Oh.

Globbits.

So it seems that sometimes, the bad guys do win.

It’s hard to see right now what news is real and what is fake on either side of the reports coming out, but if Trump has indeed fired all his ambassadors and had everything regarding climate change deleted from the White House website already, then things are off to a terrible start.

Good luck, America!

Cats. And Sometimes, Dogs

It’s raining cats. And sometimes, dogs.

How exciting! I managed to get my “My First Game Jam” jam game entry game jam game completed! Jam. Game.

Not only did I finish the game logic, but I also had time to add a title screen, a game over screen (complete with stats), and some sound effects. And! Some music! Now, I can’t take credit for composing the music (that was Grieg), but I did have to learn how to translate sheet music into PICO-8 music and then sequence it all and stuff. I’m a musician now, as well as a game developer. Wow!

But you don’t want to hear about all that. No, you want to actually play my damn cat-dog game, right?

There you go. Just click in it – it’s the actual game! If you have PICO-8, you can download this PNG below, which is also the actual game, and load that into it. Or just search for it using Splore.

cats and sometimes dogs

My hiscore is 58, by the way. You get an extra life every 50 points, and it gets harder every 20 points.

The 2016 Gaming Expenditure Horror

I dedicate this to all the pretty girls
All the pretty girls
It’s on
All the pretty girls, in the world
And the ugly girls too
Cause to me your pretty anyways baby

“What’s this?” I hear you cry. “It’s still January and he’s already done his roundup of how he spent his money on games?”. This is correct. “#Brexit”.

Before we begin, the traditional look at all the spendings for previous years and add to it the 2016 moneys. If numbers upset you, look away now:

2010 – £590.32
2011 – £888.22
2012 – £834.48
2013 – £342.82
2014 – £464.92
2015 – £932.92
2016 – £964.02

Hahahaha! There’s got to be some mistake here, right? I mean, I’ve not even bought any consoles in the last year! Oh wait. Yes I have. I bought an Atari Lynx. But why so much money besides that?

Lego Dimensions. I don’t think I need to explain any further than that. If I were to collect up the starter pack and all the expansions I purchased, you’d see it comes to almost £140. “Oops” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

A few other big-ish spends, for me, included No Man’s Sky (PS4), Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Wii U) and Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS), as well as both Pokémon X and Y (3DS), and Sega 3D Classics Collection (3DS). Each of these came in at the £25 to £40 mark – most being bought at launch too – but since between them they made up around 85% of my game time last year I can hardly complain. Well, not about that anyway.

Now to break it down. First, the software/hardware split:

Not unexpected, as I bought very little in the way of hardware. As mentioned above, a Lynx and some Lego accounted for almost all of it, with a couple of Amiibo the rest.

But what about the machines I spent the money on?

An unexpected few things here. Firstly, the return of iOS to the chart! Sure, it’s only about two quid, and that was on a Spectrum emulator and a game pack for it, but still – telephone gaming is back! Or not as I’ve barely played them. More unexpected is the PC/Mac wedge. Never has it been so huge! OK, not huge, but visible at least. Why? Because I bought a Steam Link and, unrelated to that, am 8bitdo FC30 Pro controller. I also purchased the big Christmas Humble Bundle (mainly because all the money went to charity), so there’s that too.

You’ll notice the Wii has gone again, and the 360 pops up with a single expense – that South Park RPG for a fiver.

As before though, the majority of my “purchases” this year have been free again.

Finally, as far as pretty charts go at least, downloads vs physical releases:

Physical has made a comeback! Why? Because the chart is done by price, and digital games have almost all been cheap or free, whereas – yep – Lego Dimensions again. And some of those launch titles.

How many games did I end up buying? 198. More, actually, as that doesn’t include individual games in some bundles. That’s a lot of games, but do you know what else is a lot of games? How many I completed in 2016. 110. That’s more than I’ve ever done before in a single year.

Anyway, let’s see if I can spend a bit less in 2017, eh? Shouldn’t be hard, since there’s no–oh crap. The Nintendo Switch.

Play Want Bin Expense: 2017-01-16

Fun, fun, fun, in Pokémon Sun, Sun Sun.

I’ll admit, it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, but no matter! I’m here now doing another weekly roundup of personal gaming events, and that’s what’s important. Isn’t it?

Play

Pokémon Sun (3DS)
Just the 37 hours in at the moment, which is longer than it took for me to complete Pokémon Y, so I could suggest I’m nearing the end. Right? Wrong. I don’t know how far in I am, but of the four islands (that I’m aware of) I’m barely into the third one. This could be because I’m hooked on Poképelego and Festival Plaza, between the two of which I’ve easily spent half my game playing.

Pokémon Go (iOS)
Still playing. No baby pokeymens yet though.

Lego Dimensions (PS4)
Mainly the Sonic the Hedgehog level and hub world this week. It worked this time, rather than get stuck on the Metropolis Zone section, so we managed to complete it!

Mr. Pumpkin Adventure (Wii U)
Also in “games completed” news, is this lovely little puzzle adventure game in the mould of Machinarium. It’s not as good as that, unfortunately, but it’s still pretty good. It also has far more characters with fruit and vegetables for heads than Machinarium ever did, if that makes a difference.

SteamWorld Heist (3DS)
Crivens is this good. I don’t know why I never pounced on it when released, but thanks to a trio of deals (cheap credit, cheap game, My Nintendo discount) I bought it for a tiny price a few weeks back and finally started it this week. it is excellent. Steam-powered robots, in space, in a side-on X-commy sort of game where bullets ricochet off walls and floors? Come ON. How can it not be excellent?

Picross e7 (3DS)
Just a few puzzles on this.

Want

A NINTENDO SWITCH. And yes! Sonic Mania IS coming to the Switch! Stay tuned for more thoughts on the Switch in the future, but for now, I also want Zelda for it. And Mario.

Bin

Very little. Some of the Switch stuff I suppose (like the included grip not being able to charge the joy-cons, and the UK Zelda Special Edition not coming with all the stuff the US one does).

Expense

I’m being very good so far this year, having not spent a penny on anything. I’ve had free copies of Lifeline: Whiteout (iOS), Mass Effect 2 (PC) and Dirt Showdown (Mac) though.

Game Dev Diary: Cats. And Sometimes, Dogs v0.12

Cat. Cat. Cat. Dog. Cat. Cat. Dog. Cat.

Another very small update. Perhaps next time, I’ll have a playable game to show you, but for now I’ve just got the image above and this gif below.

Current thoughts:

  1. Too many cats
  2. I think I have cats and dogs round the wrong way
  3. Perhaps the “basket” at the bottom should be a bonfire?
  4. Tweak the hitboxes so you can’t “catch” dogs from the side
  5. Sound effects
  6. Minter Mode
  7. The game is now officially called “Cats. And Sometimes, Dogs”
  8. I’ve not used any cheeses as variable names yet

Nintendo Switch Direct Content Leak!

RUMOURS NOT FAKE NEWS

Yay! Things are being announced, so let’s stab randomly in the dark at what those things might be! In the post-fact world we now live in, fake news is where the real facts are!

Tune in to Nintendo’s Live From Tokyo, France, feed at 4am Genuine Pre-Brexit Real Time (GPBRT) on Friday the 13th (ruh roh!) to tick off how many of these are correct!

Hardware

We already know some stuff about the hardware. It has a screen! It has detachable controllers! There’s a base unit! Nvidia! But here are some things you might not know:

  1. The console is 12 inches thick. Not wide, not tall, but thick. We’re gonna need some bigger hands.
  2. The battery life is long enough to last from the moment you take it out of the dock to the time you sit down on the sofa with it. After that, you need to buy a new battery, because:
  3. That’s right – that battery can’t be recharged and needs replacing every time you handle the console. Batteries will not be available at launch.
  4. Nvidia didn’t make the chip in the Switch – they simply made the socket the Switch’s chip fits into. The chip itself won’t be available at launch.
  5. There will be an unlimited number of SKUs, each with different colour cases, amounts of RAM, screen shapes, and connectivity options. Most of these will not be available at launch.
  6. The charger will not be USB-C as widely reported: it will use the original Game Boy Advance SP charger. These will not be included in the box, and will not be available at launch.
  7. The Switch is not compatible with HDTVs. They only work with CRTs and 4K TVs, and only then with a converter cable. This cable will not be available at launch.
  8. The vitality sensor will finally be released, along with the SD adaptor originally planned for the GameCube. Again, these will not be available at launch.
  9. The console will be region free! Only not in Europe.
  10. The replacement for the Switch will be teased at the end of the Direct, and will be available at launch.

Software

We know there will be Strictly Just Do Dancing 2017, Zelda BOFH and NBA 2K BBQ NSPCC, but what else?!

  1. Every single GameCube game ever made, for every region, will be available on the eShop from launch day. In the UK they will cost £13.99 each, in the EU they’ll be €44.99, and in the US, $4.99. In order to play them you will need the GameCube controller components for the Switch unit. These will not be available at launch.
  2. A new F-Zero game, called F-Zero 0, set 200 years before the original F-Zero, will be announced and available as a launch title. It will be controlled with the Wii balance board, which requires an adaptor to work with the Switch. Nintendo will not be manufacturing any new balance boards, however, and the required adaptor will not be available at launch.
  3. The rumoured new Mario Switch title will be revealed as a launch title. It’s a free to play, free-roaming RPG with platform game elements. Each level needs to be unlocked with a different Amiibo, but these Amiibo will not be available at launch.
  4. A port of Star Fox Zero is a launch title. You will need a Wii U Gamepad in order to control it, however. These will not be sold separately.
  5. All of your Wii U and 3DS eShop purchases will be transferable to your Switch console, for free. However, in order to do this you must send your Wii U and 3DS to Nintendo as they are the ones who need to perform the transfer. You will still need your 3DS in order to play 3DS eShop games on the Switch, as it acts as the controller. And the screen. This functionality will not be available at launch.
  6. The Rabbids and Mario crossover that was rumoured is actually two separate games on the same cartridge. There is no crossover at all, they’re just very small so they packaged them together.
  7. Retro have been working on a new Metroid game. It will be shown in teaser form at the Switch event, but will not be available until 2028. It is completed, but as the game is physically set in the year 2028 it was decided that was the best time to release it.
  8. New Donkey Kong Country Returns will be out in the 2017-2019 launch window.
  9. New New Super Mario Bros U Switch will be out in the 2018-2020 launch window.
  10. New Luigi’s Mansion Switch will be available at launch, but the day one patch that is required to play it will not.
  11. Nintendo’s new “Nintendo don’t have a game like this” IP is actually an MMORPG set in a world overrun by evil kangaroos. Players take the role of camels who hunt the kangaroos using hilariously oversized pea shooters. It’s free to play.
  12. Sega, Konami, Codemasters, Melbourne House and Amsoft are all confirmed to have games available at launch. These games will not be available at launch.

Online

  1. You can import your existing NNID onto your Switch, although this feature will not be available at launch.
  2. Nintendo’s ONline SErvice (which will be known as “NONSE”) will make use of “chum numbers” that are definitely nothing like friend codes. For your convenience, these CNs will expire every three months.
  3. The Switch will come with a built in web browser, Twitter client, Soundcloud integration and IRC chat. Some of these features, specifically those that use online services, won’t be available at launch.
  4. NONSE will remain free, although you will need to pay subscriptions for each individual game or service you wish to use on it. Prices will vary, but Twitter is known to be £4.99/€5.99/$19.99 a month. You can use My Nintendo gold coins to obtain a 5% discount, although this will not be available at launch.
  5. Miiverse will get an overhaul, with tighter integration in games (some games require a Miiverse account to work), but Miiverse will be unavailable at launch.
  6. Network connectivity is 801.11ac wireless only, is not compatible with 11a, b or n, and supports WEP security only. A wired LAN adaptor will be available, although not at launch, but this will only support Wii and Wii U games bought on the Switch.
  7. Nintendo have partnered with Virgin Media to ensure that NONSE is incompatible with Virgin.
  8. Children under the age of 21 will not have access to NONSE.

Game Dev Diary: Cats. And Sometimes, Dogs v0.11

Just a small update. I’ve now got a moving basket, and cats and dogs that fall in different directions and speeds.

I think I know what’s going to happen next.

Game Dev Diary: Cats. And Sometimes, Dogs v0.10

Cats don’t like dogs cats like cars and money.

I’m taking part in my FIRST EVER GAME JAM! Oh my. Wait, actually, no, I’m not. The comp.sys.sinclair Crap Games Competitions count as game jams, don’t they? Maybe.

OK, my first one where the aim of the game isn’t to make a crap game. That doesn’t mean that any games I make will be something other than crap, because that’s not possible, but at least I can try to write something a bit more fun.

Or can I?

Anyway, this jam is My First Game Jam: Winter 2017 on itch.io. The theme is “Cats and/or dogs”, although it is optional. I will, of course, be developing something, in PICO-8, that includes cats. And sometimes dogs.

I’ve no name for it yet, but 15 minutes has got me to here:

cats and sometimes dogs

That’s right! Cats. And sometimes, dogs!

(Note: No, that freeroam game hasn’t been binned – I’m still poking at that).