Since Ludum Dare is over, I’ve continued working on my puzzle game again. I’m currently implementing puzzles and working on the design, but on the side I’ve been working on the look and aesthetic of the game. Since the game takes place inside of a TV, I’ve been looking around for a solid TV/CRT retro shader. Thankfully, Gamasutra published a little tutorial for making my own CRT shader. The article was written by Svyatoslav Cherkasov, a game developer for an up and coming indie game called VHS Story which actually looks pretty cool! I’m looking forward to playing it
I followed the tutorial and added a little of my own custom code, and here’s a screenshot of the game using the shader:
Still debating if I should keep it in the game… On one hand, it totally fits with the themes of the game and being trapped in a TV, but at the same time the look is a bit jarring. The player will need to look at the screen for a while since it’s a puzzle game, so would I want to annoy the player’s eyes with a tacky look? Well, one way or another, the shader will definitely make it into he game, just varying in degree.
My next post will probably deal more with puzzle design, but since I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and all my experience from puzzle design is from GDC lectures and PuzzleScript games created by Stephen Lavelle, it might take me a while to formulate my thoughts. Until next time!
This Ludum Dare was quite different than what I was used to. I usually compete in the compo going at it alone, stressing about the deadline and ultimately leading to an either interesting or boring prototype with sub-par pixel graphics. This time, I actually had teammates. This isn’t the first time I’ve worked on a game jam with other people, but it was the first time when i felt a connection and got along really well with everyone on the team. Ultimately, it was a very fun experience and a very silly/funny prototype came out of it.
Here is our entry, our game/prototype was called: The Forest of Hamelin
Here’s the team:
Alex Chytrowsky: Lead, HUD, Planning
Matt Murphy: Planning, Documentation
Sunil Rao (Me): Gameplay Programmer, Grandmaster of Unity
Ian Swift: AI/Pathfinding
Keith Thomas: 2D Art
Bryan Spahr: Voices, Music, Ambient Sound, ALL THE AUDIOS
Nathan Hurde: bringer of the chicken
I’ll update this post with some screenshots as well as some pictures of the game jam.
I usually don’t post these kinds of things, but I stumbled upon this short little video while working on my prototype and it really moved me. Let’s all have a productive 2015!
I’ve been working on another prototype, it’s currently called “Omnivision”. Not sure when it’ll be finished but progress is being made. I’ve been in love with pixelation shaders as of late (no, they’re not just shitty low resolution screens!) I guess this game really shines in motion, I will post a video for it some time in the future, but until then:
Since 2015 is right around the corner, I’ve decided to create a little list of unique games that I enjoyed very much this past year. Let’s cut to the chase (links to the games are found in the titles):
This game is not what it seems. From a surface level, it looks like a visual novel with Phoenix Wright elements of crime solving thrown in. At first I was skeptical of the story, because, well, it reminded me of the Hunger Games. But man was I wrong. The game revolves around several high school students who are locked in a prison of sorts. The only way out of the prison is to kill another student without being caught. The headmaster of the prison, named Monokuma, a cute but absolutely deadly (and hilarious) stuffed bear constantly heckles the students as they deal with their messy situation. Instead of simply focusing on the shock value of killing others, the game rather focuses on despair, depression, and motivation. I was honestly very surprised with the themes it decided to focus on, but it ultimately made for a unique and fresh gaming experience.
(Note: Since I couldn’t afford a PS Vita, I played an English patched version of the Japanese game on my PSP with custom firmware. The link in the title contains more info if you’re interested.)
This game is insane, and there is literally nothing like it. It may look like a simple point-and-click adventure, but the kicker is that it’s also a musical. Every piece of dialogue is sang by the developer Deirdra Kiai, and it makes for some heart warming and hilarious moments. The game also has a unique visual aesthetic, containing clay models for everything found in the game. The game deals with gender, politics, and whole host of other things.
This game is very special. Not only is it a puzzle game with intricate level design, but it also has a very deep and rich story that treats the player like an adult. No answers are given, but everything that’s needed to piece the story and puzzles together are given to you. I honestly haven’t felt so exhilarated playing a game since Braid, which is my favorite game of all-time. I can’t recommend this game enough, and I will probably write up a separate post solely dedicated to it. It’s a first person puzzle game with a science fiction inspired world, and deals with humanity, artificial intelligence, and consciousness. Seriously check this one out, it’s probably my favorite game of the year.
Leave it to Adult Swim to publish a game that is creative, funny, and makes you laugh like a goddamn child. Jazzpunk, simply put, is a linear first person adventure game. It is filled with jokes, and it felt like the whole game was designed to make me smile. Hell, even Hunter S. Thompson makes a cameo!
If you’re a fan of Behemoth games, or Castle Crashers in particular, then this game is just for you. Battleblock Theater is a platforming puzzler with a heavy emphasis on co-op. Although the game can be completed solo, I highly recommend playing it with a pal. The game’s story is also voiced by the one and only Will Stamper, adding hilarity and a sense of originality to an otherwise great and fun little platformer.
Alien: Isolation is a pure homage to the original Alien. A first person horror game that isn’t afraid to copy from it’s predecessors, while still retaining a sense of originality. The game’s visual design is stunning, with an 80s inspired vision of the future that definitely makes the game stand out. If you’re a fan of the original Alien (I like to pretend the other Alien movies don’t exist), then you simply need to play this at some point, you’re in for a treat.
This little indie game is the best to play with friends. It is a balanced and accessible platformer where you shoot arrows at your friends. The game is simple to pick up, but requires some strategy and a quick set of thumbs to be very good at it. If you have some gamepads lying around and a few bored friends, then look no further. This game has great replay value, with a great retro visual aesthetic and unique gameplay elements that will make you wanting more.
There are definitely more games that came out this year that I wasn’t able to play, and I hope to play them in the near future. I wish everyone a happy new years!
So I attended the Asylum Jam earlier this year. I went at it solo and made a really buggy prototype.
Here’s a little summary of the game jam:
“Asylum Jam 2014 is a game jam that lasts for 48 hours where the only rule is to not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/’insane’ patients as settings or triggers.”
Here’s the GameJolt page.
And here’s the source code on my GItHub.