Handsome Dragon Games

Reaching New Heights – Dyadic

Genre: Local Co-Op Puzzle Platformer
Platform: PC, Mac
Players: Multiplayer (2 Players)
Status: Released

Team: Handsome Dragon Games (Formerly Team Dyadic)
Role: Creative Director
Duration: 6 weeks (Prototype), 11 Months (Full Version)

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Team Members:
Jack Kuskoff – Creative Director
Corey Underdown – Programming
Callan Syratt – Programming, UI
Jared Ford – Programming
Angelica Zurawski – Lead Artist
Samuel McLean – Lead Musician
Nicole Biddle – Graphic Design
Karl Mizzi -Graphic Design

In Dyadic, two players find themselves trapped in ancient ruins after discovering a rare and priceless artifact. Both of you want to be the one to escape ruins with the artifact, but you don’t necessarily have enough equipment to do it on your own. Will both of you work together to try and solve the perilous puzzles that stand in your path? Or will you forsake each other to try and keep the treasure for yourselves? There’s only one way to find out…

Dyadic is now available on the Steam store! Check it out!

You can also check out my various chronicles of the development process here!

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Reaching New Heights – Arms Race

Genre: Button Mashing Party Game
Platform: PC, Mac
Players: Two (Competitive Head-To-Head)
Status: Released

Team: Handsome Dragon Games
Role: Game Design
Duration: 2 Months

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Team Members:
Jack Kuskoff – Lead Game Design
Corey Underdown – Programming
Callan Syratt – Programming, UI, Management
Patrick Vullermin – Lead Artist
Lauren Bearkley – Additional Art
Samuel McLean – Lead Musician

“The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat.” ~ R. Nixon

Arms Race puts two players in the shoes of rival diplomats – one from Russia, the other: America – and pits them against each other in a diplomatic battle of focus and determination. When only one of them can walk away victorious from this frantic political free-for-all, who will reign supreme?

You can get Arms Race right here!

The Great Big Blog of Things I Should Get Marks For – Vol 6

So here we are, for the sixth and hopefully final time. It’s the end of the second last trimester of my studies and I need to summarise all the things that I’ve done. And should get marks for. Right, let’s get to it.

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The Great Big Blog of Things I Should Get Marks For – Vol 5

So, once more we reach the end of another year, and conveniently, the end of another trimester of my studies. As such, it is time for me to take all of the stuff I’ve been working on as of late, and put it into one big mega-post. Brace yourselves…

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Arms Race – Mutually Assured Production

A Post-Mortem

Hey there, dear reader! For those of you who are familiar with my blog (I assume there are very few of you), you’ll note that I’m actually taking the time to make my recent game jam game Arms Race its own post-mortem, instead of putting a post-mortem summary of sorts on the end of a Gentlemen’s Showcase post. That’s because this one is probably going to be a fair amount longer than the kind of space I use in a typical summary. But anyway, enough rambling, let’s talk about Arms Race, and how its production went down.

First and foremost, its important to note that the entire development of this game (up to the point of writing this, at least) took place within the span of 48 hours, for the Brisbane Fab48 Game Jam 2016. We (Handsome Dragon Games) were given the words ‘Love’, ‘Power’, and ‘Surprise’ to use as our inspirations for the game, the last of which being the one we focused on primarily.

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The Great Big Blog Of Things I Should Get Marks For – Vol 4

So, for the unaware, I’m currently undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Games Programming to compliment my Bachelor of Game Design. In order to get that, I’ve got to explicitly showcase a whole bunch of stuff I’ve done so that it actually counts towards me passing the course. This is that.

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Welcome To Singleton – Population: 1

Right, so unlike my other programming blogs as of late, this one’s going to be a bit more reflective than instructive, since I’m not fully deconstructing any particular system I’ve created. Hopefully it’ll still be informative to some extent though.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. This whole blog is about the Singleton, a particular form of programming design pattern designed to create a single unique instance of an object that can be accessed by any part of a game, anywhere, any time. Something which at first glance seems exceptionally convenient. And so far, in my experience, it has been.

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Synth Spelunkers – Mapocalpyse

Creating A Map Import Tool

Now, if you’re already familiar with Synth Spelunkers, you’ll know that it’s a rhythm-puzzle game where each level takes place on a grid, which is made up of a series of tiles. Each of these tiles may have various types of effects when a Spelunker enters them, or may activate these effects every so many beats of the song. If you’re not already familiar with Synth Spelunkers, hopefully you get at least some of the idea now.

The Old System

Until recently, we had a simple system for making maps implemented that made use of the Tiled Map Editor. These maps were created as a grid that simply specified what type of tile was in what position. This was then output as a simple CSV file (Comma Separated Values), and that file could be used to generate a map in game.

However, none of the attributes for the tiles in the map were set. All of this had to be done manually, which meant that if any changes to the layout of the map had to be changed, the entire thing would have to be re-imported and setup would begin from scratch again. As you’d expect, this was a colossal time-waster. This new system however, resolves that issue.

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Synth Spelunkers -The Big Loop That Makes Everything Happen

An Endeavor in Resolving Simultaneous Grid Movement

Synth Spelunkers is a rhythm-puzzle game in which players place small ‘Spelunkers’ onto a grid, which then move one tile every beat of song. When these Spelunkers move, they move based on a predetermined set of logic, which for a single Spelunker is pretty simple to implement. However, we’re not dealing with just a single Spelunker, but a whole group of Spelunkers, all of which must move simultaneously. And what’s more, when Spelunkers move to certain tiles, that may change the states of other tile which can affect where other Spelunkers are able to move, which in turn can have considerable run-on effects.

To put it simply, it’s a bit of a mess to try and work around. Our initially solution didn’t quite hit the mark and had a few issues with the order in which things happened, so I was tasked with reworking the system from the ground up to try and fix it. And goddamnit I did.

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Reaching New Heights – Arms Race (Game Jam Ver.)

Genre: Button Mashing Party Game
Platform: PC, Mac
Players: Two (Competitive Head-To-Head)
Status: Base Game Completed, Expanded Here

Team: Handsome Dragon Games
Role: Game Design, Management
Duration: 48 hours (Consecutive)

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Team Members:
Jack Kuskoff – Game Design, Management
Corey Underdown – Programming
Callan Syratt – Programming, UI
Lauren Bearkley – Lead Artist
Samuel McLean – Lead Musician

“The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat.” ~ R. Nixon

Arms Race puts two players in the shoes of rival diplomats – one from Russia, the other: America – and pits them against each other in a diplomatic battle of focus and determination. When only one of them can walk away victorious from this frantic political free-for-all, who will reign supreme?

The game was developed in 48 hours, as part of the Brisbane Fab48 challenge, using the inspirations “Love”, “Power”, and “Surprise”. It was a hard fought development, and there’s still a couple of rough edges, but the Arms Race still has plenty of surprises waiting for you…

Since then, we’ve taken the time to amp up the game and turn it into a more complete experience, which you can get here!

Alternatively, if you want to try out the original game jam version, you can download it here!

Rather than hide my reflections beneath a read more tag, they’ve got their own post this time. You can take a look at them here!