Monday 9 March 2015

Belts of Conveyance

So you might be pleased to hear that after being pretty burned out on Blackshift for the past mumble months, I've started getting back into it lately.

I waited until now to do a blog post because it turns out that when you pick up a project after letting it languish for a bit you'll probably find that your code has rotted and you have to do some fairly boring and non-blog-worthy work to get it all nice again.

Case in point: the GUI library I was using, Berkelium, is now no longer supported, and the similar commercial library, Awesomium, which I was already halfway-through migrating to, seems to be in a state of disrepair too. So I had to spend some time integrating with CEF instead, which will hopefully stick around.

I've made some good progress creating some levels, but those are SECRET so here are some conveyor belts.


  1. Yeah, I know how you feel about delays. Pretty hard to get back into the game again and then, you forget stuff. Either way, your fans are still with you Rob. Maybe you're in a funk but don't get crazy! Ha ha ha... Looks like you are having fun developing this thing and we all cannot wait to have as much fun as you are! Ha ha ha - Me and the boyz and gurlz will stick with you till the end!!!!

  2. This looks great, I like the speed of the Box on the conveyor


  3. Great to see Sabik monitoring your progress Rob. His stuff was always awesome! There are more waiting in the background for you to finish - impatiently I must add but I have confidence because you never quit!

  4. You bet there are!
    Awesome, Rob is back :D now keep it up!

  5. Great stuff, glad to see you back!

  6. HELLO! HELLo, HELlo, HEllo, Hello, hellooooooooooh! Hmmmm, seems to be an echo in this empty place. Rob has once again, left the building while the thronging crowds are awaiting an encore.... Pout pout! May have to send Lazer darts up his butt to get him back to work! No updates, so sad :( Oh well, at least Xin is back! Crazy hard levels - don't think I finished your last one because my computer crashed - ha ha ha!

  7. My word I miss this so much.

    The former location of Netshift still has a spot in my favorites. I think I would try to pledge some amount to a Patreon whose sole reward was the return and upkeep of that game just as it last was.

    Lately I've tried playing Chuck's Challenge 3d and while I still kind of like the pure 2d top-down look better it at least convinced me that a game like this can look good and still make sense in 3d. It was a little like *shift but just not the same.

    I'm rambling near midnight so I'm sorry if this doesn't make any sense.

    1. Hey man, thanks for the words of support.

      I really don't want to be that indie game dev who starts a massive project and drags it out forever, though at the same time I do realize I am totally doing that.

      When I saw Chuck's Challenge I did think, ah, looks like someone made my game better than I could, but it's good to hear that it's not that similar.

      I'll have a closer look at Patreon — I may be wrong but I believe it's one of these things like Kickstarter where people pay first and then the game gets developed at some point in the future? If so I'm a little wary of that, and I'd prefer to finish the game first and charge people for it once it exists.

    2. Patreon is actually more like a pay-what-you-want maintained subscription service. It's a good way for people who maintain continuous or frequently-updating content and don't want to put it behind a paygate or ads, such as people who make videos on youtube or Blip or whatever. I mentioned it because it seems like it would be a good way to afford the upkeep on something like how Netshift used to be.

      To be more specific, the mechanics of Chuck's Challenge are markedly different, I don't think I saw anything like the bullets+mirrors or lego blocks (sticky blocks? I always called them legos) of Netshift for example. It's also a bit glitchy, and its level editor's load function is broken at the moment (i.e., it seems to be impossible to save a level in progress and load it later because a certain necessary interface won't respond), which is pretty terrible.

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  8. *It's a good way for them to make money that is, sorry.

    Also, one thing that's odd about Chuck's Challenge is that they went to all the trouble of making the game's GRAPHICS 3d but then left the gameplay completely flat. I think there's a lot of potential in the idea of being able to build a level upward (like, in discrete floors with "stairs/elevators" and "pits" that fall down) in addition to in the 2D plane. I dunno.

    Not that Blackshift should have to do that either though, I mean, even just talking about the potential of the idea I can imagine how much trouble it could also be to reconcile the mechanics and graphics to something like that.

  9. Hey man, MASSIVE fan of Blackshift. Can't wait for the new version to come out. I'd absolutely love if netshift was back online in the mean time. Blows Chuck's Challenge right out of the water.

  10. Xindaris, if it were 3D, I would never be able to finish your levels :) - I mean, they chewed up so much resources that it would be nice if I could flush my cache in the middle of the game! Yeah Nathan, t'would be nice for a bit oh Netshift just to soothe the pain of waiting for the big one! There were a few levels I still need to beat. Rob could license it out to a gamer site I know and make some cash if he wants, but then again, he is a perfectionist so, still waiting for the new game to come to fruition but the wait has been long :( :( ! At least Rob, put your new version of SSB on you page! :)

  11. This looks really nice! :)

    Also, what happened to Netshift? I adore this game and I loved playing it when I was younger. Is there any way to play it again?


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