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Thursday, 06 October 2016 05:21

Towers and Bombs and Bonus Oh My!

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What makes a game fun? 

While a answer may spring to mind relatively fast, consider it a moment longer. The answer tends to always be subjective, meaning it only applies realistically to you as a individual. Now there may be more people who find the same type of games as you fun, but it may be for different reasons. Some people, like me, gravitate toward story, others primarily puzzles, others exploration, and yet others, the freedom to do whatever even if the aforementioned things are lacking. Fun is a weird science, when factoring in replayability, to user control, to ease of use, accessibility, etc, it is a odd albatross to nail down, and then sometimes in development even after it's been had, some dumb idiot might just snipe it. 

There have been many discussions on what is and what is not fun from us about the game, which is why you have so many options at least on normal mode for how you would like to play our game. It is also in part why the Bonus levels exist. Bonus levels offer a off the norm way to play our game, as you can see from the video with tower defense or dropping bombs on enemies, to flappy wheels or a pinball type level where you control the pinball. I believed these were a good idea because it lets us as creators break the normal bounds we imposed on ourselves for the main game, and just create, one of the goals of this project was for us to learn and to have fun, and it didn't seem a good idea to leave you as the customer out of that process. So enjoy our base game, but, even if you don't, I am sure someone will come up with a Bonus level that may surprise you, hell, they surprise us sometimes.

This is another reason we are dedicated to allow full mod support and are going to offer simple tutorials and even hands on help to people who want to mod the game and learn UE4 when we release. We believe people know what's best for their version of fun and if they want to change something, more power to them, if they want to change something and share it with the world, God bless you that's where most of us started and we will be there to help you. You know what's fun for you, why not have the freedom and the help to tweak things how you want, or even overhaul how you want. Modding with Unreal doesn't have to be hard or insane or involve dozens if not hundreds of workarounds for simple things, it can be accessible and easy to use for even the greenest of players. 

We can't wait to see what you as the user can come up with on our platform.

So, this week I have been very busy creating some new friends for our protagonist in Breaking Wheel to play with. I have added a whole new cast of enemies, overhauled old ones, and added special abilities and mechanics to add to diversification. 


One of my favorite action-platforming games of all time is the original and timeless classic Yoshi's Island. To this day I fondly remember the many strengths this game had. One of the more standout things about it is the insane amount of diversity. In roughly 50 Levels, the game does not once become repetitive. Certain mechanics, and even enemy types, occur only once in the entire game, meaning the developers went through the work of putting these in just so they could be used once and once only. Now, THAT adds to the versatility of a game!

I wanted this kind of variation to be in our game Breaking Wheel. That is why I set out last week to overhaul our existing NPCs, and add a variety of new ones. I wanted them all to feel unique, with their own behaviors and/or special abilities. So, some of them will now carry and utilize a weapon or two, cause earthquakes, stalk you until they explode in your face, attack you with combos, or spray you with paralyzing poisons! Others may be friendly or at least semi-friendly towards the player. 

Looking at the picture above, you may be able to deduce which enemy type does what, but if you want to be sure, well, you will have to see for yourself when you get your hands on your own digital copy of Breaking Wheel. When doing so, make sure to check out our IndieGogo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/breaking-wheel/x/15100685#/ where you can get Bonus Content for the game at the exact same price!

So this week I have been busy making skins (As I do most of the time :P).And this wek saw also the introduction as what I like to call skins in a day where we will spam your facebook and twitter feed with images of the skin creation procces.

A render of the new and friednly looking skin simply called Brutal! 

Texturing the brutal skin was a lot of fun as it allowed me to play with some of the particle paint tools in Substance painter and it allowed me to get a verry sutble effect on the edges of the blades of the skin.

Saturday, 24 September 2016 23:31

Entrapped by the Demo - Ryan #IMG #Breakingwheel #Traps

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Welcome back to some more level design top tips and info! So as I promised last time we will be looking at our traps today,not all of them, but specifically those that are used in our demo level "Frozen Ruin". 

"First off, what is a trap?" I don't hear you ask. No it is not a kind of funky music that the coold kids listen to nowadays, rather it is an obsticle that can be encountered in any level of Breaking Wheel. It can come in many different shapes and forms but the one thing that they all have in common is that they will hurt you. On our normal levels if you are hit by a trap you will get two coffees and one coin taken away from you, sawblades take more so watch out, but on hardcore level one hit from any trap means you die and have to start the whole level from scratch.

 

So let us take a look at our first trap the grinders.

ScreenShot00025

Part of IMG's design philosophy is that we want our levels to be captivating and engaging for casual and more seasoned players alike... 

This week, I have been focused on the more hardcore side of things by designing a particular level that will be part of the game mode of the same name. Dread Fortress is a level that truly deserves its place in the hardcore category of Breaking Wheel. Not only will it demand precision jumps and skillful platforming from players, but the featured level design trope of periodic enemies will require players to do a little bit of timed jumping and problem solving as well.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 20:54

An Idea. From a spark to a insane production.

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I hate social Media.  How many more do I have to do to get to 140? :P

     An Idea, that's how it always starts. Most people do themselves the favor and ignore the pesky buggers. Some of us may not be that strong willed, or maybe too strong willed, or perhaps we are just so stupid we want to scream "Look what i can do!" and watch our world burn. I know which one I fall into though I can't speak for the rest of the idiots working with me. People have asked time and time again "What do you need to be a modder?". We usually answer with perseverance, stubborness, and dedication, the same traits you need to be a game developer, but they are all useless without ideas. What started as a joke about a friend being crazy on coffee has turned into dozens of levels, various mechanics, and a entire bloody game we are preparing for demo as I type this. I would much rather be working on preparing it for demo than writing this crap truth be told, but that's what makes a modder, that's what makes artist, and in both those cases usually starving if they do not try for community outreach etc, so here I sit.

The last few weeks we were very busy cleaning and polishing all the gamplay mechanics and base blueprints. Basically all level objects from the simple spike trap to the complex moving gear platform have been completely reworked and improved for functionality and ease of use.

blueprint

As part of this cleanup process we reworked many of the menus and gave them a more cleaner look compared to the first version. We also made sure they can be used with mouse, keyboard or gamepad input. The key binding is still static at this point in development, but we made sure the defaults will work out for most players.

This week I have been finishing some of the skins for the demo and tweaked the spikes that were on most of the skins. ClockSkin

 

The procces for creating the skins is a bit like this: Step one gather reference images or concept art, step two create a high and lowpoly mesh for texture map baking, step three create materials for painting/texturing (step two and three are sometimes turned around), step four texture the lowpoly mesh, step 5 import the meshes and textures in the game engine, step six profit!  

Tho the process as explained above is not always that simple it should give you an idea of the procces.

Saturday, 17 September 2016 22:47

Polishing for the Demo - Ryan #IMG #GameDesign

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Insane Mind Games is a group of very unique individuals from all across the globe. Our work-team speaks over five different languages and operates in multiple countries. We have different time zones, different cultures, different lifestyles but we all have one thing in common – a passion for video games.

Well what is your specific passion?I don't hear you ask. Besides from whiskey I enjoy Level and Quest design. This project may not warrant any quests, but it surely needs some levels so that is where I come in. Besides from designing and creating my own levels, I also ensure that a certain quality and aesthetic pleasantry comes with each and every level in Breaking Wheel. This week I was preparing for the Demo, which meant finishing of some of my levels and polishing others. In this blog I will talk about the polishing part! Here is the level before we get started:

 

Friday, 16 September 2016 23:09

New Level Mechanic - Stefan

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So, this week I spent making a level introducing a nice new mechanic: "Boom-Boom Bay-sin" (get it?) is entirely based around explosions (go figure!). It has BOOM-Boxes, time bombs, bomb traps - you name it. It will require you to make use of explosive aids to get rid of pesky enemies and obstacles along the way. Hey, maybe you'll even discover a secret or two behind a destructible wall ;)!
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