mardi 16 septembre 2014

WELCOME!

Hi everyone, my name is Aurelien Regard (@AurelRegard), and I'm a small video game developer.
I co-founded a studio called Arkedo 7 years ago, and now I'm trying to make games on my own: code, art and music. To achieve that, I have to improve my skills in every area of game making. First step, my ugly and experimental English.

THE-NEXT-PENELOPE.COM is online!

I'd like to keep this weblog only for sketches, post-mortems, news and dev stuff, so...
The official website for my first one-man-band game is now live! You'll find some fresh video footage, artworks, screenshots, press kit... and even some fancy GIFs!
Oh, and you can pre-order for -33% off, if you're in the mood.





vendredi 21 février 2014

THE NEXT PENELOPE - Now with video footage!

I could take ages to explain my new game here with text, but a friend of mine has been kind enough to do the English voice over on the first video devlog... How handy!
So, let's post screenshots, and if you find it interesting, just fire the video!

FULL HD SCREENSHOTS PACK: https://www.dropbox.com/s/15vju2qa2trwrto/EARLY_media_pack.zip






GLOBAL GAME JAM T-Shirts!

William from SwingSwingSubmarine asked me to do a motivational speech on stage for the Global Game Jam 2014 in Paris.
It was quite fun to do, but the VERY fun part was to see 100+ guys and girls with the official T-shirt I made... Ships everywhere on everybody!






dimanche 3 novembre 2013

Nov 9th on Steam! Now with a weird trailer!




Today I'm glad to show the very first screenshots of a small game we started before the end of Arkedo.


Before, and months after the closure too,  Dimitri (@Mihtree) and I spent some time to get it polished enough to be proud of it, and hopefully find a publisher for the game.
...And it's done! Our friends at Neko Entertainement (they published "Puddle" last year on many platforms) handle it from now on, and will try to push the game on PC, Mac and Linux.


► But speaking of the game, what is it exactly?

Do you remember the very first Mario Bros Arcade game, the one with the "POW" in the middle of the stage? Do you know Super Crate Box and Orcs Must Die? Well, mix some elements from those three titles, and make it something very difficult and fast.

This is what “Poöf” is: hectic AND very strategic at the same time. At first sight, because we wanted it very readable (remember this post?), it could look like a casual iPad game… Trust me, it's SO NOT.

After a quite long HellYeah development, we wanted to make a game only focused on hardcore gameplay, tight controls and choices.





That's how we came out with this cute canine knight, protecting his beloved kitty from waves of sneaky monsters, and using a lot of attack/defense techniques.

Playtesters who try the game at this moment seem very happy with it, and I must admit it's a kind of a relief to see it finished and played for real.

That's exactly why I made this: I won't get money from it, I just felt how it was such a shame to have a game nearly done, and maybe forgotten forever in an old computer with no one actually playing it.
I know how Neko are doing a very good job at their new publishing activities, I can see it with Puddle everywhere and more to come, now I can't wait to see what they can do with our small canine hero!

As soon as they produce videos for it, I will post it here too, and share more details… So, stay tuned! And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send it to me on twitter! ( @AurelRegard )

Screenshots






On a side note:

Maybe you wonder why the game is called "Poöf". Well, you can cancel any bonus item of the game, at any moment, and change it for a cute, slowing enemies, golden poo. So, woof, poo... Oh come on, it's super difficult to find a game name, you know that right?  Thanks for reading! :)

lundi 3 juin 2013

VIDEO: let's make your own games!


Note for English readers:
Me and my friend Pipomantis would like to present a small video we made last week. Because I LOVE making games, I'd like more people to get into gamemaking and feel how great it is. The goal is to explain to absolute beginners how to make their very own first games. I just exported the french version, so, let's post it. I still have to add subtitles and release the english version. It's coming in a few days!

Update: I made the subtitles for the first half, and... Let's face it, now I understand how useless it is. You just can't look at the mouse cursor AND read the subtitles at the same time. We talk way too much for that (bloody french guys!). So no english version for now. W
e are thinking about a new video, english spoken from the start. Kind of a "deluxe version", with more chapters in it to answer some advanced questions we get about animation, particles, etc... So, stay tuned!

Pour les lecteurs français:
Aujourd'hui je suis heureux de vous présenter >> une petite vidéo << qu'on a faite avec Pipomantis / CanardPC, afin de partager le plaisir qu'on peut avoir à faire son propre jeu vidéo. Elle est destinée aux débutants absolus, les pros vont bien rigoler j'imagine. Mais les autres devraient apprendre quelques trucs intéressants, et peut-être même avoir l'envie de s'y mettre, qui sait? J'espère que ca vous plaira, et qu'on est pas trop ridicules en action (c'est la première fois que je fais un truc du genre). Bon visionnage à tous!


>> DOWNLOAD (or alt.link) << SOURCE FILES (and the terrible music MP3)
(then you just have to select "import" in game maker studio to load it)

mardi 7 mai 2013

THREE GOOD NEWS AT ONCE!


  
A quick post here to share some cool things happening now or very soon.

► New game incoming! With a publisher!


After the closure of Arkedo, we (Dimitri and I) spent some time polishing a little game we made in the last months of the studio. Basically, it's a super hardcore version of the very old Mario Bros Arcade, of course with a twist. Now we're quite happy with it. We made some successful playtests, and we even now have a publisher for it!

I made this for the joy of actually seeing the game played (I won't get any money from it). It was quite sad to imagine this title forgotten forever in a secret box or something. I will ask to our publisher if I can share some screenshots, details and artworks here in the following days, so stay tuned! 


► A video challenge to bring people to game making

In the following weeks, I will try to publish a big video tutorial for beginners about making games on your own, from start to finish. The goal is to share some knowledge about various tools, and having fun explaining that to beginners.

Me and a friend (who don't know that much about game development) will try to make a small full game in 1 hour or so, from design to code and music. 

Honestly, I think we'll fail at the one hour only limit, but it will be fun and hopefully interesting anyway... It could be featured by a famous french magazine too, so everyone with good game ideas can learn how to make cool prototypes quickly. 

Note: It will of course be subbed in English! (< any advice on easy editing tools for that? The youtube autosub feature seems to be only available for spoken English)


► Want to meet? Join me at the next Game Apero (by Game In)



I've been invited by the Game In association to join the next Game Apero in Lille (France) on  June 26th. I will talk about some of my small experiences in the game industry. There will be many studios, publishers, and cool people having fun and discuss video game development topics. Let's have a beer together!



 

vendredi 8 mars 2013

GameMakerwhat?


New post, now for something more positive. Since my last one, I have been getting a tremendous amount of support for my next project. It feels very good to talk about fresh stuff. But some people seem doubtful about my GameMaker choice.

... aaaand I definitely can understand that. It sounds like I was making real games using real tools before at Arkedo, and like I'm now playing with an old E-jay shareware for dummies.

Very few game developers (and gamers) really know what can be achieved with GM, so let's talk a bit about it. Even if you knew GameMaker years ago, you could be surprised by the features recently added.

First things first, here comes some great PC games you could know, made with GameMaker:




What was the "old" Game Maker, as you may remember it?

GM is born more than 10 years ago from a teacher named Mark Overmars, for an educational purpose. Using simple Drag n' Drop actions, it has given to total beginners the opportunity to make small games of their own.
The technical performances were kind of limited, but the very smart visual interface was a design tour de force.

Then a script language (called GML) was added, and a growing talented community made extensions, DLLs, and more. That way, you could find young beginners using only Drag n' Drop actions for simple tests, and advanced users using GML scripts to bring very rad games like the ones above.



This classic Game Maker software is now kind of frozen for about one year.


What is the "new" Game Maker Studio?

GM is now owned by a company called Yoyo Games, founded by people with impressive track records ( Microsoft Xbox, Sumo Digital, Apple, Hasbro, EA, Funcom, etc... more info here) They have done an amazing work with the release of a rewritten software, named GM "Studio".
Designed for real production, this new version costs real money and is targeted for professional users.

- GM is now integrated to Steam, with Cloud support for the projects, and even SVN.

- It can efficiently export to PC / Windows 8 store / Mac Appstore / iOS Appstore / HTML 5 / Windows Phone and Android. A lot of games have been successfully approved now.
More targets are planned, like the Linux export coming very soon.

- The exported games run in the appropriate language on each platform (no more Delphi!), which bring performances on par with natively written games. (I'm very impressed to see how runs my PC prototype on a retina iPad)

- The included set of convenient tools (sprite editor, paths, tiles layers, room editor, timelines, etc...) makes game development super fast.

- Better performances mean you're not restricted to retro inspired games.
I just love 8/16-bits inspired titles, but now if you want huge sprite sheets and know how to handle texture pages management, you're more than welcome in the HD era. Even with shinny additive blending FXxxxx.

- GMS even includes "evil features" like In App purchases, Flurry, Ads support, Facebook / Twitter integration, etc... You definitely can make your shameful freemium with tons of "Coin Doublers" and "Click this ad to get a 40 coins reward!" features. (Please don't)

- There even is a physic engine. I never used it for now, so I can't tell anything good or bad about this, but here you can watch an Angry Bird clone creation, if Box2D is your kind of thing.




Now I would like to try it for real game production, what do I need to know?

If you're a regular beginner: nothing, just go for it. You'll need patience, good ideas, and the most important, to learn to finish a game. Maybe you could just stick to the free regular GameMaker for now, if you're not interested by multiplatform exports.

If you're an experienced game developer, used to more classic environments,here come some notes.

- GM is mainly made for 2D projects. Crazy guys do crazy 3D things with it, but Unity seems a way better choice for now if you want 3D gameplay.

- You still can use Drag n' Drop actions for basic design, but most of the "pro" features use GML script language only.

- One tool is missing: where is the Particle editor?.  Problem solved here.

- The documentation and WIKI are great, but the forums and the google results can be misleading at start. Because of the two versions having different behaviors (regular GM vs GMS), you always have to be careful when reading a tutorial. Is it for Studio or not?

That said, there are TONS a good tutorials everywhere for both. And once mastered, the messy forums are in fact very, very useful.

- Due to the educational purpose of the original GM, you'll face professionals AND regular users at the same place. Please don't panic. I'm personally more than happy to read dumb questions, there is always a chance to learn something from the answer. (You'll probably read some dumb questions of mine, too).

- GM Studio evolves a lot. New features come every month, like the cross platform network capacities added last week. Stay tuned, have a look at the roadmap (shaders, linux...), and read the changelogs closely. Maybe follow the YoYo team on twitter to get sneak peeks and news on upcoming things, too.

- GM Studio allows super fast game development, but can't do magic. Yes you'll have to pay the $100 developer fees from Apple, and yes you'll need a Mac connected to compile your iOS project, even if you do 99,9% of the work on your PC. Expect a very cool tool, not a miracle.

Conclusion

I hope many devs will try the new GMS in the future, it's just great. And as titles as The Binding of Isaac shown to many, even with a very simple technology, a great game is a great game, made with Unity, GameMaker, Flash or Unreal... Let's make cool things now!