I head up an indie dev studio called Wicked Loot. Been working in the game industry for many years now. It's the only life I know.
I pretty much done it all. QA. Marketing. Game Design. Coding. Editor. The guy who had to wear the (stank) mascot costume at a gaming event. The guy who drove a truck to deliver games to a warehouse. For the love of the game.
Fave Game Now: Clash of Clans, soon to be replaced by Plants vs Zombies 2
(Yes, an iPad game!)
Fave Game of 2012: Borderlands 2
(+200 hrs played!)
Fave Game of All Time: King of Kings (An old school NES strategy game.)
But the last minute hoorah continues at a fun pace! We got a 48 hour marathon going on with a live stream on Twitch.tv. We're gonna showcase new game features, gameplay, concept art, some people will cry, other's will just pass out. But we're going go through with it!
I was going to hawk my Kickstarter (OK, small plug here), but instead, I was inspired to share why I became a HUGE member. To me, no one else fights so ferociously to entertain gamers above all other objectives. The industry needs Dtoid.
I've known the guys at Dtoid for years ever since they were scrappy lads. OK, they still are scrappy, but now at least they now got street cred. And I got the chance to know Niero well and we became good friends. And I really grown to admire what he and the crew put together at Dtoid. Yeah, it's easy to see this as just a bunch of grown kids mucking it up, but it's some of the best online entertainment there is when it comes to games. I enjoy stopping by each day.
THE WORLD IS CHANGING This past year has been a real big challenge for Dtoid. The whole blogging scene has dramatically changed. The way people want to be entertained has changed. A lot of people now block ads when surfing the net, and when a website is dependent on those ads to survive, a dramatic call to action is needed (And the answer isn't to get sneak with ads!) It's easy to just bitch about these issues, but these guys decided to experiment with something new, and place it all on the line. And that's how HUGE came about.
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT And that's why I admire these guys and their ferocious fight to remain independent. And that's why I support HUGE. Whether it's the perfect solution or not is really up to all of us and what we want from it, and how we provide feedback on making it better. But at least you know these guys are proactively trying to come up with good solutions to growing a business while keeping the gamer in mind first.
DTOID BELIEVES IN ENTERTAINING THE GAMER And so here's what I'll lay on the line: If you believe that these guys truly provide something unique to the industry, and if you think that something would be truly missing if they weren't around, then you want to support them with HUGE. Because I can tell you from my experiences with the whole crew at Dtoid, there is no one else in the industry that fights so ferociously to entertain gamers, and how that trumps all other objectives including selling out. No one else launches april fools jokes by doing a whole redesign of the site in handwriting for one day, or makes t-shirts that parodies how game publishers strong arm editorial sites, or creates a silly panic button so you can surf the site at work, or gives so much to their community. And for those of you already in the Dtoid army, you know how each of these guys feel like true friends. It's because work at Dtoid is life as a gamer. The industry needs them!
So my indie team at Wicked Loot continue to crank away at our next game, Spark Rising, which is a build and battle sandbox game. Build environments, fortresses, weapons, and then battle mechs, aliens, zombies, or whatever. You create it so the imagination can take you places.
We just released a prototype build of the game. Version .01. And I'd love some feedback!
Basically, I'd like to know what you think of the art style, environment design, etc. Since we're using a voxel game engine, there's a distinct cubed look to everything. We went with colored cubes which allows for more dramatic lighting and particle effects.
So a couple of notes:
[li]While there's a distinct sci fi theme to the environment, eventually you'll battle in other environments against all sorts of creatures.[/li]
[li]You can only fly around right now. No interaction with environment.[/li]
[li]If you want to leave feedback, you can either do so here, or in our forums![/li]
Over the last many months my Wicked Loot team and I been working on a new game concept. We've been under the radar, blogging game updates to a small group of friends and current fans of ours. We're reaching a point where we'd like to open up our efforts to some new peeps, so I thought I'd do a quick post here!
Spark Rising is a build and battle sandbox game. It mixes elements from action games, strategy games, and building games.
If this is the sort of things that tickles your uvala (and no, that's not female genitalia) then I'm looking for feedback! I can only accommodate about 100 (update: now only have room for about 30) people at this stage, and in exchange you get the game for free.
NOTE - Sorry, early slots are full!
I should note that the game is still pre alpha so you won't actually get to play through much any time soon. The feedback you provide at this stage will eventually help shape the final outcome.
Anyone else think Munch Face evokes dirty thoughts? That has come up a couple times in conversation, as if the game name infers, well, something else. I did learn what a Dragon Munch was for the first time, and the visual of that left me scarred... I'll let your imaginations run wild here (or you can Urban Dictionary it), but it's great conversation over a drunken night out on the town, because it inspires you to come up with your dirty words. Although I will say, the name Munch Face was always meant to be in jest:)
It's been a wild ride over the last many months, filled with such stories like the one above. I formed a new indie game dev studio, Wicked Loot then skipped town to go to Hawaii for 3 months to build our first game, learned how to surf, and now we're back in the bay area, conjuring up our next game. If you been following some of my blogs here on Dtoid, you'd been bearing witness to it all.
Now that we're back home, we decided to begin work on our next game. You might be asking, so what happened to Munch Face? Overall, the game is done. We build a game that plays great, mashing up arcade game concepts like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Bomberman. We experimented with different concepts and mechanics and we realized as we marched forward that what we had was about as far as we could take it since the game likely had limited ability to showcase our passion for user generated content.
One of the core tenets of Wicked Loot was that we wanted to create games and a platform that fueled user generated content. Munch Face was an experiment we began to see if we could apply such vision to a simple arcade game. Turns out that while it works well, it really wasn't the best showcase game for us, due to the rather limited expectations of an arcade game. So it's time to prep our next game, which we think will resonate with more gamers.
So what of Munch Face now? It's core gameplay works, two gameplay modes are available, and over 100 levels have been created. The editing tools likely still aren't ready for consumer usage. The public alpha and beta wrapped up (much thanks to everyone who helped provide feedback) and now we're deciding what to do this Mr. Munch. Or Mr. Face if you prefer. We'll likely release it on a few select platforms, Ouya being one that I had an eye on for a while. New tech always catches my eye, so I'm curious to see what it's like launching a game on a micro-console. Are micro-consoles the wave of the future? ... ah, we'll see.
Whether we launch Munch Face on other platforms sort of depends on whether there's enough interest in it. The game plays better with a joystick, so we might explore consoles once they are more friendly for indie games.
Until then, it's been fun sharing with you all what we been working on. It's been fun blogging about the project, so I might keep it up over on our Wicked Loot where I share about various things that go on at an indie game dev studio.
Back to the grind of making games after a day of surfing.
Yesterday, my team was out catching waves for the first time to shoot a parody video of us having a board meeting. Get it? Board? Surf board? It's not ha ha funny, more I'll chuckle in my head amusing.
So this past week, the Munch Face concept has evolved. When I initially conceived Munch Face it was clearly inspired by Pac-Man, especially the Pac-Man Championship versions, one of my fave games of all time. I was hooked on that game for a while, reaching up a top 30 rank in the world out of several hundred thousand players. Some people have commented that Munch Face gives them that same sort of high as Pac-Man Championship, which warms the cockles of my heart.
But I really don't want to settle here. We didn't set out with a specific direction, it was more exploratory. So we set no boundaries and we started to explore, which is a pretty liberating way to design. Scary, but liberating.
The next thing you know, we had hints of an arcade mashup and that's when the eureka moment happened. Imagine an arcade game mashup mixing elements from Portal, Space Invaders, Metal Gear Solid, Pac-Man Championship, etc. with a storyline inspired by Wreck It Ralph!
This direction is so much more interesting that we went back to redesign our splash screen to visually capture how different game elements are spilling into the Munch Face world.
This all sounds that much more interesting when you can create your own levels and do your own mashups. I'm dying to see what people cobble together. And I think that's the main hook. The levels I create are merely a sample to what could come, and the best stuff will ultimate come from the gamer. We're just catalysts for that inspiration.
Munch Face It's still in early alpha and much could still change. Your feedback could help shape where things go from here!