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RoKabium Games

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  1. RoKabium Games

    ScreenShotSaturday

    Keeping up with the twitter hashtag of screen shots on Saturday!
  2. RoKabium Games

    Something Ate My Alien - Rampage

    Thanks! ... Well, still got a bit to go, but... we're thinking 4-6 months now, I hope!
  3. RoKabium Games

    Something Ate My Alien

    You are the AI of a very skilled mining ship called Antalasia, currently cruising the remote solar system Bitiax looking for mining opportunities. While peacefully scanning for elements on the nearest planet Metis, Antalasias systems are suddenly taken offline and the ship turns dark for a second before being booted up again with all computer screens flashing “Intrusion detected”. Under control of a pirate ship, you must send down your faithful aliens to the planets below and battle to find the loot that the pirate is demanding! More In-depth: A 2D digging, adventure puzzle game with some retro feel reminding us of the amazing first digger games such as BoulderDash that we knew when we were younger. That is the type of game me and my partner wanted to create as our very first joint project for our studio “RoKabium Games”. Both being avid gamers we hadn’t seen many games in that genre that focused more on the actual digging being the main element rather than being an action plat former or survival and crafting sandbox with the occasional digging part. So last year we started working and planning for our game “Something Ate My Alien”. We knew early on that for a 2-person team to pull of creating a whole video game we had to have a planning structure for a game that wasn’t too large or complicated. So early ideas of making a full blown 3D, interactive, huge sandbox with multiplayer alternatives was just not gonna be a good starting point. We scaled down the idea of a huge concept and decided to rely more on our existing skill set in the game industry. We decided to focus on a more manageable core of that we ourselves would like to play and what we believed other people would also enjoy to play. A finite game story of about 6-10 hours game play from start to finish, something fun and charming with just the right amount of action/digging/puzzles ratio. We also knew that our game would show quality and engaging graphics being hand painted by myself and it would all be done in a style that would ooze retro, hand painted, uniform and a beautiful game with easy to navigate and clear game mechanics and graphics. We wanted it to be a lighthearted but a addictive little gem suitable for a both younger and a more adult audience. Our game would be exactly how we envisioned it since it would be the labor of our own vision, not working for anybody else. As a digital artist with several years experience in working for game studios and painting game assets, backgrounds, icons, characters etc and being part a team of other game developers, I did have some much needed experience in understanding just how much art is needed for a complete game. Even the smallest game contains more art pieces than you might think. For example, for every animation you do in 2D graphics you have to paint a new image and each animation can have anything from a very basic 5 frames up to 30-40 frames. So for each enemy you draw for example you need to also draw that enemy having an idle position, a walking cycle, a running cycle, an attack cycle, a dying cycle, a jumping cycle etc. So for one single enemy in a game you might have to produce up to around 100 images. Add to that, our game would have at least 10 different enemies for each level and we have designed our game to have a total of 4 levels. Each game level or planet as it is represented in SAMA is built up with a set of ground tiles that has seamless tiling for a smooth and more realistic look. For each tile-set I’m designing 6 variants so the illusion of random and unique ground that looks like it is not repeating. Each world has 4 unique tile types to add variation for the digging mechanics and giving the player more varied game play. On top of normal ground tiles we have variants of 20 unique decals and edges created to blend different types of ground together better and adding even more realism. Inside the ground tiles you can as a player find all kinds of loot. So far I’ve designed 25 unique minerals, 9 different type of gemstones, 8 different kind of gases (each with animation cycles), 28 types of artefacts, 12 different types of complete fossilized animals which consists of 62 separate type of bones to find. There are teleporters, oxygen stations, health hearts, energy boosts, lamps to light up the dark caves, secret doors with puzzle areas to solve to get rare loot or upgrades. There are icons for every item and enemy you can find. All of these visual elements are hand painted by myself and still this is just the bare base of each planet level. When designing the UI for the game we both wanted it very neat and tidy look, using our main colour scheme of blue-green-warm yellow that I first came up with during the conceptual art at the beginning of the project. I also wanted some elements to have somewhat of a computer screen/electronic look with glowing outlines to emphasize that you as the player are the actual AI of the ship and the UI you see is the computer interior. While continuing painting and designing the artwork for SAMA we are getting closer to a first Alpha of the game and we are hoping that with the help of feedback from gamers around us and people interested in our game we can develop a game that is incredibly fun and beautiful to play. See more over at our website: Somethingatemyalien.com
  4. RoKabium Games

    Something Ate My Alien - Rampage

    Been busy working on our particle effects and weapons. Check out our new colourful artillery, as our Alien goes on an epic rampage among the enemies on Tartarus. What do you think? [media] [/media]
  5. RoKabium Games

    SAMA

    Images & screenshots from "Something Ate My Alien" game by RoKabium Games.
  6. RoKabium Games

    Dev Blog #04 – Extending the Worlds

    It’s been a while since the last update, so lots to get through. We’re still progressing, probably slower than we had hoped, but never the less, its still going forwards. Kat’s been busy working on tons of graphics, icons, lighting, and we now have all the 4 worlds pretty much done with backgrounds and world layouts. She is currently working on placing items in the 2 remaining worlds, working on more puzzle ideas and polishing of the graphics. I’ve been working on performance a fair bit, making sure we stay in a good position. Just finished up with reducing memory usage, as I found that unloading scenes wasn’t quite releasing all resources and therefore if you went between 2 worlds it was using 1GB or so extra memory. This was ok on my rig, as I had 4GB VRAM, but Kat’s PC started to chug a bit when she went between worlds because she only had 2GB of VRAM. This was because I had some textures and materials being cached in variables, and the scene unload wasn’t catching that they were now unused, so I had to set them all to dummy textures/nulls and then call Resource.UnloadUnusedAssets() to clear them. I made heavy use of the memory profiler, which also lead me to some more memory improvements to further reduce memory usage. On my PC now we have a steady 200+ FPS (GeForce GTX 970, Core i7 920, 14GB Ram, 2560×1600), and 100+ on Kat’s (GeForce GTX 580 , Core i5 750, 12GB Ram, 2560×1600) We’ve shown the game off to a few people locally now, some friends came around for a games evening. Even shown it to some of our nieces and nephews and they all loved it, and we got some good feedback and ideas to make things better. Upgraded several times to new versions of Unity in the past few months. Not been great sailing with that, seemed to hit a new bug with whichever one I went with. Been able to navigate around some, but currently waiting for them to fix Resource.LoadAsyc() so that it works with uncompressed Textures/PNGs correctly. Currently on 2017.3.f3, and will probably wait for 2018.1 before I try again. Spent quite a large amount of time making the loading of worlds (ie scenes) be async, so that we could play an animation/particle effect during load. This was quite a challenge, as I was doing lots on load so that it didn’t effect the actual game, thinking the load would be the best place. Unfortunately, that caused stutters etc with the load animations, once we put them in. After lots of profiling and understanding how the load works, we’ve got it to basically never stutter now. Mainly removing all Awakes() as they were just setting cache vars for GameObjects etc, and actually linking them into public inspector vars. Also turning most of our Init() methods into IEnumerators so that we could yield every so often, and using Resource.LoadAsyc() for loading. Will have to revisit it nearer the end, but its working well now. Spent some time putting in lots of particle effects to brighten up the game. We used the Ultimate VFX package from the Unity Store as a basis, and then played around with them. Got most of it done, but I have to go through and find all the graphics and sprite sheets we’ve used and pack them into our own sprite sheets and resize them to fit our game, so that performance is good. The same with the sprites used in the UI. Dotted throughout the worlds, there are puzzles that need to be completed to gain items, and we had done the world 1 puzzles, which were just basic push/pull of blocks and positioning them. These puzzles are intended to get harder as you progress through the 4 worlds, so I worked on the 2nd set of puzzles making 2 new elements for them to make them more interesting. ‘Mag’ blocks are placed around the area where you have to do the puzzles, and these either attract or repel the blocks you need to move. You need to work out which ones can help you or hinder you to complete the puzzles. Implemented a stats screen in-game, so that you can keep track of all the items, puzzles and other elements in the game. Then you can track your progress and see how much you’ve done… and what is left to do. Lots of bug fixing. We’ve played though the first level many times now trying to keep the number of bugs low so that we hopefully don’t have a big job at the end to fix lots of things. At the moment we are ‘bug free’ and everything we’ve found so far has been fixed, so that’s a nice place to be in 🙂 Major things left now are: 3rd and 4th world puzzles In-Game Tutorial Customization items for the alien Boss levels Achievements Sounds So, we will be powering on with things and will keep you updated either here or on our social media pages at FaceBook or Twitter. So if you’re not already following us there, head on over and give us a ‘like’ or ‘follow’. Till next time… watch out for ‘Somethings’ that may eat your aliens… Rob & Kat
  7. RoKabium Games

    SAMA Dev - Mag Blocks

    We've finally finished a new game mechanic, 'Mag Blocks'. These blocks are magnetized and attract (Blue) or repel (Orange) the Phys-Blocks in the puzzle sections. They can either hinder or assist you, and can make some of the puzzles harder to complete. Initially blocks can only be pushed 1 tile at a time, but now as the puzzles progress, Mag Blocks will be placed as obstacles and you will need to figure out how to use them to help complete some of the puzzles. Click the link below, to see a video of them working: https://youtu.be/W4g7gcp5DyM
  8. Last weekend we had some friends around to 'test' play our game a bit (Thanks guys!). Got some good feedback to improve a few things, and spent this week enhancing the Mini Map (in the top right of the screen), so that you have more of a feeling of where you are in the world. You can now zoom in/out and enlarge/shrink it to meet your needs, and it shows where you've been.... #screenshotsaturday
  9. RoKabium Games

    Dev Blog #03 – Polishing the UI

    UI is an important part of game design and is not always easy to get right. When we started our game “Something Ate My Alien” we just dumped text on the screen to get the info on there without any real care of ‘design’ or aesthetics. Which was fine to start with as we just needed ‘functionality’. We got to the point where the game was coming along nicely, but it was time to give some TLC to the UI. We started with Kat doing some UI design in Photoshop to get things looking coherent and get the design right. Then she split up the bits into sprites and I would code it in Unity. This worked well and saved us time I think because it was easier to get the design right in PS first, rather than spending time in Unity moving things around etc. We made sure everything was easy to find without having to ‘drill down’ through too many windows, while also not allowing the screen to get too cluttered with lots of info. We found a font that worked well with our design and we used the Unity Asset ‘TextMeshPro’ to do all text with as this was a great asset that helped us scale and customize the text easily. Although currently we have only done everything in English, we have also kept in mind that we will want to localize it into other languages further along. We’ve had problems along the way with Unity, as a couple of the upgrades caused bugs and issues that took some time to find which was quite annoying. Currently we have them all worked around, apart from one that I need to locate. Between version 2017.2 and 2017.3 one of our screens has dropped FPS from 1300 to 300, which is a significant performance drop, which I think is something to do with ScrollRects having a problem. At the moment though 300 FPS doesn’t cause us a direct problem, but it is something I need to look into. SAMA contains 4 different worlds that you go through, and they are very different color schemes. So we also had to get the design of the UI to match them all. So we came up with the idea of using background images for the UI of the actual game worlds themselves. Kat hand painted them to match the worlds and then we select them depending of which world we are currently in. For smaller windows that pop up, we pick a random part of the background image, and use that for the window background. It seems to work well and make our UI now has a consistent feel about it, no matter where you are. Another important part of UI, is the size of it, particularly the text size. In the beginning we had used a very small size, since we were using large screens (30′ Dell monitors and 2560×1600 res) and we didn’t notice too much. But it was hard to read on a smaller and more standard 1920×1080 screen. So we increased the font size quite bit, and that made it much more readable and easier to see. We have got a scaling system in place also that I’m hoping we can expose in the settings menu, so the users will be able to change the size depending on their preferences. While making it look good, we also had to consider functionality, and keyboard navigation is an important part of that. Everything can be controlled with the keyboard or mouse. Some people like clicking, some like keys… or both, and it’s important that a UI has both. We tried to follow what I would call the ‘windows standard’ of things, and make it work the way windows does, as most people are familiar with that. So tabbing between fields (including reverse tabbing), cursor movement between items in scroll areas, button positions and defaults, standards like Escape key closing any window etc etc. It’s important to make the text on a button very explanatory. So if you have a window pop up for ‘saving’ the game, don’t just put ‘ok’ and ‘no’ on the buttons. Its much better to put ‘Save’ ‘Cancel’ instead as that is more clear what the buttons do. As part of the UI we also updated the HUD to match the same design. All the important information you need while down in the worlds is displayed. Again, we will have settings that allow the scale of the HUD to be changed so that the user can tweak it. Also so they can remove it fully (or fade it) for screen shots or if you don’t want it visible during game play. All in all, its taken alot longer than I had imagined to complete it all, but finally I think we can say that its mostly done now and is in a good shape. Hopefully we have created a great UI and one that our players will enjoy using. Any comments and feedback is welcome. View the full article
  10. RoKabium Games

    Puzzle me this – Alien Logic

    Alongside fighting enemies and collecting loot for the pirate, there is a large puzzle element to our new game ‘Something Ate My Alien’. The main objective of SAMA is to collect the list of items that the pirate has demanded you locate for him before he will release your ship. A lot of these items can be found by digging through the worlds, but a portion of the items can only be found by completing in-game puzzles. As well as loot for the pirate, its also possible to find upgrades and boosts for your aliens, to help with the quest and make them stronger and more useful. Each world will have different types of puzzles and so far we have only designed them for the basic first level. Most blocks in SAMA are mineable and disappear once you dig them, but we have some special blocks that we call ‘Phys-Blocks’. These blocks can’t be mined, but you can move them around. You can push them left and right, and if you dig below them they will fall, killing anything below them. In specific areas of the world, they need to be moved around and fitted into the correct ‘receptors’ and when they are all in the correct place a chest is activated and you can grab your loot. Of course, while you’re doing that, there will be enemies around to hinder your efforts, and I’m sure that a Terrator will make an appearance and try to eat you if he’s feeling hungry. If you get into an impossible situation with the blocks, then you can press the door button again, and this will reset the puzzle to the original configuration. Puzzles in other worlds will also revolve around these Phys-Blocks, but different ideas will be used to make it more fun and harder. Phys-Blocks are also dotted around the world to block passages and hinder your exploration and to just make life a little more difficult for your aliens. Now you’ve finished reading this, you’ll want something else to read I’m sure! How about a little blog about the ‘art’ side of things written by Kat. Click ‘here‘ to read her blog. Also, hop on over to FB and give us a like on our Game Page or follow us on Twitter, and also if you haven’t already voted for us in the ‘IndieDB 2017 competition’ yet, click here and head over there and click the ‘Vote now’ button on our game. Thanks for reading, and until the next entry…. View the full article
  11. RoKabium Games

    IndieDB 2017 Compatition

    We’ve entered into the IndieDB 2017 Competition with SAMA! Please click the link below and go over to IndieDB and vote for our game, it would mean so much to us. http://www.indiedb.com/games/something-ate-my-alien Thanks for all your support. Rob & Kat. View the full article
  12. A 2D digging, adventure puzzle game with some retro feel reminding us of the amazing first digger games such as BoulderDash that we knew when we were younger. That is the type of game me and my partner wanted to create as our very first joint project for our studio “RoKabium Games”. Both being avid gamers we hadn’t seen many games in that genre that focused more on the actual digging being the main element rather than being an action plat former or survival and crafting sandbox with the occasional digging part. So last year we started working and planning for our game “Something Ate My Alien”. We knew early on that for a 2-person team to pull of creating a whole video game we had to have a planning structure for a game that wasn’t too large or complicated. So early ideas of making a full blown 3D, interactive, huge sandbox with multiplayer alternatives was just not gonna be a good starting point. We scaled down the idea of a huge concept and decided to rely more on our existing skill set in the game industry. We decided to focus on a more manageable core of that we ourselves would like to play and what we believed other people would also enjoy to play. A finite game story of about 6-10 hours game play from start to finish, something fun and charming with just the right amount of action/digging/puzzles ratio. We also knew that our game would show quality and engaging graphics being hand painted by myself and it would all be done in a style that would ooze retro, hand painted, uniform and a beautiful game with easy to navigate and clear game mechanics and graphics. We wanted it to be a lighthearted but a addictive little gem suitable for a both younger and a more adult audience. Our game would be exactly how we envisioned it since it would be the labor of our own vision, not working for anybody else. As a digital artist with several years experience in working for game studios and painting game assets, backgrounds, icons, characters etc and being part a team of other game developers, I did have some much needed experience in understanding just how much art is needed for a complete game. Even the smallest game contains more art pieces than you might think. For example, for every animation you do in 2D graphics you have to paint a new image and each animation can have anything from a very basic 5 frames up to 30-40 frames. So for each enemy you draw for example you need to also draw that enemy having an idle position, a walking cycle, a running cycle, an attack cycle, a dying cycle, a jumping cycle etc. So for one single enemy in a game you might have to produce up to around 100 images. Add to that, our game would have at least 10 different enemies for each level and we have designed our game to have a total of 4 levels. Each game level or planet as it is represented in SAMA is built up with a set of ground tiles that has seamless tiling for a smooth and more realistic look. For each tile-set I’m designing 6 variants so the illusion of random and unique ground that looks like it is not repeating. Each world has 4 unique tile types to add variation for the digging mechanics and giving the player more varied game play. On top of normal ground tiles we have variants of 20 unique decals and edges created to blend different types of ground together better and adding even more realism. Inside the ground tiles you can as a player find all kinds of loot. So far I’ve designed 25 unique minerals, 9 different type of gemstones, 8 different kind of gases (each with animation cycles), 28 types of artefacts, 12 different types of complete fossilized animals which consists of 62 separate type of bones to find. There are teleporters, oxygen stations, health hearts, energy boosts, lamps to light up the dark caves, secret doors with puzzle areas to solve to get rare loot or upgrades. There are icons for every item and enemy you can find. All of these visual elements are hand painted by myself and still this is just the bare base of each planet level. When designing the UI for the game we both wanted it very neat and tidy look, using our main colour scheme of blue-green-warm yellow that I first came up with during the conceptual art at the beginning of the project. I also wanted some elements to have somewhat of a computer screen/electronic look with glowing outlines to emphasize that you as the player are the actual AI of the ship and the UI you see is the computer interior. While continuing painting and designing the artwork for SAMA we are getting closer to a first Alpha of the game and we are hoping that with the help of feedback from gamers around us and people interested in our game we can develop a game that is incredibly fun and beautiful to play. See more over at our web site: http://www.somethingatemyalien.com/
  13. RoKabium Games

    SAMA - UI Dev ScreenShot of Inventory

    Got the UI Inventory screen working now. Fully keyboard and mouse driven, this is where you manage all your items split up into separate 'tabs'. This is the 'Fossil' management area.
  14. RoKabium Games

    Meet The Aliens

    Some concept art of our UI for "Something Ate My Alien". This is what the aliens look like under their suits.... See more over here: http://www.somethingatemyalien.com/
  15. The last week we’ve been implementing a new enemy in “Something Ate My Alien” called “Terrator”. He’s much larger than the other enemies, and he’s a worm like creature that we wanted to randomly appear, work its way across the screen and ‘Eat’ our alien if he gets in the way. Kat created the art, and split it up into sprites for each of the ‘worm’ sections, head, body and tail. We didn’t want to create a random path as it was moving, because we wanted more control over him. So we decide to plan out a batch of paths that he should follow and then just pick one at random during spawn. To mix things up a bit, the path should be offset by a random number of pixels, and his start position relative to the path should also change. We also allowed it to be ‘flipped’ randomly to create more variation. We planned out a path with about 15 or so points, and then used a smoothing algorithm called “Chaikin’s Algorithm” to create a smooth path. Chaikin is nice and quick, not 100% accurate though, because of the way it works, the result doesn’t pass through the original points, but its good enough for what we needed it for. It works by ‘cutting corners’ off each point to create a more smoothed curve, and then repeating 3 or 4 times makes it get smoother and smoother. We found 4 times was good enough to make Terrator animate smoothly in the game. I found a C# example which helped, here: C# Smoothing Path Although it was a quick algorithm, the implementation I found actually created quite a bit of C# Garbage, so I looked into re-writing it to remove any Garbage. Now, rather than creating a new array on every smooth pass, you can pre-create an big array, and then it fills in that one array. So now it was generating zero Garbage during game play. Yay!! And as a bonus, with a bit of extra tweaking, I got it to process faster also. For 15 original points and smoothing 4 times, the original routine took about 1.22ms and allocated 3.3kb of Garbage. My new one took 1.05ms and allocated none. Here is a video clip of it in game: Here is the barebones C# code I wrote for Unity, to generate the smooth curve if anyone else might find it useful: // Setup smooth info int smoothness = 4; int NumMainPoints = 15; Vector2[] smoothPoints = new Vector2[(NumMainPoints - 2) * (int)Mathf.Pow(2,smoothness) + 2]; Vector2 startpoint = new Vector2(25,50); Vector2 centerPoint = new Vector2(50,50); smoothPoints[0] = startpoint; smoothPoints[1] = startpoint + new Vector2(8,0); smoothPoints[2] = startpoint + new Vector2((8 + 2),0); smoothPoints[3] = centerPoint + new Vector2(-6.0f, 0.5f); smoothPoints[4] = centerPoint + new Vector2(-2.0f, -1.5f); smoothPoints[5] = centerPoint + new Vector2(1.5f, 0.5f); smoothPoints[6] = centerPoint + new Vector2(5.0f, -2.5f); smoothPoints[7] = centerPoint + new Vector2(2.5f, -5.5f); smoothPoints[8] = centerPoint + new Vector2(-3.0f, -3.0f); smoothPoints[9] = centerPoint + new Vector2(-4.5f, -0.5f); smoothPoints[10] = centerPoint + new Vector2(-2.5f, 2.0f); smoothPoints[11] = centerPoint + new Vector2(1.5f, 2.5f); smoothPoints[12] = centerPoint + new Vector2(5.0f, 2.0f); smoothPoints[13] = centerPoint + new Vector2(9.0f, 2.5f); smoothPoints[14] = centerPoint + new Vector2(150, -0.5f); ChaikinFast(ref smoothPoints, smoothness, NumMainPoints); private void ChaikinFast(ref Vector2[] smoothPoints, int smoothness, int NumMainPoints) { Vector2 lastVector = smoothPoints[NumMainPoints - 1]; // Save last point int p = NumMainPoints - 2; int factor = 2; int lastPoint; Vector2 offsetRight, offsetLeft; // Loop through mulitple times to smooth for (int s=1; s<=smoothness; s++) { lastPoint = (NumMainPoints - 2) * factor; offsetRight = (smoothPoints[p+1] - smoothPoints[p]) * 0.25f; // For each point, replace with 2, // with each one being 25% more towards the left and right points for (int n=lastPoint; n>1; n-=2) { offsetLeft = (smoothPoints[p] - smoothPoints[p-1]) * 0.25f; smoothPoints[n] = smoothPoints[p] + offsetRight; smoothPoints[n-1] = smoothPoints[p] - offsetLeft; offsetRight = offsetLeft; p--; } // Prepare for next loop p = lastPoint; smoothPoints[p+1] = lastVector; // Copy the end point to the end factor *= 2; } } View the full article
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