Category Archives: Games

Don’t Blow It! – BostonFIG update

The Boston Festival of Indie Games submission period for digital games ended last night and I have to say…  I’m happy with my entry.

I worked furiously to squash some bugs and get the BostonFIG demo level finished earlier this month.  Shortly before the deadline, coding work on Don’t Blow It slowed a little as I began polishing it and I started to put more thought into the business side of things.  There’s a lot to consider as I try to make not just a game to play with the kids, but a product that other people will want and be able to get.  This festival will be a good chance to expose people to the game and judge their reactions.

Continue reading Don’t Blow It! – BostonFIG update

Boston FIG, Let’s Go!

The Boston Festival of Indie Games is a new local showcase for indie games in the Boston area. Lately, I’ve been working on the little details in Don’t Blow It that are important for the festival submission. That’s right, we’ll be showing off the game right there in Boston!

Take a look at the official site for details: http://bostonfig.com

It’s free to register and attend.  If you’re in the area, sign up and come see us on Saturday, September 22nd!

Button Battle – Open source release

As promised, here’s the source code for Button Battle.  As everyone should expect, it’s not the cleanest code, but I do have plenty of experience and it is commented.  I expect that the code might be a valuable resource for people who want to see how things were done.  To that end, I also made a point to keep all networking code confined to a single file.

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Button Battle v1.0

Great news!  Button Battle is finished and you can play it right away…  for FREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Okay, I haven’t finished a game yet that I plan to sell, but whatever.  Here’s another description for you:

Button Battle puts two players against each other, attacking and blocking until one player is left standing.  The combat is turn-based, where you choose to attack or block high/middle/low depending on how your opponent is attacking.  The quicker you react to block an attack, the more damage your next attack will do.

Continue reading Button Battle v1.0

Don’t Blow It! – Pig Hill

Among other things, I’ve been making some new levels. Here’s one in development called “Pig Hill”:

On Pig Hill, you simply carry a round pig up to the top of a large hill. This round piggy likes to roll back down the hill, along with the oncoming logs that knock you around.

In testing, it’s a little frustrating because the logs come flying down the hill at crazy speeds.  They easily send you back to the bottom of the hill if you don’t time your jumps well.  A dash of linear damping should fix that. 🙂

Don’t Blow It! progress

Don’t Blow It has been steadily improving over the last few weeks.  I’m running out of programming tasks!  There are some new features I’m planning to add later, but more importantly, I’ll be producing a gameplay video soon (let’s hope for this week).

Here’s another screenshot to mark our progress:

It’s getting really exciting now, even as I struggle to manage the development.  I can’t wait to play it for real… but that means I need to get various pieces in order, like level design, art, music, and networking.  There sure is a lot of work left, but the game will be worth it.

Writing, coding, and limitations

As I’m working on GigaSun Jet’s first campaign story, I had some thoughts about writing stories that I felt like jotting down.  I’ve decided to treat my time on the story as if I’m writing a novel.  It really could end up being a real novel (I’m at about 10% of a short novel now, 6000/60000 words) and then I would have some interesting marketing options.  I wish I could start talking about my story here, but I’ve promised myself that I’d wait at least a month so I could get a solid start.

Writing a story and writing a game are fun creative tasks, but they’re also full of frustration.  One specific form of frustration that is common to both is simply getting started.  Without some sort of structure, getting started can be very tough.

This frustration is a symptom of a problem with many creative endeavors: Too much freedom.  That’s why Ludum Dare works so well.  It gives you some restrictions (time and theme, mostly) that focus you into a creative frenzy for a small product.  There are writing competitions that work in the same way, but I’m not quite part of that big community yet.

Of course, books and games have a few major differences that change how well certain limitations work.  The way that stories are communicated is simply through a collection of specially chosen words.  There are even fewer natural limitations than a game (though games can have true randomness and procedural content).  A game has to be logically consistent to some degree since the structure is based upon logic.  Words in stories, on the other hand, can easily conjure up ideas that can not exist in any reality (i.e. irrational concepts, logical fallacies).  Sometimes, the author can hide the inconsistencies well enough that they don’t interfere with the story.  I won’t get into that any further yet.  That’s a big can o’ worms.

So, my recommendation for you…  If you’re doing something creative, try to brainstorm up some fun restrictions and limitations.  That will help you focus instead of reading silly blogs like this one when you should be working.