March 19, 2009
February 17, 2009
A few of us over at TIG had a friendly little competition to make games around the concept of a love letter. It was my first experience making a game in Flash, and I really learned a lot about it from doing this. I made a simple game to the beat of a song that is special to my significant other and I.
By far the best entry, though, was Heart Heist, by Moth. For only a few days notice, the game is very polished and complete. You choose from one of four characters, each taking different paths through the same levels. It’s kinda like a Metroidvania, but light enough to play in one sitting.
Overall, there were some neat games made. Another one I enjoyed was Coloumb’s Law by Theta Games. It was nice to make games with other people without the usual short time constraints that usually accompany themed contests like this. Most importantly, I finally took the time to learn Flash, which opens up a whole new world of game dev opportunities for me…I’m excited.
November 30, 2008
36 is a very small game I made as a simple concept. It was an attempt to use all the letters and numbers on the keyboard as the controls for a game. Download 36 here.
November 27, 2008
PETA has entered the video game world. Apparently, the new Cooking Mama game really pisses them off. So, in order to protest Cooking Mama, they have made a parody of the game. To make a long blog post short, I will simply tell everyone that the the game is kinda stupid and not really worth playing.
The game has you clicking around the screen to pluck and remove organs from a turkey. The turkey is rather cartoonish, and the game combines this with excessive gore use to try and make a point. It doesnt move past basic mouse controls, but you can’t really lose the game, and don’t have to replay levels that weren’t fun the first time.
I think it’s great that PETA recognizes games as a legitimate means to make a statement, which I totally support on one hand. On the other, though, I don’t really identify with PETA, as there are far worse things that go on in this world than turkeys getting killed. Where are our games about genocide in Africa or games about our failing economy?
Persuasive games are a pretty new concept, and while PETA is recognizing the fact that games can influence people, I really don’t think that they get it. The game sucks, and by simply making a gory parody of an existing game, they aren’t really accomplish anything. PETA, if you really want to make a game that makes people think, make something original, and make it good, otherwise, stop soiling the name of video games with your half-assed attempt at a game people will want to play.
Oh yeah…Happy fucking Thanksgiving.
November 21, 2008
Download Gods and Idols
Take the space stage of Spore, and combine it with Populous, and you’ve got something pretty close to Gods and Idols(GAI). GAI is an online MMORTS where players assume the role of intergalactic gods ruling over planets. The game starts by having you fly around space a bit in search of a star system with planets for you to plant the seed of life on. Once you have seeded a planet, you are tasked with taking care of your followers on it and upgrading their planet.
Upgrades come in the form of facility upgrades, like housing, or complete planet evolutions, which will dramatically change the look and quality of life on the planet. While you are busy managing your planets, there are many other people online doing the same. The game universe is pretty large, containing hundreds of star systems waiting to be colonized.
GAI is open beta right now, and what it lacks in features, it more than makes up for in scope. The game universe is massive, and while advanced features like hypergates are not available yet, the game is definitely worth playing. With a very friendly community, and new features being added all the time, GAI is playable for longer periods of time, or for only a few minutes.
I am totally into this game right now, so don’t be surprised if you hear some more about GAI in the future.
November 19, 2008
Freeware Flash Game
Oiligarchy is probably the best persuasive game I have played to date. You essentially take control of Big Oil right after orld War II, and turn the oil business into a global scale pillagefest. The game mimics real life in the fact that you can give the government money to allow oil drilling in Alaska, or to wage war in Iraq so that you can drill there, too. In this sense, Oiligarchy does a great job of turning real aspects of the oil industry into game aspects. For example, I understand that real oil economics isn’t just basic supply & demand, but, for the purpose of the game, it gets the job done while keeping it simple.
The best thing about Oiligarchy is its message, and how the game almost plays itself. The oil industry is a horribly flawed one, and is definitely not sustainable. The better you exploit resources and make money, the sooner you will become unable to meet demand. Oiligarchy really nails this point, because even if oil is used at a sustainable level, it is still not a renewable resource. One of the largest industries in the world is becoming obsolete, and all the people in charge can do is delay the inevitable collapse.
The odd thing is that when making a game like this is that the ultimate goal is for the game to become irrelevant. The creators made this game to expose the oil industry for the horrible scam that it is, and if we ever reach a point where we are independent from oil, this game will serve as only a reminder of what once was. While the game will still contain the same message, any contemporary relevance will be gone.
November 17, 2008
Retroverdeo is a neat little game that has you avoiding an increasingly overwhelming barrage of attacks. The game was made for a limited graphics game competition, and I think the creator has really done a lot with a little here.
The game is played like a standard platformer, and you jump around avoiding enemies on the ground. Jumping over them is pretty easy, so the game steps it up and adds a legion of other things trying to kill you. Carpet bombing and what look like orbital strikes are also added to the mix, making it hard to stay alive for long. I really like Retroverdeo, and will definitely keep it around for when I need a quick five minute video game fix.
Also, let’s see if anyone can beat my high score of 52. (View Online High Scores)
November 11, 2008
Download Flowers of Error
I’ll start this off by saying that I am a big Jonathan Mak fan. I have played Everyday Shooter countless times, and I would play Gate 88 a ton more, if I was any good at it.
Flowers of Error is slightly reminiscent of Everyday Shooter in that you play as a nondescript glowing ball of some sort. You must avoid enemies, or you die. This is where the similarities stop, though. In Flowers of Error, the focus of the game is using the mouse to drag and drop objects in the game. If a particularly nasty wave of enemies is headed towards you, all you have to do is drag a few of them out of the way, and slip through the whole you created.
Some enemies explode after you drop them, causing chain reactions of explosions, and dropping letters, which can be collected to form what appears to be a poem, or writing. You can even drag and drop yourself, which makes avoiding enemies much easier.
The graphics and music really add to the game, giving it a very complete feel. Probably my favorite part of the game is that it is easy to play a quick game. This is definitely something that will stay on my computer. As far as short games go, I think Flowers of Error really gets it right.