FGL 48 Hours Competition

Hello Everyone,

Just thought I would drop by with a quick update. Some of you may know, but for those of you who dont Peter (Iconic Games Coder) and I entered the FGL 48 hours competition over the weekend. We had actually been pretty excited  since we first heard about it and hoped it would give us both a chance to work out of our comfort zones and on a heavy deadline. (we have never worked under this kind of pressure before) I personally was hoping for a new and interesting game idea and  knew we would have to think outside of the box with FGL staff selecting the theme and also whatever restrictions they may have had.

Day 1:

Since the competition began at 7pm Peter worked on our editor and added the export capability while I finished up a scene for Marty.  After working most of the day Peter informed me we got the times wrong and we were actually getting the theme at 6pm, not 7 (about an hour away when I found out). So I finished up work with Marty for the day and we both anxiously discussed details. We also took the time to ponder what the theme could be and possible routes we could take. Needless to say I was pretty much waiting to decide all that once we get the theme and restrictions.

I also spoke with the Iconic Games sound artist Daniele aka Sound Tricks prior and thankfully he was willing to participate. So that was  a major sigh of relief knowing he was supplying some awesome sounds/music.

After much anticipation we finally got the theme/rules and were now ready to begin discussing what we could do. Below I have posted a section of the post.

Contest Rules:

  • 48 hours to create a game
  • Game must work on fgl.com
  • Flash (AS2 or AS3), HTML5 or Unity is allowed.
  • Libraries and languages must be declared with entry
  • The theme needs to be central to the game

Game Rules

  • Mouse Control Only

Theme
Three words, no more, no less. Any three words you want, as long as the first word begins with “F”, the second word begins with “G” and the third word begins with “L”.

We were still pretty excited and jumped right to work. There were lots of ways to use FGL and the possibilities felt endless. I think one thing that may have slowed us down was the fact that it was mouse controls only. Over the next few  hours we shot out ideas back and forth. Just when we felt like we had something it quickly evaporated as we ran into time issues or a development problem with the game. Some ideas we had were; a fast paced super hero game where you had to save people, a fast paced super villain game where you had to destroy everything, launcher game ideas, shooters, collecting games and stacking games. There were definitely a lot more but that’s all I can think of at the moment.  This process ended up being a lot harder then we had anticipated and easily wasted a lot of time.

I dont even remember how we stumbled across our final idea but we went into it not as motivated as we should have been. We really just needed to do something at this point and we thought it looked doable and knew no one else would do anything like it. We decided on Frantic Guardian Latamere as the name of the game.  So Peter signed off because it was around 5AM in his timezone (must have been exhausted) and I got to work. My first target was to create the hero. Although it seemed simple I wasted waaay to much time here. I went through 4 complete designs and then decided to just start over.  It had been almost 5  hours since Peter had logged off at this point. It was now about 4am and my motivation was almost gone and I was becoming delirious so I hit the hay knowing I would start over in the morning.

Day 1 Continued:
I awoke about 3 hours later because my 2 wonderful children had just woke up and wanted me to feed them and change there diapers. Not the best way to start the day with a deadline looming over your head.

After a few hours raced by I managed to get myself back to the computer and finally started work again. When I glanced at skype I saw that Peter messaged me about 15 minutes after I went to bed so I knew he had been hard at work for awhile and I needed to get some work done. This time I did something I wanted to do originally but didn’t  because I was afraid of the time it would take. I did a zelda styled top down view of the hero and luckily it turned out better then I imagined.   Only down side to this style is that I have to draw the hero 3 times and animate him 3 times because of the 3 different view points needed (front, side and back). This looked better but was also very time consuming. The original character was a front side view, but it just didn’t look right to me.

Once the character was designed I felt a lot better about the game and started working on the environment. To my dismay Peter did not happen to like the world art because it didn’t fit with the game. So after doing and redoing it I realized maybe we were not understanding each other. So after a long discussion we were now on the same page. At this point I had designed the character *not animated* him and had a bunch of level art we couldnt use.

End Of Day 1

I then began to animate the character which dragged on to about 7 am. Both Peter and Daniele had went to bed and awoken at this point and I was running on fumes, but I felt I needed to get something definite done to  make some real progress. Once I managed to get the character animated I passed out next to my wife on the couch.

About 3 Hours Later:
I awoke again to two screaming children who were hungry and needed diapers changed. At this point I felt like I couldnt do it but I managed to push on because I knew Peter and Daniel were relying on me.

Once the kids were taken care of I jumped straight to work and edited some art my Wife (she is also an artist for Iconic Games, but she has been working on her own stuff lately)did so it would work with our game. I’ve got to say without her help I don’t know if we would have been able to finish. She really did a good job.  After that it all kind of just blends together. The hours just flew by and I was trying to do everything at once so we would have a game to play. Things were getting done but it felt like I was going to slow and with the digital clock at the bottom right hand corner of my screen it only made me more nervous.

As time flew by I managed to finish all the art about 45 minutes before the time ended, but now I had to go through and prepare all the art for the game editor (no levels or anything were even designed). I managed to do that in about 10 minutes and then Peter told me I was missing a couple things so I had to finish that up as quickly as possible. Now at this point we only had about 30 minutes and we still had to design rooms, put content in them, upload the game to the site and post it to the FGL contest thread. So feeling rather drained Peter asked me to prepare uploading the game while he did the levels ( a job I typically do, but I was honestly happy I wasn’t doing them because I was completely scatter brained). It took me about 20 minutes to write a decent short/long description of the game. Just in time for Peter to upload the game to dropbox so I oould upload the game to FGL. I tried to quickly submit but for some reason it made me put a game image. Which managed to slow me down because Photoshop wouldn’t open.(so I was freaking out) It did manage to open though and I posted the game to the site and in the forum. With about 2 minutes to spare Peter uploaded an updated version of the game with sounds in.

Contest Ends:

I really just couldnt believe we made it. Also the feeling was a bit surreal to realize the first time to play the game was about 5 minutes before it was uploaded for the contest. I had only slept about 6 hours in those two days and was completely exhausted. I know Peter and Daniele both felt the same.  That really showed me I can trust these guys and honestly there the only people im really happy to work with.

Daniele had done all the games music and sounds, not to mention he had also sacrificed sleep and worked faster and harder then I have ever seen him do  before. He really impressed me. Something that was pretty funny was that after the dust had settled and Peter and I were celebrating Daniele messaged me with the menu music thinking we still had another hour. He was disappointed when I told him it was to late but without it he did a phenomenal job.

Courtney , my wife, had actually helped me with a lot of the game art and without her I am not positive I would have been able to finish the project. She really did an awesome job and I feel bad because both me and Peter were incredibly hard on her.  We kept having her redo art and complaining so it doesn’t surprise me that she left me to do it myself a couple of times, but in the end she helped me finish the game up and did an awesome job.

With this project Peter was a miracle worker. That guy moved like a cheetah on the hunt and destroyed this game. Really the best coder I have EVER worked with.(with this project and all of our ones before) I am normally the one to take the lead but he was definitely the one leading us this time around.  He had put together the frame work for our editor prior to this and coded the entire game in 48 hours not to mention put together the actual game and added all the sounds/a lot of art all in the last hour. I still have no clue how he did it.

Final Thoughts:
I am just incredibly happy that we managed to finish the game. It was a ton of work and all of us went without sleep but we have the basis for an awesome RPG.  And trust me we have plans to expand, polish and make this into a full fledged adventure RPG.

I went into this thinking we could come up with a good idea and turn it into an even better game once the competition was over. I am confident we have/will do that but I feel like this has revealed a lot about the people I work with and  really changed my perspective on a lot of game related stuff. I know now that I can trust all of these guys and that they truly have my back. I have no doubt that together we will continue to make some awesome games and I look forward to that. Some people may think that this may have been a waste of 48 hours but I wouldn’t have spent it doing anything else. This 48 hours has changed the way I will work with my team and develop games in the future.

Final Contest Game Name: Fierce Guardian Latamere

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Marty Progress

Hello Everyone,

Its been a couple weeks since I have posted. I have been really busy finishing up everything for Marty. I went through and designed all 30 levels for the game, added in new assets that are needed and then animated the games intro scene. The levels took about 4 days and was incredibly stressful.  The scene was a lot of work and actually took over 24 hours spread across 2 days.  But I had it mostly planned out so it was easy to just work from my notes and hammer it out.

I was hoping to have the game up for bidding on FGL already but things are going slowly. All the art is essentially finished except the games final scene. Which should take no longer then a day.

At this point its really up in the air to when the game will be up for bidding and its eventual release. I’m hoping for the best but I haven’t heard from Marty’s coder in 3-4 days and last I saw the game was in a working prototype stage that needed some changes/fixes.  So I have no clue how everything is going on that end. Hopefully everything is all fixed and he has started to implement levels.

I have posted an image from the intro scene below. This is my favorite one because it actually makes me laugh. It is in the middle of Marty envisioning his planet being destroyed and displays a girl screaming as the “Monster Planet” attempts to devour the planet.

For all of you who have been following the Iconic Games blog I cant thank you enough. Those of you who comment and visit the site really motivate me to work hard. Its nice to know there are people out there who notice and appreciate all your hard work. (and like it!) Without you guys it would be difficult to continue. As always fell free to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Marty Work

Hello Everyone,

Its been a week or so since I have posted. That is because I have been working non stop on Marty in hopes of wrapping up all the art assets asap. I’m nearing the end and although its taking longer then expected I think overall it is taking a very nice shape that will most likely be one of my most impressive looking games to date. I only really have the main menu, level select screen, and the intro/outro animations left for the game. Once those are done I will be finalizing all level designs and puzzles.

Below I have posted an image of the start screen. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.


Well that’s all the news for today. As always if your free follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

New Game Work!

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would update today with news of what has been going on over at Iconic Games. The game editor/engine Peter has been working on is still in the works but it looks like it will be ready at some point this week. So we are making progress which is always good. Once that’s done all of these games I have been showing should start getting released at a rapid rate.

I had an old coder friend contact me about doing a quick project. He had a cool concept he had came up with. Originally it was something fairly basic but I felt it needed some more life put into it and have added a lot of my own ideas. Although its nothing particularly “new” I think I have a few ideas that would definitely make it more fresh. Its certainly something we don’t usually see in casual games or in flash. (in my opinion)  Im hoping to be done with all art and level design this week and hopefully have it up for bidding the following week. I’m currently planning to have anywhere from 25-30 levels, complete with enemies and puzzles (maybe even a boss). With the concept it should be relatively easy to come up with some nice ideas for that. Below I have posted some art for the game. Keep a look out for updates! 😀
 I was obviously inspired by Mario Galaxy, Luigi’s Mansion and Angry Birds space (never played angry birds space, but I have seen videos) when starting this. I think its pretty apparent. Still lots of stuff to do but it shouldn’t be to long.
Well that’s all the news for today. As always feel free to comment and follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Game Progress

Sorry its been awhile since I have updated. Been really busy with a lot of different things.  Since I last posted I have worked on Spirit Void and started a new project. After speaking the Peter (Iconic Games coder). I have decided to do a quick 2 week project while he finishes up some exams and such.

So far I think the project is looking very promising and sleek.

The game is titled as “Pure Stealth”. I borrowed the title from another game I never finished (multiple times) back in the day. The game was drastically different from what I have here. (still a stealth game though) Its very much inspired by Metal Gear, Splinter Cell and Dead Space. Although I hope to keep it my own and really impress our players.

I’ve posted some images below of the older and the newer version of the game.

Here you can see the old title screen I made back in the day. Its pretty simple but appealing to look at in my opinion. With the gear rotating I felt it had a nice touch.

Here is the new title screen. I did borrow some ideas from the older one but over all the newer version is much more appealing. The gear rotates and the hexagons in the background flash at random. Not to mention there is a “Click To Start” text fading in and out. The game also transitions very nicely from screen to screen.  That’s all I have got for today. Thanks for reading and be sure to comment. 

 

Day 5! Reveal Game Name, Spirit Void

Another long day today. Didn’t get as much as I wanted done but I did a few really cool things here and there.

Instead of showing you guys some more little things I have done today I thought I would explain some details about the game and actual game play. We have decided on the name of the game and its going to be “Spirit Void”.  The name was chosen because of the elements involved in the story and game play. The game is going to be very story driven and cinematic. I want to tell a very in depth story and attempt to draw in the players as much as possible with atmosphere and cinematics.  The game will also feature a unique/beautiful art style that incorporates a sense of realism along with cartoon like elements which can be seen in the images below.

The game is going to be classified as a realistic physics platformer with heavy puzzle elements, mystery and an in depth story. I hope to really raise the bar personally with this project and to make something no one has really played before. Game play wise you will have the ability to control multiple objects, items and machinery. This will be used in such a way to draw people in and feel very accomplished once a puzzle is solved or an area is completed, and also keep things fresh as you go. The game will also include a time travel type mechanic which I think will heavily effect the game play and puzzles.  You will be able to alter the present and interact with the past as most would expect. (more on that in a later post) Thats all I will be sharing for now but keep visiting the site and I follow the development of our latest projects.

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Day 4 Post

Wow, Today has been a long day. Its 10:30 Pm and I have been at it since 11 this morning. I almost finished everything I wanted to get done today. Just missing one small piece that I plan to get tomorrow. Right now I am mainly working on all the miscellaneous items in the background that will help build the atmosphere/experience of the game.  I think its coming along nicely personally but feel there is still a lot more variety needed so each level will be unique and fun. This way I hope to make sure the game does not become repetitive in appearance.

Below I have posted the latest image of the game. I personally like the painting I have made, but some people think it doesn’t fit the game. I would love to hear peoples thoughts and collect some constructive feedback. Well I am off for now, but I plan to be back tomorrow with an update of the game.

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Day 3 Game Development

I’ve been working on my game today and wanted to drop in to show some of my progress. Its beginning to get a little life in it and take a nice shape. You cant tell by the image but I have got some animation in. I think I will share it once we are pretty close to completing the game. So far im very proud of it and have poured a lot of hours into it already.  I like to spend at least 8 hours a day working, but sometimes I easily go past 12 hours. I take a lot of pride in my work and love what I do. Not only is the concept I came up with very original (if  I do say so myself) but it is looking the way I envisioned it.

For those of you who are interested to know and those of you who know how I work, I always sketch just about everything (on paper) before I start putting it together in flash. This really takes away a lot of the guess work and shortens the time it takes to draw something. I find that if you don’t sketch your ideas before hand you end up spending a lot of time on one thing and it slows down the entire process.  This scene you see below was actually first drawn on a piece of paper with as much detail as I could put in to it (although still pretty simple). Its still missing about 5 key things but it shouldnt take long until its near complete. When I can I will try uploading some of my sketches so you can see how my creative process works.

Please feel free to comment below.

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News and a New Project

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t posted in a few days and I thought I would fill everyone on whats going on with Iconic Games. Bare with me though, I have had a long day and my thoughts are scattered. Yesterday we spoke with our sponsors for Dungeon Breaker over at PlayHub. After some back and forth emails we finally got there branding all figured out and we seem to be in agreement on everything. The games release is not yet decided but it is for sure just around the corner. I actually really enjoyed their suggestions and think it increased the appeal of the game. I originally made some simple text buttons but turned them into icons at there request and think it looks immensely better.

Before on the left and after on the right.

Saturday my partner/coder Antriel (Peter) came to me and requested that we work on a new project (something quicker and easier then what we were currently working on) and put our other project briefly on the back burner. The reasons for doing this is because after completing Dungeon Breaker we decided to rework our game engine/editor so we could easily use it with all our future projects. This may take longer now but in the end we will be able to quickly put together games and drastically increase development time. So instead of spending 3-4 weeks on a game it may only take us 1 – 2 weeks.

So after some brainstorming I came up with a pretty awesome game concept that I think we can do relatively quickly and will be easier to use with the new engine/editor. I plan to share more of the details in the coming days but for now I will post some images of what I have been working on the past 2 days. Dont forget to comment and follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Development Progress

Good news everyone!

I found the time today to capture a quick video of what I have been working on with our new game. Its low quality but please take a look and comment. Ill be sure to include more details as development progresses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpGfuKnPbQQ

Comment and let me know what you think.