GameMaker: Studio assets
Compo entry for “Tiny World”. This was the second game project that I completed and released. Bactarium takes place in a petri dish. Consume nutrients and replicate faster than your competition!
I experimented with random numbers, alpha blending, and an odd mouse-based control scheme that commands nearby bacteria to be attracted or repelled by left and right clicks.
Built with GameMaker 8.1 in under 48 hours (actually about 24.5 hours of work time).
Compo entry for “Evolution”. Control a single-celled organism to eat and mutate. You are what you eat. Built with Game Maker Studio in under 48 hrs (22 actual working hours).
I experimented with an infinite room movement system that created the illusion of a boundless room by placing the player in the enter, motionless, and moving everything else in the game around you. The biggest innovation was a sprite generation system that created new graphics on the fly as the player evolved into new forms, composing them in an off-screen drawing surface. The player’s evolution was semi-randomly controlled based on the different types of food particles you can choose from when feeding, which caused different mutations that affected the player’s controls and appearance. I also made use of GameMaker’s particle system, with additive blending effects, and included a title screen.
The enhanced version includes numerous post-compo fixes, new features, and is the version to play unless you’re rating the game for the compo. The Windows version is the best — currently there are some glitches in GameMaker’s HTML5 that make that version inferior to the native Windows build.
The music for the post-compo version was created by the incredible Ian Faleer.
LD25: Bad Puppy
Compo entry for “You Are the Villain”. Built in under 48 hours with Game Maker Studio. I experimented with walking animations and twitter integration (you can tweet your score when your game is over). I also created another custom sprite generator, which randomly colorized the clothes, skin, and hair color of the boy and girl sprites that I created.
LD25 started the day of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and when they announced the theme, I knew that I wanted to make a lighthearted and uplifting game where you were the worst villain I could think of, made as harmless as I could imagine.
Thus, you are a villainous puppy who looks suspiciously like Hitler, and barks at people for points. Avoid getting petted for high score. If you get petted too much, you stop hating people and become a nice puppy, ending the game. Thus love conquers hate in the end.
Compo entry for “Beneath the Surface”. Alamogordo was my entry for Ludum Dare 29, to commemorate the dig that was happening that weekend in the Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill where Atari deadstock had been buried some 30-odd years previously, most notably millions of excess E.T. cartridges.
I came up with the idea for this game very late in the weekend, and completed it in just 10 hours. The game emulates the look of the Atari 2600, borrowing audio and graphics from E.T. and taking gameplay inspiration from Dig Dug, another early 80’s arcade classic of the Atari era.
Rather than try to experiment with design or coding techniques in this project, I opted to stick to already-familiar techniques, and focus my efforts on coding the game as cleanly as possible, and this enabled me to complete the project in a very short time, with a remarkably low number of bugs.
LD31: Color is Everything
Compo entry for “Everything on One Screen”. I had hoped that another theme candidate, “Color is Everything” would be chosen, because I wanted to do a game on the Black Lives Matter movement. I was disappointed when Color is Everything didn’t end up being chosen as the theme, but I ended up using the theme I wanted anyway. This game does take place on one screen, so satisfies both themes.
This is a game where you’re a policeman (represented by a blue square), and you have to identify criminals from a population of black and white people (represented by black and white squares), and then either arrest or shoot them.
I don’t explain how to do this, but leave it for the player to figure it out and decide how they should operate. The mechanics and scoring reflect the realities of the institutional racism as they affect communities of color in the Obama era.
LD35: Shape Struggle
Compo entry for “Shapeshift”. Shape Struggle is a Geometry Wars knockoff, where the polygon enemies shapeshift into fewer-sided polygons when hit by your fire. My focus with this game was to create a polished, fun, enjoyable to play game with solid fundamentals, and a challenge curve that felt just right, so I did not concern myself too much with originality of design. I experimented with dual-analog joystick controls, and focused on performance optimization in my code to allow me to spawn hundreds of new instances in an HTML5 build without the framerate dropping.
Ancient Technologies was the theme for LD36 as well as the title for my game. You have to complete a mini game to set up an Atari 2600 console and then you can play a simulated Atari 2600 game.
I experimented with a game-within-a-game, and focused on a realistic simulation of the console and game behavior.
It’s artillery practice on a small planet. The planet spins, there’s gravity, ballistics, you have to be lucky and use trial/error to hit. Destroy all targets to clear a level and advance. Don’t accidentally hit yourself, or it’s game over!
You are trapped in a memory register! Avoid getting fried by the Bit Refresh, and flip bits to the correct escape code to win. I experimented with bitwise operators and gameplay that modified the code of the running game, and a visual aesthetic that recalls the games of early 1980’s home computers.
A small puzzle platformer demo involving colors and mirrors. The idea was to stand in the reflection of various multicolored mirrors, absorbing their color, and in so doing energize different color-sensitive blocks so that you could turn them solid or passable, in order to solve platform puzzles and reach an end goal. Our team succeeded in building only three levels out of a planned 16.
I experimented with modifying a platform engine developed by someone else, and creating the graphical effect of the mirror reflections. The platform engine ended up not being particularly well optimized and the game performed rather sluggishly.
GGJ2016: Pug-Pug’s Bath Time Ritual
A mini game where you control a pug who must knock down shampoo bottles lined up on the edge of a bath tub. It’s based on a funny pug video on YouTube. I like pugs. I focused on making ultra lo-fi pixel art graphics.