Eleventh Hour

I thought I’d write a bit just to clear up this game a little bit, the process and how it all went!

So first off the game was called ‘They Took Her’. Jay and I threw this together for the Mochimedia 60 second compeititon. We also tied up a sponsorship with Dan from Armorgames in a very short time too which was brilliant. I mean, probably the easiest and nicest person to work with ever. So in the competition, we actually placed first, which was brilliant! Couldn’t have asked for more.

We then decided to launch the game as it was in the competition. But to be honest, players weren’t really receptive at all to the 60 second challenge. The comments just get flooded with people complaining about how difficult the game was to complete (Totally understandable too, I’m not one for being pushed along but that was the rules of the competition so we went with it). So taking all the feedback into consideration we decided it’d be best to just relaunch the game.

Thus, ‘Eleventh Hour’ was born! After trawling through all the comments, it made sense that people hated the timer, it was a given, it was the bane of peoples lives! That really had to go. We tried to make it more playable to the general gamer instead of just a competition (We were gunning to win, what can I say! The build was for the competition, it served what it was for!).

  • After title screen just to set the scene in two lines of text ‘Your town is about to be bombed. You’re in the town bomb shelter waiting to meet your daughter for roll call.’
  • Widened hit boxes on some objects – Some players got a little frustrated at some of the hit boxes such as the wardrobe in your house, and a few of the key items and notes. So I just expanded them all, makes life easier! :)
  • Some zombie locations were changed – Some you could just walk through the door and shoot instantly (Mainly the house), it also happened in the Mayors office, but with the other two zombies behind it, it didn’t really make a difference if they were actually moved around.

So after those changes were made. I was left with the biggie. It was either a) remove the timer totally – however completely kill the challenge of the game (Which I didn’t like the idea of), or it was b) pause the timer when you pick up notes and slow the timer a little.

It’s a bit of a no brainer, I mean both of those options definitely kill the challenge of the game in my opinion. But people were just not receptive to the challenge anyway, so it’s nothing to lose (Even though I completely preferred the challenge, it meant something). So I decided to go with slowing a second down by 0.075 of a second to give the player more time since it’s what they complained about the most. I also paused the timer when you read notes, which I think is the biggest change in the build, as it allows players to read the story instead of being completely rushed along.

Overall, I’m really happy how the game turned out. I mean, it won the competition and it’s a good looking, fun game. So far, it’s not looking like it’s having a super great reception. But it’s looking like it due to it being a small game now. We definitely aim to expand on all this and create a larger exploration based action-RPG for sure! I mean who knows, could be later in the year. But it’s definitely something I want to do, I think this kind of game can be explored a lot more.

 

First Place!

They Took Her netted first place in the Mochimedia 60 second contest! Wahooooo!

It’s great to see how much creativity a contest can spark and I’ve got to say there were some great games in there too, so great job to everyone!

Sadly won’t be doing July (One button game – I mean, Space is Key is already born, we don’t need anymore one button games from me), but I’ll probably do August no doubt! Can’t beat a little game jam.

As for how the game is doing. The game got sponsored by Armorgames which is brilliant! And we actually launched the competition build last weekend, however the reception we got from players wasn’t too receptive. I mean, everyone hates being rushed along and it is a small game. So we took the feedback onboard (A lot of sifting through comments) and we’re going to re-release the game most likely with a different name too. A more viral build that players will be able to sit and enjoy without being rushed too much! So looking forward to that :)

They Took Her

So Mochi have launched a  60-second Gameplay game jam competition. This kinda got me intrigued as I’ve always wanted to develop a game in a small time frame without worrying! So I got in touch with Jay Armstrong (Combat Hero Adventures) with a super enthusiastic pitch telling him we just have to make something! So the whole idea was something untraditional, when people say ’60 seconds of gameplay’, instantly you’re thinking about pushing as much action and madness in to each second as possible! And although that is cool, I wanted to stand out from the crowd to be honest! So I had the idea of an RPG (I know, right!), purely because when it’s mentioned, people think a huge time eating game, and 60 seconds would just be laughable for an RPG. So guess what, we rolled with it!

A zombie getting blasted away, that’s a good title screen. Right?

So the game is called ‘They Took Her’ and it’s concept is super simple. You’re in a zombie infested apocalyptic town, a nuclear strike is imminent. And guess what? You’re daughter just isn’t in the bunker at all. So you venture out in to the carnage to find her! Uncovering secrets things you really didn’t want to along the way!

So basically, the game revolves around a few playthroughs in order to uncover what is going on (by reading notes and pieces of paper), and where your daughter is, and you’re only got 60 seconds to do it all! So being slow, just isn’t an option guys!

I’d love to rant more about it, but to be honest, I’d rather you guys play it when it’s released and see for yourselves.

The streets are pretty empty……. I think

We started the game on 13th June 2012 and will be finished this weekend. But we really haven’t put in full days (Which was our whole idea, get the game done in two full days), so overall, it’s not been a long game to develop at all, just we didn’t have the time to plough everyday in to it!

So Jay handled all the art as what usually happens when I collaborate with people! (I can draw a house without taking the pencil off the paper though ;)) I also got Skybase involved! So I’ve known him a little while, and met him through Alex(NCH), and he’s been involved in Platcore and also Above Average Guy. There’s not much this guy can’t handle to be honest! But he’s doing us a great ambient track for the game and some neat SFX to accompany it all too :)

 

Every game needs a destroyed, Zombie infested police station in my opinion!

 

So next on the agenda is to get the game sponsored! We figured since we’ve put more time in than we initially planned, we could get it sponsored and still enter the competition (Which is all good fun and which is pretty much what sparked the idea off!)

Mochi London 2012!

So it’s 2012. Last year I promised I would try my best to make Mochi London even better in 2012, and I really think I’ve gone in the right direction! Some great talks from some great people in the flash development world, and with last year, I moulded the event to appeal to me (As a developer) so it’d appeal to as many people as It could! And I think we’ve done it this year also! :)

It definitely wouldn’t have happened without Ernesto Quezada who has been organising Mochi London with myself from the beginning! And then with Mochi coming along and helping us, it’s just making everything unreal! So I’ve got to say a big thank you to Ernesto, Colin and Stacey in particular for everything too :)

So if you don’t know, Mochi London is a two day event (Conference on Saturday and Pub on Sunday). With support from Mochi Media, this 2-day event for Flash games community members promises to be bigger & better than ever before!

Who should attend:

  • Game developers- Flash, mobile, or otherwise
  • Flash gaming website and portal owners
  • Flash artists
  • Flash game service providers
  • Anyone interested in the Flash games space and can make it to London!
Speaker and sessions:
  • Iain Lobb, Indie Game Developer – ‘Super Gun Kids: The Making Of…
  • Tom Vian, Co-founder, SFB Games – Screenplay
  • Rob Donkin, Director, Bad Viking Ltd – ‘Bad Eggs Online: Our Eperiences with Multiplayer & Microtransactions
  • James Pearmain, Freelance Video Game Artist – ‘Game Aesthetics & Branding’
  • Stuart Allen, Indie Game Developer, FunkyPear – ‘Simple Verlet Physics for Games’
You can see more detail on the speakers topics over on http://mochilondon2012-estw.eventbrite.com/
We’ve also got our last speaker who I’m waiting for confirmation on that I’m super exited about too so :)

Go get registered now! It’s going to be fun and informative. If you’re in the industry, it’s something you shouldn’t miss at all!

Motivation from the Masses

Okay guys. So Adobe were asking Indie developers to post an article on what motivates you so I thought I’d keep things really simple, and give it a shot!

I can honestly say that as a game developer – The single and most powerful motivation aspect for me is after the whole development period of sitting a few feet away from your project for months, watching it grow and transform all the time, has definitely got to be release of the project into the wild.
I mean, just getting the feedback from people who thoroughly enjoy your game. Hearing about how inspired people become from what you’ve been working on, and even just that 10 minutes of enjoyment you bring to someone’s day really makes it all worthwhile I’d say!
Nothing better than a email or a tweet from someone who truly appreciates what you’ve done! Priceless I’d say.
So yeah, it’s all you guys that drive me! Without the comments, the emails, the tweets, the messages. I wouldn’t get the feedback and inspiration to keep on gunning for it. Heck, you’s made me quit my job and do this full-time anyway with showing me what I can do so yeah, thanks to every single one of you who reads this posts, every sent me a message/email and played games I’ve developed!