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BlackDeath

 

It has been some time since my last post. Short story is I have been working my industry job and been consumed with the current project I am working on. Right now I wanted to focus on a Game Jam from the end of last year, that was extremely productive but in the end turned out to be more destructive to moral.

 

The Start

 

The goal was to make a game for the Walking Dead Jam, an event put on by Skybound Entertainment the people behind the comic book and not the t.v. show. One of the most enticing elements of the event was creating a game inspired by some of the elements of the Walking Dead universe. It is an amazing universe and spun off other great titles like the Tell Tale Adventure game. We needed to make something over the weekend and we had our sights high on the production quality. So my friend Brenton Sewell and I enlisted some of our friends to help. Our goal was to make a First Person Arena Survival game, set in a medieval world where the black plague turned people into zombies. Ben Braman and Nicklaus West helped us with music tracks and sound fx, something we would barely tackle in a normal Game Jam but wanted to have a complete experience. Dan Williams created the excellent zombie model and rig for the game, to give us a fresh take on zombies inspired by the comic series. They were all a huge help for the game and pushed the quality of the experience much further than a normal weekend project. We were very happy with what we were able to contribute to the event.

 

 

The Verdict

 

We did not place in the competition. We did not place because of the design of the game, controls, art, and anything included in the game. We did not place because the game could barely run on their test machines… what were they using … Macintosh laptops. We were aiming to create an awesome game that was on par with high quality PC game specs, so it was a huge shock to hear the people that were running the event and including rewards like Steam green light access, were using computers that could not run 90% of the games that are currently on Steam. Contacting the event organizer, I tried to see if there was any other way they could test our game and the only response was to “magically” optimize the game to run on this much lower spec, something that would take as long as the creation of the game. I was pissed and even more in outrage with amateur at best games they chose for the finalists.

 

–Post Mortem-

 

The Good

For 48 hours I am incredibly happy with how the mood was captured in the game. It has bits of creepy horror, spooky, and ominous. It was a great practice for fast level creation and one of the first tries with fps controls. The art that was contributed was fantastic, and couldn’t ask for better music.

 

The Bad

The A.I. of the enemies needed to be more interesting and versatile. For an action game, the game is only as good as the challenges you put forth and if it is something you are battling every couple of seconds, it needs to be interesting. For this game I only had the time for a simple follow A.I. behavior that didn’t even do a great job. The enemies don’t have to be super clever, but adding attacks, jumps, or other interesting behaviors would go a long way. If I would ever do a game like this again, I would look for an A.I. package to have as a building block.

 

Final Word

I would like to thank Brenton Sewell, Ben Braman, Dan Williams, and Nicklaus West to contributing this project. Lessons learned, be aware of what the motives of the judges are and build accordingly. Also look for a jam that has a large contribution and feedback community like the Ludum Dare Jams. They are a much more constructive environment and a huge boost to your skills even if they don’t have physical prizes.
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Hey everyone I am working on a table top game for a skillshare class taught by Grant Rodiek. You can find a link to the class HERE –> http://skl.sh/15MfoTc

The game I am making is called Home Wreckers and you can play with a standard set of playing cards. I am going to be play testing and tweaking in the next week, but look forward to a post with refined instructions on this blog. In the mean time you can play the beta version now by following the instructions on my skillshare project here —> http://www.skillshare.com/Pass-Go-Design-Your-First-Table-Top-Card-Game/2088475817/projects/15782

HomeWreckers

Ludum Dare 26 is over and there are over 2,000+ great games for you to check out. Head over here to play for yourself. http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/

You can also play my game Rogue Pirates right here, just click on this beautiful rendered art to launch the web version. Set Sail for Adventure.

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Screenshots

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Link to my Ludum Dare Page = http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-26/?action=preview&uid=16170

Over the weekend a group of friendly developers and I participated in the global game jam and were lucky enough to find great hosts here at the IGDA Manila. We made a game called sleep walker.. you should play it… just click this lovely screenshot to be magically transported.

play here

This game is very different from what you should make for a game jam. Normally you should make one good mechanic get it up and running, make sure its fun and build off of that. With Sleep Walker it was an experiment with creating a mood and story that the player can unravel and have a meaningful experience. This something I haven’t been able to touch on too much with my previous games so I really wanted to dive in and try something new. For this game I was able to do concepts, story boards, level building, scripting, modeling, and sound / music. Our goal was to shoot for an artistic experience that was playable. By the end of it we were able to win Most Avant-garde at the Manila Game Jam and some good praise.

I have been wanting to make a game like this for some time now, so glad to get it out and shoot for even better experiences next time.

By the way you can check out the quick storyboards that make up this game.

Whole Story Board

Ludum Dare 24 is in the can now and voting has closed. Here are the results for my game jam entry Existence: Evolving with Video games . I am happy to see that what I aimed for scored well, and its great feedback for my first shot at a solo game jam. This voting was out of 1,000 + plus entries. The theme scored the highest, which I am glad to see pushed most of my vision for this game. Sound was the most surprising, scoring very high for my first crack at doing my own music and sound effects.

All and all, it was a great experience and looking forward to doing better in the next Ludum Dare .

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