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Topics - Adam Atomic

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games / FATHOM
« on: Tue, Jun 2, 2009 »

FATHOM took about 10 days to make.  I used Eclipse + Flex Builder 2.0 plugin for the Actionscript coding, Photoshop CS4 and Cosmigo Pro Motion 6 for the graphics, and SFXR for the sound effects.  I collaborated again with the inimitable and utterly badass Danny B for music, who put together some really memorable stuff.  The game is only about 200KB without the music, which composes the other 12 MB or so of content!  But I think it's worth it.

games / Gravity Hook
« on: Tue, Jun 2, 2009 »

Move the mouse to highlight "nodes".
Click to grapple onto a node.
If you run into an active node you die.
Press 'X' to quit the game, and register your hi score (if you made it into the top 10)


I had a few days space in my schedule, so I made a remake of a cool prototype that Arne made a while back called "Gravity Key."  In Gravity Key you used the keyboard keys to climb to the top of the level by "grappling" using a gravity function.  Because it uses gravity, the closer you get to a node, the faster you go.  However (IMO this is the crowning touch in Arne's design) if you get TOO close to the DIE.

It was a really great mechanic, but having to use the keyboard made it....difficult.  So with Arne's permission I made my own gravity grapple game, only powered by mouse clickan.

It's pretty much finished at this point, I just need to get Arne to put up a proper page for Gravity Key that I can link to, reset the high scores so Ptoing no longer dominates 7 out of the top 10 spots :P, and make the md5 key for high score submission a little harder to guess.

I made Gravity Hook using my Flixel framework for AS3 (coming soon!), the Flex Builder plugin for Eclipse, Photoshop 7, Pro Motion 5, SFXR, and Audacity.  Total dev time was around 7 days I think.

I had two goals for this project.  One was to make a skill-based game a la Thrustburst, where there was no lock-and-key progress, just becoming more badass via experience.

The other was to make something that was intentionally and I hope evocatively abstract.  I have been thinking a lot about the games I played and loved when I was younger, and I think the fact that they were FORCED to be abstract by low-powered hardware had a huge impact on me, and what I got out of the experience of playing a game back then is very, very different from what I get out of most new games.  I always loved how Super Metroid told the important part of the story with the title screen graphic, and HATED how Metroid Prime let you scan anything you want just to stuff the screen full of bull**** nobody cares about.

I think Cave Story is a notable recent exception, as is Fez to some extent, and Rescue the Beagles, and Knytt too.  I don't know that I succeeded in the way that those games did, but I tried to only put in things that would trigger the player's imagination, rather than prescribe or overly detail things for them.  This is a new approach for me but it feels more honest or pure or something than force-feeding MY story and MY characters down the player's throat.


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