niallmoody.com Niall Moody's personal website. http://www.nialmoody.com Gravity Series Released Hi! It's been a while since I've had any news to post. I've just uploaded the collection of local multiplayer games I made for the recent makega.me pageant to itch.io. I'm treating this as an experiment; I've set the itch page to pay-what-you-want, to see if people are willing to pay for an unusual collection of multiplayer games. If I manage to earn £100 from it, I'll spend a bit more time on the games and expand them in various ways. Realistically, it seems unlikely I'll hit that target, but I think it's worth a shot. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/gravity-series-released Pedalboard 2 Hiatus Announcement I just sent the following email out to a bunch of people as my inbox was clogged up with Pedalboard 2 requests. Figured I should make it public too: Hi, Apologies for replying with such an awkward form letter, but I've let my inbox get so backed up with Pedalboard requests/bug reports that this is really the only way I'll ever be able to reply to everyone. Long story short, Pedalboard development is on indefinite hiatus and has been for a while now. This is partly due to a lack of motivation on my part, but mainly because I have a number of other projects that have a far higher priority. In addition, I always developed the app primarily for myself and as things stand it does pretty much everything I personally need it to. I've added any feature requests and bug reports I've received to my todo list, but it's unlikely I'll act on them any time soon. It is entirely possible I'll resume work on the app at some point in the future, but for now, development is halted. Hope this news isn't too disappointing, - Niall Moody. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/pedalboard-2-hiatus-announcement What I Did This Year Making a list of the things I made this year mainly to prove to myself I did actually get things done, despite my feelings to the contrary. Click the titles to go to the things. Triangle vs. Square Technically I released this at the tail end of 2012, but no-one played it so I'm including it anyway. It's a very simple local multiplayer game with asymmetric controls and a deliberate 3-tone colour palette. I really like it, and judging from the response when I showed it at the DCA in November, other people do too. 4 Goose 2 Feather The first of a series of audiovisual sketches I made towards the beginning of the year. Related to this and this. DANCETIME! A ridiculous looping music maker/dancing simulator. FLASHING COLOURS. blissm Born from an error in my scaling code. I love this thing. So Many Jagged Shards The biggest thing I did this year, and probably the thing I'm least satisfied with. It was designed to be a slightly clumsy, awkward thing, and it plays like a slightly clumsy, awkward thing. I can't tell if I should have spent more time on it, or less. It did get an amazing write up from Porpentine on RPS though. All Their Fever Dreams Audiovisual sketching for up to 4 players, controlled via gamepad. It's kind of gorgeous. Minimal 2 Player Game A minimal local multiplayer game. It's designed to surprise you, so the less I say about it, the better. Hint: it's not (exactly) what it looks like. OSCAvoid A very simple proof-of-concept about using Open Sound Control to create a networked multiplayer game. It led directly on to... EXCOSC game jam My first attempt at hosting a game jam, and well, it wasn't exactly a huge success. Don't know if I'll attempt to host a jam again. You can download the game I made for it (Gunpowder's Kiss) at the above link. Starlit Shoot-Out A simple local 2-player duel. I think it's pretty effective, and I'm really happy with the music :D All Will Be Artists A zine I made to try and sum up my thoughts about music and where it might go in the future. It was meant to get me started on a big music-related project I've been mulling over since the end of 2012, but it's now almost 2014 and I still haven't started on it :( The Moon is My Lover & I Sing a Pretty Song Another wee audiovisual sketch. I wrote a folk song for this one. Martin Swift Swallow Martin Swift Swallow by Lonesome Monsters An EP I made with my band Lonesome Monsters. It's a bit of an odd one, essentially being a whole bunch of separate recordings condensed and merged into 3 tracks. I think it's kind of cool though. Screaming Snakeball Tournament Edition An updated version of Screaming Snakeball that I took to GameCity. It got the most amazing response (as you can hear from that video). The link goes to the original (non-tournament edition) version; I'm still trying to work out what to do with the tournament edition. I'm tempted to put it up on itch.io for a couple of pounds, but it has such esoteric system requirements that I'm not sure anyone would buy it. Gunpowder's Embrace A (local) multiplayer version of my EXCOSC game. This also went to GameCity, but it wasn't particularly successful. Unreleased. Pretty Creatures A 4-player local multiplayer game with a boardgame-style traitor mechanic. I'm really pleased with it. I'll hopefully be taking it to Lucky Frame's Tacos, Bluegrass and Videogames thing on the 11th. Hummingbird An odd thing: a top-down shooter with no enemies, no score, and no time limit. I'm still working on it. It's very pretty, but I'm worried that I'm starting to lose motivation on it, and it's the kind of thing where I have no idea whether it'll appeal to other people at all :\ Huh, that's actually quite a long list. I didn't even realise I'd done so much. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/what-i-did-this-year Open Sound Control Games I've just released a new game called OSCAvoid. It's a very simple thing, but the interesting part is that it's Open Sound Control-aware, meaning that you can play it in networked multiplayer. It also means you can easily connect other OSC-aware things to it and have it interact with them. ...which leads on to the really exciting part of this post: Starting on Saturday, I'm running a game jam explicitly for OSC-aware games. I'm hoping it's going to lead to all sorts of unpredictable emergent interactions when we hook all the games up. It's going to be fun :) See the TIGSource thread for details. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/open-sound-control-games So Many Jagged Shards Final I've just uploaded v1.01 of So Many Jagged Shards. Barring any bug fixes, this will be the final version. I did have plans for a lot more (see ToDo.txt) but I came to the conclusion that adding more stuff was really just an attempt to distract from the fact that the central mechanic isn't quite strong enough to sustain the game. So this is the final version. The game can feel a bit empty at times, and the narrower corridors can be frustrating if you haven't quite mastered the controls, but I think there's still a bunch of interesting things going on in it. There's a character editor which saves characters as svg files, together with an unlimited version of the editor which unlocks after you've completed the game once. I'm really proud of the sound, which incorporates a synth based on my Brush Strokes VST plugin, 2 granulators, a delay, a bank of 8 tuned comb filters, a tanh-based distortion and a simple polyphonic wavetable synth. There's 5 different final levels, chosen according to how you've played up to that point. There's also a special alternate level which happens when you do something (I did want to do more of those). And of course the whole game is rendered as flat-shaded triangles, which I still think is really cool :) http://www.niallmoody.com/news/so-many-jagged-shards-final A Sudden Burst of Productivity It feels like I've hit a really productive streak all of a sudden. Three things I've made in the past month or so (click the titles to go to their pages): 4 Goose 2 Feather An audiovisual collage piece. DANCETIME! A looping music maker/dancing simulator. blissm This is my favourite of the three. Gorgeous spiralling colours and drones. ...and I should be releasing the (probably) final version of So Many Jagged Shards at the weekend too... http://www.niallmoody.com/news/a-sudden-burst-of-productivity Minimal 2 Player Game It was Ludum Dare again last weekend, and I made a game for it. The screenshot and description are deliberately deceptive. Here's a video that shows more but also includes MAJOR SPOILERS: http://www.niallmoody.com/news/minimal-2-player-game Le Castel d'Épervier From John Mandeville's Book of Marvels and Travels: In this country there's an old castle, on a crag, called Le Castel d'Épervier, between the cities of Ayas and Parcipia, of which the Lord of Korikos is the ruler and he's a rich man. In that castle a hawk can be found sitting on a finely wrought perch with a beautiful lady from Fairyland keeping it. Whoever keeps watch over this hawk for seven days and seven nights (some say three days and three nights) all alone will be visited by this pretty lady at the end of the seventh day (or the third day) and she'll grant him the first material thing he requests. This has been attempted many times. So it happened one day that an Armenian king, a courageous man, kept watch over this hawk and after seven days, the lady came to him and asked him what he wanted, as he had performed his duty very well. So the King replied that he was a great enough lord and totally contented and wealthy, so he wanted nothing but the body of the pretty lady with which to do as he desired. She said that he was a fool, for he knew not what he was asking for; he could not have her because she was not an object, and she asked him to request a material thing. The King said he wished for nothing else. So she said to him, since he wouldn't ask, she would grant something to him and all his descendants, and she said, 'Your highness, you'll have war without peace for nine generations and you'll be in subjection to your enemies and you'll lack provisions and income'. And ever since that time all the kings of Armenia have been at war, in need of help, and under tribute to the Saracens. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/le-castel-dpervier Pedalboard2 v2.13 Hey there! I've just uploaded a new version of the Pedalboard. This update's mostly about MIDI. Here's the main features: MIDI learn for application and plugin mappings. Per-plugin MIDI channel filtering. Optional Event Log for debugging MIDI and OSC issues. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/pedalboard2-v213 The Evening of Guarding the Horses When it was still active I would have posted the following on the Super Friendship Club Sources of inspiration thread, but I can't do that now, so instead I'll just post it here where no-one will ever read it :( So I've been slowly working my way through the Carmina Gadelica, and I came across the following about the feast of St. Michael: The people do not retire to rest on the Eve of St. Michael. The women are engaged all night baking struain, on household matters, and on matters personal to themselves and others, while the men are out and in watching their horses in the fields and stables. It is permissible on this night to appropriate a horse, wherever found and by whatever means, on which to make the pilgrimage and to perform the circuiting: Theft of horse of the Feast of Michael, Theft that was never condemned. The people act upon this ancient privilege and steal horses without compunction, owners and stealers watching and outwitting and circumventing one another. It is obligatory to leave one horse with the owner to carry himself and his wife on the pilgrimage and make the circuiting, but this may be the worst horse in the townland. No apology is offered or expected for this appropriation provided the horse be returned uninjured; and even if it be injured, no adequate redress is obtained. The Eve of St. Michael is thus known as feasgar faire nan steud (the evening of watching the steeds); feasgar furachaidh nan each (the evening of guarding the horses); oidhche crothaidh nan capull (the night of penning the mares); oidhche glasadh nan each (the night of locking the horses) - hence also glasadh na Feill Micheil (the locking of the Feast of Michael). It's like an alternate version of The Castle Doctrine, only without all the unpleasant libertarian trappings :P http://www.niallmoody.com/news/the-evening-of-guarding-the-horses Burn Out It's 2013 and I'm feeling pretty burned out with game development. This is partly down to my ongoing failure to settle on a big project I could conceivably make a living from. But it's also because even when I release small games that I'm genuinely proud of, it feels like a real struggle to get people to play them (obviously I haven't helped matters by focusing on local multiplayer games in recent months). As much as anything, I think I'm really feeling the loss of Super Friendship Club. Being on Twitter has helped a bit, but it's no substitute for a good forum, and of the other forums I'm (slightly) active on, I've never really felt like part of the community the way I did with SFC. Anyway, I've decided I'm going to take a step back from games for a while. To help me do that, I'm hereby publicly abandoning all the unfinished projects I've had hanging over my head. These are all things I've worked on during 2012, and they're all playable to a greater or lesser degree, just incomplete. As usual, source code is released under the GPL v3; art, music, text under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Meaning you're free to use anything here for your own purposes, but whatever you make with it has to be released under the same licenses. Esther Darwin I've written about this one before. I'm sorry to let it go because I love how it looks, but I've lost the motivation to see it to completion. Download for Windows + source Meadow This is my latest attempt at creating a kind of musical garden; a longstanding preoccupation of mine. It's very basic but I think there's a lot of potential in the way events cascade and create organic loops/patterns. I doubt I'm finished with this, though it will probably take an entirely different form when I do return to it. Download for Windows + source Phase Drift This is the hardest one to let go. For a large part of 2012 I was convinced it was something really special, but I think ultimately it was too unfocused and that lack of focus had a deadly impact on my motivation. The most experimental, notgame-esque of all the things I worked on last year. Download for Windows + source Tank You! This started off really exciting, before it became clear the crazy combination of pickups didn't really make for a particularly fun game. TIGSource devlog here. Download for Windows + source Tank You! 'n' Stuff A modified version of Tank You! which fixes most of the gameplay issues with the original, by stealing wholesale from an old Amiga game. Download for Windows + source Tones The oldest game here. It's crying out to be played with a touchscreen, but I never got far enough with it to start on the iOS port. Things I had planned: puzzle sections with specific arrangements of tones to herd, graphics overhaul, different game modes, alternative tone generators etc. Download for Windows + source I abandoned the following games earlier in the year, but it feels like they belong here all the same. BlobVaders A space invaders game with procedurally-generated enemies, and the beginnings of a dynamic strategic overview. The combinatorial, procedural logic behind this was a direct inspiration for Tank You! SFC thread here. Download for Windows Download for OSX Download source Caterpillar Music The first of the games I made at TIGJam UK. A pretty basic music toy. I had plans to make each of the icon pellets alter the sound in some way, but I only implemented about 4 out of the 16. Download for Windows + source Fish Meadow The second of the games I made at TIGJam UK. Local multiplayer. Each player chooses a fish sat on a slippery flower, and the last fish on screen is the winner. When a fish falls it will be assigned a letter. Hit that key on the keyboard to jump it to another flower. Hold space to remove the letters from falling fish and prevent fish already on flowers from falling until it's released. Download for Windows + source http://www.niallmoody.com/news/burn-out Game Plot Inventory So mcc made a big list of the plots of her games over here and invited others to join in. Here's mine, organised roughly into shared categories: Kill Things Die, You Stupid Hurdlers! Trip up hurdlers and crush them with a wall. Plort Descend a dungeon and kill something(? - I can't actually remember what happens on the last level). Tile Massacre SHMUP Build levels; kill all monsters. Neon Lights Kill everything. Step Sequencer Kart Various; mostly kill everything. Pastarena Kill everything. Search for Things The Lost Hebrides Search for a lost archipelago. The Lair of Fungal Wonder Investigate a fungal cavern. The Divine is Hidden Behind the Noise of the World Gain understanding. No Longer Subject to Judicial Review Determine the killer by reading newspaper reports. Make a Better World Stop Killing Each Other! Try to prevent 2 armies killing each other by building a wall and encouraging others to help you. Caverns of Light Bring light back to the world. The Future Will Only be Dystopian if Capitalism Remains Undefeated Foment a revolution. Luciente's War Kill nurses to protect the future. Only Play Explosive Transcendental Circulatory System Just play. A Song in the Void Give birth to a song. Pointillist Flow Play. Escape Safari Park Escape Escape from safari park; evade re-capture. Rainbow Space Donkey Escape Return to your donkey herd. This is the Way Get to the exit. Labyrinth Find the exit. Misc For Queen and Country Stake claim to an island. Wall Jump Time Sphincter Box Set Wall jump through time w/really awkward meta commentary. Screaming Snakeball Beat the other player. Dwindling Worlds Save a series of worlds which are dwindling away to nothing. Looking back on my games like this, I'm a bit disappointed so many of them are about killing things, and that I've done so few that belong in the Only Play category. I really want to make more elaborate and satisfying games that are purely about play. The category that's interesting to me is the Make a Better World one, because I think those are the games where I wear my heart on my sleeve the most (excepting Caverns of Light). And because I think I tend to approach that plot differently to the typical 'save the world' plot so many games have. Where most games task you alone with saving the world in a fairly standard hero's journey setup, that kind of individualism ("Only you can save the world!") has always left me uncomfortable. In the real world change is the result of people coming together and supporting each other. These games try and reflect that; you play a small part in the overall struggle, and if you want to succeed you need others to help you. I want to make more games like this. As an aside, I re-played Wall Jump Time Sphincter while I was writing this, and it turns out that is one embarrassingly bad game. Expect it to disappear from this site as soon as I figure out how to delete things from the app engine database. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/game-plot-inventory Screaming Snakeball released It's been quite a while since I last released a game, but I just released this local multiplayer game for the TIGSource Sports compo. I'm actually really proud of this one; I think it's one of the strongest games I've made and it's a lot of fun. I'm hoping I can convince one of the UK games conferences/gatherings to put it on, because I'd dearly love to see it played with a decent-sized crowd cheering the players on. The original idea behind the game was to make explicit that connection between fans and athletes, where the fans' cheering gives the athlete a mental boost. In Screaming Snakeball that cheering gives the players a literal boost; they move faster, their snake tail grows longer, and when fully powered up, they can smash through their opponent's tail. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/screaming-snakeball-released Pedalboard bug fix release Just updated the Pedalboard to fix 3 bugs that appeared with v2.11. See the changelog for details. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/pedalboard-bug-fix-release Pedalboard2 v2.11 I've just released a new version of Pedalboard2. The highlights of this version are: Bypassable processors! There's now a bypass button for every plugin or internal processor, which should make it a lot easier to toggle plugins on and off. A new Looper processor. This is designed to let you record and playback seamless loops, of theoretically infinite length (though in practice limited by your machine). Support for MIDI over OSC, meaning you can now trigger plugins from external apps such as IanniX. There's also various bug fixes and a couple of additions to the Misc Settings dialog. Sadly this will probably be the last Pedalboard2 update for a while, as I really need to concentrate on my other projects. I will definitely return to it in the future though. In the meantime, here's a short video of an IanniX score triggering and manipulating some plugins running in the Pedalboard: http://www.niallmoody.com/news/pedalboard2-v211 Esther Darwin's Journal Continuing on from my previous Esther Darwin post... Esther Darwin is going to be a game about stories, with the player collecting multiple short stories in a journal as they go through the game. What makes this exciting for me is that - because of the game's multiple branches, and the different environments for each day of the week - every player's journal will be unique to them. The order those stories appear should be different for everyone, and the larger story those short fictions point towards will take on different meanings as a result. I don't want that story to be tied solely to the game's UI though, so I'm going to include a tool which will extract the player's journal from the game and save it in Open Document format. That way players can open it in e.g. LibreOffice and play with the formatting, print it out, and create their own physical copies of their journals. Because handmade books are precious, vital things. So alongside the game's release there'll also be a simple bookbinding tutorial video, and hopefully people will share the journals they make. Anyway, here's some of the books I've made in the past, to give an idea of what I hope will come out of this (click for bigger): Also, the game's one of the contenders for the Bundle In A Box Indie Dev Grant. If you vote for me it'll make me very happy (and if I win the money will go towards buying a replacement for my broken scanner/printer, which has slowed development since the graphics are all scanned-in ink drawings). http://www.niallmoody.com/news/esther-darwins-journal The Complete Writings of Mme. Esther Darwin This is one of the games I'm currently working on. It's a surreal adventure of sorts where the player takes the role of Esther Darwin as she travels to various outlandish places and writes about their inhabitants. The final game will incorporate multiple branching paths and hidden sections. It will also - inspired by Michael Brough's VESPER.5 - present the player with different environments and events dependent on which (real life) day of the week they play on, and certain specific days of the year will present their own unique settings. I think this will probably be a commercial project, but here's links for it in its current (very early) state: Download for Windows (6.14MB) Download for OSX (9.49MB) More here http://www.niallmoody.com/news/the-complete-writings-of-mme-esther-darwin Small music update I just upgraded the website slightly, so I figured while I'm here I might as well post my most recent Pedalboard2 sketches: I'm thinking I might collect these sketches into a larger piece at some point (the tumbleweed's tumbling over at Giant Bear Tracks), but I've got no concrete plans at the moment. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/small-music-update Small Pedalboard2 Update Hi! It's been pointed out to me that I forgot to include the source code in the most recent Windows zip for Pedalboard2, and that there was a ridiculous bug in the MIDI program changing. So I've uploaded a fixed version. We're now up to v2.10. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/small-pedalboard2-update Pedalboard2 v2.09 finally released This took far longer than I had anticipated, but I've finally put out a new version of Pedalboard2. The main changes are: Plugin preset support. This also includes a facility to save user presets for any plugin and have them automatically appear in that plugin's preset list, for any instance of the plugin. Full documentation (this is why this release took so long). A basic metronome component. http://www.niallmoody.com/news/pedalboard2-v209-finally-released