Developer Blog

WDK - Puzzle Design

During my latest ponderings of how to design some levels for Witch Doctor Kaneko, I had to ask myself the question: what exactly -is- a puzzle? How do I know if the level I've just made is a puzzle or not? And that's not even getting into GOOD puzzles! Well, here's what I came up with!

I think we can all agree, to start off, that a puzzle must have a solution. After all, the point of the game is to solve puzzles. So we must have a solution, but then, what is a solution? We can define ...

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End of 2015 Review

Happy Holidays! It seems appropriate to have one last blog post before the year ends. It has been a very productive year for Goldbar Games. To give a quick summary:

We found artists for Detective Butler and Witch Doctor Kaneko. We attended two anime cons as panelists, which were major successes. We traveled to Chicago to meet Ryukishi07 in person and learn his secrets. We gained an additional 100+ followers on Twitter this year. We started our own series of game jams to promote produc ...

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DB2 - Gameplay Design

So, it has been a while since the last Detective Butler update, and I've made a lot of significant progress over the past few months. I figure I should go into a little detail explaining a few new features of the game.

Firstly, in terms of choices: there will be none. Like its predecessor, the game will be considered a "kinetic" visual novel. The reasoning for this is as described in our July update about serial games -- we can't allow you to make decisions that will permanently steer ...

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How to Write Characters

For anyone who clicked on this wanting to know how to write ASCII characters to an LCD screen, I apologize in advance for misleading you. This post will discuss some of my recent thoughts about how people should go about writing good characters in visual novels and why it works. Specifically, I'm going to go over a few different things I do in order to write mine, in order to achieve what I believe is a well-written character based on some of my favorite games, books, and TV shows.

So ...

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WDK - Playable Engine

Happy Halloween! For tonight's update, we're pleased to show off our new engine for Witch Doctor Kaneko! That's right -- you can play it right here, in this blog post!

We're going to do something different from now on. We'll try to integrate actual gameplay into our blog posts (like the previous one) so that you can really get a feel for what we've been working on. As they always say -- show, don't tell! So we'll show you our latest works in progress by allowing you to play them yours ...

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Goldbar Game Jam 1 - Tic-Tac-Toe

I like game jams. They're a great idea because they can lead to even better ideas for games. For instance, my attempt at Ludum Dare 30, a VN engine, inspired me to start working on Detective Butler's game engine in Unity. Similarly, Ludum Dare 33's game jam inspired me to create a 2D map generator, which gave me the confidence to try my hand at the 3D map generator. Even if you don't finish a game, you learn valuable skills that can be applied to later ones.

I really wanted to partici ...

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3D Map Generator

The 3D Map Generator is a piece of functionality I'd been working on recently for Detective Butler. Basically, our goal was to release chapters in a fairly timely manner. Our biggest hurdle in doing so was getting 3D models for the backgrounds. It was difficult and time-consuming for us (read: me) to work in Sketchup to create the backgrounds, and any mistakes would be too costly to try and redo. In short, we needed a quick and efficient way to make our backgrounds, and this idea seemed like it ...

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Visual Novel, or Adventure Game?

Recently I posted a discussion thread on Lemmasoft Forums asking what it meant for a game to be a 'visual novel'. After all, this had confused me since I looked up Wikipedia's definition. It seemed to imply that a visual novel is defined by its representation of the story (static sprites, backgrounds, and textboxes) rather than any inherent gameplay element (such as choices). My problem arose when taking a standard visual novel and continually adding gameplay elements to it, and changing its ...

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