Dev Diaries: KaramelLand

Heya,

Back in May this year, I entered my UDK game, KaramelLand in IndieCade, it’s an International Festival of Independent Game. And it went through *Yay* and the finalist will be contacted by August 30th, so bsmellah =D

In this post I wanna talk more about the design iterations the map went through, so I’ve made the following collage to showcase just that.

Image

 

( 1 ) [first paper prototype, far left] I initially designed a single platform for Death Match map, I imagined it to be on a mountain top, with the rivers in blue swirls and black squiggly line as rock walls part, all to work as separators between the pods where players spawn. The pods were 2-story and they had bridges to connected them all on the roofs. The colored dots represent health, and ammo packs and spawn points. The mountain top would have 3 levels in height difference. The pods in the lowest level of the mountain top, and the orange platform is central and on the highest level. An exposed vantage point. I pictured the aesthetics to be foggy, and nature focused.

[second paper prototype, second to the left] I’ve redesigned the map to be a Team Death Match map, I thought It was more suitable for the original idea, and I also wanted to add jumps and gravity mechanics. I was messing around with the physics in UDK with my professor and we had jumps. I loved the feeling of the jumps so I integrated them in the game. Two mountain tops connected via underground tunnels. And a central exposed platform, that was placed higher than the mountain ground level. Each island has 3 pods for each team, 2 holes for jumps and gravity pull holes. Gravitating holes *I still can’t think of a better name lol, any suggestions?* to pull the players down to the underground tunnels/room. Jump holes to propel the players to the central platforms, and that was the only way to get to it. Mid-air kills were fun when testing this. For this one, I pictured it in a remote planet, deserted by some civilization, that can be seen in the underground tunnels, and the player pods are of the robotic aliens that landed on that planet. Very red/orange for the world with blue and grey for the objects. The underground tunnels were to be observatory tunnels, you can see the outside world.

( 2 ) I was happy with the paper prototype, so I built it in the game engine. After a few testing rounds, I realized I’ve built a huge map in comparison to the UDK default robots characters.

( 3 ) I’ve cut down a lot of excess fat from the map, shrunk it down. At this point, I was inspired to create a totally different world theme from the I originally planned and researched for. It started with when I dragged the underground room box up in the sky to clean up, and I tested the map for something, then I noticed the box in the sky floating, I thought Jack-in-the-Box! I can do a bizarre toys/circus/candy world, and it was like a flood gate opened with ideas. I was pretty excited to create such a world. So I did my research, created the 3D models of the world in Maya.

( 4 ) The awesome process of polishing started, notice the fine lines of pink, those are the physics areas. I experimented with so many textures, for some objects I had a clear idea of what I wanted but for the ground texture, that was tricky. At some point, the game was radioactive, everything was glowing and dizzying lol. I wanted the players to feel slightly disoriented so I integrated optical illusions in the textures and had them move every so slightly. And in the Jack-in-the-Box, the creep factor were the clowns. I used some of these, I wish I know who took them so I can credit them properly. Kudos to whoever did, and to the models. Along with the images, I added sounds the portrays, whisper-y voices and shouts.

( 5 ) Final iteration of the map. I toned down the radioactive-ness by reducing the glow in the world. And ta-da! That’s it.

Download the game here. And for instructions on who to play it on UDK player follow the instructions at the end of this post.

 

Thanks for reading. =D

Cheers,
F

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BWAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I DIE! I cannot with that. I just can’t.

I’m posting this specifically here because I’ll include it in the game, Candy Bunnies *conceptual title* somehow. It’ll find a way.

Thanks to Bo Mars, Mohammad for sharing. Lol
Nomnoms on berries. And cutest bunny and human(s) who helped making that happen, I love you and appreciate your existence.

 

Cheers,
F

Ubisoft, Jam and Beyond

Yellooow!

I’m creeping up from my hide out with goodies. hehe

So, I worked at Ubisoft during most of my hide out. Yeah, fvckin Ubisoft! And it was fvckin fantastic. I learned a lot, met awesome people, did fun stuff. It was one of the most exciting highlights of 2013, along with my graduation from the Gaming Academy. It is a sweet win for all the hard work I’ve put in, passion gets you far! I can’t speak much of the game I worked on there, once it’s officially published, I’ll be doing a bit of bragging and talk about the level designs I did perhaps. I hope it’s a hit.

Here’s a photoshoot we did back in Movember, SEE AWESOME GIF,  can you spot me? I’m the one with the Rabbid lol

The Cake wasn't a lie that day

The Cake wasn’t a lie that day

Another new exciting experience was, participating in the Global Game Jam 2014. The theme was “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”. I didn’t expect such an abstract theme, but it’s a very interesting one. I love it. I came up with a few ideas, I won’t go into them. Maybe another post for that. But, I teamed up with my buddy from the Gaming Academy Arnaud, and Mithos whom I met at the event, and together we created Shaped Perception. Play it on browser here. I won’t say much about the game, I’d love for you guys to try it out and discover the world. =D If you do reach the end, please do tell me.

Some screen shots of the game, in-editor and in-game. And below a small description of the game.

Level layout in editor

Level layout in editor

 

World in Cube view

World in Cube view

 

World in Sphere view

World in Sphere view

 

A blocker, need to shape shift in order to progress

A blocker, must shape shift in order to progress

 

In Sphere form, notice the yellow textured sphere

In Sphere form, notice the yellow textured sphere

 

In Cube form, notice the yellow textured cubes

In Cube form, notice the yellow textured cubes

A little bit about the game, Shaped Perception, based on primitive shapes of a sphere and a cube. You experience the world in either on of those shapes, if the world object original shape was a sphere , it’ll function like a sphere as in it moves smoother unlike a cube would, but it will appear to be in the same form that you are in. So, the game in this world is trying to figure out what best form to be in to interact with the world objects to best solve the level and progress. This demo is just one level, to demonstrate the idea. I think it’s got potential to be a cool puzzler, and it does lack in some way. But, I am happy with what my teammates and I have accomplished in the 48 set hours. I will definitely participate next year. These jams are fun, makes my brain pop with thoughts like heated corn kernels. Making games is heavenly.

Which brings us to the beyond part of this post, my current game project in development. I decided to develop Candy Bunnies, a prototype I did back in the academy last year. It was part of rapid prototyping course, you can read more about in this post. I wanted to start with this project, because it’s scope is considerably small and I haven’t done any mobile platform specific game yet. I’m learning a lot, and I’m so glad to have a great team working on this project. José  Teixeira, the lead programmer and Shihab Aldeen lead artist/animator.

The project is in its early production stage, revamping the gameplay mostly, adding new elements, testing what works and what’s fun. Steady and slow progress. We’ll work hard to make this game kickass. =D

I’ll be doing more of the Dev Diary posts for Candy Bunnies when I’ve got something substantial and interesting to share.

*creeps back into the devving hole with a grin*

 

Cheers,
F

Nox Brain Playable Demo

Hello there, A playable demo of my latest project is ready to be conquered. Download it here, for PC.

Nox Brain is a quirky hack ‘n slash game. You play as virus named Nox, in a human brain. The virus was genetically engineered by an environment enthusiast Prof. Nox, he wanted to take a proactive role to help save planet Earth, to take down people who are aiding in the destruction of the environment and have zero regard to nature, and animals welfare. His first target, John Mullock, this environment aggressor is a CEO of a large dirty corporation Rupture Inc..

Nox invades the aggressor’s brain, and starts with his left hemisphere, but he needs to collect his virus particles to be able to infect the various brain nodes of John Mullock, and turn his brain to a mush, you play a mini game to infect each brain node successfully. This is only chapter one of the story, right hemisphere of the aggressor’s brain would be the next chapter.

I am currently working on this game to improve it. I’ll keep updating it as frequently as possible. I’d love to know your thoughts about this demo, any constructive criticism will be appreciate.

The start of a level

The start of a level

 

On the edge of the world *Spiderman emoji* lol

On the edge of the world *Spiderman emoji* lol

 

Ammo tree on the right, and the arrow is the virus particles locator

Ammo tree on the right, and the arrow is the virus particles locator

 

A gate, suck it in, there's a battle ahead

A gate, suck it in, there’s a battle ahead

 

That's a one smooth, elevator-music-free lift ride

That’s a one smooth, elevator-music-free lift ride

 

Riding the seamless teleportation system

Riding the seamless teleportation system

 

The 3-shots ranged weapon ammo tree. CONSUME ME!

The 3-shots ranged weapon ammo tree. CONSUME ME!

 

Travelling and getting a glimpse of the world

Travelling and getting a glimpse of the world

 

Cheers,
Fakhra

Dev Diaries: Candy Bunnies Project – Level Design

In this project, the game is designed to work on touch-input devices and web browsers (point-and-click) games. And initially it was targeted to primarily appeal to young girls between the ages of 5 to 10 years old, that was one part of the challenge/requirements of creating this prototype. But I think it should appeal for casual gamers as well for its puzzles.

Candy Bunnies is about bunnies that are trying to escape from the Evol Circus to get to the Happy Farm where the bunnies can live happily, as if they stay longer in the circus they turn evil. The bunnies go through a journey from the circus, to the city, to the forest and eventually they reach the Happy Farm.

This game is meant to emphasis how most circuses treat animals badly, it was a message I want to come across to young kids and the gamers in general.

It is a 2D puzzle game. The bunnies move on their own, players get to drag platform(s) to build a path for the bunnies to walk on to get to the goal of that level. In total there are 15 levels and 4 environments.

There are 2 main mechanics, 1)  when bunnies hit a wall they face, they walk the other way (flip direction), 2) when a bunny is on a dragable platform, timing your drag so the bunny falls to the lower platform is key. Also, there a sweet candies to be collected for extra points and make bunnies happy, and as a repulsive force there is the bad candy that is poisonous and it takes points away from the player’s score. Getting to a level’s goal adds points to the score and progresses to the next one. Getting into a cage will capture the bunny and he/she goes back to the circus.

CB_Grid

This is a basic grid structure built on Unity to help in building/designing the levels.

The image below is of a basic level design.

Bunnies spawning point in white,

The dragable platform is in blue.

Sweet Candy is in yellow,

Fixed platforms in grey,

Goal is in green,

Cages is in red,

Obstacle is in purple, for the initial design of the game. A jumping mechanic was used in the game, but after testing it didn’t feel right to have it and it was later replaced by adding a trampoline platform that makes the bunnies jump.

This is a basic level design.

This is a basic level design.

Paper prototyping [1] Levels (1 - 10)

Paper prototyping [1] Levels (1 – 10)

Paper prototyping [2] Levels (11 - 15)

Paper prototyping [2] Levels (11 – 15)

In the final version of the game, some of the levels are slightly tweaked from the paper prototype. I am currently polishing up the game, so I will be publishing the browser based version soon.

UPDATE:
This project has been put on hold, as I’m currently busy working on Nox Brain. I’ll get back to Candy Bunnies in the summer, polish it and publish it.

 

Cheers,
Fakhra