Thursday, 31 December 2009

we all have our standards

I just got a search engine hit for

games with changeable panties

Well, the internet is a marvelous place, and perhaps there is somewhere a list of such games. I have to admit, though, that such is not generally the criteria I use when selecting new games to play.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

life is continually disappointing

Various free online 'RPGs' continue to try and mimic crap-Evony-ripoff's success at softcore porn advertising. I just saw one that consists of a girl in a leather bikini tied to a tree, bosom heaving. How heroic.

I wouldn't complain if the games actually WERE porn, mind. Truth in advertising, please!

As it is, though, it sends some clear messages about what sort of players they want...

conversations with computer people

Article on evolving chat AI in games.

Friday, 25 December 2009

sex in games 2009

Not a terribly deep article but worth linking to as I hadn't heard about some of the incidents in question. (For those who need warning, RapeLay will be mentioned.)

Monday, 21 December 2009

my alter ego breathes fire

This is cute: a web gamelet in the style of the old Alter Ego where you make a ton of choices about your character's path through life and see how successful (or not) you end up.

Except instead of a baby human, you're a dragon.

rolling a 1

Gamespot heartily disapproves of the Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

Not that it makes any difference to me, with the pile of games I have on my plate there was no way I was going to get to that one.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

probably just a nonsense patent

Hey, I'm all for mixing fun and physical activity. Active games are good. I don't have a wii but I'd kinda like one. DDR is fun to play.

But who thought banning fat people from playing video games was a sensible thing to do?? Even if you somehow believe that with the entire world telling them how much they suck, this one detail is going to magically make them thin again, a) what business sense does it make to implement a feature designed to annoy your playerbase and b) why would people agree to input the data required to disable the games they want to play?

I suppose if they aim it at children, over-controlling parents might enjoy that.

more stupid solutions redux

Digging your way upward through a sandpit while suspended by a cluster of helium balloons, in a lightning storm, with an angry nuckelavee below you.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Nine hours, Nine persons, Nine doors

EDIT December 2010 the game is now out in English:
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

If you've already played it and are looking for other games like this, search for Ever 17 (same author) or Fatal Hearts (same gameplay).

Original post follows:

Japanese-only for the moment, but an interesting novel/adventure game for the DS.
Play novel horror puzzle game developed by Chunsoft and published by Spike for Nintendo DS in Japan.
Nine People have been kidnapped, each person has a bracelet/watch numbered 1-9 alongside 9 doors and 9 hours in which to escape. To enter the required door the people need to team up to match the number on the door i.e to open door number 4 needs to be bracelet number 1+3 to enter together, causing people to split up and explore different areas. Once inside said door you are locked in and required to finish a puzzle in order to leave.

The official site is here but japanese-only. They also seem to have a free webgame/preview/demo related to it.

Game can be purchased here. No idea if it'll ever see translation.

Friday, 18 December 2009

more christmas specials

Beautiful and quirky adventure games Samorost 2 and Machinarium available in a discounted bundle offer. Less than the cost of ONE game.

Do I need to say anything more than that?

That's enough for ME to just walk over and instant purchase. :)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

them streets are mean

Good Old Games is giving away Tex Murphy games free until Christmas.

A Year of Casual Games

As you should be aware if you read this, I like quirky indie games. And RPGs. And arcade games. And adventures. And, yes, Casual Games. (And as I'm also a developer, I feel it's important that I *play* a number of casual games and at least vaguely try to keep up with some of the developments and enhancements in the field.)

So a long while back I gave in and got one of those BFG monthly membership things, to be used to buy games that I wouldn't generally consider worth a full-price purchase.

For your bemusement, a list of what I have gotten: (most of which I've blogged about before, so linking to those posts)

Azada: Ancient Magic Azada sort of sparked the 'casual adventure game', I thought I ought to see what it was up to. (Completed)

Ancient Quest of Saqqarah It's just a match-3, but it's a really big really shiny match-3 with tons of different playmodes and sparkly lights. Also, giant flying monkey. (Yes, that's not a monkey, it's a reference to an old joke.) I sort of wish you could replay levels, but there are so many and add-on packs as well... (Completed some temples but not others. This thing is huge, and I really dislike certain temples.)

Shop-n-Spree - A hidden object game, *sort of*. Except that instead of a huge assortment of random junk scattered willy-nilly, it's just a very crowded store, with things often arranged in a semi-logical fashion. There's memory to it as well as just finding. And all the art is custom-done to match. It's still a pointless casual game, but it was acceptable light entertainment. (Completed.)

Wonderburg - I never posted about this one before, so here's a game link. It's a "real estate" game - buy houses, fix them up, sell them again, make tons of money. (A scenario which was much truer a couple of years ago!) It's also magic-themed, with cute characters in the very-brief 'story' scenes between levels. Like many casual games it does get samey, but it passes the time. (Completed.)

Wandering Willows - A game in which you wander around collecting pets, food, and other items, and combining them to make more items, and giving them to people. It is pointless but cute. While it was fun for a while, the lack of any real challenge or direction got to me eventually. The pets do have different stats, but not sufficiently different that it matters or is even really worthwhile to change them. (Not completed, for those reasons. It's still a very cute game, I just ran out of steam after a while.)

Plants vs Zombies - A game that I wasn't sufficiently interested in from description alone to buy at full price. People called it tower defense and the tower-defense games I'd seen weren't all that interesting. And even when I did pick this up just to see what it was, it seemed a little dull at first while it held my hand to drag me through the basics. But it got better. (Completed the first runthrough of adventure mode and, I think, all of the special challenges/puzzles. Am still vaguely playing through the second run of adventure mode, having been told there are some new monsters lurking out there.)

Enlightenus - another 'casual adventure'/hidden object, very pretty but really in need of a story that means something. This is a complaint you're going to see from me a lot. (Completed.)

Peggle Nights - because I already *had* 1.5 peggle games and didn't see this as sufficiently different to pay full price for it. By this point I have all levels aced, and 100% on about a third.

Drawn: The Painted Tower Another high-profile adventure/HO with lovely graphics and great atmosphere. Now will someone PLEASE make one of these games have a PLOT so that you end with an actual sense of triumph and achievement rather than a crushing sense of disappointment? (Completed.)

Gemini Lost - One of the sort of "village strategy" games where you manage a population and build up their resources while trying to accomplish various tasks. The village-type games will also play themselves while you're away, which makes winning almost a foregone conclusion and feels less rewarding in the end. It was cute, but the 'plot' STUNK BIGTIME. There really wasn't a plot but there were just enough elements of things that suggested a story that if you stopped to think about what was going on, it was somewhat disturbing, and the 'winning' conclusion didn't feel like a win at all but more like starting all over again.

Avalon - Same genre, but with pretty sparkly fairies. Game really a bit too short (especially since with the play-while-you're away factor it was really easy to build up a huge supply of resources) but one thing it did right, for me, was the story. There wasn't that much in words, but the things you could see happening were interesting, and the animation-rewards for completing each zone were impressive. The ending will actually make you feel happy. (WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR YOU TO GRASP, OTHER CASUAL DEVELOPERS? ARGH!)

Westward III - Because I still hate 3d. Haven't finished it yet, largely because the fire-and-earthquakes subquest was SO HARD that after finally getting through it the rest of the game feels boring now. :) I'll get back to it eventually.

Monday, 14 December 2009

but why do it the easy way?

The easy way to detach an item from a rope you can't reach is to set the rope on fire.

The stupid - but possible - way is to glue multiple items together until you can manage to glue an air vent at an angle to blow a steel spike at the rope and destroy it. Hopefully without destroying everything else in the process. (Steel is indestructible and anything else can be destroyed by spike impact, pretty much...)

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Brilliant. Evil. Nice art style too.

You're a little naked guy pedaling a bicycle through a frozen landscape, and everything is trying to kill you.

needs more love

You may be able to tell that I'm finally daring to look at the rest of the IGF list...

Emberwind really is as much fun as it looks like, and has demos for both Mac and Windows. Also, despite totally rocking, it's cheap! Check it out! (or heck just buy it. i'm not even an affiliate here, I just think it's COOL.)

There's also an upcoming dating sim (Summer Session style) based on Pride and Prejudice (But not with zombies.). It is NOT yet publicly available, but it looks promising.


(It's not by me, but I'll probably be affiliate-salesing it when it's ready.)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Does pink stink?

You might not believe it, looking at this blog, but as a little girl I hated pink.

Why? Well, for one thing, I'm naturally contrary. If every little girl around me was pink pink pink, I was going to be not-pink just to be different. For another, my bedroom was painted pink when I, as a baby, was not exactly able to voice an opinion on the subject. Therefore I could be sulky about having pink 'forced' on me.

When I got older, I hated pink for the same reasons that boys often do... I associated it with this stereotypical stupid girlhood, mindless ninnies with lipstick and hairspray. *I*, of course, was a geek. Geeks wear black. Not pink.

It took a lot more maturity for me to recognise that liking make-up does not actually make you stupid, and that there isn't necessarily anything wrong with wanting to be pretty, or wanting to be a housewife with a dozen babies, so long as it's actually what YOU want and you respect the choices of others as well.

So with that in mind, I have no interest in banning pink toys. I would, however, appreciate seeing more choice in toys for girls. Pink is not evil. Pink is just not the be-all and end-all either.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

more stupid solutions

Attach wire to cat. Attach star to wire. Put dog near cat. Cat is scared, wire twitches, star moves slightly. Put air vent under star when it lifts, pushing it up and away from the bombs. Remove dog. Move air vent to keep cat and star far away from bombs. Create new bomb to explode existing pile of bombs. Sadly not all ice removed. Equip sword. Ride pegasus. Hack at ice blocks. Discover Pegasus will not fit through final gap to reach cat and star. Dismount, equip wings, fly to star.

It's way over 'par' of course, but if this sort of solution doesn't amuse you, why are you playing this game? :)

... Also, handcuffing myself to criminals and forcibly dragging them to heaven appears to prevent angels from attacking me.

private servers

re: BBC article

So long as they're not charging money, I don't particularly see the harm. But then, I also support fanfic for similar reasons.

Private servers give you a chance to play around and try things without messing things up in the shared game. Running a private server gives people a taste of how much work the real thing actually is. Many people play on both the paid game and private copies of it. Private copies are NOT an adequate substitute for the shared universe of the 'real' deal, they're not a disincentive from playing.

And especially in the case of MMORPGs where you were forced to pay a box-copy price as well as an ongoing server price (sadly too common), private servers provide the ability to play the damn game - which you paid for - even if the company explodes. An awful lot of MMORPGs get shut down. Bought a box? You have a coaster. Sucks to be you. (And people wonder why I tend to be resistant to MMORPGs?)

Now, obviously at the point where a private shard starts charging people to play, then the moral issues change. (Although being pretty open-minded when it comes to IP, I'd be fine personally with them being required to pay a percentage of take back to the dev studio... but that's me, not everybody.)

Monday, 7 December 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I will not make your game for you

Someone posted a link to this story - which is funny, and anyone who's a professional in some sort of writing can probably relate. :)

I have not yet gotten to the stage of being that traditionally harsh, and I don't really mind people telling me their ideas. Once in a while, I work with other people. Sometimes this is a mistake, other times it isn't.

Regardless, I will not make your game for you. Even if it's the coolest idea ever. (And some of the ideas I get handed are at least somewhat cool.)

I will point you in the direction of tools you can use to make it yourself.

If you can get your game at least to playable demo stage, then come and talk to me again. IF I like your game and IF it's well-matched to my audience and IF there's something I think I can offer you to make your game more successful, then maybe we make a deal... but I still won't make your game for you. I just might be able to give you some advice or other help.

Not getting my help doesn't necessarily mean your game is crap, it just means that I don't think my help would be a productive use of my time. If you're writing an FPS, you seriously don't want my help. My help wouldn't do you any good.

scribble scribble

Stupid solutions that work:

Using a zombie to scare a mad scientist into pushing an ice block containing an alien.

Stupid solutions that didn't (quite) work:

Handcuffing a falcon to a mcguffin resting on top of explosives and then getting it to chase a pigeon.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Interesting-sounding "non-linear" adventure game, available for online play or download here

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

sword and sorcery

Michiko and Sorami, the girls of Cute Knight :)

(I'll probably be sticking them on a wallpaper at some point, but for now, just chibis.)


This is a cute game that's sort of a mix of point-and-click adventure, fetch quest, and pet raising. With a big dose of comedy.

You're on your way home to visit your parents on their Magical Animal Ranch when you discover that - ohnoes! - the ranch is destroyed and your parents are missing. You need to find out what happened to them, and you need money to buy supplies to follow their trail (as well as to fix what's left of the ranch). That means talking to everyone in town and begging quests off them. Luckily, as I mentioned, the dialog tends to be funny. (Still, if you *detest* reading, you may not like this... but if you hate reading, why are you on my blog anyway?)

The quests mostly involve going to places, talking to people, and spotting things to click on, but there are a handful of little minigames as well. VERY mini, so don't worry, it's nothing complicated. (Fishing may take some practice to get the hang of though.) Then, once you have some starting funds, you can rebuild bits of the ranch and start raising magical animals for profit.

You will need good eyesight, as the items you have to spot and click on can be quite tiny at times. But it's cute and entertaining.

Windows Demo

Mac Demo