No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #227: self-promo edition


It looked like a three-week project at first, which was a nice change of pace from most of what I've been working on lately. Turns out, it's going to be more like two weeks, short enough to surprise even me. And I'm getting not one, but two useful things out of it, apart from a very fun game in itself: an original graphics engine that's already turning heads, and insights into applying procedural (not random!) techniques to enemy waves in a shooter. Which in turn will allow me to rescue another abandoned game.

Now, distribution might be more of a problem, because installing Python and Pygame is a hassle for most potential players. I'll have to either focus on niche audiences like Raspberry Pi owners, or else seriously consider a port to Love2D -- a much more popular platform. And hey, maybe some Linux distro maintainers will take notice and include my game. One can always hope, right?

Until then, to put in the music, add a high score system, make a site for it... all that stuff I still have to do even after cutting down features mercilessly. But such is game development. And it's worth the trouble.

In recent years, one of the most intriguing creations in the field of game development has been Angelina, the game designer AI created by British researcher Mike Cook (who is also a big fan of procedural generation, and founder of the awesome Procjam). Well, earlier this spring some friends of mine who run a technology blog commissioned me to write a piece about AI trends. And I did! Guess what it's about. Took a few months for the article to be published, but here it is now. In a funny coincidence, a major gaming publication also posted a review on the same topic just two days ago... and of course they had to go for all the cliches I so carefully avoided. Try mine. :P

A few days ago, someone notified me of a Let's Play they made of Electric Rogue. I hesitated to post this here, because frankly it's not very flattering. But hey, someone actually played my game for a full five minutes!

The curious thing is, he complained about it being unclear how to play. I asked where the instructions are doing a poor job, and he said it wasn't so much the instructions... but from his remarks during play it's clear he either hasn't read them or else didn't understand a thing. And if it is the fault of the instructions, I'd like to make them better. But nobody else has complained. About the difficulty, yes, that's another story. So what gives?

Thanks for reading, and stick around.