Aztez – A Game of Conquest and Brutality

GDC 2012 Highlights

I just got back from the Game Developer's Conference and like usual; it was amazing! As far as Aztez is concerned, I had some very relevant and insightful conversations with some very talented people and I want to share them with you.

It turns out that there is no known doctrine for the creation of beat-em-up games. I had a really great conversation with David Sirlin (please investigate his body of work! He has a lot of really interesting things to say about competitive gameplay and is also a talented designer) about what a beat-em-up looks like under the hood and how fighting games and beat-em-ups are very close relatives. I expressed to him my deep concern that legitimate reference material on the creation of deep combat systems does not appear to exist and he reassured me by saying that most of the designers out there who have made seminal beat-em-ups did the exact same thing I am doing now; intuitively reverse engineering the good combat that has come before them. It's a bummer that there is no reading material on the subject, but that's all the more reason to continue doing what I am doing and to keep exposing it publicly.

I also talked to Robert Velazquez (one of the lead in-game character animators on God Of War 3) after he gave a great session on Sony Santa Monica's animation and design pipeline. I asked him very directly if there were any combat designers that would be willing to talk to me about combat design and he said there very well might be! It turns out there are a good handful of them on the God Of War team. I'm going to contact him shortly about this and hope that one of the uber-talented combat designers there is willing to impart some knowledge on us as we move forward. Hopefully they'll recognize how serious we are about making sure that Aztez is deep and impactful.

Anyway, GDC is over and it's back to business as usual! I'm gonna spool up the blog machine once again, but know this! It's about to get pretty technical around here as I start to talk a little bit about the combat engine we're trying to build! As always, we encourage discussion and the sharing of knowledge so make sure you jump in there with us and help us make Aztez as great as it deserves to be!

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Agricultural Stuff

Something I put some serious TLC into is the floating gardens, or "chinampas", in the background water. Because of the heavily aquatic nature of Tenochtitlan, floating gardens like this were integral to Aztec farming. I wanted to make sure these crucial objects were represented so I actually went and modeled some of the vegetables you would have seen in a place like this.