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The King is Drunk

I made a little game for the Global Game Jam 2013, it was done in under 48h but I think it turned out very well, our team was composed by a friend of mine (Danny Calleri), a very good coder called Tommaso (currently working on One and One iOS and Cobalt for Oxeye Games), a talented girl we met there called Flaminia and me.


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The importance of an art-style

People have a very wide range of tastes, something that’s undoubtedly beautiful for someone can be really horrid for someone else.

Because of that, when making a game, you clearly cannot please everybody with your artistic direction. And that’s more true when we talk about games that doesn’t aim to be realistically rendered and try to mimic real materials and lighting.

But what you can, and you should, is having an artistic style.

This sound stupid doesn’t it? How can you  even do graphics without an art-style?

Of course my game has an art-style! It’s already fixed in the meaning of the words themselves: if you do graphics, you automatically do them in a style right?

No. Or… not quite!

While everything can be summarized in a style or another, having a meaningful, constant art style in your whole game isn’t quite as easy.

Let’s start with a definition for artistic style itself:

[style is] any distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made or ought to be performed and made.” Ernst Gombrich, The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology.


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A New Hope!

Throwing a Star Wars reference as blog post title is kind of cheap, but this one is really fitting, so forgive me this time (and the other hundred times I surely will!).

As I already did via twitter, I’m here to inform you that we finally had the decency and the possibility to get back to work on this project again!

The catch is, instead of aiming for a big and long development cycle that offers us no way to complete the game without doing side projects to sustain our little studio (we currently live doing flash games), we’ll split Dungeoncraft in two games:

We’ll focus on and complete all the roguelike\action RPG part of the game and offer you an awesome dungeon crawler first, then, if everything goes well, we’ll expand the thing into our original idea.

This way we get to complete a game before the end of this millennium, as we’ll work on it full-time, AND you get two games! An awesome multiplayer action roguelike and then the Dwarf Fortress\Dungeon Keeper inspired thing we always had in mind.

How it sounds to you guys? Let me know in the comments section below! But first, jump to the full article to read some details!


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How to bring a puppet to life (without satanic rites)

With this first of a series (I hope) of “techie-talk” posts, I’ll introduce you one of the most ancient digital necromancies: bringing an animated sprite to life.
In this article I’ll use vector art, meaning that I’ll do my final 2d character using geometric shapes, but you can apply these concepts to any kind of sprite, from freehand-drawn to pixel art ones.
The animation that I’ll cover here is called run cycle or walk cycle in lingo, that depends if it represent a character sprinting or just walking.
Usually, in videogames, when you have a single animation for a character’s movement you try to do a sort of “fast paced walking”, something that doesn’t give the impression of someone constantly sprinting even when moving just few steps but at the same time something that’s also fast enough not to result in a sloppy and boring gameplay.

The walking animation pace in fact deeply influences gameplay: you really don’t want a character that slides around the screen so the animation pace is directly connected to the effective speed your character will move in the game. The programming-related saying fail early, fail often applies in this field too, don’t settle with the first thing you did just because you spent a lot of time making it. If you’re not an expert there’s a good chance your first tries will suck.

Now it’s time to introduce Bob, a dummy sprite I was using to make all the basic animations in the game before we switched to 3D (this is another story, I’ll cover it soon, promise!).


Continue to read the article after the jump to discover how we’ll make Bob walk!

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Posted in Art, Development, Tech-Talk | 13 Comments

The idea behind Dungeoncraft

Welcome, dear visitor, to our humble and brand new development blog!

We’re Moonloop, a small indie software house made by two guys with big dreams and a lot of passion. We’re both freelancers, sometimes working on several projects at the same time, living out mobile and flash development, and Dungeoncraft is our real first big in-house project.

The game is currently in development for PC, targeting Windows, OS X and Linux platforms.

Dungeoncraft is a simulation and strategy game that take inspiration by classics like Populous, The Settlers, Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress.

The player needs to take care and manage a whole settlement in a procedurally generated world while adventuring in other dungeons and fortresses.

Each inhabitant in the colony will feature RPG-like statistics and will have a limited ability to carry objects and tools with a sort of mini-inventory system.

Resource gathering and survival are key elements in the gameplay: resources will allow the settlers to craft tools and weapons to grow stronger and survive. Expanding and building the dungeon will also unlock more knowledge and possibilities.

The secondary but not less important gameplay element is exploration. The player will be able to form parties and guide the best warriors in the colony in dangerous quests in other players dungeons or inside coves of enemy mobs.

The game will feature both competitive and cooperative multiplayer features tightly integrated with the single player mode.

Stay tuned!


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