Leading up to Christmas I’ve been pottering away on a prototype for a programming game. My friend Matt, whose game Hacknet has piqued the interest of educators, has been pushing me to look at educational games. I’m not really interested in these kinds of games but I told him that I’d think on it. After thinking for a while I came up with a small prototype which you can play by following the link below.
In the game you need to write some basic programming code that will reduce all the numbers in a grid to zero. The game limits the number of times you can use loops and if statements. The game will step through your code showing you which lines are being executed and when changes are made to the grid. It should take you about 10 minutes or so to get a feel for the game. Please read the README file before starting.
I haven’t posted here for a little while so I thought I’d do an update especially considering that quite a bit has happened this week.
I’ll start by running through the heading in reverse order. During PAX Australia this year my friend and creator of Hacknet Matt Trobbiani and I were interviewed by Mark Serrels from Kotaku Australia. On Tuesday he posted his article based on that interview. It gives an insight into the human side of game development. I won’t say much more. I think you’ll enjoy it.
On Wednesday we ran another game playtest event at AIE. The weather in Adelaide has been terribly hot lately but even so it was great to see a good group of people turn up with their games.
Today I pushed out my first Twitter bot. If you’ve watched the Pokemon TV series before then you may remember a segment called Who’s That Pokemon? The idea is that a greyed out Pokemon is display before a commercial break and when returning from the break the show reveals the Pokemon. This bot generates images based on the segment each day and reveals the answer before posting the next Pokemon. Follow @WhosThatPokebot to play along.
So that’s what has been happening with me lately. I’m working on a few other things on the side. I’ll be sure to post about when I have something to show.
So a few days ago we launched Expand onto Steam, itch.io and Humble Store. The game is only $6 and soundtrack $4. We have a 20% discount for the launch week. You can view the launch trailer below. If it looks like a game that would interest you then we highly recommend picking it up.
I’ll probably write up a much longer post once things settle down.
In preparation for a release in September 2015 we have opened up a Steam Greenlight page for Expand. If you’d love for the game to be available on Steam then please vote for it. We are really humbled by all the support everyone has shown.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been learning how to use the Unity game engine. I decided that I’d be good practise to make a new game with it. Recently I read the Quarterly Essay called Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott by good old leftie commentator David Marr. It was published back in 2012 before Abbott’s first election against Kevin Rudd. One of the recurring ideas in the book was how the electorate had forgotten many of the awful statements that Abbott had made publicly. I thought I’d make this small game to highlight some of those statements.
Good news. We’re doing another playtesting event AIE Adelaide. This event will be on July 3rd from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. If you’re working on a game, a prototype, art, your pitch or anything else related to games then you should come along and get feedback. We’re also after players who can help test games. All the details you need to know are on the Facebook event page.
Next Monday, that’s the 13th of April, I’ll be on a panel as part of the Online Festival for Freeplay 2015. The panel is called The Interview Game: Chris Johnson and I’ll be interviewed by journalist Katie Williams while I play through several of the games I’ve created. The panel starts at 12pm(Melbourne time) and will be streamed online for anyone to watch. Try and tune in if you can.
Update: Due to personal reasons this project won’t be going forward. Thanks to those that showed interest.
For the Fete at the Freeplay Festival next month I have a stall that I’m calling the Australian Games Mix Tape. The basic idea is that there will be a pirate kart like games launcher with just Australian games. The intention is to show the diversity of games being made in Australia.
I’m glad to say that the next Adelaide Games Playtesting event will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday March 18th at the new AIE Adelaide Campus. If you’re working on a game or are interested in providing feedback then I encourage you to come along. Power, basic internet and pens/paper are provided.