Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday, 29 June 2012

App Icon Development

App Icon Version I
Here's the first version of the Bar Fight app icon that i worked one. Initially we decided to kept it black and white which worked quite well in the end.

App Icon Version II
The second icon was based on the intro page image to Bar Fight. In this version i decided to add a bit of colour to the icon, to give it a little more depth. However, this version was finally binned as we decided the level of detail was too much given the scale in which the icon would be reproduced.

App Icon Version III 
This is the third and final version of the app icon. Keeping in mind all the lessons from the previous icons, this one punches straight to the point; and in full colour too! WHAMO!  Right in the chops!
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Stunt Guy The comic book?!

Inspired by my modest love for comic books, i thought i'd mock up what Stunt Guy's would look like.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday, 22 June 2012

Animation Progress

Hello again! I've now reached the point where I have an animation demo to show Max. Once he's given it a lookover and hopefully waved his arms around with ecstatic approval, I'll export the component parts of the animation and we can put it in the game and see it in action! This is also a great time to show you exactly what I'm showing him... but in animated GIF format! Remember them? :D Brace yourself, here comes the TECHNOLOGY;

This animation kinda consists of 3 parts;

1) The "physical" animation. This is the flex and bounce of the Stunt Guy / Brawler sprites, and the way they speed up, slow down and look like they have "weight". This is very important to the feel of a game, if the weight feels too light the game can feel fake and uninvolving, but if it's too heavy the player will end up mashing the input device trying to get things to move faster and just get over there a little bit quicker and AARRGGGGHH

2) There's a "collision swoop", which demonstrates to the player where the attack is going and what it'll hit. This will probably happen every time the player attacks, whether they hit something or not, so if they miss, they know why.

3) Finally there's a thwack which will be spawned at the point of collision, showing the player what was hit and where! This is where the aforementioned sweat and teeth will fly out from, and doing these parts are my favorite bit. I also find it helps to make the noises as I draw them, it adds verisimilitude. KER-SPLAT!!

Of course, the next step will be to put it into the prototype. From there things can still change; we may find that the swoop looks bad in the game, or that the thwack gets too busy when there's a lot of them around, or we may run into a technical limitation, or we may just think of something better! Game development is fluid, the only way to really know if something works is to test it where it's supposed to be.

So yeah, this is the kind of stuff that we do all the time, but that noone ever really sees except us. But now, also you! :D

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Animatin' Prototypes

Hi! I'm Paul, and I'm an animation and art and sound and explodey bits guy here at Kempt. I've just been doing some conceptutal animation for the prototype you'll hopefully soon be playing in the app store!

This project is interesting for me beacuase unlike most games we develop, the game has to be understandable and playable at every iteration. So while normally we would be adding these effects later in the game, making use of full animation, HUD feedback and particle systems, this time we're working with placeholder art in a bare-bones engine.

The art will be changing dramatically over the next few weeks, as will the game, so to communicate the actions of the player and the baddies in a bar fight I'm using a few basic animation effects and squishing the placeholder graphics about.

The characters are currently just these cool little circle guys so I thought it would be fun to squash them around like those pull & squash ball-bouncing animation exercises, to see if I can get some personality into them with just the squashin'! When the game starts coming together we'll develop the animation to do what we want, communicating positive & negative to the player and smashing blood, sweat & teeth all over the place; but for now we're going for some basic reactions so the player knows what's going on in the prototype.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

You Will Submit!

As local coffee baristas can attest to we’re frantically prepping Bar Fight Live version 0.1.0 (the first one!) for App Store submission. This ain’t our first rodeo (as Stunt Guy might put it) but there is something about submitting a game to Apple that’s akin to handing in your homework to the head teacher. No matter how many times we go through this process the thought of giving up control of our app for a week or so always creates a frisson of anxiety. Combine that with the genuine excitement for Bar Fight in the studio and the consumption of a slew of caffeinated beverages and you have a team of extremely wired individuals.

I’m hoping that most of you will be reading this after the app has sailed through review and you already have it installed on your iDevice. If so you can be assured that we’re currently going through it all again as we ready the next update.
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Introducing Kit Wallis

Hi, I’m Kit I’ve worked at Kempt for about 6 years mainly doing artwork and design, before Kempt I was working as a freelance illustrator and comic book artist having been published several times worldwide. This is one of the reasons I think I’m enjoying working on the Stunt Guy games so much I’m kind of treating my approach to it in the same way I would go about doing a comic book (ish). I’m basically doing the character art on the Stunt Guy games which is fun as the game is based around some crazy ass characters!
I’m going to be posting loads of my working drawings and doodles on the blog. I’m not entirely sure how this is all going go so bare with me, I have a hard enough time posting to my own blog! Anyway  I hope you like what I post and I look forward to your comments!


Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Bar Fight Logo

So the first design for the Bar Fight logo apparently looked too much like a certain fighting game set on a street! (fig 1.) Booooo! I said but my work colleagues did have a point! So I started sketching a few ideas out (fig 2. and fig 3.) I decided I quite liked fig 3. So I scanned it in, turned it into a vector image and squashed it about for awhile, the result being fig 4.

This logo has added punch!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Game Menus

Laying out menus with code just plain sucks. You shouldn't have to do it, period. If your approach is to use Flash to create/lay-out menus and then manually export all the assets as pngs, it's not going to be long before you start tearing out your hair.

The key problem is registration points and the co-ordinate system. In Flash 0,0 starts at the top-left, but on the iPhone 0,0 is bottom-left. That means that you can't just copy paste co-ordinates from one to the other. The second problem is the registration point. I can pretty much guarantee that at some point you'll export a graphic from Flash and find that the centered registration point in the graphic isn't in the same place in the PNG, or that top-left registration point is just slightly off because you stuck a drop shadow on something.

The hardcore solution is to programatically write a whole bunch of AS3 (approx 1,208 lines to be a little more precise). Now with a single click I can turn a complex Flash menu into a single file that I can load and run on my iPhone. Pure bliss.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bar Fight!

Here's another sketch for the Bar Fight game, This was done for the dev app as a background image, we probably won't use it in the final version of the app so this might be the only time you get to see it! I didn't really get the right sense of 'impact' with it that I was trying for. However I do like how Stunt Guy and Gal turned out! Check out his giggling package!

Done with: Pencil, marker pen

Monday, 11 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012


The beginning of a project is a fresh start. There's no code to manage, no bugs to fix, just a million miles of endless opportunities. There's a lot of excitement when I get the chance to open Xcode and do this:

Introducing Max Heide

I wake up, the sun is creeping in through my bedroom curtains. Turning over I look at my iPhone, the time is 8:33am, it's time for work.

Getting out of bed is easy when you've got an awesome job, and having a motorbike with over 100bhp to get you there helps too. Tearing down country lanes without being stuck inside a metal can gives you an amazing sense of freedom. Having the power and agility to easily get though any situation makes you feel like you can do anything. That is a great way to start the day, and a great way to start a new project.

When I'm on the bike it's an ultimate test of my thinking ability, my life is on the line and one bad decision could have serious consequences. The trick for me is not to always make the best decision possible, instead I continuously make quick good enough decisions. If you spend a lot of time trying to make the best possible decision, you might find that by the time you execute it the situation has changed or something you didn't anticipate happens. My approach is to chain together lots of quick good enough decisions, you try something but immediately after question it and make a new decision.

I take exactly the same approach when I make a game. I don't spend weeks trying to architect the perfect game framework upon which to build a game. I just make quick iterative decisions which keeps the game prototype flexible and fun. Inevitably somewhere down the line the game engine is going to be expected to do something that it wasn't designed to do, and because you were quick and iterative you should have plenty of time left to hack it together.

- Max Heide, Lead Mobile Developer