I had the idea to wrastle up some local game designers and lock them all in a room until they unraveled the deepest darkest mysteries of game design for all to understand. Or perhaps they were just in my living room. Either way, what resulted was a massive first episode, full of disagreement and often contentious discourse that cuts to the very nature of what we think of as games. Intrigued? Luckily for you we recorded the whole 3.5 hour extravaganza and it’s now available for you to consume at your leisure. Direct all hate mail to me.
The aforementioned project that I found that I think other people might actually be interested in finally got a name and a writeup. It’s named Star. Ship. Story. and the basic gist is skill based co-op with a procedurally generated world and short form gameplay so you’re always in a unique setting and the game only expects 30 or so minutes of your time. There’s lots of details at that link so I encourage you to head over there if you want more info.
Well I’ve been rather silent on this blog for quite some time so I wanted to post a bit of what I’ve been working on.
This game includes:
- Sailing around and shooting stuff
- Procedurally generated worlds
- And of course, buried treasure
Target platform is online gaming portals such as Kongregate. ETA is still unknown but now that the game is moving along again at a good pace I expect it to be within a month or so. I know, famous last words…
This is a highly delayed post, mainly because I was waiting on Unity 3 to not be in beta anymore, and then once the full release happened my project crashed when opening. Well that’s all resolved now and I can finally publish UFO No!. This game was produced on the weekend of August 13, 2010 at a game jam hosted by UAT. The theme was “continuous motion” which I thought was a great theme for a game jam, much better than most.
I worked with a partner this time, an student artist from UAT named Arielle. She did some fantastic work and far exceeded my ability to implement features to use the artwork she created. One of our biggest issues was that since Unity was still in beta I couldn’t get a copy for Arielle to use for level design and layout. So a larger portion of my time went into level layout than I would have liked. Which leads me to all easily identifiable mistakes I made:
Mistake #1 – Choosing the wrong tool. Not Unity in general, but the Unity 3 beta. I should have just started the project in Unity 2.6 so we each could have a copy to work from.
Mistake #2 – Building the wrong game. When we developed the general idea for the game it quickly evolved into humans being hunted by a big alien ship. Initially we drew out a 2d design but my eyes being bigger than my (programmer) stomach I bit off a nice big chunk of 3d. Visions of using the detonator framework to make awesome cinematic cutscenes ran roughshod over what would have been a far superior game in 2d. In the end the 3d gameplay made the level design and basic character control much more complex than it needed to be leaving not enough time for creating more level and refining the game.
Mistake #3 – Spending too much time on things that don’t matter. I got distracted by the shiny pebble of awesome cinematic cutscenes when I should have been building more levels or implementing a proper menu system. Those things are not sexy though and so the cutscene won out. This was not a situation where theatrics wins out over weak gameplay.
So that about wraps it up. Not the most successful game jam game I’ve ever done, but not a terrible distaster either. Thanks again to Arielle for putting up with me for 48 hours and building basically any asset I asked for on super short notice.
I fondly remember playing Oregon Trail back on a Commodore in elementary school. Now the joy of dying to dysentery and running out of food is joyfully updated and brought to a modern audience via Organ Trail. Yep, Oregon Trail + Zombies = Awesome.
So I got around to posting the details of my Mini Ludum Dare #20 entry. This was a re-started entry halfway through the competition, so it was really more of a 24 hour game. Even as such I wasn’t really pleased with the design of my entry but I didn’t have anything better (until after the compo) and I figured if you pile on enough effects, maybe the end result won’t be crap.
The theme was greed so my primary mechanic was a “pushing it” type of game. You get exponentially more money the faster you are moving so 60MPH is a lot more money than 30MPH. Of course the faster you go the less reaction time you get. Also, there are no breaks, which means if you accelerate you can’t just decelerate. Well, you can, but it involves driving off the road and damaging your vehicle (and costing you some money too). So that’s a technique that has to be used somewhat sparingly. The last component were gold colored blocks that gave you a nice cash boost but also boosted your speed.
There was a special rule for that said you could only have 1 of any thing in your game. Thus the oddly shaped money and obstacles.
At the end of the race is a mud pit that will slow you down, but if you’re moving too fast you’ll still crash. Max survivable speed is around 85MPH.
So I had an idea the other day for a RoShamBo (Rock/Paper/Scissors) variant that I thought would add a lot of depth to a game that is pretty good for a few rounds, but doesn’t really hold up after 3 or 4 (my opinion of course). So, a weekend of dev and a few more days of polishing and then several days of boring business stuff (grrr iTunes app store setup), the game was finally ready to be released … after waiting 7 days in the review process. But that’s all over now, and RoShamBooyah! is out!
For the skinny on the game I recommend you just watch this gameplay video as it demonstrates the various features of the game.
I’m interested in any feedback, good or bad so let ‘er rip!