Casual Gameplay/Jay Is Games has released their Best of Casual Gameplay 2008 awards, and my game “(I Fell In Love With) The Majesty of Colors” won the Audience Award for the Best Interactive Art or Webtoy (Browser) category! I got 15.9% of the popular vote, beating out such awesome games as “I Wish I Were the Moon” and Coil. Those two games shared the editors’ award for the same category, which was entirely deserved.
Other games in the awards that caught my eye:
Continue reading Majesty Wins JIG Art Game Audience Award
Back at the beginning of the month, I resolved that I would release at least one game each month. January’s is “Bars of Black and White,” a game about barcodes and Orwellian experimentation.
You can’t remember the last time you left your room. When you receive a barcode reader in the mail, you discover that the world around you is not what it seems, and must escape the bars of black and white.
Play “Bars” on Kongregate
Play “Bars” on Ludus Novus
Tyler “Aether” Glaiel and Jon Schubbe‘s new game Closure is worth some attention. It’s a platforming game with a rather cool gameplay mechanic: the player explores a dark world, where surfaces only exist when they’re illuminated. The art’s roughly-textured but pretty, and the lighting mechanic looks good and works quite well. The story’s quite competent, if a bit cliché. (that car accident you see at the beginning of the game? Guess who was driving.) There’s just one problem: the character control is awful. Let me elaborate.
Continue reading Wanting Better Closure
My latest column just went up at GameSetWatch. It’s called “Scale in Katamari Damacy,” and it’s about how Katamari Damacy uses scale to highlight the advancement that’s inherent in just about every game, and how it can be applied to games that aren’t about rolling up everything in the world.
I’m behind the game on this one, but Derek “Tigsource and Aquaria” Yu has pre-released a game called Spelunky, and it’s the best roguelike I’ve ever played. Yu bills it as a cross between La Mulana and Nethack, but it’s fairer and more fun than either. The procedurally-generated levels and swift death is balanced by an incredible depth that has helped me finally grok what the whole roguelike thing is all about.
Continue reading The Depths of Spelunky
I’ve been playing Crayon Physics Deluxe, Petri Purho‘s fully realized version of his startlingly fun 7-day prototype, “Crayon Physics.” The game lets you draw any shape, which then reacts with appropriate physics to help get a ball to a goal. It’s fun and creative, and it comes with a fully-featured level editor. Now, I’ve had something on my mind recently, so when I tried out the editor, I made a scribbly crayon version of “The Majesty of Colors.”
Continue reading I Fell in Love With the Physics of Crayons
I’ve just completed Aquaria, the excellent underwater exploration game by Bit Blot, which is another name for Derek Yu of TIGSource and Alec Holowka of Infinite Ammo. Besides making a gorgeous and atmospheric game that rivals Super Metroid for exploration goodness, Yu and Holowka did something interesting: they included an entire constructed alphabet with no explanation.
Continue reading Learning to Read Aquarian
In place of my usual column at GameSetWatch, I was requested to do a general postmortem of “The Majesty of Colors” this time. I’ll point you that way if only for the inclusion of my initial design sketch for the game. It was an interesting experience writing the piece; usually, this sort of evaluation involves more than one person, so it’s easier to pick out successes and failures. When everything is your fault, it’s tricky to pick out specifics.
Because of the forum of GSW, I left out a few points that I was tempted to include. Here are a few of them.
Continue reading Postmortem: “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”
Word is spreading across the net that Ziff Davis Media has sold the 1UP family of properties to UGO Entertainment, and that UGO promptly fired most of the 1UP Show contributors, as well as a bunch of other folks.
Continue reading 1UP Show Out of Lives