Immune Defender

This is a game where you control a living space ship inside of a planet-sized organism that is being attacked by robots. In effect, you are part of the organism's immune system.

You have the ability to "mutate" between three forms.
  • A charging beam that powers up as you charge it
  • Missiles that explode and do lots of damage but have a low rate of fire
  • A sonic wave that does little damage but pierces through multiple enemies

The goal is simple: Defeat as many robots as you can. When you defeat a wave of robots, another wave spawns.

  • Movement: Arrow Keys
  • Fire Weapon: Space Bar
  • Charge Beam: X
  • Missiles: C
  • Sonic Wave

This entry will be done during day 7 and also the evening of day 6.


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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 2.4
Fun: 2.2
Production: 2.8
Innovation: 2.3

3% respondents marked the game as not working.
Respondents: 25


File Uploader Date
Incomplete, but final version :( Sorry, guys...
Akake 2011/09/17 21:09
Some new features (possibly final, probably not, though)
Akake 2011/09/17 19:47
Movement and Mode Changing
Akake 2011/09/17 10:37

Diary Entries

Warmup Game 0: Zen Breed

Well, after some issues with Panda3D during the other compo, I've decided to give Pyglet and Cocos2D a go. I've had performance issues with Pyglet in the past, but only with games that I wrote. (IE: Others' games worked just fine) Because of this fact, I'm giving Pyglet and Cocos2D another go, and if all goes well will use them for the upcoming compo.

I've decided that after a bunch of burnt-out warmup game attempts that I need to focus on things that I might actually do for PyWeek. To this end, I've come up with something that I've honestly wanted to do for a long time: An Alien Breed clone. I've tried to do this before (it was actually the subject of my first attempt with Cocos2D), but this time I'm going to give it my all.

Because it's just for warmup, I'm going to give myself two weeks to make it. That is, I'm giving myself until 2PM GMT on September 7. (I started at 2PM GMT today, which is 10AM where I'm living)

It will have the following features:
  • Movement in 8 directions (left/right/up/down + diagonal)
  • Multiple weapons
  • Multiple types of baddie
  • Two bosses
  • Two sets of levels (each with 12 levels)
  • Customizable colors (Game graphics are done in grayscale, which you can choose colors for)
  • Alien Breed-style terminals
I'm hoping that I can make this happen. I really am.

Currently, I have a tileset for walls, and will make one for floors. I also have sprites for the player holding an assault rifle.

Peace, love, and the simple things in life

--- Akake

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Here's What Let's Do - OR - Some Ideas for the Compo

It's time for some game concepts for each theme! Yeah!

More Criticals
  1. An RPG where your characters gain an increased critical hit with layers of critical hit (IE: 2x damage, 3x damage, etc.) as they level
  2. A shmup where your weapons can have critical hits, given by powerups

Mr. Fixit
  1. A puzzle platformer where you have to repair an ancient civilization's machines in order to escape from its ruins
  2. A run 'n gun where you are a robot who gains allies by fixing "broken" enemy robots
  1. A puzzle game where you command little creatures that mutate between several distinct states do so... well, something
  2. A platformer where you play a character who mutates to gain abilities
Mysterious Stranger
  1. A beat 'em up where you fight alongside a mysterious stranger to fend off enemies from his mysterious past...
  2. A dating sim about trying to seduce a mysterious but beautiful female stranger and possibly even win her heart (this would benefit from Ren'Py, but I'm not sure we're allowed to use Ren'Py)
  1. A dating sim where you are a scientist trying to seduce an alien woman.
  2. A visual novel where two feuding women whose sons are best friends must try to move past their childhood rivalry for the sake of their children.
So, yeah. In case "negotiator" wins, can we use Ren'Py? It's only kind-of sort-of coding in Python. It uses Python scripting for logic but uses its own language for base functionality. That'd be nice to know.

Peace, love, and the fate of worlds,

--- Akake


A General Idea - The Concept of the "Code Painting"

I've recently begun thinking about how to structure a game. I've stumbled on an idea that I like and that lends itself well to very simple games.

I took the name of this idea from my philosophical blog. I call this a "code painting."

The basic structure is simple:
  • Game exists only in the play state
    • No menu states
    • Play state usually becomes idle when not playing, but some concepts may benefit from the game constantly running
  • Menus are drop-down and triggered by the F* keys
    • F1 is for the "help" menu
    • F2 is for the "configuration" menu
  • Game concept is very simple
    • Keyboard input should be arrows plus no more than four other keys (ideally only one or two)
    • Mouse input should only use left and right buttons
    • Joystick input should only use the d-pad (aka "hat stick") and no more than four buttons (like for keys, ideally only one or two)
    • Content is either very simple or procedurally generated (or a mixture of the two)
This lends itself, again, to very simple games that may not benefit from a menu state. Also, because the play state becomes idle when the game is not being played (unless the game works better running constantly, such as some "indirect interaction" games), the game can be picked up and played, then put down for a while.

In developing these, I will try to focus on less violent concepts and more on concepts that have some kind of artistic quality. I'm not going to be pretentious about it (I hate pretentious art), but I will try to do something that could be considered art.

At the moment, I am working on a C++ library for these, but I am also planning to make a Pygame port. If I decide to enter the Pyggy Awards, I will use that to work on the Pygame port of this library. The PyWeek version of my game will not use that library, though.

I'm also working on a specification for this library, which I will post when it is reasonably complete. However, I am writing the specification as I implement the library rather than writing it up-front. I will use it to keep my ports of this library (I may also port to Flash and possibly Java) consistent.

Peace, love, and ambition,

--- Akake


Akake's Entries (Definite Ideas)

With both my post about "code paintings" and Cosmologicon's post about "locking in" his ideas, I'm going to "lock in" my ideas as well.

In the order they appear on the voting page...

More Criticals: You are taking care of a garden, but there are things that you must do which are critical to each plant's growth. For example, a certain flower may need pruning or it will wither, whereas a vegetable might need fertilizer. Some plants may start to require more specialized care as they grow. In its idle state, plants wither a bit but eventually return to a very small state. Also, when plants absolutely need watering, but the game is idle, it will start to rain. The "critical" comes from the fact that the plants require this care and it is "critical" that you give it or they will do badly. The "more" comes from the fact that the plants will require more of this specialized care as they grow.

Mr. Fixit: You are a member of a construction crew that builds houses. However, the other guys are awful at it and you need to go through and fix their mistakes. This means fixing faulty wiring, patching up bad pluming, and repairing bad floors and walls. When you have finished, you can move on to the next house. If you leave the game idle, your character will go off and take a lunch break until you start playing again. The game will use guided procedural generation to make each house.

Mutate: You are a little animal that mutates in various ways depending on what you encounter. If you are in cold places a lot, your fur gets fluffy. If you spend a lot of time climbing, your claws will grow to let you grip things. The game will use guided procedural generation to make each game world, and each game world will have a different climate and topology which lend themselves to different mutations.

Mysterious Stranger: You are a dog that is following a strange man in a long coat and a fedora. You must be sneaky because if he sees you he will stop and pet you, and you won't get to see where he is going. The game will use guided procedural generation to make a continuous world. The game will not let you go too far from the stranger, either. If you fall too far behind, he will stay idle and probably wander around a bit.

Negotiator: You are a man who is talking to a beautiful woman, trying to seduce her. You have a limited vocabulary (a set of symbols which she also uses) and have to think carefully. Neither of you are going anywhere, though her behavior toward you will change with her feelings. If you leave the game idle, she will gradually drift toward a neutral feeling, but if she is feeling intensely in either way the drift will be very slow.

I like these for the most part, but the one for "Mutate!" is my least favorite. My favorite is the idea for "negotiator" since it's fairly unconventional. (A dating sim without text or an ending is unusual, I think)

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Overall Goals and Strategies

I've decided that I want to spell out my goals for this coming PyWeek. It'll help me have a direction to take my ideas in, rather than just haphazardly making them. (the ideas in this post I made are still in effect unless... well, unless I change my mind, to be honest)

Here are my goals, briefly:
  • Learn to make good pixel art
    • Painterly style rather than stereotypical game style
    • Good animation
    • Nice terrain tilemaps (I struggle with this one)
  • Prove the concept of the "code painting"
    • Demonstrate the "single game state" concept effectively
    • Show a feasible way of handling menus
  • Create an unconventional idea
    • The idea should not be stereotypical of games
    • Avoid violence, prefer peaceful activity
    • Use gameplay rather than story to communicate
  • Communicate a feeling or idea
    • Related to above, use gameplay to communicate
    • Use feelings not often found in games, EG:
      • Romance
      • Nurturing
      • Industry
      • Peace
    • Do not preach, but show instead
These are hopefully going to be goals that I can carry through. Well, hopefully.

Peace, love, and project planning,

--- Akake


Adaptive Critter - A Portrait of an Animal

It looks like I'm doing my idea for "Mutate!" It was my least favorite, but I can learn to love it all the same.

Here's the premise: There is a little creature that mutates according to his environment. He can jump, run, and dig. Some places are hot, some are cold, and some have medium temperature.

In cold, his fur gets longer. In heat, his fur gets shorter. In medium temperatures, his fur goes toward medium length. If he is too hot, he gets exhausted. If he is too cold, he shivers and slows down.

When he digs, his front legs get stronger and his back legs get weaker. When he jumps, his back legs get stronger and his front legs get weaker. When he runs, his legs even out. If he digs when his front legs are weak, he digs slowly and gets tired easily. If he jumps when his back legs are weak, he does not jump high and he falls down easily.

This is meant to be a portrait, and if you leave the game alone the creature will wander and entertain himself without your guidance. It's kind of an interactive, moving painting.

This is meant to have a painting-like art style.

I'm hoping to place well, because I'm feeling competitive. ^_^

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Day One... Let the Games Begin!

It's the first day here in the EDT time zone. Time to get moving.

I will accomplish the folllowing for sure:
  • Get a thing moving on the screen
  • Get some preliminary character art for the creature
  • Get some very minimal work done on my terrain tileset
I would love to accomplish:
  • Get the player character moving with platformer movement
  • Get a test world together
  • Get the world generator to make the "test" world
Forward, onward, and upward. Get ready...

Nobody blink...


--- Akake

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Toward the End of Day 1

I have lots of half-implemented features, all critical to the game. I am bouncing between them, which means that this thing is gonna go through a phase where it's coming together really freaking quickly because I'm finishing all of these different things.

Part of that is the artwork. I've got several hours' worth of player character art to make and probably another several hours' worth of terrain and backdrop art. When I get that completely finished, this thing is gonna fly together for a while. Until then, progress will definitely be slow. After that, it'll follow a more sane pace.

Here's how the game works. Every map has three regions: Hot, temperate, and cold. There are also three tiers of terrain: Underground with dirt that the creature can dig through, the ground with room for the creature to run, and the trees with branches for the creature to climb on.

His body varies in two ways: Fur length and leg strength. Heat makes his fur shorter, cold makes it longer. Digging makes his front legs strong and his back legs weak, jumping makes his back legs strong and his front legs weak. Moderate temperatures make his fur approach medium length and running makes his legs balanced. If his fur is long, he gets hot more easily and if his fur is short, he gets cold more easily. If his front legs are weak, he gets tired easily when digging and if his back legs are weak he does not jump very high and gets tired easily from jumping. When his front legs are strong, he runs awkwardly (kind of the way a bulldog runs) and if his back legs are strong he hops (like a rabbit); if his legs are balanced then he runs quickly.

Each of these mutations has two levels; the first level is somewhat specialized where the second is very powerful but gets in the way otherwise.

When the game is left alone for about thirty seconds with no input, the creature will wander around and behave however he wants according to an AI routine.

I'm hoping to have the base gameplay (platformer stuffs) done by Tuesday afternoon. That will involve the medium fur/balanced legs player art and the moderate temperature, above-ground terrain art.

Peace, love, and personal growth,

--- Akake

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Lower Standards -> Less Stress

It's time to lower my minimum standards!

I've decided that I need the following at a bare minimum:
  • Hot, moderate, and cold areas
  • Platforming gameplay
  • Fur length variation
  • A dirt-simple procedural world
Anything beyond this would be great and I'll definitely pursue it. On the other hand, if I only make it this far, I'll be happy.

Peace, love, and relaxation,

--- Akake

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End of Day 2 - Nothing Done Today

I'm really embarrassed. I have gotten nothing done today. This is really upsetting for me, but I'll try not to rant too much.

Nothing. Nothing done for my game.

I'm really sorry. I give myself a really low chance for completing this game. I don't know what to do next.

Peace, love, and a third noun,

--- Akake


Beginning of Day Three - Anxiety and Low Hopes

So, after looking through the godawful mess I made of my code in the last couple of days (yay coding while depressed!), I need to take what little I had gotten done and start over. The problem I'm facing is that when I try to get down to coding, I feel a really intense anxiety and have difficulty getting anything done.

I know I just have to soldier through it, but it's hard to do anything right now. I keep having these flooding thoughts of self-doubt and it gets hard to think about anything else. I hate this feeling.

I hate this fact, but I'm beginning to wonder why I wanted to do this in the first place. I'm anxious, tired, and depressed. I can't sit down to code because I freeze up and my hands start shaking, I can't think about my idea because my head gets flooded with anxiety and really awful thoughts, I can't really do anything right now.

I am extremely unlikely to finish this game. I'm sorry. :(

--- Akake


The Beginning of Day 4 - For Today...

Well, it's the fourth day. As of right now, I've got nothing. My code was such a tangled mess that I will start over. Ah well, learning experience, am I right?

For today... I hope to have an app that displays some terrain. Other than that, displaying a player character would be cool.

It's not much, but my game won't be much. I'm happy, though. :)

Peace, love, and best regards

--- Akake


A Final Effort - A New Game

Having effectively failed at my first idea, I've decided that the time has come for action.

I have come up with a simple idea that should work well and that I can get done quickly. It is a Defender-style shmup with a living space ship flying inside of a massive super-organism fighting invading robots. The player's ship "mutates" between three weapons: A charging beam, missiles, and a sonic wave attack.

I started about an hour ago but I have a fair amount of the base code done.

The graphics will be done in Inkscape because I am much faster with vector graphics due to my inexperience with raster art.

Peace, love, and fighting 'til the end,

--- Akake


I Can't Continue - I'm Finished with this One

I'm exhausted. I've tried coffee, I've tried taking a walk, I've tried taking a nap. I'm just exhausted. Headache, lightheaded, aching arms. I'm done. I can't think clearly, I can't even force myself to work. My body hurts.

Here's what I accomplished:
  • Made something like a game
  • Will not have another "DNF" on my PyWeek record
Here's what I didn't get done:
  • Have a complete game
  • Work for an entire week on a single game
I'm sad that it ended up this way. I really am. :(

Still, I've learned some things. I've learned that art-heavy concepts aren't my strong point. I've learned that the "code painting" idea is something that I have over-though. I've learned that I can't force myself to work non-stop without hitting a wall. I've learned that a lot can go wrong in a week.

I've also learned to not waste time during a compo! I wasted so much time on days 4 and 5 that this was almost inevitable. That's embarrassing, and I won't do it again.

So... I'll see you folks in the ratings. Please be gentle, I know my game is incomplete and missing major features, but I tried. It does have the theme, though...

Peace, love, and refusing the Pyrrhic victory,

--- Akake

A "Pyrrhic victory" is when you succeed but lost so much that you might as well have failed.
If I were to continue, I wouldn't gain much in this length of time and I'd just be even more tired. Hence, it would have been a "Pyrrhic victory" for me.