Mech game: week 1

Here’s something I’ve been working on lately. I haven’t time to do much on it in the last couple of days, but what you see here is the state of things after a week of messing around in Unity. I’ve never gotten anywhere in the past with Unity, although it’s a lot of fun. This one is coming out pretty neat though, so when I get a chance I’ll be adding things to kill and some multiplayer.


Ssshifty + Escape from Puppy Death Factory

[Ssshifty] was whipped up in a couple hours pre-KotMK to try out a little block-swapping mechanic. Although it’s a puzzle game, the solutions are simple and the prominent timer and high-tempo Hebereke music are intended to drive the player on because it’s cool when played recklessly.

Ssshifty served as the basis for our pitch to Adult Swim Games which eventually became Escape from Puppy Death Factory (Although I left the project some time before the final release, leaving it in Arthur Lee’s capable hands: when I was still working on it the project was still dubbed K9 From Outer Space), a SNESsy puzzle/exploration game partially inspired by Anna Anthropy’s Redder. The very first pitch wasn’t about dogs, though: it would’ve been a pastel 60s sequential puzzle platformer about a spy outsmarting guards with his handheld block-swapping raygun.


Cloud Control

[Cloud Control] was developed immediately prior to Enough Plumbers, but was released a while after. It’s a simple precision puzzle game about clouds: when your cloudmass touches a neutral cloud they are assimilated and move along with the rest of you, changing your shape and limiting your ability to navigate the storm clouds which serve as obstacles. Pretty straightforward. But there’s also a story unfolding in the background which progresses as you advance. However, being clouds, you don’t care. Clouds don’t care about anything.

Surprise origin story: the prototype for this game was a rough Klik & Play thing for a Halloween Klik of the Month Klub, and was about crappy klipart zombies assimilating humans while avoiding fruit (zombies don’t like fruit).


Enough Plumbers + Marios

[Enough Marios] was put together in two hours (plus twenty minutes for the poster/title screen while I was SO EXCITED chatting in the event IRC pre-game) for Klik of the Month Klub #33. It’s an “ascended glitch” kusoge thing and a bit of a gag about a franchise star’s disposability (and… frequency) as a product.

[Enough Plumbers], the full-sized sequel, expands on the original with many more levels, a boss, and great tunes by Arthur “Mr. Podunkian” Lee. It’s more of a love letter this time, and with something like 20 million plays by this point, probably my most widely-played game to date.



Gnilley was my solo entry for Global Game Jam 2010, put together in under 48 hours at the Powehouse Museum’s secret underground caffeine dungeon. It was originally about pitch and colour, but ended up being about screaming and colour instead. Just watch the video.

The hardest part of a jam can be settling on a single idea, so my initial approach once the theme is announced is always to think back through cool ideas I’ve had and shelved for later. Reminded by the interpretation of the jam’s theme of “snowing” (which can refer to white noise on a television screen), Gnilley originated from one of those ideas: a horizontal shmup where the player’s ship emits a beam attack in a cone which is wider the louder the player shouts, and changes colour depending on pitch. Having your beam at the correct pitch/colour would make like-tinted enemies die faster, and adjusting the beam width would allow you to concentrate fire on tough foes or spread it out for groups. I might still make it one day. Anyway, in the fifteen minutes we were given to come up with a pitch, I quickly simplified the idea to a Zelda-like thing (and even ended up using Zelda tiles thanks to the time limit) to make implementation a little more sensible given the time limit (scrolling shooters can require quite a lot of level content, unless you make them random, which always looks lame) and because I thought it would appeal to an audience better, as we’d been told there’d be some sort of presentation at the end.

The presentation went well, the video went viral for a couple of days, and Gnilley ended up being one of the most downloaded GGJ games of that year. It appeared in dozens of magazines and online news sites, and there’s like a million LP’s on youtubs. Check that out some time if you really like hearing people yell in German.

I’m hoping to finish a game-sized sequel for PC, Mac and mobile later this year.


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)]



[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.


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 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.


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.


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)]



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)]