Archive for the 'vanda game' Category

Elegy

voix_dead_GAMEOVER
The game over screen, featuring broken items important to the game – a mask, a sword, a potion bottle.

Here’s something that really sucks about the way I approach making games: a lot of things I work on don’t work out. Like, for every game I finish, there are five or six unfinished ones, in some cases games I’ve spent weeks or even months on.

When those games are just mine, it’s sad, but I just accept it as part of my creative process – failed projects sometimes become the core of something new and better. It’s just what works for me, for better or worse.

When one of those projects is a collaboration, though, it’s different.

My game with Cristian Ortiz didn’t work out. 🙁 Essentially the design just wasn’t as deep as I had hoped when I initially prototyped it, and we got carried away and let the thing grow huge and way out of proportion. We ended up with something that was gonna take months to finish, and probably wasn’t a strong enough idea to be worth that kind of time.

With solo projects, I rarely announce when they don’t work out. But since this was a collaboration, and a project we worked on for several months on and off, I think it’s important to mark it. Partially just to have some closure, but mostly because Cris did a bunch of amazing work for the game and I really want people to see it:

hollow_templar_lineup
The Hollow Templar! A mini-boss that was supposed to be half way through the game.


A gif of some combat!( Some of the GUI stuff was placeholder)

skeleton_warrior_lineup
A skeleton enemy. To be honest, I just really like Skeletons. Wanna make a skeleton game at some point…

voix_inventoryPose
The main character. The mask lets him see things that other people can’t see.


Another gameplay gif, blocking an attack.

frog_lineup
A frog enemy. Part of the concept meant that all the enemies needed to be non-human.

items
Various items found around the monastery.

Working with Cris was an absolute pleasure – I’m hoping we’ll end up working on something else in the future!

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Bam #screenshotsaturday

knightblock

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Perfect #screenshotsaturday

perfect

My little dungeon crawler is starting to take shape. Should be done in the next few weeks!

I’ve been working with an artist on this one, Cristian Ortiz! (A lot of the interfacy stuff will be changing before we’re done)

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Busy making other plans

Hello 2014! Don’t worry, I’m not making any public new year’s resolutions – I never keep em anyway.

I was just thinking that I haven’t been posting much here recently, you know? Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve said much at all about what I’ve been working on. So, here we go: a snapshot of projects I’ve been working on recently, projects I’ve been thinking about working on, and projects I’m planning to come back to:

vandajan
Untitled DarkSoulslike

Last time I mentioned this, I was looking for an artist. Well, I found one! A very talented London based comic artist called Cristian Ortiz, aka CROM, creator of Golden Campaign.

Collaborations have a way of getting a little out of hand, but I’m still hoping that this one will come together as a small, contained world to experience. Realistically, I think it’ll take another month or so.

roundabout
Halting Problem

I took a complete break from this game just before the IGF submission deadline last year. I haven’t worked on it since. I needed some time away from it. Still do. I wanna finish a few small things before I take this on again.

Halting Problem is a big, scary game. There are a few ideas at its heart that I think have potential to be very, very special, if I’m good enough to bring them to life. I haven’t forgotten about this game. It feels the way Super Hexagon did, the way VVVVVV did, and the way At a Distance and Nexus City did – that idea that won’t go away.

When I come back to this game, I don’t want there to be any distractions – I can feel that working on this one is going to be all consuming, that’s it’s going to take everything I have.

7drl5
Untitled Roguelike

I worked on a game for last year’s 7DRL that I still think about a lot. I dunno when I’m going to find time for it. Maybe it’ll resurface at some point, as something else.

isling
NewCity RPG

I moved to London at the end of last year, and spent my first month here making an RPG about it. It’s a game about a place, and mostly about getting across what that place is like – lots of distinct areas with their own personality, based on whatever alien impression a brief visit with them left me with. There’s a shoreditch level, an islington level, a few other places – and an underground system that links it all together.

I’m long enough here now that it doesn’t feel alien to me anymore, so I’m not sure where to take it. Maybe that’ll come to me, as I get to know the city a bit better.

vect
Vector thing

Really, it’s just tech at this point, and an idea. I owe Stephen a fan game…


VVVVVV’s last hurrah

VVVVVV is always going to be really damn important to me. It’s my final fantasy, the game that changed everything for me.

I’ve had an incomplete iOS version of the game working for over a year now, but other projects have kept me from finishing it up. I’d really like to get that out soon, though. Over Christmas I spent a little time finishing up the port, and I’m happy to say that the really hard stuff is done, now. I just need a week or two to sort out the details.

In addition, Nicalis have been porting the 3DS version of the game to PS Vita, and it feels wonderful on it.

So here’s an announcement of sorts, then.

This year, I’m going to release VVVVVV on PS Vita, on iPad, on iPhone, on Android, on Ouya. And, if I can manage it, all at the same time. This will very likely be the last thing I ever do with VVVVVV, and I wanna go out with a bang!

<3

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Wanted: Artist, maybe, I dunno, aghh

For the last month or so, I’ve been working on a couple of different small projects. Here’s another one I started recently!

vanda

I went to a jam at London’s V&A museum about a week ago. The theme: make a game inspired by the exhibits.

One of my favourite recent games is Dark Souls, and this seemed like a good opportunity to make a small Dark Souls inspired thing. One of the many things I love about that game is how it tells you about its world – letting you slowly piece things together for yourself as you discover useful game items containing parts of its history, fragments of stories with crucial details omitted.

I thought I’d try making a sort of dungeon crawler that had the same approach to item lore, only, based on real life museum exhibits from the V&A. Items that implied details of history lost in time, mysteries never solved. Pretty straightforward for a two day jam, I figured! Anyway, I got sidetracked and made a cool combat engine thing instead.

Here’s a vine!

I’ve basically got this really simple Dark Souls meets JRPG meets Street Fighter inspired system going on. It’s all about blocking at the right time, attacking at the right time, while managing your health, stamina and status effects. Nothing too complex, but it’s frantic and fun! I ripped the cutscene code out of my Experiment 12 game to make the battle animations, which are just clunky single frames that pan and shake.

So, here’s the thing. After the jam, I sat down and had another look at the game, and figured out some kind of bigger plan for what I want to make out of it. I wanna finish this up as a small, completely non-commercial thing and I’m just going to throw up online – and I’d like to do it soon, before the end of the year, preferably before Christmas.

It seems like it’s going to require a LOT of art assets, though. That one battle in the vine has three idle frames, three attack frames, a blocking frame, and it’s not even complete at that. And that’s just one enemy. I’m planning to have about eight of them! I’ll probably end up just doing palette swaps, but still.

So that’s a lot of work, and it’s not really work I’m that into doing – I’d much rather spend my time focused on the design, which itself has a bunch of scary time consuming challenges. So, I figured, why not team up with someone who actually enjoys drawing! You know, an artist!

I’m usually super reluctant to team up with artists, but I think it makes sense here, and it could be fun – I kinda love the idea of finding someone who brings something unexpected and cool to this universe.

So! If this sounds like something you’d be into and you’ve got some free time this month, drop me a mail, and we’ll talk more about it. (if you’re based in London, even better!)

Edit: I’ve found somebody! Thanks for the offers 🙂

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