krish – 起死回生 [Wake up from death & return to life.]

October 25, 2013

NASSCOM BYOG 13 Dev Log :)

NASSCOM’s and GameDev.in ‘s “Build Your Own Game” 2013 is here. Today. Yes, already started 🙂

We @toonheart love Game Jams … and we’ve done LudumDare Compo and Jam’s earlier, but this is the first time we are in for the NGDC’s Indian GameJam.
It’s a 48 + 18 hr jam ( First 6 hrs to come up with a game idea/design, then next 48 for the development, and last 12 for packaging or nitty gritty stuff)

I’m gonna keep blogging about our participation and progress on this post.

Themes were announced at 1800 today,

Top 3 themes being “Last Man on Earth”, “Loop” and “Keys”. 🙂
One would expect that we’re supposed to use one or more from the top 3, but there was a surprise.. and a nasty one 🙂 … “We’re supposed to use one theme from top 3, and one theme from bottom 3 and combine them into a game”

So what are the bottom 3 voted themes: “Lies”, “Mine” and “Synesthesia”!

The hell! 😀

Let’s get to the time line:

Before 1800 hrs – Running around to get inverter installed and wiring done. Crazy electricians testing my patience out. :/
Adding more frustration before the gamejam… besides not allowing me to get time to rest before the jam. Darn it.

1800 hrs – Still shopping for Energy Drinks stock for the jam.

1900 hrs – Team has assembled (Ramesh, Gautham and me), yet I didnt want to take a look at the themes. I wanted some peace first.. to calm down, to be able to create.
Drove to this huge bridge where I often come for peace… watching down on the cars of long highway fly by and endless horizon.
Stood there with team in drizzling rain for some time and headed back home to rock the Jam.

Need peace to Create.

Need peace to Create.

1930 hrs – On the way back, stopped to pack up dinner for us, get a dose of Irani chai to cure headache and get a different environment to think about the game ideas. We’ve seen the themes now. Everyone around is going bonkers on why we are talking about destruction and bombs and explosions.
It’s for our game silly 🙂

Crazy gameDevs confusing people in Cafes :)

Crazy gameDevs confusing people in Cafes 🙂

1945 hrs – Heading home, we found a dog drenching in rain. It didnt look like a street dog. It was injured.. definitely didnt know how to survive in rain and was on the verge of being attacked by street dogs (was getting surrounded). We rushed and shooed away the territorial attackers and somehow managed to board him in the car and bring him home 🙂

It’s a bit of concentration breaker from the gamejam because its craving attention and needs a bit of care right now, but I couldn’t convince myself to leave it in rain.
Doesn’t want to stay in balcony… wants to be around people. So here at our work area.. we have it watching us build games 🙂

4th member of the team right now :)

4th member of the team right now 🙂

2000 hrs – We’re home dumping all our special food stock for the jam.. churning out ideas on the game, working out design… all while trying to make the canine sit at a place… he just wants to hug 🙂

Why BYOG is fun at @toonheart :)

Why BYOG is fun at @toonheart 🙂

2300 hrs – Done with deciding the game idea… roughly a design too. Made a task list for each member according to his skill (Ramesh takes programming, Gautham takes Art, I take bit of everything including sounds, art direction and gameplay/gamedesign) and started this blog 🙂

Meanwhile, due to heavy rains.. our awesome power department has decided to do an outage :/ … and luckily we’re just running on the new inverter (timely save).  However, I had to move from WiFi to using slow Dongle for internet. :/ Sigh.

2327 hrs – Announcing our game, we chose themes “Last Man on Earth” from top3 and “Lies” from Bottom 3.
I’d like to hold off on revealing the game name and the gameplay for a bit. 🙂
Currently, rats are marching our stomach’s a.k.a super hungry… and we’re gonna grab on some tasty biryani and Paya before we start the code.

0258 hrs – So we transitioned into next day now. Almost 9 hrs into the 64 hr jam.
The game’s code has come up a bit with sprites being used from stock images for the moment. Basic user inputs and movements is done. Art side is a bit challenging right now. We are discarding more stuff or rather I should say I am discarding more stuff and poor artist Gautham is struggling to get the sprites the way it should fit in.

0753 hrs – Main character design is done. Some ground tiles are done.
Basic story progression in gameplay is roughly done.

1008 hrs – After a refreshing walk and breakfast.. we’re back for the grind.
Gautham moved on to other game characters (we decided to do animations later), and I moved on with more stage sprites/environment. Currently bombarding Ramesh with all images to replace those rectangles and stock images we have been using. Honestly, still a ton ton ton of work left. Yikes!

Couple of energy drinks are down… oh btw, here’s a teaser 😉

First teaser :)

First teaser 🙂

1024 hrs – Ramesh’s laptop has overhead :/ Shut it down for cooldown.
This is OUCH!
I decided to open and clean it up. From Game Designer to laptop cleaner in matter of minutes. How career changes 🙂

Hot laptops during Game Jams :(

Hot laptops during Game Jams 😦

1230 hrs – We breaked off for a small game of Street Fighter x Tekken on xbox.
I went on to take a small nap. Much needed.

0530 hrs – Completely forgot about our lunch… well with all that continuous snack we were feeding ourselves :P.
Anyway, we broke out again for Irani tea and light lunch, besides using the bridge again for some peace time to rejuvenate our minds.

Ramesh and Gautham look away - camera shy :)

Ramesh and Gautham look away – camera shy 🙂

Awesome timing of the snap.. the cloud is so beautiful.

Awesome timing of the snap.. the cloud is so beautiful.

0034 hrs – Another day start, Ramesh and Gautham are off to a small nap.
I finished world particles, Gautham did quite some artwork and Ramesh chopped off quite a bit of code with those dummy sprites with replacing them with completed artwork every now and then.
Doggie has learned to sit on my work desk (Japanese dining table height) and is warming its butt on my devices. Sigh!
Now, I’d be working on putting the world environment together.

Btw, here’s another teaser image to keep ya interested. 🙂

Teaser2 of our NASSCOM BYOG game :)

Teaser2 of our NASSCOM BYOG game 🙂

0111 hrs – Just wondering if anyone else is taking rest?
I’ve had 3 hrs of sleep in last 39 hrs. My team has had only 30 mins of sleep yet..they’ll probably wake up in another 3 hrs and continue.
I think these power naps are definitely very important.

0330 hrs – I’m literally on eyedrops, nasal drops and Energydrink for my eyes, nose and activeness…. strictly in that order. Still working on my Nexus 7 … yup yup using it as a drawing tablet for game art.

0530 hrs – Finished making all particles art for the world and splitting them to sprites for use. Now to populate the world.
But first, the dog keeps howling… took it for a walk.

0545 hrs – Too exhausted. Will take a small nap.

0630 hrs – Arrrrghh…. woke up to find poop all over the hall and drawing room 😦
All I needed this morning in between the #ngdc #byog was the remove dog poop and clean mop the whole floor….as if the frustration from the game jam isnt enough! Darn it. :X

1330 hrs – Good amount of progress so far, game design is changing gradually.. but honestly I think we’ll have to limit it a bit to be able to finish the game…. We’re heading out for lunch.
Meanwhile, here’s another teaser to keep you interested.

A teaser of the world :)

A teaser of the world 🙂

1946 hrs – 49.75 hrs into the 64 hr jam now.
Going strong on work… weak on body. My back has taken intensive hit… currently counting on the hot water bag to help ease pain … and the 7th can of energy drink is in progress.
I finished creating the world roughly… will fine tune it later.
Meanwhile, Ramesh is strangling the shit out of code.. and Gautham is pulling his head hair to match the art to how I describe the game.

Good thing is, he was supposed to leave by 1900.. but he decided to stay back and jam it all the way till the end of submission time. Thankfully for me it means it takes off a lot of artwork load from my shoulders.. and can give me time to do some sounds and music. 🙂

Here’s another sneak peak to depict what’s coming 🙂

Huge Cherries on Mango Tree? Happens only @Toonheart :)

Teaser #4: Huge Cherries on Mango Tree?
Happens only @Toonheart 🙂

To be Continued…

Ah here I revisit this blog post again, pretty much crashed to sleep after the BYOG, then got busy with work and couldn’t complete it 🙂

Long story short, we made the game called “The Perfect World”. It is an Environmental Awareness game 🙂

The Perfect World An Environmental Awareness game by 'Toonheart Studios'

The Perfect World
An Environmental Awareness game by ‘Toonheart Studios’

An open world RPG , playing a scientist who thinks world is too slow for him. He invents a time machine and warps into future where he feels it could be perfect for his level of intellect.

Instead, he finds himself ALONE, LAST MAN STANDING on an earth destroyed due to industrialization, toxic waste and human causes.

How much destruction are we causing on Earth?

How much destruction are we causing on Earth?

All his beliefs about how only technology can make life better proves to be a LIE that humans tell themselves.

His time machine is destroyed unable to hand time warp… he must find tools by exploring the earth to repair his ship and be back to the timeline where he is not alone and Earth is still beautiful and green.

We made this game as a tribute to the big blue, the beautiful mother Earth which we are destroying at a rapid rate on the name of mankind progress.

Statutory Warning: Game is buggy as it can be. Gamer may experience slight or heavy attacks of rage playing it 🙂

Sound Track Credits: Royalty Free Music under Creative Commons Attribution by NoSoapRadio.

Update: Selected as Top 10 finalist
We got selected as top 10 finalist by NASSCOM in the gamejam and we’re going to showcase this game at NGDC (NASSCOM Game developers Conference) in Pune on 15-16 Nov 2013 🙂

Here’s a gameplay video

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April 12, 2013

OUYA, is it a big deal?

Filed under: Gaming — krish @ 12:41 pm
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Yes. It’s a fucking big deal.

Came across this post and replied it. It is kinda old (when OUYA was raising kickstarter funding)

People who think that you have no right to play games if you cannot afford xBox!

People who think that you have no right to play games if you cannot afford xBox!

My reply. And this goes for everyone who wants to show off that they can afford expensive consoles. I have consoles too, but something like OUYA is unique and I happily welcome it into the market.

My reply.
And this goes for everyone who wants to show off that they can afford expensive consoles.
I have consoles too, but something like OUYA is unique and I happily welcome it into the market.

February 23, 2013

Hell Yeah! :)

Filed under: Gaming — krish @ 11:59 pm
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Just played the Demo of this game …. and its freaking awesome 🙂
Not sure what many sites were bitching about the controls of the game.. but I didnt seem to face such issues.

Gameplay kept me smiling all throughout the Demo.. there is new COOL stuff every few steps and artwork is pretty sharp (ofcourse there is ton of animated funny blood)

You can’t escape the ‘Wrath of Dead Rabbit’ 😉
I wanna buy this game’s box copy and store it.. but darn it.. they don’t sell 😦      SEGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA …argh. 🙂

February 9, 2013

Money’s worth from Crysis2 and jump to Crysis 3 Beta

Filed under: Gaming — krish @ 7:13 am
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Well Crysis 3 was going to be out soon and I hadn’t played my Xbox for long long time.. I even stopped renewing my XBLA account since June/July-ish.. not sure what came over me.

Anyway, I looked at my C2 progress and was at Rank 47 something… and thought why not get my money’s worth before C3 comes out. Last memory of it, multiplayer sucked due to bad andd droppy match making, unavailable servers and messed up rank battles. Surprise, they had fixed ton of stuff and multiplayer experience did go up (well not as much as BattleField3)

So a week ago or so, I finished C2 ranking to level 50.

Crysis2 - Got my money's worth.

Crysis2 – Got my money’s worth.

Makes it the most played game on my console.
My last 3 achievements on C2, – Rank50 obvious, Unlocked all weapons (some of those nasty shotguns that I didnt want to use), and some dedication batch .. for playing after long 6 months 🙂

And then…….. download of Crysis 3 beta started.

The game is WHOA!!! over Crysis 2 … and I’m just playing BETA.
– Bigger maps
– Maps have greater traverse difficulty ( not easy to run around like C2 / Call of Duty.. also means more scope for campers :|)
– Graphics is to a next level (although I’m restricted on console.. I can only imagine that this will blow a PC)
– There is a different feel to the POV in C3.
– CrossBow is wicked.. got killed by it couple of times (I need to rank up to get that)
– Ranking system seems faster than C2? (or is it because I was quite noob to multiplayer FPS when I got C2 and now skill is ranking me up faster :P)
– Matchmaking is FAAASSTT.
– No game drops / Server un-avail-abilities experienced
– Game mechanics is so improved
– Cloaking feels better (even at close range.. its hard to find a cloaked player now)
– Sounds.. Game sounds – amazing.. I love the game sounds..and how its not “noise” like in C2. There is music.
– Auto armor 🙂 .. love it. Armoring up is not my strength in C2… I was more of a Silent killer. This helps.
– New broadcast voice – male (I’d have preferred a female commander 😀 )
– Melee kills are faster (suit power makes sense now .. in C2 melee took time. Where d ef was Superhuman strength?)
– Bigger Maps (although not as big as BattleField3 … or is it restricted in Beta?)

There are couple of bugs though… shooting is a bit off (may be its the new POV), but on replay it clearly showed couple of times that at a close range fight the player was shooting atleast 3-4 inches away from me.. but it still made damage. And some weapon glitches that can be taken advantage of. Oh well its still beta…Hoping they get fixed before release.

Over all, very happy.. With just couple of minutes playing it.. I had already ranked up to level5, Ended up at top2 in matches, collected ton of dog tags, and got Maximum Radar for the team.

January 14, 2013

Mom playtesting my game – Tank ’em Up!

Ah, well Mom sweet Mom is here to visit me again, and concerned about how I am doing living all alone(yet again), staring at empty walls of my house and with unlimited emptiness of my heart.
I don’t discuss my work life with my mom, .. come think of it, I don’t discuss my personal life either… because I think I shouldn’t make her feel worried because of the decisions I take in my life ( and almost all of my decisions are considered weird according to so called society norms)

Anyway, I decided to show my mom what I was working on, and asked her if she would like to play my game “Tank ’em Up!” (under development)

Here’s a set of expressions she had while playing the game AND what I added some dialogues of what she might be thinking; for fun 🙂

Phase: Start of Game
Mom:  What the Fuck is this Shit!  I thought computer guys are supposed to fix broken computers, make train ticket booking stuff and so on… and he is wasting his time drawing all these tank and what not.
Dammit, the kid who runs internet cafe at the village is at least working… and we made this guy Engineer for this shit!

At start of the game :)

At start of the game 🙂

Phase: Able to move the player tank around the level map
Mom: Oh, this thing moves.. hmm like I can drive this thing huh….  not bad.. so its not a stupid drawing after all.

Able to move the tank in my game "Tank 'em Up"

Able to move the tank in my game “Tank ’em Up”

Phase: On driving through the first mine and getting her tank blown up!
Mom: Heh not bad at all. He probably won’t starve to death… lets hope.

On getting the tank blown up to a landmine

On getting the tank blown up to a landmine

Phase: On figuring out that she needs to blast through the obstacles to progress in the game rather than to turn back and drive!
Mom: LMAO.. Why can’t I just honk instead of shooting things 🙂

Why can't I just honk

Why can’t I just honk these guys occupying the road?
Maaa.. you’re playing a battle game!

Phase: Mom’s tank getting PWNED by one of the mini-bosses
Mom: ROFLMAO… this thing is fun… may be you could earn a living as a comedian rather than computer guy

Pwned by mini boss in the game :)

Pwned by mini boss in the game 🙂

Well so now I have no idea what is so funny in my game 🙂 Scratching my head!

December 12, 2012

Indie Game Dev/Designers – Things to Do, Things Not To.

Couple of hours ago I got a request for a game review by an Indie/seemingly Indie dev.
Playing that game, and even some similar games earlier makes me write this list of Do’s and Don’ts for an Indie.

SideNote: Yes, I tend to play a ton of games to learn design flaws and excellences, as an Indie myself; I think its a must..

I however, will avoid making references to those games; because I consider it rude/too harsh on young Indies 🙂

So, here’s a list of Don’ts to start with.. and I’ll keep adding/updating the list as I come across more and find time to instantly add it.

If you’re an Indie, you might wanna skim through this list.. I know it gets excited and hyper to launch a game, but a quality stuff matters more than just throwing something half done out there and then asking around people to review it.
Take it with a pinch of salt 🙂

Indie DONT’s:

1. Don’t release your game as a version 1.0 / any stable to any app store before it actually is a properly done game.
Most of the games I get asked to review look like prototypes.
Please take feedback from other Indie game devs who have already released a good game before considering your game ready for app store shipping.

2. Don’t spoil the gameplay by accompanying it with horrible art.
I’ve seen some games have potential due to their gameplay, but the art sucked to an extent that it made the game eyesore and I stopped playing after 3-5 minutes.
I’m not saying everyone can be a great game artist, but if you don’t have the skill.. please take external help.
Your game will end up selling more and you will see rewards.

3. Don’t spoil the gaming experience by using ear-paining sounds / using no sound at all.
Game sounds are as important as Game Art is. Please get some good sounds in the game…unless your game is the next Limbo.
The player needs to be hooked up both visually and acoustically.
I simply tend to fall asleep if there is no sound in the game; if there is a horrible one, I’d anyway turn off the sound and hence again fall asleep.

4. Don’t ignore your Animations.
Games run on different devices, they can be slow/fast. They could be loaded with other processes eating up the memory.
If a gamer clicks/touches on a certain option on your menu and has to wonder whether the “touch/click” did happen or not… then you’re in trouble. You were probably missing a simple animation that changes color of an option on touch.. letting player know that ‘ok you have touched this option, now wait’.
That’s just the simplest level. There are tons of places where devs/designers seem to miss simple animations that make the game feels responsive.

5. Don’t LIFT art from other games and put them in your Stable release.
Again on the topic of art, I happen to notice a game that uses another game’s Protagonist (developed by a different entity; so not your property) and change the ‘color’ and use it as one of the Antagonist in their game. Not just that, they’ve also used couple of minions (with color changed) in their game.
Which is kinda shocking, because Yes, you can use art from internet for prototyping, you can use license free sprites in your stable release too, BUT using another game’s IP (Intellectual Property), in your STABLE release! A Big NO.
You should be just thanking your stars that your ass isnt sued already.

6. Don’t ask your friends/family/colleagues(non-gamers) to write a Nice review with 5 star rating on app store.
The moment a real gamer looks at those reviews / even a real investor looks at it.. we know that it’s a premeditated review. And on top of that, when we play the game and it turns out to be not-that-great… your game loses even more respect (and even you as a developer lose respect) to have asked people to write “This is awesome. You exceeded my expectations” and also give a “5 star rating”.
I encounter those, I don’t play another game from same developer.. I don’t even care to look at it.
Have some standards, Have some respect to the appstores that might get you revenues later. Don’t forge it. Get real reviews from real gamers.
I’d anyday be happy to play a 3.5/4star rated game that is fairly good, than play a 5 star rated game that has forged reviews and is crappy as hell.

7. Don’t overlook minor User experience stuff
Games that don’t have a ‘Turn sound off’ option, that don’t give enough visual feedback on touches, that don’t have a tutorial on how to play, that has a misguided ‘help’ button, don’t have an exit button/option, don’t bother to reward users on small achievements.

8. Don’t be like an ad serving Porn Site
I agree its difficult for us Indie’s struggling with revenues, but that doesn’t mean you’ll go and put ads at places where player NEEDS to touch/click in order to play the game; forcing users to either click the ad or making user accidentally click ads in between gameplay.
Both are terribly annoying!
I’ll give you an example: Today I played a game that has all its ads stacked up at the end of each level/within a “more games” option in the menu (ads, cross game promotions etc). and then another game that had its ad placed at bottom-center of the screen where I needed to “swipe” to play the game.
Guess what:

First game – I played for 20 mins. I finished couple of levels, wrote them a nice review on app store. Gave 5 star rating. Wanted to tweet but their tweet button was bit broken sadly. Clicked on 11 of their ads featuring other games, downloaded 9 of them and will play them tomorrow. The game still exists on my tablet and I’ll play it again.

Second game – Looked at it 3 secs. Tried to play without touching the ad on accidental swipe. Hated it. Closed. Uninstalled. Will never play it again or may be even not look at another game from same publisher.

9. Don’t have unambiguous/endless/vague objectives if your game has levels and is not an RPG/Puzzle
Damn you if your game says it has 150 levels, and I’m playing the first level since last 15 minutes and your game is a ‘Casual’ genre. Of the 15 minutes, 5 minutes I try to figure out what the fuck I am supposed to do (lack of tutorial), 10 minutes after figuring out due to self-intelligence I’m just killing same minions again and again, with same difficulty level, with no sense of when the stage is “marked” complete or what are the objectives to be met to complete a stage.
Game is uninstalled and it will be long time before I look at another game that says same publisher.

Contributions from Redditors 🙂

11. Don’t advertise your game before it’s ready to be advertised. – by HollisFenner

12. Don’t Bite more than you can Chew! – by ChainsawSam

13. asskickingjedi and MrFidelmios have a list of valuable advises which I thought would be injustice if shortened to put them here.
So linking you directly to it – http://www.reddit.com/r/IndieGaming/comments/14po9p/indie_game_devdesigners_things_to_do_things_not/
Alrighty Guys, that’s it for now.. As promised I’ll keep updating the list. Gotta get back to work 🙂

December 8, 2012

Right Now: What am I up to?

Dec 08, 2012. 02:03 am IST – A new logo coming up for Toonheart.

 

Finalising the logo for my gaming startup - Toonheart  :)Dealing with hand sprain but it can't be helped.... Work is Work.

Finalising the logo for my gaming startup – Toonheart 🙂
Dealing with sprained wrist, but it can’t be helped…. Work is Work.

Nov 18, 2012. 01:41 am IST – Still working on my prototype game.

Fighting 13C weather off with my biking balaclava,

Indie Game Dev’s Life.

and listening to this in loop mode.

To read my past time entries click on (more…)

November 30, 2012

Muahaha Video Sneak Preview of Tank ’em Up!

Read here – http://blog.toonheart.com/sneak-preview-tank-em-up/

November 29, 2012

Prototype – Tank ’em Up!

Exciittttttinggggg News Fellaws…………

Announcing Prototype – Tank ’em Up!
My first game to go into Development Phase!!

Tank ‘em Up! – 1 page idea? 1 stage gameplay mashup for prototype

Not bad for 1 Page Game Idea 🙂

Read more here – http://blog.toonheart.com/prototype-tank-em-up/
Woooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Psst, someone asked me what music I listen to when I work… Well, here’s my playlist –

November 24, 2012

A game which needs you to hug rather than Shoot :)

Filed under: Gaming — krish @ 5:06 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Was reviewing some of the peer devs’ games, when I came across this.

I like the concept where in you are needed to hug and heal the minions you come across in a platformer game ……. which really goes the other way of what we’ve been doing since the Mario era … pop up a bomb/fireball and kill the damn minion 🙂

In this game, you lose health/life if you accidentally happy to jump on a minion and kill it.

Ain’t this fun, this makes you be more careful because when you just need to kill, you could go crazy firing all directions.
Not just that, I love the game sounds and the fluidity of gameplay.. brings back memories from 8bit era where you’d have to be really careful to jump between a sequence of floating stones.. and it gets so frustrating that you can’t get through the last one 😀

Presenting you “Happiness

Happiness – The Game. version: prototype

Click Here to Play!

Note:
1. The game is still a prototype.. so don’t bitch about graphics (its supposed to be retro looking), or it being too easy.. the dev is adding the mechanics as we speak.

2. This blog is not a paid gig… I wrote about the game because I personally liked it and wanted to help out another Indie like me.

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