Our survival horror game..

It's been a while..

For the last 9 months I've been working on the project Survival Horror game "Thanatophobia" with a small team. We just released a trailer showing a bit of the atmosphere along with some of the original music for the game by the awesome people at ShortRoundMusic, and we would really love some feedback from the GiantBomb community. It's been a busy month at Death Knell Games and we've been going through a teenage growth spurt since our last news update.

David Denton has just joined the team as our new concept artist. The super-talented David is currently hard at work creating the various beings that will inhabit the Thanatophobia game. Sculpting these works of art into life is our fantastic new 3D character modeller, Amber Damron.

We've also been receiving plenty of most welcome publicity. After some poking and prodding, the Death Knell Games team gave the first Thanatophobia interviews to Chris Priestman at Indie Game Magazine and Gareth Chadwick of The Sixth Axis.

You can all read these interviews at the following links:

Indie Game Magazine


The Sixth Axis


That's all for now. Let us know what you think of the Thanatophobia teaser and stay tuned for future updates from Death Knell Games.


Random Projects : Dialogue system

This project was suggested by OverByte who mentioned a branching story so I decided to make it into a Dialogue system using XML so it can be changed without any real code changes.   At the moment it's pretty bare-bones but if anyone has any ideas what to do with it just give me a shout! :D
The structure of the XML it reads
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<dialogs id="1">
<dialog id="1" character="1">
<message>Demonstration Message</message>
<option key="1" value="2">Awesome!</option>
<option key="2" value="3">The End?!</option>
<dialog id="2" character="1">
<message>Message Two</message>
<option key="1" value="3">The End!</option>
<dialog id="3" character="1">
<message>This is the end...</message>
<option key="1" value="1">The Start?!</option>
</dialog> </dialogs> 

What it looks like...

At the moment the "Story" is really just a demo, but if anyone fancies making something with me using this I have no problem on expanding it! 
Currently it is here - http://www.dannygoodayle.com/DialogueSystem.html

Asteroids meets Hangman...

So around 5 hour's ago I posted on here asking for ideas for something to do this evening, someone shouted Hangman and another shouted Asteroids so I combined the two into one game! 
Currently just tidying up the screens and tweaking game-play but the concept is there.  
Please bare in mind this is VERY bad place-holder artwork for now along with the text / player, plus I haven't used Flixel in years :D 

I'll be keeping this up-to-date with what is happening with this, most likely when the game-screens are in I'll just post it on-line somewhere and let people play around with it. 
Edit :: 
Playable demo - http://www.dannygoodayle.com/AsteroidsHangman.html

Rampant Studios - Concept work from Bamboo Raven

  Hot off the press

Bamboo Raven have done a great job with this concept work. 
Things are progressing very quickly now, we’ve built up a huge momentum and have already completed the Skill System, Spell creation and streamlined our content creation so we hope to have something great to show off very soon.     
Don't forget to check our site if you can, you can find it here http://rampantstudios.co.uk/

Rampant Studios - Results from naming poll

Results from GiantBomb…

After a round of voting over on GiantBomb we’ve narrowed our naming choices down from four to one.
My personal favourite – Lazarus : The Missing Memory is now the title of our collaborative project with Bamboo Raven, are there any opinions on this?

What’s next?

Rampant Studios is currently in the process of developing a short Survival type demo, just to get the ball rolling and ready for the artwork provided by Bamboo Raven.

Progress may seem slow at the moment, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Once we have the demo up and running things will progress a lot faster and screenshots will start to emerge shortly.

   Repost from here

The pitfalls of Independent Development

Edited the title so people don't get confused and think we are offering people positions on our team if you pay...

You want to make games?

When I was younger I always dreamed of making games for a living. I couldn't have imagined my life in any other way, I pictured playing games all day and drew up really bad drawings of games that I would make. As I grew up, that passion was still there I studied programming languages and began to learn how to design games when I joined Greenwich University I met a huge amount of people that wanted to become game developers or artists in the gaming industry and so Rampant Studios was born.

Trial and Error

Even though Rampant Studios is a new company, we've already learnt a lot of valuable lessons and picked up a few tricks along the way. Everyone wants to make some sort of game, it's even a dream job for some, but the truth is it will take a lot of hard work, many sleepless nights and a bunch of trial and error.

Lots of development groups fall short of their goals for many reasons, the main reason in my opinion is having too high a goal which isn't feasible with the team that they have. For instance if a group was to start up and announce that they were going to make a brand new RPG game with 3000 creatures, real-time combat and an epic storyline you would expect them to have a huge team plus a lot of experience but sadly that's normally not the case.

Funding a Studio

Independent studios face a tough task in their first few months in business. Where do you get funded? There is nothing you can sell out right, unless you already have a title which is bringing in some funding. In my experience the trick is outsourcing yourself, be it a website that needs developing to random segments of code that need to be written. When Rampant Studios first started we was working overtime just to get some sort of cash flow for our first title (Which we are currently developing with Bamboo Raven) , it was tough but worthwhile.

Another approach you can try is Crowd Funding, sites like IndieGoGo.com or Kickstarter.com allow people to post projects online where people can donate to the project in return for certain perks, in our case we are using this as a background funding for our current project with perks running from backstage access to the development log's, limited edition sculptures of the in-game characters and even being listed as one of the games designers, you can find that at http://www.indiegogo.com/Lazarus.

Thanks to the age of the internet, getting your company noticed is less of a challenge. A few pieces of good concept work and a video detailing what your company is all about and you can hope to set yourself apart from other game studios out there.

Why make games?

Making a game is hard work, months of preparation and lots of sleepless nights. But at the end of it all you will have something that you can enjoy (or despise), I think most developers do it to test themselves, some do it for the passion of a challenge but ever game developer shares a common goal, making something that people will like.

Danny Goodayle
Rampant Studios - http://rampantstudios.co.uk


Rampant Studios + Bamboo Raven = ?

Beginning of something new..

 Rampant Studios (link), a small Indie game development group with a lack of artist but an abundance of programming talent meets Bamboo Raven (link), a small Indie game development group with a lack of programmers but an abundance of artistic talent, all thanks to the help of Adam Boyes
As were both in the same boat, albeit other sides of it, we decided to team up and work on a project together. We can't reveal exactly the project is that we are making, other  than this will be our first collaboration and our hopes are set high.  
I recently started blogging about Rampant Studios here, detailing our progress through the game industry and listing anything that's happening with us.  
So far working with Bamboo Raven is great, they are very professional and know their trade, so far they have made some great concept artwork for our rough characters and not to mention that their portfolio work is amazing, seriously you should check it out. 

The progress so far..

On the development side of things, we've set-up the game environment, created the Game Design Document and right now I am finalising the story for the project.  The project we are working on will be a slightly cartoon-ish game with graphics that Bamboo Raven describe as Tim Burton meets Disney, we will have a slightly askew humour within the game along with a lot of character development. 

What about the other work?

 I've decided to take 28 Carrots Later on as my own personal project, as Rampant Studio's never really had anything to do with it as I was the only programmer on it. This does not mean that the project will be swept under the rug and forgotten but more of my focus will be on our title with Bamboo Raven than the non-commercial game that is 28 Carrots Later. 
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