April Update

Hey there fellow game developers! Time for another monthly update! I think this month wasn’t productive as others were (considering I’m doing game development full time), because of constantly changing focus between projects and also ’cause I’m taking care of some personal things. I’m moving next Tuesday, so lots of banking stuff, health check up, going out with everyone, those sort of things.

I will talk more about the moving thing on a random update, which should be in about 1 or 2 weeks.

So I will quickly write about my projects and focus on the Mobile Roguelike, as it was the only one I had significant progress on.

Freshman’s Quest – Management Talk

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Freshman’s Quest is a platformer pixel art game I’m currently working mainly as a programmer with a local small team, we are currently 9 people.

It’s been around 6 months since we started this project and the focus hugely changed since we first started it. So we really needed to stop development a little bit and get to talk.

When it al started, the goal was mainly for it to be a portfolio project for everyone as it is everyone’s first game, without worrying about finances and competitive advantages on other games, but it changed as we generally got a very good response on twitter about it and there are people on the team able and willing to work 30 to 40 hours each week on the project.

And this is a problem because everyone on the team is on a different context right now, some are only able to work 10hrs/week on it, others can put 40hrs/week and everyone had different expectations and emotional investment on the project. So we have to stop and get everyone on the same page, willing to do the same effort and expecting the same from the project.

And also, changing the focus from a portfolio project to a fully comercial game, we have to answer the question everyone is afraid to answer: “What makes your platformer special? Does the world really need another platformer?” – Which is something not always so easy to do.

This is some boring management/team building talk, but it’s part of game development!

GILP Studio – Game Services Library

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I’ve been doing an Internship on GILP Studio since the beginning of January and it is something that made me learn a lot and have some cool opportunities, such as attending GDC!

After doing some work on one of their games, Upside Down , we started another project that was really interesting for me, even though I complained a bit about these kind of work some months ago on an update.

We started building a more generic library with game services, some kind of service that would make really easy to integrate Achievements, Leaderboards, Analytics, ADS, etc… into any game, the idea was to make it open source or publish it on the Asset Store.

This is interesting because I want to develop more mobile games in the future, and having an easy way to add all of those services will come in handy. But I don’t know if I will keep working on it as last Thursday was my last day there (due to the moving thing). At least I have access to the source code and can keep improving it!

Mobile Roguelike – Adding Content!

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Oh boy, this game suffered the last months from identity crisis, but after dropping it on the psychiatrist, it finally founds itself.

By dropping it on the psychiatrist I mean I had to write a 25 page Game Design Document and create a Trello board to effectively keep me organized and find out what this game wants to be.

And what it wants to be is really a Mobile Roguelike with a fair complexity, so I came up with these three core foundations for it:

  • The Emergence experience: A game being emergent means the game have many verbs and many objects that can interact with different verbs. This means that objects can be interacted in a number of ways and maybe you can act on them with 2 or more verbs, leading to multiple ways for achieving a given objective.
  • The Lord of the Rings experience: The game will be heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and aesthetic, that means theme, colors, characters and the overall vibe is very the lord of the rings. It is like a Lord of the Rings Roguelike game, there will also be a lot of aesthetic inspiration from The Crypt of the Necrodancer and, of course, Zelda.
  • The Interesting/Surprise experience: A very important pillar is that on this mobile roguelike the player should always be taking interesting decisions and they should be frequently surprised by the outcomes of their action. A way to achieve this is by the emergent gameplay and more random components on the game.

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This ultimately led me to see the game as a complex interaction between systems and a huge part of it is the turn based system, which has Dynamic Actors, Static Actors, Moving Hazards, Tiles, Hazards, etc… The Turn Based System is something I will be focusing a lot on this game because the game is just a consequence of the complexity the system can handle.

And by having a well programmed system that handles a complex environment I can work on future roguelike games, which is something I would really like to do, specially considering I will have to cut a lot of content and functionalities for the mobile roguelike. Maybe I can even target PC and Console for a future game using this system!

I’m really proud of my mobile roguelike game, it dreams so big! I created 6 enemies and 7 hazards on total and I have 5 more enemies and 1 more hazard on my to do list, which I plan to have finished by the next month.

If you want to see all the enemies and hazards I added, you can see on the Fourth Dimension Devlog (this is a direct link to the post) – With a clear vision, a clear plan on what to do and a time constraint I will probably start having more progress on this game to show on the next updates, and probably the updates are going to be focused solely on this game too!

Prototyping

Last quick update I talked about a new platformer controller I was trying, I just want to post a GIF here on it, I’m really excited that I’ve written my own platformer controller from scratch and I can see a possibility of building my own paltformer engine on Unity.

This is something that I will rarely work on, but it is a side side project I’m really having fun with.

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That was it for this Monthly Update! Thanks for reading it, you can reach me on twitter or even on Fourth Dimension’s twitter.

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