Tag Archives: Indie

Undead Castle Developers Journal: The Next Step

Our team has been working primarily on researching our game type and style, planning development, and preparing ourselves for the next step in our development plan. Our game design document is outrageous! At about 30 pages and some 6000+ words, the Undead Castle Design Document is still only about 60-75% completed and it grows each day. The team has done quite a bit of research on zombies, medieval hardships and lifestyles, and other successful games like ours, for the sole purpose of making our game just right and outstandingly pleasing to you!

We’re currently in the Planning Phase of development. Let’s break down the development process so you can keep up with what phase we’re in:

crest1

1st: Planning Phase. In this current phase, we’ve researched everything from zombie movies and games to medieval clothing and 1300’s instruments. We’ve laid down a solid foundation for the game, with a very thick design document. Our programming team has developed a prototype which is still being worked on. The prototype consists of a working player placeholder, a simple zombie AI placeholder, procedurally generated castle walls (hmm procedurally generated?), and equip-able items. The next step in the prototype is getting doors and objects to move around realistically. Our art department will be working on some models (likely placeholders) for the prototype, and our concept artists are working on level and character design. The audio guys are also working on some pieces in background music and a main menu / theme tune. The Planning Phase will last about another month and then we will move into Pre-Pro.

2nd: Pre Production Phase. In this phase we will extended planning and research to practical use and develop a stronger prototype into a pre-alpha version of the game. We expect to have a ton of features, from Procedurally Generated Rooms (in the castle) to functional attacking zombie placeholders. We’re going solidify the design document as best we can in this phase. All aspects of development will be fairly solid and clear by the end of this phase, which is around February 17th, give or take.

3rd: Alpha Development Phase. Finally, we will have a solid Alpha build by the end of this phase. Hopefully our Alpha for this game will crush our Beta for our last game! We think it will.

4th: Beta Development Phase. The Beta! In this stage we will work harder to make our game known to the public and release our Kickstarter.com project. We’ll be working on fine tuning the game and adding key features, as well as developing and organizing Kickstarter.com efforts, from acquiring backer merchandise to distributing the merchandise. We will prep for the homestretch: Final Dev Phase.

zombie ladyupdate5th: Final Development Phase. Our game will be just about finished, we will seek your feedback on Kickstarter.com, Steam, and we will try to get our build up on Steam and Xbox asap!

6th: Launch.

So there you have it! The Next Step – from start to finish actually. We’re working hard on this game and we plan to release it within a year or slightly

more. Our team of 15 can handle it as well as any. Keep in touch and remember to scream at the top of your lungs, on the highest place you can find, “I love Broken Limits Media!” Check out blmdev.com, twitter.com/BLMdev, facebook.com/brokenlimitsmedia, and keep an eye out for all our updates! We plan to post frequently. Thanks for reading!

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11 Months of Operation!

Greetings Broken Limits Fans! It has been 11 months since Broken Limits was born, last August 27th, and we’re almost finished our Alpha version of Cubicle Chimera. Soon after that we will wiz through Beta and release sometime in the fall. Exciting news for our team and fans that we will finally get our hard work out there for everyone to download for free and experience our quality, team efforts first hand! I for one couldn’t ask for a better group of hard working individuals to manage as the owner of Broken Limits Media.

As this remaining month of our first year begins, I would like to take a moment to talk about our team operations, the release of our first game, and what will happen next.

Our current animator/artist, Sam and I started talking around this time last year, after having little communication since 2007, the year we graduated from Ft. Meade High School together. As a prelude to that time I should mention that I had always admired Sam’s artwork well beyond anything I could have ever created and above average when it came to our age group. He and I were not always the closest of friends, but the businessman growing within told me he had great potential. I would kid around to him about becoming his manager someday: paying his art expenses, setting up opportunities for him, and generally managing his projects so that he could concentrate on the meat of things, i.e. the art and talents he had and still has. It was kind of a teen excitement I think, for the both of us. He did agree when I rambled on day to day about it, with a casual “OK. Sure.,” and for that reason I kept him in mind when I decided 2 years ago to begin my education in Game Development and Business. So, to Sam: Thank you for your passion for art and intense style, and may you always work to your full potential as you always have!

I’d mention briefly and anonymously the wave of members whom were added and subtracted to the team over the past year. Several artists, programmers, and sound engineers have came and gone. Each one was screened for talent, ability to cooperate on the team, and determination and passion for game development. Each one had obviously failed to continue all of those things together, which amongst other traits are extremely important to development of any kind. The best I can say for them is “Good Luck, and don’t lose sight of your future endeavors in whatever development or career you may follow.” I think I can speak for the team in saying that we all appreciate the small amount (if any) of work you provided to the team. A member or two, out of about eight total drop outs, had conducted some excellent work and dedication for a brief time (maybe a month…). So again, don’t lose focus people. Everyone is needed and important somewhere.

Now on to another excellent individual. Dan was of the first handful of members chosen from GameDev.net Project Posts. Thankfully, he joined around 10 months ago and has since produced some outstanding audio, as our sound engineer, for two of our projects. His reputation as an artist astounded me at first, and continues to please my desire for quality audio work. His soundcloud contained some excellent peices for other projects, so I knew he would be a valuable asset to BLM. I couldn’t have been more correct. Over his membership he has proven himself with extensive artistic abilities, great logic and reasoning, and an outstanding passion and understanding of game development. His advice and cooperation on the team has continued to enhance our efforts and quality. Dan, keep up the good work and take care of that pretty girl. Us game loving nerds have a hard time finding those great ladies, lol. Thank you for your passion and dedication to the team.

Next in line for some big props is Jake, our best, most educated, and longest member of the programming department. Within his trial period of a couple of months, he was able to modestly convince myself and other members into lifting his trial time and making his position permanent within several weeks. He had taken my sad, beginners attempts at programming the beginning of Cubicle Chimera, and turned it into a strong effort with great potential for our game. It should be known that what I took near two months as a beginner and a ton of reading, learning, and much trial and error only took Jake around a week or two to recreate from my Unity Javascript mess to his Unity C# profession. He was able to duplicate my effort and extend his own beyond what I might have taken another 10 months to do! Thanks to his efforts, replacing myself as the only programmer and the time, and succeeding our past handful of programmers, we are due to meet our deadline of a beta release on time! To Jake, I must say on behalf of all the members of our team, we appreciate your talents, cooperation and dedication to BLM and we look forward to your leadership on the team as our first Lead Programmer! You have proven yourself as one of the steadier members of the team, no doubt. Thank you for your continued contribution.

Last, but certainly not the least, in any way at all: Linda is our background, HUD, and GUI (Heads Up Display and Graphical User Interface) Artist. She designs and creates all of our Background, static images, such as Menu Screens and interactions, User Interface durring gameplay, level scenes, etc. I had dabled a bit in the efforts of a seperate, shortlived team which I had found on GameDev.net, and the operating members consisted of myself as a writer/designer and Linda as the artist. The leader faded out of the operation soon after collecting us, and Linda excepted my offer for her to join BLM. I wrote a character and some scenes for the game that I wrote (in the other group), and she had almost immediately astounded me with excellent representation of what I had invisioned for the game. I knew that BLM needed her talents for our production and success. Thank you so much Linda, for joining our team and making this game possible. Without your swift action, dead accurate, and wonderful artistic talent we could never be as far as we are in development with Cubicle Chimera. You have definately proven yourself as an excellent member of the team. Even though you may have been a bit shy about your accent in the past, being from Latvia, you have never failed to understand nor failed to be understood. Your understanding and accuracy in English and of game devopment are flawless! We all apprieciate you as our newest member. Thank you, and keep up the excellent work.

Now, I’d like to briefly mention myself, since my members, or friends and family will bark at me if I don’t. I’ve had a passion for games since my early youth. I had been immensely inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto after learning one day, from a reading inside of my Pikmin game box, that Mr. Miyamoto had been the mastermind of just about all of my favorite and the best games out. I though, “How could one man be responsible for Donkey Kong, Mario, The Legend of Zelda (my all-time favorite), Star Fox and now Pikmin?” At this point, not only did I want to be a great designer like Mr. Miyamoto, but I wanted to be Japanese! Hehe.. So after having some misguided education about game design in middle school (they thought I meant graphic design..), I lost sight of my dream, only to have realized many years later that Howard Community College offered a degree in Digital Arts- Gaming and Simulation. So that’s that. Four years out of school, with a full time job working in my Dad’s business, and after having been married for 3 years with one 2 year old boy, I enrolled to HCC and discovered their Gaming program. Now I hold a 3.7GPA (Pretty average to all of our team members), an even greater passion for developing games, with the knowledge and education of design, and a pursuit of not only a Game degree, but a Business Administration degree as well. I plan to do whatever it takes to produce and create excellent games, with honesty, integrity, diligence, passion, and a bunch of other fancy, words describing such things. Haha.. I love game development, and surprisingly I love leadership, despite my record for shyness and independence. So that’s enough about me…

Our game, Cubicle Chimera, still needs significant work over the next month of working towards our Beta release, due on our one year anniversary, August 27, 2012. So keep in touch friends, family, business associates, and fans of Broken Limits Media LLC. We’re going to wow you with this game, and we promise to blow you out of the water with our future, upcoming titles. Stay tuned, and connected here, on our Facebook page at facebook.com/brokenlimitsmedia, and our website at brokenlimitsmedia.com. If you want to support us, please make a donation, or at the very least write to us or give us a shout out to all of your friends. Within the next month we will update you with art, audio, and likely web browser gameplay of Cubicle Chimera!