Hunters of the Northwest Passage


This weekend I entered the Ludum Dare 48 hour game development competition.

These are a healthy break from my main line game development, since they give me a fresh canvas and let me try things out. I don't worry too much about winning although I do always try to produce a complete game.

Click here to Play

Flixel Hooray

This is my first completed flash game, made with Flixel. You can check out the source code if you want, the most interesting thing is the file CrewRules.as.

Flixel is a library for making games with flash. If you pair it with FlashDevelop and the free Adobe Flex SDK (not to be confused with Flex Builder, which is their IDE) you get to make flash games just like you would any other game.

Game Conceptualization

Something that I've realized lately is that I don't think hard enough about what goes into my games. I put so much energy into project management and technical things that I don't take any time to imagine.

Sounds cheezy, I know, but it's true! One day, all you can do is imagine all these types of amazing games you want to make, and the next day, BAM! Game Dev Myopia.

Fermata

I'm learning to pause. In music the silence is as important as the music, maybe more so. In game development, you chomp away at one million things to implement your ideas. But from time to time, you need to stop and really think about what you're doing, and what you'll do next.

This is much different than stalling or procrastinating, where you surf YouTube or Wikipedia and otherwise don't work. What it looks like for me is to go and sit down, take a cup of tea, and just close my eyes.

Really! I do this!

Thinking about Hunters

For Hunters, when I heard about the theme (exploration) I immediately envisioned it as a game mechanic; exploring caves or forests or whatnot. But what if instead I created a story-game based on historical exploration at sea?

The first night I didn't code at all, instead I just wrote a little design document outlining my ideas. I also had some time to let the ideas percolate before even starting that, because I was at a hockey game with my dad for the first few hours.

What I ended up with was a game mechanic based around managing your crew and ship.

The outcome is a game that is at least a little bit humorous, and should at least give you the feeling of being stranded in the Arctic Ocean.

2009-12-14


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