Jan 30

Spacestation Pheta Remake – Week 2

Hey y’all.

Second week doesn’t have much new that you can see; a lot of the work was frameworks that will let the game last for more than a level without being really clunky.

Unfortunately, the content I made today, which was mainly the second and third screens, weren’t finished in time for me to upload a build. It’ll be there in next week’s update, but this week, you’ll finish the first screen and go back to the “level select”.

Speaking of, the things that you CAN see that I put in are that the game will open into a menu of sorts. It’ll look nicer later; right now it serves its function and that’s all I need. Just enter a number into the text field, hit the button and you’ll start from that screen. Of course, in this build, you can only go to screen 1.

Additionally, in screen 1, you can now pick up a key and exit the level! Walk over the small capsule at the top of the screen and you’ll be able to go into the box at the far right of the screen. After a few seconds you’ll go to the next level; or, in this case, finish all the levels that are there and go back to the menu.

Oh, and you’ve got three lives now; lose all of them and you’ll go back to the menu. There’s pauses where you can’t control the character after you die; imagine some kind of animation or graphic showing to indicate you’ve died when that happens.

You can download the new build here. OSX and 32-bit Windows versions both included. Please let me know of any bugs or crashes or the like that you encounter.

So let’s see if I can check off what’ll hopefully be in next week’s build. More levels; at least up to screen 3, possibly even to screen 5, but I might be mistaken about when the next gameplay system gets introduced, and if it’s within the first five screens, it’ll probably be a little difficult to get that much done.

I’ll also be getting the oxygen system in place, where each movement will take away some of your oxygen, you can refill it slightly with pickups in the levels, and if you run out of oxygen, you die. Picking up oxygen also awards you points, which are technically already there, but I’ll be surfacing the score properly, as well as putting in energy tanks that award bonus points.

Pretty sure that’s everything…

Oh, and in terms of overall goal, I had originally intended to get the first ten screens in the game and all systems that would be required by that point. The thing is…that’d probably be pretty unnecessarily big. Each level would be quite sizable (the current build, with almost nothing more than the first screen, is 20MB) and I wouldn’t want people downloading something so big that has such basic artwork in it.

The original Spacestation Pheta has a level editor that lets you create your own levels and even edit the existing levels in the game. Yes, it was an old game, but it was still positively TINY; and I’m willing to bet this was a significant factor in its size.

So, assuming I get everything necessary done up to screen 5, I plan to stop making new screens there and try to make a level loader for my version of the game. I don’t know if I can make an editor in the time I have, but I’m willing to try and make a system to create the levels from a text (or XML or something) file and save actual download space that way.

So I’m hoping I can make that happen in time. If not, I’ll just work on it until I do finish it, even if it’s outside of a month’s time. That’s my (fairly lofty) goal I’ve set for myself. Looking forward to seeing how I do!



Jan 23

Spacestation Pheta Remake – Week 1

I decided last week that I wanted to actually do more game making this year, as opposed to last year, where I did none whatsoever. A good way to focus myself, I figured, would be to try and make something different each month; and to keep me from not being able to think of ideas, I figured I could just make my own versions of simple games.

So, with that, I give you my remake of Spacestation Pheta. Well, the first week of it, anyway.

Pictured: A typical game screen from the original Spacestation Pheta.

Spacestation Pheta was originally created for MacOS6 in 1988 and updated through to the 90s, but never saw any sort of port or rerelease. Shame, because it’s an amazing puzzle game with basically unlimited potential.

The game has you controlling a guy across 100 screens, moving around a grid, jumping, climbing ladders and navigating a whole bunch of other mechanics that get introduced to collect a key and get to the airlock. Every move takes up some of your limited oxygen and when you run out of it, you die.

From this very simple starting point, the game introduces lots of new tricks for you to wrap your mind around. The original game allows you to start at whatever screen you want, so the actual goal is to gain a high score, mostly from clearing each screen quickly. It even includes a full level editor, just in case you somehow conquer all the main screens.

Anyway, my first week of attempting to remake it (which is really five days, one of which I was sick for) has resulted in getting most of the framework laid out. All you’ll be able to do in this build is move around in the level, climb ladders, jump and die if you fall too far; I couldn’t get the key and exit working in time, but it’ll be in next week’s build.

This isn’t meant to be any sort of finished product right now; if you download it, I’d love to hear any feedback you have, especially on a technical level. If it breaks anywhere for you, please let me know. There’s a couple of things I’m aware of, but don’t hesitate to tell me if something doesn’t work that seems like it should.

Use the arrow keys to control and the space bar to jump; refer to this screen for safe movement techniques.

The download has both OSX and Windows copies of the build. Download.

Looking forward to sharing next week’s build with you all!



Jul 31

What’s New?

Ooh, I have NOT been updating this regularly…

So what happened in the last…seven months? Wow.

Let’s see… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 26

The 2011 Christmas Haul. And End of Year Stuff Too, I Guess

So hey, merry Christmas! Or, as I’ve taken to saying the catch-all statement that isn’t as vague as “happy holidays”, merpy Christmahanukwanzakah Solstice! I hope everyone had a good day, or at least a better day than whatever their usual is. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 01

NaNoWriMo – I Finished It

Um…Yeah. I finished NaNoWriMo. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 06

NaNoWriMo – Update #1

For the uninitiated… Okay, I don’t really have time to explain NaNoWriMo. I’ll assume most people reading this already follow me on Twitter anyway.

But just in case, go here — NaNoWriMo.Org — to learn all about National Novel Writing Month.

This is my first time participating in the event. I said I’d post an excerpt of the novel I’m writing for NaNo, so here we go.

I still don’t have a title for the novel, but it contains robots, so the working title is “Robots ‘n’ Shit: The Working Title”. Here’s a couple of excerpts from the first couple of chapters. Also, there might be missing bold/italicised text for emphasis that doesn’t carry over into HTML, but don’t worry about that.

“I might not have made the emphasis emphatic enough when I said it before,” ‘Genius’ said, “so I’ll say it again: Jamison, you need to get out of here and be away from your work. Even if only for an hour, you need to do something else. You hearing me?”

“Mmm-hmm,” Jamison replied, swallowing the last of his mouthful. He collected his claimed containers up into his arms and started towards the door. “Well, thanks for bringing back lunch; gotta get back to it though. See you at dinner!”

“I-” began ‘Genius’, failing to get the rest out before Jamison left the room entirely. “Ugh,” he sighed, snatching up the bag and slinking into the seat opposite Steve.

“Don’t worry about him,” Steve said. “He’s fixated on that damn theory of his. He’ll never listen to us.”

“Yes, but he’s always fixated on something and he’s always ignoring everything else. It’s gonna kill him one of these days.”

“Either that or he’s going to make a breakthrough,” Steve mused. ‘Genius’ picked up the glass of ice and water, now more water than ice.

“Really? Don’t tell me you believe all that stuff he says now; that’s your fastest ticket out of here.”

“I’m not saying I believe anything,” Steve said, as ‘Genius’ drank from the glass. “What I’m saying is that for the ninety percent of his time that he’s always holed up in his office-lab, something inevitably would have to result from all of it, right?”

“Maybe,” ‘Genius’ replied, placing the glass back down. “But he’s been saying all the same general stuff since day one. He’s not going to have too many years left to make a breakthrough of any kind; and there’s not a single other person who’s gonna carry forward his way of thinking, especially once he’s out of here. If he wants to make an impact, he’d better at least make it happen soon.”

Meanwhile, in the private confines of Jamison’s quarters, the scientist-in-question’s fingers blurred together as they hammered out text from his keyboard to his computer screen, only matched in speed by the whispers flying from his mouth. As each new line of code appeared on the screen, another fifty almost-immediately would push it off-screen.

And then, all of a sudden, he stopped. His fingers continued to twitch slightly, though they refrained from pressing any keys. He stared, wide-eyed, hardly believing what his eyes beheld.

“That’s… That’s it,” he said quietly. “It’s ready!” A small fit of giggles threatened to burst through; and, indeed, made through on their threats. “Hehehe, it’s finally ready! Ahahahaha!” Despite his glee, he kept a hushed voice. Jamison pushed his chair back and flailed his arms around in excitement, practically squealing.

“Finally, haha!”

A few minutes later, the man composed himself, keeping his happiness confined to an ear-to-ear grin. He looked around his living space, thinking about the next step.

“Designs,” he said to himself after a moment, running over to a second desk that contained paper. He immediately began sketching out a rough humanoid figure, making notes at various points of the drawing. The single detail that he gave attention to, however, sat on the left breast of the figure. An emblem of sorts. After finishing the emblem, he quickly rewrote it again at the top of the page, adding in the long form, titling the piece.

Σ7 | Sigma-7

Leaning forward and letting his weight rest on the front of his feet, the Sigma-7 launched himself forward, running from the storage containers to the streets. He only caught stares of bewilderment from the various robots he passed, but even so, he found it hard to care. The feeling of freedom such a simple act gave him nearly overwhelmed him. He didn’t want to stop. He wanted to keep going.

Through the streets.

Past the city.

Beyond the borders.

Around the world.

He couldn’t get tired.

He could do it if he wanted to.

And he wanted to.

He really wanted to.

He approached the entrance to his workstation. If he went past here, he’d just keep on going.

Unfortunately, a large metal arm appeared out in front of him; and before he had the opportunity to react, the Sigma-7 found himself sliding a few feet across the ground on his back, coming to a stop just ahead of where his Delta-3 familiar had stopped him.

“Why were you running?” he asked, walking over to pull the Sigma-7 up.

“I just wanted to run. No real reason,” the Sigma-7 replied. Most, if not all of the robots that had watched the spectacle returned to their own priorities.

“But why? The day shift won’t start for another fifteen minutes. Running to get here and just wait is pointless.”

“Well, yeah, but I just felt like running. I don’t care if I have to wait here, I just wanted to run.”

The Delta-3 gave him something of a calculating stare. “You weren’t slowing down when you got here,” he said.

The Sigma-7 stayed silent.

“…If you’re getting defective-”


“Look, just do what you’re supposed to do. Follow directive and I won’t report you. Just stop doing all this unnecessary stuff. If I wasn’t here, you’d be scrap in just a few minutes.”

“Okay, okay,” said the Sigma-7, “I understand. Let’s just stop talking about it and go inside. I just want to start working.”

The Delta-3 sighed as they both walked into the workstation building; the ground floor of which consisted solely of a series of elevators. “It wouldn’t matter if you wanted to or not; directive’s directive,” he said.

“Yeah,” said the Sigma-7, a tone of resignation in his voice. The two entered an elevator and let themselves be lowered down, beneath the earth to the maintenance tunnels.

…And that’s just a disgusting taste at the shlock I’m writing down for this event. I’m currently at 10,000 words and ten hours of sleep since the event started. Five days ago.

I predict my sleep pattern will not improve for the next twenty-five days.



Aug 06

Bouncing Princess Freakout – Prototype

During the month of June, I, along with three other programmers and five or six artists were tasked to make a quick prototype. The only two criteria our teachers gave us were the mechanic — platformer — and the name, Bouncing Princess Freak.

We managed to weasel a change in the title into our final build at the end of June and here we are, with Bouncing Princess Freakout.

Now, when I say “during the month of June”, what I really mean is that we did this in eight days. Two days each week actually went towards work on the prototype.

I forgot to include a readme of any sort (and to hell with reuploading the .zip) so read through this before downloading. In fact, the link’s below all of this text, so you should end up reading it anyway.


Use the left and right arrow keys to move in their respective directions and the up arrow key to jump. I think we put in WASD for that as well. Sounds like a logical thing for us to do, definitely.


You’ll notice each time you bounce on a block, it will either turn on or off. Turn enough blocks in the level on to open the exit and continue to the next level. Including a progress bar of some sort probably would have been a good idea on our part…


Because the programmer who did our credits was — and I’m being charitable here — just plain awful, outside of debug mode, they behave in an…interesting fashion. Anyway, there was a timer in the credits that would return to the main menu after they had finished scrolling. So you can either wait 20 seconds through the credits or just hit escape once you’ve had your laugh.

And so, with that all said, I don’t think there’s anything that should be too unclear in this. If you have questions, comments, praise or scorn, feel free to let me know about it either here or messaging me on Twitter. Rest assured, basically all of the terrible parts of this prototype have already been quote-unquote “fixed” in our current project.

Because I didn’t have the time to find the actual project and make a Mac build, the download is only of a Windows executable. But I assume the four people reading this have no problem with that, right?


And, well…enjoy!



Jun 23

F.U.N Podcast – It’s Still A Thing!

What? Of course I’m committed to this thing.

So in the second of our test podcasts, Jordan and I discuss musical games, post-Duke Nukem Forever trauma, Super Smash Brothers ideas and lots lots more (that I won’t list because I forget all the tangents we ran off on)!

This took less than a week to get up on the Internet! With any luck, I’ll be uploading them when they’re still relevant in no time!

Have a listen right underneath this text!


And you can always download it as well!



May 19

Another New Thing?!

So I may have stopped doing that weekday movie thing a couple of months ago, but that didn’t mean I’m done talking across the Internet, no sir!

Presenting the F.U.N Podcast, beta edition!

What does it stand for? Well since I’d forgotten the name until the end of recording, you’ll have to listen to find out. But fear not, because I and my Internet acquaintance, StarRoadWarrior, do our very best to keep you entertained until that point.

In this inaugural, very unstructured episode, we cover what we’ve been playing, talk about a bunch of Nintendo’s franchises, prove how lazy and busy I am by talking about what the state of PSN was at the time of recording (the day before it went back up, I believe) and get distracted at almost every turn. Of course, because we are geeks, we talk a little about movies, music, TV and webcomics in amongst everything.

I think it’s absolutely terrible and that we can only get better from this point on, personally.

You can listen to it somewhere underneath this bit of text. And if you look even further, you may spot the elusive download link!





May 17

This Year’s Birthday Haul

I had a good birthday this year, and I’ve walked away with quite a nice load of stuff. Check it out! Read the rest of this entry »

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