Friday, December 14, 2012


Ok, so clearly I've been busy and haven't had a free second to post... which is no excuse.  So what have we been doing?  Well I got the Game Design Document all finished.  (Minus spelling errors).  I have it posted on gitwiki for my team so we can all stay on the main vision of the game.  As artists, we have been working on getting the alpha level ready.  It is finally done and we got to show it off at the EAE open house.  It went really well and people gave us some really great feedback.  It took some effort to get the art assets into the level, and it was a bit of a learning curve that I can't pretend to admit I'm completely over yet, but it is done, I this brings me joy. 

So how did my semester go?  Well it went amazingly well!  You scroll through my posts to see everything I have done for the game (well not everything...).  Next semester I plan to contribute to more aspects of the game.  We spent the most time doing environments and character design, but I also want to contribute in modeling, animating, lighting, UI, etc.  So now that we have a nice process for getting art into the game, we will be able to move at a much quicker pace.  We did a very good job to adhering to our scrum process and for the most part got everything done according to the time limits we gave ourselves.  Every once in a while we would have hold-ups and have to pastpone a few things, but we are all very proud of what we have accomplished so far.

We have a smooth art pipeline that we are all familiar with and plan to follow.  We want to make sure we are always doing things in a way that it can easily work with what the programmers require of us.

I learned a lot this semester.  I was VERY unfamiliar with the gray area where art meets programming.  I had no idea what format the programmers needed assets in or how animation would make it into the game.  I knew very little about sprite sheets and tiling.  Through our pipeline, I have been able to learn much more about this gray area.  I am learning how to better communicate with programmers to get the job done in the most efficient and effective way possible.  I also learned a lot of art gets thrown away.  I need to make sure to not grow attached to art that may never see the light of day.  It can be disappointing to spend time making art that gets the ax, but it is worth it to get to a coherent final product. 

We ran into the most trouble getting the art into the actual game.  Very few of us knew how to do that.  After closely working with the programmers, however, we were able to get it all in.  We still have a lot to learn, but with the established pipeline we are much better off than we were at the beginning of the semester.  Great semester, awesome current direction, we are going to blow this game out of the water.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Current progress

Ok, so I have been madly working on the game design document.  I am SO close to having it completed.  Just got a couple things to finish up.  We are hoping to connect it to a wiki so it can be easily viewed by the team and by others following our progress (assuming they actually exist).

The artists have been working on getting some solid levels done.  We have one picked out that we are cutting up so we can use it for the alpha level.  It is going to be awesome.  I've been put in charge of getting a logo for the game.  I've been sketching out some ideas... it is a little tricky since we don't have an official title for the game yet, but I'll figure something out.  It's a good time to do this because all the other artists have some pretty specific roles for the alpha (Evan and Becky are working on cutting up the level.  Cory is our technical artist and will be taking their work and bridging the gap with it into the engineering world.  Kyle is doing a walk and jump cycle for the hero. And Diana is working on animating the laser).  I'm available to help any of them that need extra assistance and while they are working, I am working on the logo, menus, and website skinning.

Things seem to be going well and I'm pretty confident we are going to have a wicked awesome alpha level.  We will inevitably run into some more bumps on the road, but things are going pretty smooth right now!  Hope that lasts! (Ya I'm not THAT naive...)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More Polish

Ok, so I got the value pass done.  Basically it represents an idea of where color/texture is going to go.  I gave him a yin-yang feel to reflect the bi-polarity of magnets.  I added value to the top of his head to highlight the horse-shoe-magnet-based design.  I think he is super cool and darn cute.  I was going for more of a cute, likeable character.  I felt it is important for the player to connect with the robot.  If he was too big/powerful, it wouldn't really match the narrative and style we are going for.  Here is the value pass:

I also worked on a couple more backgrounds.  I did three,  but one of them is seriously awful.  Hahaha.  Beyond repair.  So that one isn't going to make the cuts.  No human eyes should ever have to look upon it.  I did two with the same level design to play around with different backgrounds.  The foreground needs more attention.  I would like to add further detail to the gray "boxes" in the front.  The magnets also need to be made a little more visible/obvious....but this is about exploration, so I'm not too worried.  Here they are:

More to come! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rendered Character

Since we are all getting a character developed to a nice good ol' fashion silhouette in vector, here is mine.  I'll be doing a value pass then a color pass next.  But here is the final silhouette.  Personally, I think he is beyond awesome.  I'm really happy with how this is turning out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Concept Art

Ok, as promised, here are a few concept sketches.  This isn't all of them, but I figured I get in what I could.  I'll go from early to more refined.  I am currently working on a more fleshed out silhouette in vector.  I'll be doing a value pass, then a color pass to move it in a direction for production.  (We aren't going with all of the ideas, but we thought it was a good idea that each artist gets there own favorite work in vector and through color pass stage.  Then one (or a mesh of several) will make it as the actual 3D character).

Here are some rough, exporation sketches:

Here are a few more fleshed out sketches.  A couple a bad guy designs, then the last one is the silhouette I'm going to do in vector.  I think he is super cool.  I designed the head after a horse-shoe magnet.  Look at me using inspiration.  I feel like I'm on one of those sweet reality/competition shows like Face-Off or Project Runway.  "Here's your weird inspiration, now make a work of art that reflects it!"

I'll be sure to post the more fleshed out character in vector.  Go MagnetBot!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tripleslash Studios!

We are totally starting a company to get this game distributed.  Ya, we're just that awesome.  We are Tripleslash Studios.  Visit our website at and like us on facebook!!  We are so totally legit.  Seriously, this is for real.  Tell your friends. 

So the artists have been doing character silhouettes to get some good character concept out there.  We are also doing concept backgrounds and level designs.  I will get mine all nice and posted when everything is all digital, but for now I can show you my level background concepts. 

For these I wanted to experiment with different moods and unique ways to present the magnets.  I readily admit, not all of these are right for our game, but it was fun to experiment.  You never know when you will accidentally strike gold. 

Here are some concepts:

Anyway, more art to come.  Yip yip!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From vision to reality

Ok first off, our game made it!  We were among the three games chosen to actually be made!  The whole team was super excited about the news and we have been welcoming 7 new members into our team. 

I was chosen to be the Lead Game Designer, which is awesome.  So I have to make sure this game turns out ridiculously fun and help find, define, and uphold the vision of the game. 

We have held several meetings to discuss new possibilities for the game as well as potential changes. As of now, it looks like we are wanting to move away from the robot rebuilding their friend/love/whatever and instead have decided it would be more dynamic and interesting if the head the robot finds is actually of an "enemy." 

We are working it out so both essentially need each other in the adventure and can then play with the dynamic between the two characters (they don't like each other at first... have to work things out... etc).  It will be awesome. 

I am reinforcing the idea of keeping this game simple, with potential to upgrade as we go along.  First and foremost I want the game to end up polished, fun, and memorable.  I don't want to over reach our scope. 

The artists are currently working on finding the style we want to use in the game.  Once we have a good direction to go, we are going to churn out tons of concept art and get cranking on this. 

I can't explain how excited I am to see my pitch become a real game.  It is going to be awesome to work with the fantastic team we have been given.  I look forward to everyone's unique input to make this game something we can all be proud of. 

Oh, and it's going to be the best selling and most fun game that has come out of this program.  That is all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Working on the prototype

So our little group of four has been madly working on getting a working prototype for the game.  Out engineers have come up with some good stuff and I've heard they have the magnets working.  We are trying out different control options to see what feels the most natural and is the most fun.  Cory and I, the artists, are just working on some concept art and playing around in Maya to get some industrial stuff built (gears, magnets, etc).  Not much to show right now. But that's what we are up to. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MagnetBot and 5 games

First of all, I want you to know that MagnetBot has been placed in the top 8 games of the 32 pitches.  So now we have a team of 4 people (who are amazing) working together to create a prototype of Magnetbot.  We will then re-pitch the idea in front of a panel of professionals actually working in the industry and they will help select the top 2-3 games of the 8, and those will be turned into actual games. 

I'm loving my team's input and ideas and Magnetbot is turning into an amazing game idea.  We are all super excited to build the prototype and have high hopes we will make it into the top 2-3. 

So I tried to find 5 games with similar aspects to Magnetbot so I could review them and get ideas of what does and doesn't work.  I couldn't find any games with our exact gameplay dynamic, but some had similarities. 

1. VVVVVV:   This game has a robot-like character that flips from the floor to the ceiling when you change gravity.  I actually played this one and had a ton of fun with it.  What makes it a fun game is the creativity of the levels.  You have to flip gravity and move in just the right way to progress through the level.  It is often fast paced too.  The graphics are extremely simplistic.  I want Magnetbot to be simple as well, but a little more beautiful.  Gravity changes are not part of Magnetbot, so that gameplay will not be involved.  The creativity of the level-design can be taken into consideration though. 

2. Gravbot:  Another gravity based game.  In this one, the entire level shifts in a 90 degree rotation at your command.  This game had much better graphics and felt very polished.   I like that general feel for Magnetbot.  Again, the gameplay dynamic was not the same, but the levels were clever, and that is what we are going for.  Overall this was a fun game to play, and I certainly want to utilize similar quality of graphics and polished feel. 

3.  Give Up, Robot:  Another robot game.  This one involves a grappling hook which in some ways can be similar to the "pull" aspect of our gameplay.  It adds a very cool dynamic to the game and I certainly want to incorporate some of the pulling ideas they used in the game.  Magnetbot will be very visually different and the level design will be more creative with more options as to how one completes a level.

4.  Metallic Industries, Inc.:  This game has a very cliche platformer control scheme.  I certainly do not want to just make another platformer game.  One stood out in this game is the unbelievable art style.  The levels are wonderfully polished and have a cool 2.5D layout.  I love the fluid dynamics used and want to incorporate some of the art design into Magnetbot.

5.  Rapt:  I did not love this game.  It involved a robot traveling through levels, but there was not much that was unique.  Did not have a good hook to pull in a user.  I will likely use very little from this game.  It was a better example of what not to do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Game Pitch

Here is my game idea I pitched today in class.  I think it would be a totally radtastic game and has tons of potential.  Crossing my fingers that people see that potential and vote for it.  It. Would. Be. Awesome!


The story of a magnetic robot after his one true love is
Kidnapped and disassembled. Now Magnetbot must
take a journey through a platformer of puzzles using his
magnetic ability to push and pull himself to and from
sources of metal.

Use the left joystick, X, and A
buttons to move, run, and jump.

The right joystick points your
Magnet Aim, it will stay pointed
in the last direction you aimed it.

The left bumper pushes you
away from metal, the right
bumper pulls you toward it.

Use the right joystick to aim upward.
Then walk through the falling spikes
while hold the left bumper to push them
away from you.

Use the right joystick to aim your
Magnet Aim upward. Press and hold
the right bumper to pull yourself toward
the metal plate.

Then aim the Magnet Aim to the left.
Press and hold the left bumper then let
go of the right bumper, you will be pushed
The direction you need to go.

Aim your Magnet Aim
downward. Jump over
the spikes and hold the
left bumper to push away
from the spikes. While
holding push, use the left
Joystick to move Magnetbot
to dodge the electricity.

If you aim toward a metallic object
that is lighter than yourself you can
pull it toward yourself.

Once this bolt is placed at your feet,
aim downward, jump over it and press
Push, since the bolt is pushing against
the ground it will propel you upward.

Design Inspiration

Why this game will be the most successful game in all of EAE:

1. It doesn’t over reach our scope. Simple but beautiful design that can end up
being super polished and professional.
2. Fun, unique gameplay with an infinite number of possibilities.
3. Level design can be wonderfully creative using the “push/pull” puzzle aspect.
4. Awesome soundtrack potential.
5. Great networking connections to get hype for the game.
6. We have the greatest programmers and artists EAE has ever seen!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome to my new blog.  This is my senior year at the University of Utah and I have the awesome opportunity to build a functioning video game.  Out ultimate goal is to get these games published on XBox Live Indie Games.  I'll keep you updated with our progress, but more specifically with my contributions to the game.  I've got some ideas brewing, so next week when we share our pitches I'm excited to see what class comes up with!