We’ve just released a teaser for our upcoming game, Donut Get! Watch it in HD on Vimeo.

Developed in Flash, it’s the story of greed going out of control. A cop catching donuts falling from the sky and his life spiraling into world of trouble.

Details will emerge as we creep closer to completion. Stay tuned into this blog and donutget.com .

Fun does not belong in a discussion of games. Fun is useless. Stop talking about it.

I catch a lot of “game development tips from the pros” and am shocked by how many of them have the balls to say “make your game fun!” You can cite countless podcasts, articles and books for these quotes, “The bottom line is, a game should be fun!” You can tell they’re smirking like it’s so obvious and easy. “Just make it fun,” they say as if begging for an elbow in the teeth. I just pray that one day that elbow will be mine.

Need an example? No problem, because this rant was inspired by a recording of 57 flash game developers giving tips: http://www.flashmindmeld.com/. Don’t let my complaints lead you to believe that there are not numerous helpful tips throughout the mp3.

In the context of video games, fun is an ill defined term used simply to mean “good.” “Good” as oppose to “bad,” “+” as opposed to “-“, no more informative than a single bit of data. On a scale of 0 to 1, this game is a 1. Stop using it and learn some damn adjectives.

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It’s kind of hard to keep up with Flash game competitions. Every time I hear about one, there’s only a little amount of time left. And even if I know about them for a while, I decide at the last minute to enter! Here’s my last minute attempt to get the word out on a few.

2nd Games That Challenge the World Contest

Deadline: February 28th, 2011 at 23:59 est

Requirements: Make use of the Come2Play Multiplayer Api.

This is my first time hearing of this Come2Play system. From what I can tell, games that implement the API use a universal currency called ‘tokens’. You can check out the documentation to get started and Emanuele Ornella wrote a tutorial for implementing the Multiplayer Api that might be worth checking out as well.

Here are the winners for the 1st competition to get an idea of what the competition might look like.

More information at the Come2Play website.

Stanford Hackathon’s Flash game Competition

Deadline: Too Soon, February 13th at Noon PST

Requirements: Create a game with the theme of “benevolence”. Whatever that means…

Prizes: The best part is every submission wins a copy of FDT 4 Pure, the excellent ActionScript code editor. Which is awesome if you’re on Mac because you don’t have Flash Develop. Grand prize is Adobe Master Collection and a bunch of nice goodies. Check the page for the full prize list.

My homies the Super Fulton Bros. (Steve and Jeff Fulton) are judging this one, as they posted on their site. Jeff expressed concern for how subjective the theme is but that may make it more fun in the end! Part of what makes Apples to Apples so great — the other part being plenty of alcohol consumption.

More information at Stanford’s hackathon website.

Pico Day on Newgrounds

Deadline: April 30th

The yearly Pico Day event will be happening on Newgrounds not too long from now. It’s a while so there may be time to plan something! haha

If you don’t know what Pico Day is, it’s a where Newgrounds users submit a bunch of animations and games themed around Pico, the classic Newgrounds Flash game from like 10 years ago. It was a huge inspiration for me back when I was messing around in Flash 3. Gotoandplay genius.

Some info on prizing in the blog update.

Kongregate Monthly Competition

Deadline: End of the month! Every month.

I never knew Kongregate had a monthly competition. But it seems that they do.

More info at the Kongregate website.

Thugjacker at Agame.com
Thugjacker Half at Agame.com

Over the weekend I noticed a sudden surge in traffic and I noticed most of it was coming from Agame.com. Turned out they had just stolen it and added it to their frontpage on Thursday and a lotta people were playing it. It’s nice to know people are still playing it after 5 years! haha. My favorite part is still reading all of the insightful comments like “cool ima pimp nigga“and “DONT STEAL HIS BIKE“. Mostly spam here, but the Newgrounds comments are still gold to me.

Thugjacker’s been our most popular game, by far. A great deal of it has to do with it being our first game, with Ricky and I spending so much time with it. The gameplay has a stickiness that keeps people coming back — I think it’s just fun to mess around and beat guys up. These days, it’s easy to be lost on Flash portals so it’s usually hit or miss if people notice the game or not. Thugjacker usually does well but LUV Tank usually gets lost. LUV Tank only really took off on Addictinggames.com for some reason, but it’s usually the game that the not-so-hardcore gamers tell me they like the most.

Yesterday I was working on the Donut game with David. We had started talking about Thugjacker and I showed him a lot of the stuff we cut out of Thugjacker Half — David wasn’t working with us on Thugjacker. There were cinemas scenes that I didn’t have time to finish and implement. A lot of the real story. It’ll all find it’s way into the game eventually. This Donut game will give another side of the story.

Bryson’s been pressuring me to post about Children at Play for a long time, and I kept telling him “I’m too busy working on the game!” But enough a’ that crap. I uploaded the video preview to YouTube and I’ll have a playable demo up here very soon.

I started work on Children at Play at the start of last winter and its eaten a lot of my time since then. I consider it a small step, but an important one, in the right direction. I’ll save any in depth discussion for when I’ve got the demo up. For now I’ll post some text I’ve put together for various submissions and whatnot.
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Indiecade 2010 is a comin! Deadline for submission: June 1, 2010

I read about Indiecade accepting submissions for the 2010 game festival on Gamasutra. If  you read this blog, you might know that we went to last year’s Indiecade and had a good time. I told Chris and he’s down for action! He wants to submit his upcoming game. I think it’s unannounced…

I see this as a threat. He may be my friend, something of an ally, but I will never let him make me look like a chump by outclassing me at Indiecade. Never!

So I now announce that we are at War.

This ain’t no East Coast/West Coast thing. We’re both representing Los Angeles, no problem there. Nobody’s getting killed. This war is more of an arbitrary goal to provoke motivation, sorta like Obama’s car MPG requirements for 2016.

Chris’ game is looking great. It’s a physics based puzzle game, he’s doing all the art and coding as well. In addition, there will be some procedurally generated music. This guy is nuts, but it works. A demo for it is coming soon.

I’ve been forever working on my Donut game. It’s looking great but I’ve been neglecting it because I’ve been doing long hours on a game I’m doing for my day job. And I’ve been working on an update to the Sokay.net site. When things get back on track, I’m gonna knock it out.

Last December Chris tried peer pressuring me into doing this Global Game Jam nonsense.

“Come on Bryson, you wanna be cool don’t you?” -Christopher J. Rock

While I always feel obligated to elevate my coolness, I resisted. At the time I wasn’t interested because I felt that I needed to give love to my elusive Donut project. As January 29th approached I realized that the Game Jam is something I needed to do. After attending the Game Developer’s Conference and Indicade it’s become ever-so apparent to me that connecting with others within the same community builds deep bonds. And it dawned on me.

Independent game developers need a spot where we can kick it. A spot where we belong. Where we don’t have to get all dressed up and be Hollywood.

Something similar to a Thugz Mansion, but for game developers. Global Game Jam is our Thugz Mansion.

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Kavalmaja by Tonypa

I recently finished Kavalmaja by Tonypa. It’s an puzzle-adventure game that I first played about a year and a half ago. I had probably spent 30 minutes with the game, getting deeply involved with it. Something interrupted me and got sidetracked and never went back to it. It was bugging me that I never finished it — so I did. And it was worth it.

The game of Kavalmaja is a well thought out dungeon. The goal is to collect all of the “gold pieces” in the dungeon, acquiring abilities along the way to progress further along in your journey. The game is presented in an abstract fashion, requiring you to move around and touch stuff to see how it reacts. As you interact with the world you learn what its symbols and colors mean. So an area you passed through earlier will have a different meaning later on. It ends up playing similar to a Zelda game but there’s something special about its abstract nature. In a Zelda game it’s clear that if there’s a cracked wall you need a bomb to get through it, the world of Kavalmaja the connections aren’t that obvious.

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Just finished my first game since going solo and it went pretty well. It’s a pretty simple top-down shooter. I wanted to test myself with a 1 week schedule, but ended up taking 2 weeks.

Rush Hour

I’ve put it on Flash Game License. This is the first time I try out their service, but I’ve only heard good things. I’ll put a link up after the game’s live.

The soundtrack was done by my brother, Jonathan Rock. After the game’s out, I’ll put the music here for download.

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Today marks one week since my last day with a full time job. I felt a pressure all of a sudden that I had to quit and go game dev. No more wasting time.

I’d say one week as an indie game developer, but that title doesn’t feel quite right before completing at least one game independently. Shouldn’t be much longer.

Before I left my previous employer, I was spending nights working on Bad Bones, losing sleep, time with my girlfriend, and feeling increasingly frustrated by how difficult it was to fit my passions into my life.

Rusty Edges

Bad Bones is a concept I like a lot. One that bears many of my feelings and thoughts on games, but it also represents a great deal of compromise. The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn is to effectively compromise my ideas. It’s hard because I’ve spent years teaching myself not to compromise. Too many artists are too willing to compromise and their work gets so diluted by the suggestions of others that eventually it’s tasteless. They take the scratchy, misshapen materials of their identity and sand down all the rough edges with what’s popular, what’s easy, what pays, or what some committee of peers finds palatable. All the sharp, rusty edges are gone and you get a nice, round blob. Nothing to poke anybody. God forbid you make something with meaning because somebody might be offended by it, or think its too artsy, too preachy. Every amorphous blob just tickles fancies and rolls away, disappears. Continue Reading…