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Eye For Games is about game design and development • • www.efgmagazine.com

EFG magazine 2012.2

cover art

Christa Wolf United States, Atlanta


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COVER DESIGN

EDITION SUPPORT

MEMBER’S EYE

Rai Sewgobind

Christa Wolf

AdaptivElite

Mads Ahm

MANAGEMENT EDITOR

Eye For Games is about game design & development. For more information you can mail us to: contact@efgmagazine.com

Brandon Wu

Daniel McCarthy

Peter van Groning WRITERS

Jerry Kline

This edition is a print edition, but can also be found online on the website. www.efgmagazine.com

Michiel Meijndert

Eye For Games - January 2012 © All rights reserved

Rémy van den Wijngaart

Digital Dreams Unity

Wacom

Softlayer Nevigo

InnoGames

Richard Cook Sam Amanfi

Eveline Albers

André Colares

Riccardo Messori Steven Woolfe

Albert Hepfinger


CONCEPT ART

COWBEAM 14


map of pages

6

INTERVIEW with Unity CEO, David Helgason

20

PIXEL THIS! Mechanic jam by quarters

BLOG contribution 22

Brandon Wu: But I am not a Programmer, or an Artist, or a Writer, or a Marketer

People are given titles. Our titles give us an identity, a way to introduce ourselves to the world, a sense of security. If you are in a well-respected position, you feel powerful when stating your title.

MEMBER’S EYE 10

Mads Ahm

André Colares

Albert Hepfinger

Steven Woolfe

Daniel McCarthy Richard Cook

Riccardo Messori

CAVE JOHNSON

19

THE MODERN GAMER IS FACELESS

27

who is?

dev’s journey - blog

DIABLO 28 walkingthrough

27

THE CREATIVITY OF IN-GAME PUZZLES

31

eye for...

EFG

5


interview

EFG INTERVIEW with David Helgason, Unity CEO To start, can you explain a bit about

porting a game over to these new platforms

“Unity

on making awesomely fun games.

Unity and what it’s used for? (www.unity3d.com)

is

a

breakthrough development platform for

so that developers can focus their energy

creating games and interactive 3D, such

Thanks to all of these efforts, Unity rose

architectural visualizations, all on a large

April of this year. The number includes

as training simulations and medical and array of product platforms. Unity’s use

and power crosses industries, platforms,

and genres. Our goal is to democratize game development by creating a powerful engine and tool set that takes the pain out of development for developers of all

to one million registered developers in groups and individuals from all walks of development from large and small studios, independent professionals, students and hobbyists. Over 200K of these developers are active on a monthly basis.

types and sizes. We offer both free and

All of our initiatives, releases and programs

to keep growing when we find awesome

of amazing games and other applications

affordable premium versions with the goal new talent and keep providing amazing new tools that fit well with our technology.

One of our other big democratization

initiatives is the Asset Store, a service that allows developers to find, purchase,

and import asset of all types (art, code,

scripts, editor extensions, sound, and full projects) directly into their products with

no restrictive royalty fees. While many of the offerings are free for use, there are

many others that, after a one time cost, offer some incredibly powerful solutions for making game development easier.

Those selling their wares on the Asset Store are also making good money!

It’s also very important to take note

of Union, a business division of Unity

Technologies that provides an avenue for

are designed to help put the development within reach of all would-be developers.”

When did the development start? What

was the early development process like? “When we first launched Unity in 2005,

it was used by smaller studios and independent

game

developers.

that companies of all sizes are looking at

Unity very seriously. Over the years we’ve expanded

our

scope

to meet the needs of this now much broader Unity community without leaving

audience

our

original

behind

by

evolving the already great platform

to

meet

the

needs of larger teams.

developers to distribute their products to

Unity’s growth definitely

devices and set-top boxes, including Roku

boom. As individuals and

other platforms such as closed mobile 2 and Smart TVs. Union does the work of

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We’ve

been finding in the last couple of years

surged with the mobile small teams could create

Left to Right:

Nicholas Francis, CCO David Helgason, CEO

Joachim Ante, CTO


interview

games for Android and iOS that competed with larger studios, Unity couldn’t not become a significant player.

It helps that imagination is the limit when it

comes to what style of games can be made

with Unity, and we’ve made the software flexible enough that it can handle any and all genres and a broad range of team

sizes. We’ve seen shooters, hack’n’slash,

puzzlers, adventures, strategy games (both real-time and turn-based), platformers and just about any other genres you can think of, in both 3D, 2.5D and 2D, from developers spanning the globe.

Everyone should be able to make games,

and we have more aces up our sleeves to make this happen.”

What was your goal with creating the

serious time and money creating games in Unity.”

What have you been working on lately?

“We just launched Unity 4, which is an incredibly exciting debut for the industry.

It includes some big updates for the Unity engine and tools suite to accommodate critical new features such as the highly anticipated all-new Mecanim character

animation system, DirectX 11 support,

hypermodern mobile graphics and the addition of Adobe® Flash® and Linux as

publishing platforms. These new features

and improvements comprise the first in a

series of Unity 4 releases that will empower developers with the first truly democratic

AAA game engine. Although the release

date hasn’t been set, it is available for pre-sale:

http://unity3d.com/?preorder”

Unity engine and tools?

What have been the biggest challenges

ideal of democratizing game development

“Simply carving out a space in a crowded

“Unity Technologies was founded with the across platforms. To that end, Unity is

focused on taking the tedious bits out

of game development by creating and offering technology that is both uniquely usable and extremely powerful. One of the

main attractions, and a core goal of Unity,

is the ease of multiplatform deployment.

Developers can build the game once and with only minor tweaks, deploy the

game to any number of gaming platforms

for Unity over the years?

field of development tools and engines

has been a challenge from the beginning.

We approached this by first focusing on

to create and deploy games to PC, Mac

for power and then introducing a unique

brought in many new developers who then

creating accessible tools that didn’t lack pricing model that offered an affordable product

for

independent

developers.

We’ve grown the business and tools from that foundation.

including PC, Mac, Unity Web Player,

Unity Technologies was one of the first

and soon Linux. Add this in with rapid

at making it easy for developers to create

Flash, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, PS3,

Wii

iteration made possible through in-editor playtesting, slick art pipeline and highly

efficient interface and developers can save

Everyone should be able to make games, and we have more aces up our sleeves to make this happen

engine developers to take an in-depth look

games on browsers and mobile devices.

In 2010, a free version of Unity was also introduced that allowed developers

and the Unity Web Player for free, which chose to remain with the tools.

Another large challenge was the company’s

focus on democratizing game development

and the creation of a deep and powerful set of tools that are easy to learn and use. We met that challenge by dedicating large amounts of research and development time to the use

and function of interfaces and ensuring that

the right features are as transparent and easy to understand as possible.”

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7


interview

We’re now over the one milion mark, getting close to one and a quarter milion actually What knowledge will a new Unity user

community.

with it?

Unity has grown exponentially

need before he/she can start working “While a basic understanding of one of the scripting languages (C#, JavaScript, or Boo) or experience with a 3D visual creation tool (Maya, Blender) certainly helps, Unity

is a very approachable tool despite its incredible depth. There are an incredible

number of tutorials, books, videos, and forums dedicated to help users learn Unity.

Sure, a technical background or design experience might help make learning

quicker, but we firmly believe that anyone can hop in and learn how to user Unity.” Why

should

someone

that

is

currently using Unity switch over?

not

But

now

the

number of developers using over the last two years. At the end of 2010, 250,000

developers had downloaded

and registered their unique copies of Unity and only a year later that number had grown to 750,000. We’re now

one and a quarter million actually. We saw crazy growth earlier this year as nearly a

quarter of the entire community registered

in three months. We’re expecting strong

Where does Unity fit in the future of

America and Eastern Europe as well.

“For the last couple of years we’ve seen

continued growth through Asia, Latin

“The way products are packaged and

I think the number we like even more is

adopt and stay with Unity. Unity comes in

grown to nearly 300,000, or 30% of all

priced allows developers of all sizes to both free and premium versions. Simply put, Unity takes the hard work out of game

development, at a price point anyone can afford,

without

sacrificing

power

and

the monthly active developer base has also developers who ever registered with Unity,

who put in a total of 2.5 million hours of creative work each month.”

This works extremely

What are the most important aspects

independent game developers, hobbyists

customers? (i.e. visual quality, efficiency

platform reach.

well not only for larger publishers, but also

and students. In addition, because of the large number of developers using Unity,

those looking to hire new designers, artists or coders are going to have a large pool of potential talent to choose from.”

When did it become apparent that Unity was destined for success?

“It’s always hard to know, honestly. We always believed we had something special

between the tech and price point. Even from the beginning it seemed to have really struck a cord with the development

DirectX3D Renderer

over the one million mark, getting close to

of Unity that you always hope to offer of development, affordability)

“All of these things are very important. We want to provide the tools to create

the best looking games possible in the

most efficient way possible. We think our tools definitely do that. But it’s also very

important for us to provide an affordable product that anyone can use. The way our products are packaged and priced (free

and premium versions) allows developers

tech and games? massive

growth

EFG

mobile,

which

is

it seems things are coming full circle with an emphasis on web-based games as well,

which is awesome because that’s right in our wheelhouse thanks to our own very powerful Unity Web Player. The wider

adoption of the web as a viable platform

for deep games was one of the strongest themes we’ve seen this year. While mobile is still booming, it’s clear that browserbased games (as well as games for the Mac

App Store) are getting ample resources

and attention from game developers and

users alike and tremendous value can be created there. Unity can be used to create very high-quality games for console and

PC as well, platforms that are really going

to feel the punch of the new animation and rendering upgrades in Unity 4.

of all sizes to adopt and stay with Unity.

At Unity, we’re always evaluating new

game development.”

games, we’ll be there.”

This is core to our mission to democratize

platforms so wherever gamers are playing

EFG thanks Unity for doing this interview. For more information please visit: http://unity3d.com/ 8

in

definitely a sweet spot for us. This year


EFG SPECIAL PUBLICATION

in collaboration with members will be announced in September and released in January 2013.

If you’re with the game industry you’re with EFG

?


member’s eye

Member’s eye

Mads Ahm - Denmark S t u d e n t / I l l u s t ra t o r

At the moment I’m a student at The Animation Workshop, also doing freelance illustration on the side. My goal is to become very versatile enabling me to work for a broad range of clients, extending my work across different parts of the industry consisting of games, advertising and film and hopefully I’ll get to contribute to the big titles someday. When I have gathered enough experience I would love to pass it on to the next generation by teaching drawing and art classes.

Portfolio: http://artbyahm.blogspot.com/ 10

EFG


member’s eye

Richard Cook - United States 3 D a r t i st

I am currently a lead artist at indie games studio AdaptivElite LLC. I have always sought growth in my profession, and have grown in my personal life as in my art, and continue to do so to this day. I am seeking a point in my life where I can truly be happy, and I’m confident in saying that the gaming industry is where I want to stay. I like people to know they can trust and rely on me. I love the people I work with and the games I work on, and I always keep an eye out for new opportunities to put my skills too.

Portfolio: http://www.richcg.com/ EFG

11


member’s eye

André Colares - Brazil Composer André Colares is a composer and sound designer for plays, films and games. He uses sample libraries and any object he may find, to make music. “I make music for films and games. Someday I’ll be able to pay my bills with it.”

www.youtube.com/colaresmusic

M

Riccardo Messori - Italy Composer Riccardo Messori is an italian composer and musician. He started to play guitar at 7 years old, making his first steps with his father. In the mean time, he started to sing as well, and going deeper and deeper in the music’s world. Experiencing different styles of music, he had the choice to know properly the most diffused genres by writing original songs and stuff. In 2008 he began his musical experience in videogames, writing the original soundtrack for the italian project “The Darkness of Monkey Island 5”

http://riccardomessori.bandcamp.com/

M

Steven Woolfe - Netherlands Wr i t e r | p ro d u c e r | g a m e d e s i g n e r a t p l ay s l a s h w r i t e I’m a writer, geekblogger, producer and game designer, currently working on my first steampulp romance novel Flights of the Centurion: Paradise of Peril (due late 2013), along with several other collaboration projects. My mind is firmly set on being as independent as possible, and one day owning a pet hyena.

http://www.playslashwrite.com/

Albert Hepfinger - United States P r o g ra m m e r I am a autoworker with Ford Motor Company but also hold a BA of Science in Game and Simulation Programming. I have been playing games for many years, all the way back during the Pong days and Commadores. Oregon Trail is still one of my favorites from the Apple II days. I did however stop playing games for many years and was brought back into them through a friend of mine who owned a Xbox 360. I was introduced to Ghost Recon and online play and was hooked like a starving fish. I then decided to pursue a degree and hopefully a job in the industry.

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http://ahepfinger.mydevryportfolio.com/


member’s eye

Daniel McCarthy - United Kingdom C G a r t i st

http://www.danielmccarthycgartist.com/

Sam Amanfi - Canada C o n c e pt a r t i st

http://samamanfi.carbonmade.com/

Eveline Albers - Netherlands C G a r t i st

http://www.evelinealbers.com/


company profile

AdaptivElite is founded in 2010 by Anthony Drummond. Established

in

Michigan,

this

indie-developers

Company Name: AdaptivElite

is

Founder(s): Anthony Drummond

EFG asked the founder why he started the developer and

Type: Independent Games Developer

determined to work on games for the PC, iOS and Android.

Place: Novi, Michigan

where he sees AdaptivElite in ten years from now.

Founder

Anthony:

“AdaptivElite

was

founded

by

Anthony

Drummond in 2010. Indie games are the wave of the future; when you look at it, a lot of the AAA companies

are breaking even with their titles, and very few actually

earn profit (Unless your EA or Activision, or something like that).”

Platform: PC, iOS, Android

Goal

Anthony: “Ultimately we would like to establish a small

studio in Michigan and take advantage of the tax credits

offered to the Movie Industry, which surprisingly also covers video game companies.

In ten years, I see AdaptivElite as an established game studio that makes games all over the spectrum,

Developer

Anthony: “AdaptivElite is currently working on iOS and

point.”

Android games, basically making whatever they want to

Future

we plan on making a whole slew of different titles. Right

game studio that makes games all over the spectrum,

make. There is no genre we are limiting ourselves to, and now, we are working on a 3D Top-down Delivery Driver game, a beer drinking balance game, a 2D platformer,

and a 2D sidescroller much in the fashion of the old Atari

Anthony: “In ten years, I see AdaptivElite as an established

from children’s games, mobile games, and even MMOs at some point.”

Defender game.

We are working on a new type of engine, which we hope

will blow the socks off of developers. It will be able to

render entire galaxies in real-time, with procedurally

generated worlds that you can visit. It’s our long-off

ambitious project, and we hope to feature amazing new

Website: http://www.adaptivelite.com

AI systems.”

Contact: anthony@adaptivelite.com

technology that includes massive worlds and breakthrough

Social: http://www.facebook.com/adaptivelite

www.adaptivelite.com

14

from

children’s games, mobile games, and even MMOs at some

EFG


process interview

30 MINUTES...OR LESS! process interview

This process interview is taking you from the first few thoughts to the release date of the game. The team behind 30 minutes... or less! answered some questions, which puts the process of the game on paper. Team: Anthony (Project Director), Richard (Lead Artist), Steven (Lead Programmer), Jared (Lead Modeler/Rigger), Chris (Concept Artist), Todd (Artist/Animator).

Hello AdaptivElite, how are you doing today? Anthony: “I’m doing.” Richard: “Busy.”

What were your first few thoughts about this game, the characters, environment, and the theme?

Anthony: “From the beginning, I wanted simple to understand, vibrant environments and inviting game play. It wasn’t until the first few assets were done that I was sure that what we had would be fun and exciting. At least the game part of it.”

Richard: “Well, when I first came onto the team, the first thing I thought about this game (they had a demo already by this point), was how fun and addicting it was. I played a little 3 stage demo, and I just wanted to keep playing.

The goal was there, the interaction was there, and it was just an awesome experience. I knew that an art direction was still needed, and I knew where I wanted to take it right away.”

How did you come up with this game idea?

3D DESIGNS Why 3D?

Richard: “I think 3D was probably a given for

this kind of game. It’s the sort of game that requires that depth to be there, and it really brings the World to life to see all these things

in their true form. It almost reflects a sort of Toon Town, like from Roger Rabbit. These

people and drivers all have their quirks and

are all running around crazy like, and you have

an objective in mind. No one is intentionally

preventing you from achieving your goal, but their all there to just arbitrarily cause chaos.

I think that’s something that can only be properly delivered in the 3D format.”

Anthony: “Being a delivery driver myself, I had a heck of a shift one day,

Strict guidelines

having to avoid a fallen tree on my normal delivery path. Really one of

mean everything, so all the models are

having dodged two small animals, nearly getting in two car accidents, and the most interesting driving shifts of my life, but it was the inspiration for what would become 30 Minutes... Or Less! I wanted a simple driving game, something that could rival the ease of play of Angry Birds, a delivery boy that

Jared: “Yes, with a game like this poly counts restricted on poly count based on how big they will be on screen.”

was sort of ambiguous but had enough personality that anyone could easily

Richard: “We were working with pretty small

theme was out the door; I knew exactly what I wanted to do after I had that

somewhere between 300-500 triangles per

associate with him, and an environment that was colorful and inviting. The shift, and I wrote up the design document in one night.”

What kind of game would 30 minutes... or less! be and did it eventually become what you thought in the beginning?

Anthony: “Well, I originally imagined it as a 2D game, much in the same eye as the original Grand Theft Auto was. Somebody said 3D, I said, maybe 2.5D,

and we eventually settled on the top-down 3D view for the world. The game

budgets. It is a mobile game, so we were character/vehicle. The buildings were even

less. It was always evident that we needed to keep a solid framerate and smooth gameplay.

The last thing you want when zipping across the screen at high speeds is dreadful frame dragging. Everything was highly optimized.”

is very much to the original idea I had way back when, and it’s becoming even more exciting than I imagined.”

Richard: “Yeah, they had been at it for almost a year, and from the time I

came in to the last few weeks of development, things came together really

fast. I wanted to be that missing link for these guys, because the formula for an awesome game was already there. I had to do what I could to make sure

the art style matched the fun of the gameplay. I had a great foundation to build on with what these guys had already done.”

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15


process interview

For what platform would this game be and did you also thought about releasing the game on other platforms?

Anthony: “I planned for an iOS and Android release. I would like to

bring it to tablets, and it already runs on PC, so I think we are doing

process interview

pretty good so far.”

How did the first few sketches for the concept evolved?

Chris: “The concepts came from the idea of a fun, easily accessible game suitable for all ages. We wanted to have a clean feeling cartoon

style with easily distinguishable characters. With these things in mind I tried to create characters and vehicles with exaggerated features and simple color schemes.”

Richard: “I think when I started helping with the art, I was looking at several references from the Xbox Live avatars to other Indie racing

Capital Building 3D Wire

Capital Building Diffuse Tan (Wraps)

games for direction. Initially, the models were there, and I helped to

What is the primary goal of this game?

be redone. There was no definitive style at that point. I looked to

point in thirty minutes of game time or less.

assemble some newer works, but a lot of the texturing needed to other games that utilized simple textures, with a simple color palette.

In the end, it was really just balancing that simple, cartoonish look with some stylization and emphasis that gave us the look of the final game.”

Were there first ideas that were scrapped in a later phase?

Anthony: “Not really. Everything I drew up for the initial design of the game (mostly the characters and vehicles) has been implemented, surprisingly.”

When thinking about the interface, what was the most important

Anthony: “The basic goal is to get to the delivery Based on how quickly you deliver, or secrets you

find, you earn tip money that can be used to show off how well you did, and purchase items

and new vehicles. We do have a twist, not on the

game play, but on the content of the game, as we

aim to offer real-world rewards for exceptional

driving skills, high scores, and finding secrets in

the various levels. For instance, a player with a

high score on stage 5 might win $2 dollars off their next pizza order at a local pizza shop.”

thing about it?

How many different things can the player do?

I wanted an intuitive control that anybody could easily figure out

for the game. One is the career mode, which

Anthony: “How easy is it to interact with this game? Straight up,

(Touch the screen somewhere and go!) but with a little extra to make

your car do some fun stuff. For instance, you simply touch the part

of the screen you want your car to go, and it will turn towards your finger/pointer and go towards it. If you put your finger behind the car, it will back up. If you touch and hold the car, it will e-brake.

That’s it. And if you didn’t like your hand moving all over the screen,

a simple virtual D-Pad in the corner of the screen will offer an optional control method.

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Anthony: “We have 3 different modes planned

pits the player against specific delivery runs that

they must complete before they get their next delivery, much in the way of Angry Birds stages.

The other mode, Busy Lunch, is a more freestyle mode, where random deliveries pop-up at the shop (like the tutorial/demo) and the player must drive around the map getting the deliveries to

the random locations. The final mode we had


process interview

planned is the unlockable “I’m getting fired, anyway” mode where the

We had to rewrite 90% of his code, because it was like we were programming 2 totally different games

player ultimately earns as much as possible in negative points. You can see the potential to unwind in this mode. Ultimately, the player

is free to explore the levels and have fun, even if they don’t want to take the deliveries. The levels are decently sized and there are lots of things to see.”

Richard: “...and for the player to go all GTA on the citizens, minus the guns of course.”

Does the game have ‘enemies’?

Anthony: “Obstacles. Lot’s of ‘em. Citizens, other cars, small woodland creatures, construction, potholes, the occasional downed tree, and

maybe a few surprises along the way. Have you ever tried delivering something while being chased by a UFO?”

Were there any gameplay functionalities you wanted in the game

With what kind of bugs did you have to deal

Anthony: “Right now, Multiplayer. Really want the Multiplayer. But it

Steven: “Mostly the usual suspects, though there

but just didn’t fit?

was holding the development back.”

What was the most challenging part when creating the 3D models? Jared: “For me the most challenging part was again the poly counts,

with?

was one tough one to track down, where at some points the car’s rpms would go over 420k, which would make the car move really slow.”

I come from a background of high end renders with poly counts of

Did the game have any particular programming

screen at any time.”

Steven: “One programmer thought he knew what

10,000,000 plus, for this game we are aiming at under 7,000 on Richard: “For me, coming in late in the cycle, it was pretty difficult to fit in what I was creating with what was already there. Everything

needed to fit seamlessly. I had to create a plan from scratch that would allow me to attack the objective at hand more efficiently. I

often found myself setting up things like .PSD’s(Photoshop) to contain several layers, so that I could go back and edit them into something

challenge towards the programmer(s)?

the game was, programmed like a mad man,

made a tutorial level, and then left the project.

We had to rewrite 90% of his code, because it was like we were programming 2 totally different games.”

new. Everything had to fit together, new and old.”

How did the test phase go?

a pipeline that involved making changes at different parts, where

we got a lot of positive reviews from the Demo/

Todd: The most challenging part for me was having to be part of peoples roles could change based on what we needed from the art

at the time. For my role, I was learning what place I could take in the art pipeline, and someone else’s way of making texture could

Anthony: “Well, it’s going. For the most part, Tutorial, and a lot of people like the idea and concept. I feel it went/is still going pretty well.”

be better for the game’s style, making me rethink how I approach

Were there bugs that brought the game in

understandable to others involved.”

Anthony: “Hahaha, yes. DAMN YOU MULTIPLAYER!!!”

making compact textures and making UV maps that would be more

trouble?

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17


process interview

Was there an agreed budget for the game?

Anthony: “The project started out as a hobby project, after we put

our other game on hold. We wanted to bootstrap the company with a couple of small, easy-to-make games that we could build quickly and turn a little profit on so we could move on to the bigger fish we had

on our depth finder. So far, this small “3-month” project we had in mind turned into a year-long project. We essentially have no budget, because we don’t really have any money put into it. Just sweat equity.

Looking back at the process, did the team learn any new things? Anthony: “I have learned a great deal from working on this game;

project management, asset management, marketing skills, design and

implementation skills, the fact that most companies will always have

delays or some other obstacle preventing them from releasing on

time, stress management, leadership skills, and most importantly,

was no easy undertaking. The rewarding part of it

Richard: “I think what we took most out of it was learning how to be

I am happy to see that people are playing it,

communication skills.”

more organized. Being our first game, I’m glad it came together under

the circumstances that it did. I sometimes found myself doubting the continuation of it because a lot of it was all over the place. We had a clear directive, but more often than not, we were not on the same

for though, is seeing the feedback we’ve gotten. whether they like it or not, the mark of success

comes from volume. There is no such thing as bad press.”

page. We learned hard. But we are going to be able to take this into a new project and do everything the right way this time.”

Is there anything you’d like to do differently now that you look back to the process?

Anthony: “I hate imposing schedules and deadlines, but I definitely

want to aim at a milestone system, so we have clear directives over small chunks of time.”

How long did the team worked on 30 minutes... or less!? Anthony: “We are closing in on a year and 4 months now.”

Now that the game has been released, how does that feel?

Anthony: “YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!111!11!(@!@!POIP@!U#89iP&EU$)*@y OQUIWLKERJHkljeaRHlaisudkjH

FAOSJKLDP;SILDKJR[u2p08Oeyu4o*&wilhrum.njdklae. Ahem... Yes, it feels good.”

Richard: “Exciting, and relieving. We put a lot into this game, and it

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More at http://www.adaptivelite.com/

Developer: AdaptivElite - Game: 30 Minutes... or less!


who is?

who is?

Cave Johnson

Name:

Birth year/age:

Residence:

Gender: Status:

Race:

Haircolor: Eyecolor:

Skin color: Occupation: Hobbies: Primary enemy: Goal:

Support/Associates/sidekicks:

Cave Johnson

Around 1900s

Earth (the original one) Male

Founder and CEO of Aperture Science Human Brown Brown

Caucasian Founder and CEO of Aperture Science

Science! Black Mesa and lemons

Restore Aperture Science to its former glory and beat Black Mesa. Caroline

Cave Johnson here.

“Cave Johnson here. My marketing people tell me

our controversial “Gut Something To Say”-program.

do something spontaneous. So I made these pre-

idea of talking entrails. Idiots.

I need to reach out to customers personally and recorded tapes. Deal with it.

Let’s get down to business: I’m Cave Johnson. I

own the place. Aperture Science, that is. Not Black Mesa. I am not in any way associated with Black

Mesa. Incidentally, if you are a lawyer representing Black Mesa and/or any other company we may have

a running legal conflict with, please proceed to the door marked “Test Chamber #3”. Ignore that sign

-- nothing is being tested in that room. Except

your patience. Have a sip of that coffee, it’s been

The marketing boys never did manage to sell the

Aperture

Science

began

the

development

of

numerous exciting products, including the Quantum Tunneling Device, Mobility Gel and several potatobased devices, for which we won a number of awards.

One. One award. We were on a winning streak that would never ever end. Then it ended, in the 1960s, and we started losing. My lawyers told me my lack of

common sense and unwillingness to face reality was to blame. So I fired them. Problem solved.

irradiated with an experimental flavor-enhancer

Nothing stops Cave Johnson! What’s my plan to

say irradiated? I meant “improved.”

dollars-worth of Moon rocks! Accounting said we

that’ll quite literally explode your taste buds. Did I

When I started Aperture Fixtures in 1943, I had only

one goal: make shower curtains. So I did. Sold them to the military, made lots of money, got set for life.

But that didn’t stop me, no sir! I did what most billionaires do: buy a huge salt mine in Michigan

and build a science facility inside it. My gut told me it was the right thing to do, and that was long before

restore Aperture to its former glory? Seventy million couldn’t afford even a single Moon rock, but I bought them anyway. These rocks will make our Mobility

Gels a resounding success. Aperture Science will

show those smug bastards at Black Mesa once and for all who does the real science around here! Isn’t that right, Caroline? That’s my assistant, Caroline. Pretty as a postcard. Sorry, fellas, she’s married. To science!”

“Cave Johnson, we’re done here.” EFG

19


pixel this!

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pixel this!

DEVELOPER A regular day at Ampex introduces us to Allan Alcorn, Ted Dabrey and Nolan Bushnell. In the

early years, Bushnell already became familiar with computers and games by spending most of his summer in an amusement park, where he helped to maintain the machinery of pinball and (yet) electro-mechanical games and by playing Russell’s ‘SpaceWar!’. He became convinced

of the commercial viability of a videogame like ‘SpaceWar!’ and strived to a system that could be scaled down from university mainframes into a more reasonably compact version.

In 1971, Nolan Bushnell left Ampex together with Ted Dabrey investing each 250 dollars in a new company that would produce more games by licensing ideas to other companies. The

company, named ‘Syzygy’ was chosen; the sun, moon and earth in total eclipse, however the name couldn’t be maintained, since a roof-tiling and candle company were already operating

under this name. Eventually it changed to ‘Atari’ – meaning ‘to hit the target’ in the game Go - and this developer had put its foot on the ground in 1972.

Shortly after the founding Bushnell hired Allan Alcorn because of his experience with electrical engineering and computer science, supporting the concept of Atari. Yet, Alcorn had no experience with video games.

CONCEPT To motivate Alcorn and push him into video games, Bushnell told him that he already closed a contract with General Electric, but this was in fact, made up. First Alcorn studied

and examined the structure for Computer Space, but found it to be illegible. Based on his knowledge of transistor-transistor logic and Bushnell’s game, he made designs of his own.

Alcorn worked very hard on his job and within a week and a half, he already had the first hand-wired version ready. The game eventually got all sorts of features and refinements to give it more appeal.

DEVELOPMENT It took him three months to finish a functional prototype and it got installed at a local bar,

Andy Capp’s Tavern. Bushnell then went on a business trip to Chicago to demonstrate this game. After a few weeks and days, Bill Gattis – manager of Andy Capp’s Tavern – contacted

Alcorn to tell him about the prototype that had been showing complications. Alcorn had to fix this and while inspecting it he discovered the overflow of quarters causing the mechanics to jam; actually, this was the success of the game ‘Pong’. RELEASE Pong, released in 1972, is a tennis sports game featuring two paddles and a ball. At the end of 1974, Atari sold more than 8.000 units and these are considered collector’s items ever since, with the cocktail-table version being the rarest.

“Pong was a runaway smash hit in the coin-op amusement business. It was the biggest success anyone had seen”. – Allan Alcorn

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blog

Blog: http://www.plinan.com/

By: Brandon Wu

BUT I AM NOT a PROGRAMMER

or an ARTIST, or a WRITER, or a MARKETER... A Blog by Brandon Wu

People are given titles. Our titles give us an identity, a way to introduce ourselves to the world, a sense of security. If you are in a well-respected position, you feel powerful when stating your title. “I am the CFO of Billshut Financials.” See there, instant power shot.  It validates your skills and your accomplishments. It confirms your importance professionally.

“Bond, James Bond, and I am a spy”

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blog

By: Brandon Wu

Blog: http://www.plinan.com/

THE CHALLENGE IS finding the right people WHO SHARE your value and motivation But what happens when you want a

would be GAME OVER for the studio. It

individuals.

to build requires people with different hats

had to re-evaluate my approach. Instead

knows where the studio would be if I hadn’t

different title? What if this thing you want

than the one you currently wear? “I have

a great idea but I am not a programmer.”

“I am a programmer but I can’t design for shit!” Many people stop here. These

thoughts have prevented some of the most

was too risky of a position to be in and I

of hiring out the development, I decided

to put my head down and learn to do it myself – learning to code, to make art, and to design.

brilliant ideas from being executed.

To be frank, it wasn’t easy. It was an

If you find yourself in this position, you

against the wall constantly. It was like

have two options.

1. Find someone with the right hat to work with you.

If you have the resources (money, network, contacts, power, persuasion skills…etc.),

8-month exercise of banging my head being back in school, except instead of

knowing when the exam is, I had to fight

against time – every month in prolonged

development was another month of living expenses gone from my savings.

Without

this

experience

I

wouldn’t have my current team, and who gone through this 8-month marathon. 

So next time when you think you can’t

do something because you are not a programmer, not an artist, not a writer, not a marketer, not a networker, not a public speaker, not a journalist, not a

photographer…etc, STOP.   Don’t let your title limit what you can do. You are what you do. And don’t be afraid to spend time

learning. There’s rarely any downside to be

more skilled, especially in what you want to do. 

you can hire or partner with people with

But I did it. I wrote all the codes and got

Note: I was lucky enough to quit my

The challenge is finding the right people

project. The game was released. It was

survive on pot noodles for at least a few

relevant skills to help with your projects.

who share your value and motivation. This is a topic for another day. 2. Do it yourself!

If you are like most people who are

just starting out, you may not have the resources to hire help. But don’t let that stop you, and Just (learn to) Do It!

When I first started  Studio Pepwuper, I wanted to go with option 1 and hire people

to help me build my games. I spent a few weeks looking at candidates, outsourcing

studios, partnering development houses,

and eventually found a great candidate

that has all the experience needed for

all the art work and music/sound into the done. 

That isn’t the end of the story. The real

benefit of doing it yourself is not in getting it done. It’s in all the the side-

job with savings that would allow me to

months, but I know that many people

don’t have this “luxury”. To you I point you in the direction of Gary Vaynerchuck‘s presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo NY.

effects that happen while you are making

“If you want this, if you’re miserable,

of game development on a tight budget. I

something else and you have a passion

it happen. I got to learn the in’s and out’s

understand how to write codes, and more importantly, how to read them, so when I looked for help I knew what to ask for and

knew what my team was talking about. I

learned to know how long things take so I

knew how to better evaluate opportunities and partners. I learned to really appreciate

artists and designers and learned that

or if you don’t like it or you want to do

somewhere else. Work nine to five. Spend

a couple hours with your family. Seven to two in the morning is plenty of time to

do damage. But that’s it. It’s not going to happen any other way. …Everybody has time. Stop watching fucking Lost!…”

good design and good art takes time. 

p.s. I never look good in hats. I spent 20

only hire them for 6 months. And if at the

And I got to share my experience, through

the world wherever I go, but I can never

a game out, or if the game didn’t sell, it

motivated,

the project. But very soon I realized that

with the money I had saved up, I could end of that 6-month period I didn’t have

which I got to know many talented, encouraging,

and

inspiring

years looking for a hat that fits me across

find one. Maybe I am just not meant to be wearing any particular hat.

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concept art

Concept Artist: Sander Doomen

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process interview

COWBEAM

process interview

The team behind the game: (game designer) Geert Nellen, (programmer) Thijmen Bink and (level designer) Roy van de Mortel.

Hello Digital Dreams, how are you doing today? “We’re doing fine.”

Let’s start from the beginning; why did you guys wanted to make an

ART Made by: Sander Doomen, Frank Openty and Carolina Bouwkamp

iOS game?

At the drawing-table.

for original casual games. We thought it would be fun to give it a go.”

is right now. Normally we design a game as

“We see lots of creative game ideas. iOS gamers seem to be on the lookout

What were your first few thoughts about this game, the characters, environment, and the theme?

“We were aiming for something casual. The characters needed to be quirky

and fun. We started with the gameplay of finding the right planet. Then we thought: “Why would the player want to find this planet?” Then we came up with the an alien called Hank who is always looking to beam up another cow.”

“We started completely different than what it

much as we can before we start development, but with Cowbeam it ended out a bit different.

Halfway we thought, okay we have all these mechanics in place, and there was something

fun in there, but there was just too much. We cut a lot of the gameplay out, until the current design was left standing.”

Eventually you guys came with ‘Cowbeam’ - what kind of game of game

Character design

“Cowbeam is a casual game, where the player has to search the right planet

it seemed to fit the feel we were going for.

would this be?

for a cow he has to beam up. Planets come in all different size and shapes. It can have moons, an asteroid belt, it could be green, have craters, it could be close to the sun, etc. The player has to combine hints about the characteristics of the planet and find the cow!”

Did the game already had the name Cowbeam from the beginning? “Yep.”

As what theme-genre would you describe the game? “I guess cartoony space.”

What do you need to take in account while creating background art and

“We decided to go for a cartoony style because

We started out by creating some fun designs for the lead character, an alien named Hank.

He turned out to be a quirky looking alien. We’re not quite sure yet of the patch of hair

on his face is his eyebrow or his moustache.

Cowbeam is about finding cows on planets, and every cow looks like the planet they

live on. So next we started out by designing

some different cows. Green cows, cows with

eyeglasses or cows as the center of orbiting objects.”

level designs?

2D or 3D?

style of the rest of the game .

same time, the gameplay is in 3D mainly. This

In general, it’s just important that it is user friendly and consistent with the

What more artistic ideas did you have, but were scrapped?

I personally have a lot of love for a kind of retro space aesthetic. Kind of like in the Jetsons or, sometimes, Futurama. It wasn’t really scrapped, but we decided to not make it really apparent in the overall style. In the end we just made some retro space posters for promotional purposes.

“The game focuses a lot on 2D art, but at the was an interesting design challenge, because it had to fit the 2D cartoony design of the characters. We experimented with cell shading and textures and ended up with cartoony textures on basic 3D geometry.”

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25


process interview

What challenges brought the interface?

I think the interface is something that looks easy to do, but it ended up

very challenging to design for Cowbeam. We have lots of experience

Was the game also tested outside the company? Yes, we let friends and family test a lot.

with designing interfaces, but never before for a cartoony game. It was

How much time testing did the developer put

our designers spent over 8 weeks iterating on interface designs. We

I don’t know how much exactly. We basically

difficult to come up with an appealing and functional interface. One of kind of underestimated the amount of work it should take. In which software is Cowbeam made?

We used Photoshop for art and After effects for animations. We built the game in Unity 3D.

What does the game allows the player to do?

The player is able to explore dozens of galaxies and find hints and stars.

in this game?

tested every day.

Was there an agreed budget for this project? Yes. Zero dollars.

When did you decided that this would be the finished game - nothing big would be included or changed?

When all the to-do lists were empty.

Can the player lose?

Looking back at the process, did the team

When all turns for a level are depleted, he has to start over.

We’re probably never going to start development

Yes he can. Every time the player examines a planet, he uses a turn.

Were there any gameplay functionalities you wanted in the game but just didn’t fit?

learn any new things?

on a game again if we don’t know exactly what the design is going to look like.

We wanted to have some planet characteristics move over from planet

What has been the biggest challenge that

in the current game. Maybe something for a sequel?

Probably that challenge will arise at any moment

to planet over time. But it was one of the things we didn’t get to fit

Which software(s) has been used for animation? We used After Effects for all animations.

Different people worked on the cutscenes. How do they make sure their animations don’t differ too much?

We monitored closely that everything stayed consistent. If you keep

using the same assets and concept art, everything will fit in nicely. We’re very proud about the all the cutscenes in the game.

Cowbeam brought to the developer?

now. We’re close to releasing the game and I

think getting picked up by a big audience will be a major challenge to us.

How does it feel to publish... Cowbeam? Very exciting!

Thank you very much for this opportunity! Thank you as well!!!

Which programming language does the game uses? We used C# in Unity 3D.

What has been the most challenging part to program?

Getting all these unique cows in the game. Everytime you play a level, it’s different. Also the hint system was interesting.

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EFG

More at http://www.digitaldreamsgames.com/

Developer: Digital Dreams - Game: Cowbeam


dev’s journey

Access to games through emerging technology continues to grow as gaming itself becomes more engrained in mainstream society. Paralleling

this trend is the user base that comes in contact with these games, and consequently, becomes players. Back in the 80’s, the stereotypical gamer

was very much removed from popular society: technology savvy, social skills lacking, nerdy glasses optional. The gaming industry was considered

alternative entertainment. The console revolution changed this a bit, but no other gaming sector has reached the masses quite like we are seeing now with browser and casual games.

At InnoGames, we see the unique opportunity to capture the mass market

through free-to-play games, and we run with it. We do this by making a wide array of game titles to cater to the desires of various demographics

– young and mature, male and female, hardcore and casual. In addition, focusing on the accessibility of each game is a top priority that we constantly try to improve upon. Developing a game that can be easily accessed on a PC, Mac, mobile phone, tablet, and all other emerging technology

immediately broadens the variety of players who come in contact with our games. Looking at accessibility in an alternative way, we pride ourselves on

creating entertainment that is “easy to learn, hard to master”. By doing this,

we don’t intimidate new or casual gamers, but also continue to cater to

our base users: hardcore gamers. By allowing everyone to play our games with or without paying even further supports this goal.

InnoGames’ most recently developed title is a testament to the new face of gaming. Lagoonia, a sandbox browser game set in a tropical paradise,

was made with female tastes in mind. With women making up a total of 47% of casual and 34% of MMO gamers*, there is obviously interest from

this demographic, yet the content geared towards them does not reflect these numbers. We are very excited to address this with launch Lagoonia in an open beta this fall.

The more ways technology allows us to reach out to the masses, the more

diluted the stereotype of the gamer will become. Creating something that

is a go-to entertainment favorite for commutes, lunch breaks, or hours of weekend fun will further break down the demographic barriers, until the typical gamer can be compared to the typical television watcher or web surfer. Hendrik Klindworth

Hendrik Klindworth, InnoGames Managing Director

*NewZoo, 2011

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27


walkingthrough


walkingthrough

DIABLO

Crusade. Artist and modeler Eric Sexton

was only fifteen blocks. Much like its PC

addition to creating many quests. In fact,

widely praised.

The original Diablo was pushed out at

helped animate heroes and monsters, in

by Blizzard. The PC/Mac point and click

many noted game developers, designers

the very end of 1996, on December 31st

fantasy game was praised for its dark

style. The player assumes the role of a lone warrior, who must descend through

dungeons into Hell itself to face Diablo.

By itself it was a challenging game, full of loot for the player to pick up. The real

fun lay in the online multiplayer, in which the player could complete quests and

hack through monsters with up to three friends. The game was praised for its dark

music and atmosphere. Matt Uelmen, who composed the music, would later go on to

work on the sound for Blizzard’s Starcraft and

World

of

Warcraft:

The

Burning

DIABLO II

If Diablo was a breakout hit, Diablo II was a worthy, beloved sequel. Released

and artists got their start on Diablo, as

The biggest appeal of Diablo, and what

In 1998 the game was even ported to

combat. Originally Diablo had turn based

Blizzard was a young studio at the time. Sony’s

Playstation.

This

version

was

published by EA. In place of the online

mode was a two player co-op mode. Unfortunately split screen co-op was not

implemented. Otherwise it was largely the

same as the PC original. One interesting note about the Playstation version was that it took ten blocks of memory to save, plus a separate block for your character.

That may not seem like much, but at the time a standard Playstation memory card

ally is nearby, it risks losing any and all equipment as well.

in 2000, Diablo II was a three-disc set

Regardless of the play style you choose,

brought back the similar Act based story

of vulnerability. Without a collection of

and a direct sequel to the original. It

structure of Diablo, along with tons of loot

and monsters. For the dedicated players, Blizzard added the ability to create a

softcore or hardcore player. A softcore player can be resurrected, while a hardcore player remains dead once killed. Unless an

DIABLO III The latest iteration of Diablo kept the same formula of Diablo II and improved

upon it. In order to prevent scamming and

make trading easier, an auction house was introduced. Players could now sell and buy items via the auction house. In

addition, if somebody was playing as a

hardcore character, they could access an

exclusive hardcore only auction house. Alternately, softcore players could sell or

predecessor, Diablo for Playstation was

Diablo II gave the player a very real sense healing potions, a player was ill equipped

against the swarms of monsters. If you were surrounded and low on potions, your time

was limited. This also meant that armor and weapons were equally important. Diablo I had some items color coded

makes it still appealing years later, was the

combat, much like dozens of RPGs before it. Diablo was essentially a roguelike, a

subgenre within the Role Playing Game genre.

However

a

few

months

into

development they decided to change the action to real time. The difficulty of a

roguelike was still there, but the combat pacing was much more frantic. In fact, the

C++ programming language was even used to create Diablo, which was used in many roguelikes.

based on rarity, but Diablo II went further and color coded even more items based on rarity. At a glance a player could tell

that an item with white text was a normal,

everyday item, but a gold item was unique and the rarest in the game. Furthermore,

runes, jewels and gems could be added

to certain socketed items, modifying them even further. The temptation of rare loot

and customization kept players coming back for more.

buy their items either via in game gold

Blizzard has been balancing a fine line

made some others changes to Diablo III.

games and completely overhauling them.

or with real world money. Blizzard also

In addition, the difficulty in Diablo was

changed yet again. A new Inferno mode, accessible only after beating the game on the Hell difficulty, was added. Blizzard also

incorporated achievements, similar to their other games such as World of Warcraft.

Finally, PvP arenas were revamped and designed exclusively for PvP combat.

between not changing many things in their Adding new content without alienating existing fans is a hard act. Blizzard has

been trying hard to innovate through each iteration of their popular dungeon crawler,

whether or not people will still be playing

Diablo III ten years from now remains to be seen.

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eye for...

THE

CREATIVITY OF IN-GAME PUZZLES

The games mentioned in this article have about 25-45% of in-game puzzles and are therefore not really considered as puzzle games. They’re not ranked and certainly not being rated.

Find yourself in a moment when you’re busy with an in-game puzzle, when after completion you feel good about your achievement. You say ‘well done’ to yourself for not looking up the solution; or spend at least 20 minutes figuring it out; or even after completing the puzzle, to think about how unique, superb and/or amazing the puzzle actually was. I’m talking about the in-game puzzles that are giving the gamer a moment of hardcore thinking instead of shooting, jumping, climbing, farming etc. Some puzzles may not be much of a challenge, while others are brilliantly put together. In both cases they have an amount of ‘value’, deciding if the puzzle will be reminded by gamers while they talk about the game. In this article, EFG is looking past the hack and slash, boss battles, cut scenes etc. and will put her eyes on in-game puzzles.

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eye for...

ILLUSION PUZZLES

OBJECT PUZZLES

Illusion puzzles

Object placement/movement puzzles

‘Optical Illusion’ puzzle in God of War III – Hera’s Garden (Olympus

move objects to its position, which are linked to a reaction, if

The first in-game puzzle introduced to you in this article is the Gardens). This kind of optical illusion used in the game is a form of the ‘paradox illusion’, generated by pictures or objects that

are paradoxical or physically impossible in real-life and three-

dimensional. It’s most convincing in two-dimensional illustrations,

such as the ‘Waterfall’ made by the Dutch artist ‘Maurits Cornelis Escher’ – M.C. Escher.

Probably one of the most used types of puzzle is to (re)place or you’ve done it right. In some cases the objects are already on

its position, but need to be turned around in order to get them pointing towards a set direction. With so many possibilities and options, it becomes a challenge to come up with a very creative puzzle in combination with the right degree of difficulty.

This puzzle shows us that looking from a different angle, objects

The music box puzzle in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, is not

and depth. It also shows us at the water part that the water is

familiar with the Castlevania series. The music box puzzle is a

seem connected to each other, while they’re not, despite its height running down, while the objects are actually at the same height.

Dante’s Inferno – Gluttony Mirror Puzzle is another form of an optical illusion, bringing the concept more to the front by the

function of the mirrors. At first, it deceives our eyes by telling it’s either from a side-view or a bird-view (looking down to the

object) and when entering a particular mirror it even has a frontview. However the image is not changing from its main view, it only zooms in/out, moves slightly to the left or right, but whenever it’s back on its main position the angle never changes.

that difficult, but is set in the hearts of many gamers who are combination between traps linked to a colored cylinder and the cylinder is linked to a piece of music. To make your way to the

blue rose, you need to collect all the cylinders and place it in the

right order to synchronize all the traps on your way. Whenever you activate the music mechanism, to make a trap work, it will also play the piece of music set to it. If you’ve collected all the

cylinders, placed it in the right order, it will play the full music and you’ll hear the Castlevania ‘Vampire Killer’ theme, designed to a music box melody version.

This illusion eventually tells the player, by help of the portal-

Another placement/moving puzzle is the one from Tomb Raider

a side-view wall is also a platform seen from a bird’s eye view.

two different elements together to complete the puzzle. In order

mirrors, that some views have a secondary view. For example,

Besides these two high level of creation puzzles, there is also a

much simpler form of illusion puzzle. In this puzzle the player

must guide its character through the right gateway, which must be chosen from a few other gateways. Every time the player enters the right gateway it ends up in the exact same environment with the same gateways. At first it seems like you’re making no progress,

since you’re ending exactly where you began, but in reality you’re

moving up a level every time you choose the right gateway. If the

Anniversary at the Temple of Khamoon, which actually combines to get the door open, four pillars need to be raised up and to get

that done, you’ll need to move the correct boxes aside. There are

more boxes than pillars, so if you’ve moved the correct one away a pillar will rise and it will reveal several images on its side. To

get the correct image on its place, you’ll need to enter the hole, which was covered behind the box, and you’ll see an image on

the wall. That’s the image you’ll need in order to get the pillar’s image pointing to the right direction.

player has chosen the right gateway in each level of the puzzle, it will finish the ‘environmental illusion’.

• If you want to use an optical illusion puzzle in your concept, make sure that you keep your camera angle on the right positions or else the illusion will fail.

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EFG

• It may sound like the most boring type of puzzle, but as you can see, combining or linking different elements together creates a great placement/moving puzzle.


eye for...

BEAM PUZZLES

PLATFORM PUZZLES

Beam puzzles

Platform puzzles

however they’re often aided by mirrors or other reflecting material.

handled through a platform puzzle. In this type of puzzle the

The beam in said puzzle can be a laser beam or may use sunlight;

The difficulty is mainly in the placement of the reflecting material,

steering the beam towards its destination and unlocking the next stage or step.

The concept to get to the other side of an area is sometimes platform is actually the ‘reaction’ and not the action. It challenges

the player to look around for objects or particular skills, that the character has gained, have to be used.

The first example is from the game Resident Evil 5, where the

In Darksiders at the Black Throne, a platform puzzle has to be

the second chamber. The difficulty here is being determined by

All the platforms are held up by chains and are unreachable in

beam needs to be reflected to a mirror that can get the player to

the amount of mirrors in each chamber, since every mirror must be used for its function.

The second example appears in Uncharted 2. Here, the beam

is being reflected in a particular order to get to the next step towards another mirror, which is located in the same area. The

third example is from Beyond Good and Evil; where the beam must be guided through a few rooms in order to get to the last room where a final beam puzzle is placed. Here it gets a bit

more complicated, because several reflectors must remain in their position after you’ve completed the first step.

The next type of puzzle is actually a ‘reaction’ and can be linked to any other kind of puzzle. I’d like to bring this to the front, mainly for its creativity as a ‘reaction’ puzzle.

crossed in order to get to the next door, which is located upstairs. height, so you can’t just jump on them. The player already has the ability to make a portal, so that’s one ‘action’ you already

have in your pocket. The puzzle also leaves you with a couple of

weights, which needs to be teleported on a platform in order to get it down, making it jump-able. In Dragon Age: Origins at The

Gauntlet, another sample of a platform puzzle shows us the ability of having more players than only one. Here, the puzzle requires you to activate a bridge in order to get all players to the other side, but this bridge must be made by the players in combination

with the plates on the ground. Several plates are placed on each

side (left-right) and they each represent a piece of the bridge. When a player is placed on the correct plate at the right-side it will show a transparent part of the bridge. If another player

stands on the correct plate but at the left-side, it will make that piece solid and another player can now stand on this piece. It

must remain there until the next piece is solid, because the piece behind the player will disappear whenever the other players leave

their position. When the player reaches the other side, the whole bridge will appear in its solid state.

Even for a puzzle you need to keep it clear, you don’t want to end up with five different types of puzzles and frustrating the player

causing him or her to quit. Be creative with the abilities of the character and the environment with its objects. Good luck to those who are working on in-game puzzles.

• Thinking about the difficulty? Sometimes there are more reflecting materials than needed – or all reflectors in the same area must be used. What about the beam? Is it friendly or can it hurt you. Are all your reflectors at the same place? Or is it spread throughout different rooms or heights?

• Platform puzzles are challenging to the designer, since it is the ‘reaction’ and needs the creativity of both sides – reaction and action. This is not about how a door opens, but about the connection between two sides.

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WANT MORE EYE FOR GAMES? www.efgmagazine.com

Interview with Robin Keijzer

Space ships, fairytales and... washing machines?

“My real goal at this time is to make and sell a good a comic series... and then turn it into a game”

Interview with Jeff Stewart “I enjoy writing because you’re in complete control of your characters and events”

Mission scripting, design and role playing adventure games on this menu! “To me, a designer is like a producer in training, so

more work to do the next morning. The one

project there is nothing you can do but draft design

be searching for what is keeping the game

every day is different. Sometimes at the start of a

docs and speculate. Sometimes you might spend weeks building content or iterating on a mechanic. And sometimes you have to stay on long after dusk

to make sure that the highly paid specialists will have

Interview with Ian Martin

common thread is that you must constantly from shipping, and making sure that it gets done. My passion is games, and for the

longest time my hobbies have been creating them.”

Just an average guy who wants to make great games

“I think the best designers are also gamers. But you can’t just play games, you have to study them. You have to know why it is something is fun, or no fun, and what could be done to fix it.”

BLOG by Mandible Games “Each quest is predictable – hell, with few exceptions, each quest gives you the entire quest description before you’ve even accepted the quest. And there’s no way to escape the relentless march of the plot.”

BLOG: Defeating the Theme Park “We’ve come a long way from “the Princess has

entangled, you need to make me entangled.

Nintendo acquired a pile of RPGs with complicated

chance to develop some personality of his

been kidnapped, go rescue the Princess”. The Super plotlines, the gaming industry had a brief but illfated

flirtation

with

live-action

directing,

and

we’ve attempted all sorts of curious branching plotlines and fully explorable worlds. If you want me

And that means either giving my avatar a own, or giving me a chance to influence my own story, even if this is something as simple as giving me a choice between which stories I feel like pursuing.”

Contact us for the available opportunities, such as the 3-a-day opportunity and the free company introduction article. Become a member for the Member’s eye opportunity or a Blog contributor. contact@efgmagazine.com 34

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FOR INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION...

MOODBOARDS MADE BY RAI

MOODBOARDS “In case you’re wondering about what a Moodboard exactly is; A Moodboard is one big image made from different smaller images.”

SOUNDTRACKS “Know a little bit more about Game Soundtracks; From the composers to the instruments used.”

BOOKS “The age of printed books may seem passing us by, it still contains very important information and can contain beautiful artwork as well.”

INTO BUSINESS “The business side revealed in articles from the game industry but also from our readers opinion. Also includes various developer/studio profiles.”

EYEFACTS “Facts from the game industry put in a timeless jacket. Understanding some of the core rules, roles, rights and more.”

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Eye For Games Magazine 2012.2