The lineup for this year’s Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime has been posted, and Against the Wall is on it! I have a minibooth on the 30th and 31st. A minibooth is essentially 1/16th of a large square booth. It’s for game developers who are largely independent of money. Here’s my rather bare-bones page on their site, with the ancient trailer that I always fall back on.

Prep Work

I enjoy chatting up folks about my game like a regular carnival barker. I spent 5 hours at GDC’s Killscreen party last year, talking to people as they played my game which was projected onto a side of the room. Pretty sure that I can handle PAX’s sensory overload. The whole marketing side of things is a baffling mystery to me, but I’ll try to put myself out there and try to generate a little buzz.

Against the Wall - Windmill, 2013

Whatever. Developing the game is the important thing. I’ve dolled-up the game’s starting area a bit. Finally stopped using static red bricks for the windmill’s structure. Realized that it looked to bare and flat, so I fleshed it out using the Outpost tile set that I made in June. No plans on showing the ending areas of the game, of course.

Against the Wall - Windmill InteriorThis is the interior of the windmill. Unfurnished at the moment. Cut a large chunk out of the building’s rear with some new “destroyed” models. The support columns are part of the elevator/windmill structure.

I will be adding two new features: 1) optional automatic “death” when the player hits terminal velocity and is pretty much dead anyway. Won’t have to reset the game as often at the conference with this option. 2) No saving while in midair or on a moving platform. Should prevent a quick-save while hurtling towards the ground at 60mph. Also, saving on certain moving objects could easily result in a load where the player is halfway inside the object, or the lift is loaded in the wrong state (e.g. standing still rather than moving). This addition will stick around for the final game. Just a note: At one point, I entertained the idea of disabling quick-saves and relying on checkpoints. I realized how dumb this was, and reversed course. If people want to spam the quick save button, they are welcome to.

Finally, I’ll pepper the area with hidden paths, rooms, and interesting junk. Puzzles don’t seem to play well at these conferences, than again, neither do slow-paced exploration games. I’ve been experimenting with very simple Myst-inspired puzzles, so maybe I’ll finish one up and throw it in somewhere.

OVR and OVR Again

The NYU Game Center is in the process of moving to the its new building in Brooklyn. I haven’t had access to the Oculus Rift (OVR) in that time, but I’ve come up with a simple first step for integrating the new tech: create a new Unity scene identical to the normal one, only with the stock OVR character motor and cameras, tweaked to feel close to the existing motor. Players would not be able to swap modes on the fly, but this should save me about a month or so of headaches trying to fit the OVR code onto the existing character motor. Will have to add crouching, sounds, and fall damage. Really, I think that my game is a perfect for the Rift, considering the lack of HUD, simplistic controls, slow pace, and the immersive environment. Oh yeah, and the gut-wrenching heights may be a plus as well.

What I’ve Been Playing

I’ve been using Netflix to play the pilot episode of Twin Peaks. Man. It’s one very surreal series. I watched the Giant Bomb Endurance Runs for Deadly Premonition, and knew that it was referential to Twin Peaks. I just didn’t know how closely it stuck to the source. Loving it so much for how off it is, how it plays with and destroys expectations left and right, and the main character so damn endearing in his strangeness. Will need to find some time to catch up on the other eight episodes (hear the second season was not well received).

Bought a copy of Demon’s Souls. Only played it for an hour, but it’s  pretty much is  Dark Souls so far, though it lacks that Metroidvania-style contiguous world. I loved Dark souls, so I’m at home in this game. I also bought Brain Age to play some Sudoku puzzles on the commute (and not for the patronizing pseudo-science). Also, got copies of Catherine, Hotel Dusk, and Shadow of Destiny, but who has the time to play Video Games?

One thought on “Megaboothing

  1. Word of advice — you definitely want to watch at least the first half of the second series of Twin Peaks. It gets much more surreal, and I think almost everyone agrees it hits its high point there.  About halfway through they solve the murder, and it starts to wander a bit, and I think this is where people feel like it got lost (but personally I quite enjoy that too).

    At any rate, the second season is where it really gets into bizarre dream stuff; if you like the midget scene in the first episode, there’s more stuff like that.  Probably as close as you can come to watching a De Chirico.

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