This is where I'll be posting the artwork for 'Insanity 3'-


















The prettiest guest room in the world




It has been a busy early November week and I've had almost no time to spend on the games. Also had put a chunk of my time into making a couple of flyers for a club-owner friend who threatened to take away the free beers I get every time I visit his bar if I don't help him out. I did however start spriting the new game, Angry Girlfriend, or Nagging Wife or whatever I'm going to call it. Check it below. Nothing much has changed gameplay-wise but you can see I've started the spriting process on the main character. Not the best artwork in the world I'd quickly agree, but it still took ages to do. Feel sorry for guys who have to do that all day long, and I'm glad I can hope between coding and spriting on my own projects.


Next up is 'Insanity 3'. As I have mentioned, I'm working on the game at the weekends. So here's what I roughed out last chance I had.



It's a demo of the manual reload part of the game. I wanted to find a way to add extra tension when you get into gunfights, and suddenly thought it would be fun and kind of original if you had to actually reload the gun yourself. I can see people getting all panicky and messing up the reload- kind of like real life, right? But not to worry, they'll be a duck-hunting practice zone in the game for people to sharpen their skills. --------------------- And as for other news, tomorrow November 6th is my B-day is tomorrow. 35 years old. Emphasis on the 'old' part. Ouch.



Not much to report today. Started a bit on the Insanity level for Angry Girlfriend. Play it here. Flying kick works a bit better now. It's now also possible to be grabbed by an enemy, and you can use the LEFT/RIGHT keys to wriggle free.





Started spriting the main character a bit for a laugh-







Last but not least here's a look at the Insanity 3 first screen (very rough)




Sunken World has not gotten any bids yet, Gah!!


 

YouTube member(s?) Zeroellet - have done a short parody based on 'Insanity 2'

Buckle in for this one-





Goooood work guys, love it! Felt quite thrilling to see somebody enjoyed (or despised?) the game enough to bother doodling out an animation for it with voice acting. The Evil Dude here is mighty impressed. 

Having just also reread 'The Silence of The Lambs', you could say I am most certainly feeling inspired to scrub back in with Edgar Friendly once more and get the next Insanity installation out pronto- if only my broke ass could afford it. The chunk of moneyless time it would take to code, *sigh*- barely paying the rent as it is. Still, Insanity 3 is a steady ongoing weekend project- no changes there! I actually was working on the manual weapon reload system last Sunday, so panic not- Insanity 3 is slowly but surely on the way. In fact, you'll probably be getting a peek at some demo work here on the other side of Halloween. And of course, there's the secret Insanity level for Angry Girlfriend *doh* did I just say that? :-)
    
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While we're on the subject- another piece of fan affection has come to my attention recently.  

THE INSANITY WIKIA 

Not sure whether it'd be a good idea to endorse this wikia due to the inauthentic liberties some of the contributors have taken ie. the inclusion of unheard of characters (Kitty Friendly? Adoptables? Hmmmm...) 

But what the hell, it's still quite a body of work and a good start, and I wholeheartedly appreciate the love some people out there have for the game. Don't hesistate to contribute if you're a fan. It is truly the fans support and encouragement alone that gives me that motivation to make those games at the end of the day. 


-----------------------------------------------------------------


Preview of 'Angry Girlfriend' 2nd Level. 
Just under 2 weeks worth of coding so far. 161kb. Enjoy!



WASD- MOVE. J- PUNCH ATTACK. K- KICK ATTACK  A lot of work put in those 14 days and I'm quite chuffed with the results so far- this is looking like it might, might be a cracking game. Shit, I probably say the same thing about every game I code at around this point of development, but either way- I'm optimistic.

Flying kick mechanic is absolutely grotesque right now but I'm a little too tired to fix it tonight. As before there's no 'precision' col.detection to speak of  as of yet, and you can still run past all the enemies straight to the boss- you're invincible in other words. Or I should say bosses in this case- keep running right and you'll eventually run into the construction site's true owners- the mob; and they've sent out hitmen 'Suntan Micky D' and 'Bronx Billy "Beagle" Russo' out to stomp on the guy that's messing with their turf. Micky D is a pro-boxer, so he'll be trying to dodge your blows. Beagle is a pussy and will hide behind the car door shooting at you until you blast it off -oh but I haven't put in the actual bullets yet- lucky you.

I can't wait to put in wacky dialogue for these guys and Padge the Insult Bum. It's going to be cracking good. The whole game is aiming to be one fat 'over-the-top' comedy and I'm even thinking of having the main character just running around in briefs/pants!

Feel free to pass along any ideas you have.  

Day 5: 

OKAY, so here's an update to the new mini-game I've entitled 'Angry Girlfriend'-- Basically the story is about a guy who get's so sick of being nagged to death about being a broke loser that he goes on a 4 level the rampage. 

My wife asked me-
 'Is that anything to do with me?' 

No dear, of course not.  I'm elated that you feel you exist on this Earth to give me a hard time.


 Anyway, I thought with this game I'd explore my comical side for a change. 

This is a first level demo- needs maybe some variety in the enemy types or a couple of hazards, no dialogue yet, but even so it's good enough for a start- and even features 'PADGE THE INSULT BUM' as the end of level baddie; an extremely rude homeless guy who loves to incite passers-by with revolting and vicious comments. His special moves include throwing sardines & cats from the trashbag at you, whistling for his mutt, and a spinning rotten gut fart attack when you've reduced his health to below %50, and he's just dying for you to beat him lovable. 




WASD- MOVE. J- PUNCH ATTACK. K- KICK ATTACK
Feeling pretty good about this game already, which is an auspicious sign. Geez, maybe action games are the way to go after all, should've followed my gut.

OK, so first some news: 'Sunken World' is complete and on the market for sponsorship as we speak. Early reviewers have given it a 7/10, not the best score in world (thought it was worth an 8 at least). Still, I'm happy with it- the game runs smooth, and utilizes a lightning-fast linked-list particle system that was quite an achievement to code. It's fun to play IMO, so who knows how the general public will react. 

I did have one major issue though prior to releasing though due to a mysterious  game lag glitch, that kept appearing after uploading it to a server and viewing it online. We found out that it only occured in certain versions of Google Chrome. I spent days thinking it was a bug and trying to isolate the issue- only to discover that it was a known complication with the actual Pepper-based Flash Player that's inherent to the Chrome browser alone. In other words it wasn't a coding bug at all. Sucks. But ah, at least it's good to know. The dude here always stays positive. Anyway, hopefully Sunken World won't be another turkey like 'Chronicle' which was, err, a chronical failure, making $0.06 a day for me as we speak on MochiAds (woohoo!). Yes, nobody is going to retire on that. Also, this game marks the last time I code a shooter. I'm done with blasting games. Daft as it sounds, I'm actually not a big shmup fan myself- I just was curious about coding one or two for the shits & giggles of it. Now that I've gotten that out of my system I'm going to focus more on making games in the genre I worship and adore, more specifically the BEAT-EM UP genre!

Yep. And with that being said, let's talk about the next project I have in the pipeline. 

Vigilante



Or more precisely, a remake. Or even more precisely, a remake with alternate sprites and a tweaked fighting engine to the 1988 Irem arcade hit. I can't just clone the game entirely or it'll never sell- but a tribute with a couple of extra attack moves, yeah what the hell. Fans of the original will enjoy it, and I'll get the smug satisfaction of knowing I did a remake of a fav game of mine as a kid.

As you can see, the new strategy I'm adopting here is to do more 5-minute lunch break style games until I start making the cash to get onto bigger things. Games that are fun for a few minutes. 
No more 5-8 month development times with these things, I'm done with that. I'm also feeling that the market is moving away from online games and more into mobile. Sponsors know that the big bucks are from throwing their lot in with the guys that are doing iOS games with microtransactions, and diverting too much of my time into games that might not be worth anything in a year or so is a bad idea. 

But don't worry, I'll finish Insanity 3 for ya, if nothing else. I'm working on it from time to time. Slow and steady on that one. 

As for work on Vigilante, it's been 3 days in. Here, have a chalkman preview. No real sprites in there yet. 



This time I'm going to allow you guys to see the work-in-progress (WIP) on a regular basis. Feel free to leave feedback. I'm certainly not against the idea of implementing some new concepts, and you come up with something fun enough. If I do you'll get your name on the credits. 



My newest game Sunken World's is now weeks away from being finished. It's been through a multitude of revisions, and frankly I'm not sure if it's a good game yet or not- I wonder if the developer ever does. At least it looks quite magnetising visually, has a good story and compliments my fetish for quick-action shooting games. I'm done with schmups now, any games I release in the future with either be horror/zombie adventure games or beat-em ups.
What to work on next is the question? Insanity 3 is ALWAYS on my mind, yet I know it won't make zip in terms of sponsorship money, so it's fallen back on my 'to-do' priority list. I will work on it on weekends consistently, and we'll see what progress happens as the weeks pass.  The good news is that I will be releasing regular demo's of the game so that I can get feedback from you, the fans, in regards to what you think of it's progress, unlike before when I would show maybe 1 demo alone before release.. Limitless effort will be put into getting the game out one day, but finances have to be the top of my agenda for now. Or at least if I can't make a hit game I should be creating some mini-games that can be coded entirely within a few months, not 6 or 7- the duration 'The Insanity' games take.

Anyway, here's a little DARK SOULS inspired prototype for you to have a chuckle at:


Hi there, seems like I'm always repeating this, but apologies for the long absence. 

I circumnavigated the island of Shikoku by bicycle. Took 20 days, therefore I was away from the PC for quite a while. If you're interested in seeing a mad journey of me and my friend on a bike going around the 1400km diameter of the island you can find the vids on my EvilKris YouTube Channel. 

At present I'm trying to wrap up my latest game 'Sunken World'. It's almost 100% done, however it went through some playtesting the other day and got some mixed feedback, and therefore it's going through some more revisions. Tuning up the firing system. Adding enemies, sound effects. Gotta get that gameplay tight and max out the fun factor. It should be done by mid-July at the latest I would expect. 
 
I'd love to release a demo but the game is already far too undergone- yes there are thieves out there but my bigger worry is that sponsors won't want to advertise on a game that has already been put on the web at a  near complete stage. Maybe I'm just paranoid, I don't know. 

After completion what's next? *shrugs* - I've a mind to experiment with the past two games I mentioned on this blog on previous posts. One of them is similar to Infinity Blade, and I've had some new concepts for that one pop into my head recently that I think would really work on Flash and for a mobile phone conversion. I like that the game could be coded rather quickly and wouldn't require a ton of art assets. I can see it being instantly addictive too. 
The other game is the swordplay brawler. I'm still dying to make a good beat-em-up. Even to this day I haven't seen a Flash fighting game that can top Dad 'N' Me, and call me overconfident but I'm sure I can whip out a game to challenge it. It would be bastard of the old Amiga game 'MoonStone' with the gameplay of 'Streets Of Rage'. Biggest problem? This game would require a lot of art- most brawlers do, and of course, there'll be no converting it to the smartphones with all the button mashing you'll need- maybe the Ipad?. But we shall see, I'm still ambitious. I can also see this game doing well for fighting fans- and there's a lot of them out there. 

Of course in the meanwhile I'll be working on Insanity 3 in drips-and-drabs. I know the Insanity series has some hardcore fans; I get mails from you all the time, and I truly appreciate that some of you seem to rank it up there with your favourite online games. It makes all the effort in making the games worthwhile. Unfortunately, love alone doesn't always pay the bills, that's why I'm working on games right now that are quicker to develop and more likely to gain a wider audience. It's business thinking; there's the financial side of things to consider when coding games. If you just code blindly, without considering your sales, you end up broke like old Uncle EvilKris here. What fans sometimes don't realise is what games really are are advertisements- to the sponsors, anyway. The sponsors don't 'sponsor' because they love the game, and the job of a games developer (in the Flash world) is to help a sponsor drive traffic to their portal. Therefore if you have a great game, lots of players, hit the NG front page, it's win-win. Money and fame. But usually those games are pointed at the majority players. Lots of kids playing them. Girls. it's hard to debate whether or not spending 8-9 months developing a classified niche horror game-  especially when you know of some smartass games that were developed in 3-5 weeks - hell, sometimes 5 DAYS that made a few grand. Get my drift? 

Even worse is developing for the smartphones. You get to make the game you want to make, but if you fail you get zero. You might spend a year making a game that is fun but for some unknown reason falls straight off the App Store chart. Think of a boyband that has no promotion. 
Anyway, I'm glad to hear Rebuild 2 is doing great on the iOS, congrats for Sarah Northway.- she couldn't get all of my animations in the RAM-challenged Iphone but some of the art remains. Go ahead and download that baby! 
 
My point is bear with me waiting for that game, don't nag me about it unless you're planning to put a few thousand dollars in my PayPal account, lol. I would work on Insanity 3 for free, if I could afford too. I  promise it will come out some day. I'm just saying it would help to have a couple of quick'n'dirty hit games to push things along before I can get back to it full-time.   Thanks!

Shoot, you know I really aimed to finish my last game 'Sunken World' before this weekend, because on Monday I leave for a long (20 day) journey around the island of Shikoku. Since it's kind of a backpack pilgrimage, I'll be away from my pc until early June. Major bummer, but I've at least put together a bit of a YouTube vid for you guys to get a teeny taste of how 'Insanity 3' is coming along.
Enjoy!








Announcing a soon-to-be-released project 'Sunken World'
'Sunken World' is a simple bow & arrow game, quite similar to UltraSports Archery- but a little further towards BowMaster Prelude. You take the place of a 'Kraken' defending a mysterious ocean realm from invading humans. Think Avatar, but 30,000 ft down beneath the waves.

Sunken wtf? I hear you say. What happened to 'Insanity 3'?
Well, it's simple. Insanity 3 is in the works. It's my intended opus; the game I really want the knock the Flash gaming community on it's ass with and set the bar for future titles for the feint-of-heart to croak on. Rest assured, it is coming; already a ton of progress made on it- BUT it's an extensive development. As I've already said, I'm not expecting to make any great sponsorship money from it. Therefore I've got to work on some smaller games inbetween production to a) stop me getting bored of it, and b) to try to make a bit of cash so that I can justify my ambitions to be a coder to family and friends, and enable myself to go out for a drink once in a millenium.

This isn't to say 'Sunken World' is a pile of crap. Quite the opposite! I actually think this is one of my better efforts;  the graphics are impeccable, the gameplay fun, challenging and addictive, also I've totally mastered bitmapData now so you can expect to see some impressive pixel particle effects without any of the lag seen in some of my previous games. This game could actually go pretty far- mind you, I felt the same way about 'Chronicle' and that f*cker sank like the Titanic. I'm probably going to use Mihai for some of the audio as usual, but I've also been talking to another damn impressive guy who's music I like, and this chap has some unabashed talent- imagine a young James Horner in the making. More on him later.

Anyway, I'll leave you with the leading intro text to 'Sunken World' - all the better for you to imagine what the game will be like.



YEAR: 21XX


A BOOM IN SPACE EXPLORATION AND THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF MANKIND 
PLACES AN INSATIABLE TOLL ON THE LIMITED FUEL MEASURES OF THE PLANET.
DEEP-SEA SCIENTIFIC DATA EXPEDITIONS ACCIDENTALLY
UNCOVER A SOURCE OF THERMAL POWER BEYOND MAN'S 
WILDEST DREAMS- AN ETHEREAL REALM POPULATED BY LIVING
BEINGS OF PURE ENERGY- NAMED THE 'THEREA', HIDDEN DEEP
WITHIN THE OCEAN.
SUBSIDIZED BY WEBS OF POLITICAL LIES QUICKLY SPUN, A SUBMARINAL 
FLEET OF THE MOST DEVASTATING BATTLE TECH IS DISPATCHED TO THE 
OCEANIC UNDERWORLD WITH CLEAR DIRECTIVES:


'INVADE AND CAPTURE'


THE COMMANDER OF THE SEA-BEINGS PRAYED FOR THE AID OF THE ANCIENT
GODS THAT WERE KNOWN TO THEM AS 'THE SENTINELS'
WE KNOW THEM AS 'KRAKEN', DARK NIGHTMARES OF NAUTICAL HISTORY- 
THOUGHT OF ONLY TO EXIST IN MYTH.
AWAKENED FROM THE FIERY CORE OF THE WORLD, THE FURIOUS SENTINELS 
ASCENDED FROM BENEATH THE SEDIMENT TO MEET THE ONSLAUGHT IN BATTLE.


'DEFENDERS OF THEREA, NEVER LET THE IMPETULANT HUMANS FORGET THAT THEY ARE ONLY THE CHILDREN OF NATURE,
 THOUGH MAY YOU ALSO GRANT THEM THE MERCY OF IT'




Thought I'd have a wee break from the coding to write a short piece pertaining to my favourite current flavour of the month Skyrim.
Yes, I honestly thought Dark Souls alone would tide me over for a long, long time, but I bought Skyrim on a lark not really thinking I'd get into it and what eventuated was Dark Souls gathering dust in the corner for the following 3 weeks.

Let's start with the shitty stuff so I can go out with the good.

Skyrim has bugs. The PS3 has a massive, game-breaking (and heart-breaking) lag bug. Your first 60-100 hours will go by smoothly and then you'll start noticing the game freezing consistently, and this gradually worsens until you can't play anymore. God it sucks. It's like having a free train pass that's revoked at half-day and you get kicked off.
As a programmer I can probably guess that the lagging issues are born from the constant fetching and organising of data properties of the zillions of random world objects as they're moved about during play. Tricky one to fix unless you want the game to reset certain objects back to their source points. I'm not holding my breath that they'll patch it efficiently.

The fighting is still absolutely shit. If you had to compare Dark Souls to Skyrim (even though they're chalk&cheese IMO) then this is where Dark Souls wipes the floor with it. It's so naff; you can't tell if you've landed a hit, strikes don't have real sense of impact, and it also seems like the collision detection is a bit off at times. It hasn't improved a great deal from the Oblivion days.

Now don't get me wrong, I still love Dark Souls and I have no doubt I'll be back trolling on it in due time, but Skyrim is ultimately a more lasting and engrossing game. You can't really escape the arcade feel of DS, and despite the best attempts of From to make it have a more open-world feel it's still pretty linear at the end of the day. Skyrim on the other hand is the pinnacle sandbox experience of the generation. A mission can be completed in many ways; the main quest can be abandoned in exchange for random exploration; live to be saviour or consume the world with malice. The replay value is insane.

Anyway enoug blathering on about the obvious bollucks most observers have plucked out in their reviews. We all knew what Skyrim was going to be; bigger worlds, better graphics/less stock dialogue, awesome character development perks. So I'll just talk a little about what impressed me.

The graphics are *so* much better. My Orc looks bulky and muscled without armour- someone put the artists through anatomy class this time round. The mountains look mighty impressive from a distance, with vapour whirling off the high peaks, if you couldn't actually go visit them you'd think they were prerendered animations. And generally the weather systems are very well-handled, beautiful particle effects. You'll want to get caught in a snowgale because it looks so damn *good*.

The audio is great. I mean it's legendary. I love the getting the dragon words, the crescending 'HWOAAH!!' as you approach and begin to absorb the power from them. Not to mention the soundtracks, that are so brilliantly composed with large choirs- so appropriate.

And on that note if I had to pick out the highlight of the game it would have to be the ambience and ethereal poetry of the graphics and audio together; it is simply jaw-dropping at points.
I mean there was one moment when I was running around the plains of Windhelm deep at night, the breeze was blowing serenely through the 3d grass, I looked at my gorgeous in-game wife Adele The Huntress and the incandescent red moon shimmering behind her, Kyne's Peace track playing in the background, and a kind of rush of awe swept over me like I was at DisneyWorld watching the fireworks. I felt at that moment there aren't many other games take me out of my boring life like this one. The game has some real celestial POWER that's hard even to verbalize. More game studio's should definitely aim for that. The guys at Bethesda have a kind of Steve Jobs-like grandiose approach to the atmospherics of their games that I truly appreciate. Craftsman to craftsman, I'm like an amateur magician awed by the skills of the masters playing and analysing the skill that went into making this one.

Anyway, that's what games are for me; portals to the imagination, founded not only on fun gameplay mechanics, they're also platforms for virtual world-building and the illusion of limitless possibilities. The better technology we work on, the closer we inch towards actually stepping into the fleshed-out creativity of people's minds. I can't wait to see what's on the cards for the next 20-40 years.

Last thing I wanted to say is- It's so much fun to be evil in this game. I love getting cheap thrills by robbing people and murdering innocent wandering cattle in the forest ranges. This is a fun troll game. It's a shame it isn't multiplayer, imagine what a laugh it would be to ambush people on the roads with a bunch of mates? I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later.
I'm also blown away by the epic dragon battles, they're cinematic, gripping events and mad fun. My only is that it can be a pain in the ass chasing the bastard until it lands, but it's a small price to pay for the fun of the event. Those dragons kick the shit out of anything seen in Monster Hunter, that's for sure. It just saddens me that my daily allocated time for playing Skyrim is essentially 'till it crashes'.

Okay, back to work. I'm hard at work with Insanity 3; designing the dialogue manager but at the same time I'm a little strapped for the old $$$ these days; therefore I'm power coding a couple of smaller games at the mo. 

Phew! Well I have basically blown the first month of Insanity 3 development on escalating my Zbrush/3ds max mastery. Definitely approaching an intermediate level of skill with both programs now.

I'll add more to this post later on when I have a minute to type, watch this space!

Happy New Year!

Just a little post about horror game concepts and my ideas towards the game.

-
Fear of the unknown is the really the key to any good horror movie/game. Murky darkness in a claustrophobic environment;moody ambiance, and the occasional glimpse of something quite terrifying sparkling in the shadows.
The trouble with the Point'n'Click genre is that it doesn't lend itself too well to the edge-of-the-seat effect and sweaty hands. There's only so much you can do with static screens and shockers- therefore the third game will definitely lean more towards being a first-person adventure that borrows elements from P'n'C games yet maintains a more dynamic atmosphere and includes First Person Shooter events that you wouldn't see in other games of the genre.

Here are a few elements featured in the third game that will (hopefully) intensify the dread you get while playing.

-Quite soon into the game you'll be informed that something is hunting you in the village of Weasel Marsh. Think you can go take a pee and come back without seeing a 'Game Over' screen? Think again.

-The main character of the game Nathan Langdon carries a nine-chambered Smith & Wesson that will require a manual reload from the player. It has infinite magazines but you'll definitely have to practice getting good at the reloading to get through the boss scenes.

-You are NOT safe during captioned dialogue scenes. Some characters you may have thought were neutral will attack you suddenly after certain events have been triggered. You'll always have to have your firearm at the ready- just in case.

-Not 100% on this one yet, but the game will likely feature a game play time system. Certain events will be activated depending on how long into the game you've been playing for.
Hopefully these will help build up a better fabric for a truly terrifying horror game.

The main thing I want to 'sell' in these games is the story itself and the fun of puzzle solving, therefore I don't want people to get hitched up by scenes that require too much gamer skill (eg. The Machine- Insanity 1) . The puzzles themselves can be challenging -there's always walkthroughs- but skill can't be helped. However, a nice concept that has been used in some games of late is to have parts of a game where fast reactions and dexterity *might* get you through an event, but there is always another way if you use your brain. The Insanity 3 will feature some seemingly impassable shoot-outs, forcing the player to wonder if there isn't a simpler method to get through. The cool flip of the coin here is that players who are hardcore gamers will enjoy the challenge of battling extremely tough enemies and perhaps even get a special trophy for it.

More later-


p.s. The Prometheus trailer looks exciting doesn't it? Go YouTube it if you haven't seen it yet.

I actually pinched the 'alarm' sound effect from the 1979 Alien movie for a scene in The Insanity 2, when *Spoiler* Nathan Langdon gets abducted by Project K at the end. Thought I was safe as the movie is years old and nobody would recognize it, but they reused it in the new movie trailer- Ooops! Guess Ridley Scott thought it was creepy as hell too :-)

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