fun

SpinSling: Challenges

It’s quite clear that making a game, small or large, over a short period of time is a challenge in and of itself. Add part-time jobs, researching and developing marketing plans, understanding how publishing works and well… all of those other things that sometimes go unnoticed when thinking about game development, and you’ve got yourself a busy schedule. With such a schedule comes a huge set of design and development challenges, and we’ve tried to outline a few of them here.

Plan

Time Management: Make a plan and stick to it.

Oh, how important planning is, and oh, how many times you can tell yourself that and not follow up on it. Sticking to a plan and really working towards reaching the goals you’ve set up for yourself and others is important if you hope to have any kind of steady progress. The busier a person you are, the more sense it makes to plan things. It’s pretty obvious, but falling out of the plan is dangerously easy when no one is following up and making sure that progress is being made.

Comic_somuchfun

Ensuring Fun

After playing SpinSling too much already, I’m confident the game will be fun… or can I be that confident? We have planned for a short development cycle, but it is still important to get actual player feedback on the project. Extensive testing on big groups will be important through development and before release. Still, the game is already a good bit of fun, but ensuring that it will be as much fun as possible is the challenge!

Comic_MMO

Design for the circumstances

We can admit that Secrets of the Labyrinth was and is a pretty big undertaking for our first project, that’s why we’re doing SpinSling. SpinSling is designed to be a simple, yet extremely fun experience, and it has to be if we’re going to make it in the time frame that we’re planning. With part-time jobs as well, it’s easy to see how big or medium sized projects can end up taking a lot more time than intended because a lot more things can go wrong. The challenge here lies in following the golden rule of KISS: Keep it simple, stupid! Some of the fun in our game comes from the fact that it is just so easy to get into it and the challenge of mastering it, keeping that in mind while designing the game, we think, is key.

 

These are just three things that we have to be aware of. There are obviously many other things to think of. Like, how do we monetize the game? How do we market it? How do we make sure that you, the player, can come back to our game, again and again, and still have just as much fun as you had the first time, or better yet, even more fun! For now, this will do, and we hope you will enjoy the further development of the game!

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SpinSling

While our work continues on Secrets of the Labyrinth, we found it was a suitable time to split up for a much smaller project that we hope to plan, develop and publish in a short period of time. That project is SpinSling!

We’re super excited to share the development of the game with you guys, and we’ll be doing three updates a week, starting today and updating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. At least until we reach the polishing phase (I’m not sure how exciting it will be to read about yet another day of polishing).

LoadingScreenImage

So what exactly is this so called “SpinSling”?

In the game you control two critters that spin and sling their way through an endless obstacle course, in their hope of escaping Pirate Whose-name-has-not-been-decided. Along the way they collect berries, fruit and power-ups to aid them and unlock more critters and other goodies that you can play around with.

CritterConcepts04_level_wpirate

This is a concept image that tries to explain what the game could be like in-game. Expect things to get more wacky though!

Hope you look forward to the next update on Sunday!

Gameplay Feature #02

It’s that time of the week again – development update time! This time, let’s have a look at some of the objectives of the game! Remember that all images are from early development and subject to improvements!

 

Finish
1. Primary objective: Reach the end of the level

Pretty straight forward – clear the puzzles until you find your way to the finish line. However, there are certain things you might want to do which can make this become a little bit tricker!

 

Loot
2. Secondary objective: Find all the treasures

There’s a bunch of things you can find throughout the levels. Some of them might be well-hidden, some challenge you to solve a puzzle in a less straight forward way. You’ll have to do your best to find everything! What can you do with all this fantastic loot? We’ll save that for a later update 😉

 

Story
3. Story objective: Unravel the story

Throughout the game you can find clues to an underlying storyline, can you figure out what’s going on?

 

That’s it for this week, stay tuned for more updates next week!

The Dungeon Wastes

This weeks update, albeit a bit on the late side is all about the Dungeon Wastes, the second theme of our game that you’ll be going through.

A lot of time goes into creating concept art for the various objects that you’ll decorating the levels, below you’ll see some of the art prepared for this theme by artist Sølve Kjærstein, you can also check out his deviantart profile ~Lakengubben

 

early concept work for the Dungeon Wastes by Sølve Kjærstein

Concept by Sølve Kjærstein

Concept_AST_DungeonWastes_3

Concept by Sølve Kjærstein

 

Early Dungeon Wastes Concept by Sølve

Concept by Sølve Kjærstein

After making some more walls for the game we managed too oomph the textures a little bit for the dungeon wastes as well. Earlier it looked a bit flat, whereas now it has a lot more depth to it. We also made a door, and of course a lot of other things, but we’re not spoiling everything in one go. It’s likely that the texture will undergo a few more changes since this is the first one that we created of the themes in the game.

Comparison

3D and Textures by Lars Erik Helgemo

 

That’s it for this week, hope you find this interesting and look forward to next week’s update!

Gameplay feature #01

So we promised we would be posting something a bit more gameplay heavy this week, and we have provided! Here is an overview of some of the mechanics that the game will have and why we think they will be awesome!


HUD_button_earl   HUD_button_arrow_right  Swapping characters  HUD_button_arrow_right    HUD_button_mo

If you’ve played the Lost Vikings, you’ll be somewhat familiar with this mechanic – you swap between the game’s two main characters and with their own set of unique abilities they must work together two progress through the labyrinth.

Why is this awesome?
it will force the player to consider each character’s position in order to solve the game’s puzzle. You don’t see this too often in video games and we’re eager to see what puzzles we can come up with for you guys!

HUD_button_Bomb
HUD_button_arrow_right  Bombs  HUD_button_arrow_right

Earl, who’s the more technical of the two will be able to use bombs, blow stuff up – do we need to say more? We are thinking of other ways of using the bombs though, so look forward to hearing more about this in the future.

Why is this awesome?
Do we really need to explain this? *whispers* explosions.

HUD_button_Rope
HUD_button_arrow_right  Rope Tool  HUD_button_arrow_right

Not the final name, nor graphic, but it explains what it is very well. The rope tool is very handy as it lets you traverse gaps and pull objects from far away among other things. This is Mo’s tool and when he uses it Earl can cross the gaps with ease.

Why is this awesome?
It can really help make the puzzles a lot smarter – of course, it all comes down to the designers, but we’re confident they can pull of some clever puzzles for you to enjoy!

 


 

Next week will be a surprise update (read: we haven’t decided yet – so stay tuned and find out)

Also a reminder that the easter egg hunt is still on-going over at www.retrogenestudio.com – on person has found the easter egg, but you can still grab second and third place an be one of the first to enter the egg hunter’s hall of fame. Also be sure to check out Ready Player One which we have based this game of easter egg hunting on.

Time for an update!

Much has been going on over the past few months, and It’s time to give you guys an update! So where to start? Why not from the very beginning?

In January we were lucky enough to have student called Anette Aga for a full month. She gave us a lot of nice illustration to flesh out the story of the game and if you look down below, there’s a few samples. Of course we can’t show it all, they’re a bit secret after all!

13

 

We’ve been working with nailing down the game mechanics, and we finally got a programmer on our team too, who of course told us that all our code should be reworked – not really a big surprise, but at least he could use what was there to know what he needed to make! So development has taken a pretty big step up over the past few weeks after his joining the team, and that is pretty sweet!

In one of our earliest posts you can see what kind of visual direction the game will be taking, while below you can see what it looks like right now, it ain’t pretty, but there’s a lot of functionality there, and so much more is to come!

WIP_engine

The red and blue capsule are the two characters you can swap between. The rest is a lot of random test walls, pitfalls, wind emitters, doors, buttons, heavy pushable boxes and so forth! There’s going to be a lot of fun stuff to do in the game, and look forward to some real brain-teasers when the game’s done!

The red and blue capsules in the above picture are supposed to be a merry duo of old treasure hunters called Mo and Earl. They’ve both been created and although they might undergo some minor tweaking, here’s what they pretty much look like in the game:

MoandEarl

 

We’ll be more frequent with our updates in the future, so stay tuned for more!