gamedev

SpinSling: The Team

We’re eight people at Retrogene, that’s kind of a big bunch for a fledgling indie studio. It is also one of the reasons why we can afford to take a few of those people and make a smaller team working on a much smaller game.

Out of the eight, only three of us are working on SpinSling, while the others provide valuable feedback, work as playtesters and help out if we’re stuck on how to make something work. Of course that works both ways, and it is nice to see that such a system works.

The teams

Coming Thursday we’ll have some more stuff from our game, and I for one am looking forward to showing you the progress that we’ve made!

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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.

Let’s go for a walk!

This week’s update we’re showcasing some of the excellent animation from our animator Andreas. Some fine tuning left, but I think it’s safe to say that you can see where it’s headed! Stay tuned for next week’s update!

MoandEarl_Walk

 

Also we would like to send a big congrats to our friends at Rain Games and Henchman & Goon as well as a bunch of other Norwegian developers who received funding. We’ll be crossing our fingers for next time!

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.