Seven more days: Day 5

editor

Day 5! Trying to wrap everything up now. Spent most of today adding new room types to the generator and fleshing out the floors I’ve done so far. Turns out I made some pretty useable tools for this last year! I’m up to the 12th floor now.

After thinking it through today, I think 15 floors + a boss floor might work better than 20. 20 floors is long enough to suggest needing some sort of shortcut system for repeated plays, while 16 is manageable in a single run – and I think it makes more sense to keep it short and snappy and replayable. Also, conveniently, it gives me 4 less floors to design, which is nice.

So it seems likely at this point that I will be posting something playable here on Sunday night, which is great, but don’t expect it to be completely “finished”. I think I like this game too much to just throw it out into the world arbitrarily – so I’m planning a week or two of public playtesting! Look forward to seeing what people make of this!

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Seven more days: Day 4

floor6

Past the half way mark now. Got a lot to do over the next couple of days!

My rough plan for the game is to make a tower of stuff that’s 20 floors high, with four different stages every fifth floor. I’m taking it one floor at a time, and so far I’m up to floor 9. I’m trying to get up to floor 20 as quickly as I can, and get the frame of the game built – then, I’ll go back down and fill in the rough patches!

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Seven more days: Day 3

Day 3! Things are a still too shaky to share a playable build, but I took a video of the first five levels in the game so far!

There’s a bunch of weird code in this game I don’t understand anymore – and that means lots and lots of weird level generation bugs that I have no hope of understanding. So the main thing I did today was to add an AI director for the game.

Once a floor has been generated for the player, the AI director takes over! It makes decisions like “That door goes nowhere, let’s scrap it”, or “You haven’t found a weapon in a while, maybe you should find one on this floor!” or just “opps, this level is impossible, let’s make a different one”. Probably going to be giving it a lot more to do by the end of the project – it’s a lot easier than trying to fix the generator at this point.

Main design change of the day: I’m trying an even simpler version of the weapons/item system where everything is single use. The game’s more fun when you’re underpowered anyway.

Tomorrow, the next five floors!

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Seven more days: Day 2

leafblower

Day 2! After spending most of yesterday getting to grips with the game again, today I started adding some new stuff. By the time I’d stopped working on it last year, it had become a mess of half finished ideas – so my general approach is to simplify as much of the game as possible, and focus on keeping the stuff that’s fun. For example, I’m trying a system where you just have two or three inventory slots. Simpler than a full inventory system, and probably more interesting too.

Mostly what I’ve been doing today is cutting stuff out of the game – I’ve short circuited the level generator to just go back to giving me one floor of a tower at a time, I’m scrapping items and weapons that don’t have enough individual identity to be worth cluttering the game, and I’ve simplified some basic concepts in the game – for example, all the enemies are robots now, which means there’s no longer a class of weapons that’s effective against humans but not robots, or vice versa.

Tomorrow I’m going to get back to level design, so hopefully I’m not too far away from something playable!

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Seven more days: Day 1

atman

Hey hey! I’ve been feeling an itch recently to finish something small, so I’m taking a week off my big secret project to resurrect an old thing that I wish I’d finished last year!

Some of you might remember this game from last year’s 7-day roguelike (there’s even an early playable build knocking about). Things were looking really good for this one, but then right at the end of the week I botched it – I stupidly decided what it really needed was some huge overworld game structure, and it ended up fizzling out and going nowhere.

What it actually needed was a little focus to get it across the finish line – the game’s already fun and full of cool emergent stuff, and I’m hoping a week is long enough to make that happen. Here we go!

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Ludum Dare 36

thiefinworld

thief

Heya blog! Been a while, hasn’t it?

Last weekend I had a go at Ludum Dare 36, and for some reason thought it might be a good idea to try making an RPG. It went ok! Better than my weekend RPGs usually go, anyway. I’ve got the bones of something good here, I think, but it’s pretty far from actually being coherent or anything. Oh well! Another one for the backburner. (there’s a gameplay gif here if you’re curious how it plays)

So actually, the reason I’ve been so quiet is because I’ve been doing quite well at the whole sticking-with-one-project thing lately. I’ll have more to say about that soon, no doubt.

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Stephen’s Sausage Roll

5

Increpare’s magnum opus, Stephen’s Sausage Roll, finally got released yesterday. He started it way back when we lived together in Cambridge, and it’s actually kinda surreal to see it finished, at last. I got to see it grow and change over the years, and see the incredible thought and attention to detail that went into it first hand as he painstakingly iterated over every level and somehow brought this enormous thing together as a cohesive whole.

People are calling it the Dark Souls of puzzle games, which is fitting for lots of reasons – it’s bloody hard, for one – but mostly because, like the original Dark Souls, every part of this thing is deliberate and meticulously designed. It’s a masterpiece.

Stephen’s chosen to be pretty succinct with talking about the game to avoid spoiling its secrets, prefering to let people find out about it through word of mouth. So let me tell you about it. This is one of the best games, of all the games. Go play it right now.

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alpha++

I’ve been quiet lately, but only because I’ve had my head down working on this new thing! Ruari and I have now been working on this robot programming game for a little over two months – we had a round of testing a few weeks back that prompted a bunch of new ideas, and once we’ve worked through them we’re going to have another round.

I’m pretty excited! The game’s already feeling really solid, but we still have loads of new ideas we wanna try. Looks like this is gonna be a big one!

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Constellation Machine

cmachine2

hires

Little thing I made over the weekend for a game jam:

[Play Online (Flash)]

[Download for Windows] | [Download for OSX] | [Download for Linux]

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equip(hammer);

hammer

Still working on this! Recently, it became a collaboration – Ruari O’Sullivan has been working with me to help turn this game from a hacky mess of ideas into something solid and playable.

The two of us are aiming to do a small alpha sometime in the next week. (If you’re interested in checking it out early and giving us some feedback, let me know!)

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