What the hell am I doing

So, Justin gave me access to the blog. Biggest mistake he ever made (insert evil laugh here.)

Now to get on with it. When we decided to do a game jam, I was like “I need more stuff for my portfolio, so I am gonna build a game engine from scratch”. Then I made a dramatic pause and continued ” in C++”. Now for those of you who don’t know, C++ is a pain in the back (after all this is a PG-13 blog) to write in if you haven’t sunk a RIDICULOUS amount of time in.

So I am doing something practically useless, because I can never make a better engine than Unity or the Unreal engine. However I can be a stubborn son of a bull sometimes. I hope this will convince future employers that I mean business when I set off to something. Yeah that’s right, I am talking to YOU, potential employer. I can be working with YOU for the low low price of 51% shares of your company. Call me any day. *Disclaimer: Offer doesn’t hold if your company has more debts than earnings (What, do you think me a fool? I have thought of everything.)

So after 2 paragraphs of nothing, let’s show what I actually have:

EngineShowcase

Isn’t it beautiful? I call it – “What the hell am I doing”. The name suits it perfectly I think. Someone give me my Nobel Prize now, thank you. “But Milcho”, I hear you say, “there isn’t a Nobel Prize for engine design, or whatever that abomination is.” Ignoring the fact that you just offended me deeply, I say that there should be. Surely if a game engine deserved a Prize, mine should be it.

After all this, you should be asking yourself “What have I just read?” If so don’t worry, everyone else is asking the same thing. It’s a mystery of sorts. I am going to leave you with this.

Milcho

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Seagull Simulator or Murderous Seagull Rampage?

I’ve reached a point with my game design where I’m unsure which direction I want to take the game, Sven is working on a really cool flight model that I hope will make the game really good fun and takes into account proper wing aerodynamics but now I’m unsure what else I want to add to the game. The initial idea for the game was following the Seagull, named Squawk, on his mission for revenge against humanity after loosing his friend to a tourist armed with baking soda laced bread. Squawk was going to strap a mini gun to his back and go on a murdering spree at the seaside. However, last night I was thinking of how to make the game slightly more grounded in reality and potentially make it a little more fun and less like the game I’m taking some inspiration from, Luftrausers from Vlambeer. I then had the other idea of just making the game a nice tranquil Seagull simulator where you have to eat stuff that tourists leave  on the ground or on tables and then fly around exploring. So, on that note I thought I would ask you guys and gals – what game would you like? Answer via the poll below:

Having a game jam that isn’t really a game jam

In all honesty this is the first time I’ve done a game jam. It’s not that I’ve never been given the opportunity to get involved with one, it’s just finding the time in between everything else going on in my life such as spending time with my fiancé, writing lesson plans and marking during term time for the classes I teach along with all the other projects I’m working on as a freelance sound designer, game designer and tech/audio consultant.
When Leo mentioned to us that he was away for the next month I thought (well we thought) it would be a great opportunity to have a play around with some of the other ideas in our heads. Its summer time, I’m at home for the summer holidays so I have quite a bit more time on my hands and things have been going really slow with our main big project.
After losing two artists in quick succession (for what seemed to me like really silly reasons) I think everyone was feeling a bit down. Would we ever get to a point with the game where we could do a Kickstarter campaign or pitch for other kinds of funding? Would it ever get the level of polish that I know we are all looking for?
To me I think having this little break is the healthiest thing for us and I hope that afterwards we can come back to the project with fresh heads and a new drive to get things the way we want them, or maybe if one of these side projects turns out to be great we could possibly polish it up and release it to all of you. Anyway, let’s see what happens.
Let the “not so much of a game jam but still kind of a game jam” begin!

We’re Jammin’!

gamejam

It’s summer, the time of fun and frolicking in the sun and Leo decided to go off on holiday for the next month. This has left us in a bit of a pickle when it comes to our current project as we’re in desperate need to get more art into the game.

Rather than festering for the next month we’ve decided to have an internal game jam that will last for the next three weeks, the idea is that each of us; Sven, Milcho, Leigh and myself to build as many prototypes as possible and then at the end of the three week period decide on who’s game seems the most fun – whether we then go ahead and make the game into a proper thing hasn’t been decided yet, but to tell you the truth, It would be great to put something together that is as polished as possible and release it to the public.

The issue at the moment is that our current project is so big that I’m not sure when it will ever be finished with our current working speed, the problem is that we’re all working full time Jobs and doing this on the side where as we would all love to be able to work on our games full time, so on that note, if we can get one of these prototypes out to all of you and actually get some funding we will be in a better position to pack in our day jobs and develop games full time…..well thats the dream.

Anyway, we’ll post some updates of our game jam games over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out here.

So Who’s Building What?

So, as mentioned earlier, each of us are attempting to build our own prototypes, helping each other where we can and providing advice on design decisions etc. We’re all building quite different experiences and here’s a run down of the first three prototypes we’re making:

Milcho is making an interesting twist on a strategy / God game where you don’t control the people.

Leigh is building a game around the idea of being a supermarket checkout worker who’s lost the plot and goes on a rampage.

I’m building a game about a psychotic Seagull who goes on a revenge mission against humanity for killing his friend with baking soda.

Sven is trawling through his hundreds of old prototypes trying to find something worth polishing, apparently when he started using Unity back when it first came out he decided to make a prototype a day for a few months so he literally has hundreds of prototypes to play around with.

More updates coming from the other guys soon.

June 2014

Greetings,

So, Justin came to me yesterday and said “Look, you are the smartest person on this team and I think you should write the next blog post.” Those were his exact words… honest. And here I am telling what wonders we have achieved for the past month.

Production has started and it’s piping hot. We haven’t shown you anything interesting yet and I figured that it’s time to change that.

First off, we are doing a game completely in 2D, using sprites. When you hear ‘sprites’ you probably think of something like this:

 

But what about these images from the amazingly talented team over at Super Giant Games:

 

They probably weren’t your first choices. That’s because SuperGiant are very good at making a flat world look like a 3D one. That’s what we’re about to do with ‘The Tower’. I’m not saying that we will be more successful than Bastion and Transistor, but hopefully we will be.

Now, with a 2D there are a lot of challenges that we have to face. One of those is lighting. Light is so natural to us that we even have sensors for it. You probably use yours for about 99.9% of the time you are awake. So you see, it is really important to get the lighting right, so we can convince people that this is a real world they are playing in. When it comes to graphics it’s a good a thing we have Sven, who works day and night to bring you that experience in full 4k resolution. Here is what we have so far in regards to lighting:

 

Pretty neat, huh? There is plenty more to show, but we don’t want to spoil everything for you. Expect more stuff to come in the near future. As for now, I’ll leave you with this gun, which our newest artist Nikos just created.

Go and harass him for a bit @Nikos_Lefas, as he is getting married next week. We all wish him to get this done as soon as… ah I mean lots of happiness for the years to come.

Now that I cannot possibly offend more people, I’ll go and get some coffee, because unfortunately code doesn’t write itself.

Milcho

61fedaab49-gun

April 2014

Hi everyone, Milcho here, one of the two coders working with Dream Harvest. As things tend to go, a lot has happened since last month. Things have moved around a bit – Especially in the “Artists” department. The big news is, of course, our new addition to the team – Alicia. I will let her work speak for itself:

Yeah… It was nice working with you Leo, but we won’t be needing Your services anymore! thank you very much.

Jokes aside though, she’ll be doing a lot of the character assets and the cut-scenes.

On another artistic note, Leo has started working for a real company – somewhere in Germany I am told. And on top of that he is making real money. Needless to say, I am extremely jealous.

Moving on… Justin(aka Creative Director and Sound Designer) is about to start teaching game design at his local college. I don’t know how he finds the time to breathe. I am beginning to think that he is not of this world. But then why is he wasting time making games when he could be taking over the world? Does this mean that Aliens value games more than world domination? Nah… that wouldn’t explain EA!

Bad jokes aside, Justin has also secured some brilliant artists, TechDiff and Katie Masson, who will be collaborating with him to create the soundtrack for our latest project. You can find some of TechDiff’s music here:

https://soundcloud.com/techdiff

For Katie it’s a bit tougher as she lent her vocal talents to all sorts of music but here is a selection:

https://www.facebook.com/electricantidote/app_204974879526524

http://haptik.bandcamp.com/track/foundry-feat-katie-masson

https://www.facebook.com/AmberGreenMusic

 

As far as game development is concerned, we are advancing slowly but surely. We’ve gone out of the prototype stage, happy with the results. Also, design for our tech demo is 99% done and development has already started.

All-in-all a good month I would judge. Sure we don’t have much to show yet, but just you wait a month or two and you’ll be so excited that you’ll literally make this your homepage.

And that’s that, have a nice day and thanks for checking on us.

Milcho

Game coder

PS. Here is another concept that Leo put together while we’re playing around with ideas for the slums of Nexus:

4e0c802a19-TT_tower_perspective_02