Monthly Archives: March 2009

Narrative: Part 1

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 29, released in February 2009.

Game Development. The words have a way of sending a flurry of mathematical equations and complex code lines swirling through one’s head; after all, it’s exactly that which drives a game forward, isn’t it? – having your logical pathways set out so that when objects interact with one another they do what is expected. We get so hammered down on programming and gameplay that it’s easy to forget, particularly at the introductory level of game development, that there’s much more to a game than simply getting the code to compile without any errors. Continue reading

Swimming with Bit Blot

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 19, released in December 2007.

Bit-Blot, comprising of indie developers Alec Holowka and Derek Yu, is the force responsible for the IGF Grand Prize winning game, Aquaria, which was released on 7 December 2007. We chat them up and ask them about their exploits and their future prospects. You can visit their developer website athttp://www.bit-blot.com.
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A Day to Remember

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 22, released in June 2008.

Q. Mind telling us a little about yourself?

Danny. My name is Danny Day. I’m 27 years old. I own QCF Design, an independent game development studio. I run Game.Dev, a non-profit community of South African game developers. I’ve lectured on games at UNISA, given talks all over the country and consulted on local and international initiatives on growth and innovation in Information and Communications Technology in South Africa. Generally I just answer a ton of questions and try to get people’s enthusiasm channelled in ways that will show them results and keep them going.
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Trilby: Art of Theft

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 22, released in June 2008.

Trilby: Art of Theft is a stealth-platform game created by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw using Adventure Game Studio. Yes, you read correctly – a platformer made in an engine designed for adventure games. As the title not-so-subtly suggests, Art of Theft stars Chzo Mythos protagonist Trilby. So what’s he up to this time? Puzzling his way through haunted houses? Uncovering the secrets of reality-shifting hotels? Well, no. In this game he’s doing exactly what got him his reputation to start with – cat burgling.

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6 Days a Sacrifice review

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 21, released in April 2008.

One hundred and ninety six years ago, cat burglar Trilby escaped the horrors of DeFoe Manor, only to discover an even greater danger. One hundred and ninety six years from now, an unwitting starship crew will stumble upon a remnant of his attempts to avert that danger. And now, at the exact midpoint between those two events, a hero will rise. Yea, for Theodore DeCabe, Municipal Inspector extraordinaire, is going to tell the leaders of that fad religion exactly what his employers think of their constructing building extensions without a permit!

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Trilby’s Notes

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 21, released in April 2008

We’re back with the third installment in the Chzo Mythos series by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. Trilby’s Notes takes place 4 years after the events in the DeFoe manor from 5 Days a Stranger. The titular handwritten notes from the original game’s protagonist serve as a narrative to the story and inspiration for the game’s title. A lot has happened to Trilby in the past few years; he has left his “gentlemen” burglar ways behind and is now an agent for the Special Talents Project (basically some kind of secret government agency). A new career is not the only changes Trilby has gone through; he is still haunted by what happened in the DeFoe manor, and not a day goes by without him thinking about it.

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7 Days a Skeptic

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 20, released in February 2008.

It’s a quiet day in the Caracus Galaxy. The starship Mephistopheles sullies forth across the sea of stars, its six-person skeleton crew boldly scouting what no six-person skeleton crew has scouted before. Of course (being a horror game and all), trouble is inevitable for the intrepid crew, and it comes their way in the form of a nondescript metal box floating innocently through the void…

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5 Days a Stranger

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 20, released in February 2008

5 Days a Stranger is a freeware point-and-click adventure game developed by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. “Yahtzee” has a become a bit of an internet star lately with his weekly video reviews, Zero Punctuation, where he gives a funny and sarcastic view on the game he reviews that week. It is a great surprise to many to find out that he also makes. 5 Days a Stranger is such a game.

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World of Goo

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 20, released in February 2008

I must admit: I’ve been a philistine. I played the original Tower of Goo back when it was on Experimental Gameplay and thought that it was entertaining enough. It didn’t blow my mind or anything, but it was worth the time spent playing and I gave it a mental thumbs up before moving on to the next funky prototype in my “To Play” list.

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Aquaria

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 20, released in February 2008.

A stunning setting, an involved story, and a gargantuan world to explore. This is the promise of Aquaria, an indie title nearly 2 years in the making, and winner of last year’s IGF grand prize. Diving into this action-adventure styled game is thus an exciting prospect.

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Spelunky

Sitting down with Derek Yu’s latest creation, I had some pretty high expectations. After all, we’re talking about the guy behind stuff like Aquaria, I’m O.K. and TIGSource. I’m happy to say that I didn’t walk away disappointed. In fact, it was difficult for me to walk away at all.

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Daniel Remar Interview – Iji

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 28, released in January 2009.

To accompany our review of the game, Dev.Mag sat down with Daniel Remar, the sole creator of Iji, and harassed him with questions about the development of the remarkable game.

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Happy coding for a happy coder

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 29, released in February 2009.

I must confess. I hardly ever comment my code. It’s the sort of thing that everybody lectures about, saying that it’s important for clarity, ease of use and even national security in the event of nuclear war. This is all true (though perhaps the nuke idea was a bit of a thumbsuck) and I will always advise others to write miniature essays in their game code.

Unfortunately, I fail horrendously when I need to do it myself.

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Iji

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 28, released in January 2009

Here goes: if one were to attempt classification, Iji could be described as a “Nonlinear Action RPG Platformer”. It borrows thematic and gameplay elements from System Shock and Deus Ex, marries them with tactical platformer gunplay a la Blackthorne, and presents it all using the same basic polygonal graphics that made Another World so visually distinctive.

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Trigonometry: Part 3

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 16, released in August 2007

Welcome back, fellow coders! Prepare yourselves for the final, bumper episode of the Trig Trilogy, where I cover a whole lot of awesome trig techniques for your game-making pleasure. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in. It’s time for my first trick! Now, as you can see, there is nothing up my sleeve…

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Trigonometry: Part 2


This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 12, released in July 2007

Previously…

Last issue we covered the core principles of trigonometry and learned how to use these to calculate unknown sides in a triangle. Well, I hope you’re rested and ready Commander, because we’ll be jumping straight back in with another essential technique – calculating unknown angles.

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