Bacon and Games

Tag: prototype (page 1 of 3)

What Do We Do Now and 1GAM

What Do We Do Now? is a short puzzle game made in 48 hours for the 2015 Global Game Jam. It also happens to occupy the January slot of my new “One Game a Month” experiment (more on that below). I very much enjoyed working on WDWDN and so far I’ve been getting positive and useful feedback from a wide range of players.

 

You can play What Do We Do Now? via this link and if you’d like to leave feedback please do so in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

So What’s Next?
One Game a MonthWhile I intend to explore a deeper and longer version of What Do We Do Now?, my current  focus right is rapid prototyping. Making a game is a big time commitment and so choosing the right project is paramount. Producing many tiny prototypes (like this one) before you saddle yourself with an 18 month workload  is a great way to suss out the best concept to pursue.

 

To that end, I’ve decided to take part in Christer Kaitila’s website, onegameamonth.com (1GAM) , which is exactly what it sounds like… a challenge to create one game each month. But more than a challenge, it’s a framework and a community that supports your doing so.

 

1GAM helps game developers to stay on track by dangling XP and achievements in front of them. It’s a well known fact that people like to-do lists and progress bars, so in that regard the site works as a motivational tool. Though while that’s all well and good from a Pavlovian perspective, what I appreciate more about 1GAM is the group mentality the site cultivates. There’s this “we’re all in it together” feeling you get from participating in 1GAM and that, for me, is far more valuable than collecting badges or marching an XP progress bar across the screen (which I’ll admit are also both things that have a marked affect on me as well… *blush*).

 

The site encourages you to share you work with peers, to comment on and support each others’ efforts, to take risks, to embrace imperfection for the sake of discovery and to level up via XP (which is really a proxy for the inevitable personal growth that happens when you keep up with the challenge). One Game a Month is a safe place for veterans and first-timers alike to grow individually and as a community, side by side. Strength in numbers, right? (10k+ strong as of this writing) And to top off this hug-fest, the whole experience is wrapped in a wonderfully positive vibe that, frankly, this industry and the world at large needs a lot more of.

 

Whether you’re new to game development or a veteran of multiple decades, I urge you to give One Game a Month a look. It’s definitely one of my new favorite corners of the web.

 

On and if you’re still reading, please check out What Do We Do Now? as well.

OK, so the title needs work.

This is a game I was prototyping a few years ago, back when I was playing around with Flixel. It was inspired by a Ludum Dare game done by Adam Saltsman (creator of Flixel) called Grave Robbers as well as Super Crate Box. There’s also a dash of Lemmings in here, but rather than idiot-proofing the world you’re “controlling” the cute, fuzzy animals as well as elements within the level in hopes of getting them into the right buckets.

As each level progresses, different traps come online meaning you always have to keep an eye out for new things looking to off your critters. It plays a little goofily with the mouse but the concept was originally intended for a touch interface.

This game, as well as Collect Coins. Don’t Die. (from One Game a Week), touches on a this idea I keep coming back to… this idea that rather than moving through a game that gets progressively more difficult you’d stay put in an ever-changing, evolving room. I will probably do something with it on a larger scale some day, but it’s fun to see a piece of that larger concept in these quick protos.

Not shown in this video is the ability to feed each animal their respective food (e.g. carrots -> bunny) to get them to wait a few seconds while they eat. You could also combine like animals by jumping one onto another.

This is an old prototype I built in Flixel that I didn’t end up pursuing. It resurfaced recently as the seed of an idea for Week 1 of my One Game a Week challenge. It’s a concept I believe that if fully explored could be a lot of fun. I might revisit this idea one day but for now it’s more than served its purpose as a vehicle for exploring both Flixel and Unity.

One Game a Week – Week 2

N.Y.A.T.G. (Not Your Average Typing Game) – Week 02 Done.

I focused on learning how to work with SpriteRenderers, nest GameObjects, use iTween and a few other essentials. The concept was designed to support some of the former, but I also made an effort to design a game that I wouldn’t normally or that I didn’t think would be any fun because, well, why not?

I’m not saying this game is “fun” but I’m surprised at how fun it is considering. Ultimately these “One Game a Week” experiments are really more like “One Game a 10 Hours”, which is why I didn’t get to any audio, but hey the experiment marches forward.

Play N.Y.A.T.G. here

Collect Coins. Don’t Die. Week one of the One Game a Week challenge is down. I spent the week learning Unity and getting the game dev essentials figured out. So far I love it.

It’s hard to leave something so unfinished, so unpolished, so under-explored but I think it’s good for me. I can already see the benefit of touching on an idea and moving on. For one, dwelling on a concept doesn’t necessarily improve your skills or thinking… it just refines a game that may not even be worth spending time on. I suspect that after churning through a bunch of games the ones that remain interesting might reveal which ones ARE worth spending time on.

Play Collect Coins. Don’t Die. here.

I may come back and put some thoughts down about this concept, but for now… on to Week Two!

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