Archive for February 15th, 2009

This is the distraction that I wrote about.  Howard Smith and Ryan Carper, formally known as Black Triangles, put out a call to the GameDev.net forums, looking for game designs for what they called a “40 hour game”.  I submitted my design for a two player card capture game, and after sifting through the other submissions, Howard and Ryan decided that my design was the one they wanted to work on for the project.  (I have no idea whether that means I’m the best of two, or two hundred, so bragging rights are limited.)  The official announcement of the project is at the bottom of that forum thread.

If you want to take a peek behind the curtain of game development, this is a great project.  The whole premise of the project was to provide a chance to flex our muscles in the game development world and demonstrate rapid development.  It’s a bit like running “ladders” on a football field; quick, explosive, decisive (where possible), and a bit of a blur.  It’s way more fun than running, though.

Ryan and Howard are engineers, I’m an artist with delusions of design competency, Kyle (actually Gabriel Jimenez) is another artist to bounce art and design ideas off of, and Jonathan Geer is the soundsmith.  We’re all volunteers on this project, stretching our skill set while trying to make a fun game.  The project will be developed open source, and we’ve maintained a fairly descriptive wiki for the project (which savvy stalkers can use to derive how I rather unsavvily derived my blog handle… but don’t tell the Channel Massive guys).

Of course, I wish this is the sort of thing that I could be making huge royalty checks with, but it’s been a blast to work on, and I’m hoping that the game itself will be  a lot of fun to play.  I made a paper and matboard mockup of it months ago, and that version is a lot of fun to play, so I’m hoping that carries through.  I also hope that it can serve as a good example of relatively rapid prototyping, which is something that can benefit a company who is interested in producing something other than vaporware.  With luck, it might even demonstrate that I actually do have at least a slight inkling of a clue when it comes to game design.  Y’know, for those who care.  (Thanks, Mom!)

So… without further ado, perhaps it’s best at this point to just say “go poke around the wiki” (but please don’t muck up the place).  I’m happy to answer any questions that might come up, but bloviating further on what happened and how cool the game is just isn’t going to serve the same purpose without you knowing at least a bit about what I speak.  And, to be fair, if you think the game stinks, well, I’d actually like to know why and how you’d fix it.  That’s sort of the point of this whole exercise.  Ditto if you think it’s cool.  It’s a bit late to be going in different directions for this particular project, but as it’s open source, it’s possible to tinker with the code and mold it a bit post-40.

I’m excited for the game to get to a working state, and to get people playing it.  There’s still a fair dose of art and a bit of design to do (UI, mostly), so I’ll still be busy.  It’s a good busy, and it’s fun working with these guys.

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