Archive for September, 2009

19
Sep
09

Glob Arena Revisited

Glob Arena 2

Glob Arena was the prototype I enjoyed the most. I’ve gone back to it and filled it out with 5 more enemy types. While none of them has changed the game as much as I’d hoped, the extra variety has given it more longevity.

I’m starting to explore the idea of an ecology of creatures inhabiting the arena, interacting with one another. The first revision of the game just fills and fills with obstacles. I’ve given this one some monsters that consume others and it’s helped to maintain a reasonable enemy density in the endgame.

The windows executable is here (5MB).
Play it on the web.

14
Sep
09

Osmos

Looks like I wasn’t the only guy playing around with game concepts based on movement by firing reaction mass. Osmos is a game about collecting mass while trying to conserve the mass you’re using for propulsion. It’s played on a 2D plane and there are no sticky bullets, so I guess the territory I’ve been exploring hasn’t been completely mined out. 🙂

12
Sep
09

Jetpack Planetoids Prototype

jetpackplanetoids
One revision of the Glob Arena prototype had way too much recoil on the glob launcher. You could push yourself into high orbit with the thing. It was kind of fun, but it broke the game. I’ve taken that and turned it into a game in itself.

This prototype tests using these controls to navigate a 3D space. It’s an interesting set-up for me. I’ve always tended to prefer linear movement (i.e. hit left to move left) over angular steering in fast action games. These controls held the promise of using only 2 control axes to move in 3D (rather than the more traditional 4), yet still retaining the ability to sidestep projectiles.

The controls are reasonably effective, but playtesting this game is giving me a headache! Ceding control over the camera orientation to some dodgy heuristic doesn’t help with motion sickness. Particularly when the camera somersaults if you pass by a Lagrangian Point.

I think this a pretty good indication I should try something different. The Windows executable is here (5MB).
Play it on the web.

09
Sep
09

Satellite Launch Prototype

SatelliteLaunch

How many satellites can you keep in orbit? Click to place satellites in orbit and set them on paths that won’t collide.

This prototype is a bit of a dead-end; it’s too shallow. I’ve put it up here as a headstone to the last few days of effort trying to turn it into something more. I experimented with flinging the satellites with mouse motion, but it was inferior to what you see here. It made it really hard to set a consistent orbital velocity. I also thought about adding an opposing team of bad satellites, but it’s pretty clear that there would be epic collateral damage every time you try to deorbit one.

Still, the randomised news-flash messages are fun. Get the Windows version here (5 MB).
Play it on the web.

07
Sep
09

The scent of coin-op

Today I was walking along Courtenay Place and caught a scent that I hadn’t smelled in a long time. It brought back the strongest memories of old video arcades, Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins and pinball machines. It was like MAME had come to roost in my head for a moment.

When I tried to figure out what I was smelling, I realised it had come from the pokies machines in a pool hall that’d walked past. I still can’t pin down exactly what it was. Pine chipboard cabinets riddled with borer and marinated in tobacco smoke? Maybe I can just smell the coin-op?

05
Sep
09

Glob Arena Prototype

Glob Arena

Sticky glob action returns, except this time you can rove around the globe. Globs are fired out from a player character on the surface of the sphere, and the recoil sends the player coasting in the opposite direction. This is the most conventional prototype yet, it’s recognisable as an arena shooter, even though it avoids dual-stick controls in favour of pure mouse control.

The weird physics bugs have been calmed down, so you shouldn’t be seeing any writhing compound structures. There’s still the odd force explosion of course, because my boulder spawning code isn’t very clever about where it puts things.

There’s a Windows executable here (5 MB).

03
Sep
09

Glob FPS Prototype

Glob FPSThis is the spherical billiards prototype after exposure to hazardous radiation. The mutations are:

  • The aim is to prevent balls from falling into the hole.
  • You do this by shooting sticky spheres at them.

Now you’re probably thinking there’s some kind of h-game subtext to shooting sticky globs, but I’ve got a different theme in mind.

It’s very chaotic and not calmed down by the charming bug where clusters of spheres start spinning for no apparent reason. Still haven’t tracked down the source of all this mysterious torque. In any case, it keeps it unpredictable. 🙂

Get the windows executable here (5 MB).
Play it on the web.