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    Wastelands Beta

    2013 - 06.12

    Introducing : Wastelands Beta

    A relatively simple Drugwars clone with an additional twist – your friends depend on you keeping them alive! Try and make money and keep your friends alive in an alien apocalypse scenario. This was written for last months #1GAM, but I’ve only just had time to do a write up because of personal matters πŸ™ The idea was first brought to me by my boss, who knows my passion for coding games. After several discussions, we had a story and some mechanics in place, and I went away to play with impact.js to produce a working prototype.

    After several internal iterations, Wastelands: Beta was born!

    How to play

    Day 1 – An asteroid crashes in rural Russia. Scientists go to investigate the impact site – expecting to be able to investigate the remains of the asteroid but instead just find a massive crater and no asteroid fragments. The impact crater seems to confirm that something massive hit the Earth – the scientists are at a loss and begin to examine the impact site in greater detail.

    Day 3 – After frenzied activity, the scientists discover two strange things. Firstly there appears to be small ( almost microscopic ) pools of some form of organic matter located in and around the impact site. Assuming these are some form of residue from the crash, the scientists call in biology experts to help identify the organic matter. The second thing is that the number of these pools seem to be increasing, as if they were coming up from the ground.

    Day 5 – Police are called to a small mining village near the impact site. On arrival the police make one of the most shocking discoveries in modern history – someone has slaughtered everyone in the village. The village has been ransacked – fires are still burning, and the streets and homes are full of gore. Bodies have been eviscerated, limbs are missing and there is not one living thing left in the village.

    Day 7 – Many of the scientists who involved with the initial investigation of the crash site have become deathly ill – blood tests show that their blood streams are swarming with complex and strange looking microorganisms.

    Day 10 – Another village, this time further away from the impact site has had its population annihilated in a similar fashion to the first village. Realizing it must be related to the impact site, the army cordons off a huge area around the impact site. Evacuating several nearby residences inside this zone, martial law is introduced. The scientists, now very aware the impact site is present a biological hazard implement Level 4 Hazmat containment along with the army assisting them. No one is allowed within 50 miles of the impact site without a biohazard suit and armed escort.

    Day 14 – Just after midnight, one of the army garrisons on the edge of the quarantined zone are attacked by groups of monstrous creatures, with three distinct types – one of which is employed as a shock creature, damaging and killing troops, another type which seems to hold back, and coat the ground with goo, a strange fog around it and the final type of creature seeming to be constructed from random body parts from the initial victims of the village massacres. The garrison is quickly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of creatures attacking it. Several thousand creatures escape the quarantine zone before a series of carpet bombing raids are called in, destroying the remaining monstrous forces – reinforcements from other garrisons plugging the hole in the quarantine zone.

    Day 20 – The contamination levels near the impact site reach levels even dangerous for hazmat suits, so remote controlled drones perform a fly-by of the impact site taking photos and collecting air samples. The photographs reveal that the ground all around the impact site is now coated in a thick organic substance, and several spore/mushroom like structures have appeared, as if they have been grown from the organic carpet. The air samples reveal an even more shocking discovery – the very air around the impact is full of alien spores and what appear to be heavily mutated airborne human viruses.

    Day 23 – β€œThe Red Day” – many small towns and villages far outside of the quarantine zone are attacked by hordes of the creatures causing a death-toll at the end of the day in the hundreds of thousands. No event in modern history has been so full of bloodshed – so many lives lost in a single day. Social media websites fill up with information, hastily typed accounts, pictures and videos of these terrifying creatures and the slaughter they brought down on these unprepared victims. Army reserves are called in from all over the country – airstrikes are authorised on friendly civilian buildings for the first time in history.

    Day 28 – The armed forces are unable to contain the problem any more and all over the country more of these spore like buildings are being spotted, more attacks are taking place. The organic carpet spreading out like a cancerous growth. Towns and cities fortify themselves, creating walls and barricades around themselves, establishing martial law. The very air all over the country is now swarming with dangerous microorganisms. Every unprotected breath filling peoples lungs with unknown contaminants.

    Day 41 – Your adventure begins …. you estimate you have 30 days to create a new safe haven for your friends before the aliens overrun the current safe zones. Taking out a small loan to buy an APC you start to round up supplies and to keep your friends healthy before the end comes.


    Mouse only πŸ™‚ Click on the red blocks on the map to move between safe zones, use the buy and sell buttons to buy and sell, and watch the prices! Every town produces and consumes different items, the key is to identify which and make as much profit as possible. You can upgrade the storage on your APC. Certain safe zones have your friends in them – they will give you hints as to what is needed in each safe zone. The more friends you save, the higher the score. It is VERY possible to get a negative score πŸ™‚

    It is completely safe to use your friends e-mail addresses on the page – check the source πŸ™‚ I’ve left it unencrypted so you can double check I’m not harvesting anything – the email addresses just call gravatar to see if there is a picture to personalize your game.

    If you have some performance issues – click on the static image at the bottom of the right hand side of the page, it will turn off the noise filter which should improve things greatly. Likewise, the speaker turns on and off the sound.


    I will write more about this game in a following post – but Wastelands : Beta is essential a very simple and quick version of the game. Dependant on feedback its a game I really want to expand greatly upon this.

    The game can be found here : www.greenslimegames.com/games/html5/wastelands_beta/. You will need a modern browser to play it. If you find any bugs feel free to let me know! My #1GaM profile is : http://www.onegameamonth.com/BeeBug_Nic feel free to leave some fan mail <3 ... or not πŸ™‚
    The first person to tweet translate of what any of the number stations are saying will become an NPC in the next version of the game πŸ™‚ Though if your name is ‘HairyMonkeyScrotum’ I may choose to change your name πŸ™‚


    Setting up node.js on appfog – a quick tutorial

    2013 - 03.25

    I’ve been playing around with node.js and loving it so far. I wanted to find a third party host for it, as my current host won’t let me play with it without it getting expensive quickly. So after some googling around, I decided to give AppFog a go. It’s free and from my limited exposure to it so far, does the job pretty well. I ran into a few stumbling blocks as I went, so decided to put a mini-tutorial together to explain how to get node.js running.

    Firstly, you need to sign up to an account. No credit/debit card details needed. Once signed in, you need to go here : https://console.appfog.com/apps/new. Simple enough. To get an instance running, simply select node.js from the first menu :

    Then select where you want it hosted, followed by giving the app a name :

    Once done, click on Create App, and you are re-directed to something similar to this screen :

    Congratulations! You have just created a node.js instance. Now, with a process as simple as that, why on earth do I need to write a tutorial? Well, I spent some time sorting out the environment to properly edit this instance, so this is the ‘meat’ of the tutorial.

    Firstly, you need to install ruby. http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/76804/rubyinstaller-2.0.0-p0.exe should run fine. Install it, and then from the Ruby 2.0.0-pl folder, select start Command Prompt with Ruby.

    mkdir src
    gem update --system
    gem install af
    af login
    cd src
    af pull slimetutorial
    cd slimetutorial

    This basically creates a /src/ directory within your ruby install and sets everything up nicely. AppFog tutorial suggest an af update – but if you have nothing created already, it just deletes the instance – d’oh! Presuming the above works you should see something very similar to this :

    That file is your node.js file. Open it up in your environment, and lets change the code slightly :

    var http = require('http');
    http.createServer(function (req, res) {
    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
    res.end('Many happy slime monsters from AppFog.com !');
    }).listen(process.env.VMC_APP_PORT || 1337, null);

    Silly I know πŸ™‚ but anyway, you have this file now saved, how do you deploy it ?

    Simply run an update :

    af update slimetutorial

    If everything went ok, it should look like this :

    This handles stopping the node.js instance, staging it, then re-starting the server. Assuming no errors of course πŸ™‚ Things may look slightly different if your server is started/stopped – visit your control panel and click on the Visit Live Site button. Congratulations, you can now start playing to your hearts content with node.js – for free ! πŸ™‚


    Mine your step

    2013 - 03.07

    Introducing : Mine your step

    Originally an idea I had on a Sunday morning after watching Futurama, this game has come together pretty quickly. You will die, a lot. Your deaths ( well more accurately, your pile of remains ) help other people navigate the dangerous terrain. It was going to be called ‘Blind in a minefield’, with the idea being that the screen was totally black and all you could see would be deaths and your avatar. This was primarily because my drawing/art skills suck bigtime πŸ™‚ But I found a nice tileset for it and the game evolved from there. I’m quite amazed that I managed to get March’s #1GameAMonth done by the 6th πŸ™‚

    How to play

    Story :

    You are a marine. Get to the base. End of story πŸ™‚

    Controls :
    Arrow keys to move.
    Stepping on mines to die.
    Music controls are in top left hand corner of the screen.

    Notes :
    There are currently 12 levels and I am shocked so far to see that people are currently on level 6. If it continues like this, I will most definitely add some more additional levels. You will die a lot ( said that once or twice ). That is fine. Think of it as massively co-operative game. The more you die, the more you help others. Mouse over bloody remains to see who made them.

    The game can be found here : http://www.greenslimegames.com/games/html5/mine_your_step/. You will need a modern browser to play it. If you find any bugs feel free to let me know! My #1GaM profile is : http://www.onegameamonth.com/BeeBug_Nic feel free to leave some fan mail <3 ... or not :)

    EDIT : This was written on the release night, but decided to wait before publishing it ( as it takes me hours to blog about anything ). At the time of hitting the publish button, I’ve received an amazing amount of feedback! I treasure all of it! πŸ™‚ Amazingly I also appeared on indiegames.com. Many thanks to all of you for playing and dieing – as well giving me feedback! Currently the global death toll is 2741 people lost! Thank you for your sacrifices soldier!


    War is Hell …

    2013 - 03.05

    Imagine you and your squad need to get to re-enforce a military base. You need to cross a minefield. But alas, these mines are cloaked. The only way you can cross is to send wave after wave of your own men to determine where the mines are by avoiding the bloody mess left by your former friends ( yes most of this was a Zapp Brannigan quote ).

    Now imagine, instead of a gritty real life war simulation, it’s a computer game you can play online with all your friends. And random strangers.

    Welcome to Mine Your Step

    The above is a screenshot after much testing of the first level. Guide the army dude from his starting position, to the bunker. Invisible minefields are everywhere. Stepping on one, and a brief explosion later you have to start again. Sounds unfair? It is. Remember, before I started the testing, the field looked more like this :

    The blood marks are all from my old attempts to try and reach the bunker. Each bloody pile of guts when mouse over-ed will tell you the name of who died, and when they died. Semper Fi.

    What benefits do you have? Aside from an exhaustible supply of army dudes? Every one plays in the same game. You step on a mine, your blood splat appears in their game. They explode in their game, it appears in yours. There is no way to win this game alone. Only by the entire internet joining together and sending wave after wave of themselves into the minefields will you be able to determine the safe route home. And by the entire internet, I mean a small group of people, because otherwise my hosting company will probably complain πŸ™‚

    This was an idea I had on Sunday and have just got it too a workable point. I want to add some bling, sound effects, logos etc; but quite happy with how is. Got ten levels so far, each one getting increasingly more evil.

    Any ideas or comments? Let me know! Hopefully the slaughter will start this week πŸ™‚


    The Badly Drawn Adventures of Lieutenant Ivanova Zolnerwich

    2013 - 03.02

    Introducing … The Badly Drawn Adventures of Lieutenant Ivanova Zolnerwich – Chapter 1 : Investigation

    With possibly the longest name ever, this is my February entry to the #OneGameAMonth. It’s a side-scrolling platform with dreadful graphics πŸ™‚ Story wise, there is quite a bit going on, but you will need to find all the audio logs ( optional items ) in order to understand what is going on.

    How to play

    Story :
    You are Lieutenant Ivanova Zolnerwich, a relatively recent recruit to the Space Core. On a routine patrol in your aging space craft you receive a distress call from a nearby agricultural world. You decide to investigate further, and set your ship to autopilot with the order to land at the planets command center. You hastily put on your Core-issued green spacesuit and prepare to investigate the distress call.

    Controls :
    Left and Right arrows to move,
    Up to jump and enter doors
    Space to fire

    Notes :
    Doorways always have a flashing pink aura around them. Boxes can be pushed around. Slime, in all its forms, is pretty unhealthy. You need to collect key items to unlock additional areas – these are always prompted. Force fields can be turned off by finding the correct switch. You don’t need to collect all the audio logs to complete the game – some of them are hidden in fairly sneaky places. Yes, it does look ugly. Monsters can be tricked into moving boxes for you. There is no way to increase your health, every bit of it counts.

    The game can be found here : http://www.greenslimegames.com/games/html5/tbda1/. You will need a modern browser to play it. If you find any bugs feel free to let me know! My #1GaM profile is : http://www.onegameamonth.com/BeeBug_Nic feel free to leave some fan mail <3 ... or not :)