Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Blog post #21 : 2018 ends and 2019 starts. Like that happened.

It was an amazing 2018 and yeah, we haven’t had done too much with Peace Quarter, but we did get a chance to do a customer project which ate all the time.

But I also mean that we are financially stable at the moment (at least for now) so not too shabby. But for this year, Peace Quarter is going to be on our mind.

We have been taking part in local game jams and one of them particularly was a good one, because we won it and that lead us to make a pilot for local project. Which is also the customer project I was writing about there. And that pretty much took a huge amount of time in our fall, but it’s now over happily and it went well.

And not only that, but our graphic artist has been active and done amazing work though out the year, and side note that she has also started her thesis that is going to have a part of concept for new possible project we would love to work on some day. So she’s been busy. 

And there’s a lucky chance that we could or would port GemFall Workforce inc. into iOS because we have a possibility to do that now. 

YouTube // Rx3 Studio
GemFall Workforce Inc. - Harkness' Shift (Now available. See description)

And maybe do a better trailer because that’s with the old music and now a days we have music by Pauli Ondruska on the game that’s also available to listen on YouTube and SoundCloud.

YouTube // Rx3 Studio
GemFall's Work Anthem

Other stuff was those game jams, part of our team was on Peliviikko and we pretty much failed to make the Peace Quarter. But it’s happening. Because we want to. 

YouTube // Rx3 Studio
Peace Quarter Teaser Trailer August 2017

And Global Game Jam is also dawning on us so that's something that our team is looking forward. And hey, maybe we get those short stories once I (olenbluu here) start to look through the story files and other shenanigans and see if I have something to share. 


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Short Story #1: Downfall of a handsome doctor

Downfall of a handsome doctor

by olenbluu

Doctor Ivono Niko was more of a mecha-suit with fortified glass jar on the top the head than a human or an android.

He did not leave the main computer room often. But now they had been without any communication channel for days. After the Peace Quarter attack Doctor Ivono Niko had shut down all the channels. The downside is that they did not hear any news. They were cast into oblivion on the far edge of the stable space.

The door swings open when Patrik brings the last of the rusty chip plates. Doctor Ivono Niko’s subordinate had been trying whole day to code new chip plates to use as a teleport ID’s for the crew. They were still fearing that teleport systems were transferring data outside, so new plates were to fix that.

“Here’s all I can find. Some of them I managed to get working already. See, I marked the ones with this blue sticker...” Patrik said and showed Ivono the small sticker on side of a plate.  Doctor Ivono Niko glanced the plates with other receptor and got back to reading the code lines from the hologram screen.
“Mmm... good work. I think Harkness and Troy can check the mechanics.”
Doctor Ivono Niko’s voice came from sound box which was located in the chest of his mechasuit. The voice was mechanic and lacked all his former tone. He really did miss his real voice. For some reason. For a moment Patrik stood there in silence.
“I’m a fine engineer also...” he finally stated.
“Oh yes, from Sector City university...” Ivono could feel how his younger colleague was mustering all the courage to stand up to his ground.
“Hey, don’t give me that TerraForma high-rank attitude. It’s respected university”, Patrik said.
“Don’t mind me. It has been a long time since my last time in TerraForma’s university, but I still drag some of it with me.”
“Well, I didn’t like the university so much neither. It always felt a bit of”, Patrik admitted and looked around the main computer room. It was a mess. How was anyone able to find anything in there. Ivono would have sighted if he was still capable of.
“TerraForma was made for humans. Firstly. After a time, it of course became university for all personalities. But it was made for humans.”


Ivono Niko, at the moment a teacher without doctor degree, was packing his stuff in an otherwise empty classroom. Classrooms at TerraForma’s high rank university were monumental rooms, much like amphitheaters. He was teaching on the side to fund his research, but did not feel like home in any of the numerous classrooms. He dismissed the class early and was about to leave after he had cleaned the memory from digital blackboard. Class was dead silent. Ivono picked up a handwritten letter addressed to him and sighs.

“Never gets old. You really have found a place in the students hearts”, a voice came from the door. A teacher, a much like Ivono itself, was leaning on the wall. Ivono Niko sights yet again.
“I rather not.”
“You cannot say you weren’t flattered”, teacher says and smirks. Ivono takes the letter with him and leaves the room with his colleague. Same way as he, his colleague was first teaching as a part-time before ending up making it his profession. It was the same old story. First you volunteer, then you part-time, then you start teaching and before you know it, no turning back, you are a principal and lost all the free time you had for your own research.
“What are we going to do when you finally get government funding?” colleague asks, he still hadn't stopped smiling and it pissed Ivono. He hated that smile. He knew what that smile meant.
“Find a proper teacher?”, Ivono answered. He knew they need new teachers, he knew he probably ends up being unfunded with the current government. And all he can hope is to land a teaching job in the University. It was a grayish future, but imminent. The teacher stopped and faced Ivono. Now his smile had gone and it is replaced with concerning look.
“Students love you, did you see those heart-throbbing good looking girls on the front row. You make studying a bliss for most of them.” Ivono  shook his head. He felt already trapped in the University.
“I like your enthusiasm. But there’s a fine line between me and those - agreeable heartwarming - students. I’m not doing this for them. Or you.”
“I know you’re not. But think about it."

And sooner rather than later, Ivono was forced to ponder about it. 


They stay in silence for a moment, but after more time has passed, Patrik looks Ivono. He was still unsure what exactly to look, Ivono’s receptors or brain. Both felt wrong in a way.
“Do you miss it? I mean, your days in the university? You were a doctor and a teacher, for gravity’s sake, that’s amazing”, Patrik said.
“I had my fun.”
Patrik finally leaves the small plates on the table and is almost at the door to elevator, but refuses to leave.

“Do report back to me when Harkness and Troy have finished with the teleports”, Ivono said.
 He still had some lines of code to check and Patrik’s visit made him lose some of the minutes he had budgeted into making himself new functions for his suit. He is left alone in the main computer room once Patrik hurried out. Ivono continued checking files on the computer and the data pile so that they were not leaking online.

All he really felt is just a tingling in his brain when it floated in the liquid.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blog post #20 Global Game Jam 2018

So, like the year before we took part in Global Game Jam. We're on our way to make the game, but sometimes is just nice to sit back and do something different and get the year to kickstart in right gear.

This year we had plans to participate as a whole team, take our coder with us, but then we find out he needed to be rocking on somewhere else and it was just our graphic artist and writer, like the last year. (No really, he was rocking somewhere else, playing music and stuff.)
So what did we do then?

Rather than sticking too close orbit, we decided to go half rogue and see what we can make. Our graphic artist, Dicenete, was helping on another team also and did character art for Olenbluu. And we got help from Pauli Ondruska and he made an awesome theme for the simple RPG Maker game our writer made with her restricted skills. You should definitely go see his work on SoundCloud or YouTube.

So the game was pretty simple, made on RPG Maker VX Ace. But what was the most fun was to get to make documents, like the narrative script. This is something you don't get to make when jamming, for a very good reason. The team usually has no time to wait for the narrative to catch up, but being that the narrative lead was making the game with help of graphics and audio working pretty much as freelancers, the narrative script was part of the documenting the game making.

So, if interested go check the jam site we're on and play some free games. Like, there's a lot of nice and fun free games to try out on Global Game Jam website so use that opportunity.

And the game file, first notes and the narrative script for the Omega Transmission 10018 part of our Peace Quarter team made in the jam.

And our narrative writer was also featured in writing blog as this weeks interview so be sure to check that also.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blog post #19: End of the year is dawning to all of us.

It's been a while, but there's more than just alpha demo to be happy about this fall. And more to now that we have managed to squeeze out the alpha demo and we found out a lot of things that didn’t work and things that did work. For the first, it was going to be demo, but we ended up making an alpha, which was way better for our small team and we get to test some ideas and really iterate.  
Like Harkness' movement, which is now partially free and partially 2D, and then we faced into problem about the walls. And now Harkness can be seen through some walls. So it's a nice silhouette. Glad we made some rework with Harkness' design and overall shape.

We were happy to be part of this year's Gyostage here in Kuopio. And we get to really try out VR so that was great. Wish we have something more to show and playtest the next year, but overall, it was great.

Nordic Game Week / Peliviikko
Also, we were invited to take part in Kuopio Peliviikko that is part of Nordic Game Week (which in part is part of International Game Week. It's like the Inception, which is a good movie, you should watch it). 
But nevertheless, it was a great way to be part of local gaming culture and IGDA Kuopio is going to make more for the next year's events. We had plans to make the alpha demo for this event, but because some technical difficulties we barely made it, and even that was just a pre-alpha we reworked for wider playtest.

Our graphic team making last adjustments to the alpha demo.

We get to see Kuopio based video game cover band Sinfinian on stage and that was cool.

Part of our team, @olenbluu to be exact took part in Junction 2017 and it was a blast. 

'I was pretty much on new territory because I ended up doing more graphic than I have ever done to any playable demo of ours. It was truly a learning experience for me and I hope I get to do more work with Blender and Krita and maybe be more use for our graphical designer @dicenete in future projects.'

If you're interested the prototype made in Junction and full team credits can be found from https://devpost.com/software/no_name_team-project

And of course Finland celebrated 100years of Independence. Our local IGDA had pre-holiday party and so many things happened this year that it’s impossible to even start listing everything great in this year for us.

Holidays are still coming (you cannot stop them) and we're drafting the schedule again, learned a lot from this alpha demo phase (we changed some of the movement choices and made some tweaks on control, like mentioned) but nevertheless we're happy with the way things are going at this rate and most of all, we are all feeling confident about Peace Quarter being the game we are proud to make.

Happy holidays from all of Rx3 Team

_Rx3 Team

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Post #18: Water Wonderlab Game Jam

Water Wonderlab Game Jam was held in last weekend and we're glad that we were able to squeeze some time to take part of it. It was again a great experience to see all local game devs making games and we were even able to take part in some of their process.
It's always great to be able to make a working game the whole team found fun to make and I think we managed to make something that everyone enjoyed.

And that's how we ended up doing 

Game itself isn’t playable on any sharing site, but if you’re interested, go and ask us on twitter or facebook (or here, but that’s a bit given) and we'll see what we can do. Of course game itself is a small prototype of a 2D sidescroller beat ‘em up, but we’re really proud to be able to make a working game that we’re can present and if we ever feel like it, we could easily (or we think we could) make. So as a prototype making event Game Jam is an experience we appreciate.

We learned a lot from 2D graphic use in Unity and how to make sprites for it. And it turned out to be far more easier than we thought.

Overall, we have learned a lot of planning ahead in these events and it’s starting to seem to be the one crucial thing to do when you do a Game Jam. Plan ahead. Sunday is always sooner than you think and while everything feels okay, always, always make plan B’s. We didn’t really need them this time, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
 But with this, we can already say we have learned a lot from taking part of these events and are going to continue to be in them to learn more. 

We participated in local game jam with additional talent. Like we usually do, because it’s a great way to broaden your horizon.
Music was provided Pauli Ondruska, who makes our sound effects for Peace Quarter so we have loved to work with him. He also made our music and sounds at the last Game Jam which we participated. You can find him from SoundCloud, but also from YouTube.
Additional graphics were by Lukki and Tia.
Thank you all.

_Rx3 Team

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blog post #17; Teaser trailer special.

Harkness in harm's way.

Teaser trailer for the upcoming adventure game. We're so proud to finally be able to bring it to public and show you what we have been doing all in the silence.

And now we have the teaser trailer ready for you.

And we want to thank everybody involved.

There's no backing out now.

_ Rx3 Team

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog post #16: Debug.Log(“Hello World”);

Ok, this is my first entry here and I hopefully have some time to write more about coding and the development side of Peace Quarter.

As you may have noticed if you are a longtime follower (hopefully there are longtime followers) we develop our games with Unity. I handle the developing and coding side so our creative members can focus on that – being creative - and get their awesome work come to life in our game world.

We have come long way understanding how to work as a team and that really has its marks in my work as well. I used to mainly code stuff that needed to be switched from code if someone wanted to alter the way things work. This approach can be seen in earlier mobile game “Gemfall Workforce Inc – Harkness’ shift” and especially updating it. Everything we want to change comes back at me! That is bad for the team because they necessarily can’t get forward and time being quite the rare asset it slows down the development. It even might lead to some nighttime coding sessions to get the project at speed again.

So, to tackle this “lesson learned” I now develop assets for the team to use the Unity’s editor to modify key components. Development of these “tools” may be little slower but it keeps all team members at pace. You could think almost as the most valuable thing for me to do is try to reduce my work (Am I making myself unemployed?). Of course, there still are some things you can only change at code level but usually, they are bigger issues that we have noticed. I’d say developing games is constant learning. I would say my skills with Unity, C#, and programming, in general, have increased multiple times in a quite short time. One reason of course also be that as a small team the area of everyone is huge. That leads to a very versatile skill set that is useful. 

Another very good experience for team work was participating in game jams. There’s nothing like getting the whole team sitting at the same table and discussing. The feedback is instant and usually, the project is on fire (not literally!) at those times. This is the main reason we set up our office. We have a large table – ok table made from 4 tables and a book self – where we all sit and usually do our own parts. But the time we get pieces together we can all witness them first hand. 
It’s also very good that we as a starting indie team have finished some smaller projects and thus have seen the complete life-cycle of smaller game projects. If we had gone along and started Peace Quarter full steam without completing any other projects I think we wouldn’t even get this far. We also do some side projects with web sites and of course, small game prototypes for later use and I would encourage all starting programmers to first learn to finish stuff – small stuff at first – and then just start writing bigger games, programs, websites etc. You gotta start small you know.

Also for the guys and gals just starting to learn to program, it really isn’t hard it just takes time and willing to learn! There isn’t a better time to start than now. There are numerous tutorials online and game engines have become available for anyone to make their own games!

- Rx3 Team (Ville Räsänen, coding and programming.)