Good job for a start! Keep it up, sounds are always great so my suggestion is to work on that area for your upcoming games. The best of luck bobskos!
Recent community posts
Finally got the chance to finish the prototype!
You can find the it here: https://nestor-2099.itch.io/titans-in-the-sky-prototype
As always, your comments are very valuable, especially in the first steps of the project. Thank you!
Hey everyone! I just wanted to share the first look of "Titans in the Sky" (working title), a new project I'm working on right now. I'm mostly inspired by titles like Mercs, Forgotten Worlds (Capcom), and Enter the Gungeon (I just started playing it and it's pretty fun).
I'm prototyping the game right now, so hopefully I'll be able to show more news about it soon!
Day 27: Get ready for launch day
As the launch of your game gets closer and closer, take into consideration to create and update all the content needed to release your game properly, like:
- Website update
- Game build
- Trailer (for some digital stores)
This will help to relieve your workload quite a bit on release day, so you can share posts about the game’s launch and answer as many questions as possible that day, as well as fix any critical issue that may appear. You are almost there, keep it up!
Redd's Runaway is now available at https://bewolf-studio.itch.io/redds-runaway
Hey everyone! Maybe you have seen my devlog about the development of Redd's Runaway, and well, it's finally here!
This is my first commercial public title, inspired by games like Megaman X, Ghosts n’ Goblins and Sega Genesis’ The Adventures of Batman and Robin. You’ll take the role of Redd, a sorceress who must help to stop an invasion from the depths of the Underworld, while she fights with an inner conflict as she mourns her mother’s death.
- A run and gun 2D game, inspired by classics like Megaman, The Adventures of Batman and Robin (Mega Drive) and Ghosts n' Goblins.
- Get inmersed into a world infused with the Halloween and the Day of the Dead mythos, where ghosts, monsters and demons appear at every step.
- 6 worlds, each one full of enemies and a level boss.
- Obtain new weapons and switch between your arsenal in real time, as you develop your own strategies to surpass this nightmare.
- Different game modes, like Arcade, Endless, and Boss Rush.
- Discover a story about revenge, when the sorceress Redd must stop an Underworld invasion in Brock City.
Among the artists who made this game possible, I could count with the help of Ariel Gonçalves, “ToyMaster”, and Montserrat Sánchez, from “Blindgod Illustrations”. The main theme of the game is provided by Karl Casey, from White Bat Audio, while the music that composes the game is part of his royalty free productions. Without them, this title would not be a reality.
If you like 2D action games like Megaman X or Metal Slug, you will probably find something interesting in this small project.
Day 26: Review your game’s performance
Be sure to review your game’s performance early on and periodically through your development cycle. If you see some kind of hiccup in your performance data, you may be able to solve it very easily early on, which will give a smoother experience to your beta testing team too. Don’t take too much time to do periodical tests, as you may accumulate too much information/functions in your game, which will make it hard to track the origin of any kind of performance problems.
Day 25: Create a backup of your project!
This should be one of the very first steps you should do when starting with your game’s development: create a backup of your project, if possible, online. I remember a lot of cases with my friends and colleagues in the M.U.G.E.N. forums, where suddenly, they’d lost all their progress made over months and even years of work, and they’d have no backup to continue, which made them lose motivation to rework everything again. For Redd’s Runaway, it took me more time than what I’d like (even if nothing wrong happened), so don’t make the same mistake with your game.
Services like Github or Dropbox can be helpful for this task, and there are plenty of tutorials available to help you through every step. If you have good progress right now in your game but don’t have a backup set already, take at least one day to create your backup before it is too late to recover your work.
Day 23: A contained situation may be your ideal choice
Nowadays, it’s pretty common to see movies or games where the whole world is at risk. While this may prove to be an interesting idea, you can always shake things up and contain your situation to a very specific region, city, family or person.
Contained situations can open the doors to make the player question its ideas, especially if you present some unexpected choices through its journey. Creating a believable end of the world for a story should be very hard to do and more so to make it believable to the public, while creating a single accident, even if is not a big event as the previous example, can be much more believable and will make us think that there are a lot of immediate consequences at stake for the present characters.
Day 24: Create a website for your project
Creating a website can be a great help for your project; right now, you can even create a free website in a few days, which will help you especially to share more information with the press or people interested to see your past works. Wordpress or hosting services for development like Github allow you to create a free public website within your repository.
For BeWolf Studio, you can see a priority in simplicity and key information (like a small story description and the game’s features), along with high-quality images and a press kit of the title (which you can find here: https://dopresskit.com/)
Hello everyone! Redd's Runaway will be released on October 27th, and I'd like to share with you all a new gameplay trailer!
Thank you so much for your help and support; you can read more about my experience developing this game here, where I share comments about some of the problems I had in the journey: https://itch.io/t/1001702/my-experience-developing-redds-runaway
Day 22: Give different options to your game.
Give as many options to your player to customize their game experience. From graphics to controls and audio, these settings can help him to create a much more enjoyable experience with your game. Some ideas are control remapping, volume change of music and sound effects, and remove any possible filter from the screen.
As you get deeper into game development, with new updates or even new games, you’ll be able to develop a library which will incorporate a lot of different customization options to welcome both old and new players to your games, letting each one have a game experience to their liking.
Day 21: Create conflict between your characters
Redd’s Runaway revolves around a story where the main web of characters have conflicting values. Inspired by the work of John Truby and the YouTube channel Just Write, especially the 4-Corner Opposition, I tried to mold a story where Redd would be under constant pressure due to different conflicts with each member of the party, even herself. I wanted every character here to have a personal and intimate point of view about revenge. Redd is, deep inside, a protector, but through the game her values are in constant conflict, as she’s still in a grief state due to her mother’s death.
By developing characters with different values, we can create a story full of conflict, not only external, but internal. I know this may be a bit too ambitious, especially for a Run & Gun game where story is usually not important or is too basic, but I wanted to also express my love for writing here, by developing a story that, I hope, will captivate the player.
Day 20: Sound effects are an essential part of the experience
A game experience can be totally different depending on your sound department, so look out for the best possible sound effects for your project. This element can add a strong impact to certain scenes, or on the contrary, remove all force from your gameplay. Not only that, but you can also offer feedback to the player based on them: you can assign a sound for life recovery and the user will eventually be able to associate the sound with a certain action in your game.
The best horror video games are great examples of this point, as they are capable of generating endless emotions in the player with just one environment using good sound effects; you can play Silent Hill 1 today and immerse yourself in the bleak atmosphere of the game.
Day 19: The importance of a game trailer
Creating a trailer for your game is a difficult task. Even when it is not a requirement in all digital video game stores, sometimes it turns out to be one of the most attractive elements to capture your audience in just a couple of minutes and convey the idea of your game in the simplest possible way.
Thanks to GMTK and Derek Lieu, a few months ago I was able to make a trailer for Gravity Spark, implementing several of the teachings they shared in the video mentioned above in just one minute. It’s a fact that there will be more people watching the trailer of our game than playing it, so try to catch them from the first seconds and of course, focus on your gameplay (unless your title is narrative-focused), at least for a first title. With enough experimentation, you will develop a style and will be able to improve your technique over time.
Day 18: Take care of yourself
Remember to take care of yourself while developing your video game; personally, I do not recommend that you work every day, day and night, to materialize your project. It is more important a good strategic development that allows you not only to create a project with which you feel happy, but also allows you to develop personally and emotionally by facing all the problems that you will encounter along the way.
Eating properly, getting some fresh air, doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, relaxing and doing other activities not related to your project is more than welcome; don't forget to rest and take care of yourself!
Day 17: When possible, translate your game
To reach a larger audience, it’s a great idea to translate your game to other languages if possible; depending on your game’s genre, this would make a whole world of difference. Translating a fighting game may not be as essential as translating a narrative-driven game. You’d like to consider these translations early on in your development, with a system designed to translate texts and switch images based on the language set by the player.
Redd’s Runaway uses a system focused on two languages: english and spanish, and it’s designed to change UI and story texts accordingly. Designate a couple of days so you can design and implement a solid language system for your game.
Day 16: Give feedback to the player
When playing, it’s great to have cues about what’s happening; either with a UI or a natural interface, it’s a good practice to give feedback to the player about the game’s current status. Examples vary, from Silent Hill’s red glow when you’re low on health, announcer voices and messages in Marvel Vs. Capcom, or the Ult indicator in Overwatch. Redd’s Runaway implements a UI based on classic Run & Gun and Beat ‘Em Up games, so players can start a game with immediate feedback about energy, lives and weapons, to mention a few.
You don’t need to think about great systems to help the user: start with a comprehensible UI, along with sound FX and animations that indicate when you’ve done something right or wrong. This will also enhance the player’s game experience, so take your time to implement the best feedback systems you can.
Day 15: Consider the time to publish your game
Most digital stores nowadays ask you for a few days to review the build of your game and approve it. In the case of Steam, you must wait at least 1 month since the purchase of your first app credit (basically the token to publish a game), along with 2 weeks of store presence and the game build review (around 1 week).
Consider these lapses so you can release your game in time! This is especially important in games related to a specific date, like a holiday, so be careful to not let the dates slip and miss your initial release date due to these processes.
Day 12: Get help for testing
As indies, it’s likely that on many occasions we will test our game on our own, thinking that that will be more than enough. However, since we are already aware of how every detail works, it’s best to ask other people to take a look at our work.
Whether it's with our family or close friends, or a group dedicated to testing, be sure to share your progress with others; If you grow as a developer, it is likely that you can share your game with a small community that will help you create the game that both parties want, both you as a developer and your audience as players.
Day 13: When in doubt, go to the community
In case you have some questions or may need some feedback, go to the indie community for help. There are a lot of communities, especially in social networks, focused both in indie games and/or a specific game engine, like Unity, M.U.G.E.N. and Godot.
Maybe one person has passed for the same trouble you are having right now, and most of the time they’d be glad to help (I think the only time when this may be very difficult is around release date hehe). Want feedback about your spritework, game mechanic or new beta? The community is here to try and help. Of course, try to help back with as much as you can; you never know when your knowledge or experience may help a game developer to finish his current project.
Day 14: Set your game’s limits and overcome perfectionism
Setting limits for your game might be a wise choice in the long run. There have been a lot of titles, both indies and AAA, that have been doomed due to lack of limits. We need to remember that our skills will improve and we can add new ideas in either a new title or a sequel; we don’t need to add everything we come up with in our current game. Perfectionism, wealth and upgrades were mortal enemies to Duke Nukem Forever and Daikatana, to name a few - https://www.wired.com/2009/12/fail-duke-nukem/
Plan around a release date and a specific set of content for the player, then go for it, develop your game and respect your schedule as much as possible. It’s common to have delays (Redd’s Runaway has suffered a few for sure), but keeping them as contained as possible should be in your best interest. Take this into consideration if you are planning to release a game around a certain holiday, like Easter, Christmas or (wink wink) Halloween and Day of the Dead. Small ideas may appear from time to time; do a cost-benefit analysis and decide if it’s worth adding a feature in your current project, if it can wait for your next title, or if it can be added in a possible game update after launch.
Day 11: Fail Faster
There has been a lot of stigma around errors and failure since a long time ago; I’m not talking only about education, maybe in your personal life or professional career you have experienced that feeling where there is no place to make any kind of mistake. This video from Extra Credits arrived in a time of need, as I was having doubts about some of the mechanics I was planning (like the explosive boxes I wrote about yesterday), if I would make it in time to finish the game, and the game’s story, if I remember correctly (they were mere ideas by then).So, what happened? I did my best and aside from the discarded mechanic, I reviewed my schedule to assure the game would be released on time, and also, I wrote the first draft of the game story. Right now, everything’s right on schedule fortunately (although a few of the past days were a bit harder than I thought, especially with Steam’s requirements); and for the story, it received two more drafts, turning from a barebones plot to a solid story, with characters imbued in flaws and virtues that will evolve as the game progresses.
Fail faster: test your work, receive feedback and try one more time; eventually you’ll sharpen your skills and create a better work!
You can wishlist Redd's Runaway on Steam now: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1411770/Redds_Runaway/
Day 10: Analyze your mechanics
During development, it will be likely that a couple of elements will come out that do not fit properly once the project has achieved a certain progress; in this case, it is advisable to analyze if their removal could be the best solution, or if it is enough to polish them more.
The development of Redd’s Runaway initially included items such as explosive boxes that, once destroyed, would take out all enemies around, as well as cause damage to Redd. As development progressed, I realized that this mechanic would bring more problems than solutions to the player: due to the number of enemies, adding precision to not destroy nearby boxes while Redd tries to defend herself from the rest of the enemies seemed detrimental, plus it would take effort to add new states for Redd and the enemies.
On the other hand, a good friend, Humberto, suggested that an evasion mechanic could help the player. With the corresponding feedback and iteration, I decided to add the mechanic and realized that this gives the player more possibilities to make immediate decisions, be it attack, jump or slide to face the problem at hand.
This case cites a small mechanic that makes the gameplay more dynamic; try to avoid major changes in your mechanics as you progress, especially when it’s best to focus on solidify the work already done and make sure the game is entertaining.
Day 9: Game Jams to put your skills to the test
There are dozens of Game Jams being organized monthly, with their scope varying from one to another; this year I had the chance to enter to GMTK’s Game Jam 2020, where I developed a small game called Gravity Spark. As I was in the middle of Redd’s Runaway development, the setup of this Jam was perfect for me: it would only take 48 hours and by the end of it, I could get some feedback to consider if I’d like to continue expanding this game in the future. I was supposed to enter this jam with a few close friends, but in the end only I could join, so if you can, take this as a chance to enter with some of your friends, work by yourself or cooperate with new people to create a small game.
Not only that: I also applied some of the knowledge I’ve learned through the past months from channels like Extra Credits (mentioned a few posts ago) to make a project more efficiently, and was able to upload for the first time a game to the itch.io and the Play Store platforms. This was especially helpful, as for Redd’s Runaway release, I could get an idea of the requirements itch.io or Steam would ask to upload the game and get the most exposure possible.
I collected a few interesting links for that event, so here they are, hope you can find something helpful for you and your development!
Game Jam - Extra Credits - https://youtu.be/2xfxx27HbM4
13 Things to Know For Your First Game Jam - https://youtu.be/2KOEBWFC-1M
The Top 3 Important Things To Polish - https://youtu.be/zBDeAILHV5k
Making Your First Game: Minimum Viable Product - https://youtu.be/UvCri1tqIxQ
How to Quickly Get Ideas in Game Jams - https://youtu.be/xe2X0WJgI-4
51 Game Design Tips! (In 8 Minutes) - https://youtu.be/5ijuH_oMu-U
Lospec - Pixel Art, Tutorials & Palettes - https://lospec.com/
MiniBoss' Pixel art tutorials - https://blog.studiominiboss.com/pixelart
Video game UI: The design process explained - https://medium.com/@a_kill_/video-game-ui-the-design-process-explained-14c23fa70d37
TeknoAXE's Royalty Free Music - https://youtu.be/r5L-CY9TcRc
Day 8: Develop your own style
After hits like Fall Guys or Among Us, it’s common to see a wave of titles that try to replicate the success of those games by taking what they believe are the key points of their development. I think there are great lessons to be learned from these games (such as the simplified and attractive visual style they possess), and among those points, the fact that they developed their own style that now distinguishes both titles from other games.
Personally, it was common in several days to feel afraid of how the public would take Redd's Runaway, and even today I get to feel that uncertainty, but I know that we are also creating here a title that tries to innovate a bit in one or the other area, perhaps with the biggest risk at combining two beloved traditions like the Day of the Dead and Halloween; that risk is understandable and we just can develop these ideas in the best possible way to reduce it, as a developer and for the players.
Thank you SneaK! Your work is pretty good, keep it up! Eventually the quality can get better, but the content itself, right now is very good; getting more opinions about game dev is great to improve our work.
Day 7: Gamification to get organized
Also known as Ludification, “it is a learning technique that transfers the mechanics of games to the educational-professional field in order to achieve better results, either for a better absorption of knowledge, to improve some skill, or to reward specific actions, among many other objectives ”.
This time I want to talk about gamification as part of a work routine, and I think it is very useful if you are a freelancer or you are facing a completely unknown objective; In this case, where to start developing a video game?
For Redd’s Runaway I spent many days trying to find the right path, and I remembered a video made by RagnarRox (recommended channel, I include the video in question), which you can check in the minute 6:30. This is how I started to create checkboxes in my notebook, looking forward to fill at least 10 boxes daily; by the time I was in the 10th box, if I had more pending tasks, the remaining 8 came out without problems; there weren't always 18, but this technique was especially useful on the heaviest days, since each box represented only a small task, such as:
- Add 3 boss sounds
- Apply color palette
- First preview of the interface style
25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of rest, more defined tasks and above all, more confidence that you have clear objectives about what you have to do in the day.
Day 6: Your prototype, a Minimum Viable Game
Once you have chosen the engine for the development of your game, and before focusing on creating all the mechanics that make your game, it's best to develop a Minimum Viable Product, or in this case, a Minimum Viable Game. This should contain the most essential mechanics for your project, so its scope will be tight enough to see it complete even in less than a month. Attached you can find a video prepared by Extra Credits (one of the best channels I found when developing my game, its content is educational and entertaining), who perfectly explain the idea of MVG.
In Redd's Runaway, the initial prototype took about a week, which consisted of moving back and forth, jumping, and creating random platforms in such a way that the player would find a challenge in moving between 3 levels, discarding cases such as placing platforms that were inaccessible. After that, ask for feedback and iterate over the prototype.
During the development of Gravity Spark, I decided to take several of the concepts from Extra Credits, and before I even made a sprite, I used blocks and other geometric figures to establish the logic of the game. This made the development process more focused, leaving the logic and mechanics at the beginning and then dedicating myself to making sprites with complete freedom, without the pressure of not having finished the game. Once they are complete, adjustments will always be necessary, but dedicating exclusive time to art and other to logic can give you a complete focus on the current task.
Oops I forgot to post yesterday's learning, so here it is:
Day 5: Choosing a development engine
If you are working on your first video game, this section should not take you long, considering that the scope of the project is well established and you do not plan to make an open world multiplayer 3D game or another equally ambitious project.
Particularly for Redd’s Runaway I decided to use Godot after a good friend, Aldo Pedro, told me about it a few years ago. After doing my first exercises and creating a prototype of a platform game, I realized that I was facing a perfect tool for my needs.
On the other hand, if you don't know how to program, there are certain engines that allow you to create a video game without even a single line of code, so there are many options nowadays, the vast majority are free or ask you for a fee once you have passed a certain amount of money in profit. You can start by taking a look at Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot, Game Maker Studio, or Buildbox.
Hey everyone! So I'm keeping a devlog of my journey developing my first commercial game, Redd's Runaway (https://itch.io/t/907220/redds-runaway-a-rungun-inspired-by-the-supernatural); however, I think the General Development section may be a better place for it. Please let me know what do you think.
Day 4: One-Sheet and Game Design Document
Before programming or creating art for an idea, it is recommended to set the basis of our idea in such a way that it serves as a reference for development; I think this should be especially helpful when collaborating with even a small team.
Creating these documents will even help you create small sketches of how you imagine your title advertisement can be. The One-Sheet, as its name indicates, is a single sheet where you will consider the platforms, target audience, game summary, scheme and USP's (Unique Selling Points, the most important characteristics of your game and that will help you guide your game’s presentations to the public). Also similar products, competitors, and the main theme.
On the other hand, the Game Design Document (there is a version that also consists of 10 pages) establishes both the estimated release date, the key points of your development, and several of the previous points in greater depth (game scheme , characters, controls, gameplay, game experience, mechanics, enemies, levels and advertising strategy).
I imagine that this should vary depending on the books you could read, but the main point is that this serves to direct the development with the smallest risk. Good design documentation can show you potential threats almost immediately, allowing you to start considering some solutions or even discard certain ideas to bring your game to fruition.
Reviewing the document against the final project, there were certain changes, but the vast majority of it served as the foundation of Redd’s Runaway, especially the key development points: Atmosphere, Control, Replayability and Action.
Day 3: Your ideas and limits as a boost for creativity
It's funny, but shortly before the idea of the game was defined, I was reading "Level Up", a book on video game design written by Scott Rogers (totally recommended). Before Redd’s Runaway, I was working on “Reino”, a concept about a bounty huntress that would make for a very ambitious game that shares many ideas with Redd’s universe. However, knowing that for my first commercial title, this idea could take a long time, I decided to take a step back and start with something smaller that I could see from beginning to end in a moderate time interval, in this case around 7 months.
On a certain page of the book, Scott comments that even a story like Little Red Riding Hood could be adapted to create a game. With that same idea in mind I started brainstorming what I wanted the game to be; although not everything was included, it gave me a direction that I could follow and which I could go to develop other ideas, necessary especially for the world of Redd.
This also led to a couple of documents suggested (and even necessary) for the direction of the game, the One-Sheet and the Game Design Document, which I will be talking about tomorrow.
ALSO: I'm working on the first trailer right now, hopefully you'll like the final gameplay and general style. Thank you for your support!
Hey everyone! Néstor here; in preparation for the upcoming release of Redd's Runaway (I'll post news soon! and you will find the game in https://bewolf-studio.itch.io/), I'd like to share some of my learning developing this project. 31 days until October ends, ¡let's begin!
Day 1: Start with an idea, ¡anything!
No matter how strange your idea could be, if the execution is right, you may have a great experience in process. For Redd's Runaway, the main idea was to create a Run & Gun where you would find dozens of enemies and a BIG final boss, wrapped in a paranormal environment.
Day 2: Work with a great team
My art work is very poor and I still have a lot of trouble making good sprites or drawings. Considering this and after an art test inspired by Capcom's style (thanks to the help of my sprite teacher Alex, Li_Kun), I decided that the approach was not ideal for this game and began to look at other options. This is how I came up with a Metroidvania style, where I got in touch with Ariel Gonçalves (https://toymaster.itch.io/), who has created some incredible sprite work (which you can see in the level bosses).
For Redd's design, I contacted Blindgod Illustrations, who created a concept that has served as the basis for the game's protagonist. The point that mattered the most to me was that if she could reflect a feeling of melancholy in her, but landed on a character with good agility and able to convey the feeling to the player that she would know how to solve the problems that she encountered: a great determination that was born of his way of being and of the rage she felt as the story unfolded. By this time, Redd was already a character with strengths and weaknesses, which personally creates a bond with her with which I can feel a lot of empathy, and Moone could translate that perfectly in her design.
Regarding the music, I had a big problem: with a limited budget, I decided to look at other possibilities, almost immediately discarding videogame stock music (as I heard a lot of generic themes in my search), and in one occasion I came across the White Bat Audio channel (https://whitebataudio.com/); several of its themes reminded me of my experience playing Batman & Robin on the Genesis so many years ago, so I decided to take that route, which is fed back by the dark design of the settings and the vibrant design of the characters. Karl Casey is in charge of the main theme of the game, combining an Industrial Darksynth and Synthwave style, very peculiar from the eighties and the films that came out at the time, especially the slasher genre.
I highly recommend follow their work: Redd's Runaway would not be what it is now were it not for the fantastic effort they have put in here.
Redd's Runaway is coming along, and now I'm very excited and happy to share a new gameplay video!
This gameplay is based on the first level of the game, in the start of the invasion. You'll begin with the Rapid Orb, but as you progress, you'll get new weapons to help you in your way and traverse through the levels once and again. If you like Halloween and Day of the Dead, there'll be some great surprises in this game for you.
Let me know what do you think, thank you for your support!