I haven’t done one of these posts in ages, so I thought I should. What have I been playing lately ?
FTL: Faster Than Light
Awesome. Not easy. Great soundtrack. It’s going to take many more hours of play before I learn enough strategies to get good at this game, but I love it. I honestly couldn’t do it justice by trying to give a detailed analysis or review at this stage. Just play it. It’s cheap, and it’s even on Steam for Linux now !
I paid a stupidly low amount for this as part of the not-so-Humble THQ Bundle, reflecting the real value I placed on it (Windows only, DRM infected, herp derp lets shoot shit games). Read more →
No time to go into detail just now, but … Chomper is now live on Google Play, ready to nibble it’s way onto all your Androids. It’s a clone of one of my favorite Atari 2600 VCS games, Jawbreaker, but with a few tweaks to make the gameplay a little more varied and tricky than the original.
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The last few months I’ve been working on a small retro remake of one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. It’s not a well known one, but even today it plays very well … it’s one of those ‘flow state’ inducing games that you can just zone out and enjoy. Since I’m going to pretend like it’s possible to build some buzz around a small project like this, I’m not saying exactly which Atari 2600 game I’ve remade just yet, but here is a hint
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In case anyone missed it … I had a crack at the Ludum Dare 48 hour game development jam last weekend. It’s been a little while since I’ve done Ludum Dare – it’s much bigger than it was just a few years ago, and the amount of raw talent that turns up to compete is a little intimidating these days.
Nonetheless … I submitted some kind of “25 % finished” demo game at the end of 48 hours. I’m pretty happy with the result so far, and so I’m seriously toying with continuing to expand and develop this one because even though it’s got a long way to go, the flying mechanic feels pretty good.
I made this entry with Unity3D. A couple of years back I’d played with Unity but it never really ‘clicked’ with me. More recently, I tried it again, following some examples in an awesome little book by the guys at Deep Pixel - Unity 3 Blueprints – A Practical Guide to Indie Games Development. After following a few of their tutorials, the penny dropped and I had a much better understanding of how to best use Unity. As a result, my new found love of Unity enabled me to pump out a working prototype for Ludum Dare so quickly it really does feel like cheating compared with more barebones engines. But this is cool … it means game developers are free to focus on gameplay and design, without getting too bogged down with chasing memory leaks and the like, and ultimately more diverse and creative games will emerge … exciting times.
You can download my compo entry and see more here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=198
If you have read any news on the interwebs related to video gaming lately, you have almost certainly heard of the Ouya campaign on Kickstarter by now. I’m a huge fan of what the OUYA team are setting out to do, and so I’ve decided to commit to releasing a game when it ships as a “Developer Special Backer”. I haven’t completely drunk the OUYA Kool Aid, but I’m backing them nonetheless since based own my own completely unscientific risk-benefit analysis, I think it’s worth the risk.
A quick Google search will tell you that not everyone agrees that the OUYA will succeed (by various measures of ‘success’). There are wide ranging opinions here – that it won’t be popular, that it won’t be powerful enough, that it’s impossible to make at $99 with reasonable quality, that it won’t make anyone any money, that it just won’t ship in time, if at all. I can’t guess about whether it will make anyone any money – that is going to come down to some of the fine details of just how the OUYA team execute their plans.
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