Twenty-point-eight-percent : my October #1GAM

As the end of October loomed, and I realized I hadn’t made my #1GAM yet. I’d been digging back through very old projects looking for something I might be able to finish, and I found this old ‘tunnelrun’ game I’d made in Python (with overkill ODE physics !).

tunnelrun

I decided that the original code wasn’t worth salvaging, and that I’d remake it in Unity as a quick ‘roguelike’ (which is apparently anything with procedurally generated levels and permadeath these days).

I had been working on implementing cellular automata for cavern generation during the month, so I pulled that code into the project and tweaked it for purpose. I ‘wasted’ a lot of time optimising this to prevent major framerate drops as levels are progressively generated in realtime, and dealt with some annoying room & exit placement bugs. I pulled in a spacecraft prefab I made almost 12 months ago for another as-yet-unreleased game. Generated a sky-sphere using some space assets I bought on sale a while back. Fired up Audacity, got on the mic, made some breathing sounds. Made some item pickup sounds with Ableton Live. Made a simple ‘generic item’ model in Blender – I need to practise it more and at least modelling something simple will mean those neurones remain active.

I had already decided that a core mechanic would be searching for ‘oxygen’, which would deplete over time, ultimately resulting in death. I also knew that I wanted to play with visibility, and use that to indicate oxygen levels, along with breathing sounds. Then I went searching for Public Domain literature written about space or the ocean, looking for some text to use as inspiration (or wholesale steal). I ended up reading this - A Hundred Years Hence : The Expectations Of An Optimist by T. Baron Russell, 1906, (Chapter 6: UTILISING THE SEA). Russell’s vision of the future and the challenges we might face with resources and continued human expansion set the direction for this game, and everything fell into place. I knew what I needed to do with this. It still blows my mind that this was written in 1906 ! I tweaked the colour to be ocean-like, so as to intentionally make it ambiguous as to whether the setting is space or the ocean floor. I tweaked the level generation to embrace the idea of increasing scarcity, incorporated Russell’s text as short random snippets, and left the player to fill in the gaps. I think it mostly works as intended - a short experience that I hope will make players pause to think for a moment.

TLDR; Inspired by some literature, I ended up dropping all plans for combat and made some sort of art-game roguelike.

You can play the end result on GameJolt or right here (try not to hold your breath).


Def alpha 2.02 preview – anyone for playtesting ?

See that little word up on the top left corner .. "ALPHA".

See that little word up on the top left corner .. “ALPHA”.

In the mood for some playtesting ? Take a look at the first public alpha build of Def, the tower defense / RTS hybrid made by aliens, for aliens. No slick video promo, no Kickstarter sales pitch with promises made to be broken. Just a game. An actual game. It’s not quite done yet, but the first 80 % is there, and I’d really like some feedback – too hard, too easy, too buggy, too much fun ? (I wish) :)

Be sure to read the release notes on IndieDB, and send any feedback my way (comment here, there, or email perry at omgwtfgames.com). Games only get good through playtesting, so it’s difficult to over emphasise how important this feedback will be in shaping the final game.

Download here for Windows, Linux and shiny silver computers.


Raxen’s Run : postmortem of my March #1GAM pew pew game

This post is some reflection and navel gazing regarding my One Game a Month game, Raxen’s Run. Just want to play the game ? It’s here on Kongregate and here using Native Client for Chrome (Linux FTW!).

  • Raxen's Run

 

It’s essentially an on-rails score attack shooter. It can be finished (without giving away too much, in under 10 minutes play time), but it gets hard. It appears that as of the time of writing (10-Apr-2013), no one has beaten the last sector yet.

Kongregate

I decided early in the project this would be my first experiment with Kongregate. Could a simple but (hopefully) amusing Unity game without a massive art asset budget capture the attention of players enough to make some ad revenue ? Like ANY ad revenue ?  Continue reading…