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Hemingway Games

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Everything posted by Hemingway Games

  1. Hemingway Games

    Postbug is now on Kongregate

    Hi everyone,   I've just published Postbug on Kongregate. If you have a Kongregate account, feel free to fire it up. Any support would be appreciated :-)   Postbug is a HTML5 game which plays in Chrome or Firefox on desktop computers:   http://www.kongregate.com/games/HemingwayGames/postbug   This new version includes a Premium mode which includes new bugs to play:      
  2. Hemingway Games

    Postbug at the Freeplay Fete

    My new blog post on the Freeplay Independent Games Festival and exhibiting Postbug at the Freeplay Fete ?   http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/postbug-freeplay-fete    
  3. Hemingway Games

    Postbug at the iFest Games Festival

    A new blog post on my experience exhibiting Postbug at the Melbourne iFest Games Festival   http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/postbug-ifest-games-festival  
  4. Crosspost from my personal blog: http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/postbug-game-design-objectives   Postbug’s Game Design Objectives   In this post I reflect on the fundamental game design objectives behind Postbug. These objectives include creating an emergent system and encouraging experimentation, exploration, and strategy building during gameplay.   Emergence   An aim of Postbug was to create an emergent system consisting of objects with a diverse range of attributes and behaviours. Grass, dirt, rock, water, lava, bugs, eggs, spiders, fish, and crabs are differentiated by whether they are affected by gravity and whether they crush other objects. Living objects are defined by which environments they can survive (air, water and/or lava), who they feed upon, and how they hunt for food. When these simple objects interact, an emergent system is created and the complex interaction of behaviours make it difficult to predict the outcome. For example, it can be difficult to determine whether a spider egg will be cracked as lava burns through grass, triggering an avalanche of boulders, dirt and water. Players may find themselves managing risk and constructing flexible strategies during gameplay.   Experimentation   In order to survive, the player will need to experiment with their environment to learn how objects behave and interact. A player once asked whether fish are dangerous and another said they deliberately walked into a spiderweb to confirm their assumption they would get stuck. Unlike common game design advice, Postbug doesn't guide the player through an incremental learning curve. Instead, players are thrown into the deep end where they are faced with the many complexities and dangers of the game. It is up to the player to learn how they fit into this world, and they are given the freedom to choose how they wish to engage.   Exploration   While the player builds up their understanding of the world, they also have the option to venture out and explore. Even though Postbug is a difficult game, I've noticed some players identify dangers and map out areas they feel comfortable exploring. As they gain experience, they then extend their comfort zone and venture out further. For me, this is the most fascinating aspect of Postbug’s design. From the player's perspective, the world may have areas which are too dangerous and hopefully this creates a sense that the world is bigger than their individual experience.   Building Strategies   For the players who wish to take on the Postbug challenge to deliver 33 letters, they may need to develop a strategy to help them manage the game's difficulty. This strategy may include the order in which to rooms are completed, a plan to avoid dangers such avalanches blocking doors, and the order to collect and use powerups. Battledrone's humorous Postbug review described the experience as, "Persistence, courage and 'going the one more round' will provide you the tools to get through a labyrinth of puzzle and death to give you the ultimate prize of a feat of significance."   Influenced from the '80s   The game design direction in Postbug has been influenced by my experiences playing games while growing up in the '80s. James Crawford delivered an insightful talk at last year's Game Developers Conference titled Preserving a Sense of Discovery in the Age of Spoilers. In his talk, he reflected on the mystery and intrigue found in games from the '80s, and described these games as "an unknowable world operating on confusing rules where anything can happen." In his advice, he talks about worlds that "feel like a real place and less like a clockwork puzzle constructed purely for the benefit of the player." These observations resonate with Postbug's design objectives of creating an experience where players have the freedom to experiment and explore. It was a fascinating talk and it confirms that there's more to our childhood gaming experiences than nostalgia, and our pursuit to understand this era is worthwhile for modern game design.   Feedback   I’m interested to know what your thoughts are on Postbug’s game design. You might also be interested in James Baillie’s in-depth Postbug review. He provides some valuable insight and I share his game design concerns. 
  5. Hemingway Games

    Postbug Pioneers Hall of Fame

    I recently released my Postbug game which is inspired by Boulderdash and other digging games. I’ve just added the Postbug Pioneers Hall of Fame which honours players who have completed the game. Even though only a score of 33 is required to qualify, the game is difficult and only 2 people have finished it so far.   Feel free to take up the challenge, and I'd love to see your name up on the wall. Please ensure the internet is connected while playing. Positions are limited.   Click the link below using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. (Safari, IE, mobile and tablets are not yet supported).   http://postbug.hemingwaygames.com   Some tips to help give you an edge: Spiders can't see behind themselves Collect honey to become the Yellowbug and lead bees into battle against the spiders You can help free bees from webs by pushing against them (they are vulnerable to spiders when stuck) Eating red bugs will give you the ability to annihilate spiders
  6. Hemingway Games

    Postbug Pioneers Hall of Fame

    James Baillie from Exilian just wrote a great review on Postbug. James takes an indepth look at the game design and has an interesting way of describing the Postbug world. I also love the bits of humour he added into the mix :)   http://www.exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3757
  7. I thought some of you might be interested in the technology I used to create Postbug. The game was developed in C# and compiled to Javascript using Erik Källén's Saltarelle Compiler. This allows for the game to be developed with a statically typed language and run in the browser on a wide range of platforms. The game uses the Pixi.js library to render GPU accelerated graphics with WebGL. My blog post explains why choosing this technology was a difficult decision to make back in 2011 and where this technology sits today. Unity game developers may also be interested in the source-to-source compiling aspects and the LLVM / Emscripten toolchain gets a mention (which is used in Unity 5.0). More details in my blog post: http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/postbug-compiling-csharp-to-javascript    
  8. Hi everyone, I've just released a beta version of my first game called Postbug. It's a retro inspired digging game and I've been working on it in my spare time over the last couple of years. The game runs in Chrome, Firefox and Opera on desktops/PCs (sorry Safari, IE, and mobiles and tablets are not yet supported). What's interesting is I've cross compiled from c# using the Saltarelle Compiler and use Pixi.js to render using WebGL. I'd love to hear your feedback and any advice on how to promote this game since this is a new area for me. I hope you enjoy both the game and the difficulty level :-)   Here's the link...   http://postbug.hemingwaygames.com   ...and here's the pitch:   This retro inspired digging game will have you eating bugs, dodging spiders, breaking webs, pushing boulders, diving underwater and left in the dark praying those noises are just your imagination...   [attachment=24790:postbug.png]   Harness the power of speed, fire and electricity; or maybe command a swarm of killer bees to wage war against the spiders! Only true Postbug Legends will survive the 16 grueling rooms that make up the most dangerous mail run in town. Do you have what it takes to deliver all 33 letters?   [attachment=24791:postbug_bees.png]    
  9. Hemingway Games

    Postbug - a retro inspired digging game

    Hi everyone, I've just finished a trailer for this game. I've started a number of games in the past where the outcome wasn't exactly how I envisioned. This trailer however pretty much represents my thoughts when I started designing this game 2 years ago. It's great to see it all come together :- ) I'm not happy with the quality, but it's time to move on...   [media]http:[/media]
  10. Hemingway Games

    SuperMighty's Analog Game Design Gallery

    I've just published a new blog post. This one is about SuperMighty's development studio from Philadelphia who have one of my game design sketches on their Analog Game Design wall. I also delve into some game design thoughts I have on my game.   http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/supermightys-analog-game-design-gallery
  11. I took a break from gamedev and I wrote a blog article on the nostalgia I have for arcade games: http://hemingwaygames.com/blog/connected-worlds. I was inspired by Christer Kaitila's Ludum Dare project which used the Connected Worlds theme to link his past by restoring an arcade machine.   I hope you enjoy the Sunday arvo read :-)   btw I'd love to hear your own arcade stories or how you respond to your nostalgia.
  12. Hemingway Games

    A Full C64 Game - In 2013

    This is awesome!! Thanks Georg
  13. Hemingway Games

    [Blog] C64, C++, Drumming, BJJ, and my 12 Month Game Challenge

    Thanks for the kind welcome, Ravyne.  You have an interesting story there.  Do you have a blog RE your game dev?  I wouldn't mind having a look at what you're up to..
  14. Hi everyone, just wanted to introduce myself.  My name's George and I'm an indie game developer from Melbourne, Australia. Last year I gave myself a challenge to write a game in 12 months and now I'm working hard to get it over the line.   I’m using the Saltarelle Compiler to cross compile C# into javascript and pixi.js to render using WebGL.   I recently put up my first blog post which describes a little about myself and why I love developing games: http://hemingwaygames.com   Thanks for listening and hope you enjoy the read :-)
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