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…

 

Ludum Dare was going on last weekend! It’s a huge internet game jam where you develop a game in either 48h all alone (Compo) or 72h with a team (Jam). I’m participating in the Compo – you can see my entry Lost in the Darkness here!

After the compo/jam, people who participated can rate each others games. I’ve rated 100 games now – I wish I could rate more, but I seem to have the tendency to write detailed feedback. It takes up so much time! While doing that, I found some gems that I think nobody should miss. There are a lot of those, so I’ll split it in multiple parts. In no particular order:

 

10 Seconds Before the World Ends by Lustdante
You’re a scientist trying to save the world which ends in (you probably guessed it!) 10 seconds. Luckily you have a suit that doesn’t only stop time, but allows you to move around in the meantime! Use debris as platforms, promenade under deadly obstacles and activate time again in the right moments to let it create a passage for you. Everything about this game is awesome, and it feels strangely great walking in a frozen world.

 

Low-BatteryLow Battery by RHY3756547
Hunting for treasure as a robot felt never more franti- WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED. This game is hard as hell, but even while losing I had a lot of fun. Shiny graphics, totally over the top effects and a kick-ass soundtrack completes the set.

 

Rebound-ReconRebound Recon by TheHermit
Your drone stole the industry secrets you were looking for – now you just need to get away! There’ll be no room for mistakes: And that’s where your drones advanced predictive software comes into play. It allows you to plan your route before the drone executes it. This is the best puzzle game I’ve played this Ludum Dare! The controls feel a little sluggish until you get used to them – I recommend you deal with this, the game is definitely worth it.

 

Way of the Gun by vrld
Way of the Gun is a… dialogue/bantering game? Wait, what? I won’t tell you why, the intro can do that much better – what I can tell you though is that this game features pleasing graphics, great music, an interesting mood, superb dialogue, a lot of quirky humor and some funny surprises.

 

Clockwork-CatClockwork Cat by patrickgb
A cute cat with a big wrench and an even bigger clock – what more could you need to make a great game? Maybe an extremely smooth flow? Soothing music? Small clever puzzles? Well, if you agree, you’re in luck – this game features all of that. Its only downside is it’s shortness, but that’s hardly a reason to pass it up!

 

Insert-picture-hereCrappydoodle by superjoebob
No picture for this one? Yep – I really have no idea how to depict it pleasingly in 120×85 pixels. Which is a bit ironic, because Crappydoodle is a game about pictures. It’s basically Pictionary on speed with random strangers – what’s not to like? Don’t try it though, because it’s addicting. No really, please don’t click the link.

 

Did you like my recommendations? If so, maybe you could play (and if you participated, rate and comment there – and if not just write a comment here!) 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, resist the darkness and save them!

A few months ago, a Mini Game Jam. The theme was “hiding”, and the artist Leith Gow and me made a stealth duel game for two players – on two monitors.

Predator vs Predator

Lurk in the shadows.
Lie in wait. Ready your laser.

Feint. Grab the points.
Be aggressive.

A Stealth Duel Game for 2 players with
XBox360 controllers and 2 monitors.

Download it for Windows!

Credits

Programming: Tobias Wehrum
Art: Leith Gow
Music: Kevin MacLeod
Sound: Moritz Ufer, Marcus Lee
Font: Guy Buhry

Two monitors made possible by SoftTH.

For the Human-Computer Interaction course at my university we had to do a 3d interface prototype. My team decided to make a game with the Leap Motion. And thus, Zombie Planet was born in about 3 weeks: A game that you control directly with your fingers.

Zombie Planet

Use your fingers to strike the zombies
with lightning and throw asteroids at them!

Defend your world against the invading
undead and save your people!

Download for Windows

Screenshots

Credits

Made with Unity 3D.

Game Jam time! And when I saw Heiko with this beauty of a touchscreen, I knew that I had develop for this. We wanted to do something where players can cooperate against a common thread. 8 hours later, we had this:

Massive Defense

An asteroid storm threatens your mission,
but your trusty spaceships stand ready.

Defend your home base!
Defend your friends!

Try to survive as long as possible in this
cooperative asteroid defense game for 4 players.

Exclusively for 27″ touchscreens!
(Or alternatively for 4 XBox360 gamepads.)

Download:

Windows (Gamepad Version)
Windows (Touchscreen Version)
Android

Video

While it’s certainly possible to play on a tinier touchscreen, playing it on 27″ was a lot of fun! Here’s a video of us playing it at the jam:

Credits

Programming:

Art:

Sound Design:

Music:

Fonts:

The theme for the Global Game Jam 2013 was the sound of a heartbeat. After briefly pondering making a game about friendship, love and the joys of life, our thoughts drifted off a bit and we made something, uh, a little bit different. Enter Blood Trial.

Blood Trial (Alpha Release)

You are participating in an
ancient ritual to appease the blood god.

Rip out other warriors hearts and sacrifice them
at the top of the temple while they’re still beating!

Keep the favor of the thirsty god and he’ll reward you generously!

Super Smash Bros. meets Mortal Kombat in
this fighting game for up to 4 players.

Download the current version for Windows

Global Game Jam entry

I’ll make a proper post about the jam and the game later (with video and all that), but I thought that it couldn’t hurt to have a link on my blog in the meantime.

Credits

Programming:

Art:

Game Design, Producing and being all around awesome:

For the Human-Computer Interaction course at my university we had to do a 3d interface prototype. My team decided to make a game with the Leap Motion. And thus, Zombie Planet was born in about 3 weeks: A game that you control directly with your fingers. Defend your world from invading zombies and save your people!

Visit this post for the download, screenshots and credits:

Zombie Planet, A Game Prototype For The Leap Motion

15 Minutes in the Shoes of a Game Programmer

For a workshop at the YOU, a youth culture fair, I was asked to make a concept for a short game programming workshop.

The requirements were:

  • The workshop should give an impression of the work of a game programmer.
  • It should take about 15 minutes and allow groups of varying size.
  • I should assume that the participants have no experience in programming at all.
  • Instructions should be kept to a minimum; the focus should be on hands-on experience.
  • The workshop should produce a quantifiable result.
  • It should be an enjoyable experience.

No easy task. Luckily, inspiration struck, and a few days later I finished the game StarCoder.

StarCoder

Move the player to the star by using
Left/Right and Space to jump.

An easy game if it weren’t for the spikes -
or if you could jump far enough, for that matter.
Luckily you can edit the source code.

There are 15 distinct solutions to win the game.
How many will you find?

Download for Windows

Source Code (License: CC BY SA)
Creative Commons License

The Workshop

The workshop went extremely well. Everybody found at least 4 solutions, with some finding up to 10. The game also seems to be surprisingly fun, even (or especially?) for non-programmers! Results were often accompanied by laughter and some of the participants even asked for the program so they could try it again at home. And I remember a teacher who sat down to try it himself after I finished the workshop with his group of pupils.

If you use it yourself (which I’m totally fine with – I’d love if you drop me a message that you are using it!), this was my approach:

  • Tell your attendees that the goal of the game is to get to the star. Ask them to click in the left part and try it themselves: Arrows keys to run, Space to jump.
  • After half a minute admit that it seems rather impossible – but luckily there’s the source code on the right side which they may edit. Ask them to notify you once they have the first solution.
  • Once they have the first solution, congratulate them for their achievement. Then ask them to click on “Reset” in the lower right corner and tell them that there are 14 more solutions.
  • After a few minutes (or a few solutions, depending on their speed), tell them that there’s also the “Creation” tab in the upper corner.

The ideal number of attendees seems to be 1 to 3 per computer. You might want them to write down their solutions if you want to assign a score to each group later.

So… how about you? Did you find the every single one of the 15 solutions? Try it yourself first – and then check it with this handy walk-through. (No cheating though!)

And if you’re interested how hard solutions are and which are found the most and least easily, you can check out these statistics (contains spoilers!).

Credits

  • Concept, Programming and “Art”: Tobias Wehrum
  • Sounds: Moritz Ufer

Thanks to my playtesters: Moritz, Tobias, Kelvin, Sebastian, Simon, Christiaan, Lukas, Florian, Marina, Jana, Jens, Paul, Ronja and Nadine. You guys have been a huge help!

Made in cooperation with:

We’ve been to the Codemotion Festival Berlin and made a game jam there! Two of the three themes were “Bouncing” and “How to make a sandwich”, so it was pretty obvious what had to be done:

You are two pretty incompetent chefs,
competing to complete the correct sandwich first.

The customer has ordered!
(Poor fool.)

Prepare delicious sandwiches in this frantic game
for two players with Xbox360 gamepads.

Play it in the web player!

Download it for Windows/Mac/Linux!

Credits:

This week, I was at the wonderful Indie Connect. At the end was a game jam, and that’s where I started the following game for the theme “Treason”:

Arena fights are dangerous.

But at least you can trust your partner, right? Right?

To be on the safe side though, you took some Vampiric Throwing Knives with you.
The arena rules prohibit the use of weapons against your opponents,
but there is no mention that you can’t use any if your partner acts up…

Collect power orbs to boost your antigravity!
Shove your opponents off the platform!

Win as a team or alone.

After all, if YOU kill your friend,
at least his power is safe with you, isn’t it?

Play it in the web player!

Download it for Windows/Mac/Linux!

Credits: