Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peasantly Surprised

Peasantly Surprised - Strategy Game

Sticking with the theme from the previous RPG game, I created a strategy game in which you take control of the good guys.  The object of the game is to defend helpless peasants from mindless skeletons as the peasants make their way to the town for safety.  Peasants also grant the player resources upon reaching the town which can be spent on purchasing various kinds of combat troops to act as reinforcements for the units already positioned on the battlefield.  Creating AI and AI pathfinding in a turnbased gamemaker game was a challenging task only mildly succeeded at.

Neighborhood Necromancer

Neighborhood Necromancer - RPG


Neighborhood Necromancer is an action rpg experience influenced heavily by the necromancer from diablo 2.  The game creates character progression in a few different ways.  Exploring and collecting power skulls and mana potions from the map levels will increase the number of skeletons you can summon and the amount of maximum mana you have respectively.  Leveling up will grant you 2 skill points which can be spent on upgrades from the menu screen.  Generally speaking I created two upgrade groups, one group enhanced the main characters various abilities and stats, while the second group focused on enhancing the stats of your skeleton minions.  Using your horde of skeletons the player must battle his way past all manner of goody two shoes knights, archers, wizards, and rogues in order to win the game.

Booty Quest

Booty Quest - Puzzle Game


Booty Quest was actually a last ditch effort to create an interesting puzzle game after I scrapped my initial idea of a stealth game.  The initial design concept for Booty Quest was literally thought up in one of my dreams.  The premise of the game is that you are a pirate with a limited crew to man your ship.  Thus you have no control over steering, only minor control over your speed, and a limited amount of cannon shot to combat your enemies.  The goal of the game is to strategically place whirlpool tiles on the map before you set sail which will turn your ship 90 degrees left or right depending on which tile you place.  By using these tiles you attempt to reach the treasure at the end of each level.  The final level consists of an showdown between your ship and the royal fleet.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Arachnids Rising

Arachnids Rising - Shooter



Arachnids Rising is my ode to Gauntlet, one of my favorite games.  In Arachnids Rising I tried my hand at creating the Gauntlet frantic game play, while enhancing it with a more scary feel.  The player has limited visibility of the level and must fight their way through hordes of spiders, many with different abilities.  The action really picks up when the player finds a weapon upgrade that allows for a three shot burst.  The basic enemy in the game prevents you from shooting when it gets to you, creating a frantic feeling to the game.  Larger colored spiders each have different abilities that create interesting game play.  Red spiders will explode, Green spiders will shoot acid and leave an acid pool upon death, White spiders will shoot webs that will create a patch of ground that slows movement speed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Game Developer Magazine Interview

An interview for Game Developer Magazine which was done back before PAX has been published online.  Almost everyone on the team answered a few questions about our game "A Flipping Good Time".  Have a look if you're interested!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jove's Magical Escape

Jove's Magical Escape - Platformer


My first foray into designing and making games in Gamemaker.  In Jove's Magical Escape you play the part of a gnome wizard attempting to escape from a dungeon filled with skeletons and ghosts.  The main mechanic of the game is heavily inspired by the game Trine, in that the main character has the power of telekinesis and is able to move any game object other than the solid black walls as long as it is within his blue sphere of influence.  This includes enemies, enemy projectiles, blocks, and power gems that restore mana.  Progress through the game is accomplished by moving platforms with this power, eliminating threats by dropping enemies onto spikes, throwing their fireballs back at them, or dropping blocks on their heads.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sneak Peak: Man Vs The World

Hey everyone! Mike's Plumbing and Tile has been hard at work this year building our next game. The game is still far from finished, but we've launched a new game website with some videos of the gamemaker prototype, as well as some concept art. Go have a sneak peak at our current work in progress!

You can check out the website here: http://manvstheworldgame.blogspot.com

Game Concept: Man VS The World is an over the top, side scrolling, bullet hell shooter, in which the player can leap out of his or her air craft at any time and hijack enemy air crafts. This allows the player to use other ships and their abilities to tackle over the top scenarios.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Design is in the Blood.

So I just found out my dad got himself interviewed for his years of awesome shoe designs at Nike. I figured I'd share the article with everyone. Check it out!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Latest Build and Charity Event!

Our latest build is up on our website! We went through all the levels and added a whole bunch of art doodads. Hope you all like it. You can download it here.

Download Page!

Also on November 4th our game will be part of the Indie Games for Good Marathon. This marathon is raising money for the charity Child's Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in over 60 hospitals worldwide. The marathon will be streamed live on November 4th at this link. You can visit the link now if you would like to contribute!

Indie Games for Good Marathon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Post Mortem - A Flipping Good Time

Hello again!

Richard Weschler the other game designer on Mike's Plumbing and Tile: Media Arts Division has just posted his own post mortem for "A Flipping Good Time". Hop over to his blog to check it out!


Last month we officially called "A Flipping Good Time" finished. We have a new build in the process of being uploaded to the schools servers, and I will put out a post when I know it is ready for downloading. The new build has a few bug fixes, some level tweaks, and most importantly we did a full game art stamp pass. Every level now has some awesome art decorations to brighten the mood and provide some eye candy in our caves!

The team is currently hard at work on their Junior game "Man Vs The World". We'll post more info as the development of it continues!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PAX is a Wrap!!

We'll I've fully recovered from an awesome weekend at PAX. What an experience! Mike's Plumbing and Tile: Media Arts Division laid some pipe where no one has before haha. PAX was bigger than ever this year. So big infact that they had to move the PAX 10 up to the sixth floor of the Seattle convention center. At first I thought this might mean we were not going to get much traffic...boy was I wrong!

The team went into setup mode early Thursday morning, setting up the booth in the best possible location. Our booth was literally across the aisle from the Minecraft booth, and in the other direction was the Mega 64 booth. Needless to say, we got a ton of traffic over the course of the weekend. Digipen trucked our game cabinet out to Seattle Thursday morning. Our programmer/artist extraordinaire, with the help of others, did such an amazing custom paint job on our game cabinet. It was the highlight of the PAX 10 booths, grabbing praise from all of our visitors.

Friday rolled around and it was time for the show. Xplay stopped by and interviewed Ken our Producer. Over the course of the weekend we were also interviewed by Machinima, Destructoid, and GiantBomb. I'll be posting links to the videos and articles as soon as they go up around the web. Ryan handled an impromptu podcast interview. After the expo halls closed on Saturday it was time for Richard to be thrown to the wolves at the PAX 10 panel. 6 of the PAX 10 games were represented on the panel. They were peppered with questions from the public about their games. Bryan Bishop had Richard sweating in his seat before he asked the question, "What is the one thing about your game that you feel made it succeed?" Richard nailed the answer with the reply of "focusing on what made the gameplay fun".

Come Sunday, everyone was exhausted and felt like they may lose all feeling in their feet at any moment. It was a great day though, highlighted for me by a few moments from those playing our game. First, we had a fan revisit the booth saying he had worked his way up to the final two levels at home the night before. We decided to give him a shot at our final challenge level just for kicks. A huge crowd gathered to cheer him on as he gave the final challenge level his best shot. After 250+ deaths and 30 mins he was able to claim the title of being the only visitor to our booth to beat the final level of our game that weekend.

At the other end of the spectrum, towards closing time. We had a very cute little 6 year girl sit down to play our game with her mom. With very minimal help from her Mom, she was able to play through our beginning levels and have a lot of fun. Seeing these two very different types of fans come play our game, be challenged by it, and enjoy their experience, really hammered home to me that we had nailed the goal we had set out for as a team at the beginning of this project. We had made a game that appealed to many types of players, accessible by all, fun to play, and hard to put down.

On behalf of the whole team, I'd like to thank everyone that stopped by our booth. It was an absolute pleasure to have the chance to showcase our game in front of so many people. And it was a huge honor to be included in the PAX 10 among so many innovative and outstanding indie games. Thank you PAX for such an awesome experience and opportunity!

More pictures and links will be sure to follow!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gnome Brawl!

Look what I found on my flash drive. It's an rpg brawler pen and paper game. This game puts you in the shoes of the smallest and most unlikely of heroes, Zephyr the Gnome. An elemental monk by trade, Zephyr can control wind, water, and lightning against the reanimated clockwork army of Gishmael the Conjuror. With the help of Ethera, a wind elemental, the two set off to recover a stolen artifact and seek vengeance for their fallen brethren.

Haha, ridiculous I know! But hey an elemental gnome monk with goggles is so much cooler than an annoying 5 year old air bender. Am I right?! Check out the documents if you like.

Main Doc
World Map
Dungeon Map
Boss Room Map
Combat Flow Chart
Weapons/Armor/Attacks Spreedsheet

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Age of Empires Online is...Online!

Hello again avid reader(s)!

I know, I know, I still need to get the second half of that post mortem to you all at some point. I'll get to it eventually. In the meantime let me direct you all to what I've been occupied with all summer that has left me too blurry eyed to write blog posts. Age of Empires Online is finally online! I know it's crazy. It's free to download and test out before you decide to buy downloadable content or not, so check it out if you are into the RTS scene.


I've been working as a QA Tester on this game over the summer and will continue working on post release content into the fall. It has been a great learning experience and I'm glad I could contribute during the final stretch to get this title out the door. It has also been a great pleasure working with the rest of the testing team, you guys rock! If anyone finds a bug let me know haha!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mini Post Mortem - A Flipping Good Time

Well well well, it's been awhile since I actually wrote something on this blog. Too long I think. Absolutely great news hit the team over this past month. "A Flipping Good Time" was selected as a PAX 10 winner! The team is very proud of this accomplishment, and our thanks go out to everyone that was involved in making the game what it is today. We have a new website at: www.AFlippingGoodTime.com , a new trailer, and a new build with new levels. So go check it out. We will be on the show floor during PAX all three days August 26-28, and we hope to see everyone there! Come say hi.

The game itself is close to being wrapped up, as the team needs to shift gears and transition into next year's game project. We actually held a team post mortem meeting on Sunday the 17th. The team will be doing a full write-up of the post mortem at some point in the near future. However, I felt like sharing my collection of post mortem thoughts on my blog for anyone who may be interested. 

1. Getting the Band Together and Starting Early

One of the most beneficial things the team did was kicking things off early. The team began to form last spring toward the end of our freshman year. Ken, Ryan, and Gabe had worked together on their GAM 150 project together, and they were looking to keep things intact heading toward their sophomore game. Ken approached Richard and myself about joining the team as designers. And thus, "Mike's Plumbing and Tile: Media Arts Division" was born.

We used the extra time during the summer to meet regularly and pitch game ideas before ultimately settling on a concept proposed by Richard. The game would be a platformer that manipulated gravity and weight mechanics. We used the rest of the summer to polish this game concept and understand what would be needed tech wise to accomplish this goal.

The team immediately knew that a 4th programmer would be needed. After passing on a few options, the team picked up Mark McKenna. Mark turned out to be an amazing acquisition for the team, handling a lot of the programming heavy lifting during the lifetime of the project.

Over the course of the school year we picked up additional talented help from Tyler Woods and Amalachi Cushman to handle music and art respectively in order to give our game the polish it would need to bring the game to the next level.

The willingness of this team to reach out to other disciplines in the design and art degrees proved to be one of its greatest qualities. The game soon became a project that proved what could be accomplished when programmers, designers, artists, and musicians all work together toward a common goal.

2. Maturity (Old Dudes)

The team did an incredible job of working together over the course of a stressful school year. We were able to iron out all of our disagreements and conflicts ourselves. We certainly had our fair share of passionate debates over everything from game design, to art, to programming. Everyone was able to voice their opinions and receive criticism without ever resorting to personal attacks or taking things too seriously. The team was confident in its own ability to handle internal conflict through team discussions or individual conversations.

The team banded together and worked within itself to solve problems, which can be a tricky thing to accomplish on a student project where there is no traditional hierarchy of control that you would normally see in an actual development studio. This may be because the collective average age of the team is a bit older than the typical sophomore game team, but I'd attribute it to the characters and personalities involved as well.

Additionally, the maturity of the team showed during our presentations, as any individual on the team was confident enough to stand before an audience and deliver a clear and concise commentary about the game in a public setting.

3. Art Pass

At the close of the first semester we knew we had the makings of a great game. However, the game's art was largely untouched and we were still using all the simple pixel art that had been used in the Gamemaker prototype which had been created during the fall semester. We knew that a major art pass and overhaul would be needed to turn people's heads and help highlight the gameplay we were so proud of. We set out in search of an artist that was passionate enough and dedicated enough to help us out. As I stated before we were lucky enough to find Amalachi to help us in this endeavor. We also knew that one overworked freshman would not be able to handle the entire task by herself, and so the team made a crucial decision to transfer Ryan Davison from programming tasks over to art as well. We were lucky enough to have Ryan, a talented tattoo artist, multitask in both the programming and art teams during the second semester, allowing the team to visually transform the game before our beta presentation. At the beta presentation, students and instructors could hardly recognize the game, and many suddenly began to take notice of our project.

4. Playtesting Sessions (donut sessions)

As soon as the project was to the point of being playable we immediately began formal weekly playtest sessions. Digipen usually designated Wednesday afternoon as a massive playtesting event where all game teams were welcome. The team recognized that these Wednesday afternoon events hosted by the playtesting club were simply too crowded for our specific needs. Teams were often competing for testers and computer space. We decided to hold our formal playtest sessions on a different day to avoid these issues, ensuring that we could attract testers and gather more thorough and thoughtful feedback. Through playtesting each week we were able to recognize areas in our levels that were too difficult for the average player, what areas the testers enjoyed, which puzzles were too difficult or too easy, etc. The team recognized the need for even more outside feedback, often asking instructors, friends outside of school, and family to have a go at the game so that we could have a wide range of players, all with different skill levels, run though our game and give us feedback. This allowed us Richard and I to focus in on how and when to introduce new mechanics, when to ramp up difficulty, and when to allow players access to more difficult locked content.

5. Helping Each Other Outside Game Class

As a student team, everyone was burdened by the workload from our other courses. Everyone on the team was constantly juggling projects and homework from our programming, math, physics, art, and design courses. We made a conscious effort to help one another understand and work through the issues and roadblocks we had outside of the game project. The help would often cut in half the amount of time an individual would spend struggling on a difficult task or concept. We made ourselves available to each other for study, homework, and coding sessions regularly. Ultimately, the assistance we showed one another allowed the team to devote more time than normally would have been possible toward "A Flipping Good Time". More time spent on the game allowed us to fashion it into something we could be proud of, something we were proud to present to the school at the end of the year.

Coming soon... the 5 things I felt we could have done better.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Castle Final Render

Here's the final video rendering of my castle scene from CG125. The flags, carts, and textures are not my doing. I'm sure all the actual artists will giggle at this, but I'll show it anyway. Ran out of time on it and didn't have a chance to really populate the terrain or add detail, but here yah go.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Moon Hummer

Found some old renders of the hummer I modeled for GAT 300. All textures were provided, so don't give me any credit for that. Moon hummers are cool anyway, and you should buy one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Castle Modeling

As a final project in CG125 I've chosen to model and texture a castle along with its surrounding terrain. Rather than build something from my imagination I've chosen to attempt to model a castle that actually exists in England, namely Bodiam Castle. Reference shot below.

I will be trying to model the castle as closely as is reasonable to the actual thing. Below are some of the work in progress renders from first milestone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Hello non-existent readers,

Welcome to my spanking new blog/website/online portfolio, or whatever you want to call it. I've been told to sell myself online and so this is my alternative to selling myself on the streets. This post marks the first official post to kick things off on this blog.

So introductions must be made. My name is Stephen Fogg. I'm a sophomore at DigiPen Institutes of Technology. All the other boring education background stuff can be viewed from the about me profile thingy. Long story short I graduated from Oregon in 2006 but still didn't know what I wanted to do for a living. So I enrolled at DigiPen and have since been pursuing a career in the game industry as a game designer.

Mike's Plumbing and Tile Media Arts Division is the current dysfunctional team project I am a part of. We have the best team name in the history of DigiPen apparently. 4 programmers and 2 designers and a mess of other folks all pitching in to make some sort of gravity adventure. You can click on the tab at the top of the page to get a brief summary of the game we are making. I'll try to get some more screenshots up shortly and perhaps some older shots of what the game used to look like *shudder*. Eventually I will have a link to some gameplay footage and the official game website, so don't get your panties in a bunch, I'm working on this site as fast as I can. At some point we will have a download link as well.

The 2D games tab will take you to a page of summaries and screenshots of individual games I've done over the course of this school year. I'll try to get some fraps footage for these up soon as well. Be merciful on the art, these were 4 week projects each, with no artist but my own pitiful pixelart skills. These games were created as projects in my 2D level design courses with Professor James Portnow.

The final tab contains all the other work I can scrounge up that isn't complete garbage and might actually be worth showing to you. Currently there are some screens of a 3D medieval bar/tavern I modeled. I'm working on a companion piece of a medieval castle and surrounding landscape for the final project in this class. I'll have some work in progress screens for you soon, and eventually the final renderings by the end of the semester. I'll try to get Krazy Karts up on this tab as well, because I know you kids love that board game so much. Oh and I'll post the rules to the best dice throwing game ever. Don't listen to Pondsmith, "Combat Die" was the only dice game worth playing!

That's all I have for now. So all you non-existent blog followers should contact me and give me a job already.