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I decided to start a Dev diary here, for all my DS Developing. I figured people would eventually stumble across it, and start reading away at all the fun coding. Either that, or they'll completely ignore these bits, and just download the Experimental stuff like they usually do.
Either way, this is going to be a part dev-diary, part progress report, and part release schedule for all things DS.

I currently have 4 DS Projects on the go. They are Stringy Things, JNKPlat, An Alien Breed type clone, and a Green game collection.
Of those, Stringy Things will probably appear online first, then the Alien Breed thing.

Stringy Things - 75%

You probably played the version of this I released last year. This newer version contains a load of bugfixes, a whole new (much better) word list, and so far 2 new games. I'm hoping to build that number up a bit!
It's also got a new menu system, which allows for more variety in gameplay. As you can see in the screenshot, Strings now has an Endless mode, which means that new bubbles appear at the top, as you play.. Other playmodes are being integrated into the other games.
I've shifted "Dice" over to the "More Games" tab at the top of the screen. This lets me place in some extra types of games that I normally wouldn't be able to add, like new addition "Extract"
If you'd like to play a windows version of this game, head over to here, where Chris Davis' (aka Magicman) original version is playable.
I ported it over into Stringy Things, added a few DS friendly pickups, and with bubbles instead of squares it fits into the collection quite nicely.
The main issue I'm now having with Stringy Things is memory related. Or at least I think that's what's causing it. There are many curious bugs appearing where there previously were none.
I'm attempting to fix all these issues, and you can be sure they'll be gone by the time I release the new version.

Alien Breed - 10%

So far the engine looks like this.
It's not too bad, considering I'm only at 10%!
So far the player's onscreen, and the background's scrolling well. The interface works reasonably well, and even the control schemes are integrated nicely.
Four different control schemes are available.
1) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire by pointing. "Default style"
2) Walk/Strafe with the DPad, turn by pointing, fire by holding the trigger. "FPS style"
3) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire in the direction of the Face Buttons. "Robotron style"
4) Walk in the direction of the DPad. Hold A to shoot. Hold B to strafe+shoot. "Alien Breed style"
They're selectable via the menu system, so I know that's all working well!

Thus far I've not added any collision, or enemies, or pickups, or even a decent map. So I've got quite a bit to go, yet!

JNKPlat DS - Unsure!

Last year I released the first version of JNKPlat DS. People enjoyed it, which was nice :)
It was the first JNKPlat game to feature smooth animated graphics, and it gave the game a whole new feel, turning it more into an Action platform than just a puzzle game.
I've come to like that style more and more over the past year, and as such I'm not at the point where I'm considering redoing the whole game, as opposed to just re-releasing it with a level editor added.
See, if I redo it from scratch, I can redo all the graphics. I can rescale the whole game, and give it an even bigger, even better look.
It's not an easy decision, though. JNKPlat has essentially looked exactly the same for the past 10 years. Do I really want to change what it looks like!?

So, Either I restart the whole thing, or I just add in a level editor and rerelease the old one.
I'm not sure, yet!

Green's Collection - Unstarted

And lastly to the biggy!
The original collection, for windows, is available here. It's a set of small games, each with basic rules, and gameplay. They're fun, but small.
I've always thought a DS version of the collection would be fun, but so far I'm unsure of the graphical style I should go for.
As far as memory's concerned, the lesser the graphical style the better.. That way I can reuse plenty of the graphics, and fit in lots more games. But since I'll be using sprites for everything, I'll probably need chunkier graphics, so I can fill the screen, and not end up with only 128 8x8 pixel images on the screen! (128 is the DS's limit of sprites onscreen at once.)
I'm not sure if I'll go for the 8-bit style, try out a 16-bit style, do all line graphics, or maybe even go down a couple of steps and go for a super-retro Atari2600 style of graphics.
If I plan out a few games, maybe the graphics will find themselves. But I haven't even gotten that far, yet!
This game is mearly a sidethought in my mind, since I have plenty more things to be getting on with.

If you have any ideas for the collection, feel free to pop them into the comments below.
Views 7, Upvotes 2, 26th August, 2007
Daily Blog
This week I decided to post something that, although it isn't very experimental, it is still a bit of gaming fun.
I bundled together a bunch of my earlier workshop games, and their all prepared in a nice big pack.

Extract the pack, (it's a simple self extracting Winrar archive) and you're all ready to play any of the contained games.
The range is pretty nice, going from simple 5 line basic games, right up to a small Lemmings clone at the end.
There's a few great games, and a handful of rubbish ones, too.

This is pack one.
It's a 12 Megabyte download, and contains everything I did from week 1, in June 2005, right up to week 30, in January 2006.
Expect pack two to arrive some time in the near future.
And for now, enjoy the games.

Download Collection #1

Views 11, Upvotes 3, 23rd August, 2007
Daily Blog
Nothing special this week. If you knew me at the time I did Green's Tiny Collection, then you've no doubt seen this game.

I thought I'd post it, though, to remind myself of what a great idea it once was.

Keep control of both Platdude and his football.
You use the spacebar to jump. Jump and header the football to send it flying over obstacles.
If you pick up any items, you can use them by hitting the cursor key in the direction of the item. That is, the powerup display shows 4 items, 1 up, 1 right, 1 left and 1 down. As you pick up items, they rotate within the display, until 4 pickups later, the oldest is disposed of whether it's been used or not.

The gameplay exists on a single 2D Plane. There's plenty of Parallax scrolling going on, and the levels run on into each other meaning the whole game keeps on moving whether you're in the main menu or halfway through level 8!

Not that there's 8 levels, of course! It never quite got that far..

The game's main issue is it's collision detection and physics. At the time I was still learning all about the strengths and weaknesses of Blitz coding. I'm sure that nowadays, given my better knowledge of Blitz, I could come up with a much better engine.

In fact, I might even give that a go.

But not right now... Lots of other stuff to be working with at the minute!

Download Bouncer Demo
Views 12, Upvotes 2, 8th August, 2007
Daily Blog
This week, an In-Progress experiment.

Use the flash thing on the top right of the site. Doodle yourself a little image, then click "New" which will not only start you off again, but also save the icon to a file on my site.

In the next few days I'll be collecting all the icons (and moderating them!) and then placing them into future games. They'll be used in plenty of ways, from Picross puzzles, to odd little incidental imagery.

Hopefully I'll be able to collect a fair few of them, and I'm looking forward to seeing what images you can come up with.

Thanks for your help.
Views 9, Upvotes 2, 2nd August, 2007
Daily Blog
Week 22 of the Wednesday Workshop was Racing week.

The first game I attempted was a UFO Fly game, the game you see entered.. But after I'd done that, I attempted a couple more engines.
#1 was a mess, and never really got anywhere. It was a nice graphical effect, but nothing more than that.

#2 however, was a Ball Bouncing AI Racing grand prix game!
Here it is, as it sits on my hard drive. Unlike last week I haven't bothered to neaten it up at all, and this is pretty much how I left it... And it's really unfinished, so there's no end to it.. Just keep floating away!

Use the cursor keys to bound your way through the level. Start by pushing up, then right. But, obviously, don't get stuck in the roof!

A very strange game.
Would it be worth finishing this one off?
No.. Probably not!
Views 11, Upvotes 1, 17th July, 2007
Daily Blog
"Create a Horizontal Shooter".. That was the compo rules for The Horizontal Shooter compo, over at SHMUP-Dev.. Or at least I think it was there.

I started this entry in January 2006. I know this because the game has a directory numbered 031..Since starting Wed.Workshop I've been numbering all my dev-dirs according to the number of that week's workshop!

Why I never finished it, I don't know.
Maybe I grew bored of it. Or maybe I realised it really wasn't that much of a challenge.

Whatever the case, tonight I decided to spruce it up a little.. So I added in a few sound effects, tweaked the settings a bit, and then added in a tune I found in my huge Chiptune directory.

So, Enjoy!

Mouse controlled, shoot the right, guard the left. Catch bullets in your trail!

Oh, and watch you don't fall off the edges since there's no edge detection! Nice and slow!

For those interested, the chiptune is "chromag-shock_therapy23.xm"
Views 16, Upvotes 2, 10th July, 2007
Daily Blog
When I created JNKPlat 3D (about 3/4 way down here) I intended to have an end-credits sequence. So I composed this nice theme for that purpose.
Unfortunately I have an odd knack of never finishing off games, so an end credit sequence never appeared in the game.
For the new JNKPlat I grabbed this theme and turned it into a smaller Mod, but some people like it, so here's the original version in it's MP3 format.
Views 15, Upvotes 2, 7th July, 2007
Daily Blog
Sometimes you forget about games!

I worked on this game for a while, back in early 2003. The idea was to nick the whole Pokemon idea, and create a bizarre Coding based adventure game.
So, I nicked the graphics, too!

I also added a bunch of music that I'd grabbed from Aminet, and designed a nice Logo.
I got the map pretty much working as expected, and even got it so that text would appear in a little box.

It kinda looks like my recent workshop "Quest" games, really.
But, as with all my games, it got placed to the side and forgotten about.

Maybe it's something I'll ressurect in the future. I don't know.
I think if I ever do come back to it, I'll be better off starting from scratch.

Give it a go if you really want to! (Note : Runs in 320x240, fullscreen!)
Views 20, Upvotes 2, 3rd July, 2007
Daily Blog
While I was playing Ultima Online a lot, I decided to do a silly Ultima based comic. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it took ages to cut out and manage each of the panels of a comic, in order to make the pages look good.
As I always say, "A simple idea can always be made easier if you use Blitz to do all the boring work for you." It's a long saying, but it fits.

Hyper Llama Man lasted for 6 pages.. Not a long time, but at least I managed to pull myself away from Ultima!
The first page of the comic was done entirely in PaintShop Pro. It's kind of ugly. The next one was done using a quickly made comic strip editor. That was Strips. It worked, but it was specifically designed to create boxy plain-text Hyper Llama Man pages.
Pages 3,4,5 and 6 were all done using Strips 2.

Strips 2 was a much more advanced editor, allowing for sliced panels, bubble speech and a variety of fonts.

It's more or less in a fully working state, but if you do decide to use it, keep saving often, because it'll probably crash, or do something stupid!

You can download Strips 2 here.
Views 17, Upvotes 1, 28th June, 2007
Daily Blog
Theory. I can make 3 versions of Platdude in 3D.

All three will be inside a box area. Version 1 will be a maze-like affair, with a multi layered floor, and 4 walls. Version 2 will be up against one of the walls and will play in a classic platform style. Version 3 will take the whole box area and fill it with Super Amazing Platforming Fun!

.. These were my thoughts when first trying out Blitz3D, 5 years ago.

Download Garbage!

I soon changed my plan and went back to making 2D games!

Still, the "Up against a Wall" idea kind of made it to the slightly dodgy JNKPlat 3D idea, so at least something came out of it.
Views 12, Upvotes 2, 20th June, 2007
Daily Blog
When I started doing Wed.Workshop, a few people complained that a week was too short a time, so in September 2005 I did the first and only Monthly Workshop. The Super September Challenge asked people to recreate a classic 8-bit game in a 16-bit style, and add some silly extras that people kept adding to games around that time.
My entry was to be Super Dig Dug.
It started off well enough, but then the sound started going all screwy, and I couldn't be bothered fixing it. So it was left to rot on my Hard Drive.
Until Today!

Download DigDug - Unfinished!

The game's basic bits kinda work. Guide the bubble-shielded guy around with the cursors. Hold space to shoot his air-thing. Baddies inflate. Baddies explode. Rocks fall. Music plays whilst walking.. And all the rest of the expected goodies.
The gameplay isn't all there, though. The baddies won't become ghosts, and run for the hills... and the water that slowly fills the screen doesn't actually DO anything!
But it's a start. And maybe someday it'll be finished!

Or maybe not.
Views 18, Upvotes 3, 19th June, 2007
Daily Blog
I've started to go through all my stuff, and I decided that, rather than just list everything, I'd try to create some kind of descriptive history of all my games, be they completed fun stuffs, or just failed experiments.? You might even start to see some new stuff appear here that you've never seen before!? ? In the meantime I've built up the JNKPlat section, as well as the More Games page.
I'm not sure if I'll bother doing the Wed.Workshop page.? Or perhaps I'll just list a few of my favourites. ? Like 5t1(|Views 18, Upvotes 2, 19th June, 2007
Daily Blog
Over the year, I've started a whole big bunch of games. Occasionally I finish a few! Here's some of the ones that involve Monkeys!

A mini competition was announced over at BlitzCoder. Create a game using no more than 150 lines of code. I created a silly game featuring a spinning set of monkeys, flying through a multicoloured tunnel. You had to shoot the monkeys. This became Space Monkeys 1

Download Space Monkeys 1

Worryingly, it proved to be quite popular, and given the popularity of Super Monkey Balls at the time, I figured I'd go for broke. Space Monkeys 2 had the same style, and even the exact same background effect as the original, but this time you had a monkey in a ball, and rolled him around a maze. But... You know.. Looking a bit cheap!

Download Space Monkeys 2

By the time I got up to Space Monkeys 3 I was already starting to run out of ideas, so this one involved some rocks, and fuel or something. To be honest, I tend to ignore this one!

Download Space Monkeys 3 (If you really want to!)

But then I hit gold with Space Monkeys DX! Featuring a big Sonic Special Stage esque rotating maze, and a couple of other games, too. (Gotta hate the Rock-Jumping!) What started life as Space Monkeys 4 ended up being a nice collection of silly games.

Download Space Monkeys DX

And then a return to where it all began, as BlitzCoder held a one button compo, and I decided to bring back the monkeys with a second collection of games. But this time, the games formed an evolving storyline, in which you had to save the Space Monkeys from a gang of intergalactic evil chickens!

Download Space Monkeys 5

Invisible Munky

I've yet to create a new Space Monkeys game, but in the meantime I did make a nice little platformer that wound up being tied to the whole Space Monkey universe. To tell the truth, this game actually started life as an experimental new Platdude engine. The plan was, build a nice collision system, then add the graphics around it. The collision system worked really well, and the simple line-drawn landscape looked really neat, so I left it as it was! I took out Platdude, and replaced him with an arrow, which is slightly off center, and points to where your character is. An added monkey sound effect later, and Invisible Munky was born. AFAIK it's the only platform game without a main character. And it's great!

Download Invisible Munky

Munky Typing

I can't remember what made me create Munky Train. Maybe it was one of those sparks of insanity, I'm not sure, but I drew a silly train and some tracks, and then plonked on a bunch of words to be typed, and the Munky Typing series was born. Shortly after I created Munky Rocket with a bunch of asteroids, and even later I made Heavy Metal Munky for one of the Wednesday Workshops.

Download : Munky Train, Munky Rocket, Heavy Metal Munky, and have fun typing!
Views 16, Upvotes 3, 18th June, 2007
Daily Blog
I get bored. I get bored a lot. Especially when working on large projects. It's nice to occasionally have some weird random thing to do.
That's why I set up the Wednesday Workshop.
A weekly challenge. Make a game based upon a given theme, or task. Everyone who enters gets put through for a vote. But it's not really about the winning. It's about having something to do when you're bored. And .. I get bored a lot!

Click here and you'll see a nice big long list of the 60+ entries I've created for the workshop. They range from silly little 10 minute play things, through to mini RPGs, and everything inbetween.

For interest's sake, here's my favourite collection of workshop entries, and reasons why I like them.

A simple shoot 'em up. It actually gets really good if you play through the whole game, with different sections opening up as you go. But I don't think anyone ever actually bothered doing that.

Could be a much bigger game if I ever bothered to build it up.

Marvin the Wireframe Aeroplane
A nice little Juggler type game, where you keep the plane afloat by hitting it with blasts from fireworks. I love the look of this game, especially all the little background fireworks.
OK, so it might not be the best game in the world, but I like it!

Make Munky Do
A parody of the classic BBC Micro "Educational Title" Pod. It was a very silly game then, and it's even more silly now!

Features an incredibly chunky retro Space Monkey!

And if Munky Do was silly, then this is downright ludicrous. Stickman needs to take his Library books back, so guide him to the nearby library.

Watch out for the local Bully!

This game could quite easily be a whole lot bigger. A nice, simple puzzle game involving light and holes!

I really should get round to making the sequel to this game!

A collection of games, for workshop 19, which asked us to create a game per day for 7 days.
The games included here are.
1) Catch the numbers
2) A silly Animal Crossing clone.
3) A clone of the Amstrad CPC game Binky
4) A clone of the classic Splat
5) A UFO game with Cows
6) A silly remake of Hero
and 7) 2D Doom!

Get Stars
Quite possibly one of the nicest looking games I've ever created, with parallax stars, spinning pickups and a nice little witch and cat on a broomstick that looks quite a lot like Meg+Mog!

Greenie's Gameboy Adventure
A silly little quest game, featuring greenie, some squishy things and a Duck/Dragon type thing.

In many ways, this was a precursor to the "Quest" games that I created later on.

Mouse Minute
How much gameplay can you fit into a minute?
Well, depending on how fast your system's running, I crammed about 10 minigames into this game, all of which blend into each other quite nicely.

Super Mario Boardgame
It gets repetitive quite quickly, but this is a nice little board game you can play with up to 4 people.

Pick up mushrooms, throw fireballs, it's all in here!

A remake of Pipeline from the BBC Micro, but with a 2 player mode flung in.

I REALLY like this game, but the Superior Software guys said I couldn't make any more of it.


Typing Arcade
This really should go with the Munky Typing games, but then, there's no munkys!

Look forward to typing along to version of Pacman, Frogger and more.

Mario's Fiery Fourth
A cracking platform game, featuring Mario et all.

Jump on Goombas, grab the stars, find the pipe, rinse, repeat.

The CW Quest
When CodersWorkshop vanished into thin air, we were set a "What happened to it?" challenge.

My theory, a giant Duck/Dragon creature stole all it's parts.

A multicoloured version of Picross.

If you finish off the included levels, you can use the editor to create your own.

The Other Quest
In this sequel to The CW Quest, we find Platdude desperately trying to sort out the chaos that was created at the end of the last game.

Can you make the townsfolk happy again?

Monsters in Space
A remake of the classic game Monsters (or "Roland Goes Digging" if you're a CPC fan!) but with the player upside down! Strange! But enjoyable.. And kinda tricky, too!

JNKPlat : The Slot Machine
A Slot machine, but with JNKPlat gameplay implimented right into the slot mechanism. This game proved to be so popular that I'm redoing it on the DS.
Views 12, Upvotes 0, 18th June, 2007
Daily Blog
OK, lets see how well we go with this.

Taking a slight page from Prospero, I decided to setup a Wordpress page.
I'm (hopefully!) going to be using this site to keep track of all my old Games and Musical pieces, so they'll all be easily accessible.

It'll probably not work, but it's at least worth a try, right?
Views 14, Upvotes 0, 18th June, 2007
Daily Blog
Platdude. A 16 pixel, 3 color character. Deftly defying the world of 3D models and amazing realism, in favour of good old fashioned gameplay.
Over the years, Platdude has been in plenty of games.. Here's an approximate history of Platdude, along with Downloads where appropriate. (Or skip to the bottom for the latest stuff!)

The Early Years

Due to Windows-system changes, and the fact that a bunch of these require DOS and QBasic and stuff, and also have inexpicably lost data through the years.. How Dare They!!
I might eventually do an old-skool archive thing, and try to fix all these up some day.
That day is not today!

JNKPlat 1
Late 1997 - QBasic
The original game was created whilst I was in college. At first I'd made a little top-down maze game, JNKMaze. The movement was very blocky, but the puzzle designs were fiendish. I then decided to try recreating the game, but instead of making it top down I would add gravity to the world, and use the walls as platforms. That worked really well, and JNKPlat was born.
It featured the classic block-at-a-time jumpy movement, it had no screen scrolling, I made about a dozen or so levels, and the main character was a strange little yellow fellow!
One of the trickiest things I found, though, was that if you were on a ladder you couldn't quite jump off it correctly. So instead of having a "Jump up" button, I instead added two jump buttons. One button would jump you to the left, the other to the right. This simple addition added to the puzzle factor of the game, and became a staple for the JNKPlat series.
Next I wanted an enemy in the game, so I added a small bat that flew randomly around the level. Given that you could control Platdudes speed (quicker keyboard taps moved him quicker) the random movement of the bats lead to some fun level designs, whereby you'd suddenly find yourself running like crazy inside small tunnels and the like.
Pretty quickly, though, it became harder to add new features to the game. All the sprites were being created using pixel data, and it became far too complex to keep track of what everything was! So I built up a small color palette editor, and a sprite designer, and began work on the 2nd JNKPlat.

JNKPlat 2
Early 1998 - QBasic
Things turned out really well, and I spend about an hour each day building up new levels. They weren't the most challenging levels, but I did build 100 of them, so that was ok!
When we started our 2nd year at College, I was mortified to find that the IT staff had decided to wipe all the accounts, meaning I'd lost all 100 of my levels. So, what else could I do but start again!

JNKPlat 3
Late 1998 - QBasic
This time I decided to use even smaller sprites. A 4x4 pixel Platdude was born, and the maps could now get up to a whopping 75x45 blocks in size. Still without any animation at all, the game carried on exactly where things had been left off. Except by now the code was getting much better. It'd started off with 54kb of data for JNKPlat 1, whereas JNKPlat 3 used 7! (Although, of course, that gain soon dissapeared with all the new Level data!)

JNKPlat 4
October 2000 - DarkBasic
The main problem with having all your games made in QBasic, is that they're really hard to get working in Windows 98. So armed with a brand new game-development language, I set about recreating JNKPlat for Windows. Things went pretty smoothly but I soon wanted to attempt something a little more arcade-like, and so the levels never really appeared.


From this point on, we have a completely downloadable collection.

Platdude Adventure
January 2002 - DarkBasic
And so I tried my hand at a classic platform game. At the time I thought that making a better looking game meant I should create a better looking character. I've since learnt that that's not the case, but for this game I shoved in a little half-stickman half-big belly guy. I tried to add mario-style gameplay to the thing, but my collision detection was way off, and it all became a jumbled mess.
Blame DarkBasic for that!! (Note : Darkbasic's a lot better nowadays, this was in 2002!)

Platdude Blitz
September 2002 - BlitzBasic
I started again with BlitzBasic. First of all, Platdude went back into the game. He looked much better! I got my collision routines more or less as good as I could at the time, although there was still a bit of dodgyness if you were trying to jump onto something too high.
Thinking it would help, I added a whole bunch of different play styles into the engine, including Mario, Sonic and even a strange Lemming style, where you had to rescue the little fellows. To a degree it worked, but it became a mismatch of ideas. Furthermore, between fiddling with the different game style, and losing the whole "Blocky" nature of the game, I'd gone and lost the one thing that made Platdude what it was.
I'd lost the Puzzles.
And I really like Puzzles!

JNKPlat 5
September 2002 - BlitzBasic
This edition of the game was also created in 2002, 5 years after the original JNKPlat. The plan was simple. Remake the original as close as I could. It works up to a point. That point was that I never really bothered making that many levels for it, and so it runs out of steam pretty quickly.
Which is a shame, because if I'd have stuck with it, it probably would've gotten better with time.

JNKPlat 3D 2003
December 2003 - BlitzBasic
If you take a 2D game, keep it looking the same, but transfer it to 3D, you're probably going to end up with an Isometric game.
This is that game.
For the most-part, the game worked, and with oddball isometric images it was even possible to pull off some crazy optical illusion style levels.
It would've all been great if it actually worked properly, but the annoying 3-axis control thing got in the way.
A shame, for sure, because puzzlewise, this had some real evil possibilities!

Platdude Spheres
December 2004 - BlitzBasic (with Enhanced Sprite Routines)
Another Christmas, Another Platdude game!
By this point I'd decided that there were two completely different brands going on. The JNKPlat games were the Puzzle type, and the Platdude games were more your classic platformer. I then decided to splash the two together, and came up with a great Puzzle idea. If you grab hold of a certain type of sphere, you change into the costume of another platform character, and gain that characters abilities for a few seconds.
The idea worked reasonably well, but with the chunkier graphics, and pixel based nature of the Platdude games, the whole puzzle element didn't work too well. .. Back to the drawing board!


Platdude as a character had officially stuck.
His yellow/orange/blue colour scheme was fast becoming a staple of my games, and even the lovely little Greenstick-styled bats had wedged their way into my collection of favourite characters.
They were going to stay with me for a long long time, so I might as well see what else I could get out of them!

June 2005 - Blitz3D
This started well, but I think I might've overdone the unlocking mechanism a little!
As a result, it's mindbogglingly dull until you've unlocked about 80% of the game.
Still, it's the first real "Platdude, but different" attempt, and manages to keep the retro styled chunkyness, along with the bats. 'cos Bats are awesome!

January 2006 - Blitz3D
Sticking with the "but different" theme, I next decided to try a Lemmings style game, with loads of little Platdudes running amock. The level design was kept in the good old ascii style, and a few skills were attempted, but in the end I gave up.
A nice enough idea, but, much like Lemmings, it all became far too samey, after just a couple of levels.
A shame.

JNKPlat 3D
May 2006 - Blitz3D
This is a vague attempt to bring Platdude kicking and screaming into the realm of 3D. .. And.. Well.. it's not a very good attempt!
For starters, quite a few people have issues running the game. Seems I'm nowhere near as good at all that polygonal work as I'd thought!
Secondly, the game's kinda messed up with all the Back and Forth movement. It gets a little confusing to keep track of all the controls.
But the one thing that hurts it the most is that everythings still Block-at-a-time. When I started it, it had seemed like a great idea. . But Block-at-a-time doesn't work too well in 3D!

The Developers System

In 2006 I finally got hold of a programmable cart for the Nintendo DS. Datel's "Games 'n' Music" allowed me to create a JNKPlat for the DS, and that's exactly what I did. Except there was a problem. Nobody online knew how to work the file system for the Datel cart, and Datel weren't very helpful, either. So, although I could build the game, run the game, and add levels to it myself, I wouldn't be able to let players build their own levels.
Given the fact that that's pretty much one of the draws of JNKPlat, it seemed worthless to make another same-game. So I took time out to rethink the whole project.
If I was going to remove such a huge element of the game, I'd have to add something as big back in. .. Animation! I kept the grid-like gameplay, but added little animation between each tile. This gave the game a whole new flow, whilst keeping the puzzle element intact.. I was amazed that I'd never done it before.

JNKPlat DS aka Dungeon Escape
November 2006 - DevkitPro + PALib
The game proved to be so successful that Datel even popped the game onto a little CD that was included with all of their future Nintendo DS Homebrew cartridges.
JNKPlat in a Shop! ('ish)
The DS's button layout even helped the two button jump system, making it much easier to navigate the levels. I added a nice simple tutorial level, and everything else grew pretty quickly.

But something was wrong.

The bats, with their random flapping around, were no longer the simple enemy they once were. I realised that the new animations for Platdude were slowing him down, and the chance of a bat-attack had increased. I had to remove the bats!
In their place, I added small darts that shoot across the screen at timed intervals. They helped to create a whole new action element to the game, and have since become a staple to the series.

JNKPlat 07
July 2007 - Blitz3D
5 years after the 5th edition of the game, the 10th anniversary 2007 edition took everything that made the DS version so great, added a theme tune, scrolling screens, and finally put a decent level editor in there! (Everything beforehand had been .txt files!)
I also decided to retry the whole "Spheres/Suits" thing, and given the blocky nature of the game, it seems to have worked out quite well.
And it seems to be quite popular, too!

JNKPlat Slots
October 2007 - BlitzBasic
Another "Something different" game, seeing a JNKPlat game turned into a slot machine. Spin the reels, wait for them to stop, then watch as Platdude runs around, trying to score as many points as he possibly can.
As a random spur of the moment test game, I was quite happy with the way this game turned out, so happy infact, that it spawned a complete DS Homebrew spinoff, Arcade Slots, with a nice collection of different slot machines.

Platdude's Retro Collection
December 2007 - DevkitPro + PALib
Having achieved vague success with his own platform game, I decided to make a random collection of minigames for Nintendo DS Homebrew, and gather it all together under Platdude's brand.
The collection's fantastic, and has a whole bunch of varied little games, although whether Platdude adds anything to the collection, or is simply used as a brand, is yet to be decided ;)

Platdude Turns on Xmas
December 2007 - DevkitPro + PALib
Since Platdude was doing so well, I decided to tackle the DrunkenCoder's Christmas Competition, with a brand new 12 level challenge.
The game turned out GREAT, and I'm really happy with everything, from insanely difficult puzzles, to the 3-life deathspan!!
.. The DrunkenCoders must've been VERY drunk, because they ranked JNKPlat Xmas a very very very low mark.
Apparently it was far too hard for them! *wah!!*


JNKPlat DS 08
September 2008 - DevkitPro + PALib
A rebuild was in order, and this new DS edition finally included a level editor, a few new features from the 07 edition, and it's own little batch of new blocks, too. It's all neatly bundled with a whole bunch of levels, a lot of which were supplied by fans of the game, and there's even music thrown in there, too!

Platfire 2
March 2009 - Blitz3D
After running around on the ground so much, it was time for Platdude to return to his little rocket ship, and shoot a few more Bats.
This time I attempted to leave things open from the start.
That killed the point of it, and rendered the whole game pointless.
Live and Learn!

JNKPlat 3D 09 Trial
June 2009 - Blitz3D
Speaking of learning, two previous games have taught us that Platdude with 3D controls is an utter shambles!
This time around, I kept the 3D stuff in there, but opted to make the entire game using only 2D gameplay..
Taking the first levels from the DS08 collection, (literally the same ones, notice how the screenshots are of the same point in the same level!!) and bundling them into a lovely 3D engine, JNKPlat never looked so good.
Personally I thought the whole thing looked, and played marvellously.
Others complained about the control scheme, because apparently 2 jump buttons is too much for people to cope with.

Geeze, Platdude really struggles sometimes..

Still, the DS one was popular, and, like they say.. Try, Try Again!

JNKPlat 2010
April 2010 - BlitzMax
Stripping the game back to it's pure 2D classic gameplay, and instead, making everything nice and big and chunky and fuzzy!
This edition looks FANTASTIC in HD. Open it up, pump up the Resolution to the Max, stick it on Fullscreen, then sit back and play it for ages.
There's over 100 levels to this version, and the editor's nice, too!
On the Audience Appreciation scale, this got a fair way to making JNKPlat about as popular as the DS08 edition.

Having tried out this version, people seemed to be strangely willing to see how far I could push the previous 3D trial.
Their loss :P

The NeonPlat Difference

We all know, by now, what happens if you take Platdude out of his puzzle mechanics, right?
AuthenticKaizen (PixelProspector.com) suggested a brand new type of game to me, and I set about attempting to build it.
It took a while before I decided to attempt the game using Platdude. Platdude didn't appear to fit into a Neon pasted world.
Instead, rather than breaking Platdude's strict puzzle-based rules, I switched/tweaked him a little for a slightly more abstract version.

December 2009 - BlitzBasic
NeonPlat was born, a magical new gameplay mechanic was introduced, and an incredibly addictive single-screen platformer was played to death.
By a LOT of people!!

And given that I'd recently switched to the multiplatform compatible BlitzMax, it seemed inevitable that a quick multiplatform refix would be fairly useful.

.. so.. umm..

NeonPlat 2
June 2010 - BlitzMax
NeonPlat 2 gave you additional players, a few more baddies and some nice new powerups.
And was played even more than the original.

I was getting so used to the new gameplay mechanics that I figured a nice half/half mixup might even work for the DS.

October 2010 - DevkitPro + PALib
hmm.. This game sort of worked, but it wasn't quite as good as what it was trying to be.
I guess, in the end, that NeonPlat doesn't really work very well on such a tiny resolution.
You need the resolution to give the gameplay all the space that it truely deserves, otherwise it all gets a little bit more crowded than it oughta!

NeonPlat Adventures
November 2011 - BlitzMax
Still a WorkInProgress as I type this, NeonPlat Adventures will be a bigger-better-platformier edition of NeonPlat, switching things from single-screen, to nice long scrolling platform levels.
Whether this proves to be better or worse, will have to be seen.
It's currently slated for a November 13th 2011 release.

The Future

So, what's next for Platdude!?

You'll have to wait and see!

I'm probably on schedule to do a great big new 15th anniversary JNKPlat game, some time next year, though.
Fingers crossed!
Views 12, Upvotes 0, 18th June, 2007
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