4/5/2013 10:54:16 AM
A photo recap of GDC 2013 has been uploaded here
. Check it out!
2/28/2013 7:25:01 PM
Hunt Game Studios is excited to announce that it will be attending its second Game Developer’s Conference this year, which takes place in San Francisco from March 25th through the 29th. Unfortunately, I have to skip the summits this year but the main conference has another amazing array of great sessions (how can you pick between some of these?).
To learn more about the conference, check out the official site here - GDC 13
Last year’s conference will be hard to beat but with the next generation of gaming fast approaching it will certainly be interesting. Hope to meet some new people at the event – see you there!
1/1/2013 1:20:23 PM
A Year in Review for 2012 has been uploaded to the feature section. You can read it here
. This feature goes into more details about Hunt Game Studios’s second year including GDC12, PAX Prime, and what’s been happening the last few months. Here’s to a great 2013!
9/8/2012 4:20:26 PM
A photo recap of PAX Prime 2012 (our booth, the event, cosplayers and more) has been uploaded here
. Check it out!
8/24/2012 7:01:09 PM
PAX is almost here so we thought it was a good time to share some booth details. PAX Prime starts next week on the 31st at 10:00 AM (continuing into Saturday and Sunday at the same time). You can find Hunt Game Studios’s booth on the 6th floor at stall 6413. The booth can be found by heading up to the 6th floor and heading into the exhibition area from the West Lobby entrance. Then head all the way to the back and you will find us on the right.
To learn more about the conference, check out the official site here - PAX Prime
To get more information about the convention center check out their site here - Washington State Convention Center
We hope to meet many people at the event and are excited to finally show off the game to a larger audience. We are looking forward to your feedback!
3/29/2013 6:24:45 PM
Today was the last day of GDC13 and it started with a session about the making of Mark of the Ninja. Nels Anderson went into great detail about how they stripped down the stealth genre to its core and then designed new mechanics to create something innovative. It was interesting to see them approach genre conventions and turn them on their head without altering the appeal of the game. The next session I attended dealt with expressing narrative through level design. Dave Feltham of Bioware talked about how they applied traditional story telling techniques to the levels of Mass Effect 3 to influence their intensity and invoke a certain emotion from players. It must have been especially difficult in some scenarios since your actions over several games can impact the story.
After lunch I attended a session about how to release a game across multiple platforms at the same time (Retro City Rampage). Brian Provinciano had several great tips on how to approach it from both the technical and business sides that are sure to come in handy in the future. The last session I attended was focused on the ten principles of good level design and how to make fun and engaging levels. There are many facets of a level, such as its pacing, difficulty, and environmental details that you aren't always cognizant of but still have an effect on the way you view the level.
And with that, another GDC has concluded. This year's conference was a great mix of insightful making-of discussions, how-to's, and philosophy. I have several takeaways from the event and the rest of the year is sure to be both exciting and challenging. Work on Gheldia will resume next week so check back regularly to see its progress.
3/28/2013 7:14:30 PM
The second day of GDC13 started with another panel revolving around Vita development, which is definitely something I'm looking into at this point. The next session I attended was about the design decisions behind Diablo III. I found Diablo III to be a well produced and fun game and it was very interesting to hear about certain aspects of the design that were a challenge to the team. For instance, Jay Wilson went into details around why they modified the skill and health systems along with the reasons for implementing an Auction House. He also talked about how games should have core pillars for design that all the sub-systems should feed into, and this has been something I've been facing with the design of Gheldia.
After a quick lunch break I decided to check out the Expo, but didn't have much time to check out any new games. I did see several motion capture companies along with a few virtual reality simulators that looked interesting. After wandering around the Expo for a few minutes I went to a discussion about porting games to Windows 8. Due to the lack of native XNA support (can still run as desktop apps) I will probably look at some of the alternatives (MonoGame is probably the most likely at this point).
The next session I attended was about designing the interactive art game Journey. Jenova Chen went into great detail about how they wanted to capture emotion through cooperation instead of promoting competition. The amount of effort they spent refining the core and removing typical "game" elements to create something new is quite inspiring. At the end of the talk it was evident that they love creating unique games that invoke emotion and the session ended with a standing ovation – a truly amazing presentation.
The last session of the day was about Neo Retro pixel art and how you can add weight to your art by leveraging animation techniques. I plan on refining some of the animations for Gheldia with some of these new tips. Unfortunately, tomorrow is the last day of GDC13, but it has been another incredible conference with several takeaways. Tomorrow's sessions include some Indie sessions, level design talks, and narrative discussion.
3/27/2013 7:54:05 PM
Today marked the first day of the main conference at GDC13 and it once again began with the Flash Forward event (45 second snippets of several presentations). I then went to the Kojima Productions session where they showcased the new Fox Engine for Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. The team went into extreme detail on how they are using photo scanning technology to enhance the visuals and the results are incredible (the new lighting effects make a big difference). They also played a portion of the beginning of the game which has Snake crawling on the floor of a hospital that is under attack. This sequence showcased the new engine really well and included dynamic lighting and realistic physics.
The next session was a panel discussion about Playstation Mobile (Sony's new development platform) and working as an Indie developer. I'm definitely going to look into this platform as it seems to be a great fit for the style of games I'm looking to create. After that I attended a session about usability that broke down the process into separate pieces that could then be examined. It was interesting to see that certain processes we do can be analyzed and improved on with this approach.
There was some time after the usability discussion so I decided to check out the Video Game Museum exhibit that was paying tribute to SEGA games. They had several Genesis systems hooked up to monitors along with a slew of old cartridges, magazines, and posters. After taking a look at the Museum I finished the day with an engrossing lecture about game theory. The topic was extremely fascinating and delved deeper into the philosophy of games and how player choices affect each other and how a player can try to determine the best outcome.
Unfortunately, I didn't stay for the Awards ceremony this year but I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow, which includes sessions about the PS Vita and Windows 8 along with behind-the-scenes looks at Diablo III and Journey.
3/26/2013 9:43:33 AM
It’s finally time to head to GDC13! While I am only attending the main conference this year, it’s once again jam-packed with amazing sessions (PS4, Windows 8, post mortems, design sessions, and more). I’ll be posting a daily recap for each day of the main conference along with a photo feature next week, so be sure to check back for the updates.
3/25/2013 3:30:34 PM
Last week was spent on programming activities and started with the reintroduction of the save/load system. The process has been streamlined with defined file slots and automated saving which lends a nice modern touch. You can also see more details about a file including Lor’s location, gear levels, etc before selecting it.
The flow between areas has also been redone with the introduction of region maps. Work was also done on refactoring the underlying menu systems to make it easier to create new screens without duplicating code. The new scheme has an event structure (to simplify input logic) along with the ability to define menu items (text or image) that are pre-loaded. This has streamlined the process of writing the draw calls but has also improved performance.
3/15/2013 6:26:25 PM
A great bit of retooling was done this week with the focus on the Shard System and overall inventory. The process of equipping/removing Shards was a bit cumbersome so I managed to refactor it so it’s all within the same screen. The flow of the screen is much more natural now and I even managed to add stat comparison details. Work was also done on the crafting and shop screens which have improved flow along with additional item details.
A few other cool things that were added this week include new defensive maneuvers, improved layering for multi-tiered maps, and smoother screen transitions. Time was also spent on the Equipment screen where I replaced all of the text with newly drawn icons. The plan is to finish the menu screens by the end of the month and then switch to planning out more maps.
3/8/2013 6:29:33 PM
This week was once again dedicated solely to programming and a slew of new additions were made across the board. Several new traps were added including the fire breathers seen in the Debut Game Reveal feature, timed spikes, and monster gates. Golden versions of enemies now also appear in completed areas and offer better rewards than their normal counterparts.
Several improvements were also made to the main field screen which now allows more layers for both painting and collision detection. I re-added the ability to climb ladders and took it a step further by increasing the number of planes on the map. This allows Lor to walk under and on bridges and has enabled some cool multi-tiered maps.
Improvements were also made to the Shard and Equipment systems. Shards are now properly typed which means you can only socket them in certain gear. I also re-introduced Slayer Artes and started with the Heal spell. The ability to upgrade your gear was also added along with the initial version of the fuse screen which is used to craft Shards.
3/1/2013 6:52:48 PM
This week was another productive week filled with programming tasks that touched several different areas. Major changes were made to the map system to improve screen flow and connect areas to the overall world. I also redid the way that the area map works in the pause menu and it is now possible to actually see map elements like walls, water, etc instead of just boxes.
A day was also dedicated to adding buffs and debuffs to the game which were absent in the demo. I was able to integrate these into the Shard system and certain attributes can influence their effects (increase duration, resistance, etc). These added effects have already made the combat more interesting as there are several new layers of strategy when approaching monsters.
This week also saw the re-introduction of the skeleton warrior enemy and the real addition of the Dark Wizard (now with working projectiles). Time was also spent on several menu screens that display monster information – these screens reveal more information as you defeat more monsters. The pause screen is almost finished from a functional standpoint and flows much better than the original version.
Lastly, I added the ability to configure the game’s controls for both the controller and keyboard. Analog support has been re-added to the game and has been greatly improved – no more zigzagging unnecessarily. I also managed to get the new version of the game running on the Xbox360 and it runs pretty smoothly so far. Some optimizations still need to be made but the initial run is much better than last time.
2/22/2013 6:40:44 PM
This week has been entirely dedicated to programming with the intent on getting as many of the core game objects done as possible. I’ve moved away from the overly generic event model of the demo version in favor of a more focused object model that is flexible depending on the type of object (complex events will still need an event editor). This means I can now trigger simple events for interactive objects like gate switches without wiring up a ton of event triggers. This new model has greatly simplified the floor spike traps which used to be a convoluted series of timed events for switching frames and remembering their state. With the introduction of this new scheme I was able to add both traps back in with relative ease and they can now be placed on the map like any other tile without the need to configure each one individually.
Other programming tasks this week included modifications to enemy respawning, the reintroduction of the floating crystals (restore health and set respawn point), the reintroduction of Lor’s crossbow (now with the ability to trigger switches), and proper tileset support in the Map Editor. I am also working on adding more puzzle elements and was able to give Lor the ability to push statues.
Lastly, I started working on the new menu system with the hopes of making something that is easy and efficient to use. I took several notes during the play sessions at PAX and I am implementing those changes now to streamline the process of equipping Shards and navigating the menus. I also started work on the Arcane Forger (not in the demo) which will be used to upgrade gear, fuse materials, and socket Shards.
Stay tuned next week for a special announcement!
2/15/2013 6:22:16 PM
Work resumed on Gheldia this week with a good deal of progress made across several different areas. High level world planning is finally finished with all of the areas mapped out at a basic level. The types of monsters and their individual properties have also been fleshed out including their attack types, drops, behavior, etc. The stat system and damage formulas also received some attention along with improvements to the Shard System which should allow for some cool customization.
Along with the extensive scoping work, I was able to make several improvements to the game engine. The most notable improvement is the enemy AI which has been expanded to make the monsters a bit more challenging. In the demo version, their AI was very basic and mostly random – the new version has them confront Lor and they now have the ability to use skills. With these new changes I will finally be able to implement the Dark Wizard properly which should definitely make things more interesting.