May Dev Blog

By | Uncategorized

We got a short update for you this month. The team is still working on the same projects and not a lot of juicy stuff happening. But we do got some good news below!

Mega super secret client project

We finished the release candidate of the game and it is now being tested by the client and the publisher. If all goes well you should see it arrive in stores soon. We’re now starting to work on the first update which will bring new characters, levels and enemies.

Winter

Our sound guy Yves De Mey started working on the sound effects and soundscapes. We’re so happy with the result so far. We’re not going to share them yet, but expect and update soon! We also started working with a PR agency for our Gamescom appearance. It’s the first time we will be working on PR with an external agency. It’s time to find a publisher for our baby and we hope the PR campaign will bring the necessary attention to Winter.

 Leuven, a healthy city

We got selected for the second round, yay! The organisation asked us to make a video to show our project to the public. There will be a public vote later this month. We’ll make sure to annoy you to vote for us!

That’s all for now folks.

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April Dev Blog

By | Dev Blog, Games, Happy Volcano, Internship
All work and no play

While Lisa works and hydrates in the background, the boys are beating our art director.

April was a very busy month with the client game and pitching on an open call. We haven’t really had much  time to work on Winter. We did find two great art interns who will join us over the summer to help on Winter. But more about them later when they join. Let’s talk about what we did do this month.

Super secret client project

Most of our time this month was spent on a client project. We delivered the vertical slice as planned. The game starts to feel nice. The gameplay is fun, we added some cool twists on the genre. But there is still a lot of work to be done on the animation side. Luckily our interns are doing some great work on the coding and animation side of the game. We’re happy to have them.

Again, we can’t really share anything yet, but I would like to leave you with a commit message of the game:

Added kitty death rays to make your special even more purrfect!

How about that. Doesn’t that trigger your curiosity? Stay tuned, we hope to be able to share some stuff soon.

Leuven, a healthy city

Leuven, our beloved home town set up an open call to make its citizens healthier. Every company or organization who is located in or around the city could send in a proposal. As a video game company this was a challenge we could not leave unanswered. Until the official selection, we can’t really talk about it, but let’s just say it’s a local multiplayer game with custom controllers. The project is called Extra Leuven which almost translates into Extra Life. Yeah, we’re funny like that.

Develop Brighton

We got the good news that Jeroen will be talking at Develop Brighton’s indie talks. The talks are free, no reason not to join and learn some do’s and don’ts about internships in the game industry.

Happy Volcano out, but not before this public service announcement. We’d like to connect with you, so join us on them social networks. Get sneak peaks of what we’re cooking up here at Happy Volcano, we’re happy to share.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/happyvolcanogames/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hvgames
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/happyvolcanogames/

 

March dev blog

By | Dev Blog, Games, Happy Volcano, Internship, Lava Fever, Winter

Since last month we have a full house of dedicated, smart interns at the Happy Volcano offices. And we love them dearly :). Lisa Janssens and Jasper Lemmens have joined us for a three-month internship. They will both be working on Winter. While the core team is working on a secret client game, new art, special effects and animations are going into Winter.

Winter

Jasper started working on bringing the world in Winter to life with some snow, wind and rain effects. Stylised particle effects in flat white colors go really well with the flat shaded 3D environment. He also worked on a few interesting shaders which we’re not showing yet because spoilers.

Winter - snowstorm particle effect
Winter - rain particle effect

Lisa on the other hand started creating the second level of the game, which takes place in the suburbs. She started out with a moodboard, followed by a simple blockout of the level.

Not soon after Jasper joined in and they started modelling simple environments to test geometry and colors. We’re doing a lot of different tiles quickly as an exercise to get a good feel about the direction the level is going into. We’re not sure if any of these tiles will end up in the final game. But in this stage quantity of and iterating on the models is more important than making detailed artwork.

Lava Fever

We hit a brick wall designing Stonebound and decided to let it rest for a while, in the hope of seeing it with new eyes and a fresh mind. So, while our two new interns got sucked into the cold world of Winter, Tom’s been working on our scorching hot mobile game Lava Fever. We always liked the gameplay mechanic, but the game itself was seriously missing some juice. Tom implemented new unlockable characters. They each have unique behaviours and lead to different styles of gameplay. (We wrote about the design process behind the original characters a while ago)

The witchdoctor

We also decided to make the game free, by adding advertisement. We know, we’re not a fan ourselves, but this is the way the mobile world works right now. But we’re good guys, so we added three unlockables to remove the ads. How about that, beatable ads: the better you play, the quicker the ads will dissapear. And finally, we added some challenges to keep you on your toes.

We’ve got an Android release planned as well, so you finally get to play it on the two biggest mobile platforms.

Secret client project

The new mobile game for kids we’re making is nearing the vertical slice milestone. The game is challenging and fun to play. It sucks we can’t show you more, but we’re having a blast making it. We should be able to tell you more in a few months.