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  Be Still My Heart! 10:46 PM -- Sat September 25, 2010  

Got an iPhone or an iPod Touch? Like tapping on it? Then you will love Still Pond for iPhone! It's free, which is a great price, and it's fun, which is a great thing for a game to be. It has some differences from the PC, with some unique bonus modes and tweaked gameplay (so you don't break your phone trying to click on burritos). Check it out!

Still Pond was ported to iPhone by Tapnik.
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  Robot Wants Ice Cream! 07:12 PM -- Fri September 24, 2010  

Play Robot Wants Ice Cream RIGHT NOW!!!

With that out of the way, let me also add that you should go on Kongregate and rate it 5 stars so I win vast riches: Click here you know you want to just do it go for it now

And with that out of the way, ahhhhhh. A game is released. It's so nice to have another one out of the way. I probably should update the History page sometime to mention these things. Crazy time of year this is. I made a list a couple days ago of projects I was actively working on, and there were 5. Then I got another one to do for the Boy Scouts again shortly after that, so it became 6. Good news is it's back down to 5 as of right now!

Sadly, that 6 doesn't include anything special for Halloween. Actually, I had it as 7, with "Surprise Halloween game - witch platformer? Card-based D&D thing?" but that string of letters is the extent I've worked on it, so my 5 legit projects are going to take precedence. I am absolutely swamped at this point, so what I think I will do is just re-activate the old Great Pumpkin's Field once again for this year, if it still works. As I recall, it was pretty buggy and weird, but it was fun to play! So that'll be fun. I really don't have time to burn on anything new, I'm afraid. We'll see what other tiny surprises can be creeped in there a little bit. Everybody knows Halloween is the Hamumu Holiday!
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  Breaking Radio Silence 11:22 PM -- Wed September 22, 2010  

I was informed today by somebody that they were a big fan, and read my journal every day. I felt really bad that they kept reading the exact same words over and over, so I figured I'd post something new to mix it up a little.

It has been quite some time since I blogged anything! I have been busy working, haven't really had anything shareable. I'm working on a ton of projects at once right now. Not much I can say about most of them at this point. I can tell you Robot Wants Ice Cream is completely done and shipped. I'm just waiting for the sponsor to post it so I can post it too! It's a fun one for sure.

October is fast approaching, folks... the question is, are we too busy to celebrate!?
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  Hey, remember Like? 05:52 PM -- Wed September 8, 2010  

Man, for all you people who used to really enjoy Like and his catchphrases and whatnot back in the 70's, I've added a t-shirt to our Cafepress store in honor of him (two versions!):

I think you'll like them! See, that's the kind of clever humor we all remember. Well, not all of us. Whatever happened to Like anyway? Seems like nobody even remembers he existed.

In Hamumu news, Robot Wants Ice Cream is done except for the music, and I think we will have a release within 2 weeks or so if all goes well. After that I'm working on a game based on, but more interesting than, Two Roads, which was commissioned specifically by a fellow indie. Should be an interesting bit of collaboration!
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  Immeasurably Smart 06:28 PM -- Tue August 31, 2010  

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  Robot Wants Victory! 03:51 PM -- Mon August 23, 2010  

I had a super hard time picking single winners in the Robot Wants Contests, so firstly, I may make as many as 3 non-boss guys, and secondly, I am awarding honorable mentions to 2 entries in each contest as well as a winner. They were mighty close to winning, so they ought to count for something, and I can certainly have more testers.

Robot Wants Robot

The two runner-ups (in no particular order) are...

Felixrain with "Armor Bot: A robot with metal plates covering it. It can only be shot in the back. It can jump and fires two bullets every three seconds or so." The reason this isn't a winner is that it's basically the same thing as the first boss of the game. But I may include it by making little floating heads of that boss... we'll see!

And AtkinsSJ with "A robo-claw! Runs along the ceiling, and occasionally stops to drop a big claw down, then reel it back in." A great idea, but the winner is...

PurpleKoopa! with "Heft: A heavy square robot. Like a Thwomp from Mario games, it tries to crush Robot. [etc]". I'm gonna work on that today! The other runner-ups may end up in the game as well, adding enemies isn't that hard.

Robot Wants Boss

The two runner-ups (in no particular order) are...

PurpleKoopa again! (no bonus prize!) with "A robotic tortoise with a turret/machine guns/etc. on its shell. [etc]" Good solid boss idea, but not the winner.

Moltanem2000 with "Lugnut - insert extensive drawing and explanation here." This was going to be the winner at first, and I'd say the only real reason it's not is that I don't want to have to implement the chain effect it would require. Laziness is the key.

And the winner is...

Stop Its Hammer Time with "Underscore - insert extensive drawing and explanation here too." Despite being very vague on exactly what this thing is (apparently, it's a box. But I think I may spice that up a teeny bit), it's got tons of detail on the part I am interested in - what it does! Sounds like a fun and interesting fight I will get to work on soon.

Thanks for all the entries and cool ideas. A lot of entries had no chance of winning because they relied on mechanics or features (or lack of features) that just aren't in this game. Sorry about that, but that's what happens when you make up characters for a game you have never seen! The main case of this was a lot of bosses that sound like they'd be fun, where you have to hop on platforms to get in position to hurt them. Those bosses would be really fun in a game where you do just hop around on platforms. Unfortunately, in Robot Wants Ice Cream, Robot can fly! To a degree.

I will be sure to do this again soon when I have a game I can throw extra ideas into. If you'd like to see what the two picture-based entries are about, or just see a lot of the entries, visit the Create-a-boss thread.
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  LD48 Failure 10:58 PM -- Sun August 22, 2010  

Well, this LD was a failure. I worked (a tiny bit) on an idea that I've had in mind for probably about 10 years, maybe longer. I've had a design document for it almost as long, though I didn't even load that up, I was just intending to make kind of a 48-hour subset of the general idea. That idea is El Peligro, the side-scrolling adventuresome tale (with lots of Zelda elements) of a Mexican wrestler sent by his mom to save the village from the scourge of the Chupacabra. There's a twist and so it turns out that the Chupacabra is just the first of several bosses.

As, in fact, this game was intended to be the first of several Heroes De Mexico games, all set in some indeterminate past in Mexico, where there is TV which El Peligro grew up watching, but it might be black and white, and there are still banditos roaming the land and horses and swordfights and gunfights. Kind of a wild west but in the 1950's. The next two games each starred a separate Hero: Zero the swordfighting daughter of the town's mayor, and then SeƱor Pistola, who surprisingly fights with pistols. So each game would play very differently in terms of actual abilities, but would all follow the same gameplay concepts - you collect powerups (like in Loonyland - leveling up, but by finding items, not by grinding XP), you meet experts/gurus who teach you new abilities, and you hop on platforms until you get to a boss and blow him up. I also had some wacky concept that you could then go back once you owned all 3 games and play the other games with the other characters, but that sounds like a lot of work for me. Also, the stories would be intertwined in a way - none of the three heroes knows each other, and they don't fight in the same areas, but unwittingly they all happen to be battling against a larger problem that all comes together in the end, courtesy of a singular evil villain that I will not spoil.

Deep dark secrets of my past aside, I was just going to make a little platformer where you were a wrestler and you picked up enemies and threw them at other enemies. I started out drawing El Peligro himself in much-larger-than-I-am-comfortable-with pixel art (32 pixels tall!). This made animating him a scary nightmare that didn't turn out like I wanted at all. So I got this far and then gave up:

Click in the flash to activate it. Use arrow keys to move left and right, do NOT push up or you will have to refresh the page, and push X to punch. You can do a 2-punch combo if you punch quickly (part of the bad art is that you can't really tell his right arm from his left when he punches), and you can do an uppercut by ducking and punching.

I was demoralized by the art woes and gave up quickly. On Sunday morning I decided to try again in a way where art wouldn't stop me:

Again click inside to get control, and the controls are the same, but you are allowed to jump, and instead of ducking, he does a frame of his "holding a guy over his head" animation. Really bad background choice since you can't see half of him half the time.

Aaaand, that's as far as I got! Spent the rest of the day playing WoW, cleaning up the house, and watching Korean horror movies. Why? Because I was demoralized about my pixel art dilemma. Look for a "Help Wanted" post to come pretty soon, because I think I'm going to be looking to hire a pixel artist for a few games. I am tired of my art holding me back, in the sense that I would sell more copies if the art were better, and that I would make games quicker and more of them if I only had to do half the work, and that I would do more interesting things in the games if I knew I didn't have to figure out how to draw them. It's better all around. People have argued that my own personal art is part of the charm of Hamumu games, but it's part of the charm like a new mother thinks the way her kid can't pronounce things is charming. If you weren't my mom, you wouldn't appreciatize it.

The only downside is that working with people is a horrible soul-destroying experience, and that they never ever ever get anything done and are impossible to rely on. If only I had a million monkeys.
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  LD18 Friday Night 12:01 AM -- Sat August 21, 2010  

I always begin LD with a friday evening of thinking about game ideas. The theme is "Enemies as Weapons". Here are ideas I've had, and I have not picked one, but feel free to steal any that you want, because even if we pick the same one, it'll come out totally different:
  • A platformer, but you jetpack around freely rather than ran and jump. Get close to enemy robots to tractor beam them onto you in one of 5 or so positions. When you push fire, they'll fire the same way they do as an enemy, except this time it's helping you. So you want to go around collecting useful weapons/enemies to make you strong enough to defeat other enemies. Maybe you need to cripple enemies with a bunch of shots before you can capture them, otherwise grabbing the toughest guys not only gives you the best weapons, but is also the easiest way to beat them. I quickly realized this idea was Tumiki Fighters, just not a scrolling shooter. But it would feel pretty different if kept more organized and in this free-ranging arena rather than a fixed scrolling shooter.

  • A kung fu platformer. So you need to beat guys up. Your only starting ability is to drop a dummy of yourself and leap back. Use this to get enemies to show you their moves when they attack it. If you stand still watching an enemy do a move, you learn the move. So you pick up a bunch of different fighting moves by watching enemies use them. Then you beat everybody up with them.

  • You're a wrestler running around in a side-scrolling platformer. The theme use is obvious: you pick enemies up and throw them at other enemies. There are a few platformery variations, like you can jump while holding a guy and piledrive him into the floor (some floor materials can be broken this way to get new places), or you can jump while holding him and jump again, smashing him down and getting a double jump out of it. This is partly inspired by Klonoa, mainly by an idea my friend Carlos had about 10 years ago.

  • You pilot a little spaceship made of two blocks (a core and a gun block). You go around shooting other blockships, and you collect some of their blocks when they die (your shots destroy the blocks they hit, and once you hit the core block, the ship explodes and any undestroyed blocks go flying to be collected). You visit landing pads to go to a design screen where you get to use your collected blocks to lay out your ship design. The blocks are various directions of pipe, energy cores, and gun blocks (of various types and directions). Pressing fire pulses all your energy cores, sending energy through any pipes touching them. If the energy reaches a gun block, it fires. So it's fun to build whatever design you want as you accumulate bits and just get ridiculously overloaded. Complicated to develop, this one, but it's got innovation on its side.

  • Something sort of RTS-like. You have a base that can do one thing: mind control a single enemy. You can also set 'plans' for buildings down. So you mind control the first enemy to come by and he works on building your plans when he's not busy blasting his former friends. Something like that. The buildings could be turrets to keep you safer, upgrades to your mind control radius and number, and whatever else.

  • Vague idea: you can move around pretty quickly but have no attacks. Maybe you can turn on a shield temporarily to make life easier, but that's it. The gameplay: zip around dodging enemy bullets trying to maneuver between enemies so they shoot each other. Only problem is you'd eventually beat all but one (and it'd get real tedious as their numbers dwindled).

  • There are big invincible muncher monsters and assorted little monsters. You fight by punching the little monsters (very hard) in an effort to fling them into the munchers' waiting maws. Maybe munchers explode when they overeat so you can kill them too. That way both monster types are 'weapons'.

  • Other simple concepts:
    • Eat enemies to gain their powers (Kirby)
    • Suck Cannon from Ratchet & Clank (inhale enemies and spit them back out)
    • Mind control
    • Telekinesis (grab a guy and fling him at others - sure it's the same as the suck cannon, but it feels different)
    • Big giant who just picks up robot enemies and uses them as clubs
    • Fire electric bolts that make the victim shock anybody near him (does that count as him being a weapon?)
    • The same but with lighting them on fire (they could leave trails of flame for enemies to step in, too)
    • Jump on enemy's back and physically control him
    • Jump inside enemy (maybe you're a ghost! Possess him!) and control him until he is destroyed
    • Pump fat enemies full of air (Dig Dug) until they explode and launch shrapnel at everyone else
    • Run into a swamp to get a gator chasing you then run into an enemy base to make him eat enemies (could be tile-based puzzle stuff with specific rules)...
I better stop before it becomes Saturday, but that oughtta cover you. Oh, and I drew a Mexican wrestler:
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  Robot Finally Wants Fishy! 06:33 PM -- Fri August 20, 2010  

Robot Wants Fishy on Armor Games

Go play it! I'll be setting it up here on Hamumu next week, with the usual trophies and score table and all. I don't know if that will be early or late next week... might not be until next weekend. So get your practice in now!
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  Ludum Dare #18 02:58 PM -- Fri August 20, 2010  

This weekend marks the 18th grand historical game development competition, Ludum Dare. In commemoration of this (and because other people were doing it and I got up at 3:45 this morning so I am a bit foggy), I created a collage of my previous LD entries:

Yep, it's been 20 entries since it started! I'm not sure I actually submitted all of those, but they were all worked on for the contest in question, so close enough. The ones I didn't submit were in no shape to win anything anyway. It's crazy how much game making this contest has pushed me into.

So why not get pushed yourself? Head on over to the site and join up for another rollicking round of 48-hour game development! I'm taking the weekend off from real work, and will spend it seeing what I can do. Fingers are crossed for a theme that inspires me.

Both Robot contests will end Monday! Submit your ideas before then, because I gonna pick me some winners and get to work developing them!
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