Guess what we just won?

That’s right! Guns, Gore & Cannoli was elected best PC game at Casual Connect Amsterdam! Being selected out of a pool of over 100 other games from different studios was amazing. A year of designing and developing, with all its ups and downs felt totally worth it!

Receiving a prize isn’t as simple as ‘who votes for’ and then counting the amount of hands in the air though. During the 3 days of the event our game got put through the grill by both visitors and jury members. We got reviewed on our design, gameplay, cut scenes and voice acting, both scared and anxious to know the opinions.

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Gamers and Dev’s united. It was quite a crowd.

Turns out, both parties really liked it. Didn’t mention it before, but other than winning a prize, we also got nominated for best audio! Couldn’t take home the prizes for artwork and narrative, but maybe that’s too much to ask for at this stage. After all we’re still an indie studio, not triple A.

Now while winning a prize was pretty great, it doesn’t change anything about how we feel about the game. Good reviews serve as nothing but motivation to keep up the work we are doing. We’re still taking in feedback and applying improvements and polishing where we can.

Steven, CEO of Crazy Monkey Studios going on stage to receive the price and giving a quick speech

Steven, CEO of Crazy Monkey Studios going on stage to receive the prize and giving a quick speech

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Benjamin, one of our artists, enjoying the prize back at the office

 

 

Posted in GGC

Testing Event Part 2

So last Thursday we had our second beta testing evening, and this time we were fully prepared! Builds installed, equipment set up and food & drinks ready before our first tester even set foot into the building.
Our mission for this week was not so much rating the user experience, but rather looking at the more technical stuff. Analyzing gameplay, looking at the balance of levels, difficulty modes and the comparison between single player and 2 to 4 player coop mode.
We’ll give you a quick overview.

Gameplay Analysis

First thing we looked at was how people played through the different levels. How fast do they pick up on the controls, enemy mechanics and the different paths they can take? All of these were very dependent on the player. Some more experienced gamers went into the controls menu because they wanted to know their options straight away, whereas the more casual testers opted for a more on-the-go approach. As for enemy mechanics, everyone seemed to have their own learning curve. How many bullets will you take to the face before you start hitting that crouch button?

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Level Balance

After analyzing the basic gameplay, we started looking more specifically at how our testers were going through the different levels. So we had a peek over their shoulders in order to find out whether our level design was a fun and challenging as we hoped it would be (spoiler: it was).
A combination of jumping puzzles, heights to climb and depths to explore proved to be a working combination to both entertain and challenge our testers.


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Difficulty

Finding a good balance between difficulty settings is a tricky thing. Easy mode can’t equal god mode and ‘impossible’ can’t actually be impossible. But before we could go into modifying these, there first had to be a solid version of normal mode. This is where both testing evenings really helped us.

After establishing said build, we could start working on easy, hard and impossible. Now there’s a lot of stuff that goes into balancing a difficulty mode, we’ll give you a rough idea on how that goes:

Step 1: pick a topic. This can be anything from health and damage modification to spawns.
Step 2: have a huge brainstorming session/discussion and decide on the best idea.
Step 3: stare at our programmer until he implemented said feature.
Step 4: testing time!
Step 5: approve/disprove, repeat.

Single Player vs Local Coop

Last but not least, we’ve analyzed the differences between coop and single player. The way both modes were played differentiated a lot: single players were generally focused, concentrating on making the right moves and making progress fast, while in coop people were taking a lot more casual approach, stressing fun and laughs over accomplishment.

Finding a good balance between the two is something we’re working on very actively at the moment. It’s something that requires a lot of time and testing of multiple developers, but we are making good progress!

To close up we thank you for reading, and as always: keep an eye on the website, Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gunsgorecannoli ) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/crazymonkeystu ) to stay up to date with the state of the game!

 

Posted in GGC

Guns, Gore and Cannoli First Testing Event

Thursday was a big day for Guns, Gore and Cannoli! We successfully finished our first closed beta event where both single player and coop mode were tested on multiple platforms (PS4, XBOX ONE, PC and Mac).

Not going to lie, we were pretty scared at first. Developing a game and doing some testing on it ourselves is very different from inviting 20 random people to put your game through the grill. The final moments before the start of the event were, as a result, pretty stressful, but once the first testers arrived and started playing we realised it was out of our hands from that point onward.

image (1)About 30 minutes later our entire hall was filled with people playing Guns, Gore and Cannoli. Curiously though, it was not at all the kind of crowd we were expecting. Instead of hardcore gamers, we were presented with a group consistent of middle-aged men, women, teenagers and children. Needless to say they had different gaming experiences as well (if any at all). After some brief questions we found out we were dealing with a mixture of MMO, FPS, hardcore, casual and probably even some Tetris players.

This is not particularly comforting when you need to present one game to such a varied crowd. Luckily not too long after, we could let out a sigh of relief when the initial fuss settled down and there was a very positive atmosphere going on. One way or another every one of these people were enjoying themselves just about equally, playing the same game.

So we went out on a quest to find out what attracted different types of people to our game. For some it was the typical Belgian artwork they were enjoying, others were emerged in some hardcore zombie slaying, and the more casual gamer was just having fun taking his/her time going through the levels at their own speed.

A much appreciated comment a lot of the testers gave was that the game was looking very polished for being in the beta phase. There were obviously some (rather amusing) issues that need to be tweaked, but it feels like we’re on the right track to having a fully polished game by the time it’s released.

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By now you must be anxious to try out the game for yourself. Well guess what, you can! There’s a demo available on the website right now, waiting for you to play it. And if you’re interested in staying up to date with what we are doing, make sure to keep an eye on our website for a report on the beta event this Thursday (yes we’re having another one), upcoming events where the game will be featured, open beta, release date and much more!

You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gunsgorecannoli) and on Twitter https://twitter.com/crazymonkeystu where we encourage you to ask any questions or give feedback. Arrivederci Mobsters!

 

Posted in GGC

January Update

Hi everyone! First of all the the best wishes for 2015! What a promising year for gaming.
Guns, Gore and Cannoli is nearing completion.
Things have been very busy at our office. Trying to attend some family gatherings and work in-between.  The team spend a lot of time improving the existing gameplay during the past months. We mainly focussed on new features and more content.
One of our favourite improvements is the local multiplayer mode. You are now able to play with up to 4 players together in co-op and face even more zombies.
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We added several new enemy characters, human and undead.
More levels are added and we spend some time creating challenging boss battles.
The team is now fine-tuning the levels and preparing for certification.
The final release date will be announced soon.

Best!

Posted in GGC

Article in Focus Knack

A couple of weeks ago we invited a reporter at our office. He was very interested in our game and company work-flow. Attached you can see the sweet 2-page description of Guns, Gore & Cannoli in the Focus Knack magazine. We even hit page 4!
Attached you may find a copy of the writing for those who are interested and master the Dutch tongue.

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Posted in GGC

The first Guns, Gore & Cannoli demo is ready!

Are you ready to experience our fast-paced action platformer for the first time?
We are pleased to give you all an early look at the atmosphere, visual style and a piece of the narrative. suggestions and comments are welcome.kickstarter kaartje front
Go ahead and try it out now. In this demo you can play the stripclub level and meet one of the bosses. Play alone or battle together with a friend in the multiplayer mode.
Use the keyboard or feel free to hook up a controller to control your character and blast your way through a horde of zombies. The Demo is currently available for Windows and Mac HERE.

First Look Event in Utrecht was great

Thanks for all the amazing feedback and thrilling faces at First Look last weekend.
We met some awesome gamers and had a great time showing you our latest version.
Hopefully you had a good time playing our game.
See you again next year Holland!

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IMG_2356Coming up Facts at expo Gent/Belgium 18-19 Oktober!

Posted in GGC

Game Force was fun!

Last weekend we showcased the new multiplayer demo at Game Force in Antwerp/Belgium. This new feature adds a lot to the game. We noticed many happy faces and friends playing the game together as a team. Our team spent a lot of time polishing the local co-op mode and will continue our development with all the amazing feedback in mind.

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For the ones who couldn’t make it to the event… no worries!  Next weekend we’ll be present at First Look 11 and 12 October in Utrecht/Holland.
In 2 weeks you’ll be able to play Guns, Gore & Cannoli at FACTS (18-19 October) in Gent/Belgium.

As you may wonder about the availability of Guns, Gore & Cannoli. We are nearing the end of the year and coming closer to our projected release date. More info about the exact release will follow soon. Oh and… we’ll upload the demo one of these days. It’s almost ready!!

Greenlit by Steam! Cazzo Sì!

Thanks to all!

Our Greenlight campaign started Friday the 29th. Our game was well received by the Steam community. It was amazing news for the entire team. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the mail appearing in my inbox. We followed the progress closely until we received the big news just this morning.Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 11.47.28

What’s Next?

We’ve been working on this game since the beginning of 2014. It will be a cartoony 2D action platformer game. Play as Vinnie, a vengeful gangster who comes to Thugtown to straighten a few things out. Vinnie is sent to a messed up city, looking for a ‘goodfella’ who’s gone missing since the zombie-outbreak.
Travel through a dangerous mind-blowing environment filled with zombies and gangsters. You will face many different enemies and clues in a story filled with betrayal and vengeance.
 
The Greenlight process has been extremely enlightening. We talked to a lot of fans and developers. Local Co-op and localization have been hot topics and on our TODO list. Being greenlit encourages us to set up a Kickstarter. Given the possibility to involve more people into our project, offering cool gadgets and even physical goals. More news shall appear very soon!  So stay tuned and eat a lot of Pasta! Meanwhile, our studio engines are running on full speed. More levels and features are being made and soon announced.

TO BE CONTINUED!

Greenlight page Steamcommunity.com
Follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/gunsgorecannoli

 

Vote for us on Steam Greenlight!

Today we added our project to Steam Greenlight. Since the start of 2014 we’ve been working very passionately on this project. We’re finally getting closer to the release date. Now it’s time to showcase our masterpiece to the jury.

Especially for the occasion we made a new teaser video, showing more unreleased footage than ever before. Remember, the game is by no means finished yet!

How can you help?
There is only one way… go to our Steam Greenlight page, click YES. Feel free to share this news to all your friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli will be available early 2015 for PC and next-gen consoles.