Category: Events


Get Well Soon! at the Made in Asia 2015!

March 9th, 2015 — 2:12pm

Hey folks! It has been a while since we have given real signs of life, but it is because we have been very much focused on a couple of events for the beginning of the year!

We will write more about that, but we were at the ScreenShake Festival to show our game to other Belgian developers early last month, and this month, we are going to be showing Get Well Soon! at the Made in Asia convention in Brussels!

We will be there from Friday to Sunday (March 13th to 15th) with the game at the BIGA (Belgian Independent Game Association) booth.

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4 comments » | Events, Get Well Soon!

So, we took part in Ludum Dare again

December 13th, 2014 — 10:26am

Remember the Ludum Dare ? It’s the game-making challenge that takes place every few months that we already did a bunch of times. That’s even where Get Well Soon was born!

Well last weekend, we participated once again (yup, thus the previous “We’re in!” post), and here’s what came out of it.

screen_8

See the clever pun? Yeaaah, we get crazy like that.

A Maze in Space is a puzzle game where your mission is to avoid at all cost Harvey the Robot who’s intent on buzzing your precious little character’s head off. And while you do that, you have to gather as many shining stars as possible to boost your score. How? by rotating the spaceship and making rooms fall off and be replaced by new ones.

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Comment » | Ludum Dare

LD31: we’re in!

December 3rd, 2014 — 10:45am

Except for a hurried half-participation to Last August LD, this will be our first LD since the one which saw Get Well Soon! born, LD27.

But here we go, we are back for the LD31 Jam!

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Comment » | Ludum Dare

Brighton Indie Dev Day

August 8th, 2014 — 9:20am

It has now been four years that GSM Productions went to Brighton for the Indie Dev Day of the Develop conference.

Each year, we feel our presence to be more “legit” than the year before. And, last month, for the first time, we went with an actual game in development (Get Well Soon!, but do we really have to remind you that?). From the outside, that detail looks relatively insignificant, but it made a lot for our state of mind.

indieday_2014

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Comment » | Events

2014, here we go!

January 22nd, 2014 — 3:07pm

Sweet 2013

2013 was made of :

  • Ludum Dare competitions which boosted the team
  • the start of Get Well Soon!, our first game sold online
  • some abandoned projects (to make room for the new ones)
  • a few challenges accepted… and sometimes achieved
  • the discovery of new tools, which we loved!

But also :

  • 11 posts (against 3 in 2012)
  • a communication directed at you, with a continuous presence on social networks
  • and, of course, our participation to the FrenchCows initiative!

Looking behind us,  lots of our objectives were reached, despite a great deal of time yet again stolen by our day’s work. We can be proud of ourselves.

Let’s roll up our sleeves for 2014!

After so many challenges met in 2013 (and some still ongoing), we’ll have to work really hard for what follows!

The main objective, of course, is still to finish our first game actually sold online, Get Well Soon!.
This past few months, we started to have regular meetings and dedicated workshop-days, which we plan to maintain, as we realized working together motivates us a lot. Because let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to get back home from work to start working again on your own… even if we love it!

Once Get Well Soon! will be done, we’ll start a marketing phase, which we are total newbies at. But we hope to learn a lot.
Then… we’ll still have LOADS of projects waiting for us to work on!

Get Well Soon! the latest news

Instead of participating to this December’s Ludum Dare, GSM Productions dedicated the weekend to Get Well Soon!. We had the help of Dimitri, 3D specialist and good friend of the team.

Friends making a video game ?!? After trying different types of industries, like advertising, movies or entertainment, I HAD to try that new challenge ! Eyes looking more and more like screens as the hours go by, orgies of junk food, lack of sleep and cheap humor … gosh, how I missed all these ! And what a pleasure to bring my contribution to Get Well Soon!

And we did achieve a lot through the weekend!

outside
monster

You’ll note that the first level design is finished and the outside environment well advanced! The doors and windows are in place as well as the outdoors stairs. Textures have been done (not all definitive, but we’re working on it). Lots of objects have been modeled (and there are still many more).

room

From a more practical point of view, the mouse’s cursor is now hidden in-game and the main menu is completely over with, with the possibility to go back to it and then resume the game. The options now allow you to choose your keys and to determine the cursor’s sensitivity.

menu

Since we publish each week an updated version on FrenchCows (we will never encourage you enough to join this friendly community), the version’s number is now visible in the main menu.

And, to French-speakers’ delight, you can now choose your language!

Finally, talking about gameplay, the character cannot jump anymore and is carrying a torch. Moreover, the turn-based movement is back, a bit modified to match its application to the scenario… and monsters can open the doors.

We hope to present all of this to you soon! In the meantime, for the curious who want to follow the game’s evolution, we’re waiting for you on FrenchCows! ;)

Comment » | General, Get Well Soon!, Ludum Dare

LD27: the results!

September 18th, 2013 — 6:57pm

This past Ludum Dare, the 27th of its name, was undeniably our biggest success so far, and feels like a milestone for us. The figures speak for themselves… Our result at the end of the post!

60+ comments on LD website!

We are happy to say more than 50 people left a review on our submission page from LD27 !

Even though this is partly due to the fact we played and reviewed/rated 100+ games ourselves (among which 20+ the very next day of the LD), it’s still feels amazingly good, and is definitely a big improvement on the amount of feedback we got on our previous entries.

The most common complains relate to functionalities we unfortunately didn’t have the time to develop (more lines dialogs, more animations for the monster, sound effects for the monsters and items, textures problems) or which we didn’t even think about even if they seem obvious in hindsight (offering to skip the introduction is a big one). Furthermore, the lack of proper testing made the game quite difficult in the end…

Moreover, people thanked us for having thought about AZERTY keyboards (since I tried several game without success because they only worked on QWERTY, I can only agree), and a big plus was certainly Unity 3D allowing us to propose the game on Linux, Mac and PC (and a web version later).

However, the big successes of our game are that it is regarded as scary (it has been compared to Silent Hill, to Slenderman, which is somewhat of a hyperbole, but flattering nonetheless), that it has a strong introduction, particularly through the addition of good voice acting and, for most reviewers, that the idea of a turn-based survival horror feels fresh.

That latter point is interesting though, as commenters seemed to either like it and find it innovative and suspenseful, or hate it for being contrived and frustrating. In the end, it makes us think that the idea behind it is mostly sound, but it needs to be reworked to better function in the context of our particular game. Pretty exciting though, and to share that excitement, here are some of our favourite comments :

« The introduction is sublime. The artwork.. wow it’s really impressive. I love the idea of 10 seconds for us to move, then its the ennemy turn. Great narration, the cinematic transition add a nice touch.  » (archaeometrician)

« The ambiance is incredibly well done, and I had to play in windowed mode instead of full-screen because it was waaaay too stressful to me :p » (Erhune)

« I love the voice acting, I love the arts during the beginning, nice paintings, I love the inventory look, wow, just wow. Hard to believe you did that in one weekend. So little bugs, nothing gamebreaking. The experience is amazing. I stepped up when I saw the two monsters on the lower floor… I kept coming back because I wanted to know the back story of all this… but also kept dying. Haven’t finished it yet, but I will keep it preciously and get to the end of it once and for all!  » (LordHellMaX)

And of course there were many, many others, all of them read and appreciated by everyone on the team. Thank you all for playing!

More feedback!

But that is not all, in addition to all the comments we got from reviewers, we also spotted Get Well Soon in a couple of posts from people on the Ludum Dare site, like

But wait, there is more!

Videos!

We also stumbled upon people playing Get Well Soon and recording themselves. It was thrilling to hear players react to the game as they were experiencing it!

Here you can hear some quick thoughts around the 18:30 mark :

And this one is a longer let’s play which goes into much more detail, by someone apparently not taking part in the Ludum Dare. Awesome!

CreepyGaming.net

And perhaps the biggest piece of unexpected feedback was a humbling piece published on creepygaming.net, which you can find an excerpt of below:

“As the title reads, I’ve had the proof that Ludum Dare is not only a competition against time where all kind of experimentation can be made, in fact, it seems like it can also be the trigger to make way more solid games in all regards, perhaps not optimized in the contest, but polished nonetheless. This, is actually Get Well Soon‘s case, a compelling experience result of the efforts of GSM Productions. Then again, I’m not here to say that it can’t objectively be improved in any way, but I consider myself definitely astounded by the feeling of completeness that I tasted while trying it out.”

(Read more on the website)

Thank you very much kind sir for thinking so highly of Get Well Soon!

Conclusion : our results & a little parting word

Jam had 776 participations… and here are our results:

Coolness 100%

#5 Mood (Jam) : 4.32

#15 Audio (Jam) : 4.01

#27 Overall (Jam) : 3.89

#72 Theme (Jam) : 3.63 (reminder: the theme was “10 seconds”)

#96 Graphics (Jam): 4.04

#98 Innovation (Jam): 3.49

#186 Fun (Jam): 3.19

#339 Humor (Jam): 2.23

So we’re 27e on 776, and in top 5 for the mood! And even though we didn’t end up as high for Graphics, our rating is still above 4/5.

Our other results are all in top 100, except for Fun and Humor (not exactly the main point in a survival horror game). And even for those two points, we are in the best half…

Sounds, music as much as voice acting, certainly played their role in our results: we are in top 20 for those!

We feel a bit euphoric for having done such a finished game during LD and for seeing it so well received!

But what that means is that the road is still ahead of us. For the first time, we feel like we have something really worth polishing and extending into a proper game. All the support we got is only serving to boost our resolve to come back before the next Ludum Dare with a new and improved Get Well Soon to conclude this happy episode in the best way possible!

3 comments » | Get Well Soon!, Ludum Dare

August

September 4th, 2013 — 7:20am

August was essentially centered on our big (recurring) event: the Ludum dare! So let’s start there…

Ludum Dare 27

After the enthusiasm of April’s LD26, we were eager to start LD27! When we discovered the theme, “10 seconds”, we stopped for a moment… to start again when we had the idea of a new kind of turn-based game. GSM Production proudly presents its first survival horror

Get Well Soon!, our entry for LD27, is then a game base on the mood: music, sounds, designs, we did everything we could to create an oppressing atmosphere… And it’s entirely 3D!

Theme: 10 seconds

Title: Get Well Soon!

Type: survival horror

Platforms: Windows, Linux, OSX, Web (Unity 3D)

Format: 3D

Download and play

Language: English

Pitch: “It was 5 months ago, I think. 5 months ago that the accident happened…

A descent into hell where you will have to avoid silent monsters… But be careful, you can only move for a much as ten seconds until… their turn comes.

carte

Let’s play: beware: spoilers! If you want to learn more about the game by yourself, don’t watch the video!

A first feedback: Bastien

bastienAll in all, the game far exceeded our hopes by matching the idea we had of it. Usually, we end the Ludum Dare with that strange sentiment that yes, it is awesome that you made a game, but how great would it have been to add this or that… Here, we are fully satisfied with the result, and the comments we are currently getting (thanks for playing everyone!) seem to confirm that.

And this feeling, no matter the final placement of our little game, is something priceless. We feel proud of having played to our strengths and to have come out of top, for the first time really. As a team, we think it shows that we are maturing, and starting to know how to work together better. Hopefully to your enjoyment!

Bloboy

Bloboy’s Journey didn’t really go forward this month. We implemented the vertical slide and tweaked the jump so it felt a bit more realistic. We were also supposed to work on light effects on Bloboy’s sprite but the task was harder than we thought

This lack of progress is also partly due to the Ludum Dare. Even if the event only lasts three days, there’s a lot to organize which makes it time-consumming. After the Ludum Dare, we also thought we might perhaps switch Bloboy’s Journey on Unity 3D, but we still have to discuss this with the whole team.

Comment » | Events, Get Well Soon!, Ludum Dare

June/July

July 27th, 2013 — 9:10am

God, let’s dust off a little… First, a last review of the last Ludum Dare !

Ludum Dare 26 : results

Results are now available! Reminder: only LD’s participants can vote for the other games. Votes are made on some criteria and, in the end, we receive only results for criteria with enough votes.

There were 2346 participants to LD26. For the JAM (the category we were in), we were 736.

Our results were not that bad :

#211    Graphics(Jam)    3.44

#236    Overall(Jam)    3.24

#307    Fun(Jam)    2.81

#355    Theme(Jam)    3.06

#409    Innovation(Jam)    2.50

#1775    Coolness    26%

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Comment » | 3D, Bloboy's journey, Ludum Dare

April/May

June 2nd, 2013 — 11:49am

Well, we HAD to be late for a post at some point, hadn’t we? Fortunately, we have a bloody good reason.

Ludum Dare : WE DID IT!

Ii took place from 27/4 to 29/4 (or, more accurately, 30/4 at 4 a.m.). All current members of GSM participated, that to say three less than during our latest JAM ; but everything went well !

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Comment » | Bloboy's journey, Events, Ludum Dare, Navigation

7 Days and then some…

May 10th, 2013 — 11:35am

As was hinted in the previous post, here is some more details on the challenge I took part in march. The aim was to create a roguelike in 7 days or less. If you want to read more about what a roguelike is or how they are made, the excellent Roguebasin wiki comes highly recommanded. But in a nutshell, a roguelike is somewhat like a role playing game in which depth of gameplay is put at the center of the experience. Traditionnally, they have featured ASCII graphics and extensive command lists, are turn-based games, and feature some kind of permanent death (as in, if your character dies, you cannot resume from a checkpoint and need to start from the very beginning of the game).

From a personnal standpoint, I have always liked roguelikes, and decided that this year would be a good time to try my hand at one. Having set time limits tends to make me more productive, so it was only natural that I entered the 7DRL challenge.

The idea

For the longest time,  I have been an avid fan of the Battle Royale book and movie. Logically, I have from time to time about how I could turn the “Battle Royale experience” into a game that I would like playing. A first-person game used to be the main idea, but without even considering the amount of assets that would be needed, and the complexity of programming everything, the sheer amount of parameters needed to truly recreate a faithful and interesting Battle Royale setting would be much too important.

Enter roguelikes, and their propension to accomodate detailled simulation and complex interactions even without any kind of art needed. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a roguelike would be, in fact, the perfect kind of game for what I had in mind. If I did not want to make a glorified deathmatch game, I would need several things :

  • Many viable styles of gameplay : Some characters in Battle Royale embrace the game and kill everyone on sight, others try to approach their prey cunningly, some try to find safety in numbers, others try to hole up somewhere and place traps or guards to defend themselves, and some even try to escape the game itself. All these and more should ideally be options for the player. As they should be pursuable by the AI. If it was simply a matter of fighting, the initial random weapon would pretty much settle the end result.
  • An unknown island : For best effect, you should arrive on an island which you know nothing about, except maybe the rough shape and a couple of landmarks. This would lead for an always-fresh and stressful game. Without that, you would simply be trying to optimise your initial moves.
  • The social interactions : Perhaps the most important item in this short list. One of the facts that make Battle Royale a high-impact story is that the contestants in the ‘game’ are no strangers. Being all from the same class, rivalries, friendships and cliques are already present in the group before the story begins. Including that element is central to recreate the Battle Royale atmosphere.

This list seemed to fit the idea of a roguelike, with the emphasis on simulation and procedural content that these kind of games tend to exhibit. The next step was to fit this idea into a game I could make in 7 days…

The game in its first moments.

The game in its first moments.

The plan

Obviously, making everything I wanted in a short span of time was impossible. I decided to trim the concept to a minimum form.

What that meant was to cut much of the open-endedness from the game. No possibility to escape by disabling the explosive collars, no killing the soldiers in the school and taking over the island, no hacking, just basic killing of other players. The only feature I was not ready to drop was the social aspect. I decided to include some form of alliances/friendships into the game, with gameplay implications. For instance, if you had a best friend, killing him or her would have resulted in severe (if temporary) penalties while your character was overcome with grief.

I also dialed way back my ideas on the island generation. Instead of doing many types of structures and terrain, I decided to make only ponds of water, trees, and rectangular buildings. This was an area where more could always be added at a later stage, but having done my fair share of game jams, I know you never have as much time as you think you have.

My plan would then be as follow :

  • Day 1 : Island generation
  • Day 2 : Player movement, field of view…
  • Day 3 : Other students and combat
  • Day 4 : Time and forbidden zones
  • Day 5 : Weapons and other items
  • Day 6 & 7 : Polish

Seemed doable enough at the time…

The execution

As they said, the best laid plans never survive engagement with the enemy. While things started pretty smoothly thanks to my tools of choice (Python and libtcod), around the middle of the week I fell ill, and had a mountain of work pile up on top of me, two things that combined to make me fall way short of the goal I had set to achieve.

I started documenting the process of creating the game on my personal blog (read the articles there) and several systems were completed on schedule (combat for the most part, pathfinding, line of sight, random generation…). I tried to push forward during the last 36 hours of the challenge, but was dealt a fatal blow when I realized that the game slowed to a crawl when 20 or so characters where trying to figure out where to go. I had several possible solutions in mind, but by that point I was tired, and too disappointed to make it.

In the end, quite a few features were included.

In the end, quite a few features were included.

The conclusion

Seeing how a well thought-out plan fell flat, you would be forgiven to think that the whole challenge was a bitter disappointment, right? Well, in a way, yes, surely I would have loved to end the week with a new game to show for it.

But, in the grand scheme of things, I finally started on one of my ‘dream projects’. And that is something. I have a nice code base off of which I will continue to work until I get a more fully realised project.

And I am planning on entering the challenge again next year, that is for sure!

2 comments » | #GAM, 7DRL

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