Being a GameDevDad is…

…trying to explain game development to a six-year-old.

My little girl was playing my game Planitia, which, if you’re not familiar, is my Populous/Powermonger forever-work-in-progress game.

(She also has trouble pronouncing the name. She was calling it “Planishiwa” for a while, which is what I guess the game would be called in Japan.)

But the game she really wants is Star Kittens, which I’ve also been working on for quite a while.

Cue yesterday’s conversation.

“Daddy, is Star Kittens done yet?”

“No, sweetie, not yet.”

“Why NOT?”

“Because it takes a long time to make a game.”

“No it doesn’t!” Six-year-olds.

“Yes it does, sweetie. First you have to tell the computer all the rules of the game, and that takes time.” I scroll through the roughly fifty source files Planitia has and her eyes widen.

“So it’ll NEVER be done?!” To six-year-olds, ‘now’ and ‘never’ are the only time frames that exist.

“Yes it will, baby. I’m going to take Planitia and change it to make Star Kittens. I’m going to change the little men to kittens and change the land into a space station. Then you’ll be able to build a space station for your kittens. So it won’t take as long as Planitia.”

“So you’re going to change Planitia into Star Kittens?”

“Yes, baby.”

“But then I won’t be able to play Planitia any more!”

They Should Have Sent a Poet

I have no words.

I was already antsing for Saints Row: The Third. Now I absolutely have to have it. I want it more than just about any other game coming out this year. Yes, even Skyrim.

The only game I want as much as this one is Batman: Arkham City.

If you were a fan of Batman: The Animated Series or the DC Animated Universe in general, then you really owe it to yourself to play Arkham Asylum (if you haven’t) and Arkham City. Both games are written by Paul Dini, one of the creators of the animated series, and both games feature Roy Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. It’s almost like getting a new season of the animated series, only now the bad guys can be really bad. Plus, you get to be Batman, and let me tell you, once you get the controls down it is a real kick being Batman.

Reprisal

This is Reprisal, a free flash game.

Okay, my first thought when I saw this on Rock, Paper, Shotgun was “What the hell?!” Saying this game was “inspired” by Populous is like saying Pepsi was “inspired” by Coke. Except for the interface, it would be very easy to mistake a screenshot from this game for one of Populous and Populous 2.

I was a bit irate at first…and I’ll be honest. It’s because, despite all my efforts, this game is more complete than Planitia. Planitia, after years and years and years of work, is still not a game that anyone would want to play.

But after reading the development blog, my ire waned. The developer, Jon Caplin, is just a guy who loves Populous and wants to write his own version in Flash. I can’t begrudge him that.

Name That Game! 83 – The Authority

Lots of games like to introduce a group of Guys In Charge – whether it be a corporation, police force or government. The Guys In Charge are powerful. They control everything. They can be overt or shadowy. And it’s almost always the fate of the protagonist to defeat them.

Here are 10 groups of authoritative administrations. Can you name the games they come from?

1. Shinra Corporation

2. Civil Protection

3. World Economic Consortium

4. EuroCorp

5. The Alpha Sections

6. Meggido

7. Majestic 12

8. Ultor Corporation

9. The Royal Family of Arulco

10. Cruiser Tetron

Good luck and have fun! If you win, I’ll paint the walls with your blood! Unless you don’t want me to. Your choice.

Okay, Break’s Over.

I’m going to try something kind of crazy tonight.

The ClanDestiny prototype needs to get done, first so it can be done, but also so I can move on to the Star Kittens prototype and get some feedback on which I should flesh out first.

So I’m going to try some livecoding. I’ve created an account on JustinTV and will be streaming my coding session tonight, live. Once I’m done, I’ll encode the thing and upload it to YouTube, but if you want to chat with me while I’m working and make suggestions you’ll need to visit my brand-spankin’-new JustinTV channel.

I should start livecoding around 8 PM EST.

Update: Um…between technical issues and family responsibilities, this didn’t happen. I’ll try again Wednesday night.