Wind Catcher Games

Games by Josh Raab

Archive for the category “General Ramblings”

To GDC! And the IGDA NJ Demo Night

Away I go to GDC. I’ll be volunteering, so keep an eye out for me in one of our “fire engine red” CA getups. I’ll do a lil’ writeup when I get back – I’m sure I’ll have many stories, at least some of which will be fit for public consumption.

Also, I’ll be presenting Nika at the IGDA NJ Demo Night at the Hoboken Business Center on April 2nd. It’s going to be amazing. Just, like, I’m going to blow your socks off. Right off. You should come.

Nika Demo

I had a great time at the NYC Demo Meetup last night demoing Nika, hanging out, and seeing all the other games. Thanks to everyone who came out! (I didn’t take any pictures myself, but if you took any I’ll happily post them up.)

I’ll likely have news about a publishing contract very soon, so if you liked what you saw, check back every so often to see what’s happening.

You can check out Meg Stivison’s writeup of the event for Geek Magazine.

Global Game Jam 2013

I had an awesome weekend participating in the Global Game Jam at NYU. The theme was heartbeat, and we ended up making some weird puzzle platformer about bacon, fartjumps, and the paradoxical interplay of American consumerism and body image attitudes. It’s called Gird Up Your Loins, because we’re insane. I’ll post a link below, but I’ll put up a better version when we’re done with it. The team seems excited and willing to get back to work, so it may be ready quite soon.

That team is Shuichi Aizawa (co-lead programming), Mark Anderson (audio), Chris Hernandez (art), me (co-lead design, programming), Ben Serviss (co-lead design, level design, programming), and Neil Sveri (co-lead programming). It was really just stupidly fun to work with these guys, it’s amazing we managed to make a game with all the hilarious crap that went on.

We used Construct 2, if you’re curious. The game looks like this:

GUYL Screenshot

If you’re impatient, you can play it here, but it will make more sense and look better and sound better when we’re done. You have the willpower to wait, don’t you?

Horrida Bella

I’ve programmed a new game. This one’s a 2-player grid-based tactical strategy game. I call it Horrida Bella, because it’s not exactly my finest effort in the genre – I consider it more of a programming exercise than a proper design. But hey, it works, and it’s okay. You can check it out here:

Horrida Bella

Horrida Bella Screenshot

(By the way, if it says there are security vulnerabilities in this plugin, that’s fine. Just click on it.)

Swap Poker!

Playable digital version: Swap Poker

Swap Poker Screenshot

Here’s a new game I designed and programmed using Processing. It’s called Swap Poker. The objective is to end up with a better 5-card poker hand than your opponent after you’ve each taken 12 moves. Grab a friend and try it out!

A complete ruleset is below, but the basic rules are explained at the bottom of the linked page above. You can just click on the link and figure it out as you play.

It’s designed to fit onto airplane seat trays, so next time you’re going on a long flight, bring a deck and give it a shot!

Swap Poker

Swap Poker is a card game for 2 players. The objective is to have a better 5-card poker hand than your opponent at the end of the game, using your row of 6 cards.

Setup

1. Shuffle a standard deck of cards with the Jokers removed.

2. Choose a row for each player, top or bottom. Each player takes a different row. Also choose a player to go first.

3. Deal out 6 cards in 2 rows, face up.

How to Play

Each player takes turns making a move with a card in a specific position.

The bottom-row player moves the card in the bottom-left position first. That player’s position shifts to the right until it reaches the end, then loops back around once.

The top-row player moves the card in the top-right position first. That player’s position shifts to the left until it reaches the end, then loops back around once.

When a given position is active, the player takes 1 of 3 moves.

For the following, note that diagonals don’t count as “adjacent,” and you cannot wrap around (i.e. the leftmost position cannot stack into the rightmost position or vice versa). “Adjacent” does include any card immediately above, below, to the left, or to the right.

1. Swap: Switch the top card in the current position with the card in any adjacent position.

2. Stack: Place the top card in the current position onto any adjacent position.

2a. If Stacking leaves an empty space, deal a new card into that space, face up.

2b. Only the top card in a position is available, for both scoring and Swapping. If a Swap involves a position with multiple stacked cards, only switch the top card.

2c. Let cards below the top card remain partly visible, even though they are not     immediately available.

3. Pass: Leave the card in its current position.

Scoring

The game ends after both players have taken 12 moves. At the end of the game, whichever player can form the better 5-card poker hand using the 6 cards in his row is the winner!

Nika, MFA, and more!

It’s been a while, so I figured I’d update the world about my goings-on.

Nika (nee Othismos) has received a gorgeous visual overhaul courtesy of Chris Hernandez. I’ll upload some photos of the new board and pieces once they come in, which should be soon.

I’ve started my application for the MFA in Game Design at NYU. It’s an exciting opportunity to spend time with some of the best minds in the industry, students and teachers both.

Recently I attended Metatopia, a board/card/RPG con in New Jersey. Takeaways included: everyone likes Nika (except perhaps publishers); my analog games may need more bells and whistles; making a living in analog games is hard; self-publishing is hard, but potentially worth it; and Kickstarter is a great resource for games.

I also went to PRACTICE, NYU’s annual game design conference. Tons of interesting stuff there. A special shout-out to Richard Garfield for his fascinating and specific talk on game balance, and Stone Librande for bringing his ridiculously beautiful design documentation and top-secret SimCity demo (also for kicking ass with me in Hokra and being a cool guy all around).

I’ve been lax with Savor the Void, but I swear I have an outline written for my next one, about the “open toolbox” in Magicka. It’ll be out soon! And it’ll be interesting! I promise!

Double Impactics (Jean Claude Van Jam!)

The digital version!

Below are the rules for Double Impactics, the asymmetric tactical combat game I helped create at the Jean Claude Van Jam along with Chris Hernandez, Ryan Lester, and Neil Sveri. We submitted an analog version, but a digital version is in the works.

The board game version!

Here’s a link to our GitHub repo: https://github.com/rdlester/JCVJ2012

DOUBLE IMPACTICS

1. Overview

2. Rules
…2.1. Objective: Van Dammes
…2.2. Objective: Goons
…2.3. Round Structure: Overview
…2.4. Round Structure: Planning Phase
…2.5. Round Structure: Combat Phase
…2.6. Round Structure: End Phase
…2.7. Cards (Available Actions): Van Dammes
…2.8. Available Actions: Goons
…2.9. Combat: Movement and Obstacles
…2.10. Combat: HP
…2.11. Combat: Melee Attack
…2.12. Combat: Fire (and Barrel Explosions)
…2.13. Combat: Attack
…2.14. Combat: Roundhouse
…2.15. Combat: Dodge

3. Characters
…3.1. Alex
…3.2. Chad
…3.3. Kung Fu Goon
…3.4. Gun Goon

4. Level Features
…4.1. Floor
…4.2. Walls and Columns
…4.3. Explosive Barrels
…4.4. Crates
…4.5. Victory Locations

5. Materials and Sample Levels
…5.1. Materials
…5.2. Level Layout Key
…5.3. Sample Level: The Factory
…5.4. Sample Level: The Nightclub


 

1. OVERVIEW

Double Impactics is an asymmetric top-down tactical combat game for 2 players. One player takes control of Alex (Jean-Claude van Damme) and Chad (Jean-Claude van Damme), while the other controls a squad of Goons. The Goons must try to take down one of the van Dammes, while the van Dammes must either kill all the Goons or reach the victory location.

2. RULES

This section contains the rules of the game.

2.1. Objective: Van Dammes

The van Dammes can win in two ways. First, they win if they kill off all the Goons. Second, they win if either one of them reaches a victory location.

2.2. Objective: Goons

The Goons win if they kill either van Damme.

2.3. Round Structure: Overview

Each round is divided into three phases: the Planning Phase, the Combat Phase, and the End Phase.

2.4. Round Structure: Planning Phase

During the Planning Phase, the van Dammes player chooses 6 cards. These will execute during the Combat Phase in the order picked.

The van Dammes player may choose to discard a card instead of playing it. In this case, the card still enters the queue, but the van Dammes take no action when it comes up in the queue.

2.5. Round Structure: Combat Phase

During the Combat Phase, the cards chosen by the van Dammes player execute in the order they were picked.

After each van Dammes card executes, the Goons player makes one move with a randomly chosen Goon.

2.6. Round Structure: End Phase

During the End Phase, the van Dammes player’s hands are replenished with new cards from the deck, and his permanent cards are replaced. (The probability of any card being picked at any given time is always the same, regardless of what cards are in play.)

2.7. Cards (Available Actions): Van Dammes

The van Dammes player has 2 hands, one for Alex and one for Chad.

Alex always has 2 instances of the following 4 types of permanent cards to start each round: Forward 1, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, and Attack. Additionally, Alex gets 2 cards at random from the deck.

Chad always has 2 instances of the following 2 types of permanent cards to start each round: Sidestep Left and Sidestep Right. Additionally, Chad gets 4 cards at random from the deck.

2.8. Available Actions: Goons

The Goons player always has a given set of actions available, depending on what Goon has been chosen to move next.

Kung Fu Goons have the following actions available: Forward 1, Forward 2, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Melee.

Gun Goons have the following actions available: Forward 1, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Sidestep Left, Sidestep Right, Melee, Fire.

2.9. Combat: Movement and Obstacles

When a movement card (Forward 1, Forward 2, Sidestep Left, Sidestep Right, Backward 1 Space) is played, the character moves in the direction given, unless there is an obstacle in the way.

Obstacles include walls (including the edge of the map), columns, explosive barrels, and other characters.

Crates, however, can be pushed back by moving Forward into them, as long as there are no obstacles behind them. Sidestepping into a crate does not push it; instead, the character does not move.

2.10: Combat: HP

Alex and Chad have 2 HP.

Gun Goons have 1 HP. Kung Fu Goons have 2 HP.

When a character loses all his HP, that character dies and is removed from play.

2.11. Combat: Melee

A Melee card causes the character to attack the square immediately in front of him. If a Melee hits…

Any character: The character takes 1 HP of damage, unless he is Dodging, in which case he takes 0 damage and is no longer Dodging.
A wall or column: Nothing happens.
A crate: The crate is broken.
An explosive barrel: The barrel is pushed forward 1 space, unless there is an obstacle behind it, in which case nothing happens.

2.12. Combat: Fire (and Barrel Explosions)

A Fire card causes a bullet to travel 3 spaces forward from the character that shoots. It collides with the first object it hits.

If a bullet collides with…

Any character: That character takes 1 HP of damage, unless he is Dodging, in which case he takes 0 damage and is no longer Dodging.
A wall, column, or crate: The bullet is stopped. Crates are not damaged.
An explosive barrel: The barrel explodes. It is immediately destroyed. When a barrel explodes, it affects all 8 surrounding spaces.

If a barrel explodes near…

Any character: That character takes 2 HP of damage, unless he is Dodging, in which case he takes 1 damage and is no longer Dodging.
A wall or column: Nothing happens.
A crate: The crate is destroyed.
An explosive barrel: The barrel also explodes.

2.13. Combat: Attack

An Attack card causes the character to shoot, unless there is a barrel immediately in front of him, in which case he Melee attacks instead.

2.14. Combat: Roundhouse

A Roundhouse card causes damage to everything in the 8 spaces surrounding the character. If a Roundhouse hits…

Any character: That character takes 100 fuckin HP of damage, even if he is Dodging, because you can’t dodge a fuckin roundhouse from Jean-Claude van Damme. Fuck.
A wall or column: Nothing happens.
A crate: The crate is destroyed.
An explosive barrel: The barrel is pushed 1 space away from the character, unless there is an obstacle in that space, in which case nothing happens.

2.15. Combat: Dodge

A Dodge card reduces the damage taken from Melee attacks, shots, and barrel explosions by 1. This means that a Dodging character takes 0 damage from a Melee attack or shot, and 1 from a barrel explosion.

Once a character Dodges one attack, that character is no longer Dodging. The Dodging state lasts only until the end of the Combat Phase.

If a Dodging character is affected by multiple simultaneous barrel explosions, the character takes 1 less damage from each explosion.


 

3. CHARACTERS

This section contains details about all the characters and enemy classes in the game.

3.1. Alex

Alex has 2 HP. He has access to fewer fancy moves than Chad, but is generally more reliable.

As stated, Alex always has 2 instances of the following 4 types of permanent cards to start each round: Forward 1, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, and Attack. Additionally, Alex gets 2 cards at random from the deck.

3.2. Chad

Chad has 2 HP. He tends to have less convenient cards than Alex, but has more fancy moves.

As stated, Chad always has 2 instances of the following 2 types of permanent cards to start each round: Sidestep Left and Sidestep Right. Additionally, Chad gets 4 cards at random from the deck.

3.3. Kung Fu Goon

Kung Fu Goons are melee fighters. They have 2 HP. They can move forward fast, but cannot sidestep.

As stated, Kung Fu Goons have the following actions available: Forward 1, Forward 2, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Melee.

3.4. Gun Goon

Gun Goons are ranged fighters. They have 1 HP. They are fragile but tactically valuable, as they can shoot and sidestep.

As stated, Gun Goons have the following actions available: Forward 1, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Sidestep Left, Sidestep Right, Melee, Fire.


 

4. LEVEL FEATURES

This section contains details about level features.

4.1. Floor

Floor is the default tile type. Characters can move over Floor tiles. Explosive barrels can be Melee attacked onto and off of Floor tiles, and crates can be pushed onto and off of Floor tiles.

4.2. Walls and Columns

Walls and columns are immovable, indestructible terrain features. They block bullets and cannot be moved through.

4.3. Explosive Barrels

Explosive barrels explode when shot, and can be Melee attacked onto and off of Floor tiles.

4.4. Crates

Crates block bullets. They can be moved 1 or 2 spaces with a Forward 1 or Forward 2 card, as long as they are being pushed onto Floor tiles.

(In the case of a Forward 2 card, both tiles must be Floor tiles. If there is 1 Floor tile and an obstacle, the Crate is pushed forward only 1 tile.)

4.5. Victory Locations

If Alex or Chad reach a victory location, the van Dammes player wins. Goons can stand on victory locations, but it doesn’t do anything– they are just treated as normal Floor tiles.

5. MATERIALS AND SAMPLE LEVELS

This section details the materials needed for play, and provides two sample levels, the Factory and the Nightclub.

5.1. Materials

You’ll need the following to play:

  • An 8×10 grid
  • A set of cards
    • Alex’s permanent cards: 2 Forward 1, 2 Rotate Left, 2 Rotate Right, 2 Attack
    • Chad’s permanent cards: 2 Sidestep Left, 2 Sidestep Right
    • 25 Forward 1
    • 8 Forward 2
    • 8 Rotate Left
    • 8 Rotate Right
    • 5 Rotate 180
    • 7 Sidestep Left
    • 7 Sidestep Right
    • 7 Backward 1 Space
    • 10 Melee
    • 10 Fire
    • 2 Attack
    • 2 Roundhouse
    • 5 Dodge
    • 2 Rolling Akimbo Pistols Left
    • 2 Rolling Akimbo Pistols Right
    • 4 Diving Shot
    • 4 Flying Kick
    • 2 Double Roundhouse
  • 2 blue tokens
    • 1 marked “Alex”
    • 1 marked “Chad”
  • 6 red tokens
    • 3 marked “G” for Gun Goons
    • 3 marked “M” or “K” for Kung Fu Goons
  • 2 victory location tokens (blue in our version)
  • 8 orange exploding barrel tokens
  • 8 yellow crate tokens
  • 12 green indestructible (wall/column) tokens

5.2. Level Layout Key

5.3. Sample Level: The Factory

5.4. Sample Level: The Nightclub

Stuff is up!

Alright, things are looking reasonably bountiful. I’ve got 2 playable Digital Games up, photos with short descriptions of 5 Analog Games, plus a whole bunch of Designs. Check it on out!

Oh, hey! Didn’t see you there

I’m on the internet! Ahhh!

Hopefully this site will become a bountiful repository of my games, designs, and writings. Let’s try to make that happen.

…on Tuesday.

(…or later.)

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