Art of 00Boyfriend

May 15, 2018

Download and play here! We placed 4th in Ludum Dare #41 out of 2000+ games! This post details the process of building the art for our game over 72 hours. After a lengthy debate over the “Combine 2 Incompatible Genres” theme and various forms of tower defense, we landed on “platform shooter dating sim”. We chose a “secret agent” aesthetic to mesh with our theme combination. We imagined that dating for a spy would be particularly challenging given an overly demanding love interest, having extremely sensitive windows in which to answer text messages. For jams, I like to tackle easiest things first. I find that I’ll have ideas about the more challenging visuals as I’m putting together simple pieces. The phone was actually the easiest part for me so I ironed out the details of that interface before we broke for the first night. I threw in “Spyrizon” as a nod to the spy theme. We found later that the fonts weren’t working well as the phone shook and rotated. Unfortunately, by that time it was too late to experiment with substitutions. Next, I tackled our hero. I initially had an idea that our hero would be a classic Dick…

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Tape Escape – 48hr Game Jam

January 28, 2018

Download and play here! Our second game jam and another win! This time around the theme for the jam was “One Tool, Many Uses”. We were up against 75 games, all exclusively using the Game Maker engine. We took the theme quite literally and came up with the idea for our protagonist to be a construction worker with a particularly useful measuring tape. The primary use for the tape was like a grappling hook. We had ideas for other mechanics with the tape, which ended up only in the tutorial level. I began the artwork with our hero, Leroy the construction worker. A mustache, safety vest & hat later, he was ready for the job. I pushed to give him a tiny jump mechanic, not enough to really make a difference in gameplay, but enough to have fun pressing the button. Next, I created his trusty measuring tape, inspired by Stanley tools. Turns out the measuring tape was actually 16 increments long if you use your mouse wheel; also a standard length in feet for measuring tapes. I then came up with some hook points for him to latch onto, and the rickety cage elevator to transition him between levels….

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Run Don Run – 72hr Game Jam

November 13, 2017

Download and play here! We won! My first game jam and we knocked it out of the park, a clean sweep, first place in all categories. The jam was hosted by Shack News, and the theme was “Shack News Meme Wall”. This was quite a challenge, I’ve read articles on Shack News from time to time, but didn’t really participate in their unique community. Rather than bouncing around ideas from a general theme, this was very specific and we did a great deal of research into the community and its memes before coming up with a game concept. My buddy Cileth had an idea to do a procedurally generated platformer. We ran with that, finding one of the themes had something to do with “sand”, and decided on a desert, Egypt, Indiana Jones kind of theme. From there we explored options for our protagonist. We found a video stream of the Shack News owner, wearing a black t-shirt, glasses and a baseball cap; this was a start. Another meme was something about “$300 pants”, to which we concluded to be part of the goal of the game was the search for pants. $300 pants became a power-up in the game,…

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Designing Cliche Characters

August 4, 2016

This is a work in progress, please check back for updates! This guide details my methodology of applying user experience techniques to character design. These methods help me to create more believable and engaging characters. This article combines user experience and game design disciplines with traditional art techniques and a dash of psychology. Create easy to understand visual narratives by embracing character tropes. Making characters easily identifiable can make players feel good about themselves and their deductive reasoning. It can also help players climb your game’s skill curve faster, so they can enjoy the whole experience of your game.

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The UX Advantage to UI

October 28, 2015

Hiring a UX expert can increase profits 30%. While I haven’t yet found data to back that number up, I feel it’s a pretty good estimate, especially when considering application in the mobile market. Microsoft, Google and Apple have made staggering investments in UX and their margins have certainly reflected those efforts. Sometimes UX seems to be tossed around like a buzz word, as a business owner it’s important that you know the advantage of UX design.

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Psychology in Mobile Game UX Design

January 17, 2015

It’s important to know WHY certain design decisions are made in the process of designing a user experience for a game. This is a study of a few popular mobile games and their efforts in UX design. Follow the link below to see bite sized case studies

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Social Game Designs in Unison League

October 30, 2015

I recently came across a mobile game I feel has done tremendous research into social interactions within the scope of mobile gaming: Unison League by Ateam Inc. The entire game seems to revolve around making and playing with new friends and they did a really fantastic job of it. There are so many conscious UX decisions to encourage social interactions I decided to write an article of my analysis

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