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* Name a monster in the game * More powerful weapons and items * Access to all playable races * A DRM-free downloadable version of the game after the sprint * **The top 100 donors receive a free copy of our other title, Black Market**! * **The top 5 donors will receive custom characters** * **The highest donor will become a major game character**

Hooray!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded version 1.0 of Coffee Break Hero, our 14 day development sprint to raise money for Child's Play. What a crazy ride it's been - we peaked at 1,100 viewers, freaked out in the middle when the game wasn't fun, and have been sleeping about four hours a night. We wouldn't have missed it for the world. We thank you all very much for your support of Child's Play, with over $7000 in donations raised. If you'd like to know more about events like this in the future, and believe me, there is some cool stuff coming, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or just by signing up for an account on our site! From all of us at Big Block, Hooray!
7 Comments

COMMENCE: MELTDOWN!

Posted by Ben 3 years, 3 months ago.

Coffee Breaks? This is not time for breaks! Though it might be time for coffee... yeah, lots of coffee... Welcome to the last 25 (ish, we're losing track of time...) hours of our 2 week sprint! We're officially crossing into the Last Day. This is the Alamo, the Last Chance Saloon, the final mad dash to get the game up and running. Over the last 13 days, arguments have been had, heads have been shaved, people have boggled over the livestream, and we've raised over $6,000 for Child's Play. Now all that's left is making good on the promise or, alternatively, ritual suicide to preserve our honor. If you pop over to the livestream, you'll no doubt be in time to see Paul, Mike, Synty and Andrew complete their spiral into utter madness. Already today, Mike has spent almost ten minutes laughing hysterically at the concept of "sugar." And they're not going to be getting any more sleep until they're done, so it's only going to get worse... This is it, folks. Six people enter, one game leaves. Welcome to Thunderdome.
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The forgotten day

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Oops, we went live with a build yesterday, without even posting about it! Things are getting really crazy around here, with just over 48 hours left to go. It seems we've consistently been about a day behind for the last week - let's hope we can make up some ground today...
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The story goes in!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just had a massive update from our writer, Ben Essex, who's gone on a 72 hour writing binge. Finally, the quests are going to make sense! Other changes like the GUI are progressing well - how far we've come in 10 days! Three and a half days left...
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A mountain of effort

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

I just uploaded a new build, with the revamped mount system! Go to the third quest, and you should be fighting one right away.
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96 Hours To Go

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

New build is up; tons of bugfixes, quest stage additions, proper player deaths. The countdown is officially at 96 hours now. We're in a bit of trouble, to say the least. Join us for the ride as we break down live on the Livestream.
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Just Four Days Left

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

I just uploaded Build 5 for Day 10 (should be the second last build of the day), wherein much has changed, but primarily, the UI for the quests have been updated. Also, check out the third quest option in the menu, where you will find mounted units, a cannon and a catapult. And a new Tavern!
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Rapid Fire Updates

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

I'm going to be uploading quite a few builds today, so I'm just going to stick them in the one post, and enumerate their changes below: Build 1 - Made it so you can't just walk through all the enemies. They fight back when you get deflected, and damage you quite quickly. Build 2 - Lowered the enemy damage, and allowed you to combo them until they're dead. Build 3 - Shielded mini boss! Build 4 - Final balance thing for today!
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Hooray for fun!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We're minutes away from the end of Day 9, which means that there are just 5 precious 24 hour blocks to go. The game's not really come together yet, and so the main focus of the next days is going to be making the game fun. It's often in the tweaking of the smaller things that it comes out, and that's what we're going to be doing. I've got a two page list of changes to make, and so there should be a few builds over the next five or six hours to come up. Aside from that, there's the usual feature slog - almost everything is in the game at this point, albeit in many cases broken. We've got about seven days of work left, and about five days with which to do them. Come join us on the live feed, because it's going to be a hell of a ride :) A new build is up, in which the enemy characters block a lot more, and so you should actually be able to get into sword fights with them. Let us know what you think!
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Item Generation

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We just uploaded the build for Day 9 (we're almost at double digits D:). We've built a full item generator, which should flesh out the combat - obtain new items throughout the quests, and trade them in. As we're lacking in blog post images, I'm just going to post one of our greatest hits again:
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Day 8 Has Started!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

The first build for Day 8, which puts us over the half way mark, has just been uploaded. The half way mark is a scary thing to pass. We're about a day behind schedule, so let's get to it!
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Day 7 Build 3

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just added a bunch of weapon effects to the game: * Spears push you back * Daggers do lasting puncture damage * Great weapons stun when hit Also, health bars have been placed above enemy heads. Now, we really are out of blog images, so let's revert to our greatest hits:
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The first sounds are in!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded Build 2 for Day 7, and the first sounds in the game. In order to break up our blog posts visually, here's a completely unrelated image:
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Day 7, Paul's Birthday!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Today is Day 7, the end of which is meant to be feature freeze - *gulp*. It also marks Paul's birthday, which we celebrated in style, with an awesome creeper cake: We're still confident in finishing, but it's going to be a hell of a ride!
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Day 6 Wrapped Up!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We're just wrapping up Day 6, by committing two of our little minigames. It's getting a bit close - Day 7 is meant to be feature complete day. More soon!
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Cutscenes and Weapons!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Day 6 Build 3 brings us an assortment of weapons, as well as cut scenes in the quest mode. We're a day away from feature freeze! Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap.
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A spotlight on the title music!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded Build 2 for Day 6, which includes, amongst other things, a title track, an improved quest system, as well as the beginnings of a new battle minigame. The end of Day 7, which was intended to be feature freeze, is looming ever closer, and we're going to miss it. Crap. Will we make the RPG in 14 days? Keep tuning in, and find out!
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Happy Birthday Paul!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

The poor guy just turned 28. Next step, retirement, then death. In order, Michael, Paul, Synty and Andrew.
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Jesse Delivers!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just had our first track sent to us by our resident musician, Jesse Gunn. Yes, that's his real name. We've also uploaded a **major** build for Day 6, so don't be concerned that we're slowing down! So go play the new build, and check out the new track here: Title Loop (MP3).
1 Comment

Hats Round 1!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Paul has just finished round one of the hats in Coffee Break Hero, our 14 day sprint to raise money for Child's Play! And they're in the game. So, right now, donations are at $2,720.31, so we're making a deal: **For each $100 in total donations at the end, we'll add a hat to the game** So, right now, $2700 means 27 hats in the game. Large donors ($250+) will be able to choose a hat of their own, and otherwise, they'll be whatever you guys upvote! Please, think of the children; and also Paul, who needs to draw more hats to get rid of this strange Windows error message he keeps getting: (Thanks Matt!) Also, if any companies would like to donate a large sum ($500+), and get their hat in the game as well as their logo on the challenge page shrine, and the thanks of children worldwide, you can do so right away! Just forward me the receipt at michael@bigblockgames.com, and a high res logo and a description of your hat.
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New loot and an item screen!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded Build 2 for Day 5, which includes the beginnings of our item shop, as well as a bunch of temporary loot.
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Day 5 has begun!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Well, begun for me, anyway! Paul, Synty and Andrew have been up for quite a few hours now - our sleeping habits are drifting apart. Day 5 is drawing perilously close to the end of Day 7 cutoff for game features - we literally have to have every feature in the game by Day 7 that we want in the end, or it can't go in. The reason for this is that RPGs take a huge amount of time to balance, and if we run over the Day 7 deadline, we're almost certainly going to be late with the final product. **This. Can. Not. Happen.**
3 Comments

Cheap Sellouts

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We just uploaded Build 5 for Day 4 of Coffee Break Hero, which includes a temporary skill upgrade screen. In the final game, the character is going to be upgradeable by trading in all the loot he gets, and spending gold on the points. It's not hooked up to money or in game stats yet, but it will be shortly. Also, being the cheap, low life, karma grabbing persons of game development that we are, we present, the Reddit alien in the game:
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Select you quest!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded build 4 for the day, which includes the ability to select your quest from the tavern at the start of the game.
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It should go f&^%$ing "DING!"

Posted by Ben 3 years, 3 months ago.

Game design is a collaborative prospect- and by "collaborative," we mean "argumentative." So far over the course of this sprint, we've had numerous arguments about the game's look, feel and central mechanics- some of you may have seen them over the live stream. Those are probably the kind of things you'd expect us to get worked up about. But then there are the aspects of design that you might not think get as much attention. For instance, this debate over the game's item-collection system. Or rather, the noises it makes... >**Artist:** *I want it to really, you know, be telling the player that they're the best at this- keep patting* *them on the back, like, words come up, Great, Good, Excellent.* >**Programmer:** *Why do we need that? Can we do something subtler than that, just have like,* *different types of gems or something-* >**Artist:** *Yeah, but they've got to hoover that s%@t up, man, zoom zoom zoom, and it's got to be going,* *like, you're the best! You're amazing!* >**Writer [via MSN]:** *Don't use the word "amazing."* >**Programmer:** *Writer says we shouldn't use amazing.* >**Artist:** *What? What's wrong with "amazing" ?* >**Programmer:** *I don't know, you know what he's like...* >**Programmer:** *All that zoom stuff is going to get really s@$£y after two minutes-* >**Artist:** *Yeah, but they might only play for two minutes-* >**Other programmer:** *What if it makes, like, a noise?* >**Artist:** *What kind of noise?* >**Programmer:** *It should go, kind of, bing.* >**Other programmer:** *It should make a satisfying noise. What's a satisfying noise? Like in-* >**Artist:** *-Good, great, awesome-* >**Other programmer:** *It should go f&%^ing ding. One ding, two ding, three dings-* >**Programmer:** *@£$%ing ding ding ding!* >**Artist:** *Ding ding. I don't-* >**Other programmer:** *DING DING DING!* This is a slightly truncated version of the original exchange, because that went on for twenty minutes. Twenty increasingly loud minutes. And yes, by the end, people were just yelling variations of: "Ding!" But it's important. Consider the soldier alert sounds of *Metal Gear Solid*, or the high-pitched materia *twing* noise in *Final Fantasy VII*. Or the final, warbling wail of a dying Pac Man. Even the tiniest things can made a game memorable- and while *Coffee Break Hero*'s humble *Ding!* does not aspire to these icons, it's important to make get the little touches right. At least, that'll be our excuse for why we're four hours behind schedule due to time spent arguing over the menu font...
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Build 3 For Today

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded Build 3 for today, which includes, amongst other things: * Added a preloader * Added a horse (that blue thing) * Added a standards bearer * Effects for swordfighting.
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Items! Sleeping dudes! Transition effects!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded build 2 for the day, which includes: * Fixed up the combat * Items that you can use (click on them in your belt) * Sleeping enemies * A transition effect between levels
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Day 4 Started!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We just uploaded the first build for Day 4, which includes: * The cannon now actually kills you, and it also has friendly fire. * The spear has been changed to a long range weapon. * Player's movement has been fixed. * Enemies get flung back when you hit them. Also, as a bonus, hit + to see the latest environment:
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Tanks, leaps and loot!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded Build 5 for Day 3, in which a cannon has been added, which will be a medieval themed howitzer in the final version. Also included is the occasional enemy that leap attacks you, turning the tables, as well as a slot machine loot mechanic, that we're hoping will make collecting loot even more fun.
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Leap Attack!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded a new build, with the beginnings of our new system to break up the combat gameplay. When an enemy is in a compromising position, either running away, injured, etc, you can click on them to do a leap attack, which jumps the player over to them and deals them a finishing blow. This allows you in an almost puzzle game fashion to run around the levels, jumping over packs of enemies, if you can line such a strategy up.
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Piles of Fun

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We just uploaded Build 3 for Day 3, which includes an essential part of the game - piles of loot. The player is going to be picking a ton of loot off the ground, with enemies dropping bits of armor, swords, shields, hats and general valuables. They'll then be placed in a massive pile on the side of the screen, so you can see how far you've come. On the left there's a skull pile which contains a skull for every enemy you've killed, which will double up as leveling up bar.
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Body of Work

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded Build 2 for Day 3, which includes: * Grappling * Disarmament of enemies * swords and shields as loot, * charged up run, * extra animations like hit, sword fighting, cirtical hits etc.
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Day 3 Is Upon Us

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just started Day 3 on Coffee Break Hero! The first build of the day has been uploaded, which includes a body of work: * More weapons! Change your weapon with the number keys 1-5. * More variation in the enemies. * Collectable loot. * New prop graphics. Also, a render of the prop graphics to break up the blog text wall: The game is really coming together, although we need to be feature complete by the end of Day 7, so it's by no means over. Check out our previous day's posts here: Day 2 and Day 1.
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My eyes no longer bleed

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Paul's thrown in some temporary graphics in the style of the final game, and wowee do they make a difference. For posterity I'm including a before and after here: Before: After:
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Build 2 is Up!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just uploaded Build 2 for today, which features two major new features: * The beginnings of an item system, where you collect items that can be used in combat later. * The first playable quest - travel to faraway lands, and retrieve an item, but beware an ambush! Also, Synty has been hard at work pumping out more 3D models that we'll be using for our items: Next up, we'll be working on the loot system, as well as continuing with the combat. More soon!
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Day 2 Update 1 is live!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We just released the first build for today, including varied enemies, as well as a bow and arrow mechanic. Some enemies have shields, and some do not. A quick update for the rendered grass (not textured):
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Just a heads up

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Work begins on day 2. We're preparing our first build, however it's got quite a bit of complex animation work in it, so it should along in another hour so. This morning, Synty has been working on some shields, which you can see here: Paul's been finishing off our character heads, the full lineup: Andrew's been working on the conumable item system - you'll have the ability to pick items up along the way, and they're placed in your small on screen inventory. And I've been working on the animation system - getting the player to block, get hurt, attack, etc, all based on the same motion captured frame. Paul forced me to put the pun in the title, even though I explained to him that's no way to get ahead. For more updates, please check out Day 1, by using the calendar at the right. We're posting updates approximately hourly, or at least that's our goal. Also, we're on our computers directly for the live stream today, doing tutorials and walking through the techniques we're using to build the games, so if you'd like to see us fail at humor and maybe learn something, check out the live stream on the right.
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Day 1 Wrap Up

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Build 5 is up, our last for the night. It's got a level with a beginning and an end, a start to a UI bar, the AI has progressed, and the first properly rendered character has been put in game. It's been a packed day, and we've made some pretty fast progress, but the battle is by no means over yet. In order to reach the 14 day goal successfully, we're going to have to be feature complete by day 7, which is looming close even now. The second week will be used to polish, add effects, balance, and make the game more fun. By extension, the next few days are crucial - all of the big elements need to be blocked out tomorrow and Saturday. Thanks so much to everyone who has donated - we're at $237.00 now, which is a great turnout. Tomorrow, we're going to be doing some screencasts directly from our computers, directly showing what we're working on, which should be far more interesting than watching four guys sitting around talking about what they are having for dinner. Tune in for more! We leave you with some weapons that Synty finished today: Sincerely, The team at Big Block.
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Build 4 Is Up

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've just uploaded Build 4 for Coffee Break Hero. Here we see the beginnings of the combat system coming in. The enemies will use different tactics to try to kill you - some will try to attack you from the front, some will move around the player, and some will try to use the shield a lot. The plan is that this will break up the combat nicely - though we'll have to wait and see whether it works!
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First Character Modelled!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Paul's just finished modeling a complete character: This is used to set the visual style of the game, and is also used as a guide for recreating the character in game. We'll be aiming to get the characters looking this good by the end of the project, although of course they'll be in less perspective, and smaller on the screen.
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Beginnings of Parallax and Combat

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Just put up Build 3 for today, showing the parallax system, as well as some enemies in the game which can be fought - to use the term rather loosely! The parallax system is built up over many layers. Since we don't have a lot of time to create large and detailed backgrounds and foregrounds, we're constructing the environments out of lots of tiny pieces on over 7 layers: This should give enough variation so that you can walk through an environment for ten minutes, while still allowing us to finish it in the strict deadline.
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Animation System Up!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Build 1-2 has just been put up, which demonstrates our animation system. The game is going to need a huge amount of character variation. The image that Paul concepted in our pre production looked something like this: Due to the extreme time budget, we're only doing humanoid characters, but they're going to be made up of many parts and glued together. The parts are: head, sword, sword hand, shield, shield hand, torso, feet and helmet. In order to place them on the characters in game, we're doing budget motion capture - Paul has created a quick anim with spheres moving around, to which we're attaching the temp parts to, like so: In other news, Synty has been working on some swords: And Andrew has been working on getting the parallax system working!
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Placeholder live, work begun!

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

We've ironed out the website bugs, created the project, and built the first version with a coming soon placeholder. The art team is working on weapons and a character, and the code team is working on putting some combat in. Onwards!
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Coffee Break Hero: A 14 Day Sprint

Posted by Michael 3 years, 3 months ago.

Over the next 14 days, from September 1st to September 14th, we'll be building a complete RPG, live with video and blog updates. Our internal documents will all be live on Google Docs. We've done preproduction on the concept, including concept art, and a prototype, and design work. However, not a line of code has been written for the final project, and not a pixel drawn. The prototype in all its glory: Concept art for the game: We're doing this sprint in order to raise money and awareness for the awesome work that the Child's Play Charity is doing. Since their founding, they've raised over seven million dollars for sick kids in over 70 childen's hospitals. The money is used to purchase toys, books, games and consoles for hospitals and individual children, to give them a much needed method of escape. During the the sprint, players can give directly to Child's Play, and in return receive: * Ability to name a monster in the game * More powerful weapons and items * Access to all playable races * A DRM-free downloadable version of the game after the sprint * The top 100 donors receive a free copy of our other title, Black Market! * The top 5 donors will receive custom characters * The highest donor will become a major game character If you've got any questions or comments, feel free to drop us line at contact@bigblockgames.com, and we'll update a FAQ on this blog post.
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