Monday, 29 October 2012

on the Big Misunderstanding

One thing that people complain about a lot in romance novels is the enormous misunderstandings between hero and heroine that tend to arise from hearing one small thing out of context and making zero effort to find out if it's true or not and going all huge overreacty. Idiot Ball! Too Stupid To Live! We Could Have Avoided All This!

... Therefore it tends to surprise me when I see just how much players of games will viciously turn on a character not for their actions, but for saying one or two words that don't flatter the PC. Even when the person who spoke those words explains and apologises for causing any misunderstanding.

Hot love interest breaks hearts for fun and tries to murder you? It's okay, he probably had a tough childhood.

Female friend accidentally said one word about you that was taken out of context by someone else? SHE'S AN EVIL BITCH WHO SHOULD DIE IN A FIRE AFTER BEING STABBED WITH A THOUSAND KNIVES AND LEFT FOR ANTS TO CRAWL ON.

I mean, at least in Minnie's case there are perfectly good reasons for the PC to suspect that the disclosure may not have been innocent. I'm still amazed at the sheer level of vitriol I've seen some people hurl at her.

But Lucy? Said one small thing under visible pressure and immediately jumped to Christina's defense when other people overreacted. Yet apparently this makes her the worst person imaginable?

(This is not a criticism at said Let's Play, it's just that I can't comment it in the thread because that would be inappropriate, and I wanted to get this off my chest. :) Seriously, I am surprised just how angry I've seen multiple people get at characters for what looks to me like really small things. Is my conception of social dynamics way out of line, or is theirs?)

Friday, 26 October 2012

now that's what I call casual

Mochi Stacker - It takes about three seconds to play. But those three seconds are oddly entertaining. Casual in a nutshell.

(Trying semagic now as scribefire worked to post with but broke my version of firefox in other ways. Google, We Could Have Avoided All This if you weren't being such total jerks!)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

money and the app store

Another helpful little artist about how rich you are(n't) likely to get on the iphone

current filesize breakdown

So, the main script is kinda-sorta done, the art is slowly coming in and will take a long time to complete, and that means I have all the time in the world for polish and tweaking. Right? Eh.

At the moment I'm looking over files and filesize. I've been going through the music and lengthening some of it where possible, figuring that this is never going to be tiny and longer loops are worth it. On the other hand I'm also trying to figure out where I can cut back without losing anything.

Looking just at the source, not a compiled build, the main directory (script files and UI bits) is around 5MB. Sound-and-music folder is, urgh, 40MB but I need that. Backgrounds and chapter titles, all in believed-to-be-final format, come to 20MB. CG folder is currently 11MB and will balloon as the rest of the art comes in. The 'cache' folder (I'm not even sure what's up with that, something to do with imagemaps) is at 8MB. That leaves character art, currently at 38MB. I can get that down a good bit lower, but... yeah. This is never going to come out under 100.

... And I haven't even considered the opening sequence yet. Ow.

Most customers can probably handle reasonable sized downloads in this age... but a massive pain for uploading multiple distributions!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

more IGF

Rhythm Odyssey - Okay, I largely ignore the audio-based games because there are ALWAYS "Look, a shooter that uses music from your hard drive" and "Look a game with no graphics!" all over the iGF, but this one at least looks kinda different. Might get dull pretty fast though, if you're just tapping to the beat.

Sang-Froid Tales of Werewolves - Another one I think I remember looking at on Greenlight.

Simony Uh. What? A name, a mysterious illustrated book page, no description, and a random documentary linked as your video? Guess I'm just not deep enough, dude.

Spaceteam - Frantically yelling technobabble at each other? That could be fun. Requires many devices I'd never have though.

Tembusu Bemused - "All characters and dialogues are caricatures of real-life professionals
and professors working at Tembusu College and the research that they do." Eh. The logo is the most awesome thing about this entry.

Tengami - Interesting visuals but I don't feel like I get it really.

The Age of Decadence - do I even need to say anything about this? But again, it'll be tough for a game of this length to get judging properly.

The Trouble with Robots - I keep reading that as rabbits. That's the trouble with looking through such a long list!

Third Eye Crime - I like the use of stealth and misdirection.

Wildfire Worlds - I am amused by the desire to create chaos and curious how this works.

igf next batch

Flightless - fun mechanic, looks well put-together

FLY'N - awesomeness previously noted

FTL - Had a lot of interest last year even though incomplete, is likely to do better now.

God of Blades - Clicked for more info because of "70s synth-prog-landscape oddities" As a mobile game it's not really something I'd ever be playing but I appreciate the effort.

Gone Home - a quiet little adventure? Curious. Not really in the interface style I like though.

Guacamelee - Interested in the visual style, looks playable enough... and another kidnapped girl. And hey, a few games down there's a kidnapped mayor's daughter too. Doesn't anybody ever kidnap sons?

ibb and obb - I'm sure I've heard of this somewhere...

in verbis virtus - "Spellcasting! F I R E!" ... Could be fun but voice recognition tends to be fuzzy; if you have to pronounce spells correctly that could get frustrating.

Inquisitor - I think I saw this on greenlight and was interested?

Kentucky Route Zero - Well, the setting makes me a bit curious but I really can't tell much about the game.

Mechanice - Mechanically interesting at least, don't see much Augmented Reality

MicroVenture - roguelike with procedural storytelling? Interesting.

Might of Ancient Remnants - you lost me at "the first". I hate overblown marketing claims!

Mr. Travel - Interesting purpose though I worry that the idea of travel safety may end up being inherently xenophobic?

Ninja Shadow Warrior - okay I do kinda want to play that. But how does it compensate for different player shapes?

Path of Exile - Sounds like I'd play it, but not the sort of thing I'm looking for in an IGF title

Pavilion - I'm curious, but the video is mysterious enough that that's about all I can say

Primordia - I really should get around to *playing* more of these guys' games, shouldn't i?

For that matter I should probably link these entries. Blame the trouble I've been having with blogging lately, I'm still working out the kinks of this plugin.

igf quickies batch 2

Cargo Commander - ... sounds potentially awesome, similar in theme to the roguelike that we're REALLY NOT WORKING ON REALLY over here. But while the ideas sound quite similar just a glance at the video and it's a VERY different game.

Contrast - I think I've looked at this before and been curious about it.

Cradle - It's a sci-fi adventure. It has a yurt. I am all for this.

Cubetractor - Interesting mechanic, cute retro arcade look. Could do without the inflated language in the promo though :)

Dark Scavenger - Heard interesting things abotu this in the past.

Deadlight - A bit obvious on ticking off the appeal boxes but may do well with people other than me. Really not rubbing me right.

Delver's Drop - wow that's an uninformative main image. the game itself is a zelda-style with too many light effects. eh.

Don't Starve - Interesting visual style, vague hints of possibly cool story and gameplay, curious to know more.

Dramagame - Online LARP? Online LARP. I wonder if anyone's ever entered space station 13 here?

Drawception - ... I am surprised this was legally allowed to enter. If it wins anything I will go on a huge rant about how much the IGF sucks. But I can't be the only one who's looking at that with disapproval, surely.

Drox Operative - it describes itself with RPG in the title and mentions a backstory but all the video shows is shooty shooty shooty. Not Interested.

Dungeon Hearts - Wow. Worst Video Ever. 1:30 of the heroes running in place in their run animation as different environments scroll by beneath them. Gameplay shown - none. Story shown - none. Point - none.

Dust and Dustforce, two games I've both heard of and tend to get confused!

Eador - Strategy game with a branching plot and roleplaying choices? I am interested.

Eets Munchies - Hey, an Eets sequel? That's been a while!

Fighting Words - From a quick glance it sounds like it would be more fun as an actual card game for party nights...

Finitris: I'm not sure I get it but I'm curious.

browsing the IGF Entry list

just doing the really shallow quick takes approach to titles as I see 'em

1000 Amps - Puzzly, minimalistic, I'd poke at it for a few minutes but until then I don't know if it'd stick.

A Duck Has An Adventure - I'd play it but I bet that's an iphone game. (checks) Or an android game. Same difference.

A Million Minions - This might be amusing to play the way it's intended, but it doesn't look like it would last more than a few minutes of lols.

Alcarys Complex - See previous discussions about the extreme difficulty that a long story-based RPG is going to face.

Anodyne - I do like the graphical presentation although I'm not sure I'd be up for it over long stretches of time.

ATUM - Cryptic description. I am vaguely intrigued. Watching video, I really want to know what on earth is going on here. I enjoy the animation as well.

Axiom Verge - This looks pretty cool but honestly the aesthetic is probably a little TOO retro for me, and the demo video doesn't explain what the promo text is talking about re: glitches as gameplay.

Big Huggin - A game played with hugs. Less weird than a game played with kissing I guess.

bit Dungeon - aw man do we HAVE to do the Damsel In Distress Man Is Heroic shit again? really? really? From the look of it it doesn't even NEED a plot and said 'plot' will never be mentioned again so why do we have to stick this tired crap on it? PLEASE STOP DOING THIS GUYS.

Bosnobo - Hey, a critters game. I had Creatures way back when, I like training baby AIs. But how does it play? THe video's not very informative.

BUDLR - Neat concept. Does it work? The demo video shows the confused audience immediately dying. This gameplay doesn't really seem well-designed for the mass chaos of EVERYONE trying to enter commands.

Burgle Vs - I was interested enough by the idea to check the video but the video doesn't really show anything interesting.

Camera Obscura - Vague buzzwordy description leads to a platform game with a slightly different mechanic. Not sure it has enough staying power.

Card Hunter - This looks kinda neat. I don't think I'd play it but I'd like to watch.

(More later)

Monday, 22 October 2012

no takebacks!

I know I'm a rarity these days in *actually* caring about DRM in a monetary sense and, like, buying things from people who don't use it, instead of grumping and then having a huge Steam collection anyway.

Needless to say, I also don't own a Kindle or any DRMed ebooks. Why? Because if Amazon gets some wires crossed and decides you're a terrorist or something, they can remotely wipe your whole reading collection and refuse to give it back. No refunds.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

stop raidin my tombs!

Idea for a game that is not the right genre for me to be any good at making it -

You are a native of a culture that is currently being invaded by "explorers" (adventurers, whathaveyou). They have taken you captive and are forcing you to help them explore the Ancient Secret Ruined Temple in search of treasure, because you can read the language and work all the complicated locks and traps to get them to the gold. But you don't like these jerks, so as you go along you're doing your best to set off all the traps in a way that will whittle down the numbers of your captors.

So you're snaking along with this chain of adventurers behind you, trying to lead them into death traps. Sort of like a reverse Lemmings - once they figure out something is dangerous the rest of them will avoid it, so you have to catch them by surprise!

(Testing another blog-posting tool, let's see if this works.)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

biting the hand that feeds



iphone. gatekeeping.


Friday, 12 October 2012

this interface still sucks, blogger

On freemium, and on how a wildly popular game can continue to be a numbers disaster if you're not very, very careful with how you organise your income streams...


and dear god blogger WHY? WHY do you put all my labels in a hidden panel and then when I unhide them, display them all jumbled together and broken mid-word across line boundaries so they're incredibly hard to read and I can't find anything? GOOGLE WHY DO YOU SUCK SO HARD AT USER INTERFACE DESIGN????

Monday, 1 October 2012

incomprehensible musing

The funny thing is, when I snagged the names Togami and Junko for use in Long Live The Queen, it was because I figured Togami was about to be dead and out of the story, and everyone had forgotten about Junko anyway.

(This only makes sense if you read a certain Let's Play thread, including the current JUNKOS meme.)