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Brutiful Games - Project 1 Timeline

Conceptual Timeline Graphic

Brutiful Games - Beginning Our Journey

The Creative Director’s Background

My name is Christopher Walka and I am the Owner and Creative Director of Brutiful Games LLC. In an effort to explain what "Our Journey" is, I'd like to provide my background and define what exactly our intentions are with this portion of our site.

I began making video games around the age of ten. My first dip into making games was learning how to make simple experiences with Game Maker. This was many versions ago, lightyears from where Game Maker Studio is today. As time progressed, my interests in programming began to stir as I wasn’t yet familiar with GML. I took a simple Visual Basic class in high school, which is where I met our UI/UX Designer, Justin. We created a unique standalone version of the memory card game from Super Mario Bros 3 and I fell in love with making real games.

For the next couple years, we dabbled in remakes of our original version as well as some other interesting multiplayer concepts using FTP Servers. During this time, we did everything we could to capitalize on the potential of Visual Basic but quickly realized began to realize its limitations. I used most of this time, along with a couple Object-Oriented Logic and Design classes from Horry Georgetown Technical College, to focus on learning how to think analytically and solve problems. After a couple years, I left to join the Air Force and took a short break from games and software development.

After getting settled into my first duty station, I came up with a concept that I found interesting and began looking at XNA to develop games for the XBOX 360. This is where I first encountered C# and learned about the expansiveness of the .NET framework. I messed around with C# for a while but a different idea ended up taking me to the web with html, css, javascript, and php. This is where I really began to push towards developing games.

I spent many late nights and early mornings working on a concept that I originally tried with VB and FTP. I dove into the vast libraries of php and taught myself how to set up a simple web server and craft my deeply-designed systems into something concrete. During this time, and to this day, I kept finding every little opportunity to flex my programming and scripting muscles to solve issues I encountered in my day-to-day life. I learned how to use VBA in Microsoft Access and how to configure simple formulas in Excel. Eventually, I moved to my next assignment and met Kyle, our Lead Concept Artist, as well as Ben, our part Networking, part Sound-Design, part Programming beast.

The birth of Brutiful Games

Kyle and I spent many work days discussing our love of games and how he’d attended college for art, which was the only thing I thought I was lacking at the time. Around this time, I heard of a software called Unity. I did a bit of research and it didn’t take me long to realize its potential to provide the consistency my projects desperately needed. We decided to take our first crack at Unity by making a game that was miles outside of the scope of what we could possibly hope to create as part-time developers. The theme of this game was cavemen which lead us to picking the name Brutiful Games for our group of two.

A combination of Brutish and Beautiful, we wanted to make a games that would inspire gamers to believe in independent developers through a show of brutal but fluid gameplay and beautiful while stable aesthetics. Eventually, we realized that magnitude of our project and began backburnering project after project. This was primarily due to our limitations with time and lack of understanding project scope. After three years, we finally managed to create a simple project for a game jam in less than forty-eight hours.

Notes From Igor was an interesting take on the “Cookie Clicker” genre of games that mostly played themselves. Our primary objective was to make a game that required a portion of the player’s attention without forcing them to actively spend time on their mobile device. Essentially, think of any sort of “Cookie Clicker” type game; however, you can lose if you don’t manage a particular resource.

Shortly after participating in the game jam, I made the decision to get out of the military and actively pursue my dream of being a game developer. This lead me to Dallas, Texas where I’ve met and formed friendships with the rest of the awesome Brutiful Games team. During all of this elapsed time, I managed to hone my C# skills, get a cool part-time job in the industry ( sort of ), and make the decision to make Brutiful Games into a real studio. All of that has lead us to now.

What is this supposed to be?

This portion of our website is designed to be a behind-the-scenes development blog of sorts. Growing up, I never had any resources with actual game development or game studio experience. This blog is intended to fill that void for any other developers, young or old, with a documented trail of our successes and failures. The topics for our posts will range from things we’ve encountered in the business space, to our experiences with various hardware and software choices, to events that we have attended or scheduled in the future.

This blog will be updated weekly with content including text pieces such as this, art released from our first project, videos of our team gatherings or outings, audio recordings of our various discussions and much more! I appreciate and, on behalf of the entire Brutiful Games studio, would like to thank you for taking the time to read this first post. We look forward to sharing our journey with you!