Tiled Map Editor
Screenshot

I was looking into XML Tile Map editors a while ago and I found Tiled Map Editor. The site looked nice and was recently updated so I thought it looked like a good one to try. I recognized the demo maps displayed in the editor screenshots, they were from The Mana World. I contributed a few tiles to the project back in 2004, about midway through my journey through college.

During that time I was trying to figure out how I was going to be able to make games for a living. Although I was developing games like Thugjacker in my free time, I never believed there was a career in doing Flash games. I was preparing to become a 3D environmental artist, hoping to break into the game industry by designing a Half-Life 2 map. But I’ve always had the urge to explore different 2D art styles — I had a huge fascination with pixel art. During that time I would browse the Pixelation forum. The pixel art there was inspiring and I wanted to get in on it, but it was kind of hard with no direction. I just wanted to make some assets and learn the craft, not do all the characters and everything else. Shortly after that, I found a post recruiting people for The Mana World.

The Mana World is a free and open-source 2d MMORPG. It runs on the eAthena server, which is open-source software that emulates a Ragnarok Online server. I thought the game looked cool. It looked like Secret of Mana which was one of my favorite games growing up. It also reminded me of Ragnarok Online, which I didn’t play much but thought was super cool (I loved the art). So I jumped in.

Back when I first saw it, the game was super rough. Laggy. Buggy. But I loved being a part of it, the team was dedicated. It was exciting to log in everyday and see what changes were made while I was away. Most of the game development discussion was done in IRC chat rooms. There were many contributors. And good number of enthusiasts as well, which mostly played and gave feedback.


These are the tiles that I contributed to The Mana World.

I ended up dropping out of the project shortly after finishing these tiles. I had to devote more time to finishing school and my own projects. Looking back, it was my first experience working in a game development team that wasn’t just me and Ricky. I got some practice with working remotely with a team that was based in Europe. I got to feel the pressure of having to deliver game assets and the joy when everyone enjoyed what I contributed. It was also my first exposure to the concept of SVN — which saved me from feeling dumb when I first started using SVN at work.

I think it’s important to remember there’s always a game team out there that could use some help. People in school or just trying to break in the industry can look for these opportunities to gain some experience, and hopefully that leads to more confidence and some good portfolio pieces. From my experience on this project I knew that I could handle tiled pixel artwork. I wouldn’t revive this ability until 2007 on LUV Tank.

Peace!

-Bryson

Last December Chris tried peer pressuring me into doing this Global Game Jam nonsense.

“Come on Bryson, you wanna be cool don’t you?” -Christopher J. Rock

While I always feel obligated to elevate my coolness, I resisted. At the time I wasn’t interested because I felt that I needed to give love to my elusive Donut project. As January 29th approached I realized that the Game Jam is something I needed to do. After attending the Game Developer’s Conference and Indicade it’s become ever-so apparent to me that connecting with others within the same community builds deep bonds. And it dawned on me.

Independent game developers need a spot where we can kick it. A spot where we belong. Where we don’t have to get all dressed up and be Hollywood.

Something similar to a Thugz Mansion, but for game developers. Global Game Jam is our Thugz Mansion.

Continue Reading…

Sammy Samurai: Runner
Play it at www.sammysamurai.com

In late November of 2008 I found a forum post on Flashkit that linked to a contest from Mochiads. I wasn’t too excited about the prizes, the runner-up prizes were almost a joke, but I saw this as an opportunity to rush and actually finish something. Winning would be a plus. I hadn’t released a Sokay game in 2008 so I felt it was my last chance.

So I wanted to plan something that I would be able to finish within a month. That meant it had to be a lot simpler than my usual grandiose visions. I passed up on the opportunity to work with the Donut game I’ve been working on because there was a lot of animation that needed to done that I didn’t want to think about.

I had recently been inspired by the Studio Ghibli film Tales from Earthsea. I didn’t think the movie was very good but it has some awesome background design and a few shots had some excellent parallax scrolling going on. The parallax shots were very quick but captured my attention. Thanks to digital compositing they were able to blend many layers without making it obvious where one layer ended and another began. Continue Reading…

Little Loki Title

“I like to jump. You like to jump. My mom likes to jump. We all like to jump.” – My 6th grade jump instructor

Little Loki Escapes from Hell, which I developed at Liquid Generation, was my first experience developing a reflex based platformer game. It was the result of a bit of brainstorming and a good deal of freedom during the calm storm between projects. It was the type of project I’d been wanting to develop for a while and I dived in. I invite you to read about a story of its development.

Continue Reading…

http://www.liquidgeneration.com/Media/Games/The_Breakfa…

That’s the latest game I’ve finished. We had to rush some bug fixes at the end which cost us some sound effects, but we’ll be updating it this week with the right stuff. The game won’t be any different really, so go ahead and give it a try.

Here are a few thoughts on the game and its development. I list some “lessons to be learned” at the bottom, so feel free to skip down to that. Continue Reading…