game development

Game Jams, Games

DYSTOPOLIS Postmortem


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DYSTOPOLIS is a run n’ gun shooter set in a minimalistic cyberpunk metropolis, where you have the ability to redirect bullets using an ability called the “Gravity Well.” The game is available on itch.io for free here, so please try it out and let me know what you think!

Coming up with the Idea

At the time of the game jam, my brother and I were obsessing over the latest co-op indie game we picked up, Broforce. We were a fan of the different ways you could play the game, whether by going rambo and lighting up the landscape with machine gun fire, or by using stealth to sneak behind the simple AI characters and hit them from beneath the ground. No matter how you decided to play, this game was a difficult arcade shooter, where a single mistake would cost you your life. So while we were thinking of ideas for the game jam theme “rigging” we thought we could give making a shooter a try for this game jam, where you could instead “rig” your bullet trajectories through an in-game mechanic that we called the “Gravity Well.”

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However, before we could get started on the game, my brother had to go on a vacation with my family, so I was left alone to work on the game solo. This gave me a great opportunity to practice some skills that my team usually handled such as the art design.

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RUIN

LOOKBACK: Picnic Day @ UC Davis


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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.

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Chris doing some last minute debugging.

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Business & Marketing, RUIN

LOOKBACK: How The Facebook Launch Performed


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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?

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Business & Marketing, RUIN

Having an Artist Makes a HUGE Difference


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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!