23Nov2009

Mario’s Macross

This game is meant to be Nintendo-hard. It’s stupidly fucking impossible-hard, so just watch the video unless you’re good at video games or something. It’s more or less a mashup of Super Mario Bros. and Macross (NES), inspired by how I always get the name of Mario’s Picross wrong. The first level was put together in two hours for Klik of the Month Klub #29. I liked it and spent the rest of the day making a bigger game. The weird inertia was an attempt to realistically adapt Mario’s platform movement into eight directional flight, with the intention of being deliberately fiddly and difficult–it’s a flaw, but deliberately so: I was just sort of probing people’s tolerances with a throwaway game. Believe that or don’t.

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 1mb)]


        20Nov2009

elacsy

[elacsy] was my first Flash game, and first exposure to AS3 and Flixel. It’s a remake/port of features from elacsy and 2elacsy, with a few elements originally intended for the the incomplete 3elacsy. It still features Nastyman’s great musics. Rather than regular levels the game features procedurally generated stages seeded by a word the player enters, so players pursuing the achievements or high scores can choose to experiment with different worlds in addition to honing their skills.
While development only took a week, it ended up serving as a multi-month learning experience regarding Flash game licensing and dishonest portal operators, before eventually finding a home on Newgrounds thanks to the awesome Tom Fulp.


        06Nov2009

Popovkast games

Popovkast: Arthur “Mr. Podunkian” Lee’s occasional get-drunk-and-make-shit-in-an-hour IRC challenge. Since he and I tend to be the two drunkest people around, we’ve done a couple of these where the only two participants have been us.

THE WORST MISTAKE:

The Worst Mistake was built for the theme “the worst mistake”. You are a sperm who bounces off annoying crap looking for the joke.

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 1mb)]

Pod made “mistake“. Nobody else made anything.

GARFEILD ADVENTURE:

This time the theme was this image. I can’t remember where I found it or why, but it’s from the Japan-only Garfield: A Week of Garfield.

[PLAY (flash, 3mb)]

Pod’s game this time was Garfield Knight. Both of these were KNP originally, since this happened after he wanted to participate in KotMK but missed it.


        21Sep2009

Lonely Hermit Dorf

Another KotMK game. Question: can you make Dwarf Fortress in two hours with Klik & Play?

Rather than managing your dorfs, in this game you play a single dwarf carving out a home solo. Your goal is to really just to survive. Or whatever, there are elephants to milk too. Once you get the ULTIMATE WEAPON and put down a pachyderm or two there’s not much left to do, but getting to that point takes some figuring out.

[PLAY (flash, 300kb)]

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 300kb)]


        20Sep2009

KILL GOD

Isn’t it interesting how the beautiful patterns which appear in “bullet hell” danmaku shooters derive their beauty partly from repeated patterns which are actually helpful to the player. While at first they can look too intricate to be anything but aesthetic flair, if you build attack patterns from bullets to which you’ve given a brain with a couple of simple rules you start to see the effect emerge naturally once they’re flying all over the screen and layering with one another. It’s easy to see how we evolved from random bullet shitstorms.

Built for Klik of the Month Klub #27, the idea here was to see if I could do a shooter with pretty bullet patterns in 2 hours and with KnP. Turns out: just barely.

Features the god from Drawn to Life (it had just come out and people were still talking about it) with three phases and a bunch of attacks, and a special cameo by a John Romero impersonator.

[PLAY (flash, 2.5mb)]


        04Sep2009

2XUE

As kids, we’d use whatever was lying around to create games. A Cluedo set has everything you need to craft an exciting role-playing experience or a violent unit-level wargame. Chinese Checkers is nicely colour-coded to represent the forests, snowfields, lakes and volcanic plains of a star-shaped continent with some yellow bits left over for dudes. All you need is a box of bits, and two players can invent a game and then play out the story that emerges between them. It’s possible to roleplay without anything at all, but having some bits enforces limitations upon which a structure can find some footing.

Computers ought to be great at this sort of thing, after all if the bits can be entirely virtual then they can be virtually infinite. But still paucity sparks imagination better than the blank page, and while some games let you use their bits to make other things it’s a deliberate, focused activity totally unlike the convivial act of arguing over whether Colonel Mustard represents a Genestealer or a teleporter node.

So the idea was to make a game that’s totally about high-speed editing. One player wields the mouse and designs levels concurrently to the person next to them playing through the previously-designed level on the same screen. Ideally it should take roughly as long to design as to finish a stage (something I failed at here, since I didn’t have anybody to test the game with), but then again, won’t players make any downtime part of the game? Maybe it’s a valuable storytelling intermission! That’s something that’s going to vary from player pairs to player pairs, and the sort of thing that made this an interesting experiment. Originally it was to have been a platform game but I switched to top-down Gauntlet-style play to build the game in the 24 hours I had remaining after my first attempt at Ludum Dare 15 attempt didn’t work out.

Since then I’ve learned of other games that do similar things, but I think most of those are more recent, so this may be the first that set out to provide a bits box for this type of emergent play. It placed first out of 144 entries in the Innovation category of LD15.

While working on this I told my girlfriend that I was making something we’d be able to try together. But she hates games so I haven’t ever played this game, even once.

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 2mb)]


        17Aug2009

MOTORCYCLE COCK

The Ys series of games are interesting. They’re action RPGs, but combat is simplified to simply walking into enemies. While the damage you can do to one another varies based on stats as usual, whether or not you hit is totally positional–if you hit an enemy off-centre you’ll always score a clean hit. The inspiration for MOTORCYCLE COCK came while playing a Ys I & II on the DS. Originally it would probably not have been about a motorcycle with a penis, or even an RPG. Rather something like R-Type with all of the weapons stripped away leaving you a vulnerable ship behind an invulnerable weapon, always in a left-right configuration, exploring an omnidirectional environment where threats may either be impassable or trivial depending on from which side they are approached.

Instead the idea cycled back into an RPG for a small 48-hour RPG-making challenge, although there’s a remnant of the original idea in the final upgrade the player receives. It again takes inspiration from Ys, this time borrowing the drastic difficulty curve which takes the player quickly from being incredibly vulnerable to basic enemies to being able to deal with foes an orders magnitude more deadly, via a very rapid-fire level-up loop.

I approached it like a 48-hour Klik of the Month Klub. That means using Klik & Play, lots of hideous library graphics and stolen sound effects, dongs jokes everywhere and doing some wizard shit to manage enough global variables with KnP to make a large multi-screen RPG work.

Note: I didn’t emphasise this enough in-game, but you can spare yourself some grinding by using spacebar to teleport back to town for 100gp at any time.

[DOWNLOAD (16bit windows, 1mb)]

[DOWNLOAD (32bit windows, 1mb, introduces some bugs)]


        08Aug2009

Starman

Starman was my first Klik of the Month Klub submission.

KotMK is my favourite jam. It’s the ultimate in low-effort, low-expectations game challenge, which makes it a fantastic place for free expression and experimentation. Most klikwreckers use build their submissions in Klik & Play, an ancient and extremely limited 16-bit game authoring tool which was terrible even when it was new. There’s also a two-hour time limit, which means the entries need to be slapped together with ludicrous haste, from the nearest art and sound assets within arms’ reach, mortared with a sort of congealed paste-like form of love.

In this game, the player’s first steps into ostensibly familiar territory take silly unexpected turn. I took this surprise further for the intended audience (veteran KnP users) by disguising the game as a KnP game when in reality it’s built in Construct, allowing it to do something entirely out of the blue.

Jump on the goomba!

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 1mb)]


        19Apr2009

Standard Waiver

Standard Waiver, a short atmospheric first-person exploration game, was my first Ludum Dare entry, and my first Construct game. Now that I think of it, it was also my first faux-3D thing and my first attempt at making a game entirely an atmospheric experience. There’s a cute little gimmick too which I won’t spoil.

Longish postmortem on the LD site if you’re interested.

[Download (windows, 8mb)]


        07Apr2009

ClassPDQ

I taught English to kids in Guangzhou for a while, and I’d sometimes come up with original board games or computer games which ran on the projector to make classes interactive. This isn’t an original one, this is just a simple implementation of PDQ, because sometimes you have five minutes left at the end of a class and need something for them to do. It’s a game where you make words by drawing three random letters and adding your own (so we draw T, A and L, so you yell out “pTerodActyL!” and get some points). It’s up here in case anyone finds it useful. One day I’ll dig up some others and make them releasable.

It allows you to roll letters and assign points to two (definable) teams with a three-button mouse if you have one, which is useful for jumping around or roaming the room with a wireless mouse. You can enable a timer, and set the letter pool. You can also use a word list, from which the game will pick a random word and then select three random letters from that word in order, which is good for avoiding difficult combinations like XWQ. A short default word list from a Chinese junior high textbook vocabulary is included.

[DOWNLOAD (windows, 1mb)]