The game blog, Hyperbole Games has an interview/monologue with game designer Chevee Dodd who recently had his game Scallywags published by Gamewright
The post is not polished, but it is a detailed overview of the path this person took to go from having a few ideas to being a published designer. The accounts of working with publishers will resonate with anyone who has worked in music or book publishing.
A ChoiceScript game I wrote in November 2010 has been ported to an app!
iTunes customers have given it 4.5 stars!
"Brings back good memories!... Back before computers and video games were common place, these books were such a fun way to spend time. Decent writing and lots of fun choices to make, about to read it again and see how it ends this time."
"Fun adventure... Good story, a number of different choices with consequences, and a chance to name your own starship - goldfish not included. Thanks for creating a fun app!"
"Really good... I really enjoyed this adventure! It's absolutely one of the best choice games I've ever played! Really well written, good job all the way around."
More information at http://www.choiceofgames.com/2011/12/announcing-zebulon/
Or see the original entry from Nov. 2010:
This was entered into the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition where it lost the 3rd-place slot by something like 1/100 of a point.
There are no graphics, but there is no typing either, as there was in Zork and those other classic Infocom games. Instead, every few paragraphs the reader is presented with a multiple choice about how the plot should unfold. It's a fascinating and unique genre.
The prior examples of ChoiceScript games I had seen were quite dramatic, so I wanted to do something more whimsical. With the 1980s on the brain I decided that "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" would be an appropriate starting point and I tried to channel the spirit of Douglas Adams as I wrote the game.
I'm in discussion with the guys who wrote ChoiceScript about porting the game to a mobile app, but that is still in the works.
Jay Bibby is hosting the 9th CasualGameplayDesignCompetition
There is a spectrum between completely top-down narrative and totally immersive interactive game, and this genre falls closer to the former than the latter. "Interactive fiction" may be the best description.
When thinking about educational games ("serious games") I think about this genre of interactive experience. It has more potential to lead to meaningful choices and thought than simple shooting games do, and thus more potential to yield an educational experience.
The game was created by Steph Thirion who has made a name for himself with his iPhone game "Eliss."
Everyone who does independent development is happy for, and envious of his success.
Little Wheel is a very cute game that is more like interactive fiction than a real game since the puzzles aren't difficult at all. Great "2.5-D" animation and robots.
This game has gotten better reviews, but much less play than the previous one.
It is longer and easier than the first. Most said the first was too hard, and many are saying this is too easy, although that could just be bragging.
- Only those who liked the first one (less than 50% on average) played the second
- Exposure matters and so far this has been a much more controlled release
- Having the walkthrough available right away may have backfired since some players seem to play solely in order to provide hints to others.
Patrick Smith is a brilliant Flash artist who has been producing works of wonder for the past several years at VectorPark
His latest game is his most whimsical and technically sophisticated work to date, a downloadable game called Windosill.
There is nothing like Smith's stuff anywhere. He's managed to come up with a pseudo-3D engine for Flash that no one else has replicated.
In terms of game commerce, this is an interesting experiment because the download is only $3. The price point for most casual games has been $15, but now with GameLab going out of business, it looks like that wasn't enough to pay their bills, but at the same time was too expensive for many people to want to pay.
The download is free and you can play the first half without paying anything. I got about $20 worth of enjoyment out of it, so it was worth it.
I have a new addiction, Hex Empire by meta sauce (Kamil Burkiewicz)
It's like RISK! or Axis & Allies or Conqueror! if that means anything to you. The brilliant aspect of the game is how the subtleties of strategy seem to come in gradual waves. At first, the Hard level is simply too hard, until you learn the less direct ways af gaining advantage.
On the Hard level I'm able to win about 80% of the time, which seems to be the formula for dependency - I know that I can probably succeed, but I still have to work for it.
UPDATE: GamePoetry seems to be dead.
I have a link to a beta version of the game here: http://acetio.com/games/4k/4K.html
GamePoetry.com had a 4K contest where all games entered had to be under 4 kilobytes (4,096 bytes). This is similar in style to the old Atari 2600 games, and it sounded like a fun idea.
Here is my entry: Gompers
The mechanic is similar to the Gladiator game I made a few years ago.
- You play a golden mermaid who is fighting off incoming cruise ships
- The character follows the cursor, the ships follow your character
- Clicking the mouse launches a harpoon. If the harpoon hits a ship while in flight, it damages the ship
- You have a finite number of harpoons. You have to retrieve your spent harpoons in order to use them again
- If you collide with a ship, the ship capsizes, and you lose 10% of your life
- Obstacles slow you down, and slow down the ships. Obstacles include: capsized ships and your seaweed net in the center of the screen
- Each level spawns ships, the number of which is equal to the level number (3 ships in level 3)
- Each level the ships get a little bigger, a little faster, and a little stronger (can handle more harpoon strikes)
- Each level you get one additional harpoon. If your health is below 100%, you get a 10% boost in health each level.
- The first few levels are intended to get the player familiar with the mechanics, later on the strategy involves trapping the oncoming ships amongst the seaweed and capsized ships