Epsicode Loic Dansart, Indie Game Developer


Melody’s Escape on Steam Greenlight


Melody's Escape has been submitted on Steam Greenlight a month ago, and I have to admit that I'm very satisfied with the reception of the game so far. It is sitting in the top 50, with over over 50k pageviews and 2500+ favorites. If you own a Steam account and want to see the game on Steam, please vote for it :)

Of course in order to get Steam publishing I need to climb in the top10, which hopefully will happens once the complete art redesign is done and I can start doing a bit of marketing :)

Here's a preview of what I worked on this week: a complete redesign of the Melody character, with fluid animations and dynamic hairs simulation.

I gave her different sprites for torso rotations, resulting in a much less stiff effect, despite still using a skeletal animation system. I've also coded a dynamic verlet hair simulation which gives the animations a very fluid feeling, with the hairs reacting to each actions and speed changes (definitly a huge improvement from the static haircut in the trailer, which really didn't help with the stiffness feeling).

The background/art style of the game has also changed from the flashy colors I've used in the Greenlight trailer, as I wanted to go back to my originally planned "silouhette" style, which is more consistent with the character's design. I will add grass and other interesting stuff on the flat ground, and different backgrounds for each movement mode (each will react to the music in some way).

The music engine has also been recoded and vastly improved, now featuring note key detection and better tempo synching, but still requires a few days of work before I can integrate it in the game and shoot a new proper trailer.

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New game: Melody’s Escape (music generated rhythm game)

Heya people-from-the-internet, *cue GlaDOS voice* "It's been a looong time".

During the last few years I've been working on a library to translate music into gameplay elements, and thanks to this technology I've created a new game called "Melody's Escape".

Melody's Escape is a runner/rhythm game where you provide your own music which generates a unique synchronized gameplay experience.
Every obstacles are synchronized with the beats, with special attention for long held notes (voices/strings instruments/crazy dubstep wubwub/etc.) They are 4 gameplay variations depending of the energy of your songs at any given time (walking, jogging, running and flying) with smooth real-time transition between them.

Melody's Escape

My goal was to create a different kind of game from what is available nowadays in the "play your own music" genre, which seems mostly oriented towards "high energy electro" music, and I found that most of them were not as thrilling to play with my own music tastes (consisting mostly alternative music and calm songs with beautiful vocals), so I wanted to create something unique that truly made feel the beauty of songs filled with vocals and classic instruments. I also wanted to recreate the feeling of walking and running with headphones, and what a sudden switch of energy in a song can do to your mood (like sudden urges of running).

The game is still in "alpha" state, as in the core experience is there but graphics are likely to change as I start to add all the eye-candy (my favorite part of gamedev :) ).

A demo should be ready soon for a "Steam Greenlight" entry, and hopefully a PC release on Steam :)


Gentlemacho is now available on XBLIG!

My first XBLIG game, Gentlemacho, is now available for purchase on XBLIG!

More details about the game and media available here: http://www.epsicode.net/gentlemacho/

The game was created for the Dream, Build, Play Old Spice 2010 contest, and had to be a lighthearted and funny game set in the 4 location of a new Old Spice product.
So I had a crazy idea about a traditional English gentleman that would be changed/cursed into a macho and would fight with extensible body hairs :]

Gentlemacho (Denali level)

(click on the screenshot to view the game's trailer)

Exploit the power of a true gentleman and whip enemies with your mustache on your noble quest for freshness in this funny and lighthearted 2D action-adventure sidescroller, with old-timey movie cutscenes, classic but crazy gameplay and HD graphics

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Little Gamers 2.0: Now with 100% more HD!!

Hello everyone (yes, you, the only person in the room, in the dark corner!) !

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated this page...
Mostly because there was no progress since the GDC demo, as Microsoft has yet to allow Belgium to publish XNA games on the indie channel (boooooh!), which means I had no real motivation to continue. But recently they've added Sweden to the white list, which is where the LG guys are living, meaning that we can finally publish a game!
But I did not slack either, and decided to concentrate my XNA work in the meantime on writing a fully fledged 2D game engine, that could be re-used between different projects. So was "IceCream" born, in cooperation with conkerjo :)

What I now have started is a new LG game, scratching the first version as there was almost nothing I wanted to salvage from it, and I am fully aware of the short comings that the demo was suffering from (mainly the linear and flat gameplay), while also knowing what could make the game fun to play.

Here is a video of the new engine technology at work, a ragdoll system for realistics deaths:

It's also a big change in my life today as I've decided to pursue indie game development as a full time career, meaning that I will quit my job somewhere in 2010, and will work part time until that point, to fully concentrate on Little Gamers and other games, and not only on XBOX360 *wink wink nod nod*

Wish me luck :)

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Here's a link to screenshots of the game! (Please note that the robot levels now features soliders with more diversity !

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Teh Game is on XBOX Live !

Fantastic news today!

The Little Gamers XNA game is now available for free download on XBOX Live!!
Little Gamers XBOX Live

I'll blog more in depth about this later, now I'm busy dancing around while cheering ;-)

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New demo “full package”

Hey guys,

I've packaged a new installer for Teh Game's demo.
This installer contains the XNA and .NET library in case that you would be missing it (most of you would need XNA anyway).

Here is a link to the game's demo: download (66MB)

Have fun!

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Teh demo of Teh Game is live !

So this is it !

I've finally put together a PC version of the current advancement of the Little Gamers game.

Enjoy the demo (deleted, use the .msi demo instead)

Little Gamers: Teh Game

Please e-mail me all your feedbacks ! :) (and bug reports)

Oh and before you launch it, be sure to take a look at the readme for the links, because you need .NET 2.0 and XNA 1.0 installed to be able to run the game (aswell as a GPU with 2.0 pixel shaders min.).
And since i've had a few people complain about the game crashing at startup (which reminds me that it was a good thing to have submitted a XBOX360 version to the contest instead of a PC version, since none of those crash problem are related to my game !):

1) Try to place the game's folder in C:/ (there is a .NET bug with foreign languages that crash the program if placed in special user folders like Desktop)

2) Make sure that you've actually installed DX9, .NET 2.0 a and XNA 1.0 Refresh.

3) I did that on a PC of mine and it fixed the prob (so try it even if it sounds cheesy): re-install graphics driver, uninstall XNA then .NET.
install DX9.0c August, install .NET 2.0 and finally install XNA 1.0 Refresh.

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Dream, Build, Play finalist

Little Gamers has won 3rd place at Microsoft's Dream, Build, Play challenge ! It was even featured on 1Up :)

Unfortunately, it didn't won a XBLA contract... Who knows, maybe a publisher fell in love with the cute be deadly look :D
By the way, if you were at GameFest and you did play my game, please leave me a mail with your comments at loic@epsicode.net .

Some pictures taken by The_ZMan at Microsoft GameFest 2007:

Little Gamers XNA at GameFest

Little Gamers at the Dream Build Play Finalists booth

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“first playable” prototype is finished

So my game's first prototype is finally finished, with 5 levels available. It was submitted to Microsoft's contest Dream Build Play.

Here's a video:

And they are some screenshots @ Ziggyware

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