Retiring a very slimeful sketchbook! Hope I get to work on that game in some form or another.
Working on animations for an undisclosed game, let's call it Baroque for now :)
(Yes, I know there's actually an RPG called Baroque, bla bla bla)
Spent the past week-end working with Dave Hill (who works at Capy, previously at Queasy Games) on a little game we like to call INVASION OF THE BRAIN-SUCKING BRAINS. The game was completed in less than 72 hours during the TOJAM, Toronto's gigantic yearly game jam.
It's a 4-player competitive trivia action game(?!?), in which players play as little alien space brains, sent by the Motherbrain to collect the juicy brains of smart people. The Motherbrain broadcasts a trivia question like "STAR WARS CHARACTERS" into a crowd of humans, and you must try to zap the smart humans who speak a correct answer.
The great Ryan Roth (Starseed Pilgrim, The Yawhg) created music and sound effects for the game - a techno-martian track and weird simish blurbs for the humans, also a lovely ZAAAPPP-SPLORRRKCH sound for the titular brain-sucking. Amazing stuff, really!
We're planning to add content and fix a couple things in the coming weeks.
Here's a little 6-second preview :)
This week's selection shows some love for pixel art, with fourteen games in development showing true skill with the pixel brush! We have Chasm in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign, Tale of the Stolen Rainbow creating an epic Zelda-like adventure with minimalist black and white pixels, and then there's The Bitter End.. oh wait, it seems to have been made in Hexels!
I'd also like to point out that Dungeon Hearts, a puzzler for the quick mind, has finally been released on the App Store, after over two years of thorough devlogs on the TIGSource Forums. You should probably read their entries, especially if you enjoy the soundtrack - there's a freebie in there somewhere!
Games: Dungeon Hearts, Upthere, Meta4, GetOff, Grotto Quest, Pipeworks, Sprout, Olav and the Flute, Solstice, Tale of the Stolen Rainbow, The Bitter End, Chasm, Dying Sun, Sky Tourist, Trash TV, Super Punchball, The Dungeoning, Grabbyhands
We're planning to give out Super Punchball builds to the Sportsfriends backers real soon! In the meantime, take a look at a fake screenshot!
In 2007, in the amazing land of LiveJournal, comics artist Box Brown challenged Anthony "nedroid" Clark to do 200 bad comics as some sort of karmic balance. Anthony went on to create 200 AMAZINGLY funny comics, which I thought was kinda like cheating, because they were supposed to be bad. KC Green and a couple others also started making bad comics, but also failed at making them truly bad.
So I started making 200 true bad comics myself, and I'll let you judge if I succeeded at making 200 bad comics or not...
>> "200 BAD COMICS" <<
Click the link above for a full page of comics, or use this tiny gallery navigator thingie if you really don't like clicking on links!
Every year, the Game Developer Conference makes my life a billion times better.
In 2011, MochiGames invited me to San Francisco to work on BioGems and gave me a GDC pass. I had just left my day job in the industry to work as a game designer for them, not really knowing what I was doing. I got to meet a couple cool devs who made cool games, but I spent most of the week just learning from the best in the design, indie and mobile sessions. It was a big kick in the butt, but not as big the next year's.
In 2012, a friend of mine mentioned some sort of Canadian grant to go to GDC - they were giving out a thousand bucks to 3 people interested in going to the conference to expand their horizons. I told them about my experience in 2011 and that a second year would be exponentially beneficial - I got the grant, so I went for a second chance at GDC. I spent most of my time with the Montreal indies crew, and became close friends with MC Bourdua (who has been extremely supportive) and Renaud Bédard (whose IGF win for Fez was extremely inspiring).
I got to awkwardly meet Derek Yu (Spelunky), Phil Fish (Fez), Brandon Boyer (Venus Patrol), Ed Clef (Proteus), Patrick Klepek (GiantBomb) and many more, but I didn't have much to say. I introduced myself as someone who makes "mobile games for some company and tiny indie games on the side, nothing you'd know about" or "I made Geek Mind, have you heard of it? No, of course." This led to a nervous breakdown at the Venus Patrol/Wild Rumpus party - everyone surrounding me at that party was so freaking talented and awesome, I felt like an impostor. I wasn't truly indie. Playing Proteus and talking with MC Bourdua that night calmed me down and gave me a little boost in the right direction. I had to start kicking some butt and make some god-damned indie games!
In 2013, I went to GDC bearing many games, a semi-regular feature on Venus Patrol, and a whole lot more confidence, despite having lost my job in January - I actually felt way more indie, struggling to make ends meet and working on super creative projects. I got to meet and hang out with so many extraordinary people, I don't think I can list them all here, but I can list a few.
- Renaud Bédard, who now works at Capy while working on Fez ports, is the hardest working man I know, yet he still goes along with a striking joie de vivre that is clearly contagious - even his talk about the dark side of post-launch was enlightening and positive.
- MC Bourdua, who now works for Polytron, wanted to work in games, and now she does! YAY! Also, a fellow sushi enthusiast!
- Had a great discussion with Matej Jan (Retronator), who came to California from Slovenia, about our quest for identity in this amazing indie world. Even our past successes are often not enough to feel safe, which is a good thing - we gotta keep being motivated with higher goals and do what makes us happy.
- The Mount Royal Game Society crew, Nick Rudicz, Stephen Ascher and Saleem Dabous, who have all evolved like crazy in the past two years, working on their own game projects while maintaining our local community. No idea where they find the time and the energy, really!
- Had a couple of heavy drinking sessions with Noreen Rana (who's working on a neatly twisted little game) Droqen and Ryan Roth (makers of Starseed Pilgrim) - keep an eye out for it! We bumped into Richard Lemarchand a couple times too, who's Noreen spirit animal. Fun fact.
- The Juicy Beast guys, creators of Burrito Bison and Knightmare Tower, my fellow Montrealers, who stay humble and friendly despite being Flash game superstars. I missed out on the Minecraft party, but it's fine - instead I got to discuss freemium models and the dark times ahead with Berserk, Flash Game License and Juicy Beast dudes.
- Had lunch and other random talks with Richard Flanagan, creator of Fract, who was super sick and maybe a bit overworked, but had great, brilliant things to say as usual!
- Got to meet Capy's big daddies, Kris Piotrowski and Nathan Vella, although very shortly, and tell them how much I love Capy and how Super Time Force is incredible. <3
- Amazing ramen with Sylvain and JS from Ludia, where I first worked in the industry - was nice to catch up and see how they had evolved through the years. Seems like a nice place to work at!
- Everyone who came to my hotel room to try Greedy Piggy Chase, Super Punchball and Diluvium, thank you so much, you guys were awesome! It was especially awesome of Nick Robinson (Rev3) to bring his own posse of players to have a beer and play some games!
- Got to play Without Question (more about this very soon!) with about 50 different people and see them yell, squirm and laugh with the silly card game Damian Sommer and I made. I'll especially give a shout out to the Dirty Rectangles and Noreen Rana for playing multiple times, in public!
- Got to meet Ryan Chartrand from X-Team, a very, very awesome company in Melbourne, who I'm working with at the moment. We connected instantly and started nerding out about games, so it's a good sign for our professional future together!
- Got to see Disasterpeace's short set at the Pow Pow party, and also quickly discuss with him. Man, I'd freaking love to work with you.
- Also, that POW POW party was mind-blowing in many ways... MAD TIGER MAD TIGER!
- Chatted a little bit with the Simogo guys. I tried not to, but I probably looked like a fanboy anyway. Them and also Terry Cavanagh knew who I was. O_O
- The Castle Story dudes! These guys are honest and super generous to their community, I have loads of respect for them. You guys rock, keep rockin'.
- Paul Veer, who gave me my copy of the lovely little Segazine! Plus, he's a super COOL DUDE
- Tried out a LOT of games through the game, among others: Tasty Fish, ANNA, Chasm, Tenya Wanya Teens, Liquid Sketch, Escape Goat 2, Super Time Force, and all the IGF nominees! I also visited the AAAAHCade at the SFMOMA, very cool, relaxing, musical games, I wish I had spent more time there.
- And so many more! Aaaah now I feel terrible because I'm not listing everyone!! AAAAAH!
- **EDIT** I did forget people! I got to spend tons of time with John Axon, you know, the guy with the most awesome business card ever? His business card is a Magic the Gathering card, you guys!
So yeah, in short, this year was amazing. I felt like I was part of this indie games universe that I love so much, that I want to contribute to. I would raise my glass and say cheers to all of you, but seriously, I drank enough at GDC!
The goal for 2014? I don't know exactly, I'm working on it. I recently rejected an astounding offer from a great mobile game company to focus on more creative endeavours. I want to make a living on game ideas, game design and game development, in any creative fashion. I want to bring the games I make (with amazing, talented people) to as many players as I can, and help other developers to spread the word about their games too. To achieve these goals, I need to practice game design as much as I can, in theory, in game jams, in various projects. I need to write more (which is why I'm now a contributor to IndieGames.com) and analyse games more. I need to sleep less? :P
I'm really looking forward to GDC'14, so we can share games, stories and beers all together again.