Many game developers are suspicious about alternative controllers, believing that since they can’t be easily mass produced, they are useless. Well, this is the story of how an Arduino got me to San Francisco for free. Twice.
Some games are not about puzzles or mechanics: they’re about emotions. This is surely the case of Fragments of Him, which explores how the loss of a loved person affects the life of four different characters. Since when I saw its first trailer, I’ve been very excited about this game. It’s interesting, for once, to play a game which has something to say. Even more interesting is the choice of SassyBot Studio to feature a relationship between two men. In a gaming culture where women are still under-represented, LGBT characters are even rarer. During Develop:Brighton I had the chance to talk with Mata Haggis (lead designer) and Elwin Verploegen (lead programmer) about this aspect of the game. Fragments of Him is a game featuring a relationship, which happens to be between two men. As Mata told me, is “a game about love, made with love“.
When it comes to save the world, there aren’t that many options available. Especially when you’re an anthropomorphic purple rabbit from the future. This is the main reason why, on the 6th of May, I joined BunnyLord’s Snazzy Fantastic Global Megaparty at Loading Bar. That, and the free pizzas.
If you have missed it – spoiler alert! – it was a success. Even despite the fact it could have been mistaken for a UKIP pre-election party. I blame the purple rosettes for that. And the purple ties. And the purple balloons. And the purple rabbit in the middle of the room.
The final release of 0RBITALIS is a few weeks away, so I decided to bring it to London Indies, one of the most relaxed game meetups in London. Despite being a Bank Holiday, I still managed to introduce the game to quite a few new players.
With its Steam release approaching, the coding on 0RBITALIS continues in San Fancisco. This week the game has been demoed at GDC 2014, in the alt.ctrl.GDC section. Yes, 0RBITALIS landed in an exhibition about alternative controllers. The game is playable with mouse and keyboard, although all the people who stopped by at my booth could have a glimpse of how to launch a space probe with its own, custom made controller: the MCMC. The decision to showcase the game at alt.ctrl.GDC has been taken quite late. The main reason is that Flash does not allow any easy way to communicate with the serial port, preventing me to attach the controller earlier. Luckily, I found an Adobe Native Extension for Arduino that is compatible with the Teensy 3.1 micro-controller I am using; that helped me a lot. No, seriously: a lot!