Author Archive: Alex Dewey

Burrito Bison Revenge Takes Home Mochi Players Choice Award

BuffaloAfter the big win at FGS5, we checked in with Juicy Beast Studio, creators of Burrito Bison, about their game, inspirations and insights.

The team originally attended Cegep de Saint-Jerome in Quebec and studied Multimedia Integration. After graduation, they decided to pursue their own studio. “We simply had an interest in video games and decided to go for it. It was pretty risky, considering it was our very first job after college,” commented Co-founder Yowan Langlais.

The team feels that most of their game design knowledge comes from their experiences as gamers. They learned using ActionScript, Photoshop, Flash and After Effects. “We basically had all the tools to make Flash games, we just needed to push the game development aspect ourselves,” said Langlais.

Their mission is simple: To work on games they love – and have faith that other people will enjoy playing them.  “We also put a lot of effort into polishing our games so things look good and feel right.”

Langlais suggests that students who are interested in game development, “Start small. REALLY small. And finish the game completely, with sounds, music, a beginning and an end. By making a complete game, you’ll learn what it takes. If you want to aim for something bigger for your next game, you’ll already have a good idea of how ambitious it should be.”

Congrats to all the Mochi Award winners!

*reposted from Adobe Education Community Game Developer Newsletter

Girl Gamers are on the Rise! All Female Team of Developers from Arizona State University Follow their Dreams and Create Maia

Under guidance from Graphic Information Technology (GIT) professor Arnaud Ehgner, a team of female students from Arizona State University (ASU) has been working tirelessly on a school project to develop a one-level game on par with those created by industry professionals.

Maia, a 2D side-scroll action game for portable devices, is a magical jungle adventure that leads the player through a series of mysterious temples and ruins where the priestess—Maia—tries to head off an attack and keep peace in the village of Kuma.

The game is developed using 3D models for a 2D game. While the scenery is 2D, the characters are created first in 3D, and then transplanted into a 2D world. The team chose to develop the game using Adobe solutions including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Flash Professional because of the compatibility across platforms. Illustrator is used for the game’s concept art; Photoshop to finalize artwork with shading, touch-ups, and closing up texture seams; and Flash Professional for creating an engaging game with consistency across platforms.

“Adobe Photoshop also helps us play with the different perspectives by easily letting us translate and rotate the 3D models onto a 2D plane,” said team leader Rachel Ramsey.

The game targets female players with a strong leading female character. “I am so excited to be a part of Maia, as it has been one of my childhood dreams to create a video game with a strong female protagonist,” notes team member Jennifer Davidson.

Maia, now being expanded to three levels, will officially launch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014 for the Independent Gaming Competition and be available as a free demo for a limited time on iOS and Android tablet and mobile devices.

ASU

Comprised of six women, team ‘Femme Fatale’ as shown in photo left to right: Liza Gutierrez, Jennifer Davidson, Samantha Hannis, Marcella Martinez, Skylar Mowery (Rachel Ramsey not pictured.) Photo by GIT major, Tessa Menken

Find out more information: Maia on FacebookMaia on TwitterMaia on Tumblr

Adobe Gaming Powers International Racing Squirrels

This week we wanted to highlight independent studio Playniac in our ongoing series of Adobe Gaming customer snapshots.

IRSAdobe Game Developer Tools allowed the company to create and deploy International Racing Squirrels across multiple platforms and devices from one code base. Players manage a team of unruly squirrels racing on tracks around the world and with 25 levels of fun and an iOS version of the game, it is sure to keep you busy for a while. Squirrels has received several awards including, finalist status in IndieCade 2012, finalist in 2012 Develop Indie Showcase, 4.5/5 stars by Indie Game Reviewer and was featured in Kongregate’s Hot New Games in 2012

Learn how they produced their wild, colorful new title in our most recent post case study here. If you’re looking to build your own great games with Adobe Gaming technologies, check out our Gaming site for more information.

Adobe Developer Spotlight: John Cooney

John CooneyIn an ongoing effort to highlight developers who push the boundaries of game creation, we recently caught up with John Cooney, whose work at Armor Games (and now Kongregate) has generated some pretty remarkable things. He’s responsible for more than 90 gaming titles working on all the game design, programming, artwork and sound engineering. John will also be speaking at the upcoming Flash Gaming Summit in San Francisco if you’d like to meet him in person. In the meantime, we wanted to share our conversation about his inspiration, where he thinks the gaming industry is going, and more. Enjoy!

How did you get started as a developer?

Back in high school, I was really interested in animation and wanted to become an animator. The high school computers all had Flash installed and I was hooked from the first animation I produced. I started to freelance game development and formed my own company to help pay for college and living. When approached by Daniel McNeely (founder of Armor Games) to join his company, I jumped on board. All this happened over about five years, and by that time Flash was HUGE for games.

Do you have any advice for burgeoning developers?

Share your successes and failures. The best way we learn is to bounce ideas, send out works in progress, and collaborate when we need help. Your audience, fellow developers, and you will gain a lot from it!

What inspires you and your work?

I find most inspiration just in daily life. A game about traffic lights comes from the long commute home. A game about dinosaurs on treadmills came from a moving walkway at the airport. Ideas are everywhere. They just need testing and coaxing to get moving in the right direction.

You’ve worked on a lot of titles so far. What’s the project that you’re most proud of, and why?

I have a lot of projects I’m proud of, but the project I am probably the happiest about is Coinbox Hero. The game is about a floating box that you shoot, punch, and kick to rattle out coins. Coins pay for even more expensive items and weapons to further abuse the box for. The game is made entirely in Flash.

I began by trying to understand the technology requirements of this game.  There would be a lot of coins, as many as I could render would be the ultimate goal. Using bitmapData and copyPixels, I managed to draw about 5,000 coins at a time without taxing the computer too much (this was at a time when Stage3D wasn’t available, so everything was on the CPU). This was REALLY impressive for the time. And since it’s Flash, I could use vector objects as well, so I rendered all my menus, characters, and backgrounds in vector.

The game was a short project, it only took about a week to produce – Flash makes rapid prototyping and fast game design easy. When launched, it gathered about a million plays in the first few weeks. Overall, it was a game that embodied the kind of work I do – over-the-top, joyous, simple games.

What products or applications do you use?

I use Flash Professional CS6 right now. I’ve always done all my programming through the IDE ever since I started in Flash 5. Most of the artwork is also produced in Flash. I’ve always loved the Flash IDE because it’s so fast and easy to use. Having a cohesive programming/artwork environment is all I need to make great content.

Where’s the industry going?

I think “social gaming” is going to find its way more and more into traditional gaming, hopefully in ways that will enhance these games to be better experiences for everyone. A lot of hardcore gamers sneer at the idea of seeing social in their games, but when social is done to make the game a better experience everyone wins. Mobile games will continue to be big. Indie titles like Minecraft are making it huge, and Flash games are still as exciting and innovative as ever.

For more about John and his work, check out his website. If you know (or are!) a developer who’d be interested in participating in our spotlight, please be sure to let us know in the comments section below, @AdobeFlash or on Facebook. Also, if you’ve developed an Adobe Gaming project, share it with us in our Flash Rocks gallery.

Adobe Gaming & Buffalo Studios: BINGO Blitz

BingoIn creating BINGO Blitz, the developers at Buffalo Studios have cut out the crowded, smoky rooms and uncomfortable chairs and delivered a digital bingo experience that everyone can enjoy.  Using Adobe Gaming technology such as Flash Pro and Adobe AIR, the team has ported the original Facebook incarnation of the game to Android and iOS platforms.  With a player base of over 16 million game installs, Barry Sohl, senior vice president, knew the team could still push their game to a wider audience: “Players today demand high-performance, cross-platform experiences on every device. Adobe Game Developer Tools deliver on that promise.”

Adobe technology has allowed Buffalo Studios to extend their intuitive gaming experience from desktop to mobile platforms.  The game’s smooth visuals were created using the Adobe Creative Suite and the framework, user interface, and overall experience were built entirely in Adobe Flash Professional.  Keeping the entire development pipeline under one umbrella has allowed a single development team to release weekly content updates, seasonal Bingo rooms, and bring new features to market more quickly.

BINGO Blitz offers hundreds of simultaneous players a chance to participate in a modern, mobile version of Bingo that has already been downloaded over 1 million times.  The experience developing and porting the feature-rich game to multiple platforms has made a believer out of Buffalo Studios for their next projects. “We are basing all our current and future titles on Adobe Game Developer Tools.” After the success of BINGO Blitz, we can’t wait to see what Buffalo Studios comes out with next! You can learn more about their streamlined development process here.

SongPop Secures #1 Spot in 2012

We just wanted to take a quick moment and congratulate SongPop for their amazing debut this year! They were recently named by Facebook as the #1 game in 2012 among some very stiff competition. Since launching the game in 2012, FreshPlanet has amassed more than 60 million users and secured the honor of the #5 game downloaded in the Apple App Store this year.

We’re happy that FreshPlanet choose Adobe Gaming technologies, including Adobe AIR, to deliver this wildly popular game. For more on SongPop, check out our previous blog post, which links to their full Adobe Success Story.

We’ll be showcasing lots of other great games in future posts as well as some holiday-themed ones to get you in the spirit. Stay tuned!

Video Recap: Adobe Game Developer Tools Launch Event

More than 200 developers packed Town Hall in the Adobe San Francisco office on Monday night for our Game Developer Tools launch event. Fun and excitement poured from every part of the room with remote-controlled Angry Birds, vintage arcade games and new iPad AIR apps. It was a great time with great partners – Zynga, Rumble, KIXEYE, Kabam, GREE, EA and Milkman Games – and really amazing responses from the game developer community. All of the announcement information can be found in the blog post from Adobe Gaming director Emmy Huang, but we also wanted to share the recap video below for those who couldn’t make it in person.

Thanks for showing your continued support for Adobe Gaming technologies and check out the new Adobe Game Developer Tools in the Creative Cloud.

Better Learning Through Game Design

Improving classroom skills for students is no longer confined to pencils, paper and flash cards. Educators today must embrace the latest technology to equip students with the skills to succeed. The World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria program is taking a proactive approach to break out of the traditional education mold and help educators and students meet challenges with an innovative curriculum. Then program helps students in grades 6 through 12 with STEM skills and computing knowledge through hands-on game design and programming.

Students learn to design and program games using Adobe Gaming technologies. Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Creative Suite, including characters designed in Adobe Photoshop, game elements created in Adobe Illustrator, and effects created using Adobe Fireworks give students all the tools they need to be successful.

And, with so much game design background at an early age, students may be able to create award winning games like IGF Student Showcase Winner Ian Snyder, a student developer now at Kansas City Art Institute. See The Floor is Jelly trailer below and Ian’s full story here. Be sure to visit gaming.adobe.com to see what can be accomplished using Adobe Gaming technology.

A version of this post was also posted on the Adobe Education blog here

Developer Spotlight: Made in Me

When James Huggins and Mike Outlaw struggled to find high quality content to play with for their young children, they started a new multimedia publishing company, Made in Me. First up in their offerings, The Land of Me – an interactive learning adventure for PCs, Macs and iPads. Focused on being a media-rich digital learning experience, Land of Me retains the old school elegance of children’s books while also offering engaging storytelling.

The creative founders – in collaboration with a childhood development team and digital creative agency, Less Rain – leveraged Adobe Gaming Technologies and Creative Suite applications, such as Photoshop and After Effects, in the making of their app. To date, the Made in Me has been able to achieve strong sales that have doubled month to month and is able to track 10% conversion of trials to sales - and the team isn’t stopping there! Get a deeper read into the making of Land of Me, their successes and next steps in our Adobe Gaming Success Story, Made in Me: Enchanting Worlds.

For a first-hand look at the interactive learning adventure itself, check out the trailer below.

Developer Spotlight: A Follow Up with Jordan Casey of Casey Games

We had the chance to reconnect with young developer Jordan Casey, who recently released a new gaming app – Greenboy Touch. In our Developer Spotlight back in July, Jordan mentioned that he was going to slow down, but that obviously wasn’t the case! Read up on our latest interview with Jordan to find out more about his inspiration and the making of his latest Android and iOS game submitted to our Flash Rocks gallery.

What was your inspiration behind your new app, Greenboy Touch?

Greenboy Touch was based off a Flash game I developed about 2 years ago. I’m always trying new genres and I love different game concepts. While most of my games are just one specific style of gameplay, Greenboy Touch is made up of tons of different concepts. It is sort of a puzzle game.

We’d love to share more about the making of the app with our readers. What Creative Suite products did you use and did you have any favorite features?

I used Photoshop and Illustrator for graphics – they’re great tools! To develop the game I used Adobe AIR for iOS and for Android. I programmed in ActionScript 3.0, Flash and AIR, which are amazing. With the click of a button, I could switch a Flash game to a desktop app for Mac or PC back to an Android app to an iOS App. The program is great because it’s really visual and really powerful. ActionScript is an amazing language, and though so powerful, quite easy to pick up.

What was your experience like using Flash to create for Android and iOS? Are there any tips you would share with other developers?

The process was great. Like I said, with the click of a button I could go from iOS to Android. It’s just great. It’s the same as making a Flash game – the exact same, and with just a click, you get a native app! Just like that! It’s magic!

You’re juggling school and development. We want to know – what’s your secret? How are you doing it all?

Well, it is tough juggling between school, development, and lots of speaking events. To make up for time I missed while I’m away speaking, I take a 2-hour study course after school to catch up or study for exams. That way, I have my homework done and I can develop for about an hour or so.

Check out Greenboy Touch in action below.