wickworks

// Making games \\ Studying brains // Since 1404 \\

edward-hyena asked: Is there still any place to download Rubicon 1.2?

The “Rubicon” link at the top of the page — I recently reorganized the layout and I guess it’s not prominent enough. I’ll try to clear it up.

http://wickworks.tumblr.com/rubicon

EDIT : nevermind, I messed up the dropbox link. Should be fixed now.

Games really have infinite expressive power, but there’s a caveat to that, and it’s a tremendous caveat,” Romero said. “You cannot transmit a feeling that you do not have. If you are trying to make a game about something and you have not tried to feel what those people felt, and do what those people have done, your game will fail.

Pyxis — Mayhem Jam 2014

Link : Pyxis (windows only)

Another weekend, another 48-hour game jam. Only with this one, we actually got it more or less working by the end of Saturday and then got to spend ALL of Sunday basically just working on polish. We got to dicker over the font of the title screen and how many pixels to move things to get them centered. I want to emphasize how usually the time constraint means that just doesn’t happen in jams.

Anyway, it’s not letting me take a screenshot, but it’s basically anti-breakout. You play as Pandora trying to keep the evil bubbles in her box and letting hope out. It’s solid and I’m proud of it.

What we did right :

  • We were a small team. It was originally just me plus Sam Arei on sound/music, but we were fortunate to also pick up Elijah Blackwell who managed the production, aesthetics, and images.
  • After quick but intense deliberation, we decided on a very simple core mechanic: paddles bouncing balls around. I was able to throw together a tech demo within the first couple hours. We had no idea how or if it would be fun, but ran with it anyway.
  • Spending time developing what we had. It started out as only a sorta-interesting graphical toy so I focused on ways to give it a challenging objective. Since we didn’t have a strict idea of what the final form should look like, we had a lot of space to play with different mechanics. Multiple or single blue bubbles, different types of evil bubbles, the best paddle configuration, bounce powerup effects… they were all “hey, let’s try this” and keeping the things that worked.
  • Playtesting. Just a few people who hadn’t seen it before in the last couple hours showed us that we needed to revamp the instruction screen font. Getting people to understand depends on lots of tiny stupid things being just right but are invisible to you since you already know.

GGJ 2014 — As We Are

As We Are is a short 5-minute puzzle game where you explore a situation from several different character’s viewpoints. It’s our entry to the 2014 global game jam.

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Tanks for all the Fish: Source

Tumblr is being a butt and not letting me edit the original post, so for any and all interested parties: here’s the python source code for Tanks.

(You need python 3.x and pygame. Run “Application.py” in code\Application to play the game.)

TANKS FOR ALL THE FISH

My second game jam is over and done! I competed in the Indie Speed Run with Greg Krsak and Eric Goldman. Our theme/element was Agriculture/Aquarium.

As per usual, I tended to bite off more than we could really chew design-wise and we ended up with a top-down game where you command all these little invertebrates and plants (not fish. Fish are jerks.) to expand your aquarium and… well, get to the other ones? The idea was to have to collect the right seeds to grow a spaceship before an interstellar catastrophe befell the planet, but between AI and pathfinding and making it look pretty, the end product is more of a strategic aquarium simulator.

This was the first project I’ve worked with others in writing code! I was dragged kicking and screaming into object-definition madness instead of my usual monolithic huge single file approach. Of course, as soon as my co-coder Greg Krsak left for a wedding, I reverted to my old habits. But I think I learned some important things about how non-me people code (read: how to actually do stuff right instead of fast).

Aesthetically, I’m pleased. Eric Goldman put together some very atmospheric music and I had a lot of fun in drawing and animating the graphics. I haven’t worked in this quick-sketch-but-realistic style before, but it just sort of happened.

Of course, the power went out with an hour and a half left on the clock, right as people were starting to upload their games to the Indie Speed Run website. We got an extension on the honor principle to not work on it for any more time than we had left, so I threw in the music and a splash screen and called it done.

We did the whole thing in Python, which unfortunately means that I can’t really link to an easy thing for people to run and play it. There are tools that’ll spit out an exe but I’m not clear how to use them and I’m about to crash. God, I love game jams.

Google Reply Window

Today I submitted a feedback form to Google. Eyep, things will definitely be changing ‘round these parts…

I’m feeling frustrated with the design of the new reply window. Having to click the formatting A to bring up the window to select a formatting option is a headache enough, but having to click another button on that to bring up another window to indent/deindent/comment is a huge pain. Since that second window closes whenever I press a button, indenting something multiple times requires me to go through this process over and over.

I’m having a similar issue with inserting links; needing to mouse over the + to bring it up as an option is an extra step that I do not understand the necessity of. This UI feels like a house where everything is neatly packed into boxes. It looks nice and clean, but you need to unpack and repack the whole damn thing every time you need your car keys.

There’s a ton of potential whitespace all along that lower bar that could be used for common functions, but it’s being “taken up” (only kind of because of that strange mouseover plus thing) by buttons that are going to see significantly less use (I have never “inserted an invitation” into an email, ever).

I realize that Google is a giant and you’re unlikely to push through changes because of one bit of unsolicited design feedback from the internet, but graphical simplicity is NOT the same as simplicity of use. The Google aesthetic is beautiful because it’s easy to use and its form follows that, but strong-arming the form to be “simple” can undermine what that form stands for. Thank you.


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Rubicon: Source

Here we go, Rubicon is now an open-source project; you can now download its code, art, and music from Rubicon’s repository over at Github.

To compile the code, you’re going to need the proprietary Blitzmax compiler. You have to buy a license to create distributable executables, but they also offer a free version that you can use to compile and run the code for yourself.

Please forgive the comments, for the nights were long and the puns were many.

CLICKCLOCK
- Download - (available for PC and Mac)
At the request of a friend, I made a little productivity timer gadget called ClickClock. The timer counts how much playtime you’ve earned: it’ll count up or down depending on whether you’re working or playing, respectively, and plays a little reminder noise every so often if the timer goes negative.
You can also set the work/play ratio (e.g. 4:1 will require four minutes of work for every one minute of play) and manually bump the timer up and down. It’s meant to be a tool, not an enforcer, and I’ve found just the fact that I’m on a timer at all helps me focus.
Design-wise, I wanted something simple but aesthetically pleasing, so I focused on condensing all the functionality upfront on one small screen in a manner that was clear and elegant. The fonts used are: Microstyle Bold ATT for the letters and Microsoft Uighur for the numbers.
It saves your time when you close the program. You can reset the clock by either manually bumping it back to near zero or by deleting the “state.cc” file in the same folder.
Enjoy!

CLICKCLOCK

- Download - (available for PC and Mac)

At the request of a friend, I made a little productivity timer gadget called ClickClock. The timer counts how much playtime you’ve earned: it’ll count up or down depending on whether you’re working or playing, respectively, and plays a little reminder noise every so often if the timer goes negative.

You can also set the work/play ratio (e.g. 4:1 will require four minutes of work for every one minute of play) and manually bump the timer up and down. It’s meant to be a tool, not an enforcer, and I’ve found just the fact that I’m on a timer at all helps me focus.

Design-wise, I wanted something simple but aesthetically pleasing, so I focused on condensing all the functionality upfront on one small screen in a manner that was clear and elegant. The fonts used are: Microstyle Bold ATT for the letters and Microsoft Uighur for the numbers.

It saves your time when you close the program. You can reset the clock by either manually bumping it back to near zero or by deleting the “state.cc” file in the same folder.

Enjoy!

the process

A designer/scientist does not "express himself". We come up with a process that we think may produce some result (interesting, illuminating), carry out that procedure, then with fresh eyes look at the outcome to judge its actual result. Is it what we were expecting? Do we need to tweak the process? We must be able to honestly see and report what is there in order to provide the feedback that advances our knowledge and our art.