Hello dream-fulfilling Giants!

It’s been almost a week since the previous post were we setup our targets for the Space Mercs steam launch on July 31st! If you haven’t read it, I recommend giving it a quick scan so you’ll know what I’m talking about here. We’re going to look at our KPI’s (Wishlists, traffic, impressions and store visits), see how we generated them (articles, interviews, tweets) and setup a plan for next week!

Let me start this post by saying THANK YOU! In a single week we almost managed to get 50% of the way towards our launch targets! And with about a month and a half to go things are looking really nice. So take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back because it’s you guys who made it possible. Here’s a wip gif from the Campaign and Loadout screen that I’ve been working on (6 mb, might take a few seconds to load). …


Hello Analytical Giants!

Yesterday one of our Imgur posts went viral! It reached around 95,000 views, 1130 upvotes and was featured on imgur’s front page! A lot of people seemed to like the game’s concept and look and that gave me a huge moral boost. The situation, at the time of posting, looks like this:

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Not bad but what does that mean for the game? Well, Jake Birkett from Grey Alien Games, know for his steam economics posts and Shadow Hand, published a recent article that takes a look at the conversion rates between Steam Wishlists and Week 1 sales. …


This is part III of my short story series, originally posted on medium. Click here for part I and here for part II.

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Clara started a reply in the comment section asking for information on the kid’s state while I was searching for information on BeckyWhats93 online, hoping to find a link to a facebook page or any means on how to get in touch with her. It was already late, as the hours passed, it started to look like we’d have to wait for the morning to get a reply. We couldn’t sleep yet we felt tired. …


This is part II of my short story series, originally posted on medium. You can check out part I here.

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For a second there I thought I had the answer. I could grasp it in my hands. I wasn’t alive, I never came back to life. This was all part of my afterlife transition process. I never got married, I never got off the boat, I never had a father in law pick me up from the hospital. I didn’t save the child, I didn’t hate the Naggy Norse Nurse Noira and the priest certainly wasn’t there. …


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Every:Time Cover

It’s funny how people seem to get death wrong. You don’t just disappear or go to heaven or hell, you’re just there. Unable to interact with anyone or anything. You’re just sitting there, waiting for them to take you away. At least, in your case. Me? I just come back every time.

I don’t know why, I don’t know how but this is my case. Even now I’m sitting here, waiting, looking at what seems to be a gorgeous being staring at me with a blank expression. Maybe, maybe just that of disgust? — She’s — not fazed by the commotion behind me. I died again this time, but for the right reason. See, I’m not the best at handling stressing situations. Nor am I great with romance. I’ve been doing a few walks around the block to clear my head when I saw this little kid next to a dimwitted parent. …


Turn based movement and environment evaluation work like a charm

In this article I’m taking a look at how the characters in my game are designed to behave, from the initial prototype to the final release. Before heading into the main article body know this about the game:

  • It’s turn based. So the scoring and decision calculations’s cost are not that heavy (in terms of processing power). They might not work so well in real-time games.
  • The game features little to no animation and behavior/actions from and by the characters in the game are described to the player via a short text entry in their log and via visual output (item can be seen coming towards the player — in case it’s thrown, item disappears from the ground on pickup, etc). …

This weekend I traveled to Clujotronic — an arts and entertainment event — in Cluj, Romania, where I demoed my new game: Ebony Spire: Heresy. The audience of the event had very little in common with my target audience for the game but I learned a whole lot of things from the people who tried the demo. Let’s take a look what people who never tried a old school RPG with un-conventional button mappings had to say.

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Showing the game to a fellow designer who did not understand how to open doors.

The audience at Clujotronic was mostly young people in their 20’s. Most of them electronic fans with a taste for artsy stuff. A few of them were actual gamers of the mainstream kind (think AAA games). Most games featured at the venue (like Black the Fall, Second Hand: Frankie’s Revenge, Raiders of the Lost Island) were Indie games and it was great seeing people interacting with them for the first time. They all featured controller support and most players had little problems figuring out what to do. …


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It’s time to go hands-on with the first public demo of Ebony Spire: Heresy!

Ebony Spire: Heresy is a coffee break dungeon crawler in which you can crawl, throw, summon and smash your way through 15 levels of handcrafted fantasy goodness. Equip over 200 items and weapons, explore 5 different worlds and choke your way up the Ebony Spire.

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Today, 29th September marks the launch of the first public demo of Ebony Spire: Heresy. The demo explores the first 3 levels and it’s portal worlds. The player will face 16 enemies ranging from peaceful Worshipers to Nagas and Creature Summoning Priests.


Iasi — 24th September — 2017

It’s time to go hands-on with the first public demo of Ebony Spire: Heresy next weekend at Clujotronic!

Ebony Spire: Heresy is a coffee break dungeon crawler in which you can crawl, throw, summon and smash your way through 15 levels of handcrafted fantasy goodness. Equip over 200 items and weapons, explore 5 different worlds and choke your way up the Ebony Spire.

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The Demo @ Clujotronic will include the first 3 Spire levels and 6 new portal worlds set in the Golden City! On September 30th 2017 the demo will also go up on the Itch.io game page!

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Take your time and plan your movements accordingly! The game features grid-based movement and is played in a turn-based fashion. Get ready to throw an Iron Axe towards a pirate, dodge an incoming teleportation potion and narrowly avoid being ambushed by summoned slime minions! Find the golden keys and unlock the portals to the Golden City. Explore the Market District, the claustrophobic Arena, the Docks and the Underground Landing Bay acquiring the items needed to reach and defeat the all-powerful ruler: Dae’eria! …


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I have mentioned this a couple of times already but here it goes again: I started making games in 2007. Back then it was really, really hard to gain access to a Game Engine to handle content creation with. Unity was nowhere in sight, Unreal licensing costs was out of my reach and the only tools left for me to use were frameworks or rendering API’s (anyone remember OGRE? Irrlicht?). Level editors weren’t common and game system documentation was sparse so I had to learn to manage and design everything myself.

For Ebony Spire: Heresy I wanted items to play a central role in the game. I wanted them to be more than just stat boosters and behave like actual objects that you can interact with. They can be picked up, equipped, thrown, casted and used by both the player and the enemy entities/creatures that exist in the game. I also wanted to be able to add new items to the game on the fly without having to compile the game every single time. …

About

Ciprian Bacioiu

Game Designer and Programmer | Bearded Giant | Entrepreneur

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