Saturday, 11 December 2010

Walk with Jack


So, this took two hours to build a prototype that remains almost unchanged from what I released, but took a while to polish in the wee small hours where I should have been doing something more productive.

I am never sure if my little games are really experimental games -- they are not often concerned with testing a hypothesis, but more explorations of ideas in interaction, but this one related to a problem -- if you put a game on iPhone the finger gets in the way when you interact. The solution means that this game is best described through its mechanic -- 'What you can't see can't hurt you'. It made the Jay is Games Weekend Download last week, and has picked up some positive comments (and about 800 plays in just over a week, which is pretty good for me, if miniscule by internet standards)

It also relates to the act of seeing in games, that I have written about from an academic point of view, and is a game I had planned to make for a while now. Oddly enough the variant I am playing with at the moment, which is a mini adventure of stitched together scenes, is closer to the original intention, which owed a lot to Mr McGoo.

Anyway, a 13.4 Mb download for the original at either Gamejolt or YoYo

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Funny week last week. The children were away with grandma, and I had a bitty week of having to drop into work most days despite being technically off on leave. So I spent time playing with an idea until I could get it playable.

I guess I had been thinking about Lost in Static a little and I have always had a desire to make a flea circus game. I have a memory from childhood of Michael Bentine's Potty Time featuring dioramas with invisible protagonists moving (with footprints) across a sand table, but YouTube seems to imply I dreamed it all. And I have always had an interest in making games about games -- as the Pinball Panda games (and particularly Ultimate Toybox) make obvious, and an academic observation or two to make about the figure of the avatar and its visibility. So all this came together in making a game in which the avatar/protagonist is more or less invisible and which there is always a balance between movement and stillness. Bad guys and coins fade in and out depending on whether you are moving and, as with Lost in Static, it is hard to represent this with screenshots. I will try, however, with a level or two with more going on than most:

It has certainly gone beyond proof of concept, and I think does something new, but I can't seem to get anyone to play it, beyond colleagues forced at gunpoint. Another idea that fascinates me more than others, perhaps? It is available (for PC) at YoYo Games (where I entered it into a competition hoping that that would generate plays) and at GameJolt, and for intel Macs here. And there is a low quality YouTube video in the post below.

Audio isn't its strong point, but apart from that I think this is interesting.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Very low quality video, but this is a gameplay video of a little experiment in making a flea circus inspired game while I had a week mostly off work and the rest of the family was away.

It looks a hell of a lot better in reality, but I have never turned out an AVI or registered with YouTube before, so this is a learning experiment all around.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Pinball Panda: Ultimate Toy Box

So, I made a game at 480x272 (PSP screen size) for a competition. Possibly the only thing that has kept me sane over the last few months. UK Higher Education feels a little fraught at the moment, and I am now on the Dark Side and of management and can't just keep my head down and on my academic work. Anyway, this has been fun to make, for all its flaws, and I still fantasise (as the makers of Game Maker imply) that they might have a runner up so that I could see this running on a PSP. It is either that or get my head around Unity or Flixel. In all my spare time.

You can access it here, should you be so inclined. PC only, and you have to play at 480x272. Controls are Space and Arrow Keys. Esc quits to Windows.