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r1ckparker's Journal

Thanatos - the Dragon - old stuff

Posted by , 22 April 2014 - - - - - - · 1,049 views

This is an old demo I put together for a Retro Remake competition, never did anything else with it.

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New Game - Charge!

Posted by , 12 April 2014 - - - - - - · 790 views

New Game - Charge! Hi everyone, even though I haven't been blogging it, I have almost completed my latest game, Charge!

You play as a sorcerer on a tower who must defeat incoming enemies by throwing spells at them. The full game will have 20+ levels, story mode, 3 difficulty levels, extra weapons and spells.

You can download the 1 level demo from Gamejolt.

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Games that will never receive a sequel

Posted by , 20 January 2013 - - - - - - · 1,517 views

A departure from my usual ramblings, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite games which will never receive a sequel. Some games roll on and on, and have been with us since the dawn of gaming. And then you have the modern yearly updates which just roll on and on - Call of Duty, Need for Speed, Fifa. And of course, there are millions of obscure games which can only be considered a one-off. The following games, to my mind, could have easily become huge franchises, with more innovative features in each sequel.

Kingdoms of Amalur

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A fantastic and under appreciated RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur was developed by Big Huge games, developed with help from fantasy writer R A Salvatore and Todd McFarlane. Big Huge was closed by their parent company just after Kingdoms was released.

Ico/Shadow of the Colossus

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Team Ico produced the original Playstation 2 games and it seems they like to develop only original games. The Last Guardian has been in development for many years, and it may even see a release one day, so it looks like Ico 2 or Shadow 2 will be the last thing the company wants to concentrate on.

Second Sight

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Second Sight featured innovative gameplay, you can use psychic powers to unravel a very interesting story. Developer Free Radical was also responsible for the Time Splitters series of games, and was wound down after the dreadful Haze.
Honorary mention - Psi-Ops

Blur

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Blur was a fantastic game which managed to combine the shiny cars of Need for Speed with the multiplayer and power ups of Mario Kart. Activision closed the developer, Bizarre Creations, after they produced a poorly selling Bond game, Blood Stone.
Honorary mention - Split/Second

LA Noire

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Games really struggle with facial animation, the subtleties of human movement mean it is really difficult to render a realistically moving face. Team Bondi wanted to remedy this and developed what they called MotionScan, which allowed them to render actors faces realistically in game. Throw in a huge open world, an incredible story and challenging puzzles and you have a huge and involving game. Unfortunately Team Bondi was badly run, with employees complaining of poor working conditions. Rockstar closed the studio in 2011.


Teaser

Posted by , 18 January 2013 - - - - - - · 723 views

???!!!

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Updates to existing games

Posted by , 27 December 2012 - - - - - - · 1,194 views

As well as starting a new project, I am quite keen to keep supporting my existing games, to that end, I have updated Deepfall Dungeon with some new features -

Improved graphics
More monsters
New game mode - Game Plus
Various improvements and bug fixes

I have also produced a new video which shows off the game a bit better



You can download my game, for free, from my web site -

http://deepfall.moonfruit.com/


New Project - the importance of prototyping?

Posted by , 14 December 2012 - - - - - - · 876 views

So now my game is complete, I'm ready to start another project. I've had a few ideas about game structure and what I want to do, but I haven't really settled on anything yet. I usually like to prototype my games, before I start them, this gives me an idea of how long the game will take to code, what the controls will be like, and I build it up from there.

For example, I wondered if I could do an 'outdoor' game so within a short while, I had a skybox up and running, with a terrain, some trees and a keyboard controlled camera.

I also had another idea of a 'bullet hell' style game, where instead of controlling a ship and dodging bullets, you would shoot bullets out and try to kill enemies. You would start off with a small amount of bullets and this would gradually increase until you were shooting hoards of bullets out.

I'd also like to have a go at writing a traditional horizontally scrolling shooter at some point.

My final thought was to create a 'retro' platform game, an 'homage' to the old ZX Spectrum games, but done in a modern style. To this end, I created a mapper and a scrolling, tiled 2d map and did some quick sprites on top.

I find this kind of prototyping really helps the development, it gives you a sense of what graphics and artwork you will need, helps with the control scheme and even highlights flaws in your game design - if something won't work or isn't fun then you can go back to the drawing board to fix it, without wasting a lot of time.

How do you guys go about deciding your next project? Am I alone in using this method? I'd love to know, drop some comments in below!

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Deepfall Dungeon released!

Posted by , 18 November 2012 - - - - - - · 2,013 views

Deepfall Dungeon released! Deepfall Dungeon is a 3D first person fantasy role playing game. You have entered the dreaded Deepfall Dungeon and must find the exit! Along the way, you will fight monsters, find treasure, cast spells and build your character from a nobody to a legend! Will you make it out alive? Features - Hundreds of generated mazes - no two games are ever the same.. Ten different monster types, each requiring their own strategy to defeat. 3d graphics with a retro vibe. Download the demo from Mediafire, below.

http://www.deepfall.moonfruit.com
http://www.mediafire.com/?63glnkwjqg3156o
http://www.indiedb.com/games/deepfall-dungeon

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Concept art

Posted by , 04 November 2012 - - - - - - · 1,138 views

I'm on the verge of releasing my game, I've been playtesting, balancing and bug fixing and it's almost ready.

To celebrate I'm showing you guys some concept and unused artwork, I always enjoy this kind of thing from proper devs, so enjoy!

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Play Testing

Posted by , 28 October 2012 - - - - - - · 904 views

It's been a while so I thought I'd post an update, still working away on the game, today I have been playtesting and balancing. I don't want it to be too difficult and I want it to get harder as you progress. So I have been playing it from the start, making sure there are enough health potions, that monsters don't hit you too hard, and that you can actually finish each level!

I did find one strange thing, it is almost impossible to die on the first level. I wanted to check my game loop and make sure it dropped you to the Game Over screen then back to the Title Screen, so I found a monster and stood there while he tried to hit me - it took a good 10 minutes and I still had 1HP left!

I guess it might have been a fluke, I will try and replicate it. The monsters get tougher though after the first level so it shouldn't be a problem after that.

Everything else is finished all the monster graphics and sound effects are in, all the spells and skills are in, I just need to do a little work on my menus and help screens and I'm done!

About time too because I'm way behind schedule.

On another note, I have been playing around with Unity, it's very easy to code for multiple platforms, I'm sure I will be using it for my next project.

But I need a holiday first!

Bye for now.....

Rick

LOD Games - Deepfall Dungeon


Spreadsheets

Posted by , 06 August 2012 - - - - - - · 836 views

Wow, making an RPG is hard. I mean you have to be a master of databases and spreadsheets, just to keep track of everything. I have a list of 250 items, all of which can be customised, lists of monsters, to hit tables, spells, abilities, status effects and all these things have to interact with each other behind the scenes.

How do you keep the game challenging? And fun? If you give the player a +5 sword, will it make him overpowered and the next few levels will be too easy? What about if you give him +5 armour? If you don't drop the right weapon will the player get frustrated and just give up? How do you scale the experience so that the monsters get tougher as the player gets better? Do you base it on the players skill or the players Characters skill? Whoa.

I'm currently playtesting and asking myself these questions, but I definitely know one thing - my next game won't be an RPG!

I think I've figured out a few things -

Monsters strength will be based on the players level when he enters the dungeon. A level 5 character entering the dungeon will encounter level 5 and level 6 monsters.
The player should (on average) gain 1 level per dungeon.
Items will be randomly awarded during the level.
At the end of the level there will be a shop where you can sell unwanted items, buy new items and upgrade existing items.
There will be an element of skill when defending during combat, a correct keypress at the correct time will half the damage.
Attacks during combat will be based on a dice roll + the characters skill with the currently wielded weapon.

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