February 6, 2017

I Made A Game About 2000s Instant Messengers Thanks To LoveJam

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Developing video games isn’t something that I can confess to have a large amount of knowledge about but alas I’ve spent the past year or so learning the basics of Unity 3D and C#. This past weekend I took part in Love Jam, a 72 hour game jam that Simeoens, Mientje and Kenny Guillaume set up to not only celebrate the theme of love but also a friend’s upcoming marriage.

Here is how the organizers described their event:

“A friend of ours is getting married and asked us if we could make a game for the occasion. 
Loving gamedev and game jams we said yes without hesitation and agreed to use the first weekend of February to do so.  

 We didn’t think of it at the time, but we suddenly realized that this is very close to Valentine’s day and wondered if there would be any interest in a jam that had ‘wedding’ as a central theme. 

 In the end we decided that the concept of a wedding might put off people who don’t believe in the tradition and so decided to extend the theme to love in general, of any kind.” 

This game jam was the first game dev related collaboration with a time limit that I’ve taken part in and it helped me learn a lot about how to keep cool under pressure during a crunch. I decided to focus on the love of friendship for my entry for Love Jam – which I called Luv.IM. Taking place in a 2000s era Instant Messenger program inspired by the AOL Instant Messenger of yore, it is not only a story of two different people meeting online but also what it is like to discuss the problems that life can throw at you with someone you might not all that well.  I made the submission deadline with only 2 hours and change to spare and an audio glitch caused me to scrap the planned sound effects for this jam, also only after publishing did I notice that some of the texts gets slightly cut off of the screen. *sigh*, I suppose that is the nature of game jams.

LoveJam saw 10 different entries from over 30 developers. I highly recommend anyone reading this post check out the entries (not just mine) because there’s a little bit of everything on offer from visual novels, to platformers to interactive greetings card – all made in the name of love.


The Intro To Torment: Tides of Numenera Has Me Hooked

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Les Major

Torment TON Title

In a pleasant surprise today, inXile provided me with an Early Access key to Torment: Tides of Numenera. I have to admit, it’s taking a LOT of willpower to not just get back into the game and ignore my regular duties. One kicker that is keeping me away is I don’t know if my early access save will carry over or not, so there is that at least. That and responsibility and all that good stuff of course.

The best thing about Torment is how it feels like an early 2000’s RPG, and that truly is a plus. Built on the tech that brought us Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment, Torment takes on that air of mystery that makes it a worthy spiritual successor to the Planescape title of 1999. You feel like you’re in an alien world and despite being a game with combat mechanics, it feels more like an adventure game. Bits and pieces of memories come back to you as your character struggles to remember a past that may not even be their own. The game even begins by allowing you to react to some of these memories to craft your skills and class.

Having no understanding of the universe, and actually actively avoiding much news of Torment to have it be a very fresh experience, it was rewarding to go through the character creation process with horse blinders on. I just settled for what my decisions lead me to and accepted that my character was just what the intro gave me from my choices. In the end I had a curious individual, seemingly interested in psychic abilities and otherworldly creatures. She could read minds a little as well, giving glints into just what characters were feeling about what they said in conversations.

Considering that much like it’s spiritual predecessor the game is quite dialogue heavy so far, this was a preferred setup. Really it seems you can play the game to your liking from the limited posts I’ve read so far though. Torment feels original, and that’s the best part of it. Not knowing what the world around you is like makes the game interesting.

Otherwise it’s your typical Baldur’s Gate like setup with turn based combat. I haven’t gotten into the leveling system yet but you do seem to gain experience as you go, at least from what I read on some of my skills. If these sorts of titles interest you, Torment: Tides of Numenera is definitely a title to keep an eye on. The February 28th release date on Steam is coming up fast! With over four million dollars raised on Kickstarter to bring this title to life, you know fan expectation is high and eager. I’m very much delighted with what I’ve played so far!


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