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Penguins of The North – Editor Updates

By now, you probably heard about my super old game Penguins of The north, either here, FB, YT or Twitter. If you don’t, then in a nutshell, it is one of those endless games, that i never feel it is the time to finish its development 😀 Funny thing, I’ve started this game almost 10 years ago. It went from idea, to 2d game, to 2.5d game, to 2d game again, to real 3d game, to 2d game (AGAIN), to a 2d game with level editor (now)!

POTN started many years ago as a kind of jam game, called Harmonics at that time, and then been polished an updated in 2013 to a 2.5d version. Later on I decided to take it further to be a full complete game, and set the theme to be 2d rather than 3d. I felt in love with penguins as creatures to replace my unknown old Harminion weird creatures, and that was a good decision, as the game passed steam’s greenlight (oh,…when greenlight was exist!). It moved to a full 3d version that i’ll share about it later as postmortem when the game get out! But while the two games seems a lot different, but they have always been the same project, same code base & same folder!

All that was great, but the real anchor point for that project, and the reason it never ended, is the level editor!

At somepoint in the game lifecycle, I’ve decided to add a level editor to help me iterate faster in creating new levels, not only that, but i can share an editor executable with my friends to toy with, and i get their final *.POTN files to check them out, and put the interesting ones into the game.

But editor meant more work for me to do. As my goal have always been a runtime editor, where at any moment you can show the editor and edit the level, and save it. So every single element of the game have to be in a good synchronization with the editor, and the vise versa! With some exceptions in mind, things that takes time to add, but it makes more sense, something like death situations that have to be ignored while editor UI is exist, but restart the level if you are in game mode. Again, this was not means to be editor where i create the game, but editor where the game can be edited at any time!

And what i wanted to share here today, is the most recent update in the Editor, you can see it has more functions now, better and unified UI, and most importantly, better experience to have the game living while being created!

Also I’ve noticed that the game page on the Unity Connect hub became one of the most visited pages in there, it’s been long time since i created this page, but seeing this huge interest in the game is really impressive. I don’t usually keep an eye in there, but seems I must do now!

https://connect.unity.com/p/games-penguins-of-the-north

At the end, I’ve posted this over twitter long time ago, and I’ve reposed it today, but it is good one to leave you with 😉

 

-m

The Resume thing!

Today while cleaning-up old files, that proj came on my radar, and it brought some nice memories, so I wanted to share more about it.

Years ago, specifically at the peak of X360 era. I was still 100% Gameplay programmer, I took a decision to show myself in a different way as a GPP who can do a bit of everything else. @ the end of the day, the more u know about the pipeline, the higher ur chances r.

Seeing my avatar daily hanging around the X360 menu got me the idea of remake my console avatar in game, and make a little demo with the minimal elements of a game. Not only that! But everytime I get and HR asking for my PDF file, I send the game instead!

This became interesting and super beneficial thing @ my career at that time. Opportunities was countless @ that time, not to mention, sending that resume was my green-card to get the job I want!!!!

Last time I updated and used that “interactive” resume was 3 years ago, but still, the project itself can stand today. In the future, I’ll defiantly work on a similar one again, but totally different, and including what been learned in the past decade since that demo!

I hope this can inspire you with something different.

-m

“The Way You Are” UE4Jam-Spring2018

I decided not only to take the chance to participate in one more jam…well the first attempt this year, but also I decided to complete finish, and submit it 😀 also wanted to do some change in my process, so I decided to do a 95% story & visuals driven game, with a 5% simple gameplay.

The main idea was to make something unique, new, and can make difference. I always pay very strong attention to the visuals and the gameplay (usually puzzle mechanics) for all my jam entries, so the plan was to get a whole different jam experience this time.

Games have to be meaningful..

try it!

Play

 

-m

“Plugzzz”, My entery for Ludum Dare #39

It’s been a while, but things was going a bit crazy with me. Anyways, I wanted to share this quick game I made for ludum dare. Enjoy it!

Play The Game

-m

Anonymous Crates,… For UE4jam

So during this Sept., i got a chance to participate in UE4 Jam, which was based on the theme : “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT UNTIL IT’S GONE“.

anonymouscrates_level

While the game was not a win, but i got some nice feedback, and I guess i might refine it later and re-release it again as a secondary phase prototype 🙂 but for now, you can grab the jam version and try it:

Win32 | Win64

Keep in mind, it is local MP game, which means you need people with you. And controllers of course!

-m

Janpu..Just a jumping game

capture_009

It’s a little game been made for Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift. Enjoy playing it! not much within the game, but made with within 1 day..may be less.

Here

-m

Uncage ’em,… For UE4jam

What a nice little sweet game. While the theme was based on “Set it free”, I was looking for a game idea that could give me the chance to work more with the navigation meshes. At the same time I had a push from the inside for a long time towards creating my PacMan…So,…..I ended up with this!

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 2.43.01 PM

Get the guys free
Control them one by one
Try to EAT PacMan
Uncage less Ghosts means better score
Pacman eats less food means better score as well

It was a nice experience, as after creating 15 mini game with UE4 and contributing in ~5 published UE4 titles….finally I made a game within 2 days for a jam using UE4. The most funny part was the first jam I’ve ever took par in was related to a similar theme!

Here is the Mac Build,

-m

Coated on Sale !!!

I’ll not write anything in that post. Just as the title say “Coated now on sale”, go ahead, get it & ENJOY

The Game Page

coatedOnSale

 

m;

As it gets Harder, it gets Easier !

Hello internet Cool
If you had a chance to read the post I’ve from a month ago which was talking about the footsteps feature . It was quite a nice idea to implement in the game. BUT…
It was meant to make it a temporary method to recognize your way. When I say it is temp method. I mean when you restart the level (either you do, or you die) the level loads again without any foot prints on the ground Yell And I meant that. But when I took the game to play with a friend “Matt Razz” last week, the game gets harder starting from galaxy 3, and became sort of impossible to finish one maze in 10 minutes..Matt asked me to keep the foot steps whenever he die, but I was insisting that it does not make any sense to keep it. Because when you start the level again, you will see steps !!! and it will be easy way to finish the level.

IMG_20140414_084653

Click the image to Maximize it

So, My dude recommended to me to add a droping flags feature, which almost the same as the foot prints, but whenever the player die, or restart the level, he find this flags ! And I really like this feature. So, I managed to use the flag I managed to implement in the early days of development, and instead of putting it next to the space ship, it is now a drop item. So, the player have a limited amount of flags, he can drop. And when he restart the level, he still can find it. What makes me intersted in using it, it will not be driving the player to the correct way, or even to the wrong way. BUT, it will be sort a sign, the player can leave it in road he knew that it have a dead end,…or whatever approach the player want to use. And when I use it as a developer with unlimited number of flag, it is FREAKY AWESOME to keep dropping flags all over the place, or may be I can write my name with the flags Grimace
One more thing, if the player end the gameplay session either by quitting the level, or finishing the level, he will lose this flags. Simply I want the player to have the level clean if he want to play it again or even one of his family members wanted to play the same level again. Beside It will be a bit messy if kept saving all the flags position in all the levels, let’s imaging a guy drop 5 flags per level * 60 level 😀 which mean saving the position, rotations & normals for 300 flag Surprised and the game meant to be more simple, beside it is mainly for Android device “Ouya” !

Last thing, the game will be released by the end of this month, or the beginning of May. I’m really sorry for that 1.5 month delay. But I got sick, and then tooth problems, work issues, recording tutorials and finally having a new pretty daughter Big Smile

m;

A Cheering up feature !

Hey dudes, before the [show level solution] implementation, I was playing all the levels one by one for the sake of testing :/
Of course I’m the only person who work in this game, and I’m the same person who designed all the levels.

Although all of that mentioned, I still can not remember all the levels solutions in the correct way. come on it is a maze made/meant to get people lost, and sound that word “people” including me as well. After playing for a long time from a player seat and before I switch myself to the debug tools I did. I was always feel frustrated that I’m not going to solve the maze. And sometimes, I get hopeless while being in the correct path !

Cheering up feature

ِA sequence shows how the camera view changes to give some hope!

So, I decided to add something to the player to to tell him that he made it, or in another meaning to show him that he is almost close to the finish line, and all what it takes is just a couple few feet !
So, how I decided to show that?
It is just a small camera movement and zoom, the player after seeing it in level one, he will get the point that this is sort of achievement and he is close enough to finish the level. It might be not that huge feature, but after lots of testing I’ve found that it have a great affect in the gameplay session. and give me/the player the push to keep playing the game for a bit more long.
And because of the awful spaceship traveling animation at the end of the level, The view will zoom out again to show it, and this last one have added a great flavor to the overall animations of the camera view !
And this is why I decided to call it ‘Cheer Up ” implementation 😀
In the original design document, the player was planned to hear the spaceship via it’s 3d sound. But, first the sound not sounds cool with the music, beside I always loved to keep the music more loud than sfx. Second thing, lots of the players not like the 3d sound ! but anyway, I’ve implemented this one too, but putting it in the final release or not ? that’ what I’m still thinking about ! If you’ve any ideas you would like to share, you can send me or comment here, I’m always open for a second opinion 😉

m;

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