1,000 Downloads!

Just as it says on the tin, thanks for helping us reach a huge milestone!!! *party horn*

We're incredibly humbled to be in such a position and can't thank you all enough. While it's taken about 19 months to get there, reaching 1,000 downloads on a bare-bones prototype like Conception is a difficult feat.

Since releasing Conception on February 27, 2016 we've been on a crazy ride. We've stumbled pretty often and have continued to make mistakes; but if we didn't love this crazy thing called "game development", we wouldn't have gotten back up to give things another round, yeah?

With that being said, we have an announcement to make:

Conception will be be getting a more handcrafted touch under the name Joybloc.

As much as we love Conception, our biggest gripe is that it's thick with jargon intended for Game Designers. While game design is a useful skill for development, it's not a field everyone may be interested in. As a result, much of the constraints provided end up never being used by most devs (including ourselves).

Currently, Conception works well as a constraint generator that also helps learn about new design-centric concepts. One of our goals for Joybloc is to allow other game development roles to be included (artists, programmers, etc) while doing some clean-up work and adding a number of themed constraints for wider use.

We have other exciting features in store for Joybloc, with the changes mentioned above just being the tip of the iceberg! (Disclosure: While the sample art shown for these projects are not final by any means, they give an accurate picture of what we're aiming for.)

That's it for announcements! As a short plug: if you love GIFs, Twitter is a good place to find them.

Thank you all for your continued support, and we'll see you in the coming months!

The Hurricane Relief Bundle is Now Available!

In support of those affected by Hurricane Irma, we've added Conception to the Hurricane Relief Bundle (available until Sept 17).

During the period that Hurricane Harvey damaged Houston, Corpus Christi and many other affected areas, we were unable to provide much substantial aid at the time which ended up leaving us with some guilt. While Kevin had his own evac preparations, I had a close friend from Houston visit right before Harvey hit, leaving her and I constantly checking up on friends and family.

With Texas receiving an amazing amount of aid by the time we settled down, we'd like to help Irma victims in any way we can. Despite everything we've released thus far is either free or a prototype (or usually both), we added Conception in the hopes that it'll help someone along if they're looking into starting game development or need a helping hand in the brainstorming process. Out of all our releases, we think that it'll provide the most benefit to those purchasing the bundle.

While working with Loren (@lorenschmidt) on setting up the bundle, we've decided on donating all bundle proceeds to the following organizations:

  • GlobalGiving Hurricane Irma Relief Fund - A hurricane-specific project by an organization well-regarded by charity watchdog groups. They redirect funds to local organizations.

  • Halo Foundation - A locally run organization in Antigua and Barbuda which serves as an umbrella for smaller local charities.

  • Partners in Health (Haiti branches) - A well-rated larger organization. They are the largest nongovernmental health care provider in Haiti, with a number of clinics and hospitals. This bundle will donate specifically to fund their efforts to provide hurricane Irma relief in Haiti.

  • Direct Impact Fund for Hurricanes Harvey & Irma - A well-reviewed zero overhead fund which directs resources to verified local hurricane relief projects.

With local organizations often in most need of aid, are on the ground for long stretches of time and can better gauge the current situation in their area than on a federal or state-wide scale, we've chosen to support the organizations above.

The contents of the bundle include games that are complete, still in development or a prototype, and are a mix of free/purchasable games. The bundle can be purchased for $20+ on itch.io and will be available for purchase til the start of Sept 17. Earnings will be made transparent by Loren.

Hurricane Relief Bundlehttps://itch.io/b/195/hurricane-relief-bundle

Thank you so much for your contribution!

[Dec 2016 - DBM] Partial on Hold

Hi everyone!

There's some important news we wanted to put out there-- mainly being that Partial is being put on hold.

It was an incredibly difficult decision for us to make, but there's a number of financial obstacles that, as a starting company, were unrealistic for us to overcome. At the current time, we need to work on a project that only requires the two of us to complete and ship, as well as start building a community and getting some funds built up before we take on something as important as Partial. This is all just covering the surface of what's so problematic about Partial despite working on it for 18 months, but if anyone has any questions, we're happy to answer them via e-mail or Twitter.

To recap, Partial as a project isn't being killed-- just put on hold indefinitely. It was a ton of fun working on it (and still was up til today), and we can't wait til we're able to work on it again.

On that note: what are we working on next?

The only other project that's currently public is Conception, which started off as a hobby project that took off pretty well. There's so much more we want to do with it as a brainstorming tool, though, so that's first up on our list as a company.

That's all the details we can share right now. Thanks for reading (and Happy Holidays)!

[Nov 2016 - DBM] Euta Seedlings!

Hey team!

For this month's Dev Blog Monthly, we'll continue to elaborate on what we've been doing over the past four weeks, what milestones we've met, and what some of our plans are while going into December.

As mentioned in our previous post, our milestones for the month were to:

  • Bring the Min. Viable Product prototype physics back up to 100%,
  • Complete a finished level with the necessary core mechanics-- player movement and hex plate movement, and
  • Implement the Seedling Collection mechanic.

Luckily, we've gotten a good bit done over the past month! The physics are sitting roughly at 90%, with player movement needing additional polish. We've also been able to construct a full level that allows us to test the new physics changes; but without the player polish, it's difficult to tell what else needs fixing.

As for the Seedling Collection mechanic, we've made steps towards implementing their quirks, and we want to elaborate a little bit on how Seedlings work!

Euta Seedlings function similarly to collectible coins you find in games like Super Mario, or the rings in Sonic the Hedgehog, but with a little more life. For design purposes we'll explain in the future, everything in the Partial universe needs a little liveliness. For that purpose, each mechanic in the game is associated with something alive-- there are very few static items, terrain, or collectibles. So with that in mind, our goal is to make the game as expressive as possible!

On that note, Euta Seedlings are what the player collects throughout the game, and are the youngest of the Seedling evolution stages. Their uses vary in size and scope; you're able to bounce on top of them, and they follow you around much like the eggs in Yoshi's Island do! But in addition to that, you can use Eutas to improve your relationship with your Iota allies, improve your Partial's reputation, and can even fuse to create a brand new Iota ally.

If you're lost as to what an Iota is, we'll elaborate on that for a future DBM! :]

Admittedly, we weren't able to hit those milestones as well as I would have hoped. Most of this is because I simply don't know Unity or C# well enough, given that I recently switched from the GameMaker: Studio engine only a few months ago. As a result, we intend on making some fundamental changes to our team to make sure Partial sits on par with the quality we expect it to have.

As the prototype currently stands, there are a number of bugs that need to be fixed, and a good few of them have already been removed thus far. As for the remaining bugs, these are obstacles I know how to overcome, but personally I'm not sure how to implement these changes. So, what are our plans going forward?

With a two-person team, its difficult to create a polished game in a short amount of time. We can't spend more than a couple years on Partial mainly because the potential risk is too high, and we want to do as much as we can do reduce that risk. This means that to make up for a shorter development period and continuing to increase Partial's quality, we'll need a team who knows their stuff and are willing to teach us a thing or two.

(Speaking of which, we'll be making an amazing announcement later in the month!)

We're also working to update the necessary reference documents since they're a couple months outdated. As our team continues to grow, the need for a cohesive vision and the upkeep of a design document (among many others like Art and Audio Treatment docs) becomes increasingly apparent.

With all that in mind, here are our milestones for this coming month:

  • Update all current documents to 100%,
  • Eliminate all current physics and Euta seedling bugs,
  • Implement UI to provide more reliable feedback,
  • Overhaul the in-game art assets,
  • Implement hex plate properties, and
  • Find some great people who are as inspired by the project as we are!

We have a busy schedule ahead of us and have more news to announce soon, so we'll see you next time!

[Oct 2016 - DBM] Dev Blog Monthly is here!

Hey team!

We recently attended our first conference at Atlanta's SIEGEcon 2016, marking a huge milestone for us. Our main team and project are finally getting known to the public, which means we need to make a few important changes.

The first is that our development blog is moving from Rob's personal blog to the website. The dev blog was originally used as a way to keep track of weekly goals since we didn't have an app to do so at the time. It's been running for 15 weeks, and its gotten to the point where it's been difficult for us to justify it being on the personal site as opposed to on our main page. This allows us to not only get info on development directly to you all, but to also keep the site updated with fresh content.

The other important change is that the series will change to a monthly format as opposed to weekly. One of the things we learned from posting weekly is that it became difficult to keep any surprises handy once the demo is prepared; we posted all of development in detail. We want to maintain this transparency without giving away all the details, and it also had the added benefit of not spamming you all each week with updates that could potential spoil the experience before Partial is even released.

And if we're being honest, a monthly format also helps us post on-time reliably! (As opposed to weekly.) Each DBM will be posted on the second Monday of each month, and we'll have a newsletter set up soon as well. Expect the next post to be available in November.

So, what will you even be reading about in Dev Blog Monthly?

Similar to our previous Dev Blog Mondays, we'll be discussing what our goals were, whether we achieved them, how we went about achieving various milestones, and what our goals for the next month are. Simple, right? Its been a helpful way of keeping our progress steady, and being able to share that growth with you all is something we want to continue doing. As a young startup we want to share our successes and failures, and this is one of the best ways to do so.

To wrap up this post, our goal for this next month is to get a complete level finished with all of the core mechanics implemented. The Min. Viable Product (MVP) prototype is currently undergoing a physics overhaul that's about 50% from where we had to scrap everything, so we're definitely making steady progress. It will probably take another couple weeks to get back to 100%, and the next two weeks will be used to implement the Seedling collection mechanic (more on this next month). And if there's time left over, we'll add a little something else too. ;)

Thank you for those sticking around, and thank you to the newcomers as well! Hope you all enjoy the coming months. :] Happy Halloween!

-Rob and Kev

WE'RE DOIN' IT LIVE!

partial_gameplayconcept_1.png

Hey team!

Before talking about anything else, I want to thank everyone for your support! It's those of you reading this (and many more!) that we've been able to get Partial off the ground, and in turn prep everything else that's necessary to make all of this work. So again, thank you.

In terms of both development and maintenance, everything is still sitting at an early stage. We're currently working on the first demo for Partial to be ready at SIEGEcon @ Atlanta-- so for those of you attending on Oct. 7-9, you can find us there and help make Partial even better! We won't have our own booth, but we'll be walking around and asking people to play our game. It's mediocre, but better than nothing!

And now for the ridiculous stuff. We came up with the company name Team Giga after throwing around many others. Some names were too long, others were taken, and the rest were just silly. In the end, I gave up and went with Team Giga in a split second, which is named after the big bosses in Partial. Turns out, we really like the name, and so do a few others, so we stuck with it!

Thanks for reading, and look forward to any additional updates. The dev blog series will still be posted at my personal blog, while the larger announcements like this one will be posted here. Thank you for your continued support!

-Rob