I made a game in 12 hours! Making of "Get Out of the Forest!"

I attended the Dublin Game Craft 12 hour game jam this past Saturday. You can play my game "Get Out of the Forest!" here.

The theme was the color blue and a bird sitting on a silhouetted branch. I made it with Unity3D, C#, Photoshop and 3DS Max, it was really fun! There were tons of great games made and there were even two teams of 12 year olds who made better games than I did, but that's not surprising, just hearing their ideas showed how much creativity they had.

I thought I’d link to the video of all 12 hours of its creation squashed into 8 minutes! If that’s the kind of thing you’re interested in you can see it on Youtube

Hope you enjoy it and if you get even 10 seconds of fun out of it I’ll consider it a success =D


Starcraft FEVER

I never played the original, it was just one of those games that slipped by while I played homeworld and star trek armada, its name faded completely from my and my gamer friends vocabulary. Since then we have played through pretty much every other RTS worth playing, with Supreme Commander being a notable entry (hundreds of hours). The only RTS we ever really played competitively was Command and Conquer 3 (I know, I know) but it was fun when it first came out, we watched replays, learned strats, nailed the Nod tank rush and finally settled nicely into the completely scum tactic of warping a Scrin mothership over an enemy base and wiping them out (see below)  

We gave up on C&C because if any one strategy got used too much (regardless if it could be defended against by decent players) they would patch it out, although I will admit that the Scrin mothership was redonkulous, they even patched out the Nod tank rush, which was a tactic included on their bonus DVD, showing you how to do it! Since then though, we haven't really found an RTS we could commit much time to playing. 
Even before its release SC2 never peaked my interest, I knew millions played it and S. Korea zerg rushed into stadiums to watch people playing etc but I never took it seriously at all. Then that awesome trailer came out, my reaction was literally :O the whole way through, I started watching a few vids on youtube and decided "Yeah, I think I'll pick this up." Monday night came, Brad was running circles in the office with his shiny limited edition copy and later the live stream went up and it instantly made me wanting to be playing it, I was honestly so excited I found it hard to sleep!  
 It is incredibly odd to me to see so many random Irish people excited about a game
 It is incredibly odd to me to see so many random Irish people excited about a game

I woke up, went straight to unnamed evil game store, the guys behind the counter saw me coming and rung the game up before I even asked for it. Got home installed, browsed all the menus and decided to play against the medium AI... I got wiped out, numerous times. As a vet of the RTS genre I couldn't seem to pick this up so fast by myself, I remembered Brad talking about watching Youtube replays, so thats what I did. Just one replay had me beating the AI in under 7 minutes, I eventually ventured into the Practice League where I won my first few games (against people who I could tell were in the same boat as me a couple of hours ago). I was shocked to see even the noobs like myself would say "gg" and surrender when they knew I had their ticket. It was never like that in C&C the community would mostly make you pay  time for every building you destroyed.  
Again I remembered the wise words of Brad "Starcraft is a gentleman's game" and he's right. The players are mostly very nice if you start talking to them, which felt alien to me after years of Halo and Modern Warfare. Anyways, its getting to the point now where I'm going up against more experienced players and my heart starts racing when I think I've made a mistake or I see a chance and take a huge risk sending in all my units. Its a game I hope I don't get disillusioned with, I hope Blizzard wont patch up strategies unless they are really unfair and NEED it and even then I hope the patch is something that helps people counter it instead of removing it completely, I've yet to get into the real ladders yet but I hear good things and hopefully it works well enough that I will never be up against a million people totally out of my league so as to keep me coming back for more. 
Oh, one other thing, TNT was AMAZING the third 1v1 match completely changed my mind about "never being able to watch SC2 being played by other people"
 Brad's pro face
 Brad's pro face
 If you read all of this, I salute you, you are truly a person of great patience and I apologise for all my awful grammar and spelling. Anyone wanting to play add me Finstern - 761

You say goodbye, I say halo, haaaallllooooooo, take it joey.

I remember when I had my PS2 and while still loving all its games, there was still one trailer on tv that really captured my attention, Halo. Its graphics looked sharp and the the Silent Cartographer map showcased in the trailer looked great, pelicans flying over, troops pushing on against the covenant. I really wanted this game but I eventually forgot about it. I decided I wanted an xbox some time later when I seen Mech Assault being played competitively on some shite video game show on Sky1.

My mother got me my first xbox for doing so well in my junior cert exams, I went to my locally owned game store and the owner gave me a copy of Halo 1 for free cos I was always in there. I played it for days and literally thought this was the greatest thing I had ever seen, I was totally encompassed in story, I had never heard of a ship name quite like "The Pillar of Autmn" or thought the scenery looked so lush (first time I have ever seen light filter through trees in a game) or even felt so challenged by AI who seemed to think of things I was going to do before I actually did them! It was mind-boggling.

My friend "Grumpy" rang me a day later to tell me he got an xbox as well but thought Halo looked shite and didn't want to buy it, so I went to the same store and bought him a copy, first thing we did was play 2 player deathmatch on bloodgulch( what a map!) then we had a sniper game up to 50 on Boarding Action (what a mistake that was! took nearly an hour and a half), then did the coop story and what was great in single player was truly amazing in in coop, the fact my friend was such a selfish dickhead in the game made for some hilarious moments and in the end I didn't really care about his ingame behavior.


That lasted us for MONTHS. We began recording our games to VHS(VH-fuckinS) (we called theater mode before bungie!) and would watch our games back figuring out ways to improve our skills/catching out brilliant halo moments. We then talked to a couple guys in school (Renegade and Seraph, brothers) about Halo and gave them one of the tapes (back when dialup was all the rage downloading a video was not an option.) They thought it looked amazing so we lent them our xboxs for a couple of days and when they gave them back they already had they're own! We lanned the absolute shit out of that game for years, so many great moments of joy (and anger) just from the multiplayer games we'd play.

We played system link games every weekend, just about every gametype available, Grumpy and I would play on our own xboxs and small portable tvs, the brothers and their friend threeway splitscreened on a giant tv they'd bring down. The best games we would play were Capture the flag with 3 on 2, brothers plus friend vs grumpy and myself (seemed fair, we had more experience.) Grumpy became incredible with the Sniper Rifle but was still a horrible team player, it would usally be me assaulting the enemy base on my own with him sniping them from miles off, the best thing was (being the horrible prick that I am) I would play the brothers sibling rivalry against them and work them off each other, I'd tell one that the other is the reason I got the flag because he was using a shit weapon or something that wasn't true at all and they'd instantly start yelling and getting pissed off at each other completely throwing off their game. It was great.

By the time Halo 2 came out we all had our own xboxs, the other three had xbox live and we didn't have a credit card in my family so I was the unlucky guy who couldn't join them.  We all got halo 2 the day it came out and instantly went back to have two coop sessions next to each other. We didn't like it. It was lacking something, the graphics didn't feel better, the texture pop was disgusting and the auto-aim... christ that almost ruined the game with that and worst of all the story wasn't as fresh as Halo 1's was. But despite the game not feeling like Halo 1 we still had fun. When we tried multiplayer all of us but Grumpy loathed it. The assault rifle was gone, you spawned with the worthless SMG and you spawned MILES from your base, for 2v2 CTF that didn't bode well if someone got the flag and two team members were killed in the process because by the time they spawned back they were either too far away or too ill equipped to deal with the enemies in or near their base.

The day after Halo 2's release there was a HUGE LAN on and it was on the competition list, only Grumpy and myself could attend. We carried our xboxs in our bags and our 16 inch portable crt tvs in our hands, 15 minute walk to the train station, 10 minute walk to the tramline, 20 minute walk to the lan event. When we got there there were loads of people playing. We joined some games, Grumps got the Sniper, I'd go for the Rockets and other horrible scum tactic weapons and we cleaned house. After about 3 hours we couldn't get people to join our game and the only other games available we shotguns and swords as your primary weapons, the two weapons Grump and I got killed by the most. Eventually the competition started, I got to the quarterfinals and eventually tiredness took over and I started to play really badly, Grumpy on the other hand got all the way to the finals.... and came first. He won a huge signed Master Chief Statue and a shitload more stuff. 

We carried our xboxs on our back, our 16 inch portable crt tvs in our hands, 20 minute walk to the tramline, 10 minute walk to the train station, grumpy drops his tv (which he borrowed from me!) 15 minute walk to my house. We slept for at least 20 hours.

By the time the Halo 3 BETA came around the brothers and Grump were playing away and I was saving up for a new 360, the old one had died when Splinter Cell Double Agent came out (on release day, first fucking level!) and Microsoft didn't have their 3 year warranty by then. From the little of the BETA I had played I had deemed it worthy, it felt like a nice mix of Halo 1 and 2 and something new. We queued up outside Stephens Green Shopping Center for the midnight launch, we were the first ones there, waited for hours, we had free red bulls, dancers to entertain the crowd, crappy master chief guy in a suit walking like a robot (seriously, research.) 5 minutes to midnight and we were allowed into the Gamestop, I was first of all my friends at the counter waiting for the clock to tick over to midnight (with Richard Dean FUCKIN Anderson right around the corner playing Halo 3 in the Microsoft Live Gaming Center) Clocks tick over, I buy the game, make epic TRON pose,

as seen on the right, 

with the game in my hands, had my picture taken by the newspapers.Turns out the Gamestop we were at had heir clocks 5 minutes fast. I was the first person in Ireland to legitimately get a hold of the game. We all thought that was pretty neat.

We went back to mine, played 4 player coop on legendary in one sitting. We then played online until the sun rose, loving every minute of it. We played for over a year before drifting off and finding other games, constantly going back to it when gaming dryspells occured.

About a month before ODST came out we heard there was a french gamestore franchise selling the game, one of us had family there at the time just about to come home. We debated about getting the game early, we are huge fans of the Firefly series and wanted the experience of the voices. We crumbled like a delicious apple desert and had the family member pick us up four copies with the last of their money, we got it, played the story with subs on, enjoyed it (minus the new mombassa at night parts) and played firefight a ton.

We are all now desperately waiting for the Reach BETA in the hopes of reliving all our old Halo moments anew. Its hard to imagine we all became pretty much family over one game, truly the greatest friendship (despite our bad patches between some of us) and all thanks to an eight foot, bright green, genetically engineered, heavily armored super soldier. Halo has shaped our lives, we are all in our early twenties now and still looking forward to the future of the series.

If you read all of this, I salute you, you are truly a person of great patience and I apologise for all my awful grammar and spelling. But after reading (and posting) the sentimental stories on the "You say Goodbye, I say Halo" post I felt the need to elaborate.

I leave you with this: