21 August, 2005

Just for Mike (JO)

Here's some more Joint Ops for my buddy Mike. We haven't been able to play at the same time, so we're sending each other pictures of our exploits. I tend to play more seriously when I'm on my own, so here's my cavalcade of honor, shame, and laffs.

Here's Straights of Mallac (or Mallaca, the server browser and load screen have different names). It's a sniper paradise with lots of hilly islands. Well, maybe it's not a paradise. A paradise would also include no pesky vehicles. :) But I had a pretty good time on it.

Let the calvalcade of kills commence!

I was really surprised how easy sniping turned out to be after all the complaints I'd heard about it being nerfed (made so ineffective it would be like using a nerf gun) after the expansion came out. I generally just find a good vantage, use the binoculars to get ranges, and go to town. As long as no one is nearby, I can rack up quite a few kills. In fact, here's a double.

Two kills with one bullet: for the army on a budget.

400 meters seems to be the preferred range as it's still close enough to hit slow or unmoving targets, and it's really hard for someone with a regular rifle to shoot back and actually hit anything.

Oh, here's one I took when Mike and I were playing. Some people just don't take the hint. Mike had just blown up a copter on the launchpad, but that didn't stop these nitwits from trying to take off.


This is definitely too serious. Even my ten kill knife run isn't very interesting. I won't bother with any other Joint Ops posts unless I get really great, goofy photos.

In other gaming news I tried a couple more freeware games (brought to my attention by tigsource.com, I believe).

Control a cute kitty and fight bad animals with your yarn ball arsenal. It has pretty good graphics, but the feel is off. You move very slow. I suppose that's expected from a bipedal cat. But you jump very high. Weird. You also jump off of climbing ropes at warp speed for no apparent reason. The level design seem basic but effective. It kept me moving forward by giving me at least a couple different tasks to keep track of. Collect all the milk. Collect yarn for ammo. Use special yarn powers to get buy impassible terrain. Yarnify bad guys or just pass them by. I actually liked the fact that there were more than a few bad guys you could bypass. More about that in my next update.

Nikki the Ninja
Some guy using a game maker utility made this and the next game. The foreground art is 3D. My guess is it's free 3D models from the web, because the backgrounds are total crap by comparisson. The gameplay is pretty bad. You shoot with the mouse and move with the keyboard. I consider Abuse the be the best game in that genre, and I was sick of it by the time the demo was over, much less the actual game. Abuse was too slow. Nikki is both too unresponsive and too slow. Ninja combat should feel quick and precise. It takes what feels like half a second between pressing the attack button and actually attacking. That's totally unacceptable. Ten times that fast is the minimum I'd consider for responsive feel. The problem could also be cleared up with some interim animations showing the wind up. At least I'd have some reason Nikki wasn't attacking quickly and could use the animation to gauge whether I should follow through on the swing or jump away. I could go on all day about improvements that could be made to Nikki, and it's tempting because the game has enough decent ideas to make it worth saving, but I should probably just get back to making my own games.

Duke Nukem: Waiting Forever
It's a fan game by the same guy (or guys) that did Nikki. It's pretty similar in style, but with no free 3D models, the characters are pretty cheesy. I'm going to say this once. If you can't draw, simplify your graphics enough to where it looks like you meant them to be that way. See my earlier demo for an example of this principle in action. If I can do it, pretty much anyone can.

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to try to cut back on the playing and focus on the developing now. If Mike's around, I'm sure we'll give you a Joint Ops screen or two, and like I promised, there'll be some opinions on bypassing bad guys in my next update.

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