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

dagdammit asked: Hey, Brooks from Guardian Games here. "Dagda's Workroom" (can't link, googling it should work) has full contact info. As reminder, water mechanic suggestion worked as follows: You can place headwaters and unlimited number of adjacent water tiles so long as each new tile is lower than the last. Each water tile can be atop OR replacing the land tile beneath it. Also, critically, if you place a water tile so it has two+ adjacent water tiles? You immediately stop.

Hi Brooks! -

I think I’ll keep river creation how it is (completing mountains lets you place a single river tile next to a peak) but as per your suggestion I’m breaking up the river action into two separate actions. The current action list is:

    place 1d6 rock tiles adjacent to eachother
    you can’t stack them (the new lava has to solidify first!)
    each tile must be touching at least two other stacks

RIVER : deposition
- place up to 1d6 soil tiles adjacent to a single river tile
- you can stack them
- the soil can’t go any higher than one above the river tile
RIVER : advancing
- each new river tile must be level with or lower than the old one
- the river continues to advance until:
    > it doesn’t or can’t go downhill
    > it hits a preexisting river (it touches more than one other river tile)
    > it goes off the edge (there is nothing underneath it)
- you may remove up to a total of 1d6 land tiles in the river’s path (adjacent to a placed river tile)

- place 1d6 life tokens on soil or water tiles that are adjacent to or already contain life

(I’ve retooling all the actions so the die roll is always present and relevant. The grow life mechanic still seems sorta dumb though.)

I did a board game jam about a week ago and came up with this super-cool competitive collaboration geology god game where you gradually build up the topographical map of an island (on the back of a giant space turtle, of course).

I haven’t really done any board game design before but I’m finding it much more immediately fulfilling than video games: there’s a satisfying tactile sensation plus a nicer social experience.

I’m working on optional rules at the end so you can use the island that you build as the board for Settlers of Catan.

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.


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.)


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.

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.