TAG | inspiration
More inspiration art!
Bjork by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Bjork’s music is definitely on our Time Project inspiration playlist. A lot of her songs have a great feel that we are trying to capture with our sound track.
She’s such a rad lady!
More inspiration images are up!
I feel like we’re getting a solid idea of what our game is about and where it is heading. Gosh, it’s been a long time coming!
Henrik has given me Paprika to watch, I’m a bit excited! 🙂
~*~Inspiration for level design~*~
We are making lots headway towards locking down what we want our settings and environments to look like. Here is some inspiration on the wall next to Jon, our artist.
We want to imbue a sense of the universe in our game.
We are constantly looking for new ways to play with time in our game. This helps us brainstorm the puzzles, the themes, the artwork and the story.
It sparked a conversation that hit on “big topics” like how our concept of time is an illusion, how it’s linked to our culture and the society we grow up in and how our time in the world is but a blip in the universe. And yet, we can mean the universe to one another. Aww..
There are lots of cool themes for us to explore and this is one of the videos we have in our inspiration scrap book that helps capture these ideas for us. 🙂
Kurt Vonnegut, up in Heaven now, speaks briefly on the structure of stories.
This video is a short version of a presentation he gave many times. The fullest version is in text, taken from his book A Man Without a Country, and can be found here.
I have been talking so much on plot lately – and the structure of the Time Project is definitely something at the front of my mind at the moment – and this was nice to watch. Thanks!
Maureen Corley. So much awesome!!
“Whenever I smell asphalt, I think of Maureen. That’s the last sensation I had before I blacked out; that thick smell of asphalt. And the first
thing I saw when I woke up was her face. She said she’d fix my bike.
Free. No strings attached. I should’ve known then that things are never
that simple. Yeah, when I think of Maureen, I think of two things:
asphalt… and trouble.”
At the 2013 Game Developers Awards hosted by the GDAA, Puzzle Retreat was awarded with the Accessibility Award. Not only is it an awesome and prestigious award that we like showing off in our office, but it marks a very important milestone when it comes to game development. Film Victoria and Screen Australia now consider accessibility when it comes to providing funding and are now rewarding companies that excel in developing games that are accessible to a wide audience.’
We think this is pretty swell.
Accessibility in gaming has always been a topic of contention. How does one make a game that caters towards people with motor, cognitive, hearing, speech or vision impairments? Mainstream games usually shy away from this demographic in favour of the masses.
In terms of our games, we aim to make them accessible to those living with impairments. We believe everyone should experience the joy of gaming!
Puzzle Retreat was designed from the ground up with that philosophy in mind.
Sometimes games (particularly puzzle games) rely too heavily on language, small icons or graphics that are make it difficult for players with certain types of vision impairment or difficulties with language to be able to understand and follow. We’ve attempted to alleviate the problem by using large and bold icons that can easily be differentiated. Furthermore we tried to make the game playable without understanding any written text.
There is an definitive association between time limits and penalties with puzzle games. I’m sure you’ve all felt the frustration of nearly completing a level, only to have the timer run out on you. We decided to take a different route when it comes to unforgiving scenarios.
We eliminated them entirely.
Puzzle Retreat allows players to take as much time on an individual puzzle as they’d like, reset it as many times as they want and even skip the puzzle entirely. Puzzle Retreat was designed to be a relaxing puzzle game, so it only felt right to dispose of time limits and penalties.
We’ve also tweaked the detection radius of the blocks so that its extremely forgiving when a player misses a block by a small margin. This feature, plus the removal of the timer allows players who don’t have a range of fine motor skills to be able to enjoy Puzzle Retreat.
We at The Voxel Agents are extremely excited when it comes to the future of gaming in Australia. With so many awesome studios producing games of such high quality and Film Victoria and Screen Australia providing consideration for funding to those who place emphasis on accessibility, we can’t wait to see what gets released in the future.
This is Agent Aiden, signing out.
In 2011 we made loads of prototype games; some small, some funny, some that sucked, almost all ugly (except the lucky few that receive Tian’s touch :D). Here’s a visual tour of 20 of the 24 games that we made in five months. Together they paint the picture of what Voxel Agent games look like when they’re born – a mish-mash of squares, circles and terrible colour schemes!
Last weekend, we competed in the #fab48hr game making competition in Brisbane, Australia… and what a wild weekend! We won! That was great, but more importantly I was absolutely blown away by the quality of games made by the other teams. I was particularly impressed with the level of quality and polish that was developed in “indie” / student room. There is an enormous amount of talent in Australia and I’m sure we’re going to see more from those awesome young developers.
In the #fab48hr competition, each team must concept, design, and create a game based on three keywords that are provided at the beginning of the competition. This year, those words were “suit”, “key”, and “badger”, provided by Yug, Hex, and Jinx.
We made this:
How to Play: Without giving too much away, if you have a couple of XBox controllers, plug them in for the best experience, using “A” as your action button. If you have to use a keyboard, you can use the arrow keys for player 1 and WASD for player 2, with “shift” as the action button. Also be aware the the glowing yellow floor (which totally looks like lava) will kill player 1 and the swirling blue circles (evidently poisonous gas…) will kill player 2. That’s all you really need to know… oh yeah one more thing: the badgers aren’t nice and they will eat your face.
The Badgers of Fury 161 was developed by the Alliance of Indie. This team was composed of developers from a number of Australia’s top Indie studios including yours truly Agent Tom (The Voxel Agents), Liam Hill (Defiant Development, 3 Blokes Studios), Cratesmith (Cratesmith,Defiant, Strange Loop), Matt Ditton (Queensland College of Art, Defiant), and the incredibly talented Milenko (Strange Loop,Defiant).
But really, kudos where kudos is due:
As proud as we are of the game we managed to make in 48 Hours, the real winners of the competition were the indie team Rockin Moses (read about them here: http://making-games.net/48/?p=2916) who made a really fun game called The Fifth Suit.
This game was great fun to play. For me, their game evoked “Smash Brothers Brawl”. While playing, I was less concerned about winning and more concerned about trying to make life difficult for my opponents. It was a strong social experience and quite a polished product for just 48 hours of work! You can grab a PC version of their game here [WIN] but it’s best played with XBox controllers. If you’re lucky enough to have some XBox controllers then I strongly suggest you get this version [WIN – XBox Controllers].