“Fuck This Jam is a jam centered around the theme of making a game in a genre you hate. Through utter ignorance for conventions and hate for the established rules of a genre, beautiful things will happen.” Been thinking about doing this for awhile. I was super busy organizing things for the Guts for Glory Game Jam and Orycon and thought I might not be able to do it, but that prompt is bitchin’ and I’m more down than ever.
Currently working on mechanics for a first person shooter boardgame. I don’t hate the FPS genre, but I can never get good because of the people that dump so much time into it (knowing everything about the map, about the guns, about a n00b’s typical behavior, etc.). It’s also not a genre that’s especially interesting to me, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get good. I’m realizing now that I’m actually kinda sad that it’s the predominant multiplayer genre.
SO, let’s eradicate that! The premise of this boardgame will be that one must use pure reaction and more widespread reflexes to shoot enemies. Widespread as in using their body’s reactionary abilities from their fingertips to their shoulders.
Working on a peg board (kind of like Battleship) with different colored pegs – colors for enemies, different types of supplies, random special supplies, “nothing,” etc. Player 1 arranges these pegs on the board in any fashion they please while Player 2 is not allowed to look (perhaps working on their own peg board). When Player 1 is done, they place the peg board in front of Player 2, whose eyes are still closed. When Player 2 hears “go,” they have four seconds (arbitrary number so far) to place caps on all of the enemy pegs and remove as many supply pegs as they can. At the end of the four seconds, it’s hands off; any remaining enemies deal damage to them, and any leftover supply pegs are unavailable. That’s the very general premise, at least. I still have to work out a goal/map system, I have some card ideas for random draws as the “special supplies,” and there are some numbers that need to be set.
But damn, I’m excited. This all began last night and ends on the 17th, so I have time to make a nice pegboard (and show it off at an upcoming PIGSquad boardgame night), document my process with video, and get a bit of playtesting in. If this sounds stupid, comment telling me why – otherwise, follow my immediate progress on Twitter, keep coming back to this site for more expanded documentation, and keep watch for my “making of” and “learn to play” videos on YouTube!
Turns out we weren’t able to finish our “Fear” prompted game in time for Game Jolt’s week-long game jam, but ah well! We got pretty far through and we’ll be finishing up, and this’ll give me the opportunity to give the game more monsters and stuff!
Not sure I’ve explained the entire premise yet, so hereitis: You’re a little boy who leaves his room in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. You take a flashlight with you because it’s all scary in the dark and your hallway is like a maze. You begin your turn by picking which hallway you wish to go through. After that, you walk through the hallway until approaching a household object’s silhouette. You have three seconds to decide whether it’s actually a household object (a potted plant in the above example) or if there’s enough of a variant to the silhouette to warrant your imagination running wild, causing the object to become a monster! If you decide that the silhouette looks warped enough to become a monster, you can flash your flashlight and reveal that it’s simply a household furnishing (using a bit of battery life). If you decide that the silhouette looks nonthreatening, you can choose to walk past it without revealing it. Depending on how the silhouette’s graphic varies from the silhouette of the plain, unmodified object, you have a greater or lesser chance of becoming scared and projecting a monster onto the object. If you don’t see a monster in the silhouette, you pass by unharmed; if you do imagine a monster from the silhouette, you must button-mash your way out of it or else lose more battery life and get sent back to your room. If you run out of battery life, you pee your pants and lose. If you make it to the bathroom, you win!
And thas that!
I’m happy that extending our project deadline (hopefully having it done by PAX) will give Yori the chance to really refine the code and myself the chance to really focus on music and add more monsters/silhouette variants for fun content variety and replay value. I’ve learned a lot about workflow having had the week-long deadline, though, and I really appreciate having had the opportunity to experience that. A few days ago, I worked on sprites all day, the day after I worked about half a day and then really felt like working on anything but the project, and then the day after that, we figured we wouldn’t be done in time for the contest deadline (yesterday at 9pm) and I took a step back in the middle of the above title screen. I don’t know if I need to pace myself by working day on/day off, or if it was Skyping with Yori that really helped me focus and get a lot done on that first all-day work day, but I have some ideas on how to better spend my time that I can explore as we finish up!
Hooray for smallish projects!
As I mentioned earlier, a friend and I are working on a game for a gamedev competition.
I’ve been working all day on monsters, animations, and other important things (like the above superdope floral wallpaper that I’m so proud of). I’m excited because this will be the first videogame I will have actually finished – I’ve started a bunch and even have complete sprite sheets for some, but they’ve unfortunately never come to fruition. The above screenshot is especially cool because it looks so different from what each of these sprite elements look like on their own. Looking at a game in its entirety is so cool – the visual/auditory coordination seems impossible to pull off when you’re first starting to work.
Of course everything seems so doable when you’re conceptualizing and coming up with all of these great ideas. And said great ideas are totally doable if they’re worth pursuing, but once I draw a sprite with no shading in the midst of no background and without animation/audio context, everything looks dull and doodley (which is cool if that’s what you’re going for, but we’re going for “fear!”). I’m glad this week-long deadline is forcing me to work really hard and long at some of these things, because putting them all together in a tiny little sprite assembly like the one above is so worth it. When I’m animating the boy, I can get a great sense of who he is via how he moves, how he holds his flashlight, what he’s wearing (those lil floppy socks), etc. But when I see a screenshot like the one above, I get the big-picture interactive sensory overload that games are all about. And look at that; all of a sudden, we’re telling a story!
Here’re some little update screenshots I took periodically before completing what was necessary for the above picture. You see what I mean when I say that you’re just getting a one-sided story without much wholesome immersion.
…back to work! I might update one more time before we finish on Sunday evening!
The theme is “fear!”
I’m at the Lucky Lab right now with my friend Yori, we’ve just discussed the main mechanics for the game, and now it’s time to get to work! We have a week to make an original game based on the prompt “fear.” Thinking about a “don’t pee your pants” goal. You’re a scared little boy in the middle of the night trying to find your house’s bathroom (because it’s like a maze and stuff y’know?). And there’re monsters. More to come. I’ll post sprites and stuff when dey come out mah hands.
Speaking of sprites, I’ve been working on some Funeral/Eulogy sprites of late to explore the visual aspects of the game. More “alternative” than anything else, but they’re animated and fun. Here’s a screen of the SkullCrab!
I totally bombed the hippety boppity out of the PIGSquad forums with AWESOME stuff today.
Whenever I feel a bit uninspired, I think about how PAX is the coolest thing known to my face, and today thought, “Shit, PAX is awesome, but I pulled my goddamned hair out about PAX last year. So PAXXETY PAX PAX send me a FAX MAX WAX.” I’m happy that they didn’t turn out in any pictures, but I seriously had hives all over myself for each and every day of PAX Prime last year, and we all decided that it was because I spent the four sleepless days before PAX getting PIGSquad stuff like shirts, cards, bumper stickers, etc. ready for the weekend. BUT FUCK THAT.
So I posted a little diddy about people making recommendations for shirt designs. Something SICK will come out of it, I’m sure.
I then thought, “Damn poopa daddy ding dong, I need to make some business cards for myself and for any projects that I’ve released (perhaps Bullet William and Space Eulogy) by PAX as well. Wait. Maybe other people need that, too..!” So I posted this little snittley slag offering discounted graphic design services for the purpose of producing a logo, business cards, t-shirts, decals/stickers, and stuff like that for people who need to showcase themselves at PAX this year. Not only is that craip offered at a discount, but 80% of what I make from it goes to a PIGSquad general fund! If you’re reading this blog and want to take advantage of this, my offer’s open to you, reader, so hit me up via my e-mail address or Twitter or whatever other contact method you find via the “About” page on this site.
THEN I thought, “Whaaaapadooodashnabubulagoogadadoo, since I’m PIGSquadin’ so hard today, I should probably start working on building a team for the PIGSquad-hosted, Beep Box-endorsed Game Music Composition Competition!” So I did.
Boy, I am quite the scat man this evening.
No poop fetish here.