RUIN

RUIN

LOOKBACK: Picnic Day @ UC Davis


No Comments
Beautiful sunny weather, pollen infested air, itchy eyes and college students dressing like they’re at Coachella or from SoCal… ahh… best day ever…

Sarcasm aside, Picnic Day was an exhausting but really fun day. Having only slept 3 hours the night before after watching 4 episodes of Game of Thrones (GREYWORM NUUUUUUUU!!!!), I got my ass up early to meet my brother on campus. In fact, we got there so early all the booths were empty; so we set up right at the corner near the hallway where we could get the most attention.

2015-04-18 09.41.39

Chris doing some last minute debugging.

(more…)

Advertisements
RUIN

Daqri


No Comments

Oh man, this is awesome. Check out what my friend Mars made for me for fun. Download the app called Daqri, and point the camera at the image. You’ll see a 3D model show up right in front of you!

RUIN

Unreal Engine 4 is free. What.


No Comments

maxresdefault

Yes, you know what that means: we’re movin’ over!

I know it sounds a little crazy but we’re fortunate that we’re so early in development that we can afford to discard some of our work. UE4 has capabilities we need that Unity doesn’t have, so this will be a worthwhile move in the long run.

Business & Marketing, RUIN

LOOKBACK: How The Facebook Launch Performed


No Comments

Welcome to the first post of our LOOKBACK series, where we examine recent marketing strategies and see what went well and what went wrong.

We launched our Facebook page on February 2nd at 1:30 pm. Admittedly, we didn’t expect much since we’re newbies to the industry and our game was only in an early development phase. We have no experience with Twitter and only got into Tumblr recently. Chris is relatively active in the reddit community. The question was: how can we take advantage of available resources and reach out to as many followers as possible and start building a fan base?

The Plan

Launch our social media pages with a shotgun approach and pray to all the gods of the world that we get a crapload of followers!

Just kidding. Well… partly just kidding…

The other part was to launch with high engagement content. The Early Development Prototype Teaser was extremely key to this launch. Photos are the most common post type, but videos generate significantly higher engagement, according to a study by Quintly. We wanted to have something cool and worthy of spending some time looking at–to show that we are committed and working hard.

Time of day was also important here. According to a million infographics, posting between 1pm and 4pm on a weekday results in the highest average click through rates. It’s a Monday. It’s right after lunch. Who doesn’t check Facebook during the afternoon slump?

image

(more…)

Business & Marketing, RUIN

Early Development Prototype Teaser + Website Launch


No Comments

Check out our trailer showcasing early prototype footage of our game RUIN!

This video is the culmination of hard work by not only the Dissonance team but also the student volunteers who helped get us to where we are today. This video was produced by our friends at Friendship Club. Enjoy!!!

image

What better way to accompany this teaser than to launch our official website at dissonanceent.com!! 

This past quarter (and currently) at UC Davis, we have had the immense pleasure of working with a group of passionate student volunteers, who consist primarily of programmers and artists. We also cannot dismiss our little cousin Rachel Chang from Canada, who flew here this past December and sacrificed her Winter break to help us out with concept art for 2 whole weeks. With this team, we were able to quickly pump out 3D Blender models for the character and Behemoth, draw their respective texture maps, animate their various behaviors, and begin coding the gameplay mechanics in Unity.

923b8e_b591c48909794f769c86e29a06ea0994

Behemoth & Character Concept Art by Rachel Chang

We are currently in the “proof of concept” stage of this game’s development. By the end of this Winter quarter, we will have a fully functional prototype ready for testing and debugging. Once the concept is approved to be fun and engaging, we will begin designing the official game levels next quarter.

923b8e_47749e1f7599407caf4bb1a51f0c162e

Banner art by Taylor Zhou

What is RUIN?

Ruin is an action-adventure game where your connections to other people are what matter most. In a world where a mysterious curse takes away your memories as time passes, your only solace is in a legend that tells you how to end this curse and in the friends you make in your quest to do so.

In your journey you will come across twelve menacing Behemoths, guardians of a towering Spire which is said to perpetuate this curse. But as you attempt to take down these Behemoths, you soon realize their size and strength are the reasons why they have survived for eons.

RUIN

First Game Dev Club Meeting!


No Comments

Woohoo! Just got back from the first meeting of the quarter of the Game Dev at Davis club. We were supposed to do pitches to recruit people at the third week, but today, we pretty much did pitches anyway. Ended up getting a handful of new volunteers to help out over the quarter with the nitty-gritty work. This quarter’s already looking a lot better than the last one.

Business & Marketing, RUIN

LOOKBACK: Being an Effective Manager


No Comments

Managing a team of student this past quarter has been a huge learning experience. Before the start of the quarter, I planned on working on this game part-time along with 16 units of courses, and was aware that for student volunteers joining my team this was just an extracurricular activity. I hoped that my enthusiasm, the game concept and the idea of joining a start-up would motivate them enough to launch this game off the ground.

My brother and I prepared as much as possible. We used a google drive approach, where I had a task list, complete with details on the task needed to be done, and linked it to all our members. There were additional design documents that they could look at for more reference. I would also dedicate a couple hours each week for office hours to either guide the students in the right direction or to tutor them on the programs we use. We even created a special google site for the team.

The opening pitch turned out to be very successful: we garnered a bunch of students interested in helping out. From there the challenges came…

Students floated in and out, were not coming to meetings, and provided us artwork or code 2-3 weeks after they said they would. Progress was really slow.

Admittedly, we were a bit disappointed. Halfway through the quarter we reflected on what happened and realized we really needed to change our management style.

Forget the google site and the tasks breakdown document. Nobody looks at that.

Let’s use a Facebook group to post tasks that need to be done. 2 minutes later…Wow, people are already signing up. 

Let’s do a pizza dinner ice breaker sometime to get the team together and thank them for their efforts.

We are an ambitious studio. We need to emphasize the benefits of joining a start-up and how it could boost their resume/portfolio. 

For the rest of the quarter, everything became more efficient. Our team members were more responsive and provided results in 1-2 week’s time. Although we didn’t have a complete prototype by December, we had enough to create an awesome teaser that you all will see in the next couple weeks. Our efforts are not perfect but we’re getting there.

TL;DR: Aside from being personable, a manager must adapt to his/her team’s individual personalities. Communication is key and has to be tailored. 

Business & Marketing, RUIN

Having an Artist Makes a HUGE Difference


No Comments

This past week we’ve been extremely fortunate and lucky to have our cousin come from Canada and spend a good chunk of her winter break helping us out with concept art. Despite being only a sophomore in high school, she had this huge appreciation for what we were doing and immediately jumped on this opportunity.

The next thing you know, within 2 freakin’ days we were able to pump out a Behemoth and character (including 3D model, animations, textures, AI and basic mechanics). It was absolutely unbelievable how much progress we were able to make with a “full-time” artist.

Look forward to our first teaser coming out in a couple weeks. It will feature concept art and gameplay footage.

Her name is Rachel Chang and her talent for art is really inspiring. Check out some of her work here on her tumblr page and give her a shout-out!

Business & Marketing, RUIN

In Progress: Prototype Video Teaser!


No Comments

Hey Everyone,

Today is an exciting day. We’re working on our first Ruin prototype trailer with our friends from the videography studio, Friendship Club. The trailer will be used only for the opening pitch during the UC Davis Winter quarter Game Devs club meeting to promote the game and to engage more student involvement.

image

This time around, especially after 3 months of hard work from the Dissonance team and our Fall quarter student volunteers, we want to show off a new face of the company that really demonstrates the seriousness we have for finishing this game.

The trailer will be released around the second or third week of January.

GEET EXCITEDDDD

Business Perspective:

For those interested in why we’re doing this from a business perspective, this is a marketing tactic to experiment how much more engagement we’ll get using a purely visual-audio presentation. We assume the sample size and distribution (what major, undergrad vs. grad) of students is roughly the same each quarter.

Last quarter, we presented a PowerPoint and our game concept alone was able to carry us into second place in terms of number of students interested in working with us (2 programmers, 4 artists, some floaters). I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to see a Journey + Shadow of the Colossus combo?!

A well-rehearsed speech and clean colorful slides unfortunately were not powerful enough to beat out the first place team, who had an entire PowerPoint designed to mimic an in-game UI. It had “buttons” that you could press to simulate a character selection screen. It was beyond jaw-droppingly awesome.

If this video teaser deems successful in grabbing more top notch talent or social media followers, then we’ll invest in more video productions throughout the game’s development lifecycle.

RUIN

Tortured in DayZ


No Comments

I’m sure a lot of you have seen this video by now.

Imagine the Walking Dead as a mass multiplayer online game. That’s DayZ. You are placed into a zombie-infested world where you must learn to survive by finding food, forming alliances, and even hunting down other players. In fact, there’s not even that many zombies. It’s all one big psychological experiment.

Now go watch or play Journey by thatgamecompany. What do you think is similar about these two games?

That’s right. They both test a player’s morals and values in a virtual setting.

A study showed that when you place people into a virtual world, real-life rules do not apply. It is your job as an indie developer, especially in a mass multiplayer game, to define the news rules that they must abide to.

In the DayZ video above, the other player displayed true characteristics of a psychopath. The game allows this to happen by giving players the power to do things such as breaking legs, tying up their hands, and removing their clothes.

Now take Journey. Founder Jenova Chen said himself that based on initial prototype testing he would strip all game mechanics down to the most basic forms of collaboration. He introduced rules into the game such that people would only be able to “help” and talk amiably to each other.

In either case, these games were able to create the ultimate personalized experience by allowing players to convey their own values to other strangers and build a unique relationship (whether it be friendly or torturous).

Both these games are major inspirations to Dissonance for those reasons. Our portfolio of games will provide a personalized experience that challenge your individual values.