Four By… Two?

You read that right! A brand new game mode is coming your way – Four By Two plays very differently that the existing two modes, as it relies on split-second reaction times and feels a heck of a lot more tense.

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It’s real tense when the game’s all sped up. My high score is 32. How rubbish!

The spawning is a little different for Four By Two, as only single tiles spawn at any one time. However, the gap between tiles spawning is random, which adds to the tension. I’m not too sure what other kinds of mode I can add. Perhaps a ‘Futile’ mode, where you’re stuck forever in a 1×1 square, unable to move, with a score of zero? But that would be stupid, and I’m already sadistic enough with this new mode. I’m thinking of doing more fancy stuff with the camera next, such as zooming in and out.

What improvements are there?

On top of this new mode, there’s a couple tweaks too. You may have noticed before how sometimes a couple more tiles spawned after you die? Well, I had a word with the bit of code that made that happen, and he’s going to be doing a lot less breathing nowadays, so now tiles won’t crowd the right-hand side of the screen after death.

Also, occasionally tiles would spawn in a way that meant you had to move three spaces in one timestep, which was utterly impossible (and rage-inducing at times); now, that won’t happen, because tile sets with only one ‘entrance’ on the top or bottom won’t spawn after tile sets with a singular, opposite ‘exit’. For me, it’s a huge improvement, because I no longer feel cheated by the spawning algorithm.

On top of that, you can now pres ‘esc’ in the middle of a game to die instantly, if you so wish. It’s much quicker than waiting for a tile to appear and take you out.

Are there any other new additions?

Yep! There’s a Credits page (which really does need to be fleshed out with more stuff, because so far I’m the only one credited in it), and the framework is up for an options system, complete with an options menu. However, that’s not yet complete, so the button on the main menu won’t work, but the system will work as required in the background.

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I’m stereotypically British, so of course tea needs to be a credit.

Well that’s all for this update! You can go download this latest addition at the usual place. Have fun playing!

-Daniel

Oh, and there’s this, too:

Four By Eight – High Score Chasing

It’s that irregularly-scheduled time of the sometimes-week-sometimes-month again! You know what I mean: update time!

What’s in today’s update, Daniel?

Since you asked so politely, I guess I’ll have to answer you. You know the score counter in the corner that used to count how many tiles you’d avoided? Well, now those high scores are actually saved! So now, you’ll be able to gloat about your score of 391, right before someone else comes along and shows you their score of 392. Every damn time. The scores are separate for each game mode too.

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The third high score looks like a kitten face. Who can be mad at that?

The enemy tile spawning is much more diverse than before, although as before, it’s not truly random. It’s sorta semi-random, as there’s a bunch of predefined patterns of tiles that I created, and it’s those patterns which spawn randomly. In the previous update there were 16 possible patterns, but now there’s 58 wacky and wonderful arrangements. Ergo, more varied tile spawning. And everyone likes variety!

That sure sounds exciting! Surely there can’t be much else, right?

Well that’s where you’re wrong! Now, when you die in a flurry of floaty pink squares, rather than having to click one of the buttons that appear, you can press escape to go back to the menu, or if you’re like me and you *must* beat your previous score, you can press the spacebar or enter to try again. It’s slightly more elegant than using the mouse, although that’s still possible.

The main menu also looks a little different. Every element, whether it be a button or a part of the title, is now on a tile, so it fits the theme of the rest of the game (and confirms I’ve gone completely insane for tiles).

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Tiles are definitely what’s hot right now.

So the menu’s still pretty bare, but less bare. And I bet you can’t wait to see what’s under that Coming Soon button! I sure can’t! There are a few things coming soon, such as a way to look at all your leaderboards for every game mode, an options menu, and a new game mode. You’ll have to wait until next update to see what it is though! You can download the game from the usual place, on the IndieDB page, when the download is uploaded and approved. When it’s finally up, have fun trying it out.

-Daniel

Four By Eight – Playable Version Now Available!

A few days ago, I revealed I’ve been working on a brand new game called Four By Eight. Now, you can have a go and find out what it’s like for yourself!

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It’s a little bit minimalist right now.

Since the last post, I’ve added a main menu so you can pick different game modes. Currently there are two modes – the classic Four By Eight mode, plus a Four By Four mode, which is a bit more challenging since there’s half the time to react to spawning tiles. Trust me, it’s horribly difficult. There will be more game modes to come, so hopefully these buttons will look a lot less lonely in the near future. Perhaps a Four By Two mode? Or is that absolutely psychotic?

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Still very empty. But also, angular!

On top of that, there’s now a score counter in the corner, which keeps track of how many enemy tiles have died. In a later update you’ll be able to see your highest scores for each game mode, and you’ll be able to enter your name, so you can invite your friends to try and beat your high score. Then you get to beat your friends over the head with a blunt object when they completely wreck your score (not that I advocate violence at all).

That’s pretty much all there is to say right now. Go download it from the game’s IndieDB page when the download has been uploaded/approved, and enjoy playing! Be sure to post your high scores below too!

-Daniel

A Completely Random Post #2, Plus a Free Game Reveal

Again I have found myself in the deep, dark pit of boredom. So, I’m gonna go ahead and defile the sanctity of the Internet with my random words about random things.

So, what are you gonna be talking about today, good sir?

To start off, here’s a picture of me from last Saturday, wearing cat ears:

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When I give you this look, you know you’re coming home with me.

In less than a month, this guy is apparently going to uni. He’s about as surprised as you are. Yup, some guy with way too much of a smirk and sexy cat ears is on his way to Warwick to do all things Computer Science-y, and as such he’s clearly taken steps to up his maturity level. But since I’ll be doing a computer science course, that SHOULD mean that my work will go through the roof in terms of quality. In the meantime, I still have the rest of the month, pretty much, to get my game upto scratch. And that brings me to my next piece of news – my new game!

New game? What? Why? Where? How? This is new!

Boom! Right out of the blue! Well, the grey really. Time for the reveal of my brand new game, Four By Eight!

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Well, well, well. A shiny new game, huh? I wanna play!

The basic idea of the game is that the world exists as a 4×8 array of tiles, as seen above. You control the white tile, and you’re only able to move up and down on the leftmost column in discrete steps. The goal? Avoid the grey tiles that move towards you at  increasing speeds from the right. Simple, huh? When I add a couple more features on top of that (don’t worry, I’m chock full of them) then I’ll put out a version for you guys to play.

The idea with this game is to keep the art style as minimalist as possible, while keeping enough stuff happening on the screen to keep players interested. Then, on top of that I’ll try keeping the game addictive, so there’s that ‘one more try’ factor, like all arcade-style games need to have. I guess that’s all I have to say right now about this exciting new project, so until next time!