woensdag 25 juli 2012

Sneak preview

Hello everyone!

First of all I have to say that we finally got some sun over here in the Netherlands! Until now it has been a quite rainy summer. As far as game developing goes, we are still on it! In fact there are some interesting months coming up. A new game to be released soon, already good looking projects in development and one new project as well.

Today I want to show you guys some sneak peaks of that new project. Currently Stijn and I are working towards the first alpha version of the game. At this moment it is going pretty good, we are making good 'meters'. I can't tell you guys that much of the project yet. But I can give away that it will feature... cars!

I started with the mockup environment two weeks ago and it is currently looking like this:

Stijn is working on the main functionality of the game while I am working on the environment and place holder objects/graphics.

I also want to show you guys a little overview of how we create our skyboxes. It is not that hard to do this way, and besides that quite fun! Skyboxes really finish your environment scene. It can change the apperance and mood for your level a lot combined with the ambient lighting and lightmaps.

1. Most of the time I start with the sky. This is the first layer of my skybox where I draw everything on top of.

2. Adding the horizon is very important. It determines how far things are away from the camera. The position of the horizon has to match the perspective of the horizion seen from the 'game camera'.

3. On top of the horizon I put some more foreground kind of elements. Some buildings and some grass and foliage. I also added a shade of fog, to match the fog that is being rendered ingame.

That's it for now guys. Keep in touch with our facebook page for the latest game releases and updates!


vrijdag 20 juli 2012

Guerilla Warfare

Hi everyone!

Everybody already played Go Kart Go! Nitro! on Facebook, so it's time for something new we are developing.
Last time I also posted a blog about the new sniper game and that was about pathfinding. Groups that are following a path that will lead them somewhere..

These groups are not just walking in the park or for fun... With one thing on their mind they will going to destroy your base and it's up to you how you are going to prevent that!
It won't be easy though, because it's not just one group that is going to attack you but many, many more!
Those groups will need some tactics, because standing in an open field and fire at you won't be an option, since they are too visible for that. They need some serious warfare for this!

Serious Warfare?

With several spots to attack they will make your life very hard. Obviously, they won't be all going to the same spot, so you will need to search for them.
At this point we need to know from which path they're coming from and what their possiblities are. In real war people won't cross the battlefield on open fields. But they find the best cover they can find and shoot you.

Serious Warfare Xform Style!!!

This means our game enemies will also search for the best spots, behind bushes, concrete walls, inside buildings... So how do we know where they need to go? Well, thats simple. :) We just need an artist that is going to place some nice stuff where they can take cover. By this I can add them as a cover spot.


donderdag 12 juli 2012

Oh no! Another Mariokart clone!

"Notice how mean Mario looks compared to Bruno the parrot?"

 Hi everybody!

It's been a while since my last blogpost, but I'm back again to tell you why o why we made another kart game and dared to put it on Facebook.

To understand this better, you need to know why we made the prequel, Go Kart Go! Turbo! in 2009. The answer is obvious: we are big mario kart fans and we thought that making one ourselves would be loads of fun. And pretty do-able. And within the small budget we had at the time (we made the game as a showcase for Adobe). And we were right!!! ;). Can you imagine that after all the times we've tested and played the game we still enjoy playing it in splitscreen mode?

"Xform karting games throughout the years..."

"If the game was so good, why not leave it at that and NOT create a sequel?". It was certainly tempting not to do it. But we couldn't resist: there were just too much 'nearly done' art assets and a couple of weapon and gameplay ideas that didn't make it into the original. Furthermore, the original game was kind of a success, we really would enjoy working on it and we would probably not lose too much money doing it. So, earlier this year we were very proud to announce Go Kart Go! Nitro! (which was initially planned to be released as the offical 'game of the movie' New Kids Nitro)

"Oldschool 4:3 640*480 versus Ultracrisp 16:9 800*450 ;)"

As you might know, we primarily deploy our games on game portals such as Shockwave.com, Miniclip.com and Agame.com.  The same goes for GKGN, it's already been released on several portals worldwide. But sometimes we also do advergames, and it happens to be that some time ago we created a cool face-controlled karting game for Red Bull, which had all sorts of Facebook technology built in.
At the end of that project we thought: wouldn't it be cool if Nitro was on Facebook?!? Luckily our friends at Adobe also thought that this might be a good idea to broaden the target audience for their Shockwave plugin so we partnered up to port the game. Happiness +100!

For us, it's a great way to gain experience in deploying games on Facebook (the hell of certificates, privacy stuff and cloud hosting!) and to find out if Facebook users are the kind of people who would enjoy the type of games we make (shooting stuff <> feeding farm animals).
Unfortunately, the budget wouldn't allow for any of the cool stuff (i.e. multiplayer!) or lucrative stuff (i.e. in-game purchases). But maybe it's better to just take it one step at a time.

We'll let you all know how it all went. But for now:

Please everybody, please, go play the game. Like it (or don't!) but share it with all your friends! We'll probably start spamming you with all sorts of stuff the coming days so click on every red monkey butt that you see!

"Monkey Diederik says: go play!"

woensdag 11 juli 2012

How to set records!

Dear readers,

Today I'll be writing about Go Kart Go! Nitro! on how you can set a record (or at least get close to one).

The trick is to get your corners right. With the help of our race expert Joep, I've set up some ideal race lines.
The first one is shown below.

The blue line shows the ideal race line that your kart should follow. Before you enter the corner make sure you're on the outer side of the corner. Then start turning-in in such a way that you'll touch the inner corner where the corner is the sharpest also called the apex). After this slightly steer back and arrive at the so-called 'track out' point. If you follow this procedure you should be able to maintain your speed and thus will be able to set a track record (if at least the other karts don't block your path).

It should roughly look like this when you're playing the game:

Here's a different kind of corner (two corners):

The fastest way to get through this one is to try and follow a straight line as much as possible.

Hope this helps you in setting a track record. Happy playing!

-- Stijn

dinsdag 10 juli 2012

Whraaahhh! It's me, miss Dragon!

In case you didn't notice: Go Kart Go! Nitro! is on Facebook. It's great!
And because of this extremely awesome news all our blog posts these days are about the making of this game.

I'm going to write a short piece about a part of game development that stays a bit underestimated: sound effects. And for Go Kart Go! Nitro! the sound effects, especially the voices, are really special. 

Did you know that...
The voice acting of the animals is done by us Xform people?
It's true!

Of course we already had the voices of the original characters, like the monkey, the guinea pig and the flamingo. (These guys appeared in Go Kart Go! Turbo!) But the new version has three new characters: the goat, the dragon and te parrot. 
So we revisited our friends at sound studio Sonic Picnic to record the voices of these three new animals. And because the dragon is the only female character, I was the chosen one to take care of her sound.
But what sound does a female dragon make? At the start I didn't had any clue, so we just tried out different roars and aaarghs.

How does she sounds?

Luckily for us all characters are cartoony and crazy. This meant we could fully enjoy making the wackiest sounds ever. And finally the guys from Sonic Picnic mixed this into a proper version.
So if you play the game, take some time to listen to the animal voices and you can hear us having fun!  


Listen to our voices and play the Facebook version of Go Kart Go! Nitro! here:


maandag 9 juli 2012

New New New!

It took us a while but Go Kart Go! Nitro! is finally playable on Facebook (just follow this link and play!). We've been working on this title on and off for quite a while. We've been working on a lot of cool new games lately and whenever we had some extra time on our hands we worked on this big update of the original Go Kart Go! Turbo!.

Although the first game was quite fun we did feel it lacked some tracks, weapons and chaos. Luckily for you we got all this stuff in this release and even added some extra's. Next to the eight original characters we added three more: Bruno the Parrot, Ali the Goat and Daisy the Dragon, these can be unlocked by collecting special character coins during races.
New Characters!

We also added three new weapons and the ability to carry up to three simultaneously. A balloon item holds five water balloons which can be thrown in front of you to slow other players down, just be careful not to drive through your own water puddles!!
The whirlwind item can be dropped behind your kart where it will suck-in anything in it's range.
The last and probably most fun weapon is the hammer, when used is swings a hammer around your kart knocking anyone over that comes in it's path.

New weapons!

Instead of a measly four tracks we now have a total 13 tracks, 12 selectable and one hidden in the Daily Challenges.

And as you might have read in Eugene's previous post the game is now connected to Facebook where you can post you rewards and share your high scores.
Don't forget to play the Daily Challenges and earn new skins for your kart by collecting paint drops. These might even give your kart secret advantages above regular karts... Keep on playing!


woensdag 4 juli 2012

Go Kart Go Xform!

Hello everyone,

Finally!!! 'Go Kart Go! Nitro!' is on Facebook!
Have you already invited all your friends to play the best Facebook kart game ever??!!
If not.. you should be ashamed of yourself...
You could beat your friends!! Or foes! Ha! Beat their records!

Play it on Facebook now!

Having a vacation soon? Here in the Netherlands the vacation period has just begun, so the next couple of weeks you all have enough time to play this game every single day!!! And to beat your friends records of course.

Beat your friends!

Already played all the tracks? Also the one where the Jaws in is? For the ones who doesn’t know who Jaws is: It’s a big white Shark! Ah well, the Xform version is way better, look at his teeth... you don’t want to get caught by this guy!

Don't get caught...

You already have a favorite character to play with? Sure thing I do. I think Eugene the Guinea Pig is the best of all! Ha! With this character I will beat all the records!...

Some day... hehe.

Is he the fastest driver?

Have a good week all! And beat your Facebook friends' records!

Play the beta version of the game here: apps.facebook.com/gokartgonitro
And be sure to like the fan page: www.facebook.com/gokartgonitro