One Game a Month (#1GAM) 2013 – postmortem and retrospective

In 2013, I decided to participate in One Game A Month (aka #1GAM). The goal was to create a game with a proper start, middle and end, each and every month of the year. It was a bit like one big ongoing game jam.

While I don’t like to think of it as a competition, I’m still going to brag; I managed to rank within the top 100 after the 12th month (somewhere around ~75th). I’ll admit this helped push me to get games made in the last few months while juggling the responsibility of being a new parent, so I guess the ‘gamification’ aspect worked :) Here’s a rundown & some thoughts on the 11 games I made:

Warning mega-post ahead.

TLWR; I did One Game a Month and made lots of games, several of which I’m happy with the result. I made l a bunch of games that run on OUYA, kind of by accident. I’m not (intentionally) doing 1GAM this year, but if you haven’t done it, you should.

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Designing levels for Def – no build zones

With Phr

Here’s what a level looks like pre-seeded with Phr ‘no build zones’.

I’m currently designing levels for the campaign/story mode of my tower defensish game Def.  There are various approaches that tower defence (TD) or RTS games take in progressively introducing new tower types and enemy types. It’s not uncommon to have a kind of tech tree, or a store where new tower types can be unlocked. As the player progresses through levels and gains more money or experience points, a greater variety of towers become available. These open up new strategies which usually need to be exploited immediately to deal with new enemy types. Continue reading…


Arriving in Damascus – Postmortem

Arriving in Damascus is an on-rails first-person hypertext interactive fiction (ORFPHIF), made as my One Game A Month, and produced to help battle-test “uTwine”, a Twine for Unity implementation I’ve been working on.

If you just want to play it, try here, or here. It’s short, and even shorter if you tap + a bunch of times.

Arriving in Damascus - the pines

I started out planning to make a Dear Esther parody, but as I went along, I discovered that (1) not surprisingly, it had already been done, and (2) I was finding it difficult to make light of the original, given the subject matter surrounding grief and loss. So, I went for some parallel universe ‘fanfic’ instead, and tried to capture some of the atmosphere, extending the story in another direction. Here are a bunch of things I learned along the way.

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Def visual tests

The last few weeks I’ve been working on a post-compo version of my tower defensish LD48 game “Def”. Apart from fixing the obvious balance and stalemate issues that pretty much everyone discovered in the ‘survival mode’ after the deadline (thanks for all the screenshots !), I’m adding a campaign mode with some story elements. It’s shaping up to be pretty awesome so far :)

Shooter range diffuse, below transparent grid.

Shooter range diffuse, below transparent grid.

Shooter range transparent, above diffuse grid.

Shooter range transparent, above diffuse grid.

Shooter range transparent, BELOW transparent grid.

Shooter range transparent, BELOW transparent grid.

 

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Fix missing plugins for Sony LiveView, Android 4+

Some API / behaviour changes in Android 4+ (ICS, Jellybean), mean that many Sony LiveView plugins no longer are listed in the LiveView manager. For developers out there that are still supporting LiveView plugins, you should add the intent-filter (below) to your AndroidManifest.xml for the main Preferences activity.

<intent-filter>
  <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
  <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
</intent-filter>

 

This will give your plugin an icon under the regular launcher along side other apps, and it should also appear in the plugins list under Sony’s LiveView application.

I’ve recently made this update to Wrist Tweets (demo) to make things easier for users.

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