Shaun Inman has just posted details about the latest iPhone game he has been working on, named Mimeo. Having been awarded a grant to create a 16-bit game engine, his latest creations are far more ambitious than CAN’s much loved Horror Vacui. Mimeo started as a Mario clone with a twist: instead of power-ups affecting the player, they affect the entire game world. The mimeo world consists of two 16-bit demiverses sharing 32-bits between them. When the evil Kleptopus King, an 8-bit octopus with an inferiority complex, discovers a portal into Mimeo’s realm and begins to syphon off its bits, Mimeo is sucked in and down-sampled to 2-bit. So begins Mimeo’s quest to restore balance to the demiverses.
Shaun writes about his love for the pixel aesthetic:
The aesthetics of Mimeo (and Horror Vacui before it) are not born solely from nostalgia. Good pixel art strikes the perfect balance between appreciable craftsmanship and the gestalt. A single pixel out of place, one too few or too many, ruins the illusion. There’s an unmuddied, economy of expression, the thankless result of the limitations of cartridge-based consoles.
The story continues with Mimeo collecting carts to upscale himself and the game world and enables switching between acquired resolutions to solve platforming puzzles. Besides creating the scenario, programming and designing all the graphics Shaun is also composing and producing all the music.
Shaun is aiming for 2010 holiday season release. In the meantime, enjoy few short demo videos Shaun uploaded to his Flickr and together with this longer progress report. You can follow the progress on Shaun’s blog.
- iJumpman [iPhone, Games] iJumpman is a retro-futuristic platformer by Andrew McClure. What begins as an imitation of 8bit retro platformer with game mechanics reminiscent of Joust quickly turns in one of the most engaging retro inspired games on the iPhone. Use tilt or onscreen controls to move across the level, effect gravity and objects in the world (physics), invisible walls, bombs, awesome soundtrack and effects and so much more with the task to survive to the exit. Although some levels may need balancing as you may find yourself at times quickly passing through the levels and other having to die about 20 times at least on others, the game is nevertheless so much fun it's hard to describe. The 3D space showing next levels just adds to the desire to pass the current and move onto the next. In addition to all of this, a full level editor is including together with ability to upload and download additional levels. Controls vary from tilt control what we have found in Ronaldo where you rotate the world around you, also achievable via "finger twist" to on screen control buttons which for some levels especially those requiring you to continuously rotate the world. Regardless of how much you are against of games with on screen controls, here they are really useful at times and done in such a way not to be too obtrusive and very much in touch graphically with the environment. Here is the list of features: - A full level editor with integrated online level trading - Gesture and tilt controls (plus optional button control scheme) - Full soundtrack by The Mathletes - Full in-game soundtrack (plus iTunes library support) Free demo of the game for Mac, PC and Linux is available at runhello.com This is easily the best $2.99 I have spent on a retro classic inspired game for the iPhone. A simple must if you a fan of 8bit gaming and if you are not and enjoy the likings of Ronaldo, iJumpman is a great example of retro adaptation for the iPhone platform. I could not recommend it more.. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0.0 Cost: $2.99 Developer: Andrew McClure (Thanks […]
- Horror Vacui 2 [iPhone, iPad, Games] Latest game from Shaun Inman, Horror Vacui 2 is a two-player abstract strategy board game based on the antiquated notion that nature abhors a vacuum. The game involved two players (cpu or 2 humans), Water and Earth, who take turns placing pieces on the board. The temperature of each piece affects adjacent pieces. The player with the most normal temperature pieces when the board is full wins. This is a paid update to the first version we wrote about few months back. Ver 2 brings two player mode, isometric view and a new soundtrack EP. Interestingly, unlike the audio in the first Horror Vacui which was created using the Korg DS-10 the sequel’s music and sound effects were produced generatively in MML. Mac version of the game has also been submitted to the Mac AppStore. NEW IN HORROR VACUI 2 - Same engaging strategy - New dexterity-based reels and familiar luck of the draw cards - Two board sizes for longer or shorter play times - All new 8-bit isometric graphics - Unique temperature and element animations - Expanded and remixed 8-bit music plus all new sound effects Platform: iPhone/iPad (Universal) Version: 1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: Shaun Inman Previously on CA: Fever [WebApp]: New RSS Reader WebApp by Shaun Inman ... Horror Vacui [iPhone]: Find complexity in even the most simple of ... Mimeo [iPhone, Games] - Game by […]
- Sword & Sworcery [iPhone, Games] – Preview SUPERBROTHERS have just posted exciting new information about their upcoming iPhone game called Sword and Sworcery. While the full details are still not available, from the videos below and descriptions (the GDC 2010 build), we get a taste of the "a brave experiment in i/o cinema for apple's touchtronic machinery". When Apple's touchtronic machine is held horizontally, The Sword is sheathed & it is possible to explore & observe by tapping, dragging & pinching the multi-touch display, a style of play referred to internally as "sworcery". In S:S&S EP there is always a clear path to follow although this path will vary depending upon the phase of the moon. Unlike comparable videogames, in S:S&S EP there are rarely if ever hard barriers to halt a player's progress and it is possible to reach an endpoint in a single sitting, however the real S:S&S EP experience unfolds on repeated playthroughs when the player ventures off the beaten track to discover shortcuts, secrets and odd twisting paths that lead to some surprising situations. Occasionally obstacles & dangers will threaten & in order to overcome them it will become necessary to tilt Apple's touchtronic machine vertically, unsheathe The Sword. i/o cinema by superbrothers sound by jim guthrie engineering + miracles by capy SUPERBROTHERS are ambiguously pluralized & irritatingly cryptic audiovisual art & design organization located in Toronto. More information can be found by visiting […]
- Neven Mrgan’s Curious Incident [Games, iPhone, iPad] I had a chance to talk with Neven Mrgan about his upcoming game, The Incident. What's the basic premise of The Incident? The Incident is a fast-paced, retro-style game. Its hero is one Frank Solway, an ordinary guy whose life becomes a frantic adventure when he tries to hail a downtown cab one morning. His world gets turned upside down and shaken loose - quite literally - as seemingly everything in the world starts to rain down from the skies. Frank does his best to avoid this deadly shower of stuff and climb the growing pile towards the source of it all. To develop The Incident you partnered with Matt Comi of Big Bucket software. How did that partnership come about? Did one of you approach the other with a basic game concept, or was the design process more organic? I met Matt right around the time the first iPhone came out. Matt lives in Australia, where they didn’t get the iPhone right away - it takes a long time to sail Her Majesty’s ships laden with iPhones there - so he emailed me to ask if I could test his web app, TV Forecast, on it. (TV Forecast has since become a native app.) Matt then made a physics puzzle game called Pocketball, which I have yet to beat...! It was his idea to work on an action game next, using what he had learned about game physics. His pitch to me was the same one-liner we use now: what if stuff kept falling from above and you have to avoid it. I loved the idea, and I only loved it more when Matt mentioned wanting 8-bit art. Since then, we've both been constantly brainstorming the story and the gameplay, deepening it far beyond the original idea. We work with a crazy nine-hour time difference, which can be sort of neat. I wake up and Matt briefs me on his progress before he goes to bed; sixteen hours later we trade places. The Incident is definitely Matt's baby - his story, his code. I’m the guy with the fun task of drawing pixel versions of everything in the world. It's interesting that you mention working with a time difference as being something beneficial to development. I imagine a 'changing of the guards' type scenario. But was the time difference a hindrance during early development, when various concepts had yet to fully formulate? It took one half-hour conversation to see that we were on the same page with regards to the look, feel, and basic gameplay. This was right before the holidays last year, and we then went offline for a while. Matt worked on the physics engine and I played with some art styles. When we came back in 2010, I was psyched to see a working demo of physics objects on our stage, and Matt seemed happy with the art. From that point on, we’ve only had to discuss specific features, which our pre/post-bedtime meetings cover nicely. I think it’s been a pretty smooth road so far! To that effect, how would you describe working entirely independently from one another? Are ideas difficult to communicate, or do you find that the ambiguity often enables your creativity, allowing one of you to take paths the other would not necessarily have anticipated? Matt and I are eerily similar individuals, I think, to the point that upon seeing photos of each other’s homes, we noticed we had some of the same furniture. My wife calls Matt my "doppelganger down under". That means it’s usually easy for us to communicate our thoughts. There are specific advantages to working this way. When I wake up, there’s usually a new build of the game waiting for me, and I try to have new art for Matt to check out. It’s refreshing to see that instead of hovering over each other’s virtual shoulders and dissecting each step. We trust each other’s abilities! A technical note of possible interest: we collaborate using Dropbox. I love it to death. You've stated on your blog that there are "few things you enjoy doing more" than pixel pushing. Stylistically, you also mention that MobyGames was extremely helpful in providing you with reference materials. Are there any games that inspired The Incident's style in particular? No particular game, no. Super Mario Bros 3 is my favorite game of all time - I love its art and gameplay. How does the games 8-bit style change your typical artistic process? I don’t know that I have a typical artistic process! I hadn’t done any serious 8-bit pixel art before this game. I love learning new styles, though, and this was one particularly enjoyable because it sent me back to the days of drawing on my C64 with a joystick (and later on an Amiga 500 with a mouse.) My process, as it is today, consists of basically going in with pixels right away. I don’t sketch, I don’t outline, and I rarely do multiple versions. I take that same haphazard approach to all design. It seems to work! The Incident's trailer shows Frank dodging a number of fairly diverse objects. Are there any official estimates on just how many objects there are to encounter in The Incident? Any personal favourites? You’ll have to play the game to see how many items we have :) (trailer) My favorites are: Tutankhamun’s mummy, a maneki neko, a Smart Car, and a bust of Charles Darwin. Can you shed a little light on the games structure? You mentioned earlier that players will be given the chance to discover the exact cause of The Incident by climbing the mass of stuff that rains down on them from above. Does this mean that each playthrough will have a finite 'height' the player can reach? All the levels are finite and carefully crafted; they tell a story. It would be hard to make them infinite while maintaining the sort of arc we’re going for. It’s a pretty standard setup - finish a level, move on to the next one. Can players expect some sort of 'infinite' arcade mode? We’re looking into alternate gameplay modes. We’d love to do multiplayer, different challenges, downloadables etc. It’s all on the list - we just wish there were enough hours in the day to implement all our ideas! That said, the game, as it is in its beta state, offers many hours of enjoyment. I don’t think we’ve had any beta testers finish it yet! Are there plans to integrate any sort of communal scoreboard to encourage competitive play? That would be great. The Incident has a pretty simple basic score metric: how high did you climb? (In meters, as required by the International Stuff Falling From Above Council.) We love hearing that this tester climbed 37 m and that tester got up to 94 m. When can we expect to see The Incident on the iPhone, and are there plans to bring it to the iPad? We'll ship the game when we're done, but we do stand by our promise of "soon" :) It already runs great on the iPad in 2x mode. I was surprised to see what a good fit it is for the form factor. We’ll look into optimizing it, of course, but it plays like a pretty great comfortably-sized console right […]
- VVVVVV [Games, Flash] The long awaited VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh (distractionware) is finally complete and available for download. I have been following the game development for some time now and although have not had a chance to immerse myself just yet I eagerly await for some of that "free time" I desperately yearn for. In a nutshell, VVVVVV is a platformer with a task to reunite Captain with his lost crew members. Since you can't jump in the game, the twist is that by hitting space you can flip your character up-side-down making the environment you explore multi-dimensional. For full review of the game and in-depth walkthrough see jayisgames. To find out more info and download the demo for Mac or Windows, visit http://thelettervsixtim.es. Full game will cost you $15 and you can purchase it […]
- The Incident [iPhone, iPad, Games] We wrote about it back in April, Neven Mrgan’s + Matt Comi's Curious Incident is now available in the AppStore! A fast-paced, retro-style action game with run, dodge and jump your way to safety as an angry rain of just about everything in the world falls and builds a mountain of platforms for you to climb up, up… up to the source of it all: the cause of The Incident. THE INCIDENT is easy to pick up but hard to master. It's a totally new gameplay concept and it's perhaps TOO addictive. It's loaded with power-ups, power-downs (d'oh!) and collectables. Try to beat the game, then try to unlock all the achievements. No one said getting 500 coins would be easy. The incident is a universal app that runs on both iPhone and iPad. WHAT'S IN THE BOX: • Supercool 8-bit pixel art • Awesome chiptune soundtrack • 7 levels to explore and survive • Hundreds of unique objects, hundreds of ways to die • The Trophy Room, where you recall your adventures • The elusive "B-mode" Previously: Neven Mrgan’s Curious Incident [Games, iPhone, iPad] - Interview Platform: iPad/iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $1.99 Developer: Big Bucket […]
- Brave Man [iPhone] Fourth in the series of TomTom (Poppy F) games, comes Brave Man, a new retro pixel art adventure in the style of already mentionedÂ Sweep Man, Giant Metal Robot andÂ Hotdog Panic. Brave Man picks up on the all famous 5-finger fillet, a game of knives and fingers also known as theÂ knife game. Interestingly, the game of knives was first seen inÂ Roman Polanski's 1962Â filmÂ Knife in the Water, not that the game by Poppy bares any relation but it is nevertheless a nerve racking adventure illustrated using Poppy's signature pixel art. The knife moves left to right and the task is to tap on the screen just as the knife is between the fingers. As you progress, the movement gets faster feeding panic into tapping rhythm. This is of course accompanied by the wonderful graphics and slightly bloody consequence of tapping too early or too late. As with the Hotdog Panic, online ranking system is included where you can compare your score to others'. My best score is 38 but I am sure I can do better (see filip). A wonderful new addition, as was with the previous games, collect them all! Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: […]
- Apple and Monster [iPhone, Games] Now, if you follow CAN you know we are very fond of Poppy's games. I am not sure there was one game we haven't written about (maybe) but we won't make an exception now. Apple and Monster is the latest game in the series of apps Poppy has been creating. The latest creationÂ includes a simple task; to keep the girl as high as possible.Â The girl bounces on the line that you draw by a simple swipe.Â If the girl falls out of screen, you loose. Of course, once again game adopts already familiar TomTom (Poppy F) signature styleÂ retro pixel art already seen inÂ Brave Man (my fav),Â Sweep Man, Giant Metal Robot and Hotdog Panic. As with the Brave Man, online ranking system is included where you can compare your score to others'.Â A wonderful new addition, as were all the previous games. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: […]
Posted on: 23/02/2010
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