So, what was it like, drinking from the firehose? Less busy than I thought it would be - I only covered eight games, where I expected to do twenty. In part this was because a fair proportion of games were VR-only, but it was also a quiet day, as developers evidently decided that the start of the Steam summer sale was a bad time to launch.
What did I learn?
Many inhabitants wishing to get the tribute came back to the city. Only the time will show whether the main character will find the riches or he is fated to decorate one of the undercroft corners with his skeleton.
Ugly, uninspired, crashes constantly.
Plunge into court politics and change the course of history, or pursue a love affair that rocks the kingdom to its foundations!
I had fun playing as basically a male Anne Boleyn in a very Spain-inspired fantasy world.
Play as an anthropomorphic computer virus in prog.1, a thrilling 2D puzzle platformer set in a sci-fi world where scientists work feverishly to build the first fully artificial universe.
A punishingly hard platformer where everything crumbles beneath you. The jump controls are not very good, at least on keyboard. Some people probably like this challenge. For me, it just made my hands hurt.
A fast-paced arcade shooter breakfast-hell.
A completely absurd simple shooter that makes you laugh.
The epic RPG 7 Mages in the tradition of the greatest classics of the genre takes you around the magical island of Roven.
Play Legend of Grimrock 2 instead.
Who broke the agreement between good and evil?
Beautifully executed with an interesting story. Sadly, hidden object games leave me cold.
Purino Party takes one part puzzle game, and one part visual novel - romancing cute girls included - and combines them for a laid-back yet addictive gameplay experience!
Fun, light-hearted, kinda pervy. Ultimately just a match-3 game, but if you like those, you'll probably have fun.
The Island of Von Shalitz has long been known to be a place of evil and despair. You are the unfortunate last living heir to Von Shalitz's fortune or what some might consider a debt. Your inheritance encompasses the entire island and the mansion on the central plateau. A variety of beasts and horrors are rumored to haunt the land.
A badly put together mess with translucent horses. You stumble around and fail to kill zombies before getting humped to death by small wildlife.
Short version: For one day, on Thursday, 23. June, I will buy and play every single game released on Steam that day. I will stream myself playing. I will play each game for twenty minutes, and at the end of that time, I will render one of two verdicts: "keep" or "refund".
There are so many games being released every day that it's become pretty much impossible to keep track of them all. On the iOS app store, there's now something like 500 new games every day. Almost all of those will sink without a trace, unnoticed and unplayed.
On PC, things are not (yet?) that extreme. About 20 new games appear on Steam every day. But it's still too many for any one person to keep track of, enough so that perfectly good games might get lost because of chance.
Airships version 8.2 is out, with a massive list of improvements, such as aerial torpedoes, a prettier map, more interesting strategic conquest, and new translations. More on the details of some of these later - for now, enjoy the improved game.
"It's not you, it's me!" she whispered, urgently. I dropped to my knees and put my ear to her chest. She was right. The buzzing was coming from her heart, not mine, and it was stronger than I had thought. Not much time left.
Airships v8.2 will add a new weapon to your arsenal: aerial torpedoes. Each torpedo is almost a tiny airship by itself, with a steam-driven propeller and a suspendium chamber. And on impact, its explosive payload is so great as to punch even through the strongest armour.
Version 8.2 brings a large number of fixes, improvements, and balance changes. As such, I'm once again doing a beta for a few days, so you can try out the update and report any immediate problems. If you're up for it, you can download the beta from the downloads page, or opt into the Beta branch on Steam to get it. Let me know about any and all problems you encounter.
The biggest changes are a new Japanese translation provided by players, a 2x larger combat map, smarter AI in strategic mode, and a new weapon, the aerial torpedo.
(Update: Beta 2 is out, fixing a bug where the game crashed while intercepting a fleet, and adding a Chinese translation.)
I just came across the Kickstarter for Potions: A Curious Tale, a fantasy game with an emphasis on creative problem solving and experimenting with potion crafting. So pretty much this concept I wrote about nearly three years ago.
My point here is not that I think they "stole my idea". It is twofold: Potions: A Curious Tale looks like a cool game you might want to back and this is a great example of just how little a raw idea means in game development.
A while ago I listened to a podcast interview with one of the developers of Don't Starve. They were discussing the design of the Science Machine, the building that lets you discover new crafting recipes.
Want to get the occasional update on Airships' development? Want to hear about future projects?
If you've been following me for a long time, you know that before Airships, I was working on another project called Space Exploration: Serpens Sector. It was a space RPG that started out as a clone of the original Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, and ended up being something like Sunless Sea in space with less florid writing and a bigger focus on crew management.
After a series of bug fix releases for dev 8, I am now making headway on dev 9 and its menagerie of monsters. In a previous post, I showed you the tentacle movement I implemented for the game. Now I want to show you how these tentacles are actually used by the Sky Kraken.
Rae and I came across Flag Stories, a pretty entertaining website doing various tallies and comparisons of national flags. One set of images was "averaged" flags for each of the continents - taking the layouts, colour schemes and symbols most common to the countries there. There was also a "World Flag" that took the most popular elements of them all, which ends up with a pretty but nondescript red-white-blue horizontal tricolor with a blue star.
Of course, that wouldn't really fly (ouch) as an actual flag of the world. It ends up looking very European, and not really representative of the planet as a whole. There recently was a very pretty proposal by Oskar Pernefeldt using seven interlocking circles on a blue background. Seven circles for seven seas and continents. It looks nice, but it does have two downsides: it's a pretty complex design geometrically, and the blue-and-white colour scheme might be too Western. Yes, you probably think blue and white is lovely, but they are Western and Christian colours. Other regions of the world might prefer green, or red.
So we decided to try our own hands at designing a world flag that would be very simple and more universal - and while we were at it, we also tried making one for the solar system as a whole.
There are two purposes to this blog post: one is to explain in detail how the lighting system works in Airships, and the other is to show you how to create graphics for the game that are in the same style as the rest.
The letters had been chiselled into the doorway. A relatively recent addition to the 18th-century academic architecture we found ourselves in. Grenville patted his pockets for the keys. The corridor was dimly lit by a forty-watt bulb shoddily installed in a wall sconce meant for a candle. At least it wasn't a flickering torch. That would have been too much.
Version 8.1 hath dropped, bringing fixes, improvements, and giant sawblades to chop apart your enemies.
So tell me a little bit about what your company does.
We're a seventh-level re-insurance company. Our main business is providing financial stability for sixth-level insurers, ones based in local galactic clusters.
So you're the guys who get called when a whole galaxy explodes, like what happened to M411?
With Airships dev 8 complete, it's time to start creating monsters.
Monsters and pirates is what dev 9 is going to be all about. What sets monsters apart from normal airships is that they can have abilities that are a little more out there, that would be hard to give to players for reasons of balance or user interface.
One of these things is tentacles. Giant aerial kraken will descend from the skies and begin snacking on your crew as you attempt to fend them off. Now, Airships' graphics may not be the fanciest, but they do pay attention to detail. A fixed tentacle graphic swinging by would be boring: how about properly animated ones? I wanted to try, at least.