#1GAM July – An Old Friend Returns

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Remember how I said last month I’d take some time off? Ha! Oh past Liz, you so silly…

Instead I’ve begun work on a larger scaled version of Devolution. Surprise!

Devolution was made almost a year ago (it was my year one #1GAM entry for August) so you could say this has been a long time coming. Playthroughs on GameJolt have cracked over 8,000 which is crazy. Not only that, the game keeps gaining new followers on the site which is encouraging. Players have liked the game. I like the game. Why not try and make it something more?

I’ve been hesitant to expand the game up until now through fear of spoiling the original experience. With a bit of a push I’ve decided to give it a crack – I mean the original still exists there’s no way I can’t hurt it!

I’m still in very early stages right now. I’ve been working on a prototype/proof of concept of the new direction I want to take and it is going pretty well. My main concern is getting the story right. Gameplay wise I’ve got some good ideas on where to go but the story has left me quite stuck. This is really what has held me back from tackling the project, I don’t fancy myself much of a writer so coming up a decent narrative is tough. It’s best not to force anything though; I’ve got plenty of time to get things right and have to trust that the best ideas will come.

WIP day 9

I have been using Gamemaker so my progress is understandably slower than normal simply because I am unfamiliar with the engine.

Gamemaker had me rather befuddled at first. The way it does things is so unfamiliar coming from Unity and I’m still getting my bearings. I do miss the freedom the Unity editor provides in terms of tweaking on the fly though. That said the engine is really impressive; I’ve managed to get the visuals on par if not better than the original and was able to get gamepad input functioning great within a few hours.

Wondering what’s happening with Reversal? Well I’m uncertain right now. It needs more work for sure before I’d be comfortable publishing to the app and google play store. I might see if I can dedicate a day or two a month to keep some progress chugging along.

#1GAM May – Public Domain Jam

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My, May was a busy month but I’ve managed to keep my #1GAM streak going thanks to Public Domain Jam! The game is called Patience and is based on the poem of the same name by D.H. Lawrence. Play it here.

The jam went okay for me. I had a rough idea going in and had found a really lovely poem by D.H. Lawrence which was to be my basis. The game took a little while to come together into something playable and I’m still not happy with it really. But what can I say it was about 2.5 days work so I can’t expect magic in that time, especially given that I got really sick on the Friday and had to rush to submit before feeling worse.

The annoying thing was that the jam time was extended last minute and the rules tweaked to allow public domain assets to be used. The time wasn’t an issue as I was sick anyway but the asset thing bummed me out a bit. I spent a good chunk of time working on a backing music track because I’m no good at it, this time could have been spent on other aspects (and the music which you know actually be good) if I had the option to choose public domain music from the start.

All that aside the jam went well, @gritfish did a great job organising it! This was my first jam outside of GGJ and I’m happy with my results:

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Check out the winning entries and more at here.

Now back to Reversal!

#1GAM Feb14 – Local Multiplayer

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Earlier this month I mentioned that my iteration goal was to improve path generation by removing the appearance of long boring paths. Turns out that only took me a few more days of head scratching to fix up and it’s now working perfectly!

The rest of the month has been extremely productive:

  • I’ve changed up the UI. I’ve simplified the buttons making them sleeker and there are now paused/quit menus for every scene.
  • I’ve added more levels. Now from level 11 to around about 16 the grid spawned has an added level of difficulty with pulsing scale and colour changes.
  • Removed the timer and score elements instead opting for an accuracy rank. This has also improved the levelling system.
  • Added a local multiplayer mode.

Get the game here (android tablets, PC, OSX and Linux builds available).

Local multiplayer is something I’m quite excited about. It came about because I was feeling down about the game and struggling to see how to improve it. I looked through my design doc and remembered I wanted to try a multiplayer mode so decided to give it a try.

Basically, two players are shown a grid and must remember where the barriers are. Each take turns revealing squares (similarly to pool, their turn will end if they hit a barrier). The player with the most squares wins. I want it to become a game for train, car or plane rides where you and a friend are stuck together with little to do.

I’ve already started working to improve the mode for next month – allowing players to select difficulty, the number of rounds played and their colours. I took the game along to IGDA Sydney’s Beer and Pixels event and while I was rather shy, those who played it liked the premise.

#1GAM December – Wanderlust

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It’s the last month of 2013…one more to go. Awesome.

This month’s game is called ‘Wanderlust’. It is another sort of brain training-esque style game where a path is briefly revealed and the player must find their way from one side to the other. It’s not an original idea for sure (I was first exposed to the mechanics in a twin study of all things) I’ve even used it previously in subject at college.

This is however the first time I’ve digitised it and I’m happy with my progress.

Click to play

Click to play

I’m only a couple of days in so there are still bugs but I’m having fun coding which doesn’t happen very often.

The month will be short with Christmas right around the corner but the prospect of completing my 12th game has me working with renewed enthusiasm.