Category Archives: Side Projects

One Game a Month kickoff

In the past few years I’ve started to really miss game programming.  It used to be second nature to me but nice years after switching to pure design, I miss the control over my results and the joy of experimentation.  I’ve tinkered in a variety of engines and codebases, but I’ve never devoted enough time to shake the rust off my coding skills and get comfortable again.

To facilitate this I’m joining the 1GAM movement…  which is simply a challenge (a dare?) for participants to complete one playable game a month, every month.  These won’t be pretty or polished, but hopefully they will be fun and regardless an opportunity for me to get my feet wet in Unity, which has grown impressively over the past several years.  Whether I can turn out something that has some long-term promise, or perhaps just explore some stray ideas I’ve been kicking around, it should be fun.

Keep an eye on my space at the onegameamonth website.  Hope I can keep the pace up.

Side Projects

I’ve had to take a break on the article-writing to immerse myself in my work.  Theory is fun, speccing can be rewarding, and hooking up is good, but sometimes I’ve found myself missing real hands-on gameplay programming.

A friend of mine has been creating a Rogue-alike as a side-project labor of love for the past few years, and recently it went from sporadic updates to a full-on development flurry.  This of course made me very jealous, as tile-based engines allow for amazing freedom in creation…  There are few limits and implentation is a breeze.  It’s all about the gameplay.

The game is Dungeonmans, and he releases updates openly as an in-progress effort…  It obviously revels in its old-school presentation…  although the graphics are getting better by the day.   He’s created an overworld and NPC quest system as well as invested a great sense of humor within, so in some ways it outpaces similar indie dungeon-crawlers already.  It even can gather play stats that get collected at the home base for analysis and high scores.

Recently he made the codebase available to a few of us, and we’ve all been diving in and having a blast.  I’ve been working on a trap system recently, and I gotta say it’s the most fun I’ve had with development since Heretic II.  It’s been a while since I’ve worked on something past midnight without even noticing.

It’s not Diablo III, but fun doesn’t have to be developed in 3D by hundreds of people…   Check it out.