What is Break Blocks?

Break Blocks is a genre-blending, color and rhythm puzzle game. You play as a young B-Boi on a quest to become the world's top break dancer by battling against foes like Disco Vampires, Hip-Hop Zombies, and Break Dancing Robots.

Something Big Is Coming - 03/15/11

It's been a little longer than desired since our last update and we don't have anything particularly exciting to show you this time, but we do have some awesomely big news to tell you.

For a while now, we've been contemplating changing the core gameplay, as some of us have never been sold on the thought of our core game being centered around Tetris mechanics. Everything sitting on top of that gameplay is exactly what we want in the game, from the building pieces with the beat to executing dance moves based on your performance. But something just didn't seem to click in the whole Tetris style gameplay.

When it was first brought up, there were some good ideas floating around, but none of them really stuck. Finally, it hit us, and we started toying around with all the game mechanics surrounding it, pulling from some of the previous ideas, and BAM, a whole new gameplay was born. The new gameplay will definitely stand out to everyone as unique and hopefully interesting/exciting. We'll be ready to release more details on this new gameplay by the end of the month, perhaps with a new gameplay video showing off these exciting new concepts. Stay tuned, folks, things are about to get crazy!

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Break Blocks Menus - 03/07/11

We've been focusing on hooking up the final menus for quite some time now. We have certainly underestimated how much effort must go into a menu system, even after you've created all the GUI element functionality. I assumed that plugging in new assets would only take a few hours, but our Art Director, Noah Wood, would never settle for just replacing the purely functional menus I had previously made. Noah had a whole different vision for Break Blocks' menus and I've gotta say that he's right, as you'll see in this video:

Aside from our menu focus, we've continued to get everything lined up for the Early Adopters Program, which is currently guesstimated to be ready in May. It may still end up opening in June, but we believe May is a definite possibility given our recent progress.

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Break Blocks Song Released - 02/26/11

For those of you that are just here to listen to our latest song release:

Russian by Stephen White

On the game development side, we've been continuing to develop the new menus, finalize the CD-Key system, and get the game fully functioning on the Mac. We know menus are boring, but they are a necessary evil that can actually break a game if done improperly. We'll be showing screenshots of each menu as it's implemented to allow you guys to give us some feedback, so that we don't overlook anything.

The CD-Key system(boring!) is case-sensitive, which would be a real pain to all of our players if we weren't going entirely digital distribution and/or if we didn't just implement a fully functioning paste system into our UI for that menu. It even intelligently recognizes if the CD-Key you're pasting has dashes in it or not. Not so boring now, is it? Okay, yes, it is, but I know you are excited that the pasting system has also been ported to the Mac version.

While we're on the subject, we've been porting every single detail of our Windows version into our Mac version. We had previously only done enough to get it running on the Mac, but we want to ensure that our Mac users are not missing a single thing that's available on Windows. We recently implemented full screen support, which is an obvious must for any game, but we also hooked up desktop resolution detection to allow the game to always run at your native resolution the first time it starts. Also, of note, we hooked up the Command+V option for pasting on Mac, which is a pathetic oversight I've encountered in a few games on the Mac(as if every Mac has a Ctrl key).

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New Company Logo, Website, and Menus - 02/18/11

As some of you may have already noticed, Greater Good Games has updated its website to showcase the new logo. Our Art Director, Noah Wood, looked at the old logo and decided it wasn't very "video game", as it seemed a little too serious. After numerous iterations, we landed on the "horned 3 g ring" design. Let us know what you think:

In other news, Greater Good Games has been officially registered as a business entity with the state of Georgia. Now we must file 2 more sets of paperwork to get local and state tax information ready, but at least we're one step closer to the Early Adopters Program launch.

On the game development side, we have recently implemented our proprietary CD-Key system. The system utilizes a number of encryption techniques that made my head spin a few times, but I eventually got it to a functional state. Last, but not least, Noah's been working on all new menus to replace all of the placeholder crap I made years ago. Here's a preview of the main menu:

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Early Adopters Program Details plus Music - 02/12/11

For those of you that have missed our previous press releases discussing our Early Adopters Program, here's a summary:

Sometime in May or June, Greater Good Games will be starting their Early Adopters Program for Break Blocks whereby you can purchase a copy of the game, for a reduced price(if you so choose), giving you instant access to the beta and allowing you to give feedback to help drive the direction of the game toward awesome!

We have decided that the game will be available for just $5 for the first round of Early Adopters. If, though, you'd like to help support Greater Good Games and our charitable partners even more than just joining the the program, we laid out a set of rewards for your added support. Let me first state that this is not a fund raising program; because we are making this game entirely in our spare time, we do not need any sort of budget. Here are the rewards for your increased donation:
  • $10.00: Your name in the Bronze Supporter Section of the credits

  • $20.00: Your name in the Silver Supporter Section of the credits

  • $30.00: Your name in the Gold Supporter Section of the credits

  • $40.00: Your name in the Platinum Supporter Section of the credits

  • $50.00: Get the Soundtrack CD and listed as a Platinum Supporter in the credits

  • $100.00: Get a full size Break Blocks poster, the Sountrack CD, and listed in the Special Thanks section of the credits

  • $200.00: Get a signed copy of the full size Break Blocks poster, the Sountrack CD, and listed in the Special Thanks section of the credits

  • $300.00: Get to design your own hat, shirt, or pants for characters in the game, plus a signed poster, Soundtrack CD, and listed in the Special Thanks section of the credits

  • $500.00: Custom created hat, shirt, or pants exclusively for their character; and a signed poster, Soundtrack CD, and listed in the Special Thanks section of the credits

  • $1000.00: All future Greater Good Games for free, plus an exclusive item for your character, a signed poster, a Soundtrack CD, and listed in the Investors section of the credits

For those that need some convincing about how much they'll enjoy the game before joining the Early Adopters Program, we will have a small demo of the game available at the same time the program opens up. Most of you probably don't need any convincing on just how awesome this game is, but perhaps a few of you aren't quite sure ;)

Finally, for your listening pleasure, we have the first set of Break Blocks music available to the public:

Break Blocks by Stephen White

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Break Blocks Shadow Piece - 02/09/11

We've gone nearly a week without an update, because we've been focused on getting Greater Good Games created as a legal entity. It's got to be done, but it's such a pain in the ass! I guess that should be expected when the government is entered into any situation ;)

Of course, development always continues on the game. We've continued working on the Russian character, and we also have begun laying out the CD-Key system, which will be the only form of DRM in Break Blocks. Greater Good Games does not believe in harsh DRM, as it only ever seems to upset honest customers, because pirates always find their way around it within a few days or weeks.

Here's the exciting new screenshot for the week, showing off the "Shadow Piece" system that will allow you to see where your piece will end up if you drop it at any given time:

Break Blocks Shadow Piece

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Short Update - 02/03/11

Unfortunately, I don't have anything particularly cool to show you guys this time. In preparation for starting up the Early Adopters Program, we have been doing a ton of tedious paperwork this week. Of course, I can't ever entirely stop progress on the game, which is why we now have some more complex beat patterns in the game. They won't appear until later in the game, because as we figured, they really do make the game a lot more challenging.

Also, possibly of interest to some of you, we have chosen the charities that you'll be able to choose between, though this list may change:

Doctors Without Borders
Children International
Extreme Response International

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Break Blocks Difficulty System - 02/01/11

We have recently implemented our progressive difficulty system into the Break Blocks. As you progress through the game, the game will get more difficult, but not just by speeding songs up and using more interesting beat patterns, but also by changing piece building system. At first, you will be able to continue building a piece, even if you've already placed it:

This allows players to separate the placing and building aspects of the game, which makes the game a lot easier than the next step in the difficulty, which requires the piece to be built before it touches down:

If you do not have the piece entirely built before it touches down, it will explode and cause the crowd to turn against you(this will also happen if you are off beat or try to build outside the predetermined area):

The next step up in difficulty, though, is our favorite. If you do not complete the piece before it touches down, you are off beat, or you try to build outside the predetermined area, the piece will turn white and will not count toward clearing lines, as seen on the bottom 2 lines here:

In order to clear lines containing white blocks, you must clear a touching line above it, which can include a line containing white blocks(creating a chain reaction). As you can see in the image above, I was about to clear the line above the lines containing white blocks, here is the result:

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Break Blocks Early Adopters Program - 01/28/11

How would you like to be part of the development process and help decide the direction of Break Blocks? Somewhere between the beginning of April and the end of June, Greater Good Games will be starting an Early Adopters program for Break Blocks whereby you can purchase a copy of the game, for a reduced price(if you so choose), giving you instant access to the beta and allowing you to give feedback to help drive the direction of the game toward awesome!

We know that there's a big disparity in the possible starting times, but that's because we want to be closer to a finished product by the time you guys join in. The gameplay is already far enough along to get your feedback, but we want to make sure you have real menus, configuration options, and difficulty options. And because we're developing this game entirely in our spare time, we're not able to nail down the starting date any better than that until we get closer to it, because life happens to us sometimes. So stay tuned to future developments by Subscribing!

Also, Noah just got our Russian character into the game. He's not 100% final, but I think we can all agree that he's looking pretty good:

Break Blocks Russian Character

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Break Blocks in Widescreen - 01/23/11

I just added custom resolution support for Break Blocks, including support for Widescreen resolutions and full screen ability. This is a seemingly very simple thing in most games, and is, consequently, hugely taken for granted. Before I rewrote the whole rendering system a couple of weeks ago, I knew it would be a huge bitch to get this working well, but in the new system, I was able to get this working in just a few hours in between races at the track this past weekend.

Before I get a bunch of questions, I race go karts with my father from time to time. We have CIK certified chassis running Rotax Max FR125 engines, which are capable of speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. We have no roll cage on them and no seat belts, either. It's a blast, but it's certainly dangerous =)

So, now that that's out of the way, here's a screen shot of the game running in widescreen:

Break Blocks in Widescreen

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