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Friday, February 27, 2009

A Wonderful Day

Today was a glorious day. I haven't posted anything for a little while and my understanding is that's looked down on, so here are some things to read.

1- I discovered a coffee shop that's in a great location and serves some really rich coffee. Stoked to visit there a little more.

2- My friend, we'll call him Josh, has been really down on himself lately and pretty lonely. Luckily I took Josh down to the mall today and talked him into approaching a girl we saw reading manga in a Borders, and he got her cell number which is great news for Josh. He says he hasn't been happier in weeks.

3- Picked up some cool stuff for myself! I got a nifty Watchmen poster, and a couple new games... Okami for the Wii and Odin Sphere for the PS2. Can't wait to play either one, might give a full review here at some point.

And Yellow Goo Love has been going smoothly, too, for those who are curious. So far I have about 30 levels designed out of a goal 50. Coming up with fun levels can be a bit difficult, but hopefully if all goes well the game will also have a Level Creator designed by my buddy Brod so you guys can keep the fun going.

I'm hoping to finish the game by April, but, who knows.


I found another Let's Play Assassin Blue, and I found this also to be full of much hilarity.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yellow Goo Love Update

It's been a little while since I talked about Yellow Goo Love, eh?

The truth is for a while I was stuck in a rut. I ended up spending too much time trying to polish the game and fix bugs rather than design new levels, and eventually each time I came to work on the game I'd end up quitting in frustration over something I couldn't get just right. Luckily, I think I've polished it to the point now where I'm ready to move forward a little more.

I don't think I've talked much about the concept yet, either. In the game, you use a mouse to launch around an elastic ball of goo that drips and splatters every time it hits stuff. The control and movement feels really physics-based, but the levels are all designed as very short platforming puzzles.

Basically the game's main focus is really gimmicky, short levels that make use of a large variety of different mechanics. As you play the game you'll face a really constant stream of new level pieces, but only in bite-sized bits. It's kind of like the game has ADD. You also have the option of browsing through levels with the left and right arrow keys, so you can beat levels in whatever order you feel like, perhaps skipping ones you're stuck on. It's very casual in that way.

And here are some screenies for those who are curious...

In a blue zone, you can jump even while midair... essentially giving you limitless freedom of motion.

In this level, you have to time your way through the razors which open and close at regular intervals.

The black line extended from the circular blocks spins around and around like a really fast clock hand; you can attach yourself onto it by jumping onto it, then launch yourself by clicking again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

4 Games That Defined My Childhood

Here's another blog post! I've actually had a rough draft of this floating around for a couple weeks. Sorry if this one isn't interesting to you guys, but if that's the case, let me know and I can avoid similar topics in the future...


So, I've been playing video games since I was a young chap. Here are 4 games that had a large impact on me back in the day.

Super Smash Bros.

Big adventure games were cool, but Smash Bros. managed to single-handedly control 90% of my social life. I grew to be extremely competitive and would play for hours on end--daily--so that I could hold my title as #1 smasher. It's just ridiculously fun--and I've developed a lot of strong friendships out of it. Not only that, but it introduced me to many game series that I later grew to love-- the Mother series in particular, but also Star Fox, Metroid and F-Zero.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Donkey Kong 64 was what got me started playing 3D games, but Ocarina was the first one that really captured my imagination. Some kids grew up on cool movies or cool TV characters or cool comic-book stories, but I'd go so far as to say that Link was one my heroes that I grew up with. The adventures told in this game were just so epic and large-scale... I even dressed up as link one year for halloween when I was a kid.

Pokemon Blue Version

This game was so addicting, it was like they put crack in the GameBoy buttons. I really couldn't get enough of the Pokemon games, despite loathing the show with a passion. The great thing about the Pokemon games was their combination of basic RPG tactics with a great deal of the player's creativity; there were a ridiculous number of different unique pokemon, each with bottomless possibilities in what attacks they'd utilize, so that every one's elite team of 6 pokemon was radically different, and that was awesome. I had a lot of fun starting a new game, planning out who my 6 would be... and although not as significant in Smash Bros. in establishing my circle of friends, it did give me a new way to connect with a lot of people.

Super Mario Land

The story of how I came to play Super Mario Land is the story of how I grew to love video games. Some kids asked their parents to get them their first video games, some kids' parents already had videogames and got their kids into it. My very first taste of video gaming was when my mom won a GameBoy Pocket in some magazine competition by total chance... she hadn't actually tried to enter it or anything, but she got the gameboy and had no idea what to do with it except give it to me. My encounter with videogames wasn't something anybody had ever previously considered or thought of; it was fate. The GameBoy came with 3 titles: Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle, Tetris Plus, and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

And those games kept me busy for a while, actually. But one day I was browsing a friend's bin of old games when I found Super Mario Land. I didn't realize it was a prequel to a game I already had, though I did notice the lower quality graphics and sound. What I did see in it was much more exciting level design and simpler, more intuitive play mechanics; this was my first true Mario game, and I was hooked. I traded Wario for Mario in a heartbeat, and today I'm proud of myself for seeing past the glitz and recognizing a better game, even if it was older. Nowadays when I look back, I realize that those are the same ideas I bring in today, now that I'm designing games.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm on Bytejacker!


For those who don't know Bytejacker is a weekly video weblog about indie games (and a big deal!) Every week they select 3 games who compete for votes to be indie game of the week. And I'm in it!

Each and every vote would mean a lot! Many thanks!