That is a whole lot of missiles!
I can’t think of any more appropriate back-of-the-box quote than that for Itano Alpha Flight, my latest game on Xbox Live Indie Games. This game is all about missiles, yours and your enemies. It’s a little bit of Afterburner, a little bit of Macross, and a whole lot of action.
You can see screenshots of the game below:
When I first started this blog, I committed to a weekly update schedule. Since my last post I’ve started to drift from that schedule. That last post was on burnout no less, not entirely a coincidence.
Lately, my plate (from both a professional and a personal perspective) has been particularly full and I’ve been finding it hard to muster the energy necessary to research and write my weekly post. While time is a factor, I think this is more about having sufficient emotional energy left over after everything else going on in my life. Therefore, I’ve decided to take a break from my regularly scheduled blog posts while I sort things out.
I don’t think I’ll stop posting on Game Dev Without a Cause entirely. I will probably still post occasionally just not at the original once-a-week schedule. I hope I’ll get back to regularly writing blog posts soon. And I hope you’ll be here to read what I have to say. Most of all, I hope that you’ll forgive the cliche of using a hammock in the sunset as the cover picture for this post.
See you soon,
The last few months have been pretty darn busy. Hobby-life, work-life, personal-life, everything seemed to peak right about the end of February. I’ll be honest. I’m feeling pretty tired. I may even be feeling, dare I say it: burned-out.
Well, not full-on “burned-out” I don’t think. That’s actually a pretty major state of affairs. Still, I’m starting to notice some warning signs and I’ve had trouble bringing 100% of my power to bear on any task lately, be it was work or at home.
Now, the advice I’m about to give is not based on any particular professional expertise. Indeed, I’m about as layman as they come. But, I am someone who has worked himself to the point where I had to take a stress-induced leave from work so I thought I’d share some of the signs I watch for with regards to my emotional health.
Okay, okay. I’m about two weeks late but I finally finished up my February #OneGameAMonth entry. In my defense, I did have a confluence of life and work events knock into my schedule. But, that’s neither here nor there. I said One Game a Month.
As I mentioned previously, my goal for February’s game was to capture some of that Itano Circus feel. With that in mind, I even went so far as to name the game “Itano Alpha Flight”. And now the game is available for you to play.
Prank wars have an ugly habit of spinning out of control. One person pranks another, then the victim gets back at the prankster with a prank of their own. The original prankster raises the stakes with another prank and so on and so forth.
While this sort of escalation is the kind of situation you want to avoid in real life, it is a powerful tool in game design. As a matter of fact, you can find some element of escalation in almost any game worth playing. Continue reading
Alrighty then, it’s been about 3 months since I released Robot Legions on Xbox Live Indie Games so I think it’s about time I came out about how it’s been selling. Before I get into the numbers, let me preface by saying that I’m definitely not buying a private island any time soon. Hell, with these sort of numbers I’m not quitting my day job any time soon either. Which is fine because I rather like my job. (And we’re hiring. Nudge, nudge.)
Tension. In many ways games are all about tension. Indeed, the sort of tension that arises from the choices you have to make when playing a good game is a key ingredient in what makes that game fun.
I think one of the definitions offered by the Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a clear picture of how this word applies to game design:
a balance maintained in an artistic work between opposing forces or elements
It’s February and I’ve been at #OneGameAMonth for about 6 weeks now, so I thought it was about time to comment on how it’s going.
Before that though, a few words about why I’m doing #OneGameAMonth (#1GAM for short) in the first place. Here is the mission statement from my #OneGameAMonth profile page:
My biggest hope in joining #OneGameAMonth is to use it as a chance to challenge all my assumptions about how games should be made. By holding to the seemingly impossible goal of One Game a Month, I hope to find what I need to change (and what I’m unwilling to sacrifice) in order to make more, better games. Also, making friends and becoming AWESOME!
My main goal is to challenge myself to approach game development in ways that I haven’t before. So, this is how am I doing so far: Continue reading
Google Risk-Reward and you’ll treated to page upon page on investment strategy. Risk-Reward may be key in getting rich (or going broke), but it’s also vital for making games fun.
The basic principle here is that, in games, the level of reward provided by an action should match the level of risk it entails. Low-risk behavior should generally provide low rewards. A highly rewarding action (say a high-damage attack or a high-value treasure) should require a commiserate level of risk otherwise players will never have a reason to choose a lower-reward alternative. Continue reading
I’m proud to announce that the latest update for Robot Legions is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games. You can grab it from the Indie Games section of your Xbox 360 or over the web from this page.
This update improves upon the original with new graphical effects and an added ability for the player to toggle their firing modes. Now you can switch between synced and alternating fire modes allowing you to choose between accuracy and rate-of-fire as best fits the situation. Continue reading