Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Dos and Don'ts of Enemy Design

Gabe's Game - Waju

Solo development allows for uncompromised creativity. However, that can result in unchallenged creativity as well. This week I went through a journey of love, loss, and redemption while creating art for an enemy character in my game. Ideally, this will serve as a cautionary tale for developers doodling damage-dealing degenerates!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Finding a Name for an Impossible to Name Game


I've been talking about my current project on this blog for 2 months now, and so far the best I've been able to call it is Game X.  This isn't an attempt to be 90's XsTrEmE or anything, it's just what I consider to be a completely empty placeholder name like Jane Doe or Hayden Christensen.

So, in these past weeks I've been trying to think of what I could possibly name my game.  If I were writing a book, I might want to wait until I've written the entire manuscript before giving a stab at an official title.  But, alas, I'm making a game which I'm writing a blog for to somewhat market it, so giving a title that readers and fans can latch onto to look for news on it in the future will be paramount moving forward.

But, how on Earth do I give a title to a game like this?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Communicate Through Color

Colors are a language that most people (sorry color blind folks) use daily to communicate. Our biology has evolved to respond to greens and blues as comforting because water and foliage sustain life. Red is stressful and attention grabbing, the color of blood and fire. Our brains has been molded to respond subconsciously to every hue and value in site. Primitive colors offer easy wide reaching emotions, just as primitive language like a scream or laughter communicate generalize ideas. Becoming eloquent in verbal communication allows one to more clearly express a wide range of nuanced concepts. Becoming eloquent in color theory offers the same freedom.

Color values allow our eyes to organize and estimate visuals.

example 1

example 2

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Thoughts on Story in Open Worlds


I'm making an open world game that's more open world than most open world games.  Some open worlds let the player travel large distances at their leisure.  Some open world games let you travel an infinitely expanding world.  Some open world games let you travel across a few infinitely expanding worlds.

My game lets you travel across infinite infinitely expanding worlds, encouraging you to dump each one without looking back as you proceed into the next one.

Making a game that's open world is a mess.  A lot of conventional game design flies out of the window when you can't force the player down a certain physical pathway or even multiple pathways- there are no physical pathways!

This is fine if your game is a playground, but if you're trying to make an open world experience with a worthwhile story to boot then you have to get pretty creative and layer the way that the player experiences story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Trouble With Blog Posts - A Blog Post

Marketing for indie games has to start on day one. Most of us don't have a marketing budget or know how to target and effectively reaching an audience. So we are left to play the long game: without consistent updates, indie games are forgotten. 

William and I both know how to make games. However, blogging, or more aptly marketing, feels like swinging at a piƱata. Sometimes we put our backs into it, sometimes we swing gently searching for our target, but we are always swinging blind. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Populating Multiverses with Minimalist Art


My current project is an ambitious one that requires that the player traverse hundreds or even thousands of different environments.  While one major part of keeping this interesting is with fun and varied gameplay mechanics, an equally important aspect is creating interesting atmospheres.

But if I'm going to create hundreds and hundreds of atmospheres with only myself for a team, I can't making crazy-detailed work, right?  I have to find a happy place where the quality is engaging but allows for much in terms of quantity.  That's how I ended up stumbling on this minimalist, but eclectic, art style that will perpetuate my game.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I Love My Game Enough To Trash It

When conceptualizing a game, my imagination generates an ideal. When the project kicks off polish is paramount and planned detail is intricate. Then reality sets in. I think it's easy for indie devs to become intimidated by the enormous amount of work ahead of them. When that pressure sinks in, things get rushed.

Two weeks ago I made a post about animations for my game. All of the animations in that post along with their implementation took less than 8 hours total. In other words, it was very rushed. Since art is the field I'm most confident in, I spent the week working on bugs and then sped through the animations the day before posting. The result was half-baked work. So, I took a deep breath and started fresh.


It really took very little time to drastically improve this jump animation. My whole game is about jumping, so the visual feedback for the jump is among the most important animations I'll do. Slowing down and doing it right was absolutely worth it.