Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WIP: Onslaught of the Electric Zombies

Hey all, I'd like to introduce you to something I've been working on recently:

Hey thar!

So after a couple years of designing (hopefully) fun little games and occasionally embarking on more ambitious projects (Variance is still in a sort of long-term development thingie, for those who are wondering), I've decided to finally settle down and actually make something properly. Not something to just show my friends, not a proof of concept, not a 48-hour prototyping proggie: I mean a complete and marketable game from beginning to end, giving myself a dev time of roughly two months.

Meet Onslaught of the Electric Zombies, a work in progress.

Flashier than most of my projects, thanks to actually having an artist on board.

This game means a few things for me. First of all, it's going to serve as proof that I can make a complete and polished product to show to the masses. Goodness knows that I've heard derisive comments about gaming journalists before (usually from those who don't really understand what good journalism actually entails) so I'm kinda keen to show people that I'm more than happy to walk the walk.

Secondly, I've recently been snagged by the gnarly roots of the "serious" game development mindset. While it's certainly useful from a professional standpoint, I really don't want to lose touch with the simple hobbyist joy of creating something fun for people to play. It's for this reason that the project is small and will most likely be distributed as freeware.

Because, well, screw it -- I've never really wanted game development to be a job. I've always just wanted to make fun shit for people to play. And this shit is going to be fun. Or maybe just shitty. I don't know which one yet.

Of course, that's where you step in, oh Hero of the Internets. If you like the idea of combining Minesweeper with RPG dungeon-crawly elements and have decided to ignore the recently called-for moratorium on all zombie-themed games for the next two years (seriously, it's about as cliché as you can get), then do me a huge favour: download this itty-bitty bugger, give it some play time and leave me your comments. It's still a work in progress and rather malleable at this point, so feedback is going to be pretty damn useful and I may just reward you all with icecream.


Give it a shot and let me know what you think. I'm already trying to harvest some developer input from the NAG Online/Game.Dev forum and will probably be slapping this in a few other places afterwards. I just think that, being my personal blog, this would be a great place to put up a game that all of my buddies can have a gander at.

Peace out, and don't let the electric zombies eat your brains. Or batteries. What the hell does a creature like that usually go for anyway?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog reboot

Avid readers may have noticed my lack of activity recently. The reason for this is simple:

I've stopped travelling.

"No, Nandrew! What have you done?" cry the fans.

Yeah, I know. This trip was originally going to be a year long, but various circumstances have urged me to settle down, grow some moss and be more constructive in other avenues. In particular, I need to focus more on my career in journalism and game development (also known as "that crap I write" and "that random shit I code").

This new development DOESN'T mean two things:

(1) This doesn't mean that I want to stop travelling entirely. Oh ho, no. I may be settling in good ol', hippie-infested Grahamstown now, but I still have a trip or two planned this year. And I plan on making them interesting. Even if I have to take a picture of myself running naked through the highveld.

(2) This doesn't mean that the blog is going to die. It's just going to undergo a bit of a refocus, and I'll probably be talking about geeky things in as accessible and appealing a way as I can muster. This will be interspersed with my regular musings about nubile young Germans and the noble Giant Chicken.

So yeah. If you want to stick around, be my guest. In fact, I encourage you to, because most of you are my friends and stuff and I don't get to see you often enough. This blog is still going to be about my life. It's just that work is an important part of said life -- it's tied in with my hopes, dreams and aspirations, after all.

Hold on, maybe not.

I suggest you check on this blog over the next few weeks. I'm going to try get the ball rolling again and resume my noble quest of sending all of my little ramblings to you: the dearly beloved and delightfully insane audience.

Peace out, and let's see where this bugger goes.