1GAM November 2015: Little Tennis

Aaahhh… each month the difficult decision on what game idea to realize. Hmm, should I try something classical, e. g. a simple jump’n’run or tower defense thingy, just to have made one and gain technical insight? Or should I dabble at a fresh idea of which I do not have a clue if it works out, if it will make any fun, or I even can finish it given my time  constraints?

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I try plyGame DiaQ

So among last April´s free “level eleven” plugin offers was this somehow interesting Unity3D plugin: plyGame. It is supposed to be an out-of-the-box system for setup and management of ingame items / inventory, dialogs, quests, characters / level system. Also it comes with some features I am not really interested in, namely visual scripting (called “Blox”) and a screen menu system.

Today I decided to give it a try (version 2.5.8), but wanted to start small. I only wanted to use the feature of quest and dialog management (named “DiaQ“) which is advertised to be usable as a standalone element, i. e. without the plyGame engine. But as it turned out, there is very little in-deep documentation and simply importing the package does not suffice. There is one YouTube video by the package developer that explains usage of it but assumes the user utilizes visual scripting. Especially it does not explain how to setup DiaQ when you don´t want the rest. So I had to find out on my own, and like to explain my experiences a bit. Continue reading

1GAM – May 2015: Hackman

Hackman Screen1 Hackman Screen5 Hackman Screen2


Play it here: http://jireugi.itch.io/hackman
You are very hungry for vitamin pills that lie on the floor.
Eat as much of them as you can by moving over them.
But watch out! Evil ghosts roam around and will drain your juice if they touch you. If you run out of juice you will die!
Once you ate all pills you will get teleported to another level with even tastier and more valuable vitamin pills!

Controls
ASWD – move around
Mouse – look around
Space – hack around
F1 – restart match
F8 – toggle fullscreen mode

(C) 2015 Harry Trautmann (metacozm / Jireugi interactive)
All code, graphics and sound were done by Harry Trautmann except these sound samples:
“Desert at Night” by “kangaroovindaloo” available via CC-BY at http://freesound.org/people/kangaroovindaloo/sounds/138288/
and “Struck By Lightning” by “Cheeseheadburger” available via CC-BY at http://freesound.org/people/Cheeseheadburger/sounds/141529/

Where did the inspiration come from?

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1GAM – March 2015: Die, Dice!

Die, Dice! LogoDie, Dice! ingame screen

Die, Dice!

Another 1GAM entry: 3 out of 12, a quarter is done. In a marathon this would mean 10,5 km (of ca. 42) are behind me already.

Background story: Evil dice from outer space have come to destroy humanity. You steer the last remaining starfighter and are earth´s only hope. Destroy all aliens by turning their poison against themselves: “Die, dice!”

Instructions: Shoot dice to make other dice explode. Dice with the same value explode. Colliding dice with different values will shoot back at you!

Downloads

Where did the inspiration come from?

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1GAM – February 2015: PolyominosUnleashed

It´s often the same thing with new year´s resolutions: full-heartedly sworn at the 1st January, suddenly remembered at the coming 1st July with a bad conscience, but completely forgotten by Xmas, and finally maybe re-sworn at 1st January of the following year.

One such resolution I was thinking about to make since I discovered the 1GAM site was to make 12 games in 12 months. Therefore I registered at 1GAM, now having my own achievement page over there. In my opinion it is not only possible to do this, but also quite worthwhile. I plan to not only have 12 little experimental gems under my hood after one year but also to have developed a nice custom framework for the Unity3D environment by which I am enabled to quickly engineer stable Unity3D applications. I´ll write about that framework at another time.

So apparently my last months´ 1GAM entry consisted of my small contribution to a GGJ15 game. That leaves me with 11 months = 11 exp games to go. What do I make in Febrary?

I decided to try to extend the well-known Tetris game mechanic in ways unseen before. At least unseen by myself – I am not sure if a similar clone already exists in the deep vast internet space. Well the base idea that extends the original Tetris game is that the tetrominos will not always fall downwards, but also can move in left, right and up directions. And I think I will not constrain the moving parts to only be tetrominos – i. e. parts that connect 4 square tiles – but also parts will emerge that connect more or less square tiles. Therefore I determined the name of the little experimental game to be “PolyominosUnleashed” – polyominos being the generalization of parts that connect square tiles, “unleashed” because the possibilities of the original Tetris mechanic should be amped up sizeably!

Hmm, hopefully I won´t wake up on 1st of July morning with a bad conscience…

Tomorrow: GlobalGameJam jam-game … start!

So it is on again, another experimental game competition is scheduled. This time it´s the Global Game Jam and I have the honor to attend the guys in the Stuttgart / Germany location which is kindly hosted by people from Chasing Carrots.

What crazy game thing will I be hackcoding in this weekend? Don´t know yet… of course it depends on the yet unannounced theme.

Things that I really would like to try out are topics like ‘swarm AI’, ‘dynamic context-aware music / ambient sound system’, and ‘procedurally generated content’. But I´m not sure if that will fit the theme and the upcoming ideas.

But some I managed to decide some things in advance (bye-bye, spontaneity 😉 )

  • I will try to use some timelapse software (maybe Chronolapse). Never did this before… let´s see, what comes out.
  • I will use Unity 4.0 (free).
  • I will have (more or less) proper sleep – means: no all-nighters, no sleeping bag, will go home over the night.
  • If I do not find someone to team-up with that can do sound / music, then I´ll try to compose an ingame tune myself. Will use FLStudio for this. (Only for this purpose I installed Windows 8 on my MacBook using Bootcamp.)
  • I try to do a *proper* brainstorming phase this time – using FreeMind, maybe with paper prototyping, … and some other, dirty tricks I learned from watching rad GDC videos. 😉
  • This time I try to manage the work by using a Kanban taskboard instead of a pure text file. Maybe KanbanFlow. Hopefully the local internet will always work…
  • I will try to update my progress regularly here in my blog.

By the way: do you care to help me as a beta tester? I think a testable version will be available after Saturday 2013-01-26, 16:00 h (UTC +01:00). Just drop some comment here.

Experimental Experiments

Did I already mention that I like to experiment with small ideas? Well, if you take a look at my codemachinery website, you discover that mostly anything there is an experiment in some form.
I think coding some small experimental game now and then is a very good habit for any game developer. Because the time investment is not that big (usually between 1 day to 1 week), it is not so important when in the end the overall result can not be considered a success. Instead it is more important to celebrate all the new things learned along the development process itself. Continue reading