quarta-feira, 25 de junho de 2014

Talking about my new mobile game DOMINAEDRO

Last week my new game, DOMINAEDRO, landed at the App Store. The game is a strategic puzzle that mixes dominoes and tic-tac-toe. It’s is an abstract battle between two players that uses pieces of domino as weapons.

The game, originally, was analogic and was launched as an independent title in the beginning of this year. After lots of positive reviews from Brazilian (and even European) sites I decided to transform the analogic version into a digital game.

The game is very simple and I will share the main idea of the rules below. The game’s grid is arranged with nine numbers randomly selected by the system. In a decreasing order: the highest number will be allocated in the center, intermediate values will be around the highest one, and lower values will be on the corners.

Your starting hand has 3 domino pieces. The player with the lowest sum of numbers in a single piece starts the game. On your turn, you must try to put a single piece in the grid respecting the following rules:

1) A number in a domino can only touch a piece with the same number, or lower, in the grid.
2) Like in a domino game, pieces connected on the grid must have the same numbers.
3) Every time you choose a piece, the system will point out the spaces allowed for allocating on the table.

You earn points by dominating a sum on the grid. For that, you should be the player with the highest sum of numbers around a value. In case of a tie, the sum of the second values of dominoes sets the winner. In case of a tie in both sides of the dominoes, the winner will be the player with more pieces.

The game ends when you cannot allocate more pieces on the grid. Each piece not allocated is worth -1 point. Values of the grid that were not completely surrounded by pieces are scored normally.

If a player has dominated all values in a row, column or diagonal, they win 4 extra points for each line. The player with the most points wins the game. Check a short video demo with the game mechanics below:

You can download DOMINAEDRO for free. Click here for more information. I’m waiting for your suggestions, critics and improvements.

Go gamers!

quarta-feira, 18 de junho de 2014

E3 2014

Last week, I visited the famous Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The fair is well known as one of the biggest videogame events in the world, and every year the trends and launchings of such market are presented in this mega fair.

The experience of two days fully immersed in new games, videogames, game accessories, gaming conferences, and gamers was too complex to synthetize in a small post, so I decided to create a list of highlights of the fair, divided by subject:

1) Games, games and more games: this year great games were announced in the event, like Little Big Planet 3, The Order 1886, Alien: isolation, Evolve, Super Smash Bros WiiU, the new Halo and Batman: Arkham Knight, only to name a few blockbusters. The experimental games also gained terrain and titles like Entwined, Abzû (I felt mesmerized by this one, check the trailer below) and No Man’s Sky had good space at E3.

2) Sony’s press conference: I watched the exclusive presentation about the future of the PlayStation platform. The company said that, for 2014/2015, the focus would be on more free content and in exploring the videogame as an entertainment central. Sony intends to launch each TV of the brand with PlayStation Network embedded in its interface, so it will be possible to play some of the games without a PS console. Another great revelation from Sony is the PlayStation TV, a U$ 99,00 device with access to exclusive content (animations, movies, documentaries etc.) created exclusively for PS network, the first production will be an animation of the comic book POWERS (created by Brain Bendis). You can watch the full conference in the video below:

3) Nintendo: the brand bets on classic characters but showed nothing relevant to the public.

4) Microsoft: the Halo franchising was the great highlight of Microsoft’s stand. The Xbox One with new Kinect interactions generated good experiences for the public. Microsoft bets on a perfect balance between the casual and the hardcore player.

5) Accessories: loads of equipment were displayed at the fair, like joysticks, screens and special chairs, but the true highlight was the VR devices like Oculus and the Virtuix Omni (check the video).

6) Final thoughts and some pics: staying in touch with the experience of E3 is something unique. The fair is a place to see how the next year will be in the gaming market, to anticipate the future and make good networking. I came back to Brazil full of ideas (and souvenirs from the stands) and I want to work hard to put some projects in practice as soon as possible (a new book among them). And check some images from this great event.

Go gamers!

quarta-feira, 11 de junho de 2014


A few weeks ago I downloaded a very elegant game in my mobile phone: Duet. The game is a minimal and hypnotic experience created with a simple interface and high level of involvement. It is an invitation to “expand the limits of your radial awareness”.

The game comes from an Australian publisher named Kumobius and the composer Tim Shiel signs the awesome soundtrack. The idea is very simple: you press the right side of the screen, two small balls spin to the right; you press the left side of the screen, they spin to the left. With these two simple movements you must dodge elements that fall from above. Check the gameplay below to understand the main idea:

The game has a complex learning curve with a real challenge in the high levels. This kind of experience tells us about how a casual game could be a challenge even for hardcore players. And, in this scenario, we can see how rich the field for good ideas to mobile media is.

Another point to highlight on Duet is the simplicity of the interface. With few elements, the game conveys an engaging idea and a perfect ballet between aesthetics and gameplay. About that, it’s possible to say that “Gameplay must take place somewhere, and so the design and creation of digital environments is a critical factor in developing outstanding games. (…) Designing game spaces comes in two distinct parts – the first is the look and feel of the game environment, and the second is the design and challenge of the playing space” (THOMPSON; BERBANK-GREEN; CUSWORTH: 2007: p.98).

Let’s discuss more and more about this emerging category of the gaming industry.


THOMPSON, Jim; BERBANK-GREEN, Barnaby; CUSWORTH, Nic. Game Design: principles, practice, and tecniques - the ultimate guide for the aspiring game designer. New Jersey: Wiley, 2007

terça-feira, 3 de junho de 2014

Indie Prototyping

Jonathan Blow (Braid's creator) giving a talk about prototyping at the Independent Games Summit (part of the Independent Games Festival) in 2007. An excellent presentation on game design with many good insights. Essential content for those who are creating independent games.