Monthly Archives: June 2010

Kim Pine with a Baseball Bat

So unlike the rest of the internet I haven’t been too excited about the Scott Pilgrim movie (mostly Michael Cera’s fault, though I also don’t think it needs to be a movie in the first place), but the trailer for the game is something else:

That’s Paul Robertson doing the visuals! He’s finally making an actual playable game! And you get to play as Kim Pine wielding a baseball bat! Sadly the fact that it’s only for XBox and Playstation means I’ll likely never get a chance to actually play it though…

Anyway, to remind ourselves why Paul Robertson is pretty much the perfect person to be making this game, some videos (the best streaming quality I could find – the compression really messes with the crisp pixel edges):

Unrelated; you also owe it to yourself to read this fantastic article at boing boing. A really gorgeous piece of writing.

Feeling a little guilty the blog’s been mostly about games recently (I’ve been struggling to keep up with new music lately, or find anything that actually excites me), here’s something I really like:

The Short-Lived Adventures of Binkle Splurf, Wannabe Kobold Assasin

Being the tragic tale of an ugly boy and his dream of rescuing the Orb of Zot from the depths of the Stone Soup dungeon.
All his life, Binkle Splurf had listened to his father’s tales of adventure and heroism, and felt nothing but shame at his own lack of physical strength. And good looks. And charisma. And courage. One day though, having yet again endured his father’s withering glares across the dinner table, he made up his mind to do something about it; “I will delve into the depths of the Stone Soup dungeon and return with the fabled Orb of Zot, and win my father’s approval!”

Setting off with his father’s prized dagger, and a blowgun he had made in Craft & Design at school, the courageous young kobold descended into the Dungeon…
Having barely stepped away from the staircase, he spotted the sleeping form of a goblin. Carefully, ever so carefully, he tiptoed up to the ugly creature, raised his knife and…
Stabbed it in the head, before it had a chance to fight back. “Perhaps this will be easier than I had thought,” he pondered. Pocketing the goblin’s dagger, he made his way onwards.

Having taken barely 3 steps forward, he chanced upon another sleeping form, this time a hobgoblin (hobgoblin def.: A goblin wearing hobnail boots). Here though his sneaky stealthiness failed him, and the hobgoblin woke with a shout.
A great and terrible battle followed, but Binkle Splurf was ultimately triumphant (though he did need to rest and regain his strength afterwards).

Having recovered, he set off once more, scuffling briefly with some bats and hobgoblins, before rounding a corner to find:
A fellow kobold and his pet newt. Unfortunately, this kobold did not take kindly to Binkle Splurf creeping up on him, and attacked with a ferocity that left our poor protagonist fighting for his life. Out of desperation, Binkle Splurf opened his pack, took out the mysterious potion he had found lying in a shadowy corner of the dungeon, and quaffed it all in one go…
Oh joyous day! Oh luck! It was a potion of heal wounds; the best possible potion if you’re bleeding from multiple nasty wounds. Biff! Stab! Gouge! With renewed vigour, Binkle Splurf made short work of his traitorous countryman and his newt, and stole his dagger as a reward.

Feeling like a proper adventurer, our brave young kobold made his way through the dungeon, looting and stabbing as he went, getting stronger and more confident with each battle.
Even this encounter with an unruly band of 4 monsters couldn’t slow him down. Within no time he had explored the entire level and was ready to descend yet further into the dungeon. Taking a quick look at the loot he had collected…
…he decided to have a go at identifying those two mysterious scrolls, and with some trepidation, read them aloud.
So, a scroll of detect curse and something still unidentified. Not the most useful of results, but undeterred, Binkle Splurf descended the nearest stairs and continued his quest.
…Only to suddenly and for no reason shout out loud, waking a nearby worm. Switching to his homemade blowgun, he tried to slow the creature with some well placed poison needles, but the beast still managed to take a chunk out of him before it turned tail and tried to flee. Enraged by his wounds though, Binkle Splurf chased it down and stabbed it in the back like the worm it was.
In no time he had explored this level too, and descended once more to the next level, only to come face to face with…
An altar to Jiyva surrounded by 4 jellies and a quokka. Panicked, he ran straight back up the stairs, luckily only followed by the quokka. Dispatching the clumsy marsupial, he set about finding another way down.
Only to get into a misjudged fight with a giant frog, which promptly swallowed him whole…

The stupid kobold’s possessions when he died:
(this was a fairly short, pretty stupid run of crawl; most runs last longer and feature more interesting sights like that Jiyva altar)

Explosions and Bright Lights and Flaming Hammers

Or, games I’ve been playing recently. The first two are Windows-only; Stone Soup’s properly cross-platform.

A fantastic pixelly side scrolling shootemup. A game which has clearly had so much love poured into it that it actually glows. Also, bastard hard.

SYNSO Championship Edition
I am deeply in love with Robert Fearon’s arena shooters. This is the latest (his first being the awesomely-titled War Twat). With each game he’s refined his aesthetic more and more, and this is just one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, hear or play. It’s derived from the pixellated goodies of the arcade’s heyday, but never feels like simple nostalgia; everything’s turned up and streamlined in ways that would never have been possible before. I’m actually making a game heavily inspired by SYNSO2, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match it.

Crawl Stone Soup
This is the one I’ve been really hammering lately. It’s a roguelike with certain aspects considerably streamlined (item identification) and others greatly expanded (race, class selection, gods); well, compared to nethack, which is the only other roguelike I’ve sunk a lot of time into. Like any decent roguelike, there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff in here, as well as a ridiculous number of ways to die (which is probably the link between these three games – you will die repeatedly, and often, and each time you’ll want to start the game over straight away).

The devs recently released v0.60 of Stone Soup and holy crap did they increase the difficulty – my highest score in the previous version was 14000 odd; in 0.60 it’s 400 odd. I’m hoping they ease it off a bit, because I was just starting to think I might have a handle on the game before this latest release. Still can’t stop playing though.

I’m going to do a post documenting one of my plays soon, so look out for that.