2013 was a good year for games. I’ve played quite a few games, many of which were from independent developers and small studios. Here are my personal best games of the year in no specific order whatsoever with one screen shot each. Continue reading
Ludum Dare, the world’s most prominent game jam, took place from Saturday 27th to Monday 29th of May. While the 48 hour compo runs the first 48 hours and only allows one person (who has to do everything himself) to work on a game, the jam, running the full 72 hours, allows teams to work together on an entry and it’s rules are far more relaxed, allowing foreign content (like music).
My last LD experience in December didn’t quite go as planned, but was still lots of fun. This time I had even less time than the meagre 48 hours given to compo participants. I had played Volleyball all Saturday and was too tired to even switch on my computer in the evening. Sunday morning I slept in, woke at 11 a.m., had breakfast and only then took a peek at the Ludum Dare theme: minimalism.
In order to escape the daily stress I choose to participate in Ludum Dare #25, the worlds largest Online Game Jam. This weekend #LD48 gives developers 48 hours to make a game.
The theme this time: “You are the villain”.
So far I’ve got
- a title: The villain’s dream
- an intro dialogue sequence
- a concept that probably won’t work the way I want at all
- a 90 day trial version of Unity3D 4 Pro which is looking amazing
- 36 hours time left
Sounds good? Check out the other contestants, some of theri work looks amazing!
You can follow my progress on the Ludum Dare website:
P.S: Updated to WordPress 3.5, qTranslate is broken now, hence the single language post.
I just posted an article on the game Project Giana on the website of the GameLab Freiburg.
The game, developed by the German studio Black Forest Games, has a great look & gameplay elements that will appeal to fans of classic jump an run games like Super Mario as well as modern remake afcionados (Rayman Origins comes to mind).
The Kickstarter-Projekt will run for another 10 days, until August 31st.
I write an article on the new gaming console OUYA today on the GameLab Freiburg website. I asked the OUYA team some questions and got answers from founder and CEO Julie Uhrmann.
I think the console will be a great thing for the gaming market. It definitely looks great and if it really is only as big as a Rubik’s Cube (~ 6 cm³ / 2,5 in³) that’s incredible.
Here’s a virtual size comparison:
You can still pre-order the OUYA on Kickstarter till Wednesday.
Illuminum lives! The alpha 4 release seemingly took forever but it’s here now! You can play Illuminumon your PC with your Xbox controller now. Mouse and keyboard still give better performancy, though.
- The menu has been completely overhauled and can be navigated with the keyboard (use arrow keys and return) or the controller (press A to select).
- The white cubes now vanish when you walk over them.
- The brightness (gamma) can be set now. However, the calibration isn’t finished yet.
- Some new particle effects have been added
- You can select your difficulty from easy to hard in three steps. Difficulty level influences
- lots of bugs fixed
- some new bugs
- You cannot select the name input field with your mouse. Use the keyboard to shift the focus onto the text field, change your name, then shift the focus back again.
- The ingame help menu doesn’t work properly
Next up: Fixing the known bugs, then working on sound
Have fun! As always, I’m looking forward to your feedback.
The 7DFPS challenge is nearing its end on Saturday evening. Over 150 Teams are working on a first person shooter right now, with only 7 days to finish it. Maren, Malte and I are participating as the official team of the GameLab Freiburg. We’re not expecting to win but the challenge of creating a more or less finished game within 7 days is intriguing. Since we only started on Monday and since we also have normal university classes, the time pressure is even greater on us. What are we making? We’re working on a black and white western shooter. You’ll see how that turned out on Saturday. It will be published on 7dfps.org, the GameLab Freiburg website and of course here
“You receive a desperate phone call from Hope, a young woman trapped within a shadowy totalitarian state. Using a stolen phone, she calls and begs you to hack into the nation’s surveillance system, assume control, and help her escape from the clutches of the omnipresent Overseer.”
In République you don’t steer the main character directly but only tell her what to do and when to do it. Through hacked surveillance cameras you follow her movements, tell her when to move, fight, kill. Featuring elements of action, voyeurism, surveillance, stealth and hacking and a story heavily influenced by George Orwell’s 1984, this unique game concept shows lots of promise to become an indie hit.
One of the primary goals of the developers is to create a mobile action game with a heavy atmosphere and story specifically for touch-based devices. Besides iOS, there will also be a version specifically developed for PC and Mac.
Besides the digital game, there are also plans for real-world add-ons. A journal, replica of the item found in game will bring even more atmosphere to the gaming experience and the collector’s edition will feature another book, the Overseer’s Manifesto.
Help the game
Now, with only 7 days too go to the deadline, the game has only raised half the money needed to kick start it. So please, watch the proof of concept videos and interviews about the game, look at the great images and ideas and then help fund it.
Kickstarter has been around for a while now and has helped fund lots of great games (e.g. Wasteland 2) and ideas (e.g. Elevation Dock). The principle is simple: a project presents itself and sets a funding goal and a deadline. Anyone can now pledge money to the project. This money is only if the project manages to reach its goal within the deadline. Otherwise the project simply dies. Usually there are rewards arranged in several tiers for the funders. For example you’ll get the iOS Edition of République if you pledge 10$. For 15$ you’ll get the game for PC & Mac. This is probably less than the game will cost on the market after release. Higher tiers give you in-game credits, and for the top tiers you will even get a game-character modeled after you.
In the beginning there was nothing. Then came the light and with it came darkness. And the darkness saw the light and envied it. And thus from hate the eternal struggle between light and darkness was born.
You are a Lighty. But who or what is a Lighty? Lighties are beings made out of light. Nobody knows where they came from but they’ve probably been here forever. Some say that the first Lighty gathered so much light that it had to leave the Earth and became the sun. Some say that all the stars are Lighties, watching over the planets and the beings on them. Humans almost never see Lighties and if they do they do not recognise them. Lighties live in a layer of the time-space continuum between realities. Time passes differently there. Light acts differently there. In between the stars, in the nothing that is space, in the dark nebulas where no light ever travels and most of all in darkspace abide the dark matter entities. They are the lighties’ sworn enemies, determined to destroy all light and anything that springs from it. Now, one of these entities has made it to Earth during a solar eclipse. It managed to prolong the eclipse and without intervention Earth will remain in darkness forever. It is your task to stop the impending destruction of all life on Earth.
At the beginning you don’t know what’s happened. Everything is dark. Find out what’s going on. Get accustomed to the changed surroundings (darkness, fog). Steer your Lighty with W,A,S,D, float over smaller obstacles by pressing space. You can increase or decrease your light radius by pressing E or Q in order to see better or to conserve energy. Blue light is your life-energy. You use it up all the time, faster when moving. You can recharge at artificial lights all around the map. Find these light cones before your light meter runs out or you will die. You can increase your light storage capacity by picking up blue cubes. You can only recharge your life-energy at blue or white light cones.