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First new Derelict screenshot in awhile!

Just to prove I am actually working on Derelict, here is the first new screenshot in almost a year! See if you can spot the changes (click to zoom in)

February Retrospective, March Project Goals

The final download figures for this month (roughly) are:

Derelict 1482
The Kiwi's Tale 792
Heart of Ice 37
Blow Stuff Up 72
TOTAL 2382

Note that this does not include figures from Sam's mirror (which has been active for about a fortnight) so the actual totals for Derelict and the Kiwi's Tale could be hundreds higher. Compare with my downloads for 2008:

Derelict 289
The Kiwi's Tale 104

I'm not sure if I'll ever see this sudden surge of popularity again, but I'll try my very best to keep interest in my site going through producing decent quality games.

Anyway, last month:

  1. I was in Palmerston North for a fortnight for work, longer then I had originally anticipated because at the last minute I had to stay for another week(!) and this slowed down my personal projects.
  2. I had to triple the amount of bandwidth my site has due to the sudden rush of downloads.
  3. I didn't manage to register my commercial entity due to work, however I have thought of a name for it and a suitable Dot Com domain is available. I'll discuss this after both the business and domain are registered.
  4. I also didn't quite manage to reach the first milestone of the Earok Engine due to work commitments, however I did get a fair bit done (including level rendering and particle effects) as well as managing a few enhancements for the Derelict codebase (Shotgun has been added!).
  5. I had lunch with Stephen Knightly (AGW Co-ordinator) the other day with another person (I don't want to drop his name just yet, but I will say that he is the solo author of a popular game development language) and the three of us agreed to begin work on a Commercial 3D Platformer for PC.

So, my plans for this month are:

  1. Finish the first milestone of the Earok Engine - basically extracting and refining Derelict's core
  2. Finish the first version of the Earok Editor, which will be made using the Earok Engine libraries itself and could be used to make levels for Derelict or any other Earok Engine game.
  3. Register my commercial entity and it's Dot Com domain.
  4. Release Derelict 1.2, which is more of an evolutionary change then a revolutionary change, simply a set of bug fixes, content changes and minor gameplay enhancements. This should also include the Earok Editor for making and editing levels.
  5. Do a major upgrade to the AGW website, adding more forum functionality and adding mailing lists.

Gamasutra on Pacman

Gamasutra has just released an incredible article about Pacman that covers, in detail, the history, best strategies and programming logic of this legendary game.

The Kiwi's Tale Retro Remakes 2008 results

The results for the "Sequels that weren't" category of the Retro Remakes 2008 competition have been released.

The Kiwi's Tale took second out of the five entries in that category. The final placing of the games has not been released yet but judging from the scores I'm guessing we may reach the top 10 or 20 entries.

The reviews were mixed unfortunately. Some of the judges were a little rough in my opinion, though they do have some valid points - and their input will be used to develop an enhanced version of the game. Regardless, I think Auckland Game Works did pretty well to represent New Zealand at the competition, especially since the Kiwi's Tale is our first released game.

The reviews can be read here

I'm still not sure what prizes we're taking home, though no doubt we'll be battling to the death over them!

Update on Bandwidth issues

Sam Jeffreys (Derelict co-designer and all around cool guy) has kindly offered a mirror for Derelict and The Kiwi's Tale on his personal page, and the links have been updated on the games page. They are here for your convenience:

This should ease congestion somewhat, except that the blogs and websites that they have been posted on will mostly link through to the old location. I would rather not take down the old files as it would be a pain in the ass to people using the old links, but if you want to post either game on your site or blog could you please use the new location?

Thanks to everyone who offered hosting and thanks again for playing.

Earok.Net's sudden unexpected popularity

Well, this month has been interesting.

For the first time ever, I breached my monthly bandwidth allocation for Earok.Net, and had to buy more. Here is my monthly bandwidth usage for every month since the site began:


August 2008 - 2.32GB

September 2008 - 2.20GB

October 2008 - 2.82GB

November 2008 - 1.76GB

December 2008 - 1.93GB

January 2009 - 4.58 GB

February 2009 (So far) - 30.37 GB

I'm very flattered that quite a few people are downloading games from here - collectively, the Kiwi's Tale and Derelict have had over 1000 downloads this month from this site alone, and even my experimental titles (Heart of Ice and Blow Stuff Up) have had 30 downloads each. The games are being downloaded in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Brazil, Croatia, Bosnia and quite a few other places (I need to work on localisation!). 

However, it would be really cool if someone could provide me a temporary mirror for Derelict and the Kiwi's Tale until this whole thing blows over, otherwise I'll probably need to buy yet more bandwidth by the end of the week. If you can help, please leave leave a comment or send me a message through the contact form.

Thanks to everyone for playing my games.

Experimental Game: Blow Stuff Up!

Announcing the re-release of Blow Stuff Up! A highly experimental FPS programmed almost entirely within one week in 2007.

The aim of the game is simply to destroy all buildings and vehicles on a small, Hong Kong-esque Island. It doesn't have any more depth then that. Basically, it's Rampage from a first person perspective.

The game gets repetitive very quickly, however it can be quite amusing walking on Cars, dodging Tank Shells, and making Jets crash into buildings.

The game can be downloaded from the games section here. reviews

Derelict is starting to come into the spotlight a bit, maybe the switch to Drupal also brought much better Search Engine Optimisation!

Asides from the Derelict videos on YouTube, I had two emails recently about it (one negative as the player couldn't work out how to play it, good tuition is admittedly lacking in the game, the other one was positive) but also Freeware games site has given Derelict an overwhelmingly good review on Wednesday: 97%!! The review was can be read here. Also, I think that the posted screengrabs are among the best ever put on the Internet for Derelict.

He also reviewed The Kiwi's Tale on Thursday and, while not quite as positive it is still pretty good (82%). The review is here.

The recent focus on Derelict has convinced me; my next game (and the first game built with the Earok Engine) will be Derelict 1.5, a massive overhaul of Derelict with better graphics, gameplay, story, cutscenes, and yes, it will include Multiplayer.

Stay tuned.

Derelict on Youtube

Youtube user zanguusu has done a series of videos on Derelict, starting from the beginning tutorial mission and going until the first boss. I was quite stoked to see them there!

You can watch them online here. I'll need to ask him how he recorded them so I can do my own trailers. I think I can also study them to see what I can do better with the next release of Derelict, for instance I haven't noticed him using the map-view, should I have made it more obvious that there was one?

I did a fair bit of work on the codebase for Earok Engine/Derelict tonight, the code that generates the bumpmapped walls has been completely extracted from Derelict and re-written in the EE. Next I'll be focusing on extracting the code that renders the walls, so the Earok Engine will be at the state it could be used to make other FPS games with 90 degree architecture (Wolfenstein, Dungeon Master clones etc).


Games back online

Derelict, The Kiwi's Tale and Heart of Ice are once again available for download. Some of my other unfinished/experimental titles will be added shortly.