Friday, April 6, 2012

Happenings... Lots of Happenings

Hello again people, and of course, users of this marvelous community to another Viral dev blog post. Sorry for taking too much to make this one, I'll explain why below, but first I would like to talk about...

APRIL'S FOOLS
The thing I love about april 1st is that I don't have to celebrate it! Here in mexico we celebrate it in a different way and in a different date as well. In our tradition, we never give back what we borrow. Simple.

-Hey mate!
-Sup fella!
-Can ya' lend me fifty bucks?
-Sure fella! Here *gives money*
-Thanks mate! You´re awesome! *Walks away*
-Wait a minute............... Oh snap......

But I really like the 'Merican version of it! Corporations come up with the greatest pranks to tease their followers and then leave them in deception. How cute :3

It feels like an Easter Egg hunt! But instead of looking for putrid chocolate hid under muddy bushes, I browse around the internet looking for sweet pranks.

So I decided to join the fun and told everyone that I was going to leave Viral and make Justin Bieber dubstep! Unbelievably, some people actually tought I was talking seriously. I'm going to show just a few because Twitter deleted the other ones -__-



And this one from IndieDB, which really touched my heart :,(


An expected couple of laughs ended as a sea of feels. There is actually people who think that my work is good and they appreciate it. So, thank you all :)

But seriously, you tought I was actually going to make Justin Bieber dubstep? What the...? Nevermind.

It was fun to see other ones to do their pranks. For example, lil' Jordy, co-creator of the well-known game, Zombie Grinder, made a false renounce to his partner. He raged.

Well, in other news, I want to talk about something...

SOMEONE COPIED VIRAL (APPARENTLY)
I browsed IndieDB yesterday and saw a new game (which was announced on march 22 according to their blog) that looks a lot like Viral.

I am not going to post a link or the name of their game because I don't want to be a jerk. But if you would like to see it for yourself, I will give you a hint: Check for yesterday's posts (april 5) or look for zombie shooters on IndieDB.

There are some parts of it that look simply identical, such as:

  • The helicopter-view of the game.
  • The way the character holds the weapon (making a "v" with its arms, such as the old look as Viral).
  • Hunger bars (which they spelt: "hungry bar").
  • They announced an inventory system on their dev blog (something I already did).
  • The AI of the zombies do pretty much the same thing as our zombies.
  • Infinite AMMO (which I will change later in Viral).
  • They say it is going to be in multiplayer, such as Viral.
  • They've just announced new kinds of enemies, the same way I did:
    • Viral: "We will add zombie differences like: small zombies, big zombies, burning zombies, explosive zombies, poison zombies, spitting zombies and a really big one that you may call a boss".
    • They: "Uhh, the zombies.. I have a good notice for you, and I will unveal it now... I will add two new zombies.. a zombie without legs (more slow that the zombies with legs) and a Boss Zombie!"
  • Even the way they resume the end of the post:
    • Viral: "New Stuff", "Bug Fixes", "Known Bugs" and "Things You Can Expect".
    • They: "Blank", "Known bugs" and "In the next update...".
These are just some few big assimilations between our games, a small one would be the way they point the game version, with too many zeros, but that's not quite important.

Yes, I have played their alpha release and the ONLY thing that doesn't look like Viral is that the camera angle is adjusted to the mouse movement (which makes me dizzy) and that it doesn't have a random generated world.

The sneaky bandit is not tracking me on IndieDB, but I know he'll come back. So, with all the possible respect:


Listen here little fella: I'm not sure if you copied our idea, so I'm not going to mess with your Twitter, Google Blog or ModDB account; but clearly both of our games are pretty much the same: same concept, same gameplay style, they're in the same community, same way to write blog posts; and anyone who gets to see your game will be able to see what I'm talking about. 

I thank God that I just post Viral ideas as they come in the updates, because else, you've probably already stolen all of them! 

But let me tell you something: You've just turned on the fuse. You gave me a reason to produce Viral and make it way better, faster and stronger. And even if I haven't posted updates in a month or you saw our cancellation prank doesn't mean we're dead. In fact, we're more alive than ever! And it's all thanks to you!

Woah, I need to calm down. I know how. What if I tell you about my...

INTERVIEW WITH THE INDIE GAME MAGAZINE
I just had an interview with one of the authors from Indie Game Magazine Mobile, Thomas Wang,  director-in-chief of the mobile section of the Indie Game Mag, and he made me some questions about Viral and my upcoming portable game project:



IGM Mobile –  Hi Rodrigo, can you tell us about yourself?

Rodrigo – I am Rodrigo G. Maitret, I live in Mexico. Since my state doesn’t have any good place to learn programming I’ve become a programmer thanks to the internet and all it has to show.

IGM Mobile – How did Team ZuperZ form? What games did you make?

Rodrigo – Team ZuperZ, is just a name I gave to a friend and myself when we work together around 4 years ago. Nothing special, when we two make games together we’re called Team ZuperZ. My main job in Team ZuperZ is the programming, and sometimes I do art for the projects. But the main artist in our current project, Viral, is Agustin S├ínchez Ocampo (aka Dennot). Together, we’ve just managed to make a very small game called The Million Character Game during a game jam. Also, I forgot to mention someone really important: Jorge Figueroa Peart (aka G-or-G) contributed on The Million Character Game by making character art, and Easyname gave us one song so we could add it to the game. I did the programming , and Agustin did scenario. We all did the character art together. I’ve made many other small projects by myself, but most of them never were finished. And the ones that were finished were never uploaded to the internet.

IGM Mobile – You’ve already told me you were working on a game called ‘Viral’, can you tell me a little more about it?

Rodrigo – Oh yes, Viral. Viral is my first ambitious project. One of the reasons I chose this one is because it involves 3D graphics and multiplayer scripts. I already feel good with my knowledge with 2D games, so I want to go to the next level. Now, the game style is a pretty common around iOS, eg: Minigore and those who look like it. It is a Third Person Zombie Shooter. The point of the game is not just kill them, but to survive in cooperation, explore (which is the main point of the game), gather resources, improve and have fun.

IGM Mobile - How long have you been working on ‘Viral’?

Rodrigo - We’ve been on Viral for a while. The main mechanics, such as: movement, inventory and item systems, multiplayer were close to be finished. That was going to be the Pre-Alpha 4 surprise. But I was doing the project in 2D with an helicopter-view angle. People at the IndieDB seemed to dislike this. So I decided to change this by making the whole thing again, but now in 3D before the project went further. This was done to make them happy. After all, I want the people to play the game, so it needs to look good, and in 3D, it does. Now, in Viral, I’m doing the character art, and Dennot is doing everything else that involves art, which is a lot.

IGM Mobile - You’ve also introduced me to a game called ‘Bounce’, can you explain more about the concept? Can you give me any more information on estimated release dates?

Rodrigo - Now, Bounce. It is going to be a game that I will do by myself (programming and art) and will be released to iOS and Android. Hopefully Desura and Mac App store too. I want to make it good, but not too big, because this is a project for learning how the world of Apps work, after all, this is going to be my first “purchasable” game. I will release “Bounce” around a week and a month after Game Maker Studio’s release.

IGM Mobile - Any final comments?

Rodrigo - To all developers out there, check IndieDB, it is a great community to show off your projects. I have a blog that I update very often, which is TheGreenTie.blogspot.com, and a big shout to my friends at Twitter and DeviantArt. Also, I would like to give a big shout to Jordan Chewning (@jordizzle) for giving me some support in the 3D scripts I don’t know too well. I’ve included some images about my games.

He also showed this sketch I drew for the upcoming game, Bounce:


This was a good experience, being interviewed by one of the most important Indie Game websites. I wonder how this will be reflected.

Original interview source: http://mobile.indiegamemag.com/interview-with-rodrigo-maitret-team-zuperz-whats-coming-soon/

Now... at last... the actual purpose of this blog post...

THE ACTUAL PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG POST
The main mechanics, such as: movement, inventory and item systems, multiplayer were close to be finished. That was going to be the Pre-Alpha 4 surprise. But on Pre-Alpha 3's post I made a small poll in order to know what people think about Viral before the development goes further and it gets too late to be changed. People liked the pixels, pixels were fine, but it looked that they didn't like the helicopter-view (eagle-view) of it.

We were on time to modify this. But how do we make a game where you can point in 360° WITHOUT an helicoper-view? There was only one way to do this...

So I took this:

...and made this:

The only way to fix this was by making the whole thing again, but now in 3D. This will (personally) make the game way better. Just imagine the possibilities! It will look completely better.

So... Yes, by making the whole thing again we'll need to begin from Pre-Alpha 1. But don't worry, we can use some of the old script, so we won't be too far to get where we got.

I made this because I want my game to be good and accepted by the people in this community, because if they don't accept it, I don't think it could go further. And I hope you're all as excited as I am to work on this new, better and improved Viral.

But still, some of you may think:

WHY DID IT TOOK TO LONG TO MAKE A POST?
After a couple attempts on 3D modeling the Viral game, I simply failed. I couldn't just get right the perspective of 3D coding, I didn't get it. And I didn't think it was healthy for the game to experiment on it, perhaps, I made some experiments on blank projects, learning from the internet (my first and favorite teacher) and practicing from scratch.

That was the reason I didn't updated viral in a while.


After a few time of work, I managed to make this 3D FPS test. The point wasn't to practice FPS mechanics but 3D modeling itself. This is what I got:


It's not much, but it was enough to learn how to model crates and manipulate the "X", "Y" and the "Z" axis's.

Give it a try, it is a parkour FPS. Reaching the end is a challenge, but not impossible ;)

Controls:
  • WASD: Movement
  • SPACEBAR: Jump
  • SHIFT: Sprint
  • CTRL: Crouch (useless but... meh)



In other news, Dennot (our artist) is back, and he's ready to make some sweet sprites for the game.... I hope....

TL;DR?!


We would like you to test what we got so far. The movement is really, really glitchy at the moment. And probably we'll remake the whole map because there are some major errors in it.
Meanwhile take a look to the...

VIRAL Pre-Alpha 1
Viral: Pre-Alpha 1
for PC download.
Get to the choppa!

It includes:
  • Fully rendered 3D world
  • Character movement (WASD) (as I said before: very, very glitchy)
  • Movement animation
  • Point at mouse
  • House system
Not much really, I've been playing with the 3D engines recently. This is what I got.

Known bugs:
  • Glitchy movement: the character won't make very fluid movements unless the player moves into the direction it is facing.
  • Falling: not really a bug, but it will be taken out as the map generation system comes out.
If you manage to find a bug that is not listed here, let us know.

This is what you can expect soon:
  • Zombies
  • Shooting
  • Randomly generated map


...AND SO...
I'm ready about this old, new project of mine, specially after this one guy who is trying to copy our idea. I'm super happy for this interview with the Indie Game Magazine, the fact that an editor actually came up to me and asked me for an interview feels so... Wooh... I don't know :)

I've also been noticing that some people is starting to make comics to explain their dev blog posts, which is pretty cool actually! I really like how they draw them. The reason I don't color my TL;DR's is because it takes me too much time, time I could use to keep up the work on the game.

If you're a developer out there, I would like to tell you: Never give up, never. The road to finish a game may be hard, long, stressful and frustrating, but let me tell you, when you finish it, it will be totally worth it.

The same way we're a family in this community, I would like to make one out of my game. Specially by hearning your opinnions and use them to polish our game. So if you have something to say, tell us, it would be awesome. Remember, we're building a game based on your opinion :)

Oh, I just made a personal blog, I post everything I do, such as cartoons, opinions, and Viral posts as well, will end up there. Give it a look: TheGreenTie.blogspot.com

Well, I think this is it for now. Thanks for reading such long post I made again. I stayed up all night until 4:30 AM to make it perfect. This one is really important to me. Woah! This one is enormous! I can barely see the scrollbar! I think I messed up a bit this time, but there was a lot to tell.

Take care! See you soon!
If you excuse me, I have to hit the bed ;)

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