Second Developer Blog post

Hi there people

Small time ago we made our very first developer blog post to tell you how we had started to work on our project and where we were at during that time. So with the leaps we have been making, we thought it was a high time for round two. Here are some ballpoints on what has happened thus far.

Programming

Since last time we have created some levels and and playable stuff so we finally got to see our game in action. Don’t worry, you will see it eventually, but we want to make sure we have polished it to the point we can be proud of the shine on it. With the addition of our new programmer Janne we have been taking leaps on creating the necessary mechanics. A lot of work is still ahead of us, but the workflow has begun.

DSC_0166  A lot of the work is mostly visible in code changing how it plays, but still here they are working on it.

Graphics

Programming progress, while went ahead leaps and bounds, wasn’t very attractive to human eye. Luckily graphics departments stuff is more pleasing to the normal eye. We have an improved squirrel-model, and our squirrel animator Tiia is hard at work in creating new, way improved animations using Uni2D. We also created a few new characters who are not quite ready to be unveiled thus far, but that tiki-totem will give you some inside. They are also a bit visible in the gameplay mock up, but shhh…Boglen_Totemscreen mock up small V2

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Other stuff

One funny story here. We did create a Indie game database entry for ourselves, and during a few days added some stuff there. That created some traffic to that site, and we rose through the popularity ranks, and on to the top 100 for a while. The funniest stuff was though when we started to see what were the other projects. I’m proud to announce that for a while we were bigger than Mount&Blade. Don’t believe us? Well here is a photo of that occurrence (We are 27. in that photo)

Bigger than mount&blade - Copy

We also have a Midnight Pitchfest coming up in june, and we are targeting to go there and tell them a bit about our project.

I think that’s it for now, looking forward to presenting you more of our characters later on, but now this will have to do. Scurry along now, and have fun!

 
A Scurry of Squirrels
 

By scurryofsquirrels

A quick “About Us” update

Hi there

We have been eagerly working on A Scurry of Squirrels, and we intend to show you some of that progress by the end of this week.

With that said, this post is about something a little different. We have gained a new member to our team:

Janne, ouJanner new catch so to speak on the programmer department. Filled with expertise and an unwavering passion to get things done right, he just kind of wandered in one day. We very quickly decided we liked him so we kept him. Now as a full fledged member of  Team Scurry, he is looking to help us scurry forward even faster than before.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our team!

By scurryofsquirrels

Designer’s Greetings

Hello everybody! Ari-MattiI’m Ari-Matti, the game designer for A Scurry of Squirrels. Since everybody else seems to be super busy at the moment, it fell to me to chat to you guys about our furry little project here.

First, I suppose a couple of words about myself are in order. I’m a young and intrepid game designer, just starting out on what I hope will be a long and fruitful career. As for education, I’ve a Master’s degree in cultural anthropology. I’ve worked in a couple of places doing game design before, and also have taught it to schoolkids in workshop form. As such, I’ve absolutely enjoyed working with our skilled and motivated team on Scurry.

As a game designer, I’ve long since (through my previous experience in the industry) given up the thought of always working on things that are entirely my own design. Rather, I take pride in being a designer who can work on any game concept, making it better and more playable within the parameters set by the project and its requirements. In this sense, designers are entirely like all of the other members of a development team, despite the image set by the superstar-auteurs depicted in the media.

In addition to the obvious idea and designwork, the game designer’s job revolves around documentation and communication. Obviously, these go hand in hand in most situations. Another thing that I find important in a good game designer is that they have to think ahead more than the other members of the team (apart for maybe the producer, but that’s a different thing entirely). And that is exactly the reason why I’m here chatting with you now, while everybody else is hard at work catching up.cropped-coverpic-11.png

I guess the concept of Scurry is largely my brainchild. We startedwith the initial concept assignment of a ”multiplayer running game with gravity elements, for tablet devices”, but you can probably see how much of that is left in the design were working on currently (yeah, I guess ”running” is involved, its a ”game” and we’re aiming for tablets, but that’s pretty much it). I actually got the initial idea for the game whilst out for a jog in the woods. It combines a lot of things that I quite like: I’ve always liked squirrels (they’re the monkeys of the north!) and Norse mythology has always struck me as interesting, for starters. I also firmly believe that since we have the super-futuristic technology of touch-screens, we should utilize their potential in game design more fully (none of those virtual buttons for me, thank you very much).

All in all, I realize that I’m currently in a very lucky position, in the sense that I’m working on my own ideas with motivated people, without a whole lot of external pressure. All in all, the Game Lab is an exceptional opportunity to hone my skills and to make contacts for the future. That said, I think I better get back to work. I think I can hear the programmers catching up to my design (not really though, but I do have other things to do).

PS. If you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts regarding game design and related topics, check out my actual blog which I write with a UI-design guru friend of mine. You can find it at http://foolproof.me/.

By scurryofsquirrels

Scurrying along: First dev blogpost

Let’s post an official developer blog post, written by the producer ironically. This is in order to let you know some of the awesome stuff we have been working on. Our game is still in it’s beginning stages, but we have made some amazing stuff already so let’s cut to the chase.

Programming

Our ultimate programming trio, Joonas, Tuomas & Antti have been working  their pine-cones off, and their hard effort is starting to show. The pictures are dated already at the time of posting, but that’s because we are going to do something cool with the newer stuff. We still wanted to let you know that we are making progress on the game. Soon enough you will see a lot of cooler material than these here photos.

Here we have some menu mock-up, to test ahead it’s mechanics and how we want it to look.

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Here we have a very early photo of how the game used to look, but since we never put it up anywhere, we thought to show it to you here, just to demonstrate the progress. This photo represents pre-pre-pre-alpha version of the game.

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Graphics

Our other marvellous trio, Laura, Iain and Tiia have been working tirelessly on the graphical side of the game. We have in-game animations done, as well as the some very finalized concept art of stuff you don’t even know yet (soon…) along with the new logo. We have also started to see some level design as well as some finalized level mock ups. Suffice to say, we are moving ahead with a steady pace.

Here we have a new logo design for A Scurry of Squirrels, done by Laura

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Here is also a collage of some sprite animations on our hero squirrel by Tiia

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Not to forget our wonderful game designer, who has been creating new incredibly splendid ideas and characters and stories for us. I myself couldn’t be more pleased on the motivation of our team. There are obviously processes going on that I haven’t mentioned yet, so don’t worry.

I can’t wait to show you some stuff we have lined up, just you wait! Nuts!!!

By scurryofsquirrels

Through the Gate 2 and onward!

Live the life, climb the tree and go through the gate; We did it, so nuts for everyone!

orava-41

To give some context, Gate here at Oulu Game Lab means that all projects (including us) had to pass through a very brutal elimination where we had to present our project to a jury and based on points they got only half of the projects would remain. Through a fine presentation and very visible team dynamic, Scurry of Squirrels was able to get through, and now we are in the Demo phase, so we officially start really creating the game now.

More importantly, because we got through the gate, we got some more awesome people working with us now, and they are as follows:

Iain, who is an expert graphical designer if I ever saw one. An experienced artist with a lot of heart in the game, who surely will be a great power source to draw upon.

Tuomas, one of our two new programmers. Oozing confidence and a motivated and fun work ethic, he will be an essential piece of the puzzle to creating Scurry.

Joonas, the second new programmer to join us in our journey into creating a better Scurry of Squirrels. Enthusiastic programmer is usually a rarity, but not when it comes to Joonas, whose strong drive will be surely essential.

Now we have our team Scurry assembled and now we begin our journey, our story towards the goal, Scurry of Squirrels. We will do our best to keep you informed and share this journey with you. We will show you who we are, how Scurry is being made, and our belief is that you will enjoy this ride with us, all the way to the final game.

Now our story truly begins!

By scurryofsquirrels

The start of something Scurry!

The story goes:

”One day, old Osk, the grey squirrel of the Center Tree, told a story about the world that once was and the Golden Acorn that could bring it all back. The children of the Forest of Forever listened intently, and once the tale was over they wondered why no one had found the acorn yet, for it sounded like a great treasure. As night fell, some of the young squirrels crept from their warm holey­ homes, and decided to climb the Center Tree in search of this great treasure. And this is where our story begins…”

We are happy to bring to your attention our lovely project, Scurry of Squirrels. To get the technicalities out of the way, Scurry of Squirrels is a fast-paced 2-d adventure runner game for tablet about squirrels scurrying up the inside of the World tree, to get to the mythical Golden Acorn at the top in order to regrow the world into its former splendor. The game is divided into 9 worlds inspired by Norse mythology about the World Tree. Fast-paced climbing, running, and jumping action facilitated by an intuitive and easily approachable control scheme. These are the parts that our project Scurry of Squirrels will be made of, and more information you can find under the overview. We don’t want our first post to be a boring marketing schpiel.

What we want to do is to let you good people to get to know us and our project. Our team is composed of five wondrous individuals:

Ari-Matti is our lead game designer, and  the game making veteran of our team. He has worked in the field before and let’s just say that he is the ultimate pro guy. He designs like there is no tomorrow.

Antti is our one and only programmer, and even with that heavy burden his shoulders, he manages to be really fun to work with, you know, for a programmer. He does most of the work who no-one can understand how it works in the end.

Tiia is one of our two graphic designer artists, and she works like the roots in tree: quiet, composed yet fun, and seems to do most of the essential stuff in the end. Her work ethic is insane, she comes to work before we even knew one could.

Laura is our second graphical design artist person, who fares from a far away land of Netherlands. Often working herself to illness, she is the everlasting bundle of energy in the team, and keeps keeping the rest of us on our feet.

And Topi, Producer. Not worth noting.

So what happens now. There is a lot of work to be done on many fronts, and we are motivated to continue forward. We are still in our humbled beginning, but we believe we can achieved what we have set out to do. More from us will surely follow soon, this was just a very brief introduction to our project “Scurry” and to our team. I hope you will stick around and we shall give you more soon enough.

Scurry out!