Arrogant Pixel

Welcome to Arrogant Pixel!

Arrogant Portfolio

Ben Simpson's online portfolio of Game Development, HTML & CSS

  • Doris and the Dragon is now on App stores!

    This week, we are pleased to announce that Doris and the Dragon has received an advanced launch on both iOS App and Google Play stores!

    Get the game on iOS App store: [CLICK HERE]
    Get the game on Google Play store: [CLICK HERE]

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    The game will also be making the jump from mobile to PC with a planned release for 8th September. Following a hugely successful Steam Greenlight campaign earlier this month, the game was approved by the community in only 18 days, thus ensuring the game reaches a wider audience and fans of Doris can continue their adventures at home.

    Ben Simpson, Founder and Lead Designer at Arrogant Pixel, said: “We’re thrilled that our hard work, passion and determination has seen The Tale of Doris and The Dragon receive an early launch on both iOS and Android. We’re incredibly proud of our debut title and to see Doris coming to life and fans now having access to the game is truly amazing. We can’t wait to see the reaction from gamers and we’re looking forward to the Steam launch in September.”

    We've been working hard to get Steam integration added in time for release which means PC and Mac users will be able to receive achievements, Doris themed trading cards and badges! We are very excited about this as well. Can't wait to show you what we've been working on recently.

    It has been the most crazy, hectic few months of our lives. For Ben, especially, it's been a long project starting last year and finally, it is coming together. We hope it's all been worth it! We've been documenting our small team working hard on this title on Instagram and Twitter. Every day we do this, we get better and faster. We are confident that the following episodes in this trilogy will be even more polished and refined.

    You can also keep up with the team with their regular podcasts on Soundcloud:

     

    Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook where we post almost daily!

    We are so grateful to be part of this community on Newgrounds. You guys are awesome! :D

    AP team x

  • [TRAILER] What to expect in the official release - Launch blog by Ben

    Hey folks,

    I'm Ben Simpson, the founder and lead designer / programmer at Arrogant Pixel. This is the first in the series of technical posts in the run up to the official release of our new game coming soon to app stores this autumn.

    For those of you who have been following The Tale of Doris and Dragon since the BETA release last year, there are several major changes that we have made in order to release the game officially this year.

    We are launching a Greenlight campaign [link coming soon] and uploading to app stores for approvals this week!

    I'm really pleased after all this time to reveal the official release trailer for The Tale of Doris and the Dragon - Episode 1.

    • Built in Unity

    The first big decision that we made was to change the software that we were using to build the game. I was using GameMaker Studio at the time of BETA release and coding in GML. I decided to move from GameMaker Studio to Unity because the team had increased in size and I wanted to have a more modular system.

    It was a pretty hard pill to swallow as it meant that the entire first game had to be rebuilt in the new engine. I thought it would be a good test to see how much time it would take me to put the game together in the new software. Still, it wasn't a quick and easy thing to do by myself considering I had only used Unity for only a small number of projects.

    Generally, GameMaker is very good for rapid prototyping but we found that with projects such as GlitchBoy (sadly, no longer in production), it was actually slowing us down; the team down relying on one person (me!! ) to hard code the game from scratch. After a while, it was clear that there had to be a better way of working as a team. We abandoned the project in order to concentrate our efforts on Doris. I still see myself using Game Maker for certain smaller, maybe two-man projects but judging by the size of Episode 1, the next two episodes definitely need this new software in order for the builds to be as bug-free as possible on release.

    Changing over to Unity also gave us access to post-processing effects that we didn't have before. This meant that we could really put the polish on the graphics to make the game more presentable than ever and play around with the settings in real-time, like photoshop. I found that, if you are trying to do complicated things in Game Maker, my code would become "spaghettified". A lot of objects would be dependent on other objects. It doesn't make it a modular system that can be easily understood. With Unity, the stuff I write becomes more like an asset that I can use in other games because the system is so modular. Unity itself is heavily class based so it encourages good coding practices. It is really important that your programming bolts together easily without interfering with anything else.

              • New graphics and animations - but not too many

                It was important to us that the title remain a pixel art game. We had a few difficulties with consistency and quality of artistic content prior to taking on Saf (DarkLitria) and at the end of the day, it did receive some good feedback. I don't consider myself to be the best artist in the world but when you are working on a game largely by yourself, stuff just needs to get done. I had to do it myself. I'm just glad that people didn't hate it.

    Right now, it feels really good to hand over most of the art to Saf as it was the thing that I felt that I struggled with and I trust her to do a great job. She's a fantastic artist and animator and it's great to be working with her. Whether you think I'm a good artist / animator or not, it takes up a lot more of my time than it should. I'd rather concentrate on writing the dialogue, building the game and organising the business.

    • New music and sound effects

    To be honest, when we released the BETA, I just got fed up of polishing and wanted to be done with it. I wasn't really expecting the game to do that well. Although Assad had worked hard on the music, I felt the foley and sound design overall had not had enough time dedicated to it.

    We've spent a lot of time since re-recording new sound effects and really thinking about how we were going to improve what we had originally. Ryan had a lot of equipment, knowledge and experience to help us achieve really high quality recordings and believable sounds.

    By devoting more time to rebuilding the game, it gave Assad an opportunity to create a new track for Episode 1.

    • Additional dialogue

    Releasing the BETA game last year gave me a chance to reflect on the feedback and think about what I wanted to improve dialogue wise. There were lots of elements of the BETA release that I think felt unfinished. Some comments also confirmed my fears that Norb didn't appear enough as a character in Episode 1.

    I also re-structured some of the conversations between Doris and Norb that I thought were too long or awkward. I had also used some British colloquialisms that did not translate well...or people just didn't get my joke.

    It was important to me that the characters came across how I imagine them in my head. Which leads me onto my final point...

    • Fully Voice-acted

    I think the most obvious and startling change that most people that played the BETA will find is the fully-voice acted dialogue. We took great care to include every single interaction. However, we do not have triple A budgets. Luckily, we have a very talented friend in Jamie Wood who was willing to give up his free time to help us. By himself, he is just a power house of an actor. I learned so much just by watching him work and it helped me with my own performance.

    I guess you're all wondering who ended up voice acting Doris? It was me. It wasn't my choice really and had lots of reservations about committing to the voice. I've been told many times that I am a very good mimic so it was a kind of "what-the-hell" sort of moment and I just went for it. I don't know if people will be able to tell but...I think I make quite a sweet old lady. I'd love to know if you think it sounds odd though.

    Jamie ended up taking on most of the characters because the man can seriously act. His training and experience really made a difference in this case - it brought something really special to the game. His performance of Norb the dragon will melt your hearts, I'm sure of it. We love Norb.

    Anyway...this concludes my blog post and I'll leave you with our release trailer. You can always reach me directly via the forum or twitter. I'll try and answer your questions as best as I can.

    Until next time, folks.

    Ben


     

    Feel free to e-mail us questions or get in contact for press enquiries.
    PRESS CONTACT: jay@arrogantpixel.com
    ONLINE PRESS KIT: www.dorisandthedragon.com/press

    TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THINGS DORIS, sign up to our mailing list!

    SIGN UP : http://www.tinyurl.com/dorismailinglist
    WEB: http://www.dorisandthedragon.com
    FACEBOOK : http://www.facebook.com/arrogantpixel
    INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/arrogant.pixel/
    TWITTER : http://www.twitter.com/arrogantpixel
    WEBSITE : http://www.arrogantpixel.com
    INDIEDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-tale-of-doris-and-the-dragon-ep-1

  • Arrogant Pixel Showreel

    This isn't so much a Tutorial and therefore shouldn't belong in this section. Eventually when the site gets a bit more fleshed out it will get re-posted in the news section as a feeble attempt at an update. But for now it's here as a sort of taster of what's to come in the tutorial section as I start explaining the difficulties I had in programming a few of these game engines.

    Jackson created most of the artwork for these games, in the cases where he didn't its pretty obvious. An example being Ichigo from bleach or the Super Smash Bros background in the multiplayer fighter.

     

     

    The Platformer with the girl never got a name and though we are very proud of it, it proved far too time consuming in the art department.

    Vortex is something I'm considering working on again very soon and the Terreria/2D-Minecraft looking game is something I'm currently developing to gain some knowledge on procedural generation and infinite worlds.

    The music was kindly provided by a good friend of ours, the very talented chip artist AssadB.
    You can find his music at his website or soundcloud right here.

    AssadB Official Page
    AssadB Official Soundcloud

    All of the above was programmed entirely in the GML language in Game Maker Studio.

    Hope you enjoy.

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