Yeah, it’s being worked on. Right now. As we speak. Building the environments. Mhmm. Bigger levels. Immersive Environments. You guys asked for it.
In other news, Maya 2013 is pretty much the same as the older version. Just with a shiny new logo. :)
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, this is the obligatory post GDC entry.
All in all the trip was amazing. I met so many amazing developers from all corners of the world. I’m still going through the business cards, actually. Sending out emails, touching base, making sure to not leave a single stone unturned. I spent about a week in San Jose (collectively) touring the area and drinking lots of wine (I’m okay with that). Once GDC kicked off, it was game time. No pun intended.
Some of the people I talked to during the trip really opened my eyes to how large the game development community is, yet still it’s so small. I don’t want to go too far into gushing about the people I met or the parties I went to, suffice it to say, it was a pretty awesome trip.
If you know me, I am always about perpetual improvement. So I spent a good 2 days of GDC at the career pavilion. Here, I had the chance to showcase how far I’ve come in development and see how viable it is to go into the more corporate world of game development. It’s one of those paradoxes of my position. Currently being independent, looking for a corporate position to further understand what it means to be “indie” and gain insane experience to bring to the table when I do make that leap to become independent and make something solid out of it. With that being said, I applied to quite a few place all over the world. There are some really good leads and potential place I could be going but I don’t plan on looking too deep into it. I have a game to finish and fully ship. If something comes and offers me something, I’ll deal with it then.
Speaking of which, Resonate! Today is the first day back in Unity3D after being away from it for a little. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm isn’t helping either. But I digress. I’m pretty excited for this renewal in Resonate. After being away from it for a little, looking at it with fresh eyes and a rejuvenated mind, I am ready to try some new things. Experiments have led some really cool effects and ideas on gameplay. So if you were concerned that Resonate fell by the wayside, no need! I will probably reactivate the dev stream on Twitch TV next week (after I get caught up with e-mails and potential employers).
Changes in the wind. Hmm. How to go about this one. I met this really cool dude from a well established company while at GDC. Senior Programmer, so he knows what’s what and how someone like me can really make the most out of my position. He brought up a point that I really never thought of about the branding of “thatPhillyDev”. So there will be some changes coming when it comes to “thatPhillyDev” and the public face of the projects I work on. New logo. New name. All games past, present and future.
Just kidding. But similar in devastation, I report that the trip to GDC via car will not be happening this year. Due to some issues unforeseen during the planning phases coupled with some unavoidable issues that came up we will not be doing the road trip across the good ole’ US of A. It sucks that the trip fell apart, but on the other hand, this gives me more time to develop “Resonate”.
Instead, I will be in San Francisco from March 21st until April 4th meeting with some people I messaged during the process of arranging the road trip. As well as attending a myriad of social events and will still be expanding that network further than before. Some of the events are going on at the same time, thats okay. Let it happen. Essentially this means if one plan falls through I have back ups. I was a Boy Scout once, believe it or not.
Here are a list of the parties/events I’m attending:
- Pocket Gamer Party
- CCP EVE Dev/Player Meet-Up
- POW POW: A Night of Sound and Vision
- IGDA VIP Luncheon
- Venus Patrol / Wild Rumpus
- Gamer’s Ball
- .party() | gdc
- Destructoid’s Hang Over Party
- IGDA Philly GDC Lunch (of course)
- Funomena Post-GDC Party
If you are gonna be at GDC, then shoot me a message or just look for the guy with the bright ass orange sunglasses and matching gauges.
I wanted to reshape how my game was played after going through the crazy amounts of feedback I got from everyone these past few days. It seems like the game was coming off in a way I didn’t quite forsee. I am totally okay with this but I feel that the main breakdown of communication between me and the player was due to uncertainty and taking the player for granted. After some revisions, I feel this may be a more tactful approach. Thoughts?
::Levels 1-1 to 1-2::
-Walk the player through small tests, of basic behaviors. Basic Player Movement. (WASD, Look, Jump)
::Levels 1-3 to 1-5::
-Get the player used to the environment and “feel” of their avatar and controls.
::Levels 2-1 to 2-5::
-Explain the ability through a CONTROLLED manner. (**ping**)
-Gradually relinquish control to player over a series of tried iterations of puzzles. (level induced pings)
::Levels 3-1 to 3-5::
-Allow player to utilize the mechanic at will. (within reason)
This gives the player the freedom to experiment and understand the mechanic on their own time and through their own experiences.
::Levels 4-1 to 6-5:: [each level a new aid]
-Once, player understands basic mechanics, introduce new “aids” one at a time.
Rather than obstacles, this allows the puzzles to increase in difficulty without making the player feel “mis-matched” or stupid.
-NEVER MAKE THE FINAL PUZZLE TOO HARD.
Overly hard puzzles do NOT make for a climactic ending and can be game-breakers.
Be sure to implement all facets of the gameplay to ensure the player values each lesson learned through their experience.
“Not sure what kind of what game it is, but it looks cool.”
“…a lot like FRACT OSC or In the Pit - a significant variation from the norm, that challenges the idea of what game is.”
“Моя слабость НЁХ-игры. За!”
“I am looking forward playing this.”
“Not personally a fan of such pure gameplay experiences but I think you are definitely on to something”
“This game is fascinating”
“This is unique enough that it belongs on Steam”
What’s really cool, is that some of the people who didn’t upvote on GreenLight actually took the time to write out what they didn’t like. Today, although I spent most of it away from Resonate, was a really productive day. I now have a clear direction of what needs fixin’ and where to expand.
This is the first iteration of the game “Resonate”. After much support and feedback from gamers and indie developers alike, I started development on this project full-time soon after launching the prototype. Numerous bugs have been fixed and all releases have been tested (Mac / Win / Linux).
All versions of the build can be found on IndieDB!
(http://www.indiedb.com/games/resonate) -> under the downloads tab!
GL Lines not rendering correct colors (Windows & Linux users)
Optimized Ping System (Reduces Lag)
Various Design Changes Throughout Entire Game
Please support the development of this game through participating in our AlphaFunding program through Desura or Upvoting this game on GreenLight! More frequent builds will become available to AlphaFunding members as well as having an integral part in the development process of this game through testing and feedback.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated! And of course, thank you so much for your support thus far!
Still working on that OpenGL issue in only the Windows and Linux builds. Weird shit. Other than that, I’m feeling pretty awesome about it! Great feedback from people all over the world. Some saying “thank you for doing something different with this mechanic”
That’s kinda awesome. Right?