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Weekly Update: Fire & New Puzzles

This week I've been continuing work on fire - now they combine when you light two of them next to each other: 

Which means you can make bigger fires:

Which means bigger unlit fires:

We went to a playtesting meetup on Tuesday night, so we got to test the 2 new puzzles, and I made a few small changes afterwards.

This is the first room (I posted some pics of it last week)

And this is the 2nd:

Look there's a drain!

One of the issues with the playtest was that I had cut out a section of the game after we made new sentinels and ivy (the old ones didn't work anymore), so I wasn't teaching the players concepts that would help with the new puzzles. I realized I could already put one of them back into the game, so I worked on that:

And then yesterday I played a little bit with putting puzzles that require pushing back into the game:

Obviously I jumped around a little bit... Today I'm going back to the fire since it's not quite finished enough to go into any puzzles yet. :)

Here's what Miles has been doing:


Weekly Update: New Sentinels & Carrying

After finishing my Ludum Dare game last weekend (weee!), I started off this week by tweaking the design of the sentinels based on some feedback and issues. I'm hoping that this helps a bit.  

They used to look like this: 

Now they look like this: 

The tops are flatter and the little statues are lower, which might help with some readability issues (I hope!),

After that I 'finished up' one of the puzzles I was working on last week and tested it on Issam. Happily, he was able to solve it, but not too quickly! I will start testing it on people and getting feedback:

The last couple of days I've been going back into the fire system (Issam had deleted my placeholder stuff to start working on a more final version -- but he never finished so I'm remaking it again! >:( )

This time I'm also adding placeholder carrying functionality, since I've got a bunch of puzzles that I'd like to test out. 

It took me awhile to get this working correctly....

Here's Miles exploring the hallway outside of my apartment: 


Ludum Dare: Constellations

I made a game this weekend for Ludum Dare (by myself!! :O)! Technically I went over by about 4 hours so I didn't submit it. :) The theme was "Entire Game on One Screen"

How to play: Use the left and right arrow keys (or A & D) to steer your little space fish. Look through the magnifying glass to see which stars are good which ones are bad. Collect good stars to build constellations!



Weekly Update: Designing Puzzles

I spent most of the week designing new puzzles and the second half starting to build some (and revisiting a few that I'd started a long time ago). 

Here are some level ideas: 

And some in-progress levels.

Miles has been hanging out in this cat tent I made from a tshirt:


Weekly Update: Organizing Puzzles

This week I've been going through old designs and organizing them. :) I'm building a doc that breaks down what mechanics are needed for each puzzle (and if it's currently possible to build in game), and then I can assess what kinds of puzzles I currently have, and what direction I should be trying to explore in. It will also help me figure out a priority list for which new mechanics we need first when Issam finishes his contract!


I've also been going through old scribbled ideas and trying to turn them into actual puzzles.

Not the prettiest update, but work is getting done!! 

Miles has been thoroughly exploring Issam's apartment.


Weekly Update: Rules & Interactions

This week I continued on from last week by defining some more rules for interactions (I still need to make one for ice!):

Also I did some exploration of the idea of carrying water in pots, but it's a bit complicated, so we probably won't do this. :) 

And here's how everything interacts:


This week Miles learned that he can get literally anywhere in my apartment...



Weekly Update: Carrying & Pushing Rulesets

This week I've been working on some rulesets for carrying and pushing:

Here's some rough animation from trying to figure out stacking:

Also I played around with color a bit after the art changes I made last week:

Here's Miles looking scary: 


Weekly Update: Tree Walls

EDIT: I just saw that an interview we did at Game On was posted at DigitalBounds.com - here's the link!

As I mentioned in the last post, I've been working on the borders of the outdoor section of the level, since they were so flat before. Here are some screenshots of how things look right now: 

Here's a video of my tree-making process ;)

Also Issam got ice partially working last Sunday and we took this video:

Miles has spent the week exploring Issam's apartment, since we've been working here since he is doing contract work.


Weekly Update: Happy Halloween!

After preparing our game for Game On last Thurs and attending the Captivate Conference last Fri-Sunday (you can read our notes from the conference here), we took Monday off, so I have a little less to report this week!

I posted the Color Thief feedback from Game On on Tuesday.

And today I posted the PowerPoint slides from the talks that Issam and I gave at Captivate: Bootstrapping Trouble Impact & Technical Strategies for Indie Studios. 

On the Color Thief front, this week I made a few new animations for swimming (underwater), sliding on ice, and walking. 

Issam hooked up the walking animation and made the controller a little more responsive. This way, when you press lightly on the controller, the chameleon walks - and when you press more, he runs. 

Mostly this week he's been working on ice. We want the character and various objects to slide on icy surfaces.

I've been working on making the ourdoor level borders a little better. We'd been using these particularly flat looking "tree walls" and I want it to look a bit nicer.

Current tree walls:

Starting work on new borders:

Here's Miles in his Halloween costume!


Captivate Conference: Presentations

Issam and I gave talks at the Captivate Conference this year! Here are our slides:

Description: Many AAA game developers are responding to the allure of freedom that indie game development offers - but what does that actually look like in the longer term - especially when you don't make a hit right away? Trouble Impact is a 2 person game studio made up of former Activision employees, and we've just finished our second year of being self-funded indies. We will talk about our experience making the shift from big studio culture to the indie lifestyle, how we could have better prepared before setting off on our own, and show how we leverage our AAA development experience to keep our business going.

Click here for the PowerPoint slides.


Description: The initial expectation of a small, 2-person game studio is that a technical strategy is not necessary, especially if you are using an engine like Unity. Our experience the last 2 years has taught us that given the small amount of resources available and the need to keep costs low, forming a technical strategy is required to really take advantage of your team's skills and make sure that your studio can quickly respond to opportunities. We will discuss topics such as minimizing technical debt, porting, creating content faster, taking advantage of subscription software, cloud computing, advanced source control and how to limit external dependencies.

Click here for the PowerPoint slides.