#1GAM = one game a month!

This year McFunkyPants has set up the “One Game A Month” challenge, the idea being to finish a game every month for a whole year!

Notice I said “finish a game”, not “make a game”. Starting is, after all, a lot more easy than finishing. Hopefully this challenge will serve as impetus for me to finish some of the numerous half-finished projects I’ve got lying around. Here is my #1GAM profile.

So far I’ve managed to January and February… well, the February game still has a few bugs and needs a little polish – shh, don’t tell Christer Kaitila! It’s March now, so a third game is already in the works: a Roguelike :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfTTYqd-Nx8]

January: “Disquiet”

My university years are drawing to a close, but one last mini-project had be messing around with interactive sound and music using FMOD. I came up with a little demo horror game called “Disquiet”: your character needs to escape from an invisible monster whose presence can only be detected through sound.

DisquietThe game also features my first ever music track, which I’m actually rather proud of :)

February: “XX13: Pace Breaker”

Pace Breaker is an extension of our GGJ game XX13 – a game very similar to Spy Party and Hidden in Plain Sight, especially the latter. Although we managed to build a working real-time server and client architecture using technology we weren’t very familiar with, the gameplay didn’t get a lot of attention. We didn’t really have time!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A51OHIsoafc]

The idea of the game is for a bunch of hidden hackers to take down as many AI civilians as possible before they are discovered. They do this by interacting with the civilians (hacking them), something civilians also do periodically with each-other. As a result the only way the opposing team can identify the hackers is thanks to their human heart-beat.

This month I changed a number of things to improve on the original, 48-hour, build:

  • hacking takes a lot longer than a ‘normal’ interaction, so serves as another tell,
  • Z-ordering and character shadows to give the scene and illusion of depth,
  • Death animations and sound effects,
  • Corpses appear to provide feedback (did I kill a hacker or a robot?),
  • A new character sprite for the police character,
  • Police don’t shoot immediately, but rather must lock-on for a few seconds,
  • Giant explosion when the police shoot their target!

The graphics as a whole were given a considerable overhaul. Here’s the 48-hour version:

XX13 (48 hour version)

And here’s the improved version:

XX13: Pace Breaker (improved version)Trying to build on rushed network code is not a pleasant experience, and I’m still struggling to get the game to reset nicely without manually rebooting the server and reconnecting.

That said I think it’s useful to finish what you’ve started, if only because you learn different lessons at the beginning and the end of a project: if you never finish anything you’re missing out on a lot of lessons you might potentially have learnt, even if you’re stopping because “I’ve learnt so much, next time will be better…”

This month I’ll be working on an unconventional Roguelike game with a very talented artist called Hannes and Kevin who I worked with for XX13. I think it’ll be a lot of fun :)

 

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