My Ugly Games #1: Ugly Orbs

August 9, 2009


FROM JASON’S COMPETITIVE NATURE — It’s not that I hate Andrew, or want to crush him with my gauntlet of justice, or desire to tread over the dusty remains of his bones.

It’s just that when I saw his most recent post — the first in seven months — about his Lovely Games experiments with Lua and Love2D, all that nostalgia about using ClickTeam’s software came rushing back.

Here’s Ugly Orbs, the sworn arch-enemy of Lovely Squares. Maybe more will come. Who knows? I have some old games sitting around that have been complete or half-complete for four or five years. Boy, those were fun.

See, while Andrew’s been learning fancy-schmansy methods of “programming” and “coding” and “scripting,” I laid out some big bucks a few years back for The Games Factory and later MultiMedia Fusion. These object-oriented engines are very good at helping you slap together working applications using a WYSIWYG interface, an intuitive event editor to tell your game pieces how to act, and a graphics editor that’s fairly full-featured (I still use Photoshop for most sprite editing, though).

So the game that Andrew spent 10 hours on last week took me about four with the help of the right software. And I’m a retard, barely able to navigate Linux, write HTML, or edit a config.sys file. So if I can emulate his skills, you know ClickTeam’s stuff is powerful magic.

By the way, most of the sprites I used came from a Sinistar clone. They were released into the public domain by the author over at Lost Garden. It’s very possible that (if I can rouse the energy and willpower) I might do a shooter using the same graphics.


Spore Creature Creator leaked, my night consumed

June 15, 2008

The Spore Creature Creator Demo has been leaked ahead of time (it’s supposed to launch June 17). Download and try it out. The thing has some kinks, takes some getting used to, is fun to play with, and generally helped me waste two hours tonight. The number of creature parts is limited, but there’s enough there to help spawn a few thousand variations of xeno-whatsits.

I’ve got to say — if the rest of Spore is as engaging as this tiny little portion, it will be well worth the price. So far, I’ve only gotten to play with the tinker-toy part. I can’t wait to get my hands on an actual free-roaming environment with some of these bad boys and see how they interact with other animals.

It will be interesting to see what traits succeed with Spore’s sharing mechanism. What works better in a swamp — lobster claws, insect mandibles, or primate hands? Is speed more important than brute strength? Can a venom spitter beat a serrated horn? Can cyclopians survive well? Are tactile adaptations a sure way to get a dominant species? How much difference do color and markings make?

I can’t wait to see how detailed and in-depth the game designers have gone. I’m usually the kind of guy to wait until the first price drop to buy a game, but I’m getting this one on launch day. Already, I can see it combines everything I loved about Legos with everything cool about evolution. Take that, creationists!

EDIT: Andrew here. Just thought I would add one of my creatures that I created today:

Quick Silver Screen takes up the TV Links cross

November 25, 2007

qss.pngFROM THE RELATIVELY EMPTY REGIONS OF THE UNIVERSE OUTSIDE THE ATMOSPHERES OF CELESTIAL BODIES — I’ll admit it. I shed a tiny tear Oct. 18 as our brethren solemnly committed the soul of TV Links to the ground.

The UK-based torrent aggregator was killed when its 26-year-old owner and operator was arrested by Gloucestershire police.

But now, after a month in mourning, it’s time to raise the black veil. Andrew sent me a link yesterday that leads me to believe that TV Links lives on in pirate heaven. It appears that Quick Silver Screen has taken up the mantle as the cataloger of available video media.

Like its spiritual predecessor, QSS does not host movies, TV shows, cartoons, and anime, but merely links to other places they are hosted. Using the DivX codec, it then streams it directly to your browser.

So far, I’ve not run across any broken links on QSS, but if the site has a weakness it’s that the media player takes an incredibly long time to buffer, at least for mundane broadband users such as myself. Andrew, on the other hand, is sitting on a campus backbone — which means that he can not only load QSS movies in a blink, but he can also make SkyNet into John Connor’s bitch with a few deft keystrokes.

The videos I am have watched so far are in much higher resolution than their YouTubian counterparts, but as always the torrent model is crippled by popularity. Don’t expect to find all great movies on QSS, at least for the time being. There was no Kung Fu Hustle there when I checked earlier, so, I mean, c’mon.