At a Distance at SPIELSALON

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The next public viewing of At a Distance will be as part of this year’s SPIELSALON, a festival in Kassel, Germany from the 13th-17th of July! Unfortunately I won’t be there in person, but I believe there’s a chance Jonas will be there, as his game Alphaland is also part of the festival. Feel free to bug him with loads of questions about Nexus City!

From the website: The SPIELSALON is the festival of author games. It reflects the artistic development of computer games with a theoretical as well as a hands-on approach.


Video from No Quarter

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Just thought I’d share this video of the No Quarter exhibition that NYU just posted! There’s also this writeup by Kill Screen.

Now that No Quarter’s finished up, I think I’ve got some idea now of how I want to finally release At a Distance, but honestly it’ll probably be some time before anything happens with it. In the meantime I want more people to be able to play it, so I’ve been talking to some game festival organisers about possibly showing it at some other venues this summer! I’ll post more once they’re confirmed.


Side by side

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At a distance is finished! It had it’s début last Thursday at NYU Game Center’s No Quarter Exhibition in New York, which I attended. Some very minor opening night bugs aside, the game worked out just as I’d hoped it would, with people talking about it over the course of the night and piecing together its logic. I couldn’t be happier about it!

If you wanna hear a bit more, two New York journalists Stephen Totilo of Kotaku and Cassandra Khaw of also attended the exhibition, and were kind enough to write a bit about my game! (There are some spoilers in those links, but nothing too serious.)

Since the exhibition, a lot of people have been asking me when they can play it – honestly, I’m not sure. It’s very much built for this particular setup, with two computers side by side; really, I don’t think it works outside of that arrangement. And I don’t expect a lot of people to go to the trouble of setting that up.

I could just throw it up on the internet now as it is, I suppose, but what I think I’d rather do is take some time to consider how I might expand it, how I might make it accessible to more people. I’m really proud of this game, and I want more people to play it.

In the meantime, if you’d like to play this or any of the other No Quarter games, the exhibition will continue to run in NYU Game Center for the rest of the month. I won’t be there, but if you do go check it out, let me know how you get on!

Oh! And if you happen to be running an event that you’d like to show At a distance at, get in touch!


So Close

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I missed a deadline last night – I’d planned a small playtesting party at our place here in Cambridge, planned it over a week ago, but I totally underestimated how much work I actually needed to do to get everything to come together. So, had to cancel that. We played NIDHOGG instead.

No Quarter itself isn’t for almost two weeks, so I’m not worried about missing the deadline or anything like that; but it would be cool to have some time to test it out properly and polish it up before the exhibition. So I’m probably gonna give this weekend’s Ludum Dare a miss. Which I absolutely hate doing, especially as I like the theme, but it’s for the best.

It’s so close! This’ll be the biggest game I’ve finished since VVVVVV. Should probably start trying to come up with a name.


Player two connected

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So, this week, my game finally became two player!

Sometimes I wonder if it mightn’t have been saner just to hammer out some fun little multiplayer action game for this exhibition. It certainly would have been a lot less scary.

Pretty much every game I’ve finished before this has been what Michael Todd described in his GDC lecture on game design and depression as “procedural” – as in, I’d have the basic heart of the game working right away, and spend the rest of the time expanding on that. This game is different – the downside of working on something like this, something with a grand, overall concept, is that it can take months before you’re even able to answer the question “is this going to work?”. And there have been times, while working on this game, where I honestly wasn’t sure.

This last week, though, I really feel like that question’s been answered. Yes, this is going to work. There’s something cool here.


Untitled, still

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(Note: These screenshots aren’t representative of the final game’s graphics anymore – I’ve gone with a more saturated look.)

A quick update on my new game: No Quarter is in less than six weeks! I’ve been working to a strict deadline and hope to have the game more or less finished by April 22nd for playtesting.

Stian sent me more music for the game today, and it’s absolutely bloody perfect. Still hoping to put together a video or something soon so I can share some of it.

To repeat something I said elsewhere: I know I’ve been complaining a lot about deadline pressure on twitter and in real life recently, but it’s only because I really feel like I’m on to something with this game, and don’t want to rush it. I don’t even know what it’s called yet.


It’s still untitled

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So, I got back from GDC last week. Hell of a lot of fun. Already can’t wait till next year!

Since getting back I’ve been crunching on my new game, which I still haven’t settled on a good title for. I’m really excited about the project, but the deadline’s getting closer and closer, which is pretty stressful (it’s supposed to be basically complete by the end of march, ready for playtesting in April). As a result I’ve had to scale down my ambition a bit to come up with a version of this idea that I’ll actually have time to make, but I think the game actually works better for being more compact, particularly for an exhibition setting.

In other news, I finally found a musician for the game! I got a surprising number of emails about the job – it wasn’t easy to choose, but eventually, I decided to work with Stian Stark. He made an amazing demo song which completely nailed the feel of the game and I’m really looking forward to hearing what he comes up with for the rest of it.

Hoping to put together a video or something as soon as I think of a title that fits.


My new game

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My new game was finally announced today, so now I can stop being so cryptic and actually talk a little about it! This is a game I’m making for this year’s NYU No Quarter exhibition, which takes place in New York this May. This announcement on Gamasutra has more information about the event.

It’s a two player game, designed to be played in an exhibition space. I don’t know what I’m calling it yet.

I should have some more to say about it in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a few screenshots: