I’m back!

Hi there, long absence, nice to see you again.

I’ve spent the last 3-4 months in total work-mode, drilling out the new promo comic for the latest Rebuild game (REBUILD 3: GANGS OF DEADSVILLE) for the Northways.  It has been a thrilling, yet exhausting ride working on my first and -until now- only comic, to be lumped in with their game in digital form, and it’s it’s full glory as a printed comic available at their exhibition stand in PAX PRIME Seattle 2014. They’ve done a fine job with the third game, it looks worlds-away in terms of professionalism compared the the previous installments in the Rebuild series, and I know Sarah, coder par excellence has done her very best. They told her to ‘bring it’ and she brought it alright.

Burned out ain’t quite the word for how I feel after working a full-time job and still managing to find the time to devote 3-4 hours per night on this thing. It’s my own fault in a sense- they only commissioned me to do a 6 page spread, but since we had lots of time (we thought) prior to PAX and the full release of Rebuild 3, I thought it was an opportunity for my shit to shine for the world to see, and trepidatiously stormed ahead and brought out a whopping 22-pager. with shading.

Being that I’m not a conventional artist, and certainly didn’t have any prior knowledge about comic layouts and forms, this was quite the task, and although the end result is a wee bit sparse in places due to time limits, it’s a pretty decent-looking mini-graphic novel that I think fans of any zombie genre will enjoy reading. It’s not ‘The Walking Dead’ quality by any means, saying that I think some of the artistic techniques I employed in drawing it came out rather well, and I can say it wouldn’t look out of place in any comic collectors bookcase.

Like I’ve mentioned before in my blog, I can’t draw for shit- so my drawing process mostly involved first modelling scenes in Poser (hey, it’s easier than Max to set up) and SketchUp and did a bit of trace ‘n’ moderate over them in Photoshop with the old graphic pen, adding certain elements such as clothing and held items. Setting up the scenes in 3D first was essential: it removed all the necessity to plot out 2/3 point perspectives, and ensured that however creatively I drew over them, the core anatomy of the images was always in place.

 

So that’s done and dusted, pheeeew! Don’t expect much out of me for the next couple of weeks, I’m having a well-deserved holiday and am planning to do nothing but rinse up ‘The Last of Us’ Factions on my brand-spanking new PS4 until late, late in the morning – watch out for EVIL_KRIS77 folks, he’s coming for you with a Semi-Auto. As for future projects, well, now that I’ve nothing on my plate, it’s time for ‘THE INSANITY 3′ to resurface. Yes, the plot has been spinning around in my head for years now, and I’d like to nail a coffin on this bitch once and for all.  My only issue is this; what platform do I develop it on? Let’s face it, the Flash industry $$$ isn’t what it used to be, and I’m wondering if tiny mobile pixels and no mouse are really cut out for a point’n’click game.   So…Steam?…HTML5….Unity? I’ll have to look into it. I dunno chaps, to be honest my mind has been so buried in working in the comic that I don’t know the direction the indie scene is going.  Let me know what you think.

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Rebuild 3 Comic Strip

Hey EvilKris, whatcha been up to?

Yup, sorry but for the time being I’ve been devoting myself to something other than my own games. Namely, Rebuild 3. That’s right. The zany zombie game where you have to fend off zombies and other enemies whilst expanding your territory is now in the process of becoming a trilogy, and I’m once again collaborating with Northway Games in an artist capacity. Check out the Northway blog (link on the top right) for more info on the game.

I’m not actually working on the in-game graphics this time, as other artists have already been hired for that- instead I’ve been commissioned to create the promo comic for the game, and so I’ve dusted off the old digitizer pad and have been hard at it for the past month or so.  

The third Rebuild will feature several new factions/gangs, each with their own leaders and quirks, and the comic will have a 6-8 page mixed color/greyscale storyline accommodating this new inclusion. It will introduce three of the faction chiefs, and their first encounter with each-other. It goes without saying that this is not going to be your everyday meet’n’greet, and there will definitely be some unexpected hiccups to go along with this rendezvous, in other words, blood, zombies, and more blood..:-)

I’m at about the halfway draft stage with the thing now. Although the main in-game graphics are kind of colourful and cutesy, anyone who knows my art knows that it is far from that, and the comic will be a vicious and nasty blood-fest that Sarah and I hope will please fans who prefer that. I’m definitely aspiring to a Walking Dead level of writing and artwork, and even though I’m not a traditional artist by trade, I’m doing my best to ‘bring it’ and not disappoint anyone out there who might anticipate this kind of thing. As of writing, we’re not sure if the comic is going to be web only. There’s talk of handing it out in graphic novel form at some future gameshow, but we’ll see. The ETA for the game release will probably be around May, but hopefully I’ll get the comic done long before that!  

Here’s a couple of sneaker shots. This is draft quality and doesn’t reflect the final incarnation of the panels.

 

 

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Lordy lordy…spammed to death!

Hey guys,

Sorry for the long absence, I know it’s been a while.

Checked my WordPress comment box the other day and found 14,696 unapproved comments. Needless to say, I’ve a) canned the lot of them, and b) added a brand spanking new ReCaptcha filter.  The good news- once you’ve filled in the ReCaptcha garble correctly your post will now instantly appear on the blog-  instead of awaiting the usual moderation from the dude here.

I’d like to strongly apologise to those of you whose comments were lost to the sea during the big php mail dump. Everything should be in order now.

So what’s going on?

Angry Girlfriend was 90% complete but came under heavy criticism from my peers, therefore I kind of left it on the shelf for a bit. I felt the nasty urge to start fresh on another game and it overcome me for once I’m afraid.

I’ve been working on an (as yet) unnamed title which is da da daaaa– a horror game.  Kind of. Not exactly on the dark and morbid level of the Insanity games, but rather a slightly cutesy (albeit disturbing) action romp in the style of an rpg game.  The graphics are tiny and sort of Diablo-esque. It’s ever-so-slightly based on an old C64 title called ‘Friday 13th’- which was in truth quite an ugly duckling even for it’s time.  Who knows why I liked it so much as a kid. Anyway I felt a nostalgic tug to to write something similar, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months.

I’m probably going to name the game after the games villain -  ‘BasketHead Billy’ . Think Pyramid head with a wicker basket instead of a metal triangle for a hat, wearing ragged cordoray trousers as he humps around an enormous machete.He’s out to get you and your teenage camping buddies, and you’ve gotta put a stop to him before he either dices up all your chums or turns your own ball-sack into lettuce.

The game requires you to seek out a bunch of power-ups and weapons that will assist you in killing BasketHead Billy. You can try to take him on at any time but he’ll probably kick your ass, therefore you have to rush around exploring the map looking for these power-tools to help you take him out. On the way you might come across some of your friends, who will tell you where you can find things, or Billy’s gang of zombies which you can dispatch for said items and er…well just because they’re fun to beat up, really. Oh and to stop them also attacking your friends. It’s an exploration/beat-em-up game. I love the ‘Last of Us’  (INSANITY_EK online PS3 tag) so I just had to mimic the cool way you rush towards and HAMMER your opponents with a *crack* you have the 2×4.  So I’ve added a similar function when you pick up a baseball bat in my own game. It’s quite cool, certainly makes the action more fun.

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INSANITY 3

Believe me I feel extremely keen to get back into the development of the final Insanity game, and I’m working my little butt-cheeks off to finish this current one so I can get back on to the series. I’ve been toying with the idea of including some actual 3d (not pre-rendered) to boost the tension in certain scenes, too. I was worried that the Flash platform was inappropriate for any true 3d, but I have it on good authority that Flash has no problem handling some simple objects and even meshes with bones or keyframe animation. So I’m fiddling with Away3d as we speak. Will post with some experiments soon.  This will be very cool.

 

Dark Souls 2 Shield Contest

Have you entered it yet? I uploaded two shields but I’m still waiting for approval. If you see them on there, be sure to vote. Here are my own entries- I’m happy with the first one (except the hem) but I could’ve worked the second one a little more- I was just too keen to enter. Too bad it’s a voting contest and not done by a panel- seems like the top guys are all YouTube Dark Souls whores, so they’re winning by popularity alone, boo!!

THE ABYSS CREST

shield2

HEART-ROT SHIELD

shield

In truth, I’m a little taken aback by the quality of some of the other submissions. My own personal favourites in there already are the ones called ‘Bite’ and ‘Weeping Chaos’.  Sweet designs!

Sunken World released

Play Sunken World here. Don’t forget to vote!

I have really busted my royal British chops trying to ensure maximum distribution for this game.  Prior to now I’d usually just upload to FGL.com, newgrounds.com, kongregate, and a couple of other top twenty online gaming sites and be done with it–  but I was a little  curious to see just how far manual distribution would get me this time, therefore I uploaded the game to as many as possible Flash site lists out there.So far results have been pretty sub-standard; almost none of the sites have yielded any impressive hit counts. Next time I don’t think I’ll bother.

Another comparison I wanted to try was how well MochiAd’s do against CpmStar, so I split the uploads between those two versions.  I’m definitely feeling that CPMStar is the way to go so far. They pay for clicks rather than impressions, and the dollar value in hits has been  actually outearning Insanity 2 for revenue,  bringing home a better estimated rev than Mochi. Could be down to the sites I uploaded it to, who knows, early days yet–…my hunch is telling me CPMStar simply brings in more bacon at the end of the day. Have to wait until things settle to see how the finances from the game stabilize. Either way let’s face it, we’re only talking a few pennies a day here *scoff* – I’m still broke (chuckle). For the next game, Angry Girlfriend, I’ll be employing some microtransactions– well, really more of a charity box that get’s you an extra character and maybe adds a couple of enemies, really. We’ll see how that pans out.
 

SplatterHouse AS3 Tutorials being written…

Check out the first part here.

Other news:

‘Sunken World’ has gotten a sponsor, Mokshal Media. While I didn’t sell the game for quite what I was anticipating (by a long shot, lol) but the sponsor is seems to want to promote the game around a lot, and I figure the pay-per-click might be good on this one. I’m pleased that I could finally get it out into the proverbial ocean  be out for you all to play. Update here upon release.  Sorry but the game has ad’s up the ass- what else can I do? I sold my soul. Getting broke, folks.

‘Angry Girlfriend’ is bearing upon release. Not tooting my own horn but fans of games like Dad ‘n’ Me are going to love this one, it’s got a great old-school feel and is probably the best game I’ve coded to date!  I even find it quite addictive!  Good sign? Sure hope so. Who knows with these things? Thought Sunken World was great too.  Oops, sorry to go all negative on ya!

Anyway, at this point the game is more or less complete- I’m simply thinking about how to throw in some in-game monetization options for my true fans to finally part with some of their cash.  How about another secret character with some special moves in exchange for $1-2 on GamerSafe? If you guys ever want to see Insanity 3, better think about buying the expansion pack *chuckle*

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pmp

Greetings, time for an update.

The Vault Portal:

As you’ve probably noticed I’ve been spending some time working on my online games portal ‘THE VAULT’. The site is in no way intended to compete with the big boys, just a quick’n’dirty way to bring people to my games and (fingers crossed) also bring in an extra bit of ad dosh. Been through a ton of issues (and tissues) get it up and running, and it’s still not free of problems. The fact that I know diddly squat zero about php doesn’t help.

Angry Girlfriend:

For the past 2-3 months I’ve been working mainly on ‘Angry Girlfriend’. This is my first attempt at many things; a fighting game; a comical game; a tiny game with quick deaths and a high replay value;  a game that has mtx (possibly).  First and foremost is to verify what kind of a bite I can get from the sponsors when I dangle it in front of them- if not on a substantial enough financial level then I plan to fire the game down down the MTX route. Gameplay is perfunctory and intentionally so; it’s the perfect setup for a follow up game or the same game with added MTX. Either way it’s win/win.  One thing I’ve learned from coding Flash games these past 5 years (God it has been that long) – is that big dream projects get you nothing except fans. To make money in this business it’s better to break your babies into parts. Rebuild 2 was essentially the first game with more graphics, new endings, a scrappy player customizer. Most of it was aesthetics, but the fans were happy for the most part, and the game didn’t take longer than a few months to wrap up. It made  a killing financially. Anyway, take note indie noobs.

Can’t post any more beta’s of the game now- it’s too far in development now.  As always, if you’re in FGL you can see it, however. Screenies-

 

 

More news:

Sunken World did not sell yet, so I think I’ll be cutting my losses and releasing it with ingame ads just as soon as I can scrape up the cash to pay off the audio guys (yes I am that broke, lol). It’ll probably be released with Angry Girlfriend simultaneously.It has been plagued with some unfixable bugs in Google Chrome that causes jittery fps. I think it’s related to a blur filter effect that emulates the underwater environment- *sigh* nothing I can do about that now as those effects are a quintessential element of the game– anyway the moral of this story is that while developing always, always test your game under EVERY browser. The game is quite fun IMO but it’s another bomb by the looks of things. Shit. Still, another notch on my proprietary library belt.  If nothing else, The Evil Dude here is always positive.

Insanity 3:

Insanity 3 is waaaaay on the backburner these days. The way I see it is that I’m saving that one for the day that a) I actually start making some goddamn money in this business that affords me the time to put aside 3-6 months to make it, or b) I can sell it as an ALL-IN-ONE on mobile with Insanity 1&2&3 and charge a good price for it. You will see it one day folks, that I can promise. Spent way too much time on it to leave that one in the dust already.

 

Sayonara to ‘YD Japan Gamer Blog’ and hello to ‘The Vault’

Betcha one or two of you were wondering about the lack of blog updates. In case you thought it was laziness let me tell you, au contraire monsieur, I’ve been busy as a beaver getting my new blog and portal up and running!

A new private domain on HostGator. I now have complete control bwahahahahahaaaaa! Was a good bargain actually, only $100 for a year or so, and -I’m not plugging them- but HostGator offer a lot of idiot-proof tutorials, also mod’s, add-ons, and such.

So what is The Vault?

The Vault is a portal like any other, except that we only specialise only in horror games.  Also, unlike other portals the games will be divided into categories by the level of their  gruesomeness. At present I’m only planning to host the games through Mochi Feeds and remote uploads, but who knows?  Ultimately it would be great to have reviews for the better games and also to build a community of horror fanatics, throw in stuff such as fan art and wikia’s.

Anyway the site is fairly light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek. It would be nice to have a Vault horror mascot, like in CreepShow.  I won’t particularly encourage  people to upload stuff that is borderline psychotic, porn I couldn’t give two craps about, but no rape or torture games.

This should be fun- I don’t think I’ve ever seen a joint portal melded with a personal blog from a game developer to date!

As for the blog, I decided to migrate from Blogger to WordPress. I quite like the cleaner, more elegant look. I’ll be adding widgets and probably fiddling with the design a tad in the near future.

Bear in mind that everything is under construction, don’t be posting naggin’ comments about the design until the Under Construction graphic is removed from the logo.

 

Kris

p.s. Some exciting updates Angry Girlfriend and Insanity 3 await, check this space!

Sprites Are A Go! (plus minor Insanity 3 update)

It has been a busy early November week and I’ve had almost no time to spend on the games. Also had put a chunk of my time into making a couple of flyers for a club-owner friend who threatened to take away the free beers I get every time I visit his bar if I don’t help him out. I did however start spriting the new game, Angry Girlfriend, or Nagging Wife or whatever I’m going to call it. Check it below. Nothing much has changed gameplay-wise but you can see I’ve started the spriting process on the main character. Not the best artwork in the world I’d quickly agree, but it still took ages to do. Feel sorry for guys who have to do that all day long, and I’m glad I can hope between coding and spriting on my own projects.


Next up is ‘Insanity 3′. As I have mentioned, I’m working on the game at the weekends. So here’s what I roughed out last chance I had.

It’s a demo of the manual reload part of the game. I wanted to find a way to add extra tension when you get into gunfights, and suddenly thought it would be fun and kind of original if you had to actually reload the gun yourself. I can see people getting all panicky and messing up the reload- kind of like real life, right? But not to worry, they’ll be a duck-hunting practice zone in the game for people to sharpen their skills. ——————— And as for other news, tomorrow November 6th is my B-day is tomorrow. 35 years old. Emphasis on the ‘old’ part. Ouch.