Today we’ll talk about development, but also about how we’ve been doing this weekend. Why is that? It’s because three of us have been to an event to share the current version of Rest in Jelly with the public. The same version, in fact, seen in the teaser we published a few days ago.
To share some context, Gameboss is an annual event (this is its second edition) held in Zaragoza, capital of Aragon (not to be confused with Aragorn) and the fifth most populous city in Spain. The event is organized by Mechanical Boss, creators of amazing games such as SpellKnights.
The story goes back to just 2 months ago. At that time, we decided to change all art of the game, leaving the pixel art in favor of a more elaborate and unique style. This was accompanied by changes such as a new way to animate characters, as you can readin the previous devlog, improvements in programming, new game modes, more levels…
It is always necessary to test new changes and get feedback to check we’re going in the right direction. And that’s how, looking for events where we could show Rest in Jelly, we ended up at Gameboss 2016.
With our attendance confirmed and the deadline set, we had a lot of work ahead. Our new artists began to redesign levels, characters and interface, while the rest of the team was devoted to polishing levels, mechanics, a communication campaign…
The product was moving forward at a good pace, and we noticed improvements every day: art seemed spectacular to us and changes in programming brought good changes to the game experience, although many things stopped working also because of making changes. In short, the game was progressing as expected and was better each day.
There was a bad part, of course. We had a pretty constant friction within the team in those weeks, since any misunderstanding caused the eruption of the volcano. Despite several discussions, the fact that we’re a united team (we believe so!) allowed us to move forward. In the end, we added another task to development time: the production of a trailer which then became a teaser and finally was made public with a modest communication campaign. For the time and resources we had, it worked even better than expected.
Then May arrived, so we had to buy train tickets and hotel reservations. This time we stayed next to the event. It was more expensive, yes, but much more comfortable. So, on Thursday the 19th of May, at 15:50, we took the train to Zaragoza. After arriving, we went directly to the hotel room, which had more than we would ever need: two sofas, a TV bigger that a fishing boat, a tub in which Marc had a good bubble bath…
After admiring the bedroom for a while, we started fixing bugs, improving some animations and spend all Marc’s mobile internet data to download Unity 5.1.1, as we had a newer version on the laptop which gave us many problems. Remember, kids: do not change the engine version the last day before an important event.
The next day, after a night full of fixes, we finalized one of the best Rest in Jelly development builds we’ve had so far. So we set out to visit downtown. We saw the Basilica de la Virgen del Pilar, ate Aragonese migas with grapes, and in the afternoon we went to Etopia, the building where the event took place, to prepare our stand with a TV screen, the computer, the posters, jelly… Then, Marc gave the pitch of our game. Soon it was time to have dinner, which took place right there.
On Saturday morning there were no crowds, so in addition to being there for the public we could meet other developers and play their games, most of which we loved. In fact, throughout the day the indie area was quite calm, despite the efforts of the organization to give visibility to attending studios.
Then there was a round table (first part and second part) about the future of indie games, in which our producer exchanged views with Guillermo Andrades (CremaGames), Edu Verzinski (Brainwash Gang), David García Borrás (Pixel Cream) and Cristian Garcia (Mr. Badger).
Then there were the awards: after a brief voting period between studios, Brainwash Gang won best script for The Mixtape, The Barberians won the design award for Cubotrox, Bytecore was awarded best art for Helion: Void Wars, InfiniteGames took best music for Aqueloo, and CremaGames won best game for Immortal Redneck. After congratulating the winners, the time came to pack up, have dinner and sleep.
From Saturday, we value the number of visitors who came and appreciated both the game art and the multiplayer modes above everything else. We took a lot of feedback which resulted in a lot of improvements to be done to Rest in Jelly, especially in balancing and some physics adjustments.
Sunday was a rainy day, so the number of visitors dropped significantly. We spent the morning messing around with other studios, but after eating a quick meal we packed up and we spend a couple of idle hours to start writing this devlog before catching the train back to Barcelona.
To finish, we reiterate our thanks to Mechanical Boss for making everything much easier. We want to finish highlighting the double feedback received, both from people who are part of our core target and from those whom we didn’t have in mind but could be included after some adjustments.
Oh, and that new art is going in the right direction. Everyone loved the new art.
Although we’ve kept it synthetic, this devlog has been a quite long one, don’t you think?
We’ll have more news very soon. We hope they’ll be exciting!