game development

SpinSling: To-do-list

Every Sunday the Retrogene devs (that’s us) meet up to talk about our projects. It’s a valuable time where everyone can catch up on what has happened, something which is appreciated greatly since we all have part-time jobs as previously mentioned.

Sundays become our time to check our to-do-list and figure out what is missing from our game and it’s good to see that stuff is coming together!

Ominous

One of the newest additions to our game is the pirate ship. He has sort of just been standing around for a while, but now he’s covered in an ominous cloud and chases you, gradually increasing his speed as you spinsling your way through the many worlds.

Also present is that pink line (which will not be pink by the time the game is done of course). That’s been added to make the connection between the two characters stronger. There has been some confusion through playtesting where people don’t understand that you are in fact playing as two characters and not just one.

Warning

Another problem we encountered was that our testers were struck with confusion the first few times they died by going under the screen. The signs we put up will hopefully inform the players of this before that happens.

Gameplay-wise, the game is working really well, there are some tweaks to be made for sure, but overall the game is fun and addictive (your’s truly has played this game for too many hours already)

so what remains?
Good question my good sir/lady/[insert preferred title]. While we do have the option of letting players choose their characters now, there’s still the case of making the customization and unlocking of content work. We do want people to have the option of sharing their records to different social networks as well, so we’ll need to put that in there too.

Mostly, I guess, the things that are missing is related to customization and interface. The game works, which is fantastic, although the occasional… hiccup, can still happen.

Dimension_dissortion

Help indeed…

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SpinSling: Aaand the winner is!

We hosted a poll a few days ago, about what animals you’d like to see in the game. Some were clearly more popular than others, and if you followed it on facebook, you might already know the answer!

Here are the top three animals!

Winners!

The winner was the Red Panda, while the Octopus and Sloth tied for second!

SpinSling: Environments

SpinSling is all about fun, and apart of that fun comes from the silly characters and the world that they inhabit. As you play through the game you’ll encounter many different environments and what we’re presenting today is just a small sample of what we plan to put into our game. We’re going for a clean aesthetic for the environments that, while interesting doesn’t take the attention of the players away from what is going on in the gameplay. Hope you like them!

Critterland

Welcome to Critterland!

UnderTheSea

Under the sea

Fjord

Something on the horizon…

Sky

Fly! Fly like the magical spin-slinging critters you are!

SpinSling: What animal is SpinSling missing?

hiddenCharacter

We’ve have made a list of animals below that is currently not in the game – question is: what animals would you like to see in the game? If your favourite animal isn’t on the list (or in the game already), feel free to add yours to the list!

This is a link to a poll for our game, please share your opinion as to what animal SpinSling is missing!

>>GO TO POLL<<

If your favourite animal isn’t on the list, leave a comment on facebook!

In case you missed our previous post, you can click this text to see what animals are already in our game!

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!

Work in Progress

We are preparing for ByLan in Bergen making things look all nice and play nice. So today we’ve decided to share a few screenshots with you! They are of course work in progress and a lot can still change!

 

GM_2_Screenshot01

One of the first levels in the game.

TF_2_Screenshot04

Bombs are essential for adventure. That is like a law or something.

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!