My top games of 2011

This is a scrappy, thrown together list of my favorites of 2011. Through this list you can get a sense of what I tend to gravitate to or whatever, but it’s something I put together without a lot of the intense editing that goes into a “Deconstructing” piece… so bear with me if the language gets game blog level bad.

Ghost Trick (Nintendo DS, but now out for iOS as well): I was obsessed with this game in the very beginning of the year. Sure, there was the problem where some puzzles would get past the point where you could do anything and I would have to restart them, but that one small issue never really got on my nerves. Trial and error isn’t really that big of a deal in a game with as little overhead for restarting a puzzle, especially when that tanker stage in COD MW made me constantly keep back peddling every time I took the slightest wrong turn. That was really annoying in COD but in Ghost Trick it’s just a minor inconvenience.

The story was great, characters were awesome as per standard Phoenix Wright style (Takumi, director of PW series made this one) and the animation was in a league of its own. The puzzles, the other white meat of the game, were spectacular and inventive. Continue reading

From Concept Art to Sprite: Ugly John

I get a lot of the character designs that I’m using on the city street levels from people that I see on the street. I saw a guy who sorta looked like this while I was on my way home one night. It was late, and I couldn’t in reality take a picture, so I did a quick sketch while continuing to walk (I’ll get that uploaded one day). When I finally got to Sketchbook I just let it flow, and this was the result. Part of my inspiration came from the guy having a sleeveless shirt on, and I immediately thought he looked like an ugly version of John Lennon, hence the name Ugly John.

I’m not sure how, but I was able to take the design to a sprite level with very little trouble. My wife says he looks like he’s got balls for a forehead… and I’m fine with that.

My Global Game Jam 2012 Experience

This was my first game jam of any sort and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I participated in the Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics weekend event presented by Marc LeBlanc at the NYU Game Center last year, but that was comprised of a few quick group projects where finished products didn’t really matter and the purpose was learning how to fail quick primarily with some early physical prototypes that can be played as more of an option. The Game Jam, however, was a place where I was going to spend the weekend working with a team and I wanted to be able to walk away with a project, something that could at least let me tell myself, “I made this and I like it”.

I’m used to working at a big company, and not in the most hands on fashion when it comes down to the coding, design, or even art. I mean, I made video assets for over 4 years. But what I worked on at my job I was usually the front runner and the most knowledgeable of the craft. Now I was heading over to be a part of a large group of artists, programmers and straight up designers who have done the Game Jam, or something like it, before. It was very intimidating to say the least. I was being ripped out of my comfort zone. Continue reading

He’s on fire! New sprite art & my project has a name!

Coming fresh off of a successful Global Game Jam 2012 (which I will be posting about in the next day or two) I spent a better part of my free time this week animating this out.
I think it’s pretty successful, timing could maybe use some work toward the beginning.

The beat ‘em up now has a name, Treachery in Beatdown City. The intro/trailer will be posted on youtube by itself around the 15th of this month. You can check it out now in the January episode of Super Tight around the 6:55 mark, or just watch the whole hilarious episode. I promise you’ll enjoy it. You can also check out the bandcamp page for InversePhase to listen to the tune he composed for it.

I’ll be posting more to this space so keep an eye out, or just follow me on twitter (the button should be somewhere on my sidebar).

Let me know what you think!