On Game Making Collaborations

.I don’t recall what started it, but today I got thinking on the topic of collaboration in game making. Although I’ve made some attempts at it, the two complete games I’ve made so far have been solo efforts. (I’m not forgetting all the people that made my games possible: Tool programmers, beta testers, voice actors and so on. I’m very grateful for what they’ve done. I couldn’t have done it without them, but I still count both Frasse and Rocket Duel as solo projects.)

My first attempt (in 2002) at making a game with the SLUDGE adventure game engine was a collaboration. Continue reading

Now what?

In case you’re wondering what’s up, here’s a quick update.

I got a lot done on the SLUDGE adventure game engine during the summer. (If you’re interested in knowing more about that, and maybe trying it out, you should head on over to the Adventure Developers forum. That’s where the SLUDGE action is.)

Now my SLUDGE-making speed has slowed down a bit, for two reasons. One is that the vacation is over, and my paid work naturally has priority over this stuff. The other is that I’ve been spending a little time [i]using[/i] the SLUDGE development kit, making Frasse and the Peas of Kejick: Special Edition. No estimated release date for that yet, but I’m hoping to get it done this side of Christmas.

I’m a SLUDGE developer

If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that I’m working on the adventure game engine called SLUDGE, and have been doing so for a while. But now I’ve become an official SLUDGE developer, and even a project leader. If you are (or may become, or have been) a SLUDGE user, you should head on over to Adventure Developers, where I’ve started a discussion about the future of the engine. I’m interested to hear your opinion.

What I’m doing this summer

It’s time for another status update.

Since my last progress update, I’ve been busy. First with work: End of the semester and such. Not much time for anything else. After that, I went to the south of Sweden for a week to play and learn more about Jazz and World Music. (Yes, that’s me in the picture with a cornet in hand, trying some livelooping.) Great fun, and inspiring. (Some sound clips from the course are also available at the site I linked to, in case you’re curious. It’s me trying an improvised cornet solo in the middle of the Arabian 7/8, and playing the bassoon in the Tango.)

But now I onec again have time for a bit of programming, and am making progress. Continue reading

A new review

I was happy to find that “JD” has reviewed Frasse and the Peas of Kejick on his blog, where he reviews a lot of freeware adventure games (check it out). He mostly liked it, and I agree him where he mentions things he didn’t like so much.

Thanks, JD, for taking the time to write reviews! (And I’m not saying this because he liked my game. If anyone who doesn’t like my game would like to review it, I’d be equally grateful. I’d probably learn more from that review.)


I’ve only done minor things with Sludge this week. (Done some small fixes, and changed how resolution is handled.) The rest of the remaining work will have to wait until I have the books I mentioned in my previous post.

Instead I have spent some time with Frasse. The original game, and not the sequel. When I release it for the Mac, it will be an updated game, and the area where I really want to update things in in the sound department. I want to use real instruments in the music. Here’s an example: The original version, and the updated one with a live trombone. The new version is far from perfect (I need to practice recording myself) and I’ll probably return to it again before the game is re-released, but I hope you’ll agree it’s an improvement anyway. I plan to do this all over the place, and also add other sounds.

Sludge progress update

Now these things also work:

  • Collision detection. (I.e. checking if the mouse is over a character.)
  • Thumbnails for saved games.
  • File rename/delete.
  • Parallax layers are pasted properly when doing a freeze.
  • getPixelColour (untested, but should work)
  • The snapshot-related functions and special effects.

This means that all Sludge games should be playable! There are still things remaining, but everything is going in the right direction. (Beta testers – the updated engine is available at the same location as before.)

I have also ordered two books that should help me learn some things I should know: Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X  (I’m told this is the must-have book for Cocoa programmers) and OpenGL Shading Language.

Let there be light! (And fun with game testing.)

This is another progress update for my work on Sludge.

Lighting works. It was easier to add than I expected. (multitexturing with OpenGL is quite straightforward!) This is an area where the 32 bit graphics (instead of the 16 bit used by Sludge v 1) make things look better. Out of Order in particular looks quite impressive. Tim Furnish did some cool things with the lighting that looks great now that it’s a bit more subtle.

I have also discovered and fixed some bugs.

Now that most systems are functional, I’ve started testing a bit more. I’m now testing all Sludge games I have access to: (I want to make sure that I don’t break anything.)

Besides these, there are two more Sludge games that I know of that have been released: The Otto Experiment demo and Kats. Both of those have disappeared from the web. If you know where I can find them (Otto in particular) or another game that I have forgot about, please let me know.

Mandy managed to crash the engine when I started it. It turned out that the reason for that was that it’s in Slovak. (Translations are available, but I ran it with the defaults first.) Slovak uses a lot of accents, and those letters are encoded in the Windows text format in the game file, so when the game tried to set the title of the Window, it failed spectacularly. I now convert the title to Unicode, so it works. (Internally, Sludge uses its own text format, so that was never a problem.)

Continue reading