A narrative game with a rad gimmick! We built five versions of this at QCF; all centred around the film noire buddy-cop duo of Murdoch (a grizzled, cynical detective) and Dandelion (her chirpy, cheerful elf partner). I love these characters. We came up with a LOT of jokes about the two. They need to star in a cartoon or something. Anyway, the game is a local multiplayer dialogue tree game where both players experience the same events, but each through the eyes of two completely different characters. The nifty gimmick is that both sets of text are rendered on the screen at once, and you’ve got to wear blue or red cellophane glasses to play! I really want to re-use this idea in a party or social game, where the players have incomplete information, but the audience can see both sides at once!
A game about piecing together floating islands to form a floating city. Management games and city builders are some of my favourite types of games, and (as you might have noticed) I’ve tried building them more than once. This game however, really struck a chord with me. I love the idea, I like how how the prototype turned out and I’m excited about the game. I’ve made a lot of games with my friends from QCF, but this is my favourite. You can definitely expect to see more of this game in the future.
Before throwing a Super Friendship Arcade party, we often organise jams with the intention of buildings games or controllers for the party. Feather and Fins came to be during one such jam. We were building games for a controller with only two buttons, and so I ended up make a cooperative version of Flappy Bird. The fish swims beneath the surface and can only survive above it for a short amount of time, and likewise the bird can only dip under water for a short period. As the game progresses, you’ll have to drag your counterpart with in order to save them from mysterious floating icebergs. Apart from being a Flappy Bird clone, I quite like this game. I’m happy with the fact that actual cooperation occurs despite each player only having a single button to interact with. And Ben Rausch did some sprites and a wonderful title screen! What a guy!
I’ve spent more time than I’m willing to admit playing Cookie Clicker, Adventure Capitalist and Clicker Heroes. How much time you ask? I SAID I WON’T ADMIT IT, GOSH. Anyway, Battlestation was attempt to provide that same slot machine feeling of increasing numbers, and the same interesting long-term vs short-term pay off choices, but without all the waiting and clicking. At the moment it all plays out in a kind of number-crunching Plants vs Zombies, but there’s plenty of potential for mechanical depth here. Another one for the “needs a bit more work” pile.
Ah… Desktop Dungeons! A gem of a game and the jewel in the crown of QCF Design. Easily the biggest and best game I’ve worked on so far (it won an IGF award you know). But also one of the longest and most challenging projects too. Working on DD gave me loads of crazy experiences from die-hard fans and AppStore rankings to insane code spaghetti and streaming competition nerves. Which ever way you slice it, DD is an important milestone in my game dev career. If a dastardly difficult and cerebrally challenging puzzle-rougelike sounds up your alley, then feel free to buy it on Steam (or mobile!). We’re nice people, honestly.
We made three different versions of this game at QCF. This was my version, a game about rescuing your friends. Unfortunately if you leave your mouse hovering over your friends; they keep inflating, and ultimately explode. To avoid this gruesome death you must flick your friends around the levels without quick and accurate movements. Your friends are not very robust, so don’t drag them onto spikes that might rupture their delicate exteriors. This game doesn’t have a lot of depth. But it’s a likeable enough mechanic for a couple of plays.
A joke game I made for another 8 hour jam. The joke is that the controls are really bad and every level only makes use of a single art asset. I spent about 75% of my time working on this game just programming a camera that was as terrible as it could possibly be, but still almost functions. This is a bad game, but at least it’s a deliberately bad game. Also, Deon van Heerden composed a rather terrifying soundtrack using only the Wilhelm scream. Yep. It’s that bad.
Made for an 8 hour jam where we all pulled an emotion out of a hat and made a game about that. I can’t remember exactly what the emotion I got was. But I do remember that I wanted to make the player feel worried. I wanted to make a game where the player felt like there was actual real-world consequences for how they play the game. Disk Cleanup is a game that tests you on your knowledge of your own computer, and then threatens to delete your actual files if you mess up. It ask the player to look at a bunch of file paths and sort them into real or made-up piles. All whilst under significant time pressure. Wait. Do I have an E drive?
“Quest giver is a game where you are an NPC issuing quests to heroes in an attempt to maintain the realm’s economy and save enough gold for your retirement. Issue fetch quests to get more loot; then use said loot to convince heroes to go on more dangerous quests. Don’t let them die, but also don’t let them become too strong and kill all the monsters! And whatever you do, don’t promise them loot you won’t be able to deliver should they succeed!”
Made for the 2015 Global Game Jam. This game is flawed. The team (and the scope!) was too big to realise what we really wanted. But it was fun to make and can sometimes generate some hilariously silly stories!
I’m pretty sure every game developer in the last 10 years or so has tried to make some kind of fantasy-inspired, dungeon-crawling rouge-like. It’s almost like a rite a passage. Anyway, this was my attempt. It was supposed to be an action game with crazy item-effects that would combine in weird and wonderful ways ala Binding of Isaac. I’m quite fond of the item buff system I wrote for this, and I think it has potential for some wacky character builds and emergent game play. Maybe I’ll return to this idea once the rogue-like phase has worn off a bit.