Hatchlings Games

Web Gaming 2.0 Revolution

How to be a Great Game Designer

Dustin BrowdenRaph KosterTim Cain

Rand MillerWarren SpectorBrian Reynolds

Alexey PajitnovTim SchaferTan Zie Aun

He is actually Tan Zie Aun aka nowing, the game designer of Encephalon and Creative Director of Quasr.
Tan Zie Aun

He should really grow a beard don’t you think? Then he’ll look very much like a great game designer doesn’t he?

Disclaimer: Except for Zie Aun, we are not associated with any of the game designers above. We took their pictures from websites.

Top posts by Zie Aun aka nowing:

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Game Industry, Humor, Sharing | , | 4 Comments

Parents Just Tend to Blame It On Computer Games

“Computer games are addictive.”

This is where all fun ends and the horror begins. Computer games are said to be stealing away the fun of traditional toys like Lego. Parents also believe that this new toy promote individual isolation therefore reducing the participation in a child’s creativity growth.

Toy in general is fun and addictive. The computer game is on a different level of fun and additivity. In Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun, fun is learning and learning is fun. The computer game is a very powerful learning medium for it is a platform of unconscious learning.

Most parents believe that they are excluded from the child’s creativity growth when the virtual world invades. I am going to turn the table around today.

This time I will just focus on the number of players in a game. Different modes of play serves different types of participations and experiences.

Single Player Games
Early computer games are majority single player games. This is where parents complain about individual but if there is audience, this could be a different story. Audience can give guidance and comments to help the player along the way. It is a good way to observe the process of learning, the best way to know how a mind works. If the player plays a game well and want to give the audience a great experience, cinematic games are perfect for this type of participation.

Two Players Only Games
There are 2 types, one that rival against each other and helping each other. This type of game only focus on the participation of 2 players. Best for building close bonds. Audience do not have much fun watching. Recommended for parents and siblings. (Drinking session maybe?)

Online Games
The best thing about online? Social convenience. It is not so hard to find a friend to play with you now. Players are having fun making new friends and most importantly, getting things done in a team. The level of competitiveness in game is a moist environment for team building. Weird thing is, parents treat real players in virtual worlds as fakes and their reason is standard, “You don’t even see them.” Well try playing MMORPGs with parents and let them know how real they are! Invite your family to play, I am sure that your family are going to make a great team!

Children love sharing the fun and I am sure that everyone had ask their parents to play a game with them before, but then again they would usually answer:

“I don’t know how to play.”

Dear gamers, parents are actually afraid of trying new things. So be patience on educating parents about games, I guarantee that the return is priceless.

Yes, I am back from China and hope you enjoyed my opening blog post.

inspired by How Killing People with My Dad Improves Our Relationship


Related Posts:

June 21, 2007 Posted by | Education, Games, Gaming, Sharing | 4 Comments

Games & Programming in My Life

Hi, I’m Lim Leong Kee. This is my first post in Hatchlings blog. I will start with my history then my current work.

I work as a full-time game programmer in Hatchlings Games Studio under an Industrial Training Program. The company is developing a game named Quasr, which is an online trading card on board game. I’m currently working on the client side game programming.

How did I involved in the project – Quasr?

Kuan invited me to work on the game with him. Back then Kuan was working on the client side but now he is the lead programmer of Quasr. The programming design pattern used the MVC (Model-View-Control). We divide the work into parts. Kuan did the model and control part for each object in the game (by the way, our code is in OOP – Object-oriented Programming). I did the view which is the user interface.

The client side programming uses Action Script 2 to code and it is suitable to be written using OOP, Object Oriented Programming. Although I learnt OOP from University but I my thinking and programming weren’t in OOP. Working on Quasr forces me to change my mind into an OOP state. I love OOP so much because every object is separated neatly and changes are easy to be made in future. OOP is fun. I gained a lot from Quasr.

Games greatly influence my life. I wanted to be a game creator when I made first contact with console games. I was 8 and I didn’t know how a game is made or what was used to create a game. I first made my own game using pen and paper.

In the search of a way to make games I was often attracted by applications that create moving graphics. I thought that was the way to made games but I realized what I did was just animation.

Later, some games came up with map editor. My first experience with Map Editor was Starcraft. I used its map editor to create a lot of mini games and campaign.

I was going to give up on creating games until I found Macromedia Flash. I bought a Macromedia Flash Book with the Flash MX software from a bookstore in KL. This book answered a lot of questions and the road to my dream is closer…

I am very happy that I am part of Hatchlings Games Studio.

Hatchlings is a team. We work together to make Quasr a success. Best of all, we keep learning. I did the client side while Kuan on the server side. We fix game bugs found by our game testers. I enjoy my current work since I love programming a lot. Last Friday (15 June), we finished all the game elements and fixed all the reported bugs. All the card abilities can be used in game. I haven’t got the time to make the effect animation for each abilities. It is playable at Quasr.com. The game is still imbalance. The new game design will be confirm on this Friday (22 June), so I may have a rest or learn other new things before that day comes.

Quasr Alpha tournament will be held on 29 June to 2 July in this year. We are expecting to get the great responses and comments from our game players. Hope that Quasr will be everyone’s favourite game. I want to join the tournament too!

June 17, 2007 Posted by | Hatchlings Games, Quasr, Sharing | 4 Comments

Perfect Planning

I found the following video when I go through some of my regular websites. It is amazing to see how well they planned the landing period and also the skills that the pilot have. Tourist visit the place just to observe the event.

Put it in the management way, it is not impossible as long as we took the trouble thinking thoroughly of the problem and eventually we can solve the problem in the end and also create advantages from it.

June 15, 2007 Posted by | Management, Sharing | Leave a comment

Tale of Tales’s Tale

One day, when I am searching around the Internet using Google service, I found this website called Tale of Tales. And guess what I found, a very interesting and new game called “The Endless Forest“. For me, it is one of the unique game that I played before. The game is ACTIVATED through screen saver. I manage to contact the game designer for a little chat and have a brief idea what happening in the game industry at the other country.

To me, it is always fun to be connected with all the game developers and have discussion on the game development scene. Previously there is a lot of game industry related events held here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But now, it is so silent and boring that I am planning to organize an informal one soon. I miss those days where developers gather together and talking about their experiences.

June 13, 2007 Posted by | Game Industry, Malaysia, Sharing | 1 Comment

Game Design Novice

Recently I found a website called Game Design Novice. It is indeed a website for those who passionate to be a game designer. This will be a good start.

Check it out for details.

Other relevant websites:

Theory of Fun

Designer’s Notebook

Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design

June 12, 2007 Posted by | Game Design, Sharing | Leave a comment

Chessy Game Commercials

Where and how did you get to know about a video game?

I remember running into friend’s house when they have the latest console or the latest game. I had never ever watch a single video game commercial on the television before and so I thought video game is a viral phenomena.

And so, I was wrong on the commercial part. I ran a search and stumbled upon this: Top 10 Chessiest Classic Game Commercials. Well, I already posted the videos all here (and it is youtube video!).

10. Activision: Sports

9. Berzerk

8. Activision: Ice Hockey featuring Phil Hartman

7. Give Me Everything

6. French Tutor

5. Intellivision: Featuring Henry Thomas from E.T.

4. Nintendo: Power Glove

3. Vanguard

2. Pole Position

1. The Legend of Zelda Rap

Oh, I have the lyrics here. You can rap along 😉

Back when I was riseing up
All the suckers used to play
Acting like they all that
And no one knew the way
To Ganon’s castle, Level nine
Link had the power, I had the mind
I held the magic sword way up high

I knew I could win I didn’t have to try
The NES Advantage was on my side
I take evil for a ride
I smoke the tactites like they was hooch
Cause soon I know I’d have zelda’s cootch
I’d walk to meet The motherfuckin gannon
He’d dissappear like a ball from a cannon
I raise my voice and I shout out loud
I got the triforce and I am proud

I finally hit him with the silver arrow
And you know I leave the rock
Even though the road to good is narrow
Zelda’s on my jock
Cause my balls is big, to be this brave
Princess zelda is the one I saved
Now I’m playing with power
The nineteen eighty’s will never go sour

Yeah, who would have thunk it, it must have been a drunken
someone who could pump it with a beat so funky
hell yeah bitch, you heard it hear first,
recognize now or you’re gonna need a nurse
to stitch up the wounds from the k and the b
redefine the word “originality”, cant fuck with this shit, 1986
we was in the mix and zelda was the fuckin fix
now we bringin this shit, full fuckin circle
cant hate with this?go hang with steve erkle

cause we regulatin hardcore, now you know whats in store
beggin for a little more, glad i was in level 4
realize this, im creepin through the mist
with the fuckin triforce, and im motherfuckin pissed
now you realizin this beats hipnotizin, my skill keeps rising
all this shit just ties in, step back i got the players guide
fuckin game genie with the codes inside
skill to save hyrule and the rest of mankind
all this shit be stickin in your mind

now you understand the controller in your hand
you almost beat the game, but you aint the fuckin man
so leave it up to me, and back the fuck off
you think you’re hardcore, but your skill be soft
i piss on your cartridge, throw it in the trash
take it to the pawn shop for some cash
you dont belong on my NES
i grab your controller to show im the best

Classic games are out? Not quite. I’m still playing the my Donkey Kong Game & Watch.

June 10, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Sharing | Leave a comment

Freedom of expression (Concept arts, pt2)

If there is one reason why I’m so excited about Quasr (sign-up for alpha-II) and it’s not the gameplay, it would be the community that we are building. For instance, the art community. The freedom of being able to express my creative views while developing this game is well, freeing. In this article, I present some of sample concepts that we drew that might actually end up in the game. The fact is, any art can end up in the game on the cards if the community likes it and votes for it.

faggot-face

By Moy

Codenamed “the faggot-face” during development for his idiocy in looking, the Digital Slayer was drawn with realistic outlook and accurate proportion in mind. The style that I was to attain here is the realist approach so I tend to make sure all the lighting and shading are reflected correctly. As such, I need to make sure all the details are being refined down to the minuscule bit.

Personally, I prefer speedpainting than realist-painting as any artist can tell you paintstakingly coloring in detail can be very time-consuming. Thanks to painting, I discovered that my attention span is somewhat limited (comparatively to other artists in general) which is why I just can’t wait to lay down every single damn detail on the canvas in as short a time as possible.

So I did this in about 3 hours time.

queen bitch of irritation

By Moy

Not very impressive, I’d say after comparing my stuff to the true masters like the much respected Craig Mullins or sparth and the people in sijun (as they are the ones who popularised the genre in digital painting afterall.) Take a look at the two drawings above: I believe that they both “feel” differently; but, they deliver almost the same amount of impact and feel. However, the first painting took me 3-4 times longer than the second one. Speedpainting, in short is a visual artform when the artist would try to deliver the the “feel” and details (or rather the illusion of details) of a 30 hours painting in 30 minutes.

Coming back to our topic today. So far, if you are a keen reader of our blog, you would notice no-wing, rene and my drawing style are all very different from one another.

Take a look at Rene’s latest masterpiece depicting a race of an alien girl.

alien chick

By Rene

Cute, isn’t she?

Rene’s style has always been inspired by the Japanese manga or anime (nowadays who wouldn’t?) and I think he did a darn good job being a manga-artist. Now, wouldn’t it be a waste if we couldn’t fit her into our game world just because our setting is realistic or cartoonish? Furthermore, that would go aganist all we are trying to preach about user-generated contents. So no, we are taking her abroad the mothership no matter what.

Anyone who has a drip of creativity can join us and have a seat in our ship. So tighten your seatbelt and together we will embark on a journey into a world created by yourself and others.

Related entries:

January 30, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Quasr, Quasr Art, Quasr Concept, Sharing | 5 Comments

Encephalon in Production : The Beginning

Thursday, 26th Jan 2007

The most interesting day for me, as everything went almost according to plan. Woke up late around 1pm. Sufiyan (our lead programmer), Slade and eMoysh were at the cafe discussing about the game architecture. Ordered a drink and joined them. It was more like allocating task for everyone on that table. eMoysh, I had him to polish his sketches a little before dinner. Slade and I went on to the Sun Technology’s JTrend laboratory to join Iris and Hikmat (both our web designers) to discuss on what kind of specification needed for web design. Later on, Sufiyan joined us in the lab to further his understanding on the game play before have the main software architecture. Nowing was explaining the gameplay with full of passion. This went on for about an hour or more. Slade briefly stated all the task need to be completed by the team at the end of today.

After a long discussion, Slade and I went on to check on Hikmat and Iris to find out what they have come up with. Slade had high expectations as usual. He wanted more of the web designing team. At around 5pm, we went back to the office to use our own computer because JTrend lab were using Solaris as OS and we wanted to access a flash site of a possible hire. Fifteen minutes later, I called up “Leng” (Slade called him as Flash Guru) to arrange a meeting with him and the team. He was in class and he sounds polite at the other end of the phone. He’s between 18 and 20 (if u wanna know). He lives quite a distance from our office. So, we decided to guide him to a place nearby Cyberjaya with the easiest method of transportation. Leng found his way to the Putrajaya Station while we were in Alamanda eating (our late breakfast + lunch + dinner) and got lost along the way in Putrajaya. That allowed me to have a good chat with Sufiyan, Yoga and Hikmat along the way. Got to know them better and I like their progress. Rumors told me that Nowing was overjoyed with a particular song which was playing in his car at that moment. That made them missed a turning and Sufiyan was following Nowing. All of us were lost on Putrajaya Highway. At last, we apologized to Leng and brought him back to the office.

The new Flash cum PHP programmer looks calm with his smile carved on his face. Slade changed places with Yoga( our Programmer) between 2 cars. This is for Leng to blend in with the Web Designer’s Team (Iris & Hikmat) and Yoga. As we reached office, I had to send Yoga back home (Cyberia Condominium) because it was already end of her working hours (7pm). I saw Sufiyan, Slade and Iris were having a meeting privately. Got in the office, Hikmat was figuring out the possible design of the web application. eMoysh was sleep when he was suppose to complete his sketches I demanded from him in the morning. Nowing gave Leng the every aspect of the Game Design and Game Play in detail.

I had a stomachache. Went on to the washroom and solved most of issues there. As I got back from the sanctuary, eMoysh was explaining to Leng the Game Setting in detail and show some of his latest artwork. “Leng was like ‘waaaaaa’ in silent”, said Slade. I was browsing through our new Flash Guru’s website. It looks fabulous. Nowing was completing the Card List while eMoysh was preaching about game setting to Leng. There was a discussion between Hikmat and Iris before Hikmat had to go back. It’s the lead programmer’s turn to have a talk with Leng. They had a talk on how to use his talented abilities to come out with the most relevant and desired Software Architecture. All three of them decided on the languages to be used for each section. Slade was telling me how relief he was while talking to Leng. At around 10:30pm, I manage to get hold of Fauzi (our Web Programmer) to be online. We went into CampFire to arrange a online conference between Fauzi,Iris, Slade and Sufiyan .

Basically, the meeting was postponed to Friday, 26th Jan 2007. I sent Iris back to her hostel when we saw her sleeping in the office looking exhausted. Since Leng haven’t had his dinner, Sufiyan, eMoysh, Leng and I went to Hassan (a mamak restaurant in CYberjaya). In there, we continued our discussion on current issues and share some interesting thoughts on various top. Slade and Nowing was busy with their unfinished business. At 1:30am sharp, got back to the office; Nowing almost completed his card list while Slade was snoring on the floor, sleeping. Even eMoysh completed his sketches later on and went on to play World Of Warcraft : Burning Crusade.

I shall call it a productive day. Yet, today will be the beginning of the actual production day. Although there is more details for what happened yesterday, I wouldn’t want to put everything into words. It might takes up 3 pages. More updates coming up. Stay tuned.

Regards.

Related Links,

Encephalon towards beta launch by Me

Concept Arts Pt 1 by eMoysh

Concepting Encephalon by Nowing

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Entrepreneurship, Game Development, Quasr Production, Sharing, Web Gaming 2.0, Working Environment | 1 Comment

Concept arts, pt 1

Just imaine…

Red Mecha

 

 

…you can create your own artworks…

Male Alien

 

…and let other people use them for the cards to play.

All Concepts by Rene

Sign-up for Quasr Alpha.

Related Posts:

 

January 23, 2007 Posted by | Encephalon, Quasr Art, Quasr Concept, Sharing | 4 Comments