Game Challenge Experience
IGC was our first contest, and Dice our first conference attended as a team. Definitely the best part part about the event was getting to meet all the great people in indie development and game development in general, demo our game and check out games from other indies.
The quality that all the finalists had in common was originality. Strive for something new that pushes the envelope!
Mile long buffet tables full of shrimp. And meeting some of the biggest names in games randomly while eating said shrimp.
All the games I thought were a lot of fun, especially Climb to the Top of the Castle for its visceral energy and simplicity. Miegakure also stood out for its brain melting puzzles.
We’re hard at work developing our art style and some new design mechanics – new fluid types, and new contraptions to create liquid creatures.
Arkwright, inventor of the revolutionary Mechanized-Fluid Automatons (known as Fluros), is on a quest to finish his next great invention – The Device – that will alter existence in unfathomable ways.
Travel to different industrial sites that use Arkwright’s Fluro invention to run their machinery. The Fluros, thought to be lifeless machines, seem to be developing minds of their own, mutating into new forms and running amok. It is up to Arkwright to understand (and exploit) these strange evolutions, and apply what has emerged in the field back to his lab work at home. Gather these evolved Fluros and machinery and bring them back to Arkwright’s lab to finish his ‘Device’, pushing the frontiers of science in this mechanical universe.
‘Vessel’ is a game about the relationships between life, matter, and machines. The game is built on a physics and fluid simulation engine featuring the unique ability to simulate characters composed entirely of fluid. Explore physically modeled worlds, solve puzzles by controlling fluid and machines, and harness the power of the mysterious ‘Fluro’ creatures that populate the land.
Vessel began life as a physics engine experiment I was working on in my spare time, and as the engine grew in complexity and capability the ideas for Vessel started emerging. We wanted the game’s story, visuals, gameplay, and technology to be intimately tied together and play off each other in clever ways, so everything feels natural and connected.
We’ve built the game in a custom engine that simulates characters made of fluid – this opens up a lot of gameplay possibilities that have not been explored in games before. A physics engine powers all the objects and fluid in the game, so everything is very interactive and emergent.
A few years of part time effort to build the engine, and a year of full time effort to put it all together.
Optimizing! There’s a reason there haven’t been many fluid games until recently, and that’s because it’s so processor intensive. On the other hand, that’s one of the things I like best about the game – we’re putting the massive power of modern hardware towards new kinds of gameplay, not just graphics. That’s the founding principle of the new studio we’re working to start.
The tech we use to make fluid characters is very flexible and there’s a lot we plan to do with it. For example, the fluid letters in the title use the same tech as the fluid characters in the game.
I had others in mind, but as soon as I found ‘Vessel’ I knew it was perfect. There are layers of meaning we intend to build into our game, and the loose meaning of Vessel captures them beautifully.
University of Washington, studied computer science.
I’ve been an avid gamer since the Commodore 64 days. I worked at a couple of large game studios before going officially indie a year ago, and not looking back.
Our team all worked together at Pandemic Studios in Brisbane Australia. Working on our own title is something we’ve always wanted to do, taking a different approach to making games . After Pandemic shutdown we decided to take the risk and give it a shot.
I’ve been stuck on Company of Heroes multiplayer for a long while now – so much depth and strategy to that game. Besides that a lot of cool indie games out there like Monaco and Captain Forever.
Ultima Online, back in the early wild-west early days where anything could (and frequently did) happen. There has been nothing like it before or since. These days MMOs are locked down and safe, not as much excitement.
Also Ultima Online, for the many many hours it has stolen from me…
Commodore 64! Cut my teeth on the BASIC programming language, which is where I got a taste for making games. I’m a bit envious of kids these days growing up with tools like XNA in their living room.
These days PC, trying out interesting indie games and nursing my addiction to Company of Heroes multiplayer.
Doing things outdoors to make up for all the time spent in front of a monitor – snowboarding, tennis, running, hiking, camping.
Oct 7th, 3:13am