It sucks to be cursed. It sucks even more when you’re standing paralyzed in your own wizard tower while your arch-enemy sends hordes of hungry ghosts to gobble up your mana. Luckily your telekinetic powers are still working fine, and now you are defending yourself by redirecting energy beams from your hands with mirrors and whatever else is at hand.
You’re paralyzed. Enemies are closing in.
Redirect the energy beams with mirrors to hit the ghosts and
change their colors at the right time to exploit each ghost’s weakness!
A cooperative augmented reality game for two friends and a webcam.
The source code is available further down in this post.
You can quit the game by pressing Escape while the menu console is showing.
If you play alone, you might have some problems – it’s made for two players. If you still want to play alone, here are some cheats you can press after the first ghosts spawned: F10 triples the power of your energy beam, and F11 makes you invincible.
This was one of my three big projects this semester, this one for the Augmented Reality course. It’s built in Unity 4, with NyARToolkit to recognize the markers. The japanese documentation makes NyARToolkit a little bit hard to read, but good examples and method names go a long way and we had a lot of fun using it.
You can download the source code and Unity 4 project here. The source code is released under the terms of the GPL v3. The assets (meshes, textures etc) are not released under any particular license. Unless mentioned otherwise on their respective source websites stated in the credits, you are not allowed to use them. If you’d like to use them anyway, feel free to contact me. (Disclaimer: The project was for a university course. Due to time constraints and that not being a requirement, the code is not well documented nor does the documentation fit the C# standards.)
The game was made in about 8 hours (plus about 1 hour later adding the small stuff, like a new font, a mute functionality and a bit of bugfixing) at the Berlin Mini Game Jam together with Norbert Haacks who contributed his artistic talent and game designer wisdom to our endeavour. Special thanks to Jana Leinweber who inspired the trails idea with a comment while playtesting early on!
I’m very pleased with how this one turned out. The trail-mechanic makes the game a lot more tactical than just pushing the ball around, and the game favors the loser increasingly more, making comebacks possible: You have to push the candy on the ground of the other player – but that ground will start to shrink in the process, giving you increasingly less space to work with.
Apart from our own result, the jam set records – when I counted midway in, we had 35 people working enthusiastically on their own games! That’s the most we ever had in the years we are organizing the jam, but then again, the number seems to be consistently rising. And the atmosphere at the presentations at the end is simply amazing! Iwan Gabovitch will make a blog post later at our blog, and there will probably be a video too.
You get 2 points for scoring a goal, and 1 point if the opponent hits his own goal.
Normally only the hammers can hit the ball – but if the ball is red, the blue player can hit it once, and vice versa.
This is the first game I ever started with Python, featuring Pygame and pybox2d. Lovely language! It is also the first game that I ever made that uses any serious form of physics.
Both are thanks to Florian Berger, who is teaching the university course that got me started on making a Python game featuring any form of physics in the first place. Thanks a lot, it was great fun and (obviously, see above) had great results!
Here’s an old one I never posted, and it’s about time – it’s really cool! So now without further ado, enjoy “Winter Sports: Ice Skating”, a heart-warming minimalistic game made for the TIGS Advent Calendar 2011 in about 16h.
Winter Sports: Ice Skating
You are ice skating and try to relax, but these rude other people are making so much noise.
You are fed up, don your ice slicing skates, and do the only reasonable thing:
You let them fall into holes in the ice.
Make holes by crossing the line you’ve sliced in the ice before.
The holes freeze again over time, but until then, try not to fall in yourself…
Another month, another Berlin Mini Game Jam. I’ll post the result from the November one later, but for now – here’s the game for the December edition for the theme “stealing things”:
Pick up data packets. Protect them from your enemies.
Route them to your base. Steal the ones the enemies have.
Sabotage their routing paths. And most of all: Be swift.
Sneakball is played in 2 teams of 2 players each – and each team only has one gamepad, with one stick for each character. Coordination is key, and the game is more strategic than it looks like at first glance. You can pick up the white data packets by colliding with them. If you pick one up, it’ll have your color for a second and is immune from being stolen before it turns white again. Let the balls touch your satellites (the two things emerging from the base) to score.
At the end of every January, people all around the world gather to make awesome games in an absurdly short time. Developing a game in 48 hours is nothing short of insane, and I don’t think it comes to anyones surprise that this appeals a lot to me. And here I proudly present our result this year:
Super Snake Wheel
“We can’t stop here! This is bat country!”
Well, Mr. Snake might have been a bit drunk when he and his companion Mr. Gecko ignored all the warnings and set out to their adventure. Being one of the few snakes who can form a tire out of himself, he’s now rolling down the hill while Mr. Gecko defends him from birds, barely keeping his balance! Take control of this duo of odd heroes in this quirky adventure for one casual and one hardcore player!
A big thanks to all the guys organizing the jam, globally and locally here in Berlin. You’ve done a great job!
By the way, we even satisfied a diversifier (an achievement for the developers) this year: “Collaborative Casual/Hardcore (Two players: one casual, one hardcore): Collaborative play for two, but one player has more to do than the other (or the difficulty level is different between them).” I am sure you will agree after you’ve tried both the casual Mr. Snake and the slightly more hardcore Mr. Gecko: The former just has to jump and duck, while the later has to balance on the snake, jump at the right times and use the mouse to shoot at birds!
Even though this is not my first jam, it seems that every single one has some valuable lessons to teach. These are mine this time:
Even though it’s an a very small timeframe, make a rough project plan with milestones so you won’t lose focus.
Every milestone should be playable (player interaction and a goal), especially the first one – which should ideally be ready when you go to sleep the first time. It does wonders to your motivation!
Programmers, make a task list. It keeps you focused.
You cannot say if something is fun until you can test it. Halfway through the project I felt like giving up because nothing seemed to be coming together, and 12 hours later we had this amazingly fun prototype! So even if it seems like the game won’t be any good, at least implement the first playable prototype.
If your code is based on a pixel oriented framework like Flashpunk, don’t mix in vector based stuff like MovieClips. It just leads to a whole load of implementation overhead.
If you want to pull an all-nighter, at least sleep the first night. Otherwise you might fall asleep the second night which will surely lead to you missing the deadline.
This year the GGJ was certainly not easy and at times tedious and exhausting, but the result totally makes up for that. I daresay that it is one of my best prototypes so far! I am very happy that I have participated, and I’d like to thank everybody who made the weekend as amazing as it was!
Another month, another Berlin Mini Game Jam. This time the topics were “adaptation” and “conflicting goals”. I took the former one, and made a stealth game:
You are the circle, trying to blend in with your environment as much as possible by changing your grey value. Perfect white or black heals you if you have the same color. Stay alive as long as possible!
The game began as local multiplayer at the jam, and over the next days I added a singleplayer mode, Kongregate scores, more polish, and of course sound and music which are made by Moritz Ufer.
The core gameplay was actually finished and the prototype playable after 5 hours, so I had 3 hours for polishing – nice. Best prototype I made at a jam all alone so far!
This month’s EGP theme was ASCII, so to no one’s surprise: Here’s a game about words! More specifically about forming words out of letters which just happen to lie about.
The basic principle is as follows:
You are currently at the bigger “R”. Some letters have a black background – you previously wandered over these. Others are forming words, but you have yet to walk over them: these are green. You can drag and drop letters to form words. Red letters aren’t dragable, but as you can see above, can be used to form words: The N, E and D were red letters before. Minimum length for a word is 4 letters.
There are two modes: One in which you try to get as much points as possible until you run out of space or time, and another one in which you aim for a target. Everything else can be found out in the game by pointing at the [?] in the upper right corner of every playscreen – or by just playing it.
Please post some of your highscores here! Oh, and comments too! Which configuration(s) do you like best? Any criticism, feedback, suggestions?
Due to illness I didn’t have enough time to add sound effects and to fix some bugs. I’ve left the EGP version intact (see the link in brackets above), but also wanted to adress what I listed before, so I uploaded the new version – which is, of course, a) slightly over 7 days and b) touched in March too.
As some of you might know, I’m studying International Media and Computing, which includes a course called “Media Programming” – and for all I know, it might also be named “Game Programming”, because that’s we what did there. I like my studies more and more!
This monday was the presentation of the games we made over the last two months. Ours is a Beat’em up. It’s rather generic due to time constraints (after all this wasn’t the only project we had to make in the last months) and the absense of a game designer, but I learned a lot about 3d programming and XNA while developing, and it’s fun to play anyway!
You should easily figure out the buttons on the gamepad.
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