Harvest Holiday Bandwagon

December 29th, 2009, Harvest, Steam

Harvest: Massive Encounter is currently 75% off on Steam!

Get it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/15400/

/ jeb

UPDATE: We’ve matched our own service with the Steam discount, so you Mac users won’t feel left out! The 75% discount will be available until January 3rd. Look here:


Realm of Steel Rats

December 28th, 2009, Challenge Pro Mode, History

cpm4Like many others, I’ve ended up spending over $100 during the Steam Holiday Sales, and I fully expect to buy even more stuff before it ends. One of the things I bought was the iD Software Super Pack, because I grew up with Doom and Quake and wanted to give them another go (however, if I want to play Doom I’d rather download zDoom or some of the other more modern implementations).

When Quake 3 Arena was released, almost ten years ago, I was still playing QuakeWorld with my clan “Underscore.” I didn’t really like Q3A, I thought it was slow and the player movement was bulky. I started working on a mod to get some more QW-like flow, which I called “QWFix.” It was a fun experiment, but I had some severe bugs which made it unplayable for some people (Q3A’s movement code was FPS dependant, a fact that caused some controversy when people discovered the “125 FPS sweet spot” a year later or so).

My dedication to the mod led me to another project called Challenge Pro Mode. It was a mod intended to be used by professional Q3A players and was created by a group of people from the Challenge Network (all sites in the network are now either porn sites or spyware search engines). I joined the team as a programmer, and worked mainly on improving the HUD and adding customizable player colors (a feature that seems to be default in the latest patch of Q3A). I also enjoyed making maps to test some ideas.

One of the maps I made was called “Realm of Steel Rats.” I made it during two weeks more or less spending every wake moment in front of the computer. I got severe pains in my shoulder and missed an exam due to that, but it was clearly worth it. The map turned out really well and is still played actively to this day! The map has received a face-lift by Swelt (sorry, but I do not know who that is), so the official version is now called “CPM4a.” You find both the original and the new version at Challenge-TV.

Now… the reason why I’m writing this tl;dr post is because there are a few things I recall that I thought about when I designed the map. These ideas are mainly focused on deathmatch maps, a game mode that has fallen out of fashion over the years, but may still be applicable to other design areas:

  • Imbalance means Interesting – Maps should have one good and one not so good area. Making all areas too balanced will make gameplay “unstable.” Put several important items relatively close to each other, but it must be possible to break the siege.
  • Symmetry for teh Loes – Simply avoid symmetry, it’s uninteresting. These days most people are making teamplay maps (CTF, King of the Hill etc), which makes it more important to have balanced maps. To make these maps more varied, rotated symmetry is better than mirrored symmetry.
  • Important Stuff should be Easy to Get – Place important items, such as powerups, in hot-spot areas that are easy to get to. It allows for much more intense battles. I really don’t like it when people places the Quad or Battlesuit out of reach, such as down in water pools or high up on a pillar etc.

So… I guess the final punch line of this blog post is that I was happy to see that people were still playing my map! I especially enjoyed the description of the new CPM4a map:

CPM4a – Realm of Steel Rats – CPM TDM map Khaile’s original CPM4 ranks amongst the most played custom teamplay maps ever. Popular in both vQ3 and Challenge ProMode, the Realm of Steel Rats has been used in competitions the world over and hosted countless classic showdowns. This CPM4a remix by swelt replaces the shiny sci-fi texture set with a dirtier industrial set, bringing the visual look of the map bang up to date.


EDIT: In case you’re wondering why it says “Khaile’s original CPM4,” it’s because “Khaile” was my old nick before I grew tired of people calling me “Kylie” :)


December 20th, 2009, Twitter

I posted a while back that I had started using Twitter for my own random thoughts and Oxeye-related news. Now both thewreck and Kinten have joined the tweeting, so a new announcement felt necessary :)

So, if you follow these three people: @jeb_ @Kinten and @vraket, you’ve covered 60% of Oxeye and like 99% of Oxeye-related information! Hooray! In addition, the good thing about Twitter is that if you find us obnoxious, you can simply unfollow us again ;)


My IGF Picks

December 17th, 2009, IGF

IGF 2010

I have had the privelege to take part of the Independent Games Festival as a judge this year, and when I saw (the legendary) Tim W of the IndieGames blog post his ten picks for IGF, I thought that I should do the same! And, like Tim pointed out, this wont affect the results since the first round of judging has already been completed, so no worries!

A small disclaimer, though… I did not try ALL of the 300+ games, so I may have missed some really nice ones in there. For example I wasn’t able to test Limbo (as Tim picked for his list), becase I don’t have a 360 controller.

1. Don’t Look BackIGF Page


I think this game has put a spell on me, but I keep coming back to it and it still brings me a lot of pleasure. It’s very simple and uses only four colors, but still manages to portray an epic story with great precision. I’m looking forward to meet Terry Cavanagh in January (who also happens to be a The Strategist fan)!

You can play Don’t Look Back for free at his site.

2. The Blackwell ConvergenceIGF Page


There were surprisingly many adventure games this year, and like Tim said, most of them were really good. This game caught me a little by surprise, because I hadn’t played any of the games in the series (this is the third one). The dialogue was nice and the characters felt refreshing.

3.  Super Meat BoyIGF Page


I didn’t enjoy the flash version that much, but this is slick. And bloody.

Extra props to Danny B for the music!



Terry Cavanagh’s second appearance on my list! I loved this game, but I found it a little bit too punishing at times. Terry told me he had tried different control settings, and I respect his decision, but god damn you, “The Villi People!”

5. Vessel - IGF Page


I’m not sure if I should love or hate this game, but it has at least made a mark in my memory. A physics puzzle platformer with some nice effects. I think this game could have great potential if they just worked a little more on the artwork and made some of the puzzles less tedious.

6. Broken BrothersIGF Page


An RTS by Michael Todd. I found this game “by mistake” in the long IGF list and realized that I enjoyed very much (yeah, I’m an RTS sucker). The game is in an early prototype stage so far, though.

8. TuningIGF Page


Jonatan Söderströms entry in this year’s IGF. I had the opportunity to have this game presented by Jonatan himself, and I really liked it. He’s a master at adding style with simple elements, and each new level felt fresh and interesting!


(Not) Announcing “Project B”

December 1st, 2009, Cobalt, News

This is our non-announcement of our next game! In other words, we are announcing that we are working on a game, but we aren’t revealing it (yet)… It’s more of a promise of things to come… in the future. Or far future, depending on your attention span. Actually, it’s more of a “we’re not dead, promise!”-kind of announcement, but I digress.

Project B is a game that we have been working on since August this year and plan to have reasonably playable in time for next year’s IGF. That’s highly unreliable information though, but we’re aiming to have it done by March 5, 2011, which would be exactly three years after the release of Harvest: Massive Encounter (and Kinten’s birthday!). Project B’s development is realized by thewreck who does most of the work (and is paid pocket money from our Harvest savings). We others try to help when-ever we have spare time… which is too little *sad*

Anyway, we are not showing anything from the game just yet! We will leak tiny bits of information during the development of the game, but beyond that we will keep this “strictly offline.” That means that we will show you the game, but the game will never leave our own computers. You will have to meet us in person to see anything.

Some minimal information is available here: Project B’s Game Page

And feel free to chat it up in our forums!

/jeb (and thewreck, Kinten, Stalker and aegzorz)

Harvest on ShieldPowerup

November 25th, 2009, Harvest, News

LavaSoft has created a site for selling their AdAware anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-rootkit system bundled together with a bunch of different indie games, and Harvest: Massive Encounter is one of them!

So if you haven’t bought Harvest yet, and are thinking about getting some protection for your computer, this is your chance: http://www.shieldpowerup.com/games?id=5895


Horror Tactics (Prototype)

November 23rd, 2009, Horror Tactics, Lua, Prototypes


We’ve made a new game prototype called “Horror Tactics”. It’s a “move’em’up” kind of game inspired by Games Workshop’s old Space Hulk board game.

The game has been scripted in our DaisyMoon Lua engine, so you can view and edit the source code if you want to change settings or difficulty. The music has been made by Blackspawn.

Please give the prototype a go and give us feedback on what you think about it!

Windows: http://www.oxeyegames.com/files/HT/HorrorTactics.zip

You may also discuss this in our forums.



Harvest 1.17 for Windows

October 25th, 2009, Harvest, Updates & Patches

As I wrote earlier I’ve been working on a new patch for Harvest, and now the Windows version is available from our forums. Please help me beta test it (just let me know if it crashes, mmkay?)! I will upload the Mac version as soon as I’ve got it running.

Check here: http://www.oxeyegames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=490


Working on a Harvest Patch

October 24th, 2009, Harvest, Updates & Patches


I’m currently working on a patch for Harvest. I’m updating this forum post with the patch progress, feel free to suggest other changes as well:


Currently I’m having difficulties with the Mac version, but as soon as those are sorted out I will upload a beta version of the patch (version 1.17). The reason why the patch needs beta testing is that we’ve changed a lot of things in our engine since the last version (1.14, or 1.16 on Steam), and I’d like to sort out any problems that these changes may cause.

In other words… to be continued.


Dawn of Daria Discontinued

September 26th, 2009, Dawn of Daria

It has been a while since we wrote any Oxeye news, so it feels little bit weird to write about a project’s cancellation. However, we felt that it was time that we officially declared Dawn of Daria as “discontinued” instead of “we’ll maybe work on it again, soon.”

I don’t have much of a post-mortem to write, except that role-playing games are very ambitious projects (multi-player or not!) and we never felt we had the time to spend to make it enjoyable. We had some nice ideas that maybe will return in future projects instead.

In any case, Oxeye is not dead! We’ll just keep lurking for a while :)


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