Dec 6, 2010

...But That Was [Yesterday]: Soundtrack!

Click to go to download page!

I've finally gotten around to putting together a mastering of the soundtrack to my latest Flash game, ...But That Was [Yesterday]!
  • There are five unique tracks totaling 10 minutes of music based very closely after the events that take place, with some added flare here and there that I never got to add to the game.
  • A bonus sixth track is included, which is just the first five tracks seamlessly connected (meaning the bonus track is as long as the rest of the album :D)
  • Tracks 2, 3, and 4 can be rearranged in any order since they are identical in beginning and end, and have gapless playback encoded.
  • 300x300 album art included for you ID3 junkies :] (pictured above)
  • Click here to go to the download page!
The voting period for CGDC9 should be ending either today or tomorrow, so be sure to check out the results (and go play all the awesome games. Vote too if there's still time!)

Enjoy and happy listening!

Nov 25, 2010

...But That Was [Yesterday]: Sketches!

As I mentioned earlier, I usually don't like to draw anything for my games until it's time to actually make some art assets. This game had its fair share of complex shot sequencing, so I wanted to make sure things made sense before I dove head-first into Flash. The following is a set of scans from my game design sketchbook, mostly sketched out in one sitting at a coffee shop whilst getting lost to the sounds of Toro y Moi.

Keep in mind that these sketches are about as spoilerific as it gets, so if you haven't played my game yet, it's highly recommended you do that first.

Click here to play ...But That Was [Yesterday]!

The girl's story was the easiest one to start with, since I already knew a lot about her from [Together]. This page plays around with some swingset designs (which were ultimately scratched) as well as ways to represent her being gone via the bedroom and surreal airplane flybys. The phrase "The wind comes..." at the bottom was a note to myself about the possibility of having the sound of wind be an overlying element to tie the various stories together. I ended up not using wind literally, but the transition that I use in the game is comparable.

Some familiar scenes can be spotted here, such as the schoolyard rain sequence (top left), the patience of the doggie (middle), and the rooftop-jumping sequence (bottom left). Note for the rooftops that I wanted the interactive smoke stacks very early in production, yet I didn't get time to code them in until the day the entry was due O_o. I also have a list of visual effects that I felt were necessary to help drive the story/gameplay forward (middle left), the only one not making it in being water refraction (during the underwater sequence).

In the top right is one of many deleted scenes from the dog's story (which has unfortunately been reduced to a day playing in the snow). The hearts (middle right) were originally supposed to act as warp points in a sort of hub world, the player choosing which story to experience in his or her own order. This was nixed once the teachings of the various friends was simplified down to an ascending level of interaction.

Rounding out this page, we can see the moment I got the idea for using the swings to rotate the world 90 degrees at a time (those black squares under the dog), found through slouching on a couch and having my sketchbook fall over in my lap. The dialogue in the bottom right is me discussing with myself how the game should end.

These two pages are the biggest spoilers of the lot, spelling out - in words - how the various stories should unfold. At first I designated specific ages of the main character during the three stories, but I eventually decided to keep him relatively the same (a difference of years as opposed to decades).

The right page has probably the most important content in my sketches: the rules as a game designer for building this thing. My last two games were a little more than difficult to complete (to put it lightly), so in order to be sure most people would be able to get through all these different stories, I simplified both the gameplay and the inputs. It was much more important to me that people be able to play the game from start to finish in one sitting, rather than lose or get stuck and then already know half the story on a second playthrough.

The rest of the page is a series of rules for how the world works, how it transitions, and various ways to end the game. The ending in [brackets] eventually went on to evolve into what is currently in the game. An alternative to the heart hub world was a room of statues (bottom left), the statues acting as relics of memories that are glorified and trapped in stone.

That pretty much does it for my sketches (at least for this game). After I drew these up I pretty much jumped right into the production phase and didn't stop until 2 months later. Along the way, lots of content was cut, stories were altered, scenes were removed (sorry, doggie ♥), but it was all necessary to both tell the story that was most important and to of course finish on time =P.

One of the scenes I did cut almost made it in, so I figured I'd finish drawing in the characters to show you something that could have been. This shot was fairly complex and did things story-wise that weren't found anywhere else in the game, so it was cut to keep things simple.

Lastly, I thought I'd also share the only sketch I ever made for my last game, [Together]. I already had the heart types figured out, but I felt like drawing them one day to see how they looked together. I suppose it was worth it since I went through four different types of hearts for outerspace, eventually settling for the comet type.

That's it for this week! I'll be putting out the soundtrack to [Yesterday] sometime in the near future, closer to the end of the competition on Dec. 6th.

Links to my games mentioned above, in order of release:

And lastly, my thanks go out to everyone for playing, enjoying, loving, hating, etc. If you think you've learned something from playing this game, just imagine how I feel :] ♥

Nov 16, 2010

...But That Was [Yesterday]: Unveiled!

My newest Flash game has finally been finished! After about two months of working in my freetime, I'm proud to announce that my game made it just in time for's latest Casual Gameplay Design Competition.

This is easily my most complex game yet, involving dozens of characters & animations (including variations of recurring ones), four dynamically-layered songs, and multiple endings. I usually don't write anything down while I conjure up everything about my games. I've found that once something has been drawn or written, it has an associated visual and becomes much harder to evolve, toss out, or modify. However, I had way too many scenes this time around, and made a storyboard out of Post-Its on my mirror:

I purposely kept this image small since it's technically a spoiler of every single thing that happens in the game. The missing areas in the grid are where I had to cut scenes because of continuity and/or time constraints. That paper in the top-right was my schedule for the last three weeks of development, which has its own baby Post-Its for when I moved tasks around (and eventually I just stopped looking at it since I couldn't afford to waste time making time).

I did, however, release a few teaser shots in the last week, so here are the Post-Its that went along with them:

I think the Post-Its were more so to organize my thoughts and not necessarily to communicate the details of each scene. That would explain the scarcity of the title screen Post-It:

...This should make more sense once you play the game :]

I'm posting this a little before the competition goes live, but it's likely that by the time you read this, it will have started already [Edit - competition is live!]. So, here's the link!

My game is titled: ...But That Was [Yesterday]
Click here for a direct link to play!

To see all of the fantastic entries, check out: Casual Gameplay Design Competition #9: "Friends"

And for any and all news regarding updates / changes / words of thanks for my game, be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter since I update it much more regularly than this blog. I plan to do some more making-of posts in the future, so come back soon!


Aug 8, 2010

Two Albums For The Price of None!

I've gotten requests from various people (family, friends, strangers who are now friends) to upload mp3s of the music from my recent Flash games, How My Grandfather Won The War and [Together]. I decided to do a little more than just loop the songs a couple times, incorporating a little post-production and even doing a few new recordings for [Together]'s album. However, the best news of all is that both albums are free to download, and available by clicking either the image above, or the link below!

Click here to download both albums! [10.4MB]

For those still wondering at this point, I composed all of the music heard in these games. Software includes Jam Sessions for Nintendo DS, g-tar for Android, sfxr for that 8bit goodness, and Goldwave for post-production.

Direct links to play my games:

Aug 2, 2010


So... it's been 8 months since my last post (D:). What's happened since then? Most importantly, I packed up my life and moved out west to pursue professional videogame development! I'm currently happily employed at Namco Networks as a 3D Artist, working on the next great games for iPhone and iPad. It's been pretty exciting these past few months and I've created a lot more artwork than I thought possible. The only bad news is that I can't show it here, and probably never will be able to, so just trust me that I'm drawing lots of pretty pictures :]

But let's get to more recent news! If you recall my Flash game competition entry from last Fall, then you may be excited to hear that I spent the last two months working on my latest game (pictured above), which is available to play (and vote on) at This competition's theme was "sandbox", which I took the liberty to tear apart and interpret as I saw fit. The resulting game that came out is something I'd been meaning to make for years, but finally got the chance to do.

It was super fun to work on this one, especially since there was so much traditional animation involved, including a 20 second intro cinematic. There are lots of small details to be seen in the characters and world, so hopefully people don't mind squinting to see all the little things going on :]

To play my game, [Together], simply click here!

There's a 3-week voting period at first, so if you happen to like what you see, don't be shy to let the world know. There are a bunch of great entries from all over the world, so be sure to check out how everyone incorporated the theme!

Below are various screenshots from my entry. Since there's so little to do in the game, these few shots are technically major spoilers, so you might want to play the game first and get the experience the right way. On the other hand, there's a lot that's missed when the game is in motion, so I'd recommend taking a look at these after playing through. Enjoy!

And for anyone who came here looking for clues to the ending of the game (I know you're reading this), let me just say I'm glad that you've taken an interest in knowing the unknown. I'm not going to tell you what there is to do, if anything, but I will say that giving up is probably the last thing you'd want to do, especially if you've come this far...

Jan 1, 2010

Hogwarts: The Foldable School of Magic

This was a fun Christmas gift to make, mostly because I have this undying love for single-piece pop-ups. Technically, this one is made of two pieces, but the key is to create all cuts and folds from one solid piece of paper with no added adhesives to suspend the illusion. I guess you could count the additional two sheets used as a backing behind the actual pop-up, so we're at 4 pieces of paper, but that's definitely the limit here. I promise.

This is easily my most complicated pop-up so far, so I had a nice challenge to balance intricacy with stability. The more cut-outs and holes I make, the weaker the entire piece becomes. This actually makes the backings play two roles: one to simplify the silhouettes of the windows, and the other to keep the whole piece from collapsing (see top of towers in the shot above). Easter Egg Alert: I threw in Hagrid's hut on the bottom right, despite it being geographically much further than that from Hogwarts. I hope that doesn't ruin the whole thing for you diehard Potter fanatics...

The right half of the pop-up was created after I had roughed in the left half, so I used some tricks I learned earlier to make some more complicated layers, such as the church at the base of the valley.

I totally miscalculated the distance the major bridge would extend from both sides, so the two ends had to overlap considerably for the suspension bridge above to connect as well. Noted for next time.

Some more recognizable landmarks are here, including the eating hall and the living quarters. I kind of ignored the fact that the towers, when folded, would protrude behind the "sky", so I had to make appropriate holes in the backing to let it fold completely. The same goes for the little part of the hill on the bottom left.

Okay fine. I used tape here, but only because I accidentally cut the HP logo too thin and the midsection ripped off. My blisters were sore enough by this point, so I cheated a bit. At least we know that section will outlast the rest?

Here's the full rough draft composed into one shot. This is literally what I printed out, traced, and used as reference for folding (green = mountain fold, red = valley fold, black = cut), so these 8 sheets of paper helped me out the whole way. In total, there are 311 windows, arches, and cut-aways across the two pieces of paper. The dimensions are 14in tall x 16.5in wide x 8.5in deep when fully assembled. I guess I'd say the total time from drawing the blueprints to making the final fold was roughly 10 hours, half of which was spent cutting out windows. It's okay, as that day The Matrix Trilogy was on in HD, so I had some nostalgic ambiance to keep me cuttin.

And yes, they do indeed fold completely flat. The scariest and most exciting moment is when you first fold an entire piece flat, which is the same moment when you realize just how accurate your measurements were. Folding is the final step of the whole project, so there's a lot of anticipation to see if the project simply folds, let alone looks cool. Thankfully, I've recently found how helpful it is to measure things digitally, so there were no doubts of right angles going crooked or millimeters adding up to centimeters of error. The only variable factors this time around were my cutting skills, which seemed to do a satisfactory job (this judgment being gauged by the lack of additional gashes on my table).

So, hope you enjoyed, had an awesome holiday-filled week, and have a fantastic start to your new decade!