In case you haven't been reading the dates above my posts I should mention that the last article was 'written' on September 16, 2012. If you're a bit confused on why that date is important then the fact that I have been on a nearly 3 week hiatus may have not made much of an impact on you, but to prevent my website from being flushed down the metaphorical toilet I feel like it's about time I get something new up on this page before my viewers start leaving.
Where have I been? Well, no-where, to be honest. I've been no-where, in fact, I rarely end up in a place without access to my computer, the internet, or even a pad of paper so there's hardly any excuse for my lack of updates regarding my projects and series...
...but, I'm going to come up with one anyway.
I recently got a job and, while getting use to all of the things that come with it, I have had very little time to work on anything, including games, but now that things have settled down and I have an understanding of the things my new place of employment require me to do I should by able to continue updating this site and finishing my games so that they can FINALLY be released.
TL;DR version: I'm sorry I've been gone for so long and I'll start updating again soon.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Example 1. The LittleBIGPlanet series
The LittleBIGPlanet franchise uses a life system similar to the Super Mario series with a few small tweaks. LBP gives the player checkpoints and each checkpoint has a limited number of lives associated with it. The player cannot restore lives until he or she reaches another checkpoint and if the player loses all of his or her lives he or she must re-start the level, which are often massive in LBP, from the beginning. The player is punished in two ways: 1) As mentioned before, the player must restart the level and the levels in LBP are incredibly large compared to other platform games. 2) The player loses out on several 'end-of-level' prizes if he or she dies in a level, which causes the loss of a life to actually mean something even if it is only minor. LittleBIGPlanet's life system is not perfect by any means, but it is a step in the right direction.
Example 2. Games with 'perma-death'
|The Ankh, an extra life in Spelunky.|
Friday, September 14, 2012
In the summer of 2010 I began working with Lunar Magic, a program that allows the user to add custom levels into Super Mario World, a hobby referred to as ROM hacking. At first, I aspired to create a full hack complete with everything you'd expect from a 'real' game, but then my girlfriend and I broke up causing me to spiral into depression and during that time my simple creation transformed into something...horrible. I decided that, in order to stave off my sorrow, I'd use ROM hacking as a way to ease my pain; I achieved this by designing the most devious, unfair levels my twisted mind could possibly imagine and the result ended up being something that I THOUGHT I'd never release upon the world.
But, HERE IT IS! I Wanna be the Mario, in all of it's blood stained glory! I am both ashamed and proud of this creation at the same time; I'm ashamed because the game isn't difficult, it's simply unfair and that is a big 'no-no' when it comes to game design, but I'm proud because IWBTM really helped me hone my skills and, to be honest, some of the level gimmicks are actually pretty clever. IWBTM is finished and I will likely never return to it, but it was definitely something that I NEEDED to make, not only as a way to deal with sadness, but also as a teaching tool for myself.
Download I Wanna be the Mario!
Find a SNES emulator that suits you!
For legal reasons I cannot upload an actual Super Mario World ROM so an IPS patch was uploaded instead; for those of you who do not know how to apply IPS patches I've included a short tutorial with the patch file itself.
WARNING: IWBTM is extremely difficult and unfair and is not meant to be an indicator of the kind of games I'll be developing in the future! Play this ROM hack at your own risk!
Friday, September 7, 2012
The Binding of Isaac is a game filled to the brim with powerups; some are fantastic and some warrant an "Ugh!" when they're found in treasure rooms. Some can transform you into an absolute powerhouse while others will almost guarantee your run will end in failure. These are 7 of the best items in The Binding of Isaac!
Number 7. Habit
The Nun's habit is an amazing item, but I felt it deserved the number 7 spot because it's usefulness depends entirely upon your current space bar item. If the player is equipped with the Habit, his or her space bar item will recharge by 3 blocks anytime he or she takes damage (which also includes blood banks, self-sacrifice rooms, etc.). This ability can be used to great effect when combined with items such as the Yum Heart, allowing the player to use blood banks without actually losing health.
Also, combining the Habit, Book of Revelations, and The Wafer grants the player infinite life.
Number 6. Polyphemus
Polyphemus has been a hit with the Binding of Isaac community since it was released with the Wrath of the Lamb expansion. Polyphemus works like this; your Tears are reduced to minimum, but your damage and tear size are increased significantly. If one of your over-sized tears hits an enemy with less HP than the amount of damage your tear would inflict then the tear passes though the enemy, decreases in size, and inflicts the remaining damage upon the next enemy it hits (if any). Polyphemus deserves the number 6 spot because it's only 'good' by itself; Polyphemus REALLY shines when it's combined with another tear effect such as Technology, Sacred Heart, or Mutant Spider.
Trivia: "Polyphemus" was the name of the cyclops Odysseus encountered in The Odyssey.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Due to the acquisition of a new job I'll be unable to plan and post weekly series consistently, so I've decided to discontinue weekly series and post Level Talk and Thoughts From a Developer whenever I have the time. This is actually a good thing because articles and videos that would normally be posted once a week may receive multiple updates within a 7 day period.