Friday, December 5, 2008

Student IGF Release (Demo Version 0.3)

Finally packaged the student IGF Release Demo.
It will work on Mac and Windows platforms. 

Or you can download the Windows version (you need a Java Runtime Environment):

Some more Mirrors for downloading:

I've just tested it on my mum's Windows XP and it works. Don't know about Vista.
It has new game-play involved, and a new level design. Also, in this version you can complete the first level. Let me know what you think of it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Building Up the Gallery

I've finally made a small video about the indiecade exposition at the malt cross gallery.
You can see it here.

It was some work for me, because I am really not good at video production. I also have no idea, how to make sure that the compression doesn't ruin the quality. You'll see, its picture compression quality is abysmal. (For me this stuff takes ages to make, too).  In german we'd say "someboy has two left hands with video production". 
Well, sorry again for the long waiting, Megan and Alex..  ^_^

Anyway, what you see is the Malt Cross Gallery in Nottingham, where our exhibition took place. We had a fun time, even though we had problems getting everything to work. I really, really wanted to play Erik Svedäng's Blueberry Garden, but we didn't get past set-up. It needs some XNA environment, and I am pretty left-handed at setting stuff like that up. Whenever I set up some development environment, it often easily takes one full day, until everything works, the way I need it. (On rare occasions I am lucky and it'll take 10 minutes)

Special thanks to Alex, Megan and Alex and all the others from Leicester for helping with everything. Also to Yuey and John for helping.

And of course to Stephanie and Sam.

I'll be posting more material, I will not say soon :D

Otherwise I've started a 3 days per week job. But right now, they make me come in 5 days a week, because there are project deadlines, pending. So I had absolutely no time for 'Where is my Heart?'. Hopefully soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Platform Coverage on 'Where Is My Heart?'

Aaron Lee from platform magazine writes about some of the
fabulous Indiecade games at Game City 3.
Read what he thinks about them (and about 'Where is my Heart?')
at the platform blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

not exactly a news rush

Hi everybody,

I think I need to apologize. I claimed to deliver these news about Game City 3, and it never really came. It's because I have been working on the IGF student contest demo, pretty much non-stop. Now, just on friday night I got that packaged and sent to the IGF. I'll also post the version soon, for download. It's the full first level, playable to the end ^_^

After sending that demo to the IGF, (it still has a couple of bugs, I'm sure), I felt like going out more than anything else. Not like sitting down, writing, at all. Also I thought I'd attach the 'news' to the video footage I made in Nottingham at GC3. Well I had problems getting the footage from the camera, because a piece of software and a cable was missing. Now I have it, so as soon as I get a free minute I'll be cutting this footage. And I'll be saying some things about Game City, people I've met and experiences. Sorry again for the long stretch of silence on that matter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

stuff on youtube

hi everybody,

I just found this lecture on game design by Will Wright on youtube. I haven't seen it yet but maybe it's good, who knows..
I'll have a look at it tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Birthday Party Back in September

Hi everybody,

I have finally put together the birthday-video.
It's with a black cat and some roses and super mario.
No need to congratulate, the video is from september.
That's behind long enough. 
The song is called "golden apples" by Shirobon!
Sorry for the low quality of the video, even though it sais high quality in its title.
I first managed to compress a version that was even worse.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

IGF Release (Demo Version 0.2)

The IGF demo of 'Where Is My Heart?' can be downloaded right here.
It definately works on Mac OS and Windows. Don't know about other OS's.
I submitted it to the contest, without too great hopes.
It's pretty much the same demo as the first IndieCade Release, but there is one new gameplay mechanism added. The 'metamorphosis'. So for all those who know the old release, you may try out the metamorphosis of Antler Ancestor. Also, of course I'd like to know what you think about it. Is it pleasing to ears and eyes?

I am currently polishing another version for the IGF student contest, in which I lay more hopes. It's due to the 15th November and you qualify as a student, if you were studying in Spring 2008, for all those who're interested in submitting their game.

Umm, yeah. What else? Oh yeah, I made this animation tool called Takakukei Animator  in case you always wanted to make "Eric Chahi"-style polygon animations, like in Chahi's amazing game "Another World". (How I LOVE this game.) It's in good working condition. If you want to use it and get stuck anywhere. let me know. Also if you want to continue programming on it, ask me for the (quite unpolished) sources.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Video Game Art

I have been thinking about finding ways how I can keep up the work on my game. I had the idea of selling unique art work. So if you would like to support me in making my game you could consider buying a piece of stamped art. Each piece will be unique. I'd send you one piece for 8 Dollar Australian. (Because I love Australia and I quite like the number 8.) 
In Euro that would be 4.23
In British Pound it would be 3.36
and in US Dollar it'd be 5.41

The price for postage would be depending on where you are located. But it wouldn't exceed 3 Euro I guess.
They will be pretty simple pieces, like the one above and you'd help me to keep working.
I'll also set up a paypal thingie soon. (I have to figure out how that works. Does anyone know, by the way?)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Screen Suck mentions Where-Is-My-Heart

There is a blog called 'Screen Suck' by William Kennard. He blogs about video games, manga, art and other cultural artefacts. He mentions that, what he liked about my game, was the music and the concept. William's blog entry on Indiecade@GameCity can be found here.
Well if you're interested in the music of 'Where-Is-My-Heart-?' then it's Shirobon!'s myspace you should have a look at. He creates wonderful chiptune on his old-school GameBoy. Give him some love.   ^_^

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Game City 3

Hi everybody. Thanks for following this blog. I was at Game City 3 over the weekend. It's a game festival in Nottingham, UK. Thanks to Stephanie Barish and Sam Roberts from the Indiecade team, I was allowed to present my game in their gallery. It was great and inspiring to sum it up in one sentence. I will be posting lots of stuff over the next days. It's going to be a bit of my own coverage of the whole event. Showing the things that I liked and learned at the event. I hope this perspective will be interesting to you. The first thing I want to say is, thank you to all the people who encouraged me in carrying on developing my game. It's important to me to get that extra drive from you.  I am still travelling back to Germany right now, so no big post now. (I am sitting in a cafe, trying to spend my last british coins) Tomorrow will be the start of 'Where-Is-My-Heart@GameCity-News'.
I added a little slide presentation of the game to this post. I made it for Game City but didn't really need it there. It may still be interesting to you. 

Friday, October 24, 2008


When I design gameplay rules I often use comic strips to capture the essence of the rule. By 'essence' I mean, the important element of the rule. For example this comic strip shows the rule of metamorphosis. When the three monsters (Brown, Orange, and Gray) step on a certain metamorphosis-box, they will shape-shift. One of them will shape-shift to be Antler Ancestor and the other two will be little flies. They follow Antler Ancestor around, wherever he goes. When all three are close enough to each other the transformation goes back to three monsters. See, it's so much easier to convey all this information in a comic strip.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What's going? on.

I am programming stuff like metamorphoses and also antlers. And Pi is involved. I heart Pi. 
I need sleep.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Stampy Time.

The stamps got delivered! I got all crazy and erupted in stampa-frenzy. Stamp! Stamp-stamp!! 
They'll be stamped on the flyers, as shown in the third picture.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where is my Flyer?

The best is better than the rest. But which one is it, I ask you? I'll have 500 printed quite soon. 
After the print I'll add a little extra to individualize every single one. Let's make a deal: You help me decide, which one to choose for print and I send you one of the 500 flyers. Drop me your postal address in an email.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where do you feel at home?

Here are some concepts. They help me to fix ideas. I came across an older entry in my sketch book. It said: "feel at home." 
This made me remember, what I'd been thinking about, when I wrote it down. Whenever I thoroughly enjoyed playing a game, it (the game) was capable of really making me feel at home. I don't know how else to describe it. It just felt right to be in that game world at that time. To give an example of this feeling: Zelda, Link to the Past. Also Monkey Island 1 and 2. 
I am trying to achieve this "home-effect" with my game. So, I am wondering what the secret ingredients are, to generate the home-effect. I guess it's a mix of graphics and atmosphere and the fact that the game-world is for one part familiar and cozy and for the other part new and strange. Any other ingredients out there? I would be interested in hearing your ideas.
Also, what are your home-games?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Secret Message

Erik Svedäng posted a secret entry in his blog:
It made me want to post a secret message too.. 
Who knows what it means? 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where is my Poster?

Here's a poster design of Where-Is-My-Heart-Game. If you have a huge printer, or you own a standard printer and you're willing to use tape and scissors, you can pin this 3 x 2 foot poster to your wall. For the large dimension version (pdf format) be sure to follow the text link. The thumbnail image only points to a small png-version.

I did it, tape-and-scissors-style..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Other IndieCade 2008 entries

I was looking around the web in search of my IndieCade competitors, and found cool stuff..

Here is a platform game called "You Have to Burn the Rope". It's about burning ropes and letting a huge candelabrum fall on a huge boss monster. Cool stuff! 

Another entry to IndieCade is ColorDots. This game is about order and chaos and being fast about cleaning up, which is an activity I usually try to dodge. But this game actually makes cleaning up a fun thing.

The game Errantry might also be an IndieCade entry. I haven't figured that out yet..

Back to searching for more competitors now..

Monday, May 12, 2008

Artistic Statement

Interested in the ideas behind Where-Is-My-Heart-game?

For the IndieCade release I wrote a few words about what my goals and intentions are, with this game. It all started with a hike in the woods..

The Relativity of Reality

I was studying the effects of different colors. With this color choice I got pretty close to a "swamp world" feeling. (Also it reminds me of the classic GameBoy colors a little.) 
I am playing a lot with color effects lately. As an example, when Gray is picked by the player, colors could drift to a specific configuration. With this visual feedback the player gets to see, how Gray views his surroundings. This is maybe one way to convey his biased outlook on reality.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Comic Panel Effect

Already played the demo? If you have difficulties, making heads or tails of the comic panel effect, then this older blog entry might help you understand.
In future versions these panels will actually have effect on the game-play. For the IndieCade release I'm afraid I didn't have enough time to add any of this in a convincing way.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

IndieCade Release (Demo Version 0.1)

Hey, whoever is interested in testing my release for IndieCade 2008 may download it here
I'd be glad for any feedback postings.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shirobon! Music

I have teamed up with Shirobon!
His song is pretty. It truly touches my heart. 'Remembering childhood' is the title, and you can listen to it at Shirobons MySpace site, or by playing the demo.

Antler Ancestor

A new character is about to be introduced to the game. Antler Ancestor. When Brown eats a special goodie he turns into Antler Ancestor, while Orange and Gray turn into Littloes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

IndieCade 2008

I barely managed to meet the deadline to the IndieCade 2008 independant Game Selections. I've built a little prototype of a tutorial level for the game. I hope there are not too many bugs. It's a rough, scetchy thing, but they specifically are interested in work that is still in progress ( So I thought I might as well submit. We have several new game mechanisms in this version (0.3). Since the last update an alternative reality system was integrated. Now when Gray picks a green heart, he drifts into his own reality. A scary place with portals and ghost artifacts. Only he sees them, only he can use them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Family

We are a family now. Three monsters. Living together in a world of platforms.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Game Mechanics

The player can switch between three characters. A little like in Lost Vikings, if you remember that game. The characters are three monsters. They represent me and my family. The game is about finding a way to the Big-Heart. Depending on the actions the three monsters take they produce Little-Hearts that fly to the Big-Heart and take influence on it.
In my family there is a lot of love. People often symbolize love with a pink heart. I think that's just part of the truth. I think love also has a bitter, hurting side. That's why in the game there are also bitter, dark-green hearts. They represent the hurting side of love, of which there is a lot in my family. The three monsters produce such bitter-hearts and send them flying to the big Pink heart. It then changes hue and eventually becomes bitter green. That's my idea for today.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Optimized the Repaint

Work done today: Optimization of repaint, so only parts absolutely in need of a repaint will be refreshed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I just finished a conceptual design work for a testing environment of Where-Is-My-Heart? I was thinking about the game-play a lot. How does the player win the game? Or a level? How about this: As a player you have to find the way to the heart balloon. As the player grabs the heart, the level is completed. At the beginning of each level, we could have a short sequence of events, that in one way or another make the player lose his heart again. A bird stealing it, a gust of wind, etc.
So the main objective about the game is to explore and find a way to the heart. Riddles would be about combining information from the different frames. So it is more a cognitive game than a classic platform game.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finding out how the Game works

I just produced some more frames. Finding out how puzzles could work. This could become a really, pretty daftly hard-core puzzle game. The frames in the small picture left are taken as cuts from the big "level" picture above. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Game Engine, Level Builder and Thoughts on How to Proceed

The current status of the game engine: For the player guy we have basic collision and the player can skip from one Comic Frame to another, back and forth at well defined spots. 

The player falls downwards, when not touching a platform underneith. Jumps and falling are non physical for the moment. A jump will move the player guy up in a linear way,  (no gravitational constant, no quadratic curve behavior, ie. no speeding up with time falling). Maybe I will add that at a later stage. But correct Physics do not bother me right now. Instead I am working on overall game rules and mechanics. 

What else? Ah yes. I have the basics of a level editor ready. You can place platforms, walls and portals by mouse drag.

Next things to do? Humm, maybe think first before carrying on. First to further develop the rules of play. For example what happens when the player is in the middle of jumping and suddenly presses down? We could have that be a function. Like an attack, or something. 

Also, what do we want the non player characters to be like? Can they walk around? Talk? Do stuff?
Actually do we want text in the game or an absolutely non text game, which is kind of neat, I think. Only sounds and music? 

Inspiration from Marcel Dzama

I had this inspiration from Marcel Dzama. He painted one picture with a pile of dead bodies, and a text saying,

"Inside I died this many times."

or something similar. We could use that for the game. When the player guy kills somebody. You see in one frame how the person you just killed falls down on top of the pile. Or later at the time when the player guy dies by some game incident, all the ones he killed prior to his death fall onto the pile. 

Thus the player will accumulate this pile, and depending how many he killed the pile will grow and grow. It's a pretty mean thing to do with the gamer, I know. But it seems interesting. 

At a later stage, maybe towards the end of the game, we could have the player guy walk over this pile. That's gruesome, even if we use "cute" graphics.  Or maybe especially because of the cute graphics.

I was also thinking of use real painting scans for everything. Animations, background graphics and all.. That would make it look really home made, which it is. And the animation could also be really edgy and non-soft, just like a really selfmade cartoon. Collage and Decollage would be very interesting too.. Gives it this really used look

Monday, February 11, 2008

I had the idea of switching the content of the comic frames, like switching tv channels, with analogue noise pixels intermitting. And there could even be this sound of a bad tv reception. Maybe the player can use a switch and thus control, what's on display in another frame. This should give ground for a whole variety of interesting situations and puzzles.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Where is my heart" will be the working title for now. Here is a first no-great-effort design for an ad.

So this is kind of a first mockup for the game I have in mind.. It's like a platform puzzle/adventure game with comic frames. You walk out of one frame and end up in another frame.
This comic frame mechanics should give us some levers for interesting puzzles. Some frames are partly congruent/overlapping, so you would see the guy walking in both frames. From frame to frame, it's not neccessarily how you'd read a real comic. Maybe the guy ends up in an unexpected frame..Another thing is, I want the game to be very forgiving, you shouldn't die, or if there is death, then there is a really close place where the guy gets back into game. I don't want goodies in the game, only the bare neccessities.
I think I first want to have the game design complete before I start with programming. Because, as Jonathan Blow says, programming is easy, Production is harder, Design is hardest. Taking care of that early, should be the key to a good game.
I am now thinking up a story line (maybe nonlinear) and then also I need puzzle ideas, interesting game elements, that lead to a good puzzling/adventurous/explorative gameplay.

Monday, February 4, 2008