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.


Xantris is free space-shooter-meets-Tetris clone

January 23, 2008

xantris.pngFROM THE DEPTHS OF JASON’S C: DRIVE — From time to time I’ll putter with some very simple game-building mechanics, just to vent my creativity.

Mind you, I’ve been tinkering with computers since the early days of the 286, long before there was such a thing as Windows. I’ve learned that I don’t know squat. I know just enough to know that I know nothing.

So I’ll admit right up front I don’t know anything about coding. But I’ve toyed with WYSIWYG game editors — quite a few of them — and have pieced together a few little coffee break games.

Some number of years ago I was messing with The Games Factory and decided to make a hybrid space shooter and Tetris clone. I slapped it together in about a week. My problem, though, is that once I figure out the basics of how to do something, I don’t feel much compelled to sit and flush it out. So what I somewhat ostentatiously dubbed Xantris is pretty rudimentary.

The goal is to shoot the falling blocks before they hit the bottom of the screen, where they will solidify and build up and gradually cut off your ability to maneuver. I never did figure out how to randomly generate the blocks, so the game is pretty deterministic. Oh well.

There are asteroids, too, which will destroy the blocks when they collide. You can shoot them for points, or blast the larger ones into smaller groups to do more damage. Later levels have some incredibly simple enemy ships flying about, too.

Take it for a spin if you have 10 minutes to kill. It’s only 1.17 mb.