Alpha Revolver Games


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Big Game for Little Monsters: Preview: Little Monsters’ Grand Adventure

Mixer Gaming

I'm loving the cel-shaded look of this game I’m loving the cel-shaded look of this game

Over the past couple of days, I have been having a bit of a correspondence with an indie video game developer, and I’d like to share a bit about what we talked about with the rest of my readers here.

Alpha Revolver Games is developing a cool new mobile title called Little Monsters’ Grand Adventure (LMGA). LMGA is a 2D pet simulator that lets players collect and take care of a variety of different pets. One of the main gameplay experiences of LMGA will be the ability for players to engage in mini games with their pets. LMGA will be especially cool for me because of the cel-shaded art style. There have been some really cool cel-shaded releases in the past (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Viewtiful Joe), and their main draw has typically been their cool, stylistic art.

Little…

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Small update

This week has had more of a focus on PR, however I managed to get additional cards done which includes the rest of the pets and additional items, I also worked on re sizing the rock pet for the base game to make him bigger and beefier. Also I made him square so he’s easier to resize in future.

A lot of the talk surrounding the meetings this week revolved around the new game and the shop as well as the base game dynamics. All which are getting worked on just now. We are waiting for SFX to come in for Monster Mayhem so its ready to implement.

I also did some testing on both the base game and Monster Mayhem.

Thanks for reading folks,

Darius


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Main Shop

Alex here,

We finished all the pets for now and are partially done with the shop. There was some debate over the appearance of items in the shop and what screen you would go to after purchasing a pet. We ended up deciding on putting pets in the day care area and automatically taking the player to the day care area for now.

There were several considerations leading to decision to take the player to the day care area. One key point is that the day care will always have an open slot. If there was no room we would have had to either design an interface for players to swap pets out when they buy new pets or just take them to the day care whenever it was full. So we decided to just skip that step by placing them in the day care from the start.

Another annoying thing is if we put new pets into a biome on the map screen there are extra checks that have to be done. As mentioned already, if it was full things would have to of happened that involve moving a lot of variables.

These were the two main points. There were some other things we were debating but these two points were the main annoyances and they could be solved with the one solution.

We will be spending the next few meetings talking about our third mini-game I am hoping that this game will be the one that defines the game the most. Keep your eyes out for Stevens posts on his progress in the mini-game.


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Monster Mayhem – The Evolution of a Developer

Hey Guys,

Today I want to do a little reflective piece on myself, with particular focus on the difference between where I started, and where I am now.

So around the end of August, beginning of September last year, I was brought onto the team as a full time programmer in order to speed up the development of the game. Now, when Darius, Malcolm and I were originally in talks about the idea of me working on LMGA, I will admit that I may have embellished my experience a little; although I did inform them that I had never used Game Maker before, and that I was by no means a programming guru.

Thankfully though, the guys saw enough in me to give me a shot. In reality, I was a game design honours graduate with minimal programming experience. I feel like I’m beginning to sound like a broken record with this but I cannot stress enough how much this project has done for me as a person and a professional. It has given me the motivation and support to flourish within my disciplines.

This project to me will always be more than just a game; what it really is, is a chronicle of our evolution as developers. Even if you look at the first 3 levels we made for this game: Frozen is a rapid click game, very simple to implement. Leaking was also a point and click under time pressure, although slightly different as you had to click on specific places on screen. Build was the most technically challenging of the 3 starting levels, as it required a certain amount of random generation to give it re playability. Additionally, this was the first level in which I really dealt with the timing of animations depending on the levels state (won or lost). This was Module 1 in a nutshell.

Module 2 consisted of the Find, Pecking and Memory levels. This is where it’s really starting to become clear that I was getting more comfortable with Game Maker, as these levels were several orders of magnitude more complex than that of module 1. Particularly the Pecking level which is where our bird pet is trying to eat in a whack-a-mole type scenario where the worms are popping in and out of their holes. This level was actually quite frustrating to implement as I had to go through many different iterations of code in order to time the animations properly, so that gameplay was silky smooth. This level taught me a lot about what I should and should not be doing. Extremely valuable experience to have. Memory was the first level where I really explored the usefulness of arrays and for loops; As i felt it was the easiest way to store the tune the game played, and the notes the player plays, then compare the 2 arrays to see if the tunes match. Learning and understanding these development staples has proved invaluable throughout the remainder of the project, and has really served me in speeding up development.

Module 3 consists of Dodge, Pie and Jump. The jump level is the simplest of the lot, it starts one of our air pets trying to escape a hazard-filled cave by jumping over, and falling under them as they go. The Pie level is relatively simple in terms of gameplay, but it took quite a while to get it working exactly the way i wanted it to; a lot of small tweaks again and again before I was happy with it. The dodge level is one I am extremely proud of, and it is actually a level where the gameplay simply was a result of me messing around with the physics in Game Maker for the first time. I was having a blast manipulating a physics-circle and said we should make a level out of it; thus dodge was born, where one of our air pets is trying to survive against the perils of an erupting volcano. This was the first physics level we made, and it is also one of the first levels we created to feature elements which were purely to add flavour and aesthetics. Extremely proud of this level in particular.

Module 4 contains Rope, Dragon and Magma. The rope level was another physics level we made, which simulates space! Again, a lot of tweaking values and things to make sure that you feel like you’re in space when you play it. The Dragon level is a relatively simple, shooting range style level where our dragon pet is doing a little target practice; not much to say here, development of this level was actually really quick, no hiccups, so that at least shows I’m learning something! Magma is a level that was not that hard to implement, it did use arrays and such to store the object which could catch fire, but nothing too difficult. This level just looks amazing though; particularly the intro animation where our magma pet is rolling through the forest and sets fire to some of it, every time I look at that animation I am impressed. Malcolm did a fantastic job with that one; It makes the level.

Module 5 contains the last 2 levels in the game, Petals and Siege. Both of these levels were relatively simple on the implementation side, siege being the more complex of the 2. Even so, I think they round out the game extremely well.

All in all this game has surpassed all of my expectations; I am supremely confident that it will make a stellar portfolio piece and take me soundly in the direction I choose to go in the future.

Next week, I will be researching and eventually beginning prototyping some early ideas for our last game, which Im calling Treasure Hunt for the time being.

Tune in next week to find out how it goes 😀

Thanks again,

Steven.


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Third & Final

A while back I came up with the concept and design of a maze based game that involved the player finding treasure. Before joining Malcolm and I sat down and discussed the prospect of having less of a maze in the traditional sense and having additional mechanics such as enemies, making it out with the treasure instead of just getting it within a certain time, tiers of chests and traps. So yesterday we had a big meeting to discuss the general design, programming and art style of the game. In order to achieve what we want, Steven is researching the programming side of some of the features we want to implement. Once we are ready we will reveal the fine details about this game.

This week I finished up the sprites for the final pet and he is getting into the game now. I worked on the cards again since the last time I talked about it, and all the Monsters are completed.

I spent some time this week bug testing for Steven, outlining any bugs or fixes that needed to be changed.

Going on, we will be constantly improving the base game, air balloon game and monster mayhem in order to achieve a high quality polish. Testing will begin again soon so I’m excited to see what type of feedback we get.

Thanks for tuning in,

Darius


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Artist Update 015 – Monster Mayhem: The Final Touches

The BEHEMOTH mini game “MONSTER MAYHEM” is finally coming to a finish. Just fixing bugs, general touch ups and the title screen and it will be joining the Air Balloon game in the finished pile.

I’m in the process of redesigning the title screen. ExampleScreen

I’m working on lots of main game stuff as-well, like environment dynamics, backgrounds, icons, trying to catch up on Alex who has just moved on to programming the store.

And for Steven, Darius and I were helping design the 3rd mini-game. Its very early in development so It will be a while before I start producing art assets for it. I’ll be continuing work on main game assets and then Shop icons and UI for the rest of the week.

Malcolm


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A developers work is never done.

Hey guys,

Steven here giving you the weekly update on our progress with the Monster Mayhem mini game.

Long story short; its done!

As of today; we have implemented all 14 of the planned levels for the mini game. However, now is not the time for celebration or complacency. Now more than ever we need to be mindful of our goals. We still have a lot of work to do before the game is in a releasable state, including the third and final mini game, as well as our shop, porting the game to mobile devices and a ton of testing with all of the above.

On a personal note; I am ever so proud of our team for what we have achieved with this mini game which is, in my opinion, a very high quality piece which will continue to be refined with time. For me, this project has also been the fire in which I was professionally forged. It was sink or swim for me when i first joined: turns out I’m a pretty good swimmer.

Jokes aside though, I have learned more than i thought possible in such a short space of time that I can’t help but be excited for the next mini game we will be working on; I revel in the challenges and triumphs of development, more now than ever.

See y’all next week