Sweet Ride Update

We’ve been cranking away on Sweet Ride, our silly skateboard game for iOS. Last week I pumped out a bunch of fun new sprites (rats, pizza, pigeons, coins, and donuts) and this week we are getting the game “demo ready”. Jon, one third of the Sweet Ride team, has been part of Double Fine’s shared office space (a program that allowed developers to work out of DF’s offices) and tomorrow they are having a small party and showcasing new projects.

So Jon is pushing us to have one level done by the end of today, which is great because I think it will help us define and test more of what the game actually is (and isn’t). I’ll try to update y’all next week. Here’s some more animations:

Works in progress

making-dreams

This past week has been crazy for me. Crazy exciting and crazy busy. On Monday I signed a contract to create an animation for an artist who’s work has inspired me since my teens. I submitted two finished designs last night and hope they decide to use both of them. Above is a little sneak preview of that.

Later in the week I met with someone at Betabrand and pitched them a line of my designs that I think will fit perfectly with both our brands. It sounds like the best thing to do there is to start small, so I’m starting with a set of socks that will go into their Think Tank program for voting. If that works, they’ll go into production and I’ll get to start on the next part of the series. If not, I’ll have some great experience and maybe get my name out in front of Betabrand’s crowd.

Progress on our Sweet Ride game is coming along and I’ve been having fun making Trixel art for it. I’ll share some Trixel Art pieces in another post soon.

We’ve also been working on a HUGE new update for SquirrelWarz that has some big gameplay changes focused on making it easier for new players to grok our game.

Something else I’m super excited about is signing on with WP Engine as an official employee. I’ve been working with them as a contractor since November and think this is a great step for both of us. I’ve loved working on projects like Gif The Halls with them and now I’m getting a chance to learn all sorts of new skills.

Mini-Pixel Dream Boy

Pixorama!

eBoy, the art collective that specializes in insanely detailed pixel posters, shared with me a little preview from their upcoming San Francisco Pixorama poster. It’s a little tiny pixelized me! I guess this means I’ll be in the seen somewhere, I wonder where though?
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Lifeline: Rescue an astronaut with your smartphone

lifeline
“Has Taylor texted yet? Is he ok?”

The premise of 3 Minute Games‘s “Lifeline” is that an astronaut has crash-landed on some unknown planet and needs your help. Most of his gear has been totaled, but he’s managed to put enough together to send simple text messages in hopes that some stranger can help him survive.

Through use of pop-up notifications and clever writing, the game really nails the feeling of texting with a lost astronaut. I’m not usually a fan of text based games, but as we got into it, my wife and I became really entrenched in the unfolding story, which get’s spread out into little segments over time. Fans of “The Martian” will find plenty of similarities between Taylor and Mark Watney. Particularly their sarcastic since of humor.

“We talked about how ‘hard,’ or plausibly realistic, the science fiction should be, and how that would affect the plot as well.” says Mars Jokela, the game’s lead designer. “Andy Weir’s The Martian figured into this quite a bit (we’re all HUGE fans of the book and it shows).”

I expected to play the game all in one sitting, but the game tries to create a real-time vibe by spreading events out. IE, when Taylor goes to sleep, you won’t hear from the game for 8 hours. This bugged me at first, but became really compelling for me later on. “I wonder how Taylor’s hike is going. He should be halfway to the capsule by now.” Breaking the game up also turned it into bite-sized chunks that are more playable throughout the week.

As far as my adventure goes, I accidentally killed Taylor this morning. The game is so immersive that I was originally considering leaving him dead. I liked the permanence of it. I made a bad decision and it cost an astronaut his life… but by tomorrow morning I’ll probably have changed my mind and will use the “rewind” option to give him different advice (and probably end up killing him again a few days later).

Lifeline is available for Android or iOS (including Apple Watch support) for just $.99. I suggest playing it in it’s default real-time mode and allowing notifications (which really add to the experience).

“Moebius Strip Tease” a silly new music video

We’ve just finished the music video for “Moebius Strip Tease“, one of my favorite songs off of Destroy All Presets. It’s a silly video that we shot over a weekend in SF, then Noukon spent months and months editing. Big thanks to Blake Morse for directing, Noukon for post-production, and Michael Szymanski for creating the original pixel art.

If you are in San Francisco, come celebrate the video’s release with us tomorrow at the DNA Lounge.
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