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The AGameAWeek 2008-2009 Retrospective

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

Back to work


Week Twenty Three - Space Monkeys Go Bananas - Link

It kinda sucked not making AGameAWeek for such a while, so with the fresh new year I decided to get back up to speed. The first week's game was a simple 2D Super Monkey Ball clone.Top down maze, guide the ball around, that type of thing.Read More
Views 2, Upvotes 0, 5th August, 2009
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The AGameAWeek 2008-2009 Retrospective

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five



Alien Deathmatch 2 : The Lull


Week Sixteen - AD2

Having spent 15 weeks working on short and sweet games, and the past few weeks learning the do's and don't's of Blitz3D, I decided to aim for something a little bit larger, this week. The plan was simple. Recreate Alien Deathmatch, aim for larger arenas, build extra weapons and make everything a little bit smoother.
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Views 2, Upvotes 0, 3rd August, 2009
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The AGameAWeek 2008-2009 Retrospective

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five



AGameAWeek : Year One

A retrospective


The Beginning

Before I started AGameAWeek, I'd been working away at various games without any real goal. The fun of completing each game pushed me forward to start the next.

During 2005, it was decided that a weekly challenge might be a good idea. So, over at CodersWorkshop.com (now long gone) I set up a Wednesday Workshop challenge, which is now housed at Socoder.net. Each Wednesday I would think up a challenging topic, coding style, or gameplay style for a game, post it to the forum, and then people would try to create a game based on those rules within the week's deadline.

The challenges seemed popular at the start, but as time's gone on people don't seem to have the motivation for it anymore. It seems somewhat of a shame to have such a fun idea reduced to a shell of it's former self, but I keep the idea going even today, in the hopes that somebody, somewhere, will see the little challenges and it'll spawn an idea in their head. That's more of it's purpose nowadays. To generate new ideas, as opposed to bringing in a multitude of games.

Still, I continued to work on Workshop games, and every other week I would enter a silly little game. These games would sometimes be unfinished ideas, or occasionally more interesting complete games that could potentially be quite a lot of fun. I liked the idea of some of these games and more importantly enjoyed the rush of finishing off so many games so quickly. At the same time, though, it was becoming apparent that my games weren't gaining the audience exposure that they could. Which was a shame. All these games that nobody ever played, and yet there were some really good ideas in there.

In a vein attempt to boost my ratings a little, I decided to take things to the next level. Rather than just plonking each game into the Wednesday Workshop and leaving it there each week, I would use my blog to post them somewhere a bit more interesting. I renamed my blog to AGameAWeek.com, and forced myself to do just that.

This is the result of my strangely misguided idea.Read More
Views 6, Upvotes 0, 3rd August, 2009
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Blog
I'd like to start off Year 2 with abang. But this week has been entirely taken up with a multitude of other bits and pieces.
I'm writing up a nice lengthy post (/set of posts, probably, 'cos it's a bit big!) about Year 1. I'll probably start to post those in a couple of days time. Probably Tuesday! But I need to get as much done as I can, first.. 'cos.. well, you know me, I'll probably forget halfway through!!

So, there's that to do. And lots of it.
If you're interested in the quicky version, you can check out the big-ass Google Spreadsheet here. Warning, Spoilers ;)

Meanwhile, how to start Year 2.
I think I'll skip this week, what with it being so busy, so I'm giving myself a little time to rearrange a few things.
I'll probably reorganise the titlescreen of my skeleton a bit, since it's starting to look a little dull. A smaller font would probably help!
I'm also going to have to get around to some sort of "Badges you've earned" screen, showing badges from all the AGameAWeek games you've played so far.

Now, in addition to all that, I think I should probably start to learn Flash at some point. I mean, come on, this is 2009 already, I should really have bothered to do that by now!
The main issue with that comes back to the badges. They'd only really work in Flash if I additionally created a great big mysql database to hold the scores of every single player, along with their badges.
I worked quite a bit setting that up in Blitz, and it'll be a shame to lose it, but without hard-drive access in Flash... Blimey, that's going to be a bit chaotic, isn't it!

As always, we'll see what happens.
If you'd like to see anything else attempted during the next 52 weeks, let me know!
Views 2, Upvotes 0, 1st August, 2009
Daily Blog
Blog
Just a quick post, today.
There's now a suggestion box, over on the righthand side of the site.
A simple form.
Fill in name and suggestion, then blammo, gets sent to a huge file full of suggestions.

For now, it's a private box full of ideas that I may or may not choose to use, but perhaps in the future I'll start posting some of those suggestions!!


In other news, I've got a great big spreadsheet ready, filled with every game over the past year, and I'll be using it to create some sort of retrospective of my first year's AGameAWeek'ing.
Look out for that, shortly.

I'll probably post it in segments, lest I spend too much time on it!!!
Views 2, Upvotes 0, 29th July, 2009
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First things first, here's this week's AGameAWeek game.
I've done a few dozen "Get the Greens" before, so I figured I'd keep this one short.
Simply put, get the greens, and avoid the holes.
No enemy this time, just you and the floor, so if you're nice and gentle you could probably get quite far through and score a decent score.
As it stands, my highscore is currently 15 points.
..
So, not a super-high-scoring game, but definitely one you could beat me at!



Since I've made so many of these before, I decided to give this one more of a unique name.
So, rather than just calling it "Get the Greens", this one's "OMG!WTF!Get the Greens"
Imaginative, I think you'll agree!

Use the mouse to move the ball, get the greens, avoid the holes.
Simple stuff..

You can Download OMG!WTF!GetTheGreens here, and try to beat my rubbish highscore.

Now, head inside for the rant and rave bit!Read More
Views 9, Upvotes 1, 28th July, 2009
Release
Game
Just grab the greens, and avoid the holes.
Views 1827, Upvotes 18, 28th July, 2009
Arcade , Simple
Blog
I started a game, today.
It was going to be a nice maze thing, but..
Well, I attempted to do it in 3D, and as you're probably well aware, I can't really do things in 3D!
It all went pair shaped!


I might give it another go tomorrow, but in 2D instead!
Or, I might try something else.
Not sure.

Either way, if I'm still aiming for a game this week, I really oughta get a whole game done tomorrow!!


fingers crossed!
Views 4, Upvotes 0, 26th July, 2009
Daily Blog
Blog
Nice and big, specifically in the title, so as not to get ANYONE excited!

I will be VERY surprised if anyone gives a rats ass about this week's .. um.. "game".. but here it is anyway.

"Made for my cookie", although it's not a cookie anymore.. it's a viewty.. this J2ME Java App will allow you to play along with a real-world game of scrabble.
See, lately I've been playing a LOT of Scrabble.
I bought a ??40 "Scrabble 60th Anniversary Edition" set, thinking it's be all nice and lovely.

Here are my list of complaints about that board game.
1) Everything is made from a nice transparent green coloured plastic. Means the board, the racks, the tiles and everything looks fantastic.
BUT.. You put the tiles in the rack, and if you look hard enough, you can usually figure out what tiles the other player has.
FFS!! Could they not have foreseen that!!

2) The bag, for whatever bizarre reason, has the drawstring on the INSIDE of the bag.
This means that you consistently have to fight with the drawstring whilst trying to dig out a letter or two.
FFS!! Could they not have foreseen that, either!!

3) When I've paid fourty bloody quid for a board game, I damn well expect it to include a bloody pencil, and a bloody pad of scoresheets, you cheap ass bunch of gits.
FFS!!!

Well, here's one solution to that.
Tap the square, tap the letter, fill in the grid, score your words.



Currently only works for "Player 1" and "Player 2", and doesn't have an undo, so be careful what you're entering..
Also doesn't word-check, either.
But it will tot up the scores.
And if you tap on "Player 1" or "Player 2", you can see their per-word scorelist, which is nice.


You can Download Scrabble Scorepad here, and give it a whirl, so long as you have a touchscreen, J2ME compatible device.. !

Additionally, you can Buy the Collin's Scrabble Dictionary here, which I got the other day, and I must say it's very very good! Unlike the old "Scrabble Word Lists" books, this one is indeed a dictionary, so you can finally figure out wtf those random words actually mean!! A great buy, especially for the price.
Views 26, Upvotes 0, 21st July, 2009
Release
Game
Score a game of Scrabble. Not a game, more a tool...
Views 1688, Upvotes 20, 21st July, 2009
App , String , Word
Blog
I can't believe I've still not finished this yet!
Seems that, no matter how much work I do on this game, it's still not quite done.

This week, I finally decided on the complete "Not Chance" and "Not Community Chest" card selection. 12 of each, ready and waiting in the engine.
Next, I added all those lovely patents.



They're all in there, each one displaying on a nice little card, along with the creator's name.
I haven't yet gotten around to actually printing the bulk of the text onto the cards, though. I need to write a word-wrap method, before I can manage that! I could also do with a slightly smaller font, too, for all the text that'll be appearing on the card.

Still, that's a bigger start than I've previously managed, and things are going smoothly. (finally!)

I'm still working on the phone, so the cards are small, and the board's a little shrunken, but all in all the game's up and running.

Next I need to add money management, card management and things like that..

Now, here's the main issue.
No AGameAWeek.

I figured I'd try to focus on getting this done, since it's annoyingly been about a month since I started it.
Due to that, I've not done AGameAWeek this week.
If I can't quickly think of something, and get it built tomorrow, we'll have to call it a skipped week.
Dangit..
I might dig out an oldie, and post that instead ;)

... Back to work!
Views 4, Upvotes 0, 19th July, 2009
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Blog
Aww.
Didn't work.
:(

This week's Wednesday Workshop (#209) asked us to create a game with some kind of Gravity.

If you've been following AGameAWeek for a while, you'll remember Puzzobomb. A nice puzzle game with Gravity.
I also did MunkyBlocks as a kind of follow up.

Well, this week I decided to try it again, but with rotational gravity, rather than plain gravity.

As such, the block will fall in the direction they're placed.
They have little arrows on them, to show which direction they'll fall in.



You can Download Gravity Bob here.

The description for this game is a little wordy, so head inside for instructions.
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Views 10, Upvotes 0, 13th July, 2009
Release
Game
Help Gravity Bob collect all the colored boxes.
Views 1469, Upvotes 19, 13th July, 2009
Incomplete , Puzzle
Blog
Not much this week, or at least, not as good as Microbes anyway!

I decided to redo Raining Bombs, from a few weeks ago.
The last one was for my Cookie phone, (which has since become a Viewty phone) and this one's for Windows.



It looks more dramatic than it is!

Two turrets that shoot each other over and over again.
If you blast your enemy beneath the bottom of the screen, you win a point, and then it all starts all over again.

No intro, no music, not even a "BANG!", more a subtle silent set of weapons ;)

You can Download Raining Bombs here.

Is it worth adding more to this game?
Read More
Views 13, Upvotes 0, 7th July, 2009
Release
Game
Destroy the building, to defeat your opponent's turret.
Views 1916, Upvotes 40, 7th July, 2009
Tanks , Remake , Multiplayer
Blog
A simple game, this week, but one that's already evolved quite a bit.

As I mentioned the other day, I actually got this game done earlier on in the week, and it was quite a bit of fun even then.
Since then, I've updated it a couple more times, and now it's even better than it was! woot!!



The game is based on an Amiga game I once played many, many years ago.
A simple design.
You swirl around the outside of the arena, moving the mouse left and right.
You fire with the Left Mouse Button, you slowdown with the Right.



And you keep on going until you're dead.
Because, you never can stop it!!

They just keep on coming!!!

Playing tip : Don't let the blues get out of control! They're your first priority.

You can Download Microbes here, and get killing those germs!!
Views 80, Upvotes 5, 29th June, 2009
Release
Game
Keep the disease at bay!
Views 2073, Upvotes 60, 29th June, 2009
Remake , Shoot-em-up
Blog
Yesterday turned out rather well.
I actually coded a complete game, from start to finish, logo, audio, everything, yesterday.
It's pretty good, and will be our AGameAWeek come Tuesday. (Because, if I posted it today, there'd be nothing to post on Tuesday!!)

Look forward to more shootyshooty stuff!
Read More
Views 11, Upvotes 0, 25th June, 2009
Daily Blog
Blog
Well, not all suck.
Let's take a quick run through my week, shall we?

Tuesday
Posted last week's game, got prepared to work on PatentWars some more.
Created a few nice looking player counters, got them moving around the board, all is well.


Wednesday
That little red counter looks really really neat.
Attempted to mould it, somehow, into a Socoder logo.
It worked!

Kickass Socoder logo!

Thursday
Spurred on by the new logo, decided to recommence the "New Socoder" framework.
Got quite a lot done, felt kinda proud of myself.
Additionally drew a bunch of Patents using my lovely LG Cookie. Touchscreen = lovely art :D

Friday
Folk on Socoder notice slight changes, and so bombard me with requests for other things.
Spend all day Friday attempting to do 100 things at once, because I won't get time over the weekend.
Still not got a game done, but got a few more patents drawn.

Saturday
At work all day...
The plan was to get to work and use the internet capable machine to get some extra Socoder stuff done.
No internet..
FFS!
No work done all day, even though I was at work all day, but had my phone, so got more patents! Yeay!

Sunday
Similar story, except that on Sunday, to further annoy me, my phone (my lovely LG Cookie) committed suicide.
My god damn lovely phone no longer bloody well works.
FFS!!!!
Still no game done.

Monday
OH NO!
My phone is DEAD dead!!
...
..

OH NO!!
ALL MY GOD DAMNED PATENTS ARE ON THERE!
FFS..

..

ARGH!!!!

...


Confounded by the annoyances of the weekend, I decided to have a day out.
I bought a lovely Scrabble set, and then came home and had a game of that.
Still no game.

Tuesday, Today
No game!
Sorry guys, I ain't had the time... and/or are too pissed off!!!
Views 7, Upvotes 0, 23rd June, 2009
Daily Blog
Blog
Last Wednesday I started a new project, it's since gotten out of hand and I need some ideas to help bring it all to a close.

Let's start from the top.
Over at the MyLGCookie forums, someone asked if there was a nice touchscreen Monopoly.
As usual, Jay jumps in and says "Yeah, that'll be nice and easy"
...
It's not!

See, rather than getting my ass sued off, I decided to make it "But a bit different", and the idea I came up with was to use Patents.
Instead of houses and hotels, you buy the rights to different regional patents, culminating in a larger Worldwide patent.
There's other gameplay rule changes, and things are coming together.

But..
Because I changed the fundamentals, it means I have to come up with all the squares, all the new chance/community cards, and everything else like that!

So, thinking along the lines of patents we have cards that look like this..


and patents that look like this..



Triple Rocket Launching Hat
Lighting three rockets in rapid succession may be dangerous, as by the time you're lighting the third rocket, the first might set off in your vicinity. By lighting the three arms of the Triple Rocket Launching Hat (B), a person needs only place their head behind the three rockets (A) to launch them simultaneously.


What I need from you..
I need a whole boatload of patent ideas. Make them as completely improbable as you can.
The less safe, the less sane, and the less probable the better..
Think of things that would NEVER really happen in the real world!
...or maybe they would, there are some really crazy patents out there!

You don't have to doodle them, just a description will do.
But if you are doodling, 400x400 white background, black ink, as seen above.

Make sure you give me a bit of text to work with, though.

Additionally, if you can come up with a few cards, let me know those, too!

Thanks to all who help, your names (as supplied) will be in the credits, and I'll try my best to create this game for the Big Three.. That's PC, DS and J2ME - Specifically my Cookie.

Heck, maybe even XNA? (But .. that's probably got a bit of an issue with legalities!!)
Views 12, Upvotes 0, 17th June, 2009
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