Alternate Function IV

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Alternate Function IV is a game of reflexes, skill, and timing. Dodge and weave your way between missiles and get the highest score possible, before your tiny vessel is shot out of the sky. This game was made for Bennett Foddy's Prototype Studio class at the NYU Game Center. I made it on the sixth of April in an 8-hour jam session, and have since made a few improvements in my limited free time. Sydney Kjerstad has graciously composed and provided an original music track for this game. Thank you Bennett and Sydney!
Alternate Function IV for Windows
Alternate Function IV for Mac OS X

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Posted in Game Builds

Anxiety Adventure: Trial of the Dark Wing

Anxiety AdventureThe night before, I spent about 12 hours developing a prototype for a minimal game design class taught by Andy Nealan at NYU Poly. The constraints were that the game had to be entirely composed of squares and circles. I self-imposed 2 additional constraints: make the art purely black and white, and also have a player character that never changes on screen. That is, the pixels occupied by the character (a black square) are black throughout the whole game.
I threw together a maze, coded some simple switches and doors, and added a simple antagonist, producing a game that I dubbed Anxiety Adventure. Here it is. Enjoy!
Anxiety Adventure: Trial Of The Dark Wing
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Posted in Game Builds

Spinworld – Ludum Dare 23 Entry

Spinworld is a Missile Command-type game with a twist: players can rotate their whole planet in to aim defensive buildings at oncoming enemy missiles.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Abandon – Ludum Dare 22 Entry

Abandon was made for the Ludum Dare competition #22 in 48 hours. The given theme was "Alone." The game was released with missing textures on several objects, and a collider missing from a domed structure. Regardless, the game is a fully functional first-person platformer. It takes place in a world that is an imperfect fractal of towers, each building resting atop another larger structure. You travel through one of the smallest towers (still 450 meters tall) in search of a missing friend. Along the way, you'll find 6 pieces of clothing that belonged to this friend.

Please vote for this project on the Ludum Dare site. You can also check out my main project, Against the Wall.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Video Recording

Man, I am not meant to be in front of the camera! I was recording for a trailer to post on Kickstarter.com. If I'm reading the filenames right, I've clicked the record button 122 times in four hours. I don't even know how that's possible, given that some of the takes ran for 5 minutes or more and I took some long breaks. Ah well. Have about three good clips that I can make something out of. Will intercut them with footage from the game and then post it up, hopefully by tomorrow.

Posted in Against the Wall

Two Separate Sites

Going back on what I said on the 11th, I have put www.againstthewallgame.com back up. I've also moved all posts related to the game over to the other site. This is mostly for branding purposes, not that I know anything about marketing. I suppose that having a URL with the keywords of the game's name could boost its traffic a bit. Now that I've released version Alpha 0.32 and its webplayer, I'm beginning to think in terms of promoting my product and raising funds for it. I've been doing everything solo thus far, no outside help aside from searches on the Unity Forums, MSDN, Stack Overflow, etc. I really need to find artists who can pitch in and produce some 2D and 3D assets to spruce the game up a bit.

As to the other game jams this month, the Game Prototype Challenge ate up too much of my time for me to consider taking up one of the other challenges. I spent the last week doing nothing but bug fixes for Against the Wall and porting it over to the webplayer, rather than anything else.

Also, this blog will be more for personal updates and my occasional game jam forays. Not the most compelling content, but I need a place to put my random info, and I probably shouldn't mix that with my main project.

Cheers!

Posted in Against the Wall

Post Mortem on Pollen Knight

Gameplay

I'm happy with the results of last week's Game Prototype Challenge. Unlike my last Ludum Dare game, I had enough time to relentlessly test Pollen Knight to make sure that it was not only playable, but beatable as well. The trick in this game is not beating it, but in getting every pollen grain on the map in a single leap for the highest score multiplier. Every two or three levels, a new obstacle is introduced will hinder (or help) the player's progress. Really, the dust clouds were unexpectedly helpful at times when I needed to slow down my momentum.

Physics

Some of the maps are trickier than others, partly owing to the game's physics. The physics was a particular challenge, and is still not as tight as I would have liked it to be. I had to really fake it towards the end, no forces are really applied to the player until they lose contact with the stigma, and at that point collision between the stigma and player is ignored for a second to avoid the "grounded" state caused by contact between the two. It's playable and fairly consistant, but floaty and sometimes awkward. Perhaps I should have done the physics from scratch, rather than use rigidbodies.

Graphics

The flower was easy, I modeled it off of a picture of a tulip and slapped some textures on it in Blender, then baked it out. The background flowers are 2D billboards of the first flower, shot from multiple angles and placed beyond the camera's depth of field. The knight was… uh… a disappointment. I never modeled a human figure before in 3D, and still have never rigged or animated one. I used to do claymation back in high school, totally different process. With no concept art to go by, I just took some google images of medieval helmets and tried to create a cartoony guy from there. It could have been better. Because the art doesn't really communicate "knight" or even "armor", I feel that this part of the theme was not implemented well. I should have added some shield extra life power-ups!

Conclusion

Now that I think about it, Pollen Knight is the most sexually explicit game I've made so far. Tulip porn :) . My original idea that I spent Monday and Tuesday crafting was a FPS involving pollen monsters, a giant evil flower, and the protagonist in mechanized suit. However, I had already made first person games for my last few personal an publicly released prototypes. I wanted to try something side-scrolling for a change. I think the original idea would have turned out something like Under a Watchful Eye.

Regardless, Pollen Knight turned out to be a competent if simple item collecting game. It's another game for the portfolio, another thing to show graduate schools to demonstrate my ability to code, design, and create.

Yeah, so that project is done and I'm satisfied with the results. Now back to Against the Wall. This weekend I had to forgo the Mini Ludum Dare since I was too worn-out by the GPCv8. My sleep schedule is completely off too, I don't really sleep at night anymore! I'll be sure to go to rest early tomorrow. For those who are interested, I am currently working on adapting version a0.3 into a webplayer for wider distribution.

Posted in Game Prototype Challenge

Pollen Knight

Pollen KnightHere is my release of the Pollen Knight, a game made for the Game Prototype Challenge v8. The themes were "Armor" and "Pollination." I made the game in the span of five days, from Monday to Friday of this week.

In the game, you play as a tiny knight who struggles to collect pollen for the flower that he lives on. The style of the flower retracts like a spring when you press the down button while on top of it. Releasing the button launches the knight into the air to collect the stationary pollen grains. The game is score-driven with a multiplier that increases with every grain grabbed on a single leap. To get the highest score, the player needs to grab every grain on a single jump in each level.

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Posted in Game Builds, Game Prototype Challenge Tagged with: , , ,

My Second Pollen Knight Update

So work on the Pollen Knight continues. I realize that I went for a rather obvious game with this one. I mean, Armor+Pollination = Knight helping a plant pollinate. No matter. My other ideas were not nearly as good as this one. Basic game mechanics are implemented, including a marginally useful jump function, and fully working style/plunger functionality. Also, I've textured the flower and worked on my knight some more. I'm no artist, and have never done 3D human on the computer before. I think he came out okay, though he still needs a lot of work. I am dreading the creation of his walk cycle animation, and may just give him four frames like an old school 2D RPG. Anyway, here is a pic of the flower:


Posted in Uncategorized

My Game Prototype Challenge 8 Entry

I've been making a game for the Game Prototype Challenge v8 since Monday at noon. The themes for this competition have been "Armor" and "Pollination". So basically I have a week to make a game using these two themes. After a number of false starts on Monday, I've come up with a simple game called "Pollen Knight." Let me sketch the gameplay for you: It is 2D platformer in which you play as the titular knight, a very small fellow that lives on the stigma of a lily flower. When he crouches down on the stigma, it coils back like a spring, and when he releases the crouch, the stigma launches him into the air.

The Pollen Knight's job is to grab pollen grains from the air above the flower and bring them back to the stigma, thus pollinating the plant. There are obstacles in the air, small insects, dust motes, and the like, that impede the player's pollen gathering. The challenge is in gathering as many pollen grains as possible on a single leap and still landing safely back on the stigma. Levels should start out simple, slowly introducing game mechanics, challenges, and power-ups.

My work on the game will actually halt Friday night when the mini Ludum Dare starts. Yesterday was a day full of coding the basic game mechanics, while today I focused on the art. Tomorrow, I'll do textures, animation (hopefully), sound, and power-ups. Friday should be focused on level creation, for the most part, and wrapping things up. I may have another development post or two, so check back soon!

Posted in Uncategorized
I'm an independent developer and MFA at the NYU Game Center. I am currently making a few interesting games, such as Against the Wall and Asterisk.