2016 was an awesome year for gaming. And for Morphweasel.

By | Uncategorised

We’ve just entered the new year. And here I am looking back at 2016. Yeah, I know, I’m late with my retrospective, since everybody already posted their top 10 lists, but I wanted to take some time to write this down. And there’s a good reason for it, because despite 2016 killing off quite some of our favorite actors and singers, last year also brought a lot of joy and cool stuff. So before looking ahead of the awesome things that 2017 will bring, I want to take a brief moment to look back at the highlights of 2016, since so much happened for me, Morphweasel and gaming in general.

Morphweasel's 2016 highlights

Read more about these events and see my top 10 lists after the break.

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Metrico+ out now!

By | Uncategorised

Last year, I’ve been working with the talented guys from Digital Dreams to make amazing puzzles for Metrico+, an abstract puzzle adventure. And I’m delighted to share with you that Metrico+ is out NOW on both PlayStation 4 and Steam! The Xbox One release will follow shortly. You’ll find the release trailer and links to the PlayStation Store and Steam page below.

Buy on Steam (PC/Mac)
Buy on PlayStation 4

A new challenge at the Horizon

By | Uncategorised

I’m honored to announce that I’ll be joining Guerrilla Games to work on Horizon: Zero Dawn, starting January. I’ve landed a job there as a game designer, were I’ll be working on my very first triple-A title coming exclusively for PlayStation 4. Exciting times!

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Teaching game design

By | Uncategorised
Some things change in life and some things never do. I always loved to help people during my study, explaining them how software and design rules work. And I loved to create levels and challenges for players at Digital Dreams. Unfortunately both things came to an end, since I graduated last summer (yay) and my contract with Digital Dreams ended a few months later (sad face). Luckily, I soon got a job as a game design and animation teacher at the same school were I did my study. So I’m back at the same spot, helping others, which I love to do. As for making cool levels again, I’m still on the lookout for a nice job in that field. So for me, these things probably never change. This blog post is about teaching, since that’s what loved to do during the last two months.
Wastelander game screenshot 2

It’s a strange thing, standing in front of a class almost immediately after graduating. It felt odd, since all of my colleges were at least ten years older and had way more experience in their work. They just kicked me in front of a combined class, assuming I would explain those thirty-or-so people how to design a game. I never followed any sort of didactic training, neither did I have a masters diploma like all my colleges have. And what made it even weirder is that I look super young, being just five years older than most of my students. I could see them looking at me, asking themselves whether if I was really their teacher or not. Of course I was nervous. But I just did it. And who needs a didactic training anyways, when you simply love teaching? I became less nervous. My class learned. I loved it, and so did they (I hope).

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Looking for a job

By | Uncategorised

It’s been half a year already since I last updated my blog. I’ve been very busy working at Digital Dreams for the last five months. And in less than a month time I will be graduated with my bachelor’s degree. It’s weird to realize that I won’t be a student anymore. But on the other side, it feels like I’m already past the student phase in a way. Not because of the lack of parties (there is no such thing) but as a side effect of doing my graduation within a game company I guess. It’s like living the student life and being professional at the same time.

MetricoI wish I could stay at Digital Dreams for a bit longer. I’ve learned so much there and worked on two awesome projects. I also wish I could put all my work online that I did there, but there are some strict NDA’s that prevent me from doing that just yet. Since it’s a bit unclear how long I can stay at the company, I should keep my eyes open for work. (Disclaimer: the image on the right is a screenshot from Metrico, previously developed by Digital Dreams) Read More

Global Game Jam ’15 – Erratum

By | animation, Game Design

Erratum

I participated the Global Game Jam for the third year in a row. This years theme – “what do we do now?” – lead to my idea of how people react to unexpected events when playing games on a computer. Like error messages, crashes and annoying spyware that occur in the middle of a game. So together with my amazing team members, the talented Rocco Wouters, Esmeralda Massaut and Bernard de Mare, we build this typical RPG/platformer that soon turns into a so-called Error Message Manager, because of all the on-screen errors that will occur when playing the game. The reactions of the audience at the end of the 48 hours were hilarious, thinking they actually crashed our machine when playing. Some where genuinely sorry for breaking something, others just laughed out loud.

The game can be played here. Read More

Pixel Art in 3D

By | Uncategorised

Chef Pixel 3D

Before I got my internship at Digital Dreams, I applied for multiple game design functions at several game companies. One of them liked my work, but specifically wanted to see if I could also do pixel art. So I tried just that, by taking some of my previous works and trying to pixelart-ize them. And to take it to the next level, I made a 3D version out of that pixel art work as well. Read More

2014 in review

By | life, website, year-in-review

Just one more day and 2014 is over. It’s been a crazy year. I’ve visited the FMX Festival in Stuttgart for the first time in my life, where I met a lot of nice people from all over the world that are making awesome games, animations, special effects and concept art. Some of them are good friends of mine now. I’ve created some really nice portfolio material this year with Bichromia, When We Were One and Construction Site Chaos (actually that was made in 2013, but I just want to name that project one more time, hehe). I launched this new website! And then there were the amazing music festivals that I attended this summer like Rock Werchter, Werfpop and Appelpop. Sigh, I miss the summer.

Metrico2015 will be even more awesome, since I will do my graduation internship at Digital Dreams, the guys who made Metrico for the PlayStation Vita. I will finish my studies and hopefully produce some nice pieces of art, which I’ll be showing off here. The first of which are probably my pixel art try-outs which I’ll be posting here next week. But before we’re looking ahead, let’s take one more time to look back at 2014.

It’s this nasty habit of mine to make lists of best multimedia releases at the end of every year, so let’s do just that right now:

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An update on When We Were One

By | Game Design, website

Just a quick update to let you know that the When We Were One portfolio page is updated with a gameplay video of the Desert City level and download links to the game’s visualization, prototype and the actual Desert City demo. The version that is online right now still suffers from quite horrible performance issues, that’s why you need quite a bad ass PC to play it.

However, with the help of our friend Steff, Max and I found the culprit that is causing the framedrops in the game. We are working on a fix right now, so expect a new version of the level to be online by the end of next week. I will update this post to inform you when that has happened.

Creating “When We Were One”

By | 3D, Concept art, Game Design

I have always been intrigued by games with focus on mood and atmosphere, like Journey (by Thatgamecompany) and Limbo (by Playdead). I knew that I wanted to work on games like these when I grow up. But since I’ll probably never grow up, I gave it a chance to do it right now, for the last year of my study program.

Inspiration

When We Were One screenshotThe whole idea behind When We Were One came into existence after seeing the movie Gravity in the local cinema. I was intrigued by the way the movie uses both visuals and audio to show big contrasts in mood and atmosphere. Since the movie is set in space, there are moments where you hear (almost) no sounds at all. The protagonist can enter an exploding space station in the next scene, resulting in an ocean of bombastic sounds. This way, audio really helps to complement the contrast between very wide and open spaces (alone, hovering in space) and very narrow claustrophobic spaces (alone in the broken space station). After seeing the movie, I knew I wanted to make a game based on multiple storylines (what they call a “mosaic story” in film making terms) where each storyline is a contrast in atmosphere compared to the other. The individual storylines are intertwined somehow and together, they should tell a bigger story. Kind of like the movies Babel and Cloud Atlas do, for example.

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