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We love making games and we really enjoy the craft behind this art. We wanted to show the "behind the scenes' of this process; How we come up with ideas not just for the games, but also the developmental stages. Here, you'll get a chance to see that process...

Some of the best ideas begin as sketches. With this in mind, it occurred to us that drawing the Story mode levels for our game "Beeing" might begin using the most basic of tools: pencil and paper. Equipped with long rolls of paper made for printing calculators, we set to work. For each level, we hand-drew the coordinates (measured in pixels).

Every level consists of 20,000 pixels in length, with a mere 25 levels for this game. The resulting effect is a player (in this case, a bumble bee), dodging obstacles and enemies thorough half a million pixels of a virtually designed landscape. 

To break it down, it took 328 feet (100 meters) of calculator paper and 4 months of work to complete this simple task.

Each element in the game (obstacles, enemies, etc.) is represented by a number. Once a level is completely drawn, we export it into a spreadsheet on the computer. With the help of some mathematical formulas, the programing begins, and raw numbers are transformed into actual code that (Xcode) uses to construct the levels. We then compile the game and test each level. Of course, things don't always turn out as we anticipated, and the actual look of the game must constantly be edited and reworked.

This process of correcting the rolls of paper after testing the actual game is time consuming, but it also allows us to be very precise, and most importantly, very creative about our process. There is also a bit of nostalgia in the act of making these manual corrections, which reminds us of the early days of computer programming, when everything was actually done on paper!

While there are some very professional, and expensive voice-over actors, there is also some untapped talent hidden in plain site. For Beeing, some voice-overs where done by Olivia, an odaSoft co-founder's daughter, as well as Olivia's great Grandmother, Mary. Spanning the generations, Olivia is 5 years old, while Mary is 89. Both enjoyed the process of creating a game first-hand, and embraced the idea that this is a family game, made for other families, daughters and Great Grandmother's of every age.

As with any good game, a fun and personable character is what brings the game to life. For us, it was a Bee, and who's not familiar with this fuzzy little cute guy who packs a nasty sting? We liked the possibilities that developing a cool Bee presented, fear and bee-phobias aside. Additionally, we wanted a character that people would desire to be… to be a BEE, so to speak. It was then that the title for our game dawned on us, and we decided to call it "Beeing".

The enemies for our happy-go-lucky bee are all those things that put a bee in danger. Between intricate spider webs that trap insects in flight, fast-moving carnivorous plants, and crazy jumping crickets, our game begin to take on a sense of adventure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Level Design

Voice overs


Sneak Peek