Last night I made a small prototype called Withdrawl. It’s kind of a standard space shooter type thing, but with a few twists.

In short, you have no lives, and instead as you take hits or let enemies get past your ship slowsly changes into an enemy ship (currently it fills up in the color of the enemy ships, see the screenshot below). If it fully changes, you lose.

Along with this, how much  your control over the ship is determined by how full the bar is – if it’s very empty, your ship will shake and drift more, making it harder to hit enemies.

Thus, the idea is to keep your ship as full as possible without actually getting filled. It’s in some serious need of tuning right now, but it’s a mechanic I like.

Anyways, if you want to check it out it’s available as a zipped folder here. You will need XNA framework 4.0 and .NET 4.0 to play.

This is also really demonstrates how shitty XNA is for making prototypes – they’re a pain in the ass to share with others. I’ve been thinking of migrating to something more portable for a while, this is just another reason to.



Ha ha disregard me

So I started to rewrite Circumactio, got about twenty minutes in to it, and realized it was a terrible idea and that I should just work from the prototype. And so today, that’s what I did, and I was actually really productive. I added in music capabilities (currently using Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie, though that will have to change for release obviously), menus with mouse support, and content loading to allow the player to change skins/music before the round. I also fixed a problem with the physics where the stack wouldn’t speed up after clearing a chain of balls, added a spawning algorithm to the balls so the spawn rates increase as the game progresses, and added the lose condition. Basically, it’s actually a game now, and not just a prototype! A very, very rough game, but a game nonetheless.

Up on the bill tomorrow is fixing a bug where balls that don’t have a connection to the core after a chain is cleared will still remain in place. I also started working on the animation code today, so I’m hoping to get that done tomorrow as well.

 You are the sun, the rain, and the moon beams


Art and Rewrites

I updated the art a bit for Circumactio, giving it a softer ‘painting’ look that I’m kind of aiming for. It was a very quick job and still falls under the ‘coder art’ category, but it’s closer to how I want things to look:

In other news however, I’ve decided to scrap the code for the prototype and rewrite from the ground up. There’s quite a few major bugs due to the shitty coding, and I’d rather rewrite a better system than try to patch up the current one and be dealing with problems at every turn. I’m sure the rewrite will have it’s share of issues as well, but it will at least be a bit more robust.

I also desperately need a better name for this thing than ‘Circumactio’. It sounds like a knock-off Harry Potter spell.

‘Tis a rainy day in Paris,


Ludum Dare Warmup #1

LD warmup weekend was kind of a fail, but I spent last night and basically all of today working on a tile-based puzzle/platformer engine and level creator(something I’d not actually attempted oddly enough). The game’s currently called A.B, and the core mechanic is that there’s two worlds the player (or players) is in simultaneously, which are similar but not identical in layout, and are able to affect each other. Thus the player has to coordinate their avatar in each world to make sure both can make it through.

Well, that’s the idea anyways. I’ve spent most of the time just trying to get all the mechanical things working, as the main goal here was the engine, not the game itself. The level creator came out  quite well actually, though it still needs a bit more functionality. The game itself is still really rough – collision detection can be a real bitch some times.

Woo coder art:

Boxes everywhere,


Oh yes.

The EGP 5 Buttons Competition.

I have four finals in the next two days, a few days to relax and pack up for winter break, and then a seven day marathon for this. So many ideas, so much excite.

My body is ready.

Spinning in a Most Peculiar Way

What you see there is a screenshot from the current prototype of Circumactio, the game previously mentioned. Progress is slow and steady at this point – the game is playable, but pretty rough, with a few key bugs that really disrupt the fun-ness. But it’s playable, so huzzah!

This was posted in r/gamedev’s most recent Screenshot Saturday thread, so I’ll copy my synopsis here:

Basically you control the square of four blue balls – it spins around, and you try to collect the other colored balls that fall down. Once you rack up more than 3 of the same color in chain you can hit space, which causes the entire collection of balls to spin around really fast momentarily, throwing off any of the balls that are in a chain, as well as any balls that are no longer connected to the core of blue balls. More chains of balls cleared at once gets you more points of course.

Doing this also speeds up the rotation, and as it goes faster it becomes harder to precisely connect the balls, and then of course you start gathering more balls in useless locations, and eventually if you get too large you’ll lose. There are special balls that you can catch to slow you down.

I’ve been a musician much longer than I’ve been a game developer, and once I get the gameplay smoothed out more I see it having a large number of different skins and soundtracks, with different play styles associated. The original idea was a very ambient, laid back style with Erik Satie type solo piano, and an impressionist painting visual style. However, changing some settings yields a much faster-paced play style, and I have a million ideas for different skins and soundtrack styles. Very exciting.

Initially this game was supposed to be really quick and dirty, just something to get my game-developing juices flowing and such, however I’m really liking where it’s going right now, so I shall follow it.

I’ve had a crush on you for years,



So obviously it’s been a while since the last update. For now, Tyre is on hold. I love the idea, but it needs a lot more fleshing out before I can continue working on it. As it stood, it simply didn’t have a strong focus.

However, I’ve been working on a new game in the interim. It’s a sort of “block elimination” game with an emphasis on ambiance and music – imagine Lumines + Osmos. It’s still in ultra-prototype mode, but once I get it shaped up a bit (hopefully Thanksgiving weekend will help with that) I’ll try to get a gameplay video going.