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BLOG – A Daily Documentary

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A DAILY DOCUMENTARY BLOG

(*This blog serves the purpose to journal all of my progress both professionally and personally*)


Daily Documentary – New Job Opportunities and Announcements

Originally Posted on November 7th, 2015


Hey everyone! I haven’t posted an update to this blog in a few months because I have been busy with a couple of different projects and opportunities, and due to my laziness to update the blog on a daily basis.

As for the first announcement – I have received a job opportunity to work alongside the team at Nordic Games & Digital Arrow to work on the recent successfully crowd funded project on KickStarter, Aquanox: The Deep Descent. The position would be as a level designer and technical designer, and its an opportunity that I could not pass up. The position requires that I move to Serbia to work directly with the team on the project for at least a year, but with possibilities of staying for a longer period of time. I will be leaving for Serbia at the end of November, and I am both excited and nervous about starting my professional career in the video game industry, and about moving to a new country. During my time in Serbia, as well as working professionally in the games industry, I will be constantly updating my social media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, and the Devin Level Design Facebook Page with photos and news about my career and travels.

With the recent job opportunity to work on Aquanox: The Deep Descent in Serbia, there will be a short term hiatus on updates to the Devin Level Design YouTube Channel and videos will be few and far between for a few months after my arrival in Serbia. Once I am able to get settled in my new home and job, I will be making more tutorials and let’s play videos; and having more professional experience using Unreal Engine 4, tutorials will become more advanced and interesting. I would like to apologize in advance for any dedicated fans to the channel for this gap, and to ask that you stay with me during this time.

Last, but not least, is the announcement that the book I had co-authored, Unreal Engine Physics Essentials has been published as of September, 28th 2015 (9/28/15) and is available for purchase on Amazon and the Packt Publishing website and it would mean so much to me if you guys check it out! A big shout out to my co-author Katax Emperore for his help in writing this book and making sure that the information was useful to Unreal Engine 4 users at any skill level. Additionally, I would like to thank the team over at Packt Publishing for their help and support in making this book possible.

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Aquanox: Deep Descent KickStarter Campaign

Originally Posted on August 29th, 2015


On August 18th, 2015, the team at Digital Arrow announced the KickStarter Campaign for the spiritual successor of the AquaNox series called Aquanox: Deep Descent! As of the time of this writing the campaign has seen amazing support and success by already reaching 85% of its necessary funding to move forward. With about 12 Days left to the campaign, we still need ~$10,000 in order to reach the first goal of $75,000. With that being said, we also have stretch goals in mind in order to add more content and avenues to play the game such as releasing on both Xbox One and PS4, the inclusion of match-making multiplayer and additional zones that are a part of the world. The more support we receive from you guys, the bigger and better of a game we can make and play together.

Please show your support of the Aquanox: Deep Descent KickStarter Campaign by sharing, liking, and even donating if you can to help see this game come to life!

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – What I Learned From Radial Impact & What’s Next!?

Originally Posted on August 16th, 2015


With the release of Radial Impact and taking in feedback within the last few weeks, there are already so many things that I have learned in order to make the next game even better.

  1. The #1 lesson that I learned from Radial Impact and the feedback that I have received up to this point is that players want achievements, or other types of goals that mean something more than reaching a high-score on their copy of the game.
    1. Speaking in more detail, if Radial Impact had some sort of High Score system that compared players’ score across those who have purchased the game, that would be more of an interesting challenge to come back to instead of a local high-score. Moreover, implementing some sort of achievement system either through Steam itself, or through an in-game achievement system could have made the game more interesting, or at least gave players a reason to continue playing after the first play-through.
    2. In my opinion, the game itself was interesting to play and had addictive qualities to it, but there was just not enough challenges or unique tasks for the player to complete while playing the game to make it a game that they would want to return to.
  2. The second lesson that I learned from Radial Impact is to provide players with more challenges/obstacles to complete instead of just a singular challenge that has its rules changed between game-types. One of the bigger improvements of the game during its development cycle was the decision to change the position of the circles randomly each time in order to make the challenge more difficult to the player instead of having the position of the circles remain static, while just the size of the circles changed.
    1. Radial Impact definitely lacked in the challenges department when it comes to testing the players’ skill in a way that constantly challenged the player to improve their skills. Radial Impact suffered from the ‘Easy to Learn, Easy to Master’ syndrome that caused the game to become boring and uninteresting very quickly
    2. The overall goal of the game was to make an addictive, one-click type of game that players can use to pass the time with, but one of the major issues with Radial Impact was the choice to release it on the PC platform, and no additional platforms.
  3. The third lesson that I had learned from developing Radial Impact is the importance of platform choice based on the game you are creating. The simplicity of Radial Impact’s game-play would have been awesome to see integrated onto mobile platforms, but due to technical issues I could not figure out, I decided to release the game on PC only.
    1. I really wanted to have Radial Impact to be released on the mobile market through Android devices, but I was just not able to get that type of platform to work correctly, or deploy correctly using Unreal Engine 4. It is because of these technical limitations that I chose to just have the game playable on PC. The game itself, in its simplicity could have flourished on the mobile market instead of on PC because gamers using the PC platform have a set of expectations to what their experiences are like, and Radial Impact was too simple to properly meet those expectations.
    2. Knowing the audience and really knowing the game-play for your game is crucial in choosing the appropriate platform to deploy that game onto. Simple click or tap games find a better home on mobile marketplaces as compared to the PC platform, unless it was integrated through HTML5 embedded code inside of a website instead of its own stand-alone executable.

With these lessons in mind, I am ready to pursue my next game. If you have been following the information found under the Side Projects page, then you might think that the next project will be the endless runner that I posted there. I have decided to create a different type of game that keeps the idea of an endless runner, but instead of horizontal progression, the game will monitor vertical progression.

At the moment, I am in the pre-production stage of the project, and am working hard on the documentation for this project, keeping in mind the lessons I have learned from Radial Impact. As more information is available, I will continue to post in this blog page, or add the game information to the Side Projects page so those who want to keep up on this project can as it evolves.

Thanks for reading, and if you played Radial Impact then I would like to thank you for playing!

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Radial Impact Officially on Steam

Originally Posted on August 3rd, 2015


Radial Impact is officially available on Steam for $0.99! Thanks to everyone for the support along the way, you guys are the best! Keep an eye out for some Steam Keys in the next few days for a free copy!

Thanks again everyone!

FacebookRadialImpactPost

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Radial Impact Steam Launch and Updates

Originally Posted on July 31, 2015


Hey peeps!

I have some updates to share with you guys in regards to Radial Impact both on the Steam platform and on the Learning Tab. First, Radial Impact is going to be released on Steam today starting at 7:00 PM AZT for $0.99 with a 90% discount for its first week; which means you can play the game for just a dime! It would mean so much if as many of you guys go out and buy the game, especially in the first week since it will be just 10 cents. I would also like to go out and say thank you to those people who have supported my work from the very beginning; it means a lot to see this kind of support.

Radial Impact on Steam

In regards to Radial Impact on the Learning Tab for Unreal Engine 4, the fantastic testers at Epic Games were kind enough to send me some information regarding bugs that were found in the game. As a result, I have been working hard to make sure these bugs are corrected as quickly as possible for the games’ release today. At the moment, I have corrected all the bugs, but one; which I will try to ensure is corrected before the launch of Radial Impact.

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Radial Impact Steam Trailer

Originally Posted on July 18, 2015


Hey everyone!

Today is a nice milestone day for the progress of Radial Impact’s release on the Steam platform; I created the launch trailer for the game!

I am so excited for the official release of Radial Impact, currently set for July 31st, so mark your calenders! More information about the release will be provided in the next coming days.

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Website Progress

Originally Posted on July 18, 2015


Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just wanted to post a small update regarding the Devin Level Design website and its current progress. As of this posting, I have finished the pages for The Afflicted, Radial Impact, my Resume/CV, About Me, the Devin Level Design YouTube Channel, and this Blog. So far, it has been an amazing experience to redesign this website and I have been getting positive feedback from those who have visited the website. It has also been a great nostalgic experience revisiting old projects like The Afflicted to see how far I have come in my pursuit of working in the games industry.

I am also excited by the amount of traffic I have seen through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram since I have created additional content surround the Devin Level Design brand. I am really hoping this redesign will catch the eyes of potential career opportunities that will push me forward in becoming a game industry professional.

Lastly, I am starting to work on a logo for the Devin Level Design brand so that I can showcase it on this website, the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and on YouTube. Right now, I am slow to start because I haven’t really created a logo before and I don’t know where to start; at the moment I am trying to think about exactly what I want the Devin Level Design brand to represent. Once I have figured that out, it should be easier to move forward with the logo, so stay tuned for that in the near future!

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Daily Documentary – Website Development & New Bojack Horseman Season 2

Originally Posted on July 18, 2015


Hey people,

The last two days have been really nice because I have been able to work on my portfolio website and because its the weekend! So far, the blog, Resume/CV, and the About Me have been completed and are in good shape. I am very excited about the rework of this website and hope for great potential for what kind of attention it can bring me in terms of career opportunities.

I also created a new Facebook page for the Devin Level Design YouTube Channel, and a new Instagram profile that will serve as additional media outlets for the new Devin Level Design brand that I am working on. My overall goal is to develop a brand and an online presence that will help my game development career and grab the attention of potential game studios. Hopefully by the end of this weekend, or by Tuesday the latest, the DevinSherryLevelDesign website redesign will be complete.

Lastly, I am excited for the second season of Bojack Horseman! If you haven’t already watched the show, I recommend you get on Netflix right now and watch it!

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


 Daily Documentary – Work Training

Originally Posted on July 16, 2015


Hey guys,

This week, I have started training for a new technical support job; not going to name the company I am working for (for obvious reasons). For this company, I will be providing technical support for websites, email, and all of that good stuff; and this week is the first week of training for the job. Don’t grow up kids, paying bills is not fun.

Am I the only the person out there that doesn’t socialize well when thrown into a large group of people; and gets annoyed by those other people who feel it necessary to socialize with everyone no matter what? I don’t mean to come off as negative, but those kinds of people are the worst; I’ll talk to you when I am good and ready!

In other news, I am still trying to get Radial Impact deployed onto my Android phone; just for my own uses I am not releasing the game on Android or any other mobile devices. This process is extremely frustrating because I was able to get the deployment to successfully build onto my Android devices almost a year ago, but now that I am attempting to do it now, nothing is working as intended (which is never a good time). Hopefully I will get this to work soon so that I can move on to attempting to release an HTML version of Radial Impact so I can have you guys play it on this website for free.

And finally, I still have a lot of work to do to release Radial Impact on Steam so I plan on getting a head start on that this weekend in attempt to release the game within the next few weeks.

(*Warning these daily documentaries may not be daily*)


Radial Impact – Successfully Greenlit on Steam

Originally Posted on July 16, 2015


Hey guys!

Almost one year ago I had submitted Radial Impact to the Steam Greenlight program in an effort to release the game on Valve’s platform. I am happy to announce that Radial Impact has successfully been Greenlit on Steam! That means in a few weeks I plan on releasing both a free demo and a full-playable build of Radial Impact; the full build will only be $0.99. If you do not want to pay for the game, you can always download the game for free on this website.

I am setting the price of Radial Impact to $0.99 on Steam just for those who want to support my work, and money definitely helps that cause. Radial Impact is also free to download from the Unreal Engine Launcher and be able to make your own game using the assets that I used!

portfolio_mainimage

I also want to say thank you all for the support of this project and I can’t wait to release it for everybody to enjoy!


Newest Opportunity – Writing a Book

Originally Posted on July 16, 2015


What’s up peeps!?

Within the last few months I was presented with an amazing opportunity to help co-author a book about Unreal Engine 4, specifically about utilizing the tools available to create in-game physics!

I was approached by Indrajit Das, an Acquisition at Pakt Publishing, about working on a book called Unreal Engine Physics Essentials back in late April. I had never worked on an academic book before, but I was always a fan of technical writing so I decided to seize the opportunity. My only worry at the very beginning of this project was that I wasn’t very confident in my knowledge-base when it came to utilizing in-game physics within Unreal Engine 4 and as a result we had obtained a co-author, Cliff Sharif, to assist in writing this book.

At the time of this writing I do not know what the release date will be for this book, but once I am presented with that information I will create another Blog post here, as well as make an announcement video on the Devin Level Design channel. What I can say is that we have completed the first draft for all 8 chapters of the book, but there is still much more work to be done for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd revisions; as well as adding more content to the book.

Though there is a lot of work left to do for this project, I am very excited to see how it turns out and hope it will be a great educational reference for those wanting to learn Unreal Engine 4. Stay tuned to this blog to stay up to date with this project!


New Project – Running with Pixels

Originally Posted on July 16, 2015


Hey everyone!

I am excited to announce that I am currently working on a new project called Running with Pixels. For this project, I am using Unreal Engine 4 v. 4.8.2 to create a 2D Side-Scroller/Runner game that utilizes pixel art to enhance the gameplay.

My goal for this game is to become better versed in the creation of 2D pixel character and environment art, and to become more comfortable with the pipeline from Photoshop to Unreal Engine 4. At the moment, my stronger skills involve level design and Blueprint Scripting, so I want expand my skill-set and become a stronger asset in game development.

At the time of this blog, I have been working hard on creating characters for this game; unique and parody characters that will bring much needed humor and variety to this project. Here are some examples of these characters:

T_DevinCharacter                                                            T_CouragiousCardio_FullBody

‘Devin the Developer’                                                              ‘Courageous Cardio’    

Meet Devin the Developer and Courageous Cardio. Devin the Developer is an obvious reflection of myself; a simple dude who wears white shirts, dirty shorts, and just enough facial hair to meet the minimum requirement of being a man. On the other hand, Courageous Cardio is a brave warrior who fights for his home country of Scotland; this character being a parody of Brave Heart.

T_PartyBro_FullBody                                                            T_JackLumberjack_FullBody

         ‘Party Bro’                                                                         ‘Jack the Lumberjack’

Next up on the roster are Party Bro and Jack the Jacked Lumberjack. Party Bro is well into his sophomore year at Community College where he is studying to become a male nurse. Aside from not studying, Party Bro enjoys heavy drinking, women, men sometimes, and overall having a good time. Jack the Jacked Lumberjack is the opposite of Party Bro; Jack enjoys hard work, a glass of whisky neat, and eating meat from the animals he attacks.

T_FreshPrince_FullBody                                                            T_Cylcops_Fullbody

     ‘The Fresh Prince’                                                                    ‘One-Eyed Willy’

Now this is a story all about how The Fresh Prince’s life got turned upside down. That’s right, for anyone born before 1993 you will recognize this iconic character from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and he is a playable character in Running with Pixels; all that running away from Uncle Phil will definitely pay off! On the right, is One-Eyed Willy who has the power to shoot lasers out his eye balls; pretty cool power right? One-Eyed Willy is a parody of the X-Men hero Cyclops, but this one is much cooler, and tips well at restaurants.

T_KingstonFerryworthIII_FullBody                                                            T_MetalMan_FullBody

‘Kingston FerryWorth III’                                                               ‘Metal Man’   

You know that one guy at Starbucks that seems to sit there all day, as if he lives there. With an acoustic guitar in hand, Kingston FerryWorth III makes sure that you cannot enjoy your food and drinks, and he will perform his version of that song you really like. Also joining the group for Running with Pixels is Metal Man; a super genius that enjoys metal so much that he covered himself in it and somehow was able to make it work as a super suit. This character is a parody of Iron Man, but why use only one metal when you can use all of them.

T_MuricaMan_FullBody                                                            T_Undergrad_FullBody

      ‘Murica Man’                                                                            ‘U of M Undergrad’

What’s better than America!? That’s right, absolutely nothing. Murica Man takes this philosophy and steps it up a notch by kicking everyone’s ass; including your Grandma. Murica Man is an insane version of Captain America, but why judge him on that you don’t know him personally. The last character I am showing off is an Undergrad student from the University of Michigan, but he does look like Wolverine from X-Men; you know what else has a wolverine? THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!

These are just a handful of characters that are going to be available in the final build of Running with Pixels; additional characters will include women, and characters of different skin types and body shapes. Overall, I want to challenge myself in the realm of pixel art so that I can improve that skill-set and become a better asset to any development team. More information on the progress of this game will be posted on both the Devin Level Design channel, and this portfolio website/blog.


Devin Level Design – Channel Update

Originally Posted on June 11, 2015


Hey everyone,

Today is a day to celebrate because my YouTube Channel, Devin Level Design has reached two milestones:

First, the channel celebrates its 500th video to be uploaded with a compilation video that contains some of the content that made this milestone possible. Some highlights from the video include several Let’s Play videos, Level Fly-Through videos, and a large array of different tutorial videos to name a few. Check out the video below:

The second milestone that was achieved around this time was the reaching of over 1,750 Subscribers to the channel, which is definitely huge. I remember my first subscriber, which was me, so it is amazing to think that there are so many people watching my content and showing an interest in what I do. I am very excited to continue making content for everyone to enjoy and I can’t wait to see what is next for the channel.

If you aren’t subscribed to the channel, you can do so here. All views, comments, likes, and subscriptions help me a bunch in my ultimate goal of becoming a game developer. Thanks again to you all!

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