Exploding Rabbit Podcast: Episode 1 – The Early Days of Super Mario Bros. Crossover

The first episode of the Exploding Rabbit Podcast features a look at the early days of developing Super Mario Bros. Crossover.

We started a monthly podcast for Exploding Rabbit. In each episode, we’ll be taking a deep dive on one topic related to Exploding Rabbit or gamedev, and then we will have a few smaller, supplementary topics like what games we’re playing, what I’ve been working on, and anything else we find interesting.

I’m co-hosting the podcast with my cousin, Matt Gyure,  a very smart/funny guy that knows his way around code and other technical parts of gamedev. Matt knew I was trying to figure out a good way to keep people informed about Exploding Rabbit and recommended doing the podcast with me, so you can thank him.

The focus of the first episode is how I started Super Mario Bros. Crossover and what it was like working on it in the early days. It was just meant to be a test episode, but it turned out so well that we decided to release it.

Matt and I are very excited about where this thing will go. We’re open to feedback so let us know what you’re interested in and what you’d like us to change.

You can listen on iTunes,  Google Play,  Stitcher, or at the podcast’s website. Be sure to subscribe so new episodes will be delivered directly to you.

The music in the episode is from the Castle in the Darkness Soundtrack.

Refuting the Kickstarter House Rumors

What actually happened with the Super Retro Squad Kickstarter house?

As we move toward the Steam Early Access release of Glitch Strikers, (formerly known as Super Retro Squad), I thought it was important to refute the rumor that I used the Kickstarter money to buy a house for myself.

When the Kickstarter campaign concluded, our team was distributed around the country, so we thought we could save money by living in one location during development so that each individual would not have to pay their own rent. I contributed personal money (with the help of my parents) to help one of the team members buy a house that was big enough for all of us to live in. The address of this house was 6386 S Canterbury Rd, Parma, OH, 44129.

Take a look at the public records on Trulia (or wherever you want). The records show it was purchased on September 20, 2012 for $139,000, and it was sold again on October 21, 2016 for $135,000. If the records let you view the owner, you will see that it was not me; it was one of the other people on the team. I have never owned a house, and I currently live in an apartment that my wife and I are renting in Wisconsin.

Personally, I lived in the house from October 2012 to April 2016. The house ended up being a terrible decision since I didn’t get back most of the money I contributed to it. Looking back, I think it would have been smarter to rent a house since we still could have saved money by each individual not having separate rent to pay. I also think renting would have been seen as less controversial, but that is not something I expected at the time.

Super Mario Crossover Two Year Anniversary

It’s been 2 years since Super Mario Crossover was released, and many awesome things have happened since then. Also, we added another person to our team.

Today seemed like just another day, but then a bunch of people started saying stuff like “congratulations on two years of success” and “I can’t believe it’s been two years” and then I realized today is the two year anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Crossover‘s release. It seems that quite a bit has happened since that simple day two years ago, and there are many more big things to come.

I figure now is a good time to update people on what’s been going on with Exploding Rabbit. I know I usually do videos to update people, but I’ve been working so much and having so much fun that I haven’t taken the time to do it. I feel like I hit a really nice flow with working on the game. This is probably the smoothest workflow I’ve ever gotten into, and I’ve been making very rapid progress.

But “what am I making progress on” you may ask. I mentioned on the forums recently that I’m porting Super Mario Crossover to the Unity Game Engine. There are many reasons for this, but it’s mainly because it’s more powerful, easier to work with, and most important of all, more fun to work on. This will allow many more possibilities for the game, and I’ve already mentioned on the forums I’ll be adding multiplayer. I have not decided if it will be local or online, but I plan on doing online eventually. Progress on the port is going extremely well. I have all of the sprites, animations, colliders, and most of the palettes imported, so I can start writing game logic soon. It is going much faster than I thought… maybe because I work on it for like 12 hours a day.

I also have another exciting announcement. The Exploding Rabbit team has expanded yet again. We have recruited sbq92 from the forums to help us with the game. I have always been impressed with sbq92’s graphics and suggestions for improving the game, and he just seems like a nice guy, so I brought him on board. Sbq92 will mostly be doing graphics for Super Mario Crossover and adding new skins to the game. Zach’s duties are mostly concentrated on other games we’re working on, so I thought it made sense to get someone specifically to work on SMBC graphics. Sbq92 will also mostly be in charge of looking at the skins made by the community and suggesting which ones we should add to the game.

Hopefully the team will continue to expand (I’m praying for a sound/music person to fall out of the sky… if only I was more organized at the beginning when people volunteered to do music), and hopefully I’ll eventually make enough money to pay people. Wouldn’t that be crazy? It may happen soon since we’re finally working on original content.

So things are going very well right now. I feel like after 2 years I finally made some solid plans and am moving smoothly towards them. I’m very thankful for how helpful the community has been during all this time (most of them 😉 ). There are many things I learned about games and many awesome ideas I’ve heard that have helped to improve the quality of SMBC and any future games we make. I’m sure the community will continue to expand in positive ways and will continue to be a cool place to talk about games and other stuff.

That’s all for now. I’m very excited about the future of Exploding Rabbit, SMBC, and our future games. I am very confident that we will not disappoint. Happy anniversary everyone!

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 Released

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 is released. Play it now!

The day has finally come. Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 is now playable. We’ve been working on this update for over a year, and there are a lot of changes. The two big things added are skinnable graphics and a new power up system. There are about 800 tracks of music in the game now. We also added Luigi and Bass as playable characters, and because of the skinning system, it seems as if there are many more characters. For a full list of changes, see the version history.

Although I still did all of the programming, I had some help for this version. Zach Robinson did all of the custom graphics in the game and helped design the skinning system. Him and I are a team now and we’ll be working together on many future games. We also have custom music made by Mathew Valente. He’s been making Super Nintendo versions of the Blaster Master music. He’s not completely done, but you can hear a few of them in the game if you play as 16-bit SOPHIA. I’ll add the rest of the songs as he finishes them. He also made nsf versions of the Mega Man 9 and 10 soundtracks which we use in the game.

Sadly, there are a few problems in the game that I can’t do anything about at this current time because of the Flash platform. The music emulation will slow down the game for some people, especially Super Nintendo music. If this is the case for you, you can change the music console in the options menu. Adobe is releasing an update at some unknown time in the future that should address this. As soon as they release it, I’ll update the game.

The other small problem is that there is a delay when the game loads at the beginning because it is very heavily compressed. It may appear that the game is not working, but it will continue on after a few seconds. I apologize for that, but there doesn’t appear to be anything that can be done about it at this current time. This is what we get for cramming so much awesomeness into a flash game.

I’ve been working on this game for almost 3 years now. When I started, I knew nothing about making games or programming. With all of the experience I got from working on this, I now feel I’m ready to make my own game. Exploding Rabbit will now be shifting focus away from Super Mario Bros. Crossover to work on an original game, which we feel will be awesome. We’ll still update this game a few times a year with more skins, and I’ve mentioned before that we’ll add the Lost Levels in the next update. So we’ll still be updating this game, but it won’t have our full attention like it has in the past.

I expect that there will be bugs that were missed by the testers. Please report them in the bugs forum. I’m not going to fix every bug because the game is free and I could spend my whole life doing that, but I’ll be sure to get the important ones.

I am very happy this day has finally come. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it to see it all come together. We hope you’ll enjoy playing Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0. We’re very excited to finally release it, and even more excited to start working on our awesome original game. Exploding Rabbit will entertain you for many years to come!

Interview with Nitro Game Injection

I’m doing an interview with Kyle Crouse and Larry Oji from the Nitro Game Injection podcast.

I’m doing an interview with Kyle Crouse and Larry Oji from the Nitro Game Injection podcast. I’m very excited because I’ve had a huge man crush on Larry since I met him last year at World’s Fair Use Day. The interview will be broadcast live at Arecibo Radio. After the interview I’ll update this post with a link to the archived version. The interview will be at 2:00 Pacific time tomorrow (Sunday).

Edit: The interview was a lot of fun. You can listen to the entire show here. My interview starts 27 minutes in and lasts for about an hour and 40 minutes. Also right before the interview starts you can hear me say “shut up” to Iggy. 🙂

How to Help Exploding Rabbit

This is a list of ways you can help Exploding Rabbit grow.

Sometimes people want to know how they can help Exploding Rabbit, so here’s a list of things you can do. For now, building awareness is more important than getting money, so don’t worry about donating unless you really want to.

  1. Subscribe to the Exploding Rabbit Youtube Channel and watch my videos. I get paid based on video views, so this is very helpful.
  2. Like the Exploding Rabbit Facebook Page.
  3. Add the Exploding Rabbit Google+ Page to your circles and +1 it if you’re on Google+.
  4. Follow Exploding Rabbit on Twitter.
  5. Subscribe to the Exploding Rabbit Blog. You can also subscribe through email.
  6. Spread the word about Exploding Rabbit. Tell your friends to read this page, and share all of your favorite things on social networking sites.

Thanks for helping Exploding Rabbit grow. 🙂