Humongous Bone

July 2018 Recap

Another month, another recap! I know what you’re thinking, we released our last recap a short while ago and we already have another one? We usually don’t post recaps in such quick succession but there’s a method to the madness. We have been posting recaps at the end of our condensed work periods (which last a month), but we realized that once we factor in planning, those work months become a bit skewed from the calendar months. To realign, we are posting a bit of a shorter recap for July as a sacrifice to get back on schedule. This means that you can look forward to our recaps being posted at the same time, somewhere during the first week of each month! With that out of the way, let’s jump into what we have been working on for the last couple weeks.

Mechanics

Although it hasn’t been very long since our last post, there have been some pretty significant changes to the gameplay which we are all pretty stoked about. We set out into making this game loving local multiplayer games and wanting to make our own mark on the genre with the unique mechanic of controlling your opponent’s character as a win condition. Since we consider this the core of the game, we have been finding ways to build around this mechanic as a focal point and always ask the question when we think of a new system to implement: does it help encourage the core gameplay?

We asked this question recently after playtesting, and realized that being able to kill players with weapon fire did not support this mechanic, and it seemed that gameplay outside of being switched into an opponent’s body was just not very interesting. The result of this is removing all damage from the game other than the instant-kill mechanic of a player falling into the pit. This means that players may no longer damage others by shooting their primary or secondary fires, or by landing a jump kick. To ensure the weapon still serves a purpose, the primary fire now slows any enemies hit by it and stuns any enemies who are already slowed. Secondary fire is an automatic stun if the shot connects.

Along with the weapon changes, we have updated the jump kick and player switching mechanics. Instead of players switching based on a global timer, players may now target other players and switch into their bodies by landing a jump kick. We feel that this will create more interesting and emergent gameplay, as players will have direct control over which player’s character they are controlling, and can strategize throughout gameplay around that.

Another major change is the addition of a laser sight for the purpose of aiming. The idea behind this is to show where each player is aiming at all times to both assist in more accurate aiming, and to allow players to maneuver around enemy fire / bait others into areas of the maps. Below is an early representation of how this will look:

LaserAiming

Polishing existing mechanics has been a focal point for this month to make character movement feel more enjoyable. We have improved the feeling of the jump kick and general player movement, and have more improvements coming in the near future such as jump, wall jump, and ground slide mechanics.

Art

This month has also been big for art, as we finally have a scene in engine full of original art – no placeholders!

FirstFullArtDemo

The final piece to this puzzle was getting the platforms in the engine. This took a while due to a few issues, namely a bug with Unity’s tiling tool in 2018.1 (resolved when 2018.2 was released) and the team learning how to create a proper tileset. After trial and error, we finally have a usable tileset for many platform combinations which can be seen below.

GA_Platforms_all

We have also been diligent in creating a new character, as we decided that the old character did not fit well into the resolution that the game is being displayed in. To shape the character, we first created some new concepts and went through a few iterations before deciding on a new character to move ahead with.

NewCharacter

Animation

Since this has been a month of improvements and iteration, we also decided to iterate on the effects we created last month for weapon firing. We felt that our first iterations of the fire and hit effects were not large or impactful enough. For this iteration, we focused on greatly expanding the size of the effects and focusing on the silhouette to make the effects feel more powerful. These changes can be seen below, and we think these are already looking a lot better.

Since we created a new character, all of our old animations for the character have become obsolete. This means new rigs and animations for our character! We are trying to take things we learned from the first pass of creating the character and apply them to create better looking and feeling animations. A problem with the old animations were how slow they were, which made actions feel lethargic and clunky. This new crouch animation is literally 2 frames, making it barely classifiable as an animation but a hell of a lot more responsive!

NewCrouchAnim

Level Design

Not much has changed in the level design department, other than finally being able to build our existing level with the new platforms. We are continuing to playtest that level and polish it to make it balanced and fun to navigate.

Although it hasn’t been long since our last recap, we had quite a bit of changes to show. Once again, you can expect these recaps at the beginning of every month from now on, and can keep even closer tabs on us by following our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages linked at the bottom of this webpage. Near our social media links, you can also find an invitation to join our discord community (which gives unique insight to our dev process and will allow you to directly participate in development and community events) as well as a link to twitch where you will be able to find our live playtests once those start next month. As always, thanks for checking in on our progress and have a great August!

-Humongous Bone Games

June 2018 Recap

Good news everyone! With another full month of work in the books it’s time for our monthly recap again! We have finally made significant progress with core functionality of the game, and the art style is really taking shape. These are exciting times for us as we finally are able to import some art into the engine and get an idea of the world we are building! We pretty much met our goal for this month with a few exceptions, but we believe we have some juicy content to share with everyone and hope you get as hyped up as we are. Now let’s check out what work has been done with this months recap!

Mechanics

During this sprint, a number of mechanics for the game have been implemented. One of the new features that was added is character slide functionality. Players will be able to slide which will help them dodge projectiles or escape from an incoming enemy, granting a temporary speed boost. The slide mechanic can also be used offensively to get the jump on another unsuspecting player.

GroundSlide

Another mechanic that has been implemented is the ability for the player to slide down a wall. This enables the player to slow down while falling to avoid falling into a pit, or time an attack from above on opponents. It will be exciting to see how people use this mechanic to their advantage!

WallSlide

A lot of existing mechanics and features have also been tweaked and iterated on. Through extensive testing we have been able to improve the aiming functionality of the character. To improve aiming, we are limiting the number of angles players can aim at to a finite number, which should greatly improve precision. Below is an image of all the different directions you can aim the characters line of sight.

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A lot of other small aspects of the game have been tweaked such as the various ways players can move around an environment. This includes how fast a player moves, how fast a player falls, how high a player can jump and so on. Another mechanic that was tweaked is the improvement of the platform spawning system. We had to make sure that when the platform spawns from secondary fire, it spawns conscious of the collider size, so it would not clip through the walls of the level. We plan on having a visual aide to the secondary fire HUD and charging of the laser shot so players know when they are using the platform secondary fire.

PlatformCreation

Art

In terms of art, a lot has been done this past month. We started the concept art of the incubation hoses, which are used to suspend the character from the top of the screen during character selection. Players can hover over suits with their cursor (P1, P2, P3, etc.), and once selected the character will jump down from the hose and become controllable. This design decision was informed by some of the lore we are building for the world these characters exist in, so stay tuned as more is revealed.

CA_incubationhose

The environment for our first level has finally been implemented into the engine. This first environment piece is part of the first of many playable environments which have unique visual and gameplay characteristics. This means that our level now actually looks like it belongs in a world somewhere!

Background

Along with many in-game assets, we started conceptualizing some visual effects for the character and weaponry. The laser shooting effect and the laser contact effect are going to be implemented for in-engine use within the very near future. This will give some aesthetic feel to shooting the main weapon for that you will now see a muzzle flash and the actual laser making contact with something.

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Remember the two power-ups we talked about in the last recap? Well we now have the art for them in-engine so you know what power-up you have collected and which power-up is spawning at the power-up station!

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Last recap we showed off the World 1 environment painting and now we have completed the concept of it. The concept was iterated on and fine tuned to what we thought is a good representation of this first world environment. We want the players to be immersed in this world we are creating and it starts with how the world and environment looks. Below is the midground and foreground of the World 1 environment.

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Level Design

Last recap we had the task of finding the right scale of the levels. With accomplishing that, we moved onto fine-tuning the level design so that there is a good flow to it when players are battling it out. With this level 1 we created, we opened it more so players have more freedom to move around and use all of the interesting movement abilities available to them! Below is a before level design and the new and improved level design comparison.

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Animation

A bunch of new animations were created this past month for the character and other assets. First off we will talk about the power-up animations. The power-up station now has an animation when the power-up spawns and when the power-up is picked up. The actual power-up itself has an idle animation for when it has spawned and no player has picked it up yet.

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A couple new character animations have also been created and implemented into the engine as well. There is now an idle animation to the character for when the player is not currently moving. This helps add life to the character even when not being controlled. The jump kick animation has also been created for the character and we are really excited about this one because who doesn’t love landing a good jump kick to someone’s face? Now you can see it happen with this animation being implemented!

Idle
Jump Kick

That’s it for this month’s recap! We hope you enjoyed the hard work we have put in this past month and are eager to play as much as we are eager for you to play as well. Stay tuned and connected on our social media for more weekly updates. Also, don’t forget to be on the lookout for next months recap for more insightful and detailed information on this game!

– Humongous Bone Games

May 2018 Recap

Its that time of the month again, our monthly recap! With one month already under our belt, the art style and features of our game have evolved to provide a more concrete example of what this game will be. Although we fell a bit short of our goal for the month, we made some positive progress that we would like to share with everyone. Without further ado, let’s jump into the recap!

Mechanics

During this sprint, the movement options for the player were expanded greatly to include crouching, wall jumping, fast falling, and even a damaging jump kick!

JumpKick

Early Jump Kick shown above without animations

WallJumping

Early Wall Jumping shown above also without animations

Along with dealing damage, the jump kick can also deflect incoming projectiles as a last line of defense. This will have to be tested to ensure it won’t be too overpowered, but we wanted a way for the player to skillfully avoid damage in ways other than simply hiding behind a wall. Of course this ability will come with a cooldown that we will have to tweak as well, but currently the kick is feeling pretty good. This is going to look AWESOME once we implement our real character with animations.

Apart from character functionality, we also have been experimenting with powerups, weapon recharging, and a way of displaying all of this information to the player. There is now a HUD surrounding each character showing lives and weapon charge, and we intend on expanding that to also show the current equipped powerup.

At the moment, we have early versions of a positive power-up (the jetpack) and a negative power-up (reverse controls). The idea is that positive power-ups enhance play and would be used while the player is controlling their own character, and that negative power-ups hinder play and would be used before a switch to make controlling the player’s character more difficult for their enemy.

Weapon recharge stations have been placed throughout the levels to balance play and drive players into certain locations on a map. After a player exhausts their charge, they will have to navigate to a recharge station and charge for 2 seconds before they can shoot again. Hopefully this will discourage players from being trigger happy, and go for more skilled and timely shots.

 

Art

In the art department, a world one background painting was completed to show the feel and look of the environment and show how the level may look. Along with developing concepts, some actual level assets were created for in game purposes such as the recharge station and the power up station. Currently theses two in game assets are not complete and are a quick representation of what these objects will look like, detailing and finalization of them will come later. Lastly, the laser art for both the platform and shot were created. As of now there are a lot a place-holder images in our prototype, but with the help of these our game will get closer and closer to what it should look like.

 

World1conceptart3

Final version of the world 1 environment promo image

Laser

PowerupStation(open)

Recharge Station

Some early unshaded in-game assets

 

Level Design

The topic of scaling has been in the back of our minds since the start but we finally got it nailed. A level was created 3 times and scaled differently from small to medium to large. We all play-tested each size and concluded on the best size visually and technically for players. With this as a base, it should now be a lot easier to create properly sized assets and experiment more with level designs.

 

Animation

The character rig for the side view of the character has been completed, enabling us to start animating aiming and other actions which use the side view. Since Spine is being used as our animation software, we spent a good chunk of time figuring out the features that come with the Unity runtime. This should expand the possibilities of what we can do with interactivity and animation, particularly with aiming.

 

With our second recap in the books, we look towards the next month to make some progress and get to the point where we can show actual gameplay! Stay in the loop on our social media (linked at the bottom of the page) until then, or wait until July for the next in-depth recap. Until next time.

 

– Humongous Bone Games

April 2018 Recap

Hello everyone and welcome to our first ever monthly recap! These blog posts can be expected around the beginning of every month to review all of the progress we have made on our currently untitled project. Stay tuned to this website for in-depth recaps, our social media pages (Instagram Twitter and Facebook) for updates throughout the month, and our Discord for special events and exclusive information about the game. Now that introductions are out of the way, lets dive into the game itself!

As stated above, the project is currently untitled but per our game page you can find this snippet which sums up what gameplay will be like in the final product: “A 2D Multiplayer Action Arena game where players have the ability to control their opponents character. Protect your character by creating platforms while navigating your opponent’s character into death zones on the map. The last person (or team) standing wins the game!”. The three of us at Humongous Bone Games really love local multiplayer games, and this project was birthed out of the passion that we have for them. We found inspiration in some of our favorite games while seeing opportunity for improvement and exploration of some truly unique mechanics that should make for a one of a kind experience.

 

Mechanics

Starting out with the mechanics of the game which likely feel familiar to most players: it is at its core a last person standing arena combat game. Each player starts out with a set number of lives and ammunition and must navigate the level to defeat their opponents…sounds simple and I’m sure many games come to mind given that general description. However, during the course of gameplay there will be multiple times where players are switched into each other’s bodies and their goal will change: do everything you can to save your character while actively searching for death zones on the map to deplete the lives of the enemy character that you are controlling. Now for some VERY early GIFs of prototyping:

4.7.18_1

4.7.18_2

From a development standpoint, the first items we wanted to prototype were basic character movement, and finding a good scale for the game. We did not want to use the engine’s built in physics because we wanted a very tight control feel for the game, so we created our own custom controller so we can tweak the shit out of movement controls. After getting a character moving on the screen, we needed to get an idea of how the levels should feel – should they be big or small? How fast should the character move within the level? How high should the character jump? There were a lot of questions we started to answer, and we felt that the second GIF is more indicative of what we are going for. Gameplay should be fast paced, and levels should be large enough to support faster movement and higher jumping. There is still plenty of iteration to be done, but we felt that this was a good start.

Next on the list was to get some of the core gameplay functionality working so we could continue testing our ideas and iterating on them:

4.28.18

What you see here is some of the basic combat functionality: being able to shoot each other (using some beautiful placeholders from our previous game :)), losing health and losing lives, and switch functionality happening so players are controlling their opponent’s character (via the countdown timer at the top). Overall, these mechanics are already feeling pretty solid together, and we have already iterated on this gameplay to improve it since this video was taken a few days ago. A big challenge of this game is going to be making the switches feel right and in pace with gameplay, as well as effectively communicating what is happening using visuals. Since this is early, the majority of our ideas have not yet been realized and will be explained in more detail as we implement more functionality, but this is a great start!

 

Art

As this is the beginning of the process, we are going through many iterations as we try to nail down our art style. Many local multiplayer games with fixed cameras such as this one utilize pixel art, but we wanted this game to stand out a bit more and have some attitude. We are trying to make the game as detailed as possible, although it will be quite the challenge with a fixed camera as we will have to find a happy medium between scale and detail. Our primary colors are very dark shades which should contrast really nicely with neon accents, and open up a lot of opportunities to play around with lighting and particle effects.

Above are some iterations as we attempt to nail down the character design, with the bottom being the closest to what a character might look like. The tubes play an important role in gameplay and will be explained more down the road as we continue to develop the game.

Environments also went through quite a bit of iteration as we 1. tried to nail down what an in-game level might look like and 2. tried to develop an aesthetic for our first “world”. Below are some screen shots of both of those processes of exploration:

Again, the top most were some iterations of the in-game levels and a world building concept, with the bottom two being a bit closer to what the game will look like. We have iterated even further than the bottom two images to evolve the style more, and some of those iterations will be included in our social media posts as well as future blog posts but we feel we are getting pretty close to finding our art style and overall tone.

 

Animation

As with everything shown thus far, our philosophy for animating was the same: lay down a foundation for key animations that we can build upon. We were able to get a rig for the character completed and started on some of the necessary movement animations such as crouching, jumping and running. Below you can see some of these early animations which are simple blockouts, style and weight will be added further down the pipeline as we iterate.

RunningAnimation

JumpingAnimation

CrouchingAnimation

Level Design

As stated in the above section of mechanics, we spent some time in our first month developing the scale of the game, and along with that some concepts for potential level designs. We had some design philosophies in mind when creating these levels to make traversing them enjoyable, and to make gameplay balanced. First of all, each level needed to have at least 1 death zone to accommodate for our key body switch feature. Secondly, we wanted our levels to be symmetrical to improve balance and allow for some fun movement mechanics such as screen wrapping. With symmetrical levels, we can safely start players out in opposite corners of the level and ensure that when they start, they are not immediately at risk of dying and the gameplay can develop from the moves each player makes from there. We are also placing some other key locations around each level for recharging your weapon and picking up powerups, but that will be explained in another post after prototyping and implementing them. Below are some images of early level concepts:

 

That’s about it for our first recap! We accomplished a lot this month and achieved our goal of having a playable prototype with key features of the game. Our future posts will likely be a bit shorter than this as this included a bit of an introduction to the game as well as a recap of what we have been working on. Our goal for next sprint is to keep building upon the foundation we laid for the game, and hopefully have some original art in the engine instead of ugly placeholders :). Until next time.

 

– Humongous Bone Games

Untitled Project

 

Release Date

TBD

Genre

Local Multiplayer Action Arena

Platform

PC

Important Links

Social Media

Press/Business Contact

Developed By

Humongous Bone

Description

A 2D Multiplayer Action Arena game where players have the ability to control their opponents character. Protect your character by creating platforms while navigating your opponent’s character into death zones on the map. The last person (or team) standing wins the game!

History

Inspired by the local multiplayer games we love to play, the concept was simple: how can we make player death an interesting and rewarding mechanic? Deemed as our first “passion project” after the release of our very first game, (Untitled Project) was born. Development has only just started in early 2018, and there will be plenty of content to come very soon…

Videos

None yet…

Screenshots

None yet…

Logo and Icon

None yet…

Selected Articles

None yet…

Team and Collaborators

Kent Engel
Project Lead / Programmer
Jon Paul Grzybowski
VFX / Art
Adam Kalavsky
Level Design / Animation

Contact

Inquiries
Twitter
twitter.com/projectKYS

Get Outta My Garbage 4

Release Date

March 13, 2016

Genre

Local Multiplayer Party Game

Platform

PC (N64 Controllers)

Important Links

Press/Business Contact

Developed By

Humongous Bone

Description

A 2D local multiplayer party game where you and a friend race to the center of the screen while throwing garbage at each other. The faster you mash buttons, the faster you move…but the more garbage you are carrying the slower you move. MASH THOSE BUTTONS AND THROW THAT GARBAGE!

History

An absolutely idiotic game made during “Train Jam” 2016, Get Outta My Garbage 4 was created in 60 hours while riding on a train from Chicago to San Francisco. With the theme of “Maximum Capacity”, the team decided to make a game in which movement speed is augmented by the amount of items you are carrying until you reach Maximum Capacity and are momentarily stunned.

This was the first game jam attempted by the team at Humongous Bone, and it became quickly apparent how the hysteria and lack of sleep from these events seeps into the design of the games that come out of them. The event was so enjoyable that the team will certainly be back for more jams in the future.

Shark Thrower

 

Release Date

October 1, 2017

Genre

Action Puzzler

Platform

iOS / Android

Important Links

Press/Business Contact

Developed By

Humongous Bone

Description

Shark thrower is a 2D game in which you fling hungry sharks at a variety of unsuspecting fish. Obstacles impede your progress as you attempt to eat all of the fish with a variety of sharks at your disposal. Select and throw carefully…you have a limited number of sharks on each level!

History

The concept came to the team at Humongous Bone Games during an unexpected time…highly intoxicated and blurting out random phrases (circa 2012), someone said “Shark” and “Thrower” in quick succession and they knew immediately that it would be the greatest of games.

Fast forward to 2015, a time where Kent had graduated from college and was looking to continue his learning of the art of game development. He remembered the infamous phrase which had been uttered years ago, and brought it back up to JP and Adam as an actual game concept. From there, the team decided to push forth with the goal of creating a game out of a ridiculous scenario while publishing their first game together.

Shark Thrower was shown at various events: OGDE 2015, GDEX 2016 & 2017, and Wizard World Cleveland 2016. After much effort and feedback, Shark Thrower was released to the world and is available for play on mobile today.

Videos

None yet…

Screenshots

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Logo and Icon

Selected Articles

https://media.wkyc.com/embeds/video/2254413/iframe
 

Team and Collaborators

Kent Engel
Project Lead / Programmer
Jon Paul Grzybowski
VFX / Art
Adam Kalavsky
Level Design / Animation
Josh Suhy
Sound Effects
Angelo Cicero
Music

Contact

Inquiries
Twitter
twitter.com/Shark_Thrower

JP – VFX / Art Lead

A Kent State University graduate in the Fine Arts, JP’s artwork is evidence of a breadth of experience: from traditional 2d to clay and digital. As an artist, JP is most interested in character and creature design. Films and video games have inspired JP since he was young, and he tends to reflect that in the character concepts he creates outside of Humongous Bone projects.

 

Adam – Level Design / Animation Lead

A Cleveland Ohio native and sports lover, Adam Kalavsky is a Motivated and determined creative with focuses in Game Design, Graphic Design, Animation, and Level Design.  Proficient in karate, lifter of weights, companion of technology, eater of foods, and petter of dogs. Adam’s ideal kind of night is definitely not staying up late to play competitive fps video games.

Kent – Programmer / Project Lead

Hailing from the suburbs of Cleveland OH, Kent has been a creative person from a young age. Discovering his passion for playing video games in his youth, and following those passions into creating them since college, Kent has been exposed to every facet of the process which lead to his focuses in project management and programming. When not playing or making video games, he can be found tinkering with his custom desktop, playing and listening to music, or honing his skills in Isshin-ryu Karate.