Suicide Guy — development blog

By April 24, 2017Games

Hel­lo my friend!
in this sec­tion I’ll start describ­ing the devel­op­ment process of our lat­est game “Sui­cide Guy”, Now avail­able on Steamstore.steampowered.com/app/303610/Suicide_Guy/
and soon on Con­sole!

Here the 9 fun­da­men­tal steps we used to cre­ate this new game!

 

1) CONCEPT

The first con­cept we had for the game was back in 2011.

At first we were try­ing to find an orig­i­nal con­cept for our next game:
that’s when we had in mind the idea that the play­er had to kill him­self in order to sur­pass every lev­el.

Since the con­cept and the action in the game has a real­ly strong impact on the player’s reac­tion, we decid­ed to make the game in first per­son.
For the first alpha ver­sion we had in mind a total of 3 lev­els that would help the gamer to under­stand the mechan­ics, con­trols (how to acti­vate an object etc.) dur­ing the whole game.

The game­play can be con­sid­ered as a par­o­dy of the most clas­sic videogames in which you have to find a way to save the life of your char­ac­ter, while here you have to find a way to kill him.

 

 

 

 

2) ALPHA VERION

We first devel­oped an alpha ver­sion of the game (back in 2011) with 3 lev­els using Unity3D, you can play the brows­er demo here.

As you can see it was at an ear­ly stage com­pared to the final ver­sion, but the main ideas was there.
The brows­er ver­sion has been played a total of 100.000+ times dur­ing the first years.

 

 

 

3) GAME AND LEVEL DESIGN

We start­ed the design of the lev­els first on paper and then mod­el­ing them in Maya.
As game engine we used Unity3D: it is a real­ly suit­able engine, except for the fact that it’s pret­ty dif­fi­cult to opti­mize the lev­els to run at a smooth 60 frames per sec­ond as tar­get.

The opti­miza­tion took a while in cer­tain lev­els where there is a high amount of details and objects.
The use of lods, com­pressed tex­tures and new opti­miza­tion tech­niques has been a must.

 

 

4) STORY DESIGN

Since the main con­cept to pass the lev­els is to kill your­self, we want­ed to cre­ate a moti­va­tion to it.
Why would the char­ac­ter need to kill him­self in everylev­el to go to the next lev­el?

That’s when we devel­oped the idea of dreams inside of dreams, inspired by the movie “Incep­tion”.

We first made the sto­ry­board to make the sto­ry under­stand­able by every­one, then used the cin­e­mat­ics to make a tan­gi­ble sto­ry.
The char­ac­ter had to be char­ac­ter­ized since it’s one of the few beings in the game, that’s when we had the idea to char­ac­ter­ize him dur­ing the lev­els, thanks to the objects he imag­ines in his dreams, derived direct­ly from his expe­ri­ences in the real life.

 

 

 

 

5) PROJECT MANAGEMENT

 

We used Trel­lo as project man­age­ment tool and Source Tree as repos­i­to­ry for the assets.
It’s per­fect for orga­niz­ing the work­flow when you have a team of 3 or more peo­ple. In our case we were in 6 as you can see in the image below and we divid­ed the work like this:

  • Fabio Fer­rara (Game and con­cept devel­op­ment, Game­play pro­gram­ming, 3D mod­el­ing, Sound­tracks and Sound effects)
  • Yan Daw­id (Cam­era pro­gram­mer and Game­play)
  • Giu­lia Airol­di (Con­cept art and tex­tur­ing)
  • Fabio Mas­nari (Tester)
  • Andrea Mas­nari (Sound­track com­pos­er and Sound Effects design)
  • Sel­cuk Yag­ci (Char­ac­ter mod­el­er)

We’ll soon share the trel­lo link when the game is fin­ished.

 

 

 


6) 3D MODELING

We used Maya for mod­el­ing the envi­ron­ments, items and the char­ac­ters, While Pho­to­shop for tex­tur­ing.

For skin­ning, rig­ging and ani­ma­tion we used the ani­ma­tion sys­tem inte­grat­ed in Maya as well as lots of ani­ma­tion ref­er­ences from car­toons such as Looney Tunes, Adven­tures Time, Stu­dio Ghi­b­li movies and many more.

We used lots of ref­er­ences too found on Pin­ter­est, Insta­gram and Google images in order to cre­ate the best look­ing lev­els in terms of col­ors and forms.

 

 

 

 

7) SOUND DESIGN

Cubase was the main soft­ware we used for com­pos­ing the Soun­tracks and Audac­i­ty for the sound effects as well as a large vari­ety of sound libraries.
We designed the lev­els so that the sound­track is alwasy diegetic in the sense that it’s inside the nar­ra­tive con­text of the action: It’s aways played by a radio that can be turned off and even used to pass cer­tain kind of lev­els.

 

 

 

8) LEVEL CREATION

For the lev­el cre­ation, Unity3D has been real­ly use­ful.
We cre­at­ed the design on paper and then the main struc­ture of the lev­el was mod­eled in Maya in a sin­gle .fbx file. All the ele­ments and details were sep­a­rate mesh­es and pre­fabs.

For the iter­ac­tive items, we set the posi­tions in maya with red cubes, and then posi­tion­ing the pre­fabs in Uni­ty 3D.
We think this is the best and fastest pos­si­bile way to cre­ate the lev­els espe­cial­ly if you want to make future mod­ifics dur­ing the devel­op­ment.

 

 

 

9) MARKETING (Before release)

We start­ed mar­ket­ing the game imme­di­ate­ly after the first Alpha was made, with con­stant updates of images, gifs, sound­tracks etc. on our social pages:

Twit­ter

Face­book

Insta­gram

Steam groups

…and send­ing updates through our Mail­ing list (with over 100.000 e-mails)

 

This blog post was use­ful too in order to cre­ate aware­ness regard­ing the devel­op­ment of the game.

 

In May we pub­lished the first teas­er of the game (2 months before the actu­al release), here you can take a look:

His helped a lot to cre­ate aware­ness before the actu­al release of the game.

 

 

10) MARKETING (After release)

The day we pub­lished the game (on 14th of July 2017) we imme­di­ate­ly start­ed to cre­ate adver­tis­ing, here the steps we took in order to improve the sell­ings:

 

The first days of release went smooth­ly with thou­sands of copies sold in the first week and a lot of youtu­bers play­ing the game:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=suicide+guy

 

 

After the first days a lot of youtu­ber videos of the game went viral with over 1 mil­lion views, here some exam­ples:

 

This helped the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the game A LOT and infact Big youtu­ber starts start­ed to play­ing it, even mak­ing more than just one video of it (Jack­sep­tic­eye and Jue­gaGer­man) with over 3 mil­lion views:

 

In the end after the first month, this helped the game to sell over 10k copies, and mil­lions gamers aware of the exis­tence of the game.
The great thing for us is that the game is still sell­ing con­stant­ly even after the first few days (with a 20% dis­count), while gen­er­al­ly the sales drop after the first dis­count.

I would say that for us the youtu­bers views count was the deter­min­ing fac­tor that helped the game to be fea­tured on the front Steam page in the most pop­u­lar games


The first reviews from press start­ed to came out after the first week of release (we send­ed press copy AFTER the game was out, but prob­a­bly we should have sent them 1 week before) here some few:

Game­News+ Score: 7.4

Sui­cide Guy Review

 

Seri­al­Gamer Score: 7.0

Sui­cide Guy – Beer not includ­ed – Recen­sione