New Twitch Perks

Hey all! I am excited to announce that I have gained Twitch Affiliate status, meaning that viewers can now support my work via donations! Of course, you can earn badges for cheering or subscribing, but I want to provide perks beyond these. As such, I have established the following perks to begin with while I am developing Garb & Corncob:

  • 100 Bits & up – Your name in the credits of Garb & Corncob under Stream Donators; Discord role corresponding to your Bit badge
  • 1000 Bits & up – Access to donator-exclusive text & voice channels on Discord
  • Subscription (Any tier) – Access to donator-exclusive text & voice channels on Discord; Twitch Subscriber role on Discord; your name in the credits of Garb & Corncob under Stream Subscribers

I hope to add more perks as my channel continues to grow. Please keep in mind, however, that the existing perks may be changed if needed (i.e. I may adjust the minimum bits needed to gain access to exclusive channels based on user count). For more info on my streams, be sure to check out my Twitch channel!

Kentucky Fried Pixels 2018 Bundle Out Now!

The Kentucky Fried Pixels 2018 bundle, consisting of 7 games created for the Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam, is now available to purchase! In addition to Flewberry, the game I worked on for the jam, the bundle also contains Carkour!, Shadow Siege: Rogue Island, Meow Meow Madness, Rungeon, Fragile Panic, and Kaiju Claim. For as low as a dollar, you will receive access to all 7 of these games. I hope you’ll check it out!

Be sure to also take a look at the Flewberry release trailer I created for the bundle’s launch.

TooManyGames 2018 Recap

I just got back from TooManyGames 2018, and boy was this year’s convention amazing. I got to hang out with old and new friends, meet the voices of Mario, Bowser, and Eggman, dab with Isabelle, and shamelessly promote myself on someone else’s YouTube channel. What more could I ask for out of a weekend?

Amid the fun events and memes, I made sure to check out the convention’s indie game showcase. Always wanting to share information about indie developers, here are some highlights from the games I tried out.

Transmogrify

I’m a sucker for simple puzzle-platformers, so Transmogrify naturally drew my attention with its mechanic of freezing enemies and using the resulting ice blocks to traverse levels. The cartoony, Scribblenauts-esque art style and sci-fi atmosphere are a delight to look at and, while I didn’t get a chance to experience this during my playtime, the trailer shows that a number of unique death animations exist, adding some fun to the typically frustrating act of dying. With the game recently receiving full funding on Kickstarter, I’m excited to see what Odyssey Entertainment’s final product will be like!

The Island of Eternal Struggle

I’m also a sucker for comedic RPGs (hence why I’m making one right now), and The Island of Eternal Struggle looks like a promising addition to this beloved category. Placed into a rave scene where dancers acted as walls, I immediately felt EarthBound vibes, which is always a good sign to me. This familiar amusement continued when viewing the game’s whimsical character designs – ranging from a faceless warrior to a DJ wizard – and experiencing the game’s battle system, which bears similarities to Final Fantasy but requires input commands for actions, a feature that always helps me feel more engaged with an RPG. The game is currently on Steam Early Access, and I’m certainly going to check it out once my RPG backlog clears up!

Birdball

Fellow game design students are always fun to chat with, and Evan Schoenberger was no exception. Representing Shippensburg University’s Videogame Development Club, he talked to me a bit about the school’s program and showed off Birdball – a physics-based game about collecting birds with balls! Up to 4 players utilize a single keyboard – a co-op option I always appreciate – to launch their balls into the air. While jumping serves as the only direct control method, players can manipulate their ball’s horizontal velocity by launching it towards slanted platforms or the rounded ceiling, adding a layer of strategy to the basic gameplay via spatial reasoning. This seems like a neat pick-up-and-play party game, and I’m hoping the concept will be fleshed out further in the future!

Thanks to everyone that made this year’s convention amazing! It was a blast, and I already can’t wait for next year!

Vector 2018 Recap

 

This weekend I attended the Vector conference at EKU. This was my first year attending the event, as well as my first time showing my work off at any conference, so I thought it’d be worthwhile to write up a recap of my experience.

Package Handler

The highlight of Vector was getting a chance to show off Package Handler, the game I worked on for Global Game Jam 2018. I’ve been working with Quinten, Christian, and Noah – our newest team member – to polish the game for Vector’s student showcase, and I think out efforts payed off. We had a great time introducing people to the technology of VR (even if it meant panic when our monitors almost took a controller to the screen), and the feedback we received will be immensely helpful as we continue to form the direction we want to take the game in.

Me being me, I wanted to create a box-themed outfit for the event. I originally thought about customizing the Nintendo Labo Robot Kit, but considering it came out the day of Vector, I settled for the next best thing: a cardboard “Gundam”. Our boy Christian delivered (pun intended) with his box-collecting efforts, and I was able to create this sweet number.

Aside from demonstrating our game, I had a blast checking out what other people were showing off. The following games in particular struck my fancy, so I wanted to give them the attention they deserve.

Anti-Virus

My friend and fellow student Kyle has been working on this roguelike game since last semester, and I finally got the chance to check it out. The game puts a new spin on the term “button-mapping”: the player’s position corresponds to whatever key is pressed. This unique control scheme is admittedly a bit clunky, but there’s strong potential here and I’m excited to see where the project goes! Also, the music is banger.

GRAViTY

This game consists of using a black hole to move objects, and it sucked me right in (pun double-intended). The experience was interesting: the challenging puzzles kept me engaged, but the simple physics-based gameplay didn’t require too much thought, leaving me in this strange state of distracted focus, where I was using part of my mind to solve puzzles while the rest of it just wandered. Strongly recommended if you’re looking for a calm yet challenging game.

Match Point

I suppose great minds think alike. This game uses a similar pull mechanic to GRAViTY, but applies it to competitive gameplay that can be described as a combination of Smash Bros., #IDARB, and Lethal League. Players maneuver around a stage, manipulating the ball via attracting or repelling forces. I can see this being a strong party game, and I’m keeping it on my radar as it prepares for a Q3 2018 release.

Attending Vector was a blast. I’m glad I got to be a part of it, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

My Top 5 Games of 2017

[Original post: https://discuss.grouvee.com/t/my-top-5-games-of-2017/1780]

This year was too good of a year for video games. Between new IPs, returning classics, and enhanced sequels, there were so many games from this year that I have yet to actually play. For the games I was able to play, however, I wanted to rank my top 5 favorites. Similar to my top 10 list from last year, I’ll be counting any game that I finished this year. Feel free to share your picks as well!

5. The Stanley Parable
While a short experience, The Stanley Parable is an example of the types of stories that can only be told through video games. I loved figuring out new ways to interact with the narrator and discovering the game’s numerous endings, as well as going out of my way to find secrets, only to have my mind read and contemplate why I was even looking for said secrets.

4. Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 is a severely flawed game, but I cannot deny that when it works, it is an absolute blast to play. The easy learning curve and emphasis on player contribution makes for an experience that can be enjoyed by casual and hardcore players alike. It ultimately is just an enhancement of the first Splatoon, but I’ve racked up almost 100 hours in it, so it’s clearly doing something right.

3. Grand Theft Auto V
Shooting my friends dead in the streets is a fun time.

2. Super Mario Odyssey
With the amount of games in my backlog, I usually try not to explore worlds to thoroughly; I simply don’t have the time. With Mario Odyssey, this thought process of mine was reversed; I spent hours upon end just exploring the game’s various landscapes, even if I knew there was nothing new to collect. This game not only presents a huge open world, but actually encourages the player to explore every nook and cranny. In addition, the Capture mechanic is super fun to play around with, and the co-op mode is by far the best out of any other 3D Mario in my opinion, with several laughs being shared among friends as we made new discoveries using our combined efforts.

1. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
After playing through Super Mystery Dungeon last year, I decided to go back and play what many fans refer to as the best installment in the series. While I still can’t decide if I agree with that statement, I can certainly understand the reasoning behind it. This game is an absolute storytelling masterpiece. The characters are extremely well-written, the soundtrack is phenomenal, the artwork is gorgeous, and the plot is full of twists and turns that leave you on edge. This is the most immersed I’ve ever been in a video game; I felt tingling joy when I helped characters accomplish their goals, seething hatred towards the many antagonists, and absolute heartbreak during the tragic ending sequence. This game demonstrates the power of this medium; mere pixels and text can pull us into worlds and make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Experiences like these remind me why I chose to pursue game development as a career; video games allow for a deep level of immersion that simply isn’t possible with other types of media.