Small usability update – a special “surveillance” overlay to show that a round hasn’t actually start yet while you’re checking out the level.
Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category
I’ve finally decided: I’m not going to bother with “dammit” or “damnit” anymore. ”Dammit” is a real word, but “damnit” looks better. Well guess what? From now on, I’m writing “damn it.” Two words.
I love talking to people who play my games, and while grabbing a copy of the Humble Indie Bundle #2, I noticed that they used a cool little tool called Olark.
Olark is a chat service for websites, and it looks pretty cool. It’s that little thing in the bottom right corner of the page. If you wanna talk to me about anything in particular (religion, music, my games, your favorite haikus, etc), shoot me a chat message.
Remember Company of Myself? Remember the awesome tunes? David Carney has just released improved and remastered versions of both tracks. Also included is the piano sheet music for “Kathryn.”
YFYIAR is extremely close to being finished now. It was sitting on the back burner for quite a while because I couldn’t find a sponsor. I finally decided to just forego the whole thing and throw in MochiAds.
Expect to see it released within the next few days.
I got an email from Google Alerts that somebody had mentioned Company on their blog, so I went over to check it out and thank them for mentioning the game. They talked a little bit about how people view video games as an art form (or sometimes, not an art form at all). It piqued my interest, and I ended up rambling on for a while in their comments about how I viewed the subject. I figure it might be at least marginally interesting, so here’s the relevant stuff.
Part of the problem, I think, is that a lot of people don’t realize how broad the term “art” can be. It’s kind of like when people debate about whether or not alcoholism is a disease. It’s not an infection or a cancer or a virus, but diseases aren’t always infections and cancers and viruses. A disease can be anything involving your body that is out of the ordinary (and generally harmful). So, yes: alcoholism is a disease, and video games are art. Maybe a bit of a dark analogy, but a valid one, all the same.
Another element of it is that even if you ignore the semantics, a lot of people genuinely don’t believe that video games have the same potential as the more widely accepted art forms. Honestly, though, I think the opposite: The more you make the audience do, the more powerful the impact can become. The tradeoff is that it’s a hell of a lot harder to make a piece of art behave the way you want it to when you know, with absolute certainty, that the audience is going to interact with the work. It’s not like a painting where they can only see what you want them to see, and that’s all. When you make a video game, you know that it’s not going to sit behind a banister to be viewed from afar. They’re going to pick it up, examine it from all the angles they can find, and often, they’ll even spend time specifically trying to figure out how to break it. And even so, you have to make sure that the audience still sees what you want them to see.
You can check out the full blog post and other comments at Terminally Incoherent.
The game that I had previously mentioned called The Influence has a new name, and a lot more writing. The new title is “This is a Work of Fiction.” I don’t want to explain the whole story, but the title works impossibly well once you’ve finished the game. It’s…kind of intense.
The basic idea of the game is that you’ve stumbled upon a jumble of lightly encrypted files. Each level is a grid puzzle that you have to complete to unlock a file. Once a file is unlocked, you get to check it out–Some files are excerpts from books or snippets from old newspapers. Some are notes written directly to you. Hopefully we’ll get some images and audio mixed in there, too. I’ve included two examples of these files. One is a newspaper clipping and the other is a series of Bible verses.
“…but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.”
“If we go on sinning after we have learned the truth, no sacrifice can take away our sins.”
“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.”
-1 John 4:5
“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
I’m pretty set in the idea of working on one of two projects that I’ve got laid out now. The first is Fix, which I explained at least vaguely in an earlier post. I’m still writing up stuff for it, and I’ve got some damn good ideas. The extreme basics of the engine work, but I’ve got a lot more to do on that front before there’s anything really presentable.
The second project might be called The Influence, and it’s a puzzle-horror game. It’s a story about the biggest fucking conspiracy ever. Like, take the sort of cheesy idea of a shadow organization, but extend it to Lovecraftian scales, where it doesn’t even really exist as a normal entity anymore. The basic goal is to make you paranoid about every single thing in your day. The enemy isn’t just everywhere. It’s everything.
First of all, if you own an XBox, stop reading this, because I have something more important for you to do: Go buy Limbo. Play it right now. It’s $15, and it’s better than every game I’ve ever made, and it’s better than every game that I’ve ever played.
Anyway, I’m back from Edmonton, now, which means I’m back to my own work. I’m still in a state of never being actually satisfied with how Grief plays, so I’m gonna let the project rest for a bit and work on something else. The script is mostly finished, and I like it a lot, so that’s all good. The gameplay needs, once again, to be redesigned, though. Best course of action that I can see is to let the ideas churn for the time being, and work on another game for my contract with Armor.
At the moment, I’m calling this new game “Chivalry is Dead.” More details when things start to come together.
So I’ve been crazy busy with moving into a new apartment (in a new town) and some other stuff, so I’ve gotten kinda behind on updating the site. Well, if you were hoping for that to change, I’ve got some bad news, and I assume you can figure out what it is.
I’m spending the month in Edmonton, working for MaxGames on a sequel to Stick War (which in turn is a sequel to an old game of mine, called Champion). You can read about what we’re working on at StickWar.com, but this site will be left alone for the time being.