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Summer is nearly over so it is time to get back in the podcasting groove (one of the many grooves which we inhabit). As well as hopefully Rivas’s writing groove, what with posting only one article since the last podcast, about pigs. Think of it as a podcast ham sandwich.

We have played many games over the summer, and even remembered some of them to talk about, this is what we planned to do:

  • Street Fighter IV
  • Shadow Complex
  • Baldur’s Gate 1/2
  • Icewind Dale
  • Planescape Torment
  • Fallout
  • Space Siege
  • Half Life 2: Episode 2 (again)
  • Guild Wars
  • EvE Online
  • Freespace 1/2
  • Homeworld 2
  • Sins of a Solar Empire (best name evar)
  • Darwinia

However we wandered often and can’t be bothered listening to find out what we actually talked about.

Anyway, here it is.

This time guest starring Michael Charge of http://www.hntaab.co.uk, who didn’t plug three times. Although he did bring Street Fighter IV so we don’t care.

Too Cool for School

"Oh Jeez"

Goodness Gracious we seem to have recorded another podcast.  In which we discuss Adventure games! Half Life 2 Mods! Harry Potter!? With 200% more alcohol.

We may spoil some things, so don’t listen if you like surprises, but who does really? They are surprising! (except when they’re not). Things such as:

  • Monkey Island
  • Loom
  • The Dig (badly)
  • Ben There, Dan That! (badly)
  • The film that wasn’t Armageddon
  • Research & Development (mod)
  • Radiator (mod)
  • Harry Potter (SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE)

So quickly go and play/watch/read all that and then you can download the podcast here.

There is an additional outtakes track here, if you’re one of those crazy completionists like me who can’t stand to miss out on content.

We also promised to link to my terrible adventure game, which according to the download count is apparently the most popular thing I will ever create.

In fairness to Rivas, after posting a ridiculous picture of him, I shall post myself shortly after posing in our podcasting environment.

IMG_3289

"Your room is green"

I’m just adding a line here because the page layout felt off, there is no content in this sentence whatsoever, seriously stop reading it doesn’t go anywhere, in fact pretend this is just some elaborate line art under the post if you want.

It seems we actually CAN be bothered to record another podcast, possibly compelled to raise the standards set by the relatively poor quality of the original. This time we have 100% less toilet breaks, and thusly 50% less content, or at least, less talking, a trade off we are mostly happy with. Nonetheless much of this podcast is Rivas commenting on stuff he already blogged about, but we do have some EXCLUSIVE AUDIO CONTENT, so you crazy internet people who are scared of missing stuff should listen away!

So without further ado here is The Podcast! followed by some more ado:

We have taken my father’s professional journalistic opinion and chosen to hold the microphone this time, this often means I pointed the microphone the wrong way but it’s still better than before. We’re also recording in the nicely acoustic confines of my soft soft bedroom, instead of the sharp sharp living room, so the echo gremlins should be a thing of the past.

Also thanks to Jessica Curry for making the music for Dear Esther, which we have added to the end of our podcast for your listening pleasure. I think it is Creative Commons, it says feels free to share anyway.

Alex.

EDIT: I would like to point out that I used the phrases “Experimental Gamer” and “Pushing Boundaries” at least three times in this recording, so I should probably be given an award or killed or something. D.

Podcast Logo

We decided to do a Podcast! and in an effort to stand out from the writhing crowd, we decided to talk about Video Games. Who the hell talks about those, huh?

We both hate our voices terribly, and we mumble, a LOT. So hopefully next time (next time!?) we will enunciate more.

Anyway, you can download it from the internet archive, who nicely provide free hosting for all us crazy people making rubbish stuff (also good stuff).

–Alex

What do you know this blog actually has two authors? I did actually post a few times on the old blog, but I have yet to find anything much to talk about here. At least while also feeling virtuous enough to write a whole blog post. Drivas’s lengthy pretensions and reviews have clearly set the bar quite high on such things, which didn’t help. Nevertheless, as a developer in colour game (most boring codename ever) I do actually have some things to talk about here.

We were intending to work in C#, as Drivas had already started piecing some stuff together, however we eventually decided to go back to my better known Python. Ultimately when it came down to it, the focus was actually getting a game made, and learning a new language didn’t seem the best way to do that. I know Python/pygame quite well, so it meant we could focus on all the parts of the actual game, the design, the structure, the content, instead of getting bogged down in learning new constructs and libraries.

In terms of progress, as you’ve seen we had all the core mechanics down a while ago, and currently I’m working on the level editor. In theory this shouldn’t have been too difficult, but the rather intertwined structure of the original code meant a lot of reorganising and modularising of the code was needed. The code at the moment still feels like it could be more modular, but it is sufficient for now. I have in fact, made a functional level editor, of sorts. There are many many features that need adding, but as it stands it does allow us to make levels. However the massive code restructuring means the mechanics coded for v0.1 are now useless, or at least need so much work that I might as well write them from scratch, and hopefully avoid any structural mistakes this time.

These kinds of problems are precisely the reason we want to make a simple puzzle game like this before we move into anything we really want to make. That way hopefully we won’t get distracted by lame basic things, and focus on the problems of actually designing the game we want. I’m also trying to make the engine modular enough that we can extend it quickly to other game types. pygame helps a lot here of course, handling a lot of basics like sprites and collision detection, but it is by no means a complete game engine. Having a structure already in place, even if we have to further modularise it, or even specialise it, to make a new game, saves a lot of time.

Anyway, once the mechanics are back in we’ve hit our milestone and can release v0.2. After that we’re going to start actually making it into a game. This will be much more about content than code. This means levels, sprites and a menu. Depending on how quickly we work, we might even decide to add stuff like sound and animation before we release v0.3.

Beyond this I’m not really sure yet. The goal for v1.0 is a completely polished, substantially lengthy puzzle game. No doubt there will be lots of stuff we haven’t thought about cropping up yet, but I don’t think we’ll get through 6 version numbers before we get there. Thinking even further ahead (to a dangerously optimistic potential future) we should be able to stop working on it at that point, at least if we did it properly, and decide which of our crazy ideas we want to try next. Although it’s entirely likely we’ll come back to improve it later.

You can follow the issue tracker on google code if you want. Hell you can even checkout the svn if you’re feeling creepily enthusiastic about our game. You’ll notice if you do, that I haven’t been updating very much recently. This is partially due to the AS exams, but as they’re (nearly) over now, the only excuse for the past few days is laziness. There is a certain inertia here, and hopefully I’ll overcome that and get back in the coding groove soon.

Goodness I thought I’d be done quickly and go to bed, and now it is half past midnight, I can see how Drivas ends up with such long posts now.

Oh well, bedtime for me.

–Alex

I would say I had no issues with Daniel’s original decision to work in C# other than my own unfamiliarity with the language, but of course that would be a lie. Obviously, deep down, I secretly feel the unexplainable disgust of syntax prejudice, these strange curly brackets and unrestrained indentation caused various bodily fluids to simmer gently in their appropriate organs. However, being aware of this prejudice, I pushed it aside in my decision of what language to use… or so I believed. [END MELODRAMATIC MONOLOGUE] Instead, the decision was based on the inevitable slowdown that working in an unfamiliar language would have caused. While learning C# is probably a worthwhile objective, it seemed premature to do so when our practical knowledge of python never extended beyond the bare outline of a space shooter. The prospect of actually making a game seemed more important than learning a new language. Furthermore the code relied on Microsoft’s .NET XNA libraries, and while a mono port of these exists, we remain uncertain of its quality or completeness. It’s entirely possible it would have worked fine, but this uncertainty was important to considered.

Edit: This wasn’t actually finished when Rivas posted it! I was still drafting it. You can instead consider it a snapshot of my working psyche.

Further Edit: I’ll post whatever I want, whenever I want, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Know this. –D

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