Further updates will be sparse. I shall be lurking in the shadows, waiting for my time to pounce...
A quick update, as I've not posted in a while. After quitting Game Maker for good, I got busy re-learning an ancient programming language, one whose name I dare not utter out loud... In fact, I can give no details about my current development, for I have transcended the limits of mortal understanding, and crossed into the realm of utter creativity. No longer am I bound by concept such as "fun," for I have become... a Game God.
Further updates will be sparse. I shall be lurking in the shadows, waiting for my time to pounce...
Overman was sitting inside his mansion as dark clouds swirled overhead, passing lightning down to Earth. He was stroking his pet Crawk, a four-dimensional space cat he smuggled from the Fifth Quadrant.
"There are good games," Overman murmured, "there are great games - and then there are MY games."
He pondered this for a moment. With OverPong, he had taken the breakout genre and crushed it in his hand, watching it disintegrate into ash. How could any breakout game hope to live up to his? The genre was dead because of him. And now, with the release of Demon Crawl, he had done the same thing to roguelikes.
"My genius reduces these mere mortal labels to dust. I take old convention and dogma and transmute them into rubble."
What was he to do next? Overman was well aware of the consequences of his activity. Wherever he went, there followed destruction and chaos, the common folk crying out in his wake, unable to comprehend the gifts he brought unto them.
"Make a shoot-em-up," croaked his Crawk.
"Already have, just can't release it. It would destroy the minds of the weak and make them go mad."
A deafening sound was heard. Overman leapt out of his chair, plasma gun at the ready. Behind him, there had appeared a massive portal into the demons realm. Overman could see the writhing spirits of Hell within, terrible and grotesque. A figure began to emerge from the portal.
"Lord Galacticus," Overman said. "It has been a long time."
"Yes," boomed the demon general, "A long time indeed. But I'm afraid that I bear terrible news."
"Oh?" said Overman, with an intrigued raise of the eyebrows.
"Your old hometown, Overman. Yoyogamia. It is no more."
Overman shut his eyes.
"No... say it's not true..."
"I'm afraid it is. A rebel ship took it out, just like that. No one saw it coming."
"And Commodore Swift? Is he...?"
"He's safe. He's hiding on a planet at the other end of the galaxy. A place you humans know as... HaxeFlixia."
"Yes... I know it well. I shall meet the Commodore, and from there we will strike in rebuttal. I thank you, Galacticus."
"I fare thee well, old friend. Just remember the prophecy. You have no idea how close you are to Anchorpoint now. Galaxies turn about your head."
"And what about her...?" Overman began to ask, but it was too late. Galacticus was gone. The portal expanded and then contracted out of existance.
There was no time to lose. Overman got into his trusty ship, the Speed Demon, and took off without putting on his seatbelt.
FIRST DEMO IS OUT
Well, it's been 7 days, time to release what I have. It's not as well balanced as I hoped it'd be, and I didn't get to playtest it very much. Balancing took a lot more time than I thought it would. Also, I couldn't get the HTML5 version working, since I was still getting a black screen (apparently a bug with Game Maker Studio). So I'm releasing it as a Windows app right now. Think of it as a pre-demo. The demo will be HTML5, and the final release will be on mobile. Taking a break for now, though - too tired to do anything. :)
Renamed it to Demon Crawl.
Features that made it into the game:
- almost 40 different enemies
- too lazy to list more
- Left and right click
Here's a screenshot of me about to die:
Another unproductive day. I'm hoping that I'll be able to implement everything I want to during the weekend, because it's not looking good at this rate. I wasted a bunch of time just trying to test out Game Maker's HTML5 export of my game... and nothing is working properly. First of all, a black screen comes up every time I try to test in my browser and I have to refresh like 5 times. Second of all, GM decided to make HTML5 exports behave differently from Windows YYC compiles, so a bunch of stuff isn't working, or is working in ways that are not what I intended. What a pain! I've about had it with this pile of crap.
tbh my roguelike is kind of a mess in general, it hasn't been working out like I thought it would... just a total disaster.
No screenshots today since I got nothing done.
I had work today so I had limited time for developing. At work I made a spreadsheet where I laid out the levels and which enemies and tiles belonged to which levels. Apart from that, I didn't do anything exciting today, just continued the game plan of adding more content.
I started thinking about whether or not I want to include magic in the final product. It would simplify the game a lot to leave it out, but then again, magic would offer another layer of depth. I'll probably leave it until later and decide if I have time for it.
Oh yeah, and I'm still not sure about the name. Heh, I'm so INDECISIVE. And also hungry.
Was another unproductive day. I got 4 hours of sleep and then spent half the day traveling. I didn't do much on the game, just added a couple enemies, status effects, lava, and I made the dungeon turn redder the deeper you go.
Here's a screenshot of depth 27 with 33% lava:
Also decided to rename the game, still not sure what to pick though. Possibilities are "Demon Crawl", "Demonic Descent", "Hex Descent", or maybe something else. I'm too tired to think about it right now!
Day 2 was not that productive. I spent half the day at the Boeing plant at Everett, which was pretty cool. They didn't let us take our phones, but here are some pictures I got from online:
I also just got back from a dinner that took up 3 hours.
Okay, so what did I get done today?
Cave-ins. No, not caveens - I don't even know what those are. Cave-ins happen. They're a part of life. That's why you brought a pickax to dig yourself out. But nothing lasts forever...
Torches. No, not smorches. You didn't think you'd go into a dark dungeon without a torch, did you? Good news is, torches run out too. Wait, that's bad news...
Keys. You need keys for some doors, I guess. Usually doors with good stuff behind it, but there also may be some private residents...
Skulls. I added a little skull icon that inverts colors when you hover over it. I wonder what happens when you click on it...
I decided to make hunger refresh whenever the player goes down a level. You won't be able to go back up, so I think this would be a good way to keep the player from staying at one depth indefinitely. I know it doesn't make sense for hunger to work like this, but whatever.
I'm pretty much completely finished with the engine. Enemy AI and path-finding is working decently enough. It's nothing spectacular, but I don't have the time to work on it for too long. Also, AI that is too good can be not fun to play against. Good example is Brogue - god those Centaurs are annoying.
Tomorrow I'll make lava, introduce some new enemies, and implement a couple of interesting ideas I have. Oh yeah, here's a screenshot.
HexaDungeon is a roguelike - a real one, with turn-based actions that take place in a grid. If you're one of the indie bandwagoners that believe BoI is a roguelike, you probably won't like this game. It will be highly random, tactical, strategic, and difficult/unfair, so noobs better stay away.
In HexaDungeon you descend the dungeon with the goal of killing the demon lord Lucifer, battling a variety of different enemies along the way. It will feature interesting and unique gameplay, including an original magic system, shifting and destructible terrain, items and upgrades, status effects, and LAVA - all with a highly simple interface and stripped-down mechanics.
I started working on HexaDungeon today (2/8) and I intend to finish by 2/15. This will qualify it as a 7DRL, a 7-day roguelike. On the 15th, I will release the HTML5 version for free, and then begin working on a paid version for the app stores. I think the only difference in the paid version will be that the ascii characters get replaced by tiles. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in drawing the tiles (you will be compensated).
Here's what it looks like right now:
It is kind of boring atm but the engine is pretty much done minus enemy AI, so I will spend the next 6 days adding content and balancing. It will be a very rich game in the end. Not as deep as a full roguelike, but a worthy contendor nevertheless.
Name is subject to change.
Inspired by Sproing (I think that's what it's called, can't find it atm).
A couple days ago I discovered a fantastic indie developer on the GMC community known as "Frozen Games." Responsible for such hits as Doodle God and FWABWAG, this demonic GMCer has captivated the hearts of at least two people worldwide. I messaged him asking if he'd like to be interviewed, and he very graciously agreed to respond to my questions. Read on and discover the mind of one of the most original game designers out there right now.
Overman: Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Mr. Frozen. My first question is: What was your childhood like? Did you play a lot of games?
Frozen Games: My child hood?When I was a kid,I played with many thing!Using ordinary thing to entertain myself with other toys.
O: How did you first become interested in game making?
FG: OK...Last year,I suddenly liked 8bit games like Mario,Zelda and others...and i really wanted to make games like those...
My computer crashed and my programs were gone.I got Lots of programs from my friend and then I found Game Maker 8 Pro!
O: What are your sources of inspiration? Favorite games?
FG: Mario,Legends of Zelda and other games...My source of inspiration is everything!
O: What is your favorite game that YOU created?
FG: My favorite games that I made were: Ruun and Stickmare.
O: You have made a lot of games, were there any in particular which were a challenge for you to make?
FG: Well the most difficult challenge was knowledge...I destroyed lots of my games because of Lack of game maker knowledge.
And Also time...When I work for a project too long I got sick of it....
O: What is your creative process like? How do you get so many fresh new ideas?
FG: As I told you it is The world...I don't actually think about an idea...They came to me!
O: What are your future plans for making games? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
FG: Well I'm going to learn more coding languages....And 10 years later?Well An indie programmer?
O: Thank you for your time Mr. Frozen, one last question, how does one become a famous game developer like you?
FG: Well I'm not famous(I think)....But you are not going to be famous in a night...You must work really hard to achieve what you want.Work hard on your projects,make them neat and ORIGINAL and make what YOU want.
Wise words from this great developer. An inspiration to us all!
That's right, OverPong is now 50% off!
"A dollar for such an awesome game?! Surely there's some catch?"
No catch! I just received a very generous donation from a fan, and thought I'd spread the love!
You have a month to get OverPong at the reduced price. Hugs all around!
We all know how corrupt and untrustworthy video game journalism is, making it impossible to find an unbiased review that wasn't influenced by bribery, nepotism, sexual favors, or other shady tactics. That's why I, Overman, will be regularly releasing completely objective reviews of hyped indie titles so that you, the customer, know what to buy versus what is actually a waste of money.
Today we will be looking at Hyper Light Drifter, a top-down game developed by Heart Machine and scheduled to be released soon. Its Kickstarter campaign raised a whopping $600k, but let's see how HLD holds up under the scrutiny of critical analysis, and if it shows any promise for the final release.
The first thing that struck me about this game is that no one with an old computer is going to be able to play it. It took up 900MB of RAM on my computer. What the heck kind of 2D game needs to load that much at once? It's perfectly okay to have loading screens so that your game doesn't dump every single asset into RAM upon starting, but rather when they are needed. Taking two minutes to boot up the game isn't cool. Some huge incompetence on the part of the developer here, maybe they don't know programming? Let's hope that this is fixed in the final release.
Some other issues are immediately apparent. You are thrust into the game without a menu of any kind, and when you press escape to look for a Settings menu, there is none to be found. I was looking for the settings because the sound in the game was not playing, but no, there are no options or anything of the sort. Let's hope the developers care more about their final audience than they do about the people trying their alpha. Okay, I restarted the game and the sound is working this time. (Note that although I was able to quit the game with Escape initially, I was unable to do so later and had to use task manager.)
I like the way the game teaches you about how to play. There are no instructions, tutorials, or controls listed. Instead, the game throws a few easy enemies at you, so you try to attack. After guessing at a few buttons, you figure out how to swing your sword. Then you encounter a few enemies that shoot bullets at you, so you try and you figure out that you, too, can shoot bullets at them. Then you see a gap, and you try to jump over it, and you figure out how to dash. This is all cool, and I hope it stays this way.
The game starts off pretty linear, and remains pretty linear for the most part. There are some paths that branch out, but there doesn't seem to be a genuine sense of exploration. I was hoping I would get to look around and uncover the secrets of some mysterious old ruins. Instead, it feels like I'm just going through some arbitrary obstacle courses, and then when a fork appears, I flip a coin and choose which direction to go. In fact, the game somehow manages to be linear, and directionless at the same time. Kudos to the designer for creating a real-life paradox.
Well, the combat is completely unimpressive. The enemies get stuck behind walls because their AI is just "move in a straight line towards the player." Braindead enemies kind of fit the theme of a braindead game, though (more on this later). You also can't move while swinging your sword or shooting your gun, which really annoys me. What is the point of completely immobilizing the player during combat? I want to feel powerful, yet the combat makes me feel unable to do anything. It sucks.
But even though there is no nuance to the combat, and all you do is stand there holding the mouse button, well at least the visual effect of the sword swinging is cool.
I think my biggest gripe is how boring this game is. It's linear, the combat is uninspired, and every level feels exactly the same. The way the stages are designed is just so uninteresting. There's no exploration, it's more like a menial chore of completing a level, then going to the next one, over and over - it's monotonous. Sometimes, when you go through a door, it'll close behind you and force you to complete the current stage. I felt a big burden in my heart when I saw that for the first time, because I know all too well the kind of game that closes doors behind you. I remember at one point, I died at the end of a totally boring obstacle course, and didn't feel like going through it again. But, because the door was closed behind me, I had no choice. Really lame to take choices away from the player.
I think a big problem is the pacing of the game for an action game. It makes me feel so sleepy. It has a pretty relaxed feel to it, which would be great if I could explore and see the sights. I'd rather be doing that than jumping over random gaps and completing the developer's obstacle course. Lame...
Another reason this game is so sleep-inducing is the music. There's atmospheric music, then there's ambient music, then there's HLD's music - random doodling of disconnected notes, at an extremely slow pace, with no progression. It's pretty maddening if you actually stop and listen to it. You can try to ignore it, but it'll make you fall asleep at your computer. The best option is to turn your speakers down - because remember, there is no settings menu to turn the music off.
Well, I was hoping this would be a rad sci-fi game with some gnarly new ideas, but it was a pretty big let-down. I'm disappointed, but not really surprised. I don't see many good games come out of Kickstarter nowadays, since it's become a platform for marketing people rather than actual game makers. I'd say that I enjoyed the game at least a little, but truth is, I was really just bored and felt like I was wasting my time throughout my playthrough.
Also, it should be noted that although I did find a few bugs while playing, I did not mention them all in this review. After all, the purpose of this text is to inform people about what promise this game holds, and not to alpha test it.
So with all that said, I think I will not be playing the final product. Even if someone sends it to me for free. Unless, of course, the developer makes some pretty massive changes as a result of reading this review (which I know they are)... but I doubt that. So, taking into account that this game is unfinished and unreleased, here is the final score:
Will Overman play the final product: No
Are there any other games you'd like to see reviewed? Let me know in the comments below!
As the sole developer of the runaway hit OverPong, I've been asked by many aspiring indie developers for some programming tips. There are many people who are great artists or musicians, but who don't really know much about programming! Not to worry, Papa Overman is here to help.
Programming Tip #1: Use As Many Variables As Possible
You want your program to be as simple as possible, right? Wrong! You want lots of variables, any one of which can change at any moment in time. Assign them random values whenever possible. Use names like temp and temp2 liberally.
Programming Tip #2: Debug With Print Statements ONLY
I think this one goes without saying. If you know how to use a debugger, then that's just sad. Get a life! I have more important things to do than debug my program - I have code to write, so get the heck out of my way.
Programming Tip #3: Avoid Comments Like The Plague
It's 2015. Why are you still using comments? You might as well be trying to start a fire with flint and steel, or playing baseball with a coconut. Pull yourself together, man!
That's it for today's edition of Programming Tips With Overman. I hope these little tips have been helpful for any novice programmers out there. Stay tuned - more programming tips to come!
Feel free to state in the comments if there's anything you'd like to see in future posts.
Good news everybody! OverPong has just hit the virtual shelves! Time for me to celebrate, and for you to play it!
I highly urge everyone to check it out, I put a lot of effort into making it as fun as possible.
This is the online presence of Overman, the greatest game designer who has ever lived. Within these pages you will find his many creations, many of which he has bestowed upon the world free of charge. But be warned, for there may be dangers afoot...