Hey there! I’ve spent a couple of days working on this month’s game and thought I’d share what I’ve got so far. The idea was inspired by the boxing bag training game from wii sports and this month’s optional theme of candy. Thanks to my big sis for the name idea 😀
I’m still deciding where to go with the idea so have two game types at the moment. ‘Smash’ which is just a click/tap as fast as possible and destroy as many as you can, while ‘Focus’ requires you to tap/click the targets in numerical order to get the highest score. It is still only at proof of concept stage but as cut down my dev time town this month (work, expo, my upcoming birthday 😀 sucking it all up) I’m not really fussed how polished I can get it.
Focus Mode. Click to play
If you follow me on Twitter or have liked my Facebook page you would’ve seen some of the really cool press that has come out of the expo. Check it out below!
This month is shaping up to be my best to date, and I’m only 3 1/2 dev days in! I’ve made loads of progress already and am excited to see how far I can get.
The game is called ‘Devolution’ and is my most abstract game to date. Story wise, the basic premise is that you have devolved to a simple state but with your human conscience and memories still intact. I’m attempting to keep it all very vague and moody with dialogue sequences and super cool music (the current track is Exurb by Gurdonark / CC BY 3.0).
Gameplay wise I’m focusing on action based puzzle solving using two layers of interaction; you can move about on the upper surface or dive below at any stage.
You can play what I’ve got for the tutorial at the moment by clicking the image below. I’m always looking for feedback so if you’ve got any let me know!
Click to check out the rough as guts tutorial
The lighting system is the latest awesome asset I have discovered via the Unity Asset Store. It’s called 2D Volumetric Lights from Reverie Interactive and it is terrific.
I’ve got high hopes for this one so hopefully I can maintain the same momentum throughout the month.
As I mentioned in my previous post, July’s game is an interactive fiction gamebook type thing called Vigilante.
In a nutshell:
You attend a peaceful protest which takes a turn for the worse when the police arrive. You burst into action with a superpower you never knew you had and find yourself thrust into a world you never knew existed.
The most recent protests and subsequent civil conflicts in the middle east have served as great inspiration. Combine that with my omnipresent love of superheroes and BAM I’ve got my premise.
Turkey’s Gezi Park protests and the police response has probably been the biggest influence thus far, and as I read more about it my interest grows. I’m not however using any explicit setting, hoping instead to give the sense that the events could happen anywhere. For the same reason I’m also keeping the player character a blank slate; they have no name, gender or any visual description to hopefully see the reader more easily project themselves and their choices onto them.
I don’t think I’m a great writer but one act in, I’m having fun regardless. I’m also really liking the format as a way to create/test cool worlds that would otherwise be too hard or take to long to make on my own as a video game.
I’m not thrilled with this month’s result and probably won’t take it further. I had a bunch more ideas to add to make it more ‘juicy’ but opted for polish instead. Some of the polish came in the form of sound effects, something I haven’t often had the time to include, so I’m pretty happy to have achieved that. Looking at the game in it’s current state I just don’t have the urge to do more to it, I’m yet to get a lot of feedback though so I guess I’ll wait and see if a consensus emerges.
The game is playable now over on GameJolt and is up and running successfully on my iDevices.
Click to play over on GameJolt
July is going to be very busy, with other commitments likely to take up almost a solid two week block of time. With half the month more or less gone before it’s even begun, my plan is to create a choose your own adventure game book using inklewriter (something I’ve mentioned previously). This means I don’t need to be cross disciplined for the month as programming and art requirements are pretty much eliminated, freeing up all the spare time I have for writing and refining. It’s going to be a challenge as I don’t consider myself to be that great of a writer, but that’s what OneGameAMonth is about!
This month didn’t start off particularly well. I had one idea planned out in my head ready to go. I wrote out my to-do lists on the whiteboard as usual and got started with some temporary art to use. Then things went downhill…
The idea was okay, nothing groundbreaking, but okay and I think that was the issue; I wasn’t inspired by it enough to muster the creativity needed. Everything I drew I hated and when I moved into the editor I just hated it more. After a few days of struggle I decided to start fresh and I think I’ve found something potentially cool.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce ‘Jumper.’
I’m trying to keep this game super simple in terms of input but adding touches of complexity via power ups and bonuses. Overall, I want Jumper to be much more addictive than Jelly so gameplay needs to be challenging to the point where the player is pushed but not left feeling frustrated. I’m particularly happy with how the touch controls (tap anywhere above the character and he’ll jump up, tap anywhere below him and he’ll jump down) are helping this goal by giving some degree of freedom and even purity to the player’s response – they assess, strategise and react as quickly as possible.
As I write this, I’m currently trying to figure out how to best handle difficulty as I’m using procedural generation again. At the moment the plane formations are designed prior and spawned at random. My plan is to take these formations and rank them by difficulty – eventually trading out easier ones with more difficult ones. I’ll see how that goes.
I’ve had a bit of a wobbly start but the game is really taking shape. Right now I’ve got more or less all of the core functionality working (including some sound effects!) and will soon start work on adding some of my desirable/secondary tasks next week.
You get it? Bloodthirsty = 5 kills in a row in Black Ops 2 and I’ve made 5 games in a row! Hilarious.
Jelly is done for the month, woohoo! I think it’s safe to say this has been one of the best months to date. I’ve had a tonne of fun, I’ve boosted my confidence and created something I’m really proud of.
You can play a web build over on GameJolt. I can’t speak any more highly of GameJolt it is simply fantastic. I put Invasion and Wordsmith up only yesterday and have already gotten a bunch of plays and great feedback! I recommend it to any indie developers – they accept a bunch of build types and even allow you to mark games as works in progress.
I would really like to take the game further, with the penultimate goal being the app store. At this stage my plan for the next month is to spend 2 weeks or so on a simple new game (will also be iOS based) and the rest of the month continuing with Jelly. However if I find June game’s needs more attention I will definitely spend as much time as it needs (one game a month is my goal after all).
10 days into may and this month’s game is going swimmingly (return here in a moment to chuckle at the genius of that pun). I proudly formally introduce Jelly, my first iOS game!
Jelly came out of a weird fact I heard about a type of jelly fish that is considered immortal as it never seems to die from natural causes. Put two and two together and you get a simple survival game where the player directs the protagonist away from danger for as long as possible.
Click to play a web build
The game is really easy at the moment as I am yet to add the difficulty element, and has a few bugs but should give a decent idea of what I’m going for. With most of the core functionality more of less out of the way (including, you know, getting it on to an iPhone) I should have plenty of time this month to refine and add some juicy extras.
It has been really fun being able to just hand my game to people this time around and get instant feedback – expect iOS games to become regular from me from now on!
Hopefully I will be able to figure out TestFlight at some point this month so I can get the actual final(ish) product out for some testing.
I’ve been surprised how well things have gone thus far and am still waiting for the inevitable ramp up in confusion/frustration/difficulty…