24
Apr

Help is Needed

Hello everyone,

Sokobn

Sorry for being away for long time, but as you all know I am working on my master’s thesis in Procedural Content Generation (PCG) of puzzle games and levels for Puzzle Script engine by Stephan Lavelle. I generated lots of levels using different methods for 5 different games and I need some human feedback on everything.

If you have some free time to help me with it please consider playing a handcrafted game and then one of the techniques (playing handcrafted give you reference to the best designed games) (link). Do the assessment after finishing every level to remember it because after playing 16 levels you may forget some games.

Please try playing some of the game at the end of the list such DestroyGame, GemGame, BlockFaker. As most of assessment is done on Sokoban and slightly on LavaGame.

Thanks everyone, I will publish my thesis and my code and everything once its done to be open source with all the results and data. Hope my work in PCG helps game developers in understanding more about games and how to design it and may be use or improve on my techniques.

The link for the games and the assessments: http://amidos-games.com/blog/puzzlescript-pcg/

Bye Bye

27
Sep

The RoguePuzzleGame prototype is now online

Hello Everyone,
Past GameZanga (Arabian game jam happens twice a year) I created a game called Random RPG for it, it was completely disaster but I felt it had some potential.

So I gave it around 1 more week of work and here what I got The RoguePuzzleGame, it was picked to be viewed at the Saudi Gamer’s Day (a Game Expo happens in Saudi Arabia once a year) but I didn’t feel very confident about the game and I always think its a very bad game and I was going to threw it away and stop developing in it but I decided to release a prototype and get some feedback about it.

TheRoguePuzzleGame

The prototype is online on my beloved three websites

That’s everything for now πŸ™‚ Please give me some good feedback about the game πŸ™‚

Bye Bye

P.S: The game music is done by Brother Android (its fuckin amazing)

14
Feb

The Mother of All Post-Mortems

Hey All,
I know I don’t write lots of post mortem or design posts or talking about what I am doing for long time. I think that led me to be good in lots of stuffs but became some how not good in Game Design.

In my view Game Design is about talking, trying stuff showing it to other good designers and having feedback πŸ™‚ the same with level design πŸ™‚ The problem is that most of my friends in Egypt either don’t have time (if they had experience) or they are still amateur so they are just amazed with what I am doing without making a good discussion :S

Another problem I am having is that people (here) always to like to talk about Soccer or Politics and both I hate and don’t like and never been good in analyzing or understanding any of them beside when I tried to be involved in those activities I didn’t like what’s happening here so I made my game Mindless to show what’s happening in Egypt. My nerve can’t take political argument any more, beside I always have problems in making good conversations with other people.

Last problem in that point I have is that I am not a good discuss-er I can’t make a good discussion about anything, I can’t focus and analyse stuff good enough may be because I didn’t do any good game discussion before and my last discussion with some friends of mine about the art style of Hotline Miami ended badly because I see the art style used is the best fit with the psycho rhythm of game and making it hectic enough but they say its garbage if he made better art the game will be better and the art is not something that made the game rock. My friends always think my artistic view of things is bad because I love Pixel Art and how it look and have bizarre taste in art (for example I never like Crysis Graphics I think its redundant and repetitive but I liked Proteus art style more also I love the old art style of Bro Force a lot and like the new one and till now I think old style is incredible and is matching very well with the game) Due to that bizarre taste of mine they always making fun of me and don’t allow me to show my point.

Some people told me you can have friends from other places in the world and have those talks the problem is that I am not good to be in touch with people especially online because I have a work that I may lose it anytime if I didn’t make my Master Thesis and at same time I want to work on games (beside my problem of making good discussions with people, and that English is not my first language makes me sometimes I don’t understand what people are saying even I understand every single word they wrote but the whole meaning from the sentence I don’t get it)

I know sometimes making more games and improving stuffs and keep moving forward and making lots of prototypes is the best design practice (like Cactus always made lots of games and quickly) but its not enough alone they must be discussed and see what is good and bad with every prototype you do and think how to improve, because if you didn’t do that your level design skills and game ideas and how to expand your game and knowing if the idea is good or not, will be lowered down but at same time your development skills and art style will be improved.

Another problem I am having is getting bored quickly and want to change quickly and need for fast methods to do something, I think lots of people have that problem but most of people having that problem doesn’t release lots of games but they have lots of unfinished projects (like my friend Ahmed Saker) that he aims to finish one day. I am different somehow I rarely leave projects unfinished. I always finish them and release them quickly by making smaller scope or by justing rushing myself to finish the project. Since I was bored from the project so I never try to see what’s wrong with it or it didn’t work out with people or player which is something bad.

So I don’t know if my Game Design skills will be better in future or it will be remaining at same position. I have lots of problems need to be solved first (I have stated them before) and lots of my skills became worse although I acquired a weird and unique taste in making games and implementing ideas fast and quick.

I think I need to talk more with people so will try on both sides (real life/online), Since we here in Egypt are trying to make a game developer society so I think one day we will have weekly or monthly meet up and talk with other experienced developers πŸ™‚ and online will try to be involved more in forums and discussions on twitter than I used to πŸ™‚ I hope I can succeed in that.

Let’s start with Simple Love, I know lots of people think its sweet and it represent how love is nice and I wanted to create that atmosphere but guess what? The game is not good for delivering the message its like some critics say Childish attempt toward love. Why I think there opinion is correct? Its easy I suck at writing and all the sentences I just derive them while I was making the game, it doesn’t have any connection with each other (the only connection is they are about she loves you) also when I was writing I was avoiding the You word in sentences unless there is a locked door u want to open it. So the writing of the game doesn’t came from anything or an experience I had (I was a romantic guy once btw).

Second thing “the gameplay doesn’t influence the message” they had good point in that, the gameplay is like zelda top down with skill (no puzzles) I know it will be better if it was puzzle with words where you can substitute words with each other and unlock the room but I am no good to do that so I stuck with zelda style (the style of games I always loved).

May be the room design is the only thing I think is made good and art style and music all of them have same feeling of love and relaxing in a well formed way.

In gameplay using diagonal jump as a friend of mine told me is a very bad idea because the game feels like a tiled base game so with square blocks like tiles so using diagonal jump seems like a cheap trick to add some difficulty.
So Overall I think the game have some sweet factor but Gameplay experience and shattered writing with no management and flowing in rooms terrible the artistic experience of the game. I think 3/5 is the best score this game should have unless I change either the game to be zelda like or change the gameplay to be more artistic.

About Evil Goat, although the game is same like lots of old games, nothing new with it but for a game done in less than 48 hours (as I was working on other projects at same time) its incredible and the most thing I love in that game is the Levels I designed. I think I designed they are unique every group have special way to solve it and all have nice ideas.

Level 1 showing the player how to play he had to kill the child on spike to finish the level.
Level 2 showing the player there could be more than one child.
Level 3 showing the player he can die if he touch the spikes.
Level 4 showing u can move dead child on spike and use the spike again
I love doing that not to give text to player to understand the game, I just love him to learn from the dynamics of the game and making the levels learn him how to play (inspired that from Edmund Mcmillen in designing Super Meat Boy)
Level 5 is a bit difficult level using the learned mechanics but in the same time it introduced the concept that when a child hit a child it push the second child while the first child stopped from moving. Also it shows that we can use children to modify our positions and move either modifying our position on hitting the child and out goat stops or by using the child as a stone to fill a gap.
Level 6 introduce new mechanics which are the arrows without any complications also showing the new mechanics here was relief to player after the difficult level 5 (but the main reason not making a more difficult level with previous mechanics that I didn’t have nice ideas to develop a level :D)
Level 7 wraps the new mechanics of arrows with old mechanic introduced in level 5 (modifying player position using children)
Level 8 I designed it to be more difficult than 7 same mechanics but different view puzzle now new ideas or mechanics to make the player feeling progress and master the idea of the game better
Level 9 I introduce the teleports (I know I should add here another advanced level of previous mechanics to make the player feel he is mastering the mechanics more but for same reason I didn’t have enough ideas for new levels using old mechanics and I was running out of time and I was thinking about removing the 15 levels and just make the game 10 levels instead but I insisted to try to finish 15 levels and here I done it)
Level 10 was designed by mistake I was trying to take the same layout of a certain level in Snazzle and trying to implement it, when I was trying it in the level I made a child travel through the spikes and hit another child on the other side and enter the teleport so he came out and modified the position when my goat can reach. I said “WoooooooW that’s neat at that time” so I modified the level to make use of that technique which is very nice.
Level 11 while I was making the game and testing the new techniques I made a loop with arrows and teleports where the goat hit a child and the child move in the loop and hit the goat and so on. I thought at that point it will never ends but suddenly it ends from rotation in the loop which was amazing so I figured out when I make the game I must make use of that and when I finished making Level 10 I had no ideas so I thought I will try to make a level about looping and here it comes Level 11.
By the way levels from 11 to 15 are done by coincidence even if I said I designed them may be only the main idea I designed but how it will be played and how it will be solved it was using trail and error which I am not proud of but it introduced a hell levels (very difficult ones)
Level 12 I was fascinated by the idea of several rooms and passing a child from one room to another using teleports will help but it was difficult to be done or solved so I was doing a step and try playing it in the game and found it is difficult but I tried to get all difficult locations the player can reach and try it again and again
Level 13 I wanted to create a level with lots of spikes so I had the idea what if the player can only pass between two sides of the level through a single hole and anything wrong he do will cause him die also by using that idea it will confirm the idea about modifying player position using children. I think it was nice idea but not implemented so good as I said these levels were designed by trail and error so it doesn’t look neat as I wished to be (I think I added the teleports in this level because I could figure a better way to solve the game unless there is teleport to help go from left to right as the trying to adjust the player position using children is limited by number of children and their positions).
Level 14 I wanted to create a level like Level 12 but I had an idea about the starting children that I want to kill so I want to teleport a child to be at the bottom of the teleport so I can kill the left and right child. I used in this level modifying my position by children a lot but that was due to I wanted to create a good looking level and at same time difficult.
Level 15 and last level, I just wanted to try to make teleport with one direction entry and one direction exit and everything elese in that level was done by coincidence

I am pretty proud by Level Design done in that game and not the game idea itself as it was not innovative neither good with LudumDare theme (You are a Villain). By the way the game is ported to HTML5 and using mouse instead of keyboard (by Jack Brockley) so mobile users can enjoy playing it in their browsers πŸ™‚ Also I will try to port it as a free game for iPhone when I start having developer account πŸ™‚

31
Dec

2012 Year Recap and 2013 Hopes

Hey All,
I wish everyone is happy today and aiming for better in next year πŸ™‚ than 2012 πŸ™‚
This year was amazing for me although I got depressed and stopped working on games and other bad things happen but an overall look it was an amazing year with lots of games released and some of them were large games that took a lot of time to finish

So Let’s Recap this year fast, First thing is my games let’s talk about this year

The Power: I finished that game last year (2011) as a collaboration project with Alexitron, It took around a year to be finished (not entire year working on it). The game stayed too long in sponsoring I sent emails to lots of people begging them to sponsor it for some good money so I told Alexitron I will release it for free but he was in need for money so he told me lets sell it cheap. So it got sponsor from Game Pirate (it was a bit low deal but I liked working with them).

The game as I expected was a Kaboom and lots of sites wrote about it and liked it (FreeIndieGames, IndieGame Magazine, IndieGames Weblog, JayIsGames) Also it became featured on Newgrounds.

After Finishing with that game I wanted to start a new collab project so I wrote on twitter that I want to make a collab project anyone interested so Vartagh replied on me and saying “Yes”, Then we started talking on Skype about the game with each other and we had the idea of mixing The Binding of Isaac with Arena Shooters like Hyper Princess Pitch and we wanted to be funny and retro so I wanted to kill evil mushrooms and make it funny and that’s how Alone in the Park started (btw Vartagh chose the name and I like it as a parody to Alone in the Dark game).

Project Cupid: Then it was Valentine’s Day and my game Project Cupid was finished also a year ago before finishing The Power but this game didn’t get any sponsor deal so I wanted to release it on Valentine’s day as a free game and I have done that πŸ™‚ which was something nice in my view also I make the game on Chrome Store and also made a Theme for chrome.

At that time I started working with GameTako on a Flash Story Game Engine for them, So they can use it to make story flash games and after it I made 2 games for GameTako and stopped working with them as I wanted to focus on my career somehow (As I am Teacher Assistant at Faculty of Engineering and I wanted to start my Thesis) and I thought that working with GameTako make me more busy.

Don’t Push The Button: In the middle while I was working with GameTako I entered LudumDare for second time but this time I wanted to finish something for it for the first time and the Theme was Tiny World so I got that strange idea about life that keeps us always away from danger but if we changed the what we are doing we get some rewards (coins) but at same time to achieve this we face more difficult situations to reach it. In my view even if the game didn’t got any mention I like the game a lot and loved the idea and how it came out and I consider it one of my best games this year.

Then my friend Omar Khaled Shokry enthusiasm me to enter Imagine Cup 2012 and I always wanted to do that, from here Clean’Em Up was born for the competition, and we named ourselves Omidos (Omar + Amidos = Omidos).

Ta’mya: GameTako wanted me to make a game about Egypt something special and I had that strange idea about frying Falafel but since there is a game called Falafel so I wanted to make to pick a more Egyptian name for Falafel which is Ta’mya. The game is pretty boring but it has a interesting concept I wanted to try.

Clean’Em Up: I finished the game and started marketing it and released it on 22/6 this year (it didn’t win on Imagine Cup nor IndieCade). It was my first Commercial game to finish it and I didn’t want to see how the sales are going on the first day so I saw the sales on the next day and I was stunned just 6 or 7 copies sold I don’t remember, I tried with all means to make it sell better send to press and got nice reviews and previews from different sites (Final Boss Fight, IndieGame Magazine, IndieGames Weblog, Lazy Games Review, RockPaperShotgun, True PC Gaming, True Gaming) but this didn’t change anything, the game didn’t do well in sales and very low amount of people downloaded the demo and try it so I got totally depressed and I felt I am a great failure and I was living a lie called “Game Developer” and believing it so I stopped making games and told myself Alone in the Park will be my last game and I will stop making games for a while.

In that time I started playing lots of the famous and amazing Game Developer “Increpare” and I wished I can make be like him but I know that’s super difficult for a moron like me (until now I think I can’t be half as good as Increpare as a designer).

Connect: By that time there was a competition made by Mochimedia for summer and whom enter the competition will win a tshirt and I never won anything before so I said to myself why not I make a game and get a tshirt πŸ™‚ At that time I was cleaning my room and found lots of memories and old stuff in it which remind me of my childhood so I wanted to try to make a puzzle game about my childhood and I remembered how I was bad at solving puzzle (and still suck at it) and the only puzzle I liked playing was match the dots to get a shape so I said why not make a game about that one I used to love it as its easy. From here Connect was born.

Robotic Arm: I have a huge problem in my life which is ……. “Fear” I always been afraid from trying new things always thinks it’s impossible to be done, I am not that good to do it and always down grade myself. I had an idea of rotating planets (How idea of the game came to me) and I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid so after releasing Connect and getting Honorable mention at MochiMedia, I encouraged myself and started working on that idea. So Robotic Arm is created and I was so happy bu how it turned out very well for me its the perfect puzzle game as its not difficult and interesting and give an interesting shapes as an output and feels dark (I adore Darkness and Mystery in games).

Collect: Next LudumDare started and I wanted to make a game about Evolution so I made this weird game (inspired from Genetic Algorithm). First I tried to implement my own physics engine (as I am always afraid of trying new stuff like Box2D physics) but since I failed to make the engine works great so I said to myself lets try Box2D I won’t lose anything and I am glad I do that πŸ™‚ I finished the game and made it works perfectly πŸ™‚ the only problem is that after finishing it due to repetition I felt that game sucks so I got some how disappointed but guess what?? The Game became featured on Newgrounds so it get lots of views so I got more excited to explore that idea in a better way.

Explode: It came out as an evolution for Collect and it was my first game to get a trophie on Newgrounds and picked for Daily 3rd Place. That was really incredible.

Balls: This idea came out as an evolution of Explode with some Pool and angry birds and zuma game and I aimed high for this game and wanted to expand it with my friend Omar as a small Omidos title called All My Balls, the game did normally not so good but since it is easy I will continue and make it the second Omidos title.

Find It!: It was an experiment me and Alexitron were doing to test does the game length affect the amount of bid and how fast we get a bid as Alexitron made a flash game port to his famous art game And Everything Started to Fall and his game Jet Pod ReManfacured and both games get a higher bid than The Power and also faster. So the situation was weird so we did this experiment and it fails (more info).

Snazzle: Snayke was released and I was jealous about that game how amazing it is and I wished I was helping in developing it and while I was at my fantasy world πŸ˜€ I got that strange idea of Snazzle so I worked on it and released it and didn’t know it will be one of my hits that everybody likes and talks about and it was my second game which took a trophy from Newgrounds as Daily 4th Place (FreeIndieGames, IndieGame Magazine, JayIsGames, PC Gamer).

Top Down Super Crate Box: McFunkypants made a miniLD for charity so I wanted to join it and the only restriction was to make a game using SNES pallet of colors so I was thinking that most of famous game other people make in other camera view and became fun too (example: Awesomenauts is 2D Platformer game for DOTA and League of Legends). Since I was hearing at that time Super Crate Box OST and since I love Top Down Shooters and Hate Platfromers (that was the part I hate about Super Crate Box) so I got the idea of Top Down Super Crate Box which is making the game I would love to see Super Crate Box on its form.

Mindless: At that time I was so furious from people in Egypt all of them make lies to make their opinion the best and don’t listen to other people so I entered GameJolt GameJam and made that game for it (finished it really after the Jam as I read the dates wrong :D) and I think the game have some repetitive elements but I think it is very good in how it shapes out.

Alone in the Park: It has been for one month on FGL looking for sponsor and I became disappointed again that the game that I spent on it 8 months comes out very bad and non want to bid for it or sponsor it. So I thought me and Vartagh to publish it for free on Newgrounds so I asked Tom Fulp to support the game and sponsor as a support for the game and he said to me that Newgrounds don’t have enough money so he can spend so little on the game so we accepted it as even we didn’t get anything from Newgrounds we will release it on it as I adore that site alot πŸ™‚ the game turns out not so good but there are a nice amount of people like it which is nice.

Evil Goat: Last game that year made for LudumDare 25 for You are Villian Theme, the game is not innovative but what I liked that I managed to make 15 levels very fast with nice ideas and not repeating which I liked.

Teddy: This is my last game made for GameTako I made it in the middle just after Ta’mya it was using my story based engine I made for them.

Kabba: It was made to help the Syrian Refugees (Its just reskinning Ta’mya to use Kabba (Famous Syrian Eating) instead of Falafel) for more info see that link.

Woooooow you continued to here in the article that’s really wooow πŸ˜€ also It was a wonderful productive year although I was depressed and stopped working for some months but I learned a lesson “Keep Trying”.

Second thing of the article is about my best games I played this year (may be some of them is not released this year but I played it that year)

About the best music I heard this year here is my list

Last thing I wish everybody enjoyed my games this year and Hope I can fight my fears next year and became good at making them and I hope I can participate to next year IGF or IndieCade or any known event πŸ™‚ and socialize more with people (as I suck at that) I would love to finish some huge projects and make them succeed that time and get to me some cash that can keep me alive. I wish everybody is always Happy and enjoy his life and find what he is seeking for.

That’s Everything for now

Bye Bye

15
May

Week Post

Hey all,
There is no upgrades happened in PaceMaker Flash version as I didnt work on it this week instead I saw IronMan II movie and KickAss Movie.

KickAss is awesome movie reall amazing πŸ™‚ about IronMan I dlove it, it is funny and awesome πŸ™‚ you should really see both espicially KickAss πŸ™‚

I am working these days on my Graduation Project Game (Hello World!)
Tomy (Game Artist) is now working on the base character πŸ™‚ hoping to finish it soon so I can show you some of his work πŸ™‚
And I and my team are making unit testing on first prototype of the game itself.

This week I will talk about lots of news πŸ™‚ Lets start:
First peice of news the results of YoYoGames Compo 5
Where Jesse Venbrux (2DCube) won the first prize with his game They need to be fed here is a screenshot


Second Place winner is Ninjammin beat jitsu it is nice game you should try it πŸ™‚


The third place winner is Nimbus Sky Princess where it is a platform shooter with very amazing graphics πŸ™‚


There are other runner up you should try:
switch
Ninja Penguin
Blue
Plob
Cookie Dreamin Pogostix
Eye Attack2
Attack of the Ooze
Pixelry 1
Flash Five
Awesome Getaway
I Gun Zombies
Zoo Escape 3D

Lots of people hates the YoYoGames results as lots of amazing games doesnt appear even in the runners up example Cowboykilla

Due the Huge hits of 5th Compo the 6th Compo runs by time and it will end at 31 August 2010


The theme is Discovery and here is the rules of the compo:
1. GameMaker 7 or 8 only
2. Fixed screen size 480Γ—272… no bigger… no smaller
3. Game must start in a window, though a full screen option is allowed (menu/option item only, no key shortcuts) – full screen size is limited to 480Γ—272
4. Final EXE must be no bigger than 8Mb
5. EXE only no ZIP files
6. No DLL’s or other extension packages can be used.
7. No installation packages
8.No use of the registry
9. Game controls that can be used are UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT – for movement, SPACE, Z, X, C – as action keys and P for Pause.
10. All games must be tagged with Competition06, anything tagges incorrectly will not be considered.
11. 2D or 3D can be used but it must be standard Game Maker features, remember no extensions.
12. Contest finishes August 31st 2010 at Midnight GMT


Third stuff VertigoGaming is running a compo to win a copy of Spirits of Metropolis (amazing game I myself buy a copy and finish it, So Amazing :))
The compo is easy just post your favorite cake on this blog entry and Mr.Chubigan will choose some one randomly from the list πŸ™‚


Another compo is running to win three awesome games (Crayon Physics Deluxe, Gratuitous Space Battles, Puzzle Bots) here check the link of the compo

Also a friend of mine called Ahmed Saker has made a talk about game development here in Egypt and encourage people to start game development πŸ™‚ and here is the Power Point slide show

Last thing here are some pixel art and mouse painting art I made, The first one is a creature I invented in my brain and make a pixel art for it, The second one is an appology picture I drew with MS paint brush for a friend of mine (The are two version check them and tell me which one is better)




That all for now keep waiting for more news next week πŸ™‚ I had to go now becz I am busy πŸ™‚

ByeBye