DevLog 16: Hidden folks

Do not fear a god who works 

Fear the god who endeavors in silence.

We’re real busy! Have been, and likely will be for the next couple of weeks! But were making some big progress towards a stable playable version of our game! New models, cooler artsytle, rotations that don’t cause the summoning of Cthulhu. You know, the works.

In other news, we had the lovely Adriaan de Jong drop by the office to talk with us and the teams here at the Indietopia. You might know him from his work at the Game Oven on Bounden, Fingle and most recently his work on Hidden Folks! We had a very eye opening talk about indie marketing, how he managed the logistics of making Hidden Folks, and our game. It was a great time and we’re super grateful that he took the time to meet us.

Spaghetti Games + Twetaal + Adriaan de Jong

As always we’d love to hear you on socials! There’s Twitter, thats a good one, oh and Facebook of course. If you’re feeling experimental we have an instagram too! See you next devlog!

Dev’s Log: (15) – 02 -2997

We must learn from history, or else we are doomed to never see the wonderful art they have hidden away. 

*excerpt from Dr. Anne Atiya’s book “From the ashes: discussion of lost culture during the Industrial age”; all rights reserved: New Antarctic publishing 2997-2999*


“Digital culture of the industrial age:

We know now from the invaluable work of Dr. Ji Xiang Paterson et al. that there was a booming digital culture during the industrial age between 1800-2100. Which seems to have been a very tumultuous time as it is also known for the homo-extinction, so named for the egregious wide spread damage our species had on the planet. Even cursory glances at the evolving trends of this time reveal how impactful the environmental situation had on the art and culture of the people.

Dr. Patersons trove of lost videos, applications and interactive media paints a very interesting shifting picture of major attitudes at the time. Three distinct pictures seem to present themselves when sifting through the media….

… The second age is dominated by a growing fear over inaction and naive hope for attempts to right the mounting wrongs, that by the best accounts continued until the 2050’s. The third…

… which is an interesting juxtaposition. Art has never been known to do more than say that something should change or act out change they want to see. Instead what we see is art actually begin to be more than content people would ‘consume’…

… Valley’s Between, and TerraGardens. Our best guesses is that these interactive pieces hoped to foster deeper appreciation for nature and the ‘mechanics’ by which it operated. A lot of their understanding of nature was incomplete but we attribute that to the state of scientific discourse at the time. Terragardens particularly attempted to wrestle with ‘ecological forces’ and while, rudimentary by today’s standards must have been quite accurate. The visual style has aged quite well, and if you are particularly interested images from it are now part of the permanent exhibit at Zimbabwe’s Culture museum…

Images from TerraGardens production. Credit Dr. Ji Xiang Paterson

… What we can see is that a lot of interactive media in this short time period is a growing understanding of the impact their medium could have on its audience. More and more pieces tried in the next decade or so to remove the barrier as much as they could from the audience and nature. Whether a direct result of rising tensions or a fuel for them is unknown. What is known is the importance that these titles had in rolling the proverbial ball…

… We unfortunately were unable to gather more than a name; Spaghetti Games of whom we assume were the people behind….

*All rights reserved: New Antarctic Publishing 2997-2999*

Twitter? Facebook! Instagram!?!

Devlog 14: our pals

The gods of Spaghetti's pantheon would like you to think they were masters alone of the universe. Alas they are not the only pantheon. Neither the first nor the last in any regard. Pantheons have often fought for control over their universes, and few collaborate. Spaghetti's gods in a rash of good luck have found fast friends in a collection of new pantheons to the universe... Despite their dark ways.
The jury isn’t in on if it was u-topia or dys-topia before indie-topia

Welcome back everyone to another wonder devlog. As you know we were lucky enough to get the chance to work with the indietopia accelerator to help us in our debut game TerraGardens! What you might not have known is that we aren’t the only ones working with them, and there are some really cool games being built around us (it’s quite inspiring). So today I’d like to bring to your attention, some cool games and the people behind them.

Nic would like you to know it’s actually quite nice there in the summer

Fringe Planet! A eldritch horror inspired community survival game on a frosty isolated floating world surround by the void. Do your best to keep 6 disparate survivors from falling to the madness and eventually learn the dark truth of their situation? Despite the eldritch tone of the game it’s filled with a lot of fun stemming from the tension of just surviving a little longer. Nic the developer from Sigil Initivative ( a solo dev! which is super impressive), is super cool and has a really fun personality if you ever get the chance to meet him. He posts on twitter often on his own handle @Beebug_Nic about development among other things, but for official posts check out @FringePlanet.



Eldritch horrors are the new black!

We’re also working at Indietopia with the guys from Tweetal studios; Lars and Tobias! Two crazy Dutch guys working on a similarly crazy game called Crimson Resonance. A concept they hacked together for Ludum Dare 40, then decided to build into a full game with the help from Indietopia. It’s a dark atmospheric game with amazing visual and sound design. The game is quick and intense so if you like adrenaline pumping immersive games you really should play it! They have the Ludum Dare 40 demo on itch.io if you’d like a taste of whats to come. You can follow them on their escapades on twitter at @StudiosTweetal.

I hope you all give them a follow, they’re cool people and with cool games. So from us at Spaghetti Games I hope you all have a wonderful week, and we’ll see you again for next weeks devlog. As always you can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Devlog: 14 – 1=

Problem

sticky note

solution.

Ah wonders of managing a project with many important pieces with a lot of people who all work a bit differently and have free will. Not to mention the mess it makes on your whiteboard that is finally organized and isn’t a mess of sticky notes that no one can read.

The legendary 4 armed business man of wall street

For as long as humans have tried to get things done with more than one person there has been project management tools and practices. Unfortunately, thanks to a number of compounding issues we will never know what or if they used any particular processes. The pyramids of Giza, great wall of China. We may never know what amazing technology they utilized to breathtaking effect. What we do know is that they had almost no time frame, as much money as the emperors who commissioned them had, and unlimited, unpaid slave workers to do it for them. Perhaps it’s not so bad that we don’t use their methods anymore.

200 two week sprints and 1000 sticky notes later

So lets say you have a team of 2 – a large number of people; and you’d like to get something done. If you’ve done any googling about project management then you’ve probably come across a few things that might sound familiar. There are different ways to handle projects, and a lot of different software and tools for doing it online. Among the more popular methodologies these days are Kanban, Agile and Scrum in software dev. Waterfall and Critical Path Method lend themselves to more physical endeavors like making a real thing. Then there’s the classic methodology of ‘just get things done’ which is quite popular.

If the project isn’t too complicated, say organize a trip to the local zoo for your kid and his friends then the waterfall method will do you just fine. It essentially works by sequencing everything that needs to be done one after each other. A simple checklist will do wonders.

If the project is much larger and you find yourself in charge of several people who may or may not want to work, then you’ll need something with a lot more features. Lets say you want to make an app that records audio and lets you edit it and send it off anywhere. It’s going to be a complicated affair and might take years if you let things take a natural pace. In that case the Agile methodology (and its many faces) is the go to.

  • Agile: The mother bear of management methodologies. Sets out four core values to follow.
    • Scrum: is a simple but strong tool for small teams. The most popular of the agile frameworks. Focuses on quick iterative development cycles, and a lot of sticky notes.
    • Kanban: Also features sticky notes, but is more focused on a project that needs a steady output of features / toasters. Use this if you know you’re going to be making a lot of the same thing over a period of time like beer or hot sauce.

Both KanBan and Scrum work with a concept called sprints. Essentially a block of time, either one or two weeks long where you schedule as many tasks as you think you can manage to finish. And another key feature is the ‘scrum board’ where you put all of the vague, confusing sticky notes.

“But what if we don’t have a shared workspace we can go too? How do we possibly manage our project on the internet?”

You have a good point strawman, but I have a better solution.

If you google, online project management tools you might find this page
which you might look at and have no idea where to start. So I’m here to list the tools we at Spaghetti games have used and our experience with them. Maybe you’ll try one of them, cause the best part is their “largely” free.

1 Trello: A popular tool and quite rightly so. Free out the box with a lot of features for a simple scrum board. It’s a lot of moving rectangles from one list to another but they all are. We used this one for quite a while and it’s a useful tool, but it relies of people being honest about logging on and moving tasks. Good for small teams and projects.

2 Slack: A pretty cool piece of software all things considered. This is the tool for the team that isn’t tied to discord or skype for communication. But that’s what it is really, a communication tool, it won’t do fancy scrum boards with visualizations of how fast you’ve gotten things done. This is for larger teams that don’t all have Pictochat.

3 Clickup: What we’re currently using at Spaghetti Games. It can be a lot more complicated than trello and slack but it offers a lot of really useful tools and features for free. The really advanced tools are premium, but unless you’re a huge team and need gantt and burn down charts for optimization the free version has all you need. It’s highly customizable, with several levels for amazing hierarchy organizing. Best used by teams larger than 3 with need for accountability tools, or anyone who really likes to nitty gritty plan it all out.

If you can work together in person though, a nice whiteboard, sticky notes and trust is a very potent project management technology.


I hope you’ve found this to be useful in someway shape or form. Organizing large endeavors is always quite intimidating, but if you’re familiar with a good tool and methodology it becomes just about doing the next little thing on the list. If you want to ask me about any of this you can find me on Twitter @GameSpaghetti or @blaaaaanky, Instagram and Facebook too!

Dev: 12 logs under the tree

In floating length, lie upon the digital sea
here to there, there to here connected.
the powers that are agree
fall! they shall to specks,
So plain in view to see.
Three dimensions is one too many.
- a poem about vertices

Good news everyone! The asset pack got published! Wohooooooo!

thanks but what did you think of my poem?

Not too long after we made our third application actually. So there really is something to this third times the charm deal after all. We’ve got a nice big page on the unity store, and we can say that we’re officially a publisher! It a huge deal for us right now, but and hopefully it’ll be precedence for other applications.


In other news, our artists have been working on something really cool to replace our old website banner. We wanted a concept that we thought would communicate the fun but messy business of making a terrarium, but with the clean beauty a well crafted terrarium.

Here are a few sketches drafted on that idea. All very nice, but there was a clear winner.

a nice line art rendition of the chosen concept

To make sure that it would fit the dimensions of all the social media sites (each one having its own requirements and all that) A very large 3280×1248 or about 4x the Facebook banner dimensions of 820×312. With some technical wizardry it’ll give us some crisp images that’ll look good even on a retina display. Which would be really nice for anyone with one.

The next step was to block out colors in photoshop, with lost of darker colors.

Then a full rendering of the colors and shapes in illustrator. After that it was a matter of finding the right font to use, and we tried a lot of different fonts.

Then some final touches here and there with some post processing. Which gives us this final version: Behold!


We’ll upload the new banner to our various socials, which you should definitely check so you can tell our artists what you think of the banner! We’re still on Twitter, Instagram and of course Facebook. Check in next week, i’ll be talking about project management tools. It a lot of fun, trust me 🙂

Dlgevo 11: some assembly requredi

Lo, praise of prowess of peoples-developers
of long-penciled artists, in days short slow
in midnight flows golden drink,
for speaketh the dev late in his hour
forsake me! You bugs, heir of death
stand not still, stay not silent.
Hear the song loud, a choir sings
spaghetti brought laying gold alike
to victory.
A forest fit for fairy tales

They always say that ‘third times the charm’, which I assume means that the third attempt at any endeavor has increased chances to succeed. Well, we are sending in our low-poly Fantasy forest pack in for review a third time. That probably means it’ll go through and get published. We’re certainly putting our best into this attempt, having tweaked almost everything we could think of! Look out for our pack on the unity asset store over the next week, you might actually find it there

A few other things going on in the studio this week. We working on a new banner for socials, it’ll be great trust me. Oh and a few gameplay gifs for our website. Here’s a peak for those reading this!

As you can tell, we’re almost figured out with spawning and manipulating plants and decoration. Our next steps are setting up saving and loading function from the main menu and Challenges! You’ll hear a lot more about them if you stick around.

So please, stick around for next weeks devlog. It’ll be great, trust me. But as always you can meme at us on all the social medias; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Devlog 10: A new year, a new devlog.

Pauza”  Ancient wisdom borne from the pantheon. Never would a undertaking go long absent one. As gods knew that unfettered toil would sap their caring creativity, only broken creations would only spill forth from their epic forges. It is prophesied such a Pauza would happen when the sun set lowest on the horizon and last 2 fortnights. When the sun returned so too would the gods return to the forges of creation.

“Pauza”. It means pause in an ancient tongue.

HAPPY NEW YEARS! A little late for most of us, and a little early for a few of us. Spaghetti Games is back from our extended holiday, and exams with renewed vigor and hunger for terrariums! We’ve got lots of plans for the coming months with something big slated for the end of march. So you’ll really want to stay tuned from now on.

  • A bulleted list for our plans in the next month!
    • Publish that asset pack! Again!
    • Alpha Build!
    • A new banner for the website and other less superior sites.
    • Some more social media stuff!
    • Something big at the end of march!
Alpha build on the horizon :0

So! First things first, Asset packs are hard to publish. There’s multiple pages of things that must go perfectly to be accepted. The most important of which are the key images, those images that people will see first when they are looking through the asset store. They are a finicky bunch and have some very strange aspect ratio and dimension requirements. A pixel off and it doesn’t count! Be rest assured though, the review team is real thorough about letting you know what needs fixing to be up to standard, making it fairly easy on publishers to make the necessary fixes.

A rejected key image: notice the edges on the trees.

We’re also almost ready for Alpha build! That means we can start testing the game outside the team and really get this puppy on the road. A few features are still waiting to make it in, and if you come back next week. We might just give you a sneak peak into it’s development 😉

So thanks for checking out this devlog! It’s good to be back, and devlogs will be returning to regular weekly schedule. As always let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!