7/28/15 – Boston Playcrafting 7/27/15

Hey everyone,

 

Last night we were in Boston again, presenting at Boston Playcrafting. We gave a brief lightning talk about our process from start to where we are now before showing off the game to anyone who was interested. We talked about where we started, showed off some concept art and discussed the evolution of the game as we progressed through the summer.

 

After that, we demo’ed the game to anyone who wanted to play, allowing several local indie developers to have a look. Everyone who spoke to us was impressed by the work we’ve done and enjoyed playing the game. There were some questions about idle and clicker games as a genre, and we had an opportunity to discuss the challenges and solutions we faced in developing the game.

 

Overall it was a great event and Team Awesome made an impact on the local community. Our work has begun to stand for itself, and in the last week and a half of the MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program, we’ll be carefully polishing and perfecting all the elements we’ve put in MegaloMalady.

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The Art of MegaloMalady

Megalomalady’s art direction is the result of Team Awesome asking the question, “How do we make our game stand out from other infection games?” We were inspired by games such as Pandemic and Plague, but we didn’t want to use the same visual language that they did. After multiple exchanges of ideas, we’ve decided to introduce the concept of “cute but morbid,” which became our game’s core theme. 

 

What at first glance seemed simple became a challenging concept to execute. Establishing this direction and having the art consistently follow it requires countless hours dedicated to conceptualizing and refining. An example would be our mascot Germy, who is the result of a myriad of different design iterations by Annie (lead UI) and Elizabeth (lead animator), with different silhouettes, features, and personalities. Over and over they have been rejected, nevertheless the artists continued tirelessly until one day something clicked that made Germy the adorable monster he is today.

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Images: A small selection of the different concepts for Germy that Liz (top) and Annie (bottom) came up with.

Everything has been designed to fit with our theme, from the bright and cheery houses that give off a sugary sweet atmosphere to the UI that has been redrafted multiple times to ensure the most user friendly and tappable experience. Megalomalady has been given much praise for its art style, and it couldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our extremely talented team of artists. Even after a clear art direction has been established, revisions have been continuously made, ensuring the highest level of quality for every individual art asset. With only two and a half weeks left and so much work left to be done, we’re pouring more focus than ever (even after hours!) into our beloved game, and I have faith in my team to march on with the same amount of excitement as we had since the beginning.

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Images: A small selection of the different concepts for Germy that Liz (top) and Annie (bottom) came up with.

 

 

 

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7/20/15 – Boston Notes

MegaloMalady traveled to Boston on Friday (all the way up to Cambridge) visiting professional game development companies. Among the list were The Tap Lab, Demiurge Studios, and the Publishers Clearing House.

 

We met a number of devs from different positions, everything from QA testing to Game Design, each of whom played MegaloMalady to get a sense of the progress we’ve made. There was both good feedback and positive responses, along with some critical viewpoints of the game, all of which we have noted and categorized as we focus on the core feature that we want to make most available to players.

 

Sadly, our deadline is fast approaching and we won’t be able to make all the changes we want to, but others may pick up the game as a project to build it into a bigger and better game! If you want to see all the progress we’ve made, sign up for our testing list!

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7/15/2015 – Boston Prep

This week we’re focusing on getting all our features into our version and working on finishing up our Alpha. We’ll be going into Boston on Friday this week to show a number of game companies where we are and how far we’ve come in just a short amount of time. Now that we have a clear form to the game, a finalized user interface and most core elements present and working in the latest version, we’re feeling pretty proud of what we’ve managed to make.

 

We’ve gotten good and encouraging feedback over the last few months, and yesterday was no different. Darius Kazemi visited and spoke about his projects and how he learned to code everything he can today by taking on small projects, then he agreed to critique all of our games. He enjoyed MegaloMalady, offering some insight into how the game could feel better, with some new proposed features to add to the menu system.

 

We might have someone come visit us tomorrow as well, but we will see. For now, back to coding, creating art and trailers, and QA testing.

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7/13/15 – With Respects

With regret we acknowledge the passing of Saruto Iwata, president of Nintendo. Many of our team grew up playing Nintendo, and a good portion of us have made good use of both the Wii console and the DS handheld gaming system. Knowing that a leader of one of the staples of our childhood has passed, we look back and pay homage.

 

Having acknowledged our roots, we turn to face our futures with the determination to bring all our skill and talent to bear on the games we will create in the future, in the hopes of being able to have a similar impact upon future generations livelihoods. As such, we push ever closer to releasing MegaloMalady, while constantly re-examining the game to be sure it meets our standards. Mr. Iwata, thank you for your inspiration, and we hope to be able to do the same for others.

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7/7/2015 – Jack Dalrymple

After a long weekend of celebrating the 4th of July, we’re back hard at work getting ready for a soft release in the coming week. If you want to play MegaloMalady soon, don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list (the only things we’ll send will be how you can get the new version of MegaloMalady) here.

 

We’ll have a trailer for the game soon too, courtesy of our hard working artists. To that end, Jack Dalrymple (who is working on Albino Lullaby) came in today and gave some general checklists and tips on creating interesting trailers for games. We showed him the latest version of MegaloMalady which looks like this:

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and he gave us some good feedback and helped reinforce our conviction in the game! We’re looking forward to releasing the game!

 

 

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MASSive Comic Con 2015

We spent the last weekend at the first ever MASSive Comic Con 2015 in Worcester, MA! We went with our sister projects, Hibachi Hero, Ophidia, and Crafting Life, settling in at a booth to show our games to all comers.

 

We got to see a lot of cool stuff, and a lot of people played our games. Included were Link, from The Legend of Zelda, the Joker,  and Edward Elric. We even got Dante Basco, who voiced Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

 

We received interesting comments about certain mechanics of our game; certain elements about the world were “satisfying” and everyone thought our art and animations were super cute. We can’t say too much, because we don’t want to spoil the game for you, but sign up to be a beta tester if your interested! You can do that here.

 

 

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6/26/15 – MASSive Comic Con

Not a lot happened yesterday; no one came to visit us and we spent most of the day prepping a new version of the game. What is happening is that this weekend MegaloMalady will be present at MASSive Comic Con in Worcester both days at booth 405. We have a brand new version all set up to show everyone and we’ll be moving to beta soon, so if you want to test for us, you can sign up here.

 

Other than that, our programmers are working on a save system and putting in new animations for you all so you can automatically infect people while you’re offline and have pretty new art to look at. Our artists are working hard on developing new assets to make the narrative more fun to interact with, and our designer is crunching numbers so the game is spread out evenly!

 

Look forward to seeing you at MASSCon!

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6/24/15 – Jon Myers and Verizon

As is common in our studio, yesterday a member of the game community came to visit and test out MegaloMalady. This time, Jon Myers from Reactive Studios visited to test out and critique our game.

 

While we didn’t get an opportunity to hear him speak about other aspects of the game industry, he did provide us with some good, important feedback that will help make MegaloMalady clearer and more intuitive, provide longer playability, and design a better written narrative.

 

Additionally, a couple of promotional videos were made yesterday. We don’t want to say too much and spoil anything, but theres a chance of something pretty cool happening.

 

Today, we’ll be showing MegaloMalady to some more kids from local schools, which is always fun!

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6/19/15 – Attending E3

This is really exciting news. Over the last week, one of our supervisors has been attending E3 and networking with people there. Aside from all of the cool merchandise he brought back for us, he also brought back feedback that experienced individuals gave for our game! In fact, we were even informed that some prominent names were interested in MegaloMalady’s concept, and were in fact going to introduce us to other successful game developers for the genre of incremental games.

 

We also received predicted feedback and information that confirms our direction and has inspired us to keep working hard with confidence that MegaloMalady will be a good game by the end of the summer!

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