Archive for April, 2009

What… is that?

Yikes, ok, so that’s not exactly a pretty screenshot, but it represents a milestone! For the last little while I’ve been idly reading up on and mucking about with a cool Flash library called Papervision3D, and I’ve only now finally got it doing something worthwhile – i.e. embedding and displaying a textured 3D object!

In a little while I’m going to start back into my next biggish project (which I’ll write a little about soon). In the meantime, though, I feel like applying this new knowledge to some small throwaway thing…

(Oh, also – decided to try out Twitter.)

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Interview

Brad Gallaway of GameCritics.com recently got in touch to ask me a few questions about Don’t Look Back. I’d never really done an interview before, so it was kind of a cool experience (though I’m worried that I made a mess of some of the answers!).

In the interview, I discuss how DLB came about, what it’s all about, and what I’m currently working on! Check it out here, if you’re interested!

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Kowlr is a Towlr, yes

Been working a little on my flash framework – I read somewhere that you can pretty much eliminate lag by structuring things in such a way that you work around flash’s garbage collection. Not sure if it actually works, but I need a decent flash framework so decided to approach things that way.

Anyway. For fun, and practice, (and since PoV couldn’t get the Klik and Play version running), I ported Kowlr to flash. 😀 Play it here!

Will be interesting to see what Kongregate think of it , heh.

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Ok, now what?

Had planned something of an all nighter to finish the gameplay side of my Ludum Dare game, but ended up taking a relatively early night instead. It’s not really coming together in a way that I’m happy with…

The idea I had was pretty simple; you’re exploring a dungeon, finding treasures, that sorta thing. A sentient darkness is creeping up right behind you at all times, seeping in through walls and blocking off paths – you can slow it down by throwing torches at it, but you can’t stop it. You can only really explore about half of the dungeon: Trying to keep ahead of it forces you to make permanent choices about what items you can take with you and which ones you need to leave behind. By the end, you’d have a character which had “leveled up” based on the choices you made (if you avoided combat, for example, you eventually find some items that increased your speed, and so on). At the end of the dungeon you’d find a weapon, a sword of light that allowed you cut into the darkness and fight the creature at the heart of it.

I knew this was a lot for 48 hours, but despite previous experience to the contrary I thought I’d be able to finish it anyway… But it’s not looking that way. Right now I’m still undecided about whether to just scale the idea back significantly and try to finish something, to start something new and simpler, or to just abandon the whole ludum dare thing entirely 🙁

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LD Update

Took me quite a while to come up with an idea for this one that I really liked, but I think I’ve got it now. Unfortunately progress has been slow, so it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll finish it by sunday night… Still, will stick with it and see where it goes. (I’m using placeholder graphics so I haven’t really got any screenshots or anything like that to show yet)

For KOTM I made this. I think it’s pretty self explanatory:

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Go!

48 hours starts now! And the theme is:

Advancing Wall of Doom

Interesting! For some reason I didn’t really think about this one too much today (even though it came in second on the daily votes), so I don’t really know what I’m going to do yet…

(Anyway, not starting for another six hours or so; I need to get some sleep)

The Ludum Dare blog is here, in case anyone wants to see what’s happening. 🙂

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Ludum Dare 14 Themes

Ludum Dare 14 is this weekend, and I could not be more psyched about it! This’ll be my second Ludum Dare – my first was LD13, which had the theme “Roads”. For that, I worked on what eventually became Pathways. I also entered a mini LD earlier in the year and started what eventually became Don’t Look Back.

As happy as I am with those projects, this time I’d really love to actually finish something by the deadline! Which probably means coming up with a much more realistic plan for what I can actually do in 48 hours, instead of totally underestimating the amount of work it’ll take like I usually do. I don’t know what I’ll make yet, but it’s likely going to be very gameplay focused and not very content heavy.

(Also, Klik of the Month is tomorrow night; depending on how things are going I wanna give that a try too!)

The contest theme won’t actually be announced until the very last minute – the voting process is kinda complicated, but the jist of it is that there are multiple days of voting and one final round. So, while you can’t know for sure which theme is going to win out, you can make a pretty good educated guess by looking at which themes won in the previous rounds. Here’s the final round list of themes, sorted by score:

Score Theme
23 Rain
21 Advancing Wall of Doom
18 Attraction
18 Evil, defeat the lone hero!
16 Single Enemy
15 Epidemic
14 Microscopic World
13 Evolution
9 Flying
8 Procedural Generation
7 Gravity
6 Layers
4 Bosses
4 Distorted perception
3 Breaking the rules
0 Explosions
-1 Wormholes
-2 Recursion (specifically, Yo Dawg!)
-4 Very Short Games
-8 Cooperation

For the rest of the day, I’m gonna fix up my C++ and Allegro framework, and try to brainstorm a few ideas for the most likely candidates.

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Judith’s Reception

I have to say, I’m a little surprised at the amount of attention that Judith has gotten! The reception has been pretty interesting, to say the least… There are some people who got the point of the game right away, saw what we were trying to do with it and liked it for what it was – but then there were others (quite a few others) who absolutely detested it. I can totally understand people not liking this – it’s naturally something which isn’t going to appeal to everyone… but I guess I don’t really understand the sheer amount of anger directed at it.

I think, maybe, some of the writeups and more positive comments led to people having very unreasonable expectations for it. Expectations that it can’t really live up to – after all, it really is just a sketch of a game, flawed and rushed in all sorts of ways.

In particular, a lot of the complaints I’ve read seem to be terribly concerned that it’s not even really a game – because it’s so linear and non-interactive. I feel like this isn’t really what these people are annoyed about, though – Judith doesn’t lack interactivity – hell, it’s about interactivity; what it lacks is gameplay.

And that’s fair enough! We did consider adding more complex puzzles to Jeff’s side of the game, but ultimately it wasn’t really what we were interested in doing with this. Perhaps we could have expanded the gameplay side of things without impacting on the real point of the story, I don’t know. In any case, I accept that it’s a valid reason not to like the game. I guess I just wish that people weren’t so angry about it…

Anyway. I’m a little tired of all the drama just right now. Thankfully Ludum Dare is this weekend – I’m looking forward to maybe doing something a little less serious.

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Judith

Stephen and I finished this little thing tonight. Sorry for the delays!

[edit] Thanks to Jani Mikkonen, we now also have a Linux build! Cheers! (A note to Linux users, the windows version reportedly works quite well through WINE.)

Judith is a game about control.

Downloads:

Windows (11MB)
OSX 10.5+ (11MB)
Linux (11MB)
Source (73KB)

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Judith Update

Judith is taking just a little bit longer than I expected – I sorta got sidetracked on something else last week, so there’s still quite a bit to be done, and I guess I underestimated how long scripting would take. Still, we’ve been making pretty good progress over the last few days, so it shouldn’t be too much longer at this rate.

Now, let’s see… do I have a screenshot or something? Not really. Hmm, this’ll have to do:

Ominous!

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