From the moment I discovered video games (in early 80s), I was fascinated with them. So fascinated I decided to develop games myself.
I was a teenager then and had lots of time. So my friend (Michael) and me created a “company” we called Omicron (we even created a logo).
We brainstormed game ideas all the time, even during classes. We developed few games in Turbo Pascal and created the art and sound ourselves… boy, it was fun.
We even sent a demo game to Sierra Online (in the golden era of adventure games)… but we were politely rejected.
The games were optimized for Dos OS, and were saved on floppy disks… nothings is left to show for me to show off, but a few sketches and words.
Anyway, after high school I started new endeavors (like bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering) and almost didn’t have time to play. It was the dark era – the black hole in my video game education. I haven’t played most of the classic games in the first half of the 90s.
After I got my degree I got back to playing video games, and my hunger for creating them came back too.
Starting 2008, I decided to become part of this domain – I joined the IGDA (the Israeli chapter of GDA), started participating in Global Game Jams, initated moonlight game development projects and finally made a full transition to become a gaming entrepreneur in 2012.
After a challenging chapter of leading a small funded mobile game studio, that ended by the end of 2014 (after releasing two games), I got became an employee again, but my passion didn’t fade, so I continue my journey in moonlight mode again.
Gravema (game prototype) was developed during the 2009 Global Game Jam (GGJ) with 2 artists and one developer (me acting as a game designer and a producer). The GGJ was a great experience and I wrote a a post about it previously. You can download and play it for free (though you must have a partner, as it is a dual player game).
Here’s the video:
Evolve! was developed in the “spare time” of few friends and me. It was never really finished. It took much time and and when we got to a ripe game prototype we felt it’s not original enough and terminated the project. Nevertheless, it is playable, so you can have a try.
Evil Pigeons is a game prototype developed during the Global Game Jam 2010. It is a 2-player game between an evil pigeon master that controls the pigeons, who wish to shit-load a fancy car, and a mad car owner who wishes to exterminate the nasty pigeons before they succeed. I wrote a post about this event too.
If you’re too lazy to download and play, just watch this video 🙂
During the years 2011 to 2014 I worked on several games in my gaming startup, Stix.
Space sheep was a game that was intended to demo our concept of transfoming single player games into multiplayer games by adding a social game layer (that actually enhances the gameplay and not just focsuing on challenging players or creating leaderboards). The game concept was pretty simple – each player is a sheep snatching alien, and each player is trying to steal sheep from other players to win the game.
Before (Single Player)
The president was the first game we actually developed with the focus on creating a potentially successful game (and not a demo for transforming single player games into multiplayer). We built it in 3+ months and launched it just before the US elections of 2012. We failed miserably 🙂
It was still based on the concept of two-layers, where in the strategic layer (up to 4) players planned their moves and the 2nd, tactical layer, players had to “convert” citizens to vote for them (Yes it is easy to see the resemblance to the Space Sheep game).
Driven away from the failure of the two-layer game we moved to creating a more integral (yet still player vs. player turned based) experience. Now fueled by an investment, we managed to develop a totally new game, which was a combination of pacman, hockey and pinball. We planned to launch it within 6 months, but eventually it took us more than 12. We learned a lot, created super onboarding experience and got great retention results. Player really loved it. But we sucked at monetization.
This was the last game we released under the Stix brand (although we managed to work on several unreleased titles).
This game was developed during the 2013 Global Game Jam.
The project was more of an experiment in a experience-oriented game design. The team consisted of Dan Shamir, the developer (who really wanted to learn how to use the Unreal engine), Ori Cohen, the 3D artist, Alon Kaplan , the sound designer, Roee Avaramot, assisted us with the game design, and myself, as always, as game design lead and producer.
In Sleep Paralysis, you play as an old man who lies on his death-bed and cannot move. The demons are coming to take your soul (chunk by chunk), while you are trying to draw them back. It is, in a way, an endless shooter (you need to aim at the demons and press the mouse). Your death is inevitable, the only question is how long will you survive.
We didn’t have time to tweak the game mechanics, but I think we got the mood pretty right.
DayNight was the first game I developed with my Son, Jonathan (when he was 7), in the Global Game Jam 2014 event. It was also the first game I actually did the coding myself at a GGJ.
I designed the game mechanics, while Jonathan developed the story and the characters. He also drew all the art (including sprites) by hand. Music and sound was created by Idan Egozy.
The game is about a kid superhero – The Plunger King – who battles his evil clones. In this platformer game, Plunger King needs to go through hazardous levels and destroy his enemies with his trusted Plunger Gun. But there’s a twist – in order to complete the levels and beat his enemies he will need to switch between worlds: the day and the night.
Have a look at the GGJ page.
Killing time was the second game I developed with Jonathan (when he was 8 years old) in a yet another Global Game Jam (2015).
This time he acted mainly as the game designer, while art for the game was created by Omer Nainudel. I mainly developed this game. Twice…
Here what the game is about:
Your classmates are so tired from this class, they just might fall asleep any moment. Your goal is save as many of them from sleeping by tossing paper balls at them before the class is over. But beware not to throw at those who are awake – they will tell the teacher. Three strikes and you are out! You can get 10 times the points for hitting the teacher, but if she catches you throwing the paper – it’s straight to detention. Swipe to toss. Good luck and take care!
Global Game 2016. Third game with my son Jonathan. This time we co-designed the game, Jonathan created all the art (in the magnificent vector graphis tool called PowerPoint) and I built it.
It is a a rhythm game about a tribe of warriors on a quest to find the god of rain. To do that, they must follow a specific rhythm that only their General Leader knows. The player needs to follow his beat… but if he misses – the god of rain punishes without mercy!
You can play it here. We made everything in 12 hours of work.
I am currently working on two new mobile games developed with 2 dedicated teams I have assembled.