Game Design

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!

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Reaching New Heights – Nothing Of Interest

Genre: Anonymous Business Espionage
Platform: PC
Players: Multiplayer (Up to ~8 players, online only)
Status: In development

Team: Currently Unnamed…
Role: Network Programmer
Duration: ~2 months, so far…

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Team Members:
Jack Kuskoff – Network & Gameplay Programming, Design
Deon Chique – Lead Design, Project Management
Sam (Hasn’t said his last name to me) – Lead Animator
Rilla Bray – Lead Musician

Contrary to it’s name, Nothing of Interest has plenty of things to keep your attention. Negotiate tense trades, fool and mislead your opponents, lie, betray, be betrayed, shoot guns, throw suitcases, grab disks, find drop-boxes, hide pistols, and don’t forget your ID. How will you prove your financial worth to your faceless corporate overlords?

Once it’s done, you’ll be able to get it 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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A Hard Look At Hardware – Rendering On The NES

Hey reader! You read that title right, today I’m looking at the rendering systems of the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s an old system, and one I’m not likely to be developing on in the near future, so it’s an understandably and odd choice to be analysing. However, it’s one of the few consoles that not only has a host of hardware information readily available, but also has an architecture simple enough to get a grasp on with relative ease.

Anyway, the core of what I’m going to be looking at today is the rendering processes and limitations of the console, since I don’t have to break down the entire thing. More importantly, I’m going to be looking at some of the ways these impact how one would design a game for the NES. So 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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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!

What’s The Matter? – Play By Your Own Rules

Hello again! I have returned from the eternal void of nothingness to once more bring my varied ramblings about the projects I’m doing to your electronic devices. How exciting!

Now, despite the fact that I’m now walking the path of The Programmer (having already completed that of The Designer) to kick things off I’m going to be talking game design. In particular, board game design. For you see one of my current projects is to work with a team to create a board game for three players, which relies on a bag of random tokens as a core mechanic.

So, to catch you up on the general premise: Each player has their own bag of tokens and moves along their own path, separate from the others. These paths intersect at various places, and each intersection has a coloured token on it. Each player is aiming to get half of the tokens on their path to be their own colour by swapping them with those from various player’s bags, and using various action cards to influence the chances of all these things happening. Whilst that’s not the most comprehensive description, you get the general idea.

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Reaching New Heights – Emakimono

Genre: Auto-Runner (Or ‘Flier’ more so)
Platform: PC, Mac
Players: Single Player
Status: Released

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
Jared Ford – Programming
Angelica Zurawski – Lead Artist
Samuel McLean – Lead Musician

Emakimono is an infinite auto-runner (or auto-flier, as it were) wherein players take control of a small, paper swallow, desperately fleeing from the collapse of its world. Gracefully guide the swallow over and under the various obstacles that stand in its way, and fly as far as you can!

If you want to try the PC or Mac version of Emakimono, you can download them here!

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