After a long break, here is a new post to give my readers an idea about new things I’m trying during my free time. My current obsession is making short stories, comics or other original concepts with the help of AI tools like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion.
Why AI Tools?
For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to work on my own concepts & short stories… to come up with something original and if possible, thought-provoking and creative. I’m not a proper artist. With the availability and access to these new massively engaging AI art generators, it’s quite helpful for me and others to generate concepts that align to our vision. Atleast, as close as one can get. It’s not without flaws, but the benefits they bring are enormous. That’s what I believe.
Currently, there is a rift among the art community on using these tools, even some of my friends and colleagues are a little split. In my opinion, as long as one can use the tech and the knowledge to get what they want to create, it’s all good and well. Few of my artist friends are already using these tools to save time and paint over, to further enhance the output. Truly, the possibilities are endless!
I’m creating all of my story/comic concepts using Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. In the future, I’ll explore other AI art generators and perhaps mix and match certain things. All my work (for now) is mainly shared on my other instagram account: uns33n.comics. Do note, most of the images I shared on the website here are of medium quality.
Here is a sneak peak (already present on my instagram account):
Check out some of my ultra photorealistic pictures made using Stable Diffusion:
Artistic & Creative
Midjourney gives me the best results when I want something to be more artistic, wacky and fantastical:
Old to Modern?
I also tried a sample to give a modern look or to make a character from a video game realistic. In this case, I went with Fran (from Final Fantasy 12), because I managed to find a good image to use as a reference. It is important to know that img2img also works, which can bring a lot of interesting and sometimes strange results. It depends on how we manage the parameters to achieve our intentions.
Someone completely different?
As I briefly covered img2img above, you can actually also shapeshift someone, create a doppleganger or a completely different person! Check my try:
These tools are also both supporting and competing with each other. All of them receive regular updates, improvements to their algorithm, more artistic possibilities, variations and so on.
I’ll continue making more concepts and stories. If you like the work, do support and give a like, follow and share: uns33n.comics.
I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad and recently, I started watching Better Call Saul. Just like Vince Gilligan’s previous masterpiece, this show too is filled with familiar and strong memorable characters, tight plot with brilliant direction and chemistry. Every episode is fantastic… then there are some scenes and episodes that are truly on another level. This post of mine, is going to focus on one such episode – Season 2 E10, titled ‘Klick’.
I was literally floored during the first 5 mins of ‘Klick’ and that’s when I got super motivated to provide an analysis for the same. An important point to consider here is that I’m on season 3 of the show and haven’t caught up with the latest story development. My interpretation takes into account the exposition, moments and plot arcs for characters up to the point of ‘Klick’ only.
Analysis contains minor spoilers
As we start watching the episode ‘Klick’, we are already coming from a high tension phase from the last scene of Season 2, Episode 9 ‘Nailed’. This already sets a strong notion of limited information coupled with curiosity as we move onto the next episode.
One of the key element of chemistry built up to now is the relationship between our Protagonist, Jimmy McGill with his brother, Charles McGill, an Antagonist. In my opinion, the first 5 mins of ‘Klick’ gives us a much deeper understanding of these characters, their chemistry and background which further reinforces our thoughts.
Empathy toward characters
In my analysis, I want to focus on how our empathy toward Jimmy McGill and Chuck changes during these 5 mins. My initial thoughts were to delve into the ‘Tension’ of the narrative. After digging deep, it felt that it would make more sense to look at the character arc based on their actions and the empathy we feel for them.
To understand this, I’ve plotted an empathy graph considering key plot moments from the beginning. Empathy shift vs Time/Key Plot.
The scale of time is not 1:1 as I’ve made it so as to give the direction and timing of narrative exposition with regards to the plot. The individual timing is what’s most important.
Let’s delve deeper into these key plot elements to understand the chart better:
Audience is coming from a high tension phase – Season 2, Episode 9 ‘Nailed’. The general expectation for us is to be curious… ‘What happened to Chuck?’, ‘Is he alright?’. The initial starting point of reference for the empathy levels begin here. We are already emotionally invested in wanting to know what happens next!
Flashback of hospital scene where the nurse indicates that the condition of the patient is dire. Within 30 secs it is made clear that the patient is perhaps breathing his/her last moments. We are expecting a continuation from Nailed, but this shift to flashback is an ingenious decision. This is the scene where we, as the audience expect the patient to be their Father.
Jimmy tries to lighten the mood by talking about food and how Chuck must’ve not eaten since long. Chuck remains a bit distant and cold due to the sadness in the room.
Chuck is surprised at Jimmy’s casual reaction to the situation and is taken aback by his whole ice-breaker conversation.
This is where it is made clear that the patient on the bed is their mother. Up to this point there has been no exposition regarding her apart from an episode where Jimmy informs Marco about attending her funeral few years ago.
A pivotal moment where it is made clear how different people remember things differently. Jimmy is remembering the good old times about an old party… where Chuck chips in to recall how his memory was nothing but sordid as they had to clean up the mess caused by Jimmy back then and it also was a sad end to their Mom’s birthday celebration. This is also a moment when the chemistry keeps breaking up as they don’t align with each other positively. The feeling of support keeps breaking between them.
Around 2 min mark, Jimmy finally decides to get food and also shows that he has nothing but care for Chuck. He even remembers his food preference by literally spelling out the way he likes it and then excuses himself out.
A clear rising moment where the deep attachment between Chuck and his mother is showcased, unable to control himself, he breaks down and starts crying.
Around 3 min mark, their Mother finally wakes up… Chuck sighs a sense of relief and calls out to her. Her first words are ‘Jimmy’ and then ‘Jimmy’ again even after Chuck tries to make her understand that its Chuck beside her side and not him. This is a breaking moment as we are also made aware that even their Mother cares more for Jimmy. Chuck is extremely saddened by the thought as she flatlines.
Chuck, distant again in his composure and thoughts, he immediately regains control of the situation, depressed at what just happened but calmly utters ‘this is it then’ to the nurse.
Around 4 min mark… Jimmy arrives back at the hospital with food, casually walks in the room and is shocked to not find his Mother and confronts about this to Chuck who is sitting at the other side of the corridor.
Chuck says ‘She’s gone’ and this shocks Jimmy. He is unable to take in the information and just cannot process it as he missed the last moment when he was outside the hospital.
Around 5 min mark… is where there is a big shift in terms of how we further feel for these two main characters. When Jimmy wants to know if she woke up before and had anything to say… Chuck avoids eye contact, composes himself strongly and blatantly lies to Jimmy as he says ‘No’.
Plot breakdown – First 5 mins
By taking these little elements one after the other, in sequence (with the prior knowledge about the characters), it is clear, just how ingeniously executed these 5 mins are, there is a striking shift of how we feel empathy toward both of them. At least, that’s true for me. It will be interesting to know your observations on the same.
Let’s take a look at the information, we, as audience possess (apart from Saul’s background that we are already aware of from Breaking Bad) about these two characters. Also, I’m going a bit further by giving a brief on their traits and personalities… strictly from my point of view. Plus, a little Dungeons & Dragons alignment system 😉
James McGill (Jimmy)
Alignment & Traits
Chaotic Neutral -to- Chaotic Good
Good of the people, Self-interest, whimsical nature > Intelligence
Lies a lot, usually for the overall good
Charles McGill (Chuck)
Alignment & Traits
Intelligence, Rank, Law, Power > Good of the people
Lies to show power, status and avoid embarrassment
In terms of our investment in these characters, we definitely feel closer to Jimmy and have more empathy toward him as the opposite becomes true for Chuck. This doesn’t mean that the shifts stop happening post this scene. In fact, the next 5 mins is one of the most intense – this is where the time moves to present where we are made aware that Chuck is admitted and is taken in for treatment. Perhaps, I’ll write about this in the future.
If like me, you’re a fan of the show (and of course, Breaking Bad) I hope this brief look into key moments from the episode helps shed some light into the genius of ‘Better Call Saul’ as a TV show.
Few movies released in 2018 have really grabbed my attention. One of them is ‘A Quiet Place’. Usually, when I truly adore a movie/series/ any media, I tend to watch/play them multiple times. If possible, that is. I do try. This particular movie is such a brilliant work that I went to the theater again about a week later and re-watched it! My post isn’t going to be a review or a rant but more like an overall high level observation.
Before you read any further, please take note that there will be massive spoilers ahead. Proceed only after watching the movie at least once 🙂 Goes without saying, whatever you’ll read below in my personal take. Let’s begin…
Contrast is extremely important. I believe ‘Timing’ and ‘Pacing’ to be few of the main factors that can really boost up contrast (when not talking about color). What is this contrast that I’m talking about? Well, from its ‘utter silence’ (read, lack of vocals/speech, sign language) as the movie begins to the point of reaching ‘first speech’ (read, voice or almost a sign of sound that makes a voice). The audience is slowly absorbed by the way they communicate i.e., the sign language within this long uncomfortable stretch of silence until the carpet-lantern-fire accident in their home during the kids’ play session! This is the first moment when you actually get to ‘almost hear’ their younger male child ‘mouthing’ the words… “I’m sorry”. This to me told quite a few things… like ‘he truly doesn’t practice sign language properly’ and is ‘still trying his best’ to fit and survive in this severely restricted and inconvenient situation that they’re all in.
A scene that comes in later wherein Emily Blunt is teaching him math, she has to whisper clearly and make him learn signs as clearly as possible. These moments are meant to make him realize that ‘he needs to adapt early’ and ‘grow up to be a strong survivor’ to ‘take care of the family’. These first whispered words are indeed calming to ears, mainly because this is absolutely the first time as an audience, we actually get to hear some vocal speech… first real vocal exchange of words.
Path from Bateswood Country Park to Red Hall Lane
Mise en scène. One of the first things you notice is how smoothly this movie tells its story. In ‘A Quiet Place’, surroundings, structures, placement of objects, scribbled whiteboards, design structures and other such elements coupled with ambiance form the storytelling and strong narrative part of the environment. Perhaps, an excellent showcase of ‘Show, don’t tell’. Apart from these, there are obviously few scenarios where the movie indeed sticks to ‘Tell, don’t show’. Earning the knowledge of these creatures/ aliens as we get to glance at the whiteboard (in the radio/ brainstorm room) for the first time is done quite smartly. There are few shots that zoom in the ‘much needed info’ so the audience most definitely can get a second chance to catch phrases in the environment. Personally, I would’ve loved if some of these second chances at reading the environment were cut/edited out (as their absence would make it an extra notch brilliant ;))
Plus, don’t forget the wide-angled ‘bonfires’ shot that bring the remaining human survivors closer to each other… the presence of life and the comforting nature of knowing that other survivors do exist!
Can you predict the weakness?
Deferred First revelation.
It is made pretty clear that the family and other surviving humans aren’t aware of the creature’s weakness. I’m not sure if it was clear for everyone or not but at least to me, the first revelation of their weakness is clearly depicted in the farm when the alien creeps up behind Regan (their deaf child). Funny thing is, I actually observed this properly when I watched the movie again, not first time though :/! The way this worked is that even if the audience did notice the weakness during this scene, the characters aren’t aware of it. That is indeed another brilliant touch! Regan actually connects the dots in the final scene and that’s their true first revelation of finding the creature’s weakness! In case, the audience does miss the evident farm scene… they would find themselves on the same page as Regan!
Defensive to Combative.
The main characters and perhaps, most other surviving humans in this post-apocalyptic scenario are primarily staying alive by ‘protecting’ themselves every step of the way. The family survives purely by escaping, hiding, barring themselves, most importantly staying out-of-sight(hearing)-soundproofing knowing that the opposition is infinitely stronger and agile than them. The parents are mainly defensive. Almost everything they do is intellectually correct in such a survival situation. At least, they try to do their best. They know, they cannot hunt or attack the creature.
Unfortunately, this stance changes. They, especially the father (John) progresses towards being combative. The trigger to this particular change of stance/ survival trait occurs after their new baby is born… when Emily Blunt makes it clear that they are nothing if they cannot protect their kids and makes John promise that he must protect them at any cost. Later in the farm, is when he tries to make a move to be combative and attack the creature with an ax in hopes of doing some damage and saving the kids. In the end, the only thing that ‘truly protects his kids’ is sacrificing himself.
Lovely knotted hearts.
Overall powerful tidbits.
Loved the ‘Point of View’ audio moments throughout the movie. Especially, as it serves such an important narrative meaning, helping to establish certain characters during the early sections of the movie.
Neil Young’s Harvest Moon is without a doubt a perfect choice given the scenario in which it is shared and fits so well with the overall context of the movie! Neil’s vocals truly boosts the aural mood and takes it to a calm, relaxing, intimate and comfortable zone 🙂
The direction, synchronization of audio and masterful editing with transitions during the ‘bathtub scream‘ with rockets flying in the air is perhaps the true solid peak of the movie. It is just so well done! Sound design is super important, especially for any thriller/ horror flicks out there. ‘A Quiet Place’ is a shining example in this case.
This last one might also be a trivia for most readers, as I got to know about this only after watching the movie… Millicent Simmonds, the actor who plays the role of Regan (deaf child) is actually deaf in real life! After knowing this fact, I must admit, my respect for what I saw has easily doubled! Fantastic work!
That’s it folks. Thanks for reading! This movie is now going to be in my ‘favorite list’ of all time 😉 Do comment, discuss and share if you liked this movie too!
My friend of mine, who is a fellow movie connoisseur has posted a pretty great rant on ‘A Quiet Place’! I highly recommend checking it out if you’ve already watched the movie.
I tend to post a lot about games, game design and everything games in general whenever time permits. Blaming ‘time’ for being lazy is a sorry excuse. To experience different times and moments, I and wifey finally decided to take ‘time out’ from our game development schedule and go on a fun filled vacation… Bali!
I would like to present a gist of our adventure in Bali with some pictures and free tips 🙂 This isn’t going to be an exhaustive moment-by-moment ‘what to do, where to go’… more of a ‘we did this’ and it was ‘fucking awesome!’ No, seriously, there will be some takeaways in case you are planning to visit Bali so keep reading 😉
August 29 to September 4
We started our journey from Kuala Lumpur on August 29. In case you struggle to find a decent place to eat at KL International Airport and love European cuisine… just take a chance with ‘Dome’. Fantastic place to munch, gracious soups and heavy sandwiches 🙂
August 29 – Day 1
After checking out various places to visit in Bali, we both narrowed down to stay at Ubud and Seminyak. This way, we get to see the best of the scenery, greenery and rice fields of Ubud and clean and less-crowded beaches of Seminyak region.
A true scenic and tranquil view of rice fields and away from the super-busy, narrow streets of Ubud. Look at the beautiful view you deserve!
Green Field Hotel and Restaurant is a true ‘hidden gem’. Wonderful staff, beautiful rooms with serene views of fields, cold breeze and amazing breakfast. Location of this hotel is its main highlight – close to so many tourist spots!
Our first visit was meant to be at either Goa Gajah, Mask Museum or ARMA… instead we stumbled upon a ‘Cat Cafe‘… which was wonderfully kitty xD and so close to our hotel!
By the time we reached and left Cat Cafe, it was almost 6 pm. One thing to note is that almost every tourist place in Bali closes by 5 pm. So, we just walked around in Ubud till late night, had some nice Balinese food and slept off. Gearing up for the day ahead.
August 30 – Day 2
Early morning, after filling our stomach with some heavy breakfast we left for Campuhan Ridge Walk (without a guide). Do note – if you really want a guide here, you might have to book in advance by sending an email or hire nearby guides. We went ahead without a guide though, just roaming around the ridge.
After a decent walk in Campuhan, we were on our to visit Ubud Palace. The heat was killing us… we decided to refuel ourselves. That’s where we found this interesting ‘Vegan Ice-Cream’ restaurant. The Chef over there also conducts cooking classes!
Finally, after having 2 scoops of Vegan Ice-Cream (try Vanilla, its better than their coffee chocolate flavor), we reached Ubud Palace (not too far from Campuhan Ridge Walk). Much of the Palace was closed for renovation. So, it didn’t take us more than 15-20 mins to see the entirety of it.
Next on my itinerary was ARMA… not the famous war game, this one expands to Agung Rai Museum of Art. Beautiful place with 2 main complexes – Traditional Bali Art and Modern Art work. Everything over here is excellent! A definite, must visit for artists and anyone remotely in love with experiencing some amazing artwork. Apart from the well maintained art museum, their entire compound has beautiful architecture, animal structures, greenery and a free ‘coffee/ tea’ with the entry ticket.
It was almost evening and the place was closing down. Then, we made our way to what looked like an amazing ‘Paradise for coconut lovers like me’… Tukies!
Tukies Cafe in Bali is a coconut joint, here you get everything engulfed in coconut ❤
For dinner of the day, I was really in the mood for some Pizza! If you love Pizza’s do not miss ‘Mamma Mia‘ in Ubud. Great variety and amazing value for money. True, original Italian taste 🙂
August 31 – Day 3
Fresh after waking up, eating muesli with bread and eggs in Hotel, we made our way to one of the most famous place in Ubud – Tegallalang Rice Terraces!
Absolutely breathtaking views! Do prepare to climb and walk your way to heavenly landscapes.
Do keep in mind – as you walk on terraces, explore your way, you’ll come across several ‘Donation boxes’. Idea is to put Rupiah here and move on to explore further. Many of these boxes have a ‘minimum Rupiah’ – so make sure you put them first and then move ahead. Do not forget to go all the way up! It is completely worth it!
Next destination was Luwak Coffee Plantation. There are several plantations in Ubud… we chose to visit Satria plantation and it turned out to be pretty great!
Luwak Coffee comes from Cevat Cats! Do read up more on it on internet if you aren’t aware about this. Below you can see coffee beans extracted from their Poo. Considered as one of the most expensive coffee in the world. Apparently, also has health benefits!
As part of the tour, you get to sample 12 beverages! 6 amazing varieties of coffee and 6 teas. The guides over there are pretty great at explaining each of them, their benefits and are friendly enough to answer any questions you might have about coffee/ teas. Sampling these beverages is completely free of charge.
What isn’t free is a sample cup of Luwak Coffee! Once here, you must try it out for yourself. It is not everyone’s cup of tea… erm, I mean coffee! Pretty strong, heavy and has an acquired taste. However, it isn’t as bitter/ strong as their original Bali Coffee!
Next up, we visited Gunungkawi Temple. It is a beautiful temple with quite a lot of walking around to do and great scenic views. Do note, when visiting temples in Bali, one must wear decent clothing with Sarongs.
After this, we visited Goa Gajah temple. Do keep your Sarongs on!
No pictures here, but one of the busiest place in Ubud one must visit is the famous Ubud Market! Lots and lots of different items… clothing material, spices, local utensils to Sarongs and everything traditional is out there! Everyone is willing to negotiate nicely, so do go ahead!
September 1 – Day 4
This was the day we were supposed to check-out from Ubud and make our way to Seminyak. Now, one of the most famous tourist place which was so close-by to our Hotel was none other than ‘Sacred Monkey Forest’! Before checking out, we decided to check this place out.
That’s a monkey, lying on the road at the entrance of the Monkey Forest. Now, pay attention… this place is unique. For some, it can be a true, one of a kind, excellent experience as one journey through forests with monkeys roaming, fighting, jumping all around. For some others, it can be a truly horrifying experience. Regardless of what rules you follow, there are high chances that monkeys may just start harassing/ attacking you.
That is exactly what happened with us. Be careful, extremely alert and careful. This is not a joke. These monkeys are wild animals and can be very dangerous. Read all the rules posted outside the forest and try to follow them. Just take my tip – even if you follow them, there is no guarantee that monkeys will leave you alone. There is no Monkey King or Hanuman that can come to your rescue here.
We just had to leave this place within 20 mins after one monkey approached my wife and chew off part of her dress (newly purchased one) and in next 5 mins, another monkey just used me as a stepping stone to reach a branch on the tree opposite to the bridge I was walking on!
Saying that, the forest inside is truly beautiful. If you get lucky, have fun 😉 else just leave this place as soon as possible!
…till September 4 – Day 7
After reaching Seminyak, we checked into a wonderful Villa, Villa Coco… just 5 mins walk from Double Six beach! Again a very friendly staff, beautiful location, spacious and scenic villa with private garden space and my favorite… Hammock!
The Double Six beach is a famous one for surfers out there. There are multiple Surfing schools operating here and overall, it is pretty clean, fresh and well managed.
We came to Bali for relaxation, scenic views and to sit around and enjoy the beach! For all 4 days, September 1 to September 4 – we stayed around Double Six and Legian beach and walked around watching sunsets, surfers and wonderful restaurants… and chilled!
When in this region, do not forget to roam around, visit shops, traditional art exhibitions that sell wonderful items for good price and eat at two of my favorite restaurants… Sacred Ground and Zanzibar!
Here is Sacred Ground… excellent ‘Gado-Gado’, Chicken Avocado sandwich and super yummy Unti (or Dadar)!
Zanzibar over at the Double Six beach is where you should go if you want some excellent Italian and middle eastern food! Yes, I know… so different, yet so awesome!
There are several amazing Spas everywhere! We chose to visit Sicilia Spa in Seminyak and it was wonderful! 🙂
On the final day… we were feeling so sad leaving this wonderful city. Idea was to enjoy, relax and take ‘time out’ and we managed to do just that. Bali was truly a wonderful experience for both of us. We definitely plan to visit this place again 🙂
After saying goodbye to the wonderful Seminyak and Villa Coco, we made our way to the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Hungry again, we ate at Made’s Warung… repeat ‘Gado Gado’ and a burger for me!
I’m pretty sure most of you have already started playing Clash Royale by now. Even if you aren’t one of the Royale players, you might very well be aware of the game. Clash Royale is Supercell’s next gem for mobile devices.
I’ve been playing this game on a daily basis since it launched in India. I wanted to jot down and do a few write-ups focusing on design.
The first design overview I felt like covering is the gameplay concept map. Please note:
This concept map focuses only on gameplay elements
It does not teach you how to play the game
Shows the inter-relationships of different elements
Now, I am not explaining what each element (especially the ones taken from the game) stand for. Obviously, if you have been playing the game, you’ll be aware of the intricacies. In case you haven’t tried the game out, this’ll help you understand (a little) the concept of gameplay in Clash Royale (inter-dependencies, skills needed, synergy and complexity).
It is informative to look at the game, realize its scope and go through its various concepts. Do check it out, it’ll be fun to discuss more on this (especially if you have already been playing the game).
Keep checking here for further updates, I’ll most likely do more write-ups by focusing on different features. They may not necessarily be in sequence and will most likely be a little independent of each other.
Do shoot your feedback and rants. It’s always fun ;]
Around 2 months back we worked on a brand new game using Chhota Bheem IP – Throne of Bali. This is a 2D side-scroller with scripted levels where you get to play as Chhota Bheem.
It is a simplistic casual title, where levels keep getting tougher and tougher. Today, in the game there are 20 levels.
Best Games of 2015
Earlier this month, Google Playstore showcased some of the best games of 2015 that everyone should play. It names Chhota Bheem Throne of Bali as one of the best on playstore in 2015! It is such a joyous moment for me and the whole team at Nazara who worked on this title.
I want everyone to try out this game and keep sending us feedback. We are constantly in the process of improving the game.
After the announcement by Google, the team themselves took the initiative to work extra and come up with a thrilling Christmas update! We are finally live and everyone should give in to the festive season and play the game, share it with your friends and keep spreading the word :]
Do download, update your game and spread wishes with your friends and family this Christmas and New Year!
I had an immense pleasure of organizing this year’s Design Workshop at Nasscom’s Game Developer Conference held at Mahratta Chamber Of Commerce Industries & Agriculture (MCCIA) Towers.
The idea and topic was pretty simple – understand and learn to deliver a game pitch in less than 7 mins. The basis of presentation technique was PechaKucha (chit-chat in Japanese).
A part of my preparation was to come up with interesting topics for participants.
I started creating topics…
Preparation – creation of mindboggling topics ;]
Once I demonstrated the PechaKucha technique to participants, they were asked to be comfortable, form power groups (which were made to ensure friends don’t stick together and teams feel balanced).
The topic – a mandate on which participants had to create their game pitch consisted of 2 parts:
A subject/ core matter
Preparation – Cards in disarray!
The stacks were then made, successfully (before the workshop began, at my home):
Cards tied in RED –> Core/ Subject matter
Cards tied in YELLOW –> Game Genre
Power Cards… are READY!
At the workshop, once my presentation was over and groups were formed, I asked one member from each group to draw cards from the stacks I had made. Interesting topics are created when randomness comes into play ;]
For eg: A group picked cards that gave them FOOD as Core Subject and SURVIVAL HORROR as game genre!
The rules were laid out:
use internet connection
Images, images and images!
20 sec per slide rule
Max slides 20 (due to time restriction – I didn’t enforce 20 slides as MUST – it was a max limit for this workshop)
Fast and Furious 7 :: PechaKucha!
Here are some pictures from the workshop:
Getting to know team and discussion within was paramount!
A team brainstorming on their game pitch
Team getting their slides ready!
Team game pitch kickoff!
Team game pitch kickoff!
Team game pitch kickoff!
Team game pitch kickoff!
Team game pitch kickoff!
I apologize for some really shaken pictures! :]
My badge this year.
I had an awesome time conducting the workshop, discussing terrific ideas with everyone who participated. If you are in the picture, you participated or were a part of the team – do share 🙂
I have been working on a small prototype in Unity engine. After realizing a quick fun mechanic with basic gameplay I stopped working on it for a while.
Finally, I decided to finish the experience and make a web build! My purpose was to make a small game suitable for web + mobile devices. I did not want to invest heavily in terms of audio and visuals (as its a solo project). Also, I did not want to increase the scope. It’s just a small nifty arcade game.
What an end-user really needs to play this game is:
little bit of Endurance
The idea is to provide an uncomfortable, nauseating experience. Obviously, not what a normal mobile/ web game is about. You will not play this game to relax and chill out. That is not the objective. Saying that, you must never keep playing this game over and over for 30mins or so (unless you really really want to!). This can really cause intense nausea. Just play it in short bursts :]
I am already working on an Android build (90% done). Before I push that out, you should really try to play online:
As many of you already know, I’m currently addicted to Hearthstone and it is the ONLY game for which my iPad is turned ON! No pun intended. Also, I have made no effort in playing this game on my PC. Coz, touch is for now best interface to play card games with.
I present to you a brief analysis I did few days back. This is not about the game design part of Hearthstone. But, more about how you gain benefits, its shop and various layers. Please feel free to comment.
·Hearthstone has only ONE in-game currency = GOLD.
·The only other method of purchase is via hard cash.
·The game makes sure to SELL ONLY Expert Card packs
oEach Expert Card Pack consists of 5 Cards out of which at least 1 is rare or above
·The game doesn’t allow trading of cards or packs
Hearthstone – Shop Screen (Currency is INR)
I made a small table to illustrate how the shop works [the currency here is Euro – €]:
(The image shown above is from my AppStore account – so it is in Rs. Talking in Euro makes more sense internationally. Sorry for the confusion)
Without wholesale discounts – Compared to Cost for 2 Packs – Actual Costs
Expert Card Packs
NOTE: Player can always purchase 1 Expert Card pack using in-game currency GOLD but to buy more she must invest in hard-cash (one way). The only other method is to keep accumulating GOLD and buy 1 Pack after another as needed.
Looking at the table above it is very clear that the player can understand and see benefits that keep increasing the higher she goes in spending for card packs.
Overall – € 8.99 and € 17.99 for 7 and 15 Packs are most interesting for players. Good amount of savings.
·Hearthstone provides a very interesting Quest system
oDaily Quests are given to the player [valid in ONLINE play with strangers or Arena mode]
oA maximum of 3 can be stacked at any given time
oQuests come in various categories which provide rewards
oRewards = GOLD [40-100] – depending on quest difficulty/ length
·Ideally, a person who doesn’t want to use hard-cash to purchase Card Packs (grinder) – the best way is to ALWAYS make sure to keep finishing Quests
·3 Consequent wins with same hero – 30 GOLD
One of my example match in Arena (strength of the key – color)
·This is my personal favorite and one of the best game mode in Hearthstone
·Arena mode requires an entry fee
o150 GOLD OR € 2
oChoose one of a random hero presented to the player (choice among 3)
oMake a card deck from a set of random cards
–Interesting part is – almost entire deck in Hearthstone is available
–This includes every rare, epic and legendary cards
–However, the order and selection is random
oPlayer keeps progressing in Arena to unlock better and better rewards until she loses three times
–The player is basically unlocking “KEY”
·Keys come in different variety and open the specific reward box
Check the table below that gives an idea about the rewards presented in Arena (wiki helped here):
Random reward pool
1. One expert pack
2. One random reward
One common card
1. One expert pack
2. One random reward
One common card
1. One expert pack
2. One random reward
One common card
One rare card
1. One expert pack
2. 25-35 gold
3. One random reward
One common card
One rare card
1. One expert pack
2. 215-235 gold
3. One random reward
One golden common card
4. One random reward
One golden or regular rare card
5. One random reward
One golden or regular epic card
One golden or regular legendary card
One expert pack
NOTE: The important point to note here is that if the player loses all 3 games in Arena (doesn’t win even a single one) – she still gets 1 Expert Card Pack and any one of the random reward.
So according to the investment made (if used GOLD) to enter Arena –
Player is for sure going to get in return 67% GOLD back in terms of 1 Expert Card Pack
25-40 GOLD or dust
For any non-payable player this is almost completely a win scenario.
Arena offers almost fair play as the deck is created in this mode itself + all cards are made available.
No. of wins a player gets in Arena is directly proportional to the rewards she shall reap.
·Player can disenchant any of the cards (except soulbound – hero basic cards) to earn what is called as “Arcane Dust”.
·Can be termed as other currency (indirect) as this cannot be purchased anywhere/ nor converted from GOLD
Check the table below:
Rarity in Card Type
Considering that the reward in Arcane Dust for disenchanting is anywhere from 1/8th to 1/4th – it is just TOO LOW for anyone to make a significant card.The only way is to sacrifice certain unused cards or to dilute extra cards… in other words earn more cards from Arena/ Expert Card purchases.
·Pushes player to purchase card packs
·Disenchant additional cards
oTry crafting common or rare cards
oCrafting a legendary card revolves around sacrificing other strong cards in huge portion
·There is no energy system or waiting time
·Without putting any real money, a grinder can still win many games to her satisfaction by involving more
oCasual Online play
·The game statistics screen NEVER display
oWin/ Loss ratio (similar to Kill/ Death in multiplayer)
oIt is interesting to note that usually in multiplayer games the ratio is very very important to players
oHearthstone goes in a different direction by
–Increasing motivation – by NEVER showing how many games one loses (apart from in Arena – where it is part of core loop)
–Wins are presented strategically and in appealing fashion
–Even Arena category outside on stats page – always display the KEY till which player has reached till date (showing only positive side)
·An average player will keep earning GOLD in loads if she keeps finishing quests and thus can easily keep purchasing Card Packs
·The monetization is still going strong for players
oWho do not wish to grind and wait
oExcellent savings provided in card packs’ price
oVery important – player NEVER knows which cards are there when she is buying Expert Packs
–So, there will be duplicates (but they can be disenchanted for dust)
–In case she doesn’t get good enough cards she’ll just go ahead and buy more packs!