We here at Happion Labs believe in family, particularly when they can provide us free labor. Presenting Numbergun with art by Sofia Fristrom, 7 years old. And programming by Jamie Fristrom, 42 years old.
SO - this is our Seven Day First Person Shooter, or #7dfps as the kids say - and if it wasn't for the thing ending tomorrow I would say it's way too early to ask for feedback, BUT. SO. If you had just a couple more hours to work on this, what would you do?
Not only is it cute - there's the beginnings of a novel game mechanic in there.
We're No Angels - Steve Manale's, Ivan Neveu's, and my entry for Comics vs. Games is almost done, because, well, it has to be.
You play rockstars trying to escape from Heaven and God - your biggest fan. (Why else do you think you were taken so young?)
We wanted to get Amy and Tupac in there, but looks like we're going to settle for just Elvis and Jimi.
It's another twin stick shooter. Nothing particularly innovative design wise, though the heroin powerup is cool - you float up into the third dimension and get a strategic view of the map. Here's Elvis on drugs:
You heard it here first. Miguel Sternberg has set up this Comics vs. Games exhibition in Toronto, teaming up comics artists with game developers to make comics-influenced-games or gamey-comics.
So I'm working with Steven Manale, creator of Superslackers, to make a game - working title We're No Angels! - about dead rock stars trying to escape from Heaven.
Still wanting to put this up on the web with Native Client when I'm done, I started out using my old tech, then decided to switch to using Ogre - and that, for me, was a very unhappiness-inducing experience.
Meanwhile, I've been showing Unity to my students at Digipen as a way to introduce them to a variety of game-technology concepts, and I'm crushing on Unity more and more. I've been leery of using it because I worried about whether it would be able to handle the sort of n^2 flocking algorithms I'm likely to have in a top-down shooterish game. So I put it through its paces - and I'm sold; that's 150 enemies all iterating over each other. (Gamepad required.)
And that is also a very very very very rough draft of We're No Angels! there. I'm having trouble finding time to work on it - I've started thinking of it as being a 48-hour game jam, just spread over a couple months ...
The one thing I've discovered that Unity Free is missing is postprocessing on the frame buffer. Apparently that's only in Unity Pro. Oh well.
Chrome 15 was released today - so, in theory, you can now play sixty second shooter with no hoops to jump through!
So - I've made some last minute fixes and polish and I'm calling it VERSION 1.0!
This doesn't mean I'm calling it 'done' yet - there's one big thing I still want to do, and that's implement a friend's list leaderboard. How I'm going to do that I haven't quite decided yet. It hasn't been a priority, because not enough people have been playing it yet for that to matter, but hopefully that will soon change.
I just gotta say - I love this game. I can't stop playing it. I hope y'all like it too.
And Isaac was again the leader on the leaderboards before I did this mid-week update.
Strange coincidence: this also happens to be the 500th post on GameDevBlog. Weird.
So, last week, Isaac took the title of sixty second shooter world champion away from Tomo. What do you want for a prize?
This week, (before I even managed to get the update in) I seem to be leading the pack, but I'm not eligible for the nonexistent prize. One jvoung already has a pretty solid score, in the 200K range.
For me, this was another week filled mostly with stuff that was not-working-on-the-game.
But I did manage to get some window-filling goodness in there. Ben Guildenstein's been asking for it for weeks and I finally did it. (You see? I do, eventually, respond to feedback.)
Turns out that extra 20% screen real estate makes a big difference!
And, sorry Ben, it doesn't automatically go full-screen, but if you full-screen Chrome yourself (that's F11 on Windows) it's pretty sweet.
Or, if your framerate sucks, you can play in a smaller window and get some more performance.
And people with small monitors will be able to see the leaderboard now - it won't be wrapped off the bottom of the screen.
To do it, I had to spend what felt like a stupid amount of time mucking with CSS to more-or-less get the browser text to where I thought it should be. It makes me miss the days when I only had to support 4:3 and 16:9. I should now probably write an article on CSS for NaCl / webgl / maybe even HTML5 games.
Okay, got most of the bugs I know about worked out, including one with logging in that I don't know how many people got hit by.
I did a fair amount this week - but it's pretty rough:
a macrogame: earn and spend energy to give yourself an edge (and, because I haven't yet implemented a "bonus energy of the week" or "bonus energy of the day" system, Tomo starts with nothing. Now's your chance to beat him.)
worked on bringing some clarity to the game mechanics: little score readouts when you destroy enemies, and it gives strategy tips between games
new powerups: double-fire and energy coils
a few tweaks, such as making powerup-collision more forgiving (I may not have gone far enough there)
Tomo is still the world champion at sixty second shooter. WILL NOBODY UNSEAT HIM?
I didn't have much time to work on the game this week. Tomo helped me decide that last week I went too far in tightening the game up and lowering variance - this week, things will be more random and building chains is easier than ever, so we should all be able to rack up higher scores.
Also made some changes to the way leaderboards work - Tomo will only be on the main leaderboard once now, so he won't scare anybody away - and there's a leaderboards page where you can examine high-scores by level. So if you don't want to compete in the Big Show you can always stay on level one and see how high a score you can get there.
And I put in some half-assed antialiasing. I'll make it three-quarters-assed this week.
Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine 1001 Games You Must Play Before You DieNomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game
3D grappling-and-swinging-and-running-on-walls-and-doing-tricks ... with a jetpack ... for style! Crowd-funding campaign coming someday - be prepared.
Playstation Mobile Game Of The Year Gold
Deluxe version on PlayStation Vita! Free original version on Google Chrome. Just what it says on the tin: a dual-stick shooter with a sixty second time limit. You'll be surprised how fun that is.