Just as a heads up, “Resonate” is currently being re-worked from the ground up after some feedback from GDC. The concept is there, and it’s obvious you guys dig the idea of a top down platformed in a 3D world. Execution is king here.
In the meantime, I will be updating the blog and working on a couple smaller (web-based) games as experiments that will ramp-up to the full on development of “Resonate”. This time around I will NOT be working with Desura (for various reasons). If you purchased “Resonate” from Desura, no worries! I have your information and I will be contacting you individually. To ensure you stay in the loop and are one of the first to play “Resonate” and the other games that come in the process of it’s development.
Project number one is called “Obelisk”. It is for the Experimental Gameplay Project (http://experimentalgamplay.com). This game will be a variation of two of my favorite type of games.
The controls for the game are one button and one button only. The player utilizes timing and their knowledge of spacial relationships in a 3D version of the arcade game (that I wasted waaaay too much money on) “Stacker”. The player has a set number of shapes (varying in sizes and shapes) to stack and can choose to throw them away for “better” pieces (randomly picked from a matrix, so there is no guarantee). There will be a set goal of how high the tower needs to be before the player is allotted more shapes. Every time the player surpasses a checkpoint, the structural integrity is tested with a bombardment of projectiles of various sizes. Thus, turning the game into a tower defense style game where every block placed needs to be placed for a reason. “Score” is measured by how many units high the obelisk is. Stack shapes to see how high you can build your Obelisk!
The game is to be completed within 7 days, and I’ve only been working on it for an hour or so and it’s looking good. Feeling pretty confident that the game should be up on a web platform within the 7 day mark.
GL GL to all who are participating in EGP this month!
I feel this past year (in particular) I have been pin-holing myself as a programmer in development. This came to me in my most recent interview with KIXEYE. The technical recruiter said that he could tell by just how I talked about games and what I had to say that I was a designer at heart and that going into programming (in a larger development setting/team) would be a sort of repression of my passion ultimately leading to me failing or being burnt out (which I find to be worse). What’s interesting about this, is that all of the games I have worked on or prototyped, I always have hit a motivational block with programming. Not a “I don’t know how to do this” block, but I find myself when I start a project making it visually not on the logistic side. Making sure that everything portrays exactly what I am trying to get across. That vision. That experience. Thats what is important to me.
Talks with other developers at GDC and when I got back home in Philadelphia were just as enlightening. I have a knack for game design. It’s just innate in the most fundamental of levels of my being. So pursuing a programming position because it “makes sense” in turn, doesn’t make sense.
After some more interviews and getting more and more comfortable with talking to legitimate studios outside of the Philadelphia area, I am beginning to realize when I talk about design and how I think (naturally), the talk becomes much more personal and the person I am talking with gets a much better feel of who I am and what I can offer.
So yes, interviews. I have had quite a few these past weeks for a few different companies. Which brings me to the next thing, thatPhillyDev will no longer be on the forefront. At this point, independent game development is important to me, but advancing my career and taking the leap into a setting much larger than anything I have ever encountered is an experience that I feel that I need to have to “earn my stripes” as an independent developer. Plus, the experience in itself would allow me to grow and understand all kinds of different methodologies and establish some serious connections. This doesn’t mean everything is going to go away. Quite the contrary. I feel it is most important that I focus on more concise game design and structures.
Games like “Super Hexagon” or “Gauge” are prime examples of this. Simple games that are designed wonderfully to keep players playing and engaged, no matter how simple the gameplay may seem. The moment you play these games, the more it becomes apparent that you are that much more addicted. Plus, the scope of these games are super small and straight to the point. in the case of “Resonate”, I feel that the scope was just way too much for me to do it all by myself, with the amount of pressure I had put on myself (marketing, etc.) Something like “Resonate” will have to take time, and it’s time I am willing to put in but the players will need to understand it will take lots and lots and lots of time. What was motivating were the comments I read most recently on Greenlight. People could see the potential but they were turned off for various reasons (theming, controls, etc.). People were genuinely excited to see a top down platforming game that played on the perspectives of the player.
Feedback like that feels good. It’s a little nugget of affirmation on the most fundamental of ideas I had for this project. Perhaps I lost it under everything else? Perhaps it’s time to reduce, reuse and reiterate?
So about that branding issue of “thatPhillyDev”, Brian made a solid point about the name tying me to a geographic location therefore limiting my possibilities of relocating for work in other places. And he makes a solid point. Not too many companies would think that someone with a brand called “thatPhillyDev” would be willing to relocate for a job.
So I looked around at some cool stuff on eBay and etsy and found some really awesome taxidermies and other oddities. One of them being some sweet prints and carvings of the elusive jackalope. That led to me heading over to Photoshop and Illustrator… and voila.