Practicing Gamecraft and Videomancy since 2010
Jason and I are back from GDC and already we are planning our triumphant return! The event hosted about 23,000 successful and aspiring game developers and the environment was electric. We came back energized and full of ideas to make BBG a better all around company. Since our laptop broke on day two, we did not get to do any daily posts as promised, but I’ll recap each day here so everyone can experience the greatness that was GDC!
Day 1 – Denver 5am MDT – Time to get up and get going. We quickly headed to the airport for our 8am flight. We needed to arrive early because we were flying standby and our seats were therefore not guaranteed. (Big shout out to our dear friend Chris Combs who provided the passes! The trip would not have been possible without his help.) Arrival and security at DIA was uneventful and we reached our gate about an hour and a half early and checked in. The attendant told us we would be called when our seat was assigned. We grew nervous as they began boarding the plane and we had heard nothing as to our status. There was also a crowd of people standing around who looked like they might be on the standby list as well. After watching everyone else board, we started to talk about what to do… then it happened: our names (or at least my name and a horrible butchering of Jason’s last name as queens-something) were called. We were elated and quickly boarded and, on our way to the tunnel, we heard someone behind us ask about their seat only to be told that there were no more available; we nabbed the last two seats on the plane! Two hours of smooth flying later we landed in San Fran. We hopped on the next train to our hotel in Oakland (Another shout out, this one to Darrin Rosenberg, for helping us book an affordable hotel!) We dropped our stuff and headed back to San Fran and arrived around 1pm PDT. After a quick lunch, we grabbed our passes and began to soak in all the awesome! First stop was the expo floor where companies and developers could show off their stuff. We chatted with the Amazon Web Service people and got amazing help from one of their reps. We also grabbed some other flyers for stuff we thought was cool or could help us grow BBG. There was also the super packed IGF pavilion where all the sweet indie games that were nominated for awards could be played. Before we knew it, day 1 of the expo was over and we had about an hour before the Independent Games Festival Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards were scheduled to start, so we chilled for a bit and headed over to the awards. It was packed! We ended up sitting in the back but still had a great time watching some established and great up and coming companies win for their amazing work. Hosts Andy Schatz and Tim Schafer were entertaining and the ceremony was fun. On the way out we ran into our friend Dylan Jones and made plans to meet up the next day. Back to the hotel and sleep. Day 1 complete.
Day 2 – Up early and off to Frisco! We grabbed a light breakfast and then checked out GDC Play where some other indie games were on display. There was some cool stuff there to check out and before we knew it, it was lunch time. We met up with Dylan for lunch and chatted about everything GDC. Afterwards, we tried to plan what to do next. We were about to wander the expo floor again when Dylan texted us and said to head to the garden for some unorganized indie developer talks. This was one of the highlights of the whole trip. Since Jason and I couldn’t get into many lectures with the passes we had, this was a great opportunity to get to learn from some of the industry greats. It was a large gathering of developers who could sign up to talk for 5-10 minutes about anything they wanted. We got to hear some great stuff in a variety of topics. We spent the rest of the day there soaking up everything we could. Since there was no after GDC activity planned like the previous night, we decided to hang out and try to find one of the legendary GDC parties. While waiting to hear if we could make into a party we met a new friend Wilson Leong of Binary Rebellion. We spent the next hour or so chatting and sharing about our ups and downs as small time companies. We then decided to try and take the party situation into our own hands. The three of us headed to where Blizzard was partying and tried, unsuccessfully, to make it in. We took this as a sign and headed back to the Hotel. Day 2 Complete, almost. Back at the hotel room, Jason managed to bend a hinge on the laptop wrong and took out the screen. No more computer!
Day 3 – Day 3 was a little more laid back as everything was winding down. We slept in a little and planned the day out over breakfast. We discovered that there were actually some lectures available to us that day so we make that the plan of action. The first lecture was a how to get a game programming job workshop with a panel of people in the industry. It was cool to hear these people speak to their experiences and successes working as game programmers. We then hit the expo floor again, this time a little less overwhelmed, and made sure to converse more and grab up as much swag as we could to bring back to our Colorado friends. Unfortunately, being Friday, most of the good stuff was gone. Soon, it was time for the last lecture of the day: a super cool Post Mortem on three sweet indie games. Penny Arcade 3, Dys4ia and Ziggurat. Each developer took a turn describing their experience of creating a game beginning to end. It was super inspiring to see people who were where we are not so long ago, and just like that, the convention was over. We decided to take it easy and just grab a drink with Dylan after. During drinks we met another new friend Laurent Lavigne creator of McDroid. We had a great chat about our companies and upcoming games. It was a great way to cap the convention.
All in all we had a great time and learned a lot. Can’t wait to go back and experience even more!
Tony P BBG
I want to start by saying I am a huge GOW fan and have loved everything that has been released up until the point Ascension came out. I have played every title to completion including the handheld ports and 1 and 2 HD remakes. Kratos has been one of the most memorable and powerful characters to play in my entire 26 year gaming career. That being said, Ascension is quickly becoming the most boring chore of a game I have ever felt the need to finish. I have played approximately half of the single player campaign and haven’t yet had fun or been challenged by anything that has happened.
What’s wrong with the game, you ask? The strange answer to that question is I’m not sure. Solid combat system? Check. Huge boss battles? Check. Epic score and beautiful environments? Check and check. It’s all there, everything that made the previous titles great to play, just minus the fun factor. It’s simply not fun to play… It’s like meeting a beautiful, successful woman who has everything you’ve ever wanted in a mate, but you have absolutely no interest or attraction to her what so ever. This series has given me so many quality nights of gaming that I WILL FINISH this game and give you all the other half of this review, but I am very concerned by the fact that the most fun I’ve had with this game is when Jason and I tried to figure out how to unlock the Last of Us demo that comes with the game. After struggling with the directions and trying hard to figure out what the hell the F and S buttons are (yes those are the actual instructions and I still have no idea what they were referring to) we used the code to activate the online pass and that gave us access to an amazing….Count Down Clock…Ohhhhhhhh….Ahhhhhh. But at least we laughed ourselves silly. So if you haven’t already been duped like I have, wait and rent this title before you drop 60 hard-earned dollars on what so far has turned into one of the least memorable titles I have ever played.
Wish me luck with the rest of the game everyone!
Tony P BBG
It’s been a great start to the year and it’s only going to get better. Jason and I are heading to San Francisco for this years GDC and we couldn’t be more excited! We are getting in early Wednesday and will be soaking in everything that we can until they make us leave Friday night! We’re hoping to meet some new faces, show off some of the stuff we’ve been working on, and learn a ton about everything gaming!
Wanted to get some thank yous in as this trip would not have been possible without the help of our good friends Chris and Darrin! They’re helping us get out there and have a place to rest our heads when we arrive. Also wanted to thank the lovely and talented Catherine Birkelo who worked double time to get us the necessary art assets to make the super awesome Myrddin Tales Demo we’ll be showing off. She has done nothing but impress since joining the BBG team and busted her hump to meet the demands to make this demo possible.
We’ll post daily as to the day’s events and let you all know if anything super cool happens!
Happy Gaming All!
Tony P BBG
Hello again everyone,
Better Bug Games is proud to announce its latest release, “Ah! My Eyes!” Currently available on Kongregate. As the world’s greatest scientist, your eyes are very important, but what happens when you get random chemicals in them!? You’ve got three tries to find out! Play “Ah! My Eyes!” by searching on Kongregate or just click here and you’ll be on your way to eye-saving fun! SEE if you can unlock all six endings (pun intended). Have fun everyone!
February is here and Jason and I are hard at work on our current titles Angry Little Monsters (ALM for short) and Mr. Cannonball. The user interface for ALM proved to be quite a project for me but I think now that I have a better idea of how it’s all gonna look, I can really start cranking out the art assets. As always there is a ton of art to make… even for such a small project! But I’ve found a great site for those of you wanting to try pixel art http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/pixel-art-tutorials/ It really helped me along and has allowed me to change how I approach each asset. Here is what I have so far for my Main Frame.
As for Jason, I’ve seen some early work for Mr. Cannonball and it’s looking great as well. He’s having some fun messing around with the physics and bouncing balls off walls!
In March, we will be attending GDC in San Francisco and hope to show off our work while we’re there!
Hope everyone is having a great year so far!
Hello again everybody! It’s been a while since we’ve posted and I wanted to give a quick recap of 2012 and let you know what you can expect in 2013.
2012 saw the releases of both Zombicider and Beer Guzzler. Both of these titles taught us a lot, but most important was that focusing our scope and making sure we’re having fun making the games. We caught a glimpse of our capabilities are with how quickly we went from concept to finished product with Beer Guzzler. The lessons we learned about scope from Zombicider were imperative there. We ended up with a better project that we enjoyed making much more. Finally, we saw BBG grow with the addition of a new friend. Catherine joined our team in July and has continued to impress ever since. She is currently tasked with all the art assets for our big release for next year: Myrddin Tales Episode One. Myrddin Tales was originally slated for release in Fall of 2012, but we quickly realized that we needed to take our time with this title now that we have an artist capable of producing top-notch assets. Watch for lots more news on Myrddin as the year progresses!
Now, onto 2013!
We have big and aggressive plans for this coming year. In addition to Myrddin, BBG plans to release five more titles throughout the year. We’ve picked a wide variety of genres to expand our knowledge and skills. One area we’re focusing on is mobile, starting with the Android platform and adding iOS down the road. Since we are still focused on learning new platforms, our games will be coming out on a variety of platforms so we can explore all the options this fantastic industry has to offer.
Thanks to all who supported us last year! We look forward to continuing to bring you fun games to play!
Hello everyone! We wanted to let you all know that we have a new Kickstarter project up. Myrddin Tales: Episode 1 is in full swing and we need your donations! Check it out and help if you can
Having trouble with the early levels of Zombicider? Well, your prayers have been answered! There is a new weapon available to help you bust those zombie heads a little faster. Thanks to Nate Johns, you can now unlock Nate’s Special Magnum. Just enter the code 0913 on the keypad on the credits screen and you’ll be quoting Dirty Harry and killing zombies like never before! Also, if you are feeling bored, try some other number combinations and see what happens!
The day started like any other. Jason and I met up at his place and put the finishing touches on a few art assets for a Beer Guzzler update. Then we grabbed a quick bite to eat, ran an errand for my wife, then returned to the “office” for some MW3. After this grueling day, we headed towards Downtown Denver to meet up with a potential new artist (thank you Marc Wilhelm for the introduction!) for the Better Bug team. Jason and I arrived a little early and found parking just a few blocks from where we were meeting and headed for the restaurant. We grabbed a table and waited for Catherine to arrive. What was supposed to be a quick bite turned into a 2 hour talk-fest where we learned all about each others backgrounds, goals, and interests.
Catherine struck me as very bright and motivated which is perfect for Better Bug Games! Passion and dedication are exactly what we need while we grow! We are going to get a plan together for our next title, Myrddin Tales Part One, and see where we end up. Keep an eye on BetterBugGames.com as I keep you posted to all the happenings. If you would like to check out just how talented our potential new artist is, you can see her work here http://birkeloart.com/