Archive for the 'squish' Category

Holy Crap, etc

Guess what was on this month’s PC Gamer UK coverdisk!

Awesome! 😆

It was mentioned in the magazine too along with a few other Demakes from the same contest – they also blew up and used my horrible 4am last minute sprite from the game for some reason!

Yey!

[Edit] After the jump; a picture from inside the magazine courtesy of Seregrail7!
Read more »

* 6 Comments

Squish Version 1.3

Tomorrow I’m heading off to London to TIGJam:UK! I can’t wait! I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to work on out there yet – possibly Buster Drake, possibly something totally new – there’s talk of a 3 hour poppenkast style thing on the first night, so there’s a very good chance that I’ll have a new game out (or at least a new prototype) by the start of next week!

As for old stuff, I finally got around to updating Squish today. I created virtually all of the original levels on the last day of the demakes contest and I’ve never been totally happy with some of them – so I decided to recut the arrangement. I’ve created a couple of small, easy levels which bridge together some concepts in the game a bit better, I’ve taken a few levels from the extra “Gates” stage in v1.2 and mixed them in with the original levels, and I’ve totally rearranged the stages. The six levels that I cut from the game have been moved to a custom stage simply called “Rejected Levels”.

I don’t like difficulty “curves” in games; particularly in puzzle games. For some reason it seems to be a widely held opinion that games should start easy and get harder in a fairly linear fashion. I don’t think that works because (a) unless things ramp up quickly at the start, it often means that the early levels are dull, (b) if the game gets quite hard, then near the end most players will simply hit a wall and not progress any further and (c) it’s not as satisfying to solve a difficult or clever level when it’s sandwiched between several equally hard levels. I prefer difficulty “waves” – i.e. where the difficulty of a game oscillates between satisfying difficult levels and rewarding easy levels all the while increasing gradually. That’s what I was aiming for with the original level arrangement, but I don’t think I really got it right. Hopefully I’ve made a better job of it this time!

[Download Squish V1.3 here, 2.9Mb]

* 3 Comments

Demakes Results

The results of the Bootleg Demakes contest are out: Squish managed a very respectable 7th place (out of 68 games), which is far higher than it probably deserves given its glitchy last minute nature and the high standards of the other games in the contest 🙂 Thanks very much to all 48 of you out there who voted for it – I really appreciate the support!

I’m delighted to see Soundless Mountain II take first place (I embedded a video above if you haven’t seen it yet) – I was worried that it mightn’t do as well as it deserved to, considering how faithful to the original it was and given that Silent Hill 2 was such a marmitey (?) type of game. Thankfully, it looks like Silent Hill 2 was more popular than I realised, at least among TIGSourcers! 🙂 Congrats Superflat!

* Post a Comment

Way more than just regular disappointment

Extreme Disappointment is Josiah Tobin‘s third album as Swimfail, and his best yet 🙂 Josiah did the soundtrack for Squish just a few weeks ago; if you liked the music in that, you’ll love this.

Here’s a quick example of what to expect – the opening track “Kid”, for me one of the most memorable songs on the album:

Kid:

You can download the whole thing for free here. Or buy a copy here if you wanna support him! 🙂

* 1 Comment

Holy crap, Squish on Bytejacker too (and my picks)

Bytejacker have a really cool episode this week, covering their favourite games from the recently finished Bootleg Demakes contest at TIGSource! If you haven’t gotten around to checking them out yet, this would be a very good way to get up to speed. They also gave a mention to my entry, Squish, which was really great of them – I’m still reeling from the Self Destruct mention last week, but my recap of “Woohoo!” applies doubly much now 😀

You can watch the high quality version here, if you’re lucky enough to be one of those gamers with fast connections (regardless of your attention span 😛 ).

While I’m on the subject, in case you missed it on the forums, I’ve updated Squish since the release – it’s now got a level editor, a couple of new game elements, and best of all, a new eight level stage! Check it out if you haven’t already! Here’s what I posted over at TIGS:

I’m really happy with how the new levels came out, though I should warn you that they’re quite a bit harder than the ones in the original release… Here’s a screenshot of one of my favorite new additions! 😀

I know that chances are slim that anybody’ll be interested in making new levels, but I thought it was worth the work to implement the editor anyway, just in case I’m wrong 🙂 I think the core mechanic of the game is really interesting, and I’m sure there’s a lot to explore with the concept; particularly now with the added depth that the two new elements offer. I’m sure there are a lot of aspects that I haven’t considered at all that could make for some really interesting puzzles! 🙂

Anyway, please check it out and let me know how you get on with the new levels! And thanks again to everyone who’s tried it out already and left comments, I really appreciate the feedback!

And on the subject of the contest: I don’t think I’ll have time to do a proper writeup this time (certainly not one as detailed as the Procedural Generation Competition one anyway, yikes), but I’ve written TIGSource contest writeups for almost all the other contests, so I’ll at least share my favourites! This time we got to vote for the eight we liked best – here are the ones I went for:

Macarena Of The Missing – Noyb

[Limbo of the Lost]
For me, this is the best game of the contest. It’s a brilliant parody of Limbo of the Lost (and indeed, a lot of adventure games) that features some excellent puzzles, great writing and full voice acting that’s frankly better than it has any right to be, considering all 10 or so characters are voiced by the creator.

House Globe – Oxeye Games

[Homeworld]
Oxeye clearly have a knack for strategy games. I haven’t played the original, unfortunately, but I had a lot of fun playing this. It works so well as a simple 2D strategy game that I have to wonder what the extra dimension in Homeworld really adds to it.

Little Girl in Underland – The Ivy

[American McGee’s Alice]
One of the interesting things about this contest is that there’s no obvious winner. It really could go to any of about a dozen different games and I wouldn’t be surprised. If I had to guess, though, I think Little Girl in Underland has the best shot at winning: it may not get as many first place votes as some of the others, but I have a feeling it’s going to be in everybody’s top eight list somewhere. And with good reason! It’s short, polished, funny, smart, and a little bizarre: a fantastic combination when it comes to standing out against 68 other games.

Soundless Mountain II – Superflat

[Silent Hill 2]
DISCLAIMER: I consider Silent Hill 2 the best game ever made.
Silent Hill 2 tends to be a fairly polarising game: you either love it to bits, or you don’t “get” it. Soundless Mountain II is so faithful to the original that I expect it had the same effect on people who tried it out – personally? I loved it to bits. I don’t think you could possibly pick a harder game to demake, so I’m astonished at just how good a shot at it Superflat managed.

Aquarium – Oracle

[Aquaria]
This is actually one of the first games in the contest I played, but I knew right away that I’d be voting for it. It’s aesthetically perfect, boasting gorgeous graphics and a great 8-bit take on Alec’s music. Unfortunately it cuts out before it really gets going… 😥

Freefall Brass – Pacian

Fantastic! I only wish it was longer! Freefall Brass starts out really well, and just keeps getting better until suddenly the demo just… ends. Agh! I think Freefall Brass has the most potential out of all the entries for the contest, particularly since it’s a demake of a genre rather than of a specific game. I can’t wait to see how it develops.

Lady Boy Love Collection – Increpare

[Mega Man, Biocosm, Zorn’s Lemma, Sick Panda]
There were two aspects to this contest – “Bootleg”, and “Demake”. Almost everyone went the “Demake” route. LBLC, on the other hand, took the bootleg theme and handled it better than any other game in the contest. It even went as far as to create a bootleg system to emulate, the “Lady Boy”! A very funny game that really should be getting more attention than it is.

Smaze – ChrisFranklin, nfreakct and Jayson Napolitano

[Haze]
A really solid entry that I enjoyed a lot, once I got a hang of the controls. I haven’t played the original, but I loved this! It starts a little slow, and it’s a little tough at the start, but by the time you get to the second stage you’ll be hooked.

That’s that! They’re far from the only good games in the contest, of course – even choosing as many as eight meant making some hard choices 😥 I tried to name some “other” games from the contest that I really liked and wanted to recommend until I realised that I was basically naming almost everything in the competition. So I’ll just do that instead – check out everything! Do so as soon as you can! I have a feeling that people will be talking about this contest for some time to come 😀

* 4 Comments

On Crush

It appears that very few people have actually played Crush, the game that inspired Squish. So I thought I’d share a few videos to show people what the game is like:


The official trailer


Some in game footage

I actually didn’t stick very closely to the original at all; very few of the concepts had a convincing 2D parallel so I just kinda started making stuff up as I went along. I think I was able to at least demake the basic concept though (even though I originally wanted vertical squishing as well and didn’t have time)…

* 2 Comments

Squish Video

I put together a quick video of a few levels of Squish!


Direct link to the high quality version

Sorry it isn’t longer: I made it by recording my keypresses in game, outputting each frame as a bitmap and compiling the whole thing together, which left me with about 10 gigs of uncompressed video (at close to 60Mbs a second!)… I need to find a better way of doing this. 😛

* 1 Comment

Squish

Squish is my entry into TIGSource’s Bootleg Demakes contest, a contest that asked participants to remake a modern game in a retro style. It’s conceptually inspired by the very underrated PSP puzzle game Crush; rather than demake the game for a specific system, I demade the core mechanic in simpler terms. In Crush, the player can compress the 3D view of a level into a 2D view and transverse the level as if it was a 2D platformer. In Squish, the player compresses 2D views into 1D!

Honestly, I started out thinking of it as a joke entry – but the more I thought about it, the more convinced I got that there was potential for some really interesting puzzles here. So I figured I’d give it a shot – I wanted to make *something* for this contest after all, considering I wasted a whole week on a project that was just way too ambitious.

There’s quite a lot I wanted to implement but didn’t have time to – I started it on Friday, finished the engine on Saturday and as a result designed almost all the levels in one day, on Sunday, so it’s pretty rushed and it’s still kinda buggy… All the same, I’m really pleased with how it came out! You can download it here.

Squish features music by the awesome Josiah Tobin! You can check out his other music projects as Swimfail on myspace!

[edit] The game’s since been updated with a level editor and eight new levels, as well as two new gameplay elements!

[edit again] The game’s now at version 1.3 – check out this post to see what’s changed.

Anyway, have fun, hope you enjoy it!

[Download here, V1.3]
(Zip File, 2.9Mb)

* 22 Comments

Squish is go!

My latest game – check back tomorrow for a more detailed write up!

[edit: or maybe, like, tuesday – I’m still pretty tired… 🙁 ]

* Post a Comment