Oh Mummy!

This month, Socoder are having a “Make a game with Pickups” challenge.
It took me a bit of a while to decide what game to do, but I think I’ve finally settled on one.


Greenie – The Eccentric Egyptologist.. Named so it fits alongside Greenie – The Helecopter Hero.

It’s a remake of Oh Mummy but with a couple of tweaks here and there, including the way you open the areas.

Instead of just being “Walk around the box” there’s now a set of buttons around the edges of the areas. Push down all the buttons and then the area opens up. But if you leave the buttons, they slowly pop back up again. This means you have to run all the way around, trying to keep the buttons down.
Different sizes and shapes of areas means there’s plenty of variety, and the levels can become easy/hard depending on how the areas are layed out.

So far, only Mummies are in the game, but I’m planning on adding a few more creatures, and the pickups are coming along rather well.
The one thing I haven’t yet decided, though, is how to end each level.
In the original game, you had to find the key in each level, then get back to the door. For this one I’d like to make things a little more complex.
..
But I might not! I haven’t decided yet.

More info later.

Horizon’s Edge

I’m currently working on a nice shooter game. A “take it in turns to kill each other” type blaster.
Like Scorched Earth..
Or, if you prefered the Amiga version, like I did, Scorched Tanks.

Anyway, this game isn’t exactly like either of those!
Imagine the tanks being UFO’s, and they’re floating in space, with a bunch of randomly sized planets between them.
They fire shots, and the weapons float about in space, being pushed and pulled by various gravitational forces, until they either float away, hit a planet, or hit a player.. (sometimes that could even be yourself!)

I’ve been working on this game for a couple of days, now, and it seems to be coming together quite nicely.
For it’s title theme, I decided to take the original theme from Scorched Tanks. A tune by Sidewinder, named Horizon’s Edge.
I spent most of today working on a nice new rearrangement of the theme, and figured I’d let you hear the tune as it currently stands.
Horizon’s Edge : Beta!

The mix will probably be tweaked, here and there, between now and the game’s release (I’ll probably tighten up the start, and neaten the end a little, and do a few little twiddly bits in the middle) but, all in all, it’s pretty much what I wanted out of it.

Enjoy!
And.. Credit goes to Sidewinder for his amazing 30Kb, 4 channel original version!

DS Progress

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 8×8 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.

Workshop Entries, weeks 1 to 30

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

“Closure”

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.
Closure.mp3

Building up the archive…

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(|</\/\4N!!!!!

Ranty bit..

You know what’s annoying…
When you click a link that’s supposed to be a fantastic new thing, but instead get an Advert.

I hate popus. They literally pop up just to grab your attention.
Nowadays they’re all stupid flash/javascript based things that slam themselves over your mouse cursor, just so you notice them.
You try to shout and yell at them, but they don’t go away.
Instead, they slap themselves right in the middle of the text you’re trying to read, and .. in my case, I usually swear and hit the close button.
If the web designer doesn’t want me to read the information they’re trying to tell me, then screw ’em.

Similarly, a fantastic new trend is emerging.
This one’s just as good.
You click on “This Awesome Fantastic Game!!!”, and rather than have the game go “Here I am!!!”, it goes.. “Here’s an advert.”, and then doesn’t let you do a fucking thing for half a minute, whilst it shoves a stupid irrelevant ad in your face, which is probably US Based when you’re anywhere BUT the US.
SMEG OFF..

OK, ok, I get it. it’s all about ad revenue.
Sure, fantastic, great, amazing.
There’s other places to put them.
For starters, you have a webpage, put some ads on there.
And in your flash file? How about you tweak the menu to fit in a banner advert? What about a mini ad, between level loading. How about you stick it somewhere less annoying than “Before you even get to see a single sprite of your game”

It’s annoying.
And the end result is that I just close the tab.
I don’t play your game.

About an hour ago, I received an email from the developer of Balloon Rescue.
He asked for feedback, since (as we all know) feedback is rare on the net, these days.

My feedback was as follows.

When I clicked the link, an advert appeared. Then I closed the window.

Harsh? Yeah! Definitely.
But I’ve said that exact same thing about 20-odd times this month, and I wasn’t going to make an exception.
Advert = Close