Ludum Dare 29 – Vaults Inc

Game, Programming, Project

Ludum Dare! The famous indie game competition has just ended and I once again locked me out of the world for 3 days to design, program,
In this edition, the theme was “Beneath the Surface“. In comparison with other editions, a very easy theme because it defines only the thematic aspect of the game. Most of games can be adapted to fit the theme, from shooters, strategy games, platformers. It is much harder when it restricts the mechanics of the game, like “10 Seconds” from Ludum Dare 27.
In my case, even with an easy theme, I face a lot of difficulty to design the game. I know that Ludum Dare audience is mainly indie designers with very little experience and they appreciate mostly popular action game genres, like platformer, top-down adventures and first person shooters. But it was definitively not what I wanted in this edition. With an easy theme, I wanted to innovate in the mechanics.
In Brazil, the competition started Friday by 10pm. It is generally a good thing, because we are tired from work and it is close to sleeping time. Because the openness we got from the theme, I faced a lot of difficulty on designing, because designing requires restricting yourself. I only closed the final mechanics by Saturday lunch, 12 hours after the competition start.

Vaults Inc

Vaults Inc is a turn based strategy game. It is like a city building, but underground: you build a bunker from a post-nuclear-war universe. Imagine Fallout’s vaults. I wanted to grab a little of its universe, specially the visuals and humor.
Each turn the player have to build a new block in the bunker. Each block can increase or decrease or Income, Money, Fame or Population. The strategy comes from the interaction that each new block generates: Landfill decreases Fame is placed next to a residential block; slaughterhouse generates more income if placed next to a restaurant; fancy restaurant decreases fame is other fancy restaurants are built. Timing and Location are crucial.
Bigger bunkers means bigger problems: the more you grow, your fame and income start to go down. The game has typically 50 turns and the player have to reach the biggest population possible.”The most complete Fallout-Bunker-Simulator. Learn it for a future not that improbable”

The post was originally on blog.Gamenific.com

Vacation is More Work

Game, Personal, Programming, Project

There is another vacations! Hey!!!!!

After Argentina and Chile last year and Cube and Mexico in May, this time I will visit… nowhere!

The old plan

That’s it. I was planning to go to Disney World, USA. The idea was to go in a big group and have fun. I went to Disney when I was in college (I lived in USA for 6 month in a exchange program) and I loved it! Loved it! Disney creates a magic atmosphere that one cannot ignore. They mastered the idea themed park.

Well, my original plan started to go wrong when I foresaw a complicated end-of-year in my job, due a project that I was involved. Things went worse with time. My boss said once or twice that we would stay in extra hours if needed.

Then I reached the moment of choice. With a lot of uncertainty, dollar-real ratio in a bad shape, and missed the momentum, I’ve finally decided to abort my trip and stay home.

The new plan

Cry no more! I have a new plan!

Besides my formal job, I invest a great deal of time in my lovely hobby: designing video games. I do all the process, from programming, drawing, writing, painting and whatever it is needed.

I have about 8 prototypes that I believe that can reach the market someday. One of them is a puzzle game called Picubic. It charming, it is challenging and it is fun. But most of all, it is the closest one to have, at this moment, a shot in the wild wild market. I named the gaming division of Bruno Massa Corporation as Gamenific, a mix of Magnific (magnificent) and Game!

For this reason, since I decided to abort my trip I also decided to invest all my time to launch it. Finish it once and for all and sell it. The plan is to launch it’s beta ITS WEDNESDAY! Kinda of… The plan is in fact, to launch a funding campaign in Indiegogo (the poorer cousin from Kickstarter) to help to leverage some money and close it. But most of all, to attract people. The company will only gain traction if there is a big enough audience. Let’s create a brand!

I can now only hope that this plan works. Otherwise, it will be a waste of a good Disney moment.

Picubic

Project, Web

My new game, Picubic, is now released under the Alpha flag.

Mechanics

Picubic is puzzle game inspired on the Japanese Picross, or Nonogram.
The objective of Picross is to discover what image is hidden, using the hints. That’s why the name is a mix of picture and crosswords. But there is a fundamental difference between Picross and Picubic: Picubic is a 3D puzzle! It uses the same general logic, but with a great twist. The final pictures are in fact 3D objects: TV, Sofa, sportsman, truck, trees…
There are hints for each of the axis (X, Y and Z), which might create interesting challenges.

Graphics

Because the game is essentially an abstract game, it was a challenge to decide a theme for the game. The first and obvious choice was a black/white theme. But I was not happy about it. I wanted to give it a personality, a distinctive face.
After some attempts, I decided for a general look and feel of wood. It is something not usual for games, so it would be somewhat unique. It’s beautiful.
The graphics were created using 3 sources: myself, free stuff from internet and outsourcing. I’m not an artist, so the current version have a lot of temporary material. Later I will replace it for the definitive versions.

Development and Road map

It’s a one-man game for now. I personally did the whole programming. Done entirely as C# code using Unity3D and Monodevelop. I’m really happy about the IDE.
There will be an editor for players to create their own puzzles, send to friends (an Facebook and Google+ integration planned). The editor is the same used by myself. It's not in the current alpha because of some bugs.
The final version is planned to be by October. Each 15 days I plan to release a new version. The lite version will have about 10 puzzles, besides the tutorial.

Where to Find it?

The game will be launched for Android and iOS phones/tablets, Windows/Linux/Mac as well web version, playable in any modern browser. The Alpha and beta versions will be probably only deployed as the web version.
See https://picubic.com for furthers news.

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