Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Emergency 100-in-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart Meltdown

I'll update the status with my other projects in the morning, but for now:

I was just involved in a sensational undertaking.

Some of you may be familiar with TIGsource and their currently-running B-Games Competition. It was something I was sort of vaguely interested in, but didn't feel the urge to actually participate in... until the 100-in-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart surfaced.

The idea behind the 100-in-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart is that a team of people would get together, and create 100 games using the archaic game-making tool, Klik & Play. The caveat is that they had a mere 48 hours in which to make all 100 of them.

Those 48 hours just ended. I was on that team.

It was a hell of a ride! The games are fairly universally awful, but many of them are endearing despite (or perhaps because of) this. I made 21 of them myself, making me the TOP CONTRIBUTOR in sheer quantity.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the list of my contributions to the Kart, in chronological order:

WARNING: These are not good games. Do not play them if you are expecting a solid, balanced gaming experience. Expect incoherent mechanics, wildly uneven difficulty, and horrible MIDI music.

Sideways Man Adventures: A game about eating sideways pizzas, but not normal ones.
Triangle Crosser: A game about crossing over a triangle many times.
Climb King: A game about going upwards to get treasure.
Spindizzy: A game about something, but I'm not sure what.
Finger Smashes: A game about controlling a magic flying hammer.
Pie Boy: A game about avoiding lasers to get pies.
Staircase!: A game about going up and down stairs while under attack by rain.
Clickity Clickit: A game about clicking.
Truck VS Ghost: A game about fighting ghosts.
Ghost VS Truck: A game about fleeing ghosts.
Too Many Cheerios: A game about cereal out of control.
Happy With Sad: A game about prejudice.
Help the Laser Wizard: A game about playing second fiddle to a great wizard.
Climb King Lite: A game that's easier than Climb King.
Dueling Sandwiches: A game about the triumph of good over evil.
Keys Keys Keys: A game about unlocking doors, usually.
Happy With Sad Turbo Deluxe: A game that's harder than Happy With Sad.
Super Slow Motion Asteroid Runner: A game that is about squeezing between deadly objects.
Arrow Arrow Revolution: A game that doesn't really have much to do with Dance Dance Revolution.
Click on a Chair Holy Crap Limited Edition: A game that costs $49.95*.
100 Robots: A game about celebrating a hundred games made in a single weekend.
*not really!

You need Knpg.dll and Knps.dll to run these - my advice is to install the free version of Klik & Play, which should come with both. Happy playing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I just recieved an email from a fan that made me realize something about Vertical in general.

Why can't it control by mouse?

I'm kind of surprised I didn't think of this before, really. WASD to move, left click to rope, right click to jump. Something like that. It could really work!

Basically, whenever I release my next version, expect a couple new control schemes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Millions of Years Later

Vertical Challenge v0.3a

Sorry for the delays, I fell into a bit of a programming lull, and got a job. Anyways, back on track, here's the new version, and it's got some nice new touches:
-There are new Checkpoint blocks that save your progress when you touch them. Makes long levels much less annoying.
-The hit detection is a bit tighter, but just a bit.
-There are multiple stages! Eight, to be exact. I'm sorry about the difficulty of some of the later ones, this is sort of a random cross-section of the stages that will be included in the final game, so the curve is a bit steep.

Stuff planned:
-Laser beams!
-Moving blocks!
-Like a bunch more levels, and a more interesting level selection/unlocking system!

Also, I'd like some input - what about the current game is fun? More importantly, what is NOT fun about it? I'd like to make whatever changes will make it more fun to play, so I'm all ears.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

He Delivers, Folks

Vertical Challenge v0.1a

Wow, that was fast!
Things of note:
-The yellow diamonds are your targets. You must collect every one to win.
-The game is a little frustrating at this stage. Next version will have checkpoint blocks, although I'm not sure how to tie in the whole speedrunning aspect with that.
-It looks good! New block graphics by Select Button's MrBusiness.

Plans have changed

First off, the creator of the Three Hundred Ideas page has given up. I'm not gonna launch into a discussion of whether this is good or bad here, and would ask you not to do so in the comments. That's not what this blog or even this blog post is about. It's his choice.

He mentioned in his final post that he was going to start implementing his ideas, so I'm going to leave them to him. Instead, I'm going to be going back to one of my older, more potential-wasting projects: Vertical.

I'm going to make it a game this time. Not a toy, or an exercise in meditation, but a full game. The general format will be closed stages containing a number of Targets that the player needs to hit with his character. The faster, the better - the game will keep time records, but I don't think there'll be a time limit. Those are just annoying.

To spice things up, I'm going to add several new obstacles, including ways to actually die. The current planned list includes:
-Tiles that kill you upon contact (Spikes, probably)
-Tiles that the grapple bounces off of without sticking to
-Tiles that the player can freely pass through, but the grapple sticks to like a wall
-Tiles that block the player like a wall, but the grapple can freely pass through
-Moving tiles (possibly including all of the above types)
-Laser beams
-Color-coded buttons to activate/deactivate laser beams

I'n not convinced that there should be enemies, because I don't want to give the player a weapon.

Curently I've modified the Vertical code to pull level data from a file, but that's it. Expect updates forthcoming!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Long overdue catchup post!

Hey, been a while. It's been a slow few months, but I still have a few updates to make.

First: Zombie City Survivors is dead.

Why? Well, let's ignore for a moment the fact that both of my artists have vanished off the face of the Earth. I wanted to make a tactical RPG, where your enemies are mindless
shambling hordes, and you have to deal with ammo conservation and the like.

What the hell was I thinking? I wouldn't play this game, let alone make it. It sounds like a friggin' chore. I have no idea how the mechanics of making combat not tedious and repetitive would work; I just can't imagine the game being fun at all.
Given infinite time and resources, I could probably sort all these problems out and come up with a way to keep the game fresh and interesting. But, honestly, I'd rather cut my losses at this point and go back to freeware until I'm really prepared for a project of this scale. I need a better idea, too.

I know some people may not agree with my decision, but I am permanently abandoning Zombie City Survivors, to move on to newer, more exciting pastures. I'm going to put down the Zombie City name in general for now, possibly permanently. We'll see.

This brings us to the next question: What now?

Well, the answer lies somewhere in here. The guy's making three hundred game mechanic ideas, over the course of three hundred days. He also has an addendum mentioning that anyone can make these games, as long as they give him credit for the idea. I plan to take him up on this offer.

Ideas of most interest to me at this particular moment are Side Scroll Tactics, Time Shock, Net Hacker, The Long Road, Net Infiltrator, and Strategy Brawl. I'll probably narrow it down to one or two of them, possibly a combination of multiple into one game, and get cracking over the summer.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Blog Needs More Pictures, Anyway

Sorry for the delay, but it is time for a Super Game Bakedown Retrospective post!
In general, I'm quite happy with the Bakedown. Out of the nineteen total participants (myself included), three games were released! I've already linked to my own, so here are the other two, with download links and the official choice of the Bake of the Down:

Created by SelectButton forum member "!="
This is, in its creator's own words, barely a game. You walk around, explore, collect some things, then have a bizarre final confrontation. The atmosphere and graphical style are both great, though - the game world feels charmingly surreal and alien, especially for such a simple project.

Created by SelectButton forum member 'Takashi'
Bake of the Down
A gorgeous, simplistic space sim. It may not be fully realized, but the gorgeously austere polygon graphics that are reminiscent of the 3D games of the early 90's are fantastic, as is the prospect of constructing an entire planet. There's not alot to do, but simply designing and building your planet is rewarding enough, thanks to the wonderful visuals. Great job!

Anyways, in regards to the Bakedown in general -
-The basic concept. Turns out a month is just the right amount of time to make a simple game.
-Some actual games came out of it!
-People approached it with the right attitude - saying to HELL with procrastination or uncertainty, just make SOMETHING. Several of the people who participated had never tried to make a game before!

-Publicity. There was going to be a website, but due to reasons that I'm not going to go into here, there isn't, and I no longer have access to the domain As a result, the overall scope of the Bakedown was much smaller than I had hoped. If anyone is interested in making a website for it next year, I am very interested in talking to you about it. Contact me.
-The rules still need ironing out. I can't decide what policies to use regarding code reuse - it's turning out to be a much more confusing issue than I had anticipated.

So anyways!
Now that the Bakedown is over, it's time to get back to work on Zombie City Survivors.
Wrong. Well, sort of.
What I need to admit to myself right now is that ZCS will require a number of skills that I do not currently have. However, I know that if I just shelve the project, then I will never get back to it, and it will rot into obscurity. So, I've figured out a middle ground.
I am going to start work on a series of smaller projects, each one involving one skill that I need to acquire before cracking down on ZCS. I don't know how many projects there will be, but I'll need one each for AI in a Tactical RPG Environment, Sprite Billboarding, and Scripting.
The first of these projects will be SSSSRPG, a sort of sequel to RRRRRPG that will take place on a grid-based battlefield, in which enemies will move intelligently in response to the player's movement and actions. This will help when I get to designing the combat engine of ZCS, and need a lot of zombies to be able to fight effectively and without taking too long to calculate their paths.
I'll talk about this more soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Game Aftermathdown

Well, the Super Game Bakedown is over now. You've seen my contribution to it already - but what of the others? After all, there were nineteen people racing for the finish line this year. Well, as it turns out, I wasn't the only one to get there! Let's look at the other finalists:

Selectbutton Forum member Takashi created the wonderful Space, in which you mine asteroids to build a planet piece by piece. The mechanics are not all in place, but the graphics are fantastically charming, and it's still fun to muck around with.

Honorary mention goes to !=, who created the demigame bd7007, which seems to be about exploring and picking up objects, then having an incoherent button mashing duel with a triangle. Surreal!

Thanks to all who participated, and I look forwards to whatever works will be spawned from next year's Bakedown.