A Game a Day: Day 12

Day 12

I tried squeezing a small game out of today, which was hard since it was an eventful day. I was at E3 from open to close, then headed to the Women in Games party. I had a ton of fun, played way more games than yesterday, spoke to developers, and received amazing advice. I’m feeling motivated and positive. I managed to drink only green juice again with the exception of two bananas and two apples. I was feeling really healthy, but I’m extremely tired. My legs and back are sore from the show. I got home from the afterparty around 10pm(early I know), so that gave me little time to make a game. I did make something however. It’s the simplest game. For now, it’s called Red and Blue Bullets demo.

You control a square’s state in the center of the game. It starts off red, but if you hold down the space bar, the red square becomes a blue diamond. Red and blue alternating bullets start firing at you from the left, then the right, and then both. You have to absorb all the bullets possible in 60 seconds. Absorb the red bullets when you’re red, and blue bullets when you’re blue. Simple. Fun. I made something. It’s not too late. I’m exhausted. Time to sleep because I’ve got work in the morning. Additionally, I’m happy to report that I felt no feelings of depression today. I’m not sure if it’s E3 or the green juice, or both, but today I felt very in control of my thoughts. Thanks for reading! See ya tomorrow with another game.

Total Time Spent Developing: 2 hours

A Game a Day 11

Day 11

I only got to work a bit on today’s game. I went to my 9th E3 and had a lot of fun. I got to play the Pokemon Let’s Go games, Smash Bros, Ninjala, and even the My Hero Academia game, which was surprisingly great. I networked, sat in on interviews, and met a lot of nice like-minded people. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow. I also did well and packed a super healthy bag filled with a ton of green juice that I made, apples, mints, water, and a charger. After E3, I went to a grocery store, bought veggies, made two days worth of green juice, did my laundry, went to the gym AND ran for an hour. I am spent! But with that said, I still made a game. So, what did I make.

This one is extremely weird. I called it Different Hearts. It’s not really a “fun” game. It’s completely unfinished and lacks clarity. I wish I had more energy, but I fell asleep on my computer several times. I’d like to clean it up and maybe will sometime this weekend. The game is metaphorical I’d say.

It was inspired by a friend that I bumped into at E3, suggesting making a game about breaking hearts. I then gave it a bit of meaning. I won’t talk about how to play or what it entails, because I want this weird piece to be open to interpretation. Let me know if you can figure it out. Thanks for reading and stop by tomorrow to see what I make with even less time for my 2nd post E3 game.

Total Time Spent: 3.5 hours

A Game a Day: Day 10

Day 10

I actually devoted a fair of time to myself today. I wanted to try to regain control of my mental health. I prepared a lot of green juice that I like to make. It was all my meals today, and honestly I LOVED it. I felt so much better, happier, and in simply in control. I worked all day, came home, made my juice for tomorrow that I hope can be permitted into E3. I went back to the gym and did an hour of Cardio. I even went an hour and half early to work, just to get some time on my game. I no longer want to lose sleep because I saw what it was doing to me. It was making my situation of dealing with depression significantly worse. I wanted to correct that completely. Today, was a mission accomplished for me.

What about the game?

This time, there’s a bit of a situation. I worked about 5 hours on a game that I’ve been playing with for the last three nights. I was basically designing a single player version of my platform-spawner series. Just a little while ago, I got a major portion finished, but it’s not done. I would need to devote at least another 4 hours or so, and I’M CHOSING MY MENTAL HEALTH. With the proper sleep, I’ll be a happier person, and I’ll get to really make a dent. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m not submitting something. I totally am. I was looking for a game I made a while back in a matter of two hours. This isn’t so much of a game, rather than just a drum set to play with. I call it Drum It Out. I was a drummer years ago and I’m constantly beating my keyboard with my fingers. I decided to match the keys I usually hit with different pieces of a drum kit. It’ll serve as my 10th submission. If you wouldn’t like to count it, well then consider this, I made two games the night I submitted Piñatas, which was just an extremely bare bones version. So, we’re totally still at ten.

Check in tomorrow with me as I’ll be riding on the E3 buzz, deciding to not attend the after parties in order to complete a game. I look forward to showing off the project I worked on today. Thanks for reading. Stay Healthy.

Total time spent developing today: 5 hours
Total time spent developing Drum It Out: 2 hours.

A Game a Day: Day 9

Day 9.
On a personal level, today was rough. I was mentally at capacity but needed to find the energy within myself to finish something. I was feeling awful both mentally and physically, had a massive headache, and felt oddly empty when I picked up my E3 badge. The depression was here and in full effect. I came home after to try to catch up on my lost sleep. I’ve decided to not overwork myself nightly and actually go to bed on time. I’ll feel happier. Bottom line. I know the quality of my games will take a hit, but it’s something I should do. My health is priority here.

Always take care of yourself.

I managed to devote a few hours to work however. I took the same code I was working with from the last two platformer multiplayer games and built a new mode. I creatively called it Combo Mode-Platform-Spawning-Demo. The rules this time around are similar to The Floor is Lava. You have to build platforms which give you points. If a player touches the ground, they lose all their points. The player with the most points after 1 minute, wins. Simple. The game quickly starts getting intense as you rack up a long combo score.

Play it and let me know what you think. Once again, thanks for reading. See you tomorrow with Day 10’s game.

Total time spent developing: 2 hours

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.

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!


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!