Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 will be the next generation of "Snowconesolid Games", Maybe the best?

     Hey everyone. It's been weeks since the last blog post. I feel like I should post this update to talk about what I have been up to lately in indie game development, computer graphics and what I have planned for 2014. I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about so this is going to be a big blog post.

Current project:
I will first start  from where I left off. In the previous blog post I said I was working on a new "secret" game project. After that I have not really said much about the game. It is still early in development and I do not have very much to show at the moment but I have been working on it. If you have been following my twitter or seen me on the unity forums, I have been posting screenshots and stuff from the game project often. Here is some screens from development if you have missed them.




Here is the main character from my new game that you see in those screenshots. His name is "Choco". He rides a bike and wields a large frozen fish which is used to break frozen objects.


I have also put up an alpha build of the first level from the game for you to try out. I have made a lot of changes since this build and the level you see here is completely different now so this build is kind of outdated but still its interesting to try out if you want to see how the game was going to be like earlier on.



You can try it right here Level One Alpha build
It is also up in the "Prototype/Demonstration" projects section of the blog as well.

As you can see by some of the screenshots, this game is going to be a toon styled game. My goal is to create a unique visually appealing cartoony graphic style and achieve it with this game project. Going for kind of a gravity rush and skyward sword graphic style with my own touch.

So anyway, this is my current game project at the moment. I will talk more about it down the road in upcoming blog posts. This will be my first game release of 2014. I am planning on finishing it and releasing it early 2014. So far I think its turning into a great game project. It will be a step up from my other game projects and I look forward to sharing more news about soon.


Next Gen Snowconesolid:
Now I want to talk about other things I have planned. 2014 will be the "next generation" of my games (I like to say that). So, while working on my current toon game project I have also been working on something else on the side. I am always working on and practicing improving my art skills such as 3d character models and stuff to really create great quality game assets and artwork.

Here is my newest original character model I recently finished. I call him "Nxgen Alien"



I put in a lot of work in this character model and I think its a major step up compared to my other characters that is why I decided to name it "Nxgen Alien". While my previous character models have a more toony look, this one has more of a pseudo realistic look to it.  It also fully rigged, ready to be animated and is game ready.

Here is a screenshot of the characters rig in blender, rigged with riggify.




 So the reason I am showing off this character model right now is to kind of show off how much I have improved and what you can expect from my future game projects. This is a small preview of what "next gen snowconesolid games" will look like. Actually, I do have another game project planned which this character will be in but that is for another time. But after I finish my toon game I plan on working on a more graphically realistic game project.

Here is some screenshots of my "Nxgen Alien" character in the unity game engine. I just placed him in the scene I am working on for my toon game project.





In the second image you can see two versions of the "Nxgen Alien", the one on the left is the toon shaded version with a more cartoony look and the one on the right is a more realistic version of the model using the bumped specular shader and the normal map I created to let the details of the model pop out like the warts on his head, clothes wrinkles, etc. After comparing the two I really liked the more realistic shaded version more.

I have created a webplayer that has my "Nxgen Alien" character model in it so you can have a look at the model in the unity engine yourself. I encourage you to check it out.

try it here Nxgen Alien model viewer


 (This demo is also available in the "prototype/Demonstration" projects section of the blog)








In conclusion, it looks like 2014 is going to be a really good year for "Snowconesolid Productions". I think this might be my best year as an indie dev and a chance for me to really show off what I can do with blender and unity. I think I will have some of my greatest quality game releases this year. Already I have two projects planned, my current toon styled game project and then a more realistic styled game. I am the type of person who likes to change art styles often because I think it gives me as an artist more of a challenge to try something new instead of making one art style and sticking to it. I have a lot of  goals and things planned that I want to achieve in 2014. I think its going to be a really exciting year and I am really looking forward to it.

So I guess that is all for now. This will be my final blog post of 2013 so I will see you all next year.
Hope everyone has happy holidays and a good time.
Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New seceret game project in the works.

     Im back again!   
The title says it all folks. I am working on a new game project. I have been for the past two weeks actually. Of course, the game is still in its very very early development stages and there is not really much to show at the moment. However, I did already create a couple of important game assets for my new project such as the main character which I will be revealing in time of course.

For now, my new game project will remain a secret until I have more of it finished. Well, it's not really a secret anymore because now you know I am working on something new. If you have seen me on the unity forums or follow my tweets on twitter you might have also noticed a bunch of screenshots I posted of very early development images from my new project.  Such as this one,


and many more. What you see in the above screenshot is from one of the prototype levels I created. So nothing in it is final. I hope it gives you a good idea of what to expect though. I'll be aiming for fresh gameplay and a nice art style with this new project as it will be one of my most polished games ever.

I can't wait to reveal details about my new project and show off some screenshots from the levels in the final game. I might even have a teaser trailer out later on. Very excited about my new game project and I'm looking forward to revealing it in the future.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Forest Soup now available on Kongregate



     Hello again everyone!
As you know I released my game "Forest Soup" a couple days ago on Halloween for Windows, Mac and Linux. Since the Unity game engine is so good at deploying games across multiple platforms, I decided to also release a webplayer version of "Forest Soup". I have put the game up on Kongregate and now "Forest Soup" can be played directly in your web browser. No download required. This is good for anyone who has been wanting to play the game but for some reason could not download it.

You can play Forest Soup on kongregate HERE

There is a few things I want to say though. I still recommend downloading the game for your target platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) instead of playing the kongregate version. I say this because those versions have slightly better quality and a few other differences like the main menu and other small things. I had to make changes to the webplayer version because kongregate only allows 20mb max file size for game uploads and Forest Soup was around 30mb. So I had to reduce the graphics a bit and make a couple of changes in order to reduce the size of the game down to 19.9mb. It is still the same game as the downloadable versions and nothing major or important was changed or taken out but you will notice a few small differences in the webplayer version I have on kongregate such as graphics and menus, etc. Things I already mentioned.

So there you go. "Forest Soup" really is available for everyone now. Its now on Windows, Mac, Linux and webplayer. I guess I can say this is my first real multiplatform game. :)

Whats next?
Now I am truly done with Forest Soup. What I mean by that is, this is my final post/update about this game. Forest Soup has been my project for the past month. I finished it. I released it. I went back and released an updated version and now I am releasing it on webplayer. It has been really fun and I think my best game project yet. So now I guess its time to just let this game exists online on its own and time for me to move onto my next game ideas and projects. I thank you all for checking out "Forest Soup" and stay tuned for my future games.

see you later. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Forest Soup Version 2 released! Bug Fixes


   
     Hello again! Hope everybody had a great Halloween last night.
So yesterday was my big release day for my latest horror game project "Forest Soup" and everything was going good until people actually played the game. It turns out that there was a very annoying bug that made the players constantly trip and fall on their faces over and over again. This made the entire game nearly unplayable and also very un-enjoyable.

The tripping is something that I actually left in the game purposefully at first because I thought it would be funny to have the player trip and fall down randomly every once in a while when they played through the game. And when I was testing the game the character did not trip as frequently as he did in the final game. He would trip occasionally every once in a while. In the final game however it seems like there was a bug that was triggering the player to trip all the time and this made the game very annoying and just not playable.

So anyway, I am here to fix that issue. The tripping was my fault and I would of left it out of the game if I knew it was going to cause all these issues.

After getting feedback and learning what a pain this bug was I went back in and fixed it and now there is no more tripping. So everyone I bring you Forest Soup Version 2 which is 100% tripping free. So if you have already downloaded the game and tried playing it and experienced this issue I hope you give my game another chance and try out the improved version. :)

Downloads:

Forest Soup - Windows - V2

Forest Soup - Mac - V2

Forest Soup - Linux - V2

BugFixes Include:
   +No more tripping/ falling on your face bug!
   +New improved camera for skydiving level so its easier to see whats below you and where to go.


Once again sorry for the bugs in the previous release and I hope you find this new fixed version to be more enjoyable. Thank you for your time.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Forest Soup Released!!!


It's finally time everybody! Just as I promised a couple hours ago in my previous blog post. "Forest Soup" is now out and available for all to play just in time for Halloween! Download links are below. The game is 100% free and available for Windows pc, MAC and Linux users. Hope you enjoy my latest game and have a Happy Halloween!

Now go download and play my game! :)

Download Instructions:
1.) Click the download link that is for your platform (windows, Mac, linux)
2.) Save the .Rar file and let download.
3.) Once finished downloading extracting the .Rar and play game



UPDATE 11/1/2013:  Old download links removed. Game has recently updated. Please go here to download Forest Soup Version 2.0. The new version includes major bug fixes which makes the game playable again. Thank you.

Forest Soup - Version 2.0 Download page


UPDATE 11/5/2013: "Forest Soup" is now also available on Kongregate.
Forest Soup on Kongregate

Note:
I have not tested the Mac or Linux versions of the game so I am unaware of how those will run. If you run into any problems with those versions please let me know. I only say this because once again I never tested those versions but they should run just fine and have no problems. But yeah let me know of any issues encountered just in case.


Game Summery:
"Forest Soup" is a horror game about a boy named Oliver OliveTree and his magical flying pet creature named Fogo. Oliver and Fogo become hungry as the day nears its end. The two characters decide to make forest soup for dinner, a legendary soup that has a taste that is out of this world. The two eventually realize that they do not have the ingredients to make this soup. Fogo tells Oliver that all the ingredients can be found at a place called "Black Cloud Island". Fogo takes Oliver to the entrance of the island where the game begins. Take the role of Oliver OliveTree and skydive down below to this mysterious place called "Black Cloud Island" in search of the ingredients for the so called Forest Soup.

Also available at Indiedb.com
And Unity3d Forums

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Forest Soup Releases today! Trailer and Screenshots

Hello! 

Once again sorry for the lack of posts here on my blog. If you are on the unity forums and have been watching my work in progress thread over here Link you may have seen my smaller updates for the game. A couple hours ago I posted this screenshot of me building the final game.


Yep. Finally I finished creating my short horror game called "Forest Soup" after working on it all throughout October. I never really said or showed much about the game at all during the time I was developing it but I must say it turned out to be my best game project ever! (I say that about all of my newest games)

Really though. I think you will really enjoy this one. It is really weird and crazy. The goal of this game is to find all of the ingredients needed to make the legendary forest soup. The ingredients can only be found in a place called "Black Cloud Island". Which is a very strange and dangerous place with weird happenings. Armed with only your shotgun, you must dive down and hunt for these ingredients.

I will be releasing the game in a couple hours. Maybe around noon today. In the meantime enjoy these screenshots and the newest trailer!



  








Check back real soon to get the game! It will be up just in time for Halloween!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Forest Soup" is my short horror game. Releases real soon.

    

     Hello again everyone.
11 days ago I announced that I put  my horror game project "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow" on hold so that I can begin working on my new short horror game project for Halloween. Since that last post I have vanished from my blog and even the Unity forums. On that day I began working on my new short horror game project right away. 11 days later I have made amazing progress and have already done so much for my new short horror project. It was hard for me to stay away from my blog and not reveal anything about the game at all. So it feels like I have been working on this short horror game project in secret.

However, today is the day I finally reveal my short game project and discuss the details. I even already created a short teaser trailer for the game.

So lets just start with the trailer have a look for yourself.


My new short horror game is called "Forest Soup" as you can see by the above image. I plan on having it fully complete and released by the end of this month just in time for Halloween. It will be released for PC/Linux and Mac completely for free.

The storyline I came up with is simple and kind of silly but it works for me.

Story: "Forest Soup" is a game about this boy named Oliver OliveTree and his magical flying pet creature named Fogo. Oliver and Fogo become hungry as the day nears its end. The two characters decide to make forest soup for dinner, a legendary soup that has a taste that is out of this world. The two eventually realize that they do not have the ingredients to make this soup. Fogo tells Oliver that all the ingredients can be found at a place called "Black Cloud Island". Fogo takes Oliver to the entrance of the island where the game begins. Take the role of Oliver OliveTree and skydive down below to this mysterious place called "Black Cloud Island"  in search of the ingredients for the so called Forest Soup.

I know what your thinking but yes this game is a horror game despite its storyline. :)
I was somewhat inspired by The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword to create this game (A personal favorite wii game of mine and im sure a lot of other people to).


Characters:
Oliver OliveTree: The main character for the game. He can skydive and even poses a unique inflatable hat!



Fogo: Oliver's magical flying creature that lives above the clouds. Fogo is a unique creature that cannot travel below the clouds because his magic flying ability is powered by clouds. If he goes below the clouds he will crash down below.




Like my Almond-Hill Silent Meow project, I am developing this game with Unity Playmaker. And Like all my previous games I am working on this project solo.



My goal with this short game project is the same as my goal with my Almond-Hill project. That is, create a unique horror game that is not just another slenderman game. This game will be truly unique.

Feels good to finally show what I was working on since the first day of October. I can't wait until I finish it and have it out. Once again the game will be fully complete and released for free by the end of this month so stay tuned.

Thats all I have for now. More updates real soon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Almond-Hill on hold, new Halloween project announcement

     It feels like it has been a long time since I posted any updates here on the blog. Days just fly by. Anyway, as the title says, I am going to put the game project I have been working on since summer break "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow" on hold during the month of October. Do not worry, I am not canceling it and I did not loose interest in finishing it. It is nothing like that at all. This is something I have been planning on doing for some time now actually. I have been hard at work on that project working on it a little bit each day. I know I did not post much updates on my blog here but if you have been following my work in progress thread over at the unity forums you will see how much progress as well as new changes I have made since I last posted here.  So I have been making great progress on that project and I will not let all that work go to waste. I will resume working on Almond-Hill after October. Almond-Hill Silent Meow is a much larger project, it will need a lot more time to complete.

Why stop working on it during October you ask? Well, I love October. Everything about it. The weather, the colorful leaves, etc. Most importantly Halloween, my personal favorite holiday. Anyway, last year was the first time I created and released a quick short horror game for Halloween (The original Almond-Hill game I made). I had a lot of fun working on a project like that and ever since, I have decided to make it a personal tradition of mine to create a short horror game every year and have it finished and released around Halloween. So today, I am announcing a new short horror game project that I will work on and challenge myself to have complete by the end of the month. Since it is October 1st I will start working on it real soon. In other words I really do not have anything to show at the moment. However, be sure to check back often as I will start making progress and posting updates on the project. 

Anyway, that is all the news I have for now. I hope you look forward to see what Halloween short I have planned out and once again I will continue working on Almond-Hill after this month. In the meantime check out my more recent updates for that project over here on unity's forums Almond-Hill Development thread

and enjoy this final in game screenshot I took from Almond-Hill before I stopped working on it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Big changes being made to Almond-Hill Silent Meow, stealth gameplay


     Hey everyone. Just as the title suggests, I am making some major changes to my current horror game project. It's no surprise that I am making even more major changes to the game. I have been making "major changes" to the game ever since I started the project. But of course this is something completely normal to do during the development time of any game project. For me, I find it really interesting to look back at how the game was when it first started in its development phase to see how much has changed as more progress is made over time. At this point, I think I have made changes to almost everything in the game. I will admit, the game I am working on now is not even close to the original vision I had for it when I first started. But this is better, I like what I have planned for this project and I think all these changes I am making are for the better.

Anyway, enough rambling. Let me talk about the actual changes I have decided to make. If you are following my work in progress thread over at the unity forums right here  you might have already read my latest update on the game and know the changes I am making but if you did not, I am going to talk about them right here.

Remember that demo I released a couple weeks ago? (In the blog post below this one). Well, that part of the game never happened. I am completely removing that part of the game I released as a demo because it no longer fits in with the games new plot I have come up with. If you played the demo you know that the character Leon Coffeebean is killed by this mysterious masked villain who is after Almond the cat. This was suppose to be the opening that starts the game off and begins the main story. Now with the changes I have decided to make, none of that stuff ever happened. I am actually removing the main villain character completely from the game because there is no longer a main villain. (The masked man that kills Leon in the demo)




Leon Coffeebean is never murdered. As a matter of fact, Leon Coffeebean now has probably one of the most important roles in the game and its new plot.

The new plot:
Leon Coffeebean teams up with Detective Pekoe to search for his lost cat Almond. Leon Coffeebean guides Detective Pekoe (you the player) to various places around the town of Almond-Hill. The places Leon takes Detective Pekoe are places Leon believes his cat Almond may have went to. However, the reason Leon guides Detective Pekoe to check out these places instead of checking them out himself is because Leon is afraid to enter any of these places himself. This is the reason why he asks Detective Pekoe to help him out.

Ok, enough talk about game changes. Now I will discuss what you can expect from gameplay.

When making a game I realized almost nothing ever goes as planned. You come up with this idea and then you say I am going to put this in my game. That is not how it works. Well for me at least it does not work like that. I try putting in what I planned at first and then, while I am actually creating the level or putting it together I do other things. I come up with different ideas and change things. I will do this instead of what I originally thought of. Anyway, this is what happened to me when I was working on a level yesterday. I was doing something I was planning on doing then I don't know what happened and all of the the sudden I was trying to work out stealth game mechanics. And this is a good thing, I think because I like the new ideas I thought of.

Gameplay and Stealth
So with all that said, there is going to be this stealth element added into the game. It is a horror stealth game but at the same time unique where it doesn't feel like a full out stealth game because it has other things mixed in with it. Anyway, to add in this stealth type gameplay I am working on new characters/enemies. I will try and create different enemies with different abilities for each level to keep the game fresh throughout. Earlier today I revealed the first new character/enemy that you will encounter early on in the game.

This is Patrol Doll


She is this ghostly character that shoots out these yellow beams of light from her eyes. These yellow beams represent her line of sight and if you are in her line of sight during the game you will be sent to a room called "The Feeding Room". When in this room you have ten seconds to find an exit or else a mysterious beast will feast on you. There is usually more than one patrol doll scouting the area. There is no way to defeat this character so the best thing to do is avoid her by sneaking past.


That is all I have for today's post. I think Almond-Hill is turning out great despite all the changes I am making and I can't wait to show even more in the future.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Silent Meow Demo released!


     Just as I promised yesterday, today I released the very first playable demo for "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow". My latest horror game project. This demo is actually the very beginning of the game which takes place in the Almond-Hill forest. You play as Leon Coffeebean who is equipped with only a flashlight and begin searching for your cat Almond. I do not want to say to much about the story because you will find out about it yourself as you play. The demo is pretty short but I hope you enjoy it and it keeps you wanting more after playing it. I created some pretty cool cinematics (I think they are cool at least) for this part of the game to tell the story in a much better way.

The menu screen you see below is just for the demo and the actual game menu will be much more polished for the final game which won't look anything like this.




Anyway, here is the first playable demo for Silent Meow. I hope you have fun. Also, any comments, thoughts/feedback about the game so far is welcome. Actually, your feedback can help me make it better.


Play Demo Here!


Keep in mind that this is only the opening of the game. After this part of the game, the gameplay will switch completely because the new main character Detective Pekoe will take lead role and the players will play as him from that point on. The Almond-Hill forest is only one location in the game so don't get the idea that the entire game will take place in a dark spooky foggy forest. There will be a variety of other locations in game.

Thats all for now. I can't wait to have more work done on the project and I look forward to posting more news and updates as I create it. So stay tuned!

Friday, August 9, 2013

New main character, First demo coming tomorrow

Hey there everyone!

For once here is an update that isn't weeks after the last one. As I said in my previous post and in my WIP thread on the unity forums, there is going to be a new main character for Almond-Hill Silent Meow. Today I was able to finish the new main character so its reveal time!

Here is the new main character for Almond-Hill : Silent Meow


This is Special detective Pekoe Tea Leaf. Detective Pekoe has been sent to the town of Almond-Hill to investigate a recent murder and the mysterious town itself. He might not be the best agent for this job but he has style and gets things done. The Agency did not give Detective pekoe a handgun because he has terrible aiming and failed the target shooting test. But all in all, he is a good at what he does. Also, he prefers tea over coffee.

And he has blue hair because I wanted to make a game where the main character has light blue cool blue hair.

I hope you are excited to play as detective Pekoe in the game.

Speaking of playing, I also want to say that I will be releasing the first demo of Almond-Hill : Silent Meow tomorrow. The demo I will be putting up is the beginning/opening of the game. In the beginning of the game you play as Leon Coffeebean so don't expect to play as detective Pekoe tomorrow. But don't worry, he comes into the game later on. He is the new main character after all.

Anyway, I am excited to have something playable out soon and hope to hear some feedback.
See ya tomorrow on the blog!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Teaser Trailer, game changes, playable demo soon

     It has been a while since I posted here on the blog. As usual, sorry for the lack of updates. I did mention that I would be posting more about major updates about my Almond-Hill project here on the blog though and today I talk about some major changes I am making to the project and also reveal the first teaser trailer of the game.

I usually post updates about the game in my work in progress thread on the unity forums here and often they are smaller updates about the game. If you have seen my posts on the unity forums then you might have already seen the trailer I put up a little earlier.  Also, if you have been following my WIP thread on the unity forums you may have noticed that I am constantly changing the game and keep adding and removing from it whatever I see fits the game better. If you haven't checked out my recent posts on my WIP thread that's alright because I will be talking about all these changes and what not in this blog entry.

Lets start off with the first trailer for the game for those who have not seen it yet.
It is a very short trailer and it does not show anything at all really. I would love to show some more later on and I will have other trailers up as soon as I get more done in the project. I hope for now that this trailer gets you excited.

Today, what I really want to discuss is the changes I have been making to the game. After creating so many different things for the game like characters, systems such as traps and what not I ended up deciding not including them in the actual game at all.

Removing unnecessary systems from gameplay
Those of you who have seen my updates in my WIP thread are familiar with the various systems I came up with. I have made a traps system for capturing ghosts, a potions systems for using different abilities, a coin system for buying things in game and other things. I even have some videos up demonstrating these systems and they work great. Having all these cool systems would of greatly contributed to the gameplay and made this a very unique horror game. So why have I decided to remove all of them? Its because I think that in the long run, the final game would be much better without them. That is exactly my goal with this project. I want to have a great game at the end. I said this many times before but this game project is different from all my previous ones. This one is serious. I am considering this my first "professional" game project (even though I am still no professional)

Removing and replacing characters
Ok this next one is important. When I first started this project I revealed the character Leon Coffeebean. I said he would be the main character for this new Almond Hill game. After doing a lot of thinking and planning I decided that Leon is no longer going to be the main character. There is going to be a new main character and I will be revealing and talking more about him soon once I finish him. If you watched the trailer I just put up you saw some gameplay with Leon Coffeebean. I am not taking Leon Coffeebean out of the game. As a matter of fact he is a very important part of the game and its storyline. You do get to play as Leon in the game but not the entire game. Leon still serves as the same character, the grandson of Grams Coffeebean. Sent out to search for their missing cat named Almond. Aside from replacing Leon with a new main character, I also decided to take out those ghost characters I revealed. They will no longer be in the game because they serve no purpose to the storyline.

Changed Storyline:
I will admit, when I first started this project I had a vision for what I was going to do with it but it was not very clear. I did not fully know how I wanted this game to play out. I just started making all of these things like systems, characters, etc and said that they were going to be part of the game somehow. As I began to actually develop the game I started realizing more and more how I wanted the game to play out. So I started changing everything I was going to do with my original vision for the game. Now I know exactly how the entire game will play out and what I want it to be. I have greatly modified the storyline to fit the changes I have made. It is still about searching for your missing cat named Almond but, it is also about other things. There is a lot more to the plot of the game now. If its one thing I want this game to be great for it would be for its storyline and characters (ok thats two things). The storyline is pretty crazy now and it has many twists. I think it will truly separate this game from other horror games making it very unique.

Gameplay:
I said many things about gameplay. I know how the levels will play out like and I can't really explain the gameplay to well because gameplay might change throughout the game often. I think having a variety of different gameplay will make this a much more unique experience. So I can't really say much but I hope to soon show you what I mean in the future.




Playable demo coming soon
Finally, I just want to say that I will be putting up the very beginning of Almond Hill Silent Meow real soon as a playable demo. I don't have an exact date for when I will be putting it up, but definitely sometime soon. I hope you look forward to it.

I am having a great time creating this game and am very excited about it.
Please check out my WIP thread on the unity forums here and my blog for more news and updates.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Whats the news on the next Almond-Hill? Daily-Updates



Hello everyone.

As you know, I have announced my next game project, "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow". That was about two weeks ago though and some might of noticed there hasn't been any updates since that time.

Well actually, that's not right. I have been posting updates very frequently about the game project. I just haven't been posting them here on the blog. I only post updates on the blog when they are big updates, or a trailer, release date info, etc. Just major updates. Also, I have been updating some sections in the blog such as the 3d art work section where you will find a couple new characters that will appear in game, and I put up an early prototype for controls in the prototype section a while back.

Anyway, I have been posting daily/frequent updates about the game right here on the unity forums in my WIP thread Unity Forums WIP Thread

So to stay up to date, check out my WIP thread at the unity forums. Of course also check out the blog but remember, I will only post major updates about the project here on my blog.

The project is coming along smoothly and I plan on having a short trailer sometime in the future when more progress is done.

Stay tuna! (ha, tuna)

Stay tuned for more info and updates and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Missing Cat? A New Almond Hill Game!



Hi everyone.

It is finally time to show you what I have been working on. In my last blog post I mentioned I was working on my next game project. I also mentioned that it would be a horror game. Other than that I did not say much.

Today I am very excited to share a lot of info on my next game project. Since it is E3 week, I guess right now is the best time to finally let this info out. It might be the time for all the big companies to show off their newest games but who says the indies can't also show their new games?

Anyway, getting to the main point.

Everyone, get ready for: "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow"

First of all, yes that is the title of my new horror game and you will understand why later on. Secondly, yes. It is also a new Almond-Hill game. My short "Silent Hill : Shattered Memories" inspired horror game that I originally released back in October for Halloween is back!

Now, for those of you who have heard about or played my original "Almond-Hill" game might be asking "Why are you making another Almond-Hill game?"

There is a lot of reasons why actually. First of all, out of all the other game projects I created, I had the most fun creating "Almond-Hill". I loved experimenting around and putting a horror game together. Also, I might of been goofing off back then, but I really like the simple plot I came up with for the horror title and I want to carry that plot on again in a much more polished game. And last, its because of you (the people who played the first Almond-Hill game). It might not have a huge fan base, but it turns out that the original Almond-Hill game is the most popular game I have released yet. I have noticed that a few people have made youtube videos playing through my game, and I can see the stats here on blogger and most of the blog hits I get is because people come for Almond-Hill or search it. Everyday in my stats the most viewed thing is my Almond-Hill game. Some people liked the game, some people thought it was the worse thing they ever played (can't really blame them since I rushed the project for a Halloween release). Despite that, I believe that this game does have a fan base out there and that is what truly inspired me to create another one.

Anyway, now getting to the good stuff!

I have been using Unity for 2 years now and have a lot of experience with the engine. I released many titles up until now but none of them have been quality, polished or serious attempts at creating a great game. All of that ends. Starting with this new project "Almond-Hill : Silent Meow" and all my future projects I will be working hard and taking serious attempts to create great quality and polished games.

So about the new Almond-Hill?

This new Almond-Hill game is a complete reboot to my original game. Its not an Almond-Hill 2. The new Almond-Hill game will have a completely new town to explore, four new unique original characters, a slightly different story line (which I will get to), much more polished controls and graphics and animations. Everything about the new Almond-Hill game will be fresh and a hundred times better than the original. Also, (sorry to take a shot at Slenderman but) this is not a crappy slenderman game. I want to bring Slenderman up because whenever I see indie developers working on a new horror game, they always only want to make a Slenderman game. It has been done so many times, its just not original or fun. I am working on this project to also encourage developers to try and come up with something original and not Slenderman. If you are an indie developer and want to make horror games be as creative as you want and try something new. Don't get me wrong, if you want to make a Slenderman game that is perfectly fine, esp if its just an experimental project but I believe the indie scene is tired of Slenderman and wants to see something new.

Ok sorry for getting a bit off topic but I feel I had to bring that out for those of you reading.

"Almond-Hill : Silent Meow" Plot and Characters:

You play as Leon Coffeebean (character shown below)


Leon one day gets a phone call from his grandmother Grams Coffeebean (Character shown below)

Grams Coffeebean lives in a small town called "Almond-Hill". She calls her grandson Leon to come over to Almond-Hill so he can help her with a "special search". When Leon arrives at Almond-Hill, he learns that Grams's cat has gone missing. Grams then has Leon explore the town of Almond-Hill in search of her lost cat. Leon eventually finds out that the town of Almond-Hill is haunted and there is someone or something living in the Almond-Hills forest. Because Grams is an old woman, she never leaves her house and that is why she is unaware of the happenings of the town she is living in.

The name of Grams cat is Almond (character shown below)


Almond is the cat you are looking for. This cat is a very special cat as it can walk on two legs and is a loyal feline companion. It is unknown how, when or why Almond has gone missing.


Vehicles in Almond Hill Silent Meow:
The last thing I want to talk about in this project for today is vehicles. Almond-Hill is not going to be GTA or Red Dead Redemption huge obviously as I am a one man team and would never consider taking on a massive project like that, but it will be big enough to drive cars. So yeah you will be able to drive this time around.

For example, you will be able to drive at the very beginning of the game as Leon needs to travel to the town of Almond-Hill.

The first vehicle you will see in game is this "Snowconesolid Transport" Taxi.


And later on in the game you will be able to own your own car. Here is another one of the car models you can get in this new Almond hill game.

Although there wont be many, I am planning on having other vehicles in game as well as a car dealership where you can purchase different cars.

Driving will be a very important aspect of this new Almond-Hill game and I think it will be a really cool feature to make the game a much more unique experience.

Final thoughts: 
My goal for this project is to make a very unique horror game. Something that is different than your average horror game. I plan on creating a stylized horror game with a dark atmosphere and some comedy as well as a unique storyline.

That is all I have for now. I am excited about this project and cant wait to show more progress. Stay tuned to the blog as I post updates on how things are going. I will have more info soon!

Update: 6/12/ 2013
 I forgot to mention one very important thing. The platform this game will be on. I plan on releasing this for PC and Mac. After those releases I might consider going back and porting over to Android  for a mobile version. But for now the game will be for PC and Mac.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My next game project and the expanded and improved blog




Hello everyone!

Finally I am back. (I never left) but I mean I am back to developing my games. After releasing my first Android game "Revolver Finger" back in February I took a while off from developing anymore games to spend more time improving my skills and learning so I can produce much better quality games. Its been almost three months and I have greatly improved in many areas (mainly my 3d art skills but a lot of other areas as well such as game design). I have learned a whole lot during the time I was gone improving my skills such as new techniques, the proper ways to do certain things, etc. While I am still no professional, I learned how to do things in a professional way. So from now on I have set standards for myself and I promise to release the best quality games that I can. I guarantee that all my next game releases will be a hundred times better than any of my previous game releases from now on. I have matured a lot as a developer since I first started two years ago and will take all my next game projects much more seriously because I want to have great releases.

So I am now ready to make more games once again. Since we are still on the topic of developing games, I want to announce my next game project today. My next game project will be a horror game. This is something I have been planning for a while and now I am finally working on it. I have really high expectations and goals for this new horror game of mine and believe it will be my best release yet. There is really not much to say or show about it at this moment because it is still early. Once I get a good amount of work done on this project I will start to reveal it in future blog post so stay tuned.

By the way, have you noticed anything different with my blog? I recently had my blog set to private for the past two days while I worked on renovating/expanding it. Its more organized now and I added in a lot of new sections such as a section for my 3d art work, game trailers, etc. Just look for your self above in the tabs.

One of the coolest new things I recently added to my blog is the new "Welcome" page. This is a welcome page like no other. I actually created a very small platforming game for this page just for my blog. You can play this game directly in the blog to, so no need to go to a different website or download anything. It is a very simple platforming game that is only about 2 - 5 minuets long and it welcomes visitors and introduces me, the developer to them and it gives visitors a better idea of what this blog is all about. If you want to check it out just click on the new "Welcome!" tab above.

That is all I have to say for now. It feels good to be back working a new game and I hope to share more updates on it soon.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Expanding the blog, small welcome game and Unity Playmaker



Hello everyone.

Once again sorry for the lack of blog posts but I have some good news and hopefully starting soon I will  be more active here on the blog once again.

As many of you already know by now, the reason I have been barley posting on the blog is because ever since I released "Revolver Finger" for android I took a huge break from working on anymore of my game projects and started to focus on improving my skills. Mostly my 3d art skills because I want to deliver much better quality games from now on. I believe I have greatly improved in many areas since my last game release and think its almost time to get back to work. I have been planning on starting my next game project soon. I don't know when yet, but plan on getting back to developing games sometime in May. Anyway, wont say anything about my next game right now, that's kind of for a different post.

First, before I get back into developing more games, I think this blog needs a little change. So I have been planning on redesigning it a little bit and expanding it. I will be adding some new sections to it soon.One of the new sections that I am going to be adding to this blog is an all new "Welcome" page. This brings me to the next thing I was going to say.

I am going to create a welcome page in a very different way than most welcome pages. I am putting together a very small game project that will be on this welcome page. This will not be a game that is meant to be played for the purposes of playing a game or a game with replay-ability, it is going to be an extremely small game (a single short level, maybe about 1 - 2 mins long) that welcomes users to my blog and introduces me the developer. So its more of a game for promoting my blog. It is an interactive way for welcoming site visitors. So this small game will be on the welcome page and once the user reaches the end of that very short level it will open up my actual blog. Off course users will have the option to skip the whole welcome thing entirely and just go straight to my blog. I understand it would be annoying to have to play that welcome game over each time. But yeah, you may have seen similar ideas like this on sites where they have maybe a short video play or some interactive thing before it takes you to their website.

It will be just a very small, basic super mario inspired platform level. But don't expect too much from it because once again, this is not really a game project, it is just a short single level game for introducing the blog on the welcome page. Its just a small little feature I am adding that is part of the blogs "expansion". So at the moment that is what I am working on. It does not really count as a game project but more of a nice small practice project and also promotional project. Thats how I see it.

Here is some WIP screen shots: This is just a quick prototype version I put together, I created some real simple assets that are very super mario 3d land inspired as you can tell. :)
But yeah, these are not screens from the final build.





Also, here is my most recent original character I created. This will be the character you play as in the very small welcome project.




So what about actually making the next true "Samer Khatib" aka Snowconesolid game?
Ok, so after I change up the blog a bit, redesign/ tweek it a little to look better and create that welcome project I will probably then be ready to once again start working on my next true big game project. So as I said a little earlier, I plan on going back to developing games sometime in May, most likely near the end or half way through May. Well see. Maybe I might start earlier. Depends on how things go for me.

One final piece of news I want to put out there is from now on for all my future game projects I will most likely be using the popular Unity add-on/tool "PlayMaker" for developing all of my games. I just recently bought it from Unity's asset store and think its great. I am still new to it and learning how to use it but have already played around with it and so far I am impressed. For those of you who use unity you may have heard of or also use playmaker for your development. It is actually one of the most popular add-ons for unity and a lot of unity developers use it. For those of you who have never heard of it let me tell you about it. Pretty much it is a visual scripting tool. It allows you to build a game using these nodes. So pretty much you don't need you write a single line of code. I think this is a very good alternative way for developing games. If you have ever used blender's game engine, it is similar to playmaker. Blender's game engine uses logic blocks.



So why use playmaker for development?
There is a whole bunch of advantages of developing a game with playmaker instead of coding up the entire project.

First of all you save a lot more time on developing the actual game. I like coding and all but at times it is extremely time consuming and can be tedious to type lines and lines of code. I know first hand because I have three years of programming experience and coded all of my previous projects.  Playmaker allows you to rapidly develop your games saving a lot more time. This is actually the most important benefit of using playmaker over coding and is a major reasons as to why I decided to make it part of my workflow for developing games. Now, I can spend all that extra time focusing more on the art side of the game.
As a solo indie game developer, time is the most important thing because you do not have a team. You don't have some one to work on the art or the animations, the programming, etc. You need to create everything yourself and that takes up an extremely great amount of time. With Playmaker however, you can now save a ton of time you would of spent on typing lines of code and use it for something else.

Don't get the wrong idea now, I am making it sound like playmaker just magically makes the game for you. Its still programming in some way, but just visual node based programming. But yes, it does make things a lot easier and quicker.

You would think that people who buy playmaker are people who do not know how to code at all. This is not true. Actually a lot of programmers like using playmaker. If you have playmaker and know how to actually code than playmaker is a hundred times more of a powerful tool because you can code in your own custom actions for use with playmaker. I definitely plan on coding in my own custom playmaker actions for my future projects. So say for example I needed to create some kind of vehicle movement for a simulator of some sorts but playmaker's library does not have such an action. Since I know how to code, I can just write my own custom action and then add it to playmakers library so I can use it as a node whenever I want. I believe that visual programming is the future of coding. Have to keep up with the times. Although I know a lot of programmers will disagree with me.

If you are a solo dev or with a team and use unity I highly recommend using playmaker for your development. Whether you don't know how to code or are an programming pro, playmaker is an excellent tool for any skill level and is extremely effective for rapid development.

Anyway, thats all I have for now. Sorry for the huge blog post but I had a lot of things to share this time since I am not posting here as often. I look forward to getting back to developing games again real soon and hope to have some great releases this year.

Friday, April 12, 2013

spending more time



Hey everyone.

Once again, sorry for the lack of updates and blog posts on here. I have been spending a lot of time still training on 3d modeling. Actually, I have been spending even more time than usual training and improving my 3d modeling skills and that reason is because I have recently become a citizen member over at https://cgcookie.com/ which is a excellent site that teaches you professional 3d modeling, animation, concept art and what not. Cgcookie is a big network that is split up in many sites. Depending on what you want to learn there is a separate site for each subject. I have been spending all of my time on Blender cookie and unity cookie.

The tutorials they offer are great and give you a much better understanding on a subject. They have a lot of free tutorials on the site, but their best tutorials are their citizen tutorials. These are tutorials you can watch only if you are signed up as a citizen member. You do have to pay for a citizen membership, however its a really cheap price to pay. You just have to pay $10 bucks and then you have a citizen membership for 30 days. I think it is very well worth it because you can just download every single tutorial and resource they have to offer for citizen members before your 30 days is up. So, for anyone who wants to greatly expand their knowledge on something such as 3d modeling, game development with unity, concept art, etc I highly recommend checking out CGcookie, even if you dont want a citizen membership, their free tutorials are also fantastic.

Sorry for being a bit off topic. Im making it sound like the reason I am posting today is to advertise Cgcookie. The main reason I am here is to just let people (if anyone reads this blog, I know it gets a good amount of hits every once in a while) know that I have not abandoned the blog or game development or anything because I know its been pretty dead around here for a while. But hopefully soon, I will start revealing some of my upcoming projects. So stay tuned.

So yeah, I am still just kind of focusing on improving my 3d modeling skills. Now I have a ton of tutorials to watch through to further improve but I am still here.

I am planning on starting my next game project maybe sometime in May.

Friday, March 29, 2013

First improvment/ demonstration project is up



Hey everyone.

As I said a while ago, ever since I released "Revolver Finger" for android, I have been spending all my time practice/training and learning more to better improve my game development and 3d art skills. I have been making a lot of great progress and definitely have improved in many areas. I have mainly been focusing on improving my 3d art skills. Those of you who have seen my deviant art or some of my recent posts may have seen some of the models I created for practice.

Anyway, in a post I made not to long ago I said that I would put up a small demonstration/prototype project that shows my recent work so people can see how much I have improved. I also mentioned I would be putting these small projects up when I first said that I would be taking  a break from development and focusing on improving.

So here is my very first "Improvement project" (thats what I like to call them). Its nothing special, just something real basic. You can walk around it and just look at some of my recent work. Its kind of like a small virtual museum. In this you will be able to move around in a small town type level I created and get a closer look at my more recent models such as my zelda character remakes.

You can check it out in your web browser from here: Improvement Demo

I will be adding these into the "Prototype/ Demonstrations projects" section of the blog.

I have definitely learned a lot more and greatly improved but I am still not satisfied with my current skill level. So I am going to continue training and improving further for the time. I will probably have more "Improvment project" demonstrations up as I go.

I mentioned this before, I have plans and already know what my next game project will be and I am really excited about it but I will not start working on it until I greatly improve. And I want my next game release to be my best one.

So thats all for now.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Unity Learn is up!



Hello everyone.

Today's post is a little different from my other posts. When I make a post its usually about something I am working on or something I am doing. What I want to talk about today is Unity "Learn".

Unity has recently put up a new section on their website labeled as "Learn" and it is for exactly what it is labeled as; learning Unity. This is a really awesome new section the Unity team has put up. It is filled with many different tutorials and I believe it is something that will be updated often with new tutorials and lessons.

"Learn" is not just for new people who are starting out with Unity but it is for every user. Beginner or advanced, there are useful tutorials up there and that will be added in the future. There is a section up for learning literally anything within Unity such as scripting, the interface, graphics, etc.

What else is there? aside from the tutorials there is also live online training classes offered by Unity that users can sign up for. This is a really useful new feature for people who want to ask questions while learning and receive answers straight from the professionals. There are also tutorial projects Unity has up in the learn section that will teach you how to create different types of games. At the moment of this blog post, Unity currently has the first tutorial game project you can work through that will teach users how to create a fully functional stealth game. All of the assets for the project are already provided when you start going through it which is pretty cool.

So if you are new to Unity, new to game development or a Unity guru but want to further improve your knowledge I highly recommend checking out the new "Learn" section. There is always something new to learn. I started using learning Unity in 2011 and I know there is still a lot more I need to learn. This learn section wasn't available when I started so learning Unity was a little more complicated, but now anyone can easily just jump right into learning how to use the awesome game engine.

As you know from my recent blog posts, I have been spending the time learning more and further improving my game development skills before I dive into my next game project. At the moment I am very focused on improving my 3d art skills and I have already greatly improved. Next I will definitely start taking a look through Unity learn.

I plan on working through that stealth game tutorial project I mentioned above that Unity has put out sometime. So, when I do I will probably start posting about the progress on it. And if anyone else is also working through that project at the time we can help each other and discuss it.

So I look forward to that and gaining a even deeper understanding of Unity and game development and I hope some of you guys do to. With all that said, that's all for now and I will see you next time.

You can check out Unity's new "Learn" section over at this link: http://unity3d.com/learn

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Still Here

Hey everyone.

Sorry for the lack of updates/blog post. My last post was February 16th and I mentioned that I would be taking the time off from working on anymore game projects and spending it to focus on improving my skills in game development so when I do start my next project it will much more polished.

I have been mostly focusing on improving my 3d modeling/ art skills and if you have been checking out my deviantart page or my posts on the unity forums you might have already seen a lot of my newer 3d models.

I have been training and practicing almost everyday and I have learned a lot more and improved greatly in 3d modeling. I like to look back at my older models and say "wow, that looks like crap compared to my newer ones". Here is some of my recent work: (Check out my deviantart page for more)

A low poly human character with a mustache!



Zelda characters remade:





I thought it would be really good modeling practice to remake some of the n64 models they used in the n64 zelda games because you can focus a lot on deciding how that model can be improved or re imagine how it would look like if it was to be created today for more modern games. I had a lot of fun making these, especially the Wolfos character (which was the most challenging one to make).

Anyway, that's what I have been up to for the past couple weeks. I have made lots of improvements but there is also still a lot more I need to learn. So for the time, I will continue to focus on improving my skills further before I jump into my next game project.

However, I do want to say that I have been planning what my next game project will be for a while now but, thats for a future post. I don't want to jump into it and rush it like my previous projects. When the time is right I will start working on it. I am thinking maybe sometime by summer? Perhaps earlier, but not at the moment.

So just stay tuned until then.

Also, before I go, in my last post I mentioned during the time I spend training/improving I might release some small prototype/ demonstration projects. So I was thinking maybe I will create a little virtual museum with unity that you can walk around in that has my recent works. Ill try and put that together sometime and get it on the blog.