Monthly Archives: February 2010

Local pretties – Bounty Arms

Look! More stuff comin’ from sunny SA. Bounty Arms is a side-scrolling platformer thingum, Local pretties - Bounty Armsmade with the recently released Unreal Development Kit, and has been under development for quite some time. But just today, the developers have just released a playable demo. It’s quite a hefty download, be warned, and the game is in no way complete just yet, but the video below gives you a good idea of what you can expect so far:

Over the course of the final game you gather power-ups that hugely alter your character and weapon arsenal, travel across the galaxy to many different worlds, unlock hidden doors to secrets, join with new comrades, fight the multitude of varying enemies that each world will bring, and defeat the bosses that rule them.

In addition to the above description, the developers even provide a game manual for you to review, though it’ll likely change a lot as development progresses. Go on ahead and give it a shot, it’s free! Oh, you’ll probably want to have an Xbox 360 controller plugged in for this. (280mb)

- Chippit

Valentines gifts?

Look, here I am again, trying to get you to spend money. Valentines gifts?Don’t you just love me? No? Well you should, because it was just Vamlumtimes Day and that’s what you’re supposed to do, I’m told. Anyway, this is all beside the point, because there are a whole bunch of developers who do love us and are offering a deal all sorta like that awesome Natural Selection/Overgrowth pack that was floating around the Internet a while back. Except this one involves 6 developers with their recently-released games. It’s the Indie Love Bundle.

Cheesy name aside, the pack includes six fantastic indie games at a price that’ll save you a whole 65 units of American cash money. You’ll get Osmos, Machinarium, Eufloria, Aztaka, Auditorium and And Yet It Moves all for only $20. And you get a trailer video absolutely free!

This fantastic offer makes the other two notable deals going around now – that is, a limited set of 555 hand-numbered Machinarium vinyl soundtracks, and an offer that nets every tenth person a free copy of Grappling Hook—look almost not worth it.

? Chippit

Continuity

So I was poking around on Twitter today (Digsby, thank you for making the Internet tidy again!) Continuitywhen I saw mention of an IGF student entry called Continuity. Armed with a decent Internet connection and high spirits, I decided that now was the time to spread my wings and get into the habit of clicking on random links once more.

Turns out that this is quite the gem. Continuity distinguishes itself from other platformers in the way that the various “building blocks” which make up a level can be rearranged while you’re moving through them. And so, while half of the game may just be about runnin’ and jumpin’ and gettin’ keys to open various red doors, it turns into quite a fiendish puzzler later on when you have to keep zooming out and sliding bits of the level about to make sure you can get from A to B via C and — somehow — D.

On top of that, it really is quite well-designed. Puzzles are precise, new concepts are introduced gently and the background music is … well, awesome. Give this one a shot, it won’t disappoint!

-Nandrew

What I Learned from Dungeon Crawl

There are a few ways to learn about good game development. One is to frequently read up on game development articles and opinions. Another method involves just practicing and refining your work through, well, actual game development. Both of these concepts, however, are enhanced gloriously when married with the concept of simply playing other people’s games. When you come across something that you love, taking the time to study it from a game development perspective can yield untold rewards and glory.

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A whole bunch o’ stuff

Okay, so today I’m going to be lazy (I’ll accept the explanation that I did this to save all our readers time too) A whole bunch oand lob a whole bunch of stuff in this post. Not because all of this isn’t particularly important, but just because I either somehow missed it or it all appeared magically over this last weekend. Anyway, here goes:

  • Remember that super awesome pre-order deal I mentioned a little while back? Well, the Wolfire guys wrote up a post-mortem about the deal over here, and give everyone a good idea of how well it went. In fact, it went so well that beards were, in fact, dyed pink.
  • In related news, Natural Selection 2 (one half of the super awesome pre-order deal I mentioned a little white back) snagged itself ModDB’s prestigious Indie Game of the Year award, edging out Wolfire’s own Overgrowth. Following that, they released a super awesome looking new pre-alpha trailer, showing off their pretties and simultaneously offering an interesting physiology lesson: aliens see out of their mouth. Apt, really.
  • The IGF’s released its next batch of competition winners under the mobile games category.
  • Finally, and most importantly, some news from the home-front. I’m posting this because Nandrew’s both too modest and too busy making awesome things to post it himself: see this forum thread? You can find an early version of a game there. Go and download it right now, because you’ll certainly be seeing and hearing a lot about this one in the near future. And I told you right now.

- Chippit

Ribbon Hero, take 2

I mentioned this a few days ago, when it was first announced, but had yet to personally give it a run through.Ribbon Hero, take 2 Having now finally jumped through a few hoops to get it installed*, I’ve now given it a good look and stand by my original judgement that it appeared to be little more than an interactive tutorial, and that its classification as a game is tenuous at best.

In fact, it’s probably a bit odd that I’ve dedicated another post to this at all, but given that I regularly use the entire Office suite, it is fair to note that it serves as an elegant way to accustom people with all the functions of the software and its nebulous new Ribbon interface. Everything down to the satisfying ‘ding’ sound as it counts up how many points you’ve earned, and rewarding you for not only learning a new technique but then again for remembering to use it again at a later stage. It’s a kind of positive reinforcement cycle that is nabbed straight out of traditional game design for use in an unconventional manner. So, basically, it is everything is says on the box.

So, Ribbon Hero isn’t strictly a game. It might not even teach you a single damn thing either. But it’s an interesting experiment in applying game design concepts in an unorthodox manner, and there might be something for even traditional game designers to learn by looking at its implementation.

- Chippit

* Not only did it require .NET 3.5 SP1, but had an additional runtime dependency that had to be downloaded separately. For future note, Labs guys, please disclose all this stuff in advance. When I download an installer, I really just want that to be everything I need to download. In fact, that goes for everyone. Thank you.

** This post worth 18 points!

Global Game Jam wraps up

After excessive coffee and pizza consumption, the Global Game Jam has finally come to an end. Developers dragged themselves home after aGlobal Game Jam wraps up(mostly) sleepless weekend spent (almost) successfully tripling last year’s game tally. The theme was “deception”, and it was worth 931 games, 10 of them from sunny SA.

Notable among that list are Press Tilda, made in Unity by a Game.Dev forum member, and YouDunnit, crafted by a group comprising wholly of Game.Dev and Dev.Mag crew. In fact, I would’ve waited for Nandrew to make this post himself, but he’s apparently still catching up on 2 days of sleep.

And while you wait for those to download, have a look at the inspiring keynote video for this year’s event:

- Chippit