Archive for the 'General' Category

Few News Levels to Crayon Physics

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Screenshot of Otávio's level

I was supposed to write something not Crayon Physics related, but I think I can’t pass this opportunity. I know there’s a lot of players anxiously waiting for the level editor. But apparently there are also players, who got tired of waiting and decided to crank out their own levels. During the weekend Otávio posted a comment that contained the first ever fan made level to Crayon Physics. There are some details in the comments on how he did it and it’s pretty impressive. And yesterday I received another fan made level, by logr.

Screenshot of logr's level

So I also decided to crank out one level and zip all the levels in to one file and now we have a semi official “level-pack-mod” to Crayon Physics. It has only three four new levels, but they are all delightfully difficult.

You can download the level pack from here (270 KB).

To install it, just extract the files and folders to the same folder where Crayon Physics is located. The “level_pack_01.bat” should be in same the folder where crayon.exe is located. To play to the new levels just run the “level_pack_01.bat” in the root of the game.

Thanks to Otávio and logr for taking the time to hack together the levels. I know that is wasn’t all that easy of a task.

Edit June 20th, 2007: Just when I got the level pack published logr posted another level 🙂 So there are now four levels in the levels level pack. Check out the screenshot of logr’s new ice level.

Future of Crayon Physics

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Crayon Physics turned out to be much more popular than I had imagined. It was featured on Independent Gaming, GameSetWatch and on the2bears, and about half a dozen French sites (Btw. I have no idea what they’re saying about the game). And apparently everybody wants me to continue the development of the game.

Now I have to point out that Crayon Physics is a prototype. It’s a butt ugly prototype, that was hacked together in five days. And as a prototype it served it’s duty well. It proved that the gameplay mechanic of Crayon Physics works and is fun to play with. As a “proper game” it’s not all that great (there are bugs, there’s only seven levels, etc). And to make into a proper game would mean a lot of more work. Too much for me if I want to continue developing games on monthly basis. But don’t get me wrong, I’d love to continue the development of Crayon Physics, but the big problem is time. Or the lack of it.

But even with the serious lack of time, I’ll try release a level editor for the game during this month. I just don’t know if I have enough time to make it a proper level editor, but I’ll try. During the development of the game I did create an unusable level editor for myself, and if things don’t work out for me, I’ll tweak it a little bit and release it. But that’s my emergency plan.

Also when I release the level editor I’ll probably have to release a new version of the game (to support the user created levels). So if I have enough time I’ll fix some issues with the game.

Edit: The game was also featured on TIGSource, Binary Joy and on Mooktown and mentioned on Game Tycoon.

TAGD Got Gladstoned

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Click for a bigger and more readable versionThe Truth About Game Development got mentioned in Darren Gladstone’s column in the new Games For Windows -magazine (click the image to read the article). Or maybe mentioned is a too lame of a word, it’s more like the column was mainly about TAGD. It’s almost like a review, expect it’s not. Anyway I found it to be a pretty funny description of the game. And I really liked the part in the end were he wrote that:

Now, I’d hardly say that The Truth About Game Development is a realistic depiction of how a game publisher works – killing peons and all – but it does get me thinking. A lot goes into game design that gamers and game magazine editors don’t see. It can’t be all black and white.

I’m glad the game got him thinking. Many thanks to Darius Kazemi (who nowadays runs the Orbus Gameworks), for scanning the article and thus letting me know that it existed in the first place.

Argblargs and 3 New Experimental Flashgames

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Martin of prototyprally has released three new experimental flash games as a part of Argblargs.com. Argblargs.com is the final project of Martin and 5 other guys for their school. It’s a web based multiplayer game, where you create your own avatar and fight other players, explore places and earn experience points. It’s bit like Kingdom Of Loathing, but with more multiplayer elements and slicker graphics. I’m really impressed with all the work they’ve done for the website. There are all these cool little details that really amaze me, like the cool victory dance your avatar does after it wins a combat, or the small animation in the background of the website.

As a part of this MMORPGeish website there are 5 mini games that you can play in order to get more experience points. Four of these are by Martin and three of them are previously unpublished games. You don’t have to register to the website in order to play Martin’s newest games, but I really recommend it, even if just to see the amazing avatar editor.

Well here’s a brief description of the new games.

Master Soup
You play as a ninja-chef and you job is to slice all the ingredients that are dropping from the top of the screen. Slicing is done by pressing the mouse button down and then moving the cursor in a line and trying to hit as many objects as possible. There is a clever score multiplier that keep rising if you slice more than one object at a time and make sure that only sliced ingredients fall in to the soap. The controls are very intuitive and the game is very easy to pick up. It’s almost too easy at the beginning, but it gets harder as the game progresses.

Master Soup is the most thematic game of the bunch. And what a wonderful theme it is. I’m so jealous that Martin got to make a ninja game. I’ve always wanted to do that.

Flashbombs
A color-matching-bomb game. The mechanics of this game are pretty hard to describe and it took me a little a while to figure out how the game worked. The idea of the game is that you click on bomb to light the fuse and after few seconds the bomb explodes. The explosion will ignite the fuses of other bombs of the same color that are touching the one that exploded. And when they explode they will ignite the fuses of the bombs of same color that are touching them, and so on and so on. Idea is to create really big combos.

You can move the bombs around by dragging the circle with the star, but you really have a very limited way of manipulating the bombs. Which is a bit frustrating, but that’s where the most of the excitement comes from. When you’ve managed to do a 8 combo and there some bombs of the same color left and you try desperately to get them to touch each other. And you know that bomb will explode in few seconds. The game is really fun, but unlike Master Soup it’s pretty hard to figure out how to play the game.

Dingding
Dingding is the most traditional game of the three games. It’s a color matching game where you have to empty the screen of the bubbles. You can remove bubbles in sets of two and up to god knows how many. The controlling is done by dragging bubbles so that the touch bubbles of the same color, and you can continue doing so until you run out of bubbles of the same color to touch. Or until you release the mouse button. This enables you to remove only very few bubbles when wanting to do so, but also gives you the change to create really long combos. The dragging action with mouse (and also the animations) make the game feel very dynamic and alive, when compared to a standard matching games.

While at the beginning the game felt like a novel twist on the old concept, pretty much after the first level it turned out to be very enjoyable and fresh game. It’s probably the one I ended up playing the most (I’m a sucker for a good matching game).

So even if you’re not interested in their MMORPGeish website I really recommend you check out Martin’s newest games. They are among the best that he has done. And my congrulations goes to the whole team, they did an amazing job with the website.

Btw. I’m Gummikana on the site.

Wanted: Constructive Criticism

Friday, April 6th, 2007

While surfing the intertubes I bumped into this Miyamoto interview cover: Miyamoto gives advice to game-design hopefuls. Basically he had two advices for us wannabe game designers: get a good well rounded education (on topics other than games) and seek criticism for your games early and often.

So now I remembered that it’s been a good while since I’ve reminded you all that I’m actually seeking harsh constructive criticism on my games. Usually the amount of comments a game gets is my only true indicator how well I did with the game. More comments equals better game, less comments equal crappier game. Just look at The Divorce, it got one comment and one trackback before I revealed that it was an April Fools joke.

I’d actually love to hear what you think of the games, even if it’s not pretty. Don’t threat my games lightly just because they were created in less than seven days. On the contrary I hope you’ll feel more secure at bashing them, because I’ve only invested seven days with each one. It’s not like I’ve developed them for years and go all crazy when somebody says they suck.

Even if I don’t continue the development of a particular game, I’m still interested how would you improve the game to make it more fun to play. Or if there was something that irritated or bothered your gaming experience.

Actually I consider myself lucky that up to this point I’ve gotten two great reviews, where my games were critiqued in constructive manner. One was on the Moby Games for The Truth About Game Development by General Error. The other was on the Fun-Motion -blog for Pluto Strikes Back by Matthew Wegner. I’m grateful for both of the authors for taking the time to play the games and for writing the reviews.

Note: If you have game specific criticism, please write it in that game’s original post. Since there are multiple game posts pointing to this post as an example on what kind of feedback I’m looking, it’s sometimes a bit hard for an outside reader to figure what game you’re talking about.