Sorry for being away for long time but I was busy working on Master Thesis and working slowly on updating Atomic+ and working with Quirkat on releasing my puzzle game BUBA. BUBA is a puzzle game with the objective of collecting all the seeds available in each level. The levels consist of different paths of tiles that you, as Buba, walk over with certain constraints of course. Tiles change colour when Buba passes over them, and Buba can only walk on tiles that match his current colour. Strategically planning your moves and with the aid of magic tiles that let you change Buba’s colour, your aim is to chart your path with the least number of moves to progress in the game.
BUBA was developed over the course of the year (working slowly) and I worked on the PSM version while Quirkat ported it to other platforms at same time. BUBA is now out over iOS (link), Android (link), PSM (Check PSM Store).
That’s everything for now I will try to post about Atomic+ soon and about the evolution of BUBA over past year (its interesting story).
I know I should have posted that article long ago after I return back from Johannesburg, but the truth is I was busy finishing my games and also somehow lazy to post about my presentation I gave there which is called “be Different”.
That version I will be posting here contain more details than the one I presented at A Maze
Why do we play games?
In Egypt if you say that word some will tell you just wasting time although if you told them you can waste it by other activities like reading but they choose to play games cause it makes them happy or change their mood or take their attention or communicating with other people through multiplayer games or just seeking some challenge either via PC or via other Human
All these stuff I said is experience …. people play games to experience feelings and emotions
Games is a system of rules and interactions that we can use it to transfer a certain experience from game designers (most of the time) to players so it’s a medium or channel for transferring experience like all other mediums (e.g. books, movies, music …etc).
For example “Aquaria” by Alec Holwaka it wants you to make you feel comfortable enjoy every second exploring the game seeing the result of every action
So it transferred that experience using
Visuals: nice underwater plants and colors
Sound and Music: nice calm music give you time to breathe and to relax
Story: it is revealed one at a time and doesn’t show a lot every time to give you curiosity to explore
Level Design: every scene in the game is designed well with lots of nice colors and plants and creatures to give you pleasant sight and relaxing sensation
Mechanics: controls are smooth and game mechanics are exploratory every time you get new song that give you new power which reveal new paths that are inaccessible before or make you explore old paths in a new way
By the way you could make every aspect of the game perfect without checking others but if you done that you will end up with a normal game because to transfer a good experience to player all aspects should collaborate to have that notion.
focusing on mechanics is a very important aspect in the game because its the interaction that makes games differ from others.
Some of AAA games don’t give any attention for mechanics. They just use well known Mechanics and makes a new game (FPS games). That’s because most AAA games have high production cost so sometimes they can’t risk using new mechanics and systems that can make them fail or not appealing to players so they use well known mechanics (known for huge revenue) and sometimes make some changes on it.
That’s why we should try to find new mechanics and sharing it with rest of the world to show to the industry there is lots of mechanics unexplored
And what a better way to explore the mechanics than participating in GameJams
A very good example for that 7DFPS created by Rami Ismail where you have to create FPS game during 7 days this gamejam showed to the industry that even FPS mechanics and games still have lots of hidden potential and they should dig more and explore it more.
Btw I never managed to participate in it but definitely one day I will.
We should think about the experience that is delivered to the player and how to make it a new experience or a memorable one
The most interesting technique to get new experience is by experimenting:
new technologies (sometimes the way some technologies are organized and how it works get you an idea around that)
control schemes (like flying, swimming, driving car …etc)
real life mechanics (liquid flow, sand dunes, fumes …etc)
Expressing personal stuff
Feeling/Emotion (being in love, being sad, feeling surprised, transfer a feeling or emotion you have to the player)
Thought (expressing your point of view about something happens in society or about a topic …etc)
Experience (expressing something u passed through it or something happened to you or a dream …etc)
Nostalgia to an old genre may be doing it in a new way or just do it and make it better and correct some problems in design it had before
As I said before people here think games are for kids they are waste of time (even some young adult feel like that) and that’s difficult to be changed and even if you could change that they don’t try the game unless it’s using the next generation of graphics.
Also what make it harder that there is no support not from your family nor society .
For example my family always kept discouraging me, whenI was 12 years old I made a game (Kanfooz) they never thought its an achievement or be surprised or say anything good. They just tell me to do something useful and stop wasting my time and wasting others
The society is the same, they never take me serious and always saying that you must find a real job. When you tell someone you are game designer or developer first question can/do you make a game like Assassins Creed.
Due to that I always get depressed and feel down and whenever I fail there is no one there for me which was kinda-hard (I have passed through tough years where everyday my family tell me to leave what I am doing and my friends don’t care and you find yourself alone with no support and no one there for you)
Also to sell games in Egypt is almost impossible, in Egypt people doesn’t believe in software copyrights and they always get cracked copies of software so what about a game? That’s a dream. So the best strategy is to make free games with ads but here come the other problem that most people who play games either people wants cracked AAA titles or kids who wants games like Farmville, other types of games doesn’t have any market here.
All these problems led me to be Different
Being different will help me to prove to people here that games are not a waste of time and it’s a medium like all other mediums to transfer experience
I created games about political problems in Egypt (Mindless)
transferring love feeling (Simple Love)
persistence to achieve goals if you fail (Loss)
just expressing some of my crappy dreams (Crappy Dreams)
Also it will help me to target global market and since the market world wide is fierce and there are lots of games I have to struggle with so I have to stand out and be different.
Since I am Teacher Assistant at the university (computer department) so I have lots of students who play computer games so I always tell and show them indiegames and encourage them to make games and express themselves through games and encourage them to enter Gamejams
Organzing gamejams in Egypt and encourage people to participate and that wouldn’t happen without the support of GameTako (an arabic foundation that try to increase the connections between all game developers across the middle east)
Became a writer for Indiegames.com so I can be a portal for the arab developers to the world and help them to get noticed because there are really some amazing developers in middle east (The more developer we have the more games we have with different points of views and different experiences)
Created Egyptian Game Dev Group so people can depend on each other talk to each other collaborate find same mindset so people don’t feel alone anymore (we are still at the beginning)
Created around 30 games so far some of them are quietly known and some of them are totally garbage
Increase my exposure to the world
Made me feel I am not alone and there are people sharing my feelings
Increase my self confidence (as I never had one before)
Most of these games are created in GameJams and ExperimentalGameplay or LudumDare
That’s everything for now Hope it was good and it inspires someone to do games
As the title says its Match a Number Release Date on 14 November YaaaaaaaY which is next Thursday YaaaaaaaaY I hope you are excited as I am too The game will be for 0.99$ for the launch week then return to its price which is 1.99$
The game will feature 3 modes and Thanks to Danny Day from QCFDesign for making the 3rd mode (Multiplayer) happens without him I will never though about it at all.
Also today GameJolt contest started and the theme is PARTY and there is lots of prizes to get and my two commercial games (Atomic+ and Match a Number) are part of the prizes too with amazing games by my favorite indie developers.
That’s everything for now I hope you are all waiting like me for the release day
I think you know by now that Match a Number website was launched and trailer too I have submitted it to IGF Student Competition for this year I have submitted it to App Store and its now waiting for review
Last thing that agent whiskers released the game track on BandCamp for 0.99$ and its really amazing you should get it.
That’s everything for now hope that apple approve the game soon so we all can enjoy playing it
Hope there is still some people following me here on the blog as it have been long time since I wrote anything new but don’t worry I was away this time working on my new games. If anyone follows me on twitter (@amidos2006) he would probably know the running projects and he probably know that I have been working on Atomic+ for more than a month nearly two months.
Atomic+ got nice impression from Gamer’s Day and A Maze Festival but I couldn’t collect as much feedback on it in A Maze festival because it was viewed at a place called iLounge where it was far from Alex Theater (main place) where PC/Console are shown so hardly any person come to iLounge and all head to Alex Theater except for the launching day where the launch was on the top of the iLounge and I saw people loving my game and love it a lot and I got some really nice feedback where it cause to improve the game. Also I gave a talk there called “be Different” will post it here soon and hope to do it at another place too.
In Gamer’s Day I didn’t attend because it was impossible to get VISA to get to Saudi Arabia before pilgrim season so my musician Agent Whiskers went to the Gamer’s Day and we rocked there (I was wishing I was there) lots of people loved it and Agent Whiskers got interviewed by Arabic interview from GM-Moster
Here some of the feedback that the game had at Gamer’s Day
Also who follows me on twitter knows by now that I am working on an iOS version for my game Match a Number as I found it is easy to port to iOS and won’t need a lot of extra effort. When I showed the game to Danny Day (Head of QCF team) in South Africa he loved it a lot and suggested to me lots of improvements that made the game stands out now Since I always wanted to submit to IGF so I have to think which game to submit since Crappy Dreams was not finished yet so I have now two options either new Match a Number or Atomic+.
I chose Atomic+ for the IGF this year (YAAAAAAAAAY) I hope I have done the right decision for that I was wondering about how to pay the 95$ the entry fee and a friend of mine Tom (Founder of KintoGames) paid them for me as a gift and I am so so happy because I didn’t know how to pay them (because I don’t have much money)
Because of that I have made a trailer for Atomic+ and launched the website for it (Check the website)
That’s everything for now I have more and more news but I will post them on time (I hope nothing delays me more). Stay tuned for more news in the upcoming week about Match a Number launching so stay tuned.
Sorry for being away and not writing here or doing any activities or not having any released games since Atomic (end of April) but sorry again for that I was in very bad mood and bad situations but I promise you, that lots of releases are soon because I have been working on some long term projects and they are almost finished so stay tuned
I participated in past LudumDare 27 to release a new game but I had only 10 hours to make a game so I didn’t think about an idea I chose an old idea I had and implemented it. The result is Match A Number is out with two versions the LudumDare is very difficult because I restricted the timing to 10 seconds (to cop with the theme) but since the game had nice way to play so I made a relaxed version with more time and uploaded it to my beloved 3 portals
Long time since I post last time here but I was mainly suffering from depression and being busy and other mental issues and some family problems (Problem Cocktail ).
Yesterday was 1 year anniversary for the release of Clean’Em Up (as it was released on 22/6/2012) since there is no more sales or downloads for demo and my intention is always to have more people playing my games so I figure out to make Clean’Em Up Free to Play so more people can play it yaaaaay