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)

Mad Once More by Allison James

Thought I may as well blog since I've released an upgrade to the game which became a play count whore, madnessMADNESSmadness. This upgrade features a number of new modes and a few other features to make the game, in all, more enjoyable. I'll simply link to the Game Maker Community topic for it as that describes it perfectly adequately. The link

Anyway, there's some other stuff I'll say since my last two blog entries have been fairly mundane reviews of things. Therefore I'll try to make this more about both me and my GM usage.

I'm now not working on anything. However, I've plans, which I'm as yet unsure on whether I'll follow through with or not, to make a game which crosses gambling (not real money) with a game similar to Voltorb Flip from Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver. I have the puzzle itself, along with ways to implement online multiplayer, up and running, I just need to work out if it'd be worth making or not. If nothing else I'll probably knock up a single-player engine for it at some point and see what y'all think about it.
Lifewise, thinks have been a tad topsy turvy. Both my parents have had this week away from work, which has meant that I've been going out a lot to different places with them. I've another one to go to tomorrow, though now my dad will be returning to work it'll just be me and mum. Although I'm happy with my computer, it's been generally fun and it feels healthy to have such an abnormal-for-me level of fresh air as that. I hit a fairly low ebb about a week ago too, when something that really shouldn't've bothered me a huge amount (though it did) actually triggered the single worst mental breakdown I've ever experienced, leaving me completely inanimate for quite a while in my room on the floor doing something I refuse to admit I was doing, being male. But hey, it's all in the past, I'm okay now and can laugh upon looking back on it... kinda.
I've been watching the Matrix trilogy today and yesterday, which is fun. I haven't managed to watch Revolutions yet, nor the Animatrix which I got yesterday during a day out on DVD for 75p, but I'm not really sure if I want to. I have seen Revolutions - it was a bit crap. Mind you, Reloaded was crap and I still enjoyed it. With the help of my mum's purse I've got several other DVDs, videos and things in the days out, including a set of four films on DVD including the Shawshank Redemption for 75p (the lot), a double VHS about "A history of Football" for 20p, and my personal favourite, a Mega Drive game called "Strider Hiryu" that's entirely in Japanese. It won't play in my old MD but it's funky to own, given my love of Japan and its language.
And coming in last, I've been playing a lot of LittleBigPlanet recently. Being a fan of odd vehicles and robots, particularly things like in Robot Wars, I've been trying to make the "perfect" vehicle, that can get across any terrain and survive anything. There's still hope, but I've not managed it yet. I can get something to drive up walls and across ceilings but things always manage to break themselves during the "course" I've set up. At some point I'll probably publish a load of the failed attempts (and, God forbid, any successful ones) so if you're interested, keep an eye on my LBP profile - my PSN ID is NAL-Games.
So, yeah. That's all for today/night. See y'all!

Pushing People Down Flights of Stairs... Repeatedly by Allison James

11 days since my last blog? I'm returning to my lazy ways, goddamnit!Anyway, this is a blog a little about me but mostly about an aspect of game making, similar to a blog entry I made several months ago, highlighting some ideas I have. If you want to provide feedback on any of them, feel free to - I'll be more motivated to make one/some of these if I know there will be fans, and conversely will be happy that I'm steering clear of making them if everybody would hate them. So, here goes:BeelzeboxThis is an idea I had which goes with my wanting to improve my 3D modelling skills (see below this segment). Basically, it'd be a first person lighting-powered shooter with a freaky red dude, Beelzebox. It'd include elements from bullet hells, with Beelzebox shooting fire from all orifices, with other FPS-like devices put into place. As well as furthering my modelling skills it'd be nice for it to also help my FPS-making grow. Both of these will be needed for when I start the coding aspect of Frosted Glass, basically a game in a novel, of which the novel and all of the design direction is provided by Rebecca Smith.BleedThis is one I came very, very close to making/starting today. This is bullet-hell-esque action in which numerous maroon-coloured patterns would fill the screen in a very pretty manner, their colours sticking to the screen with either surfaces or the old Don't Draw Background Colours trick. Collisions would not be measured in the standard way; instead, the colour of the pixel behind the player (who would likely just be a 1x1 pixel, PixHell style) would be found and if it was maroon, death. You could, of course, happily run over colours that aren't maroon, including slightly lighter or darker shades of it. It would be eye candy, yes, but I think it'd be kinda fun too given the potential for tens of different patterns (it wouldn't just be bullets, there could be lines, geometric shapes and even sprites getting in on the action).Dreaming On NUgggh, I'm torn between making this and not making it. Dreaming On E basically split people down the middle - I was surprised there were some people that really liked it. But the idea of a sequel is that it would look better, incorporate new 3D skills I've accumulated in the last year, and perhaps even tie all or some of the scenarios together (the plan is to start the game with a revisit to Scenario 1 from DoE).RemaddeningOr mMm2. I'm wanting to do this some day to, as with the first Innoquous, correct the wrongs. This would mean including more than one level, a procedural generation mode, other types of gameplay, and a far greater level of polish. I'm unhappy with quite a few aspects of mMm, but I really wasn't expecting it to take off quite so rapidly so I never bothered perfecting it.Trivia GiantsThis would be a cross between a boss rush and a trivia game. The idea is this - you're on a 5x5 grid. Somewhere either in this grid or out of it (more likely out of it) is the boss. The boss asks you a question, gives you a few seconds to think about the answer. Then, as you move about the grid, giant letters appear on it that spell out the answer. So, for example, if the question was "7+3", a vertical line of squares would turn red or whatever on the grid (1) then that would clear and the outer squares (0) would do the same. The idea is to either avoid, or get into, the lit squares. After each question or whatever you'd take an automatically-handled swing at the boss and, after a set number of questions, the boss would be replaced by a better one that asked more complicated questions.So they're a few ideas I've had. Really not sure what to do about them - knowing me I'll come up with a new idea in a few days and make it in two hours! Here's some other stuff I may as well mention while I'm in the blogging spirit though.I finished Ne Touchez Pas IV. It made some people very happy, others very sad. It contained no new levels and was generally seen as very uninnovative, but others (mainly those new to NTP, I think) really enjoyed it. It was mostly made for YYG Competition 05, in which you're allowed to use old stuff in your entries - perhaps I would have been better calling it 3.5 or something. Either way, though, it's not the worst self-cloning in the competition, I've seen at least one entry which is simply a downscaled port of a previously made game.Another thing I've finished, but in a different way, is Shadows & Ghosts, the second instalment of the Jocasta Lizzbeth Moonshadow series written by somebody I've already mentioned in this entry, Rebecca Smith (this time I linked to her blog). I won't go too far into how absolutely freaking awesome it was, as I don't want to seem too ass-licky, but... well, all I'll say is that there are some blind book publishers in the world today.Now, to the blog title. I've been playing a lot of GTAIV recently. I've finished most of the game, though I've still got Brucie's secondaries to do (boring) and a lot of stunt jumps/pigeons to find (o.o). I'm having a ton of fun with it, partly thanks to its physics engine, which is pure brilliance. The guns are boring in the game when you can simply push somebody down a flight of stairs or off the kerb of the pavement (which shows how good the engine is - pedestrians' feet are two separate entities so if one slips off something they fall over sideways, or if you trip them up in the same way they may stumble or trip). You can also have fun throwing things at people, which does very little damage but does look funny. There's the art of going to the second island, where taxis are abundant, and hitting the taxis to annoy the drivers. They get out and start trying to attack you. If you do this multiple times without harming the drivers, then jump onto one, they start angrily hitting the car. Sometimes they miss, hit EACH OTHER, then start fighting. Childish, but fun to watch! Then, my achievement on Monday - I ran around Alderney, the leftmost island, in its entirety. It took three real-life hours, during which I got a wanted level twice (was not caught on either occasion), didn't die (though had to divert to a hotdog vendor now and then), and never took a mode of transport other than Niko's own feet. You'd think it was tedious, but to be completely honest I enjoyed it due to the game's prettiness (my favourite experience of its prettiness is waiting until it's dark and very rainy, going to the GTA version of Times Square and seeing all the lights perfectly reflected in the wet roads).Last subject - the wanting to get better at 3D modelling. As earlier mentioned I'm making a game with Rebecca Smith (third mention o.o) called Frosted Glass. This will require me to kit out a house, at minimum, in 3D with stuff like beds, sinks, sofas, chairs, chests of drawers etc. So, in an aim to prepare myself for this, I've started getting properly into the program Maya. I've not much else to say on the subject, so I'll end this blog entry on a different note: a picture of the bed I made in the program.

Until the next blog, goodbye!