November 21, 2011

Weekend with (nature) Spirits

So we had a bit of a crunch weekend, and Windows Phone 7 version of Spiritual is coming along nicely. If all goes well it will be available in your pocket before the year is over!

We are currently pondering some game design choices: There will be "skills" or "spells" in the game to remedy the situation where player could, in the original Spiritual, get stuck in the changing maze for several seconds. Now we have to decide if we want to make several of these skills available at all times like we originally planned, or maybe restrict them to one usable skill at a time which would make things less complicated. Use of these skills will be restricted by the amount of mana player has, so we also need to decide whether the mana should be "charged" in special tiles in each level, or maybe by items player will pick up randomly?

We are also pretty sure there will be collectable artifact pieces that make something beautiful when they all have been gathered and combined. Plan is to make one artifact piece available in each level, which should add a little replay value for those players who like to collect things.

Collectable artifact pieces also mean that the levels will no longer be infinite of course. They will still be randomly generated and thus different each time, but we are thinking of a world consisting of ~15 levels, which get more difficult and present new things to player towards the end. Final level will of course be awesome and something completely different.

...and if people like our game enough, there will be more than one world to explore! :D

October 28, 2011

Charging capacitor banks… Adjusting the rails…

Interplanetary was on a bit of a slow lane for a moment as half of our team was ill, but we're getting back on schedule again! Let's celebrate with some concept art of an Orbital Laser Defense module. (Art by Jukka Kivijärvi)

Most of the engine's core structures are done and pretty much all the major modules have been attached, so we are getting closer to releasing the alpha version.

Unlike we planned at first, Interplanetary aplha will most likely have graphical UI for moving between game states instead of just in-game console interface, so non game developers can play too. :p

September 28, 2011

Ludun Dare 21 and Spiritual

We just got a shiny new promo video of Spiritual, our Ludum Dare 21 Jam entry, and I realised we have not mentioned the game here at all.

"Spiritual is a game about a mischievous Wisp who gets thrown into a world of swamp and mazes as a punishment for slacking off from his divine duties. Your mission is to guide him through the everchanging network of duckboards, collect the Wisplings he needs to reactivate the Seal he came through and take one step closer to home. To be honest though, the levels are procedurally generated and the difficulty increases indefinitely, so the road is quite long. Maybe we need a sequel to relieve the Wisp from his torment? "

That's the original decription from the Ludum Dare site. So now that you know what Spiritual is about, here's how it works: Each procedurally generated level in the game consists of tiles that form a maze. Rows and colums of these tiles move randomly back and forth every few seconds to open new routes while blocking old ones, and player's goal is to find a way through this mess into the exit tile. The levels get bigger as the game advances, and during each level passable tiles are gradually changed into impassable ones. (Honestly the video and game itself explain this way better, check the links after this babblage.) The game was made with XNA, surprise.

We are happy with the result, for once we had a full team and could make a game with beautiful graphics and sound instead of having our programmers waste time figuring out how stick figures work. Our new assemblage paid off rather well too, as Spiritual was voted to have the best graphics and second best audio out of all Jam gategory games! We got third place in innovation too. Thanks to everyone who voted if you're reading this!

To be honest there were some less awesome features in the game as well, for an example player sometimes has to wait way too long before the platforms move into desirable positions to advance. We really want to work on this game some more to correct these faults and add new stuff to expand Spiritual into somethig that can be considered a full game. If all this works out well enough, we might even publish it on XBLA or something. Thanks for your support!

PS. We already ported the game on Windows Phone just to see how it works, and it was better than expected. We'll get back to that later I hope. ;)

TL;DR: We made a game called Spiritual for Ludum Dare 21 and people liked it. We will make it even better and maybe publish it on XBLA and/or Windows Phone 7 if all goes well.

And finally, the video can be seen here:

Spiritual can be downloaded directly here:

September 24, 2011

Interplanetary progress, starweek 38

Progress on Interplanetary has been a little slower than we hoped this week, mainly because part of out team wasted some days being ill. Shame on you!

However, we did get part of the core code structure done, and also made progress on the design front. We also had out graphic artist Jukka Kivijärvi working with us this week, so have some concept art. Full version available here:

We are still working on Interplanetary and some other projects during this weekend, and next week we're hoping to really get going with Interplanetary programming.

September 23, 2011

SDL Artillery, the game available now

For some weird reason our first video featuring the artillery game we made with SDL for Advanced Networking classes during our second year in Kajaani UAS, SDL Artillery for short, is still the most popular video on our YouTube channel. By far.

So due to popular demand (one guy asked for it in the comments, thanks vkvanja), here's the game for all windows users to enjoy:

We still won't be realeasing the source, not because we're mean, but because we want to protect you from it. It's HORRENDOUS.

Also thanks to Antti for going through the trouble of making the game work in VS 2010 and Win 7 just so we could release this.

September 15, 2011

Help yourself to some media:

As promised we now have a little video illustrating the idea that will become Interplanetary in the coming weeks, check it out!
(I will not embed it since it's more awesome on Tube.)

The demo seen in the video is also available now, grab it here:

It is just a fraction of what Interplanetary will be, but fun nevertheless! Music in the demo and video is composed by Jukka Kivijärvi.

September 14, 2011

Say hello to Interplanetary artillery!

Interplanetary, as we call the game at the moment, is the biggest and most ambitious project of Team Jolly Roger so far. We've had this idea of a strategic artillery game featuring interplanetary warfare for over an year now, and it has slowly taken shape. Now we finally have a change to make it reality, as it will form the base of final thesis for three of our team members. This means that for the next few months we finally have time and commitment for the project.

The game itself revolves around the theme of interplanetary warfare, as mentioned before. Players are based on different planets in a solar system, and the goal is no less than annihilate all enemies by any means necessary. This involves not only some skilfully aimed shots in the everchanging sea of gravitational fields, but also strategic perspective and careful planning in improving the Home Planet with various buildings, upgrades and projects. The game will be developed solely for PC using Microsoft XNA 4.0. If you just rolled your eyes, go google and find out how many succesful games have been made with XNA lately. :P

We aim to keep the people who are interested in out project well posted via this blog, Twitter and Facebook. We aim to provide new versions of the game every two weeks or so (pleace notice that we will probably need more than that for the initial version), and new info and material on a daily basis. We are also open for ideas and suggestions, so please let us know what you have in mind! :)

We will post a playable demo of the original concept and a short trailer soon, stay tuned!

May 23, 2011


Welcome to our development blog! You can follow us on Twitter and like us in Facebook, but this is where we aim to post a little more in-depth information about our ongoing projects, thoughts on games and gaming related subjects and so on.