A week ago, we had our February Mini Game Jam. One of the themes was “local multiplayer”, which perfectly fit the idea that I already had before arriving at the jam: Cutting up some anaglyph glasses to make red/red and cyan/cyan glasses and then make a multiplayer game where each player can only see half of the content.

Shoot all monsters of your color. Don’t let them touch you.
Your friend does the same.

Easy enough so far? Good.
Because you’ll also wear glasses in your color,
which means you can’t see your enemies at all!

A cooperative game about focus, teamwork, communication and fast reflexes –
for two players with red/red and cyan/cyan glasses and XBox360 controllers.

Play in your browser with the Unity Webplayer!
Download it for Windows!

Also, have some videos about how it works:

So – how does it work?

…surprisingly well! No really. But if you really don’t want to watch the first video, here’s how:

The yellow player fights the yellow monsters – he can’t interact with blue at all.

He wears red/red glasses though, and can’t see yellow at all…

…but if the blue player points his beam at one of the yellow monsters, the beam is BEHIND the monster, so it looks like this:

And now the yellow players knows where the monster is and can shoot it! All that remains now is good communication between the players and fast reflexes.

If you want to see it in action, you can watch this video.

The red/red and cyan/cyan glasses worked surprisingly well in extinguishing every single trace of yellow and cyan respectively, even in a projected image! (And in case you’re wondering, red images didn’t work, there were still faint ghost images.)

I really like how the game plays out. It’s interesting to see how people grow increasingly accustomed to playing it. Most start not talking at all and die a lot. Others focus solely on identifying the monsters for their partner and then die because they didn’t shoot their own enemies. Then, slowly, they start talking to each other: “There’s a monster here!”, “One there.”, “Move left! Left! Okay, you got it.” And later on some well-rehearsed teams start playing silently again for the most part, quickly finding the enemies their partner is pointing at.

I might visit the colored glasses mechanics again at a later jam.

Credits

For every month of 2013, I’ve released (at least!) one game – except December. Luckily, there’s still a few minutes left, so I present to you my digital web/desktop/Android adaptation of a board game we once made at my university!

Aubjects

Your job is to locate six mysterious Aubjects on a foreign planet – via triangulation.
To make it more exciting, you decided to have a contest!

Enclose exactly one Aubject to score.
For every additional enemy probe you get one bonus point.

Become the Master Triangulator in:
Aubjects, a game of skill for two players.

Play it right in your browser!

Download it for:
Windows
Android

Credits:

This game is based on a board game made at the HTW Berlin, designed by:

  • Tobias Müller
  • Anthea Neums
  • Nathanael Siering
  • Tobias Wehrum
  • Florian Wokurka

Another month, another jam, another crazy physics game. In the beginning, this one was inspired by the awesome Drei, but it quickly steered away from that and became something… uh, else. I dunno.

Balls & Balloons

You control two balloons attached to a paddle.

Use it to get balls in your colored bottle!

Or you could just remove the ones your enemy has…

(You’ll need two XBox360 controllers.)

Play in your browser!

Download for Windows!

Credits:

  • Programming: Tobias Wehrum
  • Music: Kevin MacLeod
  • Font: Ben McGehee

For a university course, I was tasked to make a thing with JavaScript/Crafty. Since I am not particularly fond of HTML5, I wanted to do something playful that I couldn’t do with any other technology. Welcome with me: webcat.

webcat


webcat

1) Take this link up there and drag it to the bookmark bar or favourites.

2) Go to some other page (Wikipedia works well, for example).

3) Click on the bookmark/favourite “webcat” link!

There isn’t anything to do but running around and double-jumping, but hey, now you can add a cat to any webpage you want!

Credits:

Last jam, I started something I called “Remote Person Control“. This jam, I refined what I had back then:

  • The Player holds a tablet with a soundboard, showing buttons like “Left”, “Right” or “Grab”.
  • The Robot is blindfolded and has a smart phone with headphones – and when the player presses a button, the robot hears what he pressed.

It’s still no game, but a VERY fun toy! I recorded three videos to show what the current prototype can do:

For those interested, here is the complete soundboard:

And here are the voice samples for you to listen to! I love the last one.

Inspiration

While I like to think that I came up with the idea myself, I obviously had inspirations. Here are those I can remember:

  • Signal Delay by ChrisGaudino: A Ludum Dare prototype about remotely controlling a mars rover.
  • Octodad by Young Horses, Inc: Octodad – Loving Father. Caring Husband. Secret Octopus. A game where you pretend to be a human by doing mundane tasks, but being an octopus with an incredible awkward control scheme makes this quite hard and incredibly funny.

Credits

Thanks a lot to our artist and the robots in the videos! Our sandwich-making robot is Adam “PunyOne” Streck. If he isn’t making sandwiches, he’s making games – you can find some of them at http://justaconcept.org!

A few weeks ago, I participated in the ChainJam. It was about making 4 player local multiplayer games, each lasting only one minute – and then we’d take all of them and string them randomly together, playing one after another and keeping the score throughout the game. It’s pretty well explained here!

Since my previous tries to remake my beloved Hammertennis as a Unity game failed, I used the ChainJam as an excuse to experiment some more. After a day of coding (and a little revision later to make it able to work as a stand-alone), I got this:

Hammertennis: ChainJam 4 Players Edition

Try to keep balls in your territory to score points!

Playable with gamepads or multiple keyboards.

Play it online here!

So – am I content with it? Gameplay-wise, I am not – it keeps the uncontrollability that was fun in the original Hammertennis, but because it’s so cramped and you now have 4 players instead of two, the interaction feels more meaningless. I learned to use RageSpline and Farseer though, and I am quite happy with the visual look I achieved. I think it’s a huge step forward from my usual programmer art. So – no, the game isn’t that great, but I think it’ll help me a lot when I try to make the next revision in the Hammertennis prototype series!

Credits:

Many moons ago, when the earth was still young and Astrid and Pete still lived in Berlin, Heiko, Kelsey and me formed a jam team with them – a team whose epic adventures will be told throughout the centuries. We also made a silly little jam game for a theme long forgotten:

SwapSwatch

You’re trying to collect all the colors!
Sadly you can’t suck colors yourself.

Cuttlefishs to the resue! Don the right cuttlefish
to fill your color reservoir in the respective zone.
Also do the reasonable thing: Let him spit ink at your opponent!

But beware of the police clouds, giving fines to everyone
who is in the wrong color zone with a cuttlefish.

A super serious game for two players
on keyboard or XBox360 controllers!

Download for Windows!

[A video will be added here soon.]

I have no idea what we were thinking. Don’t ask. I regret nothing.

Credits

The October Berlin Mini Jam was crazy enough – we had a triple splitscreen with blinds made out of cardboard and and a MakeyMakey game using fruits and vegetables as controllers. (“And to shoot, you just touch the plum.”)

Fueled by this energy, I made this toy prototype for the theme “Lab Experiment”:

Remote Person Control

One person gets a computer and
a gamepad: The Controller.

One person gets a smartphone, earphones
and closes their eyes: The Robot.

The Controller can now steer the Robot
with transmitted voice commands:
“Left, left, stop, forward, forward…”

Like I say in the video, it’s not finished. It is just a toy right now – I ran out of time to make it a game. I’m thinking about adding commands like “Move your body” and “Move your right hand” so you can actually steer the Robot’s hands too – and then have a command like “grab” to pick up stuff, for example.

The prototype was already a fun experience even with just simple directional controls though. It feels really interesting to use a gamepad to control something in real life (and a human on top of it) instead of something on the screen!

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

While working with Unity is normally a pleasure and developing Android has proven to be far more straightforward than other mobile platforms, this time I just got terribly unlucky. Here is how I spent my time:

Closing Words

And now, a screenshot from the video, so that Facebook etcetera knows which image to use:

Who knows where exactly I’ll take this? Certainly not me, although I have some ideas. Maybe the next jam will be the time to find out!

I’ve previously done two “Best of” lists of the games I enjoyed the most so far – you can find them here and here. I always planned to do this third part, but then life happened – and now at last, with one day of judging left, I present to you this final part!

So one last time, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think nobody should miss out on:

 

pleading-rainPleading Rain by Brassawiking
You aren’t really sure what happened, but standing in the rain with a gun to your head and two people shouting at you, it’s quite clear that you probably fucked up. This is a dialogue game, fast-paced and intense: You try to figure out how to get out of this situation, and until you do, you’ll have to stall without spilling any unwanted proverbial beans. It has no less then 9 different endings and some of the best writing I’ve seen this LD. (Two tips: You can click on parts of the images when you “Think”, and sometimes you need to click on more than one part until a new dialogue option pops up.)

 

flooded-dungeons
Flooded Dungeons by ripatti
A super-polished dungeon crawler where your primary concern are not the many monsters or the riches, but the impending watery death flooding the higher levels. Fly, you fool! Oh, but maybe grab some of the riches while you’re at it. This game feels so finished, I stand by my suspicion that ripatti secretly made a time machine for this LD. Or cloned himself. (Then again, I guess this level of dedication would make up for the cheating.)

 

10013-milliseconds10013 milliseconds by mortus
This is a short adventure game with a Myst-like vibe: You are a technician, and not a happy one, because an explosion in the bunker you are in destroyed some pretty important equipment and locked down all the doors. Your only hope: A distress signal. The computer hasn’t got much power left though. Oh, how I love this game: The super clean graphics, the sound effects, the music. The mood they create together so dense, I feel like I can touch it. (And if you still aren’t sold: It also features a fox!)

 

ecostarEcoStar vs Aeronox – DreamTeam
EcoStar vs Aeronox is the best side-scrolling shooter I’ve seen at this LD. The seasons have been greatly sped up and invaders attack – luckily you’re up for the defence! The enemies are element-coded according to the seasons with strength and weaknesses, and you can get an element shield and charge an elemental attack additionally to your normal one. Great music, wonderful graphics and a lot of R-type-like fun!

 

antidoteAntidote by Antidote
You’ve come to get the golden idol, but you’ve been poisoned – quick, make your way out! And while you’re at it, grab a lot of riches to make it worth your while. Another super-polished game – this time in the jam section, being a perfect example of what you can achieve with a team of dedicated people. Everything fits together, and shooting, blasting and running through the dungeon while picking up shiny jewels feels great.

 

tai10 Second Tai by Teejay5
A short game about oversleeping, flying with jetpacks and fighting sharks (oops, spoilers). While it’s really rather on the short side and it’s missing music, for me it was pretty hilarious. There should be more ridiculous physics-based games. And I can’t get over the faces Tai makes! They are just so well done, haha.

 

clocked-inClocked In by rylgh
An avoider-type game with some pretty neat design choices. It just feels extremely smooth, everything about it – even when you lose a heart, it just feels like is factored into the normal flow of play. It also features a flawless and clean visual presentation, a nice minimalistic soundtrack and great level design.

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!
 
Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…

 

Like I wrote in my previous post, I’ve rated 100 games now. There were a lot awesome games in there – and a few that I think nobody should miss out on.

So again, in no particular order, here are some more entries that I think everyone should’ve played:

 

probe-teamPROBE TEAM by Andrew Shouldice
If you play only one game from my list, take this one. You are playing a swarm of drones, one by one, tasked with exploring and repairing. Even if your current drone fails, you’ll likely have explored the perimeter. And that’s where the game really shines: Exploration. You want to know what’s around the next corner, what the probes discover next! Together with the shiny visuals, the soundscape and the small bits of plots, this game manages to create an incredible atmosphere. It’s my favourite from the whole LD27 so far and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins!

 

royal-defenestratorRoyal Defenestrator by BasmanovDaniil
You are the Royal Defenestrator, tasked with… I am not sure what you are actually tasked with. But it seems that the queen isn’t very happy, and if she isn’t happy with something, there’s really only one choice what to do with it! There also only one word to describe this game: “hilarious”. Combine a few pretty fine jokes, a lot of emergent humor, a simple clean style and perfectly fitting music and you get this game!

 

the-only-oneThe only one by JaJ
Ah, The only one. I don’t want to spoil anything, I think you’ve got to play this one for yourself. The writing is excellent and compelling. I felt sad and touched after I played it, and it’s been a while since a game did that to me, especially one so short and created in only 48 hours! The 2 color look works well (which is pretty hard to pull off in my opinion), and even if that’s not your thing: This game is really worth playing.

 

the-duellistsThe Duellists by jay griffin
This game in one word: “Polish”. Oh, and also “gorgous pixel art”, although I suppose that’s three words. Contrary to “Way of the Gun” from my Best Of (Part 1), the core gameplay here is actually about duelling. The mechanic is simple and fun and everything works smoothly. I just wish he would’ve added music – but then again, he already announced a post-compo version.

 

detective-awesomepantsDetective Awesomepants by xel
I’ll let xel do this one himself: “Experience the epic adventure of Detective Awesomepants as he tackles difficult cases assigned to him by the world police! Travel to exotic locations. Meet unique characters. Put bad guys in jail! All in a days work for the greatest detective around.”
So – it’s basically murder mystery in 10 seconds with super quirky characters. Short, sweet, extremely fun!

 

legend-of-epikourosLegend of Epikouros by Erhune
It seldom happens, but sometimes there’s a game that’s not that much fun to play, but I’m super excited about nonetheless. This is one of those. The concept is as simple as it is brilliant: It’s an adventure RPG with a long play time – but each player session only lasts 10 seconds. When you start, a lot will have already happened to our hero Epikourous, dictated by other players, and you’ll watch his story until it’s finally your turn to play him. What will you do with your 10 seconds? I really hope this one gets a post-compo version!

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could rate and comment on my game too. I’d be really happy about that!

Lost-in-the-DarknessLost in the Darkness by TobiasW
Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness – and you’re their only hope. Follow the music and save them! It won’t be easy though: The world is in constant change. Be ready. And don’t stay in the darkness for too long…