Monthly Archives: January 2009

Majesty Wins JIG Art Game Audience Award

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:

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Bars of Black and White Released

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

Wanting Better Closure

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.

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The Depths of Spelunky

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.

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I Fell in Love With the Physics of Crayons

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.”

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Learning to Read Aquarian

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.

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Postmortem: “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”

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”

New Year’s Resolution 2009

I’ve been thinking about a goal to set for the new year, and I’ve come up with a good one. Here it is: release at least one new game each month for the year of 2009. I’m pretty sure I can achieve this; in the worst case scenario, the games for some of the months will be small in scale.

The satisfaction in releasing a game and knowing that people have played it and enjoyed it is incredible. At the moment, “Majesty of Colors” has been played over 700,000 times. I don’t know if I can duplicate that kind of success, but I know that I can put more of myself out there for people to enjoy if they want to.

So expect something by the end of January, and something each month after that, at least through December. Sometimes it may just be a little piece of IF, but I have bigger ideas in the works, too. Wish me luck!