Gnomoria Available On Steam’s Early Access

My friend’s game is now available on Steam! It’s in the Early Access storefront which highlights games that are in current development. Kind of like Desura’s alpha funding system. To celebrate, I am giving away 4 Steam copies of the game. I don’t really know the best way to distribute them so just contact me on Twitter and we will figure out the gifting details. There’s a strangely-placed button in the right column what leads to my anemic Twitter presence. First four people who contact me will get Gnomoria! Others who contact me might receive a copy of The Ship or something.

Some kind of sprawling gnome metropolis.
Some kind of sprawling gnome metropolis.

Like I’ve mentioned before, Gnomoria is a Dwarf Fortress-inspired simulation game where you can break down almost everything and rebuild it into something else. You set up homes and food for your little gnome guys then watch them run around doing whatever it is gnomes do. Also, outfit them with weapons and armor to protect themselves from invading forces. If you like sim games, give it a shot! Possibly for free if you get a copy from me!

In The Year 2013, There Are Still Video Games

2012 had a ton of video games in it. In a vague order, here are handful of games from (or played in) 2013 that really stuck with me. If you haven’t played Journey, Walking Dead, or Hotline Miami, you should! Journey and Hotline Miami are both short little things that won’t take up too much time and deliver strong experiences. Journey at the high end with upliftingness and positivity. HLM showing how dark and grimy and gross a game can be. Taken together, they kind of hit two opposing endpoints of the emotional spectrum.

  • Journey
  • The Walking Dead
  • Hotline Miami
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • FTL
  • 999
  • Fez
  • Planetside 2

Over my Christmas holiday break, I got more work in on my Dungeon Keeper riff and made a tiny, tiny competitive game prototype called either Ships or Fluid depending on what name I remember to call it. There will be more progress on those. More of the missing Flash animations will go up. I’ll look into adding YouTube versions of those (would anyone find this useful?) to go alongside the Flash versions. Ascend will get finished and someone will get to play it.

A Brief Two Part Note With Future Updates

Point the first, my friend Roberto Oeste’s game Gnomoria is up on Steam Greenlight to get it available through that service. Currently, it’s available directly through his site and Desura but visibility on Steam would be amazing and a great opportunity for a one-man dev team. If you wave your cursor in this direction and click, it will take you to the Greenlight page for Gnomoria and I would sure love it if you could help him out with some upward thumbs.

Point the second, while backing up some old machines, I have discovered all of my old source files for the Flash videos on here. Tremendous! That means I can re-export them and get them on YouTube which would be more convenient for everyone. As an additional crazy thing, a half-created, unreleased video was discovered which I will attempt to clean up and smooth over and get up here.  A brand new unreleased thing! Also, I have been tooling around in Unity in my off time on a few video game ideas. One of them is a Dungeon Keeper evolution but the announcement of Impire has muted my enthusiasm. More on those as they develop.

I attended PAX this year and it was another really fun, crowded year. It seems the smart thing to do is to not get too caught up looking at the new big games because those are mostly very well known. It’s better to wander around and look for unknown games and see what’s up with them. Spy Party is still really cool, RetroGrade looks like it might release sometime, and there’s a Netrunner revival!

Stay frosty.

Gnomoria: Dig Up A Thing With Some Gnomes

Another new game! A friend of mine, Mr. “RoboB0b”, is making this game called Gnomoria. It is a Dwarf Fortress-like… frontier simulator? I’m not sure what that genre should be called. You command a small platoon of gnomes to mine mountains, craft objects, and ward off invaders in a randomly generated world. Except with an interface that a normal human brain can understand.

Must dig.
Some gnomes attempting to conquer a mountain.

It’s in an alpha state currently. There’s a short video describing the initial stages of setting up a settlement. There’s a demo for it that lets you try up to six days of surviving. Or you can buy it for $7.99 while it’s still in alpha.

Toy Soldiers PC, Ascend: New Gods, and a set of tools

A number of things have just recently happened. Firstly, a project I worked on almost entirely by myself ended up on Steam. It is Toy Soldiers (the original) and it is available now! If you haven’t played it on Xbox yet, now might be an ok time to do so. There is a patch coming up. It’s a good patch. Please buy it. Some of that money goes to me!

Secondly, Signal Studios just announced their new game, Ascend: New Gods. I work there! Do people know I work there? I do. Ascend is an action RPG with a pretty interesting riff on concurrent multiplayer. Concurrent multiplayer, AKA playing the same game but not technically in the same space. You can see the echoes of other players in the same area you are and interact. You can send them stuff to aid them or curse them. I was trying to get my coworkers killed while they were testing  the E3 demo, and that is pretty fun.

Thirdly, I work on the tools that Signal uses and they are pretty cool and I’m proud of my contributions. You cannot play the tools and will probably never see them but I’m still proud. That’s probably not interesting news for anyone besides me.

An Update From Some Time Later: I should note that there is no release date or pricing information about Ascend just yet. Only Toy Soldiers for XBox Live Arcade and on Steam. Also Toy Soldiers: Cold War which is only on XBLA. For now? Question mark?

Video gaa-aaames

So sometimes I have opinions about video games and then those opinions are later altered through new information. Something along those lines has happened with the new Syndicate game Starbreeze is working on. For those who don’t know, they are making an FPS that seems generally inspired by that ancient DOS game Syndicate. I was pretty bummed initially, because I figured it would be Deus Ex being made by a different company. But then this new trailer was released that seems to show a way more responsive version of Deus Ex. Having played a bit of DX:HR recently, I find myself pretty excited to play a jackbooted future-thug bad guy counterpart to DX:HR’s not-asking-for-this heroic protagonist. I enjoyed being the cyber-good guy, but both facets of the corporation-controlled dystopia spacefuture are interesting to delve. So now I am kind of excited about it and mad at myself. Same thing happened with that new XCOM game they’re making.

Further reporting on Giant Bomb makes it sound like the thug/player character/agent Miles Kilo will eventually break free of company control and stare at his hands in a very dramatic way while the crushing weight of his crimes washes over him before he sets out to take down the corporation – from the inside! – but that is somewhat expected, I guess. Expected but disappointing. The original Syndicate’s end goal of worldwide corporate domination might be a hard sell to people who do not think that darkly of the future. Who knows, though, people love the fuck out of all that zombie stuff.

The Internet is Complicated Now

Hello to anyone who is still around. Sorry for being a continual disappointment.

In the intervening years since I last did anything notable, the internet has briskly rushed past me into the future of now. The World Wide Web is crazy different.  There’s Facebooks and Twitters and Tumblrs and so on. Why don’t I just use one of those? Why resurrect a silly old domain? What am I going to do?

What do I hope to accomplish? I don’t know yet.

I’m working on short term, moment-to-moment goals. Goal number one was “modernize web site.” Accomplished. Everything has been wiped clean and I will add back as time permits. There were some extremely odd things going on here and I figured it would be best to start fresh. My next immediate goal is to put the Flash shorts back up in an acceptable format.

We’ll see how it goes from there.