PuzzleScript is a simple, open-source game engine by Stephen “increpare” Lavelle that allows you to easily create turn-based puzzle games using a unique scripting language. The engine is HTML5-based and games can be built and shared (along with their source code) straight from your browser. The graphics, which are composed of 5×5 tiles, are also designed within the editor, in the same manner that levels are defined.
There are already quite a few clever games in the burgeoning PuzzleScript gallery, showing off the flexibility of the engine, as well as its ease-of-use – although some of the developers are seasoned indies (like Terry Cavanagh, Joseph White, and Stephen himself), quite a few of them are from first-time creators (like Jonah Ostroff, who made Heroes of Sokoban, shown above).
Sui Generis is the name of a new RPG from Bare Mettle Entertainment. Well, it’s really just a tech demo at this point, but the engine and toolset behind it are extremely promising, offering powerful physics simulation and impressive procedurally-generated terrain at the click of a button. Combat is also physics-based and while it currently looks quite wobbly (drunken is perhaps more accurate), it seems like great fun, too.
RPG players have a lot to look forward to these days from the indie game development community, with lots of small developers bunkering down for the long-term to develop their dream games. Dwarf Fortress, Age of Decadence, Grim Dawn, Kenshi, Starfarer, and the candy-coated Cube World all show a lot of potential. Hopefully Sui Generis will join them in seeing a successful release some day.
Also, this is probably as good a time as any to announce that Kickstarter has finally opened its doors to the UK.
After four months of hard work the Legend of Grimrock team has released a level editor beta for their first-person dungeon crawl. Due to Steam’s rapid updating capabilities, the editor is currently only available for players who own the Steam version of the Grimrock. To try it out, right-click on “Legend of Grimrock” in your Steam library and select properties. Then click on the “Betas” tab and opt-in to begin downloading the editor.
Almost Human says that it will be available for all distribution platforms after the beta is over.
LabChirp by Labbed is, like Bfxr (which we posted about previously), a tool for synthesizing sound effects. LabChirp is lesser-known than Bfxr/Sfxr, and each program has options the other program doesn’t. I’m not an expert in sound generation at all (although I have used both programs quite a bit, and create the sound effects for my games using them), so here’s my ignorant appraisal of it:
[This is an overly enthusiastic guest article by vinheim that was originally posted to TIGForums. Zelda Classic is an enhanced remake of the original Legend of Zelda that runs custom quests built with ZC's editors.]
Hey TIGers, prepare your anus for a waaaaall of text.
I bet some of you who’ve played the Legend of Zelda series and enjoyed it are probably thinking “Damn, these are incredible, it doesn’t get better than this!” or “There’s no way a LoZ fan game could compete with these.” Well I’m here to tell you that you are completely wrong and it gets better. Much, much better.
I’d like to introduce two types of LoZ fan games. For the rom hack games, I’ve made some short reviews on [a TIGForums] post. There’s one post near the top and another near the bottom. Don’t worry about the negatives, the gameplay makes up for it.
Second, for the Zelda Classic games, which may as well be the pinnacle of gameplay in the history of videogames since forever. These quests take the core engine of LoZ, add some additional functionality, graphics, and music through scripting and the level editor and let their creativity do the rest. One of the unique functionalities is how people have emulated side-scrolling screens.
Here’s some of the best I’ve played. Assume that graphics, gameplay, sound, and exploration is already awesome and the story is mediocre before reading the additional comments.
Stencyl is a newly-released, free game creation tool that comes with a suite of drag n’ drop editors to simplify the development and publishing of Flash games. There’s a big emphasis on collaboration – StencylForge and StencylTalk let you easily share resources and chat with other developers while you work on your project. For designers who are not so fond of drag n’ drop interfaces, there is a “code mode” for Stencyl’s game logic editor that can be used in conjunction with its simplified “design mode”.
Players who own the Steam version of Super Meat Boy have access to the new level editor (look under “Tools” in your Steam Library). For more info, head to the SMB website.
There’s been quite a bit of news recently regarding game engines and game creation tools:
CryENGINE – In an “open letter to the Crytek Modding Community”, Crytek’s Cevat Yerli announced (via Crymod) that a free CryENGINE SDK will be released to the public in August 2011. This free SDK will be well-documented and kept up-to-date with the advances being made to CryENGINE 3. Developers looking to sell their work digitally will be offered “an innovative low-cost licensing model”.
Increpare has modded Tom Vian’s Flash port of sfxr, a simple sound effects creation program by Dr Petter. Aside from the improved interface, as3sfxr-b adds a number of new features, including a playlist of created sounds, triangle waves, and the ability to share sounds with friends via a link. Increpare is currently taking suggestions for the app at this TIGForums thread.
A long-awaited new version of the 3d game creation tool Unity was just released. Unity 3 has a lot of new features, including Android support, a unified editor for all platforms, source-level debugging, and many other improvements to its editor, graphics engine, and assets. Check out the full list of changes here.
The regular version of Unity is free, with the Pro version going for $1500.