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Archive for March, 2010

[game sales] Torchlight for five bucks!

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Yummm! Steam’s Weekend Deal is Torchlight! Grab it now for only five bucks! This has been on my watch list since it’s release. It’s a really, really great RPG. It honestly feels like a modern Diablo. So it will keep you at bay until Diablo three is finally released. But Torchlight isn’t a copy cat, it has plenty of nifty features such as retiring old characters and using them for new ones. There’s tons of content here so five bucks is a steal! The only downer is that there is no multi-player support, but Runic games has stated that their next project is an MMO version of Torchlight. Thankfully it will be free to play, but with in game items that can be purchased with real cash. I’m already looking forward to it!

[lonely pixel news]Little/No updates for about a month

March 24, 2010 2 comments

Unfortunately I’m moving to a new home within the next month, so I need my free time to pack and move. I’m putting Arrow Followers and this blog down the priority list as a result.

But so I don’t leave on such a negative note, I’ve finished the white unit’s skills (really need names) and begun work on the blue unit’s as well as items. I was also playing around with EXP drops instead of automatically earning EXP for kills..but with the number of zombies on screen, the EXP drops look to cluttered. I’m probably going to stick with the current system, unless I come up with something better.

I also had a small conversation with Alex Vostrov about where my game is heading. He brought up a good point that I SHOULD know where my game is going. Though I have all of the features (and possible features) sketched and written on paper as well as stored in my mind, I don’t know where I plan to go with this game. From the start it has been a free flowing project with the hope that it will be something cool. But it adds a little mystery to the development so I can keep my self interested.

Anyways, I’ll post when I can.

Categories: lonely pixel news

Desktop Dungeons/Dungeon Crawl

March 18, 2010 1 comment

Desktop Dungeons is a short and sweet rouge-like. As most games of the genre, it has randomly generated maps but also contains unlocked-able classes and challenges to keep this game in your play list. But unlike most rouge-likes, this one doesn’t take ages to complete, which sets it out from the rest. It also supports custom tile sets, in fact, Derek Yu released his to the public.

[original, full-sized]

Desktop dungeons was inspired by another, much lengthier and in depth rouge-like called Dungeon Crawl. If your a hardcore dungeon crawler who loves tons of tasty features, check this one out too. Just be prepared to spend a night learning the ropes.

Gaming Classics: Interactive Fiction

March 16, 2010 4 comments

Interactive Fiction games, or IF games, started the genre that we know today as adventure. IF games were originally text based (I say originally because modern ones have some graphic elements), relying on storyline/plot rather than graphics and game play. The best of the best of these text based games was Infocom. They started the who genre with the game series called Zork, which can be downloaded for free from their website. There has been many other companies that have created IF games, even to this day.

I’ve been quite addicted to these games and wanted a way to bring them with me. I happen to own a Black Berry, so I did some research and found this. It’s lacking a few features and the text sometimes gets scrambled, but its well worth trying out.

But definitely check out one of the many original IF games!

[arrow followers] white unit’s skills finished

March 14, 2010 2 comments

I really should name the units, rather, the heroes. It’s starting to become cumbersome referring to them as their color and number.

Anyways, the only reason I did the white one first was because he has the healing skill which I found to be very important. While adding the skills I’ve noticed how imbalanced this game will become if I don’t start thinking through some more things. I’m going to finish the skills for all of the units first before I do that.

Categories: Uncategorized

[arrow followers] 03/08/10

March 8, 2010 3 comments

So once again (and probably the last time) I took the time in class today to work on Arrow Followers since I had finished my film. It was mostly bug fixes but I tweaked the sprites a bit too. I also worked on the “cave” theme a bit.

But more importantly, I got my idea’s under control; I created a development board. Rather…I finally organized it. Now I can visually see what I need to do and where I need to go. I’d post a picture but it would take a lot of explaining. Just know I’m going to be more organized! =D

What Makes Indie Games Indie

March 8, 2010 1 comment

So why exactly are indie games you ask? Why are they different than main stream games? Well here’s a little information about the video game industry.

There are four levels of production to get a game from an idea to a store’s shelves:

Developer – Blizzard, Naughty Dog

The developer(s) can be one person or a team of X amount of people that actually get their hands dirty. They come up with the idea, plan out development, create graphics, program the game, etc. This is where all you programmers and artists are, where all the fun takes place! But also means living off spam and rice until your game is done.

Publisher – EA, Valve

After a developer comes up with the idea, they create some sort of demo to pitch to a Publisher. The publishers pick and choose games that they believe will sell. Publishers pretty much have control over a game because they are the ones paying the developers because the developers need the money to keep making their game. They also need the people who can get their game out on store shelves.

Manufacturer – Sony, Microsoft

The manufacturers create the mediums that games are played; computers/consoles/handhelds. Developers have to to spend big bucks on prototype or developer versions of the consoles (much often the same now-a-days except for a few jumper pins for debugging) in order to develop on the systems. Though for computers, you can start right away, as long as you have one and the write software! Manufacturers also regulate the games on their systems (once again except PC, unless your talking about digital distributing platforms like Steam. In that case Valve has the say on what games go on their storefront.) and create the CDs, ROM carts, and what not that gamers buy.

Licenses – NBA, Pokemon, Halo

This plays a major role in getting the game out there. A baseball game would hardly make it out of the shipping box at the store if it didn’t have an NBA logo. You often have to pay big bucks to acquire popular licenses, but it almost guarantees your game will sell because gamers will recognize the label.

And that’s how most main steam games are produced. Keep in mind, some companies combine all four steps under one roof, so they have in house development teams and what not. Which costs less but ends up creating less motivated employees.

So what do indie games do that are different? Well its often just the development team doing everything. Now that may sound like the fore mentioned paragraph but indie developers do it different.

Indie equals independent. Solo. Alone. With no help.  They create their game by them selves, with a friend, or a relatively small team that are dedicated to their vision. They promote their own game and sell it using services like PayPal eliminating the need of a publisher. But this also eliminates their paychecks, so everything comes out of their own pocket, aside from donations and sales later on. Most indie games are found on the PC/Mac so they don’t really need a manufacturer to create hardware or CDs/ROM carts, everything is digitally distributed.

But there have been so-called indie games on consoles and platforms like Steam. Are they indie games? Well that’s been quite a controversial topic, because in reality, they are getting help with sales and promotion. Everything is just handled differently. So some people say they aren’t indie games, some say they are.

But personally, indie games stand out in the industry because they aren’t the same formula used in hundreds of other games on the market; murder simulators, button mashers, etc. They often use the good ‘ole classic genres with retro graphics or some totally new game mechanic with hand drawn sprites. But when it all comes down to it, indie games are intuitive and original games that leave an impact on your mind.

But that’s what I just define as indie.