A Game a Day: Day 8

Day 8:

I didn’t get enough rest, but I devoted the day to trying to take it easy. I was up late until 4am working on last night’s project, then stayed up to watch some live New Japan Pro Wrestling. I went to the dentist, spent some time with family, and then watched one of my biggest idols, CM Punk, fight his heart out. Unfortunately, Punk didn’t come up on top, but he walked out with his head held high in his hometown. I’ve always related to Punk. He is chasing a wild dream and has all the odds against him, but he still gives it his all. With this A Game a Day project, I feel that all the odds are against me, and that at any moment I’m going to crash, but I’m still working till I pass out. Despite the events today, I made sure to set a few hours to work on something. So what did I make?

Last night, I made an interesting platformer multiplayer game that gave me a lot of ideas. One of the ideas is what I pursued today. It is also untitled, but I called it Color-Platform-Spawning-Demo. In this demo, things will seem familiar. I used the same exact sprites, layout size, sounds, music, and even main mechanic, but I changed the rules of the game. Instead of competitively collecting trophies, you’re now trying to color the map more than your opponent. Any where you jump to will turn to your color. The same goes for your opponent. This idea is actually inspired by a game I made last year for Indiecade, called Colors Crossed. Colors Crossed was a driving game, where as this new demo is a platformer. I tried this idea out, posted it with hopes of attaining feedback. Tomorrow, I’d like to try a lot of ideas with the original mechanic, which was creating platforms beneath your feet with the touch of a button. There’s something special here. I can feel it. I played yesterday’s demo with my sister and cousin and saw them highly enjoying it. Seeing that reaction with something I made is all I need to keep going. Thanks a lot for reading. See ya tomorrow with another game.

Total time spent developing: 3 hours.

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A Game a Day: Day 7

On Day 7, I felt indeed burned out. I felt my sleep deprivation interfere with my work and interactions with people. I was easily irritable and kept fascinating about sleep. The night prior, I went to bed around 4am working on my game and blog post. Yeah, making a game a day is without a doubt unhealthy. As I mentioned in my last posts, sleep deprivation can make anyone experience depression, especially those that have clinical depression to begin with. Oddly enough, the fact that I made it a week filled my mind with so much optimism. I was fueling myself and going well beyond my known limits. With a full day’s shift and a somewhat ambitious idea swimming in my head, I didn’t get to finish a complete game. Instead what I submitted online was an untitled proof of concept.

For now, I’m calling it Rough-Platform-Spawning-Demo. Yeah, I’m creative.

I only called it that because I knew more and more into the night that I was going to have to complete it later. I really loved the mechanics I created. The game is a multiplayer platformer racer. The goal is to collect the most trophies as possible within one minute.  Each character can spawn up to three platforms beneath their feet. If you touch the Repeat item, you can get three more chances to build platforms. I think there’s a lot of room for interesting situations. I did the “Miyamoto thing” that I’ve read about, and just jumped around the most bare bones version of the game, making sure it felt fun before being governed by the game’s rules. I did that for about an hour and my mind was racing with dozens of ideas. I wanted to explore them all and for the first time, I felt stuck because I couldn’t decide. It was a good problem to have. Each idea could be it’s own game for the A Game a Day blog post. So, I decided to make a multiplayer racer. So far, it’s a bit fun, but may not make a lot of sense without reading my description in the game’s page. I didn’t teach the player through the game itself, and I blame that on my lack of time. I did manage to technically make a game, one with potential for growth. Additionally, due to my shortage of time, I reused music and sounds from my previous game Piñatas. When I develop this into something more enjoyable, I’ll add it’s own original music and sound. Thanks for reading and playing the game. Let me know what you think of the demo so far. Think it can spawn something cool and original?

I look forward to tomorrow’s game!

Total time spent developing: 5 hours

A Game a Day: Day 6

Day 6!!! I’m feeling the momentum. I’m actually behind schedule on submitting this. Funny story. I almost didn’t make a game. No, I wasn’t ready to quit. Last night, something weird happen after I was readying to go to bed way later than I should. I laid down, and then felt a lot of heat. I opened my eyes and saw a tiny fire about 3 inches wide on my bed. Yep! My computer’s charge cable was damaged and sparked a small flame. I slapped my bed twice and the fire was no more. I disconnected the cable and saw it sparking rapidly while in my hands. Scary stuff! Imagine if I fell asleep earlier. It looks like staying up late and working on a game was meant to be.

I was having trouble charging my computer recently, so I went ahead and ordered a new charge cable that arrived tonight. However, since my computer is old and needs to always be plugged in, and since I feared I’d make something catch on fire, I decided to not take my computer to work. So, because of this and some of life’s curve balls, I was running behind schedule on making a game. However, it’s 3:30am and I submitted something. What did I submit?

I made a game that’s lazily called Race to Space.

Race to Space is exactly what you think it is. Two players are trying to blast their rocket furthest into space by button mashing. The person that button mashes most in a matter of ten seconds wins. I spent some time challenging myself with a basic animation that occurs at the end, creating the feeling of movement without actually moving the sprites and by toying with simple sound and fade effects. Additionally, I challenged myself by making this game in a really short time. I started working on this at 11pm, so I’d say I did ok with it. I’m excited for the weekend where I’ll have more time to pursue a more deeper game I hope. Thanks for reading and checking out the game. See ya tomorrow with the 7th game.

Total time spent developing: 4.5 hours.

A Game a Day: Day 5

Day 5 started off different. I woke and didn’t feel like myself. The lack of sleep really caught up to me. For those that don’t know, sleep deprivation can contribute to feelings of depression. And for those that experience depression and/or chronic anxiety, lack of sleep can severely worsen your experience with depression. To be as transparent as I’ve already been, that’s what happened to me today. I woke up in a rough state and knew I couldn’t attend work. I used a sick day. And people, please don’t be afraid to use sick days for when your mental health needs your attention. With that said, I made a game and I was a lot more successful than yesterday. What did I make?

I made a game simply called Piñatas.

That’s right, a 2nd piñata based game. This one started off as a tutorial I found on youtube. It was an easy-to-make physics based cannon game. I wanted to cheer myself up, so I added a swinging piñata to try to shoot. I added a timer, some health to the piñata and the game was done. The goal of the game is to try to diminish the piñata’s health before the timer of 30 seconds runs out. I worked on it for about 3 hours and declared it finished. I had lunch and then I noticed I still felt uncontrollably anxious and depressed. I decided to add more to the game as a form of medicating myself. I added items that spawn sporadically. I added an hourglass, a metal gear, mini piñata that serves as health, and fun music. The hourglass adds more time, but if the piñata collides with it 5 seconds is removed. The metal gear turns the swinging piñata into well…a metal piñata, and makes it invincible. The best thing to do here is to try to shoot the metal gear so that the piñata doesn’t get it. Also, metal music plays if this happens. In the end I felt a lot better. It was one of the rare times that game design actually helped me through an episode of depression. I knew PLAYing games could help people with depression, but I wasn’t sure than designing and developing could help.

Today it did.

With that said, play the game and let me know what you think. Do you like it? Do you think it’s one of the worst pieces of garbage that’s ever been garbaged? Tell me. Also, feel free to share this post and/or the previous ones, games, videos, and click like. See you all tomorrow with my 6th game straight. Thanks!

Total time developing: 7 hours

A Game a Day: Day 4


Day 4…damn. So far the hardest day has been today. I’m starting to really feel the difficulty level of doing something like this. I started working on this last night, went to bed around 2am because I passed out on my computer. I drove my hour commute to get to work and stayed there for overtime. I had a lot of great ideas going for this project, but in the end I felt like I failed. My game will not be posted do to a last minute game breaking bug. I made an edit that I couldn’t fix right away. However this demo has a lot of interesting ideas that I’d like to pursue in other games, maybe in Mimicry (the Day 3 game).

It doesn’t even have an official title (currently called Destroy All the Blue Blocks), art style, art in general, sound, or music…just a bunch of ideas. The ideas are cool though. It was supposed to be another puzzle-platformer like Mimicry, and it was coming along. I’d need a few more days at least to make something worth publishing online. I played around with gravity and a teleportation mechanic to help destroy enemies (or squares for now). After all enemies are destroyed, a portal opens taking you to the next level. I only had time to make 8 short demo levels that need a TON of work, but I’m still proud. It wasn’t easy and definitely too ambitious to pursue in a single day while having a full time job. I’ve learned my lesson though. I’ll aim for something smaller tomorrow, hopefully letting it be playable. I want to say sorry to the few that have been encouraging me and were looking forward to this new game. I promise that my efforts were used to their fullest. I learned a lot, felt the pressure, and looks like I’ll be submitting this right on the dot.

Total time spent developing: 8 hours

A Game a Day: Day 3

Day 3! I made a game from 9pm to 2am. I was completely drained from the first two days, so I feared that I wouldn’t be able to produce something interesting. In the end, I was happy with my project. So what did I make?

The game is called Mimicry.

Mimicry is a short 2D puzzle-platformer where the player controls two different colored characters (well, more like rectangles) simultaneously. The red character controls as expected in a platformer, but the blue character doesn’t. Since the blue rectangle is upside down with reversed gravity, the controls are inverted for it. Right is left, left is right, and jumping pushes you downward on the y-axis. The goal of the game is to touch each character’s respective goal block. Eventually, the levels get more complicated with the addition of obstacles. I only made 10 levels. However if players like it, then I’ll consider working on it more. This was a fun one to make and actually allowed me to get SOME sleep. ”

Total hours spent developing: 5 hours

Click here to play Mimicry and let me know what you think.

A Game a Day: Day 2

On Day 2, I was running on fumes. I had a lot trouble trying to upload my first game, so I started very late on the 2nd. However, I stayed up and completed something I was happy with. I started work around 11:30 pm and finished around 6 am. Since I have visiting relatives from Mexico, I wasn’t able to sleep much, clocking in only 3 hours. So, that’s a total of 6 hours in the last two nights. So what did I make?

I found myself talking about relationships in the form of stick figures and pressing time-sensitive keys on the keyboard. The game I made is called. I ❤ You. 

The keys that are displayed are difficult to press with the pressure of time, reflecting the difficulty of being in a relationship. For some, the longer you’re with, the harder it gets.

I originally started drawing stick figures in my notebook, and knew I wanted to make two characters being controlled by the same inputs. When I started drawing one of the stick figures in Construct 2, one of the hands had a C-shape. Then, the idea just popped. It eventually started getting a bit personal, but that’s a good thing. Games should help us get things off our chest.

Total time spent developing: 6.5 hours

A Game a Day Blog: Day 1

Day 1 of my ‘make a game a day’ adventure was hard to say the least. I put a lot of pressure on myself, already wondering if I were to soon regret this. I worked all day, was stuck in traffic for an hour and twenty minutes, and came home to family visiting from Mexico. Naturally, we celebrated their arrival and went out to feast at an amazing restaurant called Gloria’s in Southgate(if you’re in LA, check it out). I came home at 11pm and got to work. I stayed up till 4:30 am, woke up about 3 hours later and put about an additional 2.5 hours of work. Due to entertaining the visiting relatives, and needing to start work on the second day’s game, I decided to call the day 1’s project finished. So what kind of game did I make? Well, let’s just say that at night I’m pretty creative and sometimes really weird.

Drum roll…

Day 1 of A Game A Day – Piñata Bomb!

Piñata Bomb is a Pong-esque game, where two players try to hit a piñata back and forth with machetes, hoping to explode the piñata on their opponent’s side. The player that survives the explosion, wins. The piñata has an HP of 50 hits for now, so players must be careful when attacking the explosive party supply.

Hitting it with a sword sends it back, however getting the sweet spot lets you do some nice damage before launching it at your opponent. If you whip out your gun, you can try blasting off additional HP, however shooting it doesn’t send it back. Like pong, if you fail to send the ball back (or piñata in this case), you lose.

All the art was taken from open game art, (show credits), the music is actually a chip tune version of one of my favorite bands, Thrice, and the sounds are free from freesound.org.

The only art I made should be pretty obvious, the hideous piñata. Laugh all you want, it’s the idea and execution that counts here. I actually expected to make something less realized here.

The idea came from something I made in the past. I didn’t even bother with a game design document, so I’ll have to find some time to write it out.

So the first of these 30 games is in, Piñata Bomb. I spent over two hours trying to upload it my itch.io account, but I was getting a strange error. Unfortunately, I’ll only be able to post a video of the game play. Please tell me what you think, and if you like it let me know.

Thanks! See ya tomorrow!

-Edwin

Total time spent developing: 8 hours.

A Game a Day Blog

When I was 8 years old, a lot of nerdy events occurred that led me to pursuing game design as a career. One of the very first is thanks to my videogame magazine subscription. In late June 1998, a few magazines came in the mail covering E3, which at the time took place in May. I remember seeing all the new exciting announcements. My eyes were glued to the still images, imagining what the movement of the games felt like. Then I started reading and I came across the words “game designer.” Everything changed after that.

8 year old Edwin: “People….make….games?”

No longer did being an ice cream man, McDonald’s employee, doctor, and teacher seem like the only jobs people can have. I learned then that I could be a game designer, and E3 was the event that lit my flame. It became the Superbowl or Wrestlemania to me. I knew one day I would not only attend the event, but present a game there.

Fast forward 20 years where I’ll be attending my 9th E3, but still have yet to show a game. I worked hard last year hoping to help represent the indiecade booth, but ultimately was too unprepared and failed. One day.

In honor of E3 and 20 years since my game designer dream was born, I want to devote this month to doing something crazy. I’ve made about 30 games for practice in the last year, so naturally I want to top that. However, it may seem impossible because I want to make just as many THIS MONTH! That’s a game a day! I plan on designing and developing a new mini game everyday until July comes around. I may not have yet succeeded professionally as a designer, but I’m willing to earn that title.

Stay tuned every day, starting tomorrow to see what I’ve made. I’ll blog about it, post the game, and maybe even upload a video sometimes. It all depends on my availability. I work a full time job with long overtime hours occasionally, so I’m going to be making games with only a small chunk of time. Wish me luck and visit the site tomorrow night!

This is Anxiety Monster

Hello! I’m Edwin, the lead designer and founder of Anxiety Monster. The team was originally formed when I participated in Indiecade’s Resist Jam in March 2017. We needed a team name when time came to submit the project, and Anxiety Monster just made sense. In my personal life, I’ve been burdened by severe anxiety and depression. It once held me back from progressing in many aspects of my life, caused me to feel panic attacks during major events, and even contributed to ruining multiple relationships. In time I learned to re-purpose the monster that was killing me. It became my super power, MY Anxiety Monster.

I have wanted to make games since I was 8 years old, but my mental capacity, attention span, anxiety, and self-deprecating depression positioned me to fail. After years of being lost, unable to learn programming, failing at every attempt, I was finally ready to call it quits on life. Then, at my weakest moment, I watched a Zelda Symphony concert in San Jose, CA. The music from my childhood’s favorite games traveled from instruments, into my ears, somehow made it to my bloodstream, and finally gave my heart the beat it needed.

It revived me.

I went back home to Los Angeles, found a school (Gamegen) that challenged me to make weekly games on Construct 2, a very accessible tool. I finally found a way to make games.

At the time of creating the name, I had been making games on Construct 2 for only two weeks. For the Resist Jam, I teamed with my friend, the incredibly talented Allyssa De La Torre. Together we made a game called On the Other Side, which was a simple stealth-narrative side scroller about a little girl who searches for her deported mother at the US-Mexico border. I knew very little about design or game development in general then, but I tried to create and complete something special. In the end, the game was played hundreds of times, featured in two Let’s Play videos, talked about in a podcast, and even scored me invites to the Games For Change Festival and LA Zine Fest. Since then I’ve made over 30 small games, added my talented friend, Jason Smith, to the team, and I’m finally developing the skills necessary to comfortably express myself with game design. Additionally, after over a year of using Construct 2 on a daily basis, I’m finally understanding simple programming.

What was once impossible to me started feeling possible. Now I strive to be good at what I do, and hope to one day do it professionally. For now, I find happiness being able to finally consider myself a game designer. Now, I want Anxiety Monster to be front and center of every game I make, showing everyone that they can make games too, even with their own monster eating away at their hope.