Tuesday, July 25, 2006 

Interview with tapeworm by Jabberwock!

Hey there! Jabberwock, our first Freelance Writer, has submitted his first article. Yes, we are still looking for maybe one more freelance writer, so, if you think you can do it and if you really want this, join our forums which is linked to all over the place, mainly on the right, though. Anyway, here's the interview!

1. Besides the three projects we've all seen on your site, do you have any that you're working on?

Not really. I have lots of game fragments that might turn into something, but I try not to let myself work on too many projects at the same time. And I can’t really say that I’m working on Ambleek—I haven’t touched it since 2003. My current active projects (though not active enough) are Avaus and Velella.

2. Which of your projects is currently taking up the most of your time?

Avaus has been my main focus for the past year or so. That year hasn’t been as productive as I might have liked in the area of game creation, though.

3. Since, judging from your previous work, you're normally a solo developer, what has it been like working with Darthlupi on Velella?

We don’t really have set roles, but pass the source code back and forth and add or change whatever we want to. Each of us has areas of the game that we sort of own, but even that isn’t very strict. Our artistic visions for the game (and, in many ways, for game making in general) are similar, so we haven’t really had any major creative differences.

4. What are your contributions to Velella?

The closest I could come to naming specific aspects of the game I’ve focused on would be to describe some areas—that is, themes, tilesets, and level designs. The basic engine is mostly Darthlupi’s work, but other than that we both work on everything.

5. So far, we haven't heard much about your game Avaus. Can you tell us a bit about the game (style, story, etc.)?

I couldn’t tell the story even if I wanted to; I still have several directions I might take it. The basic premise is that people and animals have been mysteriously disappearing. Some scientists eventually track a few of the taken creatures and are able to open a portal to where they end up. The protagonist pilots a special ship to the other side, which appears to be a sort of dream world.

I started Avaus because I wanted to create a space shooter. But that’s such an established genre that I don’t think I could contribute anything worthwhile if I didn’t combine it with some other mechanics and ideas. So I also made it an exploration game. You pilot the ship for most of the game, but you can also be able to get out and walk around in many places.

This game will probably look similar in a lot of ways to my other projects. The game world will be very large. I’m trying something a little more ambitious than I have in the past for music. Finally, I have some ideas related to breaking out of video game formulas. If I take these ideas as far as I’m considering taking them, then Avaus might end up pretty strange and maybe kind of irritating.

Sorry to be vague about some of these things, but I don’t like to spoil a game or to discuss plans that I haven't yet realized.

6. Ambleek has also been a bit under wraps- besides the demo, we don't know much about it. Can you give us some information on it? What is the storyline, if any?

So far, the demo is all there is to the game. The rest is just ideas. I don’t think Ambleek will have a storyline, but assuming I finish it, it will include elements from a dream I had many years ago and also elements from a sort of comic strip I drew—also many years ago.

7. Do you have an idea of when your next game will be complete?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say. I had expected both Velella and Avaus to be done by now. All I can say for sure is that those two games will be finished—they are much too large to abandon. Unless I make another small game or two in the meantime, I think that Avaus will be my next release. Or maybe Velella, if we suddenly get motivated again in the near future.

8. Lastly, do you have any new screenshots or other content to show us?

Sure, here are a couple Avaus screenshots—ones that aren’t especially revealing, of course.

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7385/avaus20051119te9.png

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/2909/avaus20060718vj2.png

Now these links are fixed. Again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

Radnom Games Article, by NzC

Hey, there! Boy, have we got a lot going on. We're finally going strong again, with plenty of articles to work with. We just need all of our readers to join up at the forums, GMIF, and chat a little bit there. Anyway, let me continue

This is not an interview. In fact, it's more of an article. I happen to like this style of writing more than an interview, but that's just me. If you like it, or hate it, goto our forums and let us know what you think about it. There may be a poll there already or you can start your own.

This is another article we have with bonus extras for GMIF members. The only difference is that there are a BUNCH of extras with this article. If you want them, though, as you will read again at the end of the article, you will have to join up at our forums to get them. But I don't feel like rambling on and on about stuff most of our readers already know. Here's the article.

DDDEVASTAIONNN by NerdzClub

NOTE- I decided to do more of an article this time around, to kind of throw in something different. The actual original interview with Radnom will be published on the GMI forums, so log on and go check it out!

Okay, I’m back w/ a new interview with Radnom Games on one of his latest games, DDDEVASTATIONNN. This game made its debut in the Game Projects forum of the GMG on July 8th, and much progress has been made since then. Its gameplay was influenced by the Contra game series, and it deliberately has no HUD (that’s “heads up display” for those of you who can’t keep up with the acronyms).
The Contra series is a well-known shoot ‘em up game produced by Konami since its first installment in 1987. This series, (along with a few others like “Metal Slug”) pretty much defined the entire genre of scrolling shooters.
With this background information, it was easy to understand when Radnom told me that DDDEVASTIONNN was really a “love it or hate it” game.
“Because it is original, yet reminiscent of the old hardcore shooter games like Contra,” Radnom says, “Which themselves are 'Love 'em or hate 'em' games. There are the casual gamers who won't be able to really get their full enjoyment out of DDDevastationnn and there are the gamers who don't like the idea of game almost completely stripped of all the 'necessities', a HUD, a menu and 'proper' sprites and graphics. I think the game will only truly appeal to those like me who have played and enjoyed games like Contra for what they are. Then again, I'm not making Contra. DDDevastationnn will be different enough to stand out, hopefully.”
It appears so. Along with a demo, you can also watch a Flash trailer for DDDEVASTATION (that looks cool in all Caps). I asked Radnom if he was going to involve Flash cut scenes, and he told me, “I plan to make DDDEVASTATIONNN so that the control is never taken away from the player... the character will always be on the screen, there won't be any parts where the control is taken away for a cutscene... if there are any cutcenes you will be free to move normally in them. In fact, there won't even be a menu, or even an in-game help file. The instuctions will be given in the game, and there will be no need for a menu because I will make the game autosave at the start of each level, meaning once you've beaten a level you should never have to beat it again.”
After playing the demo it was noticeable what difficulty Radnom was aiming for. “Hard,” he said simply. There’s no health or health bar, when you run into an enemy it’s pretty much over for you.
Now, in the game you have a primary weapon and a secondary weapon. I asked Radnom how many weapons there will be. So far three are planned (although technically it’s six, since each weapon has a secondary weapon). Those weapons are:
- Assault rifle (with homing rockets as a secondary weapon)
- Flamethrower (with grenades)
- Plasma weapon that shoots beams (undecided secondary weapon)
“I wanted to go for a smaller amount of weapons because then I can make each weapon completely useful in its own way,” Radnom told me. “If I went for a huge amount of weapons it would be very hard to balance them, it would be very hard to quickly scroll though and find the right weapon in a hurry, and they would all be very similar.”
Very true, Radnom Games, and thanks for being interviewed!
But we’ve hardly covered everything Radnom and I talked about! Don’t you want to hear some exclusive updates on Grenade Boy and Mechbot (games I have already interviewed him about)? Do you want to check out the EXCLUSIVE DEMO of Radnom’s latest brawl game in the works, “Gorilla Madness”? Do you want to see the original interview with Radnom Games with all of the information he gave about DDDEVASTATION?! Well, of you answered “yes!” to any of these things, head over to GMIF (the GMI Forum, there’s a link on the little bar to the right) and check them out!
-NzC

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 

Interview with Exo_Kopaka by Cigaro

Yet another long drought without an article... the forums are dying and so is the site... at least, that's what you thought. Cigaro has helped out by interviewing exo_kopaka.

But that reminds me, we have hired a freelance writer! Say hello to Jabberwock! (No, really, say 'hello' out loud. He can hear you.) I've already said enough to Jabberwock about the job, and I only have one thing left to say to him: "C++"

Anyway, if you want to be a freelance writer, come to our forums at http://z7.invisionfree.com/gmi and join up and submit an application! We also have exclusive articles and screenshots for forum members and plenty of article and off-topic chat for you there. But, no more small talk. Here's the article:

Cigaro:How does it feel to have possibly two of the most hyped games at the moment?

Exo: Having the two most hyped games is excellent. With the players wanting to play my game, they act of somewhat as a foundation, so later when I release a new game, everyone will want to play it. Somewhat of steps for a giant staircase to something big.

Cigaro:After spendind so long on these games, when can we expect a demo/full game?

Exo: I don't think anyone should expect a demo. A video, maybe, screenshots, a must, but not a demo. The player should not be able to press buttons, but to infer the gameplay and awe at the game, so when it comes, they would be more excited than ever. As for the full game, that will come in time. You can never place a due date on a game, because then the entire production will feel rushed, even though you have like another month.

Cigaro:Where did you get your inspiration for these games?

Exo: Many think that I made Halo: Lone Spartan out of being a fan of Halo and trying to make a good fan game. However, its not like that at all. It started long ago, with my first experience with SuckBox and Halo. Me and my cousins played it, but I was dying to play more (I didn't have an SuckBox at the time). So I created Halo: Revised, where it was created all from memory. My cousin played it over and over, even though I only had 7 levels or so. It was also my first sucessful platformer. So I decided to remake it, when I stumbled upon Rayg's sprites, and asked him if I could used him. So, its kinda like a small game I created to something entirely large, just to bring an old friend a smile.

As for Black Silhouette, that started even longer ago. After playing Rouge Spear for Dreamcast, which was a very limited multiplayer shooter, but was fun for what we had at the time, I decided to make a recreation of it, but instead, add a twist. It was to include Metal Gear like style of gameplay, which was one of the games I really enjoyed at the time. Not only that, but it was also suppose to include characters like the Ghost unit on Star Craft. Later, I decided to scrap the idea, and make a two player co-op game, but instead of using rifles and machine guns (like what was inteded for GATT), I decided to limit them to only pistols, like that on Splinter Cell. I left that game alone for a while, and started a ninja game, where it was influenced by Tenchu 2: Birth of the Assassins. Later, after playing the next Tenchu installment, other games, and watching movies, I decided to use my Mecha War engine, and create a stealth game out of it. The idea sparked Black Silhouette, where I took everything from GATT to the ninja game, merged them together, and created something even bigger. I knew I wouldn't finish them, even though they were really good ideas.

Cigaro:What features will be implemented into the games?

Exo: Anything I see on movies and games that I think need improvement, things I like, and things that make it a sucess, I add into my games somehow, and try my best to make it better. For example, I loved the stealth system of Metal Gear Solid and the ninja action of Tenchu, so I placed those into Black Silhouette.

Cigaro:Do you have any unreleased screenshots/info that your ninja purposes wouldn't mind sharing?

Exo: Of course I will release more info and screenshots, but that should be answered over time, to keep the entire audience wanting more, kind of like trying to keep a ball in the air even though gravity doesn't want it to. smile.gif

Cigaro:Any last comments about your game?

Exo: They are all based on past experiences and more. I love making them because after creating something so big from a small idea, or ideas in most cases, and letting everyone see and play my creation. I try my best to get recognized and at least get a rating from the judges. They all have been great, and I try to keep them diverse based on things I see or do.

Cigaro:How does it feel to work so long on a game knowing that most GM games dont make it past a few weeks?

Exo: I have a strong tolerance when it comes to game making. Normally, when people have an idea, they make a game on it, but never finish it. I think clearly through it and make a strong game from the idea. And if anything arrises that catches my mind and I want to start a new project on it, I will try to work my way around it and try to implement that feature in my games. I see how many games recieve reviews, and that is what I am aiming for, but it kind of ticks me off when its something you could whip up in three days, when my projects take months to even years.

Final Message: My games are to be diverse as possible to spark intrest in those who like that, or for those who haven't even been exposed to it. I try my best to even get a rating, for everyone to enjoy my idea from my head, and for the satisfaction for my hard work and dedication that really paid off. For the future of my game making? Well, I guess we will have to just find out. smile.gif

Saturday, July 08, 2006 

Cactus, Interview with Tokyoma

Yes! We are finally back up and running smoothly again. Articles are coming out frequently and without much pause. I'm thinking we can keep this up with a little effort, and maybe, if need be, help from some outside sources.

Nonetheless, I've got a new article ready for you all to see! Normally, we cover games in the 'Games Projects' section, but this time, I headed into the 'Game Ideas' section. There, I found Tokyoma and their 'seeeeeeeeeeeecret' game. Of course, I don't like secrets, so I decided to get all the info. Or some, anyway. Here it is, for everyone to read!

GMI:To start off, why is this game a secret?
Tokyoma: The main reason I tried to keep Cactus such a secret is to toy with Cactus a little, give him a little taste of his own medicine. But also because I think it will be more of a success if released when it's pretty much finished. This way more people are excited about a suprise and give me more drive to work hard to make it a good suprise.

GMI: So the name is Cactus? Is it about cactus?
Tokyoma: In a sense yes, it is about the Cactus we all know and love. But also.. It's more like.. I gave the Cactus we all know.. a story... a tale... Something interesting and fun, yet still represents and has a feel to it much like that of a game that Cactus himself would enjoy.

GMI: When will it be done? The suspense is killing a lot of people!
Tokyoma: The release date is still ticking down on the very first post I made about the game. I believe the official day is July 15th at midnight.

GMI: Are you going to release anything more than just hints? Like maybe screenshots or a demo?
Tokyoma: No demo, possibly a screen shot or two. Just to tease.

GMI: Well now we should get down to the game. What's it like?
Tokyoma: Hmm.. For the most part it follows a sort of Action/Puzzle game tone, but there's a lot more to it than that. To be honest, when it's completed... It will probably span across at least 4 to 5 different generes.

GMI: How long do you think it'll take to beat it?
Tokyoma: I can't honestly say. It's too early to tell how long it will be.

GMI: Other than the main game, will there be any special features or extras?
Tokyoma: Possibly one or two secret endings and some secrets around the game and allusions to Cactus and his games.

GMI: What game (professional or Game Maker) would you compare your game to, if you had to?
Tokyoma: To be honest, it KIND of makes me think about Cactus's Retro Adventure. But still pretty different. I can't really say that there's much to compare it to that I know of.

GMI: Is there anything you can tell us, GMI, that you haven't told the general public yet?
Tokyoma: Would anything that I tell GMI be released to the public anyway? Heheh.. Anyway, I supose that I could reveal that it has cool music. Heheh.. But on a more serious note, It will probably be rather difficult concidering one hit results in instant death. However, the game automatically saves after you enter anyroom.

GMI: I think that's it. Anything else?
Tokyoma: The game will retail at about $235 a copy.
Tokyoma: Ahaha, totally kidding

Thanks a lot, Tokyoma! There it is, friends! I hope you liked it! Be sure to join our forums, which we link to all over the place here.

 

Danse Machina Remake, Interview With Malaika by Venom

Yes, we are becoming active again! Several articles are ready/in the works, so don't worry about weeks of pause. At the most, for the next while, there should only be a day or two's pause. Keep reading, friends, we are working our way out of this hole! Keep coming back to our forums (GMIF)!

We've got a special interview with Malaika about their new re-make, Danse Machina. Also, for GMIF members, you will all get exclusive screenshots not yet released. Want to see these screens but not a GMIF member? Then join the forum and you can see! Just be sure to be active. ;)

GMI: Okay, so first off, you're working on a remake of Danse Machina. Why?

Malaika: Well, the original Danse Machina, which I stopped developing last year, was a bit of a disappointment. I've always been a big fan of robot action, and I felt it was my responsibility to do it right this time.

GMI: So what are you chaning for this version?

Malaika: Pretty much everything. The graphics have had a total overhaul, I've altered the characters and the storyline to be more interesting, and I've taken a new direction in level design. There were many elements in the previous version, like the level and user-interface design, that really dragged the game down. This time around, I'm prepared for it, and those are the elements I'm focusing on most.

GMI: So you're confident this will be a much better game?

Malaika: It's already a much better game, and I've been working on it 1/10 as long!

GMI: When will this game be released?

Malaika: I'm thinking by the end of the year. There's a lot of work to be done with the levels and story, but the crux of the game is essentially complete.

GMI: Are you going to release any demos or trailers at all?

Malaika: I already have a demo, which runs through the tutorial, and gives a sneak-peek at the first level. You can get that here: http://64digits.com/games/index.php?cmd=view_game&id=673

Other demos will follow - hopefully with a little more content.

GMI: Is anyone helping you with this game?

Malaika: Nope, I'm doing it all. Although, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Nobody for the graphical inspiration. It's made a big difference.

GMI: So... tell me, exactly, what is this game and what do you want it to be like?

Malaika: Danse Machina is essentially a top-down shooter. You take control of a robot, which can be fitted with different weapons in the two hardpoints. It's heavily character-driven. Gabrielle (your character) is thrown into a conspiracy which jeopardises the peace of the galaxy, and the only thing that can keep her alive is her own dark past.

I'm basically combining two games for this one. The first is an old arcade shooter from '96 called The Machines, which is where I got the gameplay inspiration from. And the story and basic level inspiration comes vaguely from Deus Ex. It has the atmosphere I want to capture in my own game - the story, characters, puzzles, etc.
Mala'ika says:
So expect arcade action, with a uniquely deep storyline!

Thanks, Malaika! And remember, screenshots provided exclusively by Malaika can be found on the GMI Forums, but only if you're a member! Other than that, expect a new article up in a day or two! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Black Silhouette Fact Sheet, by ronnoc

Yes... it's been a long time. Again. Sorry for all of this! We'll be trying to pick activity back up really really soon. We've got some great ideas in the works. We hope to get some readers back and even some forum members back. :)

ronnoc has submitted his first article! It's not an interview, rather, it's a fact sheet for Black Silhouette by exo_kopaka. So, please read it. The come to the forums and talk about it!

It’s the ronski! Bit too lazy to interview someone, so I complied a fact sheet about the wonderful Black Silhouette, by Exo_Kopaka. Thanks to Exo_Kopaka for the input.

Name: Black Silhouette
Development time: Two years
Genre: Stealth/Adventure
Known moves:
-9 Ninpo Abilities
-2 Aerial Attacks
-Jump
-Kitana
-Submachine Gun
-Grenades
-Sniping
-Driving
-Motorcycle

Locations: Various places around the globe.

Misc. info:
-Multiple endings
-Lock-on system
-Ads: On 14 members sigs.
-.gm5
-Lots of items
-Ninpo

From Exo_Kopaka:
There will be 50 mini-levels that you need passwords to unlock. That is just a minor part in this game.
I am also slowly putting together pictures for a "behind the scenes" on how much work has gone into this game. I believe its the only isometric stealth game on GMG, so I better make it good!

Inspiration:
-Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rouge Spear
-Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2
-Tenchu II: Birth of the Assassins
-Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
-Splinter Cell
-Star Craft
-Hitman 2
-and a whole lot more...

Known weapons:
Sword, HKMP5K-SD, Shurikens, Grenades (smoke and frag), and Berret Sniper.

People in on the game:
Exo_Kopaka(graphics, coding, and everything) and cornandbeans(music). Hopefully Tokyoma(AI).

The Intro is being released as a teaser. Intro mini fact sheet:

Intro size:
700kb in GMD form

Completion Log:
05.27.06- Added most of Scene 3 of the intro.
05.31.06- Finished Scene 3 and Scene 4.
06.10.06- Finished Scene 5. Began production on portraits.
06.13.06- Finished 4 Portraits. (Yoru, Riku, Takeda, and Koji)
06.14.06- Finished 2 Portraits. (Megumi, Hawk)
06.15.06- Amazingly, I finished 2 Portraits. (Steve, Natasha)
06.16.06- Yeah! I finished 4 Portraits! (Kage, Damein, Kara, and Mr.President)
06.17.06- Finished a scene for the intro. Also made some changes with the particle effects on the intro. I worked on (50%) of the city scape (Hong Kong), which takes forever to do...
06.22.06- I finished the city scape and fixed up the intro a bit. Thats about all.
06.24.06- Finished Scene 6 and 7.
06.30.06- Managed to squeeze in Scene 8.
07.01.06- Finished Scene 9. Started on Scene 10. Almost done!
07.02.06- Added some really cool particle effects. Also made soldiers have more lighting effects.
07.03.06- Finished Scene 10 and 11. Added Haiku, boats, more effects, and a new background. Soon.