Twin-sticky post

I’ve always had a special fondness for twin-stick shooters (games like Geometry Wars and its ilk).  I often have ideas for how different weapons and interactions could work.  I decided to go ahead and start a simple TSS game to play with some of these ideas.

Right now, I’m trying out the idea of having the weapon power up slightly with every shot that hits an enemy, and power down with each shot that misses (i.e., hits the edge of the arena).  So far, this mechanic seems to have a nice flow to it, and I think has potential.

You can download the prototype to play with here.  You will need a game controller with two thumbsticks (or something with four axes of some kind).  If you have an Xbox 360 controller, it should work as-is.  Otherwise, you’ll most likely need to edit config.ini to set the axes for the right stick (they’re 3 and 4 on the Xbox controller, but seem to be 2 and 5 on most other controllers).

There is no player death.  Esc key exits.

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It’s about Time, Commander

Okay, finally got ship controls working in the Time Commander prototype.  I had to pretty much rewrite the prototype from scratch so I had a more sensible way of storing the game state in the time buffer and accessing it.

Drag the time slider back and forth to move in the timeline.  Click on any ship, and the control panel will show the forward and turning thrusters for that ship.  At any point in the timeline, you can change the thrusters for the selected ship.  Note that when you do this, time from that point on is regenerated, so any thruster changes you’ve made for any ships past that point in time won’t exist anymore.

You can drag the control panel around if it’s blocking anything.  To reset and get a different random setup, reload the page.

Click the image to play!

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“It just gives it a lot more professionalism when you’re wearing pants.”

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One-more-time Commander

Little bit more on Time Commander.  I now have several ships on screen, each with random rotational and forward thrust.  As before, just drag the time slider back and forth.

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The Indie Budget Crunch

“At 31 years old when you’re about to get married, and you’re thinking you might have kids in a few years, having $40k in the bank starts to look pretty scary.”  Andy Schatz

Wait.  What?

Andy, I love ya, and I think Monaco is a beautiful thing.  But point me in the direction of someone I could kill to be 31 and have 40k in the bank, and you can consider them dead.

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Progress Accountability Thread

I’ve started a thread on the TIGSource forums where you can post a goal you have and a deadline.  You then need to come back and post a follow up by the deadline, saying whether or not you’ve met the goal.  This gives you some motivation to make the deadline, since people reading the thread will hold you accountable.  It was very effective for the first goal I posted (the Time Commander prototype).  If you need some motivational assistance, head on over and post!

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Captain Chrono: Time Commander!

I’m starting on a prototype for a game I’m calling Captain Chrono: Time Commander.  The game has the player controlling a variety of types of vehicles (a ship with rotation and thrust, a two-wheeled vehicle, etc.) from a 2D side view.  The player can freely drag a slider back and forth along a time line, and watch the vehicle (and everything else in the world) move accordingly.  They can move the slider to any point in time and adjust the vehicle’s controls (the ship’s thrust, the bike’s throttle, etc.) at that point.  They might then play time forward a bit, see that the ship will collide with something, go back a bit, tweak the controls and repeat, eventually creating the perfect path through the level and meeting the objective.

I just have a very primitive start so far, so it doesn’t look like much.  But it gets the basic idea of a time slider, with a ship moving.  You can’t control the thrusters on the ship (they’re fixed), but the ship is moving in an arc over time according to the physics determined by it’s thrusters.

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60-hour marathon playing worst games ever

This is awesome. Four teens in Australia are doing a 60-hour marathon, suffering through the worst video games ever (including classics like Superman 64 and ET) to raise money for clean drinking water in developing nations. Three hours left, and they’re at $8,030 of their goal of $9,001. Get over there and donate, cheapskate!

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I discovered the dinosaur Wile…

I discovered the dinosaur Wiley! It wants to challenge you to a dance-off:

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Automatic Album Cover Generator

About a year ago, I hacked together a script to automatically do that random album cover thing that was going around Facebook.  You know, random Wikipedia article, random quotations page (last 4 or 5 words), Flickr last seven days third picture.  Just a quick and dirty script, but it follows those links for you automatically:

I’d forgotten about that, but a Facebook friend just posted with the album cover game, and I remembered this script.  I’ve never done anything more with it, but I’ve thought about it.  I see someone else has done the same thing, and they have the words put on the album cover image:

What I’ve thought of doing with mine:

  • Words positioned on album cover, with a couple selectable options for position, color, etc.
  • A permalink so you could link to any generated covers you liked
  • A name-generated permalink, so you could enter your name (or forum user name, etc.) and it would generate a random album cover and permalink saved under that name.  If anyone entered that same name again, they’d get the same album cover.  This way, people could link to their first-try album cover and they couldn’t cheat by repeatedly generating covers until they got one they liked.  Whatever cover you got when you entered your name, that’s what you got.
  • A much prettier page layout.  Or any page layout, for that matter.

Would people use something like this?  Should I bother developing it any further?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

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