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)

FKR4, Points of Interest etc by Allison James

The first bit is, incase you're unaware, FKR's yearly update for 2010 has arrived. FKR4, made for the Game Jolt Rogue contest under the idea that the game itself is the rogue, is a bizarre, bizarre game. Many people don't seem to be able to understand it. Here's a quick explanation:

The room will fill, initially, with red and aqua, with a small amount of green. The colour coding is the same as the other FKRs - red = you, green = your "trojans" (what you hit enemies with), and aqua and other colours are enemies. You'll notice that these colours, bar green, comprise of a number of "stars". The central point is where the actual enemy/you resides, so you must target there. With that in mind, the rest of the game is FKR at heart. Different points are awarded for different enemies, with more for higher-up ones (order: aqua, yellow, magenta, orange, blue, green). So yeah.
I thought I'd add a little point of interest to this: a list of games that started off with different names, either as codenames or genuine names I later decided to change.

F**kfreak ==> Back in Time to Annihilate People of Past TimesOriginally named as the game is pretty f**king freaky, changed because I couldn't be arsed with bleeping it out and inevitably suffering a slew of YoYo Games reports.
A Stupid Attempt to Win $1000 ==> Zyousbox
With the name change came an orientation change. The game that became Zyousbox was originally to be an old-Celtic-themed exploration game for the second YYG competition. It didn't go well but I didn't want to ditch the engine. Zyousbox was born
Wolley ==> La Rolloux
Originally Wolley because a) the player was called Wolley and b) it's "yellow" backwards, which is the colour of 70% of the game. Altered it when I gave Wolley a wacky hairstyle which reminded me of Ellie Jackson from La Roux (a band I like, and a band name I like too). Inserted "roll" into it and huzzah - a game pronounced "La Roll-oo" but frequently mistaken as a number of daft, Englicised alternatives (one of which rhymes with "bollocks").
Partly a codename (I was expecting to change it), partly an ongoing desire to create an eponymously-named game. Changed because, having mentioned "madnessMADNESSmadness" in the Game Jolt chatroom as what a mad person might describe their predicament, and consequently being recommended to give a game that name. Turns out it was a wise decision, though I still catch a few too many people calling it "madnessMadnessmadness", "Madnessmadnessmadness" or, worse, "Madness Madness Madness".
Elemence Passion Matrix ==> Elemence Switch
Mildly irrelevant, changed just before I canned the game. Changed because, as was informed to me, "Elemence Passion Matrix" sounds like something out of the Kamasutra.
Lite Town Wars ==> The Hilarity of Murder
Originally "Lite" was included to make "lite" of the fact (sorry) that the game was made in the unpaid version of Game Maker 7, changed when I decided to stick it in the Game Jolt Axioms contest by bolting a gimmick onto its arse and wanted to reflect the new gameplay element in its title.
L'oiseau ==> Ne Touchez Pas 2
"L'oiseau" being French for "The bird", "Ne Touchez Pas 2" being French for "Mooching off the plays the first one got and being a far more obvious sequel. Oh, and not pronouncing the 2 as "deux" but as "two"".
Puzzle Valley ==> Welcome to Puzzle Valley ==> Puzzle Valley
...Yeah. Puzzle Valley initially held the same name as it does now. Upon upgrading it, adding several features and removing a few bugs, I added "Welcome to" to its name. Finally, seeing that it was a stupid name and preferring the old one, I changed it back.
Infidel ==> Infidels
Initially, you were the infidel. When deciding to switch the roles round and subsequently realising more than one infidel existed from then on, I pluralised the title.

I'm edging towards ditching The Flip Side. My main reason for wanting to enter the fifth YoYo Games competition was for the sake of publicity. However, if I ditch TFS, when I'm more in the mood focus on making Innoquous 4 a smashing game, then advertise the crap out of it, I could hopefully achieve it by myself.

Lifewise, I'm doing okay. Still thinking about the aforementioned job offer (am seriously leaning towards wanting it), waiting for a little more information which I was told would be given to me at the end of this month. I think, pending the answers, I'll know near enough 100% if I'm going to take it or not.
There would be other advantages to doing so. For starters, it'd help my confidence and independence out. I'm too clingy, really - being by myself would hopefully get my head straight and help nail the reality of life into my brain. It would also probably help with friendships and (dare I say it?) relationships. Where I currently live, chavs have basically overtaken. In a 20 mile radius there are about ten people I would be friend and about zero girls I would be even remotely interested in. With a move I would (possibly) refresh that, and meet new people. I could make at least two/three met-in-real-life friends if I stopped by in Yorkshire on the route from Redgrave to Dundee (and vice versa). I plan to do that at some point, I've known all three of the people there for more than a year. It'd be odd, but definitely fun and well worth doing.

Anyway, I think that's enough for one blog entry. I'd quite like to start doing these weekly again instead of fortnightly, as I have a lot I could say but don't, and as I've learnt from a friend over the past couple of weeks, it seems to be beneficial in letting out all these little tidbits of information instead of bottling them up.
Until next time!

The attention madnessMADNESSmadness has been getting is... wait for it... madness by Allison James

Long blog title. Ah well, it works for me. It summarises what I have to say, too.madnessMADNESSmadness didn't place in GameJolt's Minimal contest. However, any mild disappointment I get from that (not too much, there were better games entered) is more than neutralised by everything else that's been happening.For starters, it got featured on YoYo Games. This makes for my fourth featured game (the first three being Elemence AuX, Innoquous, and Innoquous 3). It also a couple of days ago replaced the feature with a YYG Spotlight, the first I've had. Then, and this is to me the most important and pleasing one, it got onto Bytejacker's Free Indie Rapid Fire! If you want to give it love, the link is here - feel free to comment on the video about how mMm is cheesy, or vote for it (when the poll is updated). You don't have to, of course. Last but not least, today it entered the GMC Cagematch. This marks the third time I've had a game in the GMC Cagematch. I'm hoping it's third time lucky too, as the previous two games, EverScrollingHue and FKR3, were both knocked out in round one. I've never won a round!To make matters better, I've had positive comments on the game from quite a few high-up indie developers, including cactus (on YoYo Games) and Joe Larson (on Bytejacker). Both, of course, had criticisms, which I'm seriously considering working on in some sort of spin-offy sequel thing (I won't call it a direct sequel - I'll probably shave most of the name off and re-form the game into something extra. There will still be the ol' get-chased-by-big-wall arcade mode).I collaborated with Jack Brockley (Broxter) on a game for the 14th Mini Ludum Dare. Having spent three days on an entry which turned out to be far too large, we (mostly he) made something completely different in the last 24 hours. It's called GETSUMCOKE, and can be found on Game Jolt. I mainly did the trippy graphical background and menu design, he did the rest - gameplay, online highscores, in-game sprites etc. We'll be continuing the game we spent three days on whenever - don't know yet.Anyway, that's pretty much it for now. Until the next, probably-miles-away blog, goodbye!

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!