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Farm Rivals – Android Puzzle Game

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Farm Rivals – a competitive puzzle game

Game Launch News [Android]

Farm Rivals – a competitive puzzle game – is out on GooglePlay. Plant, place and compete with other players globally. This is the second collaboration with Richard Gale from A proper Job Games. After the initial game with ‘A proper Job Games’ [ ‘Merge Cafe’ ], it was a joy to work with Richard again.

Move blocks on to the board, fill rows or columns to harvest, score points and win! It takes just seconds to learn, but only the most seasoned farmer will harvest the most!

Skillz – making a puzzle game globally competitive

Hone your skills in head to head practice leagues or compete in the Pro Leagues. Win real world prizes (where available). Challenge people from around the world with Skillz, a competition platform complete with leaderboards, trophies, cash or virtual currency prizes. Skillz also offers an amazing loyalty program that rewards you for playing.

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He asked for an art style that was right down my alley. It allowed for fast asset creationg and let me to reuse some objects from earlier test and tutorials. Most of the art was created in Affinity Designer with the addition of some CorelDraw elements [e.g. for the title as it required some deformation].
The pumpkin I used in the game derived from one of my very first tutorials.  A tutorial I wrote back in 2011. Yet, the style and the approach worked nicely here.

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Have fun – make games

I enjoy working on puzzle games like Farm Rivals. There is managable scope. You get time to polish the look and work a developer that is willing to spend the extra time on making the game better. Ultimately, it’s that rewarding feeling to see a game go through the stages. From developing the ideas and initial sketches, to placeholder art, to the final polish and eventually the release.
Even after years and years of making games it’s still a special moment when a game is completed.

It helps to see a game like Farm Rivals received very positively, winning at the 2020 Skillz Kickoff challenge.

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Check it out on GooglePlay!

Merge Cafe – Facebook Instant Game

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Merge Cafe – Facebook Instantgame

Game Launch News

Merge Cafe has been launched on Facebook Instantgames [a while back … ]. I had quite a bit of catching up as far as posting on the blog goes… I had the pleasure of working with Richard Gale again. Now he’s the solo-developer of of ‘a proper job games’ and we created some mouthwatering cake goodness.

cafe merge - facebook instantgame

I switched from my usual tool for graphic design to Affinity Designer for the cafe merge artwork. The idea was to create a very glossy, smooth, a tad over the top look. I needed a good and easy to handle transparency tool and the ability to blur things. This would give me the extra smooth look.

Merge Cafe - facebook instantgame

Check it out on Facebook/ Instantgames!

It worked out a lot better than I expected. Affinity Designer allowed me to create the art for the facebook instantgame Merge Cafe in a stable and fast fashion. I would create the highlight or shadow shapes, blur them and keep modifying them while the effect was updated in realtime.

Helpful features

Another great feature I used quite a bit is the ‘pixel persona’. You can mix vector art and bitmap/ pixel elements seamlessly. E.g. rather than try and create a crumbled cake texture, I would just paint it with a soft brush as a bitmap layer. These elements can be clipped, masked, recoloured, and scaled without problems in Affinity Designer. Working with them as an editable part of the illustration made it a lot easier to achieve the desired look. Symbols are another nice addition to the toolbox. I created rough shapes of e.g. strawberries as symbols, dublicate them and place them on the cakes. Later on, I would edit the symbol and update all berries with more detail.

cafe merge - facebook instantgame

Exporting the art to ingame pngs was a breeze thanks to the ‘export persona’ and the output quality was just fine. I will continue using Affinity Designer for tasks like these that require a high level of polish, shine and smoothness. Overall, it was a very pleasurable experience.

I might take one or two of those cakes and write a tutorial about the approach and creation. 

Check it out on Facebook/ Instantgames!

Getting there eventually…

2Dgameartguru working with wordpress

Alive and working on  the wordpress side of things

…and making the assets FREE!

The New Year is well underway and I haven’t posted in a while. The problems have been pretty much the usual. My health is an ongoing worry. I changed the approach. Some new tools helped me cope with the chronic pain [some of the time]. Around Christmas and New Year it wasn’t quite working too well… but hey… not letting it stop me.
So, rather than have the creative energy flowing, I did the ‘not so fun’ things. I am still working on bringing all the blog posts into wordpress. At the moment there’s about 25 tutorials left to do. That’s a good step up from the initialy daunting task of 150+.

Lately, the site I chose as a platform for my assets has changed it’s pricing structure. I took it as a reason to finally get off it and make all the assets free. I edited the post [hopefully all of them] with assets. More assets from later/ newer tutorials will be added as I go. They are all up on now. Check it out if you want some of the source files of the tutorial.

Next up will be a step-by-step tutorial and a video currently in the planning stage. The artwork for both has been done and I just need to get into the right mindset to write and record.
Basically, even though I have not posted in a while – the blog is still alive and I will continue to work on wordpress, more FREE assets and new tutorials. I hope to be more active in the future and get into a regular posting routine.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020!

Merry Christmas - 2dgameartguru

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a good, peaceful and happy holiday season. Spending my Christmas in tropical Australia still feels weird. There are the presents, a lot of time spent on dolls’ house figurines and furniture for my grandkid, and a wooden Christmas I painted for a charity sale, it’s hard to get into the right spirit. Coming from Germany, Christmas is about cold, a real tree, wax candles, the smell of cookies and the fireplace burning. It’s not quite the same as summer, sun, and beach at 30C.

It’s scary to see how little I posted this year but other things had priority and took up a lot of my time and energy. I do feel bad about it and (as usual) would like to change it. 2019 threw a few nasty punches at me and it looks like the year is ending on that note as well. My neural pains have been a problem the past few days and I taking it easy. There are a few new approaches to battle the aches I am trying at the moment. The first results are quite promising therefor I hope for a better run in the next year!

I wish you all the best for 2020!

Sunny greetings from Downunder,

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It’s been a while… and the reasons are plenty…

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Still alive and kicking

It’s been a while…

since I posted a quick video and even longer since I worked on a proper tutorial. The reasons have been plentiful. They range from simply being ‘too busy with life’ to serious health issues. I had a major health threat that took a long time to be checked out and finally ruled out. When the doctor told me that it might be cancer, the initial response was ‘sh**, why me?’. I lost close family members to cancer in the past. It felt wrong. I am too young. I watch my diet and lifestyle and keeping as fit as my muscular condition allows it. Maybe a bit more at times. I haven’t had any of the symptoms normally associated with it. Yet the blood tests confirmed the numbers. Next up was an ultrasound and an MRI. Both of them showed ‘a zone of interest’. Ultimately, the doctors decided to take a biopsy. It dragged on for months. Even though I tried not let it get to me, it did paralyze me. Finally, two weeks ago I got the all clear. It was a major relief.

Getting there… somehow…

Oddly, the immediate reaction of joy and the loss of the burden came with a loss of tension and drive. I felt sorry for myself when I should have been the happiest. It’s taken a while [with too much coffee and chocolate] to get back into a mindset to open up the blog. I look at the declining viewer numbers and realize that I miss the posts, the tutorials, and the pains of putting together a video. Passing on some of the knowledge I acquired feels good. The intentions are there, the plans and the ideas for new posts are plentyful. A lot of them sit in the dark corners of my hard drives already. They are just waiting to be released.  I will try and find the time and energy to make that happen.

Thanks for your patience. I hope to see you around for more entertaining and helpful posts in the near future.

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