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The Wiggle Room

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 11:19 am

roomscreenie

I didn’t set out to make a game about swimsuit models murdering one another with chainsaws but somehow it just happened that way… Originally I wanted to make a game about a reality show in which top models compete in ‘catwalk challenges’ and get voted out of the room one by one. Unfortunately, the challenges weren’t really very much fun so I decided, with only a few hours left on the clock, to give them all chainsaws and let them compete more violently.

roomscreenie2

Definitely lots of room for improvement and if I’d had a couple more hours I would have really liked to add a couch co-op mode but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. As ever, I’ll be very grateful for any honest feedback:

PLAY THE GAME HERE

Shamanic Panic! (AUTOPSY)

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Monday, April 25th, 2016 2:59 pm

My fourth Ludum Dare and it was a fun one. I had actually been hoping that the shapeshifting theme would win through but when it did I promptly ditched the idea I had for it (a magicians’ duel between Peter Lorre and Vincent Price which would have been way too complex…) and started from scratch. After a morning of dithering, I decided to stick with what I know and make a simple platformer with a player character who could switch between three forms.

Good stuff:

  • The dialogue. I’m pleased with how the cut-scenes turned out and it’s gratifying that many reviewers have said they really help give motivation to proceed through the levels. This is what I do for a living so I’d have been worried if this aspect had fallen flat.
  • The eagle. The hunter’s eagle form is pretty cool and I sort of wish now that the whole game had used this flying mechanic.
  • The arms. I decided to mess around with physics a bit and the result was some OTT arm-swinging that makes the hunter look as if he is freaking out for the whole game. A happy accident!
  • The music. I’m quite proud of the two little tunes I put together.

screenie4

Bad Stuff:

  • The platforming. I personally like the sensitivity of the platform controls but nobody else seems to, which tells me that I must have gone wrong somewhere. I think perhaps it’s a little too twitchy.
  • The level design. Slapdash and pretty awful. Some are too easy, some too hard. None of them really make best use of the shapeshifting mechanic.
  • The hare. The hunter’s hare form is a bit pointless. Basically it’s just a faster, jumpier version of his human form but without the ability to shoot mystic balls.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to make and as always I learnt a lot in the process. I’m learning even more from playing and rating all the other excellent entries.

Click HERE to check out the game. All feedback greatly appreciated!

(Post Coitum) Super Cupid

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Friday, April 24th, 2015 1:21 pm

screen1

 

I decided to jizz things up a little for this Ludum Dare and try something a bit sexier than I’m used to. So after a brisk rub-down with a stiff wire brush, I settled myself on a bearskin rug and began work on Super Cupid, a ‘matchmaking simulation’ set in Ancient Rome…

Was I successful?

screen3

 

TURN-ONS

The arrows – I’m pleased with the central bow-and-arrow mechanic. It can be quite challenging to line up shots which pierce more than one target and I think this could be expanded into a decent full game.

The audio – The ‘music’ turned out surprisingly well considering I don’t generally have any aptitude for it. I stuck to something really simple, using drumbot to create a pattern of claps, and I think this was a good choice. Also, I’ve been getting lots of nice feedback about the ‘menage-a-trois’ and ‘orgy’ announcements…

The gods – The game features the ability to receive a blessing from one of three gods and I’m happy with the way these abilities worked and were gained. I think they’re balanced well with the rest of the gameplay. Unfortunately, hardly anyone seems to have noticed that they’re there!

 

TURN-OFFS

The graphics – ‘Functional’ would be a kind word to use.

The presentation – See above.

The instructions – I wrote a page of instructions on play but I think many players have skipped them and been confused as a result. This is my fault really – I could easily have worked most of the instructions into a simple tutorial in the time it took me to write them and I think this would have been better.

 

All in all, I’m pleased with how the game turned out and might even work it up into something longer in the future. As ever, I had a blast participating and I’m really enjoying playing all the other entries.

‘The Veiled World’ Autopsy and Post-Comp Version

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 11:27 am

BulletTime

I had a ball taking part in my second Ludum Dare this year. More than anything, I’ve been impressed and humbled by the great quality of games on display. I’ll write another post soon to enthuse about my favourites but first I thought I’d say a little about my own experiences.

Right from the start, I eschewed any thoughts of doing anything clever or complicated with the theme and just went for a very straightforward and literal approach. The Veiled World is therefore the story of four stereotypical characters who stop a cliched monstrosity from taking over a generic fantasy world. Once I’d boiled the story down to it’s raw materials, I found I could have a lot of fun by just being as stupid as I liked with the details.

Similarly, the gameplay is nothing new. Jump, shoot and flip between parallel dimensions. It’s hokey but I tried to make it as extreme as I could to turn the hokiness into a virtue. I think it worked in some ways better than others…

THE GOOD:

– I tried to give the combat a Vlambeer-style crunchiness and I think it worked pretty well. The screenshakes and hit physics give the right amount of feedback and make the fights feel satisfying. The variety between the four weapon types also worked well.

– The sound effects. I did everything with my mouth or objects found on my desk (tweaked in Audacity) and it worked surprisingly well. It’s amazing how forgiving the brain is when it has a visual cue to go along with a sound. The sped-up sound of a man blowing a raspberry suddenly seems the perfect noise for an axe hitting flesh once you put it in context.

– The voice-overs. I had fun with these. Most of the positive reviews I’ve had have mentioned my pronunciation of the characters’ names. :)

– The art style. I’m loathe to call it art really but I think it worked out well in the context. It looks appropriately old-school and it works that way, especially with so much blood splatter on the screen.

THE BAD:

– Opinion has been divided over the control system. I quite like it but then I spent a long time playtesting and getting used to it. A lot of players have found it too twitchy and difficult to manage, which I think is fair comment. I changed it quite a lot for the post-comp version.

– Many people have found the game to be frustratingly difficult. Again, I overlooked this because I’d spent so long playing it as I went along. I knew where all the platforms were so didn’t have to put up with frustrating falls and long climbs up again as many players did. The enemy AI was also a little too vicious.

– No music. A little music would have gone a long way, I think, but I lacked both time and talent in this regard.

– The title screen and cutscenes are pretty awful. Nothing much to be proud of where presentation is concerned.

– The font is hideous. Time ran out before I could change it. That said, it has a sort of goofy appeal of it own, I guess, if you’re in a forgiving mood.

THE UGLY:

– There was a bug which caused all the gnomes to fly up into the air if you pushed the up arrow. It was stupid of me to overlook it but kind of fun when someone pointed it out to me.

TVW5

Terrible font…

***

 

POST-COMP VERSION:

Altogether, I was happy with the way it turned out and happy enough to think of expanding it into something a bit fuller. So the post-comp version has better controls, special abilities for all four characters, an endless arena mode and a few coats of extra polish. It’s the game I had in my mind when I started but didn’t quite get to make within the time limit.

Fact2

The wizard now dispenses Hot Facts

arena2

Are you not entertained?

The post-comp version is available here: http://panurge.itch.io/the-veiled-world

Any feedback will be welcomed with open arms.

‘Gone in 10 Seconds’ autopsy

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 9:48 am

This was my first time to participate in Ludum Dare and I’ve enjoyed it way more than I thought possible.

Firstly, the experience of making a game was in itself a lot more fun than I’d anticipated. I’ve only worked on games as a writer in the past so getting stuck into the coding and art as well was a daunting task. But I found it really satisfying to have complete control over the game’s direction, even if it quickly headed off on something of a tangent…

My first inspiration was the title (taken from the film ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’) and my  initial plan was to do something of a straight car-theft simulation with the player viewing the dashboard from inside the car and clicking on various elements to steal it. However, I was never entirely sold on this. For one thing, I just don’t like the idea of glamourising car-theft. For another thing, the idea of a ‘master car-thief’ is inherently ridiculous. So after I had a dream in which Nicolas Cage, reprising his role from the film just for me, jumped in through the sun-roof of a car, I knew what I had to do. The result was a much more whimsical and story-based game with a willful disregard for the realities of automotive crime:

Gone in 10 Seconds

Gone in 10 Seconds 2

I had no idea how it was going to be received but I’ve been really pleased with the feedback so far, especially concerning the dialogue. I’ve even had some nice comments about the C64 styled art. In all, very encouraging!

 

I’ve also found the process of rating other peoples’ games to be very useful. Just considering and verbalising what makes a game work (or not work)  for me as a player gives me a much clearer idea of what I should be thinking about when making my own games. I’m resolving from now on to give much fuller feedback in comments when I rate games, breaking down exactly what I did and didn’t like about the experience. Hopefully this will be useful for everyone involved.

 

Finally, a shout out to the game which has most impressed me so far: Bomb Disposer. This one blew me away (pun intended). It has great atmosphere and a really wonderful mechanic which makes the story an integral part of the game. I think that with a few extra gameplay elements and perhaps a more complex system for randomly generating sentences, it could be turned into an awesome full game along the same lines as ‘Papers, Please.’

Mobilise!

Posted by (twitter: @wiwyums)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 11:45 pm

Time to get up in the UK and get started on my first ever Ludum Dare. I was hoping for ’10 seconds’ and I’ve got one idea which I think could suit my limited abilities. It’s going to be heavily inspired, against my better judgement, by the films of Nicolas Cage…

 

I’ll be using Construct 2, Graphics Gale, Sprite Something and Audacity.

 

Good luck all!

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