Now Then…What Shall We Talk About?

Seriously. I’ve been wondering what the hell I’m going to do with this blog for the last two months.

This blog was basically always about what I was working on and learning outside my job. Well, currently I have no side projects (I need a Mac to continue Inaria iPhone development, and I just can’t face the code mess that is Planitia any longer).

And I haven’t learned anything recently to merit a technical article.

And, sadly, I’m giving up on Name That Game. Stupid TinEye.com.

But then I had an idea, once that should have occurred to me before.

I was going to write an article called “Amuse-Bouche“, about the rather large number of short indie games that attempt to get a point across or create a mood in a small amount of gameplay. One of the defining aspects of the amuse-bouche is that it ends; there’s no infinite number of levels that provide no resolution. In fact, providing a resolution is a big part of what an amuse-bouche game is about.

An excellent (indeed, near-perfect) example of an amuse-bouche game is Small Worlds. If you’ve got ten minutes, play it right now.

Other amuse-bouche games would be You Have To Burn The Rope, Achievement Unlocked and ROM Check Fail.

So to sum up, an amuse-bouche game is one that a) can be played typically in an hour or less, b) has a definite ending, and c) deliberately evokes a reaction beyond “having fun gaming”.

And then I realized that this is exactly what I should be doing.

Planitia was too big. Star Revolution was too big. Inaria and Sandworm were pretty much just right.

And what was I going to do next? A 3D RPG. A Neverwinter Nights. All on my own. Yeah, right.

So…all hail the return of the forty-hour game! And it will be my personal goal to create at least one of these every month for the next year.

I already know what my first one is going to be. It’s going to be a short Metroidvania called “Zeta”, and it’ll be directly inspired by Iji (which isn’t exactly an amuse-bouche game but everybody should play it anyway).

~ by Anthony Salter on December 1, 2009.

3 Responses to “Now Then…What Shall We Talk About?”

  1. A new forty-hour-game? Yes please! And this Small Worlds was amazing. I got badly hooked.

  2. IhaveanideaIhaveanideaIhaveanidea!!!!
    If you still have these old games you could take your own screen shots and then tiny eye won’t have them! Now I’m reading the rest of the article… OK I played the game, somehow it managed to capture me for a while, but I would get depressed if I had to live in that world. I think game development must be easier in Java I mean everything is already done for you like window toolkit and event dispatching and stuff. Doing art is hard though, but I’ll try do some simple games in Java.

  3. softlicious (for Java): Checkout Ardor3D or Slick2D/PulpCore

    Pity about Planitia; any plans for the work you’ve done on it so far?

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