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nothing trumps the rump
nothing trumps the rump

Apples's posts

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Superior CRT technology.

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PLEASE RESHARE! =) My HTML5 game was just approved for the win8 app store. PLEASE HELP: I'd be grateful if you could please download and rate the game generously before the trolls arrive so the first few ratings are friendly.

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Excellent design and strategic gameplay. Why haven't you played yet?
If you want it, here it is.  Come and get it.  Highgrounds Beta now open.

Play here

This is one of the cool things we've been working on.  +Scott Brodie put together a really interesting tactical combat system with collectible characters.  I think of it as what Magic the Gathering would be like if played with miniatures.  Plus a bit of yomi-thinking. 

There's a solid tutorial and a campaign as well as the ability to play both concurrent multiplayer games as well as async play-by-mail multiplayer games.  My crystal bolt deck will crush your arrow deck any day.  

Give it a try and report any issues you find on the forums:

(PS: I wish I could also include an image in this post and a link, but Google+'s ability to deal with basic human expression sucks. Even as someone who adores elegance, the management weenies who insist on moronically limited formatting options need to be beat with a stick. :-)

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PLS SHARE -  My new game MARS ORBITAL just launched!

Each year, Ludum Dare issues a month-long challenge to game developers: make a game and bring to to market. For this year’s “October Challenge” I am proud to present Mars Orbital, a 3d platformer game with “skateboarding-in-space” physics. I had so much fun making this game, and I’m really happy with the result.

Mars Orbital is currently on sale! I would be grateful if you would be generous enough to help me achieve my October Challenge goal. Thank you!

It should run great on any Windows machine, old or new. The game uses the openGL fixed-function rendering pipeline, which means that it should run fine even on laptops or older PCs that can’t handle today’s advanced shaders. Playtesters have reported framerates as high as 300 FPS when running on a modern gaming rig at full HD (1920×1080) resolution!

It uses PhysX for realistic rigid-body physics simulation. It even supports non-convex solids, which was essential for proper handling of snowboarding or skateboarding-style “half-pipes” and level geometry with rounded corners.

The game consists of 12 levels, including a hidden “bonus level” (hint – do a blind jump to the left on the first level), a “speed round” (where you try to collect as many powerups as possible in a limited time), even even a simple “boss battle” (where a ball of electricity tries to push you off the ledge).

Use the arrow keys to move. Collect as many powerups as you can and avoid falling into space. Find the teleporter to warp to the next level.

With the right amount of momentum, you can pull off insanely big jumps between platforms!

Q = cos(angle/2) + axis*sin(angle/2),
P' = Q * P * ~Q.
... beautiful.

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I'm a few days late to the party, but since I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting on G+, here's a game I made for the Ludum Dare 24 Jam.  #ld24   #ld72   #ld48  

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Awkward late night thoughts about why I'm not an artist
John Blow makes me think about what I'm doing as a game designer. From what I can tell, he comes at games from a different set of values (For example, I preference systems of people over expressive puzzles). But I love that he is intentionally creating a game to be an intense point of distilled meaning. It is very different from how I approach things. I suspect his approach is inherently more friendly to history. He makes me think.

My games are not art
I make games. It is a sort of diarrhea. I wake up in the morning and the ideas flow. Blocking the act of creation induces pain. I strive for a certain excellence in the results that I may not always achieve, but at the end of the day satisfaction (but never satiety) occurs if I'm constantly making and releasing games.

Is there are larger burning signal? Not really. Instead the games I work on are a dartboard of studies. How do people cooperate? What are the richest dynamics can coax out of this old system? Or this new quirky system involving time, space, people and emotions? I find these questions deeply fascinating and games are my way exploring them. The game I create are perhaps best described as elegant, complete and hopefully intriguing petri-dishes. They are not a method of communicating or evoking a thing burning inside that needs to be shared.

Will any of my games be considered 'artistic'? Somehow I doubt that.

Action vs Reaction
I see most art as a reaction to the world. The artist sucking in the world and then expressing their reaction to it through art. Some yells 'This is me' or 'This is what I think" or "This is what you should think" or "I felt this and want to share." Art expresses a facet of the common human experience and in turn evokes a sense of connection and hopefully synthesis with the audience's existing experiences.

There are various intricately constructed theories that allow wiggle room for there to be more than this. Yet by and large, art that fails to evoke fails as art.

Can games be this evocative art? Sure. But on a personal level, I just not sure that is what I end up creating.

I make things that players do. This is different than art. A walk through the park is not art. A story or painting or documentary about that walk that packages up something magical and deeply human might be art. But the act of walking, the walk itself was just something that happened. Without reflection, it is just another walk. Just another human event in a world awash with human events.

You play Steambirds. Very rarely does that game confront the player and demand a reaction, only an action. Or for that matter, nor does the game express a reaction beyond vague emotions that can be interpret in a thousand different ways. Some players feel bad about senseless war that pervades every moment of Steambirds: Survival. But most don't. It is as thought provoking as walking in the park. A thing you do. A moment in life.

To me there is nothing more beautiful than taking a walk through the local forest with the late sun streaming through whispering leaves. Throughout history, the natural reaction for observers of life is to take that moment and create art. When I paint, I so desperately want to capture that moment and share it. I wish my writing was better so I could describe the joy that comes from the simple act of smelling the dirt and loam and moss. I know the urges of the artist intimately.

Yet these are distinctly not the same urges I have as a game designer. With games, I seed new moments of life. Invention or perhaps more mundanely, gardening. Not expression in the typical sense of the phrase. I am motivated to empower someone to have a new experience as rich as walking in the park but unique and as special as the mathematical core mechanic that generates this delectable pocket universe.

Words fail me
I tend to think that neither art nor even language is built to talk about the nature of games. These are tools of description, not tools of being. They can document what has passed and they can fantasize about what could be. But they aren't really all that competent at discussing how to create a functional reality. That is the world of physics, mathematics, economics, social dynamics, psychology and portions of what we call game design.

I struggle with the language to even describe these thoughts. It is really such a simple idea. 'The being' vs the 'reaction to the being.' Yet the only way we can talk about the 'being' is to have a reaction and it is so easy to mistake that for the essence of the original moment.

An inedible finish
So the games I make are rarely primarily evocative. They rarely share something personal about me. Or seek to be universally meaningful. There is no authored transmission of the nuanced relationship between an elderly prisoner and the dreams of her younger self. Instead they are Individual. Involving. Memorable. If art is how humans understand the world, games can be the creation of human worlds worth understanding.

What is Triple Town really about? Your playing of Triple Town. For me, for now, that is enough.

Yet, such a contraption bores artists and lovers of art. Oh, an event. Dull. Stupid. Shallow. What is missing is the expected pre-chewing. You know, what real artists do to the world. And a little pre-digestion critically helps the other organs of artistry do their job. Distilled packages of meaning replicated, commented on, curated, displayed, distributed and transfer so much more easily than that system that caused to you (and only you) to die because you forgot to turn three degrees to the left and used a bomb instead of a shield.

All the best,

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Mind maps are very useful for any kind of notes (I use them to take notes in class and to collect ideas for games). Mindomo is awesome for collaborating within a dev team.

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I made this game a couple of days ago. I like the idea, but probably won't turn it into a full game. It's open source, so if anyone wants to work on it, feel free.

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