The Bit Collective is hosting a proper sequel to last year’s hit TIGSource game jam in Winnipeg! It’s going to be a blast! AceArt has been awesome enough to let us use their prime real-estate downtown.
I designed the t-shirt again this year. I wanted to stick with the theme of Winnipeg historical events, initially trying to think of something to do with this picture and the Winnitron instead of a tramcar, but it for some reason stumbled upon this picture and decided that these people need to jam with some technology. Hence:
If you want one, sign up! There’s a limited amount of space!
The final version of my So Many Rooms game is now up on the official site! It’s got a soundtrack, sound effects, and a proper death sequence. Pro Tip: The music in the game will get more intense as you near your goal.
The So Many Rooms Game Jam that we had a few weeks back was a pretty awesome experience. Aside from my feeble attempts at getting a completely freeware OSX FlashPunk workflow working properly, once i started coding, i was amazed at how much i got done in such a short period of time. It has inspired me to try a slightly larger FlashPunk project in the near future.
I thought i would do a write-up on where the idea for my Winnitron game came from. I realize it’s not finished, but i thought it might be fun and good practice to do a short post.
It started out as just messing around in Unity and the built-in physics engine for the first time. It was going to just be a pretty standard platformer with stacks of physics blocks as the platforms. I soon found out that if a character moves on these blocks, the whole stack would wobble and fall. It turned out to be pretty fun to try and topple one stack against another, so i started working off that idea.
Initially, as a fan of hardcore platformers, the stacks were tiny and pretty far apart and i was having fun with it, but as soon as anyone else touched the game, they would constantly fall in the water. This is why you playtest, playtest, and then playtest. Eventually, the platforms got much wider and made the game much more approachable.
Well, A) because Super Meat Boy came out around then and i thought putting meat in games was pretty chic, and B) Because then i could have different sizes and shapes of meat and they would all be red and distinguishable as a pick-up in the game. Plus, i thought i could do a decent modelling job of them.
I learned a lot about Unity making this game. Especially how physics work and the Physic Material attribute and how to create your own custom drag script.
The Physic Material allows you to adjust the friction of a physics object. Thus you can make a block of ice really easily by making a Physic Material with the friction set to it’s lowest number and then just by dragging and dropping the material from the Project window onto a physics object.
Easy as that! That’s where the ice blocks in the game came from, out of just pure simplicity. That’s also probably where the rest of the game’s atmosphere stems from.
The name comes from this game:
It’s an old DOS game called Fight of the Sumo Hoppers (see above video) which was a pretty excellent two-player versus game that my friends got into for while. So, i thought i would honor that game by naming mine after it. The name came first, and then the characters as jumping sumo wrestlers quickly followed.
SPIT AND SHINE
The real nice thing about Unity i’ve found is that i don’t get too bogged down by asset management. So as soon as the basic engine was in place, i could set about tweaking the controls and the graphics to give it a bit more polish. The sumo wrestler models are pretty basic and a result of my very beginner Maya skills but for some reason i still like them. They do the job well. The idea for the snow came from Alec, because he always thought the game took place in a cold climate.
Particles in Unity are a blast to play with! It’s really easy to work with and it adds a whole lot of polish to your game. I feel especially accomplished with how the meat splat turned out.
CAN I PLAY IT?
Yup. You can download it from it’s thread on the Bit Collective forum. Download it, play it with a friend, and let me know of any bugs or game mechanics that can be tweaked.
But, if you are in Winnipeg, or are coming to GDC in two weeks, you can play it on the Winnitron 1000 which is way more fun!
I shoulda posted this earlier, but i was recently in a trailer for Super Crate Box Versus edition on the Winnitron 1000. Twice! It was filmed and edited and FX’ed by the wonderful Kert Gartner. Check it out below.
If you don’t know what the original Super Crate Box is, it’s an amazingly addicting game made by a couple of sweet dudes from the Netherlands where they also have constructed their own Winnitron. Go download the original Super Crate Box it if you know what’s good for you.
Ever since the iPod and mp3 players became a big deal, i thought it would be funny to make an app that mimicked a cassette in that it limits people’s ability to flip through tracks at will.
Well, i finally made it and it turned into a pretty satisfying little program, even though it’s a little rough around the edges. It mimics making a cassette right down to manually compiling mp3′s together and hand writing liner notes in order to convey the feeling that a lot of time and care has been put into this tape.
It is intended to be used to make mixtapes and sent to people online, but i didn’t want to fill my demo tape up with copyrighted songs, so i loaded this one up with a mini-album i made a few Christmases back.
Though, to get the full virtual mixtape creation vibe with this app, i recommend getting a program that allows you to record system audio (like Audio Hijack for OSX) and then record songs off of YouTube. It’s the perfect internet age analog to the old school mixtape craft.
After powering through some new features, i’m getting mighty pleased with the way my Winnitron 1000 entry is turning out.
The Sumo Slam can be executed by double-tapping in any direction. It took a while to get it to feel right and i only hope that it will translate well when it’s on the actual machine with the arcade controls.
Blocks of ice are now also part of the game. These things have almost no friction, so don’t get caught on one of these without bulking up first.
Also, when the two players collide, the less beefy of the two will get bumped further than the larger one, so it pays off to eat up.
After trying and failing to make my previous Winnitron game a reality, i attempted another idea this weekend.
It’s called Sumo Topplers. The name is a play on an old DOS game called Fight of the Sumo Hoppers a game which doesn’t look like much, but my friends and i were quite addicted to it many years ago, challenging each other over and over. So, i wanted to capture that feeling with the slick physics of Unity. I tried it out with some friends and one of them said “it’s like that Mario Party minigame that everyone plays over and over”. Which i think is a good thing.
Whether my game is a good game or not, i figure it’s good practice. So, keep an eye out for a demo in the near future.
I’ve been collaborating with local game designers and all round cool guys Alec Holowka and Noel Berry on a fantastic new project called The WINNITRON 1000!
It’s in beta stage right now, we’ve got the computer and controls up and running but it’s basically going to be a full-fledged indie games arcade cabinet that can update it’s game library wirelessly and allow up to two-players to compete simultaneously!
We’re also hosting a jam to make games for the Winnitron right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. If you are a motivated artist, coder, or musician interested in helping out, check out the full release on Alec’s blog.