BOCO Release!

Binary Cocoa has released their new game BOCO for PC, tablets and android devices at bocogame.com! You can also download the game for your mobile device and tablets on the google play store. We have been slaving the better part of 2014 to bring this game to light and are pleased to be able to share the results with everyone. Cream sodas all around!

Our major plan of attack is to show off the game at the Open West conference next month in Orem, Utah. There we will demo the game on tablets and plan to have a tournament where people will pit them selves against each other in the ultimate BOCO showdown of the century. Feel free to bring your chainmail and broad sword if it helps you feel like more of a gaming warrior. Just don’t kill anyone. Come out and share this most triumphant moment with us!

Here is what the final game looks like:

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As for our other games we are putting more effort into IT Simulator, which is getting some more characters like this guy:

standing

And this kid that whacks everything with a baseball bat:

standing

We’re also doing some major level overhauls and adding more environments to make it more diverse. We also have a player select menu that should have people reminiscing on the old days of Street Fighter 2. Those certainly were the cool times.

Collider is is being steadily worked on by Joseph and Braden while Kawata and Stephen work on IT Simulator and Metanet Hunter:Battle. We have the first bosses for Battle working and are super happy with the results that you can see here:

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We’re going crazy with the particles on this one and it’s going to be awesome. That and we have some big plans for how we are going to be building the world that we’ll share once they take shape.

Check out BOCO if you get the chance and let us know what you think!

Binary Cocoa Heads for the OpenWest Conference

Summer is on its way and Binary Cocoa is thawing out its plans for the OpenWest conference at the Utah Valley University on May 7th through the 9th. They will be packing up the arcade cabinet and making the road trip down from beautiful Idaho to the city for the technology packed weekend. Geeks and nerds…rejoice, and please bring your soldering guns.

This year were hoping to up the ante by presenting BOCO, our latest release with those that will pass by our booth. We have come up with an elegant solution to the server handling and have made the game workable on touch devices. Last year we presented Hexapod Defense Force, which turned out to be a hit but was somewhat limited because it was a one player game. BOCO is a two player game that we hope people will have a grand time battling it out against each other.

We are also going to be doing a presentation where we will be discussing Löve 2D and how to get started working on games. Last year’s presentation can be found on Youtube:

There are many surprises that we have planned to spread the word about what we’re doing, but I won’t mention them here just to keep the element of surprise up our sleeves. It’s not going to be a clown throwing pies. We can tell you that much already.

We hope everyone gets the chance to come say hi to us at our booth! If you find yourself at the conference in May (hopefully willingly), then keep us in mind.

Binary Cocoa Blows Up a Trash Can

Things have been steadily taking off the past couple weeks at Binary Cocoa. We say that a lot but it really feels like we’re getting places lately. A prototype was completed for IT simulator, bugs were squashed in BOCO, and work commenced on a new game called Metanet Hunter: Battle. This is a game that was created by NightKawata and the Nekeuzen Team with us lending some art and possibly some additional coding.

On the first day of the game we were able to add a background, some map tiles and even the main character. The following four days were filled with making a hud, implementing some enemies and a trash can boss that throws trash bags that explode into dirty diaper particles. It’s a disgusting idea but the boss looks pretty great so far:

day 2

For fun I drew a crocodile in a palm tree button up shirt and khaki cargo shorts, just like our dads wore to the beach when we were younger. Face it, we’ll be doing it soon someday. We put him into the game and it turned out wonderfully as well:

day 5

We hope to be able to add some more content over the next couple of days and possibly have a trailer within a month if we’re lucky. Thankfully a huge snow storm blew over the entire east coast over the last week so school and work were cancelled. This left us with a lot of time to get started and hopefully the momentum will carry over the next couple weeks as we try to finish this new game up.

Binary Cocoa Makes Something Super

Last week I received a call from Joseph with a proposition to do art for a new game. The stipulation was that the project needed to be completed in three days. The idea seemed sort of impossible at first with just the two of us working on it, but our friend NightKawata came on board and ended up doing the heftiest work. After two nights of not much sleep we were able to create a game about IT people that would fix computers as customers broke them. Think the idea sounds silly? You’re probably right, and your thoughts will probably be validated by this amazing trailer:

If you’re feeling too lazy to do a click on the mouse you can gaze at these screenshots to get a sense of what we accomplished over the weekend.

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I drew the assets in photoshop and assorted them onto tile sheets, which would then be assembled in a map editor called Tiled. NightKawata and Joseph worked on the code and kept me sane during the process. The game features a varying amount of levels of a building that the player, or two players would have to climb in an elevator to fix printers, copiers and computers. We started out by just giving the player a fixing function, which quickly escalated to being able to pick up copiers and throw them out the windows on the side of the building. Then we added smoke and fire to the printers once they took on more damage. The result was catastrophic and beautiful. If you pay attention while playing there are some other easter eggs I wont mention here to keep up the suspense.

 The fact that we were able to finish this in three days was an amazing feat to the whole team because we usually take a couple weeks or months to finish a project. I think we have Kawata to blame for keeping us from the couch and bowl of Cheetos. It just goes to show that if you put in a little work and are motivated you can create some really cool stuff in a fairly short amount of time. We also learned that sleep is for suckers, unless you don’t like falling asleep randomly with your face down in your bowl of cheerios the next morning.

Bah. Everyone likes that.

Gift Wrapping Blender Style

In this post I would like to show people how to wrap textures around objects in Blender. I feel like this is an interesting thing to talk about because it took me forever to learn how to do it. Then I celebrated by eating more chips. Blender is an incredibly powerful program that gets to be really exciting when you know what you’re doing, but up until that point you can feel really lost. It takes watching a lot of tutorials and working time to understand it more than anything.

So here is a video that I posted on how to wrap a texture I had previously drawn to a cylinder mesh. It’s a coin that I’m working on for our game Vikings that is still a work in progress. We’re opting to make a lot of the assets in Blender now instead of hand drawing all of them in Photoshop. Hopefully it’ll make things shine a little more than if they were drawn flatly in 2D.

If you don’t feel like watching the video you can just look at this picture of the final product here below:

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As you can see I’m still very fresh to texturing, and you might find that there’s a better way to do it but at least this one way works. You’ll find that you can make things smooth or bumpy, and once I get to that point I’ll share a video update of what I learned. Maybe I’ll learn how to wrap an object, 3D print it and send it to someone’s house as a gift. Just gave you a glimpse of the future. You’re welcome.

Have any thoughts or better ways of wrapping textures?

Will It Blend?

This week I found a couple of hours to learn how to build landscapes within Blender. With a couple of strokes of the mouse I was able to throw up mountains and sculpt plains. I even conjured a couple of houses and trees. I was feeling the powers of divinity course through my veins when I remembered that I was just a dude sitting in front of a computer eating chips. There was some clicking on things going on as well.

At first I was unsure of what kind of landscape I wanted to build so I set up a flat plane and started to sculpt it. As a visual learer I love being able to watch someone make something and then try it myself. For that reason I recorded myself making a simple landscape that you can watch here:

I’ve only been fumbling around with modeling for a couple hours now so please don’t judge the jumpiness too harshly. Or judge it, this is the internet after all.

After building the land I decided to plop some trees and some houses onto it. I decided that I would build them from scratch because I was bold and didn’t want to cheat by using a frame from online. I realized how hard of work this is and understand why a lot of artists opt to download textures and features that allow them to build realistic looking things more quickly. If a 3D artist spent all his or her time building everything from scratch it would take hours upon hours to get anything to look good. In a way artists are combining pieces from everywhere to make art, which in my opinion is what they were all doing in the first place before computers ever existed. Here are the results of my playing around with a sandy texture and modeling some simple objects:

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As you can see I’m still working on it, and I do when I get time. I’ll post some more updates on my landscape in the future as it improves. In the mean time I need to learn how to stop accidentally hitting my knee whenever I get up from my chair.

Seriously. It hurts.

How Many Animators Can You Fit in a Clown Ship?

Because we all work day jobs it’s hard sometimes to keep up with all the Binary Cocoa goodness. Like a lot of game artists and programmers, we work long hours during the day and then devote as much of our free time as possible to our latest projects. Learning Blender is both exciting and time-consuming, but I’m slowly making progress. My newly-acquired Blender skills now include coloring 3D objects and rendering objects with manipulatable movement paths.

clown car

Clown Ship.

 Our goal is to incorporate 3D objects into Vikings. A lot of games are exporting sprite sheets from Blender that they can use in 2D games. This makes the game appear to have more depth while still viewing it from one dimension. It also saves time when you only have to draw one object, which can render and animate. For Vikings I was asked to make a coin that flipped. Using the tutorial that I referred to in my previous article I was able to accomplish this quite easily, although it may look a little cheap. Hey, I’m still getting the hang of it.

My next goal is to try to add more objects, reflections and an atmosphere. Possibly animate a gorilla eating a banana in a sauna if I’m feeling ambitious. Keep in mind that that it takes a lot of animators to make a movie or a game. Next time you watch a movie stick around for the credits to see how many animators’ names pop up. The lists are usually so long you get bored, so grab a snack while you’re at it. Then go change your laundry, because it will still be going.

Drawing Tom

Joseph and Stephen attended a tech conference in Salt Lake City in 2013 and gave a presentation on developing  2D games with the Löve framework. Part of the presentation was showing a video that showed Stephen’s drawing process at a really fast speed. Here is the video that they showed:

Binary Cocoa Has an Identity Crisis

A little more than a year ago Binary Cocoa embarked on a mission to build solid 2D video games that would be intuitive and visually excellent. As the art director, I was happy and comfortable drawing assets in Photoshop in the corner of my lair. I would spend hours stroking a green eyed cat on my lap, cackling while drawing characters and backgrounds for 2D games we were working on. Then one day the mad scientist, or Joseph, howled down from the top of the lighting filled tower and asked if I would try out something new.

This new thing was Blender, a free and open source 3D animation suite. Blender was completely new to me, but the prospect of building assets in 3D was intriguing even if the notion did seem farfetched at first. To get some help I started watching tutorial videos, and within an hour I was starting to build my own simple models. Here is the first one that I built:

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Is it a space station of sorts? Or is it a door knocker? I don’t have a clue myself, but I do know that it was fun to build.

I fooled around with the program a little more, trying to make a spaceship, and came out with what looked like a hot dog with extra appendages:

space hot dog

Progress was made by learning how to make things smooth by using the tools given to me, and then rendering an image of it using the camera built into the program. It also lets you adjust the lighting on your model by giving you a lamp that can be moved around.

I set out to build a third model and came up with something more angular. I was still trying to build a ship, and created a goofy looking duck that looks like something straight out of Star Fox:

duck

I know it’s not extraordinary, but I’m making progress! And I’ve only been playing with Blender for a day. I have yet to learn how to color or do other crazy things, but when I do I will be sure to post my progress and tips here for anyone who is interested.

Blender also allows you to render sprite sheets of your work which you could use in 2D games. You can save a lot of animating time by drawing one character and animating it, instead of redrawing it eight or ten times. It also means that Binary Cocoa is changing the way it is looking at implementing art in its games.

I guess you can say we’re having an identity crisis. I suppose that because we are mad scientists, this should be expected. So what happens now? Does Binary Cocoa just have to settle down and make changes or be shipped off to the psych ward?

Binary Cocoa Bakes a Pie

Binary Cocoa has been furiously working away at our new game, Collider, over the past couple of months. The game involves shooting bullets that develop their own AI and try to destroy you. It’s so evil and cute I can hardly stand it. Check out this nifty trailer:

The game allows players to use up to eight game pads and multiple game modes. For the extra-creative players, Collider lets you build your own game modes that can be shared with an online community.

In the past, Binary Cocoa has built games and sold them through providers such as the Humble Widget and Desura. This time we are using Steam Greenlight to get the word out about the game. Help us by voting through this link. Your votes determine whether or not Collider becomes the next big thing.

Also, our programmer Joseph has agreed to take a pie to the face as soon as Collider gets into Greenlight’s top one hundred. We will, of course, document his reaction for our records.

Let us know in the comments what type of pie you believe should be used.