Posts Tagged ‘Games’

  • Chameleons, Cupcakes & Sharks – Oh my!

    After the frenetic workload that went into my last game Kyobi, I needed a break from development. Add to this an insane pile of “real life” coding work and I was finding it really hard to motivate myself to get on with something new. Working until 3am in the morning day after day does that to me.

    So my own personal game projects bit the dust. I tried mocking-up an overhead tank shooter, but that didn’t get so far because I didn’t have a firm vision of where the game should go. I even tried doing a co-op breakout style game and failed to even finish this yet. But I’m not posting here to bitch about my lack of motivation. I’m posting to say what I’m doing about it :)

    The answer can be summed-up in the picture below:

    wip-games-2009

    Here are four very different games. Top left is Robotz – a tactical / puzzle style shooter based on an Atari ST classic. Destroy the generators, this lets you destroy the robots (which are constantly chasing shooting at you). Destroy all the robots and the exit appears. It’s very simple, but actually really fun. The graphics are currently being pixelled for this, and I should have some level mock-ups to show next week. I’ve already done the level designer, mapped out 30 levels and have the soldier running around happily shooting at generators.

    Bottom left is Shark Hunter. This was an awesome 8-bit MSX game. You had to mend your fishing nets, while fighting off the sharks and try to survive a whole year. Another nice simple game mechanic, but it has stood the test of time well, and I feel it’ll convert into Flash with ease. And hey, who doesn’t like spearing sharks? Concept graphics work for this is under-way, although no code has been written yet.

    Top right is a cup cake. I have a really nice and innovative idea for a time-management game, that I have not seen done before. So I can’t give out too many details at this stage. But I think it could be a real success. I’ve got some awesome graphics through, and I’m actually toying with the idea of doing several games using the same assets – the time management one being the core, and then some simple spin-offs like a “spot the difference” style game, or a “cup cake dress-up”. Hey, you never know :)

    Finally bottom right is a wonderful game that I loved on the ST. It was called Color Clash and was a PD game by Animal Soft. I doubt I’ll keep the same name as I don’t feel it does the game justice. You play the role of a chameleon who (as you’d expect) can change colour. Different colours have different actions. The yellow one can jump. The green one has a tail that he can flick to smash blocks / baddies. The red one inflates and floats and the blue one has a tongue that shoots out and can slide blocks around. I’m taking this core mechanic which works so well and tarting it up big-time.

    40 levels have been designed already, and I’ve got the chameleon charging around the levels happily. Jumping, falling, sliding. Still need to do the baddie logic and colour changes. I want to do the original justice, but it also needs bringing up to date, so I’ll be refining and tweaking as I go. Still trying to track down the original author for his blessing on this project. Wish me luck.

    I am working on Color Clash and Robotz at the same time. I quite like having the two projects to swap between. The other night I was stuck in getting my chameleon to jump-slide properly, and rather than admit defeat (for the night) and fire-up Left 4 Dead, I hit Robotz instead and got the shooting rebounds working smoothly. I’m also finding as they’re both similar 2D styled games, that I can share quite a bit of the code between them. Always a bonus.

    So which will come out of the gates first? Honestly not sure. Right now Color Clash is the most complete, but has a lot of graphics work to be done to it. So Robotz may head it off at the final strait. Time will tell …

  • Video Games Live: Volume One

    My lovely wife bought me the Video Games Live: Volume One CD around a year ago from Amazon, and they only just received stock of it and shipped it! But it arrived today and was waiting for me when I got home from work.

    All I can say is WOW! It is incredible. I’ve never been to a Video Games Live concert, and there is one coming up soon in London at the end of October which I sadly can’t make, but I’ll be sure to get tickets to the next one as soon as they return! The CD is stunning. Think lots of game music as performed by a full-on orchestra, with wonderful vocals.

    The CD opens with the Kingdom Hearts music, which blends nicely into the Warcraft Suite, and it doesn’t let-up from there. The Civilization IV Medley by Christopher Tin is nothing short of beautiful, with an incredible African theme. The operatic God of War montage sends chills down your spine, and I’ve not even mentioned the music from Advent Rising, Tron, Halo or Castlevania.

    If you treat yourself to one CD this Christmas, consider this one! It’s truly stunning. Game music like you’ve never heard before (unless you’re lucky enough to have been to a VGL concert of course, in which case I’m extremely jealous of you :) )

    There are over 2000 videos from VGL on Youtube here. Just watch this and tell me that’s not a great concert to be at? :)