For the last 9 years, I work as a planner and controller of a multinational Brazilian oil company. The team consolidates all the planning information of the whole company, analyses it, and reports to the company board of directors.
For all these years, I’ve struggled to deal with some basic business scenarios:
The current information systems used or developed by the company are too restrictive to accommodate their business cases. The general solution is to create entire systems using dozens of spreadsheets. It is a patchwork of data, susceptible to data loss and zero control.
To address this, I decided to develop, on my own, a new system that is both flexible and powerful. The overall core propositions are:
With this feature set in mind, I started to create a spear time what is now temporally called Project Curva for the last 3 months. I will post more about it in the future: the used technology, the technical challenges, and some lessons learned.
A beta is due at the end of April 2021.
The project is called NiwPlan and can be checked on NiwPlan.com.
Ludum Dare! The famous indie game competition has just ended and I once again locked me out of the world for 3 days to design, program,
In this edition, the theme was “Beneath the Surface”. In comparison with other editions, a very easy theme because it defines only the thematic aspect of the game. Most of games can be adapted to fit the theme, from shooters, strategy games, platformers. It is much harder when it restricts the mechanics of the game, like “10 Seconds” from Ludum Dare 27.
In my case, even with an easy theme, I face a lot of difficulty to design the game. I know that Ludum Dare audience is mainly indie designers with very little experience and they appreciate mostly popular action game genres, like platformer, top-down adventures and first-person shooters. But it was definitively not what I wanted in this edition. With an easy theme, I wanted to innovate in the mechanics.
In Brazil, the competition started Friday by 10pm. It is generally a good thing, because we are tired from work and it is close to sleeping time. Because the openness we got from the theme, I faced a lot of difficulty on designing, because designing requires restricting yourself. I only closed the final mechanics by Saturday lunch, 12 hours after the competition start.
Vaults Inc is a turn based strategy game. It is like a city building, but underground: you build a bunker from a post-nuclear-war universe. Imagine Fallout’s vaults. I wanted to grab a little of its universe, especially the visuals and humor.
Each turn the player have to build a new block in the bunker. Each block can increase or decrease or Income, Money, Fame or Population. The strategy comes from the interaction that each new block generates: Landfill decreases Fame is placed next to a residential block; slaughterhouse generates more income if placed next to a restaurant; fancy restaurant decreases fame is other fancy restaurants are built. Timing and Location are crucial.
Bigger bunkers means bigger problems: the more you grow, your fame and income start to go down. The game has typically 50 turns and the player have to reach the biggest population possible.“The most complete Fallout-Bunker-Simulator. Learn it for a future not that improbable”
Play it online for free (EDIT 2021: not available anymore)
The post was originally on blog.Gamenific.com
It is another vacation! Hey!!!!!
After Argentina and Chile last year and Cube and Mexico in May, this time I will visit… nowhere!
That’s it. I was planning to go to Disney World, USA. The idea was to go in a big group and have fun. I went to Disney when I was in college (I lived in the USA for 6 months in an exchange program) and I loved it! Loved it! Disney creates a magic atmosphere that one cannot ignore. They mastered the idea themed park.
Well, my original plan started to go wrong when I foresaw a complicated end-of-year in my job, due to a project in that I was involved. Things went worse with time. My boss said once or twice that we would stay in extra hours if needed.
Then I reached the moment of choice. With a lot of uncertainty, the dollar-real ratio in a bad shape, and missed momentum, I’ve finally decided to abort my trip and stay home.
Cry no more! I have a new plan!
Besides my formal job, I invest a great deal of time in my lovely hobby: designing video games. I do all the processes, from programming, drawing, writing, painting, and whatever is needed.
I have about 8 prototypes that I believe can reach the market someday. One of them is a puzzle game called Picubic. It is charming, it is challenging and it is fun. But most of all, it is the closest one to have, at this moment, a shot in the wild market. I named the gaming division of Bruno Massa Corporation as Gamenific, a mix of Magnific (magnificent) and Game!
For this reason, since I decided to abort my trip I also decided to invest all my time to launch it. Finish it once and for all and sell it. The plan is to launch its beta ITS WEDNESDAY! Kind of… The plan is in fact, to launch a funding campaign on Indiegogo (the poorer cousin of Kickstarter) to help to leverage some money and close it. But most of all, to attract people. The company will only gain traction if there is a big enough audience. Let’s create a brand!
I can now only hope that this plan works. Otherwise, it will be a waste of a good Disney moment.
My new game, Picubic, is now released under the Alpha flag.
Picubic is puzzle game inspired on the Japanese Picross, or Nonogram.
The objective of Picross is to discover what image is hidden, using the hints. That’s why the name is a mix of picture and crosswords. But there is a fundamental difference between Picross and Picubic: Picubic is a 3D puzzle! It uses the same general logic, but with a great twist. The final pictures are, in fact, 3D objects: TV, Sofa, sportsman, truck, trees…
There are hints for each of the axis (X, Y and Z), which might create interesting challenges.
Because the game is essentially an abstract game, it was a challenge to decide a theme for the game. The first and obvious choice was a black/white theme. But I was not happy about it. I wanted to give it a personality, a distinctive face.
After some attempts, I decided for a general look and feel of wood. It is something not usual for games, so it would be somewhat unique. It’s beautiful.
The graphics were created using 3 sources: myself, free stuff from internet and outsourcing. I’m not an artist, so the current version have a lot of temporary material. Later I will replace it for the definitive versions.
It’s an one-man game for now. I personally did the whole programming. Done entirely as C# code using Unity3D and Monodevelop. I’m really happy about the IDE.
There will be an editor for players create their own puzzles, send to friends (an Facebook and Google+ integration planned). The editor is the same used by myself. It’s not in the current alpha because of some bugs.
The final version is planned to be by October. Each 15 days I plan to release a new version. The lite version will have about 10 puzzles, besides the tutorial.
The game will be launched for Android and iOS phones/tablets, Windows/Linux/Mac as well web version, playable in any modern browser. The Alpha and beta versions will be probably only deployed as the web version.
See picubic.com for furthers news.
Bruno Massa é político, programador e fotógrafo.