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Min: A Space Adventure – Launch Trailer

So, as most of you already know, I’ve been working for nearly a year now on a project. After last year’s Imagine Cup I decided to form my own little indie studio; Cwerki Studios!

Cwerki [kwur-kee] (adj): The quirky way of writing quirky

Since our inception we’ve been really hard at work on our debut game, Min: A Space Adventure that you’ve certainly read saw me tweet about so far. But Now! It is with great pleasure, that I announce, Min has been approved on the App Store and will be coming June 18 to iOS devices.

But that’s not all… the best part is… it’s FREE!!!

Check out our launch trailer and prepare your planets!

Make sure you like our video and share it with your friends!

It doesn’t end there, Min would not have been possible without the help and support of our community, we have huge, huge plans for Min but more importantly we want to include our community in this future. Head over to our Facebook page and like us to take part in polls and discussions we’ll be orchestrating to decide on Min’s future.

It’s a vast and Cwerki universe out there…

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Posted by on 05/06/2012 in Development, Min

 

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Another Speedy Update

Hello Readers, UnrealScripters, UDKers, backers of Min, and Mom

This blog has certainly grown over the years, a long time ago I used to have just one visitor (hello mom!) but now it seems there is a modest amount of views per day, which is fantastic! Unfortunately, as is common with me, I tend to get super busy with my own games that I barely have any time for sleep let alone giving this blog all the attention it deserves… We at Cwerki (a little studio I founded website here: Cwerki Studios) are a very small team so we all need to work pretty hard to make up for things. It is a joy, but because of it I rarely have time for anything else.

Most of you come here seeking tutorials and information about UDK especially UnrealScript. I wrote those tutorials, what seems like a very long time ago and I always meant for them to be a start to a long series. I’m very glad these tutorials are helping so many of you out, and yes, I still intend to properly expand on them in the future, probably when Min is standing on its own two feet I’ll be able to do that. After all, taking care of a tiny planet with nearly eight billion cwerki fellows is no easy feat!

So, in closing, thank you very much for the views! I am really glad these tutorials are, at the very least, pointing some of you in the right direction. I hope that someday soon I’d have a little more time on my hands to focus on this little blog.

Until then, best of luck in all your developments.

P.S. if you are wondering what Min is, it is a game that I am working on with a small studio I founded (Cwerki Studios) you can catch a glimpse by watching our very old trailer here:

The game has come a very long way since then and we are nearing a release date! If you would like to help us out, the best thing you can do is help us spread the word about Min, through facebook, twitter, and so on.

 
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Posted by on 11/03/2012 in Development, Min, Tutorials

 

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Min: A Space Adventure!

This blog has been terribly neglected over the past few months (to all you people who are looking forward to more UnrealScript tutorials I’m sorry it is taking so long, I’ll get to it whenever I have some time to spare =D) but right now I am very pleased to announce:

Min: A Space Adventure!!

Shortly after the Imagine Cup World Finals came to a close, I went on a bit of a development sojourn in Chicago and founded Cwerki Studios! Cwerki is comprised of myself and a handful of very talented people (Michael Taylor and Max Cunningham) and together we set out to build our debut game – Min A Space Adventure.

We recently put together a promotional trailer for the crowd-sourcing site IndieGoGo and the game was received really, really well by the industry and the public. Click here to head to our IndieGoGo site and find out how you can help us bring Min to life!

If you would like to help us out then feel free to do so by contributing and spreading the word about a little planet that seeks to explore the cosmos.

Keep an eye on Cwerki’s official site and make sure to follow me and Cwerki (@Cwerki) on twitter for all the latest!

 
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Posted by on 10/11/2011 in Development, Min

 

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Imagine Cup and Beyond

So, the Imagine Cup is finally over. For those of you who are just joining us, the Imagine Cup is a brilliant competition organized by Microsoft that pushes students to develop technologies that help save the world.

For the past ten or so months Wajih and I have been hard at work developing our entry called: Tale of a Tree Wisp. We got to present our project to a vast variety of people and we got a lot of positive feedback. We didn’t manage to win anything, mostly due to the fact that we were in Software Design rather than Game Design, but we walked away with something that might be a little more valuable.

(We did manage to rank third place in the People’s Choice Award, which was brilliant!!)

The World Finalists on Ellis Island

Bonus points if you can spot me

The best bit about making games is seeing how people react to them, I said this when we won the local competition and I’ll say it again now. We got even more exposure in the world finals and it was really a treat. Heads at Microsoft, including Mr. Somasegar, passed by our booth yesterday in the World Festival that took place in the Lincoln Center and they had nothing but positive feedback to give.

myself, standing next to the booth.

Walid Abu-Hadba – Corporate Vice President, Developer & Platform Evangelism Group – urged us to get out and start our own game company, and last but not least we got to show the game to Mr. Julian Gerighty – IP Developer at Ubisoft, who took the time to play our game and ask us a lot of questions about it.

So, now that the Imagine Cup is over, what is my next step?

Well, I am hopping on a plane to Chicago in a couple of hours where I intend to spend a good 4-6 weeks on a sort of development sojourn. I have a few game ideas I would like to work on using UDK/UDK Mobile and hopefully by that time I should have something to show. I would also like to give my website a massive face-lift that I’ve been scheming for the past few months, and finally I would really like to continue my UnrealScript Tutorials. I had a lot of comments and messages about them, particularly the game save system and unfortunately I could not address any of them.

Wajih and I will also finish Tale of a Tree Wisp (he is heading back home and soon moving to KAUST to do his PHD) soon enough as I intend to not only release it, but include it in some game design competitions I have my eye (the other eye is preoccupied somewhere else) on.

I'm the little chap in green on the right

I think it is also time to join the ranks of the industry. I’ve spent nearly three years now experimenting with games and working on several projects (and I will continue to do so) but I feel like the next step for me is to join the ranks of the industry and expose myself to new challenges and experiences. So time will tell where I end up.

In a few days I’ll immerse myself again in UnrealScript, writing all the tools I would need. I’ll also work on that site face-lift and (what I’m maybe most excited about) finally find the spare time to read, write, and play some games again.

If I were to take something away from all this it would have to be all the positive feedback. This was by far the most stressful game I ever worked on (I have the ulcers to prove it) and over the course of 10 months I saw the game differently than other people might have. When you spend a long time working on anything you don’t see it like other people might. You see what is underneath, the pistons pumping, the gears crackling and churning, the blood, sweat and tears that went into it… and you lose the ability to see “the magic”. It was very rewarding watching people get all excited and wide eyed about Tale of a Tree Wisp and the most rewarding one of them all comes from back home.

Shortly after presenting the prototype for Tale of a Tree Wisp to the finalist panel of judges in Lebanon we left the room as they deliberated. Soon after they came out with the unanimous decision. A friend of mine who was among the press overheard one of the judges saying that our demonstration was “like meditation” and that was very surprising to me. I never would have imagined that someone would feel something like that about anything I developed, and that stuck with me ever since.

Now, enough babble about the past. There is still a long way to go and it is time to take the next step.

Thanks for all the support, and for everyone who voted.

 

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Tale of a Tree Wisp Needs You!

A project that pretty much dominated my existence for nearly a year now is competing in the World Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup! After winning the local Microsoft Imagine Cup Wajih and I have been hard at work pushing this project even further.

If you like our project and would like to support us please head to our People’s Choice Award page and vote vote vote!

Vote now!

This game will be released to any and all platforms for absolutely nothing soon after the Imagine Cup world finals finish. Our goals are simple, spread the word about the importance of the environment by developing a unique and captivating experience for children to learn from and adults to enjoy.

If you would like to learn more about the project please feel free to drop me an email. All the music and sound effects were developed by the wonderfully talented Michael Taylor!

 
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Posted by on 25/06/2011 in Project Brogil

 

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Know Where You Stand

Between adding pawn changing functionality to my PlayerController class and contemplating necessary data structure changes I decided to take a little walk to stretch my legs and get some much needed sunshine. During that walk I came across an interesting looking place (images bellow). I liked the way the place looked and so I started snapping some referential shots with my phone. I like to document such places for inspirational reasons since they could help get the creative juices flowing for future level design work.

While I was standing over a bridge overlooking the spot a middle aged man crossed behind me. He was probably heading back home since it was around 5pm. He stopped and asked me what I was taking a picture of. He seemed very happy, probably looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. I told him that I liked the way it looked. He then asked if I had an idea for it? I figured I should explain myself a little more so I told him that I design games and I like to snap pictures of places that could prove inspirational. He continued:

The Man: “No, no… you know what my idea is?”

Me: “What is it?”

The Man: “A waterfall!”

I glanced at the space and replied: “Yes it would seem nice” trying to be polite as I was thinking of something else entirely.

The man: “You see, this whole place used to be a river! It used to stretch far from way up there and go down all the way to the sea right underneath where you are standing right now!”

He then pointed at some geological facts that fortified his claim. He felt the need to justify although I believed him entirely…

The man: “See those rocks there? See how they look like?” Then he points at another cluster of stones “do you see these? see how they are scattered? These are all signs that there used to be a river here!”

He justified a while longer since he saw that I was impressed by what he was saying. I think he knew about this river from his youth or from stories his parents or grandparents used to tell him… or maybe he’s just a whimsical Geology professor…

The man: “So if you want to give them an idea tell them to make it into a waterfall! Put benches here *the man points* plant some grass there *points somewhere else* it would be a very nice place for people to come! Tell them about it, take pictures and propose the idea to them!”

I had no idea who “they” were but I was too distracted imagining the place to ask. He then walked away while I was still picturing it all. It seemed that was the end of our conversation… Until he turned back, raised his hands, and looked towards me saying: “TEN DOLLARS! I’d charge TEN DOLLAR entrance!” then he smiled and walked away as I laughed and continued my walk.

I didn’t ask him his name mostly because I never really do that (a foolish flaw mayhaps) but it was irrelevant. It was a nice chance meet on a bridge overlooking an old river one Friday afternoon.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the pictures I snapped, sorry for the quality, that is all my phone can do.

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Now back to PlayerControllers and Data structures.

 
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Posted by on 06/05/2011 in Experiences

 

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Justified Silence

If I’m honest, I’m not used to having a blog that gets visited by someone other than myself and my mum (hi mum!). I recently mentioned that I’ll be releasing a tutorial on every weekend that should help beginners get by (mostly related to UDK). I haven’t forgotten about that and I still intend to do so.

The problem is both my projects need some extra attention with deadlines looming so I’m spending most of my time focused on that, day and night, weekdays and weekends. The upside is there will be some interesting announcements soon so keep checking in or follow me on twitter (DanielLoony) for all the latest.

As for the tutorials, they will resume just as soon as I have some free time on my hands. Sorry for the silence but it can’t be helped.

 
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Posted by on 06/05/2011 in Development