More Games, Some Are 3d! Finally!

I finally got around to making some 3d games for game jams! I have a couple other mostly-done 3d games that I made while learning Unity, but they aren’t as done as these and will most likely be released a bit later. The following 4 games were started and finished this month:

First off, another 2d game:

CodaCado: Pseudorandom Whole Tone Avocado Rhythms in 5/4

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A Rhythm game made for #multijam1 #gbjam3 #rhythmjam #avocadogamejamThis was fun to make!

Play CodaCado on Game Jolt

 

Spirictle Destastiny

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For #KatamariJam. Pick up particles to get big and pretty. Eventually you absorb the whole level!

Watch Spirictle Destastiny gameplay on Indie Impressions

Play Spirictle Destastiny on Game Jolt

 

Daegel-Bruhz Smoking Simulator

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for #1buttonjam #1GAM and also #multijam1. A day in the life of Daegel-Bruhz. Warning: adult-ish themes.

Play Daegel-Bruhz Smoking Simulator on Game Jolt

 

Roy, Gee, Biv

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For the 48-hour Ludum Dare Compo #30: Connected Worlds. Move characters though their corresponding one-way doors to open them. Each character has their own ability. Beat the game to break it.

Play Roy, Gee, Biv on Game Jolt

 

All of these games were a blast to make! I’m excited to finally be back in the game jam groove. In addition to that, many of my recent games have the potential to be built up for a full release. Let’s hope that happens!

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More Games, Some Are 3d! Finally!

Some Newer Flash Games

I’m about to post a bunch of even newer stuff, but until then I’m going to share some other flash games I’ve released over the last few months!

Note: Most of these games are on multiple portals (Kongregate, Newgrounds), but I’m just posting the Newgrounds link for now since Kongregate is terrible for smaller developers.

Farty Flappy Butt

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A Flappy Bird clone, I realized I could have submitted it to Flappy Jam a bit too late, though. Oh well! The farts are musical and the notes correspond to your height. Unlock poop and sandbox modes!

Play Farty Flappy Butt on Newgrounds

 

You Deserve a Princess

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Princess Locria just wants to be alone and conduct experiments, but the kingdom has other plans! Use a chain whip to block projectiles, defend yourself, and climb walls. Makes heavy use of the Locrian mode.

Play You Deserve a Princess on Newgrounds

 

Sea of Deception

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Made for Ludum Dare 48-hour Competition: Beneath the Surface. Collect information from other characters to gain knowledge and access new areas. Cross-species love and imprisonment. SPOILER: Dolphins are a lot more messed up than sharks.

Read the Sea of Deception Post Mortem

Play Sea of Deception on Newgrounds

 

Some Newer Flash Games

Newest 1GAM Games with RainbowSexyFish

Here are some games Kristin Magann and I have made recently for the last two onegameamonth jams:

The Karmaze

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Made for the “Respawn” theme. A puzzle game about rebirth where you must die and be reincarnated as different beings to open up paths throughout the level.

Play it here:

Newgrounds

Mochi (fullscreen)

Kongregate

Endless Cycle

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Made for the “Loop” theme. Also made for Mini Ludum Dare 49: Non-Human Player. Collect upgrades to break through barriers.

This was intended to be a game about addiction and substance abuse. Each time you break through a loop you just reach a larger loop that cycles back into the original one. Spikes are needles, the floor / walls are shoelaces used to tie off, and the upgrades are “candy” (drugs / pills) and some brownish liquid (coffee / alcohol). The background is basically a giant brain, and the barriers are weird brain-like things with eyes. To be honest the last thing can mean whatever you want, I just though it would look cool (what can I say, I like eye monsters).

Play it here:

Newgrounds

Mochi (fullscreen)

Kongregate

Newest 1GAM Games with RainbowSexyFish

Why Trap Music is More Interesting Than You Think

Recently I’ve been getting into trap. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure at first, but only because I felt like it should be. Eventually I realized I genuinely enjoyed the genre, and the more I listened to it, the more I began to dissect it. Until one day something clicked.

Trap seems to be a genre that gets a lot of hate. Like other rising EDM genres like brostep, its emphasis on repetitive tone-based music is seen as lazy and uninspired by genre purists, musicians, composers, and everyone in between.

So why would an experimental composer, anti-4/4 and anti-conventionality, support a genre that is so blatantly standardized? Because there is more to this genre than meets the eye. That being said, I would like to focus less on the musical criticisms of the genre and more on the source of the genre itself. More specifically, the reflection of violent culture that is depicted in trap music.

There are two very distinct elements in trap: sub-bass and fast, tremolo-like hi-hats. Anyone who has attended a live, bass-heavy electronic set knows of the full body sensations low frequencies can cause. The engulfing, almost numbing feeling is something many people will specifically attend concerts for. Why would trap producers want to capture this specific feeling in their music? By diving into the origin of trap we discover that even the genre’s name holds some significance. Trap houses are a dangerous aspect of inner cities. They are a dead end consisting of the worst drugs imaginable, numbing the body and mind while the inhabitants desperately try to hold onto one last body high. Low, body-numbing sub-bass could very well be the reflection of body highs found in drugs present in trap houses.

Second is the quick, percussive hi-hats. These often come in and out in waves, starting up slow and then exploding into a full tremolo-like effect, expressing 32nd-notes, quick triplets, or other variations. I feel that these are arguably the most important aspect of trap, as they serve a very important purpose: to reflect gun violence in inner city culture. Ever hear submachine gun fire? Compare that with the hi-hats in trap music, they are eerily similar. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Even if the first trap producer didn’t do this intentionally, I sure bet their subconscious did. Regardless of that, once some individuals made the connection I’m sure it stuck. Ultimately it’s a bit like a “chicken or the egg” scenario, it’s the end result that’s important.

So what do we have?

1. The name: trap. The culture depicted in trap music is a trap, many don’t get out alive (also trap houses).

2. Sub-bass causes a full body sensation that can be compared to a drug high (the numbness aspect could possibly be tied to numbing caused by nerve damage from a gunshot / stab would as well, if we really want to get into it).

3. Hi-hats being expressed through fast, tremolo-like patterns imitating submachine gun fire.

Trap music is the perfect example of how a culture will express itself through music. While many will openly dismiss trap as boring and uninspired, many people like myself see it as something completely different. We see it as a culture that needs to be heard and needs to be expressed, we see it as a cry for help. In my opinion that makes trap the opposite of boring and uninspired, it directly reflects what the everyday life is for the individuals living in this “trap” world: thump-thump-thump. click. POP. POP. KATKATKATKATKAT. boom, bodies hit the floor. This is as genuine as music gets, and most people don’t even see it.

I would also like to point out that trap music isn’t the only genre that does this. Tonal derivations are used in other genres as well. The slide guitar found commonly in country music sounds an awful lot like a horse whinny, pig squeal, or other animals. Genres like technical death metal and brostep emulate the rhythmic and tonal intricacies of modern machinery respectively. Music with yelling, screaming, and growling in it tend to be a means of expressing anger or frustration (though obviously this is not always true). Punk is anger toward the government and oppression of freedom and expression. Hardcore, metal, and screamo tend to be anger toward an individual or group of individuals. Black metal is anger toward religion, Christianity in particular. Other metal subgenres tend to use the vocal style as a convenient means of expressing certain ideas, themes, or stories. Themes like violence, gore, orcs, wizards, aliens, etc., it is easier to depict these if we try to replicate the source of their inspiration.

Music reflects culture, music is art, culture reflects consciousness, music reflects consciousness. But we already knew that, didn’t we? At least now we have a reminder in case we ever forget.

I created my own weird take on trap for WeeklyBeats, it was my first attempt at something vaguely trap-like, and it’s not quite what I originally wanted or expected it to be (I would call it “trap-inspired” more than trap, honestly). It was written and recorded in a couple hours and I’d like to give another shot at this style in the near future. You can listen to the song here:

http://weeklybeats.com/#/a+thorny+succulent/music/gun-violence

For further reading and references, please follow the underlined links spread throughout this article. I’ve also singled out a few pages in particular I recommend:

http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1730 – This has some similar points that my article made, and really gets into the culture behind the music and its origins.

http://www.artype.de/Sammlung/pdf/russolo_noise.pdf – A brilliant man who essentially predicted the future, a must read for all music and sound enthusiasts (download it, it’s a pdf)!

I may add additional links as I find / remember more stuff that relates to this subject.

Thanks for reading!

Why Trap Music is More Interesting Than You Think

You Only Need One, a game made in under 2 days for TAG #6

So with 1GAM behind me I decided to do the not-so-smart thing and make another game immediately after without giving myself a break. Or maybe it was the smart thing? Whatever, it was fun and I learned some stuff, especially about making interesting tile patterns with only 9 tiles. Woohoo!

So onto the game: It’s a simple platformer where you must travel to an area with more compassionate individuals. It’s about being different, even if others don’t want you to be. It was made for The Arbitrary Gamejam (or TAG) #6, hosted here. I was working off of the themes Outsider, Drawback, and Affection. I also made some associations with time signatures and social conformity, huzzah!

Wait, what does that mean?

Time signatures are essentially a means of organizing a musical composition into groups of numbers (called measures). The standard is 4/4: four beats, using quarter notes. It is considered to be the universal standard for writing music that many composers rarely deviate from. The reasons for this vary, but ultimately it seems to be an issue of accessibility and convenience.

In the game you are a 7 and start surrounded by closed-minded 4s while a track in 4/4 plays. As you approach a group of rude 3s the same track in 3/4 plays (3/4 is probably the second most common time signature). Once you leave the “meany pants” area a compressed version of the song will play in 5/4, then 7/8, 9/8, 11/8, and finally 13/8. After this the entire song will play again, except this time every two measures the time signature will change, starting from 3 and ending at 13. Once you take your “leap of faith” the last song will play again, expect I made the notes hold a bit longer so the squishy-farty-froggy sounds could have more room to be heard. I like to associate squishy-farty-froggy sounds with love because they sound funny and remind me that music that makes me laugh and smile is music that loves me.

So there, the game starts with a boring, close-minded standard and ends with intricate fart sounds that love you. Get it? It’s okay you don’t have to, just try to have fun!

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The game can be played on Kongregate here, or fullscreen on Mochi here.

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate 4/4, it has its uses and is an important aspect of composition. Without standards, there would be no room for people to deviate from them and express their individuality, so it is necessary for them to exist! That being said, I think that a lot of musicians and composers could benefit greatly by stretching outside of their comfort zone and giving odd time signatures a try.)

You Only Need One, a game made in under 2 days for TAG #6

Secret Frozen Kitten Released (1GAM)!

Secret Frozen Kitten, a game I made with Kristin Magann from RainbowSexyFish, was finally released yesterday! The game was made for December’s onegameamonth, a monthly gamejam. The themes were (you guessed it) Secret, Frozen, and Kitten.

It’s a top-down puzzle game where you must guide objects into potholes by melting and moving blocks. This is definitely a game we would both like to expand on later!

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We cut it pretty close on this one, releasing the game near the end of the 96-hour grace period after the end of the month. This was mostly because we didn’t really get working until the last week or so. It’s safe to say that there were plenty of life lessons learned throughout this game’s development!

You can play the game on Kongregate here, or fullscreen on Mochi here.

Secret Frozen Kitten Released (1GAM)!

How Much Does A Novice Indie Flash Game Dev Make?

Nothing! Or close to nothing. Don’t do it for the money, do it because it’s a fast and easy way to make a game. That being said, it’s nice when you start seeing slightly less cents and slightly more dollars:

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Today my newest game Wall of Fingers earned 71 cents on its own through ads, which is almost as much as all of my games have made combined this year (which was a little over 1 dollar). I know it’s not a lot, but it feels exciting and it gives me incentive to keep going. This was my first year releasing games and I have currently released 6 games, with a 7th coming by the end of the month for 1GAM (working with RainbowSexyFish). I’m hoping that soon I will have enough games under my belt to create a steady trickle of pocket change!

How Much Does A Novice Indie Flash Game Dev Make?