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).
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.
I 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
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.
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
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.
2015 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:
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.
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.
The 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.
- A lot of new portfolio items!
I haven’t updated my old website in a while, so a lot of new work was created in the mean time. Everything important is online now and as you can see I really focus on (visual) game design now. I’m pretty sure that will be my future profession and my website should show that I’m capable of doing that. Right now I’m looking for a company to do my graduation phase in, so having an up-to date overview of my skills was really important to have for me.
- Download my games!
I tried to include a video and/or download to all of my portfolio items. Most of the games that I worked on are either playable in the browser or are downloadable for Mac and Windows operating systems. Look for download links on the top right side of portfolio items. (We’re still optimizing When We Were One for a stable web release. A download and video for that game will come soon!) Read More