It’s a cold January morning and it’ll be 56 days until the sun stays skybound till 6pm, but for the first time in months it’s shining outside. The air is filled with fresh “New Year, New Me” sentiments, new years resolutions tend to expire by February but this year, I’m following the storage instructions and keeping mine in the fridge.
What is this and why should I care?
Hiya, I’m Joe (Bumbleborn on socials), a technical designer at Radical Forge, a games studio in the North East of England. I also work on my own games on the side, and after 5 - 6 years of working in games (design / art / etc.) I feel like I have moved past just dabbling, so I’d like to be a bit more serious with my goals.
I’m gonna keep these posts simple;
- First, an article about something.
- Then, what happened the previous week.
- Finally, my aims for the week following.
I’ll be talking about an array of topics that interest me… and hopefully you.
As a primer I wanna quickly talk about a few projects I’ve been spending a lot of time on the last few months / years and what my plans are with them.
I’m gonna be changing the name soon cause my god, everyone hears “Echoes Climb” when I say it out loud. Bad title aside, what is it?
Echo’s Climb is a 3D platformer with a souls-like interconnected world, there’s no combat though. Instead of bosses there are giant complicated jumping challenges that require a similar amount of patience, it’s simple gameplay that feels good to master.
Set in a subterranean realm where everything sentient has been turned to stone, players ascend through the three kingdoms, discovering their past and hopefully saving their future.
You can play the demo here
It’s a big game to make for 1 person and will likely take me into 2024 to finish… maybe longer, but it’s honestly a dream game to work on. I’ll talk about why in a future update, for now onto the next game.
“Viva Pinata but in the UNDERWORLD!”, that’s literally all there is to it. I’m making it with my partner Emily and it’s the first project we’ve started together that we’ve stayed excited about, we’re both doing bits of all of it but it mostly breaks down to me on code and her on art, then we both co-design.
I’m happy to show it early but this will likely be in the tank for a while, I’m building the core game loop with simple 3d stuff and 2D character mockups first, whilst Emily works on the 3D characters, exploring style & pipeline.
Here’s a concept video of the demo in it’s current state.
Blood, Bones & Bile
I was calling it “Bonequest” but my naïve mind only recently realised that it could be easily misconstrued (I’m so bad with titles), I like the alliteration of the new title a lot more anyway.
Basic premise, mini X-Com style battles in procedurally generated, top-down, Zelda-style dungeons, so it’s Into the Breach mixed with Binding of Isaac.
I’ve been trying to get this game made for years, got really far at one point but it just didn’t work out. This new version has a Necromancy theming over everything, you start by choosing a character class, that defines your starting stats, skills & minions. Then you battle through dungeons, upgrading your minions or reforming them, you are a necromancer after all.
Okay, so those are the main things I’ll be talking about in these posts, but I’ll try to keep it fresh, mixing in different topics here and there.
What I did last week
Work-wise I made a little Asset Viewer for Wunderwurld so we can edit items and creatures with a lot more ease, as we add more and more content to the game tools like this become vital so we’re not just navigating folders for half the day.
I’ve started trying to take running seriously… again, I used to run a lot but haven’t for ages. At the end of December, I caught a reflection of the bag of meat I inhabit in the mirror, my aging vehicle clearly displeased with my recent consumption of cheeses & gin.
So to combat this I’m running every day this year, even if it’s just a small amount, so far I’ve managed roughly 5k a day since Jan 1st. A bonus goal is 1000km before 31st of December, my best year was 796 so I think it’s possible, we’ll see, I’m on 84 so far.
Another thing I did over the last week is get the last badge I needed to take part in the Magic the Gathering Decathlon Finals on MTG: Arena, you needed to win 3 events and winning the events is tough, it usually requires 7 wins without getting 3 losses. I know it’s dumb but it’ll be fun to take part.
I watched Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time properly as well and my gosh, it’s fantastic, I know that’s a given because it’s Ghibli but I just want a magic door now. Hearing Christian Bale channelling an early batman voice through Howl was cool but Calcifer was definitely the best character for me. The whole film was magnificent, up there with Kiki’s Delivery Service which is my fav Ghibli.
What I plan to do next week
I’m gonna plan my high level tasks for each week in these posts, mostly to hold myself to account the next week.
Next week will be focused on Wunderwurld.
A full plan of what the demo will include so I can cut things that will take too long, and try and get it mostly done by end of Feb.
Finish the base implementation of the shop system.
I also want to;
Read a few chapters of a new game production book I just got.
Practice guitar a bit more to start getting my hands used to it again.
That’s probably more than enough if I want to fit leisure and sleep in as well.
To wrap up, I just want to thanks for reading and if there’s anything you’d like to know more about in a future update, leave a comment and I’ll respond soon.
I’m Joe, I make games and stuff.
Gonna write weekly / monthly updates on work, life, etc
Making some games:
Echo’s Climb, a 3D platformer.
Wunderwurld, a Animal Sim game set in the Underworld.
Blood, Bones & Bile, a tactical battler about necromancy.
Howl’s Moving Castle is phenomenal!
Made a tool for Wunderwurld.
I’m gonna try running a lot this year.
I qualified for an MTG event on the digital game.
Planned a bit of work for next week.