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I like pizza and clouds

Jason Gertner @JasoonMargoon

22, Male

Game Dev

Joined on 7/1/18

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Posted by JasoonMargoon - 1 month ago

Happy Cloud Bashers Day!

Cloud Bashers Art Contest

First off, I wanna say thank you to everyone that participated in the Cloud Bashers Art Contest! Today's the last day to submit, so we'll announce winners tomorrow or the day after most likely.

I honestly did not expect the amount of participants we got and I loved every single piece. We got so many different styles, and interpretations of all the characters. I had a great week constantly refreshing to see new ones! If you wanna see them all they're all tagged with Cloud-Bashers-Art-Contest (or click that).

Since this contest did so well, I'd love to do more events on Newgrounds! Art Contests, Game Jams, and whatever else I can think of. I'll try to space them out though so I'm not here every month with an event, and if Newgrounds is cool with them all haha.

Cloud Bashers History

This is the 4th anniversary of the original release of Cloud Bashers on Android and iOS! At the time, it wasn't really noticed by anyone except my friends, and it had a lot of problems. I've been making games since I was eight years old in Game Maker 8, and a lot concepts about game design didn't really click with me until college where they got bashed into my head. I just made stuff that I thought would be cool, or hadn't been done before! Skipping forward to now, I've worked on over 20 released games at this point, been graduated for a year now, and Cloud Bashers still has a special place in my heart.

For the original, I did all the programming and design. I had the idea and made most of the game, and then contracted Quesar42 to do the art! When I got to college I quickly met @illteteka who made the menu song and helped out with the game and boss songs!

I worked on it as a side project in the middle of high school, and released it a week or two into college. For all of my first year of college, it was the game everyone knew me for. A lot of people called me "Cloud Bashers Guy" since I repped it so hard. I put fliers anywhere I could on campus, went to tons of events and brought Cloud Bashers, I made a spin-off game for a jam called Kite Kyle Soars, and my next main project after it heavily involved clouds. I became known for being a guy who really likes clouds!

This year we wanted to port it over to Newgrounds, and it became a slightly bigger project, so we made it a deluxe version with balance fixes, bug fixes, quality of life fixes, and made it much more manageable to play/beat. So why was the original so hard? I was the only play tester, and I quickly learned most people couldn't casually beat Level 1 or 2, and people that really tried couldn't beat Level 5 or 6. I might be the only person that's actually beaten the original Cloud Bashers, but I've never beaten the 2 player mode!

Stratus Striker isn't in Cloud Bashers DX, she comes from the cancelled Super Cloud Bashers! It was for a jam from a couple years ago, and we didn't finish it, but still really liked the new character. I've been on the fence on finishing it for a while, but I don't think it adds much to the table, and since we already did DX this year, I think I'll wait a bit longer to make a new Cloud Bashers game. If there ever is a new game, she'll most likely be in it! She was designed by @Kindlsticks!

I've also put the Cloud Basher in a lot of my games! Cloud Basher will appear in Last Slice! If you get a perfect as Cumulo in Floaty Fighters, you turn into them for the results screen. There's also the cloud bat as a trinket upgrade in Super Raft Boat VR! If we wanna get even more obscure, the menu song in Super Burning Wood as part of the main medley of the game song in it. There might even be a Cloud Bashers reference in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, not sure if anyone's ever found it or noticed it!

I'm sure Cloud Bashers will appear in more of my games, and maybe one day I'll make a full on sequel or new game in the series! Either way, I'm glad Cloud Bashers has a new home on Newgrounds!

Here's some other news/stuff I wanted to talk about.

Roller Riot

Thanks to everyone that played Roller Riot! This was made during my internship at MassDigi's Summer Internship Program (SIP) with a team of seven, and alternating teams for two semesters of Live Ops. I was the lead programmer for all of development, and producer during it's Live Ops stage. One of the last things I did in college was finish porting Roller Riot to Steam. This summer I asked MassDigi if I could port it here, since I thought people would enjoy it, and it only took me half a week. Most games made in the internship are mobile games, as was Roller Riot, so it'd be cool if more MassDigi games came to Newgrounds, old or new ones, since I think they'd do well here, and get lots of feedback!

Unidentified Feline Obliterators

Not too much to say on this one, but it was a cool project for a small jam, the requirements being it had to be under 5 MB, be multiplayer. The theme was UFO, and we added cats!

Last Slice Demo

If there's anything I like as much as clouds, it's pizza and bananas, so stay tuned for when I make a banana game.

Last Slice has been my main project for quite a while, and we recently released a demo here! We've gotten positive reaction, and some good feedback from both the online demo and in person when we were at ConnectiCon a couple weeks ago. It's a little tricky working on the game, I wanna finish it and move forward to Section 2 and 3, but we keep getting valuable feedback and ideas to improve the base game. We're kinda doing both right now, working on stuff that'll appear later, and improving Section 1 of the game (Levels 1 - 5). And if you didn't know, this game started as a multiplayer game, so that's something on the back burner for now, but once we've got more of the campaign done we'll return to it. It's pretty much all working, but we just haven't touched it in a while since the focus shifted to single-player.

I wanna make sure it does release Early 2022 like we said, so if you wanna keep up to date with the game follow me or Shattered on the twitter or something (I'll post the big stuff here though, especially the launch). I MIGHT do a small update for the demo here with some quality of life fixes since it doesn't run too well on everyone's browser.

Life Stuff

So here's the deal. I wanna do indie and I wanna keep Shattered Journal Games going: I've wanted to make my own games since I've been making them, and I've made a ton. But now I need money to live and do stuff. We still have some plans for Shattered to make money, but right now they're not certain, so I'm gonna need to get some work on the side so I can start saving up some money. Shattered will continue at least until Last Slice is done, and I'm sure we'll have small games every now and then, either from Shattered or me and friends. It's kinda scary, but also exciting not knowing what the future holds!

Once Slice is over I'll have to play it by ear what the next path is in my life, but for right now my two objectives are finishing Slice and getting some money through contract work or a part time thing. This week I gotta update my resumé, and some other stuff. I've been trying to take a break from jams (which is extremely hard for me so we'll see how long that goes for).

Overall this year hasn't been too bad for me. I learned how to drive and got a car, I've been working on myself both physically and mentally, and started being active on Newgrounds! And there's still one more quarter left in the year! I ordered the Playdate and am super excited to make games for that, and the Steam Deck's coming soon and I have multiple games that it should run no problem. Also anyone read One Piece here? I've been freaking out after every new chapter.

That's probably enough for this update, thank you everyone for any and all support! Happy Cloud Bashers Day!!




Posted by JasoonMargoon - July 3rd, 2021

Hello, hello! My name's Jason, or JasoonMargoon, on most things social and here. You can also call me Margoon, either works. I felt like doing an introduction since I've posted 5 games now, and plan to post more, and you might be curious who I am?? Anyway-

Who Am I (Quick Edition)

I'm a game dev, I like pizza, bananas, and clouds among other things. I graduated from Becker College last year, and have been trying to do indie seriously since. I have a company I made called Shattered Journal Games, which consists of me and some friends that help me out on games. Currently my main project is Last Slice, which we've just recently gotten to a state we feel comfortable enough to look for publishers, so that's my #1 priority work-wise right now! But I'm almost never working on just one thing, I love game jams and side projects, which are most of the games I've put here. No promises for how much I'll post, but I do wanna put more stuff here, and I'm 100% doing the Newgrounds Game Jam next month.

Game Dev (Before College)

I've been making games since I was 8 in Game Maker 8 (makes it really easy to remember). I just looked up Game Maker, clicked the first thing and wow, there was a game engine literally called that. It could have been a virus lol, but nope! I messed around with it for years, making games like Super Awesome Bros, Nintendo and DBZ games with ripped sprites and games about a Kick Ass Penguin, but I didn't post them anywhere. When I was a kid, I found Newgrounds and really liked it, but my brothers told me it was a virus site so I wouldn't see the "naughty" stuff. For a while I forgot about it and didn't know about itch until Game Maker emailed me about a game jam in high school. By then, I switched to Game Maker Studio, and in that game jam made my first publicly released game, Burning Wood! It was a two week jam, and I waited till about an hour or two before the deadline, thought of the simplest possible game to the jam's theme, magic. I made that and released it on Android and iOS and it actually spread around my high school, people enjoyed it and tried to get top scores. But while I made Burning Wood, I was working on projects I planned to release, not just messing around. I felt like I was ready to actually do game dev for real, but uhh I still had a lot to learn (and still do lol). During this time I was actually already working on KAP ALPHA, and Cloud Bashers. Cloud Bashers finished and released two weeks into college, and KAP ALPHA was cancelled, being really high scope, and not the strongest codebase, design, or story, and needed a ton of art to finish with over 20 boss fights. I've left out some stuff, and detailing every single thing I worked on in college would take forever, so I'll go over my Newgrounds releases, which were in college or post-college.

My Newgrounds Games

My friends really liked Burning Wood too! It was an extremely simple and fun concept, but there was no juice and polish, the art was okay but only like 5 assets, and the UI and music was not very good. So for Global Game Jam, we made Super Burning Wood, and as a +1, made it so you don't have health, the fire's size is the health and it can grow and shrink from wood/coal and water. We made a couple updates for mobile in the future (leaderboards and a pause button), and at some point I remembered Newgrounds or someone brought it up, (probably @BuhlBoy or @YukonW) and I realized Super Burning Wood wasn't on Newgrounds or itch, where I put all my jam games. So, I put it on both!

Oh Skater Frog, I'd never known a star that shined as bright as you. This was one of the wackiest games I've worked on, but I learned a ton from being on it. It was a game made for a Game Studio in college, a required class you had to take six times. You could also do Greenlight Game Studios though, where instead of being put into a studio already in motion on a game you don't have as much say on, you pitch your own game and can work on it as a class, with a lot more freedom. So I gathered up some friends, and we got to do it for a year (two semesters). It started as a mobile game, and quickly skyrocketed scope to be an Xbox One game with 10 levels. After the end of semester 1, the game was in ROUGH shape, the movement felt awful, and the first swamp level (which was all we had) was not very aesthetically pleasing. We then decided to scope down and make 1 good level: no story, just an arcade game for points. At the end of Semester 2, the game was very close to being completed, but people were already getting busy with other things, or didn't really wanna do more on it, which was super fair. But I did not want this meme of a game to die, even if it wasn't the greatest. I got all the things I needed from some people on the team, and dropped it on Steam, itch, and Newgrounds. It was my first free game on Steam, and it actually did pretty well! This gave me and my friends some interesting data: free games on Steam do pretty well, and you can put them on itch and Newgrounds too so more people can play them!

Super Raft Boat, my most viewed game on Newgrounds, has an interesting history. I made Magnetic Terrain back in my first year in college, and while the concept was interesting, my execution was not very good, and my theming and art was all over the place. At the end of development, it was between remaking the game and it's design/art from the ground up, or cancel and start something else. I decided to cancel it entirely, but @YukonW really liked the concept and pitched me making it on the ocean with rafts a couple times. Then I showed @CarsonKompon the game and he said the same thing. They wanted to do the game, and I was hesitant for a while since Magnetic Terrain wasn't very good and was worried the project might not be worth doing. But we decided with us three and our friend Jen, that we'd make this new raft version for Global Game Jam 2021. We made it a roguelike, made enemies make more sense and used some of the ideas from the original. Fun fact, Roboto in Raft Boat is the robot from Magnetic Terrain! We did it in GMS2, which was my first time back in Game Maker in a while, and during the jam I learned a lot of new stuff they added, and old stuff I never figured out. Since then I've been using it for some side projects, like the next two games I released. The game did way beyond expecations on Newgrounds and Steam, making it my most downloaded game! It also turned out way better than I thought it would as a game! Really made me rethink stuff ya know: one of my absolute worst games, with some better thought and execution, turned into one of the best games I've worked on! Even crazier then this game actually existing, our friend Jordan is making Super Raft Boat VR which will be out on Steam, itch, and Applab soon!

Recently I've been in such a game maker groove, I saw the Amaze Me Game Jam and got some game maker friends to do it with me. While Skater Frog was a college game by "Gnarvana Studios", the rest of the games here are Shattered Journal Games games, and recently I've been wanting to make a separation between games I work on, and official Shattered games. This was a super chill jam, no big pressure on anyone to do anything big for the jam, and we didn't continue after. I want to do more jams like this going forward, especially since I wanna focus all the attention I have for Shattered right now on Last Slice.

And my most recent release this week, Cloud Bashers DX! I originally made this in high school, and it is an official Shattered game, but it's also a gigantic meme with me and my friends. It was my first big release and what people knew me for for a while, some people even referred to me as the Cloud Bashers Guy. It even got me on a game that ended up being published by Konami, and some other opportunities! I reference it in a lot of my games, and I thought why not port it to Newgrounds. But this codebase was in GMS 1.4, and was made by high school me. The game also had some design problems, and plenty of room for juice and polish, so it turned into it's own side project as a deluxe version. Originally it was just me and Carson, but then I also got Yukon and @blstrManx to help with some art, and @AvidGladiator for some fantastic promo art.

Future Plans?

Like I said before, my main focus is Last Slice and getting it a publisher. The steam page is slightly dated, the version we have and are sending to pubs with a build and pitch deck is a lot more updated. I'm really excited to show off how much we've gotten done, but I want to wait for the right time to reveal it all. Now that Super Raft Boat and Cloud Bashers DX are completed, and the next jam isn't for a couple weeks, I'm gonna try to relax a bit and focus on some other aspects of my life. I might post more art here too? I'm not a very good artist, and I don't super enjoy drawing yet, but I would like to be better to help more on games and have a better understanding of art when working with artists!

Bash some clouds, eat some pizza, and have a good one.