For the last few months I’ve been participating in a daily art challenge with the RetroEpic artists. Every weekday around lunch time we pick a theme and everyone spends 20 or so minutes roughing out a quick piece. At first I made a few ironic contributions with my mouse and ye olde MS Paint. But I very quickly decided to bring my ancient Genius tablet in, and start taking it seriously. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and it’s been unbelievably fun making art more regularly again. Sometimes all I can manage is line art: Sometimes we do…
So GDC is happening right now, and I’m not there. I’m saving my money to travel Europe, but the FOMO still hurts a lot. I’ve been thinking a lot about my experience at GDC last year. I’ve changed a lot since then, but it’s nice to look back and remember how affected I was. Seeing as I can’t be at GDC this year, I thought now would be a perfect time to re-post the words I wrote a year ago. In case you’re wondering, I’m still as stoked as I was back then. The following words first appeared on qcfdesign.com on…
One of my personal projects over the holiday period was to finally build myself a website. I felt like I’ve needed an online space to collect all my things together for aaaaages. So this is it. Welcome. It was a lot of fun to make actually, learning new skills and toolsets is always really engaging to me. In particular I learned a hang of a lot about WordPress. With custom post types and a few choice plugins, it can become a really powerful platform. Perfectly suited for my needs too. I also learned a fair amount more PHP and CSS…
My game for Ludum Dare 34. I knew I wasn’t going to have much time to jam, so I kind of just phoned this one in design wise. I made something that I knew I could execute pretty well in a short amount of time. Notwell is a safe game design. The theme was “growth”, so I made a shmup where the size of your ship is directly correlated to how much ammo you have remaining. The game is partially because I was focussing mainly on game feel, and was heavily inspired by Downwell. And I succeeded there on that front. The game is juicy and feels pretty great. Just needs some more meat. Thanks once again to Ivo Sissolak who made all the awesome sound effects. They make a huge difference!
A game I made with Dorianne Dutrieux and Daoyi Liu for the NAG rAge jam. We restarted with a new game idea about three times before eventually settling on this flood-fill based territory control game. It’s not spectacularly deep, but it’s not too shabby either. Feast your minds upon the abandoned prototypes that we started: 1) You are a tiny bear scientist that shrunk yourself down in order to infiltrate a bee hive and eat the (now) vast amounts of honey. 2) You are unicorn inside china shop. But instead of trashing the place, you are attempted to purchase tea cups by hooking them delicately off the shelves with your horn. And… that’s about all I have to say about that jam.
A game about building sandcastles and protecting them from the ever encroaching tide! Need I say more? We’ve all played this game with real sand and water, and it’s the best. Aside from just building things (which is always fun), there’s a layer of resource management in here too. I worked on this for two whole 8 hour jams and it has some nifty stuff. During the second jam I learned how to use WWISE and now it has some crazy crab music too. Will this game ever get finished? Maybe! Should it get finished? Definitely!
Another weird 8 hour jam game. The goal of this game was to try and make the player feel guilty. It’s a game about cutting in-front of queues, with good reason of course! Until you realise; no, the player character is just a jerk. And his rationalisations for being above the rules were just weak excuses to justify self-centred behaviour. I wouldn’t say that the game succeeded in it’s goal. In fact it turned out to be more of a comedy than an introspective experience. But hey, it’s interesting at least! I still have loads of good/bad/stupid ideas for other queues that could be skipped and excuses that could be made. Big thanks to Shaz, Ivo and Kevin for their awesome sound, music and voice work!
The last of our QCF prototypes. Scheme is a puzzle game where you’re attempting to plan out the perfect heist, ala Ocean’s 11. The game has you laying out commands for different characters to execute in sequential order. You can then hit play play and watch the action unfold before heading back to the drawing board because it didn’t work at all. We were going for that amazing feeling when you complete an Infinifactory or Spacechem level. When everything just clicks with perfect timing to the nanosecond (appearing extremely lucky to the untrained eye). Unfortunately the prototype never matured to a stage where we could fully test out the ideas. Definitely worth another attempt at some stage.
GOTY 2015. I love this thing. It’s silly and pointless and it makes me laugh. An 8 hour jam game made with the sole intention of learning how to use FMOD. Ivo Sissolak hooked me up with some great audio, and the rest is just a stupid joke. It’s great. Play it.
Another QCF prototype that I quite like. We missed the mark in a lot of ways with this, but the controls are pretty sweet and the potential for some good arcadey fun is there. The game involves one or more players racing boats around in order to extinguish fires by splashing them. We wanted to get players slaloming between obstacles as they race around the world and drifting like a badass as their wake washes over flaming wreckage. When that does happen, the game is great. But it doesn’t happen often enough. Re-purposing the controls with some less bad/broken mechanics might be worth looking into at some stage.