Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interview Part 12: Ocean-spirited away

Tonight, we host DDQ, famous for being the man behind Oceanspirit Dennis, a craze of some people that just couldn't stay at puns. I present you the interview and a link at the end for the next OCEANSPIRIT GAME IN THE MOST EPIC SAGA EVER MADE.

If you ask what is Oceanspirit Dennis, then damn you, look here.

1) What is your favorite AGS game to the date? And what's your favorite non-AGS game? (You may list more than one)

My favorite AGS game has got to be The Marionette. While it isn't necessarily perfect, the game is incredibly well-written and features an engaging story that personally has no competition. That's probably the best "experience" I've ever had with an AGS game. Honorable mention goes to Shifter's Box. Best one of late is definitely The Journey Down: Over The Edge. You should really be playing it right now instead of reading this.

For non-AGS games, I have a power trio. Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door, Half-Life 2, and the Mass Effect series. While the games themselves are widely different, all feature universes that completely immerse me whenever I play them.

2) What in the name of holy saint does ddq means? And what kind of a quote is "F%$^ the hypotenuse"? How did you come up with each of those?

Ah yes... that's something I've lost many nights of sleep asking myself. I actually created the name while naming my save file for Need for Speed: Underground 2 by randomly smacking the Gamecube controller and ddq5 emerged. I've kind of dropped the 5 since then. As for any meaning, the only thing I know for sure is that the first 'd' stands for "Drew," my name, and the second stands for "Dennis," my favorite name. The 'q' could mean anything, but imagine it's along the lines of "quality," "quadratic," or "quadriplegic."

"F%$^ the hypotenuse" is a phrase that my brain conjured up from the ether. When I first thought of it, I thought it would be the kind of thing you'd see on an xkcd t-shirt. It might also be related to the TV Tropes page "Murder the Hypotenuse," which deals with love triangles. Either way, I just find it catchy.

3) How did you find AGS? Who are the forumites that dragged you in ?

My friend and I were looking to develop an incredibly ill-conceived idea for a game. I looked around the tubes and stumbled upon Adventure Game Studio and thought it looked fancy. One failed game attempt later, here I am.

This was right about the time that a little fellow named Calin Leafshade had posted an audio file of himself reading emo poetry. Pretty soon, I had found myself entering the community during the flurry of activity that surrounded McCarthy Chronicles. But in general, I'd say the whole community was pretty nice for not treating me like the overeager little dips^&t with a bad game idea that I was one year ago.

4) Who is the real Drew? And how much did Igor Hardy paid you to join his awful blog?

Haha. Well, I'll start by saying Igor's an awesome guy and I love working with him. I won't that you should shut up and his blog could kick your blog's ass any day because that would be rude.

The real Drew is studying electrical engineering and computer science at university and enjoys good films, games, and music. He plays the drums and still enjoys Lunchables. He also just got a new desk for free and he really likes it.

5) How did you come up with Oceanspirit Dennis?

Ooh, this is a good one. The concept for OSD was conceived by several people. In our good friend and comrade iceygames' thread on RPGs, he showed a design for his JRPG protagonist, "Dave." I told him Dave was a stupid name for a Final Fantasy protagonist, you know how they are, and suggested something like Ocean, or Spirit, or Dennis. The first two being parodies and the third being my aforementioned favorite name.

Snake then marvelously suggested the combination "Oceanspirit Dennis," to which I appended "Scourge of the Underworld." Then I spent five minutes to this drawing, which I released to widespread acclaim. Then the illustrious Ben304 actually adapted it to a game and others soon followed. Thus was set in motion the wonderful world of OSD.

6) How do you feel about creating the idea for a bunch of games based on a mocking of a troll? Some people even called it a RON revival! Comment on that.

Oceanspirit Dennis had a quick but significant boom of games in the month after Ben released the first one, but it died down pretty quickly. I'm literally days away from releasing the next chapter in the OSD saga but who knows if it will catch on? If so, I think we'd need a common set of sprites and sounds and such, walkcyles and all that. While I think so far all OSD games have been released open source, they've all had wildly different styles.

Still, that allows game makers much more creativity with their designs. Whatever happens with it happens, I guess.

7) So you created another OSD, why? Wasn't there enough? Was this one has to offer?

Well, of the 5 or so games released, the one I did was by far the worst. It was just a so-called "Special Edition" of Ben's original game with voices and added homosexual themes. Also, while some of the OSD games were intentionally stupid as parody, I thought I'd enjoy seeing where I could go with a semi-serious comedy game in the universe. That's why I started Blades of Passion: An Oceanspirit Dennis Adventure. It's really more of an exercise than anything else. It'll be my first real game and I experimented a lot in creating it. Thankfully, I was able to round up a really great team who wanted to continue the OSD saga as well. Plus, Blades of Passion has a sex mini-game.

8) So when are we going to see that game?

Monday August 30th, 2010. The promised is kept here.

It's nearly September, must be time for another DG interview

Dave Gilbert, the man who has been interviewed more times than... something quite frequent... is interviewed again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Richard Hofmeier's Cart Life

And to think I was playing Jackyard yesterday, wondering where is Richard's game. Well, here it is, in a Trailer: Cart Life from INDIEGAMESBLOG. Click here to watch.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Stop Believing

Well, Journey is one of my favorite bands and Indie Games Blog's favorite freeware pick is the Journey Down. You can read all about it here.


As the famous racist mysogynist once said in Braveheart, you can take our Release Candidates, but you can never take our freedom. And Pumaman has not taken freedom but given it to AGS 3.2... its now the official current version!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Down with AGS!

So, the traditional annual site and forum downtime is happening... always seems to be at Mittens time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Interview Part 11: Long Live the Gene - Against All Ods.

And with us we have markbilly, also famous as Mark Richards, creator of the long-awaited Longevity Gene. An interview, I've found very interesting awaits you. May you see it.

1) Do you have a favourite AGS game? Or a non AGS game?

I don't finish many adventure games because I'm rubbish at them, so this should be fairly easy. For AGS it is definitely going to be the Ben and Dan games but I have a particular fondness for Shifter's Box and the most recent Ben Jordan (I was rather late to discover them). As for non-AGS, my favourite adventure is Beneath a Steel Sky and the one title that really solidified my love for gaming was Knights of the Old Republic.

2) How do you feel about releasing your first AGS game ASFAIK (Wall-E) and winning the MAGS as well?

It was a great feeling to actually release a game! I have been sitting on a project for ages, only showing it to a few people and so it was great to 'finish' a project and get some real feedback. Wall-E has a special connection to me anyway, because I originally made it for my girlfriend as a present, so that made sharing it with everyone even better. Winning MAGS was a nice bonus, I was really happy as there were some great games submitted that month.

3) When you first started posting artwork from a game you were working on, that being Longevity Gene, you said you didn't like the graphics, and you felt you needed some help. What really helped you into keeping the project and tutoring yourself?

I had no intention of ditching the project and I suppose the thread was a desperate plea for people to persuade me to carry on. After getting some feedback I went and re-drew a couple of backgrounds and posted them up on the Zombie Cow forum. What I had overlooked was lighting and, after some examples and little tutorial from a couple of the members (CaptainBinky & MashPotato) got that sorted and the rest is history, I suppose.

4) Tell us a bit about the game's production. How it reached here, and where did it actually start from.

Well, this latest version with the updated graphics started just under two years ago. The project is a lot older than that, though. It started off about five years ago as an idea for a text adventure and it had a totally different story. In fact, it has only been called The Longevity Gene for the last two years, before that (as the text adventure) it was called Tractus, which is was crap name frankly. Over those three years it developed into the game you see in this thread and ended up being called Planet 49 and of course later changed to the title I have now.

As for right now, the first part is playable from beginning to end and I'm just going through the stage of adding in all the gaps I left as I went along. Which takes longer than you might think!

5) What length is the game going to be?

The first part is a medium length game. The second part will probably be a little longer. I'm waiting on a secret play tester at the moment actually, so I will have a better idea then.

6) I've had this idea for a long time, but what role did Ben and Dan play in the Longevity Gene? Don't hide it from me, I can scent it.

I've talked about Dan's early role before in an article I did for HardyDev. The game, in its many forms, has always been present on both the Zombie Cow forum and its predecessor the Gibbage forum, both run by Dan and in some part Ben as well. Recently, I have sent builds to Ben and Dan throughout development for feedback. I just trust their judgment, I suppose. They've both always been really kind, even when I was a lot younger and more annoying.

7) Tell us a bit about the members of the Longevity Gene so far.

The cast? Or the crew? I'm not telling you about the cast, sorry! On the crew there is me, Matthew Brown and Peter Faizey. Matthew is doing the sound and Peter does the music. I wrote a little about Matthew in the game's production thread but Peter is one hundred percent not a gamer, so I don't think you'll ever see him on the forum.

8) Who is the real Mark Richards? What is his life like? Hobbies, Jobs, Girlfriends, Plans on taking over the world?

I'm a uni student, barely. I ended up doing a degree that didn't really suit me so I spend most of my time distracting myself. I make films, again with Peter and a couple of other friends. My other hobbies aren't really hobbies, though. I am interested in politics and secular issues and a member of the Labour Party in the UK. Half of my Twitter updates are about politics, actually!

I have a wonderful long term girlfriend, Maria and I work in a supermarket during term, so I think I tick all those boxes!

Oh and I'm building an anti-matter death ray in my garden.

9) What is the main plot of Longevity Gene affected and inspired by (movies, books, tv series, music, novels)

I wanted to make a game after playing Beneath a Steel Sky, so that is a major inspiration and I got my love of choices in games from Knights of the Old Republic. There are a few Blade Runner references in the game and the whole project is in the spirit of classic sci-fi. If I was OK with using unoriginal music in games, I'd definitely have The Great Gig in the Sky as the end credits music.

Masking Tape

Some guy in a mask does a video review of the Blackwell trilogy. Apparently he's called Underdog.