This was a quiet week but because we were last week end at the Bloody Weekend to show the Ouya version of Dead End and it was amazing !
We met some crazy german’s dudes with the best Tees you will see, their name is ULTRA TRASH.
Have a look on their shop, if you like Dead End you will love for sure their Grindhouse Tee’s serie.
They gave us posters for the office too (we need frames now)
We often see on indie game website few post mortem about coding stuff or organisation stuff.
Let’s make our own post mortem about how did we made the graphical way of Dead End.
- 1 month
- 1 MacBook Pro 13 ‘’
- 0 mouse
- 5 colors only
- 1 homemade font
- 3 frames per animation !
- 5 zombies (but if you played the game you’ve only see 4 we still have another zombie somewhere)
When Francois created the first concept art for Dead End, He choose the same workflow that he already used for our first game Rocket. He just added some post effects on top of that.
All the graphic assets have been entirely made in Vector. Vectors offer a lot of advantage. It’s light, easy to edit, you can deform it, you will never lost quality and it’s now the little brother of Photoshop. When you import or copy/past an asset from illustrator to Photoshop, it creates a Smart Object. A Smart Object is a link between photoshop and illustrator, and it’s awesome !
When he created sprite sheets, everything inside were Smart Objects. So, when he needed to change something he just had to double clic on the Smart Object in Photoshop to open and edit it in Illustrator. Saved it in Illustrator and, it updated automatically your sprite sheet.
Another advantage: if for example you copy and past the same Smart Object in Photoshop, when you update one, it will update all copies you made in Photoshop.
We made Dead End and its trailer in a month and without this kind of smooth workflow it will be a nightmare to do the same things. Especially when you decide to have some weird constraints like only 4 or 5 colors.
But you may ask, why only use 5 colors when you could use billion.
One word : Oulipo
We decided to create artworks with an arbitrary constraint, which is « only use 5 colors ».
This could seem silly and very restrictive but we like the idea of creating with constraints, because constraints brings you creativity. It’s always harder (for us) to create something from scratch than create something with a constraint, a theme, a concept. It’s like in a Game Jam, you’ve got a theme, so you’ve got a « constraint » but you can do whatever you want with it. And if you know a little bit about Game Jam, at the end even if everybody had the same theme/constraint, all games are different, no one is the same.
We think a constraint will guide you to something, it’s more like a key than a closed door.
Today is our first « official » release on markets. Dead End, our collaboration with Flying Oak Games is out today on iOS7 (ipod, ipad, iphone) Android and Windows phone.
You can grab the game (look at the link above), it’s a « free to try ». You can download it for free and if you like it, you can buy it (less than 1$).
Like kids who go to Disneyland, we are pretty excited let’s see what will happen in the next days/weeks/months.
We started in the same time our communication plan. Our weapons are a press kit, a trailer and few print stuff to give away during festivals like stickers and cards.
Sparkling Vinegar’s cards
It’s time to contact press, webzines, blogs, youtubers, players and more from everywhere. We definitely need reviews !
So if you are interested by the game, if you have any questions, if you are from the press or a blog, anything, we will be very happy to answer you.
You can contact us on Twitter @Spark_Vinegar or by mail at sparkling(dot)vinegar(at)gmail(dot)com
Finally after a pretty quiet year we are back, for our first release.
We still have 2 games in our boxes at the office but as you can see nothing have been released.
But first let’s talk about Dead End our first release and first collaboration with Flying Oak Games, another indie games’ studio from France that we met at the Global game jam 2013.
We worked full time together on Dead End during a month and the beta release is running at the moment. We will release it hopefully at the end of the month on Android and iOS market…and maybe Windows phone too.
As you can see Dead End is a racing/runner game where you have to survive on the road.
Have a look on the press kit here.
We made a trailer for the game too, who is a mixed media between 2d/3d, to stick to the style of the game.It cost us a few sleepless nights.
We first showed the game at the Fantastic Film Festival of Gerardmer and it was a real pleasure and a great opportunity to make the first public test there.
The beard guy is our Flying Oak’s mate at the Fantastic Film festival of Gerardmer
For this event we decided to come with something unexpected. We are from the 90’s generation, we grew up with « in box » games. So we’ve got the pleasure to announce that’s Dead End will have a « in box » release ! It will be a limited edition with a nice packaging and a few goodies and bonus inside.
Sneak Peak of the “In Box” release at Gerardmer :
Who remember VHS ? Us !
The second big news for us is that we’ve got already ideas for 2 others games. One is created by our Mysterious Man at the agency and the second one is from our graphic freak. Unfortunately the third member is currently to busy to work on something. In consequence :
WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PROGRAMMER/DEVELOPER motivate and quite skilled (a professional could be great) for iOS and Android app.
Monogame, Unity, Moai….we don’t care, it just need to work on all mobile platforms.
About the pay… you will be a part/member of the team so you will receive money for what you’ve done. If you work and makee 50% of the game, you will receive 50ich’ % of the money earned from the game. It’s pretty simple.
You can work at home, we’re ok with that. The only thing is, we need to meet you once, probably in Paris, before starting to work with you, to chat with you and see if we have the same conception of indie games. So it might be more convenient if you live in Paris.
To resume, yes at the beginning it’s an unpaid job, but at the moment we don’t make money with games, it’s a passion, but we hope it will be more than that in the future.
Feel free to contact us by email : sparkling /dot/ vinegar /at/ gmail /dot/ com
At this time we should have our first release done. But unfortunately it’s not the case.
Why ? maybe because we are lazy, or because we all have a job or other stuff to finish first, or both.
But anyway, it will be out soon no worries.
I’m here to talk about inspirations.
We’ve got at the moment 3 games in our cardboard box.
The first is a “russian” surprise but here is few inspirations:
Stamps : (found here: http://vintagestampdesigns.com )
Bernd & hilla becher : ( discovered during an exposition in Metz with my gf )
for our second game ABgA, our inspiration is pretty obvious : Antique anatomic illustrations.
But not only, I always liked the work of Charles Burns, his black and white drawings are weird strange and scary. ABgA is a mix between these two elements who give it a weird kind of scary look.
Charles Burns :
For our third game, we have again different inspirations, graffiti artist, video game, illustrations…
How you can see everything could be inspirations, what you see on TV, on the net or irl, paintings, drawings, photographies, exhibitions, music video clip, dance, theater….
You just need to keep your eyes and your mind open.
At Sparkling Vinegar we’re only a Game Designer ( Mojito ), a Programmer ( Azmaeve ) and a Graphic Designer ( Shoy ).
But a video-game is not only concept, code lines and images, it’s musics and sounds too !
And an original sound track is often more than half responsible for a game to be great or not.
It’s actually our weak area, so we came with the idea of having “guests” for our projects. We think that could be a great opportunity to collaborate and to bring peoples who are in a completely different area.
For our first “big” game (you will have more news on it soon), the first guy we had on our list was DZA, an amazing russian beatmaker/producer who’s the owner of how2make an independent record label based in Moscow.
So we contacted him and he was really excited by our project and ready to do the music and the sound FX for the game. It was such a very good news and we are pretty sure it will be amazing.
Could be nice to work with others producers and sound designer and eventually make a record with all tracks from our different games. It’s nice to dream…but who knows.
If you’ve played if Box2D or had to use it is unlikely that you ignore it requires two things from polygons:
- Polygons must be convex, for obvious computational reason, it’s non-trivial to determine if a point is inside a concave shape.
- Vertices must be declared in a counter clockwise winding order.
At first I did not pay much attention to this as I wrote the code for Bloody (Good) Anatomy. But when I handed other the task to create the physical hull for the level. It proved to be quite complicated for others to grasp the concept and more comprehensively not to make mistake while putting vertices by typing their coordinates.
At that point I had no choice but to find a way to help designing the levels, but that was boring and tedious so the only alternative was to write a quick and dirty level editor to help with the job.
So I slept on it and with a clear head, CCW declaration isn’t much of a problem with the right amount of maths.
So here’s the math bit:
Let ‘a’ and ‘b’ be two points on a line, given any third point ‘c’ the equation ” ((bx-ax)*(cy-ay)-(by-ay)*(cx-ax)) ” equals 0 if and only if c is on the same line than the other two, but more useful, it’s greater than 0 if c is “left of” (a,b).
Using that, a convex CCW polygon should have all its vertices left of any of its sides (you don’t trust me? try drawing one that doesn’t :p).
Here’s a sample code in lua, not the most efficient:
The full convex/CCW check:
ccw = true
for i=1,#poly-3,2 do
for i=1,#poly-1,2 do
if (x ~=x1 or y~=y1) and (x ~=x2 or y~=y2) then
ccw=ccw and isLeftOf(x1,y1,x2,y2,x,y)
Hope it helps!
Here we are, our first public showing even if we’re only 2 of the 3 members of SV (Sparkling Vinegar).
Let’s head to Epitech Nancy for the GGJ-Est and be ready for 48h sleepless, just to create a game.
This year’s theme was: heart beat.
So we went straight into the concept with a heart beating….
…and SPITTING blood everywhere. XD
Working on the Code…I think.
This was our first try at Box2D, in fact everything was pretty much our first time : Box2D, 48 hours together, sound FX by ourselves…
Our “sound studio” (yeah a Gameboy and a Stylophone…why not ?).
It was very fun and hard and exhausting but at the end very cool.
We made our actually future first release (but not the first game we’re working on) : A Bloody (Good) Anatomy.
All graphics are losely inspired by old anatomic drawings.
We already won 2 prices for ABgA, the bloodiest game (hell yeah !) and the messiest team. XD
Back home we agreed to finish the game to be our first release, our test release.
Preview of the game after the GGJ :
You can already download, the GGJ version of the game here .
We hope you will enjoy it.
Ok, here we are. The first post.
So, I guess the courstesy is to introduce ourselves. Pretty hard to talk about you when you haven’t yet done anything. I guess this presentation will change in a couple of months, when our games will talk for us.
But for now, what we are in a nutshell:
Three French Guys.
In its actual state, Sparkling Vinegar is not really an indie game studio. It’s more something like a galleon sailling on a virtual cloud somewhere over France.
Three guys are on the bridge as often as they can. One programer , one graphist, one game designer. Three guys trying to make games together.
This blog will be our ship’s log. The place to talk about this journey into the virtual, to talk about things we like, games we’re playing, games we’re building…
We will also use it to share some technics and knowledges found in the trenches. We hope this will interest you and maybe bring you to share your own point of view or experiences with us.
That’s all for now.