PGDF Awards (part 2)

(part 1 here)

The application process could have been simpler. The nomination instructions were hidden in a subpage. I had to get birth certificates and stuff just to prove the games are authentic Filipino. Are we that distrustful as an industry that we’ll think someone is going to cheat here?

Last Wednesday, I received an email telling me that public voting is on and I should promote the game. And oh, public voting ends the following Wednesday. I checked the site and…

... the best PC/Mac game is in your browser's cache folder

The game, a browser, non-executable, installer-free flash game, is nominated for the Best PC/Mac game!  Ha, an awesome game is awesome, right?

Maybe the organizers “saw what I did there” and took me on my joke so I emailed asking them if it’s ok to nominate the game for the Cultural award instead. No sir, the voting and judging has begun so you can’t switch categories. What?! Wwwait, does it imply that no judging happened between the time I sent my application and the voting page was set up?

Oh well, at least Circle Speedster is there and, no offense to the other entries, it’s hands down the best game on that list. I was hoping to find something like Wildfire or at least some Indigo or Gonzo flash games. Either the organizers failed to advertise the event enough or the game developers couldn’t be bothered.

Seriously, play this first then vote the hell out of it.

Btw, you need to register to vote. It’s 2011, setting up Facebook Connect can be done in an afternoon. (But Julius, they’re game dev people not web developers.)

(part 3 here)

Flowers for Jose Rizal

Last May, I maybe started this game collective. There are a lot of reasons why I did that but they’re fit for another post. Now, a game collective isn’t one if we don’t at least make games for ourselves. So we did just that.

We were supposed to make a game about Jose Rizal to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary. I made a sorta game about his poem To The Flowers of Heidelberg.

It's a art

I have never read Rizal’s novels beyond what was required in school, though I like his poems. Rizal originally wrote in Spanish and experts say we miss a lot of his wordplay by reading it in translated English. But I trust Nick Joaquin’s work and his version of the poem.

When I was a kid, the poem used to be about patriotic nostalgia, but now that  I’m roughly at the same stage as Rizal when he wrote this its meaning got a little personal for me. This was written in the middle of Rizal’s intellectual growth in line with pursuing his passion. He and his “illustrado” friends are travelling in Europe, picking silly fights, fencing and modelling for paintings, along the way discovering the concepts of nationhood and freedom. 10 years later, he will be martyred for inspiring a revolution and attacking the Catholic church, his friends will die or be killed in the uprising, and his country will be sold to the Americans. In ten years, shit got totally real!

It would be cool to think that what I’m doing would be part of some revolution in the next decade and I hope no one gets killed (figuratively of course) because of it.

Play Flowers of Heidelberg

Technical Notes

I tried to remove non-essential elements of gameplay knowing that it would only diminish the overall impact of the game. My goal wasn’t to make something addictive, though I could have tried that it wouldn’t feel right knowing the subject matter. I believe some games should only be played once and its abusive for games to force players to play far longer than they have to.

Thanks to the notgames community for the insights about the game.

 

[Sorry, the two people who read this blog, for my radio silence this past few weeks. I’ve been busy working on paid stuff, that I can’t actually show here. Anyway, I’ll post project updates soon.]

Sextinction Art Update

Background

I joined the Global Game Jam and made a sex game called Sextinction. It features some of the improvements I made on RPGAutomata (aka my RPG Engine). I spent majority of the weekend getting a pretty kewl dialog tree system up and running. The game turned out crappy.

It was crap because of two things: bad graphics and bad writing. Really, in a game where there’s no ‘fun’ gameplay the worse that could happen is if it had graphics made in 30 minutes and the story less than that –which says a lot at how dynamic my dialog code works btw.

Before

The art is so bad it's worse than the writing.

The style is all over the place. The pixel art characters clash with the crayon drawn background. The font style is bland. The NPC characters are almost invisible.

Now

Srsly. This is so derivative.

Straight lines make everything look rigid and manly. But the uneven shades makes the office look worn and used. I also limited the view to be smaller than the canvas so everything will fit without having to pan the camera. The text is no longer in the way. The overall look might remind people of  photo negatives– those people are voyeurs.

If U R in it, CH side by side

.. is a lame riddle I learned as a child. Oh look:

Catholic?

Is this even Catholic?

New updates to that RPG engine I’m making includes dynamically changing the tilesets and adding mouse controls. So I decided to make a game that features it. This game is about Catholics and their churches. It isn’t ready yet, hence the screenshot.

The code repo is right here: RPGAutomata . Follow it, if that’s your thing.