Archive for the ‘Sometimes I want to talk about Game Development’ Category

One Game a Month Challenge March: Tele



I’m quite busy this days, but I’m working hard to accomplish a lot of goals I set to myself this year.

Not and easy task, it isn’t uncommon to doubt about every single one of them, but here I am.

This game was conceived after a conversation I had with Ciro Durán, and after that he made the game. I’m very glad he enjoyed the chat and took my word on this subject.

So, I’m credited as a designer.

As well as Cóndor, Tele is a newsgame, a game genre I have a post about, but didn’t publish because I haven’t put my shit together.

I own the blog a lot of things, but fortunately, this abandonment is due other things moving forward.

Well, you can click the image to enjoy the game, and click here if you want the original post by Ciro.



New Year’s Resolution: One Game a Month


And kind of my christmas eve present to myself.


I’m working in some projects that are taking quite some time to see the light of day. That’s stupid, so here it is my New Year’s Resolution: one game every month of 2013.

I don’t have a game’s portfolio impressive or big enough, and even though I like the projects I’m working on there is no point in wainting that amount of time to increase my skills as a designer.

Something that has to be done is to prioritize the projects I’m already involved, and that is happening right now. I think Dark Recon is the only project that needs my whole attention in the short term.

I’m still regreting that I started kind of late in game developing. It’s time to stop that feeling and start making games like there is no tomorrow.

One game a month looks like a good idea. A very complicated one, but a good one nonetheless.

This initiative was an idea by @McFunkypants (Kristen Kaitila) and you can read the original post here.  To be part of the community that is growing around this challenge you can check the webpage dedicated to it.

I will be working in Game Maker Studio pulling out some ideas for Newsgames I had the past months, and actually one of those is almost finished. Newsgames is a type of games I’m very interested in and I will talk about them a lot in the next months.

My friend @pctroll will be my companion in this quest. As far as I know the only member of the Venezuelan game developing community that is also taking the challenge is @chiguire, as you can read here (spanish).

I will try to post about the games and the process every week.

It’s time to be the game developer that I want, and that starts now.

You are more than welcome to join us in this journey. Let us know if you do.

Caracas Game Jam 2013


Si no se acaba el mundo primero.


El Global Game Jam está a un fin del mundo de distancia, y ahora que @chiguire ha finalizado sus responsabilidades con Gamexpo ha llegado el momento de poner las manos en el Game Jam.

Muy por encimita, el Global Game Jam es un evento simultáneo, que en esta oportunidad se realizará en más de 180 ciudades, en el cual la gente se reune a desarrollar juegos de video y de mesa durante el último fin de semana de Enero. 48 horas de diseño, arte y mucho, mucho café. El Caracas Game Jam está entre esas sedes, y es una que ha estado participando desde el primer Global Game Jam en 2009.

Si quieres leer más sobre el Game Jam, acá echo el cuento y acá puedes ver lo que pasó en el Game Jam anterior.

Estamos fortaleciendo alianzas, creando nuevas, comprando café y preparando sorpresas interesantes para tener el mejor Caracas Game Jam hasta ahora.


Fecha: del 25 al 27 de Enero 2013 si los Mayas están equivocados.

Lugar: Edif. ACCEDE, Caracas (Mapa)

Entrada: Por anunciar.

Para participar deben registrarse tanto en la página del Caracas Game Jam como la del Global Game Jam (y en esta deben elegir la sede de Caracas). Los datos para el pago de la entrada y el precio de la misma se proporcionarán pronto.

Estén pendientes de próximos anuncios.

Un poco de música para ambientar.

Global Game Jam 2013 comienza su recorrido


Qué título tan cliché.

El Global Game Jam 2013 empieza sus preparativos camino al evento del 25 al 27 de enero del 2013.

Si no sabes de qué va un Game Jam, lee acá.

Como ya es tradición desde que se lleva a cabo el Global Game Jam, Caracas estará presente el próximo año, pero las cosas han cambiado un poco. Para comenzar , la sede no será una universidad como en oportunidades anteriores, para la venidera edición del Caracas Game Jam contaremos con el apoyo de la gente de ACCEDE y sus espacios en Macaracuay. También estaremos trabajando en profundizar las alianzas logradas para el pasado Game Jam y crear nuevas.

Pueden leer la entrada de bienvenida al evento en el blog de @chiguire. Me uno a su llamado a conformar nuevas sedes alrededor de Venezuela. Más información al respecto en la mencionada entrada.

El trabajo duro recién comienza, y tenemos bastante que hacer hasta la fecha del evento.

Si te interesa el desarrollo de juegos pero no sabes cómo comenzar, mantente al tanto del Game Jam para que comiences de la mejor forma.

Un poco de música para finalizar la entrada.

Dark Recon: Super Bloque


Amazingly, the development of this game is ongoing.

There is a lot going on with Dark Recon, and I’m glad for that. I can tell that the development process is on schedule even when is quite slow. Our main goal of shiping a balanced demo by december is more achievable than ever, at least view from what we have at this moment. We started in january with that goal in mind, and the odds are in our favor.

Our team has official name: La Vaca Mariposa Digital Ensemble (LAVAMADE), it’s something like The Butterfly Cow (check out the end of this post for more) and also we created an official Twitter account, and the website is on the way.

This time I want to share something Christian Chomiak write for you guys. As you may recall, Chomiak is one of the developers who’s helping me in this game. I asked him to briefly explain how things got together in Dark Recon so far. Following, the text.


Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (IV)


I see colors in the sky.

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (I)

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (II)

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (III)

One of the main problem with the mechanics proposed in Dark Recon is the color differentiation skill each person has. Of course, a particular skill, in a particular game regarding a particular person always will be the central problem. How do you balance a challenge in order to be fun enough to a very heterogeneous group of people that might (or might not) share a common skill; that’s the question you are always looking forward to answer. In the case of Dark Recon that skill is pattern searching regarding color, or color differentiation as I call it. (Color recognition might as well work as a name).

To put this into context, let me share the inspiration behind Dark Recon’s mechanics:


Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (III)


Spoiling everything.

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (I)

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (II)

As I said  a bunch of times before, what we are trying to do with Dark Recon is to merge two kind of experiences seamlessly into one piece of game. I didn’t want to spoil the mechanic, but what the hell, I’ll try to explain it on paper and  later on we will provide you the first gameplay demo in order to do it for yourself.

Long story short: you have to find the little grid pattern inside the big one (as I pointed out in this image using the yellow frame), by clicking in each indiviual solid colored square until complete the patttern. If you do that correctly, the big grid updates changing the patter just discovered; if you didn’t do it correctly a big alarm sounds and kills you… nah, for the moment you can click on the squares to erase a particular choice, so you can choose again until you find the pattern.

(Notice that this time the pattern inside the big grid is actually rotated with respect the original one outside of it).

This is the first experience we want to merge in a single one (the other is the top-down shooter).

So, is this game so easy to design? the fact is that it isn’t that simple for several reason. We actually are creating Dark Recon as two games initally separated from each other; we think in that way we will be able to decompose each one of them and do a better polish work that if we try too create one experience in top of the other right away.


Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (II)


Trying to make a point.

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (I)

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (III)

As I said in the last post, I don’t like that much to break apart the experience of the player by creating Game Modes inside the main game mechanic.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong or something. Actually, game modes inside the main game mechanic are very useful, but I think that in most games those changes in modes aren’t that coherent with the main mechanic.

But, what’s a game mode anyway and why I’m introducing the term? first of all, a game mode is what you think it is: those options the game gives the player to try different experiences. Single and multiplayer versions of the same game are game modes; each variation of those modes are modes as well, for example, in the multiplayer case Survival, Capture the Flag etc. are game modes. However, it goes further. If you played Bioshock you should remember that you can hack some machines in the game, in order to do it the player has to solve a Pipemania like game. That’s a change of game mode, the kind I’m interested in.


Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (I)


A few comments.

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (II)

Contextual Reference in Dark Recon (III)

I wasn’t sure about writing stuff about Dark Recon‘s gameplay, because I didn’t want to spoil the experience; but then I realized 2 things:

  • I’m assuming someone will play Dark Recon.
  • I’m assuming someone is going to read this.

So I give up and I will make a few comments about Dark Recon’s gameplay.

As I said in the first post about it, Dark Recon is a top-down shooter puzzle game (whatever that means). The idea is to combine in a seamless experience the thrilling of a well balanced shooter and the pattern search skills required in a puzzle.

What I was thinking when I proposed the design to the team was to avoid a thing I didn’t like in Alien Swarm (one of our references): the lack of unity in some portions of the game.

Alien Swarm is a great game, but I didn’t like how the experience (kinda) breaks apart in some moments. Is not like that’s a mistake, it’s simply that I’m not totally agree with taking a player out of the general experience. For example: sometimes you have to open a door solving some kind of puzzle, and that’s responsability of one player while the others take care of the perimeter. Something similar happens with the medical class an so on. I insist, that’s not a mistake, but I just don’t enjoy it that much.


Contextual Reference


Things are often funny out of its original context.


Contextual Reference is a set of techniques where you provide the tools to the player in the inmediate context of the game, in order to leave them the duty of discovering the means of a particular situation.

Ok, that was kinda confusing, let’s try again:  when you discover the meaning of a word in a book by the paragraph it belongs, that’s contextual reference; when you discover that your little son (brother, nephew, whatever) is crying and you realize why because you see a broken toy nearby, that’s contextual reference; and so on.

So, you are actually deducing a statement given some clues (which isn’t impressive as a concept), but the idea behind the definition is why or how you deduced that statement. You could derive by deduction the meaning of a word because you have knwoledge about linguistic; you also could derive why your little son is crying because of his behaviour (beyond the act of crying). Those sort of things aren’t contextual.