Wouldn’t you like to be a Petter too?

Just a quick note that the amazing Dr. Petter has released an alpha version of sculptris, an awesome freeware 3D sculpting tool. I used it to make this nifty old man face in about 5 minutes, just playing around with the default settings and brush, and just using my mouse. Cool stuff!

Dr. Petter is also responsible for the sfxr, a free tool that helps you instantly generate 8-bit-ish sound effects (all of the sound effects in Crosstown and Spelunky were made with the sfxr), and musagi, a robust and very easy-to-learn free sequencer for making chiptune music.

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That Cactus kid ain’t got nothin’ on me!

The other night I noticed that one of the things listed on my projects page pointed to a dead link, so I fixed that. In the process, however, I started looking at some of my old, abandoned projects, and that got me thinking about how cool I think it is that Konjak has a whole section of his website for projects he abandoned. So I started digging, and digging, and digging…

40 games later, I have an early Christmas present for you guys. Behold, the StudioHunty graveyard of unfinished games, and despair. Or rejoice. Or maybe a little of both.

Herein lie many — but not all — of the games that I’ve abandoned over the last 10 years, every one with some kind of executable or binary or swf!

Not that I’m comparing dicks or anything, but Cactus only has 39 games listed on his website, and I’ve got 40 games listed here. So, maybe he’s got me beat on finishing games, but I can start making games like nobody’s business!!

(Before anyone gets all indignant and rushes to defend Cactus’s honor: I am joking, and I’m not seriously comparing my number of unfinished games to his number of finished games.)

The worm… the spice… is there a connection?

So… uh… Microsoft is starting the next Dream Build Play competition a little early, and this time it’s sponsored by Old Spice, with a separate, larger grand prize if you make an advergame for Old Spice. Wacky. But it means they can double their prize money and prize categories, so I guess that’s good news for entrants.

Remember that, as usual, registering for the competition gets you a free 12 month XNA Creators Club trial membership, which will let you play freeware XNA games like Kenta Cho’s GearToyGear on your Xbox (but won’t let you playtest or peer review XNA games that are on their way to XBLIG).

Slidin’ away…

Somewhere along the line, I developed a certain weakness for sliding-block puzzles.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, honestly; Apple’s bundled Puzzle desktop accessory always drove me nuts, and I never bothered to finish the World’s Hardest Trick the first time around. Yet somewhere between gnotski during Computational Mathematics lectures and a surprisingly high-quality implementation of Rush Hour during the down moments of my first internship, I learned to stop stressing and love shuffling tiles across a board.

There are a number of games of this type available on the web; a basic puzzle of this sort is pretty easy to implement and have therefore been a staple of newbie flash developers for years. I usually don’t find them particularly notable (although I would like to work in a plug for Wooden Path), but sometimes something really standout comes along.

The Indie Games blog linked last week to a flash project called Continuity. Continuity implements the really clever idea of taking a sliding-block puzzle and combining it with a 2D platformer- the blocks that you’re moving around are pieces of a level, and your ultimate goal is to guide your character through it, collect any keys, and reach a red door. Moving pieces whose edges match next to each other allows you to move between them.

The game starts out fairly simple, but the later puzzles become increasingly mind-bending. It’s a solid implementation of a really clever idea, and I enjoyed it tremendously.

– HC