Archive for December, 2010

Ludum Dare 19, Quarters

I started this Ludum Dare with a very specific project in mind – a fairly big project that I’ve been thinking about since the summer that for some reason I thought I could do in a weekend. I couldn’t; probably shouldn’t either, since it’s kinda promising. But spending a day working on it reminded me why I liked the idea so much in the first place. So I’ll probably come back to it soon, and do it properly.

Less cryptically; on Saturday night I changed projects, and made a little boardgame instead! It’s called Quarters. It’s meant to be played with four players, and although I did manage to get some AI working, the game is much, much better if you can play it with human players. (A big part of the idea is that if everyone in the game decides to focus on one player, they can usually knock them out in a couple of turns, and that doesn’t really work with AI players.)

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Nexus City Fridays, 17th Dec

Still fiddling with these textboxes. They’re not quite right yet, but they’re getting better!

Sadly I haven’t actually done that much work on Nexus City this week, since I wasted quite a bit of time on my (now scrapped) jam game from the other weekend. Hoping I can salvage some of that stuff for a quick KOTM minigame on Saturday.

Ludum Dare is this weekend! As usual, we’re having a meetup here in Cambridge – why not come along, if you’re in the area?

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Everybody Draw

Here’s a screenshot of what I’m working on at the moment! I worked on this at last weekend’s Everybody Draw Game Jam, a jam based around artwork from primary school kids in London, and I’m still working on it. Sadly I’m probably not going to have this done in time to send back to the school, and I don’t know when it’ll be finished. It’s been fun to work on, though – I’m using proper flash animated movieclips, which I’ve never done before!

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Nexus City Fridays, 10th Dec

Didn’t do a whole lot of work on Nexus City this week; I’ve mostly been busy finishing up a small project I worked on at last weekend’s Everybody Draw Game Jam. Hopefully that’ll finally be finished by the end of this week!

Following on from suggestions last week, though, I doubled the basic resolution of the game so I could use a larger font, and free up the textboxes so that they appeared beside the character that’s speaking. This is a WIP screenshot – I don’t really know what the textboxes are going to look like yet – but I think the concept is basically working!

The big advantage of doing textboxes this way is that it makes cutscene choreography a hell of a lot easier for me – i.e. it’s now always clear who’s talking, which up to now has been a real problem (which I mostly solved by having people constantly turning or stepping forward, Final Fantasy VI style).

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2010 Minigame Collection

At the start of the year, burnt out after working six months on VVVVVV, I decided I wanted to try making a game a month for the rest of the year. That didn’t really work for me; I scrapped that approach in February, and I don’t think it’s something I’m likely to try next year either. Nevertheless, it’s been a very busy (if not productive) year for me – after counting up all the relevant folders on my hard disk, it appears I’ve worked on 54 games this year (so far!). Three of those I actually finished, and liked enough to add to the sidebar. Just over twenty I finished enough to post as “minigames”.

I think a couple of these games ended up being pretty interesting, so rather than bury them in the blog I thought I’d take a few of my favourite minigames from throughout the year, and bundle them together on the sidebar. Here they are:

N.O.T.T.U.B. is a multiplayer game for as many players as you can find.
Play Online (Newgrounds) (Original Post)
sumouse and KOZACHOK are twin games for two players.
Download sumouse (Windows) (Original Post)
Play KOZACHOK Online (Kongregate) (Original Post)
Going Forward is a game inspired by a job I had after college.
Play Online (Original Post)
Bababada…urnuk is a collab with increpare.
Play Online (Newgrounds) (Original Post)
memrrtiks, suashem is almost unplayable.
Play Online (Kongregate) (Original Post)
Phobiaphobiaphobia is a game about phobias.
Play Online (Kongregate) (Original Post)
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Nexus City Fridays, 3rd Dec

This game is really starting to come together! Pretty much everything I’m adding to the game at this point requires me to do something new with code or scripting, so progress up till now has been a bit slow. Once I’m finished this first area, though, I think I should be able to quickly catch up with Jonas’ script.

Given the sheer amount of text in the game, I’m thinking of mixing resolutions and using a higher resolution font for the textboxes. What do you think? Good idea or not?

I’m off to London this weekend for a super cool game jam, and with any luck I should have a new small game for the sidebar when I get back. (If you’re around London and have the weekend free, why not join us? There are still some places left!)

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Prize for the reckless

When I offered a free copy of VVVVVV to everybody that bid on Saint’s VVVVVV sock auction, all I was hoping for is that it might bring some attention to what he was doing, and maybe result in a higher final price for the auction – but maybe I should have thought things through a bit more. Things got a little out of hand, and the auction closed at a staggering $10,200, way beyond what anyone could reasonably pay for a pair of socks.

Sadly the winner bidder backed out, as did the 10 next highest bidders. After the auction ended, I updated the post offering the socks to anyone who was serious with their bid, and wanted to come forward and claim them. Somebody did exactly that, making a much more reasonable bid of $355! As a result, I’m quite happy with how this has turned out! Saint managed to raise around $600 for Child’s Play with his auctions, with the VVVVVV socks contributing over half of that!

As for my end of the bargain; eBay sadly don’t provide us with email addresses of anyone except the winning bidder, so I’m not able to contact people who won. So instead, I’ve put together a little script to hand out the codes – if you bid less than the winning amount ($355 dollars), simply input your ebay username and the amount you bid to claim your free, giftable copy of VVVVVV:

[CLICK HERE TO CLAIM A STEAM CODE]

Enjoy! This auction was in support of Child’s Play, an international charity helping sick children in hospitals worldwide. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so via paypal here, or find out more at the Child’s Play website.

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