Archive for the 'other games' Category

Peace is hell

‘case you missed it in the post below, Xoldiers was updated with a level editor and an online database of levels accessible from the game! You will fight for us! Download the new version! That’s an order!

Since the jam I’ve been meaning to catch up on all the little things I’ve been working on lately, but I never seem to have the time to do it properly – so I’m just going to quickly summarise everything:

Buster Drake:
A little while ago I updated the flash prototype with the new version of Buster Drake that I worked on at the jam. Gameplay wise there isn’t any difference; but on a technical level it’s a huge improvement. The original prototype was written in AS2 using a trial version of the Flash IDE – this version is written in AS3 using the free FLEX compiler and the FlashDevelop IDE. Aside from the fact that I’m now using free tools, I’m also approaching flash in a totally different way – I don’t have to think of things in terms of MovieClips and whatever any more – and now that I’ve gotten my head around it, I think I’m more or less at a level where I can do anything in flash that I might want to do in C++, speed concerns aside! Well, hopefully, anyway.

As for the project itself, Buster Drake is maybe bigger than I’d expected. Even the smaller, scaled back version that I’m working on now is probably going to take maybe a week or two to put together – so I’m putting it on hold for a little while to focus on other things. Specifically:

New Strategy Game:
So without giving too much away, there’s this little game that I’ve had in mind for ages and ages and ages – since the qb minigames days, actually! It’s basically a turn based territory control game that I like because it has a really interesting “capture” mechanic, but I’ve never really tried to make it seriously because that’s really all there is to it, and I’ve always felt like there was something missing. Just recently I had a jolt of inspiration that makes the game work, so I’m going to give it a shot and see how it works out 🙂 And I’m going to use flash! More details soon…

Commonplace Book Competition:
Aside from the B-Games contest last year, I’ve entered every game-making contest on TIGSource so far, and I like this theme a lot so I’d love to make a game for it. I was originally going to collaborate with another guy on something small, but unfortunately our “schedules” clashed and that doesn’t look like it’s going to go ahead anymore. I have something else in mind though. Something a little… different. A little darker than the stuff I normally make.

The deadline’s next Thursday though, so I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be entering or not just yet.

Untitled Tower Game:
This is the main project I worked on at TIGJam – here’s the mockup that Dock put together!


Dock and Corpus were working on a simple platformer on rails about falling, and I had this tower platformer engine [EDIT: Inspired by Nebulus, obv] from the previous night’s 3 hour “pick a game idea out of a hat” jam (I got “Trees”), so we decided to combine the two! We don’t really have anything playable just yet, but this is going to be my main focus for the next couple of days, so I hope it won’t be long before we do! The basic engine is all in place now bar one little silly thing, so we’re at the stage of adding gameplay elements.

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MAVERICK BUS: Stay the Course

Things finished on a high note too 🙂

TIGJam:UK was awesome – I’ll post some of the more serious stuff I worked on tomorrow!

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Unattended Luggage

Things are off to a good start! 😀

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Stereoscopy and Stuff

This year’s Gamma theme is Stereoscopy – basically, games that require 3D glasses. I’m not sure if I’m going to take part yet, but it’s a cool enough theme that I figured I’d at least look into it. I ordered a pair of glasses off ebay, and they arrived this morning – have a look!

Snazzy, huh? Even if I don’t end up making anything for the exhibition (submission date isn’t till mid october), it’ll be worth having the glasses so I can play all the entrants. 🙂

Cool and all as it is, it’s not an easy theme to work with – the golden rule for participants is that your game must use this effect in such a way that it’s central to the gameplay. Games that just use it as a visual gimmick won’t be considered. Which is kinda tough, because the whole thing basically *is* a visual gimmick. I’ve been thinking it over a lot since it was announced, but it’s extremely difficult to come up with something that wouldn’t just work equally well or better in standard 3D.

I figure the key to this is to allow the player to manipulate the actual elements which create the effect – I’m thinking, vaguely, of a puzzle game where the player controls the blue layer of a level with one analogue stick and the red layer with another, but I haven’t got anything more concrete than that yet. Part of the problem is that I don’t know very much about the effect yet – I’ll need to experiment a bit first.

Anyway, I’ve been searching about for some decent images to try out the glasses with, and that’s already been very educational. First lesson I’ve learned – images with a lot of red or blue don’t come out well. Some images look fantastic with the glasses; others just give you a headache. I’ve complied a few of the better ones in case anyone wants to see some good examples; they’re after the jump…

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Unfinished Projects

Because loads of other people at TIGSource were doing it, I put together a mosaic of a random smattering of my unfinished projects:

Bigger version here! (over 2megs)

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The other side

Today is my 8,742nd unbirthday. But I ask you, what is an unbirthday? Wikipedia defines it as “as an event that is typically celebrated on any of the 364 or 365 days in which it is not the person’s birthday. It is a neologism coined in Lewis Carroll‘s Through the Looking Glass, giving rise to “The Unbirthday Song” in the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland”.”

“This article was nominated for deletion on 22/2/2006. The result of the discussion was no consensus.”

This post represents proof of my apparent Internet addiction (which wikipedia reckons isn’t a real addiction, but what does wikipedia know anyway?), demonstrating my inability to stay offline and focus on making my new puzzle game for even a day.

That’s actually a lie. I worried that my site might be a bit boring over the next few weeks (what with me not updating it and everything), so I queued up some nonsense articles and postdated them. So yey, nothing to worry about yet!

Fun fact: if you leave a comment here, it’ll be weeks before I see it! Whatever “weeks” means.

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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 🙁 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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Another one for the scrap heap

Well, so much for that. I’m not finished, and it wasn’t shaping up to be any good anyway. So consider it scrapped 😀

Now, back to these game proposals! Sorry they’re taking so long…

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Any day now, no doubt

For the last few days I’ve been sick, so I didn’t get a chance to develop that C64 platform game from the last post any further than the map editor stage. I haven’t worked at it long enough to know if there’s a potentially good game there, but maybe that’s for the best. I can indifferently scrap it now having wasted only one evening working on it, whereas if I’d worked at it for a couple of days, it might have looked like a promising game at this stage. No doubt it would have stretched out over a month or longer, and I’d have ended up where I always do – with a swarm of incomplete projects, and no real passion to put in the grunt work required to make a good game out of any of them. I’m better off sticking with Major Arcana for a while longer, I think.

However, I’m not quite ready to get back into that just yet. I’m still getting over this dose, for a start, and anyway I want to plan things out a little better this time. First thing I need to do is make a list of all the bugs from the demo, and fix the ones that are engine related (as opposed to script related).

As I have this week to do nothing in particular, I think I’ll spruce up the website a bit. I’ve been meaning to for quite a while now – about half of the hits I get are to that rubbish top ten indie games article from the start of the year, and in particular I’d love to clean that up. Oh! And I need to make a new games page! It’s a bit silly calling this a website when all I have on it is the blog and a couple of links.

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