signed the contract last week. Jesse produced some awesome music for The Adventures of Rick Rocket, which really added to the game and made it feel like a big Hollywood production. I'm pleased to be working with him again on this new project, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.

I finished building 3 more levels last month. It would have been 4, but I've really struggled with the design for what should be a very simple level. I've decided to skip it for now and move on. I'll come back to it later when inspiration strikes.

Here's a screenshot from one of the levels I built last month, showing off some of the new background art:

Full Newsletter:-

Website:- Article taken from
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The comments on this article are closed.
MyGameCompany 7 May 2011 at 2:55 pm UTC
Hi Rustybolts,

I just want to thank you for posting the news about my game to your readers. I know that you've been faithfully posting my newsletter updates almost every month, and I really appreciate it. As an indie developer, I need all the publicity I can get!

Troy Hepfner
My Game Company
Rustybolts 7 May 2011 at 10:38 pm UTC
Cheers Troy!
Looking forward to the release of Dirk 2, I already have and enjoy playing Dirk 1, Oh and welcome to the forums!
MyGameCompany 8 May 2011 at 2:37 am UTC

I took a look at your web site for Helena the 3rd, and watched the video. Unusual name, but it looks really good. I like the 3D aspect of it, and it seems like the tank has lots of weapons and abilities. Looks like it would be a lot of fun to play! Good luck with it!

Sometimes when I look at what other developers are working on, I get discouraged. Dirk Dashing 2 isn't nearly as technically or visually impressive as other recent platformers, nor is it necessarily as innovative. I'm only one guy, so I have to focus on areas I'm strong at, like story and gameplay. However, I've worked hard to improve the graphics, and I think Dirk 2 looks much better than the original. Adding cel shading to the characters, lighting effects, shadows, and a wider variety of textures and background art has really improved the visual aspect of the game. Hopefully players will agree.

From the gameplay standpoint, I think Dirk 2 is a lot of fun. He's got more moves, more weapons, and more gadgets. He's got a health system, so there's no more instant death. And the new inventory, which gives you the ability to pick up gadgets and use them whenever you want, has allowed me to get very creative with the level designs. Having gadgets in your inventory often gives you multiple solutions to various obstacles and puzzles that you encounter. And since the player can carry the x-ray glasses around with them, I've gotten more devious at hiding stuff. ;) The health system has also enabled me to create more dangerous/intense situations for Dirk, which makes the game more exciting.

I'm eager to complete this game and see what people think of it. I just wish it didn't take so long to build the levels!
Brandon Smith 9 May 2011 at 8:19 am UTC
Well your game is very polished Troy, and it sticks to what it does well.

Just curious though, why not team up with others? I'm sure there are level designer and artists out there that would love to work on a published game?
MyGameCompany 10 May 2011 at 12:14 am UTC
Hi Brandon,

Possibly. The thing is they would have to be willing to work for free, since I can't afford to pay them. I don't know of any decent artists who are willing to work for free, to follow the art style that I want, and to turnaround art in a relatively quick time-frame.

Finding level designers who would be willing to work for free might be a more likely possibility, but I don't have a level editor they can use per se - they'd have to be willing to work with XML. Plus some of the elements in the level can be pretty fiddly to build.

A few years ago, I talked with Erik Hermansen from Caravel Games over e-mail, and we discussed some of pros and cons of working with a volunteer community. I had heard an interview with him in a podcast where he talked about this topic, and I wanted more information. He had a lot of good experience to share. Apparently, managing a volunteer community is a lot of work, and what he said made sense to me. Depending on the game, you might find lots of volunteers who would be willing to help. But it can take a lot of time to train people and help them learn what to do. And identifying people with genuine talent who can produce the quality of levels or art that you need can take time. Inevitably you're going to pick up well-meaning volunteers who love the game and want to help, but just can't produce anything of a decent quality - and then you have to deal with them as best you can without hurting their feelings when you ask for lots of revisions or have to outright reject their work. Plus, there are volunteers who can't churn things out in a timely manner, for whatever reason (work, school, family, outright laziness, etc). I would need to a full-time person just to manage such a community, and I can't afford such a person. At least not yet.

Thanks for the suggestion, though, Brandon. I appreciate your response.

Eventually, I'm hoping to be able to grow the business to the point where I can afford to hire people to help more. I can afford a little right now, but I have to manage that wisely. I've budgeted for a musician, and I subcontract out certain key art pieces to an artist I know in the Philippines (the same guy who did the bulk of the artwork for my Rick Rocket game). Also, I have a good core of volunteer testers made up not only of family and friends but also some customers who are very supportive of my games and some fellow indie developers that I work with (we all test each other's games and help each other out when we run into difficult technical issues). So I do team up with some people in certain capacities.
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