TIGSource Assemblee rundown

Assemblee

I have finally managed to play all of the other 72 entries in the TIGSource Assemblee competition … Well, I managed to play the ones that started on my machine. Some really good games in there, and some real diversity in the innovations provided. While a lot of the games have already garnered attention outside of TIGSource, I would like to mention two of the games I personally liked a lot.

Tiny Crawl by Sparky is a very simple flash-based dungeon crawler. Deceptively simple, actually, as I didn’t even think about sinking an hour into it. A great diversion.

Mr. Kitty’s Quest by pgil is an action-heavy zelda-like game with mouse aiming. A solid experience enjoyable from start to end.

Posted on Jan 24/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »

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Backworld

The deadline for the second part of Assemblee has passed, me and a buddy from work submitted a game we call Backworld. Early reactions have been positive, but as always the competition is stiff – I have yet to play any of the other games but I am looking forward to doing it sometime in the next few days.

Backworld is a puzzle-platformer featuring a rabbit, with the twist that the world always consists of two layers. Each layer has a separate set of physics and the player can use the mouse to paint on the screen to decide what layer should be used at what position in order to progress. I do not really have the patience for things like animation so the competition rules – that we were only allowed to use content from part one – did not really bother me personally at all. The timeframe more so, it felt like even though the original idea was interesting and fun to work with a few months more of experimentation, polish and weeding out the levels that just didn’t work would have made a huge difference. Of course it is always hard to produce something in a limited time, when you encounter something that works okay but not as well as you’d hoped you have to make the tough decision of either throwing it away and risk having a game without content or polishing it up and risk having a game of varying or all-out mediochre quality. In Backworld we mostly opted for the “keep and polish” solution in order to see how people reacted to different kinds of challenges, time will tell if this was a good idea.

And who knows, we might even keep working on it and make something better.

Download Win32

Download OSX

Development thread

Posted on Jan 11/10 by Saint and filed under Homegrown | No Comments »

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IGF 2010 Finalists

Have been announced. Very few playable versions among the finalists, sadly, so it’s hard to make any guesses at this point. Again it’s nice to see Limbo pop up, and the fact that it was nominated for a technical excellence award makes me anxious to see what it’s really about. It’s also nice to see Heroes of Newerth get some recognition as a game of it’s own, hopefully this will silence some of the zealots claiming it to be a bad DotA ripoff.

Posted on Jan 04/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »

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Less obvious than last

Again, it feels good to be a rebel. But I digress. Games to honor, and all that.

Spelunky, for a lot of reasons. My main point would be the balance between what’s expected and what’s randomized, and how the randomized parts feels interesting every time. You always know what you’re after, but you have no idea of what you’ll have to encounter to get there. For years the commercial gaming industry have been pursuing different multiplayer modes as means to prolong the lifetime of a game, Yu’s take on procedural content might just provide an alternative to that.

┬áPersona 4, for sticking to its guns. Looking too deep into academia and (ironically) into reviewers’ opinions, it is easy to discern certain things that should guarantee a game being bad. There are many things about Persona 4 that I dislike, but they certainly helped make the things I did like about it feel like an achievement to get to – design by tedium might not be a wholly bad thing.

Uncharted 2 for the exact opposite reason. Making a game that does just about everything right from a technical and academically sound point of view does not make it enjoyable, apparently.

A decennium has come to an end, and for the first time of the three new decennia I have seen I feel like the Uggla song is an appropriate way of entering it. On the other hand, it might just be because I had not heard it at any of the other shifts. The future will tell.

Posted on Jan 01/10 by Saint and filed under Meta-blog, Reflections | No Comments »