We're a tiny independent brazilian studio making games with care.

Happy Birthday, Alpaca!

Hey everyone! It turns out we turn 2 years old today! (: Happy birthday to us! And well, birthdays actually make us nostalgic, so why not a post with a bit of our origins?

By Feb. 10th, 2012, Midio, Camis and Noia were working together at a game studio, and we received the news that we’d start working at a new crappy project. Again. We had lost the count of the numbers of terrible projects we worked on, but that made us quite sad. We started a gtalk conversation to discuss the possibility of working together: we called two other friends and started arranging a weekly meeting at Midio’s place. By that time, Midio was doing art, Noia was a lead QA and Camis was still working with deployment, but wanted to start coding.

These meetings were usually very loose, not too much commitment, we were just checking the possibility of working together outside the bounds of the studio. You know, professional relationships not always go well when you don’t need to commit to a certain rigid structure as that of our workplace. These reunions were usually during the evening, with Coke and crappy snacks and lots of laughters. They were a relief from the stiffness of the studio we worked at.

We decided to call ourselves Runaway Alpacas. And then Alpaca Team. We felt like we were running away from the whole crazy situation of the studio and we knew that alpacas are herd animals that tend to stick together as a big team. That’s exactly what we wanted and needed!

Midio had just returned from the Global Game Jam in January, in which he collaborated with Miniboss in Trapped! In The Chamber of the Eternal Darkness and that experience shaped a lot the way he started seeing game development from that point on. The process at the studio was rigid, stiff, we couldn’t collaborate freely or let the idea evolve freely to make a better game: we wanted and needed that. Plus, Camis and Noia weren’t seeing any new outcome from their current positions and that was making everyone frustrated. 

After a couple of meetings, those two other friends abandoned the team. They had a hard time understanding that we couldn’t just rush and start doing things if our work depends on the whole team’s decision. That hurted us a little bit. We were three now and we thought we weren’t going to make it. Camis was still learning a bunch of code things, Midio was very insecure with his art. That shaked us a little bit.

Our first idea was called Nitbone’s Maze. It was a circular maze in which you lead some creatures along the way all to way to the center. 

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(Characters by Arthur Mask)

We started prototyping the whole thing but we had lots of problems with the circular rotation on the Android devices. We started having terrible and deep personal issues. We couldn’t keep up with the project nor with Alpaca itself. We were frustrated. We stopped.

Until October came. And then Camis was fired. And Noia and Midio asked to be fired too. And we applied to Blackberry’s Jam Sessions while developing Luke at the Stars and we won the best game prize! That was the day we actually thought together:

"Hey, maybe we’re not that stupid at game making at all, and Nitbone’s was just… maybe we took the wrong decisions only, we all have projects like that".

And Luke was our real starting point. We decided we were going to be just the three of us, but that we would call friends to collaborate with us, so we wouldn’t have to face the situation of being abandoned once again. We realized we worked well together, and that we were friends who understood our personal needs. We understood we had to make money to pay our bills and that we would make games on our free time and that was okay! We understood that pressure sometimes is good to get things done, but most of the times, just make things worse. We found out that we can count on and talk to each other about our insecurities and rely on each other opinion’s when making a game. We feel like a band ourselves. 

Finding game making partners is pretty much like finding a love partner. There must be honesty, fun and reliability. And I guess we found all that during these two years of game making. We deeply hope that we continue to make the things we love for the years to come, and that we enhance and strenghten the bonds that keep us together. (:

Thanks for reading this big post, we really appreciate it!!
A warm hug,

Camis, Midio & Noia.



Global Game Jam 2014

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Hey everyone! It’s been sometime since we don’t update our website with some news, right? Well, it’s about time! We participated in this year’s edition of the Global Game Jam and we wanted to share a bit of this year’s experience! Our entry for GGJ’s 2014 is called: The Triad Trial.

1) INTRO

This time around we decided to do it at home for a number of personal reasons, and the lieu of choice was Midio’s apartment, the (un)”official” Alpaca HQ (chosen as a middle point between Camis’ and Noia’s homes)!

We also managed to assemble a huge team this time! No, seriously, we doubled the number of people we usually have on game jams and it was incredibly fun! We called over new people like Luiza de Carli, a great designer who’s never done a game before and who helped, taught and learned so many things along the way, Chi Odashima, a great visual artist and character artist who managed to keep cool at all times and make great art, (please, tell us our secret, Chi!) and Tassi Magalhães, an amazing character artist and animator. Other than that, Silva was our musician of choice, Trevis our old-time programmer companion and the basic formation with Camis, Midio and Noia.

Here’s a picture of the whole family (or something like that):

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2) STARTING

We started at 5 P.M. (GMT-3:00), São Paulo time, watching the keynote videos and receiving the theme: 

"We don’t see things as they are, we seem them as we are"

In our opinion that was a very difficult theme because not only it was incredibly broad, but it touched a certain number of philosophical questions that couldn’t be worked properly with the little amount of time we had. 


image(Midio’s bedroom has never been so crowded!!)

We started off calling Noia (who’s in London) and trying to talk to Silva about the theme, but connection was sluggish and it was hard to explain everything. Upon the difficulties encountered, we brought over a huge piece of paper to work on and put all our ideas and brainstorm the theme. We overly obsessed with birds and silly/funny stuff and tried to organize the thoughts, but we had little or no success. We were highly obsessed with the idea of making a game with a panoptic pigeon. We decided it was pizza time.

image(Let’s jam from the elevator, let’s grab some pizza.)


3) CHOOSING AN IDEA

We came back from the pizza place trying to figure out how the theme touched our personal stories and life experience and this time WE were sluggish (we blamed the pizza). Suddendly (and we don’t even recall how), we started up with the ideas of using the birds, the self discovery/perception theme and we decided to start sketching/prototyping it. We based most of our ideas on the persian myth of the Conference of the Birds.

- Chi, Midio and Tassi started searching for art style references and sketching the first visuals (this took 1-2 hours); 
- Luiza and Noia started discussing more elements of the game mechanics (1-2 hours too);
- Camis and Trevis started prototyping (this time around they tried using a new engine which was a VERY risky decision, but they turned out fine with it); 

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(Tassi Magalhães’ character concepts)

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(Midio’s first background concepts)

image(Chi’s cobra/snake enemy sketch)

4) DEVELOPING

We were mentally exhausted due to the huge amount of stuff we were thinking about and the heat (summertime in Brazil can be extremely harsh), and we decided to go to bed early to work properly on Saturday and Sunday. 

Saturday and Sunday were dedicated exclusively to development, and we improved the first version of the concepts, characters and enemies, Luiza and Noia started building up the stages and Camis and Trevis started implementing the mechanics. By this time we managed to talk to Silva and explain the main atmosphere of the game and how we expected the music to be, and he started working on some song prototypes too.

image(Trevis was implementing the main mechanics while Luiza was eating a peach)

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(Tassi working on some characters)

5) MECHANICS/ VISUALS

In our game we control three characters at once (a Chicken, a Peacock and a Falcon) in three screens at once. In each screen you’re able to see part of the whole picture (i.e.: the chicken only sees platforms while the falcon only sees enemies, and the peacock only sees items).

image(Our main characters are based on representations that closely resemble traditional media, tribal art, engraving and woodcut)


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(Three characters/screens at once, while you can only see part of the whole thing in each)

While playing, you can combine each screen into one in order to see the whole picture, but that comes with a cost: mobility. Just like real life, we only see parts of the whole and unity is a myth. Whenever we try to see the whole thing, we are rendered immobile: it’s overly human and we have to accept the fact that our point of view will always be a small fraction of the what we consider to be whole. 

image(Characters can transform themselves into a totem to check the three views assembled into one, but they can’t move)

6) CONTEXT

We named our game The Triad Trial (TTT). The birds of our game are lacking flight and they hear of a mythical bird that can heal them and retrieve the flight power to them all. They then start a journey to find the mythical bird, but upon arriving in the mysterious location, they figure out there’s no such thing as the mythical creature, but instead, find their own reflection on a lake. The myth can be interpreted in a certain number of ways, but we decided we could understand it as:

- Only the mélange of different points of view compound the total story (which can be subject to different types of interpretation and therefore, the concept of “one” is subject to fail);

- True strenght can only be obtained within oneself, but life experiences and interaction with others shape the speed/type of this connection with oneself;

- Unity is a myth. We have to constantly remember that not only we have multiple point of views depending on a certain number of factors, but that they can be discussed, dismantled and rebuilt;

-The journey is more important than the destination.

image(The Chicken, the Peacock and the Falcon set up on a journey to find a mythical creature that can retrieve their flight abilities)

image(Upon arrival, they find out there’s no such thing as one mythical bird, but instead it was made of a flock of birds nearby. They then face their own reflection: strenght is on the inside, the journey is more important than the destination).

7) WRAP-UP/FINAL WORD

We were delighted in a number of ways with this GGJ, specially because the theme was abnormally interesting. It touched us in a profound way and we managed to merge lots of our personal experiences to enhance the design. This was also quite hard because we didn’t want to be literal and then it required us lots and lots of thought and much hardwork to figure out the mechanics.

Luiza, Chi and Tassi participated for their first time in a Game Jam and they loved it as much as we did on our first marathons. Trevis and Camis started using a new engine (quite hard), Midio drew art without any lines and probably Noia and Silva also learned new and amazing stuff from the experience!

We’re still fixing a big number of bugs and polishing it a little more, so the version uploaded on GGJ’s website is still a bit crappy, but expect a nice version soon. We also created a page for Triad Trial at our website, so you can check info and download some more pictures! 

Thanks for the time reading this and we really really appreciate the support, kindness and interest on our game (:

Best,

The Alpacas



CLM Poster and final touches

Hey everyone! We’re adding the final touches to The Chainletter Massacre, our game for the 1st edition of the Pack of Horrors game jam. Meanwhile, while we’re all working hard to deliver a cool game, we prepared a nice poster for download. Just click throught the image below to download a nice and big A3 print size version. We hope you like it! :)

Best,

Your Alpacas



Pack of Horrors

Hey everyone! Our livestreaming will begin shortly at 3PM (GMT-3), so stay tuned and click the image below to be redirected to it! :D

We hope to see you online :D 
Best,

The Alpacas



Alpaca Team rises

Get to know our next game idea! 

packofhorrors:

Hey everyone! 

Alpaca Team is a tiny group with a cheerful yellow mascot! We’re Midio (the team’s artist & mister congeniality), Camis (our programmer & bacon lover), and Noia (our game designer/QA/does-it-all). This time we’ll stick with two other friends: Silva (a talented musician) and Trevis (a talented programmer).

On to our idea, then! 

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Our working title is "The Chainletter Massacre".

This game is a chainletter/ mail “simulator”. In it, you control a 30-something old man on the mid 90’s who just recently moved to this glass house, and who starts receiving a bunch of bizarre and creepy emails, from undisclosed senders. These emails contain lots of pictures of the supernatural: ghosts, criptozoology, monsters, weird beings and such, and they all need to be sent to a certain number of people, otherwise something really really bad is going to happen to you. Well, guess what? Turns out that they WILL happen if you don’t. The thing is, sending emails will make you lose friends and love/health points, but not sending them will make monsters and creepy things happen at night. You’ll have to balance properly which emails to send and to whom in order to stay alive. 


We want the player to feel very very insecure with his decisions, and create this sense of disturbance/paranoia. 

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This is a quick mockup depicting the art style/palette we chose for this game. It is very close to that of the GB Classic/Pocket, with only 4 colors. We want it to be fairly simple.


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Our main (and only) char will be around 30 years old, but we haven’t quite chosen his final design nor his name. We liked the one on the top left, but we’re still unsure at this time.

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We could probably argue for long enough trying to convince you that the main character is actually the house itself. Level design will play an important role in this game, and we want the player to feel constantly insecure. Midio’s architectural knowlege will come in handy! This house is also based on a real (and famous) house.

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We want to work with the idea of shifts, so you don’t really know what will happen until you wind to the night shift and experience what your sent (or unsent) emails will cause.

At night, you can only flee and hide, but things will eventually get harsh.

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LatS now available to a bunch’a smarthphones! :D

Hey guys! :D
We’ve got AWESOME news! Remember when we said that Luke was only compatible to android tablets? Well, that has changed a bit! LatS is now available to a bunch of high-end Android smartphones too!

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To check if you have any compatible devices, check the game page on Google Play.

Spread the love!
Best,

The Alpacas



Download LatS set of wallpapers!!

Hey guys! We prepared a couple of wallpapers for download featuring LatS! Just click through the images do download them (: They’re available at 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1920x1080 sizes. We hope you like them as much as we do! Spread the word! 

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Best,

The Alpacas



LatS Released!!

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Hey guys! We’re very, very glad to announce that Luke at the Stars was launched to Android Tablets and Blackberry Playbook Tablets this monday, April first! We assure it’s no April fool’s joke, though! :) We’re still working hard to deliver it to your Android smarthphones, but meanwhile, help us get the word spread!

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Global Game Jam 2013!

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Hey guys! It’s been some time since we last wrote something at our blog. As many of you might have already noticed, Alpaca Team members participated at this year’s edition of GGJ (Global Game Jam) with two of our friends, Bruno Silva (who scored the awesome tracks for Luke at the Stars) and Trevis Bonifacio (a skilled AS3 programmer and absent-minded QA). 

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Hey everyone! We just made this quick teaser featuring Luke at the Stars’ gameplay! :) We hope you like it! Please share :)

Cheers,

The Alpacas