Rezzed aftermath and a new Silhouette

Phew! Well, despite not being able to attend, Rezzed looked like a whirlwind of fun and Worms-based madness from over here! I spent a lot of it on Twitter watching from my otherwise dormant account, and cheesy as it is to say, I was very much wrapped up in the buzz from afar. The games on show looked like a huge amount of fun to play, and the developer sessions provided some incredible insight into the thought processes behind some very clever game developers.

Silhouette was well received too which made me very happy. The game even got a positive little writeup in The Guardian! It seems there was some amazing stuff on display. In fact, the sentiment from this article and a number of other commenters is that the PC indie scene is going in a very good direction, which is really exciting.

I’ve released the version of Silhouette that was playable at Rezzed, which you can play and download here. I’ve also added a map editor for the game, which you can use to make your own creepy, impossible-to-navigate mansions. As always, feedback is welcome.

So a big thanks to the organizers of Rezzed! It was a real privilege to have the game played by loads of people at such an awesome event. I’m proud to be part of a collective that produces video games in which you can perform “surgery” on someone with the blunt edge of a clipboard, in virtual reality.

It begins!

Rezzed has officially begun! Silhouette is in the Leftfield Collection, so go out there and murder your friends!

We had a bit of a shaky start with the setup of the game but everything is running smoothly now, which is fantastic. One of the frequent bits of advice indie game developers receive is to try to be present at any expos where their game is being exhibited. I would’ve loved to of course, but being an indie dev, I have an intimiate relationship with the bottom of the barrel.

Obviously the main reason to be present is to be able to see people playing your game, giving feedback, and (hopefully) having a good time. However, with the hiccups we had when setting up, I can find another reason: It’s bloody terrifying not being there in person to nurse your build to a working state!

Anyway… relief. The Leftfield Collection has an exclusive build of Silhouette, which I will modify slightly and upload to the game’s portal. I’ll also add the map editor a little later. If you happen to be at Rezzed, send me any feedback, comments and photos of the event!

Silhouette is going to Rezzed

In some very exciting news, Silhouette has been chosen to be part of the Leftfield Collection at the Rezzed game show, held in Birmingham in June!

The game will be shown along side some really fantastic titles in a huge variety of genres. For the full line up, check out the official announcement:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-05-24-rezzed-2013-leftfield-collection-line-up-unveiled

Rezzed also includes awesome AAA games on show, as well as developer sessions, and a number of other great gaming treats. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it due to being thousands of miles away, but I look forward to getting some feedback about the game.

Ludum Dare #26: Road Rage!

Having just recovered from an awesome Ludum Dare, I present Road Rage.
Visit the Ludum Dare project page to download the game, or play it online here.

Road Rage is a top-down traffic simulation game that goes wrong very quickly. You control a traffic officer who has to run around and control the flow of traffic, stopping cars at points, and letting others through before people boil over and redefine the meaning of dangerous driving.

Screenshots:

For this Ludum Dare, I decided pretty early on to take part in the Jam rather than the official competition. This meant I had an extra day (72 hours total), and could use a great freeware track from 8th Mode Music. Overall, the Jam is much more relaxed, and given that a social event decided to creep into my weekend uninvited, the extra time was necessary.

In the spirit of Ludum Dare, here is a quick postmortem.

What went right:

  • The traffic simulation, while haphazardly coded, results in some wonderfully funny, even borderline realistic road chaos
  • Used the ‘minimalism’ theme to go for simple, effective graphics. Doing no 3D modeling and little texturing gave me lots more time
  • Gave myself the extra day of the Jam to compensate for a night out and a slow first day while struggling with the AI
  • Managed to squeeze 7 levels in

What went wrong:

  • Had a rotten first day wrestling with the traffic simulation AI, and generally struggled with it. I should have taken some time to carefully read up about traffic/city driving simulation, if only to get some ideas
  • Didn’t really get to explore the timing/movement-strategy gameplay until the last level, which ramped up the difficulty massively! I would like to explore the puzzle options for this one

I’d like to work on Road Rage a little more, tweaking the player movement and AI as per peoples’ feedback. However, I think it’s a really neat idea that has lots of potential for fun, strategic gameplay and hilarity, and I would definitely like to explore some more gameplay options. In the mean time, give it a play and let me know what you think.

Map Editor Taking Shape!

The Silhouette map editor has become something of a fun diversion, but I’m being careful not to let it take over the development of the core game! After the last post on the editor’s progress, I put it on hold for a while, and then started working on it again. As it stands, it’s almost complete.

Silhouette Alpha 1.10

I’ve just deployed the latest build of Silhouette, which you can play here, or download for Windows or Mac OS X. This is a pretty big update and includes a bunch of new features such as:

  • Creepy new sound and music
  • Bookcases, new tables, and health syringes
  • A sprinting ability for the vicitm
  • Plenty of additions, changes and fixes that you can see in the changelog

Screenshots:

The last two updates haven’t changed the gameplay too fundamentally, so for the next update I’ll try and include one or two more gameplay mechanics, like the ability to learn about the mansion. This is still a very vague idea, but basically it would allow the victim to spend time reading from books scattered throughout the house to gradually reveal the location of the key or exit.

After prototyping and possibly implementing stuff like this, I want to add what will hopefully make the game a lot more strategic, reflex-based, and fun: being able to dash and jump over couches (victim), and perform lunge and knockdown attacks (killer). I’d like to get these to a point where they don’t make turn the game into a micro-management nightmare and let skilled players really outsmart one another. However, given the animations needed, these features will come with a pretty enormous and overdue character design update.

So, as soon as I can come up with a killer character design that would terrify Slenderman, we’ll be good to go!