Hello all, Welcome to year two!
This year, I'll be keeping track of the weeks, and games, and things like that, so we can tally up as we go along.
Week 1, Game 1, 1:1 ratio! Good stuff!
This week's game isn't a game. It's more of a toy.
If you've ever played Jam Sessions on the DS, you should know what to expect.
And, yes, this is for RockBand/Guitar Hero guitars, so that'll probably rule a lot of you out.
If it helps, I bought Rock Band for the X360, and it plugs right into windows without needing any extra drivers or anything. How great is that!! (for the record, so do the drums! woot!)
So, step 1, plug in your USB guitar.
Step 2, find the chords for your favourite song. They usually come up if you type "Guitar Chords 'song name here'" into Google.
Step 3, Load up Rock My Chords
Hold a button on the guitar to switch to that button's setup. Whilst holding, click on the note grid to turn notes off and on.
You can also choose a chord, and click into the first note column to change the strum into that particular chord.
Type to edit/rename the song's name, and it'll autosave whenever you click inside the note grid.
You can hold down multiple buttons at once, so chords can be placed into a variety of frets, and I've even added Alt-Buttons, so if you've a RockBand guitar, you can use the lower fret keys, or even set the Back button to an alt, too...
Plenty to play with.
I should probably point out though, that I pretty much just made this for myself.
Little or no interest was given during the few twittery tweetys twits that I posted throughout the past few days, so I guessed no-one would give a rats ass about this little toy/game.
As such, there's a few niggly little bugs that could do with tweaking, but that I personally could live with.
If anyone at all wants me to fix things up, just ask, and I'll get right on it!
To be honest, I really wanted some time off. I planned to make a nice lengthy game, take my time, and maybe even finish off Patent Wars a bit, but as is usually the case.. I've written a game.
Well, it's not really a game, it's more of a toy. A play thing, if you will.
That's ready for release tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I'm once again looking at all the various tools.
I'm happy with Blitz3D, with my 2D-in-3D engine, but damn, the lack of mod is annoying.
BlitzMax still has a few quirky issues, speed wise, whereby my systems both play the games great, and other people have to struggle with 2fps!
Flash, I think I've officially given up with.. It kinda sucks that I can't wrap my head around it, but it's no Blitz. It's a very messily structured "Modern" language, and it just doesn't make any blinkin' sense to me. I'm old-school! (/old!)
So, back to Blitz3D we go.
This week's toy doesn't really need a frontend, so I've removed that for the time being.
I'll design a nice new titlescreen layout, maybe pick a new font or two, and probably redesign the Socoder/AGameAWeek logo screen thing, too, whilst I'm at it.
Hey, I might even bother to put my own name on my games, this year! Woot!
Microbes is here : Capital letters don't work in the URL, but RetroGamer uses them anyway.. :rolleyes:
WebUser Magazine have a rather interesting idea. Each issue, they make a list of all the links included in that issue, and post it onto their forum.
Lazy folk who can't be arsed to type can then go to that post on the forum and use that as they flick through the magazine.
I honestly think it's a fantastic idea.
Not only does it get people actually clicking those written links, but it also has a rather unique side-effect.
See, if it wasn't for WebUser's Link-Posts, I would never have had all those "referral link" records in my Google Analytics account, and as such would never have known about both instances where my games have appeared in their magazine.
Editors/Publishers/whatever must have very busy lives, because they didn't bother to tell me that they'd put my game in their magazine.
Surely I'm not asking for much. An email would do!
"Just to let you know, you're in XYZ Magazine, go and buy a copy and share it with your friends. Feel proud, feel happy, and feel a bit ripped off that we aren't sending you a free copy! But hey, at least we bothered to tell you!"
Point of this post? : Without emails, I had no idea. Only their link page brought forth the knowledge. Which makes me wonder, if I hadn't flicked through this month's Retro Gamer (Issue 67), would I ever have known that Microbes is on page 100?
It's been a couple of weeks since I added the new Suggestion box, up there at the top right of the site.
Let's take a peek at what ideas we've got..
Tuesday 28th of July 2009 08:10:03 PM
Name : CodersRule
Idea : make a shopping game!
Not too sure about that one, CR. It'd probably end up as one of those "Thought it'd be good, turned out not to be" ideas.
The Tamagotchi DS games spring to mind..
Thursday 30th of July 2009 06:06:45 AM
Name : Cormac
Idea : Some form of simple, yet entertaining rpg.
Nice enough idea in theory, but I have no idea how I'd manage one so quickly!
Having said that, I have previously made a couple of "Quest" games. They're here and here.
If that's what you're after, let me know and I'll make another!!
Friday 31st of July 2009 12:45:09 AM
Name : cthug
Idea : racing game
I've attempted racing games in the past. For a while, they go ok, but then comes the AI part, and my racing games usually fall apart fairly rapidly!
Maybe I oughta try again?
Saturday 8th of August 2009 01:02:21 PM
Name : Cormac
Idea : Ds Ports
Yeah, I should do more DS games. But ports?! Eeeuw.. Nah, I'd much rather work directly towards it.
Mind you, if I ever get Patent Wars done, I suppose I could port that over.
Sunday 9th of August 2009 11:50:56 PM
Name : swarmer
Idea : A physics based game!
I don't think I could honestly come up with anything new. Everything's already been done with physics.
Sunday 9th of August 2009 11:51:34 PM
Name : swarmer
Idea : more 3d stuff, like plat3d
That's not a game idea, that's just a suggestion for how to draw things!!!
I've tried to avoid 3D, on account of I can't draw, so I definitely can't do 3D models!
JNKPlat3D avoided all of that by just making 2D sprites out of blocks.
Maybe more, but was it really worth it?!
Wednesday 12th of August 2009 12:58:57 AM
Name : Thunderskull 4024
Idea : dig-dog - rest of this idea removed, due to perfectly decent idea.
Not too sure about the Mouse Driven aspect, but sounds like a good idea!
I might actually give this one a go, although.. the prospect of having to draw and animate a dog!? Yikes!
If you want to see your idea picked apart, --> Get posting!!
We'll call it "On Hiatus", whilst I decide what to do next.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure whether to bother with Flash.
Or at least, not Flex, anyway. 'cos BOY, that shit's messy!
6 includes to get a square flying around a screen?! No thanks!!
hAxe is moderately better, but I'm still not 100% sure about it.
After that there's SoThink Quicker, which I downloaded a demo for, but couldn't run the demo because apparently I installed the demo on my system in May, and point blank forgot about it, letting my 30 days run out quick and fast. Bugger!
So, what else?
Well, looking back, it's apparent that the last Major project I did was Alien Deathmatch 2, and that was all the way back in December last year.
With that in mind, I've made a start on a new Major. It's quite an interesting concept, and I'm not entire sure I can pull it off on my own. But I have a greater chance if I'm not additionally wrangling with AGameAWeek.
So I think I'll do that.
Maybe a month!? If that..
If anyone reading this is a good graphic artist, let me know (email!) because I really really need some help with this game. I've got the basics, but as you all know, I'm a bit shit at the graphics!
Just like a few weeks earlier, I spent a while working away at a batch of games for my phone. For the most part, each was still a test engine, to see if I could really achieve a bunch of things without hitting any limitations of the phone. The first, Ball Push, was what happened to my game from a few weeks ago. Rather than have pieces of paper to push into a circle, I made it into balls that you would push down a hole. With a limited number of turns, and more balls each level, the game turned out to be a nice playable phone game. It's a shame that, once I tried adding half decent pool physics, the phone started to get a little too stressed! I released the game with kiddie physics, in a still playable state. Read More
Still in Retro Collection mode, by this point I was trying to come up with fresh ideas to go inside the DS collection. I'd just finished putting the original Blockman game onto the DS, and found myself playing with it's sprites.Read More
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
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. Read More
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
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I might dig out an oldie, and post that instead ;)
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.