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25th February, 2009
For DS Development, I use PALib and DevKitPro.
DevKitPro compiles everything nicely for the DS, whilst PALib is a set of functions that makes everything nice and usable, as opposed be being a baffling chaotic mess!
However, if you try updating it, a whole fleet of incompatibilities arise, be it because of DevKitPro changing, or PALib. And, it's not just little things either. A simple PALib upgrade will mean that pretty much all of my old games start getting little breaks in them, and it's a whole big bunch of work to fix 'em all.
So, for that reason, I've stuck to an old edition of PALib and DevKitPro (They're both here, in my Quick-Learn DS Jumpstart guide.)
The two I'm using work well enough that my games will run well. And that's the important bit.
24th February, 2009
A nice and simple game, this week.
Since I'm trying to decide what style Platdude Retro Collection 2 should have, I decided to try out a style in Blitz first, and see how it looks.
You might notice it's still a little Atari 2600.
I'm not sure if I'll stick with that.
But I do like the nice big chunky sprites, and the whole thing feels much more retro than PRC did, originally..
I dunno, still unsure right now.
In the meantime, You can Download Storm of Idigidragon Here.
It's a nice little mouse based shooter. And it's quite quite difficult!
Just avoid everything, and keep shooting Idigidragon, until he inevitably kills you.
For the record, my highscore's been about 131.
Probably easy to beat!
20th February, 2009
I say "Project", but of course, being me, I mean projectS..
PRC:2 - 0%
I'm restarting Platdude's Retro Collection from scratch, and building it up a bit bigger than last time, with nicer per-game spritesheets and things like that. Bigger = Better, usually.. .. I'll make sure that's true, don't worry!
So far the selection's getting too big for it's boots, and at current rate it'll take about 3 years to finish the project, so.. going to have to whittle it down, and remember the "Keep it Simple" rule that I used the last time.
If you'd like to contribute some crazy game ideas, you can either post them in the comments, or head over to This GBATemp Topic where there's already a bunch of wild ideas formulating.
Centipong XNA - 75%
The main issue with this game, right now, is that I've no idea how good/bad the control scheme will end up being. I'll be getting a X360 Wired Controller on Monday, though, so it'll all be tried and tested, and ready for the next batch of gaming to be added. I'd rather not impliment the whole game, and then find out the controls are impossible on the 360!!
JNKPlat 360 - 0%
Again, this is a thought only at this stage, but one I oughta start working on soon.
JNKPlat with wraparound-cylindrical levels, with each level being a seperate layer within a tower.. Work your way inwards.. No idea how that'll look, might be a bit too much visual stuff, and will probably be reduced quite a bit!
Other than those, I've got AGameAWeek to be working on, too.
And a bunch of Socoder website stuff that I seem to keep putting off.
17th February, 2009
You can Download JXW here
This one's for me!!
If other folk enjoy it, then so be it, but I made this for myself because I was getting really ticked off by the lack of decent crossword games* on the DS.
There's 3479 crosswords in the game.
Each one's selectable from the very uninteresting title screen, and playable whenever you want.
Pick a level, play it, done.
If you want to save midway, hit start to return to the menu, then quit. When you come back, it should be right where you left it.
Only one save is available, though. It only saves the last puzzle you were playing.
Other than that, it's nice and simple.
Reds show up where you've got a letter wrong, and nothing fancy when you're right.
There's no "COMPLETE!!!!!" screen.
If you've got it all right, you should be able to tell... it's a crossword!!
So, enjoy it for what it is.
* Not that the crossword games on the DS don't have good crosswords.. They do.. It's just that stupid UI that they all use is really really really shit..
17th February, 2009
15th February, 2009
My mum likes crosswords!!!
And, heck. I like crosswords, too!
Except, the trouble is, there's not really a decent crossword game on the DS.
Don't get me wrong, there's a fair few games, and The Times (released this week) in particular, has a cracking selection of clues/answers, and some really nice layouts.
In fact, it's really quite nice, and would be fantastic if the actual game UI wasn't so mind bogglingly bad.
And, I'm not saying it's "A little bit bad.." I'm saying "WTF? Who made this? A two year old!?" bad!
The absolute worse thing about it, is that this exact engine has been doing the rounds for a while now.
The Sun, The Times, and the USA Today crossword games, all use the exact same engine.
The general idea is this..
You hold the DS in standard mode (#1), and since the handwriting recognition sucks (#2) must open up the keyboard which takes up 1/2 the viewing area (#3) doesn't have an erase button (#4) and then have to type in your answers whilst listening to really cheesy music (#5) and annoying clunkity clicks and plonks that accompany every possible thing you can do (#6)
9th February, 2009
Doing your homework on the back of the bus..
A crazy week of illness, busyness, and a party, have meant that this week's game had to be done..
And, as you could probably guess.
I ain't got Jack!
There's still a game, though! Take a look inside to see what it is..
6th February, 2009
I've taken onboard a few of AuthenticKaizen's suggestions, and there's now a slightly better edition of Disasteroids available.
Same download link, right here
The game's pretty much the same as it was on Tuesday, except with a few added powerups to play around with.
There's also (I forgot to mention this anywhere, but it's in there!!) a "Chill" mode. Hit Tab to start the game, and you play without those little white crazy-ass fragments.
You won't ever get a highscore in chill mode.
'cos that'd cause all kinds of crazyness if you could!
Out of the powerups that AuthenticKaizen suggested, I've added the following.
b = Bomb - Destroys all rocks within a 160 pixel radius
d = Double Shot - two bullets fly around the screen, as you fire!
t = Triple Shot - three bullets at a time! wootsocks!
s = Shield - a momentary shield, to momentarily shield you.
f = Freeze - stops all the rocks!
They're your basic run of the mill shoot-em-up powerups.
If you'd like to suggest anything else, then pop 'em below. (That goes for powerups, or any other ideas/suggestions)
Additionally, the game could really do with a theme tune, so if anyone's made a decent mod/xm/it track lately... Send it over
3rd February, 2009
This week's Wednesday Workshop #186 was to create a nice Asteroids game.
As I started creating it, I was planning a nice Horizontal Shooter-esque game, with powerups and all kinds of crazyness.
But I ran out of steam midway.
It's still a nice swooshy game, with fancy particles, and nice explosions.
It's mouse controlled, like Horizontal Shooter is, so just roam about, avoid the asteroids, and blow 'em all up. When there's less asteroids left, more will appear, and on and on you go until you're dead.
No powerups, but if you want a better version, I'm always here to help!
I did plop in Generic Highscore Table, though, so (as always) type in your name on the titlescreen, and rightclick to upload your best scores.
You can Download Disasteroids Here.
2nd February, 2009
This week, I've been working on an Asteroids game.
On Thursday, it was a bog standard Asteroids game, that seriously needed updating.
On Friday, I changed the controls to mouse. The game plays like a cross between Asteroids and Horizontal Shooter.
On Sunday, I tweaked the controls further, and added particles.
And today, I spent some time tweaking the difficulty.
At this point, the gameplay's "OK".
It's not amazing.
And, I think because of that, I've kind of stalled.
Right now, the game has no music, there's no background, there's no menu, there's no powerups, there's no online highscores, and there's no real "Weeee!!!" fun to the game.
Which is a shame.
But I'll carry on, as I always do.
Tomorrow I'll settle down and persevere with the game, and we'll all see what comes out the other side.
See you tomorrow!! Hopefully with a better game than I have right now!
27th January, 2009
Much as expected, this week's AGameAWeek has become a Vib Ribbon style game.
To be honest, I had this idea for a moment, last week, whilst doing the Go Left game. The idea stayed in my head for about a minute, before vanishing.
But having finally gotten around to playing Vib Ribbon, this week, I figured it was time to put the plan into action, and with a nice time-saving addition (the graphics!) I managed to get it done in time.
So here's J-Walker.
Hit the cursor buttons in time with the music (directions are as shown in the logo) to guide J-Walker towards the end of the music.
Only 3 tracks are included, but they're easy enough to add.. Unplayed instruments, 01->12 for the different blocks.. Have a nosey at the included tracks to figure it out!
And, if I can find anything good, I'll add some more music later.
Meanwhile, you can Download J-Walker here.
23rd January, 2009
I've had it in my desk's cupboard for years.
I bought the game not long after my original Playstation broke, thinking I'd pick up a PSX cheap somewhere..
I never did.
And, I never bought a PS2, or a PSP, or PS3, or anything else that could play it.
Over the years, I've tried it on Various emulators, only to have them spit it out, and die..
And yet I kept it, hoping to eventually play it some day.
Yesterday I finally DID!
And it's a cracking game.
A wonderful piece of music based gaming, all nice and happily playing with all my music.
So, with my mind entirely in Vib Ribbon mode, don't be surprised if this week's AGameAWeek has a slight music game style.. In fact, just a few days ago, I said on Facebook that I was considering doing a music/platformer.. So I suppose this was inevitable!
Will it be done by Tuesday? Who knows.. But if it's not, I'll carry on working on the idea until it's all happily working.
And, before everyone gets excited, the chances of me figuring out and working with MP3 Beat Detection is minimal. This'll more than likely use the XM format reader thing that I made for Cowbell Hero... albeit a bit more complex!
22nd January, 2009
Every so often, I like to rant here, for no real reason.
Today, whilst playing Burnout 3 on my Xbox Classic, the whole "Customisable Soundtracks on the X360" issue appeared once again, so I figured I should rant about it.
See, on Burnout XBox, you used the game to pick the soundtrack, and then that played it in the background.
But, it ALSO stopped the music when you crashed, turned down the music when there was information to be told, and other useful things.
But, for some really bizarre inexplicable reason, the X360 can't do that. (*To the best of my knowledge, based on the games I've tried it with.)
Instead, the X360 has it's own little player. You start a playlist, and it sits blindly in the background playing all the tracks selected, without any care or attention to what's going on in the game.
Crash a car in Burnout, the music carries on.
Get to a cut scene, with important dialogue, in GTAIV.. the music carries on.
It's mindless, dull, and completely kills the entire point of having "Your music in the game"
Because, really.. it's not.
Really, it's "Your music on the closest CD player, your game here, and nothing inbetween.."
In GTA : San Andreas, if I got out of a car, my music stopped, because it was the car's radio..
In GTA IV it doesn't.. It sucks.
And so the horrible nastyness of X360's "Customizable soundtracks" continues..
21st January, 2009
I've had a couple of emails about the donate button already, so thought I should clarify why it's there.
I write a game a week.. Sometimes they're good, sometimes their rubbish, and sometimes they're really fun, playable, and can keep you playing for a good few hours.
I can do this, because I have a lot of free time. And by "a lot of free time", I mean A LOT of free time.
The webhost is pretty much minimal cost (GoDaddy), the programming languages range from 0 cost (DS/XNA) to very minor amounts. (Blitz has a cost, but considering all the games I've made, it was well worth it!!)
I bought PaintShop Pro (7!) from Game one day, and it cost me £29.
I use ModPlugTracker to make my mods, Fruitloops to do none-mods, and CoolEdit to grab sounds, tweak music and more.
This is my Dev studio, and it all runs on minimal system requirements.
True, I now have a fancy pants QuadCoreHappyCPU doohickey, but for the most part I'll still be double checking everything with an age old Celeron, to be sure my games will run happily on everyone's system.
And the Celeron's graphics card cost £11.
What I'm getting at, is that the whole cost of all this is pretty dang minimal.
So, I don't need donations.
If I ever do, the donate button will get bigger, and there'll be a hundred signs pointing at it!
For now, though, it's not necessary.
But it's there.
It's there incase anyone's feeling generous, and wants to add a little something to help motivate me.
It's there incase someone out there feels like they have a few spare pence, and wants to help keep a freeware developer happy.
And, most importantly, it's there so that I can quickly and easily add cash to my bank account, without having to go all the way into town and fork out the £4 bus fare in order to get there!
Aaah, the life of a cheapskate!
20th January, 2009
A short and sweet game, this week.
Would've been more (extra graphical niceness) but I ran out of time! Aw well..
Here's the basic form.
Rules : Go Left, avoid spinning spiky things.
There's 13 levels, and then it wraps back to level 3 but faster, and then continues to wrap, getting faster and faster all the time..
Infinite lives, so if you're really bored you can just keep going and going and going! Maybe!
You can Download Go Left here.
19th January, 2009
I'm not sure if you figured it out from the picture I posted the other day, but it seems that the project I'm currently working on in XNA will turn out to be Centipong.
To be honest, I wasn't actually planning to do Centipong!
I was actually just shoving in a basic sprite, and getting it bobbing around on the screen, in order to duplicate my basic "Blitz 2D-in-3D" command set within the XNA environment.
So far that's working out rather well, and I've near enough created a nice little shell program which I can then (hopefully!) copy+paste about the folder, as if it were a template.
I say hopefully.. I mean, surely Visual Studio wouldn't end up with all my games being the same name, and breaking all kinds of crazy things.. Right!?
Maybe it would!
Still the basics are in, and so far I've not destroyed Windows, so all signs point to me actually being able to do this! Blimey!
And yet, I continue to play with the little Centipede pods, and.. Well, I suppose I might as well finish the thing off.
Yesterday, the sound effects all went in, and I started on a nice new mp3 edition of the theme tune (since XNA doesn't look like it's going to be playing mods any time soon.) which actually turned out rather well.
Today I'm going to carry on learning the ropes, and I'll have to sort out all that fancy-pants "Widescreen" stuff..
Meanwhile, here's a work in progress of the new theme.
Keep in mind that I'm working on a Celeron system with really rubbish "desktop" speakers, and that it'll more than likely sound better once I've a decent setup again!
Oh, and don't worry, there's still a regular game this week! I'll post it tomorrow!