Monthly Archives: January 2010

TIGJam UK games. Also, flixel

News TIGJam UK games. Also, flixelWhen bandwidth permits it, I like strolling through threads like this to pick up on all the teensy little games that people make at events like the UK TIGJam. After seeing the announcement on IndieGames and checking on one or two of their recommendations, I decided to browse through some of the other games and was startled to find just how many of them relied on the flixel framework to get the job done in a just few hours.

Flixel has been on my mind a lot recently, and I’ve also used it to make one or two Flash game prototypes in a startlingly short time period: it’s very easy to learn if you’re already acquainted with ActionScript in some form, and seeing all of the TIGJam entries that it has produced fills my heart with joy and bunnies. In fact, I’m off to get said bunnies surgically removed right now, since they’re starting to screw up my blood circulation.

If you’re looking for just a few games to try out, IndieGames recommends I’m Not A Bad Person Really, I Just Have Low Self-Esteem and This Is How Bees Work. I recommend Solar Defense because it has bloom effects. Wheee!


Making a tester’s life less miserable

Most game developers know that sharing an early prototype of their Next Big Thing™ with friends and fellow devs is usually a good move. It’s a great way to iron out bugs, gather ideas and start moving in the right direction. It’s also incredibly encouraging to receive positive feedback early on — as long as your audience doesn’t consist of the sort of people who foam at the mouth and start gnawing at every half-arsed pixel push you make.

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Game while you write?

News Game while you write?Right, so as I’m typing up this post, making good use of all of Word’s fancy productivity features, Ribbon Hero‘s running in the background, scoring my performance. Or, rather, it would be if I had realised that an additional .NET 3.5 SP1 download was required to get it running, the requirement of which was, unfortunately, undisclosed.

However, the theory goes like this: Office 2007 (with its nice new controversial Ribbon) means many people have to relearn everything all over again. The blokes over at Office Labs figured that if something can be learned, and that leaning can be measured and rewarded, a game can be made out of it. So Ribbon Hero tries to do this for the three big names in Office 2007 and 2010.

How well does all this work? Well, the trailer videos seem to show what is simply a competitive tutorial, but I’m going to withhold judgement until such a time as I’m able to test it out. I’m only giving it this much chance because Daniel Cook was involved anyway. I have faith in his game design skill, even if whether or not this is a game is disputable. I shall post my thoughts then.

- Chippit

IGF Student Showcase top 10

News IGF Student Showcase top 10An often overlooked half of the IGF is the Student Showcase, where up and coming devs who are still learning the ropes compete for recognition. And it’s often quite naïve to disregard them, having successes like Narbacular Drop originating from academic sources like DigiPen.

Anyway, the fellas over Think Services agree, and have included a special student category in the IGF since 2003. And the latest lot (all 190 of them), have just been reduced to a shortlist of 20, 10 declared winners, the other 10 receiving an honourable mention from the judges. Some names here might be familiar, like ASCIIpOrtal, and there are many that are not-so-familiar. Check out the list and take your guess as to which one will take way the $2,500 first place prize when the GDC rolls into San Francisco in March.

- Chippit

How much?

News How much?The part that comes after the creation of a game is just as nebulous as the actual creation itself. So everyone knows they need to market, and everyone knows they want to sell eventually. But many questions arise, such as “how?” and, eventually, “how much?

Thankfully, Gamasutra answers the second question with this article, sharing the reasoning behind the pricing of a handful of popular indie totals, with special focus on Apple App Store goodies. Give it a read, there are a few useful insights in there.

- Chippit

Platform design wizards share thoughts

News Platform design wizards share thoughtsBack in the late 80s and early 90s, there existed two platformers that were marvellous examples of the best gaming had to offer at the time, and each one was essentially made by a single person. The first of those went on to seed a massive franchise that runs to this day, extending as far as Hollywood and as close as everyone’s game shelf (because you’re really not a gamer unless you’ve played at least one Prince of Persia game; preferably the first one, but Sands of Time will do).

The second, Another World (Out of this World for those New World fellas across the ocean) fell somewhat off the map, often only being remembered by association to its spiritual sequel, Heart of Darkness. However, both of these titles are remembered fondly today (well, okay, yesterday) as Gamasutra reposts a translated interview featuring both designers.

Go on, give it a read.

- Chippit