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The Path Ahead – Underdev’d

We (TheInverted and I) are making a wizarding simulator.

We’ve been working on it off and on for a few months, and it’s getting to the point where we probably have an idea with legs. Because there is no point in eating when Instagram is down, I’d like to periodically do an Underdev’d dev log, to go through what we think is interesting in the game, or to document some things that were hard to figure out for an extreme beginner, especially where documentation assumes a base that doesn’t yet exist.

To start though, I’d like to write about this as-of-yet-untitled game we’re working on, what it’s about, and where we’d like to go with it. Here’s the elevator pitch.

You’re a wizard. You recruit parties to explore a randomized, partially-procedurally generated elemental world, kill enemy wizards and bring back treasure, until you’ve taken over the world.

Pretty straight forward. At this point, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, you said wizarding simulator, we get it. Don’t tell me what to think,” and fair enough, here are the details.

Currently, the game has three major modes, Management, Wizarding, and Adventure. Your wizard tower acts as a hub world that is the gateway to each of these modes in the game.

The top level of this game is a management sim that rewards hiring minions on the cheap, and using them to reap the largest rewards. As a wizard, you must allocate your resources to ensure that your parties are running smoothly, to allow you to spend more time on wizarding. In this mode you hire, equip, and train parties, reap their rewards (minus their cuts of course), and get what you need to continue your wizarding work.

Wizarding (spell research and more) is how the player develops the knowledge to interact with the world and solve puzzles. The spells will have a grammar that will allow for a wide array of unique combinations to explore and can be given to parties for use (ala Magicka, or Dungeon Magic, but way more diverse). Spells can be used environmentally and in stories to solve overcome obstacles and solve puzzles, and also in combat.

These puzzles currently come in two flavas:
1. World Puzzles – Researched spells can be used to Change the world itself to allow the party to advance. (ala Anodyne) The world is elemental based, the basic Earth, Wind, Fire, Air to start with other increasingly interesting choices. Examples include:
-Research an Earth Destruction spell to get rid of large rocks.
-Research an Water Movement spell to allow your adventures to move over water.
2. Story Puzzles – The world will consist of text-based enemy encounters. More options will be available if the player has access to certain spells (ala FTL, Fallout, Disco Elysium).
Examples:
-Research Water Creation to help thirsty camels in the desert
-Research Air Movement to help the great scientist Notcid finish their airship

Adventuring is ye olde top down wanding the world and exploring stuff part of ye olde game here (ala Dragon Quest or The Legend of Zelda or … Adventure). Here you complete quests and defeat enemies to gain resources. Resources can be monetary or elemental material. These resources are returned to the wizard for management and distribution.

Adventuring is the bulk of the play experience and it is where the player learns about the world and experiments with how the spells interact with it. It is also ultimately the play state for defeating rival wizards and winning the game. 

The basic “game machine” is as such:

-Management chooses how resources are allocated between Wizarding and Adventuring. 

-Spell Research uses resources gathered in Adventuring to increase the player’s options so that future Adventures can be more successful.
-Adventuring is primarily to gain resources to power Management and Wizarding as well as being the method to defeat other wizards and win the game. 

We plan to have the world generate procedurally based on sculpted components (ala Spelunky). Reaching a fail state (death of the wizard, death of all available party members, bankruptcy) will end the game and reset all progress EXCEPT for the knowledge gained from wizarding. Subsequent playthroughs will allow players a much greater knowledge base at the beginning of the game which will allow them to progress further and more efficiently each time. 

There will be more to come in the months (years ㅠㅠ) ahead as we slowly work through everything we’d like to do. Currently we have a base world generator, as well as a base battle system, and a decent idea of how we want the game to play. If it’s fun we’ll continue and let y’all know.

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BitSummit 7 Burping Spirits

Ain’t no party like a BitSummit river party ’cause a BitSummit river party ends in tears.

So, another BitSummit has come and gone and I saw some games and I have some thoughts. Thoughts and games. That is what we do here. Fresh games and Burpy thoughts.

I didn’t really detect any distinct trends this year but here are some main take aways:

1. The Indie bread-and-butter remains retro re-imaginings. Still a whole lot of pixel art and 2D platformers. Which is fine. There were some really illustrations of how this is not an aesthetic that has been completely mined out yet. See Olija or Unpacking for some good examples. As much as I love the art style, I try to check my own nostalgia when evaluating it. Nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake isn’t really healthy, in my opinion. But I think most of these Indie games make the case for retro being something that can still create vibrant art all these many years after Cave Story and it’s like. At least we’re not seeing a wave of PS1 / N64 block-ass polygons. A few of those exist among the Indies, but I think it for the best that those particular looks aren’t really making a come back.

2. I was all prepared to do a whine about “story games” taking over the scene. I’ve been streaming a lot of games that are story heavy to the point where they are essentially video novels or art pieces. And, if you watch the stream (as you should at 10:00 PM Korean Time on Tuesdays) you know I can get salty at the lack of “game-play.” I was all ready to complain about the influx of these games at BitSummit but:

a. There really weren’t so many of them that they amounted to a “take over.”

b. Some of them were very good. See Here and There for an example.

c. Also, to hell with me for doing this sort of gate-keeping nonsense.

People should make what they want to make and play what they want to play with out having me whine about them not be “real” games. Seriously, I do try to check my own assumptions about what games are “proper games” in my own thoughts and musings.

3. VR still remains a bit of a novelty on the Indie Scene. There were some VR games (with long lines, mostly, I think, because the demos take more time), but nothing game changing yet. My cranky opinion is that VR is a gimmick that, despite the money put into hardware and software development, will remain a niche novelty in the gaming world. A rant that will no doubt age well may be posted on Burpy Fresh at some point.

Before I list the games I liked I want to say that I legitimately appreciate all the work that all the devs put into all these games. Games are the new everything in art and people who aren’t checking out the Indie Scene are missing all the future of art.

Now, on to a list of games I thought were cool or good or both:

Atomicrops – I did not know I needed a mash up Stardew Valley and Nuclear Throne, but I did. I did need this.

Chrono Sword – From the good folks at 21c.Ducks. The Ducks are a Korean outfit and have a whole lot of talent. I think they have hopes for this to be their breakout game. It’s early in development, but the combat mechanics are smooth and enjoyable, and the abstract pixel art looks real good.

Coffee Talk – From the good people from Toge Productions makers of MagiCat and She and the Light Bearer. I didn’t get to play this one much, but Toge means quality and this is a game where you can drink cappuccinos with like demon wizards, so I’m intrigued.

Creature Keeper – An early in development Zelda-esque adventure game from the one-man-band Fevir. Also early in development, but this is totally right up my alley. The gimmick is that you can tame creatures and use them to fight for you. Dreams of a Nethack style pacifist run swim through my head.

Firegirl – Full disclosure that the artist on this is a good friend of Burpy Fresh, but I feel like this merits a mention. The art is good. The game-play unique. This is a game that could get really good over the next year or two before it’s released. Burn it all, Firegirl. Burn. It. All.

Here and There – One of the most beautiful art-games to come out of BitSummit this year. Has lovely hand-drawn artwork with surrealistic animations. This is out on the iPad and worth the time to check out next time you have a long train ride or something.

Jack Axe – Cute puzzle plat-former that is way harder than it looks. It’s like Celeste but you’re an ax wielding viking girl. I’m definitely going to be playing this when it comes out.

Legal Dungeon – A new jam from South Korea’s Somi this is a political text based puzzle game in the vein of Papers Please. Depending on how you choose to fill out police paperwork you can influence whether or not innocent people are found guilty or guilty people walk. You can ruin lives and bring points to your precinct. It’s like The Wire: The Game! Extremely clever if a bit depressing.

Lost Ember – YOU CAN BE A WOMBAT IN THIS GAME! I mean… what else do you need. Do you need good graphics, creative exploration, and a whole lot of polish? Well, fine, you have that too. Really looking forward to full release of this one.

Me and (My) Cat’s Castle – I’m not really sure what’s going on in this difficult plat-former, but I like it. It’s the type of wack small-scale game that I like seeing at these things. Hopefully, I can figure out how to get a copy so I can play it but the site is in the Japanese…

Neon Tail – “We were tiered of waiting for a new Jet Grind Radio so we decided to make our own.” SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! I am the hype about this one.

No Straight Roads – One of the most promising games at BitSummit. This game gives out a very big Double Fine vibe. The premise is that your stylish rockers need to band together to defeat and evil businessman that is made of only EDM. I’m curious to see the final product here, and this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Olija – Easily one of the best games at BitSummit. Polished retro-plat-former with Another World / Out of This World inspired graphics. You get to throw a trident at pirates! That’s pretty much all I ask re: pirates. It’s almost ready for release, and I plan to play a bunch of it.

Phogs – We say this a BICFest last year. It’s still good. A lot of surreal touches and giant bugs have been added since I last saw it. One of the more professional and polished games in the mix this year.

Shores Unknown – This is being created by a team that knows that Planescape: Torment in the best RPG of all time. They understand the truth and are working on their own game. That is an important part of indie games. Knowing what you like and trying to make more games like it. Set for release next year, I’m excited to see the final product and visit some alternate realities.

Super Retro Maker – This could be a huge thing. I spend a lot of time watching Mario Maker streamers, and I really think this game could break big if things go well. I’m half considering devoting myself to streaming SRM when it comes out next year, that’s how excited I am.

Tales of the Neon Sea – I streamed this last week, and will probably stream it tomorrow. It’s a styling and profiling adventure game with elements of Beneath a Steel Sky and Police Quest. I’ll get around to a full review of it in… checks watch… 2023… damn…

Unpacking – Unpacking things after moving is the worst thing in the world. How does this game make it so fun? It is dark magic. This is a unique puzzle game with some gorgeous pixel art.

World of Horror – So you take the retro-Macintosh graphics from Return of the Obra Din and add some of that H.P. Lovecraft special sauce to the mix? Yes. This please.






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UD #6 – The Art of Giving Up

Welcome to Underdev’d, where I talk about developing games when you don’t really know how to develop games. As Curtis the Inverted mentioned about a month ago, we’re getting band back together. We’ve been working on projects until now, but we haven’t been sharing anything. That needs to change.

Chethmatch – Ahh how I’ll miss thee.

A few months ago, I gave up on Chethmatch, the game idea I was working on for a while. You can see the first version on Itch. It’s striving to be mediocre, and fails badly, but with about 12 downloads to date, it’s probably our most popular title so far.

Chethmatch, as you probably don’t know, was basically a modern rip of Archon, but with a Street Fighter-esque combat system instead. The fighting system was completely physics based, and when two pieces came together to fight, as people mashed the controllers they would just kinda float around in circles chasing each other, never connecting. I decided to start over, which physics only for root motion and animation for all the moves. I worked on it for a few months, until I realized there was no way for me to get these systems to work together.

I mean these systems *can* work together, but there’s no way for *me* to get them to work together. At least not now.

So I gave up. I put the game down and just took a break for a while. This is what I learned.

  1. Admitting you can’t do something isn’t really a bad thing. It’s just being realistic. If you gave it the ol’ college try, and it doesn’t work, and you can’t find anyone to help you make it work, then just step back, and walk away.
  2. Giving up really gives you a good idea of how far your skills have progressed, and what you need to look into in the future. For me, I need to look into physics and animation more, but maybe not both at the same time, and maybe not as complicated of an implementation.
  3. You don’t have to give up forever. Maybe some day I’ll go back some day when I’ve learned more.
  4. It’s okay not to have a game after working on making games for the last four years, even if you want to submit to BIC fest and BitSummit, but can’t, and kinda look like a hanger-on-dork at Haeundae/Kamogawa every year. It’s okay. Kinda.

So yeah. Things are better. Working on a new game now. It’s more story based, and it builds on things I know a bit about, like linguistics, and hating. I hope to have something to show in a few months.

Until then, know that we’re just chugging along, making things. Curtis is streaming and reviewing games and working on stuff, and I’m just working on stuff. More soonish. 🙂

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The ReBurpining 2019

Welcome, ladies and gentlemans to Burpy Fresh Dot Com.

Cutting to the chase before I get into some more personal deals. This website has been mostly dead for the last few* months and I wish to make it slightly more alive. I have a couple of plans for that beginning with the Burpy Stream Show.

I’m going to be doing some regular streaming. Not a whole lot to start, but it’ll be late on Tuesday evenings Korean Standard Time. 10:00 PM – Midnight most weeks, and I’ll stay up later if a game is super cool of if cool people are hanging in chat.

Stream is at https://www.twitch.tv/burpyfresh. 
10:00 PM Every Tuesday Night KST

Schedule for April
April 2: Don’t Feed the Monkeys
April 9: ????
April 16: Profit

I’ll be editing up the streams and putting them on our YouTube channel as the Burpy Stream Show. Enjoy stream summaries and my jank video editing skills.

I’m also aiming to get some more indie reviews up on a weekly basis. The goal is one review every week plus a blog post about something or other.

Burpy Mission

I’m going to ramble a bit about my goals for this site and I guess my life at this point.

What is this site even? Glad you asked. I’m a dude who likes games and likes writing things that might even be witty on occasion about them. However, I don’t have a ton of time (hence the limited streaming schedule), so I’m trying to do what I can here to share what I can about some cool games.

What kind of games? Indie games mostly. It’s the hip and cool part of the gaming industry with small teams making weird things. I like small weird things. I don’t have any access to publishers or anything. I know a few devs from meeting at trade shows and such, but mostly the games that go here are the ones that amuse me.

Which means that Burpy Fresh ain’t gonna be a place to catch the hot new Indie News. There are other sites for that. I get word of a couple of cool games here and there or find something I like on the internets and I play it. I’m getting older and crankier everyday and have less head space to devote to keeping up with the treadmill. Bottom line is that sometimes you will get a game from 2015 or something, and like I know that’s old to people with no sense of perspective, but it’s whats going to happen. Heck, I’ll probably just go play a bunch of Cave Story at some point.

That being said. If you have a line on something cool. Send it my way. I’m easily suggestible. I like to show up at the indie game shows around East Asia, so say “hi” if you see me.**

What are your life goals vis-à-vis games? Ah, the million dollar question. A variation on “what are you even doing with your life, dawg?” I’d like to do more with making games, but my skills and interests don’t really run towards programming. I dunno, this is kind of an existential crisis for me right now…

I’m a classically trained musician of sorts, and I’m working up the skills and the courage to make and share some electronic jams that might be game material in the future. I’m hoping to devote some space on this website to my journey. It’s a learning curve.

So what is the “mission”? To gain some skills in streaming and video editing. To meet strange new people, and play strange new games. To make make wack video games style jams. To boldly burp cause I just have run low on my god-given supply of forks and like just need to share things that I enjoy without much regard to judgement be it my own better judgement or the judgement of people who think they are cool or of the dark gods that watch us from afar with their unblinking eyes that show neither pity nor contempt nor love.

*Six is not really “few” but work with me here.
**Or pretend not to know me, cause I’m just like a rando guy with a website and an oboe. Whatever. I don’t need your noise anyways.

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Busan Indie Connect 2018 Rundown

Okay, a couple weeks late, but here’s your Belchy Burpy Recap of Busan Indie Connect 2018!

Wooooooo!

BIC is good times for those of us based in Korea. It’s nice to have something on our home turf where we know all the good restaurants to take people too. Makes us feel important. Always fun to meet devs from all over the world. I thought the whole festival was a bit better organized this year, so a big thanks to all the people who made this happen.*

Musing on the Nature of Busan Indie Connect:

  1. Much like last year, Korea is a very different space than Japan or the States for these types of meetups. Indie Devs want to break into Korea, but there aren’t the big dogs here to wine and dine. In Kyoto everyone all up ons Nintendo trying to get some of that sweet plumber action like they alls in a cliche porno. Or Sony. Or Microsoft. Not really that kind of party here.**
  2. That being said, Korea is a big market and devs want to figure out how to get their stuff out here amongst the sea of mobile shovelware that dominates the market. I had a lot of good conversations with devs about ways to sell small scale games across East and Southeast Asia. But…
  3. I’m not sure BIC was really a great conduit for connecting indie devs to publishers. There were some good speakers, but I’m not sure there was any coordinated plan for getting Korea indie publishing and development on the map. I say this with some caveats:
    1. I’m not really privy to the business side of things, so I’m kind of burping out my rear end here. Which is to say farting.
    2. I’m not sure that breaking into the Korean market was actually a purpose of BIC. I think it could and should be, but maybe I’m projecting my dreams onto it.
    3. Ultimately, I don’t think there are any good answers. There are millions upon millions of mobile phone gamers who aren’t going to download a small scale game on Steam. If I had the answer I would share.

On What is Rad and What is Not Rad:

  1. Indonesia is RadToge Productions brought a really solid slate of games. Each with a different focus and style. And the people I talked to were all really nice and had great insights into the gaming industry. Southeast Asia is the future, man. Lot of people with good ideas and games coming from there in the future. Get on the train.
  2. Dungeons are Not Rad – Believe you me there is no one more aware to the debt we owe Gygax and Arneson for creating Dungeons & Dragons oh so many years ago. Reducing fantasy to abstract numbers was incredibly important in the history of game design. That being said, and I never thought I’d say this, I’m really tired of dungeons as a setting. Find something new? I recommend… luchadores?

 

Some Individual Game Thoughts:

Bread Attack!

Bossgard – Awesome brawler where the gimmick is that one player controls a boss monster while the others hack at it. The devs mocked us cruelly while beating us down with a giant monster slice of bread.

Gato Roboto – The new hotness from Devolver Digital. Basically Metroid except you are a cute kitty. I can dig on that.

Just Shapes and Beats – I’m a gameplay type guy who digs sick nasty chiptunes so this game is basically for me. You and your friends are shapes and you dodge other shapes while sick nasty chiptunes play. Now on Switch!

KlangM – Slick rhythm game with great art and a cool Thunderdome theme. I think we may indeed need another hero to play this.

Look at it’s cute widdle hat!

MagiCat – 2D platformer from Indonesia. At first glance seems real basic, but it’s remarkably well designed. There is a smoothness in the gameplay that I don’t know that I’ve seen in other platformers.

I’m glad this guy loves me.

Monster Garden – Weird low stakes adventure game about monsters trying to recreate a garden of monsters out of nightmares. This is the kind of weird little gem I love finding at BICFest.

WaveCrash – Fun puzzle brawler. I could see this being a really fun party game.

RPG Time!: The Legend of Wright – Cute reproduction of games created in Junior High School notebooks. You could tell the dev wasted a lot of his youth making these things during class time. Time well spent, I’d say.

I want to know more about orchids.

She and the Light Bearer – An adventure game out Indonesia with gorgeous art that recreates Indonesian fairy tales. One of the aforementioned great games out of Indonesia and one that I’m looking forward to spending more time with.

Sticky Bodies – From Q-Games, our gracious hosts during BITSummit, come what is basically a Terry Gilliam animation game. The world need more Monty Python themed games. Someday I’ll get on making a fish slapping dance game.

The Missing – New jam from SWERY. Creepy puzzle platformer where your protagonist much remove parts of her body to solve physics puzzle while being chased by some monster.

I dunno. I just don’t.

Wattam – I don’t even know, man. This game is weird. Fortunately I like weird things! Noby Noby boy an obvious influence. I’m going to have to play this a bit more.

 

*Canada apparently was a big sponsor. Who knew, eh?

**Though there were parties. Korea style. Introducing people to the cosmic horror that is Soju is always fun.

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BitSummit 6 – Run Down Hoe Down

Hoe Down, y’all. Play that funky music.

Went to BitSummit Volume 6 in Kyoto over the weekend. Played some great indie games, reconnected with old friends, and made some new ones. A good time was had by all. 

Here are some thoughts on what I saw:

Trends:

  1. The Switch: The Switch is the trend. Period. A lot of the showcased games were 2015-2017 releases sporting shiny new Switch ports. I think that the overall quality of the games on display can be traced to a large number of them not being new, but rather having recently released optimized versions to the hot new console.

    One developer I talked to put it like this: “It’s great for indie games because so many of them are perfect for playing in short portable bursts. Not every game shines when you have to sit in front of a PC to play it on Steam.” This is true, and I applaud Nintendo for making it easier for indie games to be released.

  2. The Haves and Have-Nots: However, there was a feeling of disparity at BitSummit this year. The developers with the Switch ports were making bank. More than one time I heard variations of “finally we’re making money on this.” And that’s great, but there were a ton of devs that were a bit disappointed that they haven’t been able to manage Nintendo’s licensing system. Games just as worthy as any other are being pushed aside because it’s hard to deal with shifting requirements and paperwork in a language you don’t know well. I feel a great deal of sympathy for the devs struggling with this. I hope that indie games are enough of a boon to Nintendo that they can find a way to be more inclusive.

  3. The Middlemen: The solution seems to be in part to find a publisher with an “in” in Japan. Pikii, Dangen, and Devolver among others had large booths of fresh Switch ports. I have no idea about the business end of things, like how much of a cut a publisher takes, and I’m sympathetic to devs that want to retain more control over their product, but middleman production companies look like the future. I could be totally full of it on this, feel free to hit me up on Twitter if I kneed some knowledge.
  1. Other than That:
    We are still banging on with the 2D pixel platformers. Homages to the 16-bit era are still the bread-and-butter of indie gaming. I await the PS1 nostalgia wave so we can get our hand painted background and janky 3D tank controls on.

    Very international crowd this time. Felt like more European and South American devs made the trek this year than last. The indie scene is all over the world.

    Much less VR this year. Is VR dying? Sources say “yes, it is a nonsense gimmick.” Sources are “my butt”, but I truly wonder about the viability of that platform in the future. Kits aren’t really becoming any less of a luxury item, and the Switch might take over as the future thing for the next couple years at least.

Games:

I didn’t have a chance to play everything, but here’s what I got hands-on with along with some thoughts:

What exactly is that under the water?

Above – You explore a world of water and islands in your seaplane looking for materials and battling sea monsters. Still in beta, but it’s already fairly polished. Could be *really* good upon final release. I’ll keep an eye out.

Agartha – Neat little 2D platform shooter with destructible environments. Fire gun turns water to steam. Bullets and explosions can destroy earth. Go grab it from that link. It’s fun.

Black Bird – Slick 2D shooter with a cool “evil bird beast destroys medieval town” aesthetic. This was fun to play. Just the kind of shooter where you can’t help but cackle maniacally as your destroy all the things. Won a bunch of BitSummit awards, and deservedly so. 

Live your MAGA life

Boss Golf – A golf course sim. Build a golf course and play it. I asked the dev if they had a “Donald Trump” option and he was all like “He’s already in the game.” Zoomed in on one of the players and sure enough there was little pixel Tonald Dumph playing golf. Priorities.

Weapons are sexy

Boyfriend Dungeon – You are a person who only dates weapons. The weapons are also hot people. Part dating sim. Part Diablo. All Awesome.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Me: So, this is just Castlevania III with modern updates? Dev: *shuffles feet nervously* Me: Dude, don’t act embarrassed. I’ve wanted this game for 20 years.

ClusterPuck99 – Elegant, simply executed hockey game for multiplayer. It’s on Switch now! Really fun party game to look for if you have a Switch (or any system with multiple controllers).

The Dev shares my Birthday!

Eatvolve – Still early in development, but this promises to be a fun platformer with the mechanic that when you eat another creature you can some of its abilities. Frogs = jump. Bats = wings. Looking forward to a full version.  

Fight Crab – A game where crabs battle in gladiatorial combat. Epic. From the creators of Ace of Seafood. Which is also epic. Didn’t get enough time on this to fully rate it, but it was epic.

Brave Earth: Prologue – A birds knocking you into pits simulator with no checkpoints from the I Wanna Be the Guy guy.

Kero Blaster – The best game about a Frog who does business and that business is shooting things. You literally have to shoot your work because there is an evil work creating machine. Now on Switch!

I don’t know what is going on, but I love it.

Knuckle Sandwich – This. This game. I don’t know what was going on here, but I love. RPG style in the vein of Earthbound. Weird ass WarioWare mini games. I want more of this. I could’ve played this for a long time if my friends weren’t so eager to get in on the Fight Crab game.

Kwaidan (?) – As my partner in crime intuited, PS1 nostalgia could be the next big thing. Didn’t play much of this cause my Japanese is weak sauce, but a trend to watch.

Necrosphere – Two button (left/right) Metroidvania. Very cool and intuitive. I want to spend some more time with this.

Parade! – Cute and funky rhythm game for Android and iOS. Dance with a bunch of cute animals until you get abducted by aliens. I dig it.

Phogs! – Still in development, but this was a fun, cute, and good looking game where you solve puzzles as a two headed dog. Looking forward to getting my hands on a full version of this.

Pixel Game Maker MV – A 2D platformer creator from the RPG Maker folks. Potentially a really big deal if it takes off like RPG Maker did. Keep an eye out for a community that forms around this game once it drops in the Summer. I predict there will be some gems made for this if one is willing to dig.

PixelJunk Eden Obscura – Not officially at BitSummit, but Q-Games hosted a launch party, so I’ll include it. It’s an odd little experimental game for Android. I’m not really sure what to make of it. It involves elephant DJs who require pollen from trippy plants for like, magic or something. Cool music and visuals from Baiyon.

Psyvariar Delta – Bullet hell shooter. Ain’t my jam, but if you like the bullets and the hells, check it out.

Witch Girl Fight!

Remilore – Upcoming Diablo clone with an anime witch girl reskin. Wacky weapons including a giant skewer of ddeokbokki. Super fun with two players.  

Rising Hell – 2D vertical beat em up where you get a magic punch glove and proceed to punch your way out of hell. This was one of my favorites at BitSummit. Like Black Bird it required some skill, but once I got going I felt like a blood soaked bad-ass.

Runner 3 – The third in the Bit.Trip Runner games. Stylish one button run jump platformer. Coming to Switch!

8-Bit Love

Save Me Mr. Tako – Game Boy platformer homage from Nicalis that is finally coming out. I’ve seen this a few times before. It’s cute and also Game Boy so I’m on board.

She Remembered Caterpillars – Cute / creepy puzzle games. Didn’t spend much time with this but the folks at the booth were really nice.

Shu – A nice looking 2.5D platformer from 2016. I pretty much like any game where you are a bird or a bird person, so this is right up my alley. Now on Switch!

Slime-san – Super Meat Boy style wall jump platformer. Super difficult, but one of my favorite games from a year ago. Now on Switch!

Super Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes EX – Port of the multiplayer ultra difficult platformer by Nicalis. Really hard, but fun with a friend. Now on Switch!

Chaos!

Super Slime Arena – Smash Bros. style 2D battler where you are all slimes. Gimmicks are 1) can be used with any controller (I used a Dreamcast Fishing Rod), and 2) can be played with as many players as you have open USB slots (up to 30 or so, I think). Good times.

Super Sportmatchen – It’s like those terrible old NES Track and Field games, but actually good! Another style of game I’ve been wanting to see get a modern update for a while. Super fun party game. Now on Switch!

Tarotica Voo Doo – Originally planned for the MSX. Homeboy programmed this in BASIC and Machine Code cause he is OLD SCHOOL. Was showing off how changes in the Machine Code affected the game. I love when these old indie projects show up. Indie ain’t new.

Three Stars of the Match

Note: I’m disqualifying the games that were previously released and are now just getting a coat of polish. No offense to those, but I wanted to showcase some new stuff.

  • Knuckle Sandwich – I want more of this.
  • Boyfriend Dungeon – obviously gets a star.  For obvious sexy reasons.
  • That Game Where You Controlled a Cardboard Box to Move a Naked Guy Who Had to Get Home Without Being Spotted Metal Gear Style – I have no idea what it was called, but it gets a star.

The Labo is awesome!

 

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Blog (Pre-Medium)

Seoul Indies – December Line Up

A belated and half-hearted Happy New Year’s to everyone. We’ve had a good break here, and by good, I mean it took me 3 weeks to pick up ourselves from the tear-soaked bathroom floor where my hopes and dreams have gone to die, to drag myself out to December’s Seoul Indies.

Which kinda cheered me up. No, not in a schadenfreude sort of way either. It’s inspired us to get back on the game-dev bandwagon folks, and hopefully we’ll have something to show in the next month or so. Something… almost fun.

For now though, here’s what we saw at Seoul Indies last week.

 

Flower in Gear – Byulbram

Flower in Gear – Byulbram

 

This was a game jam title, with the goal of combining art, games, and politics. I’m sure I missed most of the political stuff, but basically you have to balance a series of gears that shift in size. Gears that are working well together turn green and disappear, but gears that don’t work together can turn red and cause you to lose the game. As far as I know, he’s still working on the win conditions for this one, but it’s and interesting concept.

 

Hegemonia Rebellion – Moonshine Games

Hegemonia Rebellion – Moonshine Games

This game is a roguelike with a lot of influence from FTL. You start with a number of players in a procedurally generated world with the goal of overthrowing the king. There are isometric battle sequences like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem, while towns and cities are mostly text based in a manner similar to Darklands. If you beat the game you become the new king, and the next time you play it, you’ll have a new party setting out to try to take down your old character. There’s a lot of stuff happening in this title, it’ll be interesting to see how it develops.

 

Super Jazz Bros – 21c Ducks

Super Jazz Bros – 21c Ducks

This game was another game jam title, that 21c ducks are considering developing into a full fledged game. It’s a bit like Parappa the Rapper (and jazz I suppose) in that there is a call-and-repeat mechanic, where you take an instrument and jam with the computer or with others. The better you do, the more people show up in the crowd (similar to Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door?), and the more stuff that can appear on screen it seems. I’d like to see how they work more multiplayer options into this. (Right now it just seems to be multiple people on the same keyboard.)

 

Kuro Shiro Lollo – 21c Ducks

Kuro Shiro Lollo – 21c Ducks

In the words of the great Curtis the Inverted, “Single screen platforming puzzlers are a staple of the indie games industry.” You control two cats with one set of controls and need to get them to their proper portals at the same time. I think I would rather see them focus on Super Jazz Bros than this, but I can still see there being a market for another of this type of game.

 

That’s it! Let’s hope we have something to show by the next time Indies rolls around!

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Blog (Pre-Medium)

Back to Japan – Otaru and Mega Night

TLDR: Japan is for drinking.

While I can’t say this statement has been true for my whole life, or for even times as recent as 10 years ago, I do loves me some Japan. I think after moving out of the country, we needed a few years apart to grow and develop, and now that I’m more mature, and I don’t have to deal with its everyday bullshit on a regular basis, Japan is again like a second home to me, full of enjoyment and wonder, and booze, and video games.

So back again I went into the fire, this time to both Tokyo and Kyoto in one trip, in search for the best drunkenest parties in the country, and people to talk about game dev with. I was not disappointed.

I left on Thursday morn, a chill wind from the north whipping through the trees, keeping my vodka at just above freezing. I questioned my own behaviour on Facebook, regarding always taking early flights, to which I received an immediate and repeated response.

“You’re a cheap bastard.”

The truth is hard to take at 3 am.

But after a short flight, a nap, and like 40 plates of sushi, I was off and rearing to go to Otaru, Tokyo’s video game industry weekly meet up. This was my second time visiting, and I was pleasantly surprised to be remembered, and not beaten to a bloody pulp on sight. It’s a super welcoming crowd. Y’all my fucking heroes.

#Progress

I don’t remember everything that happened, but these people know how to do up a Thursday night. Add some Kyoto peeps in town in the mix and dayum it’s nuts. We sanjikaied at a burrito shop where I had a few coronas and I woke up in bed the next morning, covered in mikan chuhai, trying to piece everything together over Twitter.

Them lemon sours pack a punch.

Twitter remembers all.

Pukey and 40, I rolled out of bed around 10 and trundled over to Narita T3, and dead-plebbed it JetStar to KIX, Kyoto bound to Mega. (Kyoto peeps took the train like civilized human beings.)

Mega, which I think might be a secret, but then again might not be, and no one reads this anyways so it doesn’t really matter, is Vitei Backroom’s RR celebration of video games, friendship, and alcohol. On Mega Eve, the three 1/2 kingdoms declare peace for a day, and all come together to rejoice, for there is ample booze in the freezer.  It is a time of joy and glee. And, for the second time in 24 hrs, I woke up with the taste of mikan chuhai in my mouth.

It’s the taste of freedom.

The rest of the time was spent handing with ex-Seoulites, and getting dat soosh. Good times.

Oh and Mushroom cocktails. That’s a mushroom cocktail up there.

Kyoto loves gin.

10/10. Would recommend.

Will get back to reviewing games this weekish.

 

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Blog (Pre-Medium)

GStar – Worth it? Probably not.

I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and go to GStar in Busan. Was it worth it? Kinda. Here’s the breakdown.

 

The Good

 

Vectorium at BIC’s booth.

 

1. Busan Indie Connect (BIC) has a fairly large pity booth at the side of the event. I’m pretty sure the conversation went like this:

 Busan Government : Let BIC come and play.

 GStar: But, but they’re not cool! They don’t even have any half-naked dancing chicks.

 Busan Government: Do you want to use BEXCO for like free or not?

GStar: … FINE. They can come, but I’m not talking to them any.

And so it went. The booths were fairly crowded, but it seemed like most people were just trying to get away from the throng in the main hall.

Now, don’t get me wrong, BIC is my baby, and it was the best part of the event. I got to see a lot of people, hang out, play some weird games. It was way more fun than anything else GStar had to offer. I’m just keeping it real yo.

 

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds – Proof that you don’t need good music, art, design, or programming skills to make a popular game.

 

2. PUBG Tournament in the main hall. That was fun. The game itself is boring as watching paint dry, but spectating is kinda amazing. Having eyes on 75 people get herded into a increasingly smaller and smaller place while trying to not to be seen, creates some real drama, especially because when the spectating monitors have x-ray mode on so you can see people lying in wait. It makes me wish this was possible in the actual game, instead of just dying and wondering why.

 

Roof Rage

 

3. Roof Rage on the big screen. Okay, so maybe BIC and GStar did agree to a little big of crossover, though I’m not sure how much BIC had to do with this one. Roof Rage on the big screen was fun as hell to watch! Of course, action packed multiplayer lends itself well to these situations, but it’s nice to see some smaller developers getting some good screen time.

 

The Bad

 

1. Half-naked trade show models. (Not pictured above) Really? It’s 2017, let’s move beyond this. Not only is it creepy to see men drooling as they charge up to people just to take photos and run away, it doesn’t really have anything to do with gaming. You know what would be better? An effort to make gaming more inclusive towards women.  Oh wait. I forgot. Hell hasn’t frozen over yet, and pigs can’t even fly. My bad. Continue on. *

2. Why does it seem that all AAA games are either all handholdy 3D walking simulators with a sprinkle of something story-like, or “action”-“r””p””g”s that basically either play themselves or require a semi-continuous one-button input? I’ll fully admit I’m biased, but there was nothing I wanted to play anywhere in the main hall, and really, PUBG was only fun because of the event. So very boring.

3. Sooo many people, and such poor planning. When I got there at about 1pm on Saturday, the line to buy tickets was about 2000 people long. Luckily I was able to get a guest pass to avoid the 2-3 hour wait, but that’s a planning failure if I’ve ever seen one. Buy your tickets in advance people.

 

The Summary

 

In short, GStar was only worth it for me for hanging out with BIC peeps. I’m not sure if I’ll go back again next year, it really depends if BIC has a booth there or not. If you happen to be in Busan and are able to get tickets in advance (they’re really cheap) then I would say go for it for an afternoon, not really worth the trip though.

 

*How long till someone calls me a SJW snowflake cuck not-real gamer?

Categories
Blog (Pre-Medium)

Underdev’d #3 – Learning Blender

Welcome back to Game Dev with the Underdev’d #3. We’ve come along way people. Burpy Fresh’s first game ever has been met with incredible critical approval.

Three downloads!

Admittedly, developing something that requires 4 PS2 controllers was likely not a good idea.

Onwards and upwards! Fast forward a year. Nothing has happened. Yay! Basically, I’ve started a number of different projects, and have left them in varying states of disarray. I was bemoaning this fact while watching YouTube and having several bowls of ramyeon when I saw a YouTube ad that wasn’t some k-pop garbage. Udemy was having a sale on their Blender course.

I was like, shit, I can get 20 bucks worth of knowledge out of this, and so I bought it. I was also thinking, “Hey, maybe if I make a 3D game and just make it look 2d-ish with a well placed orthographic camera, and I can get around all the problems I’ve been having trying to define a walkable space on a jpg when I should really just be using a nav mesh.

I don’t know if that makes sense. If it doesn’t, please tell me, because I don’t want to take a 60hr Blender course just to learn that all I needed to do was to not be shit at coding.

I have to admit, while they need to get their Q&A/Community interface in order, the course overall is pretty good. I’d used Blender for all of 20 minutes before, and ended up messing up the the interface so much I ended up deleting the program and reinstalling it from scratch. This is probably why they have a whole section of lectures based just on the interface, and how to clean things up when everything’s gone to hell.

I also made a Mayan temple, and a room that I managed to import into Unity (WITH colliders), and everything worked normally. It was a wondrous occasion.

I now have a box in which I can move and not clip through.

So, I’m going to stick with this Blender stuff, probably through to the end of the course, then start up again and see what mess I can get myself into. @curttheinvert has some amazing ideas… it would be nice to put some of them to use!