Archive for December, 2007

Then it becomes secrets, and no one knows secrets

Thought I should make some sort of official deceleration that I’m scrapping one of my projects – Indie Brawl. My theory was that nobody at TIGSource really cared that I’d put it on the backburner given that there were so many other things going on over there, but that clearly isn’t the case. Someone brought it up again, and it’s obvious that there are a lot of people over there itching to get started at it. Seeing as I’m the bottleneck here, I asked if anybody else wanted to code it instead, and Alec Halowka (of Aquaria fame) volunteered. He’s even going to use the spiffy Aquaria engine as a framework, so we should see something playable relatively soon!

Honestly, as much as I liked the project, I’m glad to be rid of it. I didn’t really have the time I thought I’d have for it and I’ll have even less in the new year (more on that later). Plus, I was just feeling responsible for holding it back, which I hated.

Oh, I’m also shelving The Tower temporarily. I want to come back to it later to explore some graphical thing I’m doing, but basically, I’m starting fresh in the new year with none of my old projects around my neck. I think I’ve spent long enough experimenting. Time I did something a bit more ambitious, no?

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The fall of Buster X. Drake

I said a couple of days ago that I’d see where I was in a few days with my TIGSource Text The Halls contest entry. Well, here I am. It’s not going to work out πŸ™ What with being home for Christmas and everything, I’m just not working hard enough at it, and I’m not close enough to completing it to have a reasonable shot at doing it in the next few days. I have a fair bit of work done on it I suppose, but the sequences I really wanted to do, the driving forces behind the original concept – they remain unwritten.

It’s no big deal, really. It was kinda fun to take a break from The Tower for a while (which has become a fairly serious project), and it was great to have an excuse to finally sit down and use Inform – which has to be the most beautiful language I’ve ever worked with. I don’t even know where to start – here’s an example from the documentation that creates a few rooms from Colossal Cave:

The Cobble Crawl is a room. “You are crawling over cobbles in a low passage. There is a dim light at the east end of the passage.”

A wicker cage is here. “There is a small wicker cage discarded nearby.”

The Debris Room is west of the Crawl. “You are in a debris room filled with stuff washed in from the surface. A low wide passage with cobbles becomes plugged with mud and debris here, but an awkward canyon leads upward and west. A note on the wall says, ‘Magic word XYZZY’.”

The black rod is here. “A three foot black rod with a rusty star on one end lies nearby.”

Above the Debris Room is the Sloping E/W Canyon. West of the Canyon is the Orange River Chamber.

I am kinda sorry that all I posted about it at TIGSource was that crazy picture that Akhel mustered up for me in #tigirc (which had nothing whatsoever to do with my game, heh).

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Leon: “This is no ritual; it’s terrorism.”

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve talked about any of my projects, so I thought it was time for an update.

Aside from the usual coding and all that, I’ve been busy with a business issue which I haven’t talked about here till now.

Essentially, I’ve been looking for funding to continue with what I’m doing next year. My local county enterprise board have turned me down, but there’s something else that I’m looking into which currently looks quite hopeful. Applying to both programmes meant putting together a proposal, which actually ended up taking a lot of work. Essentially, I wrote up a document talking about Independent Gaming as a business, showing that a market existed by demonstrating some success stories, and proving that I had the ability to make something that could compete. I thought it was pretty good, but the first group I showed it to didn’t – they weren’t able to support me because I’m not far enough along. Which I guess is fair enough; after all, I haven’t made a cent at this so far, and it looks like it could be a while before I do.

There’s a European National Development Plan funded course with some financial assistance that I’m going to apply to next, but failing that, my next action will probably be to apply for a loan. But that’s next year’s problem, I guess.

Now. As for my projects!

First of all, I haven’t abandoned Indie Brawl – I’ve just set it to one side. The engine driving it is basically finished – I just need to add enemy AI and any game specific stuff that we may end up needing in the future. Once these other things are out of the way, I’ll revive it. Anyway, there’s a ton of stuff happening on TIGSource at the moment, so I don’t think it’s really being missed.

Secondly, I’m also still working on my November contest entry to RPGDX (tentatively titled “The Tower”). Lots of things have been added (including a cool state based AI system and some stealth stuff). However, as I’ve expanded the project a bit I want to completely redo the graphics – and I’m afraid I don’t want to post any more about it till then. I’ve decided that it’s definitely worth developing, though.

Lastly, I’m working on a new project – a text adventure for TIGSource’s Text the Halls mini contest. Right now it’s kinda up in the air, and I don’t know if I’m going to see it through to the end. The big problem I have is that I can’t settle on a tone. At the moment it’s like it’s two games – on the one hand it’s quite a serious spy drama with lots of political intrigue, on the other it’s a ridiculously silly over-the-top secret agent story with Resident Evil 4 style dialogue and explosions every couple of steps.

I’m going to give a few days before I decide what I’m doing with it.

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Walkthroughs

My traffic from google searches has gone way up recently – why? Apparently because I mentioned the word “walkthrough” on this site.

  1. 17.34%   art of theft walkthrough
  2. 12.11%   trilby art of theft walkthrough
  3. 7.13%    happycat [yeah I dunno what’s up with that]
  4. 4.28%    trilby the art of theft walkthrough
  5. 2.61%    passibility
  6. 2.38%    the art of theft walkthrough
  7. 1.66%    trilby art of theft
  8. 1.43%    an untitled story walkthrough
  9. 1.43%    trilby walkthrough
  10. 1.19%    trilby walkthrough art of theft
  11. 0.95%    indygamer
  12. 0.95%    trilby: the art of theft walkthrough
  13. 0.95%    untitled story walkthrough
  14. 0.95%    walkthrough art of theft
  15. 0.71%    art of theft minigame
  16. 0.71%    art of theft walkthrough trilby
  17. 0.71%    distractionware
  18. 0.71%    la-mulana walkthrough
  19. 0.71%    mcdonalds
  20. 0.71%    trilby:art of theft walkthrough

Well, I’m convinced. The world needs an indie game walkthrough database.

I’ve installed MediaWiki to the site and I’m currently working on getting it all setup. If anyone would like to help me administrate it, leave a comment! I’m pretty new to Wikis and there’s a lot of stuff I want to do that I don’t know how to do yet.

Also, I’ve added a board to the forums for requests.

For anyone looking for an Art of Theft walkthrough, you can find a very good one here. I’ve also got a playthrough up on TIGSource which might be helpful.

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Aquaria

Alec Halowka and Derek Yu’s Aquaria is finally out, after two years of development!

Well, chances are you probably already know that. But unfortunately they’ve run into problems with their launch, and their website is down. So given the circumstances I figured I’d do my bit to spread the word, just in case there’s somebody visiting this site who wants to play it but doesn’t know where to get it.

Here’s the original trailer, just in case you haven’t heard of it yet πŸ˜›

If you’d like to try the demo out, it’s currently mirrored at the following locations:
At flashbangstudios.com
At www.ninj4comic.com
At battleforthecity.com
On Alec Halowka’s site
On Derek Yu’s site
…and as a last resort, on Megaupload.com

If you’d like to buy the full game, you can get it directly from plimus here.

I’ll post my thoughts about it once I’ve played it a bit more (I ended up playing about seven hours of it today 😯 ). For now, here’s a preliminary summary: It’s fucking brilliant.

Edit: It looks like it’s back up. Get it here!

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The Art of Theft – Trilby Rank playthrough

trilbyBar maybe Trilby Ranking the Bonus Heist at some future date, I’ve finished my Art of Theft playthrough, and managed a Trilby Rank on each stage. Now I am truly a master thief. To deny it would be foolish!

I had fun with this little video playthrough! Actually I can’t remember when I last came across a game I so compulsively wanted to master.

To round the whole thing off, I posted the whole sequence of videos over at TIGSource, along with each level’s introductory text. Check it out here.

I’ve yet to play Yahtzee’s other games, but on the strength of this I think I’ll make some time over Christmas to work through them, starting with 5 Days a Stranger, probably. Or Fantabulous Wonderment, which (as a Star Control 2 fan) I really like the look of.

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A Bomb. A BOMB!

Man, I loved this game πŸ˜€

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Trilby: The Art of Theft – Heist 7

Finally – the last mission! Enjoy.


Heist 7: 4 minutes and 50 seconds, $970 in loot, no tasers or alarms.

Here’s the description I posted over at YouTube:

This is it! The last mission. Hope you’ve enjoyed watching the videos so far!

I don’t mind saying that this actually took me quite a few tries. It took me an otherwise good attempt to realise that there was some loot in the “C” shelf in the end room, and there were a few attempts where I missed the par time by a couple of seconds. I really nailed it in this run though πŸ™‚

This video (like all the others I’ve done) includes the end cutscene, and also includes the final rank and closing notes.

I don’t know if I’ll bother with the bonus heist – after all, it’s just the same seven missions again, and I hear there’s a bug where the game forgets your RP and loot after mission three. At the very least, I won’t be doing it anytime soon.

Anyway, thanks for watching. Enjoy!

Trilby: The Art of Theft is a new game by Zero Punctuation author and prominent Indie Game designer Yahtzee. You can find out all the details here:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/content/games/yahtzee/artoftheft

By the way, I have finished the bonus heist with the cream suit. The welding minigame is spectacular.

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