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Truth: Work in Progress is For Ever!

What is this blog?

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What to expect from this blog:

  • I’m currently working on a few projects, so I will mostly blog about these as they evolve (or die).
  • Don’t expect daily updates.
  • Don’t expect weekly updates. I’ll post when I have something to say.
  • Do expect typos, weird phrases, odd grammar and subtle malaise at every word.
  • U know what? Don’t expect anything. Simpler that way.

Current projects:

  • Project A is a variation on Pong; it is my current main project. No name yet!
  • Project B, code-named Projector, is a first-person 3D puzzle/adventure game similar in genre to Portal, The Talos Principle and, more recently, Valley. It exists mostly on paper for now. Kids, this is the cool project.
  • Project C, code-named ShootA3, is a 3 player co-op top down shooter. Its basically Gauntlet in space! I’m working on a vertical slice/prototype  thingy; do not expect more info about this project for the time being; shooters are cool and this is what I do when I’m tired of my other projects.

That’s it for now!

Pinballed!

Pinballed! (my current main project) is based on a ‘what if?’ scenario; what if, in the mid-seventies, pinball manufacturers had copied early video games? Imagine a Pong clone made out of random pinball parts… How would such a machine work? How would it play?

This is what Pinballed! is about. Each ‘table’ will feature game play elements from one or more classic arcade games, while still looking and playing pretty much like a pinball machine. Most will feature multi-player competitive modes, a tilt mechanic, flippers, bumpers, drop-target, etc. I plan on having between 5 to 10 different ‘machines’ when i’m done, each an evolution of the last.

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‘Sun&Moon’ machine, Swap Amusement’s earliest prototype.

I also wanted to tell a cool story… But how do you tell a story in what is essentially a Pong clone?

Pinballed! will also be the story of a completely fictitious company called Swap Amusement who, in the mid-seventies, decided to face the ‘video game menace’ head-on. It also tells the story of its leader, eccentric playboy millionaire Burton Swap, and how he drove his dad’s company into the ground in just a few short years.

Think of Pinballed! as ‘mock interactive book’ for your iPad… Or if This Is Spinal Tap was a video game…

I’m working part-time on a vertical-slice type thingy right now, whilst looking for a job. I should post something about this soon.

Keep it groovy,

JD

Pong VS Pinball, part 1

The 70’s were wondrous for many reasons; awesome mustaches, daring hair styles, hairy chested rock gods, hmm… I guess what I’m trying to say is that there was a LOT of hair back then. And pinball machines. Pinball machines were everywhere.

Imagine what it was like back in the 70’s; its friday night, another boring week at the hair salon has been dealt with. You and your friends meet at the local pool hall for beer, hot dogs and pinball. The weather is nice and so is the beer and so is the company. It feels good to be alive. Ted looks toward the end of the room where a line of bright, gleaming pinball machines sing their siren song. “What the fuck is that?” says Ted pointing toward the machines. You turn your head, moving your hair out of the way.

What the fuck indeed.
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Its about the size of a fridge, clad in tasteful yellow and wood finish. At eye level is a black and white television screen; right under it are two knobs on a metallic plate. Above the screen is the word “Pong” in large black letters.

It accepts quarters. It looks like the fucking future.

Ted stands up and stares at you, puzzled and intrigued. You both walk up to the machine; a white square is moving left to right then back again, bouncing on paddles obviously controlled by the two knobs. “Its like tennis but without all the bullshit!” says Ted as he puts in a quarter, the first of many. The game’s goal is easy enough the grasp, but it takes you a little while to get used to the control. The first few matches go to Ted. Soon, two more of your friends join in. Hours go by.

As the evening winds down, Ted catches you starring at your empty glass of beer: “That was super cool, right?”.

You smile: “Yes. Yes it was. Its the future man. The future“.

Kate leans in, handing you her hair brush; “What about these? Are they the past? Are we done with them?”

“What? Pinballs? There’s room for both right?”

Will our hero be proven wrong? Will we know the name of the 4th friend (who happens to work for a pinball manufacturer)? Will I post a screen shot of something soon? Stay tuned!!!