“Flux8” is a puzzle-platformer based around the polarity of magnets and how they react to opposite and similar forces. The game is due to be released on Steam this August.
We’re looking for Computer Games Design and Programming students within the University of Huddersfield to provide us with feedback and help us find bugs. Play-testers will have access to both single player and co-op campaigns, as well as the built in level editor.
Play-testers who play “Flux8” for 3 hours or more throughout the course of the week will earn themselves a Steam key to download “Flux8” for free once it releases.
All in-game footage will be recorded using screen-capture software, so that our developers can go back and replicate bugs and issues later.
If you wish to take part in the play-test, please come to Canalside Studios (CW4/19) any time between 10am-4pm, Monday 24th – Friday 28th July.
In the meantime, why not check out the latest devblog to see what we’ve been working on?
We look forward to seeing you all next week!
Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy has enjoyed a very strong opening week. The platformer follows in the footsteps of Wipeout and Tekken 7 in claiming the chart top spot, suggesting that the nostalgia flows strongly among UK gamers. Furthermore, in debuting at the top, the N.Sane Trilogy does what no other Crash Bandicoot game has ever managed.
In this game you will be able to re-join your favourite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot, as he spins his way onto PlayStation 4 along with his three most memorable adventures, newly recreated for the current generation.
Including Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the N. Sane Trilogy has been lovingly built from the ground-up with brand new visuals and audio to deliver the series’ classic gameplay to a whole new generation.
Here’s the UK Top 10 in full for the week ending July 1st:
1. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (Activision)
2. Micro Machines: World Series (Codemasters)
3. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar)
4. Forza Horizon 3 (Microsoft)
5. FIFA 17 (EA)
6. Overwatch (Blizzard)
7. Elite Dangerous (Sold Out)
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo)
9. Dirt 4 (Codemasters)
10. Rocket League (505 Games)
This week sees the PS4 release of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s third map pack Absolution, and with it a launch trailer. Absolution features four new multiplayer maps and a new addition to the extremely popular Zombies saga. It features Elvira Mistress of the Dark. So, grab a tool and start banging.
In Attack of the Radioactive Thing! you go back in time to the 1950s. Join a cast of survivor’s lead by no less than Elvira herself, fighting to save a small beach town from a government science project that’s gone completely and utterly wrong, unleashing hordes of the undead into civilisation.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Absolution DLC pack is out now on PS4, launching for Xbox One and PC in August.
The first trailer for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two has arrived, in which we see protagonist Jesse setting off on a new quest, joined, says Telltale, by ‘a motley band of familiar faces, fortune hunters, sometime enemies and one deeply disobedient llama.’ Aptly titled Hero in Residence, the first episode releases on July 11.
Like in every other Telltale game, the choices you made over the course of each episode determined the direction the story went in. Those decisions carry on over to the new game, but newcomers needn’t worry, it’s not necessary to have played the first season. This can be played as a standalone game.
Episode 1: Hero in Residence will be out on July 11, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Over the last two weeks, I have been working on developing the background creation tools. The main part I have been working on is a tool to place background prefabs and spacers. As a part of this, I created a new snapping system to allow rooms to attach despite being different sizes. In addition, I have also made a new system to place scenery, such as wall mounted assets and clutter. Again, for each of these, I have added a feature to save and load.
This week I have been working on the Steam Workshop integration with the game. I have made a UI that allows you to upload your level with a screen shot, and apply updates to levels you have already uploaded. This will allow other users to download your level and play them from the main menu.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to polish several parts of the game. This includes updating parts of the menu to be usable with controllers. I have also added the majority of achievements required for the game and set this up to work with Steam when we release.
During the past couple of weeks of working at Canalside Studios, I have been continuing with fixing and decorating levels at an increased rate in order to meet our deadline for testing. I have also been delegating tasks to the other designers, evenly splitting the remaining tasks so that we can release the game on time.
The past few weeks I have been working on polishing some of the levels ready for testing. The aim is to complete the levels for next Friday so there is plenty of time for testing before release on July 31st. I have also helped by working on the Steam page and plan to improve it further next week.
Lately I have been working on the levels in Flux8. I made a couple of red and a couple of co-op levels. Then I put all of them in scenes inside the editor, set up all the cameras in the scenes and started decorating them. I am close to finishing the red magnet campaign, which means that we only have the co-op campaign to finish now and all of the levels will be completed.
I’ve begun recording and processing the final batch of sound effects. Once I’ve got all of the sounds we need, I’ll be going through each level and making sure the balance between the different sounds is correct. I’ve also finished mixing and mastering a couple more pieces of music. I still have one or two more to do, but I’m hoping to have these finished by the end of next week. Here’s another one you might recognize if you played the free demo on Gamejolt.
Starting with this “alternative” menu from a very early version of the game, before it even got it’s name!
Then there was the time Tess learned to fly!
And finally, my personal favourite: Reuben’s amazing growth ray! Not quite the intended effect of the lasers…
After many months of rumours, Nintendo has confirmed that a SNES version of its Nintendo Classic Mini console will be arriving this autumn on September 29th.
Officially titled the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the miniature 16-bit system will come with 21 pre-installed games in total, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2.
As with its now sold-out Classic Min: NES predecessor, the Classic Mini: SNES can be plugged into any HDMI slot on your TV for instant retro gaming goodness. An HDMI cable is included in the box, along with a USB cable but NOT an AC power plug. It also comes with two SNES controllers – an improvement over the Classic Mini: NES’ single controller offering.
Here’s a list of all the included games:
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is one of the most beloved games of all-time, reborn for a new generation,” Activision publishing chief Eric Hirshberg said at the time of the game’s unveiling. “We have lovingly remastered it with a whole new level of graphical fidelity and realism that wasn’t possible when the original was released. It’s going to be a great year for Call of Duty players.”
Virtual reality was a major theme of Bethesda‘s E3 announcements this year, with titles such as Skyrim, Doom and Fallout 4 all receiving the VR treatment by the end of the year. And its popular IPs like this that will drive VR awareness and adoption among consumers, according to research firm SuperData.
Fallout 4 VR was described as “a full-length open-world game with near limitless content playable entirely in VR.” The scenery and in-game elements looked pulled directly from the non-VR version of the game, complete with a Pip-Boy computer you can bring up on your virtual wrist and massive explosions from grenade launchers.
Here is the VR trailer for Fallout 4!
I’ve been continuing making levels over the past two weeks.
Over the last two weeks, I have been working on expanding the background system to make it easier to create backgrounds and environments for the game. One of the features I have made is a scaffolding tool which can be used to create scaffolding around the level itself. The new system allows you to draw out the initial struts and add cross bars and supports to scaffolds. I have also worked on another tool to manually place the background tiles, mainly for the designers to quickly generate the backgrounds for their levels. Both of these systems can then save and load their setup into other scenes.
This week I have been working on implementing the back and front end of Steam Workshop integration. This involves using the Steam API to get currently uploaded levels, as well as a way for users to easily upload their own levels, which they have made in the level editor.
I have spent the last couple of weeks doing tweaks to add extra polish to the game such as a few minor additions to the menu, adding sounds to the characters and also making extra features for some levels such as blocks looking like they are being destroyed on a level where the player is being chased by a machine.
For the past couple of weeks I have been fixing and decorating several levels, in order to reach our level target for release. I have also been helping set up the the Steam store page, so that it has all the information and images it needs ready for when it goes live.
I’ve been mixing and mastering (or at least, attempting to) some of the music I’ve composed for the game. I’ve got a few that are finished and ready to go into the game now. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be recording and processing the rest of the sound effects we need, as well as hopefully finishing off the rest of the music. If you played the free Flux8 demo, you may recognize the track below – it’s the menu music! Except now it sounds all shiny and finished.
As ever, watch the video below to see some of our work in action!
Whether you voted for the game on Steam Greenlight, followed Flux8 on social media or even played the free demo on Gamejolt, your help and support is greatly appreciated!
From here, we’ll continue building and polishing Flux8 until it’s ready to release, which will hopefully be sometime around the end of July 2017! In the meantime, don’t forget to follow Flux8 on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates (and to see all of the hilarious, game breaking bugs we find!).
You can also check out the fortnightly devblogs to see what we’re working on and how your feedback is helping us improve the game. From level design and assets to code and audio, it’s all covered!
Don’t forget, you can still check out the Free Flux8 Demo on Gamejolt! We’re currently featured on the website and have had just under 1000 plays! This is an early-access build of the game, so expect to see a few bugs and backwards-facing bow ties. The demo is available in both 32bit and 64bit versions for Windows, OS X and Linux. We hope you enjoy the demo and remember, your feedback is valuable to us!
Still not convinced? We’ve had an influx (see what I did there?) of Youtuber’s playing the demo recently. We’ve compiled all of the videos we’ve found so far into one convenient playlist which you can check out below! Although if you are planning on playing the demo yourself, watching the solutions on Youtube first may take some of the fun out of it!
Check out our website here: http://www.flux8game.com/
Thank you again for your continued support… we’ll see you on release day!
I’ve been continuing development on the levels within the game. The levels I’ve created focus mainly on more advanced mechanics, such as the polarity switch gate and lasers.
Over the last few weeks, I have been working on creating a background generator for the level editor to speed up the level building process and give players a background for their levels. The generator uses pre-built sections which are assembled in a grid to fit the level. I made this so it could also take in a seed to get the same background generated multiple times. I also made new magnet pads which can stretch in the middle, whilst keeping the ends the correct size, using a series of models which Sam made. Following this, I created a tool to swap out the old magnet pads with the new ones I had added in. In addition, I added a new method to draw out the rails which the moving platforms run on, using a similar method to the magnet pads.
This week I have been working on improving the jumping system. Before, it only checked directly under the player but now it checks in an area, making it easier to complete accurate jumps.
I also started work on the workshop UI for downloading player-made levels.
Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a number of different parts of the game. Firstly I worked on adding a few things to the level editor such as adding UI to make configuring the movable blocks more intuitive.
Another addition to the level editor was the new spinner obstacles which the player has to avoid being hit by. Finally, I worked some more on the main menu to add a “mail system”, to give background story information, and also a screen to show the player’s progress finding collectibles.
For the past few weeks I have been working on decorating the levels previously made by Liam. I have also tried to incorporate other mechanics into the levels which were made after the levels were built. My aim for the next few weeks is to continue decorating and testing the levels in preparation for the game release on July 31st.
In the past week I worked on mainly creating even more background prefabs for our level editor and fixing/ adjusting some previous levels.
I’ve been composing music for the Co-Op levels. I decided these levels needed to have more upbeat, energetic music than in single player. I’m hoping to mix and master some of the other tracks I’ve been working on over the next couple of weeks and get them into the game.
As usual, you can view our work in the video below!
The Games Students from Huddersfield Uni once again dominate the Yorkshire and Humberside Game Republic Student Showcase. Last year we won three of the four 1st Prizes and this year we’ve done the same.
Each year, for the last 10 years, Jamie Sefton and Game Republic have been running a competition between the Yorkshire and Humberside universities to showcase student talent – the Game Republic Student Showcase website 2017. The Showcase provides a competitive spirit to all the programmers, designers and artists on the various games degrees in the area.
Teams from the universities of York, Bradford, Leeds, Leeds Beckett, Sheffield Hallam… and of course The University of Huddersfield. This year was the biggest event so far with 26 teams competing, with lots of floor space given over to VR. Last year, there was only one VR project (our own Nathan Boxhall-Burnett and the VIVE Dr Who Tardis experience- Nathan Boxhall-Burnett winning 1st Prize Games Technology, 2016).
This year there were five VR installations, all very different. We were very well accommodated across five rooms at Leeds University in the Sadler Building, with Dr Hamish Carr being our very friendly and congenial host.
All the GR Educational Partners are able to take six teams and ours were:
Shutter Shade Heroes were arguably the most-visited and actively-enjoyed team offering. They were showing their VR Partyware game – a very active VR version of party games and exercises… including cracking a safe, all via the VIVE. Here they are with the set-up.
Games within VR Partyware include baseball, darts, throw a ball in a bin, sqat thrusts and crack a safe. As players succeed at each game they return to play the same series in a more demanding manner. The team members comprise: Parampal Singh; Kiera Hayman; Joe Cooper; Marcus Nichols; Liam Ford and Chris Vickery.
Out of Mana – navigate a dungeon with all the usual (and some unexpected) dangers and get to the end to fight the Boss. Play as a 2-person game and decide to work together …or kill them and play it alone.
The team of: Dan Schofield, Angel Petkov, Alyson Sjardijn, Gage Bolton, Martin Barker, Dean Ford and Natalie Hirst… completed thew game. Well done on making a really playable game!
Reaper’s Rampage team with… you guessed it, the Reaper’s Rampage game at Game Republic 2017 – a 3rd person fight game where the Grim Reaper (our hero’s father) is testing his son’s skills (the player) against all sorts of ghouls to see if he is good enough to take his place when he meets his maker. |Fighting the devil’s minions, or more graphically, “Fighting Satan’s spawn”, as the team nicely put it. Great game!
The team are: Rob Potter, Max Zazulak, Jake Brown. Here are Redkite Games playing the game.
So how can we make a simple game of Pong as complicated as possible? Well, you need to do it over the web using the user’s smartphone. Here’s Kiera demoing her game with users’ playing via their phones. A variety of internal algorithms choose which way to proceed to minimise latency. All clever stuff.
Robert Potter with This Dead Winter – a mesmerising fox-runs-through-snow-leaving-footprints game, currently at concept stage, and with some gamification targets built in. However, just watching the footprints and tail swooshes in the snow is enough for most people as the untiring fox makes its way through the wilderness.
Rob is very generous with information and provides a fairly good trail of what he’s up to and how his experiments in coding are going on his Twitter feed: @Rob_Potter. Join him there and follow one of the UK’s future games programming stars.
Max’s Game Character Art was on show including the much talked-about ogre with dangly bits plus fighting dragons breathing fire. Here is Max with his characters – posters, monitor and TV – what a spread! Max was also one of three Finalists in the 2017 Search for a Star Games Character Art – so well done Max! A star of the future and one to watch.
The work that I have developed for my final year is all inspired by games that I have played, my heritage and other visually interesting elements. The year started out as pretty average, however by becoming involved in competitions such as Search for a Star and Game Republic, a sense of push allowed me to develop my assets through iteration; improving the pieces vastly each time.
Whilst the picture below shows only one, Max’s showreel was shown on a large TV and had a rotating models of two dragons fighting – the one below breathing fire.
Of course, the A1 colour pictures on the wall show his three character poses better than the amalgamation below.
I am a 3D Character Artist and aim to work in the Games Industry developing 3D models for major games studios. I am very passionate about my work and I am extremely focused on achieving this goal.
See more at his own website: Maxim Zazulak website – Games Character Artist.
The Huddersfield wins are a fabulous testament to the work and dedication of the games teaching team at The University of Huddersfield and also to the brilliant students we have the pleasure of spending time with. All the best to them in their new careers as they leave us for pastures new in the games industry.
1st Prize. VR Partyware by Shutter Shade Heroes
3rd Prize. This Dead Winter by Rob Potter
2nd Prize. VR Partyware by Shutter Shade Heroes
1st Prize. This Dead Winter by Rob Potter
1st Prize. VR Partyware by Shutter Shade Heroes
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has played the demo and voted for Flux8 on Steam Greenlight so far. Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated! A number of YouTuber’s have played through the demo and given us some great feedback. Check out the playlist below to hear what they had to say!
Check out our website here: http://www.flux8game.com/
You can download the Free Flux8 Demo Here on GameJolt!
At Canalside Studios, Wednesday afternoon is our “Research Afternoon”. Each week, we put Flux8 to one side for a few hours to work on our own personal projects. Here’s a look at what we all get up to when we’re not building levels, writing code or recording sound effects!
For my personal project, I have been working on creating a space-based dogfighter game. The game is currently very basic, containing only a few mechanics. However, I have worked on implementing player controls, a weapon and health system with shields, as well as a camera system to both follow the player and lock onto the target. I have also put in an indicator which tracks where the target is on the screen and will lock to the edges of the screen, showing the distance to the current target. On top of this, I have made a start learning Unreal Engine 4, making use of C++ and following some tutorials to become proficient with the language and the engine.
For my personal project, I have been improving my skills in Unreal Engine. I haven’t used Unreal a lot, so I started with the FPS project and started making changes to it. It’s rather simple at the moment, with just toggle fire modes, but I am expanding on it as i go.
Y’arrgh, this is a mobile game I have been working on in my spare time and project days. It’s currently only a prototype to show off a couple of things like the wheel interface for controlling the boat. However, I do have some more plans to work on it in future, including adding enemies and gameplay objectives.
The most recent part of the game I have been working on is the map generation which I am now going to use when generating paths for enemies to take around the map. This will involve using an implementation of A* to find the quickest path to the player.
For the past couple of research days we have had, I have been working on a modular sci-fi corridor, which I hope to put into my portfolio once it is done. The segment that is in the image is the first of several modular pieces I will be making, along with pipes, panels and other sci-fi elements.
For my research day I have been working on two projects, a MP4-12C Mclaren and a modern living room. I created the Mclaren in my first year of university but never finished it, I went back to it and began retopologising it so I could take a render/wireframe for my portfolio. I have also started a modern living room which is inspired from multiple pictures. My aim is to create a scene that will show multiple skills and techniques across different pieces of software.
In my personal project time I’m trying to refine my skills in animation. I looked at a multitude of videos teaching boxing techniques, from performing a well executed hit to the subtle movement of the body between hits. I am animating the upper bodies of the two characters first to get a sense of how far can they reach and if they are capable of dodging hits. When I do this, I will concentrate on the leg movements as they are slightly more complicated and depend on the upper body movement (for example: when a fighter prepares and executes a hit, his legs react to give him balance and flexibility so that he can move back or react quickly).
I also started modelling a mech. As the project is in an early state I am blocking out the different pieces of the machine using a couple of concept pictures.
I’ve started recreating an old Drum & Bass track I wrote a few years ago. I always liked the composition, but I didn’t mix or master it very well. It sounds over-compressed and the bass is way too loud. Now that a few years have passed and I’m better at mixing, I thought I’d give it another go. You can listen to the original version below.
Watch the video below for a glimpse at everyone’s work!
This demo features two different game modes: Single player and two-player co-op. There are twelve single player levels to complete, along with three co-op levels for you and a friend to enjoy. This demo is designed to introduce players to some of Flux8’s core mechanics and get a feel for the game, while also allowing us to gather feedback and make improvements.
Please remember that this is an early demo, so you may notice a few broken textures and missing audio clips. The demo is currently only available for Windows in both 32bit and 64bit versions. With that said, any downloads, ratings and feedback are greatly appreciated by the whole team!
You can download the Free Flux8 Playable Demo Here!
Still not convinced? Youtuber Fellow Player has already downloaded and completed the demo! Check out his video below to hear his thoughts on Flux8 in it’s current state! Spoiler Alert: He liked it!
pTs 42 also gave the Flux8 demo a try!
Check out our website here: http://www.flux8game.com/
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been continuing with the level designs and development. The levels created are now in the process of being exported to separate scenes and cameras for the levels are being place. during this process I’ve also been introducing co-worker to try out levels that have cameras placed and receiving feedback to help refine the levels.
Over the last two weeks, I have been working on making a new system for creating backgrounds in the level editor. A big part of this has been making a tiling system for pipes to automatically connect in a drawn path. The system I made can also save and load pipe layouts.
This week, I came up with a system that allows the balls to respawn without killing the players. Now I’m working on making the ball dissolve before it respawns.
The last couple of weeks have mainly involved reacting to issues that were discovered at Insomnia and trying to correct these. The tasks I have completed as part of this include bug fixes, such as fixing the timer to remain consistent when repeatedly switching between activated and deactivated states. I also added some new, small features such as a visual representation for the timer, so the player can see how long they have remaining.
During the last couple of weeks I have been decorating more levels, creating a new electricity shader and creating more assets for the game. I have also been working with the programmers to get more tools built to speed up the design side of things, such as a modular pipe spline system, where I was responsible for the creation of the modular pipes.
For the past few weeks I have been polishing some of the levels to the standard of the levels we showed at Insomnia. I have also taken feedback from the event and fixed bugs and problems that arose with the current levels.
After Insomnia and making a playable build, I returned to making levels that we have saved for later on in the game. Making the playable build meant that we had to implement some changes to the game and its mechanics. I am now going back to our older levels, which are ready for implementation, and making sure that they are still playable after the changes, otherwise I have to make adjustments to them. Most of the magnetic pads in the levels have had their strengths changed and there are size changes with the different game tokens. Those two examples are easy to fix, but some bigger problems have also appeared which mean I must change the layout of the affected levels.
I’ve continued to work on music and sound effects for the game. I’m currently experimenting with a new piece of music which is a lot more relaxing than previous pieces. Hopefully, it will be finished within the next few weeks.
As usual, you can see what we’ve been working on in the video below!