It Only Takes a Second

Why That Name? by Allison James

For this blog entry I'm going to be going through why I gave the names to games I've made. It's here instead of NALGames Blog as it's more a point of interest. It also means I have a way of remembering these things in the future.Fight of the Height (2005)Oldest game on the list, Fight of the Height was a game I conceptualised when I was six (I always wanted to be a game developer!). It was named so because the original idea was to have the game take place on a series of skyscrapers that you jumped over the roofs of, shooting at your opponent. It changed a little for the games themselves though I did keep that idea for one or two levels.Gamanstake (2006)Stuck for an original name for a generic maze game, and with the promise of gammon steaks for tea, I took "Gammon Stake" and played with the spelling.Blokkeid (2006)The precursor to Elemence got its name as the gimmick of the game involves using BLOCKS as AID to complete levels.Elemence (2006-7)I wanted to keep the Blokkeid name for the game that was Elemence, but since there were multiple game modes it was irrelevant. So instead I came up with "Elements", then tampered with it for originality. After the unreleased sequels named after their difficulties (Elemence Easy, Elemence Refined), Gold got its name as it became a portmanteau of all the previous, making it a kind of compilation game. Then AuX is because Au is the chemical symbol for Gold, with the traditional X for "woo, awzum!".r!!!dicule (2007)The third in the r!dicule series, it was named after I was trying to think of a name for a premise and came to the conclusion that trying to name it was ridiculous.FKR (2007)Stands for "Fantastic Kinetic Reflexes", however that is technically a backronym. When trying to work out a name, I just went "...F**ker!", and decided to alter it to familyfriendlydom. Nowadays though I only ever read it as "Eff Kay Arrrrrgh!"Fustercluck (2007)Fustercluck was named after the song playing in the background - simples. Only later did I find out what Fustercluck means, though!Rockit (2008)A rocket simulator, but with a reference to the Herbie Hancock track I was thoroughly into at the time.Mingitilla (2008)No idea.Zyousbox (2008)An altered spelling of "Juicebox" with the J sound softened.Signal Failure (2008)At the time I was addicted to GTAIV (for the first of three times, the third still currently ongoing) and one of my favourite tracks on it was Padded Cell - Signal Failure.Ne Touchez Pas! (2008)"Do Not Touch" just didn't have the same ring to it.Innoquous (2008)Another song-based one, though the game was based around it. I liked LCD Soundsystem's "Get Innocuous!" at the time. The game was also initially innocuous in that there were no direct obstacles. Changed the C to a Q because to be honest I thought it looked better - it's still pronounced "in-ock-you-us" though, not "in-ock-wuss".EverScrollingHue (2008)Initially "Enzyme", ESH made more sense named as such because the in-game hues were indeed ever-scrolling.Node (2009)My first release of 2009, and not a very good one at that, was named so simply because the graphics were inspired by "nodes and links".Dreaming on E (2009)Made partly through 2008, Dreaming on E was inspired by the phenomena of odd dreams while on drugs. Yes, the E indicates "ecstasy". No, I've never done E. Yes, I read about drug-fueled dreams while making DoE to base stuff off it.MINDRAPE (2009)I initially heard the term in an episode of "American Dad!" and loved it. Therefore I kept using it, and based a game on the idea.Infidels (2009)From the song "Infidels of the World Unite", an amazing track by one of my all-time favourite artists, Fischerspooner. Initially called Infidel as you played the infidel, it changed when I reversed the story and so there was more than one.Head Candy (2009)Another term similar to MINDRAPE, I liked the idea of "Head Candy" and had seen it elsewhere.The Hilarity of Murder (2009)Initially Lite Town Wars - made in GM7 Lite, set in a town, depicting a war. Changed when I added a gimmick to make it fit a Game Jolt competition - it just made sense and rolls off the tongue nicely.It Only Takes a Second (2009)Another one that rolls off the tongue, and a fairly smart-arse title given the game's premise (you have to finish each level with one second left on the timer).RKF (2009)FKR backwards. Once again, I came up with a backronym to make it mean something else.madnessMADNESSmadness (2009)Made up in Game Jolt's chatroom, I described this as "how somebody suffering from madness may describe what they were suffering from". The idea is that they might say "madness" three times in quick succession, shouting the second one. The game is depicting a guy that is suffering from madness - hence the odd circular world, the unexplained walls and things, and the confusing poetry.This is a Game with a Stupid Graphical Gimmick (2009)I just felt like being blunt!La Rolloux (2009)Originally "Wolley", the name of the guy in-game and "Yellow" backwards, changed to La Rolloux as a portmanteau of "Roll", and the artist I loved at the time, "La Roux". Coincidentally, the guy's quiff was in the game beforehand - it took someone else for me to realise how close it looked to the hairstyle of La Roux's Ellie Jackson.1n23g4r (2010)First release of 2010 was another smartass one - pronounced "integer", the game sees you counting moves up from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 steps a go. They're all integers too.SohoPogoHo (2010)A pogoing ho from Soho. Sorted.Acid R[ai/eig]n (2010)Two meanings of the same-sounding phrase. It contains acid rain, and the acid reigns.Remaddening (2010)The sequel to mMm, unlike previous sequels, took an entirely different name. Why? Well, mMm had a convoluted name anyway, I wanted to shorten it. So I went in the style of many film sequels, which are like "Generic Action Film: The Redestroying". Stupid stuff like that. It very nearly took a The at the start but I just preferred Remaddening on its own.Confusion Readily Achieved... (2010)Yeah, another kind of backronym. However, it was just steered towards it this time. It was initially something like "Confusion Achieved Through Perspective and Dimensions".Infinite Sporadic (2010)I always liked the phrase "Endless, sporadic" so I went for something similar.They're the most interesting ones I can recall, anyway. Hopefully this has been an interesting little insight into my mind. Will be sure to blog again ASAP.See y'all! (and that's from Dog's Life on PS2)

Innoquous 4: Early Stages by Allison James

A blog post about my current active project, Innoquous 4, and some information on it.Firstly, it's initially aimed for YYG Competition 05. It's going to undertake the alias Innoquous Hand Held for this. Innoquous Hand Held will lack online functions, be capped to 480x272 as its screen resolution, and be slightly fiddlier than usual. This is a direct result of the competition restrictions. What it will contain will be 100 levels (40 new, 60 from Innoquous 1, 2 and 3, many of which will be tweaked to accommodate the faster controls). There will also be other obstacles - I'm aiming for timed-shooting guns and pushable blocks, that will debut, and make appearances in both new and old, tweaked levels. I'm looking to add a level editor - this may not make IHH as the control restrictions would make it difficult to implement.Once IHH is released, I will upgrade it to Innoquous 4. This will be the full-on game. 800x600 resolution, mouse-controlled, easy to use level editor (mouse-controlled), improved menu, plenty of customisation options (complete control over block colours, a choice of characters - play as a fish!, and other options), etc. I'll also poke UnknownGamer into making the online for it, which will build on I3's site - you'll be able to make an account on it, share statistics, see your rankings, upload levels you've created and download others', with level ratings etc. Depends on how much he can do.Now, cost-wise. I initially said I was going to make Innoquous 4 my first commercial game. However, with the need to make IHH free, this is now unlikely. What I am edging towards is making the game DONATIONWARE. This would mean you could pay $/£20 (madness!), $4 (what I would've initially charged), or even 1p/cent (*stares*). The reason I want to charge for the game is because I'm about to jump into the world of work, and in all honestly I'd quite like to be able to jump out of it ASAP into commercial indie game production. I know it'll probably be a few years before that provides any kind of income, but hey, the sooner I start making this damn game, the better!Yesterday I released a trailer for the game, showcasing its new IOTAS-style graphics and mentioning some of the planned features. If you're interested, here it is:And that's pretty much it, really! If you have any comments, suggestions, or anything else, don't hesitate to comment. Even if I don't reply to them, I certainly read them and take them on board. Thanks!Until the next blog entry.~ NAL

R.I.P. Fan by Allison James

The hottest summer in years, and my room fan has just decided to die on me. In other words, until I get a new one, I'm living in a microwave. Great.The Game Jolt competition results were released yesterday. Neither It Only Takes A Second nor The Hilarity Of Murder placed, but I lost to three amazing games so there's no shame in that. I'm sure, come their third competition, I'll enter again, maybe that time without the added annoyance of Softwrap screwing up on me and losing me over half the making time.I'm currently at a stage of game making I don't really like - bouncing between a number of concepts until I find something I want to continue working on. This takes a while - I'm very indecisive. Usually, as soon as I start working on something, one of the alternatives seems like a better idea. I have the ground engine of Rotatarama done so that might end up becoming my next active project. However, I'm still kind of wanting to remake or make a sequel to Elemence AuX. I still enjoy that game, and at the time (and for quite a few months after too) it was the best game I'd ever made. The only problem is that it aged badly - looking back, I see some of the design work I put into it and just think "why?!".I just finished my third shift at the shop I work at (literally, about half an hour ago). I don't have to do another shift until next Monday, so for this week I hope to have something to work on properly.Despite stiff competition from Sealegs, The Shins' song "Split Needles" remains Song of the Moment. I'm really into The Shins at the moment. Infact, while working, I actually listen to their three albums on repeat.So, yeah. That is all. Goodbye!~NAL

Unsureness by Allison James

...of what exactly to make now. It Only Takes A Second and The Hilarity of Murder are both now finished (and Game Jolt's competition deadline has passed - now to see if either of them place).Referring to an earlier blog entry, which mentioned three halted WIPs, the Aargon remake is unlikely to be completed any time soon, Rotatarama never got off the ground, and Innoquous World will be a steadily-made game I'm not going to work on yet.The idea I'm most tempted by is a Pro overhaul of The Hilarity of Murder, with its gimmick removed and online play installed. I'm fairly proud of the engine I managed to make for it, and would like to see it go to better use personally.In other news, I have a job! And it's voluntary! :P I do occasional/frequent (not yet sure) 2.5 hour shifts at the village shop. The village shop in question is tiny. So, yeah. Fun.Last thing: I've changed the Song of the Moment. :)Well, that's all. Frequency of blog entries will probably be slow now, but I aim to get at least one a week written.Byee!

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

Stopgap game in Lite by Allison James

Since I'm bored of waiting for Softwrap, and can't continue with IOTAS until it's sorted, I'm now working on a stopgap game in which I'm trying to get as much out of Game Maker 7.0 Lite as I can. It's currently called Lite Town Wars, and is comparable to MINDRAPE and my Fake 3D Pyramids example.I'm surprised lengthdir is a function available in Lite, actually. It's so damn versatile, and is way more useful in my opinion than stuff like image_angle. Its availability in Lite is one of the only reasons I'm making this game.Anyway, here's a screenshot of what I have so far (click it to see it in full).I won't be hyping this game much since it really is just while I'm without Pro for IOTAS - if I get Pro again before this game is complete to a reasonable percentage, it'll likely be scrapped.So, yeah. That's pretty much it for now!~NAL

Waiting on Softwrap by Allison James

I was unaware, but apparently I'd hit my GM7 registration limit when I did the XP reinstallation (see previous post). So, at the moment, I'm having to wait for Softwrap to respond to my email asking for another registration.Until then, It Only Takes a Second will have to lie untouched - I can't work with it in lite since it uses so many pro features, including D3D.A couple other weird things occurred with the new installation, mainly that Windows Media Player won't work. There seems to be a broken version in its directory that can't be deleted, and you can't specify where it should be installed (nice one, Microsoft), so it just keeps running into a brick wall. I've started to get used to Winamp, though, so meh.Anyway, thought I'd post an update on that. Prior to the reinstallation, IOTAS was on 13 levels, so provided Softwrap help me out in the next couple of days, I should be able to finish the game for the August 31st deadline.~NAL

Reinstalled XP by Allison James

...which may mean it'll be a day or so until I work on IOTAS again (progress is fine, though - three levels done in the Underwater section).My reason for reinstallation? Well, several months ago, I did a clean install of Vista over XP. A month or so later, I started to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I did that - most of my GM .exes had stopped working (GM6 incompatibility), my PS3 was incapable of connecting to the internet (the connecter I use won't work with Vista), and UAC was more depressing than the new Transformers film.Wanting to keep Vista, though, since clean installing it had killed off a lot of my lovely files and downgrading from Vista to XP won't work without a clean install, I made a 10GB partition, and put XP on that.Anyway, I very quickly filled that 10GB, and many programs still insist on installing to the default drive as opposed to asking where they should go. Earlier today, I got annoyed with it, so I put my precious files onto my 640GB external hard drive, and clean-installed XP to the 220-odd GB "main" C: partition.So, apart from the fact I'd customised the eyeballs off XP before so have to do it again, it's convenient.Anyway, there's your news. Usual, obsessive posts about IOTAS will resume shortly.Goodbye for now!~NAL

Summary of Underwater in IOTAS by Allison James

The development of It Only Takes A Second is going fine at the moment. I'm currently working on Underwater levels in it.As some of you may know, Underwater will be levels 6-10 in the full game. Metal, which is 6-10 in the current alpha build, will be pushed to 11-15. This was mainly to address possible difficulty issues - the Metal levels are pretty hard, and I'm aiming for at least 20 levels. I want the game to be hard but not to a point it makes you want to break things.Anyway, as with the exclusive deadly spinners and disappearing blocks in Metal, Underwater will have its own exclusive item - shards. To complete a level in Underwater, you have to collect all five shards first. Since you're already being asked to complete levels AND remember the time, their positioning will, for the most part, be relatively straightforward. To remove another possibly annoying interaction, though, hitting the finish without all the shards in a level won't make you lose it. You'll simply pass through it.Here's a screenshot of Level 6, the first Underwater level, and currently the only one. I'll probably upload an updated build when I've completed all five of these levels and have started the Hell levels enough to show you - probably be a couple of days.So, yeah. There's an update for the day. See ya in another blog entry!~NAL