Results for category "videogames"

20 Articles

Catch-up in the NYE: 2017

It’s January 2018, and I haven’t updated here in over a year.

So let me do a quick catchup of the highlights of some stuff I’ve gotten up to in the last year or so:

4 Boardgames Successfully Kickstarted

Working with the experienced game designer Corné Van Moorsel of Cwali Games in the Netherlands, we have put out four successfully funded Kickstarters.

          

A Few Rad Game Jams

There’s always the annual Global Game Jam, and the thrice a year Ludum Dares, and I always do them if I possibly can. Jamming often has taught me a bunch of stuff, and of course given me a couple cool prototypes:

Orbito was made for Ludum Dare 40, and I’m working to release this as it was quite well received and it’s also a tiny scope that I can manage by myself.

Battery//Assault was a fun experiment for Ludum Dare 39 from which I learned oodles about animation by physics. It was also well-received, maybe one day I’ll take it to fruition.

Gamejams of note other than Ludum Dares included 2017’s annual Global Game Jam in which I made a skiprope physics sportsball game Wibble:

And I also had a great jam as a part of the Goethe Institute of Johannesburg‘s Game Mixer event, where cool people from all over the world came to Joburg as an exchange of knowledge and experience. I made a pretty little gardening, sun and shadow prototype we called Pumyjeka with Jeff Rusch from Cape Town.

Inktober 2017

I managed to stick to discipline and did the full month of Inktober with one drawing a day! 🙂 You can see them all on my instagram, starting from this guy here:

This guy was my favourite of the lot:

Coming in 2018!

As a summary, this has already gone too long. There are several projects going on right now that should fruit in 2018. I’m really looking forward to those. Enough typing into WordPress. Onwards to more stuff-making!

10 Things About VR – A VR Primer [A MAZE 2016 talk]

I did this talk at the 2016 A MAZE International Game and Playful Media Festival in Johannesburg, as a primer for people getting into VR, because I just got into VR, and I got into VR HARD. Absolutely in love with it. (And yes, this is about 2 months late, sorry!)

Download 10 Things About VR slides in pdf

Unfortunately it wasn’t recorded, but here is a very quick and dirty companion to the slides to explain some stuff that won’t be apparent from looking at them:

  1. Origin Story:
    I got into VR because of the Vive. Nothing else was nearly as good. I spent a few weeks jamming games on Free Lives’ Vive, and made three quick prototypes (one I haven’t put online yet) within my limited time with it.
  2. Things I wish I knew about Vive + VR:
    It’s easier than I thought it would be, it has no Mac support, direct sunlight wrecks the sensors.
  3. Simulation sickness:
    Look up the poison berries theory, try not to get people sick.
  4. Depth:
    Such an important dimension that humans already know but had to unlearn in 2D interfaces. Now we can intuitively access it again!
  5. Presence:
    Different ways of convincing human minds of plausibility of the simulation.
  6. Social VR:
    VR is not anti-social.
  7. Ultimate Display:
    VR is one more step along the continuum of technologies that close the gap between one’s private mind and one’s shared reality.
  8. Storytelling:
    VR brings people back to a less singular vision of stories due to the popularisation of books and film and other single-point-of-view medium
  9. Audio:
    Audio is key to immersion, much more than visual. Remember that!
  10. VR is important because:
    See the slides! It’s bigger than any single person!

BOOOST! A Retro Escape SHMUP for Ludum Dare #LD34

Ludum Dare 34 done! Always a fantastic game jam with the most awesome community.

The theme this time was two-way tie between Growing and Two Buttons, and to make a long story short, I tried at first to do both with an idea that was seriously too much for me for 48 hours, and abandoned it to start another game about 14 hours into the 48.

The result was BOOOST, a two-button game of escaping, shooting, but mostly escaping. While shooting. You’ll see!

The game was favourably reviewed, and was rated 72 overall in the solo compo, so that’s pretty rad! 🙂

Play BOOOST Enhanced version on itch.io!

 

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rAge 2015: No More Boxes!, Arduino & NagJam

Twoplus Games went to rAge 2015, and it was fantastic!

There were 14 local developers at the home_coded section at rAge this year, everyone showing off their awesome talent and games.

We took along three games: No More Boxes, Beat Attack and Invader Crush, because we couldn’t decide on one. We made a cool Arduino game selector gadget:

(The Arduino game setup. Thanks to IGN Africa for the photo)

 

Most of the time we spent playing No More Boxes!

 

rAge-nmb

 

We shared a space with Paul, creator of Clutchfighter:

(Steven Tu and Paul Campbell Potgieter, photo courtesy of IGN Africa)

 

NagJam

 

Just before rAge, NAG put out a challenge – create a game in 72 hours (with the theme “Don’t Touch That”), and show it off at rAge. We made a game for it – Royal Smash Royale, a four-player arena where players have a hammer and must smash a horde of pesky critters – but watch out – every once in a while King Roy declares one of the species protected, and you mustn’t touch them, or you’ll incur the ire of the Royal Turrets of Protection Policing!

The game was SO GOOD (but not too good) that it won 4th place where a 4th place wasn’t planned initially. NAG created a spot just for this game, and for that we are eternally grateful (and bemused)!

 

Coverage

 

Here are the bits of coverage that we’ve seen so far on our appearance at rAge, thanks to the press for playing our games with us 😀

 

In all, rAge 2015 was a fantastica experience. A great big thanks to NAG for organising, and for everyone in MakegamesSA for pulling together and making it happen as a collective!

Loved my Ludum Dare #33 – PokEscape

TL;DR: Had an amazing Ludum Dare, one week to go for rating LD33 games, so go play my game (available as web, windows, osx, linux):

Play PokEscape now!

 

PokEscape_04_combined

 

Interpretive Dance

 

Last Ludum Dare, I went in with pre-conceived notions of what I was going to make, and I felt it would have been better if I didn’t. This time, I went in with a blank canvas. Hell, I didn’t even look at the theme list to prepare myself.

The theme was You Are the Monster – a theme quite a few jammers bemoaned because it’s quite close to a theme a few LDs back – You Are the Villain. I wasn’t around back then (darn kids, right?), but I vaguely had the feeling it was done before. I didn’t care though, brainstorm commenced, there were a few decent ones, but when our chatter made me laugh out loud, I knew I had to do it;

You’re a monster. You’re a pocket monster (pokemon). You’re the lamest pokemon ever. You’re Magikarp. No, you’re so lame, you’re Magicrap. But you want to be the best you can be. Which is Gyrados. No, Gyradeuce. The crap puns flowed. I laughed, and off I went.

 

A stealth game where you have to eat your cover

 

That was the final destination of the core mechanic brainstorm, and that turned out to be super important. There were many interpretations of that core mechanic alone – Initially the game was not going to be on a grid, and physics-based, so you would dash around the place and slide and roll, etc. A turn-based version was also considered. But eventually a real-time, grid-based system was decided upon because it was actually the most predictable in terms of building and balancing.

 

Art priorities: 1. Fast, 2. Acceptable

 

The process was fairly straightforward, I made placeholder art because I didn’t want to spend too much time on art in the beginning, and just like the previous LD, I didn’t really get a chance to update them later. I think this is pretty much going to be the norm rather than the exception. Make okay placeholder art, but don’t waste time on them initially.

I’m privileged in this regard because I’m an artist/designer primarily. But don’t worry, what advantage I have on art I make up in shortcomings on my coding side.

 

Three dee two dee

 

The one interesting thing that I feel like is worth talking about technically and art wise is the 3D/2D effect that I have, where the sprites order correctly. Anyone who knows about z-sorting knows it’s a chore, and I didn’t feel like making the game constantly read y values and re-assigning them to different layers at runtime. So I tinkered and came up with this:

3d2d

By tilting all the sprites at an angle, they overlapped correctly without having to programmatically set each sprite’s layer at runtime. The camera is a perspective camera with a limited field of vision, so it looks 2D, but is set in 3D.

I really liked how the effect came out – there’s a little 3Dness to it but still has the 2D charm that I love. And I didn’t need to make polygons 😛

 

In action

 

Initial feedback on the game was super cool 🙂 It’s currently sitting on 110 ratings, which I think is the highest I’ve had (though I can’t confirm this, don’t know how to look up past rating counts).

There’s also been a bit of coverage by some really awesome people 😀

By Indiegames.com

By Jupi

By AmyNapkins

By LarryChupacabra

 

Thanks for reading! If you have a moment, try it out for yourself?

Play PokEscape

 

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