One Game a Quarter

I’ve gone through a major shift in direction, professionally. I’m now working full-time as a game programmer at Undead Labs. I love what I do at work and the people I work with.

Looking back on my #1GAM experiments, I’m left with a love for all the things I learned and how much I pushed myself out of my box to build them. I learned to finish and ‘ship’ projects, scoping to the point where I could get them out the door. A negative, in my mind, was the need to scope down to something that could be completed in one month. That often left limited the scope of what I could pursue and how far I could push each idea.

I’m going to try something new this year – one game per quarter. I’d like to explore them to a stage beyond just having something down on paper. In addition, I’m hoping that this experiment will teach me to apply the same approach at a broader scale.

Let’s do this.

Obedience Trainer Pro 2013 (June #1GAM) completed!

Obedience Trainer Pro 2013 has been completed and submitted for your consumption!

Logo:
Logo

I really like where this one landed. It’s a cool play on AI and how interaction between entities could be handled in a sim environment. I like that you don’t directly control the interaction, you only get to reward or correct behaviors. There’s something interesting here that could be applied on a broader scale in something else down the line.

Early on this month, I went after a top-down graphical city generator, and landed on something cool, but it just wasn’t adding much to the idea. I ended up abandoning it for the text based approach, and I think that lends itself well to the idea – it reminds me of Zork and the like that would play in my youth.

New Dog:
NewDog

City:
Neighborhood

Results:
TrainingComplete

Check it out and let me know what you think!

I may try something different next month to change it up – revisiting an old idea could be fun.

Obedience Trainer Pro 2013 (June #1GAM)

Today, I started work on my June #1GAM. I kicked off brainstorming around Education, the optional theme for the month.

I landed on dog obedience training as the game to pursue.

Here’s a quick mockup:
Logo

I’m going to go lo to hi-fi this month. To that end, I’ll start with a simple text based sim and layer in the graphics on top once it’s fun.

Stay tuned…

Pixel Rick’s Home Builders (May #1GAM) released!

I’ve finished Pixel Rick’s!

Here are some shots:
The main menu:
1_menu
The hood:
2_someAction
Furnishing a house:
8_furnishIt
Finished house:
10_allDone
Another house:
5_houseDetails
Offers pouring in:
13_offersPouringIN

It turned out to be a fun little management sim to work on.

I like…
I like the feeling of laying out houses.
I like the way the offers come in from perspective buyers.
I love the pixel look.

I dislike…
I dislike the balance, I really wish there was more to progression and end game.
I dislike that there aren’t competitors, I would love AI builders.
I dislike that I only landed one lot style and a limited set of customization.

Check it out here.

Check out streams here.

May #1GAM – Pixel Rick’s Home Builders (pixel based home builder simulator)

Pixel Rick’s is my May #1GAM!

It started out of the idea of generating a city and quickly turned into player created one. It’s definitely building on the minimal theme from last month, but also taking in some of the pixel art experiments I’ve been conducting lately. Think of it somewhere between dwarf fortress and minecraft (2d!).

Buying Furniture:
House_Furniture

Completed House:
House_FinishedRooms

This is definitely my most ambitious game, but I’m building on my LD26 success to kick it into high gear. The build that is posted represents about 15 hours of work this weekend. I’m pushing to get another 25 in before publishing.

Play it here.

Watch it get made here.

Pixel Art: continued…

Decided to take a crack at the pixel of the day challenges by Noble Kale (http://noblekale.com/zone/node/336).

First one: 2 cats, 2 rats, 1 bowl of food.
01_cats_rats_foodbowl

Second one: 2 demons, 2 beasts, 1 variant.
02_demons_beasts_alternate

This is a cool little exercise and will help me get used to making pixel art!