Spellcaster Studios

Make it happen…

Loads of work!

So today I took the day off so I could work on Gateway…

Most of the work was small tweaks based on feedback I got at the Lisboa Games Week, to prepare an even better demo for the last round of Playstation Talents and for ComicCon Portugal next week.

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I noticed in the demo that most people didn’t catch any of the alloy and health packs that dropped from the enemies that you killed… There’s two possible reasons: one, they don’t see the use (that fits with the alloy, but not much with the health packs), and two, they don’t see them at all because of the noise in the scenery. In case the problem is this last one, I added some code for the items to bob up and down, and for them to have a glowing outline (with a neat shader). They are way more visible now, and on ComicCon I’ll be able to test my theory on this…

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I also changed the stun mechanics on the game… It was a bit too overpowered, in my opinion… Now, when you hit an enemy with a weapon that can stun, it will increase a stun-meter, and when that meter reaches the top, it will trigger the actual stun, that will last for a few seconds (with a visible effect so you know it is in effect), and then has a cooldown so you can’t keep stunning indefinitely. I think this works better, looks cleaner and it gives rise to a few more potential mechanics in the future (for example, if two players are blasting the same enemy with a stun gun, it will stun faster). The implementation of this wasn’t as good as I’d like, but for the immediate purpose is good enough.

I’ve also tweaked the bosses a lot… Because of the birth of the game as a single-player game, the bosses were to be “designed” and not procedurally generated… Now they are procedurally generated, even if currently it’s just a glimpse of what we will do in the actual game. They can have different payloads, shields, and mechanics as splitting into more enemies when they are destroyed… When I showed the game at Lisboa Games Week, people would breeze through the boss as if it was just another enemy, you only felt that he was a boss because he was bigger than the rest, had a bit more health and was standing in the middle of a temple… Not anymore! Smile

Tomorrow I’ll also be working on this, mostly just polishing, adding a score system (I think that might work in a demo environment, so people have a feeling of having an objective), and a game timer so that sessions have a fixed time.

Lisboa Games Week is done!

And it was great!

I got a lot of useful feedback, a lot of people came to try the game (and thanks everybody that voted for me!), and most people seem to have genuine fun with the demo!

Some photos of the event:

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The event itself was very nice, with the usual problems on these sort of things… the section where we had our game for show was really hidden behind the other exhibitors, so we had to go and fetch people to play the game… On Sunday, we could clear some space around the display and we didn’t stop all the day, with constant visitors… According to my math, we showed the game to almost 100 people total!

Special note to the Indie Dome, the indie-only part of the event, which was great, a lot of awesome work on display there, and the part reserved for retro gaming was also pretty nice!

So, what’s next for Gateway?

Well, we’ll have to wait for the results of the Playstation Talents awards, but in the meantime we’re pitching the game to potential publishers, doing small fixes based on the received feedback, and preparing to show the game at GameCon Portugal (from 8th to 11th December)!

We’ll keep you guys updated!

Lisboa Games Week

From tomorrow until Sunday, we’ll be at the Lisboa Games Week, at the Playstation Talents booth demonstrating Gateway for whoever wants to check it out, play it and chat a bit about the game!

Lisboa Games Week will be an event in (you guessed it) Lisboa. Everything game related will be there, like E-Sports, new console and PC releases, VR, retro gaming, YouTubers, cosplay, indies, lectures, etc, so be sure to hop on by!

The other game I’m working on (Strikers Edge) will also be featured there, and there will even be a tournament with prizes!

Co-op proof of concept

Following some of the feedback we’ve got at some of the trade fairs we’ve been showing Gateway at, I’ve decided to try and mock-up the multiplayer aspect of the game.

For the proof of concept, it’s a local only co-op multiplayer, but it works fully, and it’s a lot of fun to play!

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To be honest, I haven’t had this much fun playing the game for some time!

If I get the budget for the development, this aspect of the game will be online only, but it will probably the main focus of the game: co-op exploration with crafting elements, gear-based roles and procedurally generated big monsters for players to take on together, since that sounds like a whole lot of fun!

Here’s a video of me and a friend playing a bit on this mode:

 

I’ve also updated the Gateway website with the new multiplayer features, since it seems to be something people are really into! Smile

Stay tuned for more news soon!

Loads of news

I’m a terrible communicator… I should have done this post more than a week ago, but with crunch going on for Strikers Edge, time has been at a premium!

Anyway, on to the news…

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First, Strikers Edge has gone into beta! It’s going alright… Most bugs found so far have the same root (which we’re working on), and the multiplayer has been more or less behaving (still need a lot of work in some of the latency hiding). Hopefully the next couple of weeks the game will be way more stable and reliable.

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We’ve submitted Gateway to the Playstation Talents Awards, which is a competition that helps getting games being published on the PS4, helping with small development costs, dev kits and other stuff like that. Strikers Edge was actually the winner last year.

We got selected for the second phase (so the 10 best games), and we’ll be at Lisboa Games Week in November showing the game to the public and press.

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Next week, Strikers Edge will be shown at the Paris Games Week, and Gateway will also be there being shopped to potential publishers (if I have enough time to finish the demo build!).

So a lot is happening, even if there’s not lots of updates on the site!

Back from Gamescom

So, last week I came back from Gamescom!

On a personal level, it was very tiring, but I had a blast… Got to meet such great developers, have interesting discussions, look at some amazing indie games; it was really great to feel like a part of the industry!

On a business level, it also went very well… Strikers Edge was very well received by the media and the public, and I had some nice discussions with some publishers about Gateway, which I hope might lead to some news in the near future!

I was present at actually two events: Respawn (an dev-to-dev event), and Gamescom.

At Respawn, I had the opportunity to show Gateway to some people, which marks the first time the game was showed outside of Portugal… Reception was also good there!

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So overall I’m very happy!

Have a lot of work ahead of me to prepare Gateway for a more formal presentation to some people, and I have a huge lack of time nowadays, with the looming deadline for Strikers Edge, the release of World of Warcraft: Legion (actually been to the Legion Bar, and won an impersonation contest, yay me!) and everything else, but hey, that’s gamedev! Smile

Gamescom

So in two weeks I’ll be at Gamescom with the Fun Punch Games team, showing off Strikers Edge, the multiplayer battle arena game I’m working on.

 

I’m taking the opportunity to show “Gateway” as well, to shop it around and see the public interest for it!

For that, I’m preparing a bunch of stuff to take with me, so expect some news on the blog soon, including the new teaser trailer and a new site for the game!

New enemy art

Well, it’s a been a long time since I wrote something here…

The main reason is that I’m working in game development as a job, so most of my free time I don’t feel the urge to code games so much as before…

In case you’re curious, I’m working on “Striker’s Edge”, an arena based multiplayer game (both online and couch mode)… I’m working mainly on the network, AI and replay systems.

Here’s the teaser for it:

Anyway, this week I got some new art assets for the enemies, and I put them in the game to see how they look…

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I’m not very happy with them… The sawblade is too large, the red one is difficult to make up in this area, the yellow one is hard to see on the desert… So, they still need a lot of work, even if they already look way better than the previous ones.

Anyway, it felt good working on Gateway again… Need to get my act together and really plunge into it once again!

Now listening to “Epsilon” by “Blood Stain Child”

Bug fixing

Today I kind of had some time to work on “Gateway”, so I started working on loads of bugs I’ve found while working on the prototype.

Most of the ones I tackled today were pirate lair related…

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It was some bad spawns, the whirlwind laser wasn’t hitting the player, cannons were firing on the wrong place, and such other stuff…

Now listening to “For Aeons Past” by “Solution .45”