1GAM April – :S

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So the month is over and while I do have a game, it’s not quite at the level I was aiming for. Of course I can’t beat myself up about it – it’s just part of learning. By the end of the month my enthusiasm was seriously waning and it’s more than likely this is why I haven’t achieved as much as I had hoped.

I had a goal to get animations working but ran out of time to get them to a point I felt comfortable with. I did however get some sound and GUI art in which has helped add a smidgen of much needed polish.

The game needs lots of testing. Unfortunately I ran out of time, and made progress too slowly to for it to be feasible  I’ve made some little tweaks based on the feedback of a few helpful family members but it is for the most part untested. Basically this means I have no idea if it’s too hard, too easy, or honestly if it even makes sense to anyone beside me… That said, should you play it I’d love some feedback!

There are a few graphical bugs that I have been, annoyingly, unable to squash and it overall needs a lot of refinement but hey it resembles a game so I can’t be too unhappy!

Main Menu

Click to Play

In more exciting news I got a macbook this month so if things go well I’ll have an iphone game to show off next month!

1GAM March – Introducing ‘Wordsmith’

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With February finishing quite successfully, I came into March with some anxiety – was that a one time deal? I spent days trying to figure out what I wanted to do for March and eventually settled on taking that rapid prototype I did last year for an alphabet game (No idea what I’m talking about? check it out here). I’ve had plans to revamp and 1up the game since the coming up with it really so that’s what I’m hoping to achieve this month.

Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce ‘Wordsmith’ a game where you forge weapons using the alphabet. If you haven’t yet realised, the game was essentially built off a pun (blacksmith = wordsmith genius right? RIGHT!). The core gameplay is super simple; hit the letters in alphabetical order. I am however attempting to add another element by keeping track of speed and accuracy, and equating that to weapon quality. Throw in player XP and levelling and I hope to have a neat little ‘Brain-training’ style game that should prove helpful to all ages.

prototype

If time permits I’m also hoping to have different game modes – namely Mathemagician where, you guessed it, mathematics is the focus.

At the moment I’m happy with the prototype as it functions thus far. I am still having some teething problems with the art style at the moment but there is still plenty of time to get that sorted.

1GAM February – Two Down Ten to Go!

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The month has come and gone and I’m really happy with how Invasion has turned out.

Overall February was fantastic! Not only have I completed my #1GAM entry on time, Invasion is also the most complete game I’ve managed to produce since starting as a one woman band.

Click on the Image to play!

Click on the Image to play!

N.B. I’m aware of a few guard bugs – at times they decide not to rotate at their waypoints and others their collision goes silly. Neither of these I’ve found to be gamebreaking but should you find any that do please let me know.

MUSIC – The music I’ve used in the game was sourced from ccMixter. The track is called ‘Towards Isolation’ by onlymeith. I picked it because it gives the right feeling I hoped to add with music – a kind of spooky unsettling on edge feeling that I imagine one would have if in a real life situation. 

I attribute my success to wanting to do better  than last month’s efforts and picking an idea that was easy enough for my skills to navigate. I kept the visuals basic and reusable while the gameplay didn’t require a tonne of new learning coding wise.

Before I started I wrote a two lists on the white board that lives next to my desk. One was entitled “Core” and the other “Desirables.” This is how I have always liked to organise my time in anything I do really – what do I need vs. what do I want – and it worked fabulously this month. Once the core list was complete I moved on to the desirables, even dividing and distributing the lists until I was satisfied I had the game I sought out to make. Highly recommended way of working if you aren’t all ready.

Invasion is a game that I can easily see myself taking further and am kind of excited at the prospect of doing so. I would also like to explore the antithesis of the game – i.e.  you are the invaders. I’ve already had a idea for a similar game for a while now so this is probably a good opportunity to do so. That said, I will have to assess exactly what it is I’d like to do as if it’s too ambitious for right now it will have to wait a bit. Ideally both aspects would be included in one game but that is a very long stretch goal for the minute. When the time will come to take the current Invasion further I’m not certain of just yet though I might experiment with getting it on to Kongregate in the not too distant future. EDIT: turns out it’s super easy to upload to Kongregate, you can play it here.

invasion level 1

Progress is saved!

Progress is saved!

I am left with a hint of worry that this was a complete fluke and I’ll never be able to do something as awesome again – this feeling worsened by not really have a clue what to do for March. I guess you’ll have to tune in next week and see…

1GAM February – Waypoints, no way?! Yes way?!

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I’m very happy to report that I’ve had a much better start to this month’s game!

The idea is based off the hypothetical situation most people contemplate at one point or another: your house has been broken into what do you do?

At the moment the goal is to avoid detection from the robbers and escape before the time runs out. Obviously it’s pretty simple right now but I do have goals of adding more interesting elements as I go along – notably secondary objectives such as taking out the robbers or retrieving valuables.

I’m happy with my progress thus far with player movement and robber waypoints both working pretty nicely (thanks go to Silly Hat Games for reminding of the magical iTween). I did originally plan to use the mouse for player movement and have kept that functionality for the moment but it felt too clunky given the nature of the game .

The only thing bothering me now is the art style, which I would prefer to be cooler. I might have a play around with a blueprint looking colour scheme and see how that goes.

week 1

A picture may say a thousand words but I will add some more – The robbers will follow their paths, the player can move, collision is working and the robbers will detect the player should they get too close.

Something that would be cool to hear from you guys it how you think you’d act if your house were robbed? Run for the nearest exit? Grab a weapon? Notify the authorities? I want to know, no matter how outrageous!

1GAM January – Pragmatism FTW

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Remember when I said I was making a snake clone? Yeah about that…I kept at it for another few days and couldn’t work past the issues I was having (I even restarted the project twice to try different methods but alas neither yielded a better result). I guess it’s reasonable to assume that I’ve got nothing to show right? Oh how happy I am to say that’s wrong: I’ve got something you can even play!

I decided to work with what I had and make a game from what I had been able to achieve. The result is kinda two games with a single player and multiplayer component emerging (they are a little disjointed right now but hopefully in the coming days I’ll be able to add in some more features that will see the two fit together much more logically).

Now before you go getting your hopes up, remember that the month isn’t quite over yet so I’m hoping to add in a few more features, levels, tweak the visuals and weed out some bugs in the time remaining. That said, while neither of the games are particularly ground breaking nor visually amazing, I’m happy to have come out of my grumpy slump with something resembling a game. I think both modes do have potential it just remains to be seen whether I can tap into that come January 31st.

Click the image below to check it out:

single

Click to play!

*On the note of bugs, there are more than a few and I’m aware of them, so if you play I’d rather not hear about them unless you find a massively game breaking one.

I’m Looking At You 2013

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I’m excited at the prospect of the new year. I’m pretty keen to start 2013 off on a much happier note than 2012 and kick my game dev up a notch. This year has proved to me that I really do love making games but I’ve struggled to take any projects through to the end. That is going to change in 2013 as I’ve signed on for One Game a Month (all the details are here if you’re wondering).

As the name suggests I’ll make one game a month. So far I’ve got a bunch of ideas ready to take further and am pretty darned excited to get into it, at this stage I’m unsure whether Perception will be included but you never know. Hopefully out of all this my coding and art skills will grow exponentially and my design ability challenged in new ways plus as a bonus get to know more peeps from the awesome game dev community.

I’m still figuring out a game plan but for now I’m thinking:

  1. One week for rapid prototyping and general concept development
  2. Two weeks working through and refining the core gameplay + art adding desirable/secondary elements where possible
  3. With the final week spent on more refinement through some testing (I’m looking at you buddy) and technical implementation (i.e. making sure it’s playable by others via web etc.)

I would also like to get together with some buddies of mine (you know who you are) for a month or two so hopefully I’ll be able to report some awesome team-ups!

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now so have a Merry Christmas and all the jazz, stay safe and I’ll see you guys in the new year!

New Article is New!

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So I’ve written a new article after watching a really cool TED Talk from Daphne Bavelier (check it out below it’s pretty awesome). Also below is a snippet of the article so click ‘read more’ to… well, read more!

Call of Duty (COD) has almost an immediate effect on me. Pretty much as soon as I jump in my hand movements begin to speed up and become more accurate, my eyes move faster and my body becomes tense. Beyond the physical effect my mindset begins to change as I become intensely focused on the screen in front of me; headphones on other sounds, thoughts and needs are ignored. I attribute these changes to the fast paced nature of the game which sees players constantly moving through and reassessing situations as they are announced. Read more…