Feb 22, 2017 - Magni

When Thor passed, Loki went into himself and that’s never good for a guinea pig. So, we quickly got him a new friend - Ragnarok - who sadly passed just a few days afterwards. Since we already knew that Loki had to have a cage mate, we went looking for another one; and somehow ended up with two. Cupid and Magni.

Magni was a rescue pig. His previous owners had given him up for adoption citing “lack of personality” though more likely, as he was a long haired piggy, was lack of effort on his owners. He was in need of a haircut and a bath when we got him; bathtime being something he came to love!

We had almost three years with him. Throughout that time we pretty much came to the conclusion he had a few things wrong with him. He was deaf, to begin with. When fireworks were let off, both Loki and Cupid would hide, whereas Magni would bounce about - obviously feeling the rumblings in the floor and enjoying that - and hearing nothing of the explosions. He may have also been partially sighted as he very much relied on sniffing your hand to know who you were. If you were feeding him, you had to make sure he sniffed your hand, or you’d give him a bit of a shock when he turned round and sensed your hand there. Finally, he likely had heart problems, as there would be occaisions of him “hooting” … though typically, would stop when we went to check on him.

Contrary to his adoption reason, he was full of character. Much like Thor, Magni did things in his own little way. He would pile up the hay and then proceed to dive through it, frequently being found in the morning underneath a large pile of it. Being a long hair, he needed a haircut every now and then… he wasn’t too pleased at this in the beginning, but grew to accept it - especially since he usually had a bath first. Of all our piggies, Magni was the only one that throughly enjoyed the bath. He’d even attempt to swim in the basin, all smiles and chirps.

We have no idea what happened to him. The night before he passed, we noticed he was making a strange sound and was drooling a lot - thinking he’d chipped a tooth from his over eager drinking from his bottle ( he never quite figured it out properly, and would always chew it to bits ) so were going to take him to the vets in the morning to see about getting it fixed. We cleaned him up and he got a bit of a blow dry - smiling all the time and loving the hot air as usual. Unfortunately, as morning came, he was hiding in his pigloo, and couldn’t move. When I picked him up, he felt so limp and fragile. While we rushed him to the vets as quick as we could, we had already known by that point there wasn’t anything that could be done. So we had to say our goodbyes.

For a guinea pig with a “lack of personality”, Magni did pretty well for himself. He had a few issues, but took them in his stride up to the very end. Always having a cheeky face, and sometimes being a bit of a mad possessed mop when needing a haircut. Whether his heart problems finally caught up with him, we don’t know. But he’s at peace now, and likely with Thor and Ragna, and having all the baths he wants.

Magni's Bathtime

Magni's Bathtime

Jan 10, 2017 - That was 2016, that was!

Another year goes by, and not a huge amount done… Well, actually, I tell a lie. The Badgers actually released a couple of things!

First up is Sploosh! http://arcadebadgers.itch.io/sploosh This was done for the LowRezJam, and I went for a Gameboy like aesthetic. It placed relatively well, but I botched the controls up pretty well, so it didn’t get as much of a play as it perhaps deserves. Should probably have another look at this later, and fix up the controls.

Then there was Snake-A-Roid http://arcadebadgers.itch.io/snake-a-roid This was a Mini LudumDare entry, which was to mash-up a few different games to see how it worked. As you can guess, I went with Snake and Asteroids. It had no right working as well as it did, so I set about updating it and released a newer version ( for $1.50 ) with multiple arenas, couple of game modes, different controls, and more powerups. Still adding to it - I’ve plans for two more large updates, as well as porting to other platforms - so may bump the price up a bit.

I also attempted the 1bitjam.. had a good idea for it, and some design work laid out, but the quick turnaround and lack of time sadly killed it off. Still have the design stuff so would like to have another look in at it.

Also… GameMaker:Studio 2 launched! That took up quite a bit of time as of course, the day job comes first. But it’s more or less released now, and it’s just some finishing up work on it before final release ( we’re in Open Beta just now. ) Seems to be doing good though, and proud of the small part I’ve played in it!

What else? Oh yea.. illnesses… I gained a new one! Cluster Headaches! Though I suppose technically, I’ve always had them, just didn’t know what they were… now being medicated for them and they’ve not bothered me since. I also thought I’d avoided the seasonal flu… until it hit me a week before Christmas break, and is only now clearing up. Seems like it decided to go for my chest and sit in there. So hasn’t been the best of Christmas/New Year breaks in that regard. Stupid flu…

So, plan for this year. As always, try and make the Badgers self sufficient… this requires actually releasing things and making a bit more noise about it. Both of which I find difficult with time constraints, but will be giving it a damn good go as always. Main plan is to add two large patches to Snake-A-Roid this month. One adds a set of Bosses to the end of each arena - plus a boss run mode, naturally - and another adds yet another mode, in the vein of an “Arrange” or “Black Edition” - and stashes off the powerups until you explicitly use them. Certainly adds that strategic edge. After that, it’s porting to various other platforms.. likely Mac, Linux and Android to begin with, and go from there.

I’d also like to try and push out some other games - ideally one a month, starting from February, but we’ll see.

At any rate, here’s hoping 2017 has things settle down a bit.

Jun 14, 2016 - Mid Year Madness

So, it’s the middle of 2016 already.

The original plan was to start pushing out quick games in January, focus on something more substantial in February, start a bigger project in March to carry through to May, then start over again with some prototypes, pick some to develop, etc…
That didn’t work.

But that’s just life.

Funnily enough, we’ve actually been relatively active recently.
While the original idea of quick prototypes, further develop then polish one didn’t quite come to plan, we have released two quick prototypes in the past couple of months.
Sploosh! - http://arcadebadgers.itch.io/sploosh
Snake-A-Roid http://arcadebadgers.itch.io/snake-a-roid or http://gamejolt.com/games/snake-a-roid/153761 if you want to show off on the leaderboards

Sploosh! was done for the Low Rez Jam, and runs at 64x64 upscaled to 512x512, and is a little homage to Scuba Dive on the Spectrum. I quite enjoyed it, and though I managed to make a mess of the controls ( it wasn’t obvious where you were swimming ) I’d like to return to it - or the idea of it - to develop further.
I worked on this on and off through two weeks, doing all the art, sound, music and code. Just what I needed to break my codeblock!

Then we did Snake-A-Roid.
This was quite quickly pushed together in a little over two days and just worked off the bat.
Ironically, I thought it was too hard to begin with so slowed it down - where some of the feedback stated it was easier than they expected - ho hum!
That said, this one worked out really well, so have taken it to stage two - adding extra features, various platform support, and general rounding out to take it to store for selling.
I have it running on Android, there’s leaderboard support in for various services, 360 pad support on Windows, new power-up/downs, difficulty levels, and customisable controls.
So yea, Snake-A-Roid is coming.. probably add DX or something to it so that the original one can stay free and playable.
I reckon I should have it ready for the end of the month, barring any new madness that life brings.

After Snake-A-Roid… there’s a couple of projects to look into.. as while January didn’t quite work out as planned, I did throw together a bunch of little prototypes to test things throughout the months.
These include such odd things as:
Grubs - a sortof gameified Marble Solitaire meets Bejeweled type thing.
Moons of Subterrane - a remake of an old Ludum Dare entry I did.
Munch Munch Munch - A mobile specific game that I can only describe as Hungry Hungry Hippos meets Guitar Hero.
Blast Zone - a Defender-esque thing.
Invade - a reverse space invaders that didn’t quite work out, but did spawn an idea of a Tactics style varient.
PowerOUT - a remake of another old project I did.
Shot To Ribbons - meant for the 1bit jam, but didn’t finish it.. wrote a chunk of the outline for it though, and would probably return to it.
Smoosh! - an endless vertical climber/runner thing.
Metal Boa - Snake vs Robotron, and amusingly started before I did Snake-A-Roid - which is Snake vs Asteroids.

So one of them is likely to be next.

Will see how I feel at the end of the month once Snake-A-Roid is released.