Thursday, 29 August 2013

868-HACK (iOS)

868-HACK (originally the 7-day roguelike 86856527) is now on the iOS app store.

(Sorry I don't have a PC version yet - I was originally intending to release them at the same time but then I got distracted working on other things and it's not ready yet and I figured it was better not to rush it. There is only one of me!*)

Okay what's changed from the 7 day version?
basically: A LOT.
- new programs.
- almost all the old programs ones modified (some in very subtle ways).
- a tutorial (skip this if you enjoy figuring out everything for yourself).
- better balanced.
- online high scores.
- streak scores too (sum across consecutive plays without dying).
- more graphics and sounds.
- so many little details I can't remember off the top of my head.
- secret stuff.

I should repeat about the tutorial: some people really enjoyed the blind confusion of working out all the mechanics themselves, and if that might be you then it's totally reasonable to skip it - you can always go back to it later. I've gone back and forth over whether it was right to include one at all, but ultimately most players were completely lost without some guidance and there's very much a game worth playing still there even once you understand what all the rules are. I still find it interesting to play myself and I know every detail of how it works.
Oh also - don't expect to understand everything after just the tutorial. It gives you the basics, but you still have to figure out how to put them together.

Also, several programs start out locked. Feel free to hit "unlock all" if you want to skip that, but I'd recommend going for the gradual introduction, you'll get a better understanding of the interactions between them.

Thanks so much to everyone who's helped out with this, with testing and suggestions. In particular, massive thanks to Leon Arnott, who in addition to helping out by writing most of the victory text and some of the intro text, made numerous excellent suggestions. And then repeated the suggestions when I didn't pay attention. And tirelessly kept on repeating them until I actually got around to trying them out and realised he'd been right all along. He also made a fan page (somewhat deceptive). Bless Leon.

get itttttt
(or, if you don't have one of those devices have patience I'll get a version you can play when I can! sorry!)
(also could someone please beat my high scores? ta.)

Monday, 5 August 2013

dota2 thoughts

eclectic thoughts from Dota2:

- I'm pretty lucky to have immunity to the collection urge. The game gives out MYSTERIOUS CHESTS that you can pay REAL MONEY to open and get random COSMETIC UPGRADES which accumulate to form COMPLETE SETS. My reaction to this is simply that I'm confused, I'm not sure why I'm being offered this because it doesn't seem appealing at all. But apparently some people enjoy opening these and trading these, and they spend money on them? I don't understand; it's not that I'm resisting this temptation, I just don't have that bit in my brain that would make me want to do this in the first place. However, as a game-maker this lack of sympathy for what appeals to many game-players probably puts me at a serious disadvantage in terms of mainstream appeal.

- Effects that just do a big chunk of damage, like Lion or Lina's ultimates or Dagon, actually have a surprising amount of subtlety to them. There's more depth than just click - numbers go down. Often you want to use these to finish off a wounded hero, maximising the information you have before using it, and surprising them with discontinuous damage before they can escape. But usually doing this means not all of the damage potential is used (unless you manage to click when their hp exactly equals the damage total), so there's an advantage to using these earlier in a fight as well. Also it helps your teammates to know that it will be used, and the most clear and accurate way to convey this information to them is to use it earlier - though this reveals it to your opponents too.

- It's kind of amazing to be able to play a ten-player real-time online game that might be an hour long, any time of day with usually no connection problems. At least to someone who grew up with dial-up internet and LANs that needed constant fiddling to make sure all the computers could see each other, getting parents to drive computers over to friends houses to be able to have more than one or two people playing together at once, configuring routers to open particular ports so games could be hosted; so much organisation and faff was required for networked multiplayer to exist at all. Now a game can comfortably demand ten players, not even supporting lower numbers - at least with a sufficiently powerful company behind it.