Filtering by Tag: Radarkanoid

Collapsus Progress Report 2018!

Hey all! It's been a while since our last post (about a year, if I remember correctly). We've started doing our blog posts over on our website, so you guy's have missed a bit if you've not been following us over there or on social media. I wanted to give all you wonderful people an update on the project... and I've gotta say, it's a BIG one! Try not to *flip* out!

Read More

MADNESS! 4 Events in 3 Weeks!? (Dayton Designed, LexPlay, GDEX and Alive After 5)

Hey all! Wow, we're exhausted! On October 22nd we went up to Dayton for The Ohio Gaming Brigade's "Dayton Designed: Game Night at Star City Brewing Company" (wow that's a lot to type; certainly not Twitter friendly!) then on the 28th, we headed down to Lexington for LexPlay and on the 29th, we went up to Columbus for GDEX! Yup, with both LexPlay and GDEX being two day affairs, we actually split up the team and took them both on! Then on November 3rd, we hit up our own hometown Hamilton for Alive After 5: Game Night! Here's how it went...

Read More

A Bright Idea... Festival

Hey guys! Wow! It's been a pretty crazy week for us! Not only did Kristy, Natalie, and I spend all Wednesday night (and Thursday morning) setting up for the Artspace Hamilton Grand Opening (Kristy and I live there and I'm the chairman of the resident committee) but then, after spending all day Thursday actually at that event, I took a Greyhound at 3am to Louisville, KY for IdeaFestival!

Read More

Fit for Fitton: Our Day at the Fitton Center Season Launch

So, as you may know, our Radarkanoid arcade cabinet was at the Fitton Center for the Creative Arts (a local art museum here in Hamilton) for their Hindsight exhibit until the end of next month. In fact, the whole reason we made this particular cabinet was for the exhibit in the first place. Well, to celebrate not only this exhibit, but the big launch of this new event season for them, they threw a big party! They had people counting at the door, and well over 1000 people came (which I believe is their biggest season launch yet). It was pretty darned cool. That also meant that a lot of people got to play Radarkanoid at this event alone.

Read More

Radarkanoid: Out Now!

Oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY! Radarkanoid is finally out! It's finally here. It's finally... well... done! We'd made Radarkanoid as part of the Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam last month (it was a month-long jam). The finished games that were part of the jam also made it on to a bundle, where 50% of the profits go to help Louisville Makes Games, a 501c(3) charity that helps Kentucky game developers live the dream!

Read More

4 Short Updates From Wraith

Hey all! Things have been going really well around here as of late, though, if I'm being honest, today's blog post will probably be pretty short. See, most of you already know roughly what we have to report on anyway, so none of the news is really "huge" or anything. With that being said, here are "4 Short Updates From Wraith" (and yes, that is supposed to be a Simpsons reference hidden behind several layers of incomprehensible). Let's rock!

Read More

Top of Our Game: Wraith at Game Masters - The Exhibition!

Hey all! Things have been going really well around here as of late, though, if I'm being honest, today's blog post will probably be pretty short. See, most of you already know roughly what we have to report on anyway, so none of the news is really "huge" or anything. With that being said, here are "4 Short Updates From Wraith" (and yes, that is supposed to be a Simpsons reference hidden behind several layers of incomprehensible). Let's rock!

Read More

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Hey all! It's been one heck of a week! Kristy and I started working on finishing up Radarkanoid for the Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam, interviewed a potential new member of the team, met with Mark about getting the new Collapsus demo ready for Indy PopCon (and subsequently the weekly builds), Steve has been working on some shirts and a new animated intro, Eric & Adam have been prepping to represent us at Indy PopCon, got the new sticker, buttons, two new demo tablets (and our monthly order of Monster), worked on finalizing our next three event appearances, and finally started uploading stuff to our Instagram (you can follow us  there, here: 

https://www.instagram.com/wraithgames

)!

Hot dang! That's a lot of stuff going, on. Oddly enough, it's actually our Instagram I wanted to talk about. Well, in a roundabout way, I guess. Hit it!

Our Instagram has only been up for a day, but we've had well over 30 likes on our pictures already. When we really started to step up our Twitter game a few months ago we were surprised at how well we took to it and it really is starting to look like Instagram will follow suit! "But wait!' I can hear you say, "don't your pictures often suck?!" Why yes: they often do, unfortunately. Here are some pretty good examples:

Oh, god! What even are those! Yikes!

Even though

most

of our photos aren't as bad as these, even most of the "good" ones aren't the best. Heck, I took photography class in school! I should know better! Well, as with a lot of the best changes around here, leave it to Steve and our buddy Lance T. Miller to make it right.With Steve's amazing brand guidance and a great prep-course on taking brand photos from Lance, I'm ready to make sure you have the best brand photos for your eye-holes!

BAM! Now that's what we're talking about. Clean, well shot, in focus, and visually interesting! This is what you all can expect from our photos from now on! Bar. Raised. That's why it took so long to get this Instagram started. I had to make sure that this is the type of quality we'd be putting out from now on... and luckily, it seems to be paying off so far!

Well, that was a quick one. Obviously, we have tons of new stuff heading your way very, very soon. So stay tuned and you can bet your sweet bippy that the next few months will be non-stop (and well photographed) action!

Cheers!

Radarkanoid: A Development Journey

Okay. Let's talk about Radarkanoid!



Bam! No intro! Getting right into it! Buckle in, because you're in for a long one! So, believe it or not, we're almost done with Radarkanoid. Up until recently, there was one big bug. Yup, just the one. Since Radarkanoid was intended to be a small, free game for you all to enjoy (and a bit of a passion project of mine personally, though I'll get into that in a bit), we figured that spending a couple weeks trying to fix said bug was just too long. This was especially true since it was being done to not only get Kristy into the swing of things (she is still a student after all) in a similar manner to what we did with Dante and FlyGuy (though that's a story for another time), but she had also just taken over on Collapsus and reach a fairly large bug in that as well. A break was needed. Of course, having a side project become as stressful as a main project just won't do. So, she took a break from Radarkanoid and jumped back into Collapsus. Well, since her schedule got a bit more hectic these past few days, she decided to pick Radarknoid back up rather than putting in half measures on Collapsus. This seemed to do the trick and it should be fully done here very soon!

Anyway, I wanted to take this time to get into the history and inspiration behind Radarkanoid. Oh yes, even Radarkanoid has "history" and "inspiration" like everything else around here. Remember me talking about "the Phonebook" here on the blog or in interviews? Well, if not, here's the skinny: throughout the 11 years Wraith has been operating, we've not worked on all that many games (mostly due to the fact that we became a full-time business only last year). Well, that's not entirely true I guess. See, in the first two or three years we worked on a metric boat-load of smaller prototypes (Collapsus and FlyGuy prototypes among them), that we released online for free, but they don't count because A) they were never meant to be "real" games B) they sucked and C) hey, we were still just high school students then (not that high schoolers can't make amazing games... we just couldn't).

Anyway.

 In this time, as lead designer, I've come up with countless ideas, big and small, and put them into a "book" (really just a text document) that the team lovingly refers to as "The Phonebook", due to how thick it would be if published (well, slight exaggeration... probably). So there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of games that I want to see done at some point. This isn't even including all of the projects that other team members want to do! We have enough projects to last us a lifetime... and growing!

As you can probably guess, Radarkanoid is one of these projects. No one ever said they had to be "big" games on the list, did they? In fact, on several occasions it has been suggested that we have some sort of imprint (for lack of a better word) within Wraith just to handle smaller, cheaper (or downright free) games. In 2007 we thought about calling it "Wraith Arcade" and in 2012 "Wraith Minis". Heck, we even announced Minis in 2012 as an actual thing that we never did anything with (oddly enough, including a revived FlyGuy that we actually released, and the concept for Radarkanoid and Cave Worm, all the way back then). That idea seems doomed, to be honest. The imprint, not the smaller games. Just putting a label on them kind of deprioritizes them or something. So why not just make them and not need to label it? Sounds good to us!

Knowing that Radarkanoid is an old idea finally taking form isn't unusual knowing us, so lets get into the nitty gritty of "why Radarkanoid?" As in: "what's so special about this particular game that made it a 'must do' at some point"? Well, to be honest, it was kind of the perfect storm of ideas for me. As you may know, the name is a portmanteau of "radial" and "Arkanoid". Radial because the paddle goes around in a circle and Arkanoid, Taito's popular 1986 spiritual successor to Atari's 1976 staple, Breakout. It's a "block breaker" game in a circle. Pretty self-explanatory, no? Well, it's not even that simple.

Arkanoid

The "radial" part also has its inspiration. That would be Andrzej Kapolka's classic, Radial Pong. What? You haven't heard of Radial Pong? Well, you must have not been frequenting the popular old school website Albino Blacksheep in 2002, then! Yup, I was inspired directly by an old web game that most people probably don't even remember. Yeah, I know I'm weird. It's a pretty cool little game, though. It's Pong (obviously), but in a circle (*gasp*). Yeah, I know, I know. But yeah, it was a pretty neat idea. Since Breakout started out as a way to capitalize on Pong, but in a single player format, it seemed only right to take Radial Pong and do the same. That's pretty much it for the gameplay, but why dos it look like a piece of old machinery, you may ask? Well, that's the next part of the story!

Radial Pong

Pong has an interesting history. Most people who are even casually interested in games know that it was the first big video game success. Many of you also know that Atari (and later Chuck E. Cheese's) founder, Nolan Bushnell created the game in 1972 after being inspired by playing 1962's Spacewar at college. He went on to clone Spacewar, with 1971's Computer Space but it had limited success. Pong would be its follow-up!

Well, Pong actually predates all that with Ralph Baer's 1968 "Brown Box" prototype home video game console, which would later become the Magnavox Odyssey in 1975. Bushnell had seen one of its prototypes at a trade show and based Pong on one of its games. Needless to say, a lawsuit followed. Oddly enough, Baer's biggest success would be with the 1978 handheld game, Simon, which was a copy of Bushnell's Touch Me arcade game. So I guess it was a fair trade-off (maybe). 

So, why am I telling you all this? Pretty much just because I find it interesting. Well, actually, it was more for context's sake. See, Ralph Baer's "table tennis" game inside of the Brown Box was inspired by another, much older video game: 1958's Tennis for Two! 

Tennis for Two

All this, for Tennis for Two. It's certainly a weird game. It was made by physicist William Higinbotham using an oscilloscope. A freakin' oscilloscope. For those who don't know, an oscilloscope is a voltage tester kind of like a more complicated multimeter (also called a "DMM"). I'm simplifying, but yeah. Think about that a physicist makes a video game in 1958... 14 years before Pong. Freaking PONG!!! That was 58 years ago! That's hardcore! Sorry about that, I get excitable sometimes. Well, as you can see, it has a very distinct look to it. That's because of how it displays images. It's not really like pixels or polygons today. Seeing it in motion is really cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2E9iSQfGdg

As you can see, the look of not only Tennis for Two, but the hardware it's played on had a huge influence on how Radarkanoid looks. In addition to that, another inspiration was actual radar equipment.With the fact that an oscilloscope already looks a bit like a radar screen and that it is named "Radar"kanoid, I looked at a lot of radar images for reference, as well.

"Okay, okay", I can hear you say. That's the end of it, right? Well, no, sorry to say. There are a couple other places of inspiration on this one. As you can probably tell, Radarkanoid's gameplay graphics don't really line up with Arkanoid, Radial Pong, or Tennis for Two. Well that's because they're more closely inspired by the vector graphics for some old arcade games, and more specifically, 1982's home console oddity, the Vectrex!

Vectrex

The Vectrex is, in my opinion, one seriously strange and awesome piece of gaming hardware (of course, I think the same about the Virtual Boy, of which I own one, so I may just be strange myself).
It was a home console with a built-in vector monitor. Vector graphics are different from what you may be used to because they're generally only one color and are very crisp, glowing, geometric shapes. Oscilloscopes are actually vector monitors, but unfortunately Tennis for Two didn't look anything like (or anywhere near as good as, in my opinion) the good ol' Vectrex!

So that's it? Nope. But we are getting very close. I would be remiss if I didn't mention another piece of inspiration, the Fallout series' trusty Pip-Boy! More accurately, even though I did take some inspiration from the Pip-Boy directly (obviously) most of where they got their inspiration from is where I drew my inspiration from directly as well, rather than me just looking at a Pip-Boy and doing that. No, this was more indirect. Last year, leading up to Fallout 4's release the ShoddyCast had a contest to Fallout-ify their logo. This was my submission (I do still occasionally do freelance graphic design, after all):

Jay's ShoddyCast logo submission

Sadly, I didn't win... but I did have a blast making it! When it came time to work on Radarkanoid, instead of going with a pixelart aesthetic like I had originally planned on doing years ago, I actually thought about the historic context of my influences and used the same texturing techniques I did for this logo. I am a huge gaming history nerd, after all ("Nah, we never would have guessed"). Here's what it looks like now... we're pretty sure this is how it will look on final release here soon (or at least, very, very close):



What do you think? It was a real journey; quite a fun one, too! It really goes to show you what goes into even a really simple project! Heck, don't get me started on the pop art influences in Collapsus! Anyway, I've rambled for quite some time now and development does still need to get done. Later days!


Remodel Updates & Blogging About Blogging

Hey all! You probably know this if you follow our social media, but I've been sick the last few days with some sort of cold. I'm feeling much better now, but I still feel like crap. That's why I'm going to soft-ball it today with a nice and easy post. The topic of the day is more remodel stuff and the blog itself! Lets hit it!



Last week we had artist extraordinaire Lance T. Miller and The One True Eric (Eric Baxter) of Nerdyish Things (yes, our part-time blog writer, Eric) in to kick this mural's butt! It seems to be coming along really well, if I do say so myself! It's really cool to look at the wall and see all of the cool stuff from games you've worked on (or plan to work on for some of them) sprawled out in front of you. It's just so awesome! Like, in the literal sense: it just fills you with awe! Okay, well it does for me anyway. Take a look:










Pretty nice, huh? It's really coming along. Only a little more sketching to do (probably another day's work worth) and then we're outlining the sketch with Sharpie. After that's the paint! Really no clue how long it'll take in total, but it hopefully won't be too long now.

That's pretty much all the news on the mural side of things. Now on to the blog news.

It's been about half a year since we started doing weekly blogs. It seems to have been a huge success! Before, blog posts were random and there was little incentive to even do them at all most of the time. This weekly format really makes us think about what we're posting and get something of value out of it. So, we're pretty sure we're going to continue this format for the foreseeable future. If it ain't broke and whatnot. Well, if we're just going to keep doing what we've been doing, what's this part about? Well I wanted to talk briefly about some things we want to be doing with the blog in the near future. A teaser, of sorts.

As you probably know, we've started up two ongoing series about the industry recently: "Where Do I Get Started" and "11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development". We should have some new posts in both of those series here soon. The cool thing about those is that it (hopefully) won't just be me and/or Eric. We're trying to get not only the rest of the team doing little snippets on them, but also maybe some guest spots from other developers we know as well. Wouldn't that be cool?!

Other than that, we have a few other posts planned. We want to do a postmortem on both the mural & the studio remodel as a whole, a few more random development posts (for Collapsus, Physix, and Radarkanoid), a Radarkanoid launch post, a Radarkanoid postmortem, a couple posts about the status of the Collapsus weekly builds (when they're going on), at least one post leading up to the Collapsus Kickstarter, a Collapsus Kickstarter postmortem, a Collapsus Greenlight post, and maybe a few more Collapsus posts as well (like for the console releases, Arcade Edition, "weird ports", DLC, promotions, and the like). Then we shift into more Physix, JPH, and Cave Worm posts, but those are a while off.

Now, setting aside the 50 million development posts I just mentioned, you can also expect a post on the shirt making process, a post on the interviews we've been in recently, a post about making our old (crappy) game; FlyGuy, a post about our old (crappier) pre-FlyGuy games, a few posts about events we're either going to be at or breakdowns after we come back from them, a few posts about the game jam we're trying to organize, and hopefully a lot more (we are doing 52 blog posts a year, after all! That's a lot of air time to fill). There's even a few secret posts we have planned that we can't quite talk about, but we're sure you'll love!

There's just so many cool ideas we have ready to spring on you... so just stay tuned!








Developments in Development

Hey all! Sorry about not posting a blog last week. We had something lined up, but then some personal things happened and that particular post no longer seemed appropriate. Nothing too dire, don't worry. Live and learn, I guess. Well, anyway, this week I figured we'd play it a bit safer and just talk about direct news again, so buckle in! Oh, hey... look up top there: a new blog logo! Nice!



So let's start with Collapsus. Right now we're working on several things all at once on Collapsus. We're adding some new power-ups, getting started generating the Puzzle Mode puzzles, dabbling with true online connectivity, and tons more. That's pretty much where all our effort is, if I'm being perfectly honest. This is all in the service of getting the first weekly build live for you to all enjoy. After that is the Kickstarter filming (followed by the campaign's launch), Greenlight campaign, and hopefully the actual game's launch not too terribly long after that! So exciting! We have a long way to go, but we've already covered more ground in a relatively short amount of time, so we're confident we'll get there pretty quickly. We should have a lot of new WIP Wednesday and Screenshot Saturday content for Collapsus up on Twitter as we get closer to our deadlines, so watch out for those!

As for Physix, Steve has been kicking butt and taking names in the 3D modeling department. We're going for a modular approach to asset creation and what he's whipped up (or should I say, WIP'ed... eh... get it? That bad? Okay, I'll stop.) is simply breathtaking. He's just getting warmed up, too! Take a look:




Radarkanoid basically just has one bug. We're taking time to fix that bug here shortly. It sucks that it's one little thing like that holding us back, but it is what it is.

As for the studio, it's basically still just the floors and mural. Both should be finished up really soon, with a time lapse of Lance T. Miller working on the digital painting just around the bend as well! In the mean time, we do have some shots of Kristy and I working (taken by Steve), when the three of us were working a couple weeks ago:





Other than that, we do have a few other things of note going on. For starters we're trying to set up a big game jam here in Hamilton. You'll hear lots more about that as it develops. Also, we're in the process of completing our third interview of the year! Press coverage is awesome. You'll have a blog post dedicated to that here soon, too. There's probably more that I'm not thinking of, but I guess that just means we'll have more surprises at some point!

Hope that was enlightening! We're jam-packed with all sorts of awesomeness coming just around the corner, so stay tuned! Next week: More focused thoughts? Let's hope!

Radarkanoid: Some Game We're Working On

Hey all! Well, for this week I wanted to discuss a (very) little project we're currently working on called Radarkanoid. It's a block-breaker style game similar to the likes of Breakout or... well... Arkanoid, but instead of a standard (and a little boring as of 2016) rectangular play field, it's a circular one where you can move up the walls (similar to Andrzej Kapolka's Radial Pong, that you may have played on Albino Blacksheep back in the early-2000's). It actually has several inspirations both mechanically and aesthetically other than just those, but since we're planning on putting out a postmortem blog post after it's done, we'll save that for later.

Believe it or not, it's a game that I've been wanting to get done for quite some time(before Physix, in fact) but never got around to doing because other, larger projects ended up taking not only my time, but the rest of the studio's as well. It was conceived as one of a few smaller, free games that were just sort of neat experiments that I felt had to be made, even if they weren't earth-shattering by any means.




We put these up on Twitter last week mostly because I was trucking away on the art before Kristy got to working on the programming. That's right, this time there are only two of us on this unlike Colalpsus and Physix. Just me and Kristy. Told you it was a small project! We really don't want to waste to many people working on such a small, few game. How else would our big titles get done!?


I eventually got to something looking like this. Pretty neat, huh? Well, like with the gameplay inspirations, the graphics have a lot of hidden inspiration, so you'll just have to wait until the postmortem to hear about them. Ain't I just a tease?


After that, we started working on some powerups. Currently we've got one that gives you an extra paddle, a paddle extender, multi-ball, a burning ball and, of course, an extra life! The game's all here! We may add, change, and/or omit some of these, just for now, these seem pretty solid!


We even have a special version of the logo! Sharp, right?

But yeah, it's not the biggest game but we've really had a lot of fun with it in-house both designing AND making it. The plan is to release it for free on Kongregate, Newgrounds and maybe some other free places on the web and we're also shooting for a mobile release. Let us know if you'd like to see it anywhere else! 


Copyright ©2018 Wraith Games Limited. All Rights Reserved.