Author Archives: Offal

About Offal

Allan O. is a game designer from Toronto, Canada.

A Puff of Vapour

Starseed Steam
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Fishbane + Friends

P0 + Friends

When Fishbane was released on Newgrounds two years ago, a lot of people asked for a downloadable version. At the time, site-specific licensing complicated the issue. No longer! You can now download Fishbane for offline play, as part of a bundle of other (previously unreleased) games, headlined by the stellar Probability 0.

Besides two short new quests by Alex (Droqen) and I, three longer-form quests were contributed by three other local game devs. Each brought their own unique design-sense to the game, and have introduced fresh puzzles and novel environments to explore. Continue reading


the best video game

i am playing dark souls, by from software, on ps3. this is a good game. i was expecting it to be, as a successor to demons souls. i expected compelling, tense presentation as the skin on the bones of a tight, ascetic action game.

it has outstripped my expectations. of course, it is incrementally more honed than the previous game, and incrementally broader. in each amount though, it is somehow incomparably, indefinably more engrossing. this is it; the best videogame. the impossible balance of tradition and novelty, of familiarity and ingenuity, of lore and athleticism. so, good news! everyone else making games can give up. if a particular person is capable of deriving any joy from the product of 50 years of videogame development, they will find it abundant here.

so i told my girlfriend, this game. dark souls, wow. i mean i didn’t really have to tell her because, i’ve been playing it a lot. i sat down with her, turned on the sound system, off the lights, handed her the controller. i’d seen the beginning sequence for the third time now, i knew these moments, beats, spaces. i was excited! i was full of too much advice, chatty, ‘shh, let me play’. we sat in the glow as she progressed steadily through to the second boss. turned off the console, on the lights, finished for the evening.

she does not play a lot of videogames, does not have many modern points of comparison. the narrative is important. and it is not good enough. ‘where’s the motive, ‘go do this thing’. whatever, why should i, make me want to, make me feel it’. she went to bed, and i thought about exposition, about princesses, about ‘quest logs’ and magical gps maps, about so much bullshit. and then, dark souls. i feel it! it moves me! but, is it enough?

maybe mother 3 is the best videogame. no, another world. half life 2? maybe i’m not so sure.


so here’s how it goes…

A preliminary (competition) build of Fortress Revolution.
 


forty-eight hours, first times

i was once again marginally present during a gorgeous game situation feat. droqen, and am here to share a bit with you. we attended a weekend windows phone 7 game ‘app’ development contest for fun and potential profit. if you have not heard of the windows phone 7 (i hadn’t either, beforehand), it is microsoft’s answer to the iphone and android platforms. it’s got a multi-touch screen, and fairly respectable hardware specs. it supports xna; the framework primarily used for xbox live development, with secondary windows support. beyond the dodgy install situation, the environment is surprisingly friendly and streamlined. with no practice but a quick run through handling touch events and creating balls, we set off with great ambition.

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fishbane devlog, pt. 3

hello, i’m allan. i helped droqen a bit with fishbane. i served as back-seat designer, built some levels, and was generally his guy friday. mostly though, i just pester him a lot ;P. i have been keeping a development log over at the tigsource forums. the first piece is about game design, and was written in the thick of development. the second was written just before the game went up on newgrounds, and is about the tech involved, and the sponsorship process. this one is about criticism and player feedback.

the reason i’m guest posting here, instead of following up on the forum, (besides the fact that the thread is fairly old at this point) is that the last post was referred to by community heroes chevy ray and alec holowka as a ‘post-mortem’. fair enough. unlike the tigforums, i’m not exactly sure who the audience is for droqen’s blog besides me and jmickle (hi jmickle!), but i hope that it’s good for whoever drops by.

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