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Script Frenzy 2011: A winner is me!

Like a crazy fool I decided to do ScriptFrenzy 2011, starting about two weeks out from the deadline. During the past 15 days, I have churned out exactly 100 pages of fiction in a script format, and today I finally verified my status as a two time Screnzy winner. Sweet.

Just a little bit about what I wrote. The working title of my script is simply BattleSuit (which seems to be the umbrella title for all of my mecha related ideas), it's a script for a mecha FPS that covers the first 12 missions out of an intended 36, with an additional bonus mission and three endings. The story and gameplay borrows ideas from Mobile Suit Gundam, Hellsing, and even Wing Commander and The Boys from Brazil. A plot synaposis might be as follows:

Hiroyoshi Musashi, an ordinary Japanese High School student and Otaku, accidentally becomes the pilot of a BattleSuit, a two storey tall armed robotic suit of armour. Together with his fellow pilots, the fiery and beautiful Karen McDonnell, the intelligent but twisted Kaya Mori, and the carefree Catgirl Android Neko, they fight under the command of Professor Musashi, Hiro's noble but perverted grandfather. Their enemy: the nefarious Mars based forces of the Fourth Reich, lead by Adolf III, the bratty teenaged clone of the notorious dictactor.

Not exactly high art, but I highly enjoyed it none the less. I'm mildly optomisitic the project may one day be filmable, or at least game-able.

Here's a few points that I wanted to share about my 2011 Screnzy experience.

1. It's not as hard as NaNoWriMo

Assuming you start right from the start of a month, you only need to write 3.3 pages per day. That's certainly not a ridiculous ask, once you've got real momentum going that may take less than half an hour per day.

Even though you need to write 100 pages of script, as far as actual word count goes that'll probably only add up to between a third and a half of the 50,000 words required for a NaNoWriMo victory.

If you have an idea for a screenplay inside of you, for anything - film, TV series, comic book, play, even video game - that just won't go away, you won't regret giving Screnzy a shot.

2. It's harder than NaNoWriMo

Well, in some regards at least. With script writing, you just can't bump up the page count with excessively elaborate descriptions of scenes. The plot, and dialogue, will move much faster so your mind needs to move faster with it.

3. Use a calendar

Divide up the target (100 pages, or 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo) by thirty, and then write the accumulating target for each day on a calendar. Cross it off when you've passed it. There's almost nothing more satisfying, and it keeps you focused and in perspective.

4. Don't worry about linear order so much

If you've ever thought about writing a script, then you've probably just imagined key climactic scenes without thinking too much about the bridging scenes that connect them.

If you're writing a script and you're thinking about those scenes the most - the ones most packed with action, drama, comedy and sex - write them first. You'll have more fun, write faster and it'll also be easier to see where the plotholes that connect the climactic scenes lie.

If you insist on writing in a linear order, you could reach 100 pages and the end of the month without getting to write those scenes, which would really suck.

5. Don't get hung up while writing

If you get to a scene where, for instance, you don't know how your character is going to respond to a question or an insult, or you don't know how to close off a scene in a plausible and satisfying scene, don't worry about it. Either wrap it up quickly or just continue anyway, it isn't worth losing momentum over.

In any case, the problem will be delegated to your subconcious, and you may have the solution next time you look at it.

6. Just have fun

Seriously. Don't worry about writing something artistic, which is next to impossible to achieve when you're writing the first draft of a script in a month. Just think up some characters with diametrically opposing personalities, drop them into interesting situations and then just sit back and watch. It's brilliantly entertaining.


Well, that's it for now!

No more blog updates for the rest of the month

Because, foolishly, I've decided to take part in Script Frenzy 2011. More than half way through the month. 93 pages of script to be written in 14 days, and I'm already the busiest I have ever been at any point of my life. Something has to give, and the blog it is. I'll probably still update comments though.

(Incidently, the script is of my dream game development project. The story of a Japanese high school student who pilots a giant robot to fight Nazis on Mars. I kid you not.)

The One Ronnie - My Blackberry is not working


Noah More Heroes in PC World

Along with all the other Auckland 2011 Global Game Jam entries, Noah More Heroes made it to the NZ PC World Coverdisk (April 2011 issue). In the magazine itself, NZ PC World had this to say:

Noah More Heroes is one of the most gameplay-packed titles to come out of the Global Game Jam's Auckland contingent. Build boats, eat animals, fight pirates... what's not to like?

Although I was really happy to see another one of my games on their Coverdisk (After WitchBlaster and The Kiwi's Tale) a note I found in the CD was even more exciting.

Over the next few months we'll revisit each of these games, one per issue. Each project will be reviewed by one of our highly experienced game reviewers. We'll talk to some of the teams that made these awesome little offerings, and see what they're up to later in 2011.

Thanks PC World! You guys rock!

WitchBlaster downloadable again

Back by massively popular demand (Well, not really) WitchBlaster now has a downloadable version again. The main rationale is that Curly's World of Freeware were going to move the WitchBlaster post out of the Freeware forum as it had no PC download (Fair enough, I guess it's not really Freeware if it's web only, as I could take it away at any time).

One of Monkey's compiler options is C++, using GLFW as the framework and OpenAL for audio. Monkey doesn't just spit out the translated code though, it actually gives you a complete Visual Studio 2010 solution as well. This is the first C++ game on my site, even though I didn't write any of the C++ myself. I'll probably include a C++ version on the Earok 2011 Collection CD.

The downloadable version runs very smooth, but there isn't really much point to getting it - unless you have an older computer and the web versions don't run fast - but it's there anyway.

In related news, I got to play an iPad build of the game on Wednesday (Cheers Stephen). I was surprised that it ran perfectly slick, considering all of the Android builds I've played run like a dog. None of the code was changed from the web version except a tweak to scale the graphics to the full iPad screen. The only problem is that the game isn't exactly touch optimised, the Witch will travel to whatever part of the screen you touch, but half the time she'll be obscured by your finger. Also, since the iPad is fairly big, it's a pain moving your finger all of the way from one side of the screen to the other all of the time.


Just uploaded a minor new version with the following fixes:

  • All images are power-of-two sizes, which fixes a display glitch on some computers.
  • Joystick support. Though specifically designed for the XBox 360 controller, any controller with at least three buttons will work fine.

Heart of Ice: Monkey tech demo

Huzzah! A playable blog post.

Well, here's a new Monkey tech demo for you. Use Cursor keys to control Thalia, WASD to move Algernon.

This isn't part of a serious attempt to port Heart of Ice to Monkey (Though I am seriously considering it in future) but rather an experiment to understand the problems around pseudo isometric perspectives for a different project.

Incidently, the room was rendered entirely in Paint Shop Pro with manual use of the deform tool.

WitchBlaster update

I had a couple of hours spare this afternoon, so I have implemented Anthony's new sprites for WitchBlaster (Includes a couple of great new facial expressions for the Witch, too). As always, Anthony's artwork is fantastic, I think Derek Yu might soon have a new rival ;)

Play it in HTML5 or Flash.

As mentioned in my last post, this will probably be the last update to one of the Earok Collection games for awhile.

Derelict 2011 Release Candidate 1

The 2011 release candidate version of Derelict is out, the first new version in over a year. Just a recap on what's new:

  • Two player co-operative mode
  • Overhauled textures
  • New GUI
  • XBox 360 controller support
  • A tonne of minor tweaks and changes

Also since the last screenshot - The marines have names now. They're randomly picked from a shortlist of common surnames for each country represented. I thought that might help with creating something of a narative during the game. Since a lot of changes have been made since the last release, I can't guarantee that there aren't any serious issues with the new version. Please get in touch if you find anything.

Except for adding Anthony's new artwork to WitchBlaster, this will be the last update to an Earok.Net game for this month. I have quite a few other projects on so I can't justify more work on the 2011 collection until at least May.

In other news, Anthony has done a full scale Boss Bee for WitchBlaster. Check her out:

Noah More Heroes 2

Announcing my next major game project: Noah More Heroes 2: Noah Country for Old Men.

As all of you who were "Noah enough" to beat the first game know, the at the end of the original Noah More Heroes, Noah rescued his girlfriend Joan from the pirates, completed a space ship built out of parts recovered from the Pirate ships, and flew to the Moon where he made a fortune as the owner/operator of the very first Hungry Jack's franchise in space.

In this epic sequel set directly after the original's 40 minute long ending cutscene, Noah must defend his livelyhood after the pirates come to the Moon for revenge. By massive demand, it features cameos from classic Earok's Arcade game characters that you get to meet - and eat.

Although the new version stays faithful to the original's formula, the biggest new change has been the classic Glove Ship duels. They now feature movement in all three dimensions, allowing for massive space battles.

Due in April 2012 across all major formats.


Unfinished crap collection

From the archives, some footage of my earlier failed attempts at game development.

Some of these are part of the Garbage Collection, though I plan to release more of them later.