Dear God is it hard to keep a blog updated. Much harder than making videogames! How do people manage?!
Between the last post and now we’ve participated in a couple of different jams, all the while indulging in our other “bigger” projects.
I’d like to say we have been busy but finding the time to dev while also committing a sizeable amount of time towards studies and work can at times be a difficult task!
Nonetheless i would like to think that this has been a fruitful half year.
I guess getting a pretty unexpected 5th place in the first LD we participated in (LD29) made our 35th place this LD a kind of disappointment. The process and aftermath of making Dream Witch Erika certainly made us more aware of what constitutes a good, or atleast appropriate, scope for a jam game. Not to say that we think this is a bad game, but making our first metroidvania-styled game and doing so during a 72hour jam, made for more of a learning experience than a proper “product”.
We almost didn’t participate in this jam due to our immediate dislike of the theme. In the end we decided to throw a few ideas around, one of them being good enough that we ended up committing yet another weekend to the unholy practice of game jamming.
You don’t win if you don’t participate, and if you do participate you apparently do win!
Placing 1st in Overall, Fun and Mood, 2nd place in humor and 3rd in innovation I guess you could say that this game was a much more calculated effort than any of our previous entries.
We tried to apply what we had learned from our jam experiences during the year especially pertaining to scope and the games immediateness.
During the voting period people go through a lot of jam games, and as such won’t necessarily devote oodles of time towards each game - we know this from ourselves too.
One of the faults of Dream Witch Erika was that the game simply took too long to unfold, being a bit barren and featureless until you ventured far enough into the world before the game got any fun.
We definitely wanted this game to be small in scale but polished, and most importantly fun from the get go!
Lately the game has seen a pretty decent amount of exposure on gaming blogs, and seems to be especially popular among streamers and YouTubers.
Seeing and reading about people having fun with our games really is one of the biggest pleasures of developing games.
This flux of attention has been a big motivation booster. Hopefully more people will pay attention to our future endeavours now, as we have a few projections in the line that we feel really confident in!
We recently participated in the 29th Ludum Dare during the weekend of April 25th-28th.
The theme this time around was “under the surface”.
We wanted to steer clear of the obvious ideas like mining or something under water and instead go
for something a bit quirkier. Inspired by our own childhood fears we ended up making a game in
which you drag a blanket around trying to protect the player from terrible creatures of the night.
The game was finished well withing the first 48 hours and we were pretty pleased with the result
and the amount of polish we were able to put into it.
We ended up placing first in mood, first in innovation and fifth overall which we are very
satisfied with considering it is our first time participating.
Returning from the dead (less so if you’re subscribed to Simon’s twitter) we bring you news of our scattered and aimless efforts of the last couple of months.
We participated in this years #GBJAM, creating the pseudo rogue/Sokoban-like-like “Super Catacombs”. A few months prior we had in fact already started development of a roleplaying game for the Game Boy, but we halted that project as it was far too ambitious as a first(ish) time endeavour of GB development. #GBJAM then seemed like the obvious opportunity to force ourselves into keeping a realistic scope.
Super Catacombs quickly proceeded to get much too ambitious for us to create in the 10 days that the Jam lasted. Instead we opted to make a compromised prototype showing of some of the ideas and gameplay elements that will be the focus of the finished product.
Super Catacombs title screen and ingame gif
Time was really hard to come by during the jam which really shows and thus the game isn’t really that fun right now.
We’ve been working on Super Catacombs on and off since the jam and it’s slowly progressing though our focus right now is to finish up Duck Marines.
This is a project that we started a few weeks after the release of Mr. Rescue. The plan was to work on a smaller project while coming up with the idea for our next game. As with all things we do, what started as a simple remake quickly spiralled out of hand.
Things have slowly been coming together during the last couple of months. The basic gameplay features are implemented and almost all of the artwork is done. What’s left is adding in the last few mini-games, doing menus and figuring out what to do about the music.
Most recently we’ve added a second mini-game (the design and artwork for a third one has been completed too), revamped the settings menu, fixed a lot of controller issues and a lot of behind the scenes stuff only Simon would know about.
Mr. Rescue on itch.io
Back in the beginning of December we added Mr. Rescue to itch.io, which lately has resulted in a steady increase of the game’s download count, and even a few sales, all of which we appreciate a lot! If you haven’t yet checked out itch.io we strongly recommend that you do so. It is a really cool attempt at a self-publishing platform similar to Bandcamp and is already showing a lot of potential.
After a short break (due to other responsibilities) we’ve finally started brainstorm/planning our next game.
While doing so we’re also working on a small pet project called Duck Marines (working title) just to stay busy.
Duck Marines is simply put a PC remake (or rip-off) of the Dreamcast classic ChuChu Rocket by Sonic Team,
which was sadly never released for PC or any other home console.
We’re hoping to recreate the magic of the original game’s multiplayer while balancing/improving the formula as we find appropriate.
A week has now passed since we uploaded Mr. Rescue, a small game we didn’t think anybody would give a damn about.
Since then the game has been downloaded almost a thousand times and we’ve received a lot of awesome emails, tweets and generally kind words. The whole experience has been really humbling and really amazing.
We’re planning on doing a small update to the game with a couple of small fixes and improvements that should have been in the finished game, one of which being XBox 360 controller support.
We’re also very eager to get started on our next game. We have already started working on a small project to fill time while we are looking for our next project. We might have something to show later this week.