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Year 2 : Part 3 : 2010
8th September, 2010
54 games. Last year I only managed about 30-odd, so I think that's pretty good going.
Sure, it might not have truely actually been A Game "Per" Week, but I did at least keep the ratio up.
If I hadn't taken the time out to build the framework, I probably would've actually achieved the target a little better
The stats show I was pretty much on top of things up until that point, but then things got slower and slower until my buffer zone was all dried up.
Anyhoo, this is a nice big lengthy retrospective, and we'll be looking back at each game, giving 'em all a fresh score, and seeing how it all tots up.
You can download each game by clicking their titles.
1 to 18 : 19 to 30 : 30 to 54
Year 2 : Part 3 : 2010
As I headed into 2010, I decided to take some time out. I'd built up a huge "buffer" with the 12 Games of Xmas, so I was able to take a bit of time to essentially start from scratch.
I switched to a new language (BlitzMax) and spent some time making a new Framework.
The framework is probably my nicest so far, and includes fairly obvious things that I've never really bothered to include before.
From this point in, all my games would have a nice bunch of settings that allow the user to do lots of things.
Screen Resolution switching, and Fullscreen mode work wonderfully.
There's redefinable key settings whenever a game uses buttons..
Audio volume sliders to turn off the music.
and then there's the graph!
Oooh, the luvly graph...
A very simple little addition that basically charts your latest scores, and lets you know if you're getting better or worse.
19 January 2010
Taking a couple of weeks to do, I built up the basic engine for the framework.
Wanting to get the simple pieces tested, I created a quick test game, and set it out upon the testing world.
Munky did indeed test the engine, and I learned quite a few tweaks that needed doing, mostly that the various audio drivers would mess up on certain systems, and other nasty things like that.
Munky helped a lot, and the game became a nice simple typing game.
Polish : 4Considering this was only a test game, it turned out quite nice. Probably could've done with better input, though!
Playability : 3Things go awry if you mis-type anything, and it's otherwise quite repetitive.
Completeness : 4There's a nice long poem in there, to make things look fuller!
Interest : 4I don't think that says anything about the game, though.. Most of the interest came from the fact that a bunch of people were testing it for me!
9 February 2010
My second game of the year was a sequel to my original multi-ball Breakout game, Centipong.
The main problem I found, though, was that the original was actually good enough!
Having got the engine running, and thrown in some nice chunky hi-def versions of the original sprites, I found myself trying desperately to add something new into the mix.
Eventually, a collectable Net was suggested by MadTinkerer, and it seemed to add a little something.
To be honest, though, it probably wasn't enough, and I struggled to add anything more.
As a result, Centipong 2 isn't really any better than the original.
In fact, the original's a whole lot better.
Polish : 5Looks great!
Playability : 2Doesn't play so great..
Completeness : 4If I could fix the powerups, it might start to build up a little better.
Interest : 3Everybody knew the original was better.
16 February 2010
I added "Badges" to my new framework, and tried best to consider how I could make good use of them, other than as standard "You got 100,000 points : Here's a badge" style things.
After much thinking I came up with an idea whereby the player collected the badges, and each new badge gave them a new skill.
I built a really insanely simple graphical engine around this idea, implimented a few enemies, got dungeons randomly generating, and even added a calender.
Since the game was pseudo-random, I was able to add an insane number of random dungeons, so figured the calender system would let people play a different level every day of the week.
Mixing things up was really nice, although I doubt anyone gets many plays on their calender! The game's a wee bit lengthy!
Polish : 5Lovely game, and even the main sprite (a square) has a little care and attention added.
Playability : 5It's probably a bit too slow for most players, and in fact is even too slow for myself, but it's a nice change from my usual craziness.
Completeness : 5That calender really makes this a keeper!
Interest : 3People loved the calender, but weren't so keen on the tempo.
2 March 2010
I'd spent the past couple of weeks tweaking and re-releasing Box's Adventure, alongside making Framework fixes. Whoops!
It was now March 2010, and surprisingly Nintendo hadn't noticed that that made it the month of MAR10.
I decided to take things into my own hands, and make a whole month's worth of Mario based games.
Copyright infringment was definitely an issue, so rather than just ripping Mario sprites from official games, I grabbed a handful of my own characters, and plopped them into Mario costumes!
First up was Ted Bob, last seen hopping on Hens, during the 12 Games of Christmas.
I reproduced the game, redrew the sprites, and then redrew them again with Mario Costumes on.
Same game, slightly different style.
It did the job, and kicked off the month of Mar10!
Polish : 5Lovely high-resolution sprites, and a half-baked reproduction of Mario's Overworld.
Playability : 5Bouncy bouncy bounce!
Completeness : 3I probably still could've added more to the mix. There's a few powerups, but nothing special.
Interest : 2Mario month kicked off with a "meh.."
9 March 2010
Continuing our Month of Mar10, I headed back to a much earlier game.
Monsters Upside Your Head took the usual 8-bit "Dig the Monsters into the Girders" gameplay, and flipped the player upside down.
This time, I tweaked it ever so slightly further, so that it vaguely resembled Donkey Kong, and the rest fell nicely into place.
I also added a great looking Flame effect, which I thought was so nice, I'd probably end up using it again..
Polish : 5Mmm.. Flames!
Playability : 4It'd probably be slightly more playable if the player were on the floor!
Completeness : 3Nothing much to it, besides the usual "More and more death"
Interest : 2Mario month continued to draw nobody!
16 March 2010
And here's your reuse of the flames!
A nice redoing of the Bowser Castle levels, from the original SMB, except without an ending.
Instead, Munky roams around the huge level, trying to collect as many of the 256 coins as he can.
Polish : 4The wall jump is apparently quite tricky! (?) But otherwise, still those same luvly flames!
Playability : 5Massive level, lots to do, and you can even load up the level in a paint program, and make it your own.
Completeness : 3I could probably have added a whole more tiles into the game.
Interest : 3People seemed to like it, but again, were annoyed by the way I implimented the wall jump.
30 March 2010
Taking a step back, this Blockman game is actually based on the original Platformer edition of Blockman, rather than the Blockman Gets style.
I figured people had seen way too much Blockman Gets, lately!
Having missed a week, due to lack of ideas, I decided to change things up a bit for the last week of Mar10 month.
Rather than having the player start in their Mario costume, the player has to collect one from a [?] box.
This gives the player a head-bumping power up for a short amount of time, and multiplies any points they earn, too.
Polish : 5Lovely stars in the background, popping appearances for the characters, a nice transition to "Mar10 Style". This has got everything!
Playability : 4I still think the physics are a little quirky.. Making everything 4* bigger has strange effects on your engine!
Completeness : 3People wondered why this version only had one level.. Again, a side effect of making the level so darn huge!
Interest : 4People seemed to enjoy this one, even with only 1 level.
20 April 2010
March was Mario month, so it seemed only fitting that April would be Platdude's month.
I took an entire month out, to build up one of the biggest and best editions of JNKPlat that I could muster.
All new super-high-resolution graphics made up a wonderfully scrolling tilemap, and a neat little overlay trick helped make everything look a little bit fuzzy!
Gameplay wise, there's all new tiles, a brand new enemy character, and by the end there were so many levels you'd be playing for at least an hour
There are, at last count, 154 levels.
Should be plenty to go on!
Polish : 5Looks great, Feels great, Great great!
Playability : 5Learn the jump and everything's fine!
Completeness : 3JNKPlat is NEVER complete!
Interest : 5It might've taken him 12 years, but Platdude finally got a little bit of notice on the PC!
4 May 2010
Is it a Game?!
That was the question I constantly asked myself whilst making this lovely swirly gravity thing.
Then once I was done, I kept asking it.
It's a lovely swirly patterny swooshy thing, but it didn't feel very gamey.
The folk at Curly's World of Freeware were in a similar position, but with a few tweaks here and there, we got it to the point where it was considered "A bit gamey"
It's very swirly!
Polish : 3It's so very swirly! But otherwise a little void.
Playability : 5But a different sort of play!
Completeness : 1Unless you think swirls are complete.
Interest : 5People were interested, even if they didn't know what it was.
11 May 2010
This is near enough what I was aiming for with Webding Fighter, except without the really oddball complications of having 150,000 different enemy types!
The evil spikey things come at you from all directions, you blow 'em all up, swooshiness occurs, and you carry on fighting until they get'cha.
Polish : 4Probably could've done with more than 1 enemy sprite! No matter..
Playability : 5Nice and fast paced, without become one of those nasty bullet-hell types of games.
Completeness : 3Could've/should've added lots to this.
Interest : 3The big-red-bit seemed to surprise some folk!
25 May 2010
A remake/redo of an earlier game, where you guided the little "stick-fella" through the maze, helping him to get to his "hole", without "splatting" all over the floor.
Nothing strange here..
Polish : 3Nice animation, decent enough backdrop.
Playability : 4Keeping the fella's moving, whilst there's more than one onscreen, proves to be a nice tricky actiony puzzley task.
Completeness : 3I intended to add more, based on how much interest the first release generated...
Interest : 0...or not.
1 June 2010
I had hoped that this game would turn out to be a nice puzzler, but somewhere along the way, the game seemed to take an odd turn, and lose every single bit of puzzleyness.
Where it should've been a case of hopping around yourself, it ended up as a big empty void, and the game lost all sense of purpose.
Try it on hard mode, it's at least half interesting!
Polish : 3It looks half-assed.
Playability : 0It died before it had a chance.
Completeness : 0I could easily have added so much more to this.
Interest : 0Poor game... Not even I cared!
8 June 2010
At this point, I started to consider that some of my older, better games were lacking Mac and Linux compatible versions, so I decided to rummage around, and pluck out a sort of "Best of".
I then spent the next few weeks, here or there, trying to remake them, and built little semi sequels.
This was first, because I knew I could've done better the first time.
Here, Platdude continues his odd neon-esque warped runaround, and all the "splashy" effects were retained.
I removed the "SPLODGE" glow, and replaced it with a much neater glowier glow.
I got rid of those darned ladders.
And I upped the bad guys thanks to a few suggestions from Shadow1w2.
I even took some time to make the levels more level-like, and added a handful of gameplay types.
Polish : 5Wonderful!
Playability : 5Excellent!
Completeness : 5Fantastic!
Interest : 5Plenty!
11 June 2010
I knew going in that a word game would fall flat on it's face, but I wanted to make one anyway!
Mostly because, contrary to everyone else, I DO like word games.
This is a word game!
Polish : 4The controls still feel a little off.
Playability : 5Assuming you like Puzzle games, it's quite fun.
Completeness : 3Probably should've added a nice Calender based, Puzzle-Of-The-Day type of thing.
Interest : 0People don't care about word games!
16 June 2010
A nice simple zombie shooter.
Turrets appear from the ground, you have to run to one, and then use it to shoot the zombies.
Each turret only lasts for 99 seconds, though, so you've gotta keep on the move, to keep shooting.
Note : The one in the big torrent doesn't work... durp.. should've tested those! You'll have to grab this one seperately.
Polish : 2It's all stick figures!
Playability : 4It's not bad, but it's not great...
Completeness : 3Probably could've done with powerups, or grenades, or something.. *shrugs*
Interest : 0Bah..
17th June 2010
Trying to bring back an old classic, I tried to come up with a bizarre Space Monkeys game.
I guess my mind isn't as insane as it once was, because this game wasn't all that bizarre.
.. well, you know.. kinda!
Space Monkey floats around, trying to hop up the towers, whilst avoiding the great big meteors that are falling around him.
Polish : 1Bah! Not even the lovely background square thing (from earlier Space Monkey games) works well in BlitzMax..
Playability : 3It's ok for a few minutes, but it's nothing special.
Completeness : 4It's as complete as any other Space Monkeys game!
Interest : 1Only a minor bit of interest in this one.
29 June 2010
I actually drew Barry about a year or two earlier, but I couldn't come up with an interesting Spelling game.
I guess I still haven't, because this one's not very good, either!
Polish : 4Looks lovely!
Playability : 1Plays badly!
Completeness : 0A bit pants..
Interest : 0Who knew!!
5 July 2010
So, back to that plan, then!
Remake old favourites, so they're working for Mac and Linux, too.
This week, Microbes, a nice remake of an Amiga game, which proved to be quite popular.
This one, too, turned out nicely, but probably wasn't all that "Sequel"y, in that there wasn't all that much more to the game.
The powerups added a bit, though.
Polish : 5Plenty of little particles, and loads of bullets.
Playability : 4It doesn't really kick-off unless you're on a none-easy playmode, but once it does, it's nice and deadly.
Completeness : 4More powerups and microbe-types, but otherwise nice and complete.
Interest : 5So much interest that it even got a nice lengthy review on a German Linux site! (Good lord, that's a lot of writing!)
12 July 2010
Another week, another remake, this time the retro Pitfall'ish game I'd made last year.
Nice and simple gameplay, where Lara Croft'ish runs around trying to find a Cross.
There's bats and dogs and bears, and lots of ammo to shoot 'em all with.
There's even a wonderfully integrated level editor included, that you can have a nice play around with.
Polish : 5Looks as good as it should!
Playability : 5Plays great, especially if you have a good-old digital joystick plugged in.
Completeness : 3I intended to add more, but never got around to coming up with anything more to add!
Interest : 4Probably didn't get as much as I'd hoped, but I think that's because it was just more of the same. The original wasn't really broken. (so.. .. )
20 July 2010
I wanted to try my hand at a Sim/Tycoon sort of game, so this week I spent about 5 days making a nice train track system, and then had to rush the whole Tycoon bit at the end.
If it had been finished off, this would probably be vaguely interesting to play.
As it is, it just feels like you're watching a train go around, whilst desperately trying to link up the new stations.
Polish : 3The train tracks turned out quite nicely!
Playability : 3A little complicated.
Completeness : 1It's ok, it's just not what it could've been.
Interest : 2People seemed intrigued...
3 August 2010
I'd recently made my first ever iPhing (iPod/iPhone) game. Note that I've not counted that, so I actually made 55 games..
I decided to redo it on the PC/Mac/Lin things, and this is the result.
A nice card based puzzle game that nobody seems to play.
Polish : 5Nice swooshy card graphics, in "Retina", or "A decent resolution" if you prefer.
Playability : 5Awesomely fun, and really good for testing your memory.
Completeness : 5When released, this PC/Mac/Lin version was even better than the one on the iPhings!
Interest : 0Really!?
17 August 2010
Guide the three characters to collect all of the pickups.
A nice simple maze game, where you have to keep track of which character's walking in what area.
Can get quite tricky, quite fast!
Polish : 3The blue and green are a bit too close, which leads to a few missteps along the way.
Playability : 4If you avoid the blue/green issue, it's quite a nice little puzzle game.
Completeness : 3Could add more.. In fact, if you open the map images up, you can happily build a bit more.
Interest : 2It generated a little interest, but nothing special.
22 August 2010
Cardagain STILL wasn't picking up, so I gave it one last try.
Surely a DS version would prove to be popular?
Polish : 4Same as it was, but in an "Anti-Retina" resolution.
Playability : 5It's still a great game, even when it's tiny.
Completeness : 3The game's working, but the card selection isn't.
Interest : 2The DS one didn't prove to be popular. But it did generate a little buzz, so that's ok.
24 August 2010
And lastly ... *phew*
I decided to make a nice simple relaxing sort of game.
Fred hops about, grabbing onto the little dandelion spores, and floats his way back down.
You need to keep aiming for nearby bits, and keep him floating about.
I added Combos and Flower pickups, and the game seemed to be nice and playable.
Polish : 5Looks great, and there's some nice flashy things as he hops around.
Playability : 4Some issues with the controls, but otherwise great.
Completeness : 3Pickups?!
Interest : 4Probably more interest than some others, lately. People like hopping!
So, 54 games, 54 weeks, task complete.
What have we learned?
1. REST OCCASIONALLY..
During the last few weeks of this, I was feeling REALLY rough. I'd been pretty much coding, none-stop, for the whole year. I'd overdone it, and BOY did I feel the effects!
Rest is needed, which is why I'm now taking the whole of September off.
.. .. I say that..
.. I'm also writing a couple of games..
But I'm not pushing it! They'll happen when they happen!
2. Add Polish
Even if it's just a few little floating sprites, roaming around in the background, it ends up adding something that makes it look a little better.
Add nice swooshy things around pickups, add floating score things, and other little things like that.
3. Only do a remake if you can add something new!
Centipong 2 was a complete and utter disaster!
4. um.. ... That's about it.
AGameAWeek continues in October, until it kills me, apparently!