Monday, 27 September 2010

ShadowNinjaMonkey AWAKES

Long time no post.

This is hopefully the start of a series of posts about my work developing a game for the iPhone. First, some history...

The origins of this game comes from the Global Game Jam 2010 (a great annual event where teams must design and make a game in a weekend - definitely worth getting involved in).

I had pitched the idea the previous year, but we finally got round to making it this year. The title was ShadowNinjaMonkey, and the idea in a nutshell is this: a black and white ninja hunting/battling each other in a black/white world of dynamic shadows, where the white guy is hidden in the light, and the black guy is hidden in the shadow (see Samurai Jack - Black vs White ninjas for the obvious inspiration).

The result of the weekend was both satisfying, and disappointing. The final game was FAR from finished. The player was just a dot, his sword only stuck out sideways, it was very hard to control, the combat wasn't fully thought out, and it would crash if you finished the level. But hunting each other in the dynamic lights and shadows turned out to be a lot of fun, and we ended up winning several jury votes for the best game (resulting in having to make some very confused sleep-deprived speeches - I'm the mumbly longhaired guy at around minutes 7 & 11).

You can try the original version here. It requires the Unity plugin, and another player on your local network (you have to enter their IP) - like I said: FAR from finished.

We agreed as a team to work on this further after the Jam, and although we've separately investigated aspects of it, we haven't focussed together enough to produce anything of note. I'm hoping this will change. I've been working on the control logic on and off (in a variety of languages, including flash and javascript), but have finally started to work on what (I hope) is the final iteration.

As mentioned above, the iPhone is the destination for this game. There are many reasons for this... I am working as a Cocoa developer during the daytime, I want to practice iPhone development, it has proven itself as a game platform that works, and there are more opportunities for making some money on the AppStore than in the browser, desktop or console.

So, what is the purpose of this blog? Well, mostly I'm hoping to motivate myself into seeing this through to the end. Also, if this does lead somewhere it will be an interesting log of my thought processes. I will try to regularly update these pages with my progress, game design ideas, artwork, anything really.

Coming Soon... An engine, some code, and some improved designs.

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