Thanks for signal boosting this! I'm really excited to see more of this stuff. Anything that contributes to decentralizing the narrative of games is very valuable! (I like the look of the design, too.)
Posts made by jdm0079
RE: Episode 6: Shawn Hargreaves discussion thread
This was a very cool episode! I remember in high school there was a guy who introduced me to Allegro and was making some fantasy sci fi epic RTS in it. It looked amazing, but I was very committed to ZZT (another community flooded with anti-Barney games) and its programming-but-not-really to feel like I was up to attempting to learn something much harder (and 20 years later a lot of the finer points of this discussion are still over my head). But I loved some of the things that came out of it.
I have always associated a very specific visual quality with Allegro games, though I’m not sure how much that’s inherent to Allegro, how much that has to do with SVGA resolution and 256 color palettes, and how much that has to do with graphic trends among home brewers in the 90s. Actually, the Allegro feeling I imagine is shared a little with OHRRPGCE, another late 90s GCS.
That’s so rad that Shawn has such a passion for making tools to enable others’ creativity, even if not invested in games that much, and has continued to work on stuff like XNA. I owe a ton to people like Shawn, even if I didn’t use their tools, since their contributions to the culture enabled so much of what has inspired me.
Who are you? (The self-introduction thread)
Hi all! I think I actually know who most of you are either from Glorious Trainwrecks or Twitter or familiarity with your games or whathaveyou. But I thought it'd be nice to have a place where we can identify ourselves and what brings us here and all that. I'll start.
I'm John D. Moore. Known as thesycophant at Glorious Trainwrecks and formerly known as Newt in the ZZT community. Born 1983.
I started designing games on paper in the early 1990s with my cousin. These amounted to Mega Man fan games by a kid who had played very little Mega Man but had looked at a lot of Mega Man maps in Nintendo Power. We also made little interactive stories in a program (that I should really write about some time) called Story Maker Plus.
My cousin later introduced me to QBASIC in 1996 and ZZT in 1997. I used QBASIC to program a handful of text adventures, starting with a virtual tour of my family's house. A friend and I actually completed a short one called UFO Invasion that we uploaded to AOL, but it's lost to time, like all the other weird little holiday-themed games I made and tried to make my sisters play. I also made plans for giant Zork-sized fantasy games that never came to fruition. My cousin and I later worked on our magnum opus, a text adventure called Labyrinth of Gromad, but by then I'd grown bored with the complexity of writing a text parser, and left engine-writing to my perfectionist cousin, who tinkered with it until he decided to write it as a graphical adventure in C+ in high school.
I made ZZT games starting in 1997, starting--like as a ZZTer, you were supposed to--with some jokey adventure games, followed by some overly sincere ones. the ZZT community seemed to like my "engine games," though--platformers and Lemmings clones like The Punctuation People and the Zem! series.
I stepped away from ZZT and game dev in the early 2000s to focus on filmmaking, though I played around a little bit with a friend's planned ZZT enhanced clone/successor Bang!.
Beginning in 2009, I started making games with Game Maker, and I was really spurred on by the community events at Glorious Trainwrecks. I've made over 70 games since then. My most recent (and biggest game yet) is Explobers. I'm mostly interested in making small platformers that experiment with novel mechanics, and sometimes games that I think make for fun jokes.
Really grateful to have this space! I'm loving the podcast, and I can only imagine its listenerbase will make for a very interesting community. Looking forward to reading introductions from some of all y'all!
RE: Episode 3: Roman Banias discussion thread
This was one of my favorite episodes to date! Really took me back to the early 90s when my cousin and I would draw and exchange game ideas on paper for hours on end. I wish we'd made more games to show for it! (And I wish I had the aborted builds for what we failed to finish.)
JRPGs and kid-made games really do love to start in bedrooms. I think most my first ZZT games did.
I've taken a couple stabs at messing around with Bitsy, and even tried to make something for the October BitsyJam. Everything I've wanted to do has been way too visually complicated and challenging for me to want to work out drawing each tile pixel-by-pixel (and I ran into some weird placement bugs). It reminds me of ZZT in that way (and in a very basic functional way, too) in that it can take a lot of work to make something that reads very simple. I actually think next time I try to make something, it's going to be with a really stripped down visual sense, maybe even back to the simple dithering shades of the ANSI character set.
I've really admired some of the short games I've played with it. The parameters of the system allow for a really great space to use color and negative space for expression.
I don't want Bitsy to get too complicated, but I do find myself wishing there was just a little more complexity. A few more options and features. But I really dig what it's going for, and what it is as it is.
At this point, I'm waiting to find the right flash of inspiration for a project.