n i a l l m o o d y . c o m

open-source games and apps

Gravity Series Released

8/6/2014

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.

Pedalboard 2 Hiatus Announcement

15/1/2014

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.

What I Did This Year

31/12/2013

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
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
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
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
EXCOSC game jam flyer
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
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
All Will Be Artists zine
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
The Moon is My Lover
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.

Gunpowder's Embrace
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
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
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.

Open Sound Control Games

14/8/2013

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:
Exquisite Corpse Open Sound Control game jam
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.

So Many Jagged Shards Final

26/6/2013

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 :)

A Sudden Burst of Productivity

20/6/2013

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
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...

Minimal 2 Player Game

3/5/2013

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:

Le Castel d'Épervier

22/4/2013

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.

Pedalboard2 v2.13

22/4/2013

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.

The Evening of Guarding the Horses

9/4/2013

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