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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

    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 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 or Steam page at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870
  3. RoKabium Games

    SAMA

    Images & screenshots from "Something Ate My Alien" game by RoKabium Games.
  4. Alpha Changes We've been busy the last month implementing changes suggested from our Alpha testers. Inventory Changes have mostly been around inventory and the pirate list. We realized that the way the pirate ransom list worked was a bit hard to follow and generally was looked at as being a 'grind' rather than fun. So we have changed it so that there are no groups and it's just individual items that are now on the list. This meant we could remove the ransom list screen (no one really went to that screen), and everything is now on the inventory screen. The pirate automatically takes any ransom the player owes him as they teleport back up to the ship. Upgrades We've also changed how upgrades are acquired. Previously each item had a sell value, and were sold to accrue 'Units'. Upgrades were obtained with Units. Again, this didn't seem rewarding, and people just click-click-clicked to sell everything all the time. So, we've changed it to be a more 'crafting' like process. Items aren't sold any more, instead they are now used to build upgrades. Each upgrade now has a requirement of items (For example, one of the laser upgrades requires: 5 Grittium, 2 Gumom & 1 Hingle Bingle) that the player needs to find before they can build them. Units have been removed, and now each item has an 'Energy' cost along with the item requirements. Energy is found in the worlds in the puzzle chests, and also randomly dropped when enemies are killed. Tutorial After watching some of the Alpha players uploaded playthrough videos, we saw that they were not understanding some parts of the game or mechanics. We had little message popups to explain things, but they were either just ignored or closed quickly. So we have introduced a 'Tutorial' section (Can be skipped) at the beginning of the game. When a new game is started, the computer AI will talk through the mechanics of the game. The player now gets the chance to actually do the things, in a controlled setting. This way they can directly learn about how to play, what keys do what and how to use items etc. There are 3 main sections to the tutorial, where the player is guided through an easy section at the beginning of the first level. Metis layout We have also made the game a little bit more 'linear'. We have noticed from watching the play throughs, and also comments back to us, that people were feeling 'lost'. They didn't really have any direction in where to go, especially at the beginning in Metis. So for Metis, we have made it more linear and it follows a more defined 'path'. It's not fully linear, and the player can still mine in any direction and move about freely. It now guides them through the level with more with walls (blocks that can't be mined) etc. This should help the player in the beginning and not overwhelm them with such wide open areas. The other levels have not changed too much in this regard. Tartarus and Lelantos were previously more guided than Metis anyway, and Aura is still a lot more 'open'. Hopefully this will start the player off on a more direct path and help them understand the game better. Minimap The minimap has had a bit of an upgrade. Along with other Upgrades you can build, there is now an 'Item' scanner. This upgrade allows the minimap to show up to 3 different items, so they can be found easier. It only shows them in areas that have already been seen, but it should help in finding specific items needed for other upgrades. A new button to stop the map following the player helps with navigation. Regarding upgrades, there is also a new scanner for graves, another suit protection for cold, and an extra level for the Lock Jaw device. Going Forward So, that was a lot of work in the last month! We still have lots to do. We want to enhance the enemies AI, enhance and polish the boss scenes and add Steam Achievements. Some other things we are looking at are full controller support, Linux & Mac support and the possibility of localization in other languages. We had touted that our release date would be Autumn 2019. That would be possible, but we would have to drop quite a few things to get that done. Also, we have been working close to 100 hrs a week for far too long and that has taken a toll on our productivity and life. So we have made the decision to delay the release a bit. Ideally we would probably only need to extend by 2-3 months, but that puts us near Christmas and the winter sales. Generally this seems to be the time when small Indie developers should avoid releasing their games. So, we have to push it out to early 2020. We feel this is the most ideal solution for making our game the best it can be for our players. We would like the final part of the game to be finished how we want it to be rather than rushing to complete it and it not being the game we hoped for. Wishlist We're also still busy trying to grow our community and Steam Wishlist. Click the link below to go and add our game to your Wishlist or see some more screen shots and our trailer video. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870/Something_Ate_My_Alien/ Hopefully all the above will mean we will release a fun and complete game, and we still have fun finishing it Rob & Kat.
  5. Alpha Testing It’s been a busy time with our Alpha testers these last few weeks. Lots of feedback and ideas coming in. We’ve just come out with a new update for the Alpha version. This version is including lots of bug fixes and changes from the testers. One of the larger items in the recent Alpha release is the sound. We hand picked and replaced all sound effects and added many more, and ended up with over 120 new sound effects added, along with 8 tracks for the background music. We decided to pick most sounds from Pond5, as they had the largest and best database of sounds we found. In Lelantos and Aura we have introduced a new mechanic. ‘Portals’ are devices that transfer the Alien instantly to another location on the planet. On Lelantos the Alien needs to use them to find different areas that can’t reached by mining. On Aura, they are used for portaling into the Puzzle rooms. Once a portal is found, it will be displayed on the mini-map, and each will have a unique number so you can keep track of where they go. We’ve been playing through the full game now, to try to find how long the game plays for. For us, it takes about 10+ hours to complete, but looking at the Alpha testing data, people are playing it for between 10 -> 20 hours. So it’s looking like it’s easily going to play for 10+ hours. We are still looking for testers to help us, so if you fancy helping out, follow this link to see what to do: Alpha Signup Steam Our Steam / Wish List is doing well, and we are starting to get a nice following on there. We changed our release text to specify ‘Autumn 2019’ as we are now more confident we can achieve this time. The Steam Summer Sale is starting soon, so we are hoping that will bring some extra traffic and adds. Not seen our Steam page yet? It’s got all the info about SAMA including screenshots and our feature trailer video. Click the link below and check it out. Even give us an add to your Wish List if SAMA looks like it’s for you! https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870/Something_Ate_My_Alien/ Social Media Back in May we did our first interview. @IndieRanger asked us if we wanted to do an interview, and we thought that would be a good idea to get out some info about us and the game. It was a bit nerve wracking, since this was our first interview, but it all went well and they did a nice write up about us. If you haven’t yet, go have a read about us. Click here for the Rob & Kat Interview We also got our first YouTube streamer, Fred! He is an Alpha tester and has done a few videos about the game and his views on it. With his comical commentary during the game play, it’s a nice start to our You Tube presence. You can find him here: Fred Impossible Next things The next phase of Alpha will be introducing some more ideas from the testers. These include modifications to the ‘Somethings’, new upgrades and some changes to the Aura world. Keep tuned to see them soon. We will continue to interact with our Alpha testers and get as much feed back from them as we can. Bonus: We also did a quick little ‘fun’ video of some behind-the-scenes development, and how the game looks in the Unity editor with a ‘3D’ look: Something-Ate-My-Alien-RoKabium-Games-DevInGame3D.mp4
  6. RoKabium Games

    Dev Blog #07 – Steaming ahead to Alpha

    We haven't quite decided on cost yet, but we think around $15-$20. We already have a page setup on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870/Something_Ate_My_Alien/ And we hopefully plan to be on other stores also
  7. RoKabium Games

    Dev Blog #07 – Steaming ahead to Alpha

    Thanks! We're still working hard on the Alpha testing, making changes based on what our testers come up with. Slowly but surely working towards our release
  8. RoKabium Games

    RoKabium Games on Building a Game from the Ground Up

    It was a pleasure being interviewed by Steven. This was the first interview we have done for our game and company so we were a bit nervous, but we hope you like the info about us and enjoy the read.
  9. Steam We’ve had a busy few months, but we are now officially on Steam! Obviously an important place for us to market our game is Steam. Although we are still developing away, it is important for us to get a presence on Steam and start building up a community. A major part of that is getting people signed up to our “Wish List”, so that they can see updates and get notified when the game is ready. So, if you like the look of our game, click below and add us to your wish list and take a look at our Steam page. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870/Something_Ate_My_Alien/ Enhancements We’ve been adding lots of new effects, sounds and challenges to all the planets. The game is now 100% playable from start to end, but we still have some things to finish off, polish and refine. We added lots more particle effects and lighting to make the battles stand out, and some other interesting effects including snow storms, earthquakes and a new device on Lelantos that portals the Aliens around. There are now lots more upgrades that you can give your Aliens to help them out while down on the planets solving puzzles and fighting with the locals. Including a new weapon, the ‘Bomb Launcher’ that allows the Aliens to fire bombs into tight areas to clear out a horde of enemies. We worked on some colour-blindness settings to help players to be able to identify where the blocks in the puzzles fit into by having symbols representing the colors. This is an option you can turn on in the settings. Also the ability to ‘zoom’ the view in, so you can get a closer look at things. In conjunction with starting up on Steam, we have also released a new video trailer showing off the current state and game play. This showed off all the aspect of the game, Puzzle Solving, Digging, Collecting and Fighting! We also updated our main logo and you can see that in the thumbnail of the video below. Something-Ate-My-Alien-RoKabium-Games-Dev-Trailer-2-FadeTransitions-v4-1440.mp4 Alpha Testing We’ve also started public Alpha testing. So if you fancy trying out our game and give us some feedback on what you think, click the link below to go to the forum post about how you can apply to do some testing. http://www.somethingatemyalien.com/forums/Thread-Sign-up-for-Alpha-Testing Last month we joined forces with a company called IndieBros, and they will be helping us with Social Media, Steam and general marketing activities. We felt we needed help in this area to make sure our game is a success when we launch. Over the next few months we will be keeping in contact with our Alpha testers and once we are happy that nothing major is going to change we will move to Beta testing and then onto a launch. So still some work to do but the finish line is in sight.
  10. RoKabium Games

    New Dev Trailer

    We've been working hard on our new Dev Trailer that we released as we also went live with our Steam Page! Took us quite a bit of effort to get it all done, but I think the result is great! What do you think? Something-Ate-My-Alien-RoKabium-Games-Dev-Trailer-2-FadeTransitions-v4-1440.mp4 If you like the look of the game, then click the link below and add us to your wish list! https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047870/Something_Ate_My_Alien/ Thanks, Rob.
  11. Art Evolution of SAMA As the solo and lead artist for the indie studio RoKabium Games and working on the first game of the studio called “Something Ate My Alien”, the amount of different images I’ve created and modified for this game goes well into the many thousands. As I’m writing this blog my file number of different assets, concepts, backgrounds, logos and promotional artworks is just over 6000 files. For anyone that does not know what goes into making a game it is easy enough to not fully grasp the amount of content needed to make even a smaller but full, visually pleasing and fun to play game that has all the mechanics needed to function properly and look good. We have been developing this game for the last 2 years and have finally come to the stage where we’ve let a few people try out the game and give us feedback during a private alpha release. At this stage of development most of the game is finished and we are tweaking, adding and changing things to make for clearer and smoother game play before releasing it as general alpha where more players are needed to test the game. Since we have reached this point I thought it would make for an interesting read to visually see the development of the game up until this point. The overall art style I was so in love with the art style of games such as “No Man’s Sky” and “Firewatch” and wanted to create something similar for this game with a retro-feel to the palette and style. This game was to be a reminder of the early classics such as “Boulder Dash” and “Spelunky” but with some more exploration/adventure tossed into it slightly reminiscent of the first Zelda games. We wanted future players of SAMA to feel a connection to these earlier classics but with a smooth, painted, beautiful style that had a “hand painted stroke by stroke” look. Very early on we knew we wanted to create a game with keywords such as fun, classic, hand painted, quality, beautiful. The GUI and HUD Despite the brush painted style on the different worlds, I did want to keep the retro palette and clean interface without too many fillers or decorations that could cause distraction on the GUI. You as the player are the main AI running the mining ship that in turn sends down the Aliens to dig on the planets, so the AI part of the game play needed to have a distinct and more simplistic look than the dynamic, living world the Aliens would move around in. At some point we did add a bit more of the painted backgrounds used for the Menu and loading screens into the back of the GUI since the difference between the very bare GUI and the planet game play seemed too different and the merged result from combining the two extremes is what made the most visual sense. The main concern with the HUD was to display all the info you need while mining, such as health, oxygen levels, inventory, messages that the AI need to relay to you, mini-map etc without interfering or covering too much of the game play area of the screen. This itself proved tricky and we made lots of changes to this, testing out different ideas during the last 2 years. Finally the layout we have currently is the one we find the most pleasing but even so we’ve made it re-sizable so that players who want more or less game play area outside the HUD can set that. The Aliens In the beginning as the game idea was merely some sentences and points on a few pieces of paper I started sketching what we thought would be the main character which was the Alien. The first concepts were made to decide which idea to build on. As you can see below the first idea was an actual retro style human-like astronaut and it was not until a bit into development once the story was fleshed out properly that we wanted a more unfamiliar and not too realistic (since the Alien would be the second character and be disposable) look. We wanted something unknown but appealing, something more simplified that would speak to people of all ages but that you as a player wouldn’t get too attached to. This is when the current Alien was born. The Levels The ground on each planet in SAMA is supposed to be bedrock that can be mined by the Aliens, and early on we decided we wanted seamless tiles to build up this bedrock rather than individual blocks that was more prominent in the early classics. The first tiles were extremely simple, but we decided to move towards more of a hand painted style for the whole game quite quickly and looking back I’m really glad we did that. This style makes the game feel so much more immersive and gives a sense of quality in my opinion. Each planet has a specific colour theme and environment and these were set quite early on in development. The far backgrounds behind all the front tiles were to set a nice, ambient parallax look to the underground, and the very first and rough paintings of the back is very different from the final, meticulously painted ones we have today. The resources and puzzle chambers were the only things I designed that would not be unique to any one world. These things needed to be uniform all over the game play areas since as a player you need to recognize these things across the planets. The look for the various resources was developed very early on and has more or less stayed the same throughout development and pretty much the same goes for the puzzle blocks. The Wildlife We wanted to use the environment itself against the player such as the need for filling up oxygen, emptying the backpack when full, falls or ending up in liquids etc. But we also needed dangerous wildlife that would be more interactive and seek the player out. Some of the first concepts of animals were a bit wild, but after realizing the amount of animations needed for each animal and for me to make those animations without having much experience at all in animation work before this, we had to settle for creatures that had somewhat easier or easily referenced movements. Based on that I came up with a range of wildlife (enemies) that has been added to more recently to get between 8-10 different ones for each planet. Each planet would also be guarded by something huge, a part of the wildlife that would be so dangerous it would possibly be able to eat the Alien whole. Something that would appear from time to time and then inevitably lead to some kind of confrontation/battle and so the “Somethings” or monsters/dragons/terrators/bosses were born. The evolution of the Something has been pretty significant as you can see in these images. We had some problems coming up with how these big things would move on the screen. At one point the idea was that the big bosses would come out from the back wall and eat the Alien that way, but it just looked terrible. We weren’t sure how something going across the screen would look since really there is bedrock in the way, but in the end the visually pleasing and game play aspect of that kind of movement won over “realism”. Hey, it is a fantasy game set in a fantasy world with the bedrock depicted in a 2D platform style on the screen, who says a huge creature can’t move through it all as it pleases? Hope you have enjoyed this look at how the art within the game SAMA has developed over the last 2 years. View the full article
  12. RoKabium Games

    Happy Christmas 2018

    Happy Christmas to everyone, hope you all have a great few days and a happy new year, from Rokabium Games and "Something ate My Alien"!
  13. RoKabium Games

    Something Ate My Alien

    Album for Something Ate My Alien
  14. We've been a bit quiet on the social media front for the last few months. Mainly because we've been working on bug fixing and internal stuff that didn't make for great screenshots, so we are going to start posting regularly again now. The game is in a good shape, and we have recently started a 'Private' Alpha stage, where we have given out the game to a select few friends to get some initial feedback from. This went really well and we got some great ideas and things back from them that has helped us tweak and change some aspects of the game. Hopefully soon we will be moving to a more public Alpha testing stage. The Alpha testing will be based on the first planet only. The other 3 planets are well on their way to completion, but are not quite ready to be played yet. We have the 'ending' to get into as well. After we have been in Alpha for some time, and we have the other planets finished, then we will be moving to a Beta stage, which is really exciting. However we want all mechanics and the story-line complete before we get to this stage of testing though. We're going to start off with posting a series of images that try to explain what the game is about, like the one above. We've also added an Instagram account now, so if you are on that platform, give us a follow! (RokabiumGames)
  15. 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!
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