vrijdag 23 december 2011

Xmas at Xform

We wish everybody a merry Chrismas and of course a great 2012! Filled with free games! Greets from everyone here at Xform!

- Diederik, Pieter, Matthew, Joep, Stijn, Eugène, Michael and Shirley

woensdag 14 december 2011

Making meters and New Kids!


Past few days I've been, literally as we call it.. 'Making meters'. Which means that I've been concentrating myself rather more on quantity than quality. My job for this week is to create 9 mockup levels for a new project. Priority number one for me was to get it done as quickly as possible, so that the programmers could continue developing the game itself.

I started by blocking out the levels with 3D tiles we already had from another project. This saved me a lot of time. Using the tiles I was able to block out the 9 mockups. My main focus was.. well to be honest getting myself 9 mockup levels up and running at the end of the week in the first place.

Then, our Game/Level designer is the one to decide if a mockup level's design is good enough or not. He then gives feedback on what to change and add or remove from the mockup. I mean things like: Making the level longer/shorter, making the level going uphill or downhill, adding trees, removing trees, adding/removing a rock here and there etc.

The next step is to finalize the mockups into final levels. This is what I'm currently working on. Trying to change/improve the mockups as much and as fast as possible following the feedback the designer gave me. I'm not able to work on the placement of every rock or tree.. since the final levels should be done this Friday.. And with this project we really have little time to do it. So having the 9 levels all operational is priority number one :)!

Last night we all went to the movie 'New Kids: Nitro'. This movie is uhm.. not sure how to describe this.. strange, hilarious and fun. I think you need to be Dutch to understand it. Anyway, it is about a group of friends who live in a small town called 'Maaskantje'. They are to say the least, not the smartest and wisest people on the planet and they are in a fight with a near by town called 'Schijndel'. Maybe you just have to see it for yourself, see the trailer below:

-- Joep

vrijdag 9 december 2011

Shoot those cyborgs to bits!

Hello everyone!

This is my first post for the blog so I will introduce myself. I’m Michael, new programmer at Xform, started at the same time as Eugene and also worked on the same projects. It’s no coincidence that we started at the same time, because we are brothers. We studied together and done most of our projects together. Also we did our first internship together at Xform. And since then we got ruined by them. And there is no way to undo that so, only one option remains.. Join them!

So we started our first project "Earth A.D."! Uhh?! "Earth A.D." yeah also known as "Shootin’ Cybertrash". The idea was to create the best "web based side scrolling gun and run action shooter game"! A side scroller which has the elements of the good old NES/SNES games.. A game which you really need to play over and over again to become good at. Remember positions of pickups, weapons, enemies. So basically hard as hell, but super fun to play. Can't remember how many games I played on those consoles but some of those titles I do remember. One of those games which also is our main reference is "Contra"! That franchise is super awesome, play as "Rambo" with a HUGE gun and shoot everything to damnation! Every alien, robot or evil being will be blown to bits with your super gun that can switch from normal fire to a flamethrower/ rocket launcher etc.. Took a while to finish it on the NES but it was worth it. Still got the game for my NES, still play it sometime to just get the feeling back of the good old games :P

But enough about "Contra", I was talking about "Shootin Cybertrash"! Hell yeah! We got some nice reference for the game and a nice idea about it. So then "Earth A.D." was created..
We wanted to make it even more difficult then "Contra", so we started to make some mockups with hordes of enemies.."Serious Sam" but then side scrolling :P You think the first level is hard now? In the beginning it was insane! Overdid it too much so we redid it until a hard level was created, but not too impossible :) After a while we needed a more catchy name so "Earth A.D." became "Shootin Cybertrash"!

Some tips.. Just play it a lot and learn their actions and try to dodge their bullets, it's possible, go and see the trailer below! And play the game here!


Good luck!


vrijdag 2 december 2011

Let that camera roll!

Hi all!

I'm back. With a brand new post. About fans.
Not the ones that are standing outside right now, waiting for us to leave the office, screaming our names real loud while taking pictures. But the ones that are truly dedicated to our games.

Yesterday we were having a social media meeting. We have these meetings on regular intervals to evaluate and schedule the online activities of Xform. One of the recurrent topics is our fanbase.
A few months ago I posted about the importance of your target audience. Knowing who your target audience is is really important during the development process. But after the game is released it's still interesting to follow them. You can track down all kind of info by using site statistics.
But another way to learn more about them is to listen what they say. Or even more interesting... see what they create!

Burnin' Rubber Fanvids

Uploading our content
A fun way to take a closer look at the Xform fanbase is to spend some time on YouTube. If you start watching our game trailers on this channel you will also notice a huge variety of homemade fanvideos from our players.
There are Xform gameplay videos, reviews and How To's. They differ considerably in length and quality, but that doesn't matter. The fact that someone takes the time to create a (simple) video about your game to share it with others is very flattering. In fact, it's like a tribute.

How to... Defeat the baboon boss in Rhino Rush:

Area Zero review:
(You don't have to understand the language to hear that this guy is really excited!)

And of course some gameplay footage of the extremely popular Burnin' Rubber series:

The value of fanvids
The biggest value of a fanvid is that it shares your game content. It's a way of free publicity. This means it can attract new players to your game. Any publicity will do. In fact a negative review of your game can attract even more players, because they want to check by themselves if a game is really that bad.
An interesting thing happened with the Burnin' Rubber videos that show game glitches. Apparently people find it funny to see things that go wrong. Because instead of keeping talking about these glitches, other fans started to upload their Burnin' Rubber glitches as well!
Another important thing is that fans start to communicate with eachother through the videos. They leave comments, ask for help or give tips and tricks. Based on their discussions you can find out what they like or don't like about your game. And you can use this information for new games.
We noticed that some of our games have a lot of fanvids, others have less. And of course we want to know why this is. So the next weeks I'm going to do some more research on this subject. But now... it's weekend time!
Feel free to add new Xform fanvids to YouTube. We love them. The more the better!

- Shirley