Making the art for A MAZE Johannesburg 2014

One day, Thorsten Wiedermann, the mastermind behind A MAZE Festival saw that we were discussing the upcoming 2014 A MAZE Johannesburg on MakegamesSA. I suggested that the Joburg mascot could be:

amaze_joburg2

 

Thorsten saw that and approached me to make the art for the Joburg festival, and I agreed with much excitement :D The A MAZE Joburg unicorn wasn’t gonna fly, so I eventually made this baby:

amaze_design_v3_notext

I’m super excited for this year’s A MAZE Festival! :D Last year’s was simply amazing as we got to meet, hang out with and pick the brains of amazing people like Rami Ismail of the incredible Vlambeer team, Sos Sowski the Swedish Mad Scientist of Video Games, and many more.

Follow this page for more details of the upcoming A MAZE Johannesburg 2014!

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(video) Chatting about Game Dev, Comics, Passion Creative Industries in South Africa

I was invited by Openroom.tv to a livestream show Baxoxe with Ray Whitcher!

Baxoxe is a creative chit chat show that showcases and highlights creatives throughout South Africa – to show South African creatives the diversity that exists in the South African creativescape. (you know, other than advertising)

Baxoxe_01

For the show, I prepared a Pecha Kucha (a presentation format focussed on conciseness – 20 slides, 20 seconds each) speaking about game design theory and what game design and development and communities are all about in SA. It was perhaps a bit over-ambitious as I went into rattle mode, sang a little song, and attempted some Xhoza clicking, but you can be the judge of that :)

We also had a blast answering live twitter questions, had a creative quiz-out (chickens DID cross the road), and generally had a lot of fun in the freezing Greenside cold. Ray was wearing shorts. That puzzled me.

Baxoxe_07

Ray spoke about the comic industry in SA in general, and we discuss how we all should be pushing our passion industries forward.

A big thanks to Odd Cafe for the fantastic venue, the boys and gals of Baxoxe for the invite and organisation, and Openroom.TV for the excellent production. It ran like mice who were not blind in the least :) Baxoxe is a great initiative and I certainly look forward to their future shows!

How are you doing with your passion industry?

Watch the full show:
http://www.openroom.tv/#!baxoxe/c2ky

Baxoxe_08 Baxoxe_05

Baxoxe_03 Baxoxe_04

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Cartel updated, design mock-ups, better rules, Print & Play Files out now!

Cartel’s got a big update!

Mockups of the card art (not the design in the PNP, they’re for experimenting with layouts and legibility:

 

card_business card_building

card_back card_pocket

 

But wait, there’s more!

  • Completely reworked print and play files, much more white! And colour added in case you want to use it. But you can play in black and white too.
  • A couple of cards were changed for balance.
  • Comprehensive overview added, read that for a quick summary of how the game works!
  • A lot more comprehensive rules – complete with illustrations to make it a lot easier to understand.
  • Card backs included in case you want to use them :)

Click here to Download Cartel V0.5 Print and Play files!

Also please remember to hit the feedback thread on Boardgamegeek - any and all feedback and constructive criticism welcome!

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Landshark Missile Attack’s post-LD48 MASSIVE update

Landshark Missile Attack started its life at Ludum Dare 29 as my first solo jam :D

Play the post-compo updated version here:
http://www.twoplusgames.com/landsharkv2

Changes include:

  1. A thumpin’ track by Tim Harbour! Unfortunately hadn’t gotten to sound effects yet.
  2. Focussed on one level, removed others for now.
  3. Screenshake! Of course!
  4. Removed time limit.
  5. Fixed stuttering bullet time.
  6. Health + death mechanic added.
  7. Eat people to heal.
  8. Removed swimming up walls for now.
  9. Added enemy dropship.
  10. Aerial dodge – double tap forward, left or right while airborne!
  11. Missiles and dodge energy reload when you land.
  12. So wow, so much. Can’t remember.

So, some questions for you if you had time to give it a go:

  1. Did you find it laggy? Was the performance much different between the Windows and the online version for you?
  2. The direction I’m heading in is “Crimsonland in 3D with Bullet-time and possibly multiplayer”. How does that sound to you?
  3. How does the handling of the shark feel to you? Are you comfortable with jumping, aiming, and aerial boosting?
  4. How “fair” does it feel to you? How’s the challenge at the moment?
  5. Did you see any blatant bugs?

Play (web) or download SUPER ANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK POST-COMPO EDITION V2!

And tell me if I went in the right direction since the original LD48 entry! XD

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Postmortem: My Ludum Dare game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK

This was my first Ludum Dare ever, and my 3rd real game jam in total ever (did one Indie Speed Run and one Global Game Jam, and by far my best jam ever – each jam builds on the previous one, and the LEVEL UP that one gets at game jams are just TOO MASSIVE TO PASS UP. I hugely encourage everyone to do game jams as often as they’re able to!

My LD48 game SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK turned out way beyond all my own expectations. I was never good with Unity! Please give it a look :)

One thing my experience has told me is that I always write postmortem part 1 of my jams and then never get to part 2. So screw that, I’m going to do this one quick and in reverse chronological order like Memento :)

Score attack!

Another thing I was sad to not have had time to put in was score tracking, so I’m making a competition! Send me screenshots of your high score and the highest scorer this week (ending Monday 5th May) will get to design a level for SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK with me :D

landsharkscore_BANNER

Adding sound

I didn’t have time to add in sound and music, which disappointed me greatly, so I played the game over some rocking track and made a video of it :)

Finishing

Eventually I detailed things a bit more, added more levels (there are three in total right now) and colour and juice and stuff and rushed it out the door in the final 6 hours:

landsharkpost07

Fleshing it out

I dropped in a bunch of objects, found some homing missile code, and went to town in a gameplay test. AND IT WAS AWESOME. So I pretty much didn’t change the gameplay from this kind of stuff:

landsharkpost_05_gameplayTest_web

And then amped it up in magnitude, and added score tracking and a timer, which made EVEN MORE AWESOME

landsharkpost06

Physics

Then I spent more than half of day one trying to get the physics for landshark working. One of the things I really wanted was for him to swim up walls… And generally defy gravity. Eventually after a lot of maths and help from other people’s maths:

landsharkpost_03_physics_web

landsharkpost_04_physicstest_web

Planning

I actually don’t remember where the idea came from. All I remember was that initially I wanted LAZERS. But that was hard so I went missiles :) This was my “project manager” over the weekend:

landsharkpost_01_book

What went wrong:

  • Very little actually, I was REALLY surprised.
  • Lack understanding of Unity physics (or indeed any maths physics), of Quaternions, of Vectors, etc, made it really really tricky.
  • Didn’t budget time for sound and interface.
  • I wasn’t sure what the scope was from the beginning and built as I went
  • Spent a ton of time on swimming up the wall mechanic… But didn’t end up using it a lot. It was one of those REALLY out of the way mechanics that had all sorts of mad implications that I couldn’t have considered when I was making it. Like falling into the infinite sky :P But it’s not really so much “wrong” as “something I can explore more” :)

What went right:

  • Being surrounded by other jammers, we could all ask each other about things. It REALLY helped everyone :D Jam in a herd! If it works for zebras it works for jammers!
  • I let myself go - picked a theme, basic idea, and just explored how it played. The lack of a solid, defined, “dead” goal from the get-goal for me allowed for a refreshing exploratory approach to this jam.
  • Not having to justify every decision, thing to try, etc in a team made it really easy to rapidly try and discard ideas. Not that I don’t appreciate being in a team. I really missed being able to specialise and do what I do best and let everyone do what they did best. Good for time, less good for focus and attention to detail.
  • Google Sketchup. Seriously, it’s the only 3D program I know and without it I wouldn’t be able to make ANY 3D. Well, besides the cubes and spheres. Thanks for the fish shark!
  • Unity. I give it lots of hell, and it gives me lots of hell, but without it I would never ever have made something that looks so big in such a short of time. And this applies to EVERYONE. It’s a great big sandbox, all you have to do is to find how other people did what you want it to do… And remember syntax XD

It was truly fantastic! I’ll never ever miss another Ludum Dare EVER! :D

Give SUPER LANDSHARK MISSILE ATTACK a go!

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