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

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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

G12-iM Playable Online Edition

I figured I ought to release G12-iM on a web player. So, click on the image to launch the web player.

Note: You might be promoted to download the Unity Web Player plugin to your browser, if it wasn’t installed on your browser. 

Click me & Play

Click me & Play

I would prefer playing this game on the standalone version of it, which you can find on my Downloads page, but the web player doesn’t take away from the experience.

If you have any constructive criticism/thoughts regarding this game, please share them. =)

Cheers,
Fakhra

G12-iM Playable Prototype

It’s suffice to say, Ta-Da! hehe

Main Menu Screen

Below is a screen capture of the first in-game level. You may notice the camera distortion effect to emphasis the security camera.

In game screen shot.

Click on this link to download your copy of the game G12-iM, for a Windows platform.  The content is in a Zip file, uncompress it, and open the executable file titled “G12-iM.exe” to open the game.

For Mac users, please use this link. Download, uncompress and play.

Online on a web player, here.

The game menu gives you the option to pick your screen resolution and the quality you want the game to run at. I would strongly recommend to play this game in full screen mode, uncheck “Windowed”, play it on “Fantastic” quality and to the proper size of your screen resolution.

Screen Options Menu

The recommended settings for the optimal intended game play experience for G12-iM – On Windows.

 

Screen Options Menu

The recommended settings for the optimal intended game play experience for G12-iM – On Mac OS.

 

Any constructive feedback would be awesome to hear. So, please feel free to try the game out. Go nuts.

If you are interested in the development diaries, as I call it, for this particular project, here is:
Characters creation & concept art post.
Level Design post: part 1, part 2.
Overall aesthetics progression.

Cheers,
F

Dev Diaries: GRIM Project – Aesthetic Progression

In this post, I’ll be focusing on the aesthetic changes that went through G12-iM game, specifically throughout the testing we did, dubbed as Rapid Iterative Playtesting (RIP). The following images are a sort of a scene comparison from testing day 1 until the latest built of the game. We conducted 3 RIPs, over the period of 3 days, respectively.

Level 1 - Scene Comparison

Level 2 - Scene Comparison

Level 3 - Scene Comparison

Level 4 - Scene Comparison

Level 5 - Scene Comparison

Level 6 - Scene Comparison

Level 7 - Scene Comparison

Level 8 - Scene Comparison

Level 9 - Scene Comparison

Level 10 - Scene Comparison

Level 11 - Scene Comparison

Level 12 - Scene Comparison

The aesthetic of the game, are of a prison-like factory. For instance, it incorporates the metal barred doors. For the switches door design concept, a door with prison doors characteristics, yet has a factory-door feeling to it too. The prison doors, are metal bars doors, holding the prisoners in from the outside world. They can only see through them. The factory doors are bulky mechanical doors, they’re built to lock noise in, and for safety measures are rigid and strong. The door design we have used for the switches door, is a rigid door with bars. Once the door is activated, the bars slide into the floor, and the metal panels of the door are retracted into their own side of the wall, right/left.

It incorporates the second-floor walkways, as well. In a prison environment, guards/prison security officials use those second-floor walk ways to keep a watch on the prisoners. They shouldn’t do “wrong” things, or they’ll be punished, by the prison rules. In the game, the second-floor walkways are to give the impression that these robots are being watched, observed, consistently. An eerie atmospheric element, to make the player wonder about the environment, and the secondary world.

Prison Inspiration

As for the factory environment inspirations, the levels incorporate the machinery, pipes, tanks, gears, crushers, conveyor belts, and storage boxes. The “motivational poster”, can be seen in a few levels, on 1 – 6 – 9 and 12. These were inspired from Portal 2 and Oddworld Abe Oddysee. In those particular games, I loved how they used posters and wall scribbles to to convoy the message. Like whispering a secret to the attentive gamers. So I wanted to include that in G12-iM, in the posters and the machinery screens.

Posters Inspiration

Posters Inspiration

Text Samples

Samples of the “motivational posters” text. Some were used in the game, some weren’t.

 

This concludes the aesthetic level progression and the research for the prison-factory environment that was used in the game.

Cheers,
F