About cowboycolor

Art / Sound: @Britt_t_brady
Program / Design: @Cullenddwyer

Grab a friend and play Sumo Puckii for free on OUYA or on itch- http://cowboycolor.itch.io/sumo-puckii

Currently Working on Local multiplayer bounty hunter death - ChargeShot
@chargeshotgame
http://www.indiedb.com/games/chargeshot

Thanks Dad!

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Ludum Dare 35
 
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Posted by
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 11:21 pm

Added one of the enemies from our game to sketchfab https://skfb.ly/N8UyScreen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.57.43 PMAlso play the game here http://tinyurl.com/bukijam

Shapeshiftin ability number 2:

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 2:30 am

Please Mr. Slime! I am but a lowly inanimate shield!

Haa I’m a shield now, Mr. Slime, but nice try D:

Enemy Animation

Posted by
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 12:07 am

Comin along cutely!

Posted by
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 6:49 pm

You are the monster

Posted by
Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 10:35 pm

 

When the theme was announced for this Ludum Dare, Britt and I were less than impressed.  It seemed generic and not to really allow for interesting theme-based gameplay, only narrative and setting.

A lot of people have been commenting that they didn’t get how our game, Wayward, fit into the theme–either because they didn’t complete the game, or that it was intentionally pretty subtle.  Our sighs of despair at the announcement of the theme were that of understanding what would come of it: a list for which I took the time to write on a whiteboard with a caption “DON’T DO THESE, THEY’RE TOO OBVIOUS.”

 

The list of obvious choices and what not to do (for us!) for this jam:

  1. Pull the rug out from under the player at the end and shout in their faces “YOU WERE THE MONSTER ALL ALONG!!!”
  2. “Goomba Simulator”, or, adopting the opposite role of the typical protagonist.
  3. Kaiju

 

What this meant for us was that we had to come up with an interesting and virtually impossible narrative and setting for a hard as nails theme.  We didn’t want to be obvious, we wanted to be clever.  The first idea, in this regard, was a monster truck arena game called You are the Monster(truck).  More and more ideas that seemed more punny than anything (including, I fuck you not, playing as Monster Energy drink pouring into somebodies body), but we couldn’t resolve on anything.

We landed on the idea that we would make the player, not the main character, the monster.

Ethics and moral questioning aside, Wayward is a game about finding and killing the monster that stole the babies from your village.  A trail of what we can assume are said babies’ blood leads the way, and you explore the Wintery wonderland we set up, fighting other monsters along the way.

One thing I did to push the theme along the course of the adventure (before the climax) was to make fighting the monsters completely optional if you were to study your surroundings.  The minor monsters in the game are territorial and only spawn if you get very close to a checkpoint-campfire.  Some players have realized this, but naturally, in a game where you have a bow, you feel inclined to aggro the enemy anyway and take them out.

After a few encounters, skipped or not, you finally reach the end of the blood trail.  Here is where I wanted to avoid the “HAHA GOTCHA, YOU WERE THE MONSTER!”  Instead of killing the mother and having a bunch of babies pop out from the brush and wimper and make you feel bad about what you just unknowingly did, I have the mother and the cubs shown in plain site around a pool of blood.  No more baby.  The aggro range is very small for this, and you cannot aggro simply by shooting the mother.  At this point, a player wary of the theme will or will not come to understand.

A moral side note on monsters:

The entire story and question of “Who is the Monster?” can be realized at this point.  The Beast is the monster in the main character’s eyes for eating the babies.  From the beast’s perspective, there are no other animals in the game, so it was killing out of the necessity to feed its young.  The main character is the Monster from the perspective of the Beast, and depending on her moral standing, also the Player.

Which leads to the actualization of the theme.  Objectively, if the Player of the game finishes the deed, she is the Monster.  My favorite comment on the game yet was “It was very beautiful, but I’m sad you made me kill the mother at the end.”

I didn’t make you do anything.  The only way to not be the Monster is to not finish the game and just turn it off.

-C

WAYWARD post-mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 8:30 am

Pre-JAM

I got to the workspace that our community was using around 5:30.  Britt was heading back from Tech Fest NW for the first hour or two of the jam, but he called me as soon as the theme was announced.

“It’s the worst one!” He grumbled loudly over the phone.

“Yeah dude.”

We weren’t a huge fan of the theme, though apparently most everybody else was because it won by a landslide, not because monsters aren’t cool or whatever, but because it could only really be interpreted as a setting, not a gameplay mechanic, both, or either.  Most of the best themes are ones that are both interesting in the narrative ideas they provake and the mechanics that they provide.  For this jam, we were stumped because nothing instantly came to mind.  I was talking to Dante, who made “V8000 AD“, and was fumbling around with the ideas of a monster truck game (get it? haw haw), a game about being a cutesy monster husband in a business suit who kisses as many other monsters as he can to break his wife’s heart, a rampage-like, etc…  I wrote a list of the obvious choices (Godzilla, Cthulu, any game that pulls the rug out from under you and shouts “Surprise! You were the monster all along!“)  Britt and I kept up the phone calls but couldn’t settle on anything.  Until of course he got there and then we instantly figured it out, the same way that we click on most of our projects.  It would be a game about the hunting of a wolf and the desire for revenge with an undertone, but non-surprising ending of the idea that humans value their own lives more than that of other creatures.

During-JAM!

Britt got to work on the art, and I on the core game play after we decided on a twin stick shooter.  He started out with some fantastic pixel art that fit my idea perfectly, and I built the game around that.  About three hours in, he metaphorically table-flipped and said “I don’t like this, I feel uninspired.”  I asked him why, and while he couldn’t find the answer, it was probably that all he does in our projects is pixel-art.  Our main project ChargeShot has a relatively SNES-y aesthetic, while our last LD entry was poppy and retro.  He needed a change of pace.

I was bummed at first because I really liked the art that he had done, and I was left to kinda wander around for the next couple hours while he got me some art to work with.  By the end of the first night I had two trees from him, the MC’s downward-facing sprite, and a bush.  I didn’t want to call it a night because I was doped up on coffee and the free keg that the workspace provided,

So I spent the entire night polishing what little we had as much as  I could.  This process included nice kickback and rumble for the controller, silky camera control, and learning GLSL to build a radial blur filter.

The next day Britt spent his time making the sound effects and most of the rest of the art assets.  I spent a good chunk of time working on making the environment sway.  We decided to use procedural animation (i.e. animated with code) instead of traditional on everything in the game.  The character has a cute wobble-hop, the trees and bushes squish and sway, and the speech bubbles pop and scale.  The end of this day, I implemented the basic Beast (because they kinda became not really wolves by this point), which pursues the player and dies in a sad pool of blood.

Following this, I spent some time on making a solid UI (a big complaint about our last entry) where the user can change from gamepad to keyboard input and back at runtime and quit the game.

For music, we decided to use Messhof’s TrackDog extension for Game Maker (which was used in Nidhogg) to create dynamic music tracks that get more intense while in combat.  I am also using this in ChargeShot, so I was pretty familiar with it.  Britt created a nice, somewhat celtic track with tribal drums, pad synths, and pan flutes.

The majority of the rest of the time was spent goofing off and making childish jokes with the rest of the Kartridge Family.

Crunch Time!

This time around, I didn’t feel too stressed for time.  The boss Beast and win condition as well as several game breaking bugs and the NPC’s were created probably in the last two hours or so of the jam, now at my apartment.  I also took a break to make the music for Dante’s V8000 game, mentioned above.

A few changes we wanted to get in weren’t implemented due to a lack of time, but all-in-all, we are very happy with the way this one turned out.  We’ve been making games for a living for the last few months now, and it truly feels good to know that you are good at what you do after committing so much time to the medium.  The game is somewhat difficult, a little bit GPU-heavy, but overall enjoyable, at least we hope.

Give WAYWARD a try here!

A little preview 4 u qts

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 7:34 pm

We are doing some vector art and HD stuff this time, here ya go dads~

You truly are the monster

You truly are the monster (GIF)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Cullen

 

 

X-11 Speed Run

Posted by
Monday, May 11th, 2015 3:47 pm

Speed Run of X-11 “Gust Gunner” The brutal fast paced leaf blowing platformer
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=51198

A lot of people say X-11 is too hard…

Posted by
Friday, May 1st, 2015 2:20 pm

So here is Mandolin (who made Pillow Fight) completing it in 5:00 without losing a single life:

As a side-note, X-11 “Gust Gunner” was made to emulate NES-era difficulty and aesthetic, meaning you will die A LOT, and consequently, you will blame it on the game.  Originally, I was going to have a stock of three lives to complete the game, otherwise you had to start from the beginning.  Some people called that “sadistic”, and I bowed and agreed… the game is in the EASY state it is now because I understand that there is a wide variety of types of gamers who will play a Ludum Dare submission, and not all of them want to be tantalized for their skill level at twitchy platformers.  Essentially, what I’m saying is that the game IS NOT hard, because you can never truly fail.  You have infinite lives, mid-level checkpoints, and a nerf’d boss.  The mechanics are different.  That is the point of the LD for me!  Innovation!  Every time somebody tells me that they died too much because of the “mechanics” not being tightened up enough, I slam my face against the wall.  The mechanics (with a few exceptions, namely, the boss bullet hell being too avoidable) are exactly what we intended them to be.  We spent most of our time fine-tuning the player’s controls.  It just takes time to get used to playing something you aren’t used to playing.  My supporting argument:  the video above.  Mandolin has not played this game as much as either of us have, but they managed to do something even we haven’t done yet:  a perfect run.  If a game is able to have a flawless run by someone who has only played the game for a couple of weeks, then it is not a difficult game.

Cheers!

-C

Awesome X-11 Let’s Play by ZBW

Posted by
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 4:36 pm

The guy who composed our soundtrack just put up an awesome Let’s Play of our game, X-11 “Gust Gunner”.  You can totally tell he practiced before hand 😀

X-11 “Gust Gunner”

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 10:02 pm

Unconventional  weapon how about a  “Leaf Blower”

Blow Them Hard in X-11 “Gust Gunner”

Posted by
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 2:42 pm

We Finished our Leafblower Megaman-like-like-like

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 8:54 pm

Real proud of this one. Had a complete blast the entire time to. Love you Dad!

Play as “X-11”, a maintenance robot created by Dr. Magic to combat the vile, disgusting forces of nature and return the world to its natural state: technology. Wield your trusty leaf-blower to propel yourself through two exciting, Megaman-esque levels, and take on “Mubba Nature”, the source of all nature.

x-11 gust gunner
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=51198

Leaf Blowers are the best weapons.

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:21 am

   X-11 “Gust Gunner” Mock up
LD32mockup

Don’t tell my dad!

Meet Cowboy Color We’re In!

Posted by
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 6:22 pm

We’re in

Tools-
Game Maker
Pyxel Edit
Ableton Live
Pizza

Love you!

@chargeshotgame

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