Jump to content
  • Advertisement
  • entries
    54
  • comments
    12
  • views
    3228

About this blog

I originally got into programming because of horse racing at the age 12. I fell desperately passionately in love with it and have been programming ever since. I worked full time as a Controls Engineer/Programmer before quitting  to pursue creating video games, apps, and websites full time. I blog about my experiences as a programmer and GameDev at www.gildedoctopusstudios.com. Most recently I have been making horror games.

Entries in this blog

 

Launching Your First Game

There is just something about when a game is finally ready to be released into the wild, an un-describable energy. It’s part anxiety and part excitement. You want to keep pushing it off for “one more feature” or “just a little more polishing” but you know you shouldn’t. You watch the game build and then upload-waiting to push that publish button. I’ve always been a firm fan of the minimal viable product development process. For those of you unfamiliar with the term the basic idea is to get a project to a base working state, release it, and provide updates for additional content and features. It’s pretty popular in agile programming circles because it encourages the actual completion of projects. It also tends to create higher quality products as well as getting a lot of more serious bugs out early in the design process. You have to have a lot of self control though to apply this concept to game development. Adding more features always makes you feel like it is improving your game but that’s not always true. For more information on MVP check out https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/mvp/#q=~(infinite~false~filters~(tags~(~’mvp))~searchTerm~’~sort~false~sortDirection~’asc~page~1) Agile really isn’t applied much in #gamedev circles but it offers a lot benefits when compared to the traditional water fall methodology. It is easier to involve your community and adjust to major design changes. Agile products tend to evolve vs being designed so they are more likely to fit your specific community instead of what you think your community is. They also tend to be more robust products with greater ease in fixing bugs. So how does agile apply to launching my first publicly available game well I just released what is basically the core of the game. As time goes on I will be releasing updates and expansions. It will be fully supported so if you have any issues with it please let me know and I will do my best to fix them. I’ve always loved how CD Projekt Red included expansions when you bought Witcher 3. Blood and Wine was a great expansion but one of the things I loved about it was you didn’t have to pay extra for it. I hate when I buy a game and I have to keep paying more for it to be fun. So one of the things I am doing is that when you buy a copy of Frost Bite all of the updates and expansions are included. I’ve even already got plans for a fun epilogue expansion. So get a copy. I promise it will be a fun time;) Also in case you haven’t heard I’m doing a really cool giveaway to have a character in my next game #ScaryMermaid designed after you. All you have to do to enter is upload a video of yourself playing or reviewing Frost Bite before Dec 31st and send me a link to it. You can get your copy of Frost Bite at https://gildedoctopusstudios.itch.io/frost-bite The post Launching Your First Game appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article

GildedOctopusStudios

GildedOctopusStudios

 

#Frostbite Is Alive!

Just uploaded the final file for #Frostbite to Itch.io. I’m so excited about having this game finally done. Of course I’ve already got plans for a really cool winter event. It is after a very wintry survival/horror game. You can find it at https://gildedoctopusstudios.itch.io/frost-bite. Please check it out and let me know what you think. The wind howls and snow falls.  While exploring the mountains around your village you see strange lights in the sky and when heading back you realize you are being followed.  Set at night in snow covered mountains Frost Bite is a chilly horror game where even the footing is treacherous.   It’s 3D, open world, and if you die, you die! It’s dark, cold, and windy. As you explore you realize that there are unexpected terrors hiding and there is something following you. If it catches you, you die. If you slip while running from it, you die. Frost Bite is a beautifully atmospheric game.  It is the first publicly available game from Gilded Octopus Studios. You can find the development blog at www.gildedoctopusstudios.com. The game is being fully supported and will be getting updates and expansions. For help email gildedoctopus@gmail.com The post #Frostbite Is Alive! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

#ScaryMermaid

1st promo art By Jess SetoI just released the first promo art for #ScaryMermaid. I am so excited about this game. I’m luck enough to be partnered with two fantastic artists for it. For this game I am partnering with the lovely artists Jess Seto who’s amazing 2D work you can find at https://l_aciel.artstation.com/ and @_Pikthem_ the totally awesome 3D modeler who’s art you can find at https://www.artstation.com/brodyrichardson Sometimes when a ship goes out to sea they don’t come back. A renowned Irish billionaire has bought a half pleasure yacht half research vessel called The Icarus to find out why. The scientists and streamers on board are about to find out why finding mermaids isn’t a good thing. A horror game about the perils of the deep sea. 20% of profits will be going towards oceanic research and coral reef restoration. Launching Halloween 2020. by @_Pikthem_ by @_Pikthem_ by @_Pikthem_ The post #ScaryMermaid appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Stumbling into voice acting.

By Christina Costello.  I’ve spent the last ten years or so of my life chasing my dreams of being an actress. I’ve taken classes, workshops, worked on indie projects, not so indie projects, and more. But one of my dreams since I was a child was to be a voice actress.  When I first found out *who* Veronica Taylor was, and that she was in fact voicing my childhood hero, Ash Ketchum, that’s when I realized,”wow, that’s what I want to do!”  Unfortunately, I didn’t quite understand what voice acting was when I was younger, so I never was able to vocalize that that was in fact, what I wanted to do. Instead I played a ton of video games, absorbed every anime and cartoon I watched, and kept daydreaming. Eventually, I was able to start making some form of a small name for myself as a New England based actor.  However, I am chronically ill. It’s not something I keep secret, but it is something I’ve tried to push through for years. I was born with a rare lung disease, CPL, and have almost died twice. Those near death experiences made me realize that life is just too short to keep putting what you want to do, on hold. That’s when my dream started to really come into reality.  Last year, out of a whim I decided to join a voice acting group on facebook. There was a casting call posted that I honestly didn’t feel I was fully qualified for, but I knew I had to do everything in my power to find a way to be seen at an audition. The casting call was to do children’s voices for a children’s nursery rhyme YouTube channel. I wrote to them being upfront and honest, I did not have a voice acting reel but my day job was working for a children’s performance company, so I had plenty of experience doing voices in person. I sent them my regular acting reel, and somehow, some way, they liked it and gave me the sides to audition. At the time, I was working  with my vocal coach already, so I told her about the audition and she helped me figure out how to “find my voice,” something that has helped me immensely when auditioning for projects now.  I got lucky, I really did. I ended up booking the project and I work fairly consistently a couple times a week  now for the last six months.  I actively work with a vocal coach to hone my craft, and practice daily. It has not been an easy journey, and I am still learning, but I am so happy to be doing something I genuinely love now. Now I am auditioning for video games, anime dubs, cartoons, and working on securing an agency to help me move forward to the next level.  All because I pushed for a chance to audition for something I knew in my heart I could do.  If you have a dream, push for it. You’ll be surprised at what you’re able to do when you put your heart fully into something.   The post Stumbling into voice acting. appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Coffee Tasting

Sometimes my life is pretty cool. Monday I went to a coffee tasting class by myself. I tried to talk a friend into going with but she wasn’t feeling well. So coffee is grown in South America, Africa, and it’s starting to be grown in China. The reason why quality coffee is so expensive is that Asia(China and Japan mainly) has kinda discovered how awesome coffee is in the last 10 years or so. There is a higher demand than there is supply because of this. It’s why China is starting to try and grow their own coffee. The class was held at a little coffee shop near me called Drachenfutter which is a German word meaning to feed your dragon. It’s a colloquialism which refers to getting your significant other food when they are angry at you. German has so many cool words. I found out about the class on FB. So I walk in and the place is deserted other than staff and one other gal. I’m only a couple minutes early. The place is a classic coffee shop with couches and a fireplace and board games. I’m of course like “Hi, I’m here for the coffee tasting class?” The owner comes over and is like I’m so excited you’re here. I’m just kinda sitting there watching them get set up. They’re bringing out pots of hot water. The guy teaching the class is setting out 8 tiny bowls with coffee grounds in them. He looks like a normal guy come to find out he has a 2.6 million dollar insurance policy on his tongue! He’s the owner of the company that the coffee shop buys their coffee from. It’s like his second business. He started out in printing and had a really successful company but got super burnt out, just dreaded going to work. Every morning though he’d see these people who were happy to be going to work…at the coffee shop across from his company. So he sold his company and started a coffee roasting company. Every morning the guy and some of his employees taste the coffee that’s been roasted. It’s kind of a quality control thing. Coffee tasting is actually called cupping. The process is kinda like how you taste whisky more so than wine. You start by smelling the grounds. Then you add some hot water and smell it again. Then you take a spoon very similar to a soup spoon and kinda pass it through the coffee and smell the back of it, rinsing it off in hot water between cups. Then you scoop up some of the coffee in the spoon and you slurp it. Yes slurp it. Me, one other girl, and the coffee shop’s employees are all just standing around a table slurping coffee out of soup spoons;) It was kinda hilarious. There were 4 different coffees, one from china, one from Africa, and I think two from South America. What’s interesting is that coffee has different flavors depending on where it is grown due to the different soils. So one of the coffees had a lovely earthy dark chocolate taste, two were kinda acidic and fruity, and the last one was just kinda mild. An interesting fact men 18-34ish tend to prefer more acidic coffees while after that they tend to like less acidic. Women 18-35ish tend to prefer earthier darker coffees. I learned so much about coffee and all the steps that go into getting to the point of coffee grounds. It was a lot of fun and I’m definitely considering going to the next one which is about paring foods and coffee. The post Coffee Tasting appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Frost Bite Update

Only weeks away from the launch of Frost Bite and I’m getting pretty excited:) I’ve been expanding the map because it was just a little too small which impacted the play time negatively. The new map is so huge in comparison to the old one. It’s like 6X as large. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the new map is less maze like than the old one. Which I’m going to change somewhat but there are going to be some big open areas as well. I’ve been telling more people in person about it. I’ve been getting some pretty positive responses which makes me happy. It feels a little weird to have so many details finalized. Yesterday I got the Itch.Io page for it set up. I’ve got so many little details still to do on it. Increasing the size of the map has added quite a bit of work but I think it will be better for players. The post Frost Bite Update appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

I want to be a character in a video game!

#IWantToBeAnNPC (I Want to be an NPC competition) Ever wanted to be a character in a video game. Not just be able to create a customizable character but there actually to be cannon characters who look like you? Young or old, black white Asian, purple pink hair, you! To celebrate the upcoming release of my first publicly available game #Frostbite you are going to have a chance to be a character in the next game #ScaryMermaid. I need a lot of characters for it and I want to ask you to be one of those characters. There are going to be 12 slots with a different way to win each month till the game comes out. For the 1st month(November) the challenge will be to upload a video of yourself playing or reviewing #Frostbite with a short description of yourself or the character you would like to see in #ScaryMermaid. There will be a vote. The person with the most votes wins. Well I’m sure you’re curious what will you actually win? Well A character who looks like you in the game with your name or the name of your choice You will get to do the voice acting for the character You will be featured on my blog A copy of #ScaryMermaid when it comes out Your name in the credits of #ScaryMermaid A specialized piece of promo art featuring your character And possibly additional prizes Stay tuned for the launch of #Frostbite and additional details. The post I want to be a character in a video game! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

How I Made a Struggling Indie Game $10,000, and How You Can Too

With my new game Frostbite nearly ready to release into the wild I’ve been thinking a lot lately about marketing. It’s an area that I see a lot of Indie developers struggling in. It’s also crazy crucial to the success of indie games. So when I saw a tweet by Travis Taborek– a Digital Marketer & Writer who specializes in #indiegame marketing- about the benefits of influencer marketing for indie games I knew I needed to learn more. So I’ve asked Travis for a guest post on how to accomplish this. I hope you enjoy this look into a different side of game development than what we normally see and find it helpful. Let’s be blunt, we all know that game development is a demanding and utterly thankless job. The neverending days, weeks, months and years of ceaseless grind working for cents on the dollar would be enough to crush anyone’s spirit.
Even if you do get your game to a playable state and have it ready for launch, your game is far from guaranteed to succeed.
If you’re going to stand out in a market that’s already oversaturated with indie games and sees tens-of-thousands of new releases every year, you need a plan, you need to understand your audience, you need to know how to leverage the channels that are the best fit for your game, and you need to have luck on your side.
In other words, you need to do marketing for your game. Game development in itself, as previously stated, is a full-time job, but both making *and* marketing your game as a solo indie dev with no budget is a herculean task.
But not to worry. With a couple of straightforward, scalable strategies, you can take the game that represents your hopes and dreams and turn it into a profitable business.
Here’s how it works. My First Case Study Pitching your games to Youtube and Twitch influencers in the gaming space is your safest marketing bet. If your game is:
1) Decent 2) In a playable state, even an alpha 3) You want it to make money
That’s how it’s done.
A year ago, I enrolled in a digital marketing course at a fancy-pants tech bootcamp in San Francisco. 
While studying there, I partnered with a two-man development team making a 2D space RPG on Steam. Influencer marketing was one of the first things we tried.
I did some research on influencer marketing for indie games. When I did, I came across this article by fellow indie game marketer @Tavrox: https://medium.com/@Tavrox/how-to-find-influencers-for-your-game-45b7e8fcb1a8.
In it, Tavrox outlines the process that he uses for influencer marketing campaigns for the games he works on. I read it and thought to myself “This seems worth trying. Let’s give it a shot.”
So here’s what I did.
1) I thought about the people who were most likely to play my client’s game. In this case, either hardcore gamers who enjoy space sims (EVE Online, Elite Dangerous etc.) or people who gravitate towards games with crafting elements (e.g. Terraria).
2) I made a list of ten games that were most similar to my client’s game
3) For each game, I came up with a list of 10 influencers who feature that game heavily on their channel until I had 50
4) I crafted a pitch explaining the game’s major selling points and why they would enjoy it
5) I sent them all Steam keys for the game asking them to review it
I sent out 50 emails to 50 YouTubers.
One of those 50 YouTubers did a review.
That review got 33,000 views.
The traffic from those 33,000 views made the game $10,000 in two days.
That’s a decent chunk of change. You could buy a car or put a down-payment on a house with that.
And that’s the basics. Here’s where it gets slightly more complicated. How to Split-Test and Optimize your Outreach I got a little lucky on my first outreach campaign. It isn’t usually that simple.
Here’s the thing. YouTubers get pitched by 100’s of indie developers just like yourself every single day. Their inboxes become inundated with review requests for games just as deserving as yours.
That means that they normally don’t respond to boiler-plate marketing emails sent en-masse. 
The flip-side to that equation though is that you need to send your game to 100’s of influencers in order to turn your game into a profitable business, which means that sending each one personally hand-crafted emails signed in triplicate and scented with rose-perfume and delivered with a gift basket of iced champagne, cuban cigars and beluga caviar just isn’t feasible or realistic.
The trick is to find the middle ground. Personalize your emails just enough to make the recipient think that you delivered it to them personally, but make it just generic enough so that you can set an email automation tool to fill in the blanks for you so you can make your outreach scalable.
A typical pitch email has the following structure:
Hey there {{first name/online handle}}.
I came across your {{game title review}}.
{{Include a short sentence here about their channel that you like or that stood out to you, so they know you took the time to watch their videos}}.
{{A one-to-two-sentence description of your game goes here}}
{{A GIF or screenshot of your game goes here}}
Here’s a Steam key for a review: {{Steam key}}
That’s a pretty standard pitch. A few things to keep in mind:
– Keep it short and sweet. Generally speaking, the fewer words it takes to convey a message the better.  – It takes me about an hour to come up with a list of 10 potentially suitable influencers for a game
And how do you perfect the art of pitching to influencers? The same way you do any and all marketing: through continuous testing and experimentation!
Set up a new test with every iteration of 50 influencers. Here are a few split-tests you can try:
– Impact of including their first name in the subject line – Times of day – Influencers who specialize in different genre – Long-form detailed pitch or a short-form pitch that cuts to the chase – Does including visual elements and branding e.g. logos, GIFs, screenshots have any effect?
Here’s how I would do it:
– Come up with a list of 50 influencers. Have 10 of those be your VIP’s – the most popular YouTubers who would feasibly take an interest in your game. These 10 people get personalized emails specifically crafted for them – Take the remaining 40 influencers, randomize the list and seperate them into Groups A and B. – Test one of the elements mentioned above – Use MixMax to send your emails: https://mixmax.com – See which group has the highest open and response rate after about a week – Find another 50 influencers, optimize off the winning result, and run a new test. Rinse and repeat!
What strategies have worked for you and your game’s outreach? Comment below with the processes and experiments you’ve tried!
The post How I Made a Struggling Indie Game $10,000, and How You Can Too appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

It’s my birthday!

So far it’s been a pretty quiet and relaxed one. It’s beautifully cool and clear outside. My favorite sort of fall weather. October is by far my favorite month. I love the pumpkins and the colorful leaves. The weather is cool enough for light sweaters and cute dresses with boots. Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. You get to dress up in cool costumes and play pranks on people. There’s plenty of sweets. It’s the best. As a teenager I worked every October at a corn maze as a haunter which means I got paid to jump out of corn and scare people. It was fantastic and I have so many fond memories of standing out in the cold, damp, dark just waiting to jump out at people. One year I was I was this Vampire Leprechaun and it was around the time those Sparkly Vampire books got to be so popular. So I would have all these teenage girls coming up to me wanting hugs. You couldn’t tell anything about me when I was wearing that costume because it covered me from head to toe so people would ask me if I was a dude or a chick. I would just give them vague spooky answers and then give them directions so they would get more lost and then I could scare them again. I was really good at it. The pay was generally either at or below minimum wage but I didn’t care. I had so much fun and it was for a charity. The corn maze was the main funding for a what was essentially an orphanage. It was actually called a boy’s home because they exclusively took boys generally teenagers. It closed down recently due to an incident caused by the state sending them more and more unstable children. It wasn’t set for that. It was a place for lost boys to get their heads on straight and learn how to be functioning members of society. The corn maze just moved to a new location with a new name and it no longer benefits a charity since the owners are still paying off the new place. The old corn maze spot will always have a special place in my heart. The way the fog rolls across the valley from the creek late at night. The way the cold damp just settles against your skin. The stars and the moonlight above a field of corn. I think my experiences as a haunter at a corn maze are why I enjoy making horror games so much. There’s that rich atmosphere and I get to create this whole dark little world for people to enjoy. There is a certain joy in being scared or startled when you know you can’t get hurt. I like being able to share that with people and I am so excited that Frostbite is nearly done. I sincerely hope that when it comes out you will buy, play, and enjoy my scary little game. The post It’s my birthday! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

A Tale of Five Engines: Or How to Pick a Game Engine

Guest Blog: Musume  A Tale of Five Engines
Hi. My name is Rez, and I’m developing a side-scrolling action platformer named Musume.  Before you go much further into this blog, I want you to visit my game’s website and see what I’m doing: www.musumethegame.com, and I want you to do this for two reasons:  1. I promote my game absolutely every chance I get. If you’re a game dev, you should be doing the same.  2. This blog will make a lot more sense when you see the game I am making.  So go ahead. This blog will be here when you get back.  … Did you visit it? Good.  I’m going to tell you which commercially available game engine I’m using to make this game, and why. It will take us five engines to get there. By the end, I hope that my experiences will help you pick the best engine for your project.  Ready? Here we go! RPG Maker MV I began my game dev journey about eighteen months ago by buying RPG Maker MV on Steam. At $70, it seemed like an extravagant purchase, but I had always wanted to make a video game, and it seemed like the best way for a complete beginner like me. I had tried to make a game with RPG Maker on my PlayStation 2 a long, long time ago, but made zero progress then. Older and wiser, I figured I could do better now.  I now laugh at the idea that I thought $70 was a lot of money to make a game. I have spent a whole lot more in getting Musume made since then.  $70 is an absolute bargain when you see everything that RPG Maker MV gives you. You have a character creator, enemies, music, and tiles to create towns, overworlds, and dungeons. No other engine (at least from the ones I tried) give you literally all the resources you need to make a complete game.  And make no mistake, RPG Maker MV (and the whole RPG Maker series) is an engine. It is a framework that you can use to build your game. There are thousands of RPG Maker-made games on the market, and most of them look the same because the devs all use the packed-in assets.  But you don’t have to do that. You can import your own art and music. You can also learn JavaScript, MV’s underlying programming language, and tweak the engine until you create something truly unique. It’s a great place to start learning game development.  So why did I abandon it?  Because RPG Maker MV (and every single RPG Maker that came before it) is designed to create one specific type of game: a top-down, turn-based RPG. And I wanted to make something else.  I wanted to go 3-D.  Unity  After I decided that RPG Maker wasn’t going to cut it, I started looking around for something else. I still didn’t know much about game engines, but I did know that one name kept popping up over and over: Unity. I figured I had to check it out.  As it turned out, Unity is by far the most popular game engine on the planet among independent game developers, and for a very good reason: it’s free.  Well, there are some strings attached. However, if you’re reading this on a computer, you can – right now – download Unity for zero dollars. You can then use it to create a commercial game, and as long as that game doesn’t generate more than $100,000 in sales, or your studio doesn’t generate more than $100,000 in funding, every penny you make is yours to keep (minus royalties to places like Steam, of course). Exceed that limit, and you have to either pay for Unity Plus (a reasonable $25-$35 a month) or Unity Pro (an absurdly expensive $125 a month).  If you want, you can get one of the paid plans right off the bat; they come with extra features missing from the base version. Just remember, though: once you commit to a paid version of Unity, you are on the hook for a year. Use it for three months and then cancel? You still owe for the rest of the year, and Unity will get their money, even if you cancel the card you’re using to pay. Needless to say, I got the free version. And I’m glad I did, because Unity and I do not get along.  Unity provides free tutorials. YouTube is full of free tutorials. Udemy has very good paid tutorials, at very reasonable prices. None of that mattered for me.  The fact is, going from a beginner-friendly engine like RPG Maker MV to Unity was like going from a go-kart to a Formula 1 car. The learning curve was just too steep, and I couldn’t wrap my head around how to make things happen in this engine. It wasn’t for lack of trying, mind you; I bought and read books on C# (the programming language Unity uses), I did tutorials, and I stayed up until 3-4 in the morning some days, trying to make something happen. No dice.  But then, I learned about Unity’s biggest rival: Unreal Engine.  Unreal Engine  Unreal Engine (UE) is the brainchild of Gears of War and Fortnite developer Epic Games, and is currently on its fourth iteration. It gets its name because it is a descendant of the engine used to create Unreal, Epic’s hit first-person shooter that came out in the late 90s.  Growing up, I had read about UE’s enormous power and thought that a mortal like me would never be able to touch it. Even after I got into game development, I just assumed that an Unreal license cost thousands of dollars a year. But after making no progress with Unity, I decided to check it out. How much, I wondered, does it cost to use Unreal Engine?  As it turns out, it doesn’t cost anything.  Unreal Engine is completely free. There are no subscription plans. You owe a 5% royalty to Epic for all sales above $3,000, but that’s it.  Once upon a time, Epic waived the royalty fee if you published to the Epic store, but that seems to have gone away.  Unreal Engine is also, on the surface, incredibly beginner-friendly. UE comes with something called “Blueprints”, templates for all kinds of games that you can use to jump-start your own development.  This sounded like a match made in heaven. I immediately downloaded UE.  And after struggling with it for a while, I gave up.  I had the same issue with UE as I did with Unity: the learning curve was just too steep for a beginner. This isn’t the engine’s fault – games are complex pieces of software, and they require complex tools – but it was far more than I was ready to handle. So, with much regret, I gave up, and looked for something else.  Gamemaker Studio 2 In my search, I found what finally seemed like the perfect match: Gamemaker Studio 2.  GameMaker Studio 2 (GMS2) is the “sequel” to GameMaker Studio, a hugely popular game engine that is tailored for 2-D games and designed to be easy to use. A license costs $99, but like with most engines, there is a free version available that you can use to see if it is right for you. This version is super-limited and you can’t make commercial games with it, but it’s a great way to get a taste without spending the money.  Yes, I originally wanted to make the game in 3D. But after banging my head against the wall with both Unity and Unreal Engine, I was more than willing to compromise.  GMS2 is basically a dumbed-down version of Unity, and for someone like me, that was perfect. The layout is similar, but the tools are easier to access and use, and the programming language was developed with beginners in mind.  GMS2 uses a proprietary programming language called Gamemaker Language (GML). This language is a simplified version of object-oriented languages like C# and C++, with enough wiggle room built in that you can write successful code even if you are (like me) a ham-fisted programmer.  GMS2 is where I first started having success in development. I learned how layers worked and how objects interacted with each other. I made real progress with GML, learning how to code fairly complex functions. It was good.  But it was still too hard.  Here’s my problem. I am a grown adult with a full-time job, spouse, and children. I have very little free time.  I am also not a natural programmer. It can take me weeks to learn and understand something in coding that may take a more gifted programmer only hours to learn.  Combine this lack of free time with the need to learn a simplified but still complex tool, and you have a recipe for frustration. And while I was finally able to get the game up and running (you can see the results in some of the videos on the website), development was still painfully slow, because I was having an extremely difficult time learning GML. It just wasn’t getting through.  So I finally caved and did something that, at the beginning of my game engine search, I swore I would never do: use a visual coding engine.  Construct 3  “Visual coding” is the buzzword around a lot of new game engines. More and more engines are hitting the market, promising you the ability to make a game without writing a single line of code. Construct 3 is one of the most popular.  Visual coding usually consists of connecting boxes or nodes that represent blocks of code. The idea is that you can link actions together without worrying about obscure language or syntax issues.  Construct 3 is the latest engine in the Construct line. It works entirely in your browser. And at $100 a year for the subscription, it is by far the most expensive of all the engines I’ve tried (other than BuildBox, but that’s a story worth a whole blog entry unto itself).  It is also stunningly easy to use, although I struggled with it a bit at first.  The interface is extremely intuitive. You basically create game objects, and assign them actions based on options in a variety of drop-down menus. With a little practice, you’re off and running. It takes me hours to do in Construct what it would take me days or weeks in GMS2.  The biggest time-savers are the behaviors. Construct 3 enables you to add common platforming behaviors to your game. Things like basic controls, jump-through platforms, and bullets are templated in: you just have to tweak them to make them your own. For someone like me – who, in addition to coding, has to do just about everything else for the game except draw and compose music – this is perfect. It enables me to be as productive as possible with the limited amount of time I have. The learning curve is much flatter here.  I said above that I didn’t originally want to learn a VC engine, and this is true. I wanted to learn to code and become a “real” programmer.  However, I didn’t start this just to learn how to program. I did it in order to make a video game. Construct 3 is enabling me to do that much faster than any other engine I’ve tried. And for that reason, it is currently my engine of choice. 
The post A Tale of Five Engines: Or How to Pick a Game Engine appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with Online Warriors Podcast!

Hey there! We are the Online Warriors Podcast, made up of three friends: Nerdbomber, Techtic, and Illeagle. We’re nerds who love to talk about the latest gaming, movies, and entertainment news every week!
How’d you get into this/ what’s it’s origin story?: 
This one is kind of a long story.
About 7 years ago, we were co-founders of a gaming and entertainment blog called N3rdbomber.com. The site was actually pretty successful and evolved into a home for a large team of bloggers and streamers to share their work. One of our projects for the site was a podcast that aired every week, in which we (the co-founders) got together to discuss some of the biggest news snippets of the week. It was one of the highlights of our week, as it would give us an excuse to come together and shoot the breeze about some of our favorite nerdy topics.
Eventually, though, the website became a bit too much to manage – over the course of its run, the site managers all moved to different cities, and it was just tough to run a growing site from different locations. The team, as a whole, agreed that it was best to shut down the site. But… something was missing. We still talked to each other on a regular basis, but there was no set time for us to continually catch up and revel in our shared nerddom. So, we resurrected the podcast as the Online Warriors Podcast!
Favorite episode and why: Our favorite episode, by and large, is our annual E3 Review. E3 is one of the biggest events for gaming fans – its when all the latest previews and teasers come out from some of our favorite game studios. The E3 episode gives us time to reflect on the expo’s hype, dissect all of the biggest trailers, and speculate on the future of one of our favorite hobbies.
Least favorite episode and why:We have fantastic chemistry on our show (or at least we like to think we do)! Each one of our hosts brings a different perspective to the table. Nerdbomber, for example, is the resident “gaming” expert, while Illeagle is the movie guru, and Techtic is the tech and comic book master. As such, our least favorite episodes are probably those where only two co-hosts are able to make the recording session. This happens pretty infrequently – usually an extenuating circumstance, unavoidable travel, or a holiday – and of course, it’s still a ton of fun to talk with just two people. But we do miss the well-rounded nature of the conversation when one of us is gone.
Plans for the future:We really enjoy creating the podcast and our plans are to continue to grow and nurture the podcast, as well as the community that’s formed around it. Over the last six months, we’ve greatly improved our audio quality with new studio equipment and have launched a Patreon campaign which has helped to ease some of the financial burden of the podcast’s creation. We’d like for the podcast to eventually become self-sustainable – that’s the short term goal. In the long run, we’ll be focusing on creating additional content for our “Special Features” run on YouTube.
What is something you don’t think people know about what you do?:
One of the things that tends to surprise people is that we don’t all record in one location. We’re spread out across the US and record remotely using Skype, and then piecemeal our tracks together.
How do your family’s/friends feel about it? :
Friends have been extremely supportive of the podcast and have listened in order to provide valuable critique as we’ve grown. Family members, on the other hand, are vaguely aware of the podcast but generally don’t tune in – unfortunately, they don’t share the nerd gene.
How much time do you spend on each episode?:Each week, we spend about 1.5-2 hours recording the show, which results in an episode of just over an hour long. Once we’ve got the raw materials, it usually takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to splice them all together and make sure the audio quality is the best it can be.
What is one thing you think people wouldn’t guess about you?:
Everything that we’ve done on our podcast is all self-taught. From picking hardware to audio editing, we’ve learned how to do it all through in-depth research and trial and error – no formal training here! That said – hopefully this inspires people who might be on the fence about podcasting. It might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s definitely doable!
How many listeners/viewers do you generally have?:
We started out as a fairly small podcast, with about 15 listeners per episode. Now, we’re proud and ecstatic to announce that we have (on average) 500 listeners per episode!
What keeps you doing this? What is your favorite thing about it?:
Obviously part of what keeps us going is our mutual friendship. We’d probably be chatting about the topics we cover on our podcast anyway, so we might as well record it. But what’s really motivated us as we’ve grown is the fantastic community that’s sprouted up around the Online Warriors. We’ve met some really supportive, kind, and awesome people who we’re proud to call our listeners. Knowing that there are people out there who “click” with our discussion is an indescribable feeling, and inspires us each week to produce the best podcast possible.
Anything I should have asked you about? or you want people to know?:
We’ve got a fun little promo clip that we’ve attached. Other than that, we appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed! Thanks! Check them out at any of the following sites: Website: www.onlinewarriorspodcast.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onlinewarriorspodcast Twitter: @OnlineWarriors1 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onlinewarriorspodcast/ Patreon: www.patreon.com/onlinewarriorspodcast
The post Interview with Online Warriors Podcast! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

5 Non-programming Tips for Women Programmers

I’ve been a programmer for a long time and a woman for even longer. I’ve had the privilege to intern at a fortune 500 company and gotten job offers from all sorts of cool companies. One thing that I have realized from talking to non-programmers is that there is a stereotype of what a programmer is and I am definitely not it. I’ve spoken to women who were honestly a little concerned that their daughters wanted to go into programming. This post isn’t going to address that but what it will do is give my fellow women in programming a few tips on things like how to get better pay and not throw out your back. 1.Stand up for yourself. If you want something ask for it. You don’t get better pay by doing a good job. You get better pay by asking for it and being both firm and realistic.
Do some research find out what the average pay for your sort of job is in your area and ask for slightly higher. You can almost always negotiate down but going up doesn’t happen often.
So be prepared when someone asks you what you want pay wise. You don’t have to answer you can play it a bit coy and wait for them to name numbers. Then say well actually I’m looking for something
around this number. Be prepared for them to offer you slightly lower so ask a bit higher. There is nothing unladylike about talking about pay. Most companies only give out raises once or twice a year
so it is far better to start out slightly higher than gamble on a raise down the road. When that time of year comes around make sure all your stuff is ship shape and go talk to
your boss make sure they know that your working hard and above average and would like compensation to match. Make sure though that is actually true. Photo by Doug Tunison on Unsplash 2.A good bra is like a good team supportive and helps keep you from throwing out your back. This is a big one spend the money and take the time to get good quality ones in the right size.
You will be so much more productive when you aren’t in pain. If you are an odd size, hard to fit, or want something exceedingly pretty might I recommend https://www.thelingerieaddict.com/ . It’s a blog that I really enjoy. They frequently have articles about brands that cater to specific body types, small boobs, large boobs small band size, you get the idea. It will also help you to have better posture which will prevent back pain and injury. Yoga and other stretches will help as well. I’ve had some pretty sever upper back pain because of injury and bad posture. Believe me when I say $50 for a good bra is worth the money. It’s way cheaper than having to go to a doctor or chiropractor. 3.Fingernails- keep them short it makes typing so much easier. Yes I know there are those women who can type crazy fast with inch long rhinestones but lets be realistic they are rare.
So your odds of being one is slim. I’m sorry I know they look so pretty but they are so unpractical. If you are a dude and reading this it is 2019 this applies to you too. No one likes long scraggly fingernails. 4.Dress sharp and professional. Be just a hair above the rest. If company style is jeans and a T-shirt maybe do jeans and a nice shirt or iron your clothes. Looking crisp and professional makes people
respect you just a tiny bit more. Have a quick and classy hairstyle for when your running late. My favorite is a bun held up by a chopstick. Doesn’t matter how messy your hair is you can do that hairdo in under
a minute and it looks nice. Figure out a couple of quick and classy makeup looks for when you need an extra boost. My favorite is simple eye shadow with mascara and a little lip.
It’s classy and classic. 5. Speak out- No one knows what you are thinking unless you tell them. I have known multiple women who were disappointed that they never got asked about their ideas at work or in groups but never spoke about them. This is a trap a lot of quiet people fall into. Often people are willing to consider your opinion you just need to present it in an appropriate way. If this is something you struggle with consider taking a public speaking class or pushing yourself to speak out more in some other way. Photo by Albert Dera on UnsplashThose are my 5 non-programming tips for women programmers. If you have any tips for women programmers please share them in the comments below. The post 5 Non-programming Tips for Women Programmers appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with Max from Welcome To Monday!

If you like robots or indie games then this interview is for you. 1: Hi, I’m: Max with Welcome to Monday
2: Twitter Handle / Other Social Media My twitter handle is @Welcome2Monday, and my website is welcometomonday.com
3: One interesting fact about you that people would not necessarily guess When I was young, I won several regional awards for piano performances, but I never actually learned how to properly read piano sheet music. I just improvised to what I thought the music said and it all seemed to work out. It drove my piano teacher nuts. 4: What country you live/work in I live in America — more specifically in Northern California
5: The video game company producing the project I am producing this project myself under Welcome to Monday, which so far comprises of just me and my wife, who, in addition to helping design our games, helps with all my social media and community management
6: The name of the project This project is called Beacon
7: Estimated Release Date I am going to be pushing out my first preview build on the 9th of September, but the game is far from done. I am hoping to have a working version of the full game done before the Spring of 2020 — and hopefully that’s a conservative estimate. Once the game is fully released, I have a lot of ideas for additional polish and under-the-hood improvements.
8: How did you get into making video games Growing up, my dad actually owned hundreds of arcade games that he would lease out to businesses. Video games were quite literally my livelihood all the way back to the beginning, and I always thought they would be really fun to make. My first actual foray into making games myself came about when I discovered RPG Maker VX Ace back around 2012. I loved the planning and logic puzzles involved in creating a simple RPG, and as soon as I created my first complex dialog tree I was hooked on game design. Once I played around with everything the visual scripting had to offer, I looked into writing my own scripts in Ruby, and the feeling I got when I realized I would write a script to do anything I could imagine was incredible. From there I experimented with Gamemaker Studio, Unity, and eventually MonoGame, which is my current fix.
9: What is your background in By trade, I’m a Software Developer — specifically a full-stack web developer focused on UX and UI. As I mentioned earlier, video games have always been a cornerstone in my life — once my family’s livelihood, then to a beloved hobby, and maybe someday it can become my livelihood once again.
10: What is the game about? Beacon is about a small maintenance/survey bot who awakes to an apparent disaster in the space outpost in which he’s stationed. In Beacon, you will delve through the base to find out the fate of its inhabitants, and hopefully, gain enough information to relay the inhabitants’ last moments back to Earth via the eponymous Beacon atop the base.
11: What inspired this game? This game was initially inspired by a prompt from a Weekly Game Jam on itch.io. The prompt given was simply “a sad ending”, which I pretty much immediately converted to “a bittersweet ending”. From there, I latched onto the feeling of “bittersweet”, and let that guide the rest of the design.
12: What makes it unique? As a metroidvania, Beacon is unique in that its obstacles are comprised primarily of platforming and puzzle solving, rather than navigating around enemies and hazards. In fact, there will be no damage or death mechanic in Beacon at all. Tension instead lies in the mystery of the circumstances around you and the desire to know more.
13 What will make it a success? Having a complete, satisfying game with a play time more than a handful of minutes will be enough for me to consider this game a success.
14: Who do you think it will appeal to? I think Beacon will appeal to a wide variety of people. Since its gameplay loop is made up of exploration,  platforming, and puzzle-solving, the game will be approachable by gamers of all skill levels and ages.
15: Number of people working on this project and skillsets There are only two people working on this project: me and my wife. I am doing the programming, lead design, music, and most of the artwork. Some supplemental artwork has been purchased from other creators on itch.io. My wife is doing much of the writing and assisting in overall design, in addition to handling all the social media.
16: How are you handling art? Most of the art I am creating myself as it is needed, while the basic tileset for the background of the starting area I purchased from another creator in itch.io by the name of “gtibo”. My art tool of choice for this game has been Aseprite, but I also make heavy use of GIMP and Inkscape as well.
17: What tech/stack do you use? Over the years, as I’ve been working on games, I’ve been taking the most programmatically useful and portable parts of my games and sticking them into a single code library I’ve used in subsequent games. This library, which I now call Ladybug, has grown into a full-blown framework that sits atop Monogame, and is what does most of the heavy lifting in Beacon. Aside from Ladybug, for Beacon I have to give a lot of credit to Tiled, a tilemap editor created by Thorbjorn, also available on itch. Tiled has made making the rooms in Beacon a breeze, and I was able to easily write a tilemap importer for Ladybug that could handle Tiled maps. As for specific development tools I use, I use Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code as my primary editor, and I use git to share and back up my project.
18: Are you full-time? If so, how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? Unfortunately I am not full time. I have a very supportive and rewarding day job where I learn skills every day that help me become a better developer. I like the idea of someday becoming a full-time game developer — I would love to be able to give the community more games in a shorter amount of time — but in the meantime I’m in a good place.
19: Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sort of projects have you worked on? While Beacon not technically my first game, I would definitely call it my first “full-sized” game. The first game I published was also a product of a game jam from itch.io — a game called “Ouroboros” where you control a snake, much like the original “Snake” game we all know and love. Except in Ouroboros, instead of picking up an apple that lays still on the ground, you have to take a Lantern from the tail of another snake which moves around the screen. Snatching a moving object is hard enough, but that’s not the real catch of Ouroboros. The catch is, once you’ve caught the lantern the first time from the randomly-controlled AI snake, the next snake you have to snatch the lantern from is a recording of your previous round — so you are essentially taking it from your past self!
20: What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? So far, Beacon has been cooperative in its development, thanks in large to the maturity of Ladybug and the help of excellent community tools like Tiled. That being said, it has not been immune to the challenges that all indie game devs face, like discipline, motivation, and time dedication. Discipline is a huge requirement to steadily and effectively create games, but continues to be a challenge for me, and I think many indie devs feel the same. We all have so much going on in our lives, it’s easy to misprioritize game development as just another hobby or free-time activity, when I would like to treat it as a second job — something I do every day, so that I can have fresh new games for everybody to enjoy.
21: Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? If anybody is curious to learn more about me and Welcome to Monday, don’t hesitate to tweet me or get in contact through itch.io or my website. My wife and I are friendly folks who don’t mind chatting with you about anything at all. And for Beacon, the original Game Jam build is available right now on itch.io for free, and eventually will be replaced with a whole demo/prologue to the events of Beacon, which will also be available for free. I’ll be posting in-progress builds every other week, and while the game is in development you can get it for a very low price. If you like my games, also consider becoming a patron through my Patreon, which can get you free access to all games I release, both in-dev versions and the full, complete versions upon release! You can find Max at: Website:  http://welcometomonday.com/
Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/welcometomonday
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Welcome2Monday
itch.io:  https://citrus-thunder.itch.io/beacon
The post Interview with Max from Welcome To Monday! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Empires of Lore

Your name: Rob Daytona Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media: @LoreEmpires One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess: I can sprint the 100m in 10.5 What country you live/work in: UK The video game company producing the project: Empires Of Lore The name of the project: Empires Of Lore Estimated release date: End of Q1 2020 link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other: https://facebook.com/EmpiresOfLore How did you get into making video games? I just woke up one day, frustrated with the lack of games that would truly cater to me and my friends, and said to myself: “Hey you know what? I can do better than what’s currently out there!” The mobile games out there that I have been playing have let me down time and time again, having to abandon games that simply grew apart from their player fan base over time, too many enhancements, too many bugs, too much loss of joy over time, player communities being decimated and those that remain, desperately clinging on to the game, because of the bonds they made with their guild mates and not the game… Surely someone could do better I said to myself. What is your background in? Business Software development. Blurb about game: Empires of Lore is a RPG MMO, D&D fantasy world type of idle mobile game, time limited, turn based, single and multi-player game. It is currently in mid-development. Our game is designed from day 1 to be minimally Real Life (RL) intrusive taking you to lands far away, in your creative minds. To a place of Fantasy DND RPG MMO, Empires Of Lore is that place, Create empires, Up your skills, Join guilds and, complete single and multi-player events, all with simple tap based pick up and put down any time game play designed for busy individuals. Creating communities of likeminded players, with nail-biting events and entertainment. What inspired this game? As I got older and settled down with a family of my own with children, I grew increasingly frustrated at no longer having the time to play games as I once did. I managed to play some mobile games on the sly but noticed a pattern in players playing these games. After a while they would abandon the game, saying they could no longer give the game the time it required. This also happened to me. Thus, I decided to create Empires of Lore, based on the D&D RPG genre that I love so much, squarely aimed at people too busy to play games. EOL allows you to play and to be successful in game, without having to spend hours and hours grinding. With EOL I thought very hard about what players had complained about in other games and have done my best to eliminate them in EOL. What makes it unique? While I have paid a lot of attention to the fun element of the game, which all games require, I have also incorporated many aspects to address complaints from other games to ensure the best user enjoyment experience. This just made a whole lot of sense, why would you not take due care to player’s concerns? After all they are the ones that eventually will deliver your ROI, and also be the source of one’s pride for the future, happy players = proud founder. What will make it a success? The team is small and self-funded, we can spread our ROI over several years ensuring that we don’t become just another pay 2 win game, which is a key concern of most players we speak to. We have been building out our fan base during development and continue to do so in ready ness for release. We run free give away competitions of premium in-game currency to keep things spicy for our community and engage with our fan base. Of course none of that matters, unless the game is great, and for that we are simply taking the very best of all games we have played before and stitching them together, in a mesh of “Oh I really liked that from XXX game back in the 80’s” and “I loved that feature from YYY game in the 90’s” etc, so actually we are meshing up tried and tested fun generators, hence we believe this game will be a success. Who do you think it will appeal to? The game will appeal to RPG fans, D&D gamers, tabletop gamers, card gamers, any one who likes a non-real time mobile game. Number of people working on the project and skillsets: 3, most skills needed are covered. How are you handling art? All art is original, done by a part time artist. What tech/stack do you use? Xamarin Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? Yes I am full time, I saved up to fund this myself and went for it, no worries, no looking back. Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on? Yes this is our first game. I have worked on multiple business applications over the years, PC desktop applications and websites. I could have picked something less ambitious for a first game, but I was way too passionate about making something for our target audience that listened to their needs. What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? Pushing myself to work more hours than one should safely do, pushing myself into learning new skillsets, such as they joys of Facebook advertising to give a simple example. Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? We are interested in hearing from game publishers and media so please send us a pm on twitter. If you have enjoyed this interview please consider clicking on one of the links below. They are affiliate links so at no cost to you Amazon may pay me a small percentage. It is a great free way to support my blog. The post Empires of Lore appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Some musings on Cyberpunk 2077!

A game I am really looking forward to is Cyberpunk 2077. I loved Witcher 3 and I am so excited that the company behind it is making a game with all the cool cyborg tech my heart loves. I actually really wanted to go into designing prosthetic at one point in my life. It was unfortunately not a practical career choice for me. It is a very expensive and difficult field to get into and the pay is not anywhere near equivalent. There are also very few positions available and my country doesn’t do much of the design/ development unfortunately. It’s probably because we have quite strict laws regarding human experimentation. I was so into Fullmetal Alchemist as a teenager because I wanted to be Winry. It didn’t end up happening at least not exactly. I did do some work in controls for awhile but that’s about as close as I got. Unlike Winry my specialty is coding. The older I get the farther I get from prosthetic research moving towards pure code that interacts more with humans than the physical world. Prosthetic though are what got me into Programming originally. If your interested in the full story you can check out it out at https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/how-i-got-into-programming/ Cyberpunk 2077 appeals to that teenager in me who thought she could do fantastic things with tech, melding it with humanity to greatly improve peoples lives. There were valid reasons why my nickname was “the mad scientist” in high school. Funnily enough I always thought my friends were way geekier than me in high school despite all my competitive robotics. I was all like “I’m not a geek,” while being crazy competitive in science fairs and planning to go to the best engineering college I could afford. Needless to say I stood out quite a bit I was a little disappointed in Cyberpunk though mainly because I was really hoping it would come out this year. The game play videos and all the promotional stuff just looks fantastic though so hopefully the long wait will have been worth it. If you have enjoyed this you can click below to find out more about Cyberpunk 2077 they are affiliate links so if you click on them at no cost to you Amazon will pay me a small percentage. It is a great way to support my blog. The post Some musings on Cyberpunk 2077! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with an author!

So I’ve done a number of interviews with #GameDevs and I have done a couple of interviews with authors. I have a lot of friends though who happen to be authors so I’m going to set up a series of interview questions and start trying to do a few more. If you are an author or blogger and are interested in participating please answer the following questions and send the answers to gildedoctopus@gmail.com The questions are intentional slightly vague so answer them how you think they should be answered. What is your next project or most recent project about? Hi, Please introduce yourself: What is the most difficult thing about it? Who is the target audience? What genres do you write in? How many books have you had published? How long have you been writing? What is your education in? Do you have a specialty? Do you blog? What about and do you have a link? What got you started? What inspired your most recent project? What is your favorite book/blog post? What is an interesting fact about you most people would not guess? What is a favorite memory? What are your hobbies? Links to twitter/fb/websites/etcetra: How do you promote? Do you write full time or part time? Anything you would like to tell the readers? List of published works/ links to: Press Kit: Photos/promotional images: The post Interview with an author! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with GRAVIBEAT

Your name: Joakim Hedström  Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media: @JoakimOnline  One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess: I spent one year as an exchange student in a Japanese high school when I was 17. It was a very formative experience for me.  What country you live/work in: Sweden  The video game company producing the project: FRAME BREAK (We’re not formally a company yet, so for now I suppose it’s just a team name)  The name of the project: GRAVIBEAT  Estimated release date: As soon as google finishes processing the public release (any day now). Until then, a previous version is available as early access.  link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FRAMEBREAK.gravibeat Gravibeat.com  How did you get into making video games? I’ve been interested in games ever since christmas 1998, when my uncle gifted me and my brother a Playstation along with Crash Bandicoot (sans memory card, as nobody knew they were necessary. I had to try and beat the game in one sitting every time, never succeeded).  I think the first time I tried my hand at making video games (besides daydreaming about it) was in making custom maps in Warcraft III. I recall making my own version of a Hero Survival map with completely busted heroes and abilities. At that point it was mostly wish fulfilment and I didn’t really try to make the game appealing for anyone but myself.  Later on I dabbled a bit in making board games with some friends. This time actually trying to test the games and reiterate the rules in order to create a semblance of balance. Unfortunately those projects kind of fizzled out after a couple of playtest sessions, long before we could finalize the design.  My decision to pursue game development as an adult happened after taking a year off of university studies. My chosen line of education hadn’t been what I expected and I was wondering what to do with myself. Then I discovered that the University of Skövde had a game development program with a narrative focus. It seemed perfectly aligned with my interests and I decided to apply to see if I could turn my passion into a profession.  What is your background in? I just earned my bachelor’s degree in Media, Aesthetics, and Storytelling this summer, having studied Game Writing at the University of Skövde. Before then I studied teaching for two years, which has been surprisingly helpful for game design.  Blurb about game: In GRAVIBEAT, all enemies are drawn to you by gravity – use this to manipulate them into colliding with one another to make them explode spectacularly!  What inspired this game? In 7th grade, a friend of mine with a GameMaker license made a simplistic game that we’d affectionately describe as “A rock in the desert being chased by meatballs” using simulated gravity to create a fun survival minigame. It was incredibly unbalanced as enemies could build up momentum outside of the screen and come zooming in at undodgeable speeds (infuriating for the player, hilarious for us onlookers).  Last year, when I got the group that would become FRAME BREAK together for the first time, we wanted to try our hand at a simple game idea just to practice working together. I remembered my friend’s meatball game and suggested we try making a game based on its “homing enemies” mechanic. Once we got our first prototype running we found ourselves playing it over and over. It was simply addicting.  So we decided to explore the concept as thoroughly as possible and began working on the project in earnest. It’s been almost a year since then.  What makes it unique? Mainly the gravity mechanic. Swinging enemies around and making them collide is just so satisfying.  What will make it a success? The gravity mechanic provides that “just one more go” simplistic gameplay that characterises games like Tetris and Super Hexagon. To make it even more satisfying we’ve worked hard on the music and the visuals to let the player immerse themselves into the gameplay and enter “the zone”. Once someone gets their hands on the game, they won’t be able to put it down.  Who do you think it will appeal to? The game is simple enough that just about anyone could play and enjoy it. But if you’re the kind of person who will sink hours into making it as far as possible in Tetris or Super Hexagon, GRAVIBEAT will feel like home.  Number of people working on the project and skillsets: Four people, all recent game development graduates from University of Skövde. As mentioned earlier, I studied writing but my role on GRAVIBEAT has been a mix of project management, design, and graphics.  Cornelis is another graduate from the same program. He’s been working on graphics and UI design.  William studied programming and has unsurprisingly worked on programming.  Finally, Jack studied sound design but also has a knack for code. He’s been responsible for sound, music, and programming.  How are you handling art? As none of us have formal art education, we’ve settled on a design using basic shapes and lots of colour. While we couldn’t draw to save our lives, I think we’ve managed to make GRAVIBEAT very aesthetically pleasing. A bit like looking into a kaleidoscope.  What tech/stack do you use? The game is made in Unity, using FMOD for sound and music integration.  Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? While we had a stretch over the summer post-graduation where we were able to work full-time to finish up the game, we’re now figuring out how to scale down our pace to allow people to pursue work and further education.  Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on? Discounting all the various half-finished hobby projects I did on my own, and the numerous projects created at the university, I would say GRAVIBEAT is the first game I’ve worked on in a professional capacity. However, I want to mention Cosette’s Cassettes, an 18-student university project the four of us worked on during our second year. I served as the project manager then as well and while it’s a quirky, buggy little game I’m very proud of what our group managed to achieve in the 10-week project period.  What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? Partway through development we realised that adding a story mode was antithetical to the gameplay and scrapped all our plans for a narrative so we could work on other aspects that would better serve the gameplay. As two of us are mainly writers it’s been tough to work outside of our expertise, but also very educational.  I’m sure there’s some form of narrative that would mesh with and uplift the gameplay but we didn’t have the time and leisure to explore all options and find it. I’m sure one day it’ll hit me and I’ll be like “Ah, dammit!”  Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? William worked hard to create an online global leaderboard for GRAVIBEAT. It would mean the world to us if you’d submit your high score and let us watch the list fill up. 
The post Interview with GRAVIBEAT appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Starting a Youtube Channel!

I have started a Youtube Channel which you can check out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxi8TGbYd4T-nYw2MctR6TA The post Starting a Youtube Channel! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

List of Interviews with Game Developers

I’ve been doing a series of interviews with game developers. Here is a full list. Check them out! https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-porble-games/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/pop-the-line/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/shores-unknown/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-a-quantum-mechanics-researcher-who-is-also-a-gamedev/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-the-developers-behind-healing-bullet-games/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-the-developer-behind-sekishu-no-koe/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/former-valedictorian-makes-video-game/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-the-gamedev-behind-the-new-trading-game-where-your-camels-can-die/ https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/harpoon-harry/ So if you would like to participate you can find the original list of questions at https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-a-game-developer/
 

Full list of Game Developer Interviews

I’ve been doing a series of interviews with game developers. Here is a full list. Check them out! So if you would like to participate you can find the original list of questions at https://gildedoctopusstudios.com/interview-with-a-game-developer/ The post Full list of Game Developer Interviews appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with Porble Games!

Your name: Benjamin Wendt Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media: Tweets by PorbleG One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess: I love world history and geography.  I used to be able to draw the globe and all the countries on it on a blank piece of paper.  What country you live/work in: Chicago, USA The video game company producing the project: I call it Porble Games, but its just me in my living room. The name of the project: Wark and Wimble Estimated release date: March 2020 link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other: Steam page -coming soon Youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtmx72AKtShCE_qx54jRYBw Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/user-394410536 How did you get into making video games? I wanted to work in video games after college but couldn’t land a job.  I ended up doing general software development.  I had some hobby projects many years ago which were all really bad.  When my second child was on the way, I decided it was now or never and have spent most of my free time working on Wark and Wimble. What is your background in? I do software and UI development for a financial firm.  Blurb about game: Wark and Wimble is a block pushing puzzle game, very reminiscent of The Adventure’s of Lolo and Chip’s Challenge.  In most levels, you must move a stranded egg back to its nest, then feed the baby that hatches by puking food into its mouth.  Its cute and a bit gross! What inspired this game? They say to make the kind of game you want to play.  I don’t have much time for console or PC gaming these days, instead I game on my phone.  But I am very frustrated with the state of mobile gaming.  They have pointless economies and daily log in bonuses and pay-to-win mechanics.  They want me to watch ads to respawn. They have long, mandatory tutorials.  Mobile games have a lot of great talent for assets but the final product is often just a miserable time waster. So I wanted to make a game that you played simply because it was fun, not one that you keep opening because you feel obligated to claim some bonus. What makes it unique? For being such a simple puzzle game, I think it brings a lot of character.  I’ve spent a lot of time making art and animations to bring these cute critters to life.  I want the failures and successes of your character to evoke empathy and humor. What will make it a success? If the game makes it to Android and iOS without being a disaster, I consider that a success.  I don’t expect to make any money on this project.  If I can get it on Switch, I will be ecstatic! Who do you think it will appeal to? Probably retro gamers first.  The game draws considerably from The Adventures of Lolo and Chip’s Challenge, and I wanted to make a game that resembles those classics but with some modern design principles.  The art brings in a wide variety of casual players, including children who may find its puzzles too difficult Number of people working on the project and skillsets: Its just me!  I am coding and doing the art.  I am learning to compose and mix music just for this project.  I did some of my own sound foley as well. How are you handling art? I have kept a sketch diary for many years specifically for this project.  I sketch a particular thing dozens of times. Once the sketch is solid, I do it in Adobe Illustrator.  What tech/stack do you use? I’m using the Monogame framework.  I wanted to make as much of the game myself as I reasonably could, so I made most of the tools myself rather than using middleware.  I have created my own level editor, my own animation and particle engines and my own resource packaging tools.  I’m using FMod for my sound engine.  They have a very generous indie game license! Embarrassingly, I’m not using git or any other code management tools.  I just do back ups on google drive and a spare hard disk. Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? No I am a hobbyist only. Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on? I consider it my first REAL game.  My previous efforts were more than 10 years ago and were embarrassing even at the time. What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? The music!  It took a long time to compose anything that I felt was worthwhile.  The difficulty in mixing and balancing music took me completely by surprise.  Its very challenging and I have a lot of new respect for sound and music artists. Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? Making games is hard.  Making games when you have a 2 and 4 year old is even harder!  But its very rewarding.  Thanks for reading and please follow along athttps://twitter.com/PorbleG The post Interview with Porble Games! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview With the Co-founder of Bottlespark about his new book, “Start Streaming”!

I recently got the chance to interview Travis Shreffler one of the co-founders of Bottlespark about his new book, “Start Streaming!: 100 Definitely Real Tips for Becoming a Successful Twitch Streamer” “Remember when your parents told you that you’d never be able to make a living playing video games? Well just like everything else, their generation was wrong about that too. However, the road to success can be long, hard, and sometimes hairy. You’ve been looking for something to make it all easier, right? Well this is it! The tips in this book will help guide you to being a successful Twitch streamer before you can say “What do you mean there’s no retirement plan?”. In this book you’ll learn: -What you need to get started (Hardware, software, and hair color)
-How to utilize social media to grow and network (mostly TCP, FTP, and HTTP)
-How to pick a game to stream, as long as it’s Fortnite Don’t be a chump and try to build a community the hard way! Nobody has time to spend years slugging away for minimal return in hopes that one day you’ll stumble upon an opportunity to grow your audience in an organic and meaningful way. Buy this book and you can be rich in no time with no effort and you’ll have no more problems at all! “ Hey so what inspired you to write this book? Hey! There’s a few things. The original inspiration was in February of this year. I saw some people, stream coaches mainly, starting to write books about how to grow audiences, best practices, etc. I was actually hyped about it. There’s not a lot of long form written word about streaming, so that was cool to see. I usually make videos about streaming for Twitter. Tips and tricks. I try to keep everything real light and humorous because that’s how I am. I like making jokes as much as I like providing info. So I thought to myself, “If I were to write a book, how could I make one that’s funny?” Originally, I had a writing partner, my boy Kyle. He helped write some of the jokes but we both are very scatterbrained on this stuff and busy with real work, so it fell to the wayside. A few weeks ago I was at a marketing conference and someone encouraged me to write a book. I started working on it, rewrote what little bit I had, and then did the bulk of the writing. I wanted to make a parody first. I accidentally put in a few good thoughts lol So what percentage parody to advice do you feel it is? I’d say that outwardly, it’s 95% jokes, 5% actual advice. But like all comedy, the joke has to be grounded in truth. So if you read the subtext, there’s meaning in most of the jokes too. But like, 5% minimum is complete nonsense. So what sort of streaming experience do you have? I’ve been streaming on an off for about 5 years or so. I’m not a great streamer myself, but I’ve guided people from starting to Partner to full time streamer. I co-founded a company, Bottlespark, to help streamers monetize their content. Before that, I studied social media networks growing. I’ve always been more of a behind the scenes guy than anything. So do you have a day job? If so what is it? I have two. One is a tech support job to pay my bills. I also am the cofounder and Chief Experience Officer of Bottlespark. We help streamers monetize their content by hooking them up with advertisers. I handle the influencer side of that work, so I spend all day talking to streamers, teaching them, hearing their pain points, etc. So what got you into streaming and what inspired you to start your company?
I got into streaming after finding Twitch from Mario 64 speedruns and League of Legends esports. Thought it looked fun. A few years later, I really got into understanding Twitch and helped a friend get started, start building a community, and get Partnered. My cofounder, JT, found me through a YouTube video I made. He comes from the digital marketing industry and had some questions about streamers. One night we had an overnight Discord call where we accidentally made a business plan for what would become Bottlespark. Here we are a few years later with a platform. That’s really cool. One last question what is an interesting fact about you that people wouldn’t necessarily guess? Oh man, I’m realizing I’m WAY too open about myself on the internet now. I guess most people wouldn’t know that I am a huge gadget nerd for phones and tablets and stuff. Like, when new phones come out I run to Best Buy just to play with them. I have to have the newest phone when possible. Make sure you check out his new book below. The post Interview With the Co-founder of Bottlespark about his new book, “Start Streaming”! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

What do an Architect and a Neurologist have in common?

Your name:  Angelika and Stam (Team Versality) Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media:  Twitter: @GamesVersality Facebook: @VersalityGames One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess:  When we first met we binge-played Ricochet Robots (a really lovely boardgame which you should definitely try); one of us is a bit of a genius on it and she remains unbeatable to this day!  What country you live/work in:  United Kingdom The video game company producing the project: Versality (our newfound gaming studio!)  The name of the project:  Pop the Line Estimated release date:  23/8/2019 link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other:  Website: www.versality.org Pop the line play store page: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Versality.PopTheLine  How did you get into making video games?  We have always been gamers, it was partly how we got together, more than 10 years ago! We always made custom rules for board games, shared cool ideas for video games and day-dreamed about one day making some.  Over the last few years, through our (very different) jobs, we both learned coding and developed custom apps for our employers.  So now that we finally had the skills we thought we would actually try to make some of the games we were always talking about!  What is your background in? One doctor (neurologist) and one architect.  In addition to our jobs and game developing, we are both doing research into visual perception, in disease and in health. We have to be the most versatile game development team ever!
Blurb about game: Our first project Pop the Line, is the ultimate time-killer, or so we hope! It’s a casual mobile game where you have to tap with you little popper at the right colour at the right time to Pop the Line. Switching colours fast and synchronising your taps perfectly gets you extra points.  It’s simple enough that our parents and 5 year old nephew can play it but there are many additional challenges through the game: movements, rotations, fake lines, darkness and many more!  What inspired this game? We both “enjoy” long commutes to our day jobs and spend hours listening to audio books/podcasts and playing mobile games whilst on the train. We wanted to make a game that other people stuck in public transport like us can enjoy!  Also since we are new to game development, we wanted to start with a relatively simple project that we could learn from and grow, before moving to more ambitious games. Pop the line was the winning combination! What makes it unique? Hundreds of levels with many many challenges. Although the gameplay is simple, the game grows with the player and becomes more difficult to master with each level.   What will make it a success? It’s simple gameplay. Pop the Line is easy to get into but difficult to master. Even we don’t get three stars all the time and we have played each level countless times! It’s great fun too!  Who do you think it will appeal to? Everyone stuck on a train, tube or bus or forced to endure a boring meeting or lecture! Number of people working on the project and skillsets: Just the 2 of us and we have done every single thing ourselves.   How are you handling art? Created by us in house with some icons from noun project.  What tech/stack do you use? Unity Also gimp, krita, inkscape, hitfilm express, ocenaudio and others depending on the specific task at hand. Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? We both have full time jobs; game development happens early in the morning, late at night and on weekends… We would like to have more time to focus on game development in the future though. Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on? The very first! But we went through many prototypes for games until we ended up with this idea. 
What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? Maintaining motivation. Finding the time and energy to develop after a difficult day at work has been a constant challenge. We try to keep each other enthusiastic though and definitely being a team (even a team of 2) and not a solo developer has been a huge help in maintaining motivation levels.  Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? We are always looking for feedback and a chance to improve! If you have a moment please take a look at our game or even better download it here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Versality.PopTheLine and let us know how we can improve it!
The post What do an Architect and a Neurologist have in common? appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with the #GameDev Behind Shores Unknown!

Your name:
Ilya Rudnev Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media: 
Personal: https://twitter.com/Irufufu Game: https://twitter.com/ShoresUnknown One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess:I picked up most of my spoken/written English by playing online games, Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft to be specific. I also speak conversational Japanese. I picked up most of my Japanese by… playing more games and chatting in Skype to the person who is now my wife. What country you live/work in:
Japan The video game company producing the project:Vallynne The name of the project:
Shores Unknown Estimated release date:Q1 2020 on Steam and Nintendo Switch link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other:https://store.steampowered.com/app/899460/Shores_Unknown/http://shoresunknown.com/ How did you get into making video games?I started making games in early childhood, initially using pen and paper, then moving on to making maps in editors for games such as Warcraft 2. I was always fascinated by fantasy storytelling and dreamed of, at some point, creating my own videogame world.Eventually (in 2009, to be specific), I got a job in game QA, which was my first step in the professional game industry. 

What is your background in?I studied physics of plasma (seriously) for 3 years, then quit that and did another 4 years in business IT. Blurb about game:Shores Unknown melds tactical JRPG combat and Western RPG storytelling, dropping you and your mercenary company into the midst of a hidden war. On the run and seeking retribution, unravel the mysteries of the Murk – a wall of fog from which no ship has ever returned… Until now.
What inspired this game?Oh, many things. I initially started working on this project while learning UE4 to make a tactical RPG inspired by The Last Remnant’s approach of combat with its multiple player parties (it wasn’t supposed to have plot back then).As the project grew, core mechanics changed, we dropped the multi-party “indirect control”, and also decided to make it a story-based experience, influenced by classic RPG titles such as Planescape: Torment and Baldur’s Gate and literary works of Steven Erikson (Malazan: Book of the Fallen) among other things. What makes it unique?The game takes place in an original fantasy setting, in which it is implied that the world is heavily shaped by will and belief. That’s one of the main themes we wanted to explore in Shores – “how does a strong will affect the world, and what happens if wills clash?”We also designed our own combat system, which mixes some well known-concepts from other RPGs into an experience not quite seen before. It’s turn-based, split into two phases: order (in which you assign commands to your characters) and action (in which the characters resolve their orders automatically). The characters maneuver around the battlefield automatically, and, unlike most tRPG these days, there’s no grid. There’s a lot of focus on keeping the amount of micromanagement the player has to do minimal, and while the combat is turn-based, it’s still quite fast-paced and dynamic.

What will make it a success?We hope that Shores’ combination of original story, emphasizing player choice and consequences, beautiful music, colorful stylized low-poly graphics and engaging strategic combat will make it popular among the players! Who do you think it will appeal to?CRPG and JRPG players, people who like a good story, people who enjoy tactical games (but are maybe a bit tired of grid-based tactical games), people who like atmospheric experiences and medieval/fantasy settings. Number of people working on the project and skillsets:14 including outsourcers at the moment. I do game design/programming, then we have 3 scenario writers and 3 level designers, a composer, and the rest are 2D/3D artists. How are you handling art?General approach is create a 2D concept based on references that I provide, then transform result into a low-poly 3D mesh. In some cases, we skip the 2D concepting step and jump to modelling right away. In that case, usually we at least make a whitebox mesh to help guide our 3D artists. What tech/stack do you use?Unreal Engine 4 + Blender.

Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development?I am, though most other members work part-tme. I quit a game company here in Kyoto in July 2018 in order to work on Shores full time, using my own saved money as well as funding provided by our publisher to keep my family afloat. Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on?This is my first indie title, but not the first game title I have shipped. Before Shores, I shipped 3 mobile games working in a game designer role: midcore strategy/RPG game in the same vein as Clash of Clans, a CCG based on James Bond license, and geolocation-based casual RPG (think a greatly simplified Ingress). I also worked as a game directior in VR R&D and helped ship a couple more games in something of a consultant role at my last company here in Kyoto.I also did QA on a number of games, including high-profile online (Aion) and single-player (Settlers VII, Supreme Commander 2, Just Cause 2) titles. What’s been the hardest thing about making this game?Keeping myself and the team motivated without burning out. Shores is a big title for a small team like ours, and it takes hard work to continue moving steadily towards the goal of releasing it while also managing all the feedback. Although I do my best not to force crunch on other members, I’ve had more than a couple of days where I had to pull an all-nighter myself, and that always comes with a price. Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game?Actually, we released a free public demo build in June 2019 which features the beginning of the first chapter of the game (about 1 hour worth of gameplay with a couple of branching choices). Although it’s a bit rough (the game is in active development and there’s still a lot of polish we need to add to it), we definitely urge people interested in Shores to give the demo a try. You can download it here:  https://gamejolt.com/games/ShoresUnknown/308235And of course, if you like what you see, please consider wishlisting the game on Steam as that helps us a lot with visibility on that platform. 
We also have a Discord server which we’re planning to use to run some closed beta tests later year, so consider joining that as well: discord.gg/q8VcWeB The post Interview with the #GameDev Behind Shores Unknown! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
 

Interview with a Quantum Mechanics Researcher who is Also a #GameDev and is looking for Beta Testers!

Your name: Kristofer Björnson Twitter Handle/ Other Social Media: @SecondTec on twitter and SecondTech on Facebook One interesting and random fact about you that people would not necessarily guess: I once used a Rasperry PI, a battery pack, a webcam, and a little bit of C++/OpenCV programming to build a timelapse camera that I called The Ent. I used it to take time-lapses of, among other things, a plant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeVlWs3ziBY), a snail (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjzkKCDfxec), and a failed Cavendish experiment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H1EgVzFMDo). What country you live/work in: Sweden/Denmark The video game company producing the project: Second Tech The name of the project: Polarity Puzzles Estimated release date: Autumn 2019 link to website/blog/steam page/Youtube/other: Website – http://second-tech.com/wordpress/index.php/polarity-puzzles/
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/dafer45 How did you get into making video games? I played a lot of video games when I was young. As I grew older, this was successively replaced by an interest in programming. In high school, I wrote my first game, which was a simple snake game for the terminal. I liked both physics and programming, and as I entered the university, I went for physics since I thought the programming would be easier to pick up from the internet. For the first two years, I did a fair amount of both. In particular, I had an interest in understanding programming from a perspective that was close to the hardware. I, therefore, followed a group of people online as they reverse-engineered the Nintendo DS. Once they succeeded to get custom code to run on the Nintendo DS, I took the opportunity to port my snake game so that it could run on the console. It was a very interesting experience to me at that time, since reading off input buttons and writing graphics to the screen was a matter of setting up pointers to the correct memory locations and reading and writing to those addresses. I also took a course in Java at the university in 2005, and this was just around the time that the first Java (J2ME) enabled mobile phones came out. As I got hold of my first such phone that Christmas, I immediately began working on Polarity Puzzles. I had an almost complete game already then. The engine, levels, etc. were all there. But it needed to be polished, and at that time it was not so clear how to get it distributed. Eventually, it proved too difficult to combine this with my physics studies etc., and the game was put aside for a long time. This past Christmas, I decided to finally port it to Unity and push it through. (The game was actually already ported once to Android in 2010 and released on the SlideMe market. But the port was quick and dirty and mainly a way to teach me android development. It was therefore not released on any of the main markets.) What is your background in? I am a researcher in condensed matter physics, specializing in superconductivity. I am also developing a C++ library intended to simplify setting up quantum mechanical calculations. Blurb about game: Magnetic monopoles have for the first time in history been discovered in a scientific experiment. Unfortunately, the particle accelerator used to create them exploded. As a consequence, the monopoles, as well as the quadrupole traps intended to store them, got scattered across the world. Your task is to navigate a remote-controlled robot to collect all the quadrupole traps and restore order to the natural laws. What inspired this game? One night late 2005 or early 2006, after having experimented with J2Me on my new phone, I had trouble falling asleep. A game I had played about a decade earlier on NES was on my mind. It is known as Salomon’s Key 2 in Europe and Fire ‘n Ice elsewhere. Somehow, in combination with the electromagnetism course I had just begun taking at the university, I suddenly imagined a similar kind of puzzle as those in Solomon’s Key 2. This is now level 2-13 in Polarity Puzzles. All that remained after this evening was to implement the game engine, create 74 more levels, make graphics, port it twice, … What makes it unique? The ability to switch the polarity of things creates unique gameplay where things can fall both upward and downward. This leads to interesting puzzles that sets it apart from other puzzle games out there. What will make it a success? The levels are short enough to be played in the queue, on the commute, etc. It also combines visually pleasing graphics with references to electromagnetic concepts and devices that attract those that are curious about science and technology. In short, it’s the game I would have liked to play when I was young. In fact, the game is partly meant to inspire younger players to get an interest in science and technology. Who do you think it will appeal to? A logically inclined audience that is interested in classic puzzle games with well-defined solutions. Number of people working on the project and skillsets: I have made most of the work myself. Some of the 2D graphics are done by my girlfriend, who has also provided plenty of useful feedback in general. A class-mate from junior high is working on the music. How are you handling art? I have made all the 3D graphics myself. Anna Sinelnikova has drawn the 2D images in the main menu (see more of her work at https://www.artstation.com/annasinelnikova). What tech/stack do you use? Unity, with Blender, Gimp, and Inkscape for graphics. git for version control and visual studio as IDE for C#. Are you full-time? If so how did you make the switch to working full-time in game development? No, I have a full-time job as a researcher. Is this your first game? If not how many and what other sorts of projects have you worked on? This is my first game other than games such as snake etc. that were meant as learning experiences. What’s been the hardest thing about making this game? When I began working on the game, I mainly saw it as a programming task. But successively I realized that I had to think about graphics, level design, and so many other things that I had no previous experience with. I’m still not really sure how I managed to do all these other tasks. But somehow it was possible to learn to do all these things as they became necessary. However, not being proficient in any of these other areas certainly contributed to the long time between the initial idea and the release. I still realize that there are more things I need to learn, and right now I am reading up on how to do marketing. All the things I have learned are invaluable though, so creating a game has definitely been worth it even if it never had been released. Anything else you would like people to know about you or the game? The profit from the game is intended to provide seed funding for a quantum technology project. In parallel with my research, I am working on a library for quantum mechanical simulations (https://github.com/dafer45/TBTK). If the project is successful enough, I hope to be able to use the money to fund further development. If interested in Beta Testing please email kristofer.bjornson@second-tech.com The post Interview with a Quantum Mechanics Researcher who is Also a #GameDev and is looking for Beta Testers! appeared first on Gilded Octopus.
View the full article
  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!