GBJAM, Talks and Progress

Over the last month I’ve been working day and night, and having some fun in a few places as well.

From October 1st to October 10th was the GBJAM5, the games jam where the theme is the original gameboy. While the aim is to make a game that could play on an original gameboy, the only rules that matter is the resoluton being 160 x 144 pixels and only using 4 colour graphics. I’ve been taking part since the first one back in 2013, and I’ve only missed GBJAM2. It’s a jam I love because it’s small, I love the restriction of the game’s size and graphics, plus growing up with a Gameboy Color means I have a bit of nostalgia for the system.

Despite the games jam lasting 10 days, I was going to spend the weekend in Dublin so I could spend some time with my sister, who’s been travelling around Africa for a few months. I decided to work on a really simple game idea, a block moving from start to finish, avoiding some obstacles on the way. The idea ended up being so simple it took me the first day to get basic graphics moving on the screen, some obstacles and a palette swapping system. I was able to use the rest of the time updating the graphics, adding a few more objects like locks, keys and bouncepads, as well as a transitional effect and some other screens to make the game feel complete and authentic.

The end result was MonoCube, an action puzzle game where all you have to do is get to the end.   During the development process I got a surprising amount of attention, and even after submitting the game early I got several comments, the game ended up getting 7th place in gameplay! You can check out the game here.

On November 8th, I will be speaking at the Digital Technology Conference at Stoke Campus, Staffordshire University. My talk will be about Indie Game Development and the Steam Greenlight process, on what I did to get Gemstone Keeper greenlit and offering my advice. This will be the first time I’ve gone to the Stoke campus as a Graduate, and I look forward to seeing what the campus is like since the games and computing departments all moved from Stafford earlier in the year.

Now I’m going to return to Gemstone Keeper, I’ve got one planned boss remaining to work on, and I’m also focusing some time on the audio (both music and sound effects). In the meantime, I’ve updated the game’s titlescreen, as I felt the original could have had a more authentic layout, as well as some improved scrolling for the background.

#GBjam, Game Development and Work Updates

I’m back and ready to update everyone on what’s been happening since I went to Japan last month, which was an awesome holiday where I got to go to the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Sendai, with highlights including seeing foxes at the Zao Fox Village, walk around Akihabara’s arcades, game and electronic stores, dressing up as a Samurai, going to the Ghibli Museum and Nintendo’s Old Headquarters! Despite being in very humid weather, and both my sister and I carrying our bags from hostel to guest house to hostel almost every night, we were able to see so much and yet miss out on quite a lot. We talked with other travellers and heard about seeing Mt Fuji and Sumo Wrestling in Nagano among others, but I think I can see them another time.

But only a few weeks after I got back, I was out again for a week in Ireland…which is why the longer than normal absence. I got to see some of the big towns and cities from Cork to Dublin, as well as a lot of countryside, however it did help bring inspiration for a game I recently made.
Welcome to Kilkenny Pub Brawl!

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GBJam 3 Overview

Those who have been following me on Twitter have been aware for a while of GBJam, an online games jam, and of course, I’ve been working on a game for it. Therefore as today marks the end of the third GBJam, this article will be a part-summary, part-showcase and part-post mortem of the GBJam.

Play my entry, Galaticus, on GameJolt

Vote for it on GBJam

https://gamepopperdev.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2ed40-gbjam3.jpg

GBJam Banner: Image from 2945 – Devblog

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GBJam Summary

So it’s been a few weeks, so I figured I’d show you some of my favourite games from the passing GBJam. Of course there are many brilliant submissions (including the one I was involved with :P), but here are just some of the great ones that appeared.

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GBJam Week is Over!

Yep, over 6 hours ago, the deadline passed. and Alex Earley posted up the current version of our game Star Runner! The game is in alpha stages, as it is a very ambitious project for us and unfortunately, not all of what we want to include couldn’t be done in the time we have. However, the team are still planning on continuing our work, so keep an eye out on the GBJam page for the most recent updates.

Star Runner Screenshot

 “The game will follow a galactic star hunter seeking to find the most precious energy source in entire universe, baby stars. These baby stars are called starlettes. They are an ancient race that form the bright burning suns of our worlds. In their infancy they must bond together in an ancient ritual to become a star. Our hero must decide will he help the starlettes to become a huge atom smashing machine of incandescent plasma? or will he use their ability to burn hydrogen into helium for his own selfish needs…

We really wanted to release by the deadline, but the project proved to be too ambitious for our personal lives. We plan on releasing future versions. Currently you can explore about half of our world. In future releases we plan on including music and FX, puzzles, NPC’s and a truly epic story. If you browse the source files you can get a preview of what a lot of that will be =D

Stay tuned!” – Alex Earley

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Download StarRunner