Influence Map

Surfing the web, I found a post that captured my attention.

Originally from DeviantArt user fox-orian, the idea is to fill a 5×6 grid with things that inspire your work, kind of a map to help you remember your roots. It is a great tool to visually indicate what is important to you and how much (more important things occupy more tiles than others). It’s like a vision board but without all the metaphysical Law of Attraction crap (not the one from Newton); it’s more of a guide rather than somewhere to pin your dreams and hopes. Think of it as a pictured brainstorm, or whatever floats your boat.

I did mine and found interesting how hard it proved to be. I guess sometimes it’s easier said than done to answer questions like “Who are you?” or “What do you stand for?”

It’s pretty difficult to sum up the most important things for you with such small grid, so I propose to have several maps to help you categorize all of them better. You could create a map for just the music that inspires your work (i.e. that has a direct impact on it, not just music that you enjoy to hear while working) or literary works, pieces of art, and so on.

Furthermore, you could do a map for every project you’re working on. I mean, maybe something isn’t generally important to you, but it’s a cornerstone for a specific project.

This is my (current) general influence map that only accounts for specific games or sagas that define me as a developer.

First of all, there’s The Legend Of Zelda. My favourite saga from my childhood and, as I can recall, the first reason I wanted to create games. While originally Ocarina of Time was my predilect for a long time, that spot is currently held by Wind Waker.

The next three are somewhat equivalent in importance and are BioShock, Pokémon and Skyrim.

Portal is the next one. The best example around of how tutorials should blend inside with the rest of the game, an innovative mechanic and one hell of a script (this one in the case of Portal 2).

I’ve only played Devil May Cry 4, 3 and DmC (in that order), but I consider them (4 & DmC) among my top games. While they may suffer from generic scripts and dialogues plagued with clichés, I found them funny and cool. Also, they provide good challenges for the most veteran players. A good mix of fun and hard work.

Last, but not least, I should mention Mario (SMW 3, 64 and Galaxy), Metroid, Deus Ex and Resident Evil 4.

This is not a definitive map, as time goes by I’m sure it will reshape a little but I think the core is in there.

I’ll create more of them for my future projects. Anything that helps me focus is more than welcomed :)

P.S.: It’s awful to work with the original template, so I think I could do in the future a little tool to make them more easily and learn about web development in the meantime.


There and back again

I haven’t written anything here for a while, but I’m back.

After focusing on my studies, I successfully finished the last course (Statistics for Engineers) of my undergraduate studies. I’ll be getting my degree in a couple of weeks from now.

It does feel weird actually being able to say that this phase ended. I mean, it represents my past 8 years of life .

I also feel somewhat unease. I don’t know if its something common or not, but every time I’m on a project or something and my focus gauge ends, most of the excitement leaves and I feel a void. It’s like a kick back into reality and this was no exception.

The bright side is that I’m now free* (*certain conditions apply) to work on whatever I want, which should boost up my mood.


In other news, Steam’s Summer Sale 2014 finally ended. I was craving for it from a long time ago, hahaha. I got my hands into some great games (I hope I can play anytime soon). Some of the newcomers are:

  • Batman Origins: I’m currently playing it. So far I have mixed reviews about it and I’ll be writting something after finishing it.
  • Civilization V (Brave New World): I was waiting until I had all the DLCs for Civ 5 before playing it. The time has come, it seems.
  • Dishonored (Bridgemore Witches).
  • Resident Evil 4 and Revelations: while RE 6 was a piece of crap, I’m still very fond of RE 4. This was my guilty pleasure during the sale.
  • Age of Empires 2 HD: I got it cheaper through Amazon thanks to an error in the system.
  • BattleBlock Theater: I bought it because the trailer is plain awesome.
  • GameDev Tycoon: just as the other indie games I bought, this will probably be out on some Humble Bundle. Same as Batman Origins, I’ll write a thing or two about the game.
  • Don’t Starve: haven’t played it much, but so far I like the aesthetics.
  • Risk of Rain: one of my favorites, this was on my must-have list. I like the concept, gameplay and challenge. Thanks to the guys at Extra Credits for recommending it!
  • Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: I haven’t seen Naruto, but I’ve heard good things about the game.
  • Metal Gear Rising: I never had a PlayStation so I never got the chance to grow fond of games like Final Fantasy and MGS. I did tried to play MGS 2 for the PC, but I found it boring after the first minutes so I never finished it (or started it, to be fair). Just as with Naruto, I heard good things about this game and it seems more action-oriented, so I have all my bets around this one.
  • Bioshock Infinite (Season Pass): I played the vanilla version and had a great time. I don’t expect the Burial At The Sea DLCs to be as great as the original BioShock, but at least I hope it delivers a great experience like Infinite.

Also, I want to start getting into more jams to work on my skills and portfolio. I checked today and, surprise surprise:

As of this blog, I’ll be doing more Awesometracks soon (\m/). Additionally, I’ll do my best to write gamedev insights about games I play.

My journey is just starting :)


Awesometracks: Paranoia [Single]

Soundtracks are great but some times what’s great is not the whole album but a subset of tracks. The idea of Awesometracks [Single] is to share single great tracks only.

I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yesterday and, while it’s a pretty awesome movie, one of my biggest surprises was its soundtrack, specially the tracks about Electro (one of the main villains).

Paranoia is a good example of how soundtracks can have personality, even if they have dubstep influences. This track reminds me of Super Hexagon.


K.O. the OP

I’ve never been a hardcore fan of fighting games. I do enjoy casual matches of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter now and then, but they’re not my favorite genre. Until this day, I pretty much suck at them and don’t explore the full potential of combos and such. However, I do have certain interest from time to time to play them, just for fun.

I’ve played (or tried) at least Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, Guilty Gear and, lately, Skullgirls (and.. Vanguard Princess, but it’s a shame of a game, don’t buy it). I detected a pattern between pretty much all of them and this is a post is the result of such exercise.

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Awesometracks: Introduction

I love soundtracks, that’s a true fact.

My appreciation for this type of music began around the time I started my undergraduate studies, back in ’05. The first three OSTs I recall having heard were: Saint Seiya, Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Since then, I’ve had the great opportunity to hear even more awesome pieces of work.

I believe soundtracks are underrated. Yes, the majority of them are uninteresting and just a byproduct of something else (a movie, tv series, videogame, etc.); they just feel like they were developed just to promote and exploit the success of their parent product. But, luckily there’s that 1% that is mesmerizing.


Originally, I was planning to do a big post about the subject, but as it rapidly grew I decided to split it up to keep them short and focused. That also gives me the chance to explore deeper each OST.

Awesometracks will not be a space to do professional reviews of music, as I’m not a music critic, but I’ll try my best to explain why I like it so much. Also, at the end of each post, I’ll be leaving a playlist with curated tracks from each OST, hoping someone finds it interesting.


I should mention that the guys at Extra Credits started this week a series of videos about videogame music remixes, worthy to check out.


Testing HTML5 websites/games locally

Whether you’re building a plain website or a game using HTML5, it’s most likely that you’ll need to try it via localhost and not just by opening it with a double-click (more info here).

This guide shows how to accomplish that and, as an extra, how create hardlinks of folders in Windows.

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Writing Games Criticism for a Mainstream Audience

Christian Chomiak:

Haven’t thought before about this, maybe I could apply it myself here :)

Originally posted on Critical Proximity:

By Kirk Hamilton

Hi everyone, my name’s Kirk. I exist mostly on the internet and I have lots of opinions about video games. I’m features editor at, where I’ve been for almost three years now, which sounds crazy when I say it out loud. Before that I was games editor at Paste, and I’ve also written things for the New York Times, Edge magazine, The Border House, Kill Screen, and a bunch of other places.

Today, like everyone else here, I want to talk about how we talk about games. Specifically, how to write games criticism for a mainstream audience. How, indeed. Well. What does that term, mainstream audience, mean, and what does it mean to write for them?

To my mind, a mainstream audience member is someone who is smart, curious, and interested in video games. They might play a lot of games, they might play only…

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Phaser, HTML5 and this.isMadness

This year I decided to work on my portfolio, as I nearly had none, so I made a list of games I’d like to develop and, well, started developing them.

The basic idea is that I can’t develop all of those ideas and have a finished product, as I don’t have neither the powerhouse nor the time to develop a full-fledged product. So, the smart thing was to work on smaller projects and focus only in the core elements.

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