ZackBellGains #2

Hello world,

I hope that you are making the most of your day! Early yesterday, I decided to begin an articles series called, ZackBellGains. Within these posts I will detail my life, my work, and my progress as a human being over the course of the next year or so of my life. I am going to be making these posts EVERY SINGLE DAY! I have recently been fascinated with the idea of documenting my life and what something like that might mean to my future kids and my potential grandchildren someday.

Today I made an unofficial announcement that I have begun the development process of a follow-up to my 2015 Steam title, INK. To further celebrate the news, the original game will be on sale for $0.99 (80% off!) over the course of the next two weeks! If you haven’t played the game, please consider checking it out. If you have, consider shooting me an email or a tweet in regards to what you would like to see from a sequel! I have never made a sequel to one of my games, so I am a bit nervous, but I will tell you why I decided that this was a good idea.

In short, I had enough solid content and fresh ideas that were eventually cut from the first game (due to timeline and budget) to justify giving it another shot. I will break down what I have in mind! Please let me know if there is anything else that would excite you as a returning player and/or anything that you think might attract new players and broaden the target audience!

Game Modes
INK 2 will be developed by ZackBellGames with sound design and OST by Vincent Rubinetti, and published by Spaceboy Games. I have broken the game down into three distinct gameplay modes! As things develop, I will expand upon each of these, but for now I will introduce you to the gist:

Arcade Mode is the bread and butter that made INK the success that it was! This mode is level after level of fast-paced, twitch platforming while unearthing your surroundings using the ink spurts of the player character’s double-jump. This means more levels and more mechanics! I am taking a look back at player feedback and I have decided to remove the boss battles from this mode because RNG has a negative impact on the speed running community’s view of the product. This mode will be built for speed running, equipped with a timer, quick-reset, windowed mode, and a recorded ghost of your best time that you can race through each level again and again.

World Mode is the experimental iteration of INK that I briefely mentioned in the postmortem that I published on Gamasutra in 2015. A lot of the more interesting mechanics that I had prepared for INK were contradicting, and grinded against the speed running nature of the game. These mechanics were typically more puzzle-influenced and/or more combat-heavy. I have decided to present this portion of the game as a compact, highly-polished metroidvania adventure. Explore this new world of INK and discover new abilities, enemies, and bosses along the way! I think it’ll be a lot of fun and will attract a different kind of player.

Battle Mode is simple. Play INK with your friends in a mode that can most easily be described as a 2D variation on Nintendo’s Splatoon. I will detail this segment of INK 2 in time, but I can promise you that these turf wars will be a ton of fun!

I am going home to Seattle for Easter weekend with my family! I will likely begin to tweet INK 2 progress GIFs very soon, but for the next twenty hours or so I will be driving (ugh). If you are enjoying these entries, are looking forward to INK 2, or would just like to support me and my team, please check out HackyZack on Steam or the Humble Store. Thank you all so very much!

Until tomorrow,

ZackBellGains #2

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