About sendmorepeople (twitter: @sendmorepeople)

Two friends who met in grad school - mutually decided that videogames were far more moving than anything the middle east or security studies could dish up. We make videogames that (we hope!) move people in some way or cause them to think differently about the world.

Entries

 
Ludum Dare 27
 
Ludum Dare 22

sendmorepeople's Trophies

sendmorepeople's Archive

Playtest “Freefall” WIP version

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 5:54 pm

Hi All,

I’m calling it a day today, but to play with what I’ve got so far, go herehttp://tinyurl.com/kcq5za7

 It’s got 4-player local multiplayer, but not a full game loop yet.
Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.51.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.51.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.52.03 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.52.31 PM
Let me know if you have any feedback!
Tomorrow, I’ll put in more obstacles like buildings, hover cars, missiles, etc. Plus going into the earth!
Best,
– Eric

Check out the video here, because I’m not very good at embedding youtube videos

Did this work?:

All done here!

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 2:44 pm

Thanks LD27, it’s been real! Now to run some errands, sleep, etc before Monday.

Here’s my game:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=7380

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 2.29.51 PM

 

Thanks and goodluck to the rest of ye’!

– Eric

End of Day 1: Timelapse Video

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 5:28 pm
These halls suck

These halls suck

 

Gah, this hallway creation algorithm is not being my friend… grrrrrr

Uber basic level creation step: walls and floor

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 11:04 am
Escape the Office Progress Shot #1

Escape the Office Progress Shot #1

Got a system that will create walls, floor, and a debug grid (if toggled), for any sized room.

Also made a few textures using 16×16 pixels, really fun!

Now on to some basic gameplay!

Escape the Office?

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 9:30 am

I’m thinking of doing a game where you have to ‘escape the office’ by running to the staircase for each floor. On each floor, you get 10 seconds to get to the staircase. Procedurally generated offices should mean that it’s challenging… I’m thinking a top-down view but maybe that’ll change. Off to a late start but whatevs…

I’m in! Derek might join too!

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 4:33 pm

Hi All,

I’m 1/2 of Send More People, but I’m thinking I can still make something happen, so count me in!!!

Just don’t expect it to look or sound too pretty, that’s what Derek does.

😉

– Eric

www.sendmorepeople.com

Ooph

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 12:22 pm

Definitely feeling burnt out. Wish that I had a partner on this project. But hey, check it out – I’ve got a mosquito flying around!

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 2.15.48 PM

Controls Working

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 7:23 am

Still haven’t thought of a title for this work, but I do have basic controls down.

Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 9.21.28 AM

 

It’s a 2d side-scroller, by the way.

Mosquitos, Malaria and You!

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 5:46 am

mosquito_65147_7

 

See that? That’s you!

For our project, Send More People is going to make a game where you play as a mosquito spreading the malaria virus. Gameplay will be about finding your victim and biting them “properly” to prevent yourself getting caught. Ideally the player learns something about the process, and about NGOs seeking to combat the disease.

I spent the night thinking (and dreaming) of ideas… I think I have a decent idea, mechanically, of how the game will play. But there’s no time to waste! I’ve got to get deving if I want a complete project.

Stay tuned here or on our Twitter feed for more developments.

‘Shaped’ Post-Mortem (by Eric)

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 1:45 pm

What Went Right:

1) Small and Simple: Simplicity and a small scope is absolutely vital for a small, two-person indie team like ours. Shaped was created for a Ludum Dare game jam, which meant we had to take the game from concept to publishing in 48 hours (it is normally 72 hours, but we could not work on Monday). This small timeframe forced us to keep the game super tiny, meaning one environment, and über simple, meaning just a few mechanics. When the creative juices are flowing, its easy to get swept away in the tide and end up with a game concept far too ambitious to finish yet too beloved to compromise. This has happened to me with more game ideas than I would like to admit. Luckily, our short deadline forced us to reject ideas, no matter how great, if they would add more than 30 minutes to our production time. While Shaped is a short game, it is a complete one. Completion, we’ve found, is crucial for morale. If you are a small team like ours, I cannot recommend simplicity and limited scope highly enough.

 

2) Good Team Dynamic: Derek’s already said much the same in his post mortem, but it remains true nevertheless. Having people with whom you can be productive and simultaneously have a good time with is key. Not only does it keep the energy and optimism up, but it creates an comfortable atmosphere where all ideas and feelings can be expressed and considered. Most of my ideas are utterly bad, but Derek will always genuinely consider them as if they were great ones. Perhaps more importantly, he will give me honest criticisms which I can take without clamming up and getting defensive. What it boils down to is respect and the right attitude. With Shaped, we kept the environment fun and supportive and that really contributed to swift decision-making, quality work, and a fun development process.

 

3) Unity3D: Having never taken a computer science course in my life, I find it somewhat strange that I ended up as the programmer. What I have taught myself over the past few years,  I largely credit to Unity3D and its superb community. The visual nature of the engine allows for non-code-savvy teammates to understand and contribute to the process without having to look at a line of code. This also helps self-taught programmers like myself to understand what, in general, my code is doing. The way in which variables are displayed and the ability to adjust them during gameplay helped us both hone and test player and NPC behaviors until they felt just right. Lastly, the ease with which we could import assets from one another and get them up and running was incredibly valuable given our brief timeline. Other than a brief moment of glitch-induced panic due to hosting our Unity project files on Dropbox, the entire process of building with Unity was streamlined and fast. It is for these reasons and many others that we will be sticking with Unity for the foreseeable future.

 

4) Give Yourself Audience: This one may sound weird but filming our process really helped us to not only feel like “real” game developers but it also made the process more fun in general. Even if it is a Youtube video that nobody but you will ever watch, positioning yourself as if there was an audience really helps you to stay on task. Instead of treating the game development process as something that maybe comes after a few episodes of your favorite TV show, filming it gave us an audience (however imaginary) that we had to answer to and work for. I guess it’s where the adage, “Fake it till you make it” comes in. You and your team may not be Valve yet but if you treat the game development process as if you were that awesome, you probably stand a greater chance of finishing your game than if you think you and your game idea is unimportant and unnoticed. For Shaped, Derek and I did a Justin.tv/Twitch.tv live stream as well as a time-lapse using Gawker and it kept us honest. It also made the process more far enjoyable. Why? I will not speak for Derek, but for me it was vanity. There is something rewarding about being on screen and feeling like you are important and, hell, if you can harness some of that vanity to make your game development process more enjoyable, do it. Whatever keeps the ball rolling. If you do not like being on camera, write blog posts and tweets. You may find more people are following the development process than you think.

 

What Went Wrong:

Derek and I had such a positive experience with Shaped that it is a little hard to find things we did wrong. Perhaps we just didn’t have enough time to make significant blunders, or maybe I am still just riding the high. The few I could think of are below.

 

1) The Cold: Stay warm, your code-per-minute rate and immune system will thank you.

 

2) Not understanding 3D programs very well: I think if Derek and I had more of a grasp of 3D programs like Blender, 3DSMax, or Maya, we would have had accurate colliders for the more difficult shapes instead of primitive colliders that come with Unity. Getting knocked down a level in Shaped by an invisible sphere collider far outside the edge of an NPC’s visible edge is frustrating and, in the end, inexcusable.

 

3) Space-Heaters Don’t Burn Down Villages…Actually, they could so please follow the directions: Did I mention that weekend was as cold as the windswept plains of northern Skyrim? Well it was, and you know how the Frost spell slows you down as well as causes damage? Well, the cold room was like that on my hands and joints as I tried to code. I felt like Tin-man without his oil-can.

 

All in all, our experience creating Shaped for Ludum Dare 22 was a superb experience and has really inspired us both to pursue game development as a living. Stay tuned for more games from Send More People! Good luck with your games!!!

Postpartum thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 7:36 pm

This is the title screen from our game, Shaped.

It’s been a few days since the Jam ended for our team (Send More People) and I thought I’d throw in a few thoughts on the Ludum Dare Jam experience. These are in no way organized or comprehensive – just a few thoughts that came to mind.

I was surprised how much fun it was
Maybe I shouldn’t have been. I had expected the main fun of Ludum Dare to be hanging out with my partner Eric as we worked on a project. Eric is a rad guy and generally everything is fun around him, but truth be told I was nervous that any game we would make would feel stinted and unfinished, and that this would diminish the pleasure of our developing. Part of the reason for this was our prior experience. Eric and I have been working on a single, very ambitious project for months. Drift is an endeavor with many highs but also a lot of lows, particularly because we keep altering the concept. We are ambitious people and have big goals. So, before this project I wouldn’t have thought that we could finish a title together so quickly. Now I know that we are totally capable of it, and the project was more fun because of it.

Sometimes time crunch can be a good thing.
As I said, we’re ambitious and our projects have a tendency to expand, expand, expand. One benefit of doing a project over a weekend is that we were forced to stay focused and on task. The game we made was largely the game we planned on, and any additions to the project occurred as a natural development of features we were working on. We made decisions and were pretty much forced to stick with them. This was actually liberating, in a sense, since we weren’t constantly rehashing the same topic.

Good lord, I love 2D!
Our other game project is 3D. Shaped is 2d! It’s a simpler design, but we were able to get a much more refined look out of it. Again, simpler is often better. Drift could be interesting but unpolished. Shaped, by comparison, seems smooth even without a whole bunch of refinement. That’s not skill, its just the benefit of the medium and the simplicity of the art style.

Friends made it work
Eric and I were essentially attached at the hip for 48 hours over the course of Ludum Dare. That might have been a terror if we didn’t get along so well, but the reality is that I was enjoying myself every minute of the experience. Getting along well with your partner(s), having fun, seems to be a really important part of the coding experience. We actually made the game-developing process fun, laughing and joking throughout the day even while we were setting our minds to work on challenging puzzles. It smoothed over the points where we disagreed on where the project should go, and made the successes where we agreed on a concept feel shared. I was very doubtful when Eric suggested a seek-pellet… I thought it would be making the game too easy… but it turns out that it was a central component of the feel of the game. I trusted Eric even when I disagreed with him, and that allowed the game game to be much better.

So! Probably nothing mind bending here. like who you work with and simple is ok seem to be the major lessons I’ve walked away with. It may not be much, but it certainly made the development of Shaped into a satisfying and meaningful experience.

Check out the playable build HERE!

We’d love any feedback you have! :)

If you find yourself unable to move, tap E or R a few times.

More to come later!

– Eric & Derek, SendMorePeople

Deceptagon: A Buttery Mishap in 3/4 Time

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 8:49 am

Okay, now the game is called “Deceptagon”, not longer “Shaped.”

SHAPED: A Warrior’s Tale

Posted by (twitter: @sendmorepeople)
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 8:34 am

Okay, it’s just called “Shaped” but it will still be awesome. You play as various shapes and fly around a 2.5 D environment to find other similar shapes. Stay away from other shapes that aren’t like you though, you may get pwned.

Follow our live stream at:  justin.tv/sendmorepeople

or at: twitch.tv/sendmorepeople

Good luck everybody!

[cache: storing page]