Archives for category: super zombie bowl

I’ve reached a point in the development Super Zombie Bowl where I can literally spend hours tweaking small values yet ultimately feel as though I haven’t changed anything – the time spent tweaking is seriously disproportionate to the increase in actual fun (which feels minimal – if any increase at all). I’m going to try something radical the next time I sit down to do some programming – I’m not going to think too much about the changes I’ll make I’m just going to start making big changes to the way the game works – deviate completely from the design and write code so dirty it would make John Holmes look like a choirboy. Sometimes, breaking things can increase the scale of fun by a factor of HADOUKEN!

Turn your volume down now!

The artwork for SZB has been coming along nicely these last couple of weeks. The artist and myself have developed a working pattern as such: he works during the day (as he is freelance) and provides an updated build containing new and improved artwork at the end of his day. Since I have a full-time job I get to review his work in the evenings and provide feedback ready for him in the morning. When he works the next day he’ll either focus exclusively on my feedback or defer it in favour of creating new content.

Overall it’s a very good working pattern – I like to know that when he asks me a question or needs an opinion he’s going to get it first thing when he comes to work the next day. There’s nothing worse than waiting around for an answer or decision to be given – or working underneath a cloud of confusion and presumption. Similarly – I like to know that anything I ask for is going to be done within a day or two.

You could probably write a book on communication woes between developers and clients (or at least a dissertation like I did). It’s one of those things that gets touted when things go pear-shaped on a project – but overall I think to be successful at communication you have to be open, provide clear direction, constructive and detailed feedback and don’t spend too long trying to provide it – basically do it as quick as you can. It’s not so bad for me because if I miss a day the artist can work on something else, in a professional development environment those artists, programmers and designers are going to turn up to work regardless. And they will continue to work regardless of whether they have your feedback or not.

This is America’s number 1 violent game show!

Tonight's contestant on Super Zombie Bowl is...

Preparing for broadcast nationwide this fall.

Ok, that joke really didn’t work. But fortunately the latest iteration of the grass does…and how! Drink it in.

Looking good!

Besides the main character – which you would rightly assume would have a number of revisions to get right – the grass for the pitch has turned out to be surprisingly tricky for Super Zombie Bowl. Currently in its third iteration, the pitch is arguably the most important visual aspect of the game. It occupies the most screen space for a start, and it acts as the backdrop for the entire game as it unfolds. It ties all the visual elements together – from player character, zombies, traps and the HUD. They all sit on top of the grass so its important it be visually stimulating yet not overpowering – and complement all the other visual elements in the game. Then there’s the issue of texture – too much and the grass looks too long, but not enough and it looks like a very bland block of solid colour. It’s been a difficult journey – and a completely unexpected one.

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I’ve got a new version of Super Zombie Bowl’s hero to show off – he’s looking a lot better now the ‘Fun House’ logo has been removed from his helmet. This evening was spent inserting the new art into the game – all characters are nearly complete. Next step is adding in the animations – which I suspect is going to be more time-consuming than originally thought – especially with regards to animations where two characters come into contact.

My hero!

My first game, Super Zombie Bowl, is inspired by games like Monster Dash and Doodle Jump. I’ve designed it to be a simple pick-up-and-play style of game that will appeal to gamers looking for a quick-fix of gaming whilst waiting for something (…or sitting on the toilet!). Although the rounds are intentionally short they are packed with variety and enough random encounters to ensure that each round is never quite the same. Once more, playing for a long time doesn’t guarantee a high score – in this game players are rewarded for taking risks (making a potentially fatal change of course to get the powerup!) and accumulating kills as quickly as possible. Leaderboards will also play a pivotal role, as competing to beat a friend or total stranger will contribute to the appeal of the game.

Meet the greatest contestant on Super Zombie Bowl – America’s most popular gameshow! He may change a little over the coming weeks – the logo on the helmet has a touch of Pat Sharp’s Fun House about it, so that’ll have to go – but overall I’m loving the style.

Pac Man just grew a pair!

Here are some coloured concepts for the game’s characters – there will probably be some tweaking going on over the next few weeks to ensure everything (including environment etc) work harmoniously. But for now I think these are looking really good – green and purple work really well together.

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It’s only been 24 hours since I discussed the change of art direction with the project’s artist, now I almost have the complete set of characters. Gotta sketch ’em all!

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