Tuesday, 31 January 2017

1GAM January - QBits

Hey everyone,


So today will mark the release of QBits, our game for January to start off our 1GAM challenge. We are still implementing some of the finishing touches today so therefore the game will not be release until later this week, keep an eye on our Twitter to see when it is released.




Since this is our first game for 1GAM, I wanted to discuss what our experience was like during this month. Since we made the game with only two of our current staff members, due to the others being pre-occupied, while we also worked full time it was very difficult to implement all the features we wanted. That said we loved the experience with it being very similar to the Global GameJam or our very our House of the Rising Jam (HotRJ) and we cannot wait until we have the full team involved and we can create larger more complex projects.


So what is QBits? Well like Ellie said in the last blog it is similar to Curiosity, it is a relaxing mobile idle game where you must destroy a cube by tapping on each of the Bits that make up its entirety while an auto tapper damages other random Bits. The player is rewarded money with each Bit that is destroyed which they can use to upgrade their strength, or the strength and speed of the auto tapper. When a player destroys an entire layer the health of the Bits and money is increased and another layer is unlocked for the player to destroy. This game was created to fit several of the 1GAM themes, these include; Metal, Money, Levelup, Respawn and Loops.




Since we didn’t get the chance to implement everything we initially planned I wanted to discuss those features to give you an idea of what the game was going to be before we ran out of time. We wanted the block layers to start off much smaller with the cube being a 3x3 arrangement of the bits and when the player destroys a layer the cube would expand to a 5x5 cube, then a 7x7 cube and so on. When the cube reaches a larger size, we wanted to create a zoom feature, when zoomed out a texture would be generated from the current destroyed bits and apply that to a single cube. This would have improved usability and system performance significantly and allowed smoother transition between layer sizes. We also wanted to implement a reset button that would put the player back to the beginning of the game while rewarding them with some gemstones which could be used to unlock even better upgrades such as destroying a line of bits or an entire face, these upgrades would have worked on a cooldown which could be lowered by spending more gemstones.




We would like to implement these features into the game at a later date if possible, but we wanted to move onto our game for February, which I’m sure we will give more information on very soon. The main objective we want out of the 1GAM challenge is for us to create a backlog of mechanics that we can use in our future titles outside of the 1GAM challenge, this would allow us to create projects quickly or implement features of games that are used in several games such as an inventory system, achievement system or shop system.  


For now I’ll leave this blog off here.


You can also follow us all over the internet


Thanks for reading,
Stephen.


“Live deliberately”  - Scott Harris

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

1GAM - QBITS

Did you know about 1GAM? It stands for One Game A Month. It’s a challenge that lasts a year and it’s pretty simple really. Make one game per month for twelve months. The rules are pretty relaxed, in fact, on the website under “Rules” it simply states “There are no rules. This is a personal challenge. Have fun and be nice.”. Then the page goes on to clarify that there are still no rules. You can read it here if you like www.onegameamonth.com/faq.

So... We’re taking on the #1GAM challenge. I believe we have a pretty awesome team here at Late Panda and given the time constraints of the challenge, I’m betting that we can come up with some pretty unique concepts and turn them into pretty engaging little games. Not to mention that this challenge will train us to better handle feature creep and scope.

We decided to do this around about mid January ‘17 and after a long meeting we concluded the kind of a game we should realistically be able to develop in half a month.

I present to you now, our WIP (Work in Progress).

LargeCube.png


Basically it’s going to be a therapeutic tapping game where you tap away at the bits until you’ve broken all the bits. If you remember 22Can’s Curiosity, you would work at a team to break layers and layers of their cube until you released Peter Molyneux, who was trapped inside. We’re not planning to hold anybody hostage inside our cube though and because we’re working with such a small timeframe we won’t be implementing multiplayer. So we decided to include some idle game mechanics inside to help you along. For example you can unlock special abilities that will automatically destroy bits for you.

Until now we’ve mainly been working on the logistics of having so many bits in the game. Obviously we can’t just instantiate a million cubes in one go. So we’ve been doing some calculations.

cube2.png

Hopefully, if we can balance optimizations and gameplay in time, you should be seeing QBITS either online or on Android.

I’d like to say thanks to McFunkyPants (Christer Kaitila) for creating this awesome challenge. Here’s hoping that by this time next year we’ll have 12 small games available for you all to play.

You can follow Late Panda all over the internet
Website - www.latepanda.com
Facebook - facebook.com/LatePanda
Twitter - twitter.com/@latepandastudio
Vine - vine.com/latepanda :(
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/LatePandaLimited
MailChimp - mailchimp.com/latepanda

Ellie xx

"If you stumble, make it part of the dance" - Author Unknown

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

It's a new dawn

Hey everyone,


So, it’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life… and I’m feeling good. Muse reference aside, we at Late Panda hope you all enjoyed your holidays and had a great new year. Let us all collectively hope 2017 puts 2016 to shame and we can enjoy a year without a great celebrity death, or certain controversial political struggle.




Late Panda’s 2016 wasn’t too bad, we started the year going to GDC 2016 in San Francisco. This was our first ever trade show and we had no idea what to expect, but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. After this we exhibited at two further tradeshows, Resonate and 4TG (4 The Gamers), where we showcased our mobile Role Playing Game (RPG) Skorian Tales we had been developing over the year in order to gain some feedback from gamers. If you haven’t played it check it out here and let us know what you think on Twitter or our Facebook page.




We even published a blog talked about the faux pas of the freemium gaming model, which resulted in a discussion on the Debug Log Podcast. If you want to hear the difference between a Scottish and American accent listen to this Podcast. It really makes me think I sound incredibly strange.




The end of 2016 Late Panda hit a bit of a speed bump. We could no longer continue working full time on our project so we had to shelf the development for now and begun to focus on smaller projects to build up a portfolio of work while we seek external funding. We stopped frequently blogging and tweeting and generally stopped putting effort into Late Panda like we should have been.


However this all stops now, I wrote this blog as a symbol of Late Panda’s return to form. We will be producing the blogs at a consistent rate (however not always on time :P) with update Tweets as well as our usual babble on Twitter coming back as well. We may not have as much free time for Late Panda but whatever time we can spare I would hope we can move at the pace we had before. Which I believe the blogs and twitter management will get us back into that workflow.


So let us talk about our plans for 2017 for a while now. Firstly we will continue to focus on smaller projects, due to the massive scale of Skorian Tales we would prefer to be in a more stable position before we tackle this larger scope. We will be holding more private gamejams similar to our House of the Rising Jam we did back in November. We would also like to attend larger gamejams as well like the Global Gamejam, but for now we will focus on the smaller one we hold ourselves. We will also be looking for small contract based projects we can complete for external companies whether it be general app, mobile game or website development we have a very capable team to perform many varied projects.


HOTRJ.png


For now I’ll leave this blog off here.
You can also follow us all over the internet


Thanks for reading,
Stephen.


“80% of success is mental, 20% is the how”  -  Scott Harris