Dicey Dungeons 0.2

I’m trying out this thing where I release a public build of the game I’m currently working on every week. Feedback is very welcome!

So! New build of Dicey Dungeons is out! 0.2 brings a UI makeover, shops, money, equipment upgrading, a new items system, and some new enemies and equipment!

Read about the update (and play the new build) over at diceydungeons.com!

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Rolling in the Deep

Hello! I made a game for this year’s 7 Day Roguelike. It’s called Dicey Dungeons and you can go play it right now!

Only… well, it’s a bit broken. So much so that I freaked out a little bit about sharing it publicly at first. These days, I usually keep pretty quiet about prototypes – it’s been a long time since I shared something this rough.

The thing is, I really like this game. I think with a bit more work, this currently broken idea of a game could be really, really great. So I’m going to spend a little more time on it. Give it another two weeks. See where it goes.

This does means putting State Machine on hold for a few weeks, but I think that’s probably a good thing. Ruari and I have been working solidly on that for close to two and a half years, and I think we’re overdue a little creative break. (Ruari’s actually working on a very cool sideproject of his own that he should have some news about soon…)

I plan to be a bit more open about the development of this, so I’ve set up a discord? Yeah, I dunno, I just thought I’d try it! DICE PLANET.

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Constellation

Presenting, Constellation! Commissioned and created for Now Play This 2017.

Type stuff in, see what happens! You can play it right now in your browser at justtypestuff.com.

Constellation was made for running at parties and events! If you’re interested in showing it at a public event, let me know! I might even add some words for you!

[Play Online at justtypestuff.com]

[Download on itch.io]

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Quick thoughts about a new game

Hello! Allow me to introduce the newest member of my big pile of unfinished projects! Its working title is “It’s very cold” and it’s a failed entry for Ludum Dare 39. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it now – maybe I’ll finish it up at some point in the next few months? It’s not impossible!

It’s very cold is pretty heavily inspired by one of my favourite games from the last couple of years, The Long Dark.

The Long Dark, and in fact most of the games I’ve really loved from the past couple of years, have been slow games – games with lots of downtime, lots of waiting, repetition, ritual, plan making. I’m really interested in how a game like that ticks! How to pace something that plays out over hours in a way that feels gripping. That slow timing. It’s just so different from what I normally try to do.

I feel like I have pretty good intuitions when it comes to making fast games. But slow games? There’s a lot there I wanna try to figure out. And the best way to figure something like this out? Sit down and make something.

Will keep ye all posted should this game go anywhere.

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Some recent gifs and stuff

Been posting a lot of random gifs and picture of Constellation recently. Let’s put them all in once place!

Alistair Aitcheson leant me one of his Codex Bash buttons to show Constellation at Now Play This last weekend. It’s amazing! Hit the big blue button to make stuff happen. It’s a genuine puzzle to figure out how to release this thing without a big blue button to smash.

Colour cycling! I think this is probably the last filter (there’s 20 total, now)

Game was missing hands, so I added hands.

Hello

Goodbye

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Later Play This

Gosh, it’s been busy here recently. Two weeks ago Ruari and I showed State Machine at the Leftfield Collection at EGX Rezzed. The week after that, I showed my other game, Constellation, at Now Play This, a festival of experimental game design here in London.

Both festivals and both games went down really well, but I am now extremely sleepy. I think in future I will try to avoid debuting two new games at two different festivals on consecutive weekends.


(photo taken by Ben Peter Catchpole)

So, what’s next for Constellation? Hopefully a release, and any day now!

Constellation is basically a game where you type in anything you can think of and the game tries to respond to you, so in theory I could work on it forever – but after seeing people play it last weekend, I feel like it works better as a game with a tangible size, one that lets you play with a set of elements that you get to know well rather than one that tries to let you explore infinity.

Coming soon!

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Circuits and Secrets

So! State Machine, then!

Ruari and I haven’t really said anything about State Machine since revealing it two weeks ago. Honestly, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve been working on it for more than a year in secrecy – not talking about has sorta become a habit!

Anyway, I figure it’s best not to overthink it and just jump right in, so here’s some screenshots of a new system we’ve been working on recently – Electricity!

Electricity is cool because it ties a bunch of other systems in the game together. We’ll probably end up keeping it!

In the early part of the game it helps to illustrate how components interact (we used to use matching colours), and lets us make simple puzzles that introduce basic concepts.

In the later game, it turns into something more creatively expressive, as you (hopefully) start wiring things together yourself, and getting your robots to create circuits!

Oh, by the way, this week I’m at GDC! If you’re a journalist and you’re interested in checking the game out, get in touch! More than happy to demo the game for anyone interested while I’m in town!

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The Other Machine

Yay, looks like the Now Play This festival lineup just got announced! Time to announce another project that I’ve been working on recently:

Constellation is a sort-of-sequel to Constellation Machine, a jam game I made last year and have a bit of a soft spot for. Constellation is an attempt to take the ideas behind that further – to make something more visually interesting, more varied and more expressive.

I’m making Constellation for Now Play This, a festival of experimental game design running in London this April, where the game will debut! If you’re in London in April, come check it out!

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State Machine

[State Machine]

Phew, ok, here goes! The EGX Rezzed Leftfield lineup is out, and I’m very proud to announce that my new game is part of it!

The game’s called State Machine, and I’ve been working on it for a little over a year with Ruari O’Sullivan. You might remember a few blog posts about it at the start of last year – State Machine started as a tiny jam game for Ludum Dare at the end of 2015, and then never stopped.

From here on out I plan to post about the game quite a lot! We don’t know exactly when the game’s going to be finished yet, but we are aiming to release it this year! If you like, you can keep track of our development here. Or come play the game at EGX Rezzed in London at the end of March!

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Tiny Heist

Released in the last hour of 2016, I present: Tiny Heist! Scale the tower, avoid patrol bots and reach the rooftop with as many gems as you can find!

You can play Tiny Heist online here, or grab the downloadable versions!

[Play Online (Flash)]

[Download for Windows] | [Download for OSX]
[Source Code]

It’s also available to download on itch.io, or to play online on Kongregate and Newgrounds!

Some stray thoughts in no particular order:

  • This will probably be my last flash game. Oh well! Flash had a good run for me – 2008 to 2017 is a long time for a technology to stick around these days! In future, I plan to release my games primarily as HTML5 and desktop versions.
  • On that note, you can try out an experimental HTML5 version of Tiny Heist here! It’s still a little buggy and runs slower than it should, so I’m not including it “officially” above. I built Tiny Heist in my own framework Haxegon, which I’m actively working on, and which should hopefully speed up a lot as time goes on.
  • One of the big things I wanted out of this game was to learn about roguelike design first hand, and it’s definitely a success on that front. I learnt a lot making this. There’s a lot of stuff in this game that’s kind of a mess – things like timing, level generation, enemy design – but at a certain point it became more important to just finish the thing. Next time I try my hand at this genre should be a lot better, I think.
  • OMG it feels good to have this game finished! It’s been so long since I finished a substantial free game. Recently I’ve been knuckling down pretty hard on a big, serious project, so it was nice to vent and work on something lighter for a while.
  • I scaled this game down a lot to get it finished for the end of the year, but a lot of what I love about the project is still in there, though some of it buried very deep. I hope you enjoy playing it and discovering its secrets!
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