Thanks to the fine folks at The MIX I'll be showing A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher at EVO this year. This is going to be one for the books for a variety of reasons.
Here's one of them. I'll be making an announcement next week that I would love for you guys to be a part of. Why? Because you guys are a huge part of this game. All I'm asking for from you is a 20 second video clip of you doing the following:
- State your name (and what you do if you like, ie writer, game dev, etc)
- The event you played ADHD at
- what you thought of it
- Submit by July 7th at midnight
Be sincere, be creative, and be yourself. You'll find out in due time.
Outside of of that let's "kick" this thing into gear.
Send it to me through the contact link
I'll be showing A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher at E3 2017 (June 13-15) courtesy of the fine folks at the IndieMEGABOOTH. You can make your appointments now by contacting me directly if you'd like.
I'll also be live on the E3 livestream at Twitch.tv/DevolverDigital hosted by the fine gents at XSplit. It's gonna be one hell of an E3.
On panel submissions, event submissions and the rest of yo face. New game over screen WIP. You didn't really think I'd release the game with the shit hole of a game over screen that was there did you? It was all place holder man. Place. Holder. Or Holdher if you wanna keep the theme going.
Busy times. I was denied Stugan 2017, but nothing has denied me my release year target of 2017. I'll stop at nothing to meet that. You hear that 2017!!!! I'm coming for you and you better be ready.
I'll be showing A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher in New York City on Saturday, June 25th 2017. If you happen to be in the area or even you aren't (aint no one stoppin ya!) you can pick up tickets at Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-game-devs-of-color-expo-tickets-31086216711?utm_campaign=even)
I've been hard at on finishing this thing up and can't wait to see how people react to this latest build. Pacing is on par, challenge is just right, but most importantly the feel...oh man the feel of crazy hectic goodness. ADHD indeed.
I know, I know, and I apologize for the lack of updates. It's not for lack of progress or work. Quite the contrary it's due to being one dude and working my ass off that I don't have time to update as much as I'd love to. Guys, 2017 is the year. I have to commit to 2017 being the year. In the meantime here's a quick one for you. I'll be on the Gaming Chords podcast live this week with Charles Mudd. Quick story about this one. Charles is an attorney who I've met through proxy. See, at MineCon last year he sent his son out to the Indie Booth area to check out some games. His son handed out his business card to what I can only assume were the games he thought were rad. ;)
Either way, a couple of months later he, Charles Mudd reaches out about doing an interview. Since I like to talk, especially about this kinda stuff it was set.
You can listen to the interview live here http://buff.ly/2oj3hhf
Or over at Facebook.com/AskAnEnemyStudios
Outside of that I'll be back soon. TONS OF PROGRESS. It's getting there :)
However, IndieCade E3 early submissions are due this Friday March 17th. So I'm going to be focused on that for the next couple of days. I'll post a write up and the Making Game Not Excuses 3 panel archive as soon as I can. In the meantime go play some Nier: Automata. I sure as hell would, and will but not quite yet. :) Tyler, Blaze and Damien I hope you enjoy and appreciate the models of the in game assets. I did not part with those lightly, but it's the least I could do for all the playing you did and all the feedback I got from you guys. I'll be forever grateful you guys took that much of your time to play ADHD.
What’s up everybody? I just got back from PAX South 2017 and as usual it was a blast. The response? Nothing short of spectacular. As with every event I learn something new from watching people play ADHD and just like last year the amount of time and dedication I get from attendees just leaves me speechless. There are a ton of games and other things to be doing at PAX so it’s no surprise that the response I get from other game dev friends when I tell them this is how I playtest leaves them in a state of shock. Apparently most people don’t spend much time playing games on the show floor at length, let alone come back for another round. It’s kinda difficult for me to get playtesting done at home so I rely on every waking second I get with this large swath of people at these events. It’s also been proven that every event there is always that one person that breaks the game and finds a massive or at least consequential bug. What most people don’t know is that even if they don’t give me direct feedback just watching them play is enough for me to learn a fuckton about what is understood and what isn’t.
This is what leads me to second part of this post. Over that last couple of events I’ve been showing off an extremely early preview of what I was teasing as Mission EVA mode. This is the mode that I was hoping to incorporate into a Twitch mode. If you are live streaming the game your viewers would be able to send commands to the game that would alter the game. The programming involved in pulling this off is just a bit much for me to handle at the moment. So I’ve decided to scrap this idea, however there is one massive upside to this predicament. When I showed this mode to people they would lose their mind. It was so satisfying to watch their faces light up with fear/excitement/enter your adjective here. The emphasis is on “when” I showed that off. The mode is not built into the game proper yet. It was setup for me to just kind of show it when I needed to by using some clunky debug commands which meant a lot of players never got to see it. The game currently consists of three tiers. Tier 1 could be considered “easy” although I know many would disagree, with Tier 2 ramping up the challenge, and then Tier 3...well Tier 3 was incomplete. After watching people play they way they do, did, and have, in addition to their priceless reaction to Mission EVA, I’m fully convinced that Mission EVA (sans Twitch integration) should take the place of Tier 3 so that I can focus on getting this game out the door.. My goal now for PAX East is to have the feature in and fully implemented meaning I would be one step closer to feature complete which is one step closer to release.
I am just one guy. I dropped out of college to make this game. I have no programming or game design experience outside of the amount I have brute forced myself into, but I want to finish and release this game. I can always release the Boss Mode and Twitch Integration at a later time. I find it hella more important to get the game to feature complete and ready for a simultaneous release on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam (which is a massive undertaking already). As I have consistently said in the panels I’ve been lucky enough to host know your limitations, define your scope, and execute on them to the best of your abilities. It’s about time I take my own advice right? Here’s to 2017, the year that I finally release A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher.
P.S. - Yeah I did another Make Games Not Excuses panel. Now onto Boston. Third times a charm ;)
It's been a long time coming, but this is just the first step in millions to come. I've already announced that A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher was coming to PS4, but the Steam version is the first time you can actually show your support and interest by adding it to your wishlist.
I've still got plenty of work cut out for me, but man oh man is this exciting thanks to Riley Lebrecque and his amazing skills and effort in Steamworks.Net I've come a long fucking way. If you are at all working on a game in Unity and plan on integrating the tons of amazing features Steam gives you, well stop by and shake Riley's virtual hand because fuck.
Game development is not easy. Game development will drive a stake into your heart. You will put hours/months/years of work into a submission to an event where they will NOT play your game, won't respond to emails, and announce the games they "did play." Game development will drop you to your knees with the complete absolute feeling of incompetence. If you become numb to any of those situations or you begin to feel a sense of entitlement. Stop. Re-evaluate why you started this to begin with. Lift your head up and own your decisions. The second you begin to blame others for them is the moment you begin your downfall. Be realistic and if you can't stay positive move on, if you can build off of that and make the raddest most kickass fucking game you can. Preferably with explosions. Explosions make everything fucking cool. :)
Here's the archived version of the panel I hosted at PAX West 2016 with my buddy Zach. It was hella fun and you better believe I learned a lesson or two from this. Onto the next one ;)
They are a changin'. RTX 2016 is in the books. For pics of the event visit ADuelHandDIsaster.com. As usual the event was awesome, the people I met were hella rad, and the amount of data I acquired was invaluable. From my boy, Milan Harris who was dropping some mad feedback and tips on shaders and tech I could incorporate into ADHD, to my boy Cecil bringing that OG knowledge from PAX South to help obliterate the competition; these people have some dedication and as always I'm a grateful beyond fucking thunderdome. Before the show floor opened on day 3 I set a score of 173 million. I decided why not make that a "score to beat" in addition to the usual "keep the high score get a free shirt" thing. So low and behold Joshua Lee as you see in the image below actually dedicated himself to beating it and now he'll receive a free copy of the game once it's available. It's only fair and it's extremely humbling that he spent so much of his time to doing it. Thanks Joshua. You are legit as legit can be.
So what's next? Well, I spent the first half of the year brute-forcing myself into the industry by getting booth space at PAX South, PAX East, and ofcourse RTX but PAX West was entirely out of reach. I was informed there was no more "exhibitor" space available. So I was left to event submissions as usual. I'm happy to report that while I wasn't selected for PAX West proper (at least not for showing ADHD anyway) I was selected for SIX (Seattle Indies Expo) which is fucking amazing!!!! Third times a charm so they say. What they don't mention is all the work you put into that third time :) Also my panel submission for PAX West was accepted!!!! My dumbass is going to have a panel where I talk about how you should make a game not excuses!! Fucking rock and roll.
Now for the details of said panel
This is super exciting for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost is that I will be hosting this panel with my buddy Zach Aikman, lead engineer at 17-Bit. Yup the guys who brought you fucking Galak-Z. The title of the panel is "Make Games Not Excuses: An open discussion." The purpose of the talk is to discuss the pros and cons of going to college for game development. Between Zach and I you better believe we've got some opinions. See Zach graduated from the highly coveted DigiPen Institute of Technology. While he was there he learned a lesson that would crush most people and bring them down to there knees. What did Zach do about it? You'll have to watch or attend the panel to find out. How do you watch? More details on that soon ;) My side of the story? Well most of you reading might already know my dumbass dropped out of college twice so I'll just be expanding on that kind of stuff. Guys, making a video game is not easy. It's not something you can just jump into and knock it out. Unless you are fucking Galvanic Games. Those mother fuckers made Gurgamoth in about 6 months. FUCK YEAH!
But I digress, so again the times they are a changing and they are nothing if not crazy awesome times. I was also pre-selected for a Pre PAX Microsoft Event which they then later decided to pass on :( Man what an opportunity that would have been, but hey as usual pick your head up, look forward, and learn from the past. Oh and TwitchCon. I'll be at TwitchCon this year in San Diego from September 30th through October 2nd. This one will be fucking massive. A huge part of this game is Twitch integration so you better believe I've got my work cut out for me. More on that one later as well. PEACE. OUT.
Notice I never said give up. All I said was it's a massive feeling of worthlessness. I'm wring this to show that game development is not a breeze in anyway and I can't even begin to imagine how the actual smart game devs feel when they're stumped. Jesus. So anyway after the post the other day Unity suddenly started to work again, but as of today it crashed again. Again no clue why and it's gonna happen a lot more I'm sure. Looking through logs, which I don't understand, getting errors in code I cannot decipher. Get up dust off, and hopefully don't break anything, physical.
I'm constantly saying to learn from your mistakes. I've spent all day trying to figure out why Unity is crashing. I have no fucking clue. Not one inkling as to how to fix this issue. I've wasted my whole fucking day not knowing what I'm doing or how to fix this. A whole fucking day just gone. I could have spent it laughing with my girlfriend watching a movie, hanging with friends having a beer on the balcony talking shit about the Kardashians. No. I spent it doing everything I could that amounted to absolutely fucking nothing. Now tomorrow is another day. More than likely I'll also be spending it doing the same thing, being fucking pissed and disappointed that I'm not a proper game developer. I'm just a sorry ass excuse of a human being who spends every fucking waking hour of the day trying to solve problems without any ounce of expertise in the field. Worthless.
I've always said it's not glorious but today was a day where it really hit me. RTX is next week. I need to get some shit done and I've accomplished nothing in the last 24 hours. NOTHING. FUCK. As of now. Still. Nothing. FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
So here we are. I'm back home from E3 2016. I've got much work to do before RTX in Ausitn (7/1-7/3). Here's the latest trailer for A Duel Hand DIsaster: Trackher. The last couple of years have been pretty intense and I've been wanting to show how far the game has come and this was the best I could do with the limited amount of time I had.
There are a couple of opportunities coming up like PAX10, IndieMEGABOOTH, SIX, IndieCade 2016, Fantastic Arcade and two I've brute forced myself into like RTX 2016 in Austin (7/1-7/3) and TwitchCon 2016 in San Diego (9/30-10/2). I can't wait to see new people and see how they play the game. This is going to be interesting.
I set the game up on itchi.io however it's currently only in closed access. I primarily did this to help with event submissions. I'm loving the ability to update builds without the need of having to upload the whole build again to Google Drive each and every time. Hopefully I can get approved on Steam soon. :0
As usual the people I met at this years PAX East were a handful of surprises. Aside from my girlfriend losing her tooth almost immediately upon showing up in Boston everything went amazingly well. All she did was bite into a dinner roll by the way. It's cool she's laughing about it also. Now that we're back home though it's time to deal with that. It's a sad thing to think that in order to take care of it in a cost effective manner we have to consider going to another country because healthcare costs here in the states are FUCKING RIDICULOUS. Yes even with insurance, but I digress. I'll keep this shorter than usual since I still have to get back to working on the game.
This year I was lucky enough to be part of the Indie.XSplit stage again so I showed an updated version of the game from the version at South. Key differences were the bonuses you receive while recovering and also an early preview of Community Boss Mode. CBM, for short, is what I'm planning to do with Twitch integration on consoles and hopefully PC. I've always liked the idea of giving the viewer another reason to watch you play a game other than just to "check out" the game.
Matt Whittaker of HardCoreGamer.com took the time to actually book an appointment with me to see the game at East. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome to this meeting. My sincere thanks go out to Matt. You can read his article here. As I mentioned on Twitter the smile on my face nearly ripped my head in half.
In addition I met some folks who are running their own podcasts. From Disconnected Gamers to Vahoma Podcast. Some solid folks man. Andrew over at Disconnected Gamers also wrote up his own article on ADHD. Seriously guys thanks. This kind of stuff takes time and I'm grateful whenever anyone takes the time to mention the game to others, let alone write about it. If you guys (Vahoma or DG Cast) happen to read this keep it up, interview everyone you can that you find interesting, keep recording from your hotel room day and date :) and most importantly Vahoma, don't censor yourself. There's no reason for it. Either say fuck or don't. Bleeping yourself out means the man has won ;)
So now that I'm back home I've made even more changes to the game. One simple change that made a massive difference was a change in font. Holy crap did that ever clean up the visuals. I'll post up some new screenshots as soon as I can. I'm working on getting a new build ready for RTX in Austin July 1st-3rd. Also E3 has opened up two new opportunities that I'm crossing my fingers on so tightly that they may just fall off. I'll find out in the next week or so about those and I'll post something regardless of good or bad news.
El Paso Comic Con : April 15-17 (El Paso, TX)
PAX East 2016 : April 22-24 (Boston, MA)
First and Foremost
People at PAX South. Man did they ever impress me. I went in expecting players to dismiss the idea of controlling two ships at once. I went in understanding no one knew who Ask An Enemy Studios was so why would they have any concept of what A Duel Hand Disaster could be. I went in knowing I designed a game that was extremely polarizing and would only, maybe, resonate with a select few. What I didn't know and what I witnessed was jaw-dropping. Never underestimate the power of leaderboards or friendly competition, but most importantly never underestimate the player. Some players were discouraged almost immediately when confronted with with idea of doing multiple things at once; one guy in particular picked up the gamepad, hit the start button, and asked ok what is this? What am I doing? To which I naturally responded with "Well It's a twin stick shooter where you control two ships at the same time." He put down the controller, said "Fuck this" and walked away. Epic. Others would light up when they saw their buddies do better than them and would bring it, oh man did they bring it. A select few played for close to an hour just to get the highest score. Some even tried to pair up on one controller. While I don't outright condone this method my buddy Todd (UI/UX designer at The Grubbery) recommends players give this a shot if they feel overwhelmed by the normal single-player design. He believes it's a good way to familiarize players with the mechanics. Sure, why not. LOOKOUT!!! FIREBALL!!!
For the uninitiated A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is, like any score based game, a game about getting the highest score possible, however the only way to keep your score is to leave the level when you decide to keep it. That's what seems to push players to the edge of insanity. My sincere thanks goes out to everybody who spent even a minute of their time either in the queue or actually playing the game. To Michael and David who found the bug in the scoring system it has been fixed. Both of these guys, father and son no less, were determined to break my design by cheesing the low health/critical damage bonus which allows you to earn massive points and extremely fast when the Reclaimer's health is below 10 percent; the thing is though you are also extremely vulnerable. They pulled it off the first time but learned the hard way a couple times after that the design isn't broken that's how the game is meant to be played. Next time suckas!
Riley, Luis, [E]Mad_Hoots, Brad Hamm, David Pham, Kyle, Seth and his bro :) were all super rad fellas to talk with and there's a reason I remember these names. These guys continued to come back and devote time from their day to play ADHD. They were at the top of the leaderboards pretty much everyday. There are a ton of you guys that I missed either due to being busy describing the game to people, interviews, or just too shy to talk. Don't ever hesitate asking me questions on the show floor. I'll always try my best to answer them or as I did with most of you just talk video games in general.
So as for the experience of going to PAX South as an exhibitor/game developer
First I have to give massive thanks to my girlfriend Kelly <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
I'm sure she had no idea what she was getting into. A solid wave of folks straight to the booth 8 hours a day for three days. While I tell her I could have done it alone if I absolutely needed to, it was without a doubt a million times easier with her there by my side. Any amount of credit I give her is not nearly enough. She woke up with me every day and walked to that booth and back to the hotel without complaint just amazed that people were even showing up and returning multiple times a day. She's my rock, or gibraltar as she says, but I still have no idea what the fuck she was saying with that. Rock, rock man, you are my rock.
The first day (set up day) was an absolute fucking nightmare. I was confident the show was gonna go horrifically. I can't go into specifics due to NDAs but I had a massive problem getting the game up and running the day before the show floor opened. I was ready to start kicking teeth in. It wasn't anyone else's fault but my own. It essentially involved a need for internet which was non-existent on the show floor unless you plan to sacrifice an arm to pay for it and amplified by the fact that my Razer Blade "EXTREME GAMER" laptop doesn't come equipped with an ethernet port; that's not the only issue with that laptop and I would never recommend buying one, ever. Regardless, I digress that catastrophe was averted and a huge lesson learned for the next event. Aside from that the show pretty much went off without a hitch. I was catercorner to Iron Galaxy, had my booth label signed by Dave Lang, made friends with my neighbors at XGamerPC, a PC building superstore local to San Antonio, and the boys at Digital Precept with their VR game Sanity Razor. I didn't get to walk around and play much of anything but luckily most of the games I saw were games I'd seen at other events like IndieCade and SIX.
The fucking awesomeness
I've explained my run in with Garnett Lee at last years PAX South before. It lends tremendous weight to my opportunity to show ADHD on the official Twitch stage. I am just at a loss for words at how amazing that was. In addition to that I was also able to show it on the Indie.Xsplit stage with Chris Slight. That guy is a fabulous chap. Both of those highlights are here.
So yeah. That was PAX South in a nutshell. There are plenty of other cool things that happened I'm just not a liberty to discuss those just yet. However, I'm now in the process of getting ready for El Paso Comic Con and PAX East. I have plenty left to do but it's finally starting to feel like it's all coming together nicely. I had plenty of people ask about betas or early access. I'll have more on that front soon. I promise. I said 2016 would be a crazy year for Ask An Enemy Studios and it looks like I'm well on my way to proving that. Hugs for everybody involved. Everybody.