Home stretch to the playable demo!

The last gameplay video I showed of Gonna Catcha was kind of boring since it only showed the game at it’s easiest (since I only wrote the round data for the first few rounds). Yesterday, I uploaded a new video showing the latest version of the game played at a moderate level of difficulty, moderate-hard for the bonus rounds: 
Some changes since the last video:
  • All the pretas (“ghosts”) are now in action, each with their own unique behaviours:
The Hungry Ghost will seek out and consume any items it finds.  If not, then it will just wander around the maze aimlessly.
The Vagrant Ghost prioritizes shelter over hunger.  It slowly drags itself towards the shelter or jail.  Once it gets there, it will enter the shelter/jail and scare away/release two spirits (who go back into reserve), disappear for a while, then respawn to repeat the process.  The player can shoot the Vagrant Ghost to temporarily chase it away from the shelter/jail.
This guy, the Vile Ghost, is new.  Like the Hungry Ghost, it will seek out items and consume them. However, unlike its gluttonous cousin, it will chase after the player if it can’t find any items.  They are mainly found in Pohena rounds as an implacable danger much like evil spirits are to Donum.  The good spirits’ slowing effect on Pohena makes it easier for the Vile Ghost to catch up with her, so better stay away from all of them.

  • Re-evaluated the point system.
  • Implemented a “three strikes” system in regards to shooting good spirits.  If the player (as either character) shoots a good spirit, they will be penalized:  -500 points for the first offence, -1000 for the second and one life for the third.  The strikes reset whenever the player loses a life.

The only thing the game needs before I release it as a demo are additional mazes and data dictating what spirits and preta spawn for each round. The end is in sight!

In other, related news, I made a few updates to the Gonna Catcha and related info pages…

…and here’s a black wolf staring into your soul…

“You should be drawing more.”
… and a white wolf who somehow managed to clone himself accidentally:
Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

No game left behind.

I was playing my 3DS and decided to start up Petit Computer again. For those not familiar with it, Petit Computer is a BASIC programming environment for DSiWare that is geared towards making games on your DSi or 3DS.  As I was going through the saved programs, I came across the only game I made on it, Debugging.  It is also the first game that was branded under “Quadolor Games“. I figured that I would create a page on this blog for it; you can find it here.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

ROM Game Jam Day 3 Report – “Rise & Fall”

The ROM Game Jam is over and my team, Robots Mashing Keyboards, actually managed to create a fully-functioning game prototype by the deadline.  The fruits of our labour is Rise & Fall, a 2-player dueling action game based on two ancient cultures (which was the topic of the jam).

In Rise & Fall, one player takes the role of  Roman soldier while the other takes the role of an Egyptian soldier…
…who fight by launching projectiles at each other.  They each have four broken artifacts on their side of the arena.
If either player gets hit three times, they “die” and the opposing player gets a point. Each point half-fixes one of the player’s artifacts.  In the picture below, the pottery on the Roman (left) side is half-fixed.
When an artifact is fully repaired, it can interact with foreground objects, i.e. players are impeded by and can stand on it and it can block projectiles.
When an artifact is fully repaired for the first time, it’s name pops up on screen so you’ll know what it’s called and you can recognize it when you see it at the Royal Ontario Museum (that was their idea, by the way).
To win, a player must attain nine points: eight points for a full set of repaired artifacts…
…and the ninth point from the “coup de grâce”.
To the victor, goes his/her soldier running across the screen.
Here is a breakdown of who did what for Rise & Fall:
Idea guys (Game concept):  All of us
Pencil-, paper- & pixel-related tasks (Concept art, pixel art):  Shmuggly, Goombaguy

Computer keyboard masher (Programmer):  M.S.T.O.P.

Electronic keyboard masher (Music and sound effects):  M.S.T.O.P.
With us in spirit:  Saffy

We received lots of positive feedback from other jammers and, to my delight, the archaeologists that were helping us with the historical details of the ancient cultures we were making games about.  They all got really into it.  Also, due to all the hubbub in the room and the crappiness of my laptop speakers, the game’s music wasn’t heard very well. Here it is for you listening pleasure:

So what’s next for the game?  Well, the Royal Ontario Museum said they would like to demo all the games made at the game jam to museum patrons in October, giving us two months to work on and polish our games further.  Given the positive feedback we received, we are interested in pursuing this further. During the playtesting, we found a few bugs and gameplay balance issues that need to be ironed out, so it looks like we already have an idea on how to move forward with the project.  🙂
Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

ROM Game Jam Day 2 – So Very Tired

Oh man, today was a tiring day, I didn’t even have the extra energy to use Twitter to document my team’s process. Not to mention the confusion and delay when I was taking the subway to the ROM.  Oh well.

I was going to create another demo video of what we have so far, but then some new sprites arrived in my email and I just had to put them into the game and test them out.  It’s late and I don’t feel like re-recording and editing the video right now, so here’s a screenshot:

Roman guy vs. Egyptian guy
It’s too bad I’m not able to show you a video; the sprite animations and foreground objects are coming along nicely.  As you can see, we have a Roman guy and Egyptian guy dueling each other.  The Roman throws spears pilums (the archaeological experts at the ROM said the latter was more historically accurate) while the Egyptian shoots arrows. They fight each other to restore their own ancient culture’s artifacts for some unexplained reason and in some unexplained manner.  This has baffled and intrigued archaeologists for many minutes.  Tomorrow, we’ll finish off the rest of foreground objects, the backgrounds and whatever is left over (well, we have to since it’s the final day).

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

ROM Game Jam Day 1 – The internet wouldn’t allow it.

Normally, I wouldn’t update my blog in the wee hours of the night, but the lack of a good internet connection at the ROM Game Jam has forced me to.

So now I share with you some screenshots of the work that has been done today by me and the rest of Team “Robots Mashing Keyboards” at the jam:
First, a screenshot of an very early version of the game:


I won’t go into details right now, but let’s just say our game will be a 2-player competitive platformer.

Next is a screenshot of a later build of the game, featuring graphics for one of the two characters in the game: some Roman guy, done by team member Shmuggly.

Minimalist architecture

And finally, the highlight of the day came near the end of the day: the inclusion of the Roman guy’s running animation, also done by Shmuggly, into the game.  The initial results were hilarious:

The video doesn’t do the run cycle justice; it looks much better (and funnier) at 60 frames per second.  The background music was composed by me, hastily over the course of only a few days and still needs a bit of work.  Still, I’m actually impressed with how it turned out.  When was the last time I even did anything in 3/4 time with the harmonic minor scale?

And now I’m tired, and have to get up early tomorrow to continue jamming.  Good night everybody.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Congratulations! Your game has evolved into Alpha!

Up until today, Gonna Catcha was nothing more than a collection of protoypes, loosely connected together and couldn’t work together as a whole game without changes to the hard code. 
Well that ends today. 
I’ve taken care of all the little things and filled up the holes to make Gonna Catcha a playable alpha (yes, I know I’ve called the previous versions of the game “alpha builds”; in hindsight I think that was jumping the gun a bit). It still has some game-breaking bugs, but at least the game progression is there now:

And just in time for Ghost Month, the 7th month of the lunar calendar, which starts tomorrow I believe. According to the various superstitions surrounding Ghost Month, I shouldn’t be working on Gonna Catcha at all for the next 30 or so days, unless I want to be pestered by evil spirits.  Well, if anything goes wrong in the coming month, such as me losing all my work or my computer catching on fire, then I’ll have a convenient scapegoat:

On the 15th day of Ghost Month is the Ghost Festival. During the festival, the Heibai Wuchang 黑白無常, the Black and White Guards of Impermanance, supposedly appear and give people free money.  Depending on your cultural background, you may know them by different names:

  • Fan Wujiu and Xie Bi’an, 范無救  謝必安
  • Qiye and Baye, 七爺 八爺
  • Da Boye and Er Boye, 大伯爺  二伯爺
  • Pohena Das and Donum Dono 魄伊娜・達斯  當納睦・當儺
OK, I made that last one up. 😛
There’s more to Ghost Month and the Ghost Festival than that, but I’ll save it for another day. Also, the ROM Game Jam is next weekend; I need to brush up on my HTML5 GameMaker skills.

P.S.  I updated Gonna Catcha’s info page with a new screenshot and the video above.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.