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Developing A Cat’s Manor in Saudi Arabia for a Western Audience

acm1.pngIn the first part of this interview with Tariq Mukhttar, he talked about the indie game development scene in Saudi Arabia. His heavy involvement with the community doesn’t prevent him from working on his own games, though, and this second part is about his game in development, A Cat’s Manor. Due out in Q1 2017 on PC, with console and mobile releases to follow, the puzzle-heavy adventure game reached #8 in the Steam Greenlight rankings before being accepted.

While marketing his first breakout hit in the region, a game made in three weeks to capitalize on a football team’s historic comeback, he encountered folks from Sony Saudi Arabia. They told him about Sony’s annual Gamers Day convention and invited him to participate.

“I took it as a chance to learn a new game engine and programming language,” says Mukhttar. Although the game was originally developed in the Unreal engine, he switched to the locally popular Unity so that he could promote discussion within his community and learn from others. “I developed a precursor to A Cat’s Manor in two months, and the reception was very positive at the convention. The next two years were spent upgrading and improving the game.”

The inspiration for the game sprung from Mukhttar’s experience of living in a house with twenty-four cats. “Having the cat as a protagonist was a no brainer,” he says. “Then the go-to genre for beginner gamedevs [is] platform games, so it was a natural fit. But then my tendencies for the creepy had me populate the then-first location of the game with a stereotypical, eccentric, crazy family. By then, I’d drifted away from a platform style game to more of a puzzle adventure type. The game started to take on a life of its own.”

Mukhttar takes an iterative approach to level design, starting with an environment that mirrors real life settings. “Then you make changes so that it facilitates a few things: allow reasonable flow of gameplay, provide logical story flow, and hide technical issues,” he explains. “Midway through development I employed the 8 Point Story Arc methodology to test how well the narrative plays out. It forced me to make some big changes to the level design. Ones I’m glad I did, as the story plays out better for them.”

acm2.pngHis favorite things about developing A Cat’s Manor are creating the world and doing animation. “I just enjoy these two activities most. Just creating the creepy world the characters inhabit with all its little audio, visual details is so enjoyable. Trees slowly [swaying] in the howling wind, grass that reacts to movement, an ominous grandfather clock, creaky attics, dangling chains, and dripping water,” says Mukhttar.

“Then I have an obsession with smooth animation that’s full of personality. The dancing and waltzing, the irritated shivering of limbs, the fancy and unnecessary footwork, and uncomfortable smirks and smiles,” he continues. “I get such a joy out of seeing them come alive!”

acm3.jpegAside from the inclusion of Arabic subtitles, he doesn’t feel like the game is particularly Saudi Arabian at all. “This a game built from the ground up for the western market,” says Mukhttar. “If anything, my Saudi experience is holding me back. I have removed elements and themes which are regarded offensive and sinful from the game for fear it would hurt my reputation in my country. The game was a lot darker than it is now. Arabic games that are successful in Saudi Arabia are tightly grouped around football, racing, card games, and online strategy.”

Catching up with western standards of quality is one hurdle Mukhttar seeks to overcome. “I need to elevate the game from the status of local Arab amateur mobile game to high quality global console game standard,” he says. “Something that looks like a celebrated indie next-gen game. Things like soundtrack, voiceovers, tons of animation to give the game life and appeal. All the while staying true to its creepy, cute aesthetics.”

acm4.jpegAlthough learning Unity and C# has been a challenge for Mukhttar, he says the biggest challenge is getting certified for consoles. “Either your country is not supported or recognized, or some requirements are obscenely expensive in this part of the world, or some require legal documents simply doesn’t exist here! For instance, telecommunication services are abysmal,” he says. “There is no concept of shared or creative workspaces for indies to setup and work in. Legal and business papers and registrations are in Arabic, not English.”

Lena LeRay

Developing A Cat’s Manor in Saudi Arabia for a Western Audience

acm1.pngIn the first part of this interview with Tariq Mukhttar, he talked about the indie game development scene in Saudi Arabia. His heavy involvement with the community doesn’t prevent him from working on his own games, though, and this second part is about his game in development, A Cat’s Manor. Due out in Q1 2017 on PC, with console and mobile releases to follow, the puzzle-heavy adventure game reached #8 in the Steam Greenlight rankings before being accepted.

While marketing his first breakout hit in the region, a game made in three weeks to capitalize on a football team’s historic comeback, he encountered folks from Sony Saudi Arabia. They told him about Sony’s annual Gamers Day convention and invited him to participate.

“I took it as a chance to learn a new game engine and programming language,” says Mukhttar. Although the game was originally developed in the Unreal engine, he switched to the locally popular Unity so that he could promote discussion within his community and learn from others. “I developed a precursor to A Cat’s Manor in two months, and the reception was very positive at the convention. The next two years were spent upgrading and improving the game.”

The inspiration for the game sprung from Mukhttar’s experience of living in a house with twenty-four cats. “Having the cat as a protagonist was a no brainer,” he says. “Then the go-to genre for beginner gamedevs [is] platform games, so it was a natural fit. But then my tendencies for the creepy had me populate the then-first location of the game with a stereotypical, eccentric, crazy family. By then, I’d drifted away from a platform style game to more of a puzzle adventure type. The game started to take on a life of its own.”

Mukhttar takes an iterative approach to level design, starting with an environment that mirrors real life settings. “Then you make changes so that it facilitates a few things: allow reasonable flow of gameplay, provide logical story flow, and hide technical issues,” he explains. “Midway through development I employed the 8 Point Story Arc methodology to test how well the narrative plays out. It forced me to make some big changes to the level design. Ones I’m glad I did, as the story plays out better for them.”

acm2.pngHis favorite things about developing A Cat’s Manor are creating the world and doing animation. “I just enjoy these two activities most. Just creating the creepy world the characters inhabit with all its little audio, visual details is so enjoyable. Trees slowly [swaying] in the howling wind, grass that reacts to movement, an ominous grandfather clock, creaky attics, dangling chains, and dripping water,” says Mukhttar.

“Then I have an obsession with smooth animation that’s full of personality. The dancing and waltzing, the irritated shivering of limbs, the fancy and unnecessary footwork, and uncomfortable smirks and smiles,” he continues. “I get such a joy out of seeing them come alive!”

acm3.jpegAside from the inclusion of Arabic subtitles, he doesn’t feel like the game is particularly Saudi Arabian at all. “This a game built from the ground up for the western market,” says Mukhttar. “If anything, my Saudi experience is holding me back. I have removed elements and themes which are regarded offensive and sinful from the game for fear it would hurt my reputation in my country. The game was a lot darker than it is now. Arabic games that are successful in Saudi Arabia are tightly grouped around football, racing, card games, and online strategy.”

Catching up with western standards of quality is one hurdle Mukhttar seeks to overcome. “I need to elevate the game from the status of local Arab amateur mobile game to high quality global console game standard,” he says. “Something that looks like a celebrated indie next-gen game. Things like soundtrack, voiceovers, tons of animation to give the game life and appeal. All the while staying true to its creepy, cute aesthetics.”

acm4.jpegAlthough learning Unity and C# has been a challenge for Mukhttar, he says the biggest challenge is getting certified for consoles. “Either your country is not supported or recognized, or some requirements are obscenely expensive in this part of the world, or some require legal documents simply doesn’t exist here! For instance, telecommunication services are abysmal,” he says. “There is no concept of shared or creative workspaces for indies to setup and work in. Legal and business papers and registrations are in Arabic, not English.”

Lena LeRay

App del giorno iOS: Pixel Painter Story gratis su App Store

App del giorno iOS: Pixel Painter Story gratis su App Store

Eccoci come sempre ad un nuovo appuntamento con la nostra rubrica per le app in saldo. Si tratta infatti di app o giochi in offerta gratuita per iOS, iPhone ed iPad. Per poche ore, dunque, potrete scaricare gratis app o giochi altrimenti a pagamento. Oggi vi proponiamo in offerta gratuita Pixel Painter Story, che presenta le seguenti caratteristiche:

Fun, challenging painting game. Be a hero and draw color pixel, many pixels to complete all levels! Your gun is a spray! Be a pocket painter, draw a picture and have fun!

This is totally unique game with a many modes ready to unlock. This story is for you!

Key game features:

– 150 pixel pictures to paint

– colorful graphics

– 5 game modes

– superb sfx

– 100% fun

– innovative

– challenge

(…)
Leggi l’articolo completo App del giorno iOS: Pixel Painter Story gratis su App Store (1 words)


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[VIDEO] Interview: Colleen Doran on Combining Children’s Book Art and Horror in Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge

We had a chance to talk to artist Colleen Doran at Dark Horse’s New York Comic Con booth this year about her illustrations for Troll Bridge, the comic book adaptation of a Neil Gaiman story.

Troll Bridge is a fantastical story about Jack, a young boy whose encounter with a ravenous troll follows him for the rest of his life. It’s a eerie tale and combined with Doran’s unique style which she tells us plays on a tension between classic “children’s book art” and an “adult sensibility.” She also shared with us what an earlier, wildly different version of this comic looked like and why she ultimately felt its current style captured Gaiman’s creepy narrative most powerfully.

Doran also showed us some of her favorite pages, which really exemplify her style. There’s some of my favorite pages as well. I’d definitely recommend picking up the book, just to have a physical copy of these illustrations!

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Charline Jao

App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store

App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store

Ogni giorno alcune app o giochi vengono resi disponibili al download gratuito sul Play Store per Android, così come accade anche con iOS. Si tratta infatti di offerte a tempo limitato che vi permetteranno di scaricare completamente gratis applicazioni o giochi che altrimenti sarebbero a pagamento.

Se già con Apple trovate un articolo con un’offerta al giorno, ecco che da oggi partiremo con le offerte gratuite anche per quanto riguarda la piattaforma Android. Per la giornata di oggi, l’app o il gioco in offerta gratuita Pixel Painter Story, e presenta le seguenti caratteristiche:

Pixel painter story is totally unique game with a many modes ready to unlock. This story is for you! Be a hero and draw a color pixel to create image! Get stars for your masterpiece and complete all levels!

Remember! Time in the game for create image is limited. You must hurry up! Now you have a perfect chance to be a awesome pocket painter! Get a spray, paint a picture and have fun!

Key game features:

– 150 pixel pictures to paint

– colorful graphics

– 5 game modes (waiting to unlock)

– superb sfx

– 100% fun

– innovative

– challenge

– free

(…)
Leggi l’articolo completo App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store (1 words)


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Darkleomax

App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store

App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store

Ogni giorno alcune app o giochi vengono resi disponibili al download gratuito sul Play Store per Android, così come accade anche con iOS. Si tratta infatti di offerte a tempo limitato che vi permetteranno di scaricare completamente gratis applicazioni o giochi che altrimenti sarebbero a pagamento.

Se già con Apple trovate un articolo con un’offerta al giorno, ecco che da oggi partiremo con le offerte gratuite anche per quanto riguarda la piattaforma Android. Per la giornata di oggi, l’app o il gioco in offerta gratuita Pixel Painter Story, e presenta le seguenti caratteristiche:

Pixel painter story is totally unique game with a many modes ready to unlock. This story is for you! Be a hero and draw a color pixel to create image! Get stars for your masterpiece and complete all levels!

Remember! Time in the game for create image is limited. You must hurry up! Now you have a perfect chance to be a awesome pocket painter! Get a spray, paint a picture and have fun!

Key game features:

– 150 pixel pictures to paint

– colorful graphics

– 5 game modes (waiting to unlock)

– superb sfx

– 100% fun

– innovative

– challenge

– free

(…)
Leggi l’articolo completo App del giorno Android: Pixel Painter Story gratis sul Play Store (1 words)


© Darkleomax for YourLifeUpdated | News dal mondo hi-tech, 2016. |

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James Wan Wants Aquaman to Have a Classic “Swashbuckling Action Adventure” Feel

aquaman

It’s hard to predict what James Wan’s Aquaman is going to look like, but a new description from the director sounds pretty enticing. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Ashley Crossan Wednesday, Wan shared this bit about what kind of tone the superhero film will take by referencing an old genre:

“I kind of don’t want to give too much away but know this: The spirit that I’m going for is like a classic sort of swashbuckling action adventure, sort of high seas adventure story. It’s ultimately a quest story in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Romancing the Stone.”

Momoa has said before that Aquaman won’t be busting out a bunch of jokes, but he won’t forget to have fun with it. While his outfit is said to be inspired by pollution, I think it’d be very cool to see Momoa play a more classic and charismatic swashbuckler (who can also serenade you with a guitar) among dark, unsaturated heroes. Wan has referred to him as a reluctant outsider similar to Wolverine in the past, so maybe he’s a bit more light-hearted?

On a slightly different note, what do you think the quest story will be? io9 guesses the Trident of Poseidon, which would make sense, but if there’s not too much backstory they might be looking for something else.

Wan also added he thinks Amber and Jason Momoa in Justice League aregoing to give the rest of the world a flavor of what their own standalone movie could be,” adding “that is just scratching the surface of what I plan to do.”

What do you think friends, are you hooked on this idea?

(via io9)

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The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google+.

Charline Jao

James Wan Wants Aquaman to Have a Classic “Swashbuckling Action Adventure” Feel

aquaman

It’s hard to predict what James Wan’s Aquaman is going to look like, but a new description from the director sounds pretty enticing. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Ashley Crossan Wednesday, Wan shared this bit about what kind of tone the superhero film will take by referencing an old genre:

“I kind of don’t want to give too much away but know this: The spirit that I’m going for is like a classic sort of swashbuckling action adventure, sort of high seas adventure story. It’s ultimately a quest story in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Romancing the Stone.”

Momoa has said before that Aquaman won’t be busting out a bunch of jokes, but he won’t forget to have fun with it. While his outfit is said to be inspired by pollution, I think it’d be very cool to see Momoa play a more classic and charismatic swashbuckler (who can also serenade you with a guitar) among dark, unsaturated heroes. Wan has referred to him as a reluctant outsider similar to Wolverine in the past, so maybe he’s a bit more light-hearted?

On a slightly different note, what do you think the quest story will be? io9 guesses the Trident of Poseidon, which would make sense, but if there’s not too much backstory they might be looking for something else.

Wan also added he thinks Amber and Jason Momoa in Justice League aregoing to give the rest of the world a flavor of what their own standalone movie could be,” adding “that is just scratching the surface of what I plan to do.”

What do you think friends, are you hooked on this idea?

(via io9)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google+.

Charline Jao