Whatchoo’ playin #4

Since we have been very busy lately, we skipped some Whatchoo Playin’ segments in the last few weeks.
So here’s what the team was up to recently:

First of all, being hardcore gamers, we of course kept playing other games even though we were very busy with the launch of the game approaching. But this will simply give us content to talk about in our future installments of Whatchoo Playin’.

Recently, in fact, we’ve been playing a lot of GoD Factory: Wingmen of course!
The game being more polished than it has ever been is making us want to play it even more. So on top of playtesting and balancing like crazy, we often find ourselves playing for fun or testing our gunship builds against bots in our evenings as well. That’s how compelling the game has become: it’s now both our work AND our pastime!

We are looking forward to play GoD Factory with the players when the game is out this Friday, so look for the Devs, we’ll be the guys with the [DEV] before our name.

 
You can watch our stream next tuesday September the 2nd (at noon EAST) on our Twitch channel:
http://www.twitch.tv/ninedotsstudio

Rock,
game designer at Nine Dots.

GoD Factory: Wingmen is out!

The title says it all. After years of work, we’re finally releasing the game on the market. Here’s what Steam’S front page looks like at the moment ;)

frontpagesteam

Click here to get on the store page.

Have fun!

What does it cost to run Nine Dots?

I wrote a piece about the costs of starting your own game studio for Polygon and it just went live. If you want all the crunchy details, financial or otherwise, I invite you to read it. A little share can’t hurt either ;)

IMG_2058

http://www.polygon.com/2014/7/31/5949433/the-cost-of-a-game-studio

- Guillaume

Steam Achievements and Squad System

GoD Factory: Wingmen is almost complete and we’re now mostly doing finishing touches, such as the Steam Achievements and the system to be able to play is pre-made teams, or squads.

Rather than just put achievements for the sake of it, we decided to make them matter a little more by associating them with in-game rewards. Every achievement you unlock will grant you credits and a new color or sheen to apply to your ship. We have over 40 achievements, with varying degree of difficulty. We’re using those also to train the player and to show him different tactics and abilities.

The squad system has always been something important to have but which always got pushed away in development in favor of issues more directly related to gameplay. Now we finally got around to making it. Essentially, it’s just a way to say tag your friends and say “I play with them and we stay together” and when the squad leader enters a game or leaves one, his team will follow.

With these two things out of the way, there is little more left to do than menu sounds, debugging and polishing.

Oh and on another note, tonight we’re going to play a game of Guns of Icarue Online against the devs! It will be on our twitch channel at 8pm Eastern Times.

This is what their game is about.

This is what their game is about.

Whachoo’playin #3

Hi everyone! We realized that our Whachoo’playin posts were rather long, so from now on we will alternate between 3-4 devs sharing their experiences instead of having everyone on board every time. It’s also a little more scalable should we expand our team in the future.

Rock Mercier
This last weekend was the EVO, which is the biggest event of the year on the fighting game scene. I love the competitive level of those games and although I’m a big fan of the Street Fighter series, I always check the other titles as well, even if I know less about them. Every game is amazing to watch when the best players in the world are gathered to play it. Seeing all the crazy stuff pro players actually pull off in desperation of turning the tide and ultimately win their sets is exciting; there’s always a lot of surprising results and tensions. I strongly suggest following this event if you like competitive gaming (you can find EVO videos on YouTube pretty easily). It is also very well commentated; you will learn the game terms and the slang of fighting games just by watching. Have fun!

Pier-Luc Tremblay
Two weeks a ago, I ended up buying Mario Kart 8 to play with my girlfriend. I ended up bringing my Wii U at the studio to play with my coworkers during our dinner break. I hadn’t played a Mario Kart since the 64 version. I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of any Mario game (except for Smash Bros.), but I had a lot of fun playing this one and completing cups since you can do them in splitscreen with up to 4 players. If any of the 4 players gets enough points to be first, you get a new character. So we where basically playing coop with friendly fire, it was hilarious.

Pascal Maltais
This week the game I’ve played most is an MMORPG named Rift. It is yet another game I can play with my girlfriend. Rift has a lot in common with World of Warcraft but these are the differences I noted:
– Free to play
– Better graphics
– A Bard class <3
– Unfortunately, less species to choose from (and all human looking)
– The awesome customisable classes (you may choose a pre-made class that you can modify or create your own)

Other than Rift, since I finished the Portal 1, I've started to play Portal 2 in co-op which is really great :)

Crew Quarters and a space station’s interior

 We’ve begun work on an interior environment for the Crew quarters, where a player can see his or her track record. Here’s a work in progress screenshot from the game (with no menus):

progress

The different computer terminals will bring up different information about your pilot career.

This work prepares us for the eventual single player of GoD Factory, where your character will be able to walk the halls of a massive ship.

 

The room shown above is composed of many small parts, such as a straight wall, a corner wall, etc. This allows me to create new layouts on the fly, which will be useful once we’ll need a more comprehensive environment for our characters to eventually move in.

 

Until next time,

EV

Whachoo’playin? #2

Guillaume:

I was very eager to try out Divinity: Original Sin and so far, the game holds up to my expectations! It is indeed a modern execution of the glorious CRPGs of old, such as Baldur’s Gate. I appreciate that it doesn’t try to hold my hand and lets me explores how the different mechanics work. I found the progression a little slow however, but that might be because I spent too long in the first city before venturing out. I’ve also tried Strike Vector for the first time. I liked it but I had a hard time getting used to the controls, mostly because I kept trying to control it just like GoD Factory, whereas that game has a simpler control scheme, you just need to point in a direction to fly over there. The real fun for me started when we tried Capture the Flag instead of Deathmatches.

Pascal:

This week I tried Magicka. It’s pretty cool to mix the elements to do different things but I found it hard to remember all the recipes. I’m sure that I’ll get used to it in time. I’ve also played Strike Vector, which happens to be very fun, at least for the Capture the Flag game mode. The experiences wasn’t so focused on spawning and dying in this mode. The visual of the battlefields are very nice but I don’t like the ship’s design and wished there was more than one model to play. I finally went through Portal but I don’t need to say more since I believe almost every gamer know how cool this game is. Will now have to start Portal 2!

Rock:
I’ve always been a fan of the Diablo series and I always thought other diablo-like didn’t deliver the visceral feel of danger and production value of the original. This week however, I’ve been dragged into Path of Exile by my brother and I must say I was impressed. The main flaw in my opinion are the animations. Your character looks stiff and performs his moves clumsily. At least the special effects are ok. The customisation system however is so interesting! It’s a rare thing to see games that allow the player to tweak their character this much and still succeed at delivering a really intense endgame challenge! In addition of having access to 6 different classes, you can reach astonishing amount of attack speed and increase the power of your skills tenfold (before applying your stats bonuses), and you still die frequently… which is great!
I love this game so far.

Pierre-Tuan:
This week, I played some Strike Vector. I’ve found the game to be most enjoyable when playing objective based game modes, like capture the flag. I also tried Mario Kart 8, which I enjoyed thoroughly as well. There are quite a few new features for me, as I had not played a Mario Kart game since the N64. I think the kart customization and the anti-gravity stuff is quite interesting and will probably end up buying a WiiU for this, Smash, Monster Hunter, and other upcoming games.

Pier-Luc:
Last weekend, I went to a small video game convention in Quebec called Geekfest. There was a small Super Smash Bros Melee tournament and decided to get into it with Samus even though I was sure to be eliminated in the first rounds. I was really surprised to make it to the semi-final round as the amount of Fox players was too damn high. I guess, playing Smash Brawl with the Project M mod for the last year with my colleagues prepared me for that. I also played Guild Wars 2 with my girlfriend and tried Strike Vector with the Nine Dots devs. I have to say I had a lot of fun even if this game is really hard. I will definitely play it again.

Etienne:
As planned, I spent my last few evenings in the Mojave wasteland, in Fallout New Vegas. I’m playing in hardcore mode, so I got to watch out for dehydration! I’ve yet to start any of the DLCs so expect me to play for at least another week with my suave gunslingner.

Gabriel:
I recently got my hand on a pretty good game named La-Mulana. The gameplay is like the old 2D metroid games but with an Indiana Jones vibe, with not-so-obvious puzzles to solve. In fact, they are often teasing you with treasure chests that you seem to be able to get to but that will only be available later. That means a lot of back tracking. A LOT. La-Mulana’s map is also huge and full of stones with riddle that are not always linked to the room your in. Finding where you need to go and what you have to do is hard (and a bit frustrating at times), but the feeling of accomplishment when you finally find a way to progress is what makes this game great.

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