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Shameless plug for our game Impulse!

Posted by
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 4:04 pm

Just posting to announce that our game where you’re a hovership thing dodging stuff coming at you faster and faster still indeed exists, and you can play it here.

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We’re looking at doing an Android version. That might be cool!

Impulse

Posted by
Monday, December 14th, 2015 9:56 pm

Hello everyone! Despite our general laziness (and my depression, hooray) we at Nega Drive have managed to plop out a game for LD34. A game we called Impulse. So here is a quick post to say it exists and is done.

screenshot2

It was designed for the Two Button Controls theme. It’s an endless runner thing where you move your ship left and right to avoid obstacles, while you get continuously faster. The map is randomly pieced together out of sections as you go. It’s very clever and everything. Go play it!

My game still exists! Also some other ones!

Posted by
Saturday, May 9th, 2015 6:33 pm

Just thought I’d take the opportunity to do a shameless plug for our own game, as well as a smattering of others that I found to be interesting.

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Oi you!  Go vote on our game! It’s called Zero Point and its got nice glowy vectors and you fling things at bad guys, if that’s your cup of tea.

A Small List Of Other LD32 Games I Like So I Feel Less Guilty For Posting Just To Plug My Game

Rhythm Gunner by DDRKirby(ISQ) – A very cool Super Crate Box style action platformer with rhythm elements. You go around picking up various absurd weapons, which require you to fire them in time to the music, with a different rhythm pattern for each weapon. It’s difficult to keep track of avoiding enemies and the rhythm at the same time, but its so satisfying when it goes right. A very well executed entry with solid presentation, and bloody excellent chipmusic which reminds me a lot of Souleye’s VVVVVV soundtrack.

Slam Jam Bakery by DragonXVI – Another action platformer. You run around an airship destroying it from the inside by shooting jam all over the place. Very solid pixel art and a nice CRT-style shader gives the game a slick retro look. The fluid dynamics of the jam are impressive too. The soundtrack is also fantastic, and has kind of a tracker mod sound to it. But aside from the presentation, the game is just fun to play. Gumming up the works with jam is satisfying. The jam gun can be used to propell yourself upwards as well, which is a nice extra use for the main mechanic. Good stuff overall.

You Can Shave The Baby by Chikun Dev Team – A hilarious and surreal collection of minigames, in the style of Warioware. A bunch of very simple minigames fly at you one after the other, and you pretty much keep powering through them until you inevitably mess up three times. The minigames include the titular shaving of a baby, buttering up who appears to be Colin Mochrie in a bath, and cutting a pizza in the shape of some pants, to name but a few. It’s a bizarre game, and a refreshing departure from the norm. I’m still not entirely sure what the unconventional weapon is. I guess its Colin’s super hot bod. :p

So feel free to enjoy those games, and equally importantly, go enjoy our game. Or at least try to. Good luck with your results everyone!

Zero Point Post-Mortem

Posted by
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 8:36 pm

26098-shot2-1429581799

Play and Rate Zero Point

Hello, we are Nega Drive and we made a game for LD32 called Zero Point, as you clever people may have deduced from the above title. I am Rich, the artist and musician, and my friend Matt did the coding and all the actual hard work.

We’ve done a twin-stick shooter before, Dekasektor, and I was kind of reluctant to do another one, but Matt came up with the idea of flinging objects in the environment at enemies, and it sounded pretty cool. I then suggested to maybe adjust the idea so that the flinging works in the style of the Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2 (which is where the name Zero Point came from, the fancy name for the Gravity Gun is the “Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator”) because I figured it would feel more visceral and direct than just a tractor beam where you’re just manipulating objects from a distance. I think it worked out alright, I hope you guys agree. Here’s a run down of what went well, and what went badly, in my opinion.

What Went Right

We finished it, and its pretty fun. The main mechanic of launching stuff at the enemies is pretty satisfying, especially when you hit the little Swarmer enemies and they do a chain reaction. The game is difficult, but I think its reasonable enough that you can keep practicing and get a good run of a few minutes going. I feel quite bad actually because Matt really worked hard on getting things working right to the last minute, and I got the majority of my stuff done in the first day. The next game will have to take place inside an intricate oil painting or something, to balance out the karma.

The aesthetics and soundtrack. I’m pretty happy with the look of the game. Thanks to Unity 5 finally opening up full post-processing support for free users, we were able to add bloom, which really adds a lot to the aesthetic of the game. The simple vector sprites would have been pretty plain without it. I had the idea early on of having the walls be made of several transparent layers on top of eachother, to give them a pseudo-3D look. Matt was able to implement this and I think it looks pretty cool. As far as soundtrack goes, I had a bit of creative block with the music, but I eventually was able to salvage an old track from a previous failed project and polished it up for this game. I think it complements the spacey ethereal look of the game quite well.

The map. Personally I quite enjoy the kinda mazey arena. I dunno, maybe its just me, I find it quite fun darting down the tunnels on the outside and occassionally zipping in and out of the central area. The flow reminds me of running around an Unreal Tournament map or something. Maybe I’m just weird.

The AI. Matt spent a long time getting the working properly, but the enemy ships do actually track you around the arena, apart from the Carriers, that just wander about aimlessly plopping mines everywhere. This was particularly amusing during development, we had a test Swarmer chasing us around and running into us, but it wasn’t programmed to explode yet, and sometimes it would get dozy and spin around randomly. It was adorable. The thing just wanted a hug!

What Went Unright

The ship physics. Once again, Unity’s physics system got the better of us. Curse you, Unity. CUUURSE YOOOUUU. Ahem. For reasons not quite known to me the ship has some slightly odd physics in regards to coming to a stop. The ship seems to carry on moving after releasing the movement key for a very brief period before coming to a stop, and it almost feels like input lag. I don’t know if everyone has the same experience since Matt didn’t seem to notice it, but I do. Basically its just a case of tweaking the values, and we simply ran out of time. Sorry guys!

Asteroids don’t do enough damage. There is some sort of bug where the damage done by an asteroid is calculated after the physics are worked out, so sometimes the asteroid will have already slowed down by the time damage is calculated, meaning the damage is less than it should be. I think thats the explanation anyway, I’ve probably butchered it and Matt is rolling his eyes at a thousand miles an hour. Anyway, it is kind of annoying when the fighters take loads of asteroids to kill.

Lack of progression. There’s no real end goal to the game, only the pursuit of the longest survival time and the highest score. Some people don’t really seem to understand this, which is probably fair, people do expect some sort of ultimate goal in a game. We had plans for a boss fight early on, but we didn’t have time. That’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

The spinner. We were going to have a bad guy that spins around and occassionally spews out some sort of weird ‘friction gas’ that stops you firing objects through it. It might have been neat, but once again, the lack of time reared its ugly head. Maybe in the post-compo!

Features To Add

For the post-compo we’re looking to zoom out the camera a bit (we had some complaints you couldn’t see enough of the arena at once), tweaks to gameplay balance and physics, and just some general bugfixing. We’re looking to add the Spinner enemy into the game, maybe even a boss fight or multiple arenas. Also, we’re working on online leaderboards for the game, so those high-scores might actually mean something! Hopefully we’ll actually get this stuff done this time and not be super lazy. One can only hope!

Zero Point

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 2:57 pm

zp-blogpic

Hello again chaps and chapettes, we are NegaDrive, and we are doing another shooter type game this time, called Zero Point. The basic idea is you can attract objects to your ship and fire them at enemies, like the Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2. We’re using the visual style (though no actual reused assets) from our failed LD30 game Subspace Junction, because why the hell not!

We’ll be using:

  • Unity 5
  • Photoshop CS6
  • Flash CS6
  • Chiptone
  • FL Studio

Good luck everyone!

Pixplorer post-mortem

Posted by
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 1:56 pm

Hello, we are Nega Drive and we made a game for LD31 called…

logo

Go and click the image above to get to the game. DO IT NOW. Ok now come back.

I’m the art guy behind the game (Rich), I have a mate who does all the programming stuff (Matt). So I’m writing this more from a design/art perpsective than a technical one because it’s what I know.

I have had the idea for a tiny platformer taking up a single screen for a while actually, so when this theme came up, the choice of game to do was obvious  I really enjoy exploration-focused platformers, such as the Knytt games by Nifflas. Anyone who has played those will probably see a lot of influence in this game, particularly the checkpoint system and the tiny pixel art graphics. The idea for the zoom function came from our programmer Matt, and I think it helps the game especially in those tricky platforming sections.  Overall I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out, even though, as is normal for these very time-limited projects, not everything went entirely perfectly.

screen4

Above: A screenshot. Of our game. I realised after writing the post I didn’t put one in, so here’s me editing in a totally pointless caption for it.

Now for the all-important ‘what went good/badly’ rundown.

 

What Went Right

We finished it. This was the most content-heavy project we’ve done for LD, it was certainly an ambitious idea, but somehow we managed to get it “done” fairly comfortably within the time limit. I not only had to animate player sprites but draw an entire map, so I had my work cut out for me, and I imagine there was a lot of tricky work to be done on the programming side of things too (I myself am but a mere simpleton and not privy to the intricacies of my programmer mate’s coding exploits, but I imagine it wasn’t entirely trivial) but we got it done. Yay!

The game world.  It certainly needs some tweaking on the gameplay side of things, but I spent like more than a day drawing that thing from scratch in Photoshop, and at least aesthetically I think it looks pretty neat. We decided to use one huge image instead of a more traditional tile-based map because we felt it would suit a single-screen game better.  Having thousands of tiny repeating tiles probably wouldn’t have looked too great.

The animations of Pixelfella.  I haven’t really had much experience animating, and the fact that I had to do a tiny pixel guy didn’t make things too much easier either.  Overall though I think the animations are pretty fluid and not especially awkward or anything. There’s probably room for improvement but it turned out pretty well I think.

The explorey feel.  We had the idea about half way through, of enshrouding the map in blackness until you move over the area to uncover it. It makes the whole experience much better. Not only does it add a feel of discovery to the game, but its actually a good indicator to the player of where they are in the map. Due to the very zoomed-out nature of the game, everything that can help the player get their barings when dealing with such tiny graphics is welcome.

 

What Went Unright

The jumping physics.  Yes we know they suck. They’re too floaty and there’s not enough air control. You spend more time hitting your head on ceilings than getting anywhere. This is just one of those things that we didn’t have enough time to tweak. Wrestling with Unity’s physics engine makes it quite a task to get the balance exactly right. We’re going to do a post-compo version with better handling, and possibly a double-jump option instead of single really high one.

That bloody bottom right area.  Loads of people seem to be tripping up on this, I think I may have made it a bit too tight to navigate. The aforementioned dodgy jumping doesn’t help in this regard either. Unfortunately the way we did the levels makes it more of a chore to tweak it, since instead of just editing a tilemap, we have to edit the image and then edit the collision maps seperately. This is just something we needed a bit more time to tweak really. Roll on post-compo version!

The shooting.  It’s a bit weird isn’t it? It sort of has a delay on it sometimes, and occassionally queues up several shots and does them all at once. I have no idea why. Something to do with how the animations work or something. We’ll fix it in, you guessed it, the post-compo version, hooray!

The music.  People have expressed that they liked the music in the game, and that’s pretty cool. However it was kind of an old track of mine that I threw in at the last minute, and to me it doesn’t really fit the atmosphere of the game at all. It’s a bit somber and I’d rather have more of an ‘adventurey’ feel to it. I will probably redo the music for the…  wait for it…  post-compo version!

 

Seems I rambled a lot. Well there we go, despite its flaws we hope you enjoy the game, and we value all the feedback you guys are giving. Hopefully we will actually do this fabled post-compo version and not let our terminal laziness take hold. Only time will tell!

PS. Click here to go to our game page if you ignored us earlier when we told you to click the image to go play it, you numbskulls. You know who you are.

“Tiny Platforms” (tentative title) Progress

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 12:07 pm

My programming mate seems to be sorting out the basic platforming functionality of our game at the moment.  I, meanwhile, have been toiling at trying to get the tiny player animations right, with (shockingly) some success.

bloganim

This is actually my first vaguely decent run cycle.  Turns out restricting myself to a 9×11 pixel space doesn’t make things that much easier.  Oh well, that’s the hard part out of the way, now onto drawing an entire highly detailed platform game in a single 1280×720 area.  Easy peasy.

PS. Note to self: Don’t use Lemmings sprites as a reference for animating a pixel person, turns out they don’t actually look anything like humans, to my amazement.

We be in!

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 8:25 pm

Hello, we are Nega Drive and we are two people: me, Rich (the artist) and Matt (the coder).  We shall be partaking in this fine compo once again.

We’ll be using Unity, graphics done in Photoshop, and music done in FL Studio, and sounds done in BFXR (blargh), as per usual!

We’ll probably be doing a tiny platformer, something a lot of other people are probably doing, but I like to think we can at least inject our own sense of style into it.  We’ll how it goes, I guess.

Subspace Junction – Last Minute Disaster :(

Posted by
Monday, August 25th, 2014 6:14 pm

screenshot

So, we were getting towards being finished on our game when my coder friend’s computer takes a shit, and it wrecked the main scene on the Unity file he was working on.  So yeah, I guess we won’t officially be taking part this time.  We will post up the finished game on the blog later when it can be remade.  Let this be a lesson: always keep backups or use source control or something!

Subspace Junction

Posted by
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 9:07 am

title

Hello, we are Nega Drive, ready to rock and/or roll once again.  We are two people: myself, Rich, the artist and musician and ‘creative director’ and layabout, and Matt, the actually intelligent guy doing all the code and techy stuff.

We’ve taken part in a couple of Ludum Dare jams before, resulting in the Quadruple-A mega smash hit games of the millennium Deka Sektor and They Lurk Beneath. Our new jam game Subspace Junction is going to be about creating and maintaining ‘subspace links’ between ‘planets’, while evading obstacles. My use of single quotes is to suggest its going to be kind of an abstract game, but hopefully it turns out cool.  Also I’ve wasted too much time drawing a fancy logo when I should be doing in game graphics.  GO ME!

Stuff we be using:

  • Unity 4.5.3 – possibly using a trial of Pro version for fancy bloom effects, though the ‘Trial Version’ text currently emblazoned at the bottom right of the game may well annoy the hell out of us.
  • Photoshop and Flash CS6
  • FL Studio
  • Hopefully not BFXR

More details and in game shots are possibly forthcoming.  Good luck on all your games guys!

They Lurk Beneath Submitted

Posted by
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 5:13 am

I was too tired to do a blog post last night after submitting, so here we are!

chrome 2014-04-29 02-34-10-49

They Lurk Beneath is a cross between Defender and “That Game Where You Drop Depth Charges On Submarines That I Can’t Remember The Name Of”. You must protect non-hostile ships from being dragged down to the depths by the Grabbers, while avoiding the onslaught of other sea creatures attacking your own vessel. Occassionally a lost city will start to rise and spawn some nastier creatures, and you must destroy the city before it surfaces, or it will spell doom for the whole world, or something.

Now onto the development bit.

Pros:

  • We implemented everything we set out to do. Everything works. Hurrah!
  • I’m pretty happy with the graphic style (even if I say so myself) and the soundtrack turned out well.
  • Using Unity worked out well and made things easier.

Cons:

  • We didn’t have enough time to balance the gameplay properly. As a result, it’s too easy. Until the city appears, and then it’s kind of too hard. It’s pretty difficult to actually lose all the ships before your own ship gets destroyed.
  • I think the BFXR sounds do the game a disservice and don’t gel with the soundtrack. That’s the nature of time limits though, and good quality sound effects aren’t really the highest priority.
  • We didn’t get chance to give the lost cities ridiculous HP Lovecraft style names. “The Lost City of G’sathothogh Is Rising!”

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although after judging I’d like to do a version 2 with better gameplay.  We’ll see!

Clicky here to play and vote.  Go on.  Play and vote.  DO IT NOW.

They Lurk Beneath

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 10:46 am

Hello chaps and chapettes!  We are…

negadrive-small

Hot on the heels of our mega smash hit quadruple-A game of the millenium success last August, Dekasektor, we are back again!  We are doing a watery version of Defender, with boats and sea monsters, called They Lurk Beneath.

There are two of us working on the project, Rich (graphics and sound and artsy fartsy stuff, also is me) and Matt (all the actually clever techy stuff).   We are using Unity for the game itself, Photoshop and Flash for the graphics, and presumably FL Studio/Audacity/BFXR for the sounds.

Here are some sprites:

spritemockup

Deka Sektor Submitted

Posted by
Monday, August 26th, 2013 3:50 pm

Huzzah!  We (Nega Drive) have finished our game for the Jam compo.  Feels good, man.

justthetitle

Windows XNA VersionWeb JSIL Version | Ludum Dare entry

A stylistic twin stick shooter where you have 10 seconds.  Except not really, because killing enemies adds time to the counter, and getting hit takes time away.  How long can you last?  Probably longer than me, I’m bad at games.

Use WASD to move the ship around, use mouse to aim and fire.

Tools used:

  • Visual Studio 2010
  • JSIL
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • FL Studio
  • BFXR

To sum up, this has been an interesting experience.  Nothing gets those creative juices flowing quite like an ever-approaching deadline.  There were two of us making it, me (Rich) on the graphics and music, and Matt on the coding.  This isn’t our first project together but it is probably the most intensive.  The whole thing has gone shockingly smoothly though, and the final product is pretty much what we had in mind.  There were only a couple of negative points really.  We couldn’t get 360 controller support in, and the collision system isn’t very accurate, so there are no player ship/enemy ship collisions.  Other than that though, it’s turned out pretty decently I’d say.  I hope you agree!  AGREE NOW.  plz.

Seriously though any feedback is appreciated.

– Rich, NEGA DRIVE GAMES PRODUCTIONS STUDIOS MEGACORPORATION INC. LTD.

Deka Sektor

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 9:00 am

Hi, figured I should do a blog post saying we’re actually doing something.

We are:

negadrive-small

which currently consists of…

  • Rich (that’s me!) making the graphics and sound.
  • Matt, who is doing all the clever programmery type bits.

We are taking part in the jam, making a game called Deka Sektor.  It’s a twin stick shooter (lame I know, but its our first go) where you have a 10 second time limit – except killing enemies will add a little more time, and getting hit yourself will take time away.

Have some sprites:

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