Relaxing music list

Relaxing MusicOur lives can be very stressful sometimes and music can help you calm down. When I’m working, be it game development, studying or cleaning, I like to listen to various type of music but I always prefered soothing pieces. People at Indie Game Developers group on facebook started a conversation about relaxing music so I’ve decided to finally make a list of music where everyone can find it. I hope you’ll find it useful as well, whatever you’ll be doing.

“Life is so much easier when you just chill out”

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Wednesday Recap #29

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great week so far. Great or not, I’ll try to make it a bit better with this post, ok?

Last week I left you empty handed because I was studying for the exam and there was not much progress done except the one for the trailer which is TOP SECRET for now. I’ve passed 1/2 of the exam (oral part left) so at least time wasn’t wasted.

To get your attention – have you seen latest screenshot? The one titled Disembark that I’ve posted this Saturday? Here, this is the one:

Courier meets the mummies with some "friendly" oil urns after his disembark.

Courier meets the mummies with some “friendly” oil urns after his disembark.

Question that will be answered: Why is trailer taking so long?

Those who follow me for a long time already know that I have lots of things planned, drawn and designed but I don’t have everything implemented in the game. Far from it. Normally, I’m implementing stuff while I work on the maps. I do have prototypes for most of the stuff but prototypes aren’t enough. That means I’m implementing stuff and building parts of the maps just for the trailer right now. No harm is done though for everything will be used in the game as well later on. Except for the delay, that’s the minus here and I’m sorry for that.

Animating the big fire dude

Pixels here, pixels there, pixels everywhere

Pixels here, pixels there, pixels everywhere

Courier will meet this fire dude at some point and you’ll be able to see it in the trailer as well so I had to take my time to make some animations for it. It takes some patience and lots of time to animate pixel art stuff, especially big stuff like this one. I’ll show you only idle animation for now ok?

More stuff

Here are few more stuff that I was working on this week. Let me remind you that this is not the final quality of the game. I’m far from polishing phase so…yeah. You know ;)

Ahoy!

Ahoy!

Deadly-fiery-explosion spell that will be casted by some deadly crypt dweller

Opening chests was always fun right? I’ve done some slight improvements but I’m still not entirely satisfied with it. More shiny lights and treasure next time.

Opening the chest

Question that will be answered: Soo…when is the trailer release date again?

When it’s done! No, seriously, I’m doing my best – it’s over 50%, music is shaping pretty well, visuals are there and people say it’s not “THAT” boring so far. So, I guess that’s it for you. I would like to say next week but I won’t because I don’t know what problems may arise.

TrailerInMaking

Windows Movie Maker now, I’ll need something else later

That’s it for the week. I hope you’re satisfied with the gif animations and that lots of text didn’t bring you down along the way. Have a great week on and enjoy the weekend ;)

Screenshot Saturday – Disembark

Courier meets the mummies with some "friendly" oil urns after his disembark.

Courier meets the mummies with some “friendly” oil urns after his disembark.

This is this weekend’s #screenshotsaturday. One of the maps will feature a boat ride and next to fast water slide you’ll be stopping at some points to do X stuff. At this stop, Courier was welcomed by mummies – not particularly nice welcome anyway.

Wednesday Recap #28

Hello everyone! I hope you had a as great week(end) as I did. I’ve done a lot of progress on all sides of the development and I’m closer and closer to the demo, trailer and kickstarter. Let me start with the cool stuff!

Creepy foggy fog

I’ve made this simple fog which looks really nice in the game or at least that’s what I want to believe. Thoughts?

Behind the scene for the devs: I simply render two fog sprites (one is flipped horizontal) with inverse alpha value factor which I’m changing up and down. This gives you a feeling that fog is changing it’s shape. Add movement to it, place more instances and you’ll have nice simply fog in your game :)

Screenshot

Courier binded on the sacrificial altar by the shadowy figures.

Courier binded on the sacrificial altar by the shadowy figures.

Cultist

I wish I could tell you more about this but I can’t. Let it serve as a teaser ok? I just wanted to let you know there is more in to game than walking and shooting urns at the mummies.

Off we go!

Off we go!

Another thing I was working on – boat! This was in the plan for a long time and it’s in the game now. You can control it and before you ask – yes, it will get really fast at some points.

Teasery-trailer in development

Teasery-trailer-work

I’m a bit late but it’s in development. As you can see from the image above, plan is done amd some scenes are ready for recording. I still need more footage to make it cool. I’m really exciting about this for I’ll be showing Courier of the Crypts in action on the video for the first time. It will be short and more of a teaser than trailer but it will be awesome.

Programming

  • Further FMOD implementation: do you remember when I’ve decided to use FMOD? I started implementing it to work with FMOD Studio but left it behind since there is a lot of documentation to read. I’ll do that after the demo release & kickstarter campaign. For now I did basic implementation for it and it works great. I added more sounds to the game and it feels great playing it even more now.
  • Memory leaks: Why do you have to leak??? For joke I’ve decided to take a look at the memory consumption and memory was stacking…alarm! I’ve used like two hours to fix all the leaks and it’s fine now. I was afraid there will be more complications. All good!
  • Custom resolution: My framework supported only one screen resolution with fullscreen mode (one picked at the start). I also had a problem on the widescreen monitors where screen got stretched and it looked like courier weighted 100 pounds more. I never did this before so it took me quite some time to implement custom resolution support and it works like a charm. I was postponing this “basic” feature implementation for more than a year but I’m over with it now.
    <Resolution champion achievement earned>
  • I did some more programming on various parts – more components for the map editor, new objects in the game, fixing old stuff and more.

Publicity

Latest screenshot (one with the binded courier)  was featured on the Warp Door:
Below, we present you the most intriguing ones we’ve found during the last feverish 24 hours of screenshot sharing.

I’m glad that mine is one of them. Check all of them out ;)

 

That’s it for the week. I’m going back to work – teasery trailer needs to be done. Have a nice week and let me know what you think. I appreciate every comment and critic.

Wednesday Recap #27

I’m back after two weeks and I’m really sorry for no Wednesday Recap last week but I was having short vacations at the seaside. Don’t worry though, I did some progress over there as well. ;)

Seaside vacations

Vacations were quite relaxing although I’ve used some of the time for Courier of the Crypts as well (I’m not saying gamedev is not relaxation…). Beach was a great place to work on texts for the game since all I needed was a notebook and pencil. I was working mostly on the dialogues for the story because that was another black hole in my game. I was also shaping game description for the website since puzzle-action-exploration-adventure doesn’t tell you much now does it?

Seashells I've gather from the bottom of the sea and my "Courier Notebook"

Seashells I’ve gather from the bottom of the sea and my “Courier Notebook”

Next to all that I’ve placed some random pixels here and there and made more art. Yay!

Mushroom kingdom

That’s not real name of the environment / map or anything else in the game - more correct would be “Cave full of mushrooms“. Anyway, I did some more progress on that part. I have to admit it’s not part of the demo but I felt like working on it since I did few pixels for that environment when I was off.

Everything is work in progress but you should get an idea what to expect. I want this place to be magical – dark yet full of colors. I was writing about this place in one of the post when all I had was a concept.

Cotc_Mushrooms_Scr

That’s…TRIPPY!

To get better feeling of the environment I’ve alse prepared tiny gif just for you to see these huge mushrooms in aciton. Do you think everything is too colorful?

Do you see those insects on the screenshot? They look like this when idle. I wrote about these cute creatures of the night once already but let me tell you again. If you have your torch burning they will drink light from you and lower your torch bar drastically. You can turn your torch off to prevent them that but you’ll angry them and they will charge into you. You don’t want to meet these, especially not in big numbers.

Cotc_Insect

 

More gif animations for you

Power of the magic crystal

Falling column…dangerous!

And to show you something interesting, here is a comparision of map (tiny part of it) between map editor and game. This map I’m working on has tons of events and triggers that requires A LOT of objects and let me quote myself from recent twitter post: “If this map that I’m working on survives all the events, triggers and other objects then all maps will O_O’“.

Timers, particles, triggers, animations, terrain modificators, connections...all for 1 minute of gameplay.

Timers, particles, triggers, animations, terrain modificators, connections…all for 1 minute of gameplay.

That became quite a long post and I’m wondering if I forgot something (besides some load of programming done on the rendering side) but I guess that’s it.

Right now I’m working on a first official teaser for the game and it shall be released very soon with the new webpage. I hope I can do most of the work until next week.

Enjoy your week and let me know what you think about stuff I just posted, I’ll appreciate it :)

Wednesday Recap #26

I have everything I’ve promised over all the social medias except one thing – gif animation. I didn’t have anything “cool” to show so I rather left gif-recorder alone. So let’s see what Courier brought to you this time:

Development video – timelapse from the map editor

I’ve made a random room in 12 minutes just to show you how does it look like to make maps for this game. There’s nothing special, no triggers, enemies, pickups, events so you should consider this pure basic – tiles, lights and collision. You can imagine how long does it take to make one long proper map with puzzles, proper enemy and pickup placement next to all the crazy events I can do with the editor. Oh, and there is pencil’n’paper map design before all that. It’s time consuming and yes.

New screenshot – floating stuff

Courier of the Crypts - floating crypts

Didn’t you know that stuff in the crypts float?

That’s still WIP – I like to do nearly ok gfx and map design and leave it for polishing days. Basicly, There are few places that simply float. How and why? I’m not sure yet but I’ll find some reasonble excuse ok? These road-floating-stones will be constructed when you get close to them. Yes, like in Bastion with few minor differences. I’m programming those moving stones tomorrow.

New tiles

Cotc_NewArtLike I said in the previous post, I’m making new tiles for maps in the map creation process. If I miss something, I make while making the map. Here are few new pieces I’ve made for the 2nd episode. And you can see more on the above screesnhots.

Web page progress

Most of the design was finished last week and all other stuff (programming, scripting, css etc.) are proceeding absolutely perfect. Everything is almost done and all I need is to put in some serious content including first official teaser, which still needs to be done.

There are some cool gif animations and mouse-overs on the site which I want to believe are true eyecandies. Don’t worry, you won’t see anything like this there.

Programming

I was doing huge changes on map editor side because it was nasty and I mean it. When I’ve made it I thought “ehh, it’s not perfect but its OK. Why wasting time on it if it’s usable“. When you’re using some tool for a long time you can easily see it’s flaws and my map editor had lots of ‘em. Safety belts, shortcuts confusions solved, code more organized etc.

Next week

I’m already working on a small build for Zdravko (composer) which should be done by saturday because I’m leaving for short sea-side vacations because I’m not sure when will be the next time I’ll be able to afford that. I’ll take the laptop with me anyway since I have to prepare some material for first official teaser showing some gameplay and different enviroments – you should look forward to it.

So – programming, art, teaser material. That’s what I’ll be working on with three words :)

I’m afraid I won’t be able to do next week’s recap because of my absence but if I get something good to show I’ll make a post and schedule it for wednesday so I don’t leave you empty handed.

Have fun everyone!

Wednesday Recap #25

One busy week is around and I have few things to show. Maybe not that much directly from the game but it’s all for the sake of the game.

Pixelating

Map design

Nothing changed, I’m still working on the map design and drawing additional tiles by need. Actually I’ll be doing this quite regularly from now on since content represents the biggest part of the game’s empty progress bar.

Drawing_MapDesign

Pencil and paper – friends I hang out with these days

Result of pixelating and map design

I have to open those doors or else!

I have to open those doors or else!

That’s how the realized concept from the papers above look like in the game. For now it may look really static but let me tell you it will get wild in there. Earthquakes, pillars shattering real-time (did you think that pillar over the black hole tore down by itself?)…yeah, there may be no enemies but it’s meant to be that way.

It took you so long just to make all that? Erm…yes, well, tiles I’m using for that map weren’t done, I had nothing but basic walls and floor so I had to add details, make more block-walls and broken pieces, wall / floor variations etc. That and webpage design which follows.

New webpage under construction

Why would you want to work on a new webpage while your game needs more content, gameplay video and demo??? You have a point there, you do but let me explain. Current webpage is old and I’ve made it quite quickly for I had to point newcomers somewhere to learn more about game. It served it’s purpose well but I have to move on now to make place for other stuff as well like “PRESS”. If someone wants to write about my game I don’t wan’t him / her to look around for stuff, I just want to give them everything they need on one spot. Then there is special are for media and support as you can see from the image below. Also, what’s very important to me - fresh new look with mouse-over eyecandies, cool social grave stones and more.

Cotc_Webpage_preview

Disclaimer: text on the preview needs editing that’s why no full res ;)

Webpage may get released in about 2 weeks with new video teaser if anyone wonders. I’m still trying hard to get a hang of time-management so that time-frame may get extended. Yaiks!

Anyway, that’s it for the week, I’ll have gif animations for you next time ok? Have fun and I hope you like today’s wednesday recap.

Wednesday Recap #24

In my previous post I’ve discussed my absence from the development of the Courier of the Crypts and the game’s future. I wanted to keep development progress for the wednesday recap topic because I have quite some images for you today.

Organization

After that long pause and going full time indie I had to organize myself. Plans, tasks, milestones, documents, spreadsheets and all that kind of stuff. I need to get more serious about planning now since it’s not just hobby anymore.

I’ve organized my list of press contacts pretty well and added new ones to it. No, there are still many more to add, especially non-english websites.

Planning documents

Spreadsheets, documents, documents, todos, docum…

 

This can take pretty much time but it’s worth it. It’s really good to have plan and everything organized so you don’t have to scratch your head saying “What now, what now?…

Demo version

In previous post I’ve mentioned that I’m working on demo version and I just wanted to let you know a bit more about it. It will have 3 maps – tutorial map (which will be awesome), storyline map and one normal map. This alone should be enough for you to get a feeling what Courier of the Crypts is all about.

New HUD

After giving the HUD some thought I’ve decided to redesign it. I wanted to change it a while ago but never took time for that. Point of redesign was to keep inventory closer to other stats and to cover everthing with nice thematic graphics. I thought that would be too heavy but it works quite well in the game. We’ll see but for now, that’s 2nd itteration for you.

New Hud comparison

Level design and screenshot

I’ve made another piece for one of the maps and I have nice set of photos to show you how it went from concept to realization.

Concept1 Concept2 Concept3 Concept4

And this is how it finally looks like in the game with lighting

Cotc_Nightmare

Well hello there big fella!

Animated sword-and-lamp-holding fire spirit 

GateKeeperThis is only a mockup, no permanent pixels there for now but I’m definitely going into that direction so if you have any critics or suggestions do let me know before I destroy this angry sprit ;)

Next week

I’ll continue working on that fiery fella and do some work on tutorial map. I still need to figure out some tricks to cover that tutorial purpose even more.

Next to that I’m redesigning Courier of the Crypt’s webpage because I don’t find it very attractive. That’s another thing for this and the next week.

That’s it and don’t forget that you can follow my development on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Until next week ;)

Development resumed for good – dreams ahead

Hello everyone! Some of you may realized that I’ve disappeared for something like two months if not more without a word. No blog posts, FB/Google+ news and even birdies ceased with tweets and I’m very sorry for that. I made few serious decisions few months ago and in time of this big pause my life changed quite a bit and I had to adapt to these changes, positive changes that is. All decisions made were mostly for the sake of Courier of the Crypts and since my game is main topic of this writing I’ll let you know all about it and what to expect.

development

About the long pause

Few months ago I’ve decided to switch my job. I was working in gamedev for 3 years but I was hunger for changes. I had two options – some other company or going full time with the Courier of the Crypts. Even though first option sounded safe and interesting, second option won because it’s even more thrilling and who doesn’t want to give a chance to their own dreams right? Also, if I want to make this game as I want it to be I need all the focus and time for it. Anyway, there is never good moment for something like this but this was as close as it could get. My roomies decided to leave the apartment, school ended for me (well, 2 exams left) and I had an option to move home and that’s what I did. After ~7 years living away from home I’ve moved back to concentrate on Courier of the Crypts and to save some money. I’ll be staying home at least for a while to make a good push with the game. My room was not in good state so I had to tidy up everything, moved old stuff out, painted the walls and made a good gamedev environment. There are still some stuff missing like fan art on the wall + place for my dear todo sticky notes.

new_room

My new gamedev nest at home

So what now? Courier of the Crypts coming soon? Yes and no. I have tremendous amount of content to do and this will take time. Lots of time but at least you can expect private demo version quite soon. I want to make a bigger testing batch before make it public so if you’re eager to test this beast do let me know – drop a line below or leave me a tweet / email and I’ll add you to the list of testers.

Future for the Courier of the Crypts

campaigns

That’s right, I’ll be doing Kickstarter and Greenlight campaign soon after the demo. What, when, how…all of that information will be released soon. All of you who desperately want  to support me (and give your money) this will be your chance! ;)

Next to that I’ll resume regular wednesday recaps starting today. Every week like in old times, yay! That’s it, Courier of the Crypts is going onwards with full steam ahead.

That’s it? Nothing new from the game to show?

Screenshots and gif animations will follow in the next post ;)

New followers

In time of my disappearance I got pretty nice amount of followers on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks a lot everyone for your support! If you want to talk with me, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to chit-chat with you.