Starting the Next Chapter in my Life

I worked at Age of Learning for nearly 6 years and made the decision to pursue a new opportunity. With a day having passed, I’m reflecting a lot. It’s a strange feeling to let go of something I have invested a large portion of my life to. I have a million memories, but my favorites include some truly amazing people. I’ve met some of my best friends there. I got to check off boxes for a lot of life goals, put myself in the most anxiety-provoking situations, and grew so much. I’m realizing this just now.

I started in 2016, didn’t make many friends at first, had lunch alone for months, and set a goal to be a game designer there. The goal consisted of a 6 month plan and lots of unread sent emails. Those 6 months turned into 3.5 years, but it happened.

In that time, I lost count of how many moments I felt like quitting on my dream. I didn’t and I’m glad I trusted myself.

I went from playing video games, to selling video games, to testing them, to finally help make them.

In 2 days I start a new adventure making more games.

I have a lot of big plans, and I intend to do my very best in order to achieve them.

If I could speak to my 8 year old self after I read that one particular issue of NintendoPower, I’d say, “You read that right! Game designers are a real job and you CAN be one, so don’t listen to the teachers and friends you’ll have that will call you crazy. Not all of course, but the ones that do are going to make you feel delusional for failing as much as you will. And yes, you WILL fail soooo much. It’s gonna be like a Guinness Book of World Records level of failing. Some moments you’re going to embarrass yourself so much, that you become convinced you’re meant to be what society expects of you and not what you dreamed to be. You’ll want to quit in life, but listen….never ever ever ever ever ever ever quit. You will struggle and be horrible in some people’s views, but everytime, push. Push hard until it happens. You will nervously speak and give off rough first impressions. It’s ok! You’re going to seem pretentious, weird, awkward, creepy, maybe scary, and you’re going to feel so alone. It’s all okay, because this dream is going to happen. And you won’t be alone forever. Wait till you meet a crazy cast of people at a place called Age of Learning. Good luck kid. Oh, also watch out for a gothic girl that plays with voodoo dolls in middle school. she might curse you to have bad luck. You’ll know when you see her! Later, Brown Miyamoto!” 

Distract Her, free to play on itch.io

Hi everyone!
I’m really nervous about sharing this since I’ve worked tirelessly on this for the last week with my friend Tanal.

“Distract Her” is a short narrative game that is based on true events.

You play as a father, trying to distract your daughter from the painful reality outside of your own walls.

This game was inspired by a real life father that would purchase toys for his daughters, in attempt to keep them focused away from the destruction surrounding their homeland. He had a Youtube channel where he posted a video doing just this. Unfortunately, he was killed by airstrikes only days after posting the video. The date used within our game is the same date the video was posted.

Distract Her is only played with a Mouse’s left click button. ANYONE can play this, even if you’ve never ever touched a videogame before.

We participated in the Free Palestine Game Jam, since the humanitarian issue is something we feel deeply passionate about.

Please try it out at the link below and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!

https://anxiety-monster.itch.io/distracther


Mimicriiii Made the Top 100!

Yesterday, I saw the results of the GMTK game jam and I was shaking!
My game Mimicriiii got 83rd overall best game out of 5,816!
Yes, nearly 6,000 games!!!
69th for most fun overall!
I was in the TOP 2%!!!!!!

I felt like I was going to puke from excitement.
Sometimes I feel like a massive imposter, but at that moment, I felt like I belonged!
I planned to eat quality sushi last night, but in turned into decent ramen and karaage.

To anyone that took the time to play it or rate it, thank you so much.

Mimicriiii: GMTK Game Jam Mimicry Sequel?

A couple of weeks ago I participated in the 2021 Game Maker’s Toolkit Game Jam. For those that don’t know, it’s the 2nd most participated game jam in the world, and the biggest for itch(dot)io, hosted by the amazing Game Maker’s Toolkit Youtube creator, Mark Brown. After participating last year, and having an awesome experience, I contemplated whether I should give it a go this year. My schedule is spread pretty thin, so I held off to see the reveal of this year’s theme. If it spoke to me, I’d jump at the opportunity. The theme announcement came, “Joined Together.” It felt like the universe was tossing me a bone. I felt a lot of emotions, because the entire game jam demo stuck my mind with the immediacy of a lighting bolt. I had to work on ideas left aside for Mimicry, and tackle what I had written in my notebook for a Mimicry 2.

It fit the theme perfectly. The movement and goals of 4 characters are joined together by the controls. Simple. Each character however has their own gravity, and movement direction, making puzzles tricky, but so satisfying to complete.

Please give it a shot!

https://anxiety-monster.itch.io/mimicriiii

Mimicry Launches on Steam on 9/4!!!

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I mentioned I had some news to share.
I’m really excited!
After months of hard work, developing the moment I clocked out of my job, getting about 3-4 hours of daily sleep, and teaching myself to have an ocean of patience, I’m happy to announce that my first full game, Mimicry will be launching on Steam on September 4th!!!
Mimicry is a 100 level minimalist puzzle-platform game where you control 2 characters at the same time that move in opposite directions.
This will be my first full game, and my first ever steam release. All my free games online, and even my mobile release of Hot Dog Classic are pretty much mini-games. This time, I wanted to make something that could keep a player challenged and invested for hours. After a ton of tweaking, I think I hit a solid feel for the game.

So I have a favor to ask from all of you.

Please “wishlist” Mimicry to be alerted about its release. Then purchase it on 9/4. It’ll only be 5 bucks, and on day 1 will be at a discount.

As a latinx game designer from South LA, that has dreamed of making games since I was 8, I can’t express enough how important this is to me. So, sharing this with anyone you know would be massively appreciated. I apologize in advance, because I’ll be promoting the game quite a bit.
The link below will take you to the game store page where you can learn a bit more about it, see the trailer, and wishlist the game.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1381500/Mimicry/

Thanks everyone!

Big Announcement Tomorrow

Hi friends!

Last week I wanted to make a big announcement, but due to an approval stage it had to wait.
So….
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some news that I’m personally REALLY excited about.

GMTK 2020 GameJam Results are in!

About 2 weeks ago my friend Kay and I took part in the GameMaker’s Toolkit 2020 gamejam. We only had 48 hours to make a game based on the theme “Out of Control.” We ended up making a unique little game about something I have a lot of experience with; being unable to control 4 chihuahuas at once.

While the game is unfinished in many ways, it was playable and a cool proof of concept. We weren’t allowed to edit it until the rating period was over, where anyone was able to play and review submitted games.

They announced the rankings.

Out of 5430 games, we ranked #548. 😂

Catch3
While that number may not seem too high, it means we ranked higher than 5000 games and got in the top 10% roughly. Overall, I’m happy with that. I hope to edit the game very soon and make it a much more finished small game. Thanks Kay!

Canine Chaos #GMTK2020

My friend Kaoklai and I took part in the 48 hour GMTK 2020 Game Jam, and we’re both tired. The jam’s theme this year was “Out of Control.” Rather than make the obvious virus-related game, we wanted to try to put some smiles on faces, so we made a game about trying to keep control of walking 4 dogs at once.

This is a real life struggle for me.

If you like Wario-Ware games, dogs, want a challenge, or also suck at games, give it a try. We did what we could in 2 days while having our own lives.

Try to see if you can finish your walk with ALL 4 dogs in our game, Canine Chaos.
Enjoy!

canine_banner

Today has been unforgettable for 2 reasons.

First, I woke up to HUNDREDS of twitter notifications. I was praying that maybe it was related to my game publication submission. No. I was being cyber bullied by a bunch of douche bag racists who made burner accounts. They were attacking me because I wrote to another designer that was boycotting Steam, for their silence during this massive BLM movement. I was caught in the crossfire, and it led to people digging up information about my games.
Man, it was bad.

I was told that my games were 8 bit trash, indie trash, that only 2 people would play them, that no one would care, that I should quit, that I was going to always be poor.
I’ll spare the racists comments.

I blocked people for about an hour, took a breath, and rushed to my itch(dot)io page, to make sure that wasn’t tarnished.
I was fine.
I tried cooling down from this and prepped for what was most important today.
I got to do a presentation to a bunch of middle-school aged kids in South LA, all hoping to be game designers one day. Being someone from South LA that has clawed so hard, I knew what they were going to be experiencing maybe. I had an idea of what they would feel and how the world would treat them. I prepped a ton of slides with all the advice I wish I had at that age. In the end, the kids were all so into it. They asked me a ton of questions, wanted to know everything about my upcoming game, Mimicry. They wanted to follow my itch page, and wanted me to play their games, too.
It was worth it.
I then received an email from the organizers saying that I was inspirational. One
organizer cried, OVER ZOOM! I was asked to present again.
Man, it’s funny huh?
Balance.
The universe needs it.
In order to feel like I’m on top of the world, and like I made a difference in someone’s life, I had to feel as low as possible first. This always happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to you, too. I’m glad those internet trolls told me I’d fail, because by the end of the day, I think I helped more little brown and black kids get stronger. Together, we will raise the biggest middle finger we can by surviving and by creating.
I love making games.
I’ve never stopped and I never will.

Looking Back a Year & Looking Into the Future

One year ago today I presented after work in front of my company. I was a tester professionally then, had been clawing for years to get into design, and I was given a chance to talk in front of others about game design. I second guessed myself from the moment I was asked to talk, and all the way until after I was done. I represented myself, and not my company. I had a lot to prove. I invited everyone I knew, and I prepared for a month. I still remember HR offering me parking validation several times because they didn’t know I worked there. I wanted to show that I was indeed a game designer.

I felt disappointed after it was over because I thought I bombed, but then people started reaching out. I started getting a lot of texts, slack messages, facebook, instagram, phone calls, and even desk visits from higher ups saying they were impressed. The day after, I was told that a game design position was waiting for me.

A few months after, it became real. I’m on a fun team now, and on my spare time outside of work I make little projects. I’ve made them for years now. One project I made in a single day back in 2018 is something I started expanding. It’s now a 100 level puzzle-platformer, and as of today, one year after that life-changing presentation, I’m happy to say it’s complete. There’s still testing to be done, and some minor polish, but it’s finished. I can’t wait to show you my first ever full game, Mimicry.

Thanks to those who’ve known how hard my struggle has been and stuck around. I know that in these scary times, maybe stories like mine don’t really have any weight, but I felt like sharing. I’m excited and I hope people like this project. Thanks for reading.

Finally!

When I was a little boy, I knew I wanted to be a game designer more than anything. I lost count of how many times I failed, had educators put me down, and had friends say I’m delusional. I spent most of my adult life not accepting to move on to “something else.” I was starting to think that there was something wrong with me. I felt like a loser and fell rock bottom a few times. I felt like I had nothing left at one point, but I never quit.

I worked damn hard.

Two weeks ago,  I released my first mobile game (Hot Dog Classic), and just last week something amazing happened. I started my very first day as a professional game designer.

Finally.

It took me so long to reach this point, but it happened. One of my main goals is now accomplished, but this is only the beginning. I’ve got massive plans for myself. To everyone that’s been supportive, thank you. Thank you so much.

I wanted to share how things led to this. I squeezed myself into a presentation that I wasn’t advertised for, put my heart into it, prepped for a month, invited everyone I knew, and treated it like a massive job interview. Some important people were there who approached me after for days. I was then told that I was first in line for a new game design position. I spent the next three months working 11 hours days to study multiple tools, stayed hungry, and waited.

Don’t give up. Ever.

Photo taken with Focos

Hot Dog Classic launches on Google Play

My first ever mobile game is out today on the Google Play Store!!!!! Please support and share by downloading HOT DOG CLASSIC!!! It’s a simple hot dog eating contest button masher you can play with another person while waiting in lines at the DMV, for a roller coaster, while getting a pedicure, or even while waiting for your actual hot dogs to grill. iPhone and iPad users, hang tight. Currently it’s only available on Android. Hope you all support! Thanks!

A big thank you to Jason Smith for helping with brainstorming on characters and for supplying all this awesome art. hdc

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

Noodle Nightmare Tonight!

Today marks 2 years since the birth of Anxiety Monster. To briefly tell the story again, in 2017 I was working on a game with my talented friend Allyssa De La Torre for the Indiecade Resist Jam. We needed a team name to submit our game. Anxiety Monster came to me and it just made perfect sense, considering the topics I want to eventually discuss in games. It only made sense to publish a short game I was developing with Allyssa on this occasion. It’s a game about eating Ramen. Yep!

Noodle Nightmare Tonight is a ramen eating challenge game. Race a rival to see who can eat a bowl of ramen fastest. This game is a 2-player only mini-game.

Some things still need to be worked on, but the majority of the experience is there. I’ll eventually add original sound and music, as well as a brief tutorial. Please Enjoy!

https://anxiety-monster.itch.io/noodlenightmaretonight

October Games

October is here! Things will be getting spooky starting now!

So what’s on the October list for Anxiety Monster? Well, I often think up video game ideas while I eat at a ramen restaurant. Not sure why. Maybe because I tend to treat myself, giving me alone time and a chance to be creative. Maybe it’s because ramen is a comfort food. Whatever the case, eating ramen works like magic for me. Since ramen tends to bring out the inner mad scientist in me, I decided to make a game about the delicious noodle dish. And since it’s Halloween season, it’s gonna be spooky. Look out for Noodle Nightmare Tonight! 🙂

That’s not all. I also will continue development of my multiplayer hotdog eating challenge game, HotDog Classic. I hear you though! Another game about food? How are hotdogs spooky? Are you that hungry? Ramen and hotdogs are way too different, what’s wrong with you? Hotdog Classic actually will feature a few monsters as playable characters. In my demo reel, you can see a certain familiar character make an appearance.

Aside from these two, I’ll be hard at work learning Japanese, working full time, focusing on my health, and hiking with my puppies. I can’t wait to finish these two games this month. Additionally, I expect to add some levels for Glider, perhaps art as well. I’ll also be doing some small demos for new ideas. Perhaps I’ll share those as well. And lastly, I’ll add a few new game design documents, game design breakdowns, and analysis docs, so look out for that.

Thanks for reading,
Edwin

New Content Added!

Recently I added a lot of new content to the site. I’ve posted four game design documents, with plenty more to come. The goal is to get used to writing them professionally, so I’m expecting to eventually write one for every game I’ve posted. Now followers can get an idea of how I plan things out. I’ve also uploaded Game Design and Level Design Breakdown of three of my games. Again, I’m expecting do a lot more of these breakdowns in both written and video versions. With these documents, I’m explaining the specifics of my design decisions. Lastly, I’ll added Level Design Analysis written posts and of existing games. This is a great thing to practice if you’re trying to be a strong game designer. Tabs for these can be found on website. Hope you all enjoy!

Best,
Edwin