Blueprint Animations

I recently overhauled the blueprint sprites for my Unstable prequel, to allow for better resizing and give them more character. Here’s a direct comparison:

So long, pixel art! …Although I have kept the familiar blocky look, by aligning the design to a faux pixel grid. What can I say? I clearly love the simplistic feel.

The new art was done entirely with Inkscape, a long popular vector graphic tool. The great thing about software like that (other than the fact that it’s free) is how easily you can tweak your existing designs to create variants:

But even more useful is how easy you can do simple animations. By setting up pivot points for your different elements (arms, feet, etc.), you can add much more personality to your animations. Here’s another comparison:

With more wiggling of the body and flailing about of the arms, this allows for a lot more fun when animating. And all done with a simple (and free, did I say that yet?) tool like Inkscape. Sure there are great – and far newer – animation tools out there, but sticking with an old classic means you’re guaranteed to find the support if you need it.

This is just a sneak peek for now though! You’ll have to wait for the next demo update to see how much I can get these simple looking blueprints to flail about!

Demo Update! (Unstable Engineer)

As promised, I’ve updated the demo for my upcoming puzzle game. You’re an engineer hired by QTech, a secret facility developing machines called ‘blueprints’, powered by mysterious entities called ‘sparks’. Test out their devices, while getting to know the other researchers, and trying to uncover why exactly the facility is so secretive.

This demo features the early stages of the game, with the actual gameplay, although with many placeholder graphics. My next task is to design the blueprints themselves, so they aren’t just simple palette-swaps. I may go overboard, so you can expect much more interesting animations than in the original Unstable!

…But until then, you can wait patiently by playing this demo over and over and over…

A Candle

It was exactly one year ago that I put my first game (Unstable) up on this site. Happy anniversary to WigDev!

Thanks to everyone who has played my games since then, especially those of you who have struggled with the really tricky ones (i.e all of them). It’s not that I get immense satisfaction from knowing people are grappling with the fiendish puzzles I’ve created, but… well, maybe I do.

I’m excited about the next game that’s currently in the works – still untitled as yet – and which I’m aiming to release for mobile devices as well as online. I do still have an early demo up, but it’s very out of date now. I’ll aim to update that in the near future.

Thanks for all the kind messages – as always, you can contact me at david@wigdev.com – and a particular thanks to those who have supported the site. I really appreciate it, and I look forward creating more games for you in the future!

And now I’m going to blow that candle out.

JeTT

I recently stumbled upon a simple action flash game I made back when I was first learning how to program in flash. It’s clunky (as you might expect) but nevertheless I find it surprisingly addictive, and so before Flash dies its final death, I figured I’d present it to you here in all its glory!

Use your jetpack to collect the gold(?) and avoid the turrets! Try to figure out the tricky controls! See if you can survive long enough to break the game (entirely possible)! Have fun!

New Game in Development (Early Demo)

I’ve started working on a new game! I suppose you would call it a prequel of sorts to Unstable, although the gameplay is different. The premise is that you are an engineer hired to test out the various blueprints, and you do so by guiding the robots to different exit points using the blueprints as upgrades. As you complete these tests, you’ll learn more about the mysterious company who hired you, and you might even find out why everything is being kept so secret…

It’ll be mouse-based gameplay where you click on robots to upgrade them. If you’ve ever played the Lemmings games (and if not, why not?) then you’ll have a good idea of how it works, although there are some significant differences, and there will be other game modes with different rules.

It’s early in development but I’ve created a simple demo with a handful of small levels. It only has placeholder graphics and there’s no sound, but it should give you an idea of the gameplay for the main game mode. Check it out if you like, and I’ll keep you updated on further progress!

Minor Update for Death By Obsession

I’ve released a few small updates to Death By Obsession since its release. Most changes were minor tweaks, but there were a couple of more significant fixes:

– Originally it was impossible to get the Fewest Steps on the level ‘These Guys Again’, due to the required target being calculated incorrectly. This has now been fixed, and huge credit goes to Plasmarift on Newgrounds for pointing this out to me.

– There are a couple of places in the game where you can achieve deaths that I hadn’t intended. I’m happy to leave them as bonuses for the persistent player in most cases, but on the level ‘Quadrants’, there was an issue where the Death ‘Overkill’ wasn’t being detected if multiple arrows stacked up together. This is now fixed.

I’m unlikely to make any large updates to this game, but thanks for playing! I’m impressed with how many people have been striving for all those Gold Trophies. Just try not to get too obsessed…

Death By Obsession (Complete Game)

Last night, monsters broke into your home and stole your brother! Sneak into their dungeon to get him back!

You aren’t a fighter though, so you’d better learn how to avoid all the enemies and other hazards you meet, or you’ll find out just how many ways a dungeon like this can kill you. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?

This is a puzzle game about dying about living.

I made this game using the old Flixel library, and I created the sounds and music with the Fruity Loops composing software. I am also responsible for the super HD graphics.

Supporting WigDev

After a couple of requests, I’ve added a Support Page to the site. If you enjoyed Unstable and would like to tip me in thanks, or would like to directly support my future games (coming soon!), now you can.

All donations are greatly appreciated, but if you donate more than a million dollars then I promise to get my name officially changed by deed poll to anything of your choice.

Update for Unstable (with new Music!)

I’m pleased to announce that the talented Adam Smith has created some level music for Unstable. I’m very happy with the results, and I’m sure that anyone who heard my old ‘music’ will agree that the improvement is significant!

You can check out some more of Adam’s work under the name Electrosis Music.

While I am unlikely to release any large updates to the game, I did take the opportunity to implement a few minor tweaks:
– You can now reset a level instantly with ‘R’
– If you wish, you can press ‘Y’ in place of ‘Z’ to confirm and interact (which should help QWERTZ keyboard users)
– A message now appears on the title screen to direct the player to use the keyboard if they attempt to use the mouse
– Some of the blueprint instructions were adjusted to make functionality clearer (particularly the Timed Explosive)
– Finally, in a previous update I hadn’t mentioned here yet, I allowed you to switch the key for discarding blueprints from SPACE to BACKSPACE (in case the player was hitting it by mistake)

Some other features have been suggested (such as an undo button or a mid-level checkpoint system), but while the ideas have merit, they would be much larger updates that would require significant time, and currently I am prioritising work on my next game. It will be a puzzle/adventure game with a different style of logic required, and will be shorter than Unstable for a casual run-through, but with extra depths of challenge for any keen puzzlers.

I have no definitive time frame yet, but it should arrive on the near horizon – so watch this space!

Sounds with ChipTone

One of my favourite sound generation tools (and one I used exclusively for Unstable) is ChipTone. Developed by Tom Vian, it is a tool that allows you to generate retro-ish sound effects very easily, and with a surprising amount of flexibility, that can then be exported in .wav format.

Although you can simply auto-generate simple sound effects such as coin collection sounds or explosions, the real advantage of ChipTone is the way you can alter the waveform by adding different effects (tremolo, arpeggio, wah-wah, etc.) While the tool is supposedly in development, it is more than functional enough to create a whole library of sounds that – and this is significant – have a more consistent feel to them than you would find by importing various free sound effects from different sources. Combine the results with a sound-editing tool such as Audacity if necessary, and you have all the power you need.

I won’t turn this post into a tutorial of how to use ChipTone, since the best way to learn is just by playing around with it. (In fact I’ve had great fun just clicking the Randomize button and then tweaking the results, an activity I can seemingly waste hours on). So you should check it out.

Did I mention it’s free?