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Developer: Designing for 3D

February 22, 2011 | Bashers

In this article series, developers write about their line of work every Tuesday. Nikki Kuppens is game designer at Vanguard Games, which is currently wrapping up Gatling Gears.

Real 3D gameplay is what editor in chief Niels ‘t Hooft was asking for after Nintendo’s presentation of the 3DS. It was the same angle in which I was looking at the presentation of this new handheld and the first batch of games. It’s a topic that has been keeping me busy for quite some time now. Not only regarding the Nintendo 3DS, but with regard to using 3D in games in general.

JARRR develops General Conflict at Utrecht School of the Arts

January 12, 2011 | News

Students of the Utrecht School of the Arts, the school I also attended and graduated from, recently did a project with Vanguard Games as a client. The team, consisting of eight people, called itself JARRR and the game they made is called General Conflict.

A trailer for the game can be found here. Maybe it’s a little too chaotic to notice what’s actually going on, but I can assure you it’s very easy to pick up this incredibly fun and competitive game. The project’s main supervisor was Vanguard’s producer René Derks, who recently let the JARRR students pass their final exam with flying colors.

Portfolio update: living on video

January 9, 2011 | News

After redesigning my portfolio, I’ve spent quite some time working on all the things I wanted to do to present my projects in the best way possible. Until now, there was one big thing missing, though: video.

Most of the games in my portfolio have a demo or complete playable version available, but video provides a quick way to get an impression of the game without having to play it. Opposed to screenshots, video actually shows the game in action.

Vanguard off to a good start, Greed Corp continued

November 20, 2010 | News

After a long time of relative silence, the last two weeks have been full of announcements and good news coming from W!Games. Or Vanguard Games, which is now officially our new name. Now that we can finally talk about everything that’s been going on, I thought it would be nice to give an overview of the most interesting developments and provide some background information for those who are interested in reading more.

Receiving an award for Greed Corp out of the hands of legendary Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi (now officially named Katamari-san, thanks to my colleague René) was just one of the highlights. In the above picture, from left to right: fellow game designer Harry van Mierloo, creative director Marcel du Long, producer René Derks, the legendary Katamari-san, and me.

Pitfalls in game development, inspired by Adriaan de Jongh

July 11, 2010 | Game Design

On Independence Day, former colleague and game design intern at W!Games, Adriaan de Jongh, posted an interesting article about what he discovered were common game development pitfalls. When I read it the first time, I was impressed. Another colleague, a producer, also responded very positively to Adriaan’s post. When I took a look at it a second time, to see if I could come up with something he missed, I decided to write something about his article.

Now, Adriaan is still attending the same school as I went to, the Utrecht School of the Arts, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by his in depth observations on game development. And this is not just making obvious remarks, it really shows that Adriaan experienced these pitfalls first hand and that he has learned from them. Given that he has come to these conclusions so early in his career, and based on my collaboration with him at W!Games, I’m sure that Adriaan will come a long way in the industry.

First!

July 5, 2010 | News

I’ve been working on a redesign of my portfolio for quite some time now. After a couple of attempts, figuring out what and what not to include, it became clearer which way I wanted to go and where to put the focus. Suddenly it all kind of fell into place and I can finally say I’m happy with this new and improved version.

Although I was okay with the way my portfolio looked before, it was a little bit cluttered and maybe contained too much information. This made it harder than necessary to find and get to what a game designer’s portfolio should be all about: the games! So now there’s this convenient list of all my projects on the left side of every page. I also made sure you always have access to my contact details.

Developer: Can it be a little more design?

May 18, 2010 | Bashers

Nikki Kuppens is Game Designer at W!Games. In his monthly column, he writes about the adventures of a game developer.

When working on a game in school projects, you have an enormous amount of freedom. Unless it’s specified within the assignment, you choose an engine, a platform and methodology yourself. Nobody stresses about the details. But as soon as you start working as a professional designer on commercial titles, precisely those smallest details will be the subject of rigorous scrutiny.

Developer: Moved by PlayStation Move

March 23, 2010 | Bashers

Nikki Kuppens is Game Designer at W!Games. In his monthly column, he writes about the adventures of a game developer.

For the games industry, the second week of March was all about the Game Developers Conference. Although this biggest industry event in the world is always the stage for new stories and announcements, there was one message that dominated my Twitter feed and the usual gaming websites: the PlayStation Arc is now called PlayStation Move.

Developer: A year and a half as Game Designer at W!Games

February 23, 2010 | Bashers

Nikki Kuppens is Game Designer at W!Games. In his monthly column, he writes about the adventures of a game developer.

I’ve been working for W!Games for close to a year and a half now. Full time, that is, because during my last year in school I could already act like an assistant producer there for a day a week. And now Greed Corp, the first game I’ve worked on as a game designer at this company, is on the brink of being published. Time went by fast, but a lot happened as well.

Greed Corp officially announced, played at GamesCom

August 25, 2009 | News

Greed Corp was officially announced for PlayStation Network almost two weeks ago. Before that, I was pretty busy building the website, configuring the boards, writing the press release, and collecting the contents of the press kit. The response has been overwhelming and there are a lot of people excited about the game. This post is a little late, as I have been very busy to prepare for GamesCom, which was held last week in Cologne, Germany.

W!Games was one of the many companies present at the Dutch Games Association stand, where we had meetings with a lot of other companies and the press. Again, people are mostly positive about Greed Corp and our upcoming projects. It was very nice to be part of the W!Games team present at GamesCom, talking to all these influential people and being able to show off the game I worked so hard on for the last year. All the information in my portfolio on Greed Corp has also been updated.