segunda-feira, 3 de maio de 2021

Independent games with a hint of seriousness

Last month, I experienced a happy coincidence. I occasionally downloaded two indie games without knowing much about them, and, suddenly, I found out both were developed based on the same theme: aging, memory loss and dementia.

I’m talking about HEAL and BEFORE I FORGET. The first one is an intricate puzzle game with a beautiful narrative about an old man searching for some distant memories of a love he had, that has already died; the second one is a game about a woman suffering from dementia visiting some echoes from her past with her husband. Check both trailers below:





Both games are excellent examples of how we can bring a discussion about serious subjects to the gaming universe and how we can make the audience think beyond mainstream themes.

Another great example is THAT DRAGON, CANCER, a moving story about the loss of a baby by a tragic disease.



All these titles are clear examples of how we can touch the audience with delicate themes and put people to think in a serious way using ludic language. One more subject to highlight in the discussion of how games become an important media in contemporary times.

#GoGamers

domingo, 4 de abril de 2021

SPACE TRAIN: a geme about blockchain

Is blockchain a level hard subject? Yeah. Can we facilitate the understanding of this subject in a playful way? Of course we can!

Meet SPACE TRAIN: a full online browser based game that explains some basic ideas of this complex theme.



To understand the complex idea behind the blockchain concept, the game uses a metaphor with aliens being allocated to a spaceship in limited turns. The game was developed by students and teachers at the college where I work (I created the game design). In the future there will be a website with supporting material, but - for now - you can play the game by clicking here.





Enjoy the game and wait for more content.

#GoGamers

sexta-feira, 12 de março de 2021

Pure abstract games

In this post I’ll discuss the idea behind one of my favorite types of games: abstract games. Well, first of all let’s understand what makes a game an abstract game. The definitions are many and I chose one from Board Game Geek’s site. In a section dedicated to defining this kind of game, we can find some interesting concepts about abstract games, but I'll pick one that fits perfectly in this present discussion: “abstract games” is a term often used to refer to games without a theme (regardless of the game mechanics) like Go, Backgammon, and Checkers – as analogic game examples. But we can find digital examples also, like 2048, Tetris, and 140.

Basically, we can say that this category of games is made purely of a mechanic. The components will be geometric shapes, colors, numbers etc. Occasionally, we can put a theme inside an abstract game, but – in essence – the focus is on the mechanism. In this context it’s important to remember that mankind creates games from its earliest historical records. One of the oldest games we have knowledge of is Senet – an abstract board game - found in archaeological relics dating from 3500 years before Christ (THOMPSON, BERBANK-GREEN, CUSWORTH, 2007, p12).

Let’s check some examples of analogical abstract games:









And also let’s check some abstract video games:





#GoGamers



References:

Boardgame Geek official site: https://boardgamegeek.com/

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

domingo, 7 de fevereiro de 2021

terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2021

Screenshots of my new game

Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M.) is coming soon! Check some images to understand the gaming atmosphere!

#GoGamers

segunda-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2021

Eight solo game developer mistakes to avoid

Another excellent video with brilliant ideas from Ask Gamedev YouTube channel.



Eight Solo Game Developer Mistakes to Avoid:

1.Lack of feedback
2.Lack of demo build
3.No source control
4.Coding standards
5.Custom engine
6.Bad art
7.No test plan
8.Not finishing

#GoGamers

domingo, 3 de janeiro de 2021

My new videogame is coming soon! "Rapid Eye Movement" is under construction!

Weel, it's a fact: my new horror game is under production and it will be launched in 2021!

Rapid Eye Movement (a partnership between my indie studio Abysstrakt Games and T4 games) — or R.E.M. — is an independent game created for PC and consoles. At the time this post was being written, the game was in the middle of its development process, so it is important to say that some images used here came from the prototype version (the release of the final version is scheduled for the end of 2021).



R.E.M. is a game about dreaming; specifically, about an agonizing nightmare. In a first-person view, the player has exactly three minutes to complete a series of puzzles structured with some clocks scattered in the scenario. Each clock has a unique color and a unique solution; the player must be fast and ingenious to decipher some hints provided by objects displayed in the rooms and then set the right time on the clocks. If the player fails to set the clocks in three minutes, they return to the initial gaming scenario and must start all over again



All the action in R.E.M. takes place inside a strange and distorted house; each room has walls filled with images of old distressing memories. The game design goal that best defines R.E.M. is to cause a feeling of estrangement in the player.

The narrative is mysterious and subject to various interpretations. In the beginning of the game, a monotonic and depressive voice gives some hints about the gaming atmosphere and objective:



Below we reproduce the full text that is the starting point for the dreamlike mood of Rapid Eye Movement:

I have a recurring dream.
In fact, it’s not a dream. It’s a nightmare.
I can say it’s a nightmare because I want to wake up and I can’t.
Everything always starts like this:
I’m in my childhood home.
I know I’m not alone.
However, it is not a human thing that keeps me company.
It’s some kind of shadow.
In dreams (or in nightmares) we don’t question the facts, we just accept them.
I know there are clocks around the house.
I know I have to adjust the clocks correctly.
I know that time is short.
I know that if I don’t succeed, everything will repeat itself. I know. I just know.


Below you can check a little bit from the pre-prototype version (created with Unity):



Wait for news, trailer, demo and more information soon! The game will be presented in HCI conference in July. This year will be full of new games for my portfolio!

#GoGamers