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Top 10 (17!) of 10 - 2019
31st December, 2019
A decade is over, and what have I done?
373 games, created a new blogging script for here, rewritten the Socoder forum, started a few new sites and more!
Oh, and a brain tumour!
It's been a wild and crazy decade, and over the next few days I'll be looking back at the best (and worst) games from the decade.
2010 - BlitzMax
2011 - Touch Control
2012 - The Bad Year
2013 - Monkey-X
2014 - OUYA!!
2015 - The Gap Year
2016 - Forget-V
2017 - Cuddle Me
2018 - Ringing the Changes
2019 - Overload
2019 - Overload
This year's been intense!!
Starting the year with the C++ framework, but lacking in ideas, a player (Michael Fernie) asked me about the possibility of making a card game.
I hadn't done a card game in a while, and it seemed like an ideal time to try something new.
..But the C++ framework wasn't exactly suited to drawing nice high-resolution cards.
The framework had been created to draw tons of tiny sprites, not 52 large ones.
After all, if it runs in one browser, it should theoretically run on a lot of different ystems, right?
I spent a number of weeks tweaking out the basics of a new framework, drew a deck of Platdude themed cards, and was somewhat amazed when it all came together reasonably well.
The ShoeboxOfGames was born, and soon I was able to make a companion site, Browsercade, to handle more arcade-like games.
Juggling games for both sites, as well as the Foldapuz site, has lead to an INSANE number of games being made, this year.
Meanwhile, over in Japan, a new version of SmileBASIC had launched for the Nintendo Switch, called Petit Computer 4.
Signing up with a Japanese account, I hastily whipped up a copy, and set about making my traditional AGameAWeek games on the system.
SpikeDislike, Foldapuz, Clampett, Platdude and more, were all transposed week by week.
For a solid couple of months, I was churning out a weekly game for PetitCom4, ShoeboxOfGames, Browsercade AND Foldapuz.
Four games a week!?!
Seventeen of the Best(in order of release, and with tons more that I wanted to add to this list)
The first game of the year, and one of the last to make use of the C++ Framework.
The game ended up about as well as could be expected, but the level generator still wasn't producing any particularly complicated screens to navigate through.
Maybe that should be the thing I work on if I re-attempt this game in future?
Somewhat of a running theme through the decade, it seemed like I really oughta make a nice new SpikeDislike to round things out.
The C++ framework struggled with the longer sprites that I used to use for the backgrounds, so I had to come up with a new concept for doing large tilemaps.
The new style looks alright, but it does get quite repetitive, too.
A lack of different graphical overhauls, and an occasional stutter, let this release down quite a bit.
And then there's the fact that I still couldn't get it running on iOS.
A very frustrating situation..
A new framework, a new ideology, and a new way to do AGameAWeek.
Bundling many games together into a single framework, allowing for Card games, board games, and even puzzles, I set about creating the Shoebox of Games framework with expansion in mind.
Spider Solitaire was the test game.
Having to draw two decks of cards (104 rather large sprites) onto the screen at once, I wasn't sure what browsers and devices could or couldn't handle it.
The result was actually a really capable little framework, and in the weeks to come, it'd be expanded upon in many ways.
I always love a good game of Stringy Things.
I've made many revisits to this concept over the years, but this was my first attempt at cramming a giant 170,000+ word list into a web-browser!
The game flows really well, although there's a slight pause when you first try to load the wordlist.
Once up and running, though, just like Spider Solitaire before it, the engine coped admirably on all manner of devices.
Signs were good, and many more card games, word games and more were to come!
Alongside the standard word and card games, came the possibility of making all those little touchscreen-based games that I'd been avoiding for the past few years.
The sorts of games that people will happily play for hours, once they have them, but wouldn't ever consider actually downloading them .. because "Yahtzee...? I'm not downloading Yahtzee!!"
I now had a secret weapon.
People would visit the site, and it's automagically keep downloading these things!
This is a straight forward Yahtzee clone, it's a nicely playable one, but it's still one of my favourite games in the whole of the Shoebox.
A game on PetitCom4 which took the original Flappy concept and made things a bit tougher.
The evils are more evil, and the danger more confined, as you have to flap back and forth because I hadn't yet learned a good way to scroll the background, and instead made everything flow in the same screen!!
With all the wonderful games I'd been making on PetitCom4, and all the board/card/puzzle games elsewhere, I decided it was probably time to try bringing arcade-like games back to my standard game development.
Taking the core of ShoeboxOfGames as a starting point, I built up an Arcade framework, and Blockman was the test game.
Tackling music was the biggest problem, but also trying to figure out how to squeeze so many games into a tiny webpage.
Where Shoebox uses about 10Mb of cache to store the large cards, the wordlist, and other elements, the Browsercade would only need about 1.5Mb.
A massive difference, but not one that you can see onscreen, as Blockman's colourful, full-speed action blasts onto your browser!
Clusters of Hex
A game I'd done before, but one that needed extra care and attention to pull off, this time.
Opting to get the gameplay to fit inside the "inner" section of the background, I needed to do some fairly creative maths to get it all to fit, as well as working on multiple screen resolutions.
Quite a tricky thing to pull off, but the end result is a wonderful rendition of the classic Hex-Hopping puzzle game.
A rather nifty little Minigolf game with bumpers to avoid and holes to hit.
The game makes use of Shoebox's Board Game functionality, so you can happily scroll around, zoom in and out, and aim and shoot with just a swipe of your finger.
Probably could've done with a couple more courses, but there's always the random course mode to keep things playable.
A simple "two tanks on a hillside" game, but with silly bouncy tanks that blast through the air when hit.
This game is stupidly difficult due to your having to re-aim every time you get shot, but the bouncy physics make me laugh every time a tank gets launched through the skies!
A great little word puzzle. Use letters from the bottom of the pyramid to form words, and have them vanish when you complete successful words.
The game unlocks more letters as you play, and it's quite tricky to reach the end with a complete word at the ready, to end a level properly.
This is the end result of all of those "Kee, Bo, Ard" games from the past few years.
Guide the three pieces through the maze and get them all home, whilst ensuring you step on every tile along the way.
It's a fun little romp with hundreds of levels, and with a Shoebox-style overhaul, it doesn't look anywhere near as garish as the previous games!
The thought of "What if Tetris was a board game?" ended up as a nice little playable game.
Place girders into the grid from the bottom up, and try to be the player that completes each row.
This is great in four player "Party Mode" with friends!
A simple revisit to the standard "hop on the enemies" platforming gameplay, with added powerups.
This game seemed to work really well, and so far I haven't had a Cease and Desist from Nintendo!!
A standard anagram puzzle, but one with a very slight attempt at artistry.
This kind of pre-drawn background is probably the best way to stop all the foldapuz games from looking alike!
Army of Flags
A revisit to the old Army of Flags concept, but this time with much-needed direction shooting.
I also added a "Drop the Flags" button, so you can stop, drop and shoot at the enemy whenever you need to.
With these two little tweaks, the game becomes a much more playable game, and is one of my most often revisited games in the Browsercade.
A redux of the Quadoban concept, using SmileBASIC on Switch.
The concept works just as well as it ever did, and when confined to a specific screen resolution, isn't quite as squished as it can be on some devices.
I still can't quite believe that I managed to make a level generator for this, that would run in BASIC, and still manage to generate playable levels in just a couple of frames!
Created with Survey Creator
A Few Failures
Beleaguered Castle Solitaire
This isn't so much a failure in that it doesn't work.
It DOES work. It works exceedingly well.
It's just insanely hard to the point where I can't normally even get about halfway through the game before it stumps me.
A Battleships game, but one with such horrible sprites, I can barely force myself to play it.
I really REALLY need to fix the sprites on this game!!
You can probably tell from the look of this game, that I really wanted to make a SpikeDislike puzzle game.
Fill in the numbers 1 to 9 in the cross.
I tried it with a spike, but there's 24 squares in a spike, and it just didn't fit well onto the "page"
Disk O' Green
I'm not sure what I was aiming for with this game, but I'm absolutely certain that I didn't reach it.
This is not a good game..
And the rest(in order of release)
It's a big list, so I'll redirect you to the game list, here!