(Mis)Adventures In Game Development – The Fourth Is Strong In This One

goroclassicSeptember 1994. I was ten years old, barely able to tie my shoe laces. By this time, I’d already entered Goro’s Lair twice (if Electronic Arts, Berkshire was indeed to be considered a lair inhabited by an underpant-clad demon).

Alas, Stick Man had tried his best, to no avail. Round one to EA.

Super F-14 Tomcat showed great potential, only to be dealt the equivalent of a pit fatality in the final moments. Double flawless victory.

Two months as a game designer and I’d already been hung out to dry. Cruelly defeated by one woman and her exquisite office stationary. I was at a complete loss. What could I do?

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Easy Rider


Congratulations to DarkSeas games for successfully meeting their $160,000 target, securing a mainstream release for their title Road Redemption.

Hot on the heels of MegaBites’ recent Kickstarter acticle, the DarkSeas’ fund raised a huge, $173,803, easily surpassing its initial goal.

As a huge fan of all things Road Rash, this is one hotly anticipated release.

Road Redemption is set for an August 2014 release. Hang on to your baseball bats.♦

Link: Road Redemption on Kickstarter.

Kickstarting a Revolution?

The big players in the video games industry have recently released their figures and earnings for the latest quarter. A far cry from the humble days of chiptunes and cartridges, these giants are seeing figures so huge, they’re bound to make even the hardened gamer’s eyes water. Take mobile developer Rovio for example with revenues of £128 million. How about Microsoft, whose gaming business grew by an astonishing £413 million. Sure, greats such as Nintendo and EA are reporting target shortfalls and staff cutbacks respectively. Yet, these comparatively small chinks in the armor, combined with the imminent arrival of the PS4 and XBox One, still make for an era of gaming with its pedal firmly to the metal. 

segasalesBut what of gaming’s past glories? How can an industry so preoccupied with growth and development still keep the world of classic retro gaming fresh and exciting? A number of small independent companies seem to think they have the answer. Its name? Kickstarter.

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(Mis)Adventures In Game Development – PART DEUX

ShadowRemember the first run through Earthworm Jim, confronted with the cow and refrigerator? What about Streets of Rage 2 where the baseball pitch descended down to the depths of the earth? Who could forget Shadow Dancer’s ascent to the top of the Statue of Liberty, only to find a boss nigh on impossible to defeat (damn rotating blades). How about the beach in Stick Man vs Mr Hammer Head, where the man in the sombrero gives you a boat, for no apparent reason? What do you mean you don’t remember?

Having nailed characters (no pun intended), genre and concept, it was time to move on to the next point of call in my quest.

No matter how great the character, no matter how fantastic the graphics, or soundtrack, one thing is always key: level design. For me, it’s the little things that truly matter, those little details that stick in your mind for years to come. The rotating bolts in Sonic 2’s Metropolis Zone, those damn cows in Road Rash, that weird little dancing man in Desert Strike. The list goes on. Continue reading