Apr
19
2015

Projects On The Go…

Another big gap, as I try to figure out what’s happening next. I figured you guys oughta be kept up to date with current goings on, in the world of AGameAWeek, so here’s a rough bit of blogging so that you can vaguely assume you know what’s going on!

Current projects are..
1. Kee Bo Ard Go Deep
Another sequel in the Kee Bo Ard collection. I’ve so far built a fairly capable engine, but am struggling to decide exactly what I’d like to do with it. I’ve got the game up to a “You can complete a level” point, but the levels are currently bland and unexciting. As such, the game’s been stuck in limbo for a couple of weeks, and I’m not sure if it’s going to get any further than that.
I’ll probably abandon it, even at this fairly late stage.

2. Something Unknown
I have an idea of what I’d like this game to be, but at the minute it’s all a little bit haphazard. I think the game needs more time in the Oven of Insanity, before it’s ready to reveal itself. At the moment, it’s four controller controlled ships that float about the place, and not much more than that.
Basic issue.. I sort of know what I’d like to do with it, but haven’t yet decided how best to do a big giant scrolling tilemap that I can split-screen, smoothly, for up to four players! Yikes!!!

3. Something Flippy
I started this game, this morning, after an odd dream popped it into my head. The controls seem to be working, but will the game? Only one way to find out!!

Other recently abandoned projects include..
1. SpikeDislike3
Although this game started off well enough, it hit a brick wall. I need to add more thought into the way the game’s built up, this time around, as it requires a couple of extra components to get everything flowing well. I’m leaving it on the backburner until it’s ready.

2. Voyager Flight
Back in my Amiga days, I wrote a silly little Star Trek game, where you had to guide Voyager home through a wormhole, without hitting the ominous splodgy balls..
I keep meaning to remake this game, but would like it to make a little bit more sense than “Dodge the giant balls!” That requires art!! Eeeek!

3. Platdude in The Flower Garden
I’ve completely forgotten what I intended for this one, but I’ve made a folder, and drawn some flowers. .. *shrugs*

So, that’s what’s going on. Or rather, not!
It’s odd that giving myself more time for each game is seemingly resulting in LESS output. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I’m still assuming it’s something to do with having overdone it over the past couple of years. I’ve written over 90 games in the space of two years, and realistically, that’s a LOT of stuff!!! If you consider that I also tried not to repeat myself too much, it becomes quite a substantial number.
And even now that I’m struggling to produce anything, I’m still finding myself looking back at the past couple of year’s worth of Monkey-X games, and thinking “Nah, that’s too much like X/Y game”.
The next game is around the corner, though. I’m certain of it! I just need to buckle down, and get some proper coding done.
Hopefully there’ll be a game here by the end of the month.

Wish me luck!

Apr
05
2015

Enigmatically AL Bum

A few days ago, I reposted the Conspicuous AL Bum over to Archive.org, where it’s available to listen live, stream, download or whatever.
Tonight, I did the same thing to the Enigmatically AL Bum!
That’s pretty much every music track from 2014, available online, in an easy to access format.

AL_Conspicuous AL_Enigmatically

Play and Enjoy both AL Bums :D

Mar
31
2015

Conspicuous Al Bum

Since 2014, I’ve been using the wonderful KORG Gadget app on iPad to create most of my ingame music.
Each week or so, I make a new silly tune, and upload it to Soundcloud where people get to hear it, and then eventually the tracks get dumped into my various games, willy nilly.

As a way to keep track of my tunes (since there’s so many of them) I’ve recently taken to naming each album a single word title, and then giving each track an alphabetical name.. So, first track is “Album A”, then Album B, Album C, and so on.
As such, each Album ends up with 26 little tunes, most of which end up in various AGameAWeek games, but occasionally they slip by the wayside and end up unused.
Either way, the first of my 2014 “Albums” is now available from Archive.org

AL_Conspicuous

You can Find the Album here, where it should be available in MP3, Ogg, and even uncompressed Wav format, should you wish to listen to it clean and uncompressed like that.

Mar
30
2015

Y7:Game 3 – Invisible Munky 2

Invisible Munky is BACK!
It only took 10 years for Invisible Munky to re-appear*, and in that time, it’s learned an excellent new skill.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
23
2015

DevDiary : IM2 – Slow Progress

I say “slow”, but of course, I mean “Slow in the realm of AGameAWeek!”
I’ve been working on Invisible Munky 2 for nearly THREE WEEKS, now! Blimey, that went fast!

I’m currently working on building levels, and trying to keep the momentum of the game flowing in a decent manner. I’m also trying to add a decent mix of music, but it’s all kinda samey. I might have to head in a completely different melodical direction, or something. *shrugs* Not sure!

Anyway, the game currently contains 9 levels, and they’re all 100%able. I’m now going to start adding trickier elements into the engine, and trying to catch out the player, without resorting to cheap tricks. (Also, so far, I’ve no horrible death pits.. Trying to avoid using those)

Fingers crossed that the end result is as good as expected!

Mar
15
2015

Invisible Munky 2 – Progress Report

The engine’s working nicely, an art style has been defined, and things are getting put together.
I’ve started building some proper levels, now, but already the game’s feeling like it’s still missing something.
At the moment, I’m attempting to add wandering bad-guys into the levels, which should help make things a little less lacklustre, but trying to get them to wander nicely within the areas is proving to be much more complicated than I thought, especially when the levels are build up with nothing more than vector lines, not a usual simmplistic grid.

Still, onward and upward, I suppose.
Hopefully I can get it feeling nice and complicated within the next day or so, so that I can focus on building up the levels again.

IM2_004

Invisible Munky 2 : Happy Banana Land!
Coming.. Soon’ish!

Mar
09
2015

InDev – Invisible Munky 2

Tentatively titled “Invisible Munky 2 – Happy Banana Land!” because… why not!

So, um.. Yeah..
The engine seems to be working well, although I’ve not added too much yet.
I need to design proper levels for this one, and I also have an object limit, which will be odd to have to deal with..
Curious!

Anyhoo, the game’s been started, and assuming I can make some decent levels, it should be with you in a week or two. Wish me luck!!

Mar
08
2015

Unity or Monkey…?

I’ve had a fair amount of fun playing with Unity, but in all honesty, I haven’t progressed far enough to make it worth the switch.
I’m at the point, now, where I really need to make the big decision.
Making the complete switch to Unity will require heavy work, recreating my entire framework, and getting everything up and running smoothly enough that I can rapidly cobble together AGameAWeek.
And it’s the “Rapidly cobble together AGameAWeek” bit that puts me off.
At the moment, and I’ll admit I am still trying to figure out this whole Unity thing, I appear to need to perform about 4 or 5 steps to add a single spritesheet into the engine.
Adding it to the Project, cutting it in the IDE, adding it to the Object, and then defining an array to handle the individual frames within the sheet.
I know that’s “not a lot”, and my experience with AGameAWeek thus far have taught me that things like that tend to get easier, the more you do them and get used to the way they work.
..
But right now, I’m not sure I want to be doing that.

In Monkey, I add the file to the folder, add a single LoadImg() command, and then it’s ready for use. Unity’s more about clicking the mouse, than tapping the keys.
Does that make me sound lazy?! It probably does.
I dunno!!

So, for the past 24 hours, I’ve found myself slipping back to Monkey, and fiddling about with my framework.
I’ve been experimenting and testing all manner of odd little things, and wondering if the whole Unity thing is worth it.
I’m still on the fence, but appear to be heading back to Monkey.

Mar
06
2015

Three Years Later..

March 6th 2012 : Taken into hospital with High Blood Pressure and Vomiting
March 8th 2012 : Brain Surgery for Tumour removal.

Previous Health Updates
Aug 2012, Feb 2014, Aug 2014

2012 wasn’t a very fun year for me.
I spent the better part of 5 months stuck in a hospital ward, and most of that time I was throwing up every single day.
A myriad of pills, patches and injections were used to desperately try to stop the vomiting, but eventually they gave up trying, and sent me home.
Luckily the daily vomiting’s died down.

Three years on, and I’m somewhat settled into my new life. I can’t really do anything too physical. My balance is messed up, and too much movement tends to bring back the sickness. (Putting up the Xmas Tree is a particularly queaziness-inducing event.) But for the most part, I’ve learned that staying sat on the couch all day, is a fairly decent way of ensuring I’m not in constant need of my sick-bowl.

I currently spend most of the day sat on the couch, coding games, drawing silly Platdude pictures, and all those other things that fill up my Twitter/Facebook feed.

I don’t get out much, but am seemingly capable of getting into the village and back without being too sick, as long as I only attempt it on a “good” day. “Bad” days tend to leave me much queazier, and if I dare attempt a trip outside.. .. Hopefully the sickbowl isn’t too far away!

I’m thankful that I’m still here, that the surgeon’s were fantastic at what they did, and that my Blood Pressure was so remarkably high that they needed to perform a CT scan to figure out why!! (.. Because just a couple of weeks earlier, my GP had sent me for an xray, and told me there was nothing wrong..)

*phew*

Three years on.. I’m not perfectly fit and healthy, but I know it could’ve been much worse, and that I’ve been extremely lucky.

God Bless the NHS!

Mar
04
2015

Installing Unity

You might’ve noticed a certain lack of content, lately. I’m not sure why this is, if I’m honest.
I keep starting new things, and giving up too quickly.

So, um, what to do..?

Well, yesterday, Unity 5 was released, and they’ve made it entirely (mostly) free to use.
This is a bit of a shock, and as I type this, Unity 5 is installing in the background.
I’m going to give it a whirl. I figure that, since I’m not actually releasing anything lately, I might as well have some fun and try something new.

Whether or not I decide to stick with Unity will depend entirely on whether or not I’m comfortable using it. It might be that I find myself enjoying the new abilities of the pseudo-2D environment..
.. or it might be that I end up pulling my hair out, and shouting and screaming and ranting over Twitter (watch the feed, folks!!)

I’ll let you know ASAP.
.. and there might be some fun test-projects along the way!

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