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The Outsider

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 7:05 pm

Well, I’m now awake enough for the first time since the jam ended to write about my game, The Outsider.

It’s a first-person space shooter with 360 degree movement (y’know, like Descent). With this Jam, I really wanted to try out some simple techniques I’d been working out for making passable art (I’m no artist!). Mainly using flat colours with lighting + outline shaders and SSAO to create quite a strong, abstract style. It seemed to work out pretty well!


Gameplay wise, I actually changed the game quite radically early on. The idea of creating cube-rooms was really just because of limitation of my artist abilities. And I figured it would be quite easy to have a transformable world of such rooms, which would fit the theme well. From there, I started thinking about the movie Cube (for which the set for the entire film was just a single square room) – and in some ways it’s similarity to the dungeons of the original Zelda.

I like the idea of building the dungeon in real time around the player so I stuck with that, but originally, I thought the player should choose which rooms to build. I wanted to make them a wizard constructing the dungeon around them to try and reach an objective. I had difficulty with building on the core gameplay with that one, though, and I was eager to get started implementing something so eventually I decided to go with a more traditional dungeon crawl but with Descent-like twist.


I actually got most of the work for this done pretty quick! The core gameplay was playable by Saturday night (I didn’t start till mid-day due to time zones and obligations). So I had time to compose music and add some special features… I even got a boss encounter done! It’s the sort of thing that I always think about having quite early during LD then usually abandon before the game is finished due to running out of time for new features.

You can play it here!

Aberrant is a game, now

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 7:11 pm

Figured I’d put up a quick post before drifting into a post-jam coma. Finished my game! It’s called Aberrant.



(The title screen is probably the prettiest part of the game)

For whatever reason the first idea that came to me was to do something like The Thing, except where you’re the Thing and have to hide it from others while killing in secret.

I think there’s a lot of potential in this idea, though I’m not quite sure I did it justice. As usual with LD I drastically overscoped initially (it’ll have a cast of characters dynamically living within a base! with daily schedules! and goal-based AI! …yeah, ok, how about “some guys path around a room”) but I think it does still manage to create moments that capture the feel I was going for.


One thing that worked very well was little chat snippets for the NPCs. I was surprised how much “some guys pathing in a room” came alive when they started talking a little. It also gave me a chance to push a little bit of story telling (such as telling the player who they are meant to be at the start) during gameplay, which unusual since the characters driving the story are technically the enemies/obstacles.


I had planned to use the last few hours to cram in another level or two, but wisely I decided to upload a version before hand, and once again hit into another problem I had with scope control, which is assuming ‘admin’ tasks take zero time. Lost an hour and most of my ability to focus on grabbing screenshots, uploading various builds and working out why the windows build kept insisting on defaulting to full screen mode.

Overall, pretty happy with the way this turned out.


If you’d like to play it, you can do so here

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