Game Jolt

Integers, Nostalgia & Gitaroo by Allison James

Quite possibly the oddest blog entry name I've ever extrapolated from the murky depths of my brain.So, anyway, part one. Integers. Yesterday I participated in NT in a friendly "make a game within a set hour" competition. Amazingly, he actually bloody finished. His game was a jet pod-esque game by the name of Poorple (a portmanteau of his opinion of the game and the colour of the majority of objects in it). Mine was a game originally to be called 1234. I decided against that, it was boring. So I made it rhyme: "1234 LMV in Ecuador!". It's a kinda outright lie, I lost it in some empty village, but eeh. Anyway, I liked the concept of the game but wanted to make it just a little bit bigger. So I made it longer, added a tutorial/title and a finish, and a speedrun mode. Accompanying this, I renamed it to 1n23g4r - 1234 embedded near-legibly into the word "INTEGER". You pronounce the game name "Integer", not "Onentwothreegfourr", by the way. You can play it on YoYo Games or on Game Jolt.Part two - nostalgia. This is a short bit. I just find it odd how certain songs trigger an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, even if they're not really tied to an event. Tracks that do this to me include Kasabian - LSF, Deepest Blue - Give It Away, Jamelia - Thank You (you heard), Dodgy - Good Enough, and the song that triggered it today, one of my all time favourites - Portishead - Sour Times. If Dr Horrible's freeze ray was a real object, then he must've shot me in the back as I listened to it. Odd.Part three - Gitaroo. About a week ago I got hold of a copy of Gitaroo Man on PS2. I have spend six goddamn years trying to get hold of a copy of this game, and it finally happened. As a direct result, I did the impossible. I broke my sleeping pattern even more. I was up until one in the afternoon playing the bloody game. (Subsequently I was down until seven in the evening eating pillow as my poor, decrepit body desperately tried to refuel my energy.) Now I'm stuck on it. God, Japanese studios really don't hold back on the difficulty of their games. Katamari Forever before it was one massive difficult pain in the arse.NALGames.com V4 is finished. Sean Buller finished it off and fixed a few of the bugs, and I've filled in everything I could find. Unfortunately I've lost all trace of the two fonts I made, but they weren't very good so I guess it was just my computer doing me a favour. If you've any bug reports or want to see an editable up that isn't yet, comment with it. I'll forward bug reports to Sean, and I'll be 99% okay with adding pretty much any editable you want to the site.Also in website-related news, me and Sean are creating a website for the somehow-unpublished Rebecca Smith. Her site's been a Synthasite jobbie for a while, and we decided that we'd make her a lovely big custom one to her design. I've also bought a .com domain for it and customised her a Blogspot skin based quite heavily on my own. She's highly appreciative of the work we've done so far which is a great motivation in making it. If you want to see her work, check out her current site at http://rebeccaclaresmith.com/ or her journal at http://rebeccaclaresmith.blogspot.com/.One more subject to converse about is how Clank needs to go and die. If you're a Twitter follower of mine you may know what that means. Basically, having played all the main Ratchet & Clank games and been in deep love with the series, A Crack In Time is like an OmniWrench to the gut. The platformingy-Ratchety sections were trimmed down in this one. The rest of the game is occupied by space sections (better than previous spaceship levels but there's too much of it), and Clank levels. Oh god, Clank Levels. I've always hated him. His tininess makes levels slow enough as it is, but the fact that all of his levels have the same tedious puzzles, boring location, and mind-blowing repetition just made me go "Oh f***, not again" every time I was thrown into the little isn't-funny-any-more piece of metal's shoes.But yeah, that's all. I shall be entering the Game Jolt Jam tomorrow/in two days (depending on how you look at it), so while it's going on you should be able to find up-to-date information through:Livestream (NALGames)Twitter (NALGames)Game Jolt's chatroom (NAL)Skype (NAL-Games)And that is all. G'bye folks!NAL

NALGames V4 by Allison James

Those of you reading from the original source of these blog entries (I know they sync with Game Jolt so anyone from there won't have seen it) will have noticed that this blog has just undergone a graphical overhaul. If you aren't a Twitter follower of me, it's because my website is being rewritten to Version 4 by Sean Buller (UnknownGamer, often credited as Sean Canadaboner jokily while he was unwilling to publicise his surname as he's Canadian). Originally this was going to keep with the style of V3 (maroon/beige/black, grungy, stylistic). However, I decided that since it'd be so differently (read: better) made I'd fix up the style and make it, in general, better. So, wanting a change from the grunginess, I went with shiny rainbow-on-blackness. Yeah.On the topic of the new NALGames.com, which should be active within the week (at the moment if you try to access it you'll get slapped in the face by an Under Construction image), there are a number of lovely changes, most of which I couldn't've achieved, as I despise coding websites. Seriously, changing the CSS for this blog to make it as it is was bad enough. It'd be less hateful if all browsers interpreted coding in the same way... but they don't. Half the time, it's Microsoft's glaringly inferior browser that puts a wrench in the works (most businesses have dropped IE6 support now... why not go one better and drop it for 7 and 8 too?), but even the bigguns like Firefox, Chrome and Opera occasionally screw something up. (Incidentally, I now use Google Chrome. Firefox 3.x has been problematic as hell; all the 3.6 update did was break more.)Oh right, the new website. The biggest change for you, the viewers, will be that the Games, Archive and .GMKs sections will all be jazzed up and more usable. All items will start off "minimised" - in a normal list. There's a + on the end - if you click it, a game description, three screenshots, and all the details and various links will swoop in with a pretty little animation. The + turns into a -. Guess what that does.The biggest change for me, which will be passively effective to viewers, is that Sean is incorporating a handy little set of admin tools for adding games, other items, and editing the text on text-based pages like About. Beforehand, I was having to manually alter all the coding on the page then reuploading it. This was a hell of a lot of hassle and meant the frequency of updates was poor. At the time of V3 going down, there had been four games released since its last update. Now, though, I just have to fill in a form and hit a Submit button, which is a lot easier and will mean I'll be much quicker in updating the site.Other minor updates to the site, ignoring the previously mentioned style overhaul, is that the Links page has been switched with a Coverage page (now I've got just about enough to not look like a shit stain on the underpants of my website), the Game Editable and WIP Editables have been merged, Writings has been added to the Archive (so I can share my crappy poems and WIP short story), and Old Games has been merged into the current Games page. There's a tick box in the "Sort By" dropdown that allows you to filter these out or keep them in, so the few decent games I've made don't have to be drowning in a sea of Gemocides, Fight of the Heights and Blokmans (all three being 2005-or-before games).Gamewise, I've nigh-on stopped working on Innoquous Hand Held/The Flip Side. I still plan on making Innoquous 4, but this won't be yet. Due to possible complications (if I take the YYG job I won't be eligible for any of their competitions from then on) I doubt entering it would work out at all. A little disappointing, but I'd rather have a job than a public thrashing by at least 20 people that are better than me!Anyway, that's the news of the NALworld. Some time soon I expect to make a blog entry listing my all-time favourite 100 songs. This is requiring me to scour my entire brain, as well as my tracklist, for those I know would make the list, and some others which I'll have to process-of-elimination-ify to get it to the hundred. Also, process-of-elimination-ify is a word now.Let me know if there are any graphical glitches on the blog or, when it's out, the website. Screenshot would be preferred.Until next time!

The Unfinished Archives of NAL 2004-2009 by Allison James

This is a blog entry mainly to mention that, on Game Jolt, I have released a compilation of 40 unfinished games from between 2004 and 2009. They can be found here. Some information on each game in the pack, pulled from its description on GJ:-----I've dumped a hell of a lot of games in the past. From 2004-2009 (nothing from 2003 worth seeing), I've collected 40 (count 'em) unfinished and (in most cases) abandoned games that are at least in a playable state, and .exe-ed them into one big 60MB zipped folder. They're dated so you can quickly predict how crap they're gonna be.2004 -----RetroformA jetpack shooter. Was dumped because my skill at the time was awful and I couldn't get anywhere near what I wanted.2005 -----DefragPlatformer styled on the defragmentation graphics on Windows' defrag tool. You have to turn all the undefragmented blocks green with your progression item. Was very dreary - didn't complete much.KOedPoor excuse for a beat-em-up. Never tried making one since.Lost JewelsThe only time I've attempted a movie in GM. This is like one big, naffly-made cutscene lasting about two minutes and erroring at the end.PenaltiesPenalty shootouts. Badly made but kinda works. But badly made. This one's near enough complete, though it never got released.PrimitivityGame set in the past. You have a spear. You can throw it, but then you have to get it back to throw it again. Boring.Rigmorol's Platform AdventureAnother that was near enough finished. Might actually be short enough to be tolerable throughout. You get turned into a ball and have to... get yourself turned back into a human.Shotgun, Baby!Not very done at all. You can run about in a single area and shoot a woman bloodily. Understandably, I dropped work on it very shortly after.TrackerBasically, GTA1 with awful controls, nothing to do, and nothing much to see. Kinda funny watching your guy get run over though.VakioumPretty much finished, designed as a minigame to a crap, released game. Collect all the hidden coins in an area before time runs out. Again, short enough to be playable, since there's only one level and it takes about half a minute to complete.Way StateOne thing I've learnt in my years of game making: I can't do adventure games for shit. This was one I started, got about an hour into then stopped. Has an alright parallax thing going on though.YaratMore clichéd than a chocolate teapot having sex with a sleeping, lying dog on a blue moon while someone allergic to apples is pursued by a doctor, Yarat was a platformer all about the key-opened gates. About 1/6 of a level finished before I realised it was gonna get crap, fast.2006 -----Dafyddylle ViolentIf it wasn't so pathetically slow this could've worked. Alas. It's a game in which you join the military and go to war. The game includes the enrolment process and training, along with a couple of empty levels in which you blast some enemies with AI less intelligent than a plank.EvadersTwo-player dodgem wars with guns, Evaders tried to be innovative, but ended up a bit meh. First game I ever made to incorporate game options, though, and some things worked okay.Ovmira RacingClosest I ever got to making a racing game. Not very good. One level, one path-scripted AI car, one wasted minute of your life.2007 -----Desert GameYes, that's a temporary name. Desert Game was my first attempt at a self-made FPS. It never turned into a game but it's alright for titting about in. The engine later formed a city game, which later still became Dreaming On E.Festival For Under FivesA shooter with nothing to shoot. This came about me editing the Mingitilla engine to try and incorporate weird model distortion. It worked, but it sucked.NailsHolds a place in my heart. It's a difficult shooting game that I spent a lot of time on before scrapping it heartlessly. To this day a part of me wants to finish it, but then I see all the horrific D&D and run away.NotthemostoriginalgamenamebutupthereA game designed for a mouse-only contest. Wasn't great so I scrapped it and started a new game instead - Rockit. Never looked back.RobotreqYet another platforming game that (for the time) wasn't badly designed, but was axed on the basis it was blander than a piss sandwich.VaIsometric detective game with two missions made. If I'd applied myself a little more I'm convinced Va could've worked. But I didn't. So it didn't.2008 -----Cartoon KAlways wanted to make a cartoony game. Cartoon K was satisfaction, as well as realisation that if I wanted it to be fun it would require a lot of work. A lot of work? *chop*Don't Let That Guy Get You Down, Man!Name is unexplainable, but the game is a 2.5D game that aims to mess with your prespective senses while being a generally spooky game. Got bored of making it.Elemence ZIIOne of several (in this pack one of two) games with which I attempted to reinvigorate the Elemence series, a series that carried my best game until I got better, Elemence AuX. ZII was 3D, not very Elemencey, and, to summarise the game in four words, "a bad Ballance ripoff".FlatArcade game with flat characters. And flat gameplay. But I made the music for it, so that was a plus! And the blood effects, I've yet to replicate.Halcyon DaysTrippy and crazy, this was my attempt to throw myself back into 2D games after the Febmar Trilogy. It got junked when a Jet Pod contest made me decide to make NAL's Jet Pod instead. Incidentally, this was also to be my first game made 100% in code. NJP took that liberty as well.NeonXMe playing about with GM7's (I was a late adopter) new effects, specifically draw_line_width. I ended up using draw_line_width in FKR2 and dropping this on account of not being able to find a way to incorporate gameplay without ballsing the graphics up.WTFPMSLWhat The F**k? Pissing My Self Laughing! Well... the game has a skateboarding grandad. Not really the high point of hilarity, but it had a nice greyscale aesthetic.2009 -----Classical CastleMy attempt at laid-back gaming, this featured classical music, simple graphics and puzzling mixed with platforming. Halted when I ran out of puzzle ideas about three levels in.Elemence: Switch / Elemence: Passion MatrixThe other Elemence in this collection. This one instead was 2D and had a lot of bevelgasms. This is one of the games I wouldn't mind finishing - it had a presentation to it I've still not really matched since, and despite only having two levels, was well built and kinda fun.Gamanstake 3DAs with Elemence, this was an attempt to bring an old series into new territory. I made Gamanstake back in 2006 and wanted to turn it into a respectable game. As a note, the title was temporary. I despise putting "3D" in game titles. The planned title at time of axing (though I may still finish this one) was "Hell Has Brick Walls".LyghtgrydEver played the game Aargon Deluxe? Guessing that was a "no", since despite being one of the best puzzlers I've ever played, it was hugely underplayed. I don't like remakes, but this was to be a remake of Aargon Deluxe. Unfortunately, my skill collapsed on me and it was left half-made.Monobrow CatA collaboration with Broxter. He wanted to keep this one secret. Bugger him. :D This is an exploration game featuring your friendly neighbourhood |:3. Another one that may well be finished in the future, either as a continued collaboration or with just one of us continuing work on it.Nightmare In Pixel WidthFake 3D, presented with a limited colour pallette. Looks kinda nice, actually, but suffered from "implementing gameplay into this is gonna be a pain in the arse", which ultimately meant demotivation and death.PolybiiusIf you've never heard of the urban legend "Polybius" I recommend you go and look it up. Summary - it was a game, created by the government, found in arcades that induced numerous bad effects in players, including nausea, headaches, epilepsy, and narcolepsy. This was my attempt at doing the same thing, though it quickly descended into "making things flash a lot" so I stopped work on it.Rockit 2 (R2CKIT)Sequel to Rockit. Lost motivation very quickly - some games I can sequelise, others I simply can't. Rockit's a can't, despite numerous requests to.The Hilarity Of Murder ProFPS version of The Hilarity Of Murder. Looked crap, wasn't very nice, but here's the basics if you want to see life in the player's eyes. Was also to include online deathmatches and similar, but my online crew bailed.The Inverse ManA cross between Innoquous, Jumpman and anything with little men and monochrome. This was ditched because of GM's annoying outlines drawn around sprites. GM8's alpha support may end this problem - if so, this could be released in the future.So, yeah. That's all of them! I will willingly give out source codes to any of these games if you're interested in finishing them or pinching bits of code (with credit of course), lemme know!-----It's a 60MB download, so have fun with that!In other news, I've also released a new game, Rainbow Planet 2, a sequel to the predictably-named predecessor from mid-2007. That marks a NALRecord for longest time between two instalments of a series!You can play Rainbow Planet 2 on YoYo Games, the special edition Rainbow Planet 2.1 on Game Jolt (which includes online highscores and a Twitter feed that automatically tweets new winners), or if you're interested in its history, the original can be downloaded from MediaFire.The game itself is nothing stunning, but in a small way this was since I wanted to make it true to the original, particularly with the controls, which may be considered awkward.I've noticed YoYo Games have reupdated the Game Maker 8 logo. Although I liked the original new update, I think I slightly prefer this one. I like the slight reduction in saturation from the original version, and this one seems like it would scale down a lot better to a 32x32 icon. It's still just an icon though. YYG will have the £20 thrown at them for the overdue Game Maker upgrade regardless of whether its logo is a Pac-Man in a G, a communist hammer, a smiley face, or a bell-end with clown make-up on.Anyway, it's currently 8:10am. I've been up all night, and plan to see through the all-nighter. Already rather drowsy and keep getting dizzy spells, so I'm guessing in a few hours I'll probably keel over and sleep on whatever happens to be beneath me. But for now, I'm done writing, so I'll see y'all in the next blog. Thanks for reading, as always!

This is not Sparta! by Allison James

Has been a while. Oops! Oh well, time to dive straight into the contents of this.As some of the nine or so readers of this blog may already know, a couple of days ago I released a game called madnessMADNESSmadness (capitalised like that for no real reason, and shortened to mMm) for the current Game Jolt competition with the theme "Minimal". It closed a couple of days ago with nearly 50 entries, including quite a few great ones, so I won't be disappointed if I don't win.Having said that, the reception mMm has got is astonishing. It's a small game, made in about the same time as my entry for GJ's first competition, Infidels. Infidels took about a month to hit 100 plays on YoYo Games, and is currently on about 300. Its online highscore list only hit 100 recorded entries about a week ago (taking about four months in total). Compare mMm, which hit 100 recorded online highscores in one day and throughout the four days it's been out has fast approached 400. It's on a cumulated nearly-700 plays on GJ and YYG, more than Infidels, is currently on a respectable 4.1 on YYG and a big 4.4 on GJ, and has nine posts in the contest thread on the GJ forum devoted to how great it apparently is. It's now more played, rated and commented than any of my other games on Game Jolt, and is continuing to rise quickly.This is a game that took 7 weeks less time than Innoquous 3 to make. A three-day-developed game. It has about 45 seconds of level in and is basically a bog-standard platformer with a weird graphical effect. 4.4 by 31 people on Game Jolt. Crazy.And yes, the "Madness?! THIS... IS... SPARTAAAA" jokes have already come. Missed your chance, fans of 300 and/or internet meme followers. Sorry. :P (having said that, if you like internet memes you may as well say it again, because as most people know memes are the most annoying, overused, repetitive thing on the net).I've done four reviews on Game Maker Blog and am unlikely to stop any time soon. As I usually mention before/after the reviews, if you have any games you want to see reviewed there you can reply to this blog entry, PM me on Game Maker Community, etc. Wherever you know I still am. I'll also be reviewing something for the upcoming GMTech issue 18 (the Christmas issue), though that'll likely be something chosen by gamez93 if he can bag an exclusive.I reckon that's it. See you in another hopefully-less-than-nearly-a-month!

Yay, Pokémon Cards! by Allison James

A while ago I joined a site called Swagbucks, which gives you virtual money for using their search (it's Google and Ask powered so it's not a bad search or anything). They give away a range of stuff. Anyway, I'd been using the site for about a month (total of 46 Swagbucks) when I suddenly found out a lot of the merchandise you can "buy" is US only. I was a wee bit disappointed, so I decided to spend them on something and quit using the site.I found Pokémon cards. 15 Swagbucks each, though the cards would all be "common". So I got three. Today, I received them.Anyway, since then, I've regained my interest in Swagbucks. I'm not gonna raise enough to get a good prize any time soon, but I'll probably keep getting weird stuff like Pokémon cards for the hell of it. :PFor those that actually give a shit about Pokémon cards, the three I got wereKangaskhan from some weird looking deck with a blue "e" in the bottom left cornerScyther from the same deckMachop from the Team Rocket deckIf you're interested, you can either join the site with my referral link attached, which of course is no loss to you. It just rewards me by telling you about the site:Click here to be all nice and get me Swagbucks as a reward for telling you about the siteOr you can join without the Referral link and maintain your obvious reputation as a moocher.Click here if your sexuality is questionableGame-making-wise, my active project is one called The Inverse Man. This is a several-level soon-to-be-artsy game with Innoquous-style level twisting and some other gimmicks, such as the man always being the inverse colour of the background.A demo, you say? Oh, go on then.In the land of sequels, Dreaming On E and Rockit are sitting patiently in line as their advanced brothers are slowly developed. Have a screenshot of new Dreaming On N and R2CKIT. TIM is priority at the moment, though, so don't expect these out any time soon.I sauntered over the $1 mark in ad-revenue on Game Jolt a couple of days ago. Only a few more decades and I can afford that car! Or, more likely, I'll cop out in a few months and buy something cheap off Steam with it. PayPal's handy like that.I think that's all bases covered. Until next time!

999 by Allison James

Had to make a blog entry on the only day of the year where all three numbers are identical. 09/09/09. Might as well celebrate 'em while we can, this is the last year the resulting date has a nice ring to it (101010? Psh), and there will only be three other dates like it in our probable lifetimes... unless we somehow make it to the first of January, 2101.Anyway, anyone that's following me on Twitter probably heard about a new, hour-long game called PixHell. For those that didn't... I made an hour-long game called PixHell. It was the result of a bullet-hell impulse. It turned out to be a very difficult game, but only because I wanted to make it look pretty with its bullet patterns.You can play PixHell from Game Jolt and YoYo Games. Alternatively, if you like chatting and gaming simultaneously, you can play a miniature, embedded version of it on the SigmaNine chatroom (along with a miniature, 45-level version of Ne Touchez Pas!). I'll likely be making mini versions of other games for that chatroom - they're not much effort and pleasant to play.As far as making games is concerned, I've had quite a few people say they'd like to see a follow up to Dreaming On E, a game which I finished purely because I had nothing else to do, and ended up pretty popular. To be honest, I'm leaning that way myself - DOE was fun to make. This time, I'd, of course, put a lot more effort into it. If you have a look at the last few blog entries, you'll see other stuff I'd like to make. Comment if you have any preference as to which game you'd like to see next.Anyway, that concludes this blog entry. See you in the next one!~NAL

I got Pro back! by Allison James

Incase you didn't see the tweet, I got Pro back. Two days ago I sent a helpdesk ticket to YoYo Games about it, saying I'd not had a reply from Softwrap. Not so long ago, I got a reply from the helpdesk saying they'd reactivated my account.You can complain about YYG all you want, but they can be damn helpful when they need to be. As a result of this, I'll be buying GM8 regardless of its price as thanks to the company. I'm so kind.It also means IOTAS is finally back on track. Maybe it'll accompany THoM as a Game Jolt competition entry? (well, I'd be silly not to try it)So yeah. Huzzah!~NAL

Speedy update by Allison James

Shortenable to "Speed date" maybe.I've not been blogging much since I'm working my nuts off to finish this Lite game for the Game Jolt Competition. That brings me to some points.- I still don't have Pro - Softwrap remain yet to reply to my email.- The game is now called The Hilarity Of Murder.- It's named like that as it now has one of the ten GJ axioms into it.- The axiom is "Laughter is the Best Medicine".- In the game, you have an illness which's deadly effects are only stopped if you're finding things funny.- You find murder funny.- It's doing well.I'll blog when it's done or I know I'll have some time free to post.On another note, I plan on finishing It Only Takes A Second after this game is made and I finally have Pro again.