earthbound: morality of games

hello first of all: happy holidays! i was playing earthbound today and it was really fun but then i decided to look at a speedrun of the game and i noticed something straight away. at the start of the game, you meet a cool alien called Buzz Buzz, and he follows you for a little while. you go to your neighbours house and he gets killed. what i noticed in this speedrun is that you can skip talking to Buzz Buzz as he’s dying and just continue/start your adventure. now, i’ve played this game like five or six times, and each time i think i’ve always talked to Buzz Buzz on his death bed. i’ve never even thought twice about it, i never knew it was skippable, this cool alien is about to die and every time i talked to him. i heard his last words. and the fact that you can ignore him and just leave the house and start your adventure never occurred to me.

survive the desert.

A game for Ludum Dare 22. I was learning the engine (Stencyl) as I was making it and ran out of time so couldn’t put everything I wanted in. Not too happy with how it turned out but I’m glad I did it. Mouse click text/options and use the compass in the bottom right to move through the desert.

Click here to play (Stencyl website)

 Here’s the .swf file

and here’s the entry on the Ludum Dare website 

unfinished projects

I’m terrible when it comes to finishing things. My attention span is tiny and I just lack any proper uh DEDICATION I suppose. Here’s a bunch of unfinished projects that I probably will (hopefully) finish some day.

Rule The Kingdom

This was a kind of sim/God game in which you were the ruler of a struggling Medieval kingdom and had to manage your resources to overcome events such as war and disease, and aim to become successful (monetary, taking over lots of countries etc.) I had a lot of the engine finished but no real drive to finish this, lack of ideas and so on, but I did code a script to accurately determine hygiene levels. Precision Stink Detection.

Kingdom Quest

A dumb RTP game made in RPG Maker. Started this when my keyboard was broken and my internet was down for a while. Used it mainly as practice for Ghost Uncle.

On Letting Go

GAMES ARE EXPRESSION. GAMES ARE ART. I WAS IN A DARK PLACE. A DEEP PIT. LOTS OF SADNESS. I EXPRESSED THRU MEDIUM OF GAME. I think the title is an album from Circa Survive or something. Forced/contrived metaphors. I started a lot of sad/expressive games around that point.

Spy Game (working title)

This one was interesting. Sort of espionage game where you picked up costumes and had to progress through levels changing them and seeking out new ones to get past certain barriers. For example, you’d need a Maintenance Guy costume to get to the DUCTS and a Security Guy costume to get into the SECURITY HUB. I didn’t get very far with it because of lack of ability (AI isn’t a thing I understand too well!!).

Untitled (filename simply says FUTURISTIC_FIRST_PERSON)

Only have a test screen of this. This was going to be a futuristic first person adventure point-and-click sort of game. Lots of interaction with corrupt and strange characters, and exploring this dank and dirty city. I was pretty much ready to go aside from a few setbacks, and again my lack of ability sort of turned me off this project. When I learn how to make games properly I’ll probably come back to it.

That’s about it! There’s a  lot of projects that didn’t end up getting anywhere but those are the ones I worked on a lot. Here’s some uh CONCEPT ART for some other things too.

 

GHOST UNCLE – here’s something pretty cool…

GHOST UNCLE is a game I’m currently working on in RPG Maker. It’s a game I’ve been designing for a little while, and is inspired by TAP, the 3D project I’m working on with a few other guys. Anyway, since Dropbox allows easy updates, I thought I’d put up a map I’m working on. It’s a rough thing so I can place everything and also get some idea of how I want the game to look.

Click here to have a look! 

dungeon exit.

Last weekend I took part in the 48 hour game development competition Ludum Dare, alongside 598 other people! The idea of the competition is to create a game within the time-frame, from scratch, coding, creating all resources etc. within the 48 hours, based on a theme elected by the participants. This time, the theme was Escape.

Me and my friend Stephen (thecatamites) both took part, and though it was kind of frantic, it was also pretty cool to discuss and send ideas and updates to each other, along with hectic and desperate descriptions of things happening in our respective games.

I decided to recycle an old idea I’d had and base it around the theme. It came from a large discussion for TAP about various glitches and game errors and the interesting effects that came from them, how a player responds to them and how the perception of the game changes after you find out these glitches are possible to perform.

The game I made is called Dungeon Exit, and it’s more of a single narrative than a game I guess. The player, as an adventurer of some typical fantasy setting, has reached the end of a grueling and arduous dungeon, and all that separates the player from freedom is a small spike pit to jump over. However, instead of jumping over, a game error occurs and the player glitches through the floor, unable to move. The game encourages you to try again, and the player will glitch further into the floor. This continues until an unspecified boundary is reached, and the game errors.

I tried to make it a simple yet fun experience, playing heavily on perception and task I guess, but if I had had more time, I wanted to allow the player a little interactivity before the “narrative” took place, like going back into “previously explored” rooms (the game starts right at the exit) and sort of giving the feel of a game (what defines a game…. who can say….). I like that aspect of a sense of freedom or encouragement to explore and experience a world, no matter how small it is and I think my game would have really benefited from that.

Anyway, the game takes about two minutes to play through, and results on how well the game does within the competition are revealed in a few weeks. I don’t really care, I’m just happy I managed to pull this off.

Download (.exe)

Entry Page

You can play thecatamite’s game CRIME ZONE and you should! It’s a very cool little game.

Also, click here for a video containing 65 (!!!) of the entries, made by dogbomb. My game is in there!

Small Time

Just a quick update really. I haven’t worked on Eat Should for a week or so now, as I’m still getting to grips with Construct, and it’s pretty disheartening as I keep running into errors and whatnot. I’ve created a lot of the graphics for the game though, so I’ve been doing something.

In search of help though, I watched a number of video tutorials, and sort of grown to hate them. I can understand why they exist, as they take a lot less time to produce than, say, written tutorials, and good videos are actually pretty helpful sometimes. But because of compression, screen resolution, and the guy doing it being incredibly shy or mumbling, a lot of them aren’t useful. Or even worse are ones which cut to screens of a wall of text, and constantly pausing and playing is a huge pain. Especially when everything is sped up in order to cram everything into the Youtube upload time limit.

On a side note, I’ve also started up another project. It’s gonna be 3D, and the aim is to make a bizarre low-poly adventure game, something that might have been a lost/unreleased N64 game. In an aid to learn the software we’ll probably be using (the wonderful Wings3D) I half-made some sort of robot guy. I didn’t get round to finishing it, which is why the arms and textures are pretty crappy.

Deeply inspired by some of the great work thecatamites has been doing over at Salt World. Definitely worth a look through.

I’m gonna make something in Game Maker this week. It won’t be anything substantial or anything but I just want to get back into the flow of things.

Eat Should [working title]

A few screenshots from Eat Should, which is a game I’m currently making in Construct. The game started out as a simple platformer, as practice with Construct, but has developed into a sort of exploration/adventure game.

You play as an as-of-yet unnamed office worker, directed by THE BOSS to retrieve a missing Sales Report. To find it, you must venture to HECK, a surreal, dream-like place accessible from the office lift.

Still a lot of work to do, as you can probably see.

I’m also helping out 11wheels with a game he’s making. Though I’ve been terrible and not been online much at all, I’m still eager. I’ll post more about that when I finally get a chance to talk to him.