Cut to two years later. Futch and I, along with the help of some other incredible people, have created Buffalo Game Space. BGS has been a solid group for these past two years, consistently growing in terms of both members and output. We’ve proven the demand for this sort of group exists here. And that, to me, is absurdly exciting.
The thing is, Buffalo should have a game development industry here already. We’ve got all the makings of it – programmers, artists, musicians, designers. All right here. But these talented people keep leaving the area because they can’t find work. So what better way to provide these people with jobs than by bringing the benefits of a multi-billion dollar industry to Western New York?
That’s what we’re trying to do with this Kickstarter. Create jobs for talented people. With successful funding, we can get a better functional space that can be used by developing studios trying to get off the ground. Providing these teams with a space, equipment, and legal/accounting/publishing assistance means solid games. Which means revenue for the studio. Which means jobs. And like I said, multi-billion dollar industry – there’s money to be made there.
At BGSJAM 3 this past weekend, the theme was Let’s Get Weird!, which was a pretty awesome theme IMO. To that end, Damon McKernan and I made this awesome game called Thumbwars.
Thumbwars is an intense, two-player thumb wrestling game. Each player picks one of the two sticks on a Xbox 360 pad – moving the pad moves your hand, while clicking it locks your thumb down. Hold your thumb down to accrue points, but if the other player manages to pin your thumb you’ll lose a TON of points while trying to shake off the pin. Give it a go, it’s a lot of fun!
This was my second year participating in Global Game Jam, and I was all sorts of stoked for it. We were hosting the local jam at Buffalo Game Space (UB held it last year), and we had a pretty solid turnout! Coming off the heels of our own jam as well, everyone was pretty amped to be making more games.
The theme, revealed Friday night, was “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” This lead to a biiiiiiig discussion full of ideas for different games.
We ended up all settling on two separate projects, one video game and one board game. From the get-go I was planning on making some sort of board game, partly because I didn’t want to lug my rig back and forth again, and partly because I just really wanted to make another fun print-and-play game. And I think we (myself and and Damon McKernan, co-developer) succeeded in doing just that.
Our game is (tentatively) titled “Dungeoneering“. It’s a sort of dungeon crawler, where two to four players have to complete randomly assigned objectives; the first to finish their objectives wins the game. The initial gameplay involves players constructing the board from a set of map cards (each a 4×4 tile grid), and populates it with item tokens that function similarly to the item boxes in Mario Kart. Each player starts at the “Spawn” tile, with one objective card and one item card. Items can be shown to other players, but objectives should be kept secret (tying in with the theme of “seeing things as you see yourself” while not seeing everything as it is).
The main gameplay consists of trying to complete your objective. Players take turns rolling a die to determine how many AP (Action Points) they have for that turn. AP can be used for moving (1 AP per tile) or using items. Items, represented by cards in your hand, can be weapons, spells, traps, or “use” items. Most, but not all, items have an AP cost associated with them. Some items also require a second roll to see if they succeed in whatever action they conduct, and some are also restricted to a certain range in tiles. Here’s an example turn:
I roll for AP, and get a 4
My objective is to kill the player to my left, and they’re three spaces away from me, so I move two spaces to get closer to them. This leaves me with 2 AP this turn.
In my items I’m carrying a Spear, which has a range of two. This means the player I’m targeting is just within range. I make clear I’m attacking the player by telling them and showing my spear card to prove I actually have it
The Spear has a check roll to see if I can actually hit my target, which I use a second die to roll for. If I roll a 5 or a 6 I hit; otherwise the attack failed. I rolled a 5, so I succeeded in killing the player!
When a player is killed, you can take an item from their inventory. The player shows me the backs of all their cards, and I pick one at random. They then return to their starting point at the Spawn tile.
If that was all my objective was, then I get a point, play my objective card face up on the table, return to my spawn point, discard my inventory, and take another objective card and an item card.
And I’m sure by this point you’re probably incredibly confused as to how to play at all. It’s way easier than it sounds though, and the next iteration of it will be even easier to play. There’s a way to pick up more items while playing, but the current mechanic is super sloppy and tedious. We’ve come up with a way to make it infinitely easier, so that’s why I’m not getting into that right now. Traps are another element that really spice the game up, but it’d be easier to show once we’ve got some better graphics for it.
All in all, I’d call GGJ14 a huge success for Damon and myself. While I probably didn’t do a good job of describing the game, we’ve got a very solid core game built that was a lot of fun for everyone to play. Naturally it’s a jam game, so it needs a bit of polishing and tweaking. Fortunately we want to do just that, and eventually make it into a full-fleged, well tested, exceptionally fun game. Expect more updates on it soon!
New site, new blog, new shenanigans. I got sick of the old layout; it was a little too complicated for what I was aiming to do, and with my poor web coding skills/lack of interest in web dev it made sense to ditch the crazy php stuff and just make a simple static page. Once I get a few more games up I’ll make a separate page just for that, but for now I think the one main page works out pretty well.
In other news, next week I’m gonna be participating in 7DFPS. Took a week off from work just to crank out a bitchin’ shooter. I’ve got a couple ideas and a sort of aesthetic I want to shoot for, and if I get the prototype working in the first couple days and it’s fun enough, I’ll probably keep working on it past the end of the jam to get it more polished and presentable. In any case, I made a dedicated blog for all that, which you can check out here: 7dfps.hellocld.com Actually, forget that, that was dumb idea. I’ll just post stuff here and put the “finished” game on it’s own subdomain.