Saturday, 16 February 2013

1GAM February: GravWalker

I'm powering into February with GravWalker, a gravity-defying shoot-em-up that takes inspiration from the Amiga game Walker. It was one of my favourite games on my favourite platform and I think I've done well by it.

I've also used the idea of a 360-degree rotating tilemap to create what I believe is a pretty fun and unique game. Download and play or just watch the video and I think you'll agree!
 
 






 


For this month's game I've pushed myself to do as much of the graphics as possible by myself. I want to get better at creating 2D art and although I realise I will never be as good as I need to be, I at least want to get to a level slightly above "programmer art". For GravWalker, I drew and animated the majority of the game sprites myself. I made judicious use of particles to add to the eye candy - and to mask some of the flaws in my art!
 

 
You may notice that I'm releasing this in the middle of February. Why am I releasing now instead of using the remaining week-and-a-bit to add more to the game? Well firstly, GravWalker is a complete one-level prototype that has a beginning, a middle and an end. To create more levels and expand the ideas into a full game would take me well beyond the end of February. 
 
Secondly, I wanted to get ahead of time in the One Game a Month challenge because my March game is taking me outside of my 2D comfort zone and into the realm of 3D. Keep an eye on my Twitter to see more of that over the coming weeks. Now I have a whole six weeks for the next project which gives me a good safety buffer.
 

Tools Used

  • Monogame / XNA
  • Visual Studio 2012
  • Photoshop CS6
  • Audition CS6
  • Tiled
  • Spriter

Clockwatching

GravWalker was created in 30 days, beginning with an exploratory prototype on the 17th January. I would say an average of 20 hours per week was dedicated to the game once the initial prototype was running.

Special Thanks

  • Paul Yendley for the awesome game background
  • deviantArt user ~gregah for the helicopter sprite that I used for inspiration for drawing the other vehicles.

Downloads

As always, the Windows version is ready to go. If it doesn't run, you may need to install OpenAL.
And a test Linux download.
  • GravWalker - Linux .tar.gz
Disclaimer: I am not a Linux user. I have cobbled together a package that runs on a FRESH Linux Mint 14 without installing any other dependencies. YMMV. Use the .sh script to run the game. If it doesn't work, try it from a terminal: "mono GravWalker.Mono.Linux.exe". Running from a terminal will give you a an error dump that you can copy and paste into a comment below.

Please send me a tweet @garethiw if you manage to run the Linux version successfully!

Friday, 1 February 2013

1GAM January: You are the Villain / HeroBash

My first offering for the One Game a Month challenge started out as a 48-hour game jam that happened over New Year's weekend. Myself and artist partner-in-crime Paul had been chatting about doing a game jam for a while, but unfortunately missed the last Ludum Dare. To make up for it, we used the last Ludum theme - "You are the Villain" - and got together for a weekend. It was the first time either of us had participated in a jam.


 
The outcome was our game, unimaginatively entitled "You are the Villain", which is a platformer tower-defense(ish) game. Rather than playing as the hero navigating the levels, the hero is AI controlled and your job (as the Villain) is to place Minions in the level as the hero traverses and attempts to reach the Princess at the end. The result was actually a pretty addictive little game, excellent for playing in short bursts. We continued working on the game well into January adding an overworld screen, more maps, a leveling up mechanic for the hero and more. We even came up with a better name - "HeroBash".
 
 
 
 
 
The intention is to eventually release HeroBash as a full game on as many platforms as possible. It works pretty well as a tablet game, so that'll be the start point. For the purposes of One Game a Month, I'm making available a Windows build of the original 48-hour jam version as well as the latest version of HeroBash actual. I hope to add Linux and Mac downloads for HeroBash as soon as I figure out how to package up a MonoGame game sensibly for either of those platforms.
 
 

Tools Used

  • Monogame / XNA
  • Visual Studio 2012
  • Photoshop CS6
  • Tiled

Downloads

  • You are the Villain (48-hour jam) - Windows
  • HeroBash (latest build) - Windows