The year 2016 has seen many ups and downs in everyday life, including the unfortunate loss of many celebrities and people who play important roles in our lives everyday, from George Michael and David Bowie, to Gene Wilder and Alan Rickman and certainly not forgetting the greatest to ever live, Mohamed Ali.
Whilst these untimely losses mean so much to us, we should take heed of what they have achieved individually and what they have accomplished to inspire us and they should aspire us to achieve whatever we can in life. 2016 may have brought some form of misery to the table but on the flip side, we have seen some treasures designed, developed and flourished in the game development world.
Let’s take this opportunity to recap what 2016 has brought us in the game development world.
New Game Releases
First off, let’s start with what has been officially and unofficially released this year, primarily with Clickteam products.
Little Walker is first up, released by Flipswitchx on Steam. A cool, arguably pixelated platformer with some super-cool physics. We also saw the release of The Miners game early on in 2016 in which you dig for treasure using a team of miners, to compete against opposing teams. Then we also saw the official release of Tisnart Shapes not so long ago which offers a crazy amount of features for what on the face looks like your typical match-3/4 game but really isn’t. Jam-packed with puzzles and boosters, it offers alot more than your regular game (with 135 levels too)!
Before we sign off on these, let’s not forget Five Nights at Freddy’s Sister Location. The new take on the Five Nights at Freddy’s guarantees to inject fear into you like no other game. Like it’s predecessors, the FNAF series has brought a whole new dimension to gaming and is available across the board including desktop, steam and mobile releases. There is also confirmation from Warner Brothers that there will be a FNAF movie to go ahead, which is rather exciting to see.
Game Development 2016
Game development has been strong this year. Every year increases the number of indie game developers and the amount of users using Clickteam Fusion 2.5 to create their games. We saw two incredibly huge runtime releases this year, the first one being a primary runtime release for UWP, the new Windows games exporter. UWP allows you to export your games to Windows mobile and the Windows Store which comes bundled with Windows 8 and Windows 10.
We also saw the release of the long-awaited Clickteam 3D extension pack Firefly which now allows you to create 3D games using the Irrlicht engine inside Clickteam Fusion 2.5. The extensions provide the link between the Frame/Event Editor and the 3D engine itself. The series of extensions allow you to communicate with the 3D engine in a way never seen before thus enabling you to create absolutely any type of 3D game.
As expected, I think some people were under the influence that you click a button and Fusion 2.5 automatically generated a 3D game for you… Of course, the set of extensions provide all the functionality you could possibly want, but like any 2D or 3D game, you have to put the work in. Fusion 2.5 doesn’t know what type of game you want to create but it does provide all the necessary links for you to create any type of 3D game you want. Granted, there is a lack of documentation for the time-being, but this is being improved every day with new documentation appearing and users providing assistance with their developments too.
Game Development Tutorials
Clickteam have always aimed to provide as much content, material and documentation as possible in the form of tutorials, videos and downloads/examples. I know this because, I personally was brought on to assist and help with this initially as well as other things but it is important and Jeff and I, more than anybody realise how important documentation is to users which is we always try and focus on as a priority. 2016 brought some new advancements forward in the way documentation is to be set out.
First off, we have the release of the brand new Clickteam Library. It’s an electronic, online form of all the manuals online. It’s still in development but the framework is available publicly, it just takes time to convert all the previous manuals to upload online, so be patient. However in contrast to awaiting the port of existing material, there is new material being written by Clickteam members especially for Firefly so it’s worth a look today.
We see the amazing Sparckman is still producing YouTube video tutorials for everyone to watch. The thing we like about Sparckman is, his stuff is a little exuberant; it’s full of life, excitement and rather fun to watch but in the midst of all of this, the key thing he is still providing, is content. Video tutorials that will allow you to learn. That is the key attribute here that we must never lose focus on.
Finally, the end of the year saw the release of the brand new Clickteam Fusion 2.5 online course. The new FusionRAD online course is exclusive to Clickteam Fusion 2.5 users and caters for the Free, Standard and Developer versions. The course has a full curriculum of learning Clickteam Fusion 2.5 from top-to-bottom whether you are a brand new user or an experienced user. There is lots to learn and this FusionRAD course provides written tutorials, video tutorials, downloads and open-source example files. It is being worked on every week with new material added and also features a “live lecture” from the tutors every other week with a live stream. It costs as low as $7.50 per month and you can subscribe for as long as you like. You also get direct support from the tutors and other students. The FusionRAD Clickteam Fusion 2.5 online course is well worth a look.
Mac Editor Mac Exporter
Yes, it will arrive and just in time I think. We know people have been hungry for the Macintosh release of Clickteam Fusion 2.5 and the Mac exporter. You maybe wondering why it has taken the time it has, let me take this opportunity to elaborate a little, I can really only give you this in a nutshell because I haven’t actively been working with it myself so I can only speculate on what I know.
Clickteam don’t want to release sub-par products, as you wouldn’t want them to… and whilst both the Mac Editor and Exporter are golden gems of releases, there have been 1-2 kinks that have been extremely hard to iron out. This is because Clickteam Fusion 2.5 is natively designed for Windows as far back as it goes. 7-8 years ago, the thought of releasing Clickteam Fusion 2.5 on a Macintosh would’ve made the guys laugh, but in 2016 it’s an even more serious time for developers and Clickteam know this. Yves and co have been put through the mill with the Editor and Exporter but it is finally almost complete. Yves was waiting on 1-2 bugs that appeared with the latest BETA release of Fusion 2.5, so he had to address those bugs first then port over to Mac to test that out.
Those kinks now appear to be ironed out and I see the marketing material being put together, I know there has been some more testing done even over Christmas as Clickteam are very, very keen to get this out of the water. I expect we will have an official release of the Clickteam Fusion Mac Editor and Mac Exporter within the next couple of weeks.
Game Development in 2017
Well, I think I predicted 2016 quite accurately last year in my sign off statement and I hope I can predict rightly for this year also. It’s been an interesting year overall. Lots of developments coming out of the woodwork from both Clickteam and users developments. We have seen the introduction of the Fusion 3 blog posts directly posted by the two main developers Anders and James here at Clickteam. Every single Monday we see a new blog post giving a sneak preview of Fusion 3 and it’s features.
One thing I can say for 2017 is, we will (99%) see Clickteam Fusion 3 released. It’s been highly anticipated for such a long time, the hype surrounding the Fusion 3 blog posts seems very well received and constructive also. Clickteam are reading what the users want, there is no doubt about that. I see what gets talked about on a daily basis in our chat room. It will be a very exciting year and it’s a going to be a huge achievement for James and Anders, aswell as Clickteam.
Remember, we still have Clickteam Fusion 2.5 to support as an active product so we have to share the workload where possible but it’s mostly James and Anders running the cogs on Fusion 3 development with of course lots of input from Yves. Yves is still heading the development of Clickteam Fusion 2.5 and he takes care of all the internal Fusion 2.5 bugs, beta testing, all the installation distributions, handling of standalone versions from steam versions and a lot more.
We have some new hands on deck to help with documentation including Daniel and Olivier for the primary product aswell as helping out with Firefly documentation too. So 2017 is going to be all “hands on deck” for everybody here at Clickteam to help with Fusion 3 development even if its just documentation building, prepping user material aswell as testing the product. There’s a lot in store and a lot of games that are in development such as Spryke and Zarf which are due official releases, hopefully in 2017, not to mention Jarvis and I’ll be keeping my eye out on Heart Fourth: Alicia too.
It’s been a great year overall and here’s a cheer to a hopeful 2017. I’ll see you on the other side.