My idea this month was a racing game where you don’t directly control the car, but tell it what to do, then watch it go – somewhat like Frozen Synapse. I mentioned a couple of the ideas behind it a little while ago.
It’s still very rough, but I’ve uploaded a playable (download) version here. (Alas, I haven’t figured-out how to get applets to work yet.) I’d really appreciate it if you could give it a go, and tell me what you think, either in the comments below, or on Twitter.
To play, you adjust the two sliders, the top one being steering, and the lower one is acceleration – forward and reverse. When you’re happy, click ‘Go’. The car will move for a second, then you can give it new orders.
The current track is pretty dull, and there are other things I’d like to add – AI players would be good, as would some nicer graphics. We’ll have to see how much I can get done by the end of the month!
This week, two things have come-up on twitter: Games played through twitter, and farming as a mechanic. I thought the two make a good match: farming involves a lot of waiting an inaction, and a twitter game shouldn’t need constant input! So, here’s some of my ideas:
- You have a certain number of ‘plots’, starting with just one or two. Each plot is an empty field with nothing planted. You can buy additional plots if you have enough money.
- You choose what to plant in each plot.
- Time is accelerated somehow, as waiting a year for something to be harvestable would be really boring! Perhaps one real-life week per in-game month.
- There’s some sort of weather simulation – if it’s dry, you might have to water crops to stop them dying.
- More drastic weather conditions can occur too – floods and droughts. Also, insect infestations and crop diseases.
- There’s a basic economical simulation based on supply and demand. Demand randomly varies over time, and supply is based on how many other players are selling a specific crop.
- You can perform one action per day, such as irrigating a field, or spraying with pesticide, or fertiliser. For additional actions, you need to hire workers which cost money per day.
The idea is something that you can spend 5 minutes on a day, and make gradual progress.
I had intended to complete Disco Dungeon in February. Then, I intended to complete it in March. It is still not done.
This month, I just haven’t managed to complete a game. It’s a bit disappointing – I attempted to create something quick near the end of March, to not miss a month, but trying to create something in only a few days was too stressful. I started and gave-up on two projects.
I think part of my problem is that I don’t want to create the sort of things that are easily doable in a month with plenty of time for polish. Breakout, or space invaders, or whatever. I feel I have to create new, exciting things, and they have to be polished. It doesn’t take a genius to realise you can’t fit a multi-moth project in a single month. And to make matters worse, I have a lot of ‘off’ days, when the depression or the withdrawal from medication mean I don’t get anything done.
ANYWAY! I have made some progress on Disco Dungeon – you can select a song from your computer to play, and… some other things that have slipped my mind. (I should blog more often…) It’s not really a game yet though, as you have no way to heal except pressing ‘h’ as a test of the healing and status-effects code. You can’t win, just lose by dying to monsters. Still, I’m making it public now because I think I’ll switch to a different project in April, try and actually finish something, or at least get the idea out there as a prototype.
Download Disco Dungeon (10.3MB, Executable Java file, should hopefully run on Win/Mac/Linux, by downloading you agree not to hold me responsible for any damage this incomplete game may cause to your computer, but it never creates any files so it should be safe.)
This is basically just me brainstorming and wanting to keep this for future reference – I thought I might as well make it public in case somebody else was interested.
Lots of car customisability – being able to buy replacements for each individual part. Each component has randomised stats, and you can tune them to reroll them slightly, depending on your mechanic skill.
Components also individually receive damage, and have to be repaired or will eventually break.
In this way, the ‘permadeath’ comes from finances – if you total your car and can’t afford to replace it, you’re stuck!
I’m undecided whether you would actually be the driver, or would hire one. If you have to hire one, then you’d need to pay them, and rely on sponsorship deals and prize money. Randomly, they might upset the sponsors with a bad publicity event, based on their stats.
If you do drive the car yourself, it might be interesting to have racing be turn-based. Each step, you adjust steering and acceleration/braking, then see how these decisions play out. Perhaps the permadeath in this case would be actual death from crashing?
EDIT: It’s now playable on GameJolt here! With scores, and everything!
OK, not actually a sequel – but as I was way out of time for February’s 1GAM entry, I spent today adding some polish to Heinous Yak Destruction and putting it on Kongregate. Mostyly, this involved adding more building variety.
Unfortunately, the high scores are broken on Kong, because they’re having some issues with their server code… but I’m working on getting it on GameJolt as well – it’s taking more time than I expected, as there are a whole bunch of things to fill-in and link-up! And a whole different API to look through.
So, yeah, you can play the new version on Kongregate.com! And soon GameJolt.com, and hopefully high scores will work on both shortly!
The 1GAM optional theme for this month is ‘sound’, and I’ve wanted to do something generative based on audio for a while. So, a dungeon crawler where the genre of the mp3 file the player gives it determines the theme of the game. Western/country music would produce a game set in the Wild West. Rap of hiphop would be set in a city. Chiptunes and electronica would result in a neon, tron-like world.
This is potentially a crazy amount of content. The content for each theme will be stored in its own directory, with a tilesheet, entities sheet, and json files that define what enemies there are and how they behave. That way, potentially I can release a barebones game this month on desktops, and next month release an Android version, with more themes. (And adding these to the desktop version too.) I can do an Android version pretty easily because I’m using Java with libGDX. It’s pretty cool!
Unfortunately, I’ve had a bit of a slow start, but today, I finally have a 2d grid where you can walk around (smoothly sliding between grid locations) and a bunch of rooms placed, based on the mp3 file. No collisions, rooms aren’t connected, etc, but it’s finally starting to take shape!
WHOOOOOOOO! It’s the very last day of January, and MeteorBike (previously ‘Meteor Strike’, but there’s already a flash game with that name) is ready to play!
There are things about it I’m not completely happy with, but that is the nature of deadlines. It feels good to get a complete game out though!
Play it on Kongregate
I’ve switched over to working on Meteor Strike for 1GAM as it’s almost complete, and Goblin Fortress needs a lot more time. Last week I fixed some issues and gave the player a nice rotating biker sprite. Today I tried making music, realised it was harder than I expected, and found some on http://incompetech.com instead. That’s all in, after some confusing issues where one track wouldn’t play and had to be reencoded.
Still all the sounds to do, and menu graphics. And probably other things. I’m kind-of hoping to get it on flash game license, but I’m not sure if that’s a waste of time.
Today: More streaming! Whooo!
Worked on the world map some more. There are now little villages, with randomised names and population counts. You get a pop-up box when you hover over one. It’s all pretty rough-looking at the moment though – polish will come later.
Goblin Fortress was my entry to the recent Ludum Dare 25 contest. I didn’t finish the game in the time limit, but I got some pretty positive feedback for it, so it makes sense to continue it! So it will be my January game for One Game A Month.
I only just had the opportunity to begin it today. I streamed an hour and a half of development this morning, which was fun! Mostly it was planning out what to include. I did begin on the ‘world map’ screen which will be used to send out raiding parties, though.
The current state of the game is always available on Github, if you want to take a look. In particular, there’s a todo list on there.