n i a l l m o o d y . c o m
open-source games and apps
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:
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.
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.
A ridiculous looping music maker/dancing simulator. FLASHING COLOURS.
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.
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.
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
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.
A (local) multiplayer version of my EXCOSC game. This also went to GameCity, but it wasn't particularly successful. Unreleased.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
A looping music maker/dancing simulator.
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...
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:
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.
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.
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,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).
Theft that was never condemned.
It's like an alternate version of The Castle Doctrine, only without all the unpleasant libertarian trappings :P
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I abandoned the following games earlier in the year, but it feels like they belong here all the same.
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.
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.
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.