Mango Protocol

At some point in their lives, an unstable artist and a procedural programmer crossed paths. After a number of years together, it occurred to them that it might be interesting to search for new ways of blending together, other than sex of course. Given their interest in art and technology the world of video games was the perfect fit. They knew this world would enable them to communicate the product of their emotions and newfound curiosity. Mango Protocol was born.

After discovering the potential of these two individuals, an inattentive designer offered them his everlasting curse: and endless money rain to come just in two months. The founders were so hyped they couldn't decline it, so they started working together in their games while waiting for the wealth storm to come true.

As an interactive art studio, Mango Protocol's objective is to create innovative, marvellous and fun experiences utilising ground breaking visuals that will endure until the end of time.

Enjoy the world we are creating.

Mariona Valls Porta

  • duties art direction
  • games World of illusion, Majora’s Mask, ilomilo
  • music Katatonia, Radiohead, Massive Attack, Alexisonfire
  • movies Moon, Dark Knight Trilogy, Princess Mononoke
  • currently thinking about new Psychotic merch
  • hype Ghost in the Shell the movie

Javier Gálvez Guerrero

  • duties production and narrative
  • games Titanfall 2, Bioshock, Journey, Transistor
  • music Garbage, KoRn, The Algorithm, Leprous
  • movies Matrix, Alien, Equilibrium, Cube, GITS
  • currently chasing Gantt
  • hype MOAR Titanfall

Jordi Garcia Cuesta

  • duties design
  • games Starcraft, Guild Wars, Diablo, TLoZ saga
  • music Blind Guardian, Machinae Supremacy, NOFX
  • movies Jurassic Park, Matrix, The Avengers, Snatch
  • currently mastering action adventure game design
  • hype my wife is buying a new car

Èric Verdalet Arnó

  • duties programming
  • games Halo, Disgaea, Diablo II LoD, Ragnarok Online
  • music Anamanaguchi, Gorillaz, Caravan Palace, Metric
  • movies Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, Ghostbusters
  • currently starting a new adventure, yahooo!
  • hype Disgaea 5 and Splatoon 2

Carmen Vidal González

  • duties animation
  • games Ocarina of Time, A Link Between Worlds, Don't starve
  • music Florence + The Machine, Queen, Muse, Pink Floyd
  • movies Inside Out, Spirited Away, Léon: The Professional
  • currently bloodily killing every Psychotic character
  • hype Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Agatha Knife

Experience life through the eyes of seven-year-old Agatha, an insomniac who finds herself conflicted between friendship with the animals in her mother’s butcher shop and her unwavering love for eating meat. Embark on a satirical narrative point-and-click adventure as you go on an unpredictable journey through Agatha Knife’s quirky and hand-crafted world. Aiming to make the animals unafraid of their inevitable fate in the butcher shop where Agatha works, you’ll head into the whimsical Psychotic Universe looking for answers.

Upon her discovery of religion, Agatha quickly realizes it could be used as a valuable tool to win over the animals, quash their fears, and make them unafraid of death. Join Agatha as she undertakes the challenge of creating a new religion of her own, Carnivorism, and works to convince the animals that the sacrifice of their flesh is the secret to eternal happiness.

Taking place in the same world as Mango Protocol’s first title, MechaNika, Agatha Knife is riddled with dark humor, geek references, and challenging puzzles. Utilizing humor and wit to boldly explore controversial issues, players will find themselves immersed in Agatha’s struggles while experiencing the world through the eyes of a naive child.

Satirically humorous narrative adventure that lures you to the dark corners of everyday life.

Create your own religion piece by piece.

Uniquely colorful and hand-crafted art.

Tackle controversial topics through the eyes of a child.

Explore a dynamic and vibrant world that unfolds as your adventure progresses.

Original soundtrack created to suit each environment.

Discovering religion Visiting the zoo Pigacide incoming Carnivorism Running free in Regular World Comic Sans Tasty animals

Available on Steam Available on the Humble Store Available on Get it on Google Play Available on the Apple App Store

MechaNika is an adventure game that you will enjoy with Nika, an intelligent girl that doesn’t fit the world in which she lives. Perhaps it’s the chocolate shake with a shot of cognac which she carries in her backpack which makes her different. Or maybe it’s the fact that at 7 years old her favourite things are the transfer of energy, magnetic fields and electrical engineering! But being the odd one out doesn’t matter to Nika. She doesn’t care that her parents don’t understand her, that her teachers ignore her or that her friends are completely nuts. She has a plan to solve everything. A really… odd plan.

Join Nika in her quest to destroy the Psychotic world!

Extremely cool and colorful visuals.

You will face many puzzles with different ways to be solved.

Cool references to many other videogames, movies and music.

Seriously, you shouldn't skip the chance to play this game.

At class With the breakdancers Managing the MechaNika components To much cocao... Grandma Rosemary Mr. Irons The carnivorist ritual
We have a new trailer! Jordi, October 6th 2016

We made a trailer with new content for Agatha Knife so you can see how the game is progressing. We hope you enjoy it and get all hyped!

Also, if you want to know lots of in depth details about the development of the game, check out our devLog at TIGSource.

Two new Mangos hanging in the tree! Jordi, October 5th 2016

We've been searching for a long time for new people who could make a great addition to this family of ours and finally met two perfect pieces of fruit. Carmen, who agreed on moving from Sevilla to Barcelona, has come to help us with animations and character design and Èric, an experienced multiplatform developer, will handle all the programming now that Javi has devoted himself to the production crusade.

Here you have a family portrait so you can print it and hang a poster of us in your wall among the other teen idols.


So, what now?

Well, now Javi and Mariona are focused on finishing all the production assets for Agatha Knife (you can visit our devLog here) while Carmen, Èric and myself are working on Colossus Down's vertical slice. In the near future, all the mangos will be working full time on this action adventure game.

If you still want to know more about us or the games we craft, you can meet us in person later this week at Barcelona Games World. If you are in town, feel free to pay us a visit and play Agatha Knife demo. And maybe we'll sign you an autograph ;)

Good news, Mother Russia! Javi, May 23rd 2016

Some time ago the Tolma4 Team offered us to translate MechaNika to Russian. They have made all the localization tasks, including the adaptation of one of the fonts in the game, thus adding the required Cyrillic characters. So there it is: MechaNika has been recently translated to Russian thanks to them.

We don't understand Russian (LOL), but we're sure they've made a wonderful job so you'll be able to enjoy Nika's quest no matter what language you play it in.

We'd like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the members of the Tolma4 Team that have contributed to this update:

  • Egor '0wn3df1x' Popov
  • Mikhail 'KornyPony' Baksanskiy
  • Viktor 'CrutoySam' Ahmedov
  • Andrey 'Buslik' Busnyuk
  • Maksim 'makc_ar' Abdullin
  • Dr_grant
  • Mikhail 'Sarf' Druzhinin
  • Anastasiya 'Gera4ka' Gerasimenko
  • Alexandr 'StiGMaT' Saprykin
  • Denis 'Dhampir' Klimenko
  • LinXP
  • octantus

Hopefully we can work together again in Agatha Knife!

MechaNika in Russian!
MechaNika's original soundtrack released! Javi, March 18th 2016

Many of you asked for it, so here it is...

MechaNika OST

In this DLC you will find the original score from the game and 2 additional music tracks from trailers, including that from Welcome to Psychotic Adventures. Get it if you want to support the development of more Psychotic Adventures and Guillem's fantastic work!

By the way, he's already working with us on Agatha Knife's score and you can rest assured that it will keep the outstanding mix of childish melodies and freaking dark tunes that made MechaNika's soundtrack so... disturbingly lovely.

However... Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy the music!

Extremely awesome video introducing our next Psychotic Adventures! Javi, February 24th 2016

As many of you may already know, we are working on our next Psychotic Adventures.

In Agatha Knife, to be released this year, you will join the little butcher in the creation of Carnivorism, her own religion. In this new point and click adventure you'll learn about Agatha's story, one of the most beloved characters of MechaNika.

We are also working on MechaNika's sequel (codename Colossus Down, yes!), but right now we are just prototyping some ideas, so there's still a lot of work to do. It will be a beat'em up with some really nice features that we'll announce in the near future. It'll be awesome, trust us.

Anyway, you can take a look at these new stories in our new video and if you want to learn more about how we progress in the development of the new Psychotic Adventures follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We'll be posting about it!

Family grows... And we are moving! Jordi, October 26th 2015

They say three’s a crowd, and it’s true. Mango Protocol has been doing well so far being two people... Fast meetings, productive discussions, fast decisions… Everything so smooth. But Javi and Mariona won’t take it the easy way. They are more the let’s make independent games at home kind of people.

Well then, some of these things are changing. While they still are indies. They are not two anymore and they will work somewhere else from now on.

So here I am. My name is Jordi and I’ve been developing mobile video games for quite some time now. I’ve been friends with Mariona and Javi for more than seven years, so this has been an easy choice for me. I’m more than happy to be part of this growing family and I am willing to give it all in order to push it forward.

We are a crowd! And we are facing a new era together.

As we announced some days ago, we’re currently working in Agatha Knife, the next adventure in the Psychotic universe. I’ll try to add some of me to our favorite carnivorist’s story, but my main task will be leading the design of the next game, one of colossal proportions ;) ;)

In other news, we’ll be located at GameBCN’s coworking space. They are business incubators, specializing in video game studios who will help us grow and develop our project. We are so looking forward to this prospect that we’d like to share some happiness with you all.

That’s why we’re glad to announce a deals week, starting on October the 26th. Mechanika, on Steam and the Humble Store, and every piece of merchandising will have special prices. I’m already throwing money to my screen.

Welcome Jordi!
It's Agatha's turn... Javi, September 30th 2015

Agatha suffers from insomnia, enjoys eating meat, loves animals, and works in the slaughterhouse of her mother's butcher. Having to kill the animals you love in order to eat their meat is hard stuff, right? Agatha thinks so as she faces this dilemma every day. She needs to find a solution so she can make her animals happy while they surrender with no fear to the adorable little butcher and her sharp knives and saws.

As you may know, some weeks ago we started working on the next Psychotic Adventure. We didn't say much about it, and that's because we were still tweaking some details about the design, the story and the concept art for this game. Now that there are no gaps to fill we've entered the production stage, so we can speak about Agatha Knife, a new adventure in which you'll have the chance to know better Nika's friend. In this adventure you will discover how carnivorism was created, the origin of the religion Agatha created in order to satisfy her own interests, so the story takes place a little before MechaNika's.
Psychotic's Agatha Knife

While you build the pillars of carnivorism with Agatha you will meet a lot of new characters, even more freak than those you met in MechaNika. Some of these old friends will also appear in Agatha Knife, including the little world destroyer wannabe, Nika. There will also be many references to music bands, movies, anime, video games and pop and alternative culture in general (in the end, you may have realized the Psychotic World is not that different from ours...). So, with Agatha Knife you will enjoy a new adventure featuring Agatha, with a fun, dark and acid story full of freak and hilarious characters while facing challenges and puzzles with different possible solutions.

As we said before, in Mango Protocol we are working full steam ahead in the development of this new game. Right now Mariona is crafting (all hand-drawn, as it was in MechaNika) the definitive art and I'm writing the adventure dialogs. We hope to have the game ready during next spring and we'll release it for computers (PC and Mac) in Steam and the Humble Store and for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Lets leave it here for now. As soon as we have something ready to show we'll let you know. Oh, by the way! We haven't forgotten about Nika and her desire for absolute devastation. We have a lot of ideas about how to continue the story of MechaNika, but first we want (and somehow, we need) you to know Agatha better ;)

MechaNika on the Humble Store! Javi, September 18th 2015

Now you can also get MechaNika for PC (Windows/Linux) and Mac on the Humble Store, including a DRM free version and a Steam code.

MechaNika on the Humble Store!
Psychotic merch store launched! Javi, July 29th 2015

We've been really busy these days. While preparing the launch of MechaNika on Steam, we've also been working on the design of our next Psychotic adventure. Some details will be unveiled soon! But although creating new stories is our main goal, we have other passions, also related to creativity, art, and the Psychotic world. So, now we can show you the Psychotic merch store!

Mariona, the artist in Mango Protocol, had other personal projects related to fashion design, and as we believe that discovering a new way of expression should not replace any other, we thought that it would be a great idea to create some t-shirts and bags inspired by the Psychotic world.

All these products are hand-printed by Mariona. Check our stuff in the store! And if you get 2 or more items you can use the launch promo code to get a 10% discount. Easy to guess the code, right?

If you have any doubt or comment don't hesitate and drop us a line! Now, we are back to our next adventure. Stay tuned!

Psychotic tees and bags!
MechaNika now on Steam! Javi, July 16th 2015

A month ago MechaNika was greenlit on Steam and now it has been released for PC and Mac. YAY!

For those who don't know about the game, MechaNika is the first episode of what we call the Psychotic Adventures, games that take place in the Psychotic world. This first episode features Nika, a smart 7 year old girl that doesn't like this world, so she wants to destroy it. A charming girl, isn't she? She has a plan to achieve her goal: a massive destruction weapon called MechaNika, but first she needs to find the remaining components so she can complete and assemble her invention. You will join her in her quest to find these components while you meet more Psychotic characters, like Marcus the meal dealer, Rosemary the almost blind and deaf video game addict granny, and Agatha the Carnivorist.

We won't tell you anymore because we want you to play the game and discover the story with all the details we've put in it. We hope you really enjoy it! We'd like to know what you think about it, what you love, what you hate, your favorite character, anything you'd change to improve the game, etc. We are already working on new Psychotic Adventures, so your feedback is really important to us.

And... that's it! Nothing more to say. So thanks for your support and don't hesitate to post any comment, review or doubt you have on Steam's community hub, Twitter, Facebook, or dropping us a line by email. Have fun!

MechaNika on Steam!
Gamelab 2015 and... greenlit! Javi, July 1st 2015

Last week we attended Gamelab and the Indie Burger Developer Awards. Like the previous year, we've met a lot of small Spanish indie studios with really interesting ideas, and most importantly, developed by very humble people pushing their games to the next level. It has been awesome.

On our booth in Gamelab's Indie Hub we've been showing our desktop version for MechaNika and we've had very positive feedback. The Psychotic visuals and the fun characters with their freak stories did it again and excited everyone that got closer to the booth and tried the game.

And by the way, MechaNika got greenlit by Steam! Soon our first game will be available on Steam. Thank you all for your votes! Stay tuned if you want to destroy all the uncoolness in the world!

MechaNika al Gamelab 2015
MechaNika on Steam Greenlight! Javi, June 11th 2015

Nika has brought her plan MechaNika to Android and iOS mobile devices, but she's not satisfied yet, she wants moar. We want to help her so she can reach all the computers in the world, including Windows, Mac and Linux systems. And we have almost everything ready for it, just missing one thing: your support!

We have just started the Steam Greenlight for MechaNika so we can publish the game on Steam, but in order to make the people in Valve notice MechaNika and accept it we need the community to show their interest in the story of the Psychotic world destruction in Nika's hands. So, if you want to play Nika's adventure on your computer or if you have alredy done in your mobile device and you think that the master race should too, vote for MechaNika here. Only with your support we will be able to come back with good news! Thank you so much!

Vote for MechaNika or I'll smash it!
MechaNika chosen as Best Mobile Video Game at 3HMAs 2015! Javi, May 30th 2015

Yesterday we attended the Three Headed Monkey Awards - Social Point 2015, a video game contest organized by UPC Videogames and Social Point with the goal of giving visibility to student projects and new independent studios like us.

Thanks to your support we were lucky to have MechaNika between the 16 finalists for 4 different awards in the 3HMAs: Public Mention, UPC Prize, Best Mobile Video Game and Best Video Game. Eventually, we have been even luckier and MechaNika has won the award for the Best Mobile Video Game, what, as you may imagine, makes us feel even more proud of our work and encourage us to create new stories.

We'd also like to remind you that now you can play MechaNika in your Android and iOS devices, mobile phones and tablets, big and small. Take a look at it in Google Play or on the App Store and join Nika in her Psychotic quest. Trust us! You won't regret it!

MechaNika ha guanyat! Hem guanyat!
MechaNika available on the App Store! Javi, May 27th 2015

If you have an iPhone or an iPad and you want to play MechaNika, now you can! We've just released Nika's adventure for iOS devices. So, run to the App Store and complete the 'Plan for the destruction of all things that aren't awesome' with the smartest girl in the Psychotic world. You'll enjoy it without any doubt!

In the meantime we continue working on new stories. We have lots of ideas and we are working hard to bring all of them to life as soon as possible. You'll hear from us very soon!

MechaNika available on the App Store
MechaNika available on the App Store!
Seducing the camera Javi, May 7th 2015

Here you have two videos that have been published recently where we explain some things that may be of interest for you (the videos are in Spanish, sorry). In the first one you can watch the three talks that took place during the first ZehnWorking, where we gave some details about the process of creating MechaNika. In the second video Jesús Fabre, from The Gamer Inside España, asks us about our experience during the last Game Jam in Barcelona, which we told you about some time ago, where we created Magnet Arena with our colleage Jordi Garcia from Katsudon Games.

Join us in the first ZehnWorking meeting! Javi, April 18th 2015

Would you like to know how MechaNika was designed, programmed and drawn and where the Psychotic world comes from? We'll be talking about it at the first ZehnWorking meeting in Barcelona next tuesday April 21st 18:30 at ENTI. Professionals and students will gather there to share their thoughts about game development and see what we can do to continue pushing it forward. Networking stuff, you know.

We won't be alone as Carlos Coronado, one of the developers of MIND: Path to Thalamus, will open the event talking about photogrammetry and how to bring real world objects to your game using an ordinary camera in 20 minutes. Next, David León from Lince Works will show us the latest of Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows, a really good looking stealth game currently under development.

If you want to join us just let the organizers, ZehnGames, know about it through this form. It's free and sure it will be plenty of interesting content for everyone. See you there!

First Zehworking Event on April 2015
MechaNika is finalist for the 3HMAs! Javi, April 15th 2015

MechaNika is one of the 16 games that will compete in the Three Headed Monkey Awards in its third edition! And this is mainly thanks to all the people that have voted for us during the last month. Thank you so much for your support!

Now let's wait to the awards ceremony, that will take place on May 29th at 18:30 in CaixaFòrum Barcelona. We're thrilled! It's a honor to be nominated and hopefully we'll win one of the four awards!

By the way, if you have the chance you should attend the ceremony. No matter if MechaNika wins or not... The event will be awesome!

MechaNika is out! Javi, March 26th 2015

Finally! MechaNika is now on Google Play!

After many months of hard work now we can show you the first Psychotic adventure of many more to come. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we have done working on it.

We'd also like to thank all of our friends that have helped us during the development of MechaNika: Guillem for his effort on creating all music tracks and sounds for the game; Adam for his thorough English translation; and Jordi, Ignasi, Adriana, Miguel, Fulgen, Alberto, Laura, Clàudia, Joan and Sergio for their feedback during the beta testing process. Nika knows how much you helped us, so she won't destroy you. You can relax.

Three Headed Monkey Awards 2015 Javi, March 6th 2015

MechaNika is our candidate for the Three Headed Monkey Awards 2015. If you want to support us, vote for MechaNika!

By the way, we are performing the latest tests for the Android version of the game and working in the iOS port, which hopefully won't take much time.

So... MechaNika is coming! Stay tuned!

Three Headed Monkey Awards
GGJ15: Magnet Arena Javi, January 26th 2015

Last weekend we joined the Global Game Jam 2015 event and we had so much fun while developing Magnet Arena, a simple game based in the air hockey arcades.

This year the theme was "What do we do now?". Weird, isn't it? Well, we focused in designing a fun, cute and 2 player competitive game. This was the main lesson we learnt after the GGJ 2014: no matter how metaphysical or abstract the jam theme is; don't be pretentious and just make a game you can have a good time playing with. This is what all games are about, right? Although making a fun game is not that easy as you may already know...

Anyway, we had the idea of this kind of air hockey game but we wanted to make it harder than the original one, and this was how we could use the jam theme. Each player has 4 gates in his side of the arena, but only 1 from each side is the one that makes the score board go up. Each player must guess which is the correct one. How? Each player has to attract the ball with its own force field and then shoot while aiming at the chosen gate of the opponent. The gate can be the good one, or it can be a blocked gate which will make the ball bounce, or it can be a portal which will spawn the ball in the portal gate in the opposite side of the arena. With this sequence of trial and error each player has to remember the result of previous attempts and decide the next gate to try and, eventually, score. All this while protecting the gates on his side of the arena, of course. After scoring, the gate types are randomized and players must fight for a new point. So, we translated "What do we do now?" to "Which gate do I try now?".

This simple mechanic seemed to be quite fun but we had to implement it. So, while Mariona started with some concepts for the characters and the arena, Jordi, a good friend of ours that completed the team of 3 developers, and myself started prototyping with some placeholders in Unity3D. We started to play with the engine 2 weeks ago, so we had very little experience with it. It was kind of risky to do that in a jam, where it is recommended to use a toolset that you are really used to so you can get results as fast as possible. However, we faced the challenge and Unity3D proved itself to be a very good tool to prototype simple games in a very short time even having very little experience with it.

Once we had the first results of our prototype and decided the art style for the game, we started to produce final assets and tweak the gameplay, including moving and shooting speeds and stuff like that. We also included an item that is spawned when the two blocking gates of the same side of the arena are hit. The player that gets this item stuns the opponent during a short time, not being able to move as fast as before.

Also, while tweaking the gameplay, we discovered a bug that turned into a feature (yes!). In theory, when a character got the ball, it could keep it as long as the player wanted. Our first approach to deal with this was to implement a simple timeout, but while implementing and testing it we realized that when one player had the ball and the opponent collided violently, the player that hadn't the ball stole it. And it was really fun! So we threw away the timeout idea and left the spurious-collision-ball-stealing bug as a core gameplay feature.

Other jammers helped us to test the game and we collected really good feedback, so we focused on polishing the game with a few more character animations and a fancy moving title screen. Mariona also created a background music and some audio effects using some samples by different users from Freesound, and Magnet Arena was ready to go. We didn't sleep as much as we would like to, but hey, this unhealthy weekend has been really worthy.

We have uploaded the game to our site so you can give it a try. Click here and the Unity3D web player will do the rest. You can also download the desktop version in the game page from the Global Game Jam site. And we have uploaded a video to YouTube so you can watch in case you don't have friends to play with U_U. In case you have some feedback regarding it, just drop us a line on Twitter and Facebook. And of course, thanks for playing!

Magnet Arena
Merry Christmas! Javi, December 19th 2014

We have been working hard in MechaNika these months and, with just a few weeks of development remaining before we finish the game, we can only say that we are very happy and proud of it. We can't wait to let you play it so you can enjoy it as well!

As a humble present here you have a set of new screenshots of the game, including new environments and characters, including grandma Rosemary, the sluts in the street, and Mr. Irons, the hardware dealer in the neighborhood. We hope you like it! And happy New Year, by the way! ¡Happy Christmas!

Nika's room Street Irons hardware store Scrapyard Grandma Rosemary's house
Reinventing the wheel Javi, August 16th 2014

It is said that reinventing the wheel is stupid. Personally, and taking into account some nuances, I see at least two cases where it would be justified. First, a wheel with a design that has some requirements that are not fulfilled by the existing alternatives. If such design (or the designer) is not flexible enough there is no choice but creating a new wheel, the innovative wheel. Second, when the required wheel is not different from existing ones. In that case, knowing the details behind the building of the wheel and being exposed to problems that others solved during the process can suppose a challenge interesting enough to reinvent the wheel, the educational wheel.

At Mango Protocol we have created our own adventure engine, basically due to the two previous motivations. On one side, after an analysis phase when we studied some of the available options, we concluded that, or they did not provide all the features we needed, or they were not properly documented, because of the lack of documentation itself or because we did not find games similar to our project built using these tools. Moreover, I, being the programmer in the studio, found interesting to create our own engine for the adventure game we were designing and, thus, face a new challenge.

Our game, MechaNika, is not going to make a revolution in the adventure games world regarding the genre basics. It has dialogues, inventory, it follows the classic rules of point and click adventures, and the player has to interact with the environment and the entities that wander around in order to solve the different puzzles. But we had some design ideas that did not want to give up because of choosing an engine with certain limitations. Some examples are our dialogue system, the player interaction handling during the resolution of some puzzles, or the possibility to offer the game in different platforms.

As a result, after studying some alternatives, including specific tools for adventure games development like Visionaire Studio, Adventure Game Studio and Wintermute Engine, generalist engines like Unity 3D, Construct 2 and Stencyl, and frameworks like cocos2d-x and libGDX, we chose the latter one. The main reasons for the given election are due to the definition of libGDX itself: it is a framework for multiplatform video game development using the Java programming language. Being a framework instead of an engine it does not offer entities that can be used out of the box in a video game, but it offers a set of subentities that, together as attributes and properly wrapped, allow to create any entity the developer needs. Moreover, the given abstraction layers allow to easily use some systems like the graphics and sound ones. This makes the programming more versatile but also requires the related design to be more detailed. Being multiplatform, specifically for Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry and HTML5, it clearly increases the chances of bringing the game to any of these platforms, and really easily. Last, using Java as the programming language, which I have been happily using for a long time during my work as software engineer (not kidding), granted a learning curve with a steep start.

Once the tool to move MechaNika was confirmed it was time to design the engine. First it was considered to be built just for that specific game according to the project requirements, but then arose the idea of having an engine that would be independent of certain elements. Such idea considered making more adventure games in the future using the same engine and just having a set of external configuration files. Thus, create an engine that implemented the game management in terms of graphics, audio, navigation, entities, inventory, actions and a bit more. The characters, items, stages and their gates, world variables, puzzles and dialogue tree would be defined in JSON files that would feed the engine, where everything would come to life. Even a visual edition tool could be created in order to ease the generation of these configuration files, including the processes of assigning attributes to the different entities, the dependency chain related to a puzzle resolution, and drawing the cells, nodes and gates for the navigation mesh of any stage, for example, then allowing to export such configuration to the corresponding files. It is rather unlikely that this editor will be created or the engine will be used for a new game after MechaNika is finished, because we have many more game ideas in mind that are not adventure games, but the premise of designing a black box that builds games of this kind from configuration files is still valid for the creation of a modular and extensible engine, granting a less painful development process.

After some months of development and close to finishing the game, the engine is very modular, allows to be easily extended, and, although documentation is really scarce, revisiting an old method does not mean opening Pandora’s box thanks to the thorough API design. It is not as nice and well done as I would like it to be, but this is life and sometimes priorities and restrictions appear and you just can not ignore them. However, the experience has been really enriching, and experiencing how easy is now to add stages, characters, items or to define puzzles and related interactions, just adding little blocks of parameters to the appropriate files and following the required naming conventions, is also very rewarding.

It is my wheel. Innovative and educational.

Reinventing the wheel
Welcome to our web! Javi, June 20th 2014

Finally! After some months working on what will be our first game, MechaNika, we decided it was time to have a web site. And here it is, thanks to our friend Adriana! In this web we will share our development progress on our games with all of you, so stay tuned! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

By the way, check this video with the first results of the development of MechaNika. Enjoy! We’ll keep on working!

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