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OUYA DevLog: Juicy Beast

by on August 12, 2014
 


July 24, 2014, day where we released our newest game, Toto Temple Deluxe on OUYA!

If you’re here to learn more about how we created Toto Temple Deluxe, you’re at the right place. But first, let us tell you a small story, the story of how Juicy Beast came to be.

It all started back in June 2009 when we, Yowan and Dominique, right after graduating from college, cofounded a small video game studio alongside Alexandre and Jean-Philippe, and decided to call it Juicy Beast.

Except for JP, our illustrator / animator, we all studied Multimedia Integration in college. Which means no one had any real prior experience in making video game. No real game design background, nor programmation, nor marketing, nor business management, nor a lot of other things that usually would have been quite useful when starting a company.

So, since we had never really worked together either, we decided to create sort of a test game to see if we could actually make something good together. After all, we had no experience in the industry at all and only knew how to work with Adobe Flash, which, back in the days, was the most used software to create free online games, or, as we call them, Flash games.

Then, after only three months of lots of thinking and hard work, Gobtron was born! It is undoubtedly the grossest game that we’ve ever created so far (yeah, we know, we were young… and maybe a bit immature… But definitely young.).

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[ABOVE] GOBTRON at his favorite cliff, enjoying life, ready to defend himself using his body fluid from cavemen!

Just before releasing this monster on August 4, 2009, nobody, or very few people, knew about us, Juicy Beast. Then, right after we hit the publish button for our first time on Newgrounds.com, something unexpected blew our mind. The numbers of plays kept going up and up and some hours later, Gobtron was hitting the front page. We had no idea what was going on. Our “One drink per hundred views” was definitely not a good idea there. We woke up the next day to see that the game had been awarded the “Daily 5th place” trophy and that Gobtron had spread everywhere on the web, played by thousand and thousand of people!

That was now very clear to us. With this team, we had the power to make games, which is pretty useful when you’re a studio that tries to make a living out of it you know! But we didn’t quite understood how to make money with that power yet. It wasn’t until our third game, Dale N’ Peakot (full version), which is probably our biggest game as of today, that some amazing folks at Berzerk Studio taught us how we could actually live with Flash games.

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[ABOVE] Dale N’ Peakot (Full Version) sold to Miniclip.com for real money!

With that freshly acquired knowledge, we would finally be able to stop eating macaroni! Especially if you consider the fact that we are trying to run a studio full time with four guys and that we made something like $400 for our first two games, Gobtron and Dale N’ Peakot (demo), combined.

We now had enough money to keep us going, so we kept on making Flash games (you can see almost all of them here) and our fan base grew bigger and bigger. Nowadays, most people thinks about us when they hear the words Burrito Bison or Knightmare Tower!

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Knightmare Tower and Burrito Bison Revenge, standing side by side, as if they knew each others!

But, in the end, making a living out of Flash games, even when you know how to make money with them, is pretty hard. And since we only knew how to program in Actionscript 3 at the time, we thought we’d be stuck doing that forever, unable to make something bigger, something more significant by ourselves.

That was until we heard the word “Unity”! Everyone was talking about that new game engine being so exceptional. Even more, it was supposed to be very easy to learn, sharing similarities to Adobe Flash, so why not give it a try? Darn that was a great decision we made there. For the first time in our life, we felt like we could finally do that bigger thing we wanted to do so much! More importantly, we would retain full control over our creations! No more need to build the Flash version of a game then ask someone else to port it. We could do it all by ourselves!

To make sure Unity was a good match for us and to know if we were actually capable of making a game with it (remember that we had no experience at all except Adobe Flash), we decided to port a game you should already know, especially since you’re reading this post on the OUYA blog (if not, boot up your OUYA and go try it out. It’s free… Then you might want to pay to unlock it, but that’s a story for another time!). That game is Knightmare Tower!

Brand new title screen for the brand new and revamped Knightmare Tower!

Yes, we made it! What felt inaccessible in the past was now real! We completed our first game with Unity and we had a blast doing it! We could finally reach these new platforms we were looking forward to. We all remember the first time we played Knightmare Tower using a controller, on a big screen. It was one of the most meaningful moment of our life (at Juicy Beast of course). Thanks OUYA!

But let’s get back to the main subject now. While we were working on the revamped version of Knightmare Tower, we also attended an event called TOJam: Haters Gonna Eight. This is a game jam in which you need to create a game in only three days. You probably guessed right. This is where the first version of Toto Temple got created. In case you are wondering why this is a game about small colorful characters battling for a goat, you should read this.

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[ABOVE] Title screen from the original version of Toto Temple, made during TOJam.

Toto Temple is our first attempt at making a local only multiplayer game and since you need to be at least two players to play it, we weren’t sure if we were ever going to release a full version. Mainly because playing that kind of game on a console is great, but not as much on PC. Plus, consoles are usually pretty hard to reach for small developers like us.

This is when OUYA approached us and gave us the chance to make something concrete with this game! We we very excited about the idea and soon after, we found ourselves working on the Deluxe version of Toto Temple!

If you’re curious to learn lots of wonderful things about the development process, you can do so by reading this great serie of blog posts called “The Making of Toto Temple Deluxe”, courtesy of Alexandre!

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[ABOVE]If you’re into making video games, you might want to read these!

And if you are wondering what we are up to right now, that means you haven’t played Toto Temple Deluxe yet, as you would have noticed these “Upcoming Mode” and “Upcoming Level” buttons in the game!

And there you have it! Juicy Beast is now 5 years old and we are still the same guys from when we started on June 1, 2009, still creating games for fun’s sake.

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[ABOVE]Juicy Beast at TOJam 9. From left to right: Jean-Philippe, Dominique, Yowan, Alexandre.
Learn more about each one of us on JuicyBeast.com/about

Oh and if you didn’t already know, we sometime like to participate in game jams. If you own at least two controllers, you should give Gentlemen Dispute and FROX a try!

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[ABOVE]Gentlemen Dispute, made in 2 days during Indie Speed Run!

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[ABOVE]FROX, made in 3 days during TOJam Party Like It’s 19TOJam9!

That’s all guys. Thanks a lot for reading the whole thing (well, if you’re reading this you must have read the whole thing right?) and a special thanks to OUYA for all their support during the development of Toto Temple Deluxe, and for letting us write this long and not that exciting blog post about ourselves! Hope you liked it.

And don’t forget, Toto Temple Deluxe is out, go give it a try!

Our top 10 OUYA picks:

Source: Ouya.tv