Never Opened

As usual, I totally overestimated the amount of work I’d be able to at the last minute… however, by scaling things back quite a bit from my original idea, I was able to come up with something to submit to TIGSource’s Commonplace Book competition! Here’s a link to the TIGSource thread.

It’s essentially just an arena shooter, using the backward-aiming mechanism that I’ve been meaning to use somewhere for ages. There’s a lot about the game that I’m not that happy with right now – I’m hoping to come back to it to give it a serious polish over the next few weeks – but one thing I’m really happy with is the boss that appears after you’ve beaten a certain number of enemies! I think it’s worth playing for that, if nothing else. (Believe it or not, I was originally planning on having seven bosses as well as all the “tower defence” stuff – dunno how that was gonna happen realistically…)

I should probably note here that I made this in Game Maker (as an experiment). I think it worked out quite well despite a few problems here and there (mostly with speed and getting collision to work properly); In fact I may use it again for something more serious! It saved me a lot of work, especially with setting things up in the early stages of development.

Controls: Press Z to shoot. You’ve got a limited supply of bullets, but your gun recharges after a few seconds if you stop shooting. You can also press X to quickly spin around while shooting, which can be quite useful but diminishes your supply of bullets more rapidly. The trick to doing well in this game is mastering the spin move (especially for the boss! πŸ˜‰ ).

[Download here, Contest Version]
(Zip File, 1.7Mb)


Spinning Around

Posted in never opened

Still not sure if I’m going to have this finished tonight, but it’s a possibility… I’ve had to scale back the idea I had in mind quite a bit already… πŸ™

You can’t really tell from this screenshot, but I’ve implemented something cool – it’s basically the same aiming system that I was using for Buster Drake, except there’s a “spin” button which makes you twirl around and shoot in all directions!



Posted in detonate

Here’s a screenshot of the new strategy game I mentioned a few days ago! I’m thinking of calling it Detonate? Maybe? I’m not really sure yet…

It’s *sorta* based on the rules of Overload from the C64, but tweaked a bit so that it’s methodical and strategic rather than chaotic and unpredictable πŸ™‚ I got the basic mechanics working today. Still quite a bit to do, though I’m aiming to have it finished by the end of the week!

Decided not to make a game for the CB contest after all πŸ™


Xoldiers on Bytejacker!

Xoldier’s is on today’s Free Indie Rapid Fire episode of Bytejacker along with Edit Mode’s Lightmare and JW’s 10,800 Zombies!

The show recently had a change of format, which basically means that instead of the Free Indie of the week thing they used to do, they just select three games and have viewers vote for their favourite on Thursday’s episode. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Thursday, but it’s cool to see it mentioned in any case! πŸ™‚

Incidentally, Bytejacker has been really good recently – last week they had a roundtable interview with three designers from the AGS scene which is well worth checking out. I kinda wish the show would do more of this sorta thing (like the demake roundup) – I think it’s at its best when it focuses on the indie stuff. (but then, I guess I’m sorta biased πŸ˜€ )


Holy Crap, etc

Posted in squish

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

Awesome! πŸ˜†

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!


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


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 πŸ™‚ 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.



Time for something a little more serious!

Xoldiers is a short level based shooter by me and Cactus. The X stands for explosions*! (*no it doesn’t)

[Edit] We’ve updated the game! The new version includes a level editor, and, get this, an online level database accessible inside the game! Our simple approach comes with an upload limit so only small/medium size levels can be uploaded, but still, neat, huh? πŸ™‚ This version also includes in-game highscores, as well as some minor bug fixes.

Check it out here:

[Download | Highscore table]


Jetpack Super Adventure Time

This is the last of the “silly” games I worked on at TIGJam, though it is a bit more serious than the two Klik and Play ones. Things finished up kinda early on Sunday, so a couple of us went to a nearby hotel lounge to continue working, and we ended up collaborating on this.

Download Jetpack Super Adventure Time

One very cool thing to come out of this for me was that I’ve now learned how to use Game Maker – thanks to BenH talking me through it in London I have a new way to quickly prototype ideas! I’ve included the GM source with this, since I’m new to it – I’d really appreciate it if any GM users out there who play it could have a look and give me some pointers; there’s lots of stuff I was just messing about with without really knowing the best GM way of doing things… (some things in particular; I had to split the background into 10 pieces, I had to write some basic collision and physics code myself, I couldn’t work out how to get rid of that annoying screen tearing…)

Anyway, enjoy!

TIGSource Thread