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Ask me anything about Beat and Box, the game I hope makes up for the dissapointment that is Mighty No. 9

Logan Walker
Jan 10, 2018

Hello,

I remember being so ludicrously excited about Mighty No. 9 and the potential it held. However, like almost everyone else that got their hands on it, I was less then impressed. With the latest Megaman trailer having dropped not too long ago, and with it looking a bit bland, I couldn't work on my game at the same pace I was. I needed to push it forward.

I've always loved game design, and have been designing games since I was maybe 7 or 8. I've been tweaking and refining the mechanics of Beat and Box in my spare time, but seeing as I don't have a lot of it, due to working 35-40 hours a week, it's still just a tech demo. I would love to answer any questions involving characters, mechanics, my personal game development experience, or anything really!

Cheers!

Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/721993513/beat-and-box

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Conversation (50)

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How do you continuously develop or improve the mechanics of the game and how often should a developer/designer do that?

Jan 12, 8:57AM EST0

I replay over and over when all the assets are still just shapes and perfect it till it feels good to do what the player is supposed to do. And I repeat that with every new mechanic I add in, even animations, so I can tweak it to be just right.

I'd say it sorta just happens as you develop everything but some people just write it off immediately after finishing it which is detrimental to the project. Always be open to improving your mechanics and game feel.

Jan 12, 11:32AM EST0

Can you tell us a bit more about Beat and Box? and Mighty No.9? What is the difference between the these two?

Jan 12, 6:26AM EST0

Mighty No. 9 was supposed to sort of renew the MegaMan series and it was practically a carbon copy with an "absorb" mechanic added. But it was delayed a bunch and when it finally was released, it was mediocre.

Beat and Box is what I hope will finally give the blue bomber an appropriate reimagining. Every boss is themed after a genre of music, when you change weapons it changes the genre of the song in that level, the levels will be a bit longer than usual with some focuses on platforming and using the acrobatics of the two characters to get around.

Jan 12, 11:29AM EST0

Apart from designing/developing games, what is your full time job? How do you balance them both?

Jan 11, 2:47PM EST0

Well, I just recently left my last job of a year and a half (it was just fast food) but I just used my off days and my lunch breaks to try and get further on the game

Jan 12, 6:19AM EST0

What games are you currently playing?

Jan 11, 11:25AM EST0

A lot of Overwatch, Shovel Knight, and Injustice 2

Jan 12, 6:18AM EST0

It seems that video game developing can be tiresome, how do you keep yourself motivated in order to finish your project?

Jan 11, 10:43AM EST0

I go back and play the games that are inspiring my project, and remembering how great it could hopefully turn out.

Jan 12, 6:17AM EST0

What would you like to achieve or hope for in the video game industry in the coming years?

Jan 10, 9:55PM EST0

To be completely honest with you, it's sort of my dream to be able to support my self through my games, so I can continue to create (I have 3 other games in development haha) and be able to stay home with the children I hope to have.

Jan 10, 10:45PM EST0

What are the usual challenges of a videogame designer?

Jan 10, 9:13PM EST0

Making sure you have good equipment, funding, and just trying to stir up anticipation for your game.

Jan 10, 10:42PM EST0

Given the budget and expertise, how long does it normally take to finish a game application?

Jan 10, 5:33PM EST0

It truly depends on the talent behind it and the size of the project, along with genre, art style, etc.

It could range between a couple months up to 5 years without delays. I plan to have mine finished in a little over a year and a half.

Jan 10, 5:44PM EST0

Did you get to have a formal study on programming and is it necessary?

Jan 10, 3:37PM EST0

No I did not, and I would say it probably helps quite a bit, but I've never had to seek it out myself. I'm entirely self taught and while I imagine having a professional teacher would be helpful, it is not necessary.

Jan 10, 5:42PM EST0
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What makes an interesting game?

Jan 10, 6:13AM EST0

An interesting game is one that you find challenges you just enough to keep you invested, but isn't so challenging that you may think you can't handle it. When you look at what's put in front of you and go "ok, how am I gonna do this" and all of the tools to complete it are already there, it's just up to YOU, the player, to understand which one will help you proceed.

Jan 10, 11:31AM EST0

Give me an example of the most challenging algorithm you've created? How about the easiest one?

Jan 10, 12:37AM EST0

I'd say the most difficult would definitely be when I had to figure out the code for a melee attack. What I ended up doing was making 2 separate entities, one that sat on top of the other and followed exactly, and they both responded to the key press and started the animation. But the one on top was what hurt the enemies, that way if the character was touched from behind he didn't kill the enemy, he was hurt as well.

The easiest was setting up the animation to correspond with any movement. It really only takes maybe 3 short lines.

Jan 10, 11:28AM EST0

What is your ideal work environment?

Jan 9, 10:52PM EST0

My ideal work environment is most definitely just me, alone, in a dimly lit room with either some music or YouTube videos playing quietly in the background, with my computer and a few sketchbooks nearby. Maybe some light snacks as well.

Jan 10, 11:25AM EST0
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Which programming language are you most fluent in?

Jan 9, 12:31PM EST0

I'd definitely say the Game Maker language. I believe it's just C+ with some short cuts but it is what I understand the best and what I work with most easily.

Jan 9, 1:44PM EST1
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How long have you been working on Beat and Box? How about with the Mighty No. 9?

Jan 9, 11:52AM EST0

Beat and Box has been in the conceptual and tech demo stage for, I'd say, about 7 months. Mighty No. 9 was another Kickstarter by the original creator of MegaMan that has become infamous for how mediocre it turned out and I'm hoping my game can make up for what they failed to do.

Jan 9, 1:46PM EST0

How did you start with designing game? What was your first project?

Jan 9, 9:15AM EST0

I started with simple platformers using Game Maker. I believe my first game was just a simple Mario clone that I put me and my friends into. I've gotten more and more experience with every stupid little mini game I've made, so Beat and Box will be my first, full length game.

Jan 9, 1:47PM EST0
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What do you do to ensure that their are no bugs in the game?

Jan 9, 8:55AM EST0

I play test religiously. First, I throw the assets into a room and attempt to purposefully break the game. Any problem that I find I troubleshoot, and then repeat. I also send test copies to friends to be sure I didn't miss anything.

Jan 9, 1:49PM EST0

How many games have you developed so far?

Jan 9, 7:33AM EST0

I believe I've developed over 50? But none are full length, most are short mini games that focus mostly on the mechanics and whether or not they're fun. I also have a few projects I use as templates for certain genres that I tweak and change to fit each individual project.

Jan 9, 1:51PM EST0

How did you conceptualize this game that you're working on and how long did it take you to finally decide to start building it?

Jan 9, 5:55AM EST0

It took me about 2 months to conceptualize the game, characters, enemies, etc. (Excluding art) and I've spent the past 5 working on the tech demo. It took seeing the MegaMan trailer to finally persue a crowdfunding site seeing as with the little amount of time I could afford, the game wouldn't be finished for a considerable amount of time.

Jan 9, 1:53PM EST0

As video game designer, what training courses or extra education that you think will improve ones work performance?

Jan 9, 3:58AM EST0

Honestly, I just do as much research as I can. The 'Sequelitis' series on YouTube was my main inspiration and I watch them every month or so. I'll look up revolutionary games, universally praised games, and ESPECIALLY games that bombed. I just look to see what worked, and most importantly what could've worked. Studying games is the best way, in my personal opinion, to understand game design.

Jan 9, 1:56PM EST0

When do you usually get to work on Beat and Box? Do you currently work with a team or do you work alone on this one?

Jan 9, 3:49AM EST0

I usually work on it on my off days, so once or twice a week. And I am completely alone on this, seeing as a lot of failed projects result from A) creative differences or B) one person running away with the money. And, in all honesty, I really just want to receive the credit, whether good or bad, I deserve for my hard work.

Jan 9, 1:58PM EST0
For aspiring game developers/game designers, what is the most important thing to know when getting into this field?
Jan 9, 2:49AM EST0

The most important thing to know is that no one cares. The market is bloated and with so much going on so consistently, no one cares about your game. The hardest part of the job is MAKING people care. New comers should not expect everyone to flock to their game just because they made it.

Jan 9, 2:00PM EST0
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