Beat Bop Beat by Picardy ThirdBack in December of 2014, Picardy Third’s Ross Pinkstaff took part in Ludum Dare 31. During that game jam, he created a wonderful take on the music genre. Here is how Ross himself describes Beat Bop Delicious.

Do you know what those people working on the sound board are really doing? Neither do I, but I’m pretty sure this game is a spot on accurate simulation. :)

Beat Bop Delicious! is a frantic little button pushing, knob spinning, switch switching game.

When Ludum Dare ended, I spent some time playing the game and had a lot of fun with it. Of course we would all like to know where such a great idea for a game come from. Unfortunately, Ross has no idea.

I don’t quite know how to explain the ideas that pop out after the Ludum Dare theme is announced, but I wish I could bottle it. You brainstorm on a couple possibilities, but you never get the themes you’ve prepared for. Eventually, the pressure of time ticking and a blank code page starts popping ideas out.

Regardless of the idea’s true origins, the game was well received by the Ludum Dare community. The game was played by more people than his other Ludum Dare games, but he considers that to be based more on the fact this one was a web game while his others required people to download and install the games and third party libraries.

Ross didn’t drop the beat after Ludum Dare. Due to some encouraging comments from the Ludum Dare community, but mainly the encouragement from his wife and kids, he decided to expand the game and release it on iOS.

Ross used the HaxeFlixel framework which made the game a lot easier to port to mobile than some other game engines out there.

The basics of the gameplay were done in the first 48. So the bulk of the work was already done… Right? Ha!

I made a list of all the things that needed to happen for an iOS release… Running on iOS, Game center integration, IAP, ads and lots and lots of polish. With HaxeFlixel and Openfl this should be no problem. This is a multi platform project with a ton of extensions that cover all these bases. Just check the items off the list.

Of course not everything was smooth sailing. A new version of iOS and XCode was release earlier this year and Ross spent a lot of time dealing with bugs in HaxeFlixel’s implementation as it was trying to catch up.

Had I started this project today, all would have been really smooth, as HaxeFlixel/OpenGL is an amazing platform and community effort. My timing then however, was a little off, coming in behind a new iOS and Xcode release. I initially had a lot of issues building for iOS, and many of the extensions were broken by the updates as well. The community was extremely responsive, and many of the issues were taken care of quickly. Some of the others I was able to resolve after a bit of research/ hacking.

As for his general thoughts on HaxeFlixel and how it compares to other engines he has used, Ross had this to say.

It’s powerful and very easy to learn and use. It’s a little higher level than I’m used to, but as far as capable, cost effective game libraries go, it’s a great choice. Im planning on using it, or at least taking a step down and going with Openfl, for my next projects.

I’ve tried engines like unity, and they just do not fit with my workflow/programming style. I’m not saying HaxeFlixel is superior, or the better choice for everyone, just not the one for me.

Beat Bop Beat GameplayWith this iOS release, the game got a face lift with improves graphics, a new game mode, new controls, new music and a new name. When asked about the new name, Ross says it was out of respect for the name and IP of an existing game. Something more developers should take into account.

It was a little too close to another game that’s out there. For a 48 hour jam game.. You know.. Like whatever. But for an actual release, I feel it’s the respectful thing to do. Not only that, but if you’re not being overly cautious about all things IP, you’re doing it wrong.

The two modes of the game is Classic mode, which is pretty much what the Ludum Dare version is. The new mode is Jam mode which introduces new controls as well as randomization of the controls. But there is a surprising twist to Jam mode. In this mode, every now and then, the game switches to a brand new set of controls that keeps people on their toes. Something that Ross enjoys.

It was a balance decision. Some controls feel easier than others. It was a way to mix it up if you got a good initial “roll”. That, and I must admit I like the slight panic when I see someone experience it for the first time.

If you haven’t had a chance to play the game, you should certainly give it a go. It is free to play on the iPhone and the web version at the Ludum Dare link is still great if you don’t have one. But don’t worry. Ross has plans to bring Beat Bop Beat to Android as well as bring the new features to the web version. He will also be bringing new controls and game modes soon.

You can learn more about Beat Bop Beat and watch a gameplay trailer at Picardy Third’s website. Ross will also be at this weekend’s Super! BitCon with this and two of his other games available to play. So come and meet him and try out his games in person.

Get Beat Bop Beat for iOS.

Follow Picardy Third on Twitter.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

After an unplanned, but much needed, break last week, we are back with more crowdfunding news.

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Funding Cancelled:

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They cancelled their campaign after raising only $360 of their $500 goal.

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. They cancelled their campaign after raising only $487 of their $10,000 goal.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They ended their campaign after raising $35.

Funding Unsuccessful:

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. Funding was unsuccessful after raising only $608 of their $50,000 goal.

Currently Funding:

8-bit Battle Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori has a new card game in which players use cards representing 8-bit styled characters and items to beat their opponents. They are seeking $500 and have raised $200 with 17 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Funding Cancelled:

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They were seeking $8,000 and cancelled funding after only raising $922.

Currently Funding:

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They are seeking $500 and have raised $390 with 5 days to go.

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. They are seeking $50,000 and have raised $605 with 4 days left.

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. He is seeking $10,000 for printing and have raised $445 with 10 days left.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They are looking to raise $500 and have raised $35 so far.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Currently Funding:

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They are seeking $8,000 and have raised $922 with 8 days left.

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They are seeking $500 and have raised $383 with 12 days to go.

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. They are seeking $50,000 and have raised $603 with 11 days left.

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. He is seeking $10,000 for printing and have raised $405 with 17 days left.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They are looking to raise $500 and have raised $35 so far.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Funding Cancelled:

Cube Ninja by Nonlocality Games. Nonlocality is creating a minimalistic action game staring a cube on a mission to defeat a dodecahedron. Funding was cancelled last week after only raising $30 of their $6,000 goal.

Currently Funding:

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They are seeking $8,000 and have raised $897 with 15 days left.

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They are seeking $500 and have raised $261 with 19 days to go.

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. They are seeking $50,000 and have raised $503 with 17 days left.

New Campaign:

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. He is seeking $10,000 for printing and have raised $295 with 24 days left.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They are looking to raise $500 and have raised $35 so far.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Fully Funded:

En Passant Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is creating a card game inspired by the game of chess. They asked for $250 and raised $2,596.

Currently Funding:

Cube Ninja by Nonlocality Games. Nonlocality is creating a minimalistic action game staring a cube on a mission to defeat a dodecahedron. They are looking to raise $6,000 and have raised $30 with 7 days left.

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They are seeking $8,000 and have raised $865 with 22 days left.

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They are seeking $500 and have raised $81 with 26 days to go.

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. They are seeking $50,000 and have raised $402 with 25 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

Totem Pole Takedown by Angelwire StudioLast month, the latest mobile game from Angelwire Studio, run by Josiah Jones, was released. Totem Pole Takedown is a relatively simple take on the match-3 style puzzle game. It has simple and fun gameplay, but lacks a few features which would improve the playability of the game.

The concept of TPT is clear, touch totems in the pole to remove them and earn points. The more totems in a set you clear with each touch, the more points you get. So 2 matching totems will get you more points than 1 and 3 will score more points than 2 and so on.

The more sets you clear, the higher the combo meter will be. So if you can continue to clear sets, you will make more points with each one. However, when you clear only a single totem, the combo meter will decrease.

Totem Pole Takedown GameplayTPT has three modes, Normal, Simple and Crazy. Each has an unique way of playing the game, but the names of each mode do not really describe how they each play. Normal mode has color coded power meters that fill up as you clear sets of that  color. When the meter is full, you can clear out all totems not of that color to help build up sets.

Simple mode plays the same but without the color meters.

Crazy mode is like simple but the combo meter slowly empties if you aren’t actively playing and clearing sets.

TPT itself is fairly fun to play. However, there are some things that would improve the fun of the game but it unfortunately lacks. For example, at the end of each play session, the game tells you what your final score is, but it does not tell you if you beat your high score. This simple change would make the game a lot more fun to play.

Another issue is that TPT doesn’t do a lot to reinforce to you if you are doing a good job. You get a little “wow” if you match 4 or more totems, but they are hard to see . Making those more flashy and adding additional positive reinforcement if the player makes multiple matches in a row would make the game a whole lot more fun to play.

Otherwise, TPT is completely free, with no ads, to play. It could be worth downloading and seeing if it scratches an itch you may have. But if those little changes I suggested were to be added, it would be a definite download recommendation from me.

Totem Pole Takedown is available free for Android and iPhone.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Fully Funded:

The Prisoner’s Dilemma Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is creating a card game based on the old psychological trick of the prisoner’s dilemma. They have asked for a modest $100 goal and raised $755.

Currently Funding:

En Passant Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is creating a card game inspired by the game of chess. They are asking for $250 and have already raised $570 with 5 days left.

Cube Ninja by Nonlocality Games. Nonlocality is creating a minimalistic action game staring a cube on a mission to defeat a dodecahedron. They are looking to raise $6,000 and have raised $15 with 14 days left.

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They are seeking $8,000 and have raised $65 with 29 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

Heartland Gaming Expo 2015

Heartland Gaming Expo is back for its third year and they plan to go bigger than ever. The previous events were held at the University of Tulsa campus and they had great attendance. At this year’s event, they are expecting 5000 or more people to show. This year, the event will be held at the Cox Business Center. This will allow them to expand the event to include exhibits, tournaments and game development competitions.

The main draw of this event are the game competitions. They have several competitions available for students and indie developers. The big one will be the 24 hour game jam. Those participating in that event will start working on their game on Friday night and finish by Saturday night. These games will them be awarded prizes based on a number of criteria. Here is the description of how this competition will go down.

The 24-Hour Code Jam will be similar to other 24-hour programming competitions with one significant twist.  This year, we are adding a Hunger Games like component.  During the 24-hours, teams will have to maintain a web page based on their game.  The purpose is to allow people to vote on which game they like the best.  During the event at predefined intervals we will tally the votes and give intermediate prizes to the teams.  Think of it as the parachutes in the Hunger Games, but in this case they will be crowdsourced.  These pages will be on display at the event and online.

The other two competitions are also something worth participating in. The game showcase will feature games from four different categories, indie games, game mods, college projects, and high school projects. Teams of up to four people can enter any of these, if they fall into those categories. The other competition is a gallery show that will allow participants to show off animations, art, music and more.

The other big draw this year will be the speakers. They have three impressive speakers lined up this year. The first is Tulsa’s own Matt Harmon from Bonozo Apps. Next we have Eric Peterson from Descendent Studios. Finally Richard Huenink from The Fun Pimps. These guys will be talking about their own game projects as well as what it takes to succeed in the games industry. There will also be Unity 3D tutorials on Saturday and Sunday.

You can check out the full schedule of the event and learn about sponsorship opportunities at the Heartland Gaming Expo website. Heartland is also looking for anyone who is interested in hosting a panel or a tutorial during the expo. They have plenty of time slots available. The more people that speak and teach at the event, the better it will be. If you are interested, let them know.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Currently Funding:

The Prisoner’s Dilemma Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is creating a card game based on the old psychological trick of the prisoner’s dilemma. They have asked for a modest $100 goal and have already raised $400 with 3 days left.

En Passant Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is creating a card game inspired by the game of chess. They are asking for $250 and have already raised $325 with 12 days left.

That’s it for this week. I have not seen any new campaign pop up recently. If you know of any, please tell us so we can share.