Lets Take Turns playing Basketball!

So in one of my previous posts I mentioned that I was working on 3 games. The first one I am officially announcing as The Adventures of Space Cat Jones, the high tail sneaking adventure of our feline hero Space Cat Jones. I am very excited about it and there will be more news about it in posts to come! This is not what this particular post is about though.

I would like to present to you a prototype of a video game (thats currently a table top game) that I am currently working on so all of you could try it out and let me know what you think! It is a Tactical Role Playing Basketball Game where players get to the heart of the strategy of the exciting game of basketball! So let us begin.

There are a few ways to play but lets begin with what we’re testing with then we could show some variants that you could try out.

Materials:

  • 1 Ten Sided Die (D10)
  • 1 Twenty Sided Die (D20)
  • 1 Game Board
  • 8 Character Tokens (Each different)
  • 1 Ball Token

(Optional)

  • 1 Four Sided Die (D4)
  • 1 Coin

For your convenience print out the game board and character tokens from here

 

Print this out for your gateway to fun!

Scale to fit the paper when printing.

 

Creating characters:

There are three character attributes

  • Speed(Movement)
  • Accuracy
  • Power

To determine these attributes you will need a 6 Sided Die and a 10 sided Die.

Speed is determined by rolling the 10 Sided Die.                                                                       Movement is determined by the Speed Attribute.Your movement is what determines how many spaces you can move. Refer to this table to help you

1 space- Speed = 1 – 2                                                                                                                         2 spaces – Speed = 3 – 4                                                                                                                     3 spaces- Speed = 5 – 6                                                                                                                      4 spaces – Speed = 7 – 8                                                                                                                     5 spaces – Speed = 9 – 10

Accuracy  and Power is determined by rolling the 10 Sided Die.                                        

Remember to Name your Character.

Example Character

Name: Slam Jam                                                                                                                             Speed: 4                                                                                                                                             Movement: 2                                                                                                                                    Accuracy: 9                                                                                                                               Power:  3                                                   

Create 4 characters to add to your team and Name your Team.

Associate a token for each of your characters, we use bottlecaps, but use whatever you would like.

Basic Rules:

Players take turns positioning their players on the board to try to shoot the ball into their goal to score points. First to 10 points wins.

Place the ball in the direct middle of the board on the cross.

Set up the characters in this fashion.

Character Placement

You can either roll a die (highest value wins) to figure who goes first or you can flip a coin.

Now we have to set up the phase. A phase is how we determine what order the characters move until each character has had a turn. You determine the order at the beginning of each phase.

To determine the order of the characters you roll a D20 for each character on your team and add the characters speed modifier to each roll. You then order the characters from highest roll to lowest, if there is a tie roll for which one goes first.

Example Phase:

  1. Slim Jim (Rolled 18 + 6 Speed = 24)
  2. Mario Bal (Rolled 16 + 4 Speed = 20)
  3. Jerry Liffer (Rolled 10 + 6 Speed = 16)
  4. Ryan Leonski (Rolled 12 + 3 Speed = 15)
  5. Link Elfboy (Rolled 14 + 1 Speed = 15)
  6. Shandiin Woodward ( Rolled 13 + 1 Speed = 14)
  7. Ray Feisty (Rolled 5 + 4 Speed = 9)
  8. Kitty Meow (Rolled 2 + 2 Speed = 4)

Once you determine a phase you go into a characters turn. Here’s what you can do for a characters turn.

  • Move- you can move up to your Movement attribute. Diagonal movements count as 2 moves.
  •  Pass – you can pass to any of your team mates on the board. When you pass you roll a D20 and add your Accuracy Attribute, if its greater than 10 (without any opponents in line of sight) the pass is successful. If there is an opponent (or more) you have to get a roll higher than 10 plus their power modifier. If more than one opponent is in Line of Sight you must have a higher Sum than 10 plus each opponents Power Attribute.(Example: 2 Opponents in the way, Rolls 12 + 9 Accuracy = 21. Sum of opponents Power Attribute 8. Pass successful.) If a pass fails the opponent seizes the ball. If the character who catches the ball is on your team you can shoot with the character. You can only pass to one character, the character who catches the ball cannot pass to another character but the character who does get the ball can shoot.
    – If the pass is unsuccessful the ball goes between half the distance between the character who is passing and the receiving character.
  • Call to Pass- If you do not have the ball you can call to pass if one of your teammates has the ball. This acts just like passing. Is able to shoot right after.
  • Shoot – Acts just like passing but uses 2 D20’s + your Accuracy Attribute. The success point are determined by how far you are from your basket. These are determined by the numbers on the court. Opponents in Line of Sight work exactly like Passing. If you make the shot you place the ball in the the circle at the end of the court that represents the basket. You have to roll for a new phase and all of your players go to the other side of the court. Your opponent places two players on your side of the court with the other 2 in the starting box to “pass in” the ball. Play begins again from there. Turn ends once shot is attempted.
  • Steal – If your opponents have the ball you can steal. You have to be a square adjacent to the opponent. You announce you want to steal and both you and your opponent roll a D20 and add each characters Power Attribute. Whoever has the higher roll wins the ball. Turn ends after the steal is completed (whether successful or failed). You cannot move after you steal but you can pass or shoot.

Here’s a video to help explain the rules

And this video shows one complete turn of a character

EDIT: I forgot to add the character pieces! I posted them above!

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Hipster Indie Game Developer

So before I throw you into this post I want to give a quick background from where its from. My Anthropology class asked us to write about a Sub Culture we considered ourselves a part of and how someone may view the Sub Culture  if they weren’t part of it. Great thing, I got an A+ on it so I’m happy. I hope you will enjoy it as well! It’s quite silly.

——————————————————————————

It was 2009 and I was set to go on a trip to San Francisco with some friends to the Game Developers Conference to see the video game industry first hand. I was the one who proposed the idea since I didn’t have a job at the time and was a very young student so to go on my own was not an option. It was three other friends and I that would go to the largest gathering of Video Game Developers in the world and I could hardly contain myself. The end of February came and having packed a new suit and my computer I was ready to go. Who I would meet and what I saw would change my life and bring me into the subculture of the Hipster Indie Game Developer.

It should be mentioned that I have never traveled without my parents before this and never to a big city so when we arrived in San Francisco there was a major culture shock to me. I have never been around so many people in such a small area before and I never have seen poverty on the streets as much as it was prevalent there. It was a city of wonder and opportunity to me so I couldn’t wait to meet fellow game developers. The first few days of the Game Developers Conference are devoted to tutorials and summits which you need a special pass for and since I didn’t have the appropriate pass I would go around talking to whomever I could. I met some of the most amazing people during that time, a girl who not only does 3D art but is also a model, the person who was the lead director on a game that I loved, and many fellow students who had the same aspirations as I did. Although these days were amazing, it wasn’t until the third day of the conference that I would meet the people who made up the subculture of the Hipster Indie Game Developer.

On the Game Developers Conference Expo floor off in one of the corners is the Indie Games Festival where individuals showcase their games that they have slaved over with little money and little help. This is where their hard work is given the recognition deserves because to even have a spot to show your game here is an honor in itself. It is here where you will find the Hipster Indie Game Developer subculture most prevalent. This is where I first met the subculture.

What differentiates Hipster Indie Game Developers from other the other primary subcultures it derives itself from, gamers and hipsters, is the way they view the medium of video games. The differences even show up between a normal Indie Game Developer vs the Hipster Indie Game Developer(HIGD) where the former generally create games within the set ideas of what games are and should be (games such as Halo, Super Mario Bros. etc.) whereas the HIGD will generally be avant garde and abstract within their chosen design. HIGD’s also tend to design games with a “Retro” aesthetic calling back to the art style of 1980’s video games where they were heavily pixilated due to technical limitations. One could say they do this to coincide with their average Hipster brethren of reviving styles that fell out of fashion. Now at first glance it may be hard to be able to tell who a HIGD is since they can easily be mistaken for either a run of the mill hipster or a plain old gamer. This can be better realized when communicating with one about topics such as game design, art history, typography, or Shigeru Miyamoto. Clothing and general appearance does not have to typically be of any standard since the HIGD is a very obscure and small group that the only time a major amount of people part of the subculture are together is at the Game Developers Conference. A HIGD are generally in their late teens to early to thirties since the medium they work in is relatively new and is only now becoming somewhat more accessible due to the technology of our time. One would still need knowledge in areas of programming and/or art to be somewhat acceptable within the medium due to its extreme technical nature. Educational background varies from HIGD to HIGD, many are college drop outs but some do go on to get a degree typically within computer science or arts.

Shigeru is so obscure (I think...)

Social issues with HIGD are that many of them are financially poor due to the fact that

Team Meat is so trendy

they may not have a main source of income. This is due to the fact that many strike out on their own to risk the journey of Indie Game Fame and Glory. Notable people within the subculture are the likes of Jonathan Blow who created the game Braid, and Team Meat, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes of Super Meat Boy fame. Both Blow and Team Meat were in financial trouble during the development of their games since neither of them had a main source of income due to the fact all of their time was devoted to their respective projects. One must realize the amount of work it takes to make even a small game, Team Meat were working 12 hours a day 7 days a week for 18 months to release their game on Xbox Live Arcade. Because of this the social stigma of the geek who makes games in their parent’s basement comes about since many individuals need help from family members to stay afloat. Although in some cases it pays off like in the two examples above where each have made multimillion dollar games as they push the medium of video games forward.

Ethical issues within the subculture generally revolve around the use of stolen copyrighted material. Many times a HIGD will create games based on established franchises or use content created by other individuals without their consent. This has been mostly fueled by the ease of use of the internet and the ideologies of hackers, a subculture of computer enthusiasts who value freedom of knowledge and will try to find and exploit flaws within hardware and software. Because of this some HIGD can be called a HomeBrewer, one who uses exploits within video game consoles to develop on them without a license from the manufacturer. This has led to a case where one HIGD was being prosecuted by Sony and eventually led to hacker attacks on the company that compromised hundreds of thousands of user’s data. Although many hacker ideologies are found with HIGD not all take practice within the actual act of hacking, many work instead on creating original ideas and designs. In cases though where a HIGD is still working on an original idea they may need the technology of a licensed product they will go ahead to work on it without permission. A great example of this is the non-video game Johann Sebastian Joust which uses the Sony Playstation Move Controllers in which players move about trying to move their controllers too much or else they get tagged out. So the only rule for this game is to tag the other players out in any way possible. This game would not be able to exist without going into the ethical issues of software licensing and piracy.

"What are they doing?" "Oh you wouldn't know it's too cool for you."

The Hipster Indie Game Developer is a very obscure subculture reflecting the values of holding games in high esteem for their obscurity and originality. Because it is such a small subculture it generally doesn’t have an immediate impact upon the world with the exceptions of those who have found indie game fame. This also impacts how the HIGD are able to interact with one another having to use various internet websites for communicating and finding like minded individuals.

            Having been a part of the Hipster Indie Game Developer subculture for about 3 years now I have been able to see almost every aspect of it. From the subcultures values to how they approach their work and their lives is much like the artisans of past eras being progressive with technology and blending it with art. One could even say that the Hipster Indie Game Developers subculture is the natural step within the cultural evolution of said artisans. As this subculture grows and changes over time there will be a different idea of what a game developer is, instead of the image of the fat kid basement dweller without friends it will start to be seen closer to the cultural status of film directors and become less socially obscure.

Posted in Game Design, GDC, Off Topic | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An amazing future

So…. hello out there? Ya I know I haven’t updated in a really long time but I was getting overwhelmed with things. Truth be told it was kind of a crazy idea to post a game design idea per day. It would’ve been awesome definitely but I’m not very good at time management all of the time. But hey here’s the first post in a long time. I’m not making any promises but I will try to update this a little bit more. I’m hoping at least a weekly basis.

So whats new? Well first I want to congratulate my good friends at the University of New Mexico IFDM program who were all part of the Alloy Team working on their capstone game project Alloy. Alloy is an interesting take on the Real Time Strategy Genre and its free to get over at their website. Also if you want to donate any money it all goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. You can check it out here Alloy Video Game. This is a really exciting game and I hope all of you download it coming April 21st.

Now on to whats important (other then helping the fight for the good of sick children through the power of play of course) me!  Well currently I’m working on 3 projects all of which are either in preproduction or early production. Unfortunately I can’t or more appropriately don’t want to tell you about two of them because I would like to make those a nice surprise for down the road. But what I can tell you about is the game I am working on with the University of New Mexico’s Game Developers Club of which I am president.

The Game Developers Club was chartered late last year in October. We were originally going to work on a game that was based off of Shandiin and I’s New Mexico  Game Jam project called Dark through the game engine Unity 3D.  Unfortunately we were still getting our legs as an organization and because we didn’t have many programmers that project fell through. Personally though I wasn’t too sad to see it fall. It was a feature creep game that we had to get out of the way either by spending too much time on it and failing or realizing it wasn’t a good project to start out with. Maybe later on down the road we may pick it up again since it did have a very interesting premise to it. You could check out the original here for PC. Funny thing about Dark is that the original was made on a sidewalk in Santa Fe.

 

Well because of the fall of Dark that almost meant the death of the Game Developer’s Club at UNM. I didn’t really want it to go because it felt somewhat like a child to me that just had to be nurtured and it had the potential to do amazing things. There were only two of us at the first meeting of 2012. It consisted of a girl that I met named Deanna, who likes to go by Kagome, and myself. This meeting was crucial, we had to essentially reform, restructure and reevaluate our goals. After about 2 hours of discussion about our plans we were ready to make our first step. We would do a One Hour Game Jam right there in the conference room.

Now one may be wondering what a One Hour Game Jam is, and its not to anyones lack of intellect, its because it’s very seldom done. In fact I would say there have probably been less then 15 done, but none to my knowledge. 15 being an extremely arbitrary number of course since I do not want to claim that we (Deanna and I) were the first ones to ever attempt such a feat but I would say most people would find it rather a waste of time since you can do so little in an hour for a game. Well we did it anyways. I looked Deanna in the eye and said “Lets make a game”, not the most motivational words in the world but they were something. We spent the first ten minutes trying to come up with something that we could feasibly do within the hour. Many ideas were thrown. We thought we could make a marathon game where you control the legs of your racer and you can go up against your friends (I later found out there was a game like that.), a simple dart throwing game, one where you press a button in time to a bouncing ball. The time we were allowing ourselves to brainstorm was running out and we finally decided on something. It was to be a simple top down twin stick shooter like I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 

So let me ask you this first before I go on. Have you made a video game or attempted to make a video game? Or do you at least  know the general process of making one? Well you should know that it’s really fucking hard, especially to do anything in an hour! Well now on with the story.

So since I was the one of the few people who could program in the Game Dev Club in the first place I took the reigns on getting down to the dirty dirty code writing and Deanna to work on the art. We had a few problems, 1. We only had 50 minutes to get as far as we could with this game and 2. Deanna didn’t have her computer. For her to get her art into the game we would have to use my phone to take pictures and send them to my email so I could then add them into the game. I decided to work with XNA because I was slightly mad at Unity at the time (I’m now back in love with it, check out this vid of something I made in about an hour :D)  and I was used to looking at pure code. Luckily I did have some premade classes for 2D games such as Sprites, Animation System, and a 2DCamera so I didn’t have to spend 10 to 20 minutes writing those. It still took time though for everything. Creating enemies with basic , the hero, bullets and some basic game states. Five minutes before our time was out we realized we didn’t have enough time to get everything in that we wanted (shooting mostly). So at the end of the hour it was a run and don’t get hit by enemies game.

I wish I had a picture of the original game because the next day I spent 2 extra hours turning it into this.

The graphics are different and I actually got the shooting mechanic to work. Also I was able to get the enemies to face the character and the Camera wasn’t working fully so I fixed that as well. For a few hours work I think it is fine. It’s a game and it’s kinda fun, nothing to write home about… yet.

So lets move a little further in time. Not much, about a two weeks. Few members came back to the Game Dev Club. That’s alright I’ll take what I could. Good news is that we even  gathered a new member to come help us out. We needed a game to get us all working again. Something smaller than Dark (stupid feature creep)  and something we could finish in about 8 weeks. We went through a ton of ideas like we did with the One Hour Game Jam, the only difference is that Deanna wasn’t there. Unfortunately she had to stop coming to the Game Dev Club. We had so many ideas though! We were looking into doing some kind of RealTime RPG, something with a Canabalistic Helicopter (I’ll let you sink that one in), something to do with Princess Dianna (I really don’t want to say what it was but it had an interesting gameplay mechanic), and a Girlfriend Pet Sim(something kinda like Nintendogs but with a girl I guess). Funny thing is we wound up loving the core gameplay of the top down shooter Deanna and I made. There did have to be some changes though. The first was we didn’t want to make another I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1, so we decided it would be a top down stealth game with our heroic cat in space going up against evil platypuses, much like Metal Gear Solid.

It was great because we already had the base gameplay done and we set our goals for Version 0.1 to be realistic. We would only have one enemy type, 3 game objectives, and 4 powerups. The powerups were simple because they included ammo and healthpacks. The thing that would set us apart from Metal Gear is that we did it our gameplay in self contained levels, so it would be more about solving a room with the supplies given instead of getting a whole game world. Also we allowed our character to move in two ways, the default is now moving in straight quick lines (much like sprinting in Pokemon) and our more precision way with the aiming mechanic.

I immediately began working on the level editor. I based mine off of a design that I read in a great beginner book for XNA called XNA Games by Example Beginner’s Guide which I highly recommend to anybody who wants to learn XNA programming. I’ve been working on this for almost 2 or 3 weeks now and I’m getting so many things into the game. The level editor is not yet complete but it’s so extremely close that I could almost taste it. I used the book up to a point where it put the XNA game screen into a Windows Form that you would be able to choose tiles from and add to the level. After that it was pretty much all of my own code. Since I wanted to save the map files into an XML format I had to let go of some coding conventions I wanted. Mostly the ability to use these things called multidimensional arrays. For all of you geeky programmers out there the way I had to do it was create a List that was initialized to the width multiplied by height (in tiles) and then access each one by doing Level[(y * width) + x]  . This is a great work around if you find you cannot use multidimensional arrays.It’s coming along nicely and since it’s going to alleviate content creation early I will only have to worry about the actual components of the game for a while.

The latest thing I have added is the ability to see pathfinding. This is going to go into the ability to create pathways for the enemies to follow when they do not detect your presence within the ship. In this screen shot is shows the path from our hero (The Orange Cat) to the evil Platypus enemy. All of these graphics are place holders since they are going to be in a space ship.

So this is one of the things I’ve been working on. It is currently code named Space Cat (no affiliation with Sky Cat) but will be going under a name change soon because of a game of the same name on Android which you should check out.  I am excited though. This game is going to be over the top campy 1960s Star Trek Sci-Fi that will take itself way too seriously so it’s absolutely hilarious. We still have a long way to go but we have been gaining members who want to work on it. In fact we were in a meeting this past Saturday and right before we left a girl came bursting (yes bursting) into the room very excited who wanted to join us on this high flying fur fighting espionage adventure. And so very very very frankly we need the help. Here’s a screenshot of the production scale so far and I still need to add more to it from last meeting.

Exciting times are ahead, along with many restless nights like this, and headaches, and hair ripping out and many other things. I still can’t wait to tell you all more about this game though. I’ll be putting the level editor out soon so people could make their own levels and send them to us to have a chance to have them in the game.

So it is now 3:05am and I have class at 9:30am so I better go off to bed. I may be sleepy but you’re not (well depending when you’re reading this) so you should leave a comment in the box below.

Posted in Game Design, News Worthy, UNM Game Dev | 1 Comment

ACE!

Hey everyone I wanted to let you know that we are headed to the Albuquerque Comic Expo! You may be wondering what all this we is about well I’m not talking about myself as a collected whole but my game studio (Subli)minal Gaming! We will be there with the Rio Grande IGDA booth debuting a brand new game! So stop on by and talk to us!

Also check out some of the other local Albuquerque Game Developer’s at the Rio Grande IGDA booth including the developer’s behind Grecca Online and the developer of XBox Live Indie Game  In The Pit!

Now This post wouldn’t be complete without a quick Game Design!

Title: Consistancy

Platform: Internet Blog

Description: Update a game design post every (week)day like you said you would!

Oh uh… I guess that game is specifically for me…

ummm Another update tomorrow!

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Game Designs!

Oh gosh! Finals took it out of me! Sorry for the no updates since… wow! Almost 10 days! To make up for it I’ll be doing 3 Game Designs per day till they’re made up!

Game Design 7

Title: RPG Dancer

Players:  1

Platform: Anything that had the DDR pad

You move around the world using the four directional buttons on the dance pad. Random battles occur and you have to choose what to do with the directional buttons, from there you have to dance to have the command actually happen. You use up to do basic attack, from there you dance Up, Up+Left, Up+Right. Then to run you press down then dance Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right. Special is Left then dance Up, left, right, down, Left+right, Up + down. Use item is Right then you dance according to which item you choose!

Game Design 8

Title: Drama Button

Players: 1

Platform: Facebook

Description:

Ever have drama on facebook? Is it everybody else’s fault and not yours? Wondering how bad your life is? Well you need the drama button! Every time some Drama comes your way press the drama button! It will post to your wall how many times you have pressed it! Now everyone will know how hard it is to be you! Invite your friends! Can you get the highscore in the worldwide leaderboards? Just keep getting that drama!

Game Design 9

Title: Rainbow Chaser!

Players: MMO

Platform: PC

Description: You and your friends are on the hunt for a rainbow! You see it in the distance and you run for it in full 3D! Can you catch it? NO!

Join together in a raid for the rainbow and still NEVER GET IT in this highly addicting game!

Make friends, make clans, and join the chat log and lie how you actually caught the rainbow when you NEVER DID!

Level up by RUNNING! Level cap 100!

In the late game chase the DOUBLE RAINBOW!

Punch a leprechaun

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Game Design 6

Stupid finals are getting in the way of me doing nothing! What is this? Seriously! I’m supposed to be lounging around acting like I’m important not this “Learning”! Quite honestly I find it rather appalling that they believe that I don’t got the smarts. Well I’ll show them! WITH A NEW GAME DESIGN!

Title: Quick Timed!

Players : 1 – 4

Platform: Wii, PS3 Move, Kinect

Players compete against one another to come up with the most crazy movements to throw against each other! Each player creates 3 movements before the round starts which are randomly selected during the round set to music from one of 40 indie Hipster bands that only 3 people ever heard of! Then they went mainstream and the 3 Hipsters hated them.  Do time attack mode to see who gets the most movements correct, survival mode miss a move lose a life, and freestyle where its an all out brawl!

Wow this game sounds epic! And deadly…

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Game Design 5

Yeesh I need to do these during daylight. Well whatever, heres the next game concept of the day!

Title: Extreme Coffee Maker!

Players: 1 or 2

Platform: Downloadable Game (Wiiware, PSN, XBLA, PC)

Description: Welcome to the glorious world of coffee! People need their coffee bad and you just happened to open up a new Coffee Shop! Grow your Coffee and harvest then roast, grind, brew and serve to your customers! You better have the best brew or else the customer’s will scold your face with the abomination that you call coffee!

How to Play:

Each task has a small mini game associated with it along with an area that is upgradeable  to help you brew the best coffee ever!

Planting/Cultivating

Buy the best coffee plant seeds and watch them grow, make sure you water regularly and during the right season. Try different types to help create different blends. Upgrade from your backyard garden to an entire farm and then outsource also!

Roasting

Start out with a simple firepit to begin roast but be careful you don’t want them there for too long! Make different flavors by roasting with other ingredients, make light or dark roasts. This is where it counts make sure you don’t mess it up!

Grinding

Start with a hand grinder and work your way up to the Grind Master 5000 which could grind an entire car into nice smooth pieces! How course do you want your coffee! Remember the customer’s watching you!

Brewing

Do you like your coffee blacker than any abyss, or do you want it so sugary there’s hardly a drop of coffee to go with the whip cream? Is everything the right price? Don’t mess this one up or else burns on the face!

You will be going through these rounds each day to make sure you are the king of the coffee world!

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