ContributionsPostmortem

Indie Showcase: Splitman 2 – In’s and Out’s of Independent Gaming

May 20, 2013 — by Mariia Lototska

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ContributionsPostmortem

Indie Showcase: Splitman 2 – In’s and Out’s of Independent Gaming

May 20, 2013 — by Mariia Lototska

Bari Silvestre and Gilbert De Vera were both friends and classmates in high school that shared the same passion for arts and gaming. They both dreamed of creating their own games in the future, which led them to where they are now. Splitman is one of the many games they’ve made. For them, Splitman reflects how they both reached their dream….. and it’s by means of cooperation.

Splitman was created back in August 2011, when Bari was so inspired by the game Gravinaytor, a clone of another game called The Gravity Game. Bari wanted to incorporate several key features of the game and the visual of another very popular video game, Megaman. Bari asked Gilbert to learn pixel art to deliver a Megaman-like graphics for their upcoming game. And this is where their journey started.

Meet the 2-Man Team

BariBari Silvestre is a self taught programmer and game designer. Although he always had the passion for drawing and sketching, it wasn’t his first career. His professional career started off making use of his degree in Accounting by doing clerical jobs after graduating from college. But the artist in Bari kept on haunting him. Last 2010, he finally decided to fulfill his lifelong passion of becoming a graphic artist. But as we all know, following your passion isn’t always too easy. Bari has been a freelance game developer for more than three years. Aside from making flash games like Belial, Splitman, Zombies vs Penguins, Pretentious Game and Vanguards, He has also released mobile games like Pinoy Hangman and Pingu’s Quest.

gilbertGilbert De Vera has always thought of creating graphics for games, even as a kid. But, like Bari, it didn’t happen right away. In his case, his professional career started off in the BPO industry after graduating from college. But in 2010, he decided to accomplish his dream of becoming a game artist through the game Belial, which he co-created with Bari. He has also been in the gaming industry for more than three years as an animator and graphic artist. A proud husband and father of two boys, he has been involved in the creation of games like: Villainous, Zombies vs. Penguins, Belial and Nano War – to name a few.

Splitman 1 vs. Splitman 2

Splitman 1 and 2 were both widely accepted by players; this is pretty evident on the numbers of plays these games received.  They were both featured on www.jayisgames.com, front paged on Newgrounds.com and both were featured on Casual Connect 2012-2013 respectively. But what really makes these two versions different from each other? Here are the lists of differences that can be observed:

Splitman 1

Splitman– Pixel art
– Story style game instruction
– No level screen

 

 

 

 

Splitman 2

Splitman 2– Vector graphics
– Simple game instruction
– Added Keycards to collect
– Level  screen added
– 2 different endings
– Added reverse gravity
– Can stand on dead clones

Re-Inventing Splitman 2

The idea of doing some changes on Splitman 2 came up, when Bari and Gilbert were talking about how Megaman evolved from pixel art into a cartoony type of graphics. Since Splitman was based on this popular video game, they thought of doing those changes as well. Aside from the graphics, they’ve also considered adding some features that will make the game slightly different from its former version:




They’ve added the reverse gravity feature that really made the game more appealing and challenging.

Keycards were added for additional objectives players can complete, these keycards are needed if players wanted to see the alternate ending.

Talking about alternate ending, Bari and Gilbert were really used to making alternate endings for their games. They made several versions of Belial, wherein players can choose the ending they want to see, and they thought of incorporating this technique to Splitman 2 as well.

One unique feature of Splitman 2 is that the character can step on to its dead clones. This is pretty useful when traversing a series of spikes hazard.

Obstacles and Trials

There’s never been an easy way to success, as many would say, and this proved to be true when Bari and Gilbert created Splitman 2. Both are the father of two children, and are both working at home, so it only means that there’s a lot of temptation not to be able to work efficiently due to different distractions inside the house. Also a minor setback is that Bari’s location is a few miles away from Gilbert’s place, so they only communicate via skype or via SMS. However, these hindrances didn’t stop them on creating games. They were able to cope up with these obstacles and have become used to working with it.




Sweet Success

So far, both Splitman 1 and Splitman 2 did a fantastic job of satisfying its players, evident with the positive feedback they’re getting and the number of gameplays it has reached. Splitman 2 alone has reached 5 million views from February to March and is continuously growing. The game was featured on many big web portal including Newgrounds, Notdoppler, Mochi and many more. Here are some of the great comments we’ve received from different big portals:

NewGrounds




Kongregate




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Bari and Gilbert are already planning to create the third installment of Splitman this year. They’ve already showed a glimpse of what’s coming at the alternate ending of Splitman 2, so fans could expect another exciting and challenging edition of Splitman on the coming months ahead.

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Mariia Lototska

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