january highlights

mixed media

Some highlights from January:

The Uncle who worked at Nintendo by Michael Lutz is a Twine horror game I came across while working on City Simulator 2012. It's a relatively short game with multiple endings, which I'd encourage seeking. I also found Lutz's other comments on the game worthwhile.

Fantasy Life asks what would happen if every profession in an MMO were equally valued, and it almost achieves that goal. Initially, I was able to play as a non-combat class, the angler, without engaging in any combat. Doing so was great, but the game stumbles a bit: Players regardless of profession are required to win battles to advance the story eventually. More problematically, players need to engage in combat to unlock gathering areas even if they've previously visited the location without being locked out. Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the game and played it to completion.

Divinity: Original Sin by Larian Studios is reminiscent of older Black Isle Studios games but with a modernized graphics and interface. Like Fantasy Life, it stumbled a bit with its systems, but it's very playable for people who missed playing Baldur's Gate and don't want to deal with an outdated interface.

Handmade Hero is Casey Muratori's stream where he builds a game without any non-operating system libraries from scratch while explaining the development. I've spoken with a number of computer science professors struggling to find new ways to make programming easier to understand for their students; Muratori takes a different approach by developing a programmatically complex game with enthusiasm that's contagious. I strongly recommend watching it for anyone interested in game programming.

Jonathan Blow's programming language stream is another high-quality stream showcasing the development of a new game programming language. It pairs well with Handmade Hero as Muratori looks at solving game programming problems with C/C++ and Blow looks at how those problems could be mitigated with some language support.

And the 7DRL Challenge dates have been announced: March 7th-15th. I made Kunoichi for the 2014 Challenge and hope to participate again this year. You can download games from previous years here.