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Author: Alex Bezuska

Kentucky Fried Pixels is coming up next week!

Kentucky Fried Pixels is coming up next week!

Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam logoHi Everyone! We are really excited that Kentucky Fried Pixels, our own homegrown game jam event is kicking off in one week (NEXT FRIDAY JUNE 22-24!)

A game jam is an event where you meet other folks interested in creating games, form teams, and work to make a brand new video game based on a theme usually within 48 hours! The Kentucky Fried Pixels Kickoff Jam is just that and more!

Whether you only do art, only do code, only do music and sound, or don’t know anything about making games yet – all you need is an open mind, a free weekend and a desire to learn more about making games and meeting new people. If you devote the time we guarantee you will come away with at least more understanding of how games are made, and learning something new in a weekend is not so bad, right?

Even if you are a complete beginner you can use this time to:

  • Download and install Unity or another game engine and follow some beginner tutorials. (With software like Twine no programming is needed to make a game!)
  • Come up with a game concept and draw characters that would exist in this game
  • Storyboard a narrative game
  • Create soundtracks for different genres and moments in games

Kentucky Fried Pixels doesn’t end after the June 22-24 Kick Off Jam, Kentucky Fried Pixels is a month long series of events including three additional Sunday afternoon workshop/work days designed to help you create a successful game. At the end you can submit your game to be sold in a pay-what-you-want bundle where you can earn money from your creation. The event will be topped off with a launch party to coincide with the Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop on Friday, August 3rd.

You can go to all of the events, or pick and choose what fits your schedule, all events are optional. See the full list of events:

Learn More About Kentucky Fried Pixels


Louisville Makes Games Slack Group

Slack is an online chat website and app which we use to communicate when we aren’t at our events. We would love for you to join! It’s an easy way to become engaged with the community, and there are tons of channels with information and resources to help you on your creative game-making journey.

Join Our Slack Group Today!

Global Game Jam 2018 at Warp Zone Louisville!

Global Game Jam 2018 at Warp Zone Louisville!

Check out all of the games our community made in the latest game jam!

"Fineage"

by: Alexbezuska Eric Lathrop howdycara

Transmit charcteristics of your fish to your descendants on each playthrough.

Play Fineage

"Knight Rider"

by: awakeorchid explosivelimes Sometimes.A.Poet

You are a knight who just defeated the final boss! You are on your way back to the castle to transmit a scroll to the king containing the good news. Knight Rider is an infinite runner. Left and Right arrow keys move your Horse, Kit. Up arrow lowers your lance for attack. Down arrow brings your lance back up so you don't damage the Damsels. Space makes Kit jump over obstacles. ----> ** Web version of the game sometimes doesn't work unless in Fullscreen mode ** <---- Windows and OSX version included in same .zip **

Play Knight Rider

"PAREIDOLIA PLAYGROUND"

by: studioPareidolia

Find and fix all five radios in the area!

Play PAREIDOLIA PLAYGROUND

"Pizza Pigeon"

by: acmcpheron02 justvcreative Matthew Caldwell Seth Tyler Allen

In Pizza Pigeon one player must deliver pizzas to the other. The catch; you don't know where the other player is. The other player must describe their location to the other. Screen cheating isn't allowed! Play here: http://pizzapigeon.matthew-caldwell.com/

Play Pizza Pigeon

"Slab Bulkhead : Get Me Outta Here!"

by: bmaxwell112 Connan Bell GamerGoneCoder

Send out a distress message while holding back hordes of enemies: zombies, derpy robots and, killer fan-girls from outer space! Keep the door shut to transmit your S.O.S. Controls: Action: spacebar movement: left right

Play Slab Bulkhead : Get Me Outta Here!
Ludum Dare 40 Game Jam Game Showcase!

Ludum Dare 40 Game Jam Game Showcase!

Check out all of the games our community made in the latest game jam!

"CalligraTree"

Entry type: Jam (team)

Barry Rowe - Programming
Loi LeMix - Art

CalligraTree is a game about guiding a “growing” Sakura tree painting into it’s most full and beautiful form. As the trunk grows, you are able to guide the branches in a general direction, and their branches, and those branch’s branches, and so forth. Your goal is to guide the tree to its largest form without crossing any branches. If you cross branches, it will still be beautiful, but it won’t the masterpiece it could be.

Play CalligraTree

"Crosstalk"

Entry type: Compo (solo)

An abstract white noise toy. Pay attention to the relationships between the squares in order to reduce the noise.

Play Crosstalk

"King's Gambit"

Entry type: Jam (team)

Jacob Hanshaw - Programmer
Jake Mercer - Music and Writing
Alex Bezuska - Character Art
Rex Soriano - Brainstorming

Convince the other lords to join you in battle with a quick-wit and a keen understanding of their personalities, but be careful… Say the wrong thing and they may decide to join your enemy instead!

Play King's Gambit

"Portals and Guns"

Entry type: Compo (solo)

This is a 4 player game where you shoot bullet thru portals and try to get the most orbs!

Play Portals and Guns

"PullPals"

Entry type: Jam (team)

Eric Lathrop - Programming
Jake Mercer - Music

Stretch your monster, cut existing arms, or grow new ones as needed to complete each puzzling level.

Play PullPals

"THE LOST SON"

Entry type: Jam (team)

The Cave shooter you always wanted. Originally planned as a metroidvania that got harder the longer you play it.

Play THE LOST SON
The history of Louisville Makes Games talk we gave at Vector Conference

The history of Louisville Makes Games talk we gave at Vector Conference

This is from a conference we spoke at in April 2017

Now that Warp Zone Louisville is one year old and the nonprofit Louisville makes games is over a year and a half old we have learned many things. None of us knew what to expect going into starting a nonprofit or a community space, we saw what others around the world were doing and followed in their footsteps. The journey has had many ups and downs but overall we feel confident that community is a huge benefit to independent game devs. In this round table we will give tips and answer questions that will hopefully help anyone looking to foster a community of game developers in their location.

 

This talk was a part of the Vector 2017 Game Development conference, held at Eastern Kentucky University in partnership with Idea Festival, the Kentucky Innovation Network, and Eastern Kentucky Gaming Institute. For more information go to www.vectorconf.com

Yes we are artists, yes we are running a business

Yes we are artists, yes we are running a business

We recently had the pleasure of hearing from Jay Kidd of Wraith Games based out of Cincinnati Ohio. We setup a remote video call with Jay and displayed it on our projector at Warp Zone Louisville game dev space. I came away with a lot of great information.


Jay’s talk was live streamed and recorded on youtube.

First I would like to say that Jay is an enthusiastic speaker and you can instantly tell he is passionate about both making games and healing others in the community. At Jay’s studio which he founded in high school he handles a lot of jobs including marketing, promotion, business plans all on top of actually making the games. His talk was broken down into two main parts: business and marketing/promotion with questions and thoughtful answers scattered throughout.

The business portion was a refreshing contrast to what I continually hear about funding your game in that Jay suggests actually creating a traditional business plan and approaching a bank. it seems like crowdfunding through platforms such as kickstarter or Patreon, signing with a publisher at the cost of reduced creative control, or going out of your own pocket are the “indie” routes I hear about most often. Jay recommends coming up with market research, and presenting your case to the bank or credit union based on a 3-year plan.

In the second half of Jay’s talk he shared his experience with what works when it comes to promotion and marketing. Promotion defined as: showing up and having a booth at conventions and expos complete with banners, branded table cloth, signs and giving away cards, flyers, stickers and other SWAG. The marketing portion dove deep into social media – what to post, who to post to, and most importantly how often. Jay discussed Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as the main platforms they focus their efforts on.

I feel like my studio, Two Scoop Games, can always benefit from thinking more and putting more focused effort into the business plan and marketing behind the games we are making. I have tended to stray from a lot of planning or even thinking of what we do from a business perspective because as indies we tend to want to cast aside the notion that what we are doing is a business or work, we usually want to ‘keep it fun’. I do believe you can think of your work as art while simultaneously making a living from what you do, and that balance is worth the hard work of achieving. I will leave you with a quote from Scott Benson (Night in the Woods):
“Make art.
Make rent.
Help others do the same.”

 

 

Alex Bezuska game artist and developer, Two Scoop Games

Alex Bezuska is a game artist and developer for Two Scoop Games and Director at Louisville Makes Games!. Alex is obsessively passionate about making games and building the local game development community. He is also an avid lover of ice cream.

Odd bug with Unity animator state machine & new character concepts

Odd bug with Unity animator state machine & new character concepts

Kick Bot Dev Log June 26th 2017
-Alex Bezuska

When playing around with new artwork we noticed that the jump animation was only actually playing for one frame, it turned out to be a tricky issue to solve but Eric was able to get that working.  Our animation for the player uses the Unity animator state machine and for some reason, making the jump state the default state fixes it. No idea why.

Unity animator state machine for Kick Bot DX
Unity animator state machine for Kick Bot DX

Eric also worked on some tweaks to the high score screen working like it used to, including setting the “New best” to purple, and hiding the level score when game over screen shows.

I worked on some sketches but I was generally dried up creatively on the character designs, I am only really happy with the astronaut character:

Kick Bot DX character concept art sketches
Kick Bot DX character concept art sketches

Kick Bot DX is being created for the Kentucky Fried Pixels (KFP) game jam which ends July 9th, we will be releasing a pay-what-you-want bundle of games on August 17th!
Sign up here to get an email when the KFP bundle is released

Who is Alex?

Alex Bezuska is the cofounder/ artist for Two Scoop Games and Director at Louisville Makes Games! Alex is obsessively passionate about making games and building the local game development community. He is also an avid lover of ice cream.

Keep up to date with all the latest news and updates from Two Scoop Games by joining our mailing list!

Two Scoop games on Twitter: @TwoScoopGames

 

 

New bots with special abilities in the works for Kick Bot DX!

New bots with special abilities in the works for Kick Bot DX!

It has been just over a week since the Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam kickoff and we here at Two Scoop Games have been hard at work conceptualizing the future of Kick Bot. If you didn’t get a chance to read our last post where I explain more about Kentucky Fried Pixels you can check it out here: Kentucky Fried Pixels!

Kick Bot DX launch plan

    1. Get game up to feature-parity with the current version on Chrome Web Store and release as an update to the existing game. This will be a big improvement in a few areas like performance and responsiveness, but it will also fix an issue with high scores not being saved for some users.
    2. Add new features. We have been working hard during the Kentucky Fried Pixels game jam to include new features (sign up here to be notified of the bundle release!).
    3. iOS and Android release. This version will include unlockable/purchasable new playable characters with unique abilities…More on those to be announced in the future! 😉

 

 

My main focus has been working on lots of concept art while Eric works on getting the game’s main features working. Our new playable character ideas are all based around special moves they can do. There will be 7 new bots in addition to the classic Kick Bot which will be the default starter character.

 

Concept art for Kick Bot playable characters (most likely not going into game)
Concept art for Kick Bot playable characters (most likely not going into game)

Having a constraint like knowing the special ability of the character really helps to create a solid design based around a core mechanic. I am excited about the new focused direction on having 8 total bots each with special moves. The special moves have been brainstormed and the best have been chosen, now I will continue working on interesting concepts for the characters.

Eric has been working on the high score system which will later tie into leaderboards.

 

TLDR;

  • Three-pronged approach to launching Kick Bot DX
  • New unlockable playable characters each with unique new abilities in the works
  • Working on concept art – new ideas for new BOTS!
  • High score system that won’t lose scores


Keep up to date with all the latest news and updates from Two Scoop Games by joining our mailing list! 


-Alex Bezuska,

Game Artist and Animator
Two Scoop Games

 


Who is Alex?

Alex Bezuska is the cofounder/ artist for Two Scoop Games and Director at Louisville Makes Games! Alex is obsessively passionate about making games and building the local game development community. He is also an avid lover of ice cream.

Two Scoop Games cooks up a new version of Kick Bot for Kentucky Fried Pixels

Two Scoop Games cooks up a new version of Kick Bot for Kentucky Fried Pixels

For the second year in a row my game studio, Two Scoop Games, is proudly participating in the Kentucky Fried Pixels (KFP) game jam! For those unfamiliar, a game jam is an event for people who make games or want to make games to stretch their skills and creative muscles to produce a game based on a theme within a given timeframe. KFP fits that description, but has a couple of fun and interesting quirks. It is based out of our game dev home, Louisville, KY and it is actually two jams in one; a 48 hour in-person event to kick the game jam off, followed by 30 days to polish and prepare your project for inclusion in the KFP bundle. Bundles of games have been around for a while, one you might have heard of is the Humble Indie Bundle, the concept is multiple game creators selling their games together with a pay-what-you-want price tag on a digital distribution channel, in our case Itch.io. This is a great opportunity for a team or individual to earn their first dollar for doing something they love — creating games!

The jam started Friday, June 9 and we already had a plan of what we were going to work on — so we jumped right in after an awesome keynote full of jam tips by Kyle Pulver.
Our project for the weekend was rebuilding one of the first games Eric and I created together back in 2013; Kick Bot! Kick Bot is our most successful game from a sheer number of weekly active users standpoint, it fluctuates between 25k and 40k. That number is partially due to being featured on the Chrome Web Store homepage along with our other game, Scurry. There have also been quite a few YouTube videos made of people struggling through the game! So this new version will be released as an update and gift for all the Chromebook users we currently have.

Kick Bot, a game by Two Scoop Games on display at CodePaLOUsa, Louisville Kentucky June 2017
Kick Bot, a game by Two Scoop Games on display at CodePaLOUsa, Louisville Kentucky June 2017

In Kick Bot, you play as a robot painstakingly engineered for one thing and one thing only – wall jumping! In this brutal endless climber you must test your reflexes and jump from wall to wall avoiding hazards and proving your skill.

We set out with a goal to rebuild the game in Unity so that cross-platform release will be possible for desktop, Chrome Web Store, iOS, and Android. Throughout the course of the weekend things went surprisingly smoothly, because we had an amazing resource available — the Louisville Makes Games community! Many teams in our community have Unity experience and expertise, and we took full advantage of our close proximity to ask lots of questions and learn as much as we could. The community aspect of game jams has always been just as important as the learning for me, and with a community that is humble, helpful, and hoping you succeed, the positive impact can’t be denied.

The process of ‘porting’ our game to Unity went very well. Eric focused on the core gameplay and mechanics and translated all of the math to make the game move and feel just like the original. I focused on converting and cleaning up artwork, creating a new logo, and learning the feature-packed Unity particle system.

kick bot game by two scoop games small explosion

As with all of our game jams, we end Sunday night at 7pm and do presentations of each team and their game. I was proud to show what we were able to complete, it looked like the original game plus more, so we named it “Kick Bot DX”.

Eric Lathrop and Alex bezuska of Two Scoop Games showing their creation Kick Bot DX at the Kentucky Fried Pixels game Jam, Louisville Kentucky June 11th
Eric Lathrop and Alex Bezuska of Two Scoop Games showing their creation Kick Bot DX at the Kentucky Fried Pixels game Jam, Louisville Kentucky June 11th

The plan from here is to spend more time on it leading up to the July 9th end of Kentucky Fried Pixels and get it to a state where it is complete enough to launch on iOS and Android, and sold as part of the KFP bundle on itch.io of course!

Kick Bot DX by Two Scoop Games
Kick Bot DX by Two Scoop Games

The next big hurdle is a marketing plan. We want to give this new DX version to the players and fans on Chrome Web Store as a gift, then point them in the direction of the mobile apps, and start hinting at a sequel with even more features.

You can play the current version of Kick Bot here and buy the Kentucky Fried Pixels Bundle soon! Sign up for the Kentucky Fried Pixels email list to get updates when the bundle is available for purchase!

Louisville game creators planning to travel to Richmond KY for Vector Conf 2017!

Louisville game creators planning to travel to Richmond KY for Vector Conf 2017!

Vector is a game developer’s conference taking place April 21-22 2017 (fri-sat) in Richmond KY. The conference is held at Eastern Kentucky University on April 21-22, 2017 in collaboration with the EKU Gaming Institute, the Richmond office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, RunJumpDev, and TechBase 10. Vector is a celebration of local developers, as well as a chance to network with leaders and peers in the field of game design and development.

This will be Vector’s second year, and a high attendance will help push Kentucky as a viable state for game development careers. Vector is the only known conference in Kentucky specifically geared towards all game developers. Last year, Vector 2016 had some very enlightening talks and from the looks of the lineup, this year will be no exception.

Speakers announced so far: Aleissia Laidacker, Lisa Brown (originally from Louisville, KY), Mark Mandel, and Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld. For me, the talk that stood out the most last year was one on accessibility in games which I still benefit from thinking back to when designing UI and control schemes for my projects.

If you are at all interested in making games, or are currently making games and want to pick up great advice and worthwhile tips, I recommend you check it out. Travel is about 1h 35min from downtown Louisville, and since it is a two day event lodging might be necessary. The cost of admission is very low, only $40 for a full 2 day ticket or $20 for just a single day.
Check out vectorconf.com

If anyone is going, or interested in going to this event, please reach out to me on twitter @alexbezuska and I will loop you in on our travel carpooling/caravan plans. I hope to see all my Run Jump Dev friends there, and maybe organize a group for dinner one night.