Viewpoints.

I’ve completed a new videogame—another entry in another TIGSource competition. The theme, this time, is ‘cockpits’. My game is pretty much on the fringe in the way it implements the theme, though. What I originally intended to make was some manner of car driving game, inspired by the original Out Run, since I’m such a big fan of the series, and because I love the aesthetic of that kind of low-tech 3D. I might do this in the future; we’ll see how creating such an engine will go for me. But the game I ended up conceiving, because I only had roughly a week to make it (until the deadline was extended another week), is not about driving anything at all, it is merely about looking; how much more simple can a game’s interface and set of verbs get? You are still in some kind of convertible sportscar, but you’re just sitting on the passenger’s seat.

I’ve coined the term ‘narrative exploration’ to describe Viewpoints, because the very core of the concept is about exploring, but not a physical space, like in, say, Metroid, but, instead, a space of different possible stories—a narrative space. The concept itself was shamelessly ripped from Terry Cavanagh’s Pathways —a short game I can wholeheartedly recommend—, though his execution is different from mine (I’m not quite that flagrant).

Viewpoints screenshot

Play Viewpoints in your browser (requires Flash)

Also, for this past April Fools’, I made a variation of Viewpoints and released it as if it were the finished game for the competition. I took the Out Run and Sega inspiration further, and created something quite ridiculous. I call it Winner. (It may be worth mentioning that some of the contents of this variation were taken straight from Sega-made games.)

An audio game.

Another Klik of the Month, and another game made in two (and a half) hours. This time it’s an audio game, no graphics. To tell the truth, the idea for this game seemed much cooler in my head than the result, but what am I going to do. I might make a more involved game with the general idea for this game in the future. If you play it, please, excuse my poor diction.

Download NSBD System Console (Windows, requires latest Direct X). The password is 5467.

Also, remember how Matt made music for my past two Kliks? Well, this time he didn’t, because he made a game himself. Nice!

Campodecolor got me out of college.

Español

As of today (yesterday), I am a professional graphic designer. My final project, which I now refer to as Campodecolor (Spanish for ‘Colorfield’), was the same videogame I have been talking about for some time, the one about visual composition. It’s not finished as a project, but an important milestone has been reached: its first purpose has been accomplished, which was to get me my degree. Of course.

Here’s my project report (in Spanish), which is a bit out of date and a bit incomplete, but I guess it shows the main arguments that support my project. I have touched on these a bit in past posts, and I might do it further in the future, because they are based on my opinion that videogames, as an artform, can be a relevant contribution to society.

For my defense I had to —evidently— show the game, and do a presentation of basically a recap of the same points already covered on the report. On top of that, during the past week I recorded some playtests, and edited a brief video with that material to show to the committee that graded my work. It was pretty funny to watch the testers stumble around and finally grasp the mechanics a bit, though some came to the conclusion that the game was more about the music than the visual aspect, which, I suppose, is a compliment to the sound design in the end.

Campodecolor, final presentation version

I have uploaded the version of the game that I presented today (yesterday). The algorithms are still lacking, I’m afraid, but I plan to make them my top priority now. The dynamic audio is created using the minor pentatonic scale, with the sound of a Rhodes piano, as recorded by Guy Cockroft. I’m glad it sounds as well as it does, considering the notes are selected randomly from the scale. Since it seems to be crediting time, I have to thank Stephen Lavelle and muku for their invaluable help and suggestions on all aspects of my game. Also, of course, my teacher throughout this whole process, Eduardo Castillo. […]

Infidelidad.

increpare (Stephen Lavelle) just released an entry for the CODEAR Single Boss Game competition that is currently running, called Infidelidad (Infidelity). Since the competition is held by the ADVA (Video Game Developers Association of Argentina), I offered him to translate it into Spanish, and so I did. The dialogue is brief but quite comical, and I had lots of fun doing the translation. The game itself is short, but sweet. Put a smile on my face.

increpare (Stephen Lavelle) acaba de lanzar su entrada para la competencia CODEAR Single Boss Game: un juego de nombre Infidelidad. Ya que el evento está organizado por la Asociación de Desarrolladores de Videojuegos Argentina (ADVA), le ofrecí traducir el guión, y eso fue lo que hice al final. El diálogo es breve pero cómico, y me entretuve bastante realizando la traducción. El juego es corto, pero me hizo reir.

New front page.

Changed the design of the front page. Tried something different this time—I wanted it to be more disorderly, less clean; a bit more striking, perhaps. It didn’t come out quite how I envisioned it, but it will have to do, for now. The main reason for this redesign was that I wanted all the links to my different accounts at community websites there. I had something else entirely in mind at first, a design that integrated the last few piclog thumbnails and blog headlines, but since I don’t know much Javascript or PHP, all that will have to wait until I have the time to sit down and learn.

There is something I still don’t understand, which happened in the old design too, and that is some Firefox rendering glitches when it first loads the page. After refreshing, it goes away. My guess is that it’s a bug related to blocks with the CSS display property set to ‘none’, which is how I make the popup effect. Well, nevermind the jargon, but the point is that it somehow screws up the design.

New design.

To get my blog up and running as quick as possible, I initially just grabbed the most simplistic template I could find, and used that. It was still not exactly to my liking, of course, but it was only momentary. Well, six months later, and I was still using the same old thing—so I finally got off my lazy bum and created a new template. I kept it as streamlined as I could, and I like the results. Not everything is complete, though, but it’s good enough to use, so things will keep evolving for some time; just expect some rough spots here and there for now (especially if you’re not using Firefox—sorry!). You can see how it used to look.

Family games.

As a Christmas gift, I made a game that stars my little sister (she’s two-and-a-half) and the rest of the (her) family as ‘supporting actors’, or ‘enemies’, if you will. Since I didn’t have a lot of time to make it, I went with a really crude style, probably inspired by Life of D. Duck II. I also recorded voices for everyone (and even some things, namely toys), and a brief guitar tune. The goal was for it to be surprising and funny rather than fun to play, so I made what amounts to a Road Fighter clone, but simpler. In this case, though, you guide Antonella upwards, avoiding objects and people. I called the game La Hazaña de Anto (Anto’s Feat). It didn’t take them long to finish it, but everyone got to play, so I think the difficulty was just right. They laughed and enjoyed it quite a bit. Mission accomplished!

Explode.

A first: I finished my Klik of the Month Klub entry within the time limit. It is, sadly, a step down from last month’s. This time I didn’t really know what to do, until I just decided to go for this idea of exploding fireworks I had at some point. I didn’t feel particularly inspired. The result is not really a game, more like a short-lived toy. Matt helped out with the music, once again, and it really fits.

Download Explode (Windows, requires the latest DirectX).