Thursday, 19 April 2012

Channel the power of J.S. Bach

A couple of nights ago I was at a gathering at a friend’s place of residence, to test their newest Xbox Live Indie game. Whilst I had a quick stab at the game, I’d waited a little too long to take my turn and alcohol had made me unable to participate to a worthwhile degree…

Until we broke out Johann Sebastian Joust!

J.S. Joust is “a no-graphics, digitally-enabled folk game for 2 to 7 players”. Players stand in a circle, each holding a Playstation Move controller. When the game begins, the Move controllers light up and an assortment of pieces from J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concertos” begin to play – at this point players must attempt to waggle or knock their opponents Move controllers whilst keeping their own steady. The controllers are extremely sensitive, and the slightest sudden movement can end a player’s game. There’s a slight element of chaos where the sensitivity of the Move controller is tied to the music – as the music speeds up the sensitivity decreases allowing for more extravagant movements. It’s a game of last man standing – the last remaining player with an active Move controller wins the round.

I adopted a rather effective, yet creepy stance, prompting “child catcher” and other such slurs to be thrown my way – though nothing could sway me from victory!

Sure it can get a little rough, but as long as there’s some ground rules laid out before hand, nobody should lose an eye.

I’m not sure if many people are going to actually play this and it’s a damn shame, but I’m really not sure how many people actually own a Move controller, let alone 7!?

Anyway, it’s bloody good fun, especially with a good crowd and a few drinks. I fully recommend watching the developer for any future games of this ilk.

For more about J.S. Joust check here.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Started something…

I’ve been messing about in UDK familiarising myself with the interface again (it’s been a while since Wheelman).

I’m thinking I might try and make a simple single player level. Though I need to work out how to do something more interesting than “walk here” with the AI…


Obviously work in progress.

Is it me, or does the default UDK character seem awfully short?

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Kickstarter Post

I’m finding this Kickstarter thing rather exciting. I’ve donated just over $200 or so into projects so far and I’ve got my eye on a couple that are sure to further lighten my wallet. The thing is, it’s worth it. So far the majority of these projects are about bringing back the games of the past that got lost in the modern era. We’re talking old PC games; your Syndicates, Dungeon Keepers, Shadowruns, Fallouts… such games don’t have marketable value right now, (unless you turn them into first person shooters, heh). Kickstarter is fixing that (at least in the short term) and it’s most welcome.

Here are a couple I’ve been interested in and some that are probably worth a punt:

Oh, and there’s “Kicking It Forward”, a wee honour system , where if successful, participating Kickstarter projects will donate 5% of their funding to other Kickstarter projects. Pretty cool.

Give generously (before this bubble inevitably bursts)!

Monday, 9 April 2012

UDK Game: Day Seven

The UDK forums have been a great help. I’ve got the initial stages of the combat camera in place and managed to get a mouse cursor on screen – dayseven0I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a pain to get that mouse cursor controlling the player pawn, as all of the tutorials for doing so are horribly out of date. I think I’m going to need some programming support to get any further.

That doesn’t stop the paper and level design portion of the project though – that will continue whilst I try to get the support I need.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

2011 – Thanks for playing!

I’ve yet to comment on 2011 coming to a close, so I’ll do it now.

2011 was an interesting year - I learnt skills in areas I didn't even know were available to me, gained a lot of experience using multiple game engines/technology, and on top of that played a metric fuck tonne of games.

Unfortunately there were no releases from me/Ruffian in 2011 and there’s nothing I can talk about regarding future projects. That being said, Kinect Star Wars just saw its release, and I did a little bit of level design work on that.starwars_kashyyyk0 It seems to be getting average reviews from games press with some more favourable reviews from generalist media. The Internet is ablaze with talk of the dance mode – I think it’s rather amusing.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes...

Last year my plan was to finish a horror game each month - I failed miserably, but did manage to complete my other task, which was to finish the half-life anthology for the first time (wee write ups of these are linked below).

someplaceelse0On top of that, I managed to play some other Half-Life mods such as the rather special, “Someplace Else” – a mod that manages to make Xen fun (yes, it’s possible), and I finally got around to playing Portal, and bloody good it was too!

…which brings me to this year’s challenge; I’m going to play through Half-Life 2, both it’s episodes, and Portal 2. I plan to start some time next month.

A couple of quick thoughts…

  • Loving online games (Gotham City Impostors, Killzone 3)
  • Loving my iPad (the GTA III port is great)
  • Loving cheap games on Steam (especially the Christmas offers)
  • Loving my Playstation Vita (Lumines is akin to crack)
  • Not loving my Nintendo 3DS (but Resident Evil: Revelations is great)
  • Loving LoveFilm (catching up on old classics)
  • Not loving Netflix (but the anime selection is worth the subscription)

I’m currently developing a UDK game under the amusing working title of “Shootan”, updates can be found via the label here.

UDK Game: Day Six

Hello world.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

UDK Game: Day Five

I’ve found some good tutorials that go some way to achieving what I want out of a camera system, so I’m getting Visual Studio Express set up with nFringe.

In the meantime I’ve been writing some characters as well as planning how I’m going to present story and dialogue in such an action heavy game with so few resources (no voice actors = text based dialogue). It’s all the fun of fleshing out the high level design.

Slow progress is still progress.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

UDK Game: Day Four

dayfour0I’m still reading up on how to get the camera working the way I’d like - so no progress there, however I’ve come up with a good amount of mechanics and features.

On paper at least there’s some elements of Gears of War, your typical dungeon crawler and a little Panzer Dragoon sprinkled on top for good measure. In a weird kinda way I’m designing something not too dissimilar to the new Kid Icarus title. Though obviously a great deal more violent (it’s me, remember).

There won’t be much progress for the next day or two as it’s my birthday, I’m going to be 27.

Epic sad face.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

UDK Game: Day Three

I’ve made a significant amount of progress on the narrative for “Shootan”. I’ve got a rough story and plot laid out, as well as a good idea of how daythree0many characters I’m going to need to write/make.

The story takes influence from a lot of Japanese media including Evangelion, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII and VIII which will juxtapose nicely against the rather Western mechanics I have planned.

I’ll need to get back to working out the camera system in UDK. Lots and lots of reading.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

UDK Game: Day Two

Second day on “Shootan” and I’ve gone back to the drawing board. Simply using and tweaking source code just isn’t going to cut it. I need to gain a greater understanding before I deserve further results.

In any down time (between reading) I’ve been nailing down the design for “Shootan” - something which has helped my search for answers in regards to learning Unreal Script. I might not know “how”, but I at least know “what”, which helps me work out “where”.

It’s time for Noonan to do lots of reading.

Monday, 2 April 2012

UDK Game: Day One

Today is my first day at attempting to create my own game from scratch in UDK. I’m dubbing this effort, “Shootan”.

I don’t really have much pure code experience, but have a little experience with text based scripting whilst working on the duel mode for Kinect Star Wars - I’m hoping that will be enough to carry me.

It’s rather difficult knowing where to start. The UDK documentation whilst extremely useful, is scattered about all over the place and assumes a goo knowledge to begin with.

…all I’ve managed to do so far is dump a guy in a level with a custom camera angle.


Sleep time.