It’s a New Year

It has been an eventful year for us at Finger Gun Games. We have a second game out that has been proving quite the success, and people are enjoying the experience of learning Japanese with Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese. Next Friday is the Nintendo Switch event, which will reveal more details about it, and hopefully some news for us smaller devs. The sooner we get access to dev kits, the better. We’ll be porting Stone Shire and Ohayou! to the Switch. I’m very interested in the performance aspects. If its CPU ends up being good enough, we can effectively have the water flowing aspects turned back on. There’s some other optimizations I want to make to expand the world size, too. I’m pretty excited. Once those things are solved for Stone Shire, I can then focus on adding actual challenges to the game, like monsters and survival.

The next thing on our list is to figure out what our next project will be. We’ve been brainstorming a lot of good ideas, so we’re not yet ready to commit to one just yet. When we do, however, we’ll make sure everyone knows.

Ohayou Off-TV Mode & Porting to iphone

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Hi there, and Happy Holidays from Finger Gun Games!

As we work to add Off-TV mode to Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese so players can comfortably learn the game anywhere, we are also preparing to port the game to iPhone. So for those who been wanting to experience the game and do not possess a Wii U, it’ll be coming right to your phone in a couple of months. We look to bring it to Android soon after. Once dev kits for the Nintendo Switch are made available for independent developers like us, we’ll be getting one so we can port our current libraries to the new console, too. I, for one, am looking very forward to the Switch’s new hardware. Here’s hoping it doesn’t bottleneck Stone Shire any longer, which will not only allow it to run smoothly, but allow me to bring back the water flow feature.

As for whether the game is coming to the Nintendo 3DS, we will have to wait and see what the announcement of the Nintendo Switch will be come next month to see what the future of the handheld will be. We could very well still be able to make a port for the system if Nintendo still looks to support it. But even if that isn’t the case, we are still likely to develop a port anyway, considering 3DS is still a unique system from the Switch single-screen mode.

Next year is going to be very exciting. For those looking to get their family or friends something for Christmas, both Stone Shire and Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese are $3.99 on the eShop for both NA and EU, so grab yourself a copy anytime. The sale for Ohayou runs from December 15th to Jan 5th for North America. For Europe and Australia, it will run from December 22nd to January 12th.

Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese 1.1 Patch Notes

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Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese 1.1 Patch Notes

The follow changes are coming in the upcoming patch, which should be out either this week or next for both Europe and North America.

  • You can now scroll up and down with the D-pad if you do not wish to use the joystick.
  • Your last position is now saved on the lesson screens so you don’t have to scroll back down when you finish a lesson.
  • Character duplications in the “d” and “z” Sound Game lessons have been removed. No more confusing two characters of the same type popping up.
  • The issue with no star showing up when you get five stars in all lessons in either the Hiragana or Katakana category of the Sound Game has been resolved. Before, if you got five stars in all lessons in either the Hiragana or Katakana Romaji Games, the star to show that you completed them all will also show up in the Sound Game menu.

Stone Shire Patch 1.2, Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese Release Dates!

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Hello, Stone Shire players! Today, a patch has been released live to the European servers (and should come later this week for North America). 1.2 will be introducing the new water building feature, which will allow you to create your own bodies of water. In game, simply press the X button to switch back and forth between water building and normal building mode. Water no longer flows automatically, which increases the framerate of the game.

The game’s lag in editing the terrain has also been reduced, so you should expect greater response times and little disruption in play.

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Our japanese teaching game Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese finally has North America and European release dates. It will be coming out on November 17th in North America, and November 24th in Europe and other provinces.

For more details, visit the pages below. The EU Game Page has not been created yet by Nintendo. I will update this post when it comes in.

Nintendo NA Game Page
Official Game Page

Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese Completed, Stone Shire Patch 1.2, and Nintendo Switch

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It has been a grueling five months of work, but we have finally completed Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese for the Wii U. The game took a lot less time to make than Stone Shire, that’s for sure. We’re excited to finally have it done and are now waiting on approval for it from Nintendo. After that, we’ll be able to say a release date for it. We may release a patch in a month or two that will add vocabulary, based on how long it takes to implement. But with the Nintendo Switch now a thing, we may just delay it until then. We’ll talk about Nintendo’s new system in a moment.

In the meantime, the 1.2 patch of Stone Shire has also been completed, which took only a weekend. To improve frame rate, the water flowing process has been removed, and lighting updating has been optimized. Players should see a large difference once the patch is deployed. Its release shall come as soon as it’s done being approved.

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Now, on to the big topic of the week: the Nintendo Switch! I’m happy they announced it, because it’s very significant for the future of Finger Gun Games’s development. Hearing that Unity will also be supporting the system, porting our current games to the new system is now possible. In addition, I’m very curious of the Switch’s specs. At the moment, Nintendo will not release any, but based on the hardware it’s based off, the Nvidia Shield, we can garner a clue to its construction. Based on a couple of studies, it could be that the system is using the Tegra X2 chip. To compare its performance, the hardware has been known to be able to play games at 1080 @ 30 to 60 fps, or 720 @ 45 to 60 fps. Apparently, it’s a 64-bit six-core chip, with two main cores that are considered the major haulers of performance. The Wii U had three based on tech studies, so the only thing we will have to see is if the version in the Nintendo Switch is as fast, if not faster.

I wasn’t disappointed by the GPU in the Wii U, so I’m sure it’ll be just as reasonable around this time. If anything, my only gripe about the Wii U was always the CPU, so it’s the one thing about the hardware I’m curious to see the full specs for as a programmer. I will say one thing: having a good GPU means having a large module with good cooling. The Switch looks a lot smaller and slimmer than the Wii U’s hardware. This has me skeptical of performance, mostly because we all know in the computing world, the more powerful a GPU is, the more heat it will generate, and thus the more cooling you will require. That’s why cellphones are like microwaves when you try to play app on your phone. You never felt any heat from the Wii U GamePad because it doesn’t harbor this kind of hardware, but this time around, the Nintendo Switch will. So the hardware is probably optimized to be as least disturbing as possible. I’m also curious if the docking mechanism actually has another GPU we aren’t aware of. If it’s meant to be a console hybrid, I’m assuming that having that component isn’t just to hook the tablet to a TV while charging it. I’m sure that thing holds a lot more inside it.

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As you can see above, there’s vents built into the top of the Switch handheld device, so Nintendo has prepared for that scenario where the thing is going to be running games that could cause quite the heat-up. If there’s anything to take from it, it’ll probably be no worse than the PS Vita. That handheld holds fine for playing good graphical games, so the Wii U probably won’t have too much of a problem. The size of the device seems to put it at bigger than a vita, so if anything, it’s probably better at its job, too. This is Nintendo, after all. I’m sure they already solved this problem.

So in summary, I am looking forward to the Switch. The only thing left is to see its specs and its touchscreen (which is rumored to be multi-touch), but it’s very likely Finger Gun Games will be continuing support for Nintendo’s next system.

-Cordero