August 28, 2014


Tiny Tower Vegas

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Tiny Tower Vegas Nimblebit is back for more as you build a tower to the sky filled with Stormtroopers, Elvis impersonators, zombies, and other tourists in this free sim/idle game for iOS and Android! Unlock and build new rooms and play Poker, slots, or more to win big! Tagged as: android, free, game, idle, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, microtransactions, minigames, mobile, nimblebit, rating-y, simulation




Caves Online

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Caves Online An online platform game that pits you against the "ghosts" of players who've run the course before you. Use the arrow keys to jump, dodge and collect gold as you avoid lava pits, skeletons and the ever-sliding view. Tagged as: action, arcade, browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, microtransactions, multiplayer, platform, rating-g, retro, windows




Primary Max

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Primary Max Play around in Max's clone lab and test out his new machine by solving puzzles. Use your clones as stepping stools and button pushers but make sure they get back, as you find your exit, to prevent a time paradox. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, keybol, linux, mac, platform, puzzle, rating-g, windows



August 27, 2014


Manor Memoirs

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — Manor Memoirs Scarlett has just moved into an old, decrepit manor, looking for inspiration for her new book. But who can write in a house that's falling apart? That's where you come in. As a seasoned interior decorator/garage sale organiser, you will do your best to raise money to renovate the old place. Manor Memoirs is a wonderfully sweet hidden-object/time management hybrid that's guaranteed to make you smile. Tagged as: affiliate, casual, demo, download, game, hiddenobject, hybrid, playrixentertainment, rating-g, simulation, timemanagement, windows




History Museum Escape

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — History Museum Escape Trapped overnight in the history museum, if you want to escape you'll need to solve puzzles and craft some pretty darned clever tools in this short but sweet game also available free for iOS and Android. Tagged as: android, browser, escape, flash, free, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, justpinegames, linux, mac, mobile, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, tablet, windows




Letter Monsters

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — Letter Monsters Building off the success of games like Triple Town, Threes!, and 2048, Letter Monsters puts a cute (and fuzzy) new face on combine-three grid games. Re-learn your A-B-C's across over sixty levels of strategic sliding, and use eight unique boosters to help yourself out on iOS, Android, and in your browser! Tagged as: 1001com, android, browser, combine-3, flash, free, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipod, linux, mac, match-3, mobile, puzzle, rating-g, slidingblock, strategy, tablet, windows




Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 2.1: Think of a Game #GDWW

from GBGames

Each week, I’ll go through an exercise from Tracy Fullerton’s Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition. Fullerton suggests treating the book less like a piece of text and more like a tool to guide you through the game design process, which is why the book is filled with so many exercises.

You can see the #GDWW introduction for a list of previous exercises.

This week’s exercise: describe a game as if your audience is someone who hasn’t played anything like it before, then do the same with a completely different game. Compare the descriptions.

Chapter 2 is all about the structure of games, and this exercise is meant to get you thinking about what makes a game a game.

Rune Factory and Iota

Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

I’m playing Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon these days for the Nintendo DS, and since it is so fresh in my mind, I’ll describe it first. It’s a complex game, so brace yourself.

You play the role of a young man who can’t remember who he is or where he comes from, and after stumbling across a woman’s house, she puts you to work tending the farm in return for letting you stay on the land. After fighting a monster off, there’s a hint that perhaps you were a soldier, but for now, you’ll plow the land, plant and water seeds, and clear out weeds and rocks to make room for it all.

Time

Time matters. Each day begins at 6AM, and every 10 real life seconds you are playing, 10 minutes passes in the game. You can’t stay up 24 hours or you’ll collapse, so at some point you need to go to bed. There is a calendar system that is a bit unique: each week is five workdays and one holiday long, each season is five weeks long. The seasons dictate what crops can be grown on the farm. For instance, strawberries are a spring crop, and so they can only be grown during the spring season.

Time only passes when outside or in a cave. If you are inside a building, such as your house or a shop, time stands still, which means you can explore the indoors to your heart’s content. It makes exploring the library very unrealistic. B-)

Your Home
On your farm, you have a house, which is where you sleep and save your game. I’ll describe more about the house later.

Near your house is the shipping bin, which is where you can place harvested crops, fish, or any number of items in order to sell them. On non-holidays, you can expect Rosetta, one of the people from town, to pick up everything, and you’ll get paid the next day.

Near the shipping bin is your well, which allows you to refill your watering can. You can also fill your watering can at the nearby stream, which also allows you to fish if you have a fishing pole.

At the southwestern part of your land, there is a woodshed, which is where you store any chopped wood. You can collect wood to build fences on your fields, or you can save it to expand your house or build monster huts. The monster huts will be built to the east of your house in an area north of your field.

Your field is a large area of land that you’ll use to grow crops. Weeds and branches will appear in untilled areas, and there are large tree stumps and boulders. Some large rocks can be moved, but you’ll need upgraded tools to get rid of the rest to clear the way to maximize the size of your farm.

Farming and Fishing

The land is separated into tiles. You’ll use a hoe to till a tile in your field. It’s suggested you till a 3×3 area, then stand in the middle to plant seeds in all 9 tiles at once. Then, using your watering can, you can water each tile.

Each day you need to water your fields where you planted the seeds until they are mature crops you can harvest. If it is raining, you don’t need to water them. If your plants don’t get water, they stop growing.

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to mature depending on the type of seed. After they are fully grown, the crops can be picked and placed in your pack, or you can carry them over to the shipping bin.

Seeds can only be planted on your farm during certain seasons. They won’t grow if planted in the wrong season, and you won’t be able to harvest your crops if you enter a new season in the middle of growing the previous season’s plants.

There are caves in the world around your farm, and each one has a different permanent climate. That is, even if it is winter, you can grow summer crops in a cave with a summer climate. The trick, of course, is that you need to water those crops, which takes time.

When you have a fishing pole, you can fish anywhere there is a body of water. The stream near your house is one example, but there is the end of the dock on the beach, or even the water near the ruins.

There is a variety of fish you can catch. Some are more valuable than others, and they come in different sizes which also impacts the amount you can sell them for. Don’t be surprised to find the odd boot mixed in with your prize-winning sardines.

Village
To the north of the farm is the village of Kardia You can find most of the people there. Everyone has their own simulated life. Some people show up in town only on holidays. Stores are open only during certain hours, and people will arrive or leave areas depending on where they work or who they might be talking to.

The village has three streets featuring the shops and homes of the residents. The southern street has:

  • Library
  • Clinic
  • Parts Shop
  • Pub Spring Rabbit
  • Inn
  • Blacksmith

The middle street has:

  • Hot Springs
  • Neumann’s Farm
  • Camus’ Farm
  • Kardia Chapel

The northern street has:

  • Mayor Godwin’s Manor
  • Jasper’s Manor

To the east of the village is the beach, which features the Spearfish Shack, a dock to fish off of, and a giant shell which can be used to transfer screenshots and items to another player’s game using the Nintendo DS WiFi capability.

Each of the buildings has their own hours, which means if you try to go shopping too early or too late, you’ll be out of luck.

To the north of the village is the Town Square, which is where festivals are held.

In a house to the south of your farm is where the young woman who found you lives.

Relationships

There are 28 people who you can talk to, trade with, and give items to. 10 of them are potential love interests and brides for your character.

There is a Friendliness menu in the game which allows you to see the status of your relationships. You can see how your neighbors like you, as well as how your wooing of potential brides is going.

You can increase the friendliness levels by talking to people and giving them gifts. People have preferences, so giving them gifts they don’t care about has a similar effect as in real life.

Once your love interest cares enough, and if you’ve upgraded your house and bought the right furniture, you’re ready to settle down. In order to propose to her, you have to meet some criteria. Each woman has a different set of criteria you must meet, such as how many monsters you have on your farm or giving a specific gift.

When married, your wife will provide you food each morning to start your day, which you can treat as a snack to replenish your health and stamina after a hard day’s work, or you can sell it.

If you are married long enough, you’ll have a child. As far as I know, the child has no in-game purpose other than to mark the amount of time you’ve spent married.

Health and Stamina
You have two resources: health and rune points. Rune points, or RP, act as your stamina.

Every action you take uses up RP, and when you run out, your health starts to deteriorate.

If you run out of HP in your field, you’ll collapse and wake up in bed the next day, losing a good part of your morning.

If, however, you run out of HP in a cave, the game is over.

You can restore RP and HP by sleeping for the night, by relaxing in a hot spring bath in town, or eating food. RP can be replenished by picking up runes that appear after a crop is harvested, and HP can be restored with potions or medicine.

Tools and Items

Early on, you’ll receive a hoe, a watering can, and some seeds from Mist, the young woman who allowed you to stay on her farm. By talking to people and meeting certain criteria, you can gain access to other tools, such as the ax, fishing rod, and the sickle. Each tool allows you to perform a specific task. An ax lets you cut down the branches you find on your field, which converts to wood in your woodshed, while the Friendship Glove allows you to befriend monsters you find in caves.

There is a wide range of items in the game. Some aren’t very useful, such as the stones and weeds you find in your field. Crops, herbs, fish, and eggs are examples of basic items, and if you have the right machinery or tools, you can turn them into more advanced items. For example, if you have a cookbook and a kitchen, you can turn a fish into sushi, which is more valuable and can be sold or eaten for greater benefit.

You can give items to people, although most of the time you’ll sell items for profit. You can sell items by putting them in your shipping bin on your farm or by talking to shop owners in the village.

Caves

You won’t be allowed to enter the caves until you’ve gotten a pass from the mayor, who requires you to have tilled a number of tiles on your field first.

The caves have monsters and monster generators. You’ll be able to fight them with your tools such as the hoe or ax, but you’ll probably want weapons such as swords and spears. You can also defend yourself with shields.

Fighting happens in real time. Monsters will attack you, and you can either attack back or use the Friendship Glove to try to pet them until they like you. Befriended monsters teleport to your farm if you have a hut for them to live in, and depending on the type of monster, they can work your fields, allow you to harvest items from them, or help you fight in the caves.

You’ll learn magic to teleport yourself to safety, to heal yourself, and to attack monsters. Your monsters may use magic to fight for you as well. Magic costs rune points, even if your monsters are the ones casting the spells.

Caves also have fields, and since their climate is so stable, you can plant crops you normally couldn’t at any time of the year.

You can also use a hammer against certain rocks to collect ore, which allows you to upgrade your tools and weapons.

Enough!

There are a lot more details to explain, but I think this post is getting long enough. Let’s move on, and to a smaller and quicker to describe game, please.

Iota

Iota by Gamewright, “the great big game in the teeny-weeny tin,” is a card game for 2 to 4 players. The objective of the game is to score the most points by adding cards in lines connected to a grid.

A line is defined as 2, 3, or 4 cards in a straight row or column. There are specific rules for how such cards can be placed in lines.

There are 66 square cards. 64 cards have three properties:

  • color
  • shape
  • number

Each of these cards are unique. Two cards are wild and can substitute for any other card.

Setup

Each player is dealt four cards which can be looked at but should be kept a secret from other players. The other cards are stacked face-down to create a draw pile.

One card from the draw pile is placed face up in the center to act as the start of the grid.

Play

Each player takes turns and can either:

  • add cards in a single line, then record your score
  • pass

When passing, a player may discard any number of cards to the bottom of the draw pile.

At the end of your turn, you replenish your hand back to four cards.

Game Over

The game ends when the draw pile is empty and a player has played his or her last card, which gives double points for that turn.

The player with the highest score wins.

Adding Cards and Scoring

When adding cards to a line, there are certain rules to follow:

  • Cards must be added in a straight line. You can’t place cards anywhere you choose, and you can’t make right angles.
  • Added cards must connect to the grid.
  • In each line, all cards must either be the same or different in each property. You can’t have a 3-card line with two circles and a triangle because the shapes must be all different or all the same, for example, but you can have a 3-card line with three circles so long as the colors and/or numbers are different.
  • Creating a 4-card line forms a lot, which doubles your score for the turn.
  • Lines can only be four cards long.

After you place your cards, you add up the numbers on the face of all of the cards in the lines you either created or extended, counting cards twice if they are part of two lines.

Then double the points earned for each lot created.

If you used all four of your cards, double your points again.

Wild Cards

The wild cards can be used in place of any other card and are worth 0 points.

Before your turn, you can replace a played wild card with a card from your hand that matches. That is, if the wild card is part of a line of three green circles and is acting as a green circle with a value of 4, you would need a green circle with a value of 4 to replace it.

You can then play it on any turn.

Wild cards that are part of two lines must represent the same value on both lines.

Comparing Rune Factory and Iota

One is an involved story-based, single-player, farming simulation and role-playing game. The other is a family-friendly card game that can be played in about half an hour.

There are clearly a lot of differences, but what similarities are there?

While it wasn’t called out above, Rune Factory does have a setup. The player is initially told that his or her character is a young man with amnesia. He is given his first tools and an explanation of how to work the field. Combat ensues immediately to introduce the concept of monsters. Afterwards, the real game starts.

They both have rules. Iota says how cards can be placed, how scores can be tallied, and what can’t be done.

In Rune Factory, the rules are more complex and are enforced by the programming of the game. How time passes, and how various events occur based on the time, are just some of the interlocking rules.

They each have dynamics that occur as a result of playing. If you can’t place more than four cards in a line in Iota, and if you can’t place certain cards together in a line, then sometimes gaps will occur in the grid that cannot be filled. Sometimes a player will place a card on a line that prevents another player from placing his or hers.

In Rune Factory, seeds get planted in a 3×3 grid. If you till a 3×3 grid, all will get seeds, but if you till only part of it, either due to weeds or rocks being in the way or some other reason, then you are wasting some of the potential return on the cost of seeds. If radish seeds cost 200 gold, and you can sell each harvested radish for 60 gold, then you need to sell at least four radishes to make back your investment. If you can’t, you lose money, which prevents you from purchasing other supplies.

Each has a designed look and feel to it. Iota is colorful, and the cards are of a certain quality. The cards are all you need to play, which allows you to focus on them as the main elements. Rune Factory has a lot of music, sound effects, story, illustrated graphics and animations, and more to immerse the player in the game.

Iota has a very clear ending with a victor, but what about Rune Factory? Can you win it? While Rune Factory lets you play forever, the storyline can be completed.

Exercise Complete

I am sure I can compare them in many other ways, and chapter 2 does go into the structure of games for quite a bit, but we’ll consider this exercise finished. I already found enough accidental spoilers for Rune Factory during my research, and this post is way too long now.

If you participated in exercise 2.1 on your own, please comment below to let me know, and if you wrote your own blog post or discuss it online, make sure to use the hashtag #GDWW.

Next week, we’ll compare how players start games of two seemingly different games.

Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 2.1: Think of a Game #GDWW is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Weekday Escape N°38

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Weekday Escape N°38 Games featured this week: Find the Escape-Men 117: Load Runner; Escape Another Nightmare; Cute Duckling 3 — No1Game's latest episode continues the classic arcade game theme, this time with some morbid implications. Meanwhile, welcome Self Defiant to our weekday escape spotlight with another atmospheric asylum adventure. But if you need more smiles than that, Minoto should brighten your day with the cutest baby water fowl in the world! Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, flash, free, game, linux, mac, minoto, no1game, pointandclick, puzzle, selfdefiant, weekday-escape, windows



August 26, 2014


Bottle Rockets

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — Bottle Rockets Bottle Rockets is a sci-fi platform game by James Earl Cox III set to the song "Alberto Balsam" by Aphex Twin. A short artistic work about mothers, daughters, and space, it integrates a glitchy aesthetic quite well into the plot and gameplay, and will generally succeed in making those who play it feel all the feels. Tagged as: download, free, game, glitchjam, indie, interactiveart, jcox, music, narrative, platform, rating-y, scifi, windows




Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman Walkthrough

from Casual Game Guides

Our Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman Walkthrough features all the advice, hints, and information you'll need to make your way through the streets of San Cristobal and find the missing children in this mysterious hidden object adventure game. Rely on our detailed tips, our custom screenshots, and our simple puzzle solutions to uncover the mystery of the Weeping Woman and the fate of the town’s lost children.



» Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman Walkthrough & Forum

» Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman Free Trial & Related Games




Skip Around the World: Finland

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Skip Around the World: Finland Skip's landed in Finland in this point-and-click adventure from Carmel Games, and he's desperate to meet the famous "sauna guru"... but first he'll have to perform a few weird tasks as you travel around to actual locations and maybe learn a little in the process. Tagged as: adventure, browser, carmelgames, flash, free, game, linux, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-y, windows



August 25, 2014


Gridland

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Javascript — Gridland From the creators of A Dark Room comes a match-3 puzzle game with a twist. Combine and collect resources to build, but what happens when the sun goes down is another matter. Tagged as: browser, doublespeakgames, free, game, javascript, linux, mac, match-3, puzzle, rating-g, rpg, simulation, strategy, turnbased, windows




Sweep Miner

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Sweep Miner You know kids. Always wandering off and getting trapped in mines full of explosives and teleporting ladders and whatnot. In this cute, simple puzzle game made in just a week, you'll have to memorize where danger lies if you want to get the kids out safely. Tagged as: browser, cynicsama, flash, free, game, linux, mac, msalyh, puzzle, rating-g, simpleidea, windows



August 24, 2014


Ice Cream Nomsters

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Ice Cream Nomsters Monsters! Ice cream trucks! Fezes? This mobile time management game has it all! In Firedroid's latest iOS/Android title, Ice Cream Nomsters, you control your legion of sweet treat trucks as they load up on cargo and deliver right to the front door of citizens across 9 different cities. This free arcade game is sure to have to driving around in circles in pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of more hats! Tagged as: android, arcade, firedroid, free, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, microtransactions, mobile, rating-g, tablet, timemanagement, upgrades




BLACK IV: Time of Revenge

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — BLACK IV: Time of Revenge A top-down action shooter by Modern Boys Production, BLACK IV: Time for Revenge is basically just about a stickguy shooting a bunch of other stickguys, occasionally in slow motion. And that's more than fine! An unrepentantly goofy and escapist throwback, BLACK IV keeps the bullets flying and the trigger fingers itchy. Tagged as: action, browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, modernboysproduction, rating-o, shooter, stickfigures, topdown, upgrades, windows



August 23, 2014


Alice House No.2: The Pool of Tears

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Alice House No.2: The Pool of Tears Things are getting curiouser and curiouser as we continue our way through FunkyLand's version of the Alice in Wonderland story. This time around it's five dodoes you must find before you can escape-the-room. The room being a stately hallway with lots of doors but no apparent way out. Very strange. Alice may have cried a pool of tears to be stuck in such a pickle, but if you're resourceful, you'll soon find your way through. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, funkyland, game, linux, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, windows



August 22, 2014


PuppetShow: Lightning Strikes

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — PuppetShow: Lightning Strikes Young women who all look alike have been vanishing all over the city, and the clockwork critters are the least of your worries when a malicious sentient puppet dogs your heels as you try to solve the mystery in this less-than-challenging but wonderfully fun and creative hidden-object adventure. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, demo, download, ersgstudios, game, hiddenobject, mac, pointandclick, puppetshow, puzzle, rating-o, windows




Viking Valor

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Viking Valor Man the cannons in this fast paced and chaotic defense shooter as you blast down waves of increasingly tenacious and powerful viking warriors, unlocking spells and traps as well as upgrading your equipment. Tagged as: action, browser, defense, flash, free, game, highupstudio, linux, mac, rating-g, shooter, strategy, upgrades, windows




Balls

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Balls Robamimi hides clues in plain sight with this clever, clean escape game. You need to find four hidden balls in order to get out, but with some subtle and sneaky puzzles, that's easier said than done. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, robamimi, windows



August 21, 2014


Bik: A Space Adventure

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux — Bik: A Space Adventure While camping, Bik is abducted by an extraterrestrial aircraft and so sets off on a 2D point-and-click adventure in the style of Space Quest and other beloved classic games. Soon he's joining forces with the aliens he befriends aboard a space freighter to battle bad guys and, hopefully, someday find his way back home. You can help and have fun while talking to numerous characters, solving story-based puzzles and completing the adventure from multiple perspectives. Tagged as: adventure, android, demo, download, game, indie, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, linux, mac, mobile, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-y, retro, scifi, tablet, windows, zotnip




Quad Cop

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Quad Cop As you well know, a law enforcer's best weapon is their... lunch? Hmmm. In this simple and simply silly physics puzzler, feed different foods to the sheriffs to help them knock all the baddies offscreen and collect all the stars. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, physics, puzzle, rating-g, windows



August 20, 2014


The Ensign

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS — The Ensign Acting as a prequel to beloved atmospheric browser simulation A Dark Room, this roguelike adventure for iOS sends you across a hostile wasteland, where hunger and thirst are constant companions and death is just the beginning... Tagged as: adventure, arajan, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, roguelike, rpg, scifi, strategy, tablet, text, turnbased




The Great Magician's Curse: Magicians 2

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — The Great Magician's Curse: Magicians 2 Your greatest magic trick will be surviving, as you must guide yourself and your creepy dopplegangers past swords, daggers, spikes, sawblades and more to reach the exit in this puzzle platformer. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, platformer, puzzle, rating-g, tinsleeves, windows




Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 1.5: Childhood Games #GDWW

from GBGames

Each week, I’ll go through an exercise from Tracy Fullerton’s Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition. Fullerton suggests treating the book less like a piece of text and more like a tool to guide you through the game design process, which is why the book is filled with so many exercises.

In the four previous exercises, I pretended to be a tester for the indie hit FTL and documented everything I experienced and did in the game, I critically analyzed a game that was “dead on arrival”, I listed and described areas of my life that could be games, and I kept a game journal.

This week, the exercise is to list 10 games you played as a child and briefly describe what made each game compelling.

Your childhood memories might provide inspiration for new game designs today. Children imagine and create games all the time.

Game lines

Freeze Tag

Tag is a very common game for children to play, but my favorite variation was freeze tag.

In regular tag, the player who is “It” tries to touch another player, transferring “It” to that player. Sometimes the “no tag-backs” rule was applied, giving the original “It” immunity until the next player is tagged. The game never ended, as there was always a new “It” and people to chase.

In freeze tag, however, the goal is for “It” to freeze all of the other players. A tagged player was frozen and had to stand in place until unfrozen by another player, usually just by touching the frozen player’s hand.

While regular tag is “every man for himself”, freeze tag encouraged everyone who wasn’t “It” to work together. The more unfrozen players running around, the less likely “It” will win. Of course, the more frozen players around, the easier it is for a player to unfreeze them. “It” had a lot of work to do, but I enjoyed the tactics that freezing and unfreezing players allowed for.

Pirate Ship

In a box of Cap’n Crunch, I once found a map.

A treasure map.

I brought it to school, and during recess, I recall holding the map out in front of me while a train of children followed behind, all of us teetering and rolling as if on a ship in search of wealth beyond our wildest dreams.

I don’t remember much to the game. We made it up as we went. We pointed out hazards on the horizon, and we searched for land. We pretended to dig on islands based on where X was on the map.

At one point we excitedly found gold. When we presented our amazing find to the teacher, she looked unamused and said flatly, “That’s not gold. That’s broken glass.”

Well, she was no fun.

Red Light Green Light

Apparently this game is called “Statues” in some places, but the idea is that one person stands across the room or field. When he or she turns around and yells “Green light!”, everyone else tries to move all the way to the other side. Every so often, the one person turns back and yells, “Red light!” and everyone must stop moving. Anyone caught moving during this time is out. Play continues until either someone makes it across or everyone is out.

I liked how it simultaneously encouraged caution and haste. If you sprinted, it’s harder to stop moving when “Red light!” is called out. If you inched forward, you’d likely never get to the other side before the other players.

And if you were “It” and calling out the light colors, it’s hard not to call red immediately after green when the nearest player is mere feet away from you. The game gets very intense, very quickly.

Kickball

Kickball is like baseball, only you get a giant rubber ball. Pitching it was like bowling, and batting was like soccer.

You didn’t need to be able to throw a small baseball well or swing a bat with accuracy. It was easy for almost everyone to play.

Plus, we had the added rule that allowed you to throw the ball at someone to tag them out, so we also incorporated dodgeball into it. Of course, missing the player meant that the ball needed to be collected and thrown, allowing the runner to advance to another base more easily, so there were some exciting plays involving good dodges.

Dodgeball

Speaking of dodgeball, I never understood why this game had such a bad rap in popular culture. I loved it.

We played a number of variations during gym class. One was similar to freeze tag in that players who were hit by the ball would have to sit down, and in order to reenter play, the player designated as “Doctor” would need to come out from the safe area known as the “Hospital” and bring the sitting player back.

However, no one can heal the doctor, who can be hit by the ball as any other player once out of the hospital area. Losing the doctor was a huge blow to the team, and it wasn’t unheard of for players to sacrifice themselves to protect such a critical resource.

Another variation had a different resource to protect: a tennis ball sitting on top of a cone. Normal dodgeball rules applied, but if your team’s tennis ball fell off the cone, your team automatically lost. Sometimes during an intense game it wouldn’t be noticed that a ball was rolled slowly towards your cone. You had to keep your eyes open.

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

This game was very similar to Red Light, Green Light. One person was the Fox at the front of the room, and the rest of the players were the Hens, or something like that. The hens would ask, “Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox, what time is it?” and the fox would respond with an hour, such as, “It’s 5 o’clock” or “It’s 3 o’clock.”

The hens would then take that many steps towards the fox. If it was 3 o’clock, you could take 3 steps forward.

The goal was…you know what? I don’t think we ever found out. Looking online, the goal was to cross past the fox’s location, but no self-respecting fox ever let that happen.

Because one of the responses was “It’s midnight!” and at that time, the fox could chase the hens back to their starting area. If someone is caught, then that person becomes the fox.

We had a variation we would play occasionally in which the fox converted hens to his/her side. That is, if a hen was caught, now you had two foxes to contend with at midnight, and the goal of the foxes was to convert all of the hens to foxes.

Initially the times called out allowed hens to walk nine, 10, or 11 steps, but once hens got closer to the fox, the game inched along with single steps, and everyone anticipated midnight to come at any moment.

Wall Ball

While I’m sure there were official rules to wall ball somewhere, I remember taking a small rubber ball and hitting it down into the ground towards a wall. When the ball bounced back from the wall, it was someone else’s turn to hit it. It had to bounce on the ground once before hitting the wall, and if you let it bounce before you hit it back or if your hit results in anything other than one bounce before it hits the wall, you were out. I recall getting punished by getting pelted with the ball, but I don’t remember how it was determined who did the pelting.

The rhythm of the game needed to remain unbroken: bounce, rebound, hit, repeat. You could hear it when someone messed up.

This game was a bit fuzzy in terms of who exactly was responsible for hitting the ball if you had more than two players. There were a number of times in which fingers were pointed and the debates about who was closest raged.

But the game was fast-paced, and every so often someone would make a hit that required players to scramble and dive to avoid going out.

Dark

My sister and cousins would play this made-up game of ours. In my parents’ basement in the evenings, there weren’t many windows, so if you turned off the lights, it could be very, very dark. So we basically played a game of hide-and-seek which started by turning off the lights.

Not only did people have to find a place to hide in the dark, but once the seeker finished counting, he or she had to navigate around all manner of things being stored in the basement, such as exercise equipment or laundry baskets, and try to find the other players.

What was amazing about this game was that it gave you a much larger useful play area in the same space. Why? You could hide in a place that would otherwise be incredibly obvious if the the lights were on and the seeker could see. Standing flat against the wall or even in the middle of the room were surprisingly effective.

My favorite hiding spot? Jumping up and grabbing onto the metal I-beam that crossed the ceiling, then pulling my legs up to it. So long as I didn’t breathe too loudly from the strain of hanging up there and the seeker didn’t raise his or her hands up when walking past, I couldn’t be found.

At least until the lights turned on and everyone saw me. Then the I-beam was checked regularly.

Kings vs Queens

I don’t know if this game had a different name anywhere else in the world, but we played it in gym class in elementary school.

Everyone sat on the floor in rows, which created corridors for the players to walk down. One boy and one girl each would get a bean bag to place on their heads, and they would stand at opposite corners. The gym teacher would periodically call out, “King chases Queen!” or “Queen chases King!”, and then it was like tag in which It was whoever was doing the chasing.

The trick was that if the bean bag fell off your head, you lost, and you couldn’t use your hands to keep it on. As a result, it wasn’t an incredibly fast-paced game, and as bean bags started to slip, kings and queens started walking with their heads tilted at bizarre angles.

Sometimes the gym teacher would switch who was doing the chasing right before someone was about to be caught. I noticed it seemed to happen more often whenever a girl was about to lose, or maybe I’m remembering it wrong. When a king was closing the gap, and then suddenly had to reverse course to run away from the queen, you can feel the energy in the room as everyone started cheering or jeering.

My favorite variation got the rest of the class involved. Everyone would sit in a grid with their arms out to their sides. Not only would the kings and queens change roles as chaser and chasee, but the grid would periodically switch corridors so that instead of only being able to walk through rows, you had to walk through columns instead. If queen was chasing king, and the king was safely in the next row, and the signal was given to switch from rows to columns, the king might find he is suddenly much closer to danger.

Between worrying about role changes, chasing and evading, and balancing bean bags, it was probably the most intricate game we played as children.

Heads Up Seven Up

In this game, seven players would be at the front of the classroom. Everyone else would put their heads down on their desks with a hand outstretched and a thumb sticking in the air. The seven standing players would each pick one sitting participant, pushing down the thumb to indicate that the choice has been made, and return to the front. Then “Heads up, seven up!” would be called out, and the people who had their thumbs pressed would stand. Each would then attempt to guess which of the players picked him or her. If you guessed wrong, you sat back down. If you guessed correctly, you replaced him or her at the front.

I think this was one of the first games that had us thinking about social dynamics. Was it the person you never talk to? Was it a girl or a boy? Did your best friend pick you? Did your best friend purposefully NOT pick you because you would expect that he did? Or, knowing you know that he knows that you know, he picked you?

Ostensibly, you had a one in seven chance of being right, but depending on who was up there, you had a sense that you being chosen wasn’t random, that there was some calculation involved, and so if you could reverse engineer the decision-making process, perhaps you easily identify the person who chose you and beat the odds.

Exercise Complete

Searching online, I learned that some of the games we played were unique variants, or at least not documented anywhere that I could easily find. I guess it shows how creative children can be, which is obvious to anyone who was ever given a child a giant box.

If you participated in exercise 1.5 on your own, please comment below to let me know, and if you wrote your own blog post or discuss it online, make sure to use the hashtag #GDWW.

Next week, I’m moving on to Chapter 2 and will attempt to describe two games in detail as if you haven’t heard of them before.

(Photo: Game Lines by Boris Anthony | CC-BY-2.0)

Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 1.5: Childhood Games #GDWW is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Weekday Escape N°37

from Jay Is Games

Weekday Escape N°37 Games featured this week: Escape from the Strange Locker Room; Find the Escape-Men 116: The Crisis; Button Escape 23 — No, Hottategoya's locker room isn't strange because it's clean and fresh smelling, but because of the mysterious hints and codes hidden about the room. No1Game's escape-men are your only hope to survive a bomb "Oops!" Luckily, they are up to the task! Tototo Room's find the eleven button series continues with another fun mini-escape. Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, free, game, hottategoya, no1game, pointandclick, puzzle, tototoroom, weekday-escape



August 19, 2014


The Last Dinosaurs

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — The Last Dinosaurs It wasn't the ice age that made the dinosaurs disappear, and in this cute-yet-bloody and frantic platform arena shooter, you'll learn that they'll not down for the count yet! Lead your dino squad against deadly enemies and unlock new weapons and abilities. Tagged as: action, arena, browser, flash, free, game, jarmstrong, jimp, linux, mac, platform, rating-o, shooter, upgrades, windows



August 18, 2014


Witches' Legacy: The Ties That Bind

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Witches' Legacy: The Ties That Bind This hidden-object adventure offers tons of entertainment bang for your buck with good witches, evil witches, witch hunters, long-lost relatives, mysterious deaths, and a groom that goes missing the day before the wedding. Pop some popcorn and get ready for enough melodrama to fuel a Telenovela for a year! Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, casual, collectorsedition, demo, download, elefun, game, hiddenobject, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, windows




Quantum of Light

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Quantum of Light This educational game has you rotating tiles to reflect streams of colored photons, trying to aim them towards the crystals at the end. Numerous obstacles block your path so you'll need every ounce of your intelligence if you want to succeed. Tagged as: browser, educational, flash, foumartgames, free, game, linux, mac, puzzle, rating-g, windows



August 17, 2014


Road Not Taken

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Road Not Taken In this challenging, engrossing, evocative and creative roguelike puzzle game from SpryFox, you find yourself the ranger of a tiny, isolated town, tasked with finding and rescuing the children who go missing each year picking the berries the town exports. With randomized puzzles, stunning design, and a clever crafting mechanic, Road Not Taken is highly recommended. Tagged as: adventure, crafting, download, game, indie, mac, puzzle, rating-y, roguelike, spryfox, strategy, turnbased, windows




Depression Quest

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, Javascript — Depression Quest A twine interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression, developed by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler, Depression Quest hopes to offer empathy and sympathy for what can be a very painful condition. Some awkward prose is balanced by its ambitiousness in subject matter, and makes a convincing case for how games can help us all understand each other better. Tagged as: adventure, browser, cyoa, download, experimental, free, game, ifiction, ischankler, javascript, linux, mac, narrative, plindsey, rating-o, serious, steam, text, twine, windows, zquinn




2048 Bricks

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — 2048 Bricks A puzzling twist on the smash-hit game, each level asks you to stack and combine blocks to make the highest number in as few moves as possible... with a couple challenging rules. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, math, puzzle, rating-g, simpleidea, windows




Smart Pen

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Smart Pen Draw simple line patterns and watch them repeat across the screen, trying to connect each colored circle. Your pattern will "bounce" off the sides of the screen but beware the upper and lower borders, and the black holes on the way. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, puzzle, rating-g, windows



August 16, 2014


Find the Escape-Men Part 115: Summer Vacation

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Find the Escape-Men Part 115: Summer Vacation School's back in tomorrow, and you haven't finished any of your homework! Lucky for you, you found a flier for a "homework finishing service", and all you need to do is click around to find ten little green men hidden in your house, which totally isn't alarming at all. Tagged as: browser, escape, escapemen, flash, free, game, linux, mac, no1game, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, windows




Sherlock Holmes: The Tea Shop Murder Mystery

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Sherlock Holmes: The Tea Shop Murder Mystery The owner of the local Tea Shop has been murdered, and it is up to the world's greatest detective to crack the point-and-click adventure case in Sherlock Holmes: The Tea Shop Murder Mystery. Its a work that's designed to appeal more to fans of Carmel Games' other works rather than the Conan Doyle, as it were. But with that in mind, there's quite a bit of fun to be had: the acting is campy, the puzzles are goofy, the humor is silly. Tagged as: adventure, browser, carmelgames, flash, free, game, linux, mac, mystery, pointandclick, rating-y, windows



August 15, 2014


Ghosts of the Past: Bones of Meadows Town

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Ghosts of the Past: Bones of Meadows Town You arrive at Meadows Town in the middle of one serious storm, only to discover that there's something more going on than downed power lines. With the bodies piling up and one spirit that seriously wants you gone, you'll have to dig deep to uncover the truth in this madcap hidden-object adventure from ERS Game Studios. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, demo, download, ersgstudios, game, hiddenobject, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, windows




Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS — Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies The 3DS hit installment of the beloved visual novel adventure series comes to iOS in this stunning port with a free first episode. Play as Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice, and newcomer junior lawyer Athena Cykes as they work to prove the innocence of their clients in outrageous mysteries where you'll need a keen eye and a clever mind to spot lies, evidence, and more. Tagged as: adventure, capcom, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, mystery, narrative, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, tablet, visualnovel




Loot Clicker

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Loot Clicker Trounce everything from gnats to camels to restless spirits with your diverse party of adventuring heroes in this RPG-themed incremental game with a retro aesthetic from Trampoline Tales. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, idle, incremental, linux, mac, rating-g, rpg, simpleidea, trampolinetales, upgrades, webtoy, windows



August 14, 2014


Spore

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Unity — Spore Somewhere in a bio-luminescent cavern, a fungal, floating world has come under the assault of a vicious black meteor shower. Fend them off and help the spore-world thrive! In this hybrid shooter/tower defense/clicktoy, destroy meteors with your mouse and watch your planet grow. It'll even fight back alongside you if it grows enough! Stave off the meteors and watch your world bloom! Tagged as: action, arcade, browser, free, game, incremental, mac, rating-g, shooter, stumpygames, towerdefense, unity, upgrades, windows




Royal Warfare

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Royal Warfare Turns out zombies and skeletons don't make very good manual labor when they're trying to eat your face. Command an army made up of different powerful units across levels that will challenge and limit you in this tricky yet smart real-time strategy defense game! Tagged as: browser, defense, flash, free, game, idengames, linux, mac, rating-o, realtime, strategy, windows



August 13, 2014


Arendel

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Arendel Most of us know not to explore shady abandoned asylums. Well... everyone except you, apparently. Trapped inside the Arendel Asylum, you'll need to search for items, solve puzzles, and gather orbs to escape in this ambitious but rough-around-the-edges game from Selfdefiant. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, linux, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, selfdefiant, windows




Range of the Dead

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Unity — Range of the Dead A slow-paced sniping game that has you dropping targets from hundreds of meters away. Be wary of wind and distance as you draw a bead on each zombie, and curve your bullet mid-flight with the WASD keys to fine-tune each shot. Tagged as: android, browser, evildog, free, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mac, mobile, physics, rating-o, shooter, tablet, unity, windows, zombies




Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 1.4: Game Journal #GDWW

from GBGames

Each week, I’ll go through an exercise from Tracy Fullerton’s Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition. Fullerton suggests treating the book less like a piece of text and more like a tool to guide you through the game design process, which is why the book is filled with so many exercises.

So far, I pretended to be a tester for the indie hit FTL and documented everything I experienced and did in the game, I critically analyzed a game that was “dead on arrival”, and last week I listed and described areas of my life that could be games. For this week’s exercise, I had some homework to do: keep a game journal.

This exercise comes from a section about becoming a better player. Fullerton argues that, much as an artist learns about drawing by learning about what makes for a good visual composition, a game designer learns about games by learning what makes for good game play.

In keeping a game journal, I’ll have a log of games I have played, as well as a deep analysis of specific experiences and how the mechanics of the game allowed for them.

One challenge I had with this experience is that I found I didn’t have anything to log each day. I don’t play games often enough, it seems, and I’m always surprised to read about indie game developers with day jobs who make time to not only play games but finish them. How are they not struggling with the choice of playing games as opposed to making them?

But I’m not completely isolated from games.

4-Point Pitch

This past weekend I went to visit my wife’s grandmother, who is a really good 4-Point Pitch player. Pitch is a trick-taking card game, and it turns out that there are many variations. I can’t seem to find the specific variation my in-laws play, so I’ll try to describe it here. The game is played with a standard 52-card deck with the 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s removed. There are a few variations depending on how many players you have. We played with four players, which means we split into two teams of a pair of partners. My wife was on my team, and my sister-in-law played on her grandmother’s team.

The goal of a round of pitch is to win your bid. Bids aren’t based on the number of tricks, but on four criteria: High, Low, Jack, and Game. High is when you win the highest card in the trump suit. Low is for playing the lowest, which means you can still get it even if you don’t win it in a trick. Jack is winning the Jack of of the trump suit. Game is for ending the round with more points from the tricks you took, and points are assigned as follows:

  • A: 4
  • K: 3
  • Q: 2
  • J: 1
  • 10: 10

No other cards count towards game.

For a given round, there are up to four points your team can earn; however, since there are six cards in a hand, with four players, it means only 24 cards are dealt, leaving 12 cards no one knows aren’t in play. While there will always be a highest, lowest, and most points taken in a trick, there might not always be a jack in the trump suit dealt. Bidding four is a rare enough occurrence in a six-player version of the game in which all of the cards are dealt, but it almost never happens in the four-player variant.

Typically, a safe bid is made when your hand has enough cards in one suit that guarantee you’ll win. For instance, having the Ace and 2 of hearts, you know you’ll have High and Low, so you might bid two.

If you have the Jack and 10 of spades, however, you might not want to bid. Why? If you throw the Jack out, someone else might have the Ace, King, or Queen of spades and take the trick, and if it isn’t your partner, you’ve just lost a point, and possibly two or three if the other team played the highest and lowest spades. If you play the 10, and your partner can’t win the trick, you’ve just given a huge advantage to your opponents for winning Game this round. It’s probably safer to pass on bidding with these cards.

Most of my wife’s family seems to play fairly conservatively. My wife’s grandmother likes playing with me, however, as I make riskier bids to make the game interesting. I’m told that when her husband was alive that he would make four bids consistently with the most surprising hands.

As I said, there are 12 cards not dealt in a 4-player game. You might want to think about the odds that anyone else has the cards to beat yours, much as I did in one round.

I had three hearts: a Queen, a 9, and an 8. Normally, this is not a strong hand. There are potentially two higher cards than my Queen, and there are potentially two lower cards than my 8. What’s more, there are four cards that can beat my 9 that I don’t have, and if my 8 isn’t Low, they can beat that card, too.

And yet, I bid two. And since no one bid three, I won the bid, which means I get to play the first card, which indicates which suit is trump for this hand.

I played my Queen, and my partner played her Ace, which means we won the trick and have High. Later, I played my 9 to win a trick that was going in favor of our opponents in an off-suit, which allowed me to play my 8. Once again, my partner had the better card in a 2, and we made our bid. In fact, we also won Game as we took enough tricks to have more than enough points.

It was at the end of the round in which it was noticed that I bid two on such a terrible collection of cards. My wife pointed out that we were lucky she had the Ace and 2, although I was quick to point out that if she didn’t have those cards, our opponents did not have anything to beat the cards in my hand so we would have won anyway.

And this is how it goes for me when I play Pitch with my in-laws. I make risky bids, and while sometimes they go badly, often I’m able to pull it off, and yet I still get scolded for it. B-)

I get scolded because of those incredibly rare (My wife: “Hah!”) times when I don’t make my bid. In this same game, I bid three on a Jack, 10, and 7. As I mentioned above, the Jack is at risk here because someone else might have a higher card and win the trick I play it in. I played the 7 first, and luckily, it was Low. However, the rest of the round went badly for our team as it turned out that our opponents had better trump cards. I knew it was a risk, yet I bid anyway because I thought there was a chance I could pull it off since the big unknown was if anyone else had the cards to beat my hand. Sometimes there are no Aces, but to have no Aces, Kings, and Queens in play of a particular suit is a bit more unlikely.

The thing about this game that always intrigued me was that there were multiple ways to earn a point. While High and Jack can be treated similarly in that you win the hand the appropriate cards are played in, and Game requires counting points in the tricks you won in the round, Low is different. You win Low by merely having the lowest trump card in your hand. You don’t need to win the trick you play it in.

Why was it designed in this way?

In my research, I learned that I’ve been thinking about it the wrong way. You always win the hand when you play the high card, but that fact is incidental. The real way to get High is merely playing the highest value trump card, much like getting Low is done by playing the lowest value trump card. There’s symmetry there that I didn’t recognize before.

I’ve seen variations of Pitch in which the way to get High and Low is to win the trick that has those cards played. I haven’t played it that way, but it seems to me that it would change how often Low would be won by the team that played it since it isn’t a guaranteed point anymore. Someone on the other team might take it if they have a higher trump card.

Instead of getting Low based on the luck of the draw, you would need skill as Low is nothing more than yet another card that happens to be in the trump suit. This change has the benefit of making the rules easier to remember for a new player, yet tilts the odds in favor of veteran players.

Baseball

My wife’s grandmother lives in a small town, with a population of 60. At its peak it had 220 residents in 1910. It has a rich history, including the fact that Bonnie and Clyde came through and robbed a few of the buildings back in the 1930s.

This weekend, there was an annual town reunion, and attendees were able to participate in a slow-pitch baseball game in the park between the soy beans, the corn field, and the railroad tracks. The teams were a mix of grown-ups and children, and there were way more than 9 players on the field at any given time. It was a friendly game with the goal of having fun as opposed to winning (yes, my team lost).

I don’t think I’ve played baseball since Little League, but I picked up a glove and ran out to center field, and as soon as the first ball was hit, I realized that I still remembered what to do.

Knierim Baseball

Even if the ball is going out to left field, I ran in that direction to support the fielder there. If he or she dropped a fly ball, I could immediately pick it up and throw it in, which reduces the time to threaten the runners with getting tagged out. A few seconds can make a huge difference.

Depending on the skill of the batter, the fielders would move in or out. While I get why it makes sense tactically, I always felt bad about doing so. Imagine being the kid batting after the power hitter and seeing all these fielders walking towards you, knowing that they think you can’t hit the ball very well. That’s not great for their confidence.

When the ball did come to me out in center field, I had to throw it towards the infield, but to whom? 2nd base was usually a good bet, as it would prevent the batter from attempting to run there, but what if someone is running for third? And if someone is running home, you better have a good arm to get it there, and I…I do not. So my default was to throw to 2nd base, or to shortstop if the fielder came out to help relay the passes.

But as I said, it was a game for mixed ages, and the rules and winning weren’t everything. I wasn’t the only center fielder, and if a young child got to the ball first, I resisted asking for it despite the fact that I would throw it much faster. This is his or her moment of glory on the field, after all, and whether the child threw the ball or ran it allllll the way to the infield, there was the delight they had for participating that you didn’t want to take away. And the parents and grandparents in attendance got a thrill, too.

I think a favorite moment for many people there was the very small child who ran the bases in a creative way, managing to run from 1st to 2nd to home, despite the existence of a runner standing on third. I’m sure we could have enforced the rules there, but you try telling that kid he didn’t actually score a homerun off of his 8th swing which barely touch the ball.

Speaking of running, when I hit the ball, I remembered the coaching I received as a child: run all out to first base, run through first base, and turn right if you don’t plan to run to second. In baseball, you can run through 1st base and still be considered safe because…well, I never looked into it, but it’s special. If you turn left, however, it means intent to run to second base, and you can be tagged out in that case, but turning right means you are staying at 1st and just need to slow down.

It’s an interesting rule, because running through first means you get to run at full speed all the way to the base. If you had to stay on the base in order to be safe, it would mean needing to slow down somehow, which makes it easier for the fielders to get the ball to first to tag the base and force you out. It also reduces the risk of injury, as being able to run in a consistent manner seems safer than running all out, then trying to stop on a dime.

Exercise Complete

Despite not playing many games, I was able to journal a bit about the few I did play. In one game, I finally had an excuse to look into a rule that interested me for some time, and in another rules were broken in the interest of having fun.

I’ll continue the game play journal as it definitely seems like a good idea for me to practice identifying what mechanics seem to help or hinder the player’s experience.

If you participated in exercise 1.4 on your own, please comment below to let me know, and if you wrote your own blog post or discuss it online, make sure to use the hashtag #GDWW.

Next week, I’ll describe 10 compelling aspects of childhood games I remember playing.

Game Design Workshop Wednesday Exercise 1.4: Game Journal #GDWW is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Weekday Escape N°36

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Weekday Escape N°36 Games featured this week: Fruit Kitchens No.10: Grape Purple; Find the Escape-Men 114: Instant Noodle; Cute Duckling 2 — So once again it's time to take a break from all the hassle and stress of the weekday by enjoying these three quick, fun escape games from Minoto, No1Game and Funky Land. That's right, a trio of fabulous fun and they're all yours for the mighty cost of: free. Act now and you can impress your friends and wow your co-workers with your brilliant escape game skills and witty comments. And all you have to do is click "play". Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, flash, free, funkyland, game, minoto, no1game, pointandclick, puzzle, weekday-escape



August 12, 2014


Invert Selection

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Invert Selection Create designs, in this simplistic puzzle game, by following the actions each level gives you and thinking a bit outside the box. Add, subtract and invert the glowing little boxes to match the goal shape while enjoying the serenity of the music and peace of the game. Tagged as: browser, elanda, flash, free, game, linux, logic, mac, puzzle, rating-g, windows




Stolen Sword

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Stolen Sword Stolen Sword is a gravity-bending puzzle platform game by NowGamez about a knight whose quest to retrieve a stolen sword will have him bouncing from ceiling to floor. A high difficulty level may make it off-putting to some, but overall the game's puzzles have a nice sense of logic to them that is satisfying to complete. Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, gravity, highdifficulty, linux, mac, platform, puzzle, rating-y, windows



August 11, 2014


Ice Room

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Ice Room Baby it's cold... inside? Hmm. Trapped with an expectant looking polar bear and a whole lot of buttons, you'll need to get some fresh perspective to find your way out of this short yet cute escape game from Yonashi. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, linux, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, windows, yonashi




Jam Spotlight: GBJam 3

from Jay Is Games

Jam Spotlight: GBJam 3 Games featured this week: Steam Rogue; GrayScale; Meowgical Tower; Octane Witch — Old school doesn't have to be said with a smirk and finger quotes! Created for the GBJam 3, these four games do everything from puzzles to hack-and-slash biker witch action with style and cleverness. These are just the tip of the iceberg, with over 250 games available to play and vote on! Tagged as: adventureislands, blog, browser, dgreenly, free, game, jamspotlight, neondeitygames



August 09, 2014


Mayan Prophecies: Blood Moon

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Mayan Prophecies: Blood Moon So, bad news. The city has been overrun by jaguars, and an ancient evil deity has turned your friend into one. No, it's not a fever dream caused by bad takeout, it's the newest campy cool hidden-object adventure from EleFun Games! Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, casual, demo, download, elefungames, game, hiddenobject, mac, mahjong, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-y, windows




New update on the 2D murder mystery game prototype

from Game Producer

I posted an update at the tigsource devlogs section. You’ll find this chap from there.




Stealth Bound Level Pack

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Stealth Bound Level Pack Jump back into more silly stealth in this pack of levels for the popular, charming puzzle platformer. Steal lab coats, grow enormous plants, wield fishing rods, and more as you nab all the key-cards, flip all the switches, and evade every guard and security camera on the way to the exit. Tagged as: action, browser, flash, free, game, linux, mac, platform, puzzle, rating-y, stealth, vkim, windows, yshapkin