Monday, March 26, 2012
A very quick note, as Kevin has gone to bed:
The Apollo 18+20 IF album is now live. Most of the games are playable in your web browser; they can all be downloaded and played in your IF interpreter tool of choice.
This after ten minutes of work by me and three months by Kevin. So benificence upon him and all the album contributors. Also thanks to Ryan Veeder for the cover artwork.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
As I have alluded in some blog post or other, I've been working on an iOS port of the board game Fealty, designed by R. Eric Reuss. For the project, I chose to use the "turn-based game" API which is built into iOS 5.
(This is part of the GameCenter toolkit, aka GameKit; but not the whole thing. The original GameKit, in iOS 4.1, supported achievements, leaderboards, and peer-to-peer games, but it didn't have a system for turn-taking games. That came along in iOS 5. Just to be clear about the background.)
Building a game using Apple's API was kind of an adventure, which I may document on this blog someday. But the thing is, Jmac and I spent 2005 and 2006 building a platform for these sorts of games, with servers and APIs and everything. It was called Volity; it was very clever. (We weren't nearly so clever about PR, which is why nobody used it, which is why we took it down a few years later, which is why I'm not linking to it.)
We are not Apple, but we are gamers, and our Volity system is more general than Apple's toolkit. It can be used for more kinds of games. This blog post is my attempt to rattle off the differences. Not for bragging rights (Volity is down today, GameCenter is up, end of story) but to point at features that GameKit will (I hope) adopt in future releases.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
I commented on Monday that I would get an update posted "in a couple of days". That wasn't procrastination; I wanted to be able to say I'd hit an interesting milestone before I headed off to a week of GDC. Didn't happen! Sorry. So, here's the somewhat-less-than-a-mile marker of progress I've got.
First, the game: the game is progressing. That is all I have to say about it. (Yes, there will be more detailed reports before the "It's done" report. But not right now.)
First and a half: Let's assume that if I had a release date to announce, I'd announce it, okay? (I wish I didn't have to explain that every time.)
But here is what I can say, because this is the open-source part: I have made great progress this month on the technical end of the project. That is to say, the iOS port of the IF interpreter.
by Miyuki Miyabe; translated to English by Alexander O. Smith
I suppose I should write two reviews here: one for folks who love Ico the videogame, and one for folks who have never heard of it. (If you're in between, flip a coin and read both.)
Ico was a 2001 videogame (for the Playstation). I loved it; I still love it. It remains a landmark in atmospheric, engaging videogame storytelling. Notably, it was almost entirely wordless. Everything was conveyed through architecture, lighting, the body language of the protagonists, and -- most important -- the physical struggle of the game's challenges. If you haven't played the game, this makes no sense to you. Let me put forth that the most important button on the game's controller, the one about which the story revolves, is "hold hands".
So how does this experience translate into a novel?