In my quest to think up more mini games for Brain Party, I've been looking at the old 8-bit consoles -- a top source of ideas for simple but still entertaining gamelets. Meandering around in Argos last weekend, I came across the N-Joypad, a dinky little battery powered 'TV game' device for the astonishing price of £9.99. Claiming to have 59 games on 'compact discs', the machine's box is plastered with screenshots of basic games with NES-ish graphics, and describes the 'awesome' entertainment contained inside.
Mike and I have had a busy weekend of... yes, you guessed it: programming! Brain Party is fantastically fun to work with, and, to a growing extent, fantastically fun to play too.
When I posted my last blog entry there were four mini games to play: colour sorting, Dance Dance Revolution, Whack-a-mole and Trout Blaster. It's now five days later and, my friends, we have fifteen minigames that are ready to play. That puts us over a quarter of our way towards our launch goal of fifty minigames!
That is a compliment indeed coming from Andrew Gregorian Chant Esq. Although I must admit, Mike does look great in his suit - more Don Corleone than Don Johnson I reckon. Mike also has a strange look in his eye that reminds me a little of the Rabbit of Caerbannog
I still wear my Linux Format T-shirt with pride. Oh yes!
Mike, like many geeks I fear, usually wears all black; is very sunshine-averse and seems to subsist on a diet of jalapeno crisps, burgers and beer. Not only does he remember a host of obscure eighties computer games, he can tell you who wrote the music; he's even writing his own operating system. In machine code.
Rather than go out into the sunshine during my lunch break, I did some Brain Party hacking. Fixed some bugs, added the code to make windows movable by clicking on the titlebar and dragging, and, in 20 minutes flat, wrote a Trout Wars minigame in 128 lines of code.
As I mentioned before, Graham, Mike and I are working on a cross-platform, multiplayer puzzle game written in C# and backed by SDL. This is my second major project using SdlDotNet, so it's a very comfortable environment for me to be programming in - code just seems to fly out to make things happen. But, as always, I spot a few niggles where I stray into new territory.
Before I talk about the niggles, I want to tell you a bit more about the Brain Party project.
Fine. Thanks. And how's yours? It's goin' great thank you. Yep. My propa English has slipped, and I'm going American. It took about 5 minutes before I started to say 'Can I get?' rather than my regular 'Could I have?' I now say 'sure', and when I asked for a cinnamon scone with my Starbucks this morning, I tried the local dialect, 'Can I get a sco'wune with that?' Sure thing.
Graham is in Merka and has promised to make numerous blog posts about his experience. I haven't blogged for quite a while, so I figured I'd best get in quick before his posting frenzy begins.