Welcome to the Point Bleep Studios annual review!
This is where we examine our past year’s work then look forward to the dread and misery laid out for next year. We’ll take a look back on last year’s manifesto to see which targets we hit and which remain as vague points on a map. Then we’ll set some more goals for 2019. Let’s begin!
2018: Point Bleep Review
The Terry Pebble Show | Ludum Dare 40 Results
During a weekend in December 2017 we made a strange game called ‘The Terry Pebble Show’. It was created for the 40th Ludum Dare development challenge where you have 72 hours to create a game more or less from scratch. We were only able to commit roughly 30 hours to the project as we had commitments that weekend but as it was the 40th anniversary we felt we should at least try to make something…
The Terry Pebble Show is a mock daytime TV chat show. The player takes the role of the pompous host and chooses how to react to the guest’s woes through dialogue choices. The player can decide if the guests need comforting or if they need a sharp wake up call. It wasn’t much of a game and more of an interactive cartoon but it was a fun idea. When we received our results in January we found we had ranked 76th overall and 28th in humour!. We were pleasantly surprised with the results as we really didn’t have enough time to make anything better. Thanks to everyone who played and rated it! To those that didn’t play it – we know who you are…
How to Cope with Boredom and Loneliness: A Guide for the Isolated | Steam Release
The #1 item on last year’s manifesto was to recreate and release ‘How to Cope with Boredom and Loneliness’. We successfully ticked that item off the list a few months later than scheduled, a theme that would run throughout the year. We managed to get it out the door in the end to great Steam reviews where it currently sits at a very positive 93%. We’re super pleased so many people enjoyed creating documentaries about Harold. Surviving 30 years of being grounded to your bedroom is no joke!
It’s a really stupid “game” we hope serves as a free introduction to the world of Point Bleep Studios and our type of humour. It’s also an introduction to the town of Wallow Dale where our next few projects are set (more on that later).
Lobotomy and You | Ludum Dare 41
2018 is relentless! After the release of ‘How to Cope…’ it was time for another Ludum Dare challenge. This time we had both decided not to take part due to other commitments that weekend and we were just generally busy with our next major project. Yet Rodo, the loose cannon that he is, started making a game on his own – a peculiar first person text based adventure game. It wasn’t until the second day that Poffle learnt of this secret project via a Twitter post.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
How dare Rodo make a game without him! And 3D no less! What a betrayal! Instead of closing the company down right there and then Poffle decided to help Rodo finish his game in the extremely short amount of time they had left. Rodo finished the text parser so typing “kick” in the console would make the character kick and such, then Poffle made some simple textures and voice overs to give the game some story and context. Like The Terry Pebble Show, we probably managed to spend less than 30 hours creating the game and it’s by no means a finished one. It was an interesting concept though and we’re intrigued what it could have become had we both been on board from day 1. Certainly something to revisit at a later date.
It wasn’t our highest ranked Ludum Dare entry but we managed to scrap the top 100 for humour! Worth a play just to see what a Point Bleep games looks like in 3D!
Protocol 47: Superstar Appeal | Ludum Dare 42
We took part in one more Ludum Dare competition this year and this time we were fully committed to the full 72 hours, but we didn’t want to kill ourselves like we usually do. We’d been wanting to make some sort of music based game for a while and the LD theme of ‘Running out of space’ triggered an idea for writing a song about the planet’s over population issues. The player could choose the lyrics for a charity appeal record and then listen to their creation.
We got to spend most of the time writing the backing tracks and dozens of lyrics to combine together for the final song. Then we threw together a system to string the player chosen lyrics together and some art assets then we were done. It was really fun to make and we had a good laugh at it all weekend. Again, it’s a typical Point Bleep non-game but we always hope to entertain you for ten minutes regardless of the lack of meaningful game play!
We ranked 8th in Audio and 9th in Humour for this nonsense! Give it a play!
Super Helpful Man: The Roy Hardcastle Story | Steam Release | Summer 2019
Super Helpful Man was a high priority on last year’s agenda. We had hoped to recreate and release How to Cope, Super Helpful Man and Murder 38 during 2018. They would have been improved versions of the Ludum Dare originals though largely the same content. However, we’ve been working non-stop on Super Helpful Man since the release of How to Cope and we still have so much more to do!
Instead of a quick remake we decided to completely re-imagine the game in the style of a touching, made for TV movie that your mother would watch but an hilarious game that you would play. You’ll spend a week in the shoes of an aging superhero, solving people’s problems whilst unraveling the unfortunate origins of the Super Helpful Man. We have spent a lot of time writing the game which is responsible for the delay. We want to make you laugh but we also want to keep you gripped to Super Helpful Man’s tale.
Super Helpful Man has turned into a considerably larger project than originally planned, and far bigger than our other releases. We are taking our time with it now and want to make it our biggest and best game yet. We have made great progress with art assets, animation, cutscenes, quests and dialogues this year. We should be ready to start putting it all together in the new year and release during the summer.
We’re really pleased with what the game it is turning into. It is heavily narrative driven like our previous games but with a lot more exploration, interactions and puzzle solving. You’re gonna love it! I promise.
Super Helpful Man will be available on Steam and other stores Summer 2019.
Speechr | Join the BETA!
Moaning is the mother of invention.
Over the course of developing our games we found ourselves moaning about aspects of game development, such as the abundance of files and lack of organization (on our part), using multiple programs/having too many windows open, repetitive scripting, lack of a visual dialogue tree system or using gdocs to write GDDs.
We decided to create an app that allows us to create our project’s design documents, script the entire game with customisable hot-buttons, simple, node based dialogue trees, a database of the game’s characters and dialogues, script export for voice overs with auto tagging for audio files and loads more. The app syncs between the team and exports straight to Unity. It keeps everything we need to know about our game and all the magic stuff that makes our game work under one roof. It’s made developing our games far more organized and efficient.
It’s called Speechr! and you can use it for your game too!
2018 In Conclusion
If you’re actually still reading this then you’ll see we’ve had quite a busy year. If we weren’t creating new games for Ludum Dare we were busy working on Super Helpful Man and Speechr!, on top of our day jobs!
Last years manifesto included the absurd task of releasing How to Cope, Super Helpful Man and Murder 38. We managed to release How to Cope but took SHM back to the drawing board. Murder 38 has a full plot synopsis but little else. Another item on the list was for us to write a new album of music together. We sort of passed that as we released the How to Cope soundtrack, though it wasn’t the sort of music we had in mind when we said write an album… Maybe next year. We were also supposed to up our social media and YouTube presence but we completely failed on both accounts. Maybe next year.
The final foolish item on the manifesto was to return working on our magnum opus – ‘Vic Raider and The Vibrant Fire’. Ha! By my calculations we are at least 2 years away from returning to it but at the same time we have been working on it as our games are all building towards it in their own subtle ways. The world and timeline is shared between each game and they all lead to the Vic Raider project. We hope you stay with us and play all of our upcoming games. You’ll enjoy discovering how each story and character is linked in the town of Wallow Dale. But, I digress..
In the end, we’ve had a very productive year! We thank everyone for buying and playing our games. Stay tuned in 2019 if you enjoyed what you played this year!
2019 | Point Bleep Manifesto
Let’s try to be more realistic with our goals this time. We have a lot of work to do but our ultimate goal would be to end 2019 as full-time game developers. If we can successfully fulfill these goals then we might have a chance! Wish us luck!!!
1. Release ‘Super Helpful Man’ | Summer 2019
This is the only game we are planning to release in 2019! It’s going to beautiful.
2. Release ‘Speechr! v1.0’ | Autumn 2019
Along with other testers, we will be fully BETA testing the app during the development of Super Helpful Man with the aim of releasing the full app soon after.
3. Begin ‘Murder 38’ Development and Crowdfunding | Winter 2019
We have a lot of interesting ideas for our take on the detective genre. We absolutely cannot wait to begin working on this. If we can secure enough funds to work full-time then all bets are off. We’re talking game of the decade material.
Thanks for reading! Hope you had a great 2018 and even greater 2019! Happy Holidays xxx