Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Stuff I Make: An Update

I make games. From time to time, I stop making them, and others get to play them. This is one of those times. I've worked with some pretty awesome people, and all but one of these games have been a collaboration.

A few months back I posted a list of games I have worked on that were released, and here I give you a better, and more updated list of those games. REPLETE WITH SCREENSHOTS!!

Speed of Light - Designer/Artist

They Love You - Designer/Artist/Code

Priceless Slots (Facebook) - Collectables Artist

Little Dino's Big Adventure (Flash) - Designer/Artist

SnowMan (Flash) - Artist

Streams (download) - Designer/Artist

OfficeWars (download) - Artist

After The Robots (download) - Everything

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Small spy game update

I posted last night with a little test for my spy game, in this blog post.

Tonight, I have added a little more to it, and it's starting to resemble to concept images. I also added physics based movement, so that the collisions were handled by Box2D.

 - GET IT HERE (spyGame_0.02.zip - Windows - 903kb) - 

Controls are the same: WASD, Mouse, Ctrl/Space (FOV resolution), E/R (FOV spread)

Also, here is a nice shiny new image.

Spy game - testing, testing...

I haven't posted in a few months. Work has kept me busy, out of trouble, under a roof. It's been good. It's also been a time of great ideas. I had kicked an idea around with Kyle Bostelmann for a few weeks while he was here in Melbourne, but it wasn't until a few days ago I really got into making something of it. Below is a quick concept I did when Kyle was here.

Oooh look, spies!
I've been coding in App Game Kit (AGK), a little product from The Game Creators, the dudes behind DarkBasic. I've always liked their products, and used them since the late 90's (so cool that I can say that now). For fast prototyping, they make some fantastic tools. AGK came onto the scene late last year, and is growing quite a nice little following. You should check it out. It does have it's limitations, basic geometry being a big one. I'd love to draw simple polygons, but that's not implemented yet, which is odd, as you can edit the hit-box for a sprite as a polygon. This is demonstrated in my little project.

I wanted to create a field of vision for a top-down game. AGK has some nice little raycasting functions, and using a combination of them, a little maths, and the polygonal sprite hit-boxes, I came up with a nice, robust, system. It demonstrates a FOV, with all the variables able to be tweaked. AND ROTATING SPRITES!!

GET IT HERE  ( spyTest.zip - Windows - 715kb)

It looks thusly:

Ahhh yeah.

Download it, mess around, and tell me just how simple it really is. I'm pretty happy that I could knock it over in a night!


Friday, February 17, 2012

My indie-dev reading list

I've been throwing my head into a lot of books over the last year or two, filling my noggin with useful information to do with design, cognitive science, indie-games, etc. They don't all directly relate to games, but the idea is to get a broader range of understanding, and apply that to our craft.

1) Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi : The name is a mouthful, but the book is undoubtedly one of the best I have ever read. It discusses the state of "flow", where a person's interaction with a system is so intimate that it becomes an extension of the self. Sounds a bit over-the-top, but understanding it really opens up a whole new way of looking at game design. Incidentally, Jason Rohrer's game, Passage, is almost a perfect mirror of a passage in the book, discussing family life and choices. Sure, it doesn't sound like it relates to game development, but it really does. I suggest taking notes in the margins, as it's a pretty full on book. Worth having a coffee with and thinking about it.

2) The Design of Everyday Things - Donald Norman : Want to be a better, more thoughtful designer? Read this book. It's fairly easy to process, well written, and almost light-hearted. It looks at design from a usage perspective, and is generally full of great advice. If you want to design anything well, get this book.

3) 250 Indie Games You Must Play - Mike Rose: A really good look into the world of indie games. I started reading, created a folder on my PC, and now it is filled with great games that inspire me a lot. There are some really cool, simple, and inspiring games in there, and as an education, it's fantastic. Each game has a small description with it, and any necessary links to the game. Worth getting if you want to explore the world of indie games.

4) How to Get Ideas - Jack Foster: Great book on how to get into a mindset where ideas come naturally and easily. It's not a long book, well written, lots of cool anecdotes, and generally light-hearted. This was a fantastic help to me when I was stuck in a design rut at LAI.

Those would be my top four picks at the moment. I'm working my way back through The Design of Everyday Things at the moment, making lots of notes on the pages as I go. I found this to be extremely helpful if I went for a few weeks without reading. A simple skim of the key lines I marked got me right back up to date.

All the books are cheap(ish), readily available, and definitely worth your time!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adventure Game update

The game is still progressing, and has taken almost final shape. I spent a few hours today creating a scene switching system that works pretty much as intended. Was a good little exercise in resource management, and while I'm sure it could be better, it works just fine. I was chasing a bug for a good portion of the time, but it ended up being an accidental copy/paste, so all is well in the world.

I have also completed all but one of the backgrounds for the game. These still have to be cut up, animated, and given some spit-and-polish, but the art itself, and the layouts, are final.

Some areas that I have yet to traverse are audio, music, and, interestingly, longevity. I'd like to think I can expand on this story/world that I am creating, but that will depend entirely on the reception. With that in mind, I am really looking forward to finishing Part 1, and getting the feedback from all you people!

A small, playable teaser of the game is available HERE. It's not polished yet, but it gives an idea of the style I am aiming for. ALSO - none of the art is encrypted, so you can easily smash it around and ruin the thing.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Shed

Finished the Shed background today. Looking forward to actually playing this game.

I also now have a very concrete idea of where the game will go for the first part. It's a little bit of an evolution, with ideas forming as I draw, think, and code for the game. Essentially, I have two more scenes to create for Part 1. Looking forward to finishing now!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Adventure Game

I've been making a little adventure game for a few weeks now. I originally started it in App Game Kit, but I think I will move development over to Unity, as it fits the scope of the project better. I'm hoping to release the adventure game in sections, with a new one every month or so.

While I work on other projects and side-thingies, I have been doing the art/concept art for the first part, known for now as "Part 1". Attached are the latest work-in-progress images. Not final quality yet, but getting there.

Thanks for reading,