The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

Line Rider again

Hey, I missed this last week when it was news, but it appears that Line Rider is being released on the Wii, DS, and PC in some sort of crazy objective-oriented puzzle format.

In an added bonus, that story is like a crazy puzzle too! If you can find your way through the maze of terrible writing and insults (note to professional journalists: it’s bad form to call your readers "lazy" for expecting you to provide needed details in the story instead of going off to do their own research), you might be able to locate some actual information about the game. If you fail, your punishment is being forced to read the preview on IGN instead, which, as always, is even worse than GameSpot, containing such novelties as the word "fest," which is apparently now an actual noun. My favourite part is where the authour draws attention to the fact that the background layers scroll at different speeds from the foreground — did this guy get frozen in ice back in 1989 and just thawed out to write this review? They should have left him there and saved on the energy bill.

On the other hand, as bad as IGN is, at least the dude doesn’t call me lazy for not doing the research he’s being paid to do. So that’s a plus.

March 20th, 2008 Posted by | Games | no comments

The trials and tribulations of game development

I have a lot in common with Mario. We’re both fat and lazy, we were both first introduced in 1981 and subsequently became famous around the the world, we both have a thing for rich blondes with poofy pink dresses, and we both have a disconcerting habit of stomping on anybody who pisses us off. Unless he has spikes, in which case we set him on fire.

I’ve not made a secret of the fact that, other than being famous on the internet, my main hobbies are 1) playing games and 2) making games. Step one is easy. Like Mario, I’ve gotten pretty adept at jumping my way through turtle-infested forests and saving the princess, and, like Mario, I don’t need anybody’s goddamn help because, in this crazy mixed-up world we live in, an army of countless monsters led by a giant fire-breathing hammer-throwing spiked lizard is no match for a fat man with a mission.

Step two is more difficult. In my day I’ve made a ton of games of all descriptions, from board games to card games to RPGs and even gen-yoo-ine go-outside-and-move-your-lazy-ass physical games. I’ve even made a few video games. And there’s the rub: I’d like to make more video games. Better ones. But, like Mario, I’m no damn use as an artist and I suck as a programmer. This is why, traditionally, my actual implemented video games have all been text adventures, and always much shorter than I originally planned. They generally play something like this:

20 GOTO 10

So what I’m saying is they’re funny and awesome but not exactly full of riveting gameplay, much like Conker’s Bad Fur Day — anyone who remembers my classic "Beat Stephen To Death" or "SVPEL REOPALD PANTS STVFFEL BVFFET 3000" knows the sort of thing I’m talking about. They’re text adventures, and the concept and the writing are where they need to be, but they’re short and simplistic because when I get to the programming part it takes massive amounts of effort for me not to kill myself because anything’s more enjoyable than typing 20 GOTO 10 over and over again for hours.

As for art, though you’d never know it from my fabulous comics, I just don’t have what it takes. Like somebody we know who wears a red shirt, red hat, and blue overalls, visual coordination just isn’t my strength. Not that I’m saying Small Man is the limit of my artistic prowess — I can do somewhat better than that, to be sure, but not well enough, and the last thing the world needs is another stupid "ironic" stick-figure video game (of course, it could be argued that the last thing the world needed a few months ago was another stupid "ironic" sitck-figure webcomic, but you’re neglecting to consider that, um, fuck you).

So that gets us to the present, and me sitting on a design I’ve been working on for a while and trying to figure out any conceivable steps to take toward implementation. Any thoughts from the gang? Approaches I haven’t considered that I could try? Or perhaps volunteers? Hey, the ideal candidate would be a programmer / artist keen to work on an amateur "spare time" game project and also ideally a rich blonde with a poofy pink dress. And no spikes!

March 20th, 2008 Posted by | Games | no comments