Archive for January, 2009

I promise

The other day I finally completed the last rooms for this little flash platformer! Although there are still little gameplay things to be done here and there, all the content is in place and you can now play it from start to finish. Still to do: the music and sound effects, some scripting, general polish and bug fixing. It is my sincere hope that it will be finished, as in done and dusted completely, before February…

(I’m toying around with calling it “Don’t Look Back”. What do you think?)

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Interview with Annabelle

From attractmo.de – an interview with Annabelle Kennedy! Lately she’s been focusing on Tiny Survival Horror – there are a few screenshots of it at the end of the interview!

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Edge of Disgrace


[part 2]

Spotted on the GDR: Edge of Disgrace is an incredible C64 Demo, especially given the machine’s technical limitations (basically; no more than 8 sprites on screen at once, a very limited CPU, only 64kb of memory, only 16 colours). This was made last year. It delights me to know that there’s still a C64 scene and that there are still things like this being made 🙂

(You can download the disk image here.)

(Another thing for my endless to do list: finally get around to learning C64 ASM and make a C64 game!)

Also wonderful: Deus Ex Machina.

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Seriously

I think this is close to a record for me, in terms of projects that take longer than anticipated. It was supposed to be a half day thing…

I’ve been thinking that it just needs a big push to finish the content, so I’m going to “pretend” there’s a contest deadline tomorrow morning and work all night to finally get the content wrapped up. It worked for pretty much everything I released last year, after all 🙂 Though I expect it’ll still need a day or two to tweak and polish it before it’s done.

Here’s a few more screenshots of the more actiony parts of the game…

[edit] This isn’t working. Grr. I’m off to bed. 😥

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Any day now

I’ve been making some progress on this minimalist thing. I still have no idea what to call it.

It’s easy to get demotivated when things take much longer than you’d anticipated. It helps that it’s shaping up really well, though 🙂

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PC Gamer UK: February

Xoldiers was on this month’s PC Gamer coverdisk! And that’s not all – this was in the magazine!

Hi, I’m a game developer!

They got in touch about this a month or so ago very soon before the deadline, so I had to rush my answers a bit and they ended up a bit long winded and chaotic as a result. Thankfully they edited out most of the rambling bits though, heh. (although I guess it was at the cost of some coherency; I mentioned Deus Ex and Silent Hill 2 separately from FFVII)

I noticed they went with a screenshot of We Love Mind Control Rocket instead of, say, Self Destruct! Which is kinda cool! I wonder if that was just a visual composition thing or if someone at the PC Gamer office has played it? I’ve thought quite a bit about returning to that game concept…

(Anyway, needless to say I’m pretty chuffed about all this, heh.) 😀

(This seems as good a place as any to mention: I turned 25 last week. 🙁 )

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Save the Universe

Yesterday was Klik of the Month day! I ended up making a game called SAVE THE UNIVERSE.

This was my second KOTM. Already I can’t wait for the third – I found myself looking forward to this one all week. Klik and Play, for all it’s flaws, is just so much fun to work with! It’s simple and logical and so very obvious to make it do what you want, even if there are many things it can’t really do well. If I had the time, I’d love to make a prototyping tool of my own in the spirit of klik and play. Something with a nice limited scope that has the same simplicity as KNP but for a more modern system and without all the weird bugs…

This month’s KOTM had an unusually high turnout from what I can tell – You can check out all the games here. (I particularly liked “oh shit pac man is hungry”). Dessgeega keeps monthly roundups of her favourites – here’s this months.

Anyway, about Save the Universe. Can’t say I’m all that happy about how it’s turned out. I really want to make another shooter that explores the idea of enemy bullets not necessarily hurting you, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to prototype one of the ideas I’d been considering: you can choose to either shoot or protect yourself. While protecting yourself you reflect enemy bullets which turn back and deal damage. Some enemies can only be hurt this way – some enemies reflect bullets back at you, and so on. This is kept in check with a limit on how you use your shield which I’m not sure about yet.

I had most of this in place, but it became pretty obvious about 20 minutes before the deadline that it wasn’t going to work. It had this whole rub your belly and pat your head problem where you didn’t know whether to shoot or protect and kept mixing them up. And it just wasn’t any fun to do.

So, I attempted to salvage the game by changing the rules a bit – now you’re always shooting and protecting, and all you need to do is avoid one type of bullet. Reflecting other bullets is a big help for dealing with other enemies. This works better, but it’s still problematic, as the prototype I finished demonstrates, I guess.

I haven’t struck the right take on this idea yet. I do know that simple tests with nothing to do except rebound a load of bullets are quite a lot of fun to play even when there’s no challenge to it. There is something here, with this mechanic. I’m sure of it.

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Untitled Minimalist Game

For the past two weeks or so I’ve been working intermidedly on Space/Void (we’ve decided to finish the Game Maker version), Detonate (It’s got AI and stuff now!) and Judith (Everytime we finish a day’s work on it it seems as though twice as many days work need to be done to finish it. It’s the strangest thing). For a bit of a change I decided to have a crack at entering this weekend’s Mini Ludum Dare. I didn’t really plan things out very well and the project is actually starting to look very promising and… well, let’s just say that one thing led to another and now I have another unfinished project. >_<

However! It’s very small, really, and I’ve resolved not to work on anything else until it’s finished. Which should be any day now, seriously. I promise.

(yeah I know I say that like it means something)

[Edit] Increpare also entered the contest with a game that fucks with your eyesight. Enjoy!

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year++;

Ever since I started rapid prototyping, as I called it back at the end of October, I’ve let quite a few projects build up on me. One of my new years resolutions is not to start anything else until I start finishing a few first! With any luck, this should be a pretty productive month for me as a result!

(In any case, I can’t really afford to continue experimenting like this. My loan’s running out, so it looks like this venture of mine is almost out of time…)

In rough order of priority, here’s what I’m working on at the moment:


Space/Void [Collab with Cactus]

Of all the unfinished projects I’ve got around me right now, this one’s not only been around the longest, but it’s also the closest to completion. I made the levels for cactus’ game way back in last april or so, and it’s been sitting idle since then because we’ve both been too busy to add the finishing touches. I think it would be a pretty motivating start to the month if I could get this out in the next few days. First thing I’m going to try doing is explore the possibility of a flash port (which could work quite well for this) – if that doesn’t seem reasonable we’ll just finish off the game maker version…


Detonate

I’m itching to get back to this, because I’ve got it to the stage where all the yucky vegetable coding work is finished and it’s just a matter of the chocolatey level creation and polish! Can’t wait 🙂


Pathways

I’d been chipping away at this over christmas – as much as I love the concept behind the game, right now it’s not really what I want to work on. I was trying to get it finished as soon as I could because of the whole ludum dare thing, but it’s so overdue now that I don’t really care – I think I’d rather take my time with it.

I’m also hoping to totally redo the graphics – it’s nice in places but I don’t like the sprites and it’s way too much work to draw the entire game like this and have it look good. Anyway, I think I can do better with a bit of work on a new style.


Judith [Collab with Increpare]

Another project where all the heavy lifting coding-work is out of the way, Increpare and I are currently in the process of designing the levels of this. We should be able to finish it this month if we can find a day or two where we’re both free to work on it.


Electric Panic

That screenshot isn’t exactly representative, heh. Electric Panic is a new game that I’ve got in mind that’s loosely based on the mechanic I was exploring in my december KOTM entry PANIC. I’ll have more details once I get a little further along with it! 🙂


Flying Cities

Started this just the other day, but I like it enough that I really want to get back to it and see it finished… With its technical focus it’s very different to everything else I’m working on right now.


Tower Platformer [Collab with Dock]

Dock works in the industry and is apparently in crunch mode at the moment, so this has had to take a back seat. Probably won’t be finished for a little while, at least…

In addition to that, there’s also:


Self Destruct Update

I think Self Destruct was the best game I released last year. It also got by far the most positive response, even extending into friends and family who don’t normally play games at all. Which is why it annoys the hell out of me that there are so many little things to fix in it *still* – in particular that you need to be online to play it. Sometime over January I want to make time to finally update the game, even if I don’t bother with things like the replay uploads and other crazy things like that that I was planning.

And finally, just to mention:


Buster Drake

Buster Drake is basically scrapped, at least in it’s current incarnation. The biggest thing I wanted to try for Buster Drake was the aiming mechanism and I’ve used it for Never Opened, so as a result I’m not that pushed about approaching this project from that perspective anymore. There are a few other things I still like about the project though. I’ve got an idea for a radically different form that I hope to explore later in the year, time permitting. It involves sitting down and learning a few new tricks, though…

Phew. Better get to work, then.

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Flying Cities

Ok – New Years Resolution: BE MORE FOCUSED!

I’ve practically lost count of all the little projects I’m working on right now. Here’s another new one, to finish off the year – I made the prototype in about three hours for the public contest over at the poppenkast. The basic idea is that you’re flying about in a city, Cities in Flight style, exploring the galaxy, encountering other cities and trying to survive in a hostile universe for as long as possible. I got far enough to basically implement the entire engine (I gutted the GUI stuff from We Love Mind Control Rocket), but there’s no real gameplay implemented yet 🙁

Here’s the prototype as it stands so far. All you can really do at the moment is fly from star to star, but I think that’s kinda interesting to do already! See if you can find the Sun! 🙂

Will come back to this in a few weeks, I think. Tomorrow I’m going to put together a post about where all these unfinished projects are and where they’re going…

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