Monthly Archives: June 2012

Devlog #3

Another Friday is here so its time to look back on the week. The iFest deadline is looming (next Saturday in fact) and so we hoping to give you all a great demo of the game. So lets talk about what we have been up to.

Cave Troll
Yay play progression is finally in! This was a major feature of the entire game and one of the things I’ve been excited about. Basically this feature just carries over your progression through one play into each act in that play. Its a minor thing but I feel its something that you don’t see in a lot of puzzle games. To put things in perspective you are attacking monsters by breaking blocks, which gains you experience points so you can level up and do more damage and earn more points when breaking those same blocks. So the idea of the progression is that a good player can go for big block breaks and combos and level their puppet up faster then other people so that when he plays the 2nd act of the play he will start at level 4 instead of 3 and be attaining more points when fighting monsters.

Now its ok, this isnt going to ruin the game for people who want to play it casually because the monsters level up with the character, this is more for people who love going for highscores. The only thing left to do with this is show the player when they have improved their score in a certain act that all the acts after that could be improved because they managed to progress further.

I spent some time fixing the progression curves of the game. This includes how many points you get for breaking blocks, what the blocks give you at different levels, how much experience points you need for each level, the blocking times for each group of blocks, etc. Needless to say there seems to be a lot to make sure the progression and difficulty of the game feels nice. Hopefully the thought and effort I’ve put in to make it all work together pays off because I have a giant worksheet of graphs, numbers and comparisons that I think explains it all.

The Monster Counter from last weeks blog has been implemented, as well as the profile picture in the top left has been replaced with a level indicator so you can see which level you are when you start an act.

Also we had lost some of the RPGness of the game but we may have an elegant solution to that which will also relieve some of the balancing issues we will run into later on but it wont be implemented before ifest so we will save that until we have nutted out the full details of it.

I had designed our business cards and some t-shirts for Aaron and I to hand out at iFest and they arrived this week, they are a little dark but still look great.

One final thing is a mate of mine has been nice enough to compose some music for the game. In the very short time he has managed to produce some great tracks, we have added the main one to the game which will serve as the battle music. Of course for his generous work we are going to name a boss character after him. So far its looking like he is going to be the final boss of the Gladiator Play where he will have a giant beard and be called Kirky.

It is Friday, and I’ve given you a wall of text so here is a picture of a cave troll and what it seems is a guy from the future with funky glasses.


Devlog #2

So what have we been up to this week? Not a whole lot, the weather has been terrible in Melbourne all rainy and cold. But we have managed to do something.

Monster Count
Aaron and I have had some chats about old features that were needing to be added but since cutting certain ideas they have become less useful. We were going to add a ‘Distance Bar’ in the space between the stage and the block grid so that the player would know how much of the battle chain they had left. This made more sense beforehand but we have simplified the way we handled battles and so we thought it would be nicer to drop the bar, add in a monster count icon, and open up the stage space some more so we can fit in bigger and more menacing enemies like the Ogre. One of the other ideas was a character profile page to look at stats of your current puppets adventure, but since most of it was just for show we have decided to drop that and replace the puppet icon in the left corner with an icon to display your current level instead.

Some of this week was spent cleaning the game up so it looks more polished and less like a dogs breakfast. We added in transition states between most of the game screens so things fade in and out nicely. I finally settled on a font for the game so we have now gone through and made sure all the text fits in buttons and is sized and positioned correctly.

We have been adding more sound effects to the game. Most of what we had so far was Aaron making a noise in the mic to use as a placeholder. It served its purpose but now its time to get some real sounds, but I’d be lying to say I wouldn’t miss them.

I’ve been looking at making some of our existing plays to have some more enemy variety. Adding some assassins and orcs to give the player some extra challenges when playing some of the different plays. One of the last things I did this week art wise was drawing the Colosseum. This will be a simple 4 act play with a boss fight in each one. When we add a new play we try to fill different gaps in play styles or gaming sessions the player would want. We have one play that is a long 3 act play for people wanting to commit to a big adventure, the Colosseum play will fill the gap where you can play the same boss over and over to improve your score because the play session is only about a minute.

The game is coming together nicely, I think next week Aaron’s big focus is on the persistent score progression and mine will be on more content for the plays and polishing some of the stuff already there.


Have a nice weekend, and we will see you here again next Friday.

Devlog #1

So we were trying to think what we should talk about for the first devlog, and then it hit is, the PUPPETS! They are the stars of the show, they are what give our game character and life, how could we not talk about them.

We have spent a good chunk of time making our puppets the best they can be. The very first puppet started out as a static image that resembled a lumberjack dude that you can see on the left. However we always had the grand vision of these awesome puppets that actually animated, held weapons, and celebrate when they win battles. So Aaron set off to create a system to piece our puppets together and to make sure we could animate all aspects of them. I set off to make as many drawings of arms, hats, eyes, clothes etc so our puppets looked unique and interesting. The puppet we use now in the game is the one on the right and we are very happy how they turned out.

Old HeroNew Hero

So we finally had our puppet for the game and we were very happy. Our system allowed us to make lots of monsters for the player to battle and make them look different by swapping various parts out between them all. The fantastic thing about our puppets is that no matter what the player decides for the look of his/her puppet, it will work with all the acting that each play requires.

Puppet PiecesCostumes

So the puppets are created by using lots of little parts and attaching them to the main body, sort of like real puppets. For each puppet part such as an arm or piece of clothing we use spritesheets. You can think of sprite sheets as a giant picture with smaller pictures (such as our puppets clothing) arranged like a chess board.

Due to the use of sprite sheets for all of the games puppet costumes we have been constrained in how we go about bringing the characters to life. We have found that the best way for us to achieve this is to give the puppets plenty of facial expression through the use of different eye and mouth combinations.
The puppet’s expressive face combined with their exaggerated arm movements (because they don’t have elbows) has allowed us to let the puppets feel animated and expressive without them actually having much in the way of body language; many games that do use character body language just make their characters look awkward, which is something we wanted to avoid.

A Fun Fact (without the fun)
In the initial design of puzzle puppets there was going to only be two characters that the player could choose from (a boy and a girl). We found the system we had created to allow us to include many varied enemies fun and decided to extend the puppet show theme to include the dressing up of the player. Since then we have probably spent as much time creating awesome looking player costumes as we have playing the actual game.


So theres an introduction to the stars of the show, a little about how they work and where they started. We will be doing these devlogs every Friday but we would love to hear what you might like to hear included in these posts. We havent gone very techincal atm but there might be other fellow game makers out there wondering what we did and so we can dedicate some posts to explain the more detailed aspects of game making.

Here we go

Puzzle Puppets

Welcome everyone to Byte Sized Wombat, we are excited to have you here. So we have finally got some information up on the game we have been developing, Puzzle Puppets!

Our next point of order is to start creating some buzz about the game and get it ready to show off at iFest this July in Melbourne. If you are keen to see some more pictures of the game, head over to facebook and check out the album there.

The other exciting news is that we will be posting development blogs every friday afternoon. We have plenty of information to catch you all up on and it also gives us a chance to tell you what we have been working on through the week. Feel free to contact us, leave comments or like us on our facebook page, we would love to hear what you think of our game.

Puzzle Puppets is coming

Stay tuned for information about our upcoming game for the Window Phone 7, Puzzle Puppets!

Website sorted

After a couple of days of stuffing around is up and running and in a presentable state.

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