Sunday, 28 February 2010

real men wear pink

For some reason, even those who are incredibly touchy about their masculinity can sometimes be won over by things like, y'know, naked black men riding flying robot unicorns ON FIRE over a rainbow bridge.

This doesn't actually involve any naked men or fire. It does involve Erasure, though.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cho Aniki

If that title doesn't mean anything to you, your brain may be about to melt.

... I'm a little puzzled about all the early closeups of breasts, myself!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

more iphone shenanigans

So apparently Apple has just yanked another bunch of apps from its marketplace, on the grounds that they contain family-unfriendly content. However, Playboy is allowed to remain, because they're a bigger company and Apple doesn't want to make them mad.

Really, that's pretty much what the article says.

Whether you think Jiggling Boobs belong on the iphone or not, it's pretty harsh for the developers to wake up one day and have their income stream cut off by someone else's decision like that. Although it's not like this is the first time...

And people ask me why I'm not enthusiastically producing iphone games!

blasted black triangles

Working on the silly project, I'm trying to do something that I probably should have been doing for a long time - making code that's localisation-friendly. That is, trying to put ALL my text, not just the long bits, into external files.

... this is annoying, because it keeps slowing me down and it makes my code confusing, as I can no longer tell what's going on just by seeing the obvious strings everywhere, so I have to write lots more comments.

... and I've never actually had a game translated anyway. (Someone is *trying* to do a translation of the first Cute Knight game, but hasn't managed to get anywhere yet.) But maybe someday this will pay off. Right?

secretly edited to add updates, since this will sound so wrong out of context,so I'm not posting it on top:

you can now stalk NPCs - if you click on one and she moves before you get there, you'll follow her to her stopping point so you can have your conversation
you can now bully personal information out of girls!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

coming soon!

A game I didn't touch during the IGF because I wanted to play it when it was *done* and not before. :)

why i am a very naughty coder

I start projects, realise I need functions very similar to things I've designed in previous projects, and end up importing huge collections of tangled code in order to keep all the references in all of those scripts, although many will get commented out or simply never called because they are not relevant to what I'm doing at the moment.

... even better, some of them weren't relevant to the project they were imported from because they had also been imported from a previous project, and weren't relevant to THAT project because I designed them, decided they were a bad idea, and then never used them, but left the script lying around...


(This gets even more fun when the unused code is unused because it was a complicated graphical thingie that was too slow for its desired purpose, but then falls into the hands of the programmer trying to port one of my projects to another system, who then tries to make this routine work without realising it was from an entirely different game and never worked to begin with!)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

so, what did you do today?

I now have randomly-walking NPC schoolgirls wandering around my halls. They will even vaguely get out of each others' way. Of course, the sprite size and the tile size don't quite match at the moment so you can kinda overlap their heads and make them 'kiss'.

... I'm not sure if that's a bug or a feature.

Friday, 19 February 2010

slightly off topic

as I'm whining about the Olympic games.

I may not be a judge, but I've been following this sport for longer than some of the competitors have been alive. Patrick Chan was massively overscored, Johnny Weir was massively underscored. There is no excuse I can see other than personal bias on the part of the judges, to boost the hometown favorite and downplay the 'weirdo'. This happened on "artistic" elements, and from the reaction not even the Canadian crowd would agree on that call artistically.

I'm not going to argue that Weir should have had the bronze, because that's not clear-cut. But he should have placed at least fourth, over both Lambiel and Chan. And Chan should not have been nearly so high in the ranks.

Looking at the final results, with the scores published and what the scores should logically have been to my eye, it should have been Lysacek, Plushenko, Takahashi/Weir (too close for me to call), Lambiel, Oda, Chan.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

la di da

more screenshots of the thing I shouldn't be working on

if I do make a full game of this I should probably get a real artist to redo everything I'm doing, but it's certainly enough for dev....

ubisoft execs are terrible human beings

and deserve big piles of poo on their doorsteps.


ubisoft sucks

(Yes, I'm being petulant and childish, rather intentionally so. I have my reasons. Other people can take the polite explanatory approach on this one, I'm just trying to spread the impression of the world being pissed off.)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

myst online resurrected

Doesn't mean much to me as I didn't play it anyway, but it's interesting to see how virtual worlds can come and go and sometimes come back.

not quite

I mentioned my grumpiness about the best-friends lesbian-marriages being stripped out of Harvest Moon? Apparently Rune Factory 2 has... well, not THAT, but some amusing events of its own.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

peggle nights

At 30/60 100%.

words words words

Script for Date Warp is over 60K now, and largely complete. The art and the OP music are in progress but won't be done until... April? Don't know really.

Now looking for experienced, reliable, and articulate beta-readers to provide feedback before the final bits slot into place.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Super-cool offer!

The Indie Love Bundle

And Yet It Moves + Auditorium + Aztaka + Eufloria + Machinarium + Osmos
6 award-winning indie games valued at 85$ for the low cost of $20!

We have crafted our games with a lot of love and passion. This Valentine’s Day we thought we would put all our love in one place. Give this amazing indie bundle to your valentine or treat yourself to some delicious gaming goodness!

Definitely a great deal. Click on the link to find more information about al the games listed (and the awards they've won!)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

my router just exploded

Spontaneous hardware failure taking out the net for a couple of hours. Being geeks we have unused hardware lying around and were able to scrounge up a replacement eventually. What did I do in the meantime?

Played games.


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

In order to better serve you, we just won't bother.

From slashdot:

Giving no explanation beyond that it 'will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox LIVE community,' Microsoft's General Manager for Xbox Live, Mark Whitten, announced that as of April 15th, Microsoft will be shutting down its Xbox Live service for the original Xbox and its games.

This doesn't make them evil. It was sort of inevitable that they'd shut it down. This is what HAPPENS when you have to rely on a single provider for a service and have no control over it yourself. You have only yourself to blame. Why are you buying online games on a console?

(And yes, this sort of 'thinking ahead' is why I'm so loudly picky about what I will and won't pay for, and what DRM nonsense I won't put up with. BECAUSE THIS STUFF HAPPENS. Why should I put my money in when I can make a good bet that my game will be shut down by someone else in a few years?)

Sunday, 7 February 2010


A fun little flash platform/puzzle involving moving around tiles to create the level for you to run through. Sounds simple (and sometimes it kinda is) but it's fun and it's nice to have something experimental that isn't completely mind-melting.

Game Site

playing with games

There have been a lot of games around lately dealing with changing the rules of the game as you play - slowing/speeding time and reversing gravity being obvious ones.

Has anyone done a game about the mechanic of changing scale? Scaling between being big enough to step over pits and being small enough to walk up the slanty sides of spikes without harm?

cut and paste (no, that's what it's CALLED)

Somebody sent me a link to this - looks like some sort of adventure game using flipbook-style hand animation.

apropos of nothing

I'm a bit sad that even on bloody thinkgeek they apparently fall victim to the "Boys toys are scientific, girls toys are MAGIC".

Not that I object to them selling fairy toys. I love fairies! It's the way the videos are all full of stardust and flowers and "Your fairy needs PIXIE DUST to fly! She comes from a MAGICAL DIMENSION!"

What's wrong with just telling them how it works?

Saturday, 6 February 2010

you can't make this stuff up

Gluing two roads to a suspension bridge, using a cable to dangle that from a pegasus, and blowing a giraffe across it with a giant air vent.

special offer for valentines

(And also my birthday but most people won't care about that!)

A romantic game for a romantic holiday - I'm putting Fatal Hearts on sale for $5 until Valentine's. No membership or other purchase thingy required, just buy the game before Feb 15th, put in the discount code, and you're good to go.

The code, demo downloads, and order information can be found at the game webpage:

Fatal Hearts

Friday, 5 February 2010

demonstration of silly

I'm too fuzzy-headed to do plot, so I'm fooling around with graphics, even though I know I'm not quite up to snuff... although considering the sheer workload of this particular silly idea artwise it might not be a total waste for me to do the sprites since OTHER parts would need custom animation way beyond my skills...

ooo shiny

I'm fascinated by this:


I have NO idea what it is because I can't read the language, but it looks lovely!

(Well, okay, not NO idea. It's an all-ages visual novel in Japanese which has something to do with the military and someone being brought back from the dead, but that's all I can tell.)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

my excuse is that I'm sick at the moment

... because that's the only excuse I can come up with for why I'm designing a sprite template for a project I may or may not ever do and I'm putting in four different possible breast sizes. (one being 'none'.)

brain damage. gotta be.

that bites

The Vampire The Masquerade game has just gone to Good Old Games for the helpfully affordable price of $5.99

I never did play that...

(Oh wait, this is Redemption, not Bloodlines. It was Bloodlines I wanted to play. I think.)

so yeah, rhapsody

To remind you, this is what I've been playing:

It's okay. Plot mostly nothing special, except for a silly sequence involving a costume ball (hard to explain, but she needs a dress and she can't find one and has to improvise weirdly) Some weird values dissonance with Etoile and her father, although I can't remember exactly what the problem was. He slaps her and the PC comments what a great father he is, or something like that?

I think most of the combat is scaling difficulty, because despite being level 30 and 40, going back to early zones does not produce instant pushovers. Most of the time there's no need to grind, except for that one fight I just commented on, which was annoying for multiple reasons... See, this is one of those games where you collect tons of party members. But they only gain XP when active, and they don't join the party at current level. When you pick up a new companion who's 15 levels behind the rest of your group, that's a slight pain to have to carry around frantically trying to level it up. When you pick up THREE of them, and you have to use those three as your entire active party in order to do a certain subquest... that's annoying. (Still, it was an optional subquest.)

Many reviewers complain that it's short and easy. Personally, I like that in a JRPG. I don't have the TIME for an epic (unless it had a really great plot I guess).

Also, the combat has an auto-play mode which I quite appreciate. This isn't something you'll want to lean on, because when engaged, people will only use their basic attacks, no magic, which means no area effects, which can be bad. And with the PC, you need to make her use her basic magic a good bit to boost her secondary magic-meter so that she can pull out big attacks when you meet a boss. Still, the auto-fight allows you to take a breather when you're feeling fed up with the endless grind of turn-based battle. I wish more games did this. Especially games that DON'T auto-scale fights and therefore might force you to waste time smashing things that you've outleveled...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

rhapsody grumbles

Finally hit a point in the game where I apparently have to sit and grind for ages and ages to be able to get anywhere. sulk.

I'm about 10 hours in I think, doing an optional boss because I have only the push to the end after that, which is probably just as bad

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

never buying ubisoft games again ever

(warning, language)

According to slashdot:

Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play.

It's not like there's a shortage of games in the world. So it's not at all difficult for me to say


Sure, *I* have broadband and a (mostly) always-on internet connection. Not everybody does. Even those that do, sometimes the damned thing flakes out. And you know what I do when my net connection flakes? PLAY GAMES. Because I can't get any WORK done when my net's busted.

Not to mention, laptops? I've just come away from a vacation. I had a laptop with me. Many people like to play games on the go. What the hell?

Yes, piracy sucks. But if your only solution is to try standing over people every second while they play (which STILL probably will get hacked around) then why not just stop selling games at all and demand everyone come to your arcade to play them?


It is slightly disappointing that you don't get to SEE the giant worm that swallows you.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Standard Roles

So, I've just come back from a gaming convention. I didn't actually get to do much tabletop, but one game I did stuck out to me and my crazy liberal feminist goggles.

That being a game that was sort of a crossover between Firefly and Aliens 4, using the characters from the movie as the crew of a ship in the Firefly universe.

It was notable to me because not only were there two female PCs in the party - despite not having two female players, and I wasn't even playing one of the girls - but that there were female NPCs out there doing things. Doing things other than shopping, whoring, and being rescued.

Most people writing/running these con games aren't professionals. They're just making up a story (sometimes as they go along). And for these reasons, they tend to fall into defaults. Quite often, all the pregen PCs being handed out are male - I don't think I've EVER seen an all-female party, and I bet it would be the entire focus of the plot if there were. If the town has a leader, it's a guy. If someone needs rescuing, it's a girl. If there's a barmaid, she has killer cleavage and negotiable virtue.

It was refreshing to see a PC being picked up in a bar by a woman who was 'ugly' - a short burly scarred muscular gun-nut, hitting on a character of exactly the same type. They arm-wrestled, shared drinks, and went off together.