Crocodile Cat is a game where you control a cat that has become trapped between the jaws of an infinite crocodile.
It is a reflex game where you must tap the screen before the cat reaches the jaw of the crocodile. Once you tap, the jaw moves to the location the cat was when you tapped. This makes the play area smaller with each input, so consistent skill is important to reach a high score.
The player collects power coins to open the jaws. The power coin distracts the player’s attention and encourages to make a decision: risk collecting the coin to extend the run or make a mistake and greatly increase the difficulty.
The player can unlock cats by collecting gems to spend in order to free them and use them. Each cat has a unique power: extending or increasing the chance of seeing a different power coin type. Spending gems gives cats nine lives. Buying a key from the store gives cats infinite lives.
The artwork for this title was created by Rebecca Deakin. Rebecca is an obviously talented artist and illustrator who I had the pleasure of working with back at Plug-in Media.
Recip-Threes was made pretty quickly in pico-8. I worked on it completely solo, just a little idea I has whilst trying out Pico-8 for fun.
It’s match-three puzzle game set in a very professional kitchen. The objective is to match ONLY the items shown on the recipe board. Every time a vegetable is matched it gets added to the dish, so you’d better be sure you’re not going to set up an unwanted combo.
Each level is hand made and is solvable by logic. The player is ranked at the end of each round based on how many errors they made. A perfect score awards the rank of Head Chef!
I got the game to a place where I am happy with it but it is really difficult to achieve a perfect score. I promise you it is possible though. There is a little more chance involved than I would like when the veg respawn after being cleared: I’d prefer to have extended the grid vertically so it’s easier to predict. Still, for a few days work in a new tool while on holiday I’m happy with it.
You can have a go here (controls are arrow keys and x)
We made this game for the Develop Jam in 2017. The event took place at Develop Conference in Brighton and the theme was Risky Business!
We designed this game to work around risk & reward. A sleeping kitty at one end of the level guards increasingly high value coins. The players have a choice of running to the high value coins, but this gives them less opportunity to escape if the cat wakes up!
Since it’s a multiplayer game, we put in a mechanic where players can team up to scupper their opponents’ plans. By pressing a button to squeak at the cat, they can wake it up whilst their friends are deep in the danger zone – causing them to be eliminated! This adds a fun social element to the local multiplayer experience.
I wrote about the design in more detail over on my blog – follow this link if you want to find out more!
We made this game for Resist Jam, a game jam that sought to unite game makers in a stand against fascism: to create games exploring issues around civil rights, freedom of expression and resisting the abuse of power.
Bleat the wolf is a political simulator set in a meadow. You must choose a policy from a list in order to woo the sheep over to your side of the field.
We hope that players will choose the policy they are most politically aligned with, but we built the game around this one key question:
Will you compromise your own values to win votes?
Since you’re presented with a popularity rating for each policy, the temptation is there to announce a policy to win votes rather than to set out your true vision for the meadow.
You have a strict time limit, and must watch out for the fox, spreading his newspaper and changing the opinions of the sheep!
Everyone on the team worked really hard on the project. It was an intense time, putting long evenings into game dev after our day jobs making games. Working again with Nat, Jules, Joe and Jim, I was reminded how lucky I am to work with such talent, and what it takes to make a game in such a short space of time.
I wrote about the game design in a little more detail over on my blog.
Please give the game a go! It’s not perfect, such is the nature of jam games, but it achieves what we set out to do. For this reason, I am incredibly proud of the work we put in together.
Wordsworth is an online poetry competition that brings out the inner poet in everyone. Players move words around on a canvas as if they were magnets on a fridge, with the objective to make poems based on a daily theme. They then submit their poems to the community for judgement.
If your poems receive votes you’re awarded coins. Coins are used to unlock sets of new words, enabling you to broaden your vocabulary. Coins also purchase cosmetic upgrades in the form of new fonts and background patterns. These makes your poems stand out from the crowd!
Poets can also look through all of the poems made by the community over the last few days and vote for the poems that they like most. Taking part in the vote also awards the player with a maximum amount of coins each day, so they are incentivised to vote wisely!
The project is currently in a pre-alpha state. I have taken an early version to PocketGamer’s Big Indie Pitch in London and received great feedback (and a baseball) from the judges.
If you want to take a look at where it’s at, there’s a version hosted with a few excuses release notes through this link.
The theme for this game jam was “One Room” – quite a broad theme! My thoughts about what could be in this room covered a lot of exciting and ridiculous ideas, but none seemed to be very “room” centric. Most rooms have furniture, however, and furniture needs to be arranged.
Tetris block shaped furniture falls from the top of the screen, and players should arrange the furniture to a climbable shape. The original idea was to make a fast paced puzzle game, but the idea for a more chaotic, physics-based party game developed as the team worked on it. Features such as destructible furniture and toddler combat were dropped as the deadline approached, and I’m very pleased with what we achieved – especially since this was the first game jam for the artist and the developer!
The final hours of the project were spent tweaking the ‘random’ values of the item drops. Random factors were just too random, meaning that no matter how unlikely it was for larger items to fall (these were designed to get in the players’ way) they still fell too often. We rapidly tested and tweaked a set of values to limit the amount of larger items, and limit the total amount of items that could fall. From this point on, we saw far fewer players being drowned in a sea of bathtubs and unable to move. The game was improved.
I had great fun working with the team, leading the project, the design and working on the audio! Please do grab a friend and try it out – we put xBox controller support in just for you.
I’ve been working with the Sofa Squadron on a local multiplayer game called Super Block Party! It’s a game for up to eight players and it’s currently in development.
We took the game to Games By The Sea and Dare Protoplay and had a brilliant reception from players.
This game is a party platformer that shuns co-operative teamwork. See that spike pit? You can only cross it if you shove your friend in first. See that laser? The only way past is to hide in the gap, but there’s only room for one of you. See that button? Make sure your friend doesn’t get there first.
Players move around the world and have to jump to take advantage of their opponent’s position, or displace their position by shoving. Players drop coins when they are killed by traps, and the objective of the game is to collect them. With quick respawn, players are never out of the game for long and can even try to reclaim their own coins – leading to frantic fun for everyone.
Since you’ve got this far, here’s a link to some footage of the game to give you a feel for how it’s been coming along.
Created for the Rezzed 2016 Game Jam, this is a rhythm game for six players where players must tap their button in time with the music to avoid being thrown off their lillypad. Made in 8 hours, this was chosen as the winning game of the jam. You can watch me present the game to the judging panel below!
(Video starts at the start of our presentation)
I entered the Rezzed 2016 Game Jam with a couple of friends – it was an honour just to be accepted as a competitor. We were given 8 hours to make a game on the theme ‘flux’ with the diversifying themes as ‘waves’, liquid’, and ‘sound’.
I quickly came up with a game design about waves moving and triggering sounds, Jules interpreted the design as ‘toads on a pond’ and Joel fine tuned some of the gameplay elements – a game design was made.
I fell into my designer / producer role and scoped out the key features, before moving to audio design mode to write the music and sound effects. We presented to the judges the next day (see the video) and were awarded the grand prize of some posh new computers!
The judges liked how we’d made something that felt finished and polished in 8 hours. It was a real achievement to make something so small, whilst making it complete. We folded in a bit of feedback on UX and then put the game on itch.io, where it went to the #1 spot for local multiplayer games. What an achievement!
A game made for Global Game Jam 2016, this is a mash up of the puzzle board game Mastermind and Dance Dance Revolution. Be the first to uncover the correct dance combination, or face the wrath of the Elder God!
This game was mentioned in the official Unity blog about the highlights of GGJ16!
This game was made as part of Global Game Jam 16. The theme was ‘Ritual’ and we spent some time discussing game ideas. I was able to merge ideas from our team of ‘repeating’ and ‘dancing’ into a design that mixes arcade dance games with the puzzle of logic and repetition, Mastermind!
Players have to guess the correct dance sequence to appease the Elder God. They have two bars of music to input their guess, then they get feedback on each move. They must remember the correct moves and discover the whole pattern in order to win!
At the end of each round, a loser is eliminated by the Elder God in the most adorable way imaginable. I have Jules and Kylie to thank for making the game look so attractive and Joel for the game development and amazing special touches (such as the wobbly speech bubbles).
There were a few theme modifiers in this jam, one of which required all of the audio to be made with the human voice. All the music and sfx use my own voice as a sound source, and I wrote the audio to this game alongside designing and producing it. Please download it over on the GGJ16 website!
A mobile game where you must quickly remember the locations of the hiding bears before capturing them. Minesweeper meets whack-a-mole!
Every three seconds, bears peek out from behind the trees, before hiding again. The player must remember their locations and tap where they think the bears were, sending a ranger to that position. Getting it right scores a point, but incorrect answers risk losing rangers, meaning less available guesses for the next round!
Any surviving bears move closer to the centre of the forest, where Percy and Poppy are enjoying a nice picnic. If the bears reach the children… well… it’s game over.
Remember the locations, avoid the red herrings and DO watch out for those armoured bears. It’ll take two rangers to bring them down.
I learned from my Block Stock games and made the rules much simpler to understand. The hardest thing to explain was the notion of having a limited supply of rangers (and how you earn more). I managed to solve this problem by showing the rangers on screen at all times, and triggering an animation and sound effect when a new ranger is awarded.
The game is now free so watch the trailer and have a go!