Lizards and Fish from Newgrounds!
Here's a little thing I've been making through the year: not too long ago I began making custom "token cards" designs for creatures (which are mostly used as a complement on Magic: The Gathering) for the Cardamajigs store, and now a second series of ANIMATED cards are out!
I wasn't really aware that lenticular printing could allow so many frames of animation (actually a total of 8 in this case!) so it's been great to make a few things with this technology, it's pretty much some kind of GIF you can have in your hand.
If you're interested, either for your Magic battles or just to collect animation in physical form, head to the store!
Clay-morphed beings of Newgrounds, I haven't dropped by in a while, so it's time for a little update on sprouting molecules:
As the title says, not long ago I found a video of someone actually speedrunning Dinomelt! a 100% run!!!
I'm a big fan of events like Games done Quick with their usual Super Metroid races and the like, where players go in-depth about the game details and 'optimal routes' (that was one motivation to actually have a 'speedrun' medal here on NG), so it was amazing to see that this game had some speedrunning appeal, take a look if you're into that!!
Finding more Dinomelt feedback, and playthroughs on youtube has been a cool motivation; After finishing the game I've been taking a break before getting into what could be a next 'big project' due to other human-related duties, but in the meantime I'm making a few tests for an expanded build of 'DUCKS'.
Also, just out of experimentation I began using Instagram, which, while probably not intended, has been a fun platform to share quick animations around.
I also made a microscopic GIF-Comic for Halloween... so far that's my ONLY Art submission this year!?... Perhaps I should do something about that.
Time for a little (but also huge!) announcement!
Long-story short, on 2016, as part of the competitions of the Chilemonos Animation Festival (the biggest animation festival in Chile); I took part and won a pitching contest on new series for Cartoon Network LA. with a 'byte-sized' series called "Mantequillo"!!
/(You could translate it to 'butter kid' or something like that), it's based off some comics I had made for a chilean webcomic site called The Comic Fome (here's one (in spanish, though))
This led our small team to make two short pilot skits with this characters, as interstisials for the channel. For a while we weren't sure abut when and how it would become available (otherwise I would've made the announcement a long time ago!!!) But at last it's gone live on Cartoon Network LA (Latin America)! you should be able to watch it from the comfort of your device of choice as they also uploaded it on Youtube (see below).
It's reaally short and simple, but give it a watch! :)
First of all, thanks to all who've played through and taken the time to review Dinomelt!, the response has been great over its featured weeks on Newgrounds and I've been paying close attention to all the feedback so far.
If you enjoyed the game (or if you're into OST collection, because why not), you can now get the Dinomelt's OST, by the coolibert Moralo Gonzalez on Bandcamp right now!! It's on "Name your price" mode, but consider supporting his music work by throwing a bit more than 0$.
Making the OST was a pretty unique part of the process, since it's among the few development tasks I didn't produced, but got some 'directing' to do instead; I had worked with Moralo before on numerous UNI works on Design School (most notably my first 'released game' Mastica Astros), but so far Dinomelt is the biggest project we've worked on in terms of scope and required music volume.
Proposing each track was an unusual challenge to get into, as the "Explorative Platofmer" genre comes with pretty unique musical needs in terms of ambientation, the biggest challenge being defining the 'world themes'; as the player is more likely to spend a lot more time into each area; which meant that the world tracks made by Moralo had to offer a lot of variety, while consistently covering an atmospheric mood of each area, something that doesn't apply to the rest of the OST which covers the boss battles, conversation themes, and later story-based tracks towards the Endgame. For a 'relatively short' game, we're pretty glad to have finished with a final volume of 14 tracks on the game! (well, maybe 11 if you don't count the brief 'fanfare'-type tracks).
I also made a little cover for your ocular absorption.
Before it was too long, I wanted to dedicate a post to a game I made for the Construct 3 jam : 'DUCKS'! And share a few doodles because why not... -I have at least a few posts to make about Dinomelt, those may appear first in the blog- 'Ducks' actually got #1 game of last month... WHAAAT... So it's a good time for a little recap of making this little game in the Construct 3 Jam... Let's go!
Construct 3 Jam - Good Things Come in Threes
It took me quite a bit to figure out what to do with the 2-weeks game jam, a number-based theme was still too wide to settle down with an idea, so the 1st week was just planning for it and looking at ways of making something fun which could take advantage of the '3-theme', without seeming too obvious. A part I find pretty motivating in game development is character design, so I decided to do something related to 3 characters, I thought about 3 rats, 3 worms, 3 different birds, and at the end it was just fun to go with 3 different DUCKS..
I looked back at The Lost Vikings, which was a great inspiration for a three-character game, but I didn't wanted to do a platformer (because of 'Dinomelt fatigue') or something too complex for the jam like an inventory system like Lost Vikings had, so I started playing with an overhead perspective and simple asset ideas.
Then came the ducks!!, I doodled around and the result were 3 desings I liked and were varied enough, one is the 'well-rounded' duck, the other is a heavy "brick-like" duck, and the 3rd one is just a "floating"(in the levitating way) duck.Each one should be able to bypass a certain obstacle, but also have a 'weakness' in a way that they had to work together, so it was about time to hop into the program!
My experience making other C2 games (Mastica Astros and Dinomelt) was really helpful to quickly jump into development of the game, as I didn't have much issues with the basic movement behaviours, the character-switch mechanic, and implementing objects and animations.
The thing that took me the longest was making a system to efficiently define how the ducks would interact with each obstacle. that's where Construct's "families" came in handy, as they allowed me to put all ducks into one, and define all of their properties inside of the family, adapting it to each ducks' properties (Though (blocks bullets), Floats (goes over spikes), Shoots (shoots...)...).
At the end, I made 6 levels where the ducks were slowly introduced to avoid starting with too much information, and see how much I could do for a 1-duck or 2-duck puzzle before getting too high on complexity (at the left is one of the many sketches I did for each stage, looking for interesting but not so obvious ways of making a way for the ducks (and some random creatures around...)).
I found a little time frame to add a little backstory just for the sake of completion, I actually intended more 'cutscenes' between stages which could develop the characters a little more, but that didn't have much priority for the jam... and that was IT!
After seeing the response, level 3 and 6 got a bit insane because they came really overloaded with objects, and there was a danger of dying and having to restart the level by mistake! From this experience, puzzle design was all about managing layers of complexity, defining the given information, and finding the right interactions, so it really requires some more focused testing, which is something to keep in mind for further projects (or potential upgrades of this one!).
Another thing that bothered some players were the hitboxes as it was an unusual perspective to define them, and the speed of the ducks, especially on the later stages where ducks have to travel longer paths, and the chance of failure gets higher- which means, restarting again! oh well-...
That said, players really liked the ducks in general! And this was a fun side-project to work on. While I don't have plans of making an expansion right away, it's a fun premise to keep planning on.
SO, how well did Construct 3 do?
For the most part, it was mainly 'C2 with a more efficient/structured User Interface', As other jammers have mentioned, working with images' properties in different ocassions made the engine crash, but that's mostly bugs which should be checked by now and the upcoming versions.
That said, there are a number of more technical improvements I'd like to point out:
-Sprite animation editor is so much better to work with, pretty well structured, as an animator, this is IMPORTANT.
-On-stage animation previews and defining starting animations are both really helpful to check and solve simple issues.
-Exporting (nodewebkit and html) was really fast, and nodewebkit offering export settings was a huge improvement over the C2 process.
-Being able to share a remote preview of your game is pretty handy, I didn't used it that much, but just thinking about how much I web-tested my previous games (always exporting them, uploading them, linking them...) It's a really well recieved feature!
So that would be it for 'DUCKS', I hope it was an entertaining read, Tune in next week where I'll explore deeper into Dinomelt's origins, and until then, may the ducks be with you.
After more than 2 years of melting development, I can at last announce that DINOMELT, is up!!
Here goes the final Release Trailer!
One thing to note, is that it did come with a buggy start (the game had a few (hopefully only) "1st day-bugs" which triggered at times when NG medals were requested, making the music go away, and even making the game crash!! (oh peanuts!), turns out, it especially affected users without accounts, which may seem like an obvious thing to consider, but it was never tested in that context on NG until launch) it should be running well by now, so give it a go! (but if anything comes up, please consider sending me a PM with the details :)).
In that sense, I expect this game to keep evolving for a more 'complete' version, so all feedback is welcome.
That said, thanks to all who have played it so far, reviewed and reported bugs! (and huge thanks to Tom for the frontpage feature! :O).
Now that I can finally call this stage 'done', I'll be making posts regarding the process of the game and the multiple alpha-beta-stages, also, let me know if there's anything about the game's process that you'd be interested on reading about!
Last week, I made a game called 'DUCKS' for the C3 JAM, it was great to make something that was NOT a platformer for a moment, and focus on simple duck-creatures and obstacles. I have a lot of stuff to write about that one (and also about using the C3 beta) but I'll be leaving that one for next week!!
Time for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT... (if you read the title, you know the "tl;dr", but anyway)...
My Dinomelt web demo will finally see a release date on Friday, June 2. The game has been 'complete' for some time (like 3 months!?), but testing bugs and balancing difficulty has been an important priority to avoid some of the post-launch brain meltdowns (or reduce them, at least...!).
Note that the version you'll be playing on NG, while not a 'DEMO' in its most common definition -it is a build which will feature a playable game from beginning to end- is still a 'compact' version of the larger and more fleshed out game (and story) I envision it to be if development continues (which I'll be considering depending of the interest and overall response). From now on I'll be refering to this build as the 'Web version' or 'Newgrounds version'.
Now this may seem like an unusual decision for a web release -I'll go into more detail on the motivations behind it in another post- but the main reason behind going through the work of making a game build which can be played completely as a short version of the story, was more related to the personal challenge of going through the whole learning process of developing a game "from beginning to end", connecting all of its elements.
While the Web version will certainly leave out a good bag of potential features, it was about time for a milestone in the process, and I'm pretty glad with how the current version is playing and the testers response has been great.
That said, STAY TUNED!, on June 2, a condensed subterranean clay adventure will invade your browser and brain-cells!
I wanted to narrow this one down to the anouncement, but when the game is finally up I'll be elaborating more on the development experience, motivations, and whatever you guys are curious about!
Also, you can now follow Dinomelt on it Facebook fanpage for more immediate updates!
Hey Newgrounders!, time for a bit of dev-blogging on my game Dinomelt!
But first, a little comic ...
More than once (and specially on a looong project), as one grows and develops better and more efficient ways to make things (an evolving artstyle, a cleaner way to program, new approaches to world and level design…), it becomes reaallly tempting to just go back and re-do the whole thing.
During the 2+ year development cycle of Dinomelt, this has happened more than once: The protagonist, Gwrep, had a complete sprite-re-drawing halfway through the project. Also, recently, plenty of the main background assets and platfoms got a color, line and overal polish update, so that most aspects of the game had a more consistant line.
As an example, take a look at this gif from version 0.4 (late 2015)
It was looking and working fine, but the animations on the protagonist, Grwep, weren’t the most convincing, they were stiff, and the ‘run’ was a bit off… Months later I went over its whole group of ~15+ animations to make them smoother with stronger poses, and a better sense of weight (specially on the runcycle)
In that sense, my current goal is to get the upcoming web release DONE before I get the ‘itch’ of remaking everything again, otherwise, you may expect the game to take another year or even more!!
Music production is halfway through, and in the meantime I've been heavily into 'post-production' details, so despite the tone of the comic and the last sentence, it's not something I expect to happen ;)
More updates on the game's blog.
As a little BONUS I’ll leave you with this fun and insightful micro-documentary by Adam Butcher; a good documented case to remind us of this issue... and maybe consider releasing projects instead of remaking them for years.
Heyy Newgrounds', in a bit of a break from Dinomelt updates and development, I made a few illustated token cards to play Magic: The Gathering ->
Wait, what are these?
There are many cards in the game that can 'create' certain types of creatures, which are usually represented with 'token cards' or wathever you have around, so I made a few of them to play with just for fun, and then I found a store which actually speciallizes on them!
SO, whether you actually play the game, or just like to collect illustrated cards, take a look!
It's been a bit of a while since my last update on things (mainly a recap of last year and a bit of the Newgrounds experience).
BUT here's some updates focused on the game(still-in)progress!
The latest ‘release date’ was “late January”, which is kind of gone, so it may be good to stop estimates for a while. Turns out, starting February, I can announce that, after heavily focused weeks, the game at last is on ‘COMPLETELY PLAYABLE’ (/beatable) state!
The game is done in most aspects of production, the whole world map, dialogs, sound effects, credits, secondary animations, enemies, debugging, typography… even a set of working “achievements”! (prepared to work as Newgrounds medals), most of those details, which compose the elusive and rarely accurate 'LAST 10%’ of 'polishing' work (this last stage has taken around 2-3 busy months so it may aswell be as big as a 25% of the whole work-time) (picture related)
The only aspect which is still on production phase is the music, which will take a bit longer considering the final volume of music needed for the game.
While it’s reeeeally tempting to release it at last, as the music gets done it will be a good time to test and polish the latest details shooting for a good web release, looking for a good week when I’ll finally be able to announce a real release date.
In the meantime, here’s a little peek at Fruwz, one of the most heavily clay-morphed areas of the cavern.