Friday, January 30, 2015

Lego Brick, Nerd Block, Cardboard Box ...

Ah ! January that long feeling month after December, a bit like a hangover after drinking too much or stomach ache from an over indulgment of eating. This month has been a bit of rollercaster ride in places, but I have got through okay, apart from a horrid stomach bug that basically knocked me out for nearly two days. A little fluid for the first day and accompanied with light food for the second day. I haven't been sick off work for over a year, not a pleasant experience at all. But Hey ! I am back to let you know what's been happening elsewhere in my gamedev world ...

Barriers ::
We are still at the same stage as last time, hopefully things will pick up again in February. As most of the engine is in place, it really is just a case adding a few more rules and going over some of the layouts to make it stand out together more.


Assault ( Surreal Office Duties Challenge ) ::
Work has been a little slow, but at least a start has been made with part of the ground level design. This is very basic at the moment, but over time it will all make sense. I guess you could say that it's a form of a template for the future of the game?
The red box with what appears to have eyes, is just a mock up of the players size. Nothing ever looks good in the beginning, a bit like judging a cake before the ingredients are mixed together and then baked. It will look better as well we move through each month!

Games Played in January ::
Well, I have played a few games this month. A couple on the PS Vita and C64 Emulator. All good fun with some classics included.

PS Vita ::
Lemmings Touch ::
Surely you remember Lemmings? The classic interactive game where you guide them from their launch / dropzone to the exit. This has all the elements of the original, but with more humour and the modern ability of touch screen controls. I have played a couple of levels and really enjoyed the game so far.
Trailblazer ::
This is based on the classic by Shaun Southern in 1986 on the Commodore 64 under the Gremlin Graphics label. It looks like Shaun had some involvment with the licensing with this one. The gameplay is much on the take of the original, but with souped up graphics and a distinctive remix of the original title tune. I found this quite an addictive game and got to nearly level 10 after two goes.

For those that can't quite remember the original Trailblazer on the Commodore 64, here is a reminder for you. There was even a sequel called, Trailblazer II ( Cosmic Causeway ) ...
Games like this really do improve your reaction times, the holes in space kind of remind me of potholes in a road. Although, I am not sure if making your vehicle transportation of choice jump ( Bunny hop ) would be appropriate?
PC ::
C64 Forever Emulator Scramble (v1.1 ) 
Ooo ... What a treat this ! A nice clone of the classic with pretty much the same gameplay, which needs the exact skills of the original, to progress through the game. This game was played through the great C64 Forever from Cloanto. Head over to C64 Scene Database and let the action begin!

Lego ::
In addition to some gamedev and gaming, I decided to get hold of some more Lego. In particular the Creator 3in1 kits with three different models to design, which is real bonus. The only thing that annoys me about some of the boxes, is the way you have to press down on a perferated tab in order to open the box. Some boxes don't have this! But, hey! Never mind! I also bought some bagged Lego kits, let's have a look ..
 Lego Creator 31030 : Red Go-Kart

Lego Creator  31007 : Power Mech


Lego Creator 31027 : Blue Racer

In addition to the Creator series, I picked up a couple of kits, all within a nice price range and some at a convienent time when at a store.

 Star Wars 30051 : Mini X-Wing Fighter ( bagged )

 Shell Promotion 40196 : Shell Tanker ( bagged )

Shell Promotion 40196 : Shell Tanker ( without Stickers )

The Shell Promotional Lego kits were a chance find. I found these at a Shell Petrol Station in Stratford-upon-Avon for £1.99 each. I bought six of of the seven to collect and ended up buying the missing of the seven ( pictured below ) from Amazon UK. I have opened and built the Shell Tanker, as pictured above.
Shell Promotion 40191 : Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 40191

It has been really good to get into Lego again. I have a Crane that I bought a few years ago and a Ferrari set ( still unfinished ) Mrs. A bought me back in 2005/6. I'll try and get some some photos up for next months post.

I will open all the Lego I buy, even the bagged kits, but I am not sure about using the stickers in some. Once they are used, that is it. I don't think you can buy the stickers separately from Lego. I thought about scanning and printing them on special transfer sticker labels, now there's an idea?

Nerd Block ::
Say what? Nerd Block is a susbcription box service where upon you recieve mystery goodies in a box, typically a shoe box size. Each month is themed, there are other boxes as well, Arcade Block, Horror Block, Nerd Block Jr. Girls and Nerd Block Jr Boys. For the moment I have subscribed to Nerd Block for the whole of 2015 and Arcade Block from January to March 2015. There are other subscription box services, like Loot Crate. But I chose Nerd Block which ships from Canada to most countries world wide, but you will have to check and be aware that postal charges will vary from country to country. To give you an idea what type of things you might get in a block, I have recorded an unboxing video. So, for the few that haven't seen me before, don't be scared now ...
 
 nerdBlock Classic - January 2015 | A Galaxy Far, Far Away

So, that wraps up this months roundup of gamedev adventures. February should bring more of what you can usually expect, plus maybe extra surprises!