Results for tag "makegamessa"

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Bodybag (The Cleaners) – our #GGJ15 Criminal Resolution Physics Simulator

Global Game Jam is the 48 hour annual Game Jam that happens all across the world with a unified theme. You can play the game here:

Bodybag (The Cleaners) playable link

Bodybag Global Game Jam page


The theme this year was “What do we do now?!”

This was a tough one – the previous Ludum Dare’s theme was, to me, a lot more restrictive, and thus felt more interesting. It’s the old saying of if you tell someone they can do anything, they most likely will end up doing nothing. Restrictions breed creativity.

So we tried to break the theme down into restrictions we can try to apply:

  • “We” – “It’s What do we do now?”, so that implies some kind of group game – implying multiplayer, which is my personal favourite. But multiplayer experiences tend to not do as well in jam setting (as we discussed in the previous Ludum Dare blog), and we just did one in our previous LD, we also wanted to stay away from that.
  • A sense of being thrust into something unknown – that’s the feeling those words “What do we do now?” elicit. We wanted to make people feel that panic and confusion.
  • Not a scripted narrative adventure game – we realised very quickly that the theme lent itself too much to a kind of point & click adventure that would have players solve things by working out contextual puzzles, so we wanted to stay away from that. We wanted to base the game on a mechanic rather than a stream of content.

Bodybag Simulator

The deed is done, the mark is now a body. “What do we do now?”
Now, we call the Cleaners.

Bodybag is a game about what happen after the inconsiderate asshole assassins leaves a messy botched job behind. It’s your job to get rid of the body in whatever way necessary.

  • It can be played as a 2P game with each controlling a character, or ambidextrously by a single player. This
  • It’s a physics-based game which we haven’t really had experience with before – No More Boxes was physics but this had elastic bodies and all that which relied a lot more on physics than wrangled quasi-physics.
  • Not sure on the name 🙂 “The Cleaners” sounds better but a tad generic, “Bodybag” sounds too heavy-handed… But for now this’ll do 🙂
  • We either overscoped or underestimated the tweaking it takes to wrangle a physics system to do what we want it to do. In any case we had quite a few things that we wanted to include that didn’t get in, which would have been easy to implement, but we were too busy working on wrangling the physics system.
  • So we didn’t manage to finish everything we wanted to 🙁


  • Learnt a bunch about physics bodies in Unity, it made me understand why Chariot (that game I learned about over the weekend) made their design choices (round characters, among others). I feel much better equipped to make more crazy physics games now 🙂
  • Learnt to do level design. Something I’ve generally stayed the hell away from.

Timelapse – 48 hours in 30 seconds:


  • Steven Tu (art and level design)
  • Loet Jansen Van Rensburg (code and physics)
  • Tim Harbour (Superb score)


Once again, GGJ15 game link:

Play now:

Thanks for your time, hope you enjoy the game! 🙂

rAge 2014 + Debut of Beat Attack

The rAge Expo has always been a landmark gaming event in South Africa, and this year has been no exception. Twoplus Games was there with a gaggle of fellow indie game devs with MakegamesSA and  to show off some top-notch home-brewed entertainment!

Dead Run, of course

Arthur Godstruck on Dead Run


We took two games to rAge, and the first is the soon-to-be-released endless twitch zombie-bashing runner Dead Run, which has repeatedly surprised us with how much people love playing it even in an expo environment – see, it was designed for quick play sessions while waiting in a queue, but instead people were queuing up to play it. It brings a smile to our faces 🙂

You can play the Dead Run expo build right here:

Dead Run will be coming out soon on iOS (it’s sitting in the approval process which has had unforeseen hiccups), with Android and Windows Mobile to follow.

Beat Attack, the debutante

Pre-apologising to all @MakeGamesSA guys exhibiting with me at @rageExpo 🙂 #nightattheroxy

A video posted by Steven Tu (@tuism) on

The second game we brought was Beat Attack, a game we had been prototyping in the last month or so. rAge was the first time we had shown it to the public.

Beat Attack is our rhythmic one-button love letter to combo-licious competitive block-matching puzzle games – it  was designed because we love versus puzzle games like Super Puzzle Fighter and Puyo Puyo, but couldn’t really find any that worked with my iPad. So we made our own! We also love DDR, and it all just fit so beautifully together. But more on Beat Attack’s origins later. Beat Attack was super well received, the simple one-button competitive play was a joy to show people and just watch them fall into the game, trying to get better and beat their friends’ ass. Which is exactly what we want out of Beat Attack!

You can play the Beat Attack expo build right now too:

Beat Attack is currently in alpha and is definitely gonna get finished! Stay up to date by following us on Twitter!


Here are just some of our photos from rAge, you can check out our full album for more photos!

These bad boys played at least 4 hours of Dead Run, coming back again and again to whack ever more zombies. Kudos!

Saturday’s Dead Run high scores!

The Akatsuki ninja trainin on Beat Attack

A heated conclusion to a heated game of Beat Attack.

Making Dark Magic At Global Game Jam 14 :D

This year I took part in my very first Global Game Jam. Like the name suggests, it’s a game jam that sweeps across the globe as quickly as light sweeps across timezones, with hot-blooded creative powerhouses everywhere bending their mind towards the same theme, creating love, magic, and games right around the world, around the world, around the world, around the world. #daftpunk

The Joburg #GGJ14 #GGJSouthAfrica was held at the Microsoft Joburg office – thanks Microsoft SA for their continual support of MGSA! Not only do they host our MakegamesSA monthly meetups, they also take care of us on our special needs occasions too, like this epic weekend.

It Starts

The event kicked off with some fluffingly inspirational keynote videos by indie figures such as Richard Lemarchand (Uncharted series), Kaho Abe and Jenova Chen (Thatgamecompany, my idol and heroes who made Flow, Flower, Journey). Then they jumped into the theme reveal, which was at different times in different time zones, so we were asked not to talk about them on social media until Hawaii (last timezone on earth) has had their reveal.

The theme was a mad one! So hipster! So meta! So psychological!

Three and a Half artists

After the theme reveal, we were let loose onto each other, free to discuss our ideas and poach/be poached into teams who want to work together. It was a frenzied piranha fest of people trying to get to know each other, of trying to find skills that you don’t have, and of pitching ideas/personalities at the speed of pitching machines. At this point, the 48 hour clock started, and the jam was away in earnest, without a team, without an idea, without a plan, and that didn’t bother anybody one bit.

Eventually, myself, Jonathan, and Hendré got together, three artists (Jonathan is technical art, Hendre is 3D art, and I’m… A generalist :P) cos we agreed with each others’ ideas during our mass brainstorm. We had a few throwaways, these are the ones I can remember:

  • Everyone you see has a dog’s head, because you’re a dog. When you become a cow, everyone will have a cow’s head, etc. We see the world as we are.
  • You come across an obstacle and cannot continue. You pick up a hooker and take her home, but afterwards you feel empty inside, so an obstacle becomes empty and you can progress. We see the world as we are.

In the end, this was the idea that captured all of our imaginations:

You’re a strange blind creature, and sees the world only occasionally through echo location – sonar pings. You explore your dark world, seeing occasionally, and have to avoid giant creatures to survive, while eating smaller ones to grow bigger, eventually conquering the subterranean food chain.

And that’s when Gian Luca joined us, as the only full programmer on the team. Thank goodness, we were gonna be going into this with just three arty types (though Jonathan was pretty good with code, honestly). And then there were four.

Fast Forward

I’ll post later about the adventures we had during the jam, it was bloody fantastic, to say the least, and a life changing experience. The first night I went home to sleep on the idea, and from Saturday 7am till the Sunday, I only slept 1 hour. But it was worth every can of oversized Monster and Rockstar I consumed.

Vital stats for #GGJ14 Joburg:

  • 65 jammers in all who registered
  • 14 games produced (3 were boardgames)
  • 1 all-girl team (colour me sexist, but I’m calling it special as I see it :P)
  • 7 round tables
  • Ok I can’t think of anymore numbers 🙂

And the outcome from our team is Echo: A Journey Within, Without.

You can download the game or play it online (poor performance as we obviously didn’t have time to optimise) right here

#GGJ14 was an incredible experience, and I’m so happy to have shared it with all of my incredible team! I’ll be writing more about the actual #GGJ14 experiences – there were many *superb* moments, and I loved the way our team worked and I would LOVE to show you how the game came together – the experience of learning was more than half the point of it all 🙂


Parting note:

There are bugs in the game, and the mechanic’s not fully resolved, but for the two day’s work it turned out to be a brilliant tech demo, ready to become a better game, which is what we will aim to do for Echo in the future. Rawr! Game Jam Forever! 😀

rAge 2013: 15 made in SA games showing!


Every year, I think to myself I don’t need to go to rAge to gawk at the same AAA titles that you can see on Youtube and everywhere else. Every year I end up going because of one thing or another – if it wasn’t me judging the amazing Cosplay for Legion Ink for two years in a row, it was being a booth babe for Otaku Magazine, or organising booth babes for Asus, or whatever. rAge has become an ubiquitous landmark in the geek calendar, and for good reason.

This year’s rAge is gonna be a real special one! Well, every year’s rAge turns out to be special for, but this one will end up taking the proverbial cake. I just know it. I feel it in my bones. Why?

For starters, my game that I’ve been working on Bear Chuck will be playable and on display! And even better, I share the honor with 14 other made-in-SA games! 15 games!! FIFTEEN in total! Even as part of makeGamesSA for the last year, I never realised how quickly we’ve grown.

In no particular order (except of course the first one), here are the 15 made-in-SA games that you can come to check out and play at rAge 2013:


Bear Chuck

My page with playable build


Offcial page with playable build

Desktop Dungeons

Official page with playable build

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Official page with playable build

zX: Hyperblast

Official page with playable build


Official page with playable build

Pixel Boy

Official site

A Day in the Woods

Official site

Death Laser

System Crash

Official site

Toxic Bunny

Official site

Wang Commander

MakegamesSA thread


Official site with playable build

Blazin’ Aces

Official site

Death Smashers

Developers official site

rAge 2013 is going to be amazing! Come say hi and join us for a few games! 😀

Bear Chuck BEAR-SIZED update!

I’ve been working pretty hard on my game Bear Chuck to get it read y for rAge 2013, and I’ve got me a stable build! 😀

I’m gonna just leave this gameplay video to do the talking:

With a brief log of updates:

  • Super improved AI – it actually BEAT ME. More than once.
  • A new menu worthy of the Bear Chuck name.
  • A Brand spanking new gameplay video starring Bears!
  • Settled on the new name Bear Chuck! Just too adorable 🙂
  • Updated the animation and upgraded the AI a bit more
  • Added a few more effects
  • The combo system now works! Chains will add exponentially more attacks to the other side – e.g. a match of 4 will be an attack of 2, and match 5 will attack 3. Each chain adds a multiplier to your attack – so at combo 2, the attack will be multiplied by 2. E.g.: First match of 4 creates attack 2. Then another match of 4 is the result of a chain reaction – and that attach will be multiplied by the combo factor of 2 for an attack of 4 (2 x 2).

Get the playable build on the Bear Chuck page! 😀