Christmas has come early at Chequered Ink! We've released a new puzzle game. Turn on all the Christmas lights to discover amazing patterns. There are 120 puzzles to play through and the game is completely free! It was developed for Android and iOS, but we have also released a PC version exclusive to itch.io. Find the links for all three here: https://ci.itch.io/xmas-lights-fix-em-up
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Both of us in Chequered Ink are quite fond of prototyping board games, but we've not really got too far with them. Actually, our first ever project together was one called Rounds - I bought a pack of blank cards, wrote dumb things on them, and drew a rudimentary board on it. In that (also drinking) game, you collected dice. It was... okay, but it wasn't great, the end game was terrible, half the cards were awful, and it would have been a nightmare to either get custom printed without it costing a fortune, or present it in another way other people could play.
That game has lurked in my head for some time, though. And recently it led me to morph the idea a little - instead of making dice a commodity, why not make their rolls one instead? That fixed Rounds' terrible endgame and reduced its complexity. But with Procjam coming up, the idea of replacing Rounds' cards with a board that filled in as you went along clicked. I checked with the jam runners if entries had to be software, and they confirmed it didn't - so I thought it would be novel.
And the rest blossomed from there! I came up with the best way I could think of making a reusable scorecard, and every game component, out of just a handful of pieces of card and some common stationery, me and the other half of Chequered Ink spent a couple of nights testing it, I redid the board and some of the cards after the first to standardise the game's language and make it more generally playable, then built a PDF so other people could download it, make it, and enjoy it themselves too - something Rounds never had (and was worse anyway)! 😄
That's fair enough! Like you say if someone is building their game from scratch they can always go for 14x14, I just wondered why you'd gone that route. I do really dig the style, I'd like to see a game made with this sheet.
It looks really nice, I love the choice of color palette.
Can I ask why you chose a size of 14 x 14 though? A lot of devs will have chosen a power of two for their game grid, 16x16 might have secured a bigger market.
I should have posted here well before the game was 80% done *ahem* introducing: Gyro Boss DX!
The original Gyro Boss was a surprise hit for us on Android getting >175,000 downloads (and still going). We just wanted to create a fun little project with simple controls and BOOM it took off.
And now? now we've rewritten Gyro Boss from scratch with improved controls & weapons, improved graphics, and a multiplayer mode for PC & console.
What is Gyro Boss?
Your home planet is under siege from a band of intergalactic pirates led by the fiendish Gyro Boss! Unfortunately your technology is no match for this deadly beast and his crazy weapons. Every game is doomed from the start, but you'll fight with honour to complete your mission objectives and achieve the best possible score. Dodge an endless assault of weapons as you orbit around the boss on a fixed circle, it's not as easy as it looks.
Mission Objectives! The original Gyro Boss had one simple goal - beat your high score. We realise that for some people, high scores just aren't enough. So now you can complete 50 objectives in single player mode. When we bring the game to Steam, these will be full Steam achievements.
Party Mode - this is the BIG difference between Gyro Boss and Gyro Boss DX. We've added an all new multiplayer mode, designed from the ground up for PC and consoles. In this mode 2-4 players can battle the boss in a variety of mini games. Each mini game adds a twist to the regular game play. Collect the most coins, shoot at the other players, get killed on purpose, etc. The first person to win 5 rounds is crowned the champion!
What still needs to be done?
Hey, this is supposed to be a devlog, not an advert! So what's left to do?
- Create a short opening & closing cutscene to give the game more of a back story. At the moment it thrusts players straight into the gameplay.
- Tutorial upon first entering a single player match (very brief).
- Add unique music to the game. The game currently uses the same music as the original, creative commons music from Free Music Archive. We want the game to have its own soundtrack, but at the moment our budget is limited.
- Add Steam achievements for the objectives and Steam leaderboards for single player high scores
- A few other minor tweaks and fixes
- Full robust testing / QA pass from start to finish.
- Get feedback from posts like this and ponder over the suggestions made by the community! :P
In future, some time after the PC version is released:
- Implement mobile controls and publish on Android & iPhone
- Port to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (subject to approval, of course).
Lovely little entry - fun to see a game very similar to mine that nonetheless was done differently. This had some great enemy varieties, controlled responsively and sounded great. There were a couple of issues with the generation though - sometimes runs were imbalanced and I'd come face to face with a room teeming with enemies at the very start, other times it was quite easy for a while. On one occasion I also spawned in a starting room that had no exits.
Fun entry overall though, good work!
Interesting puzzle idea, although I found it unintuitive - it seemed like it was easy to get the game stuck if, for example, you put out the wildfire on Level 1 too early and prevented a clear path to the cabin. It could also maybe have done with things like auto-advancing turns if you had nothing else to really do.
Nonetheless, it was fun once used to it and had a lot of charming little things - the ability to rip Bernt's head off with the helicopter was a hilarious touch. Nice work!
What a lovely, adorable little game! I was expecting, the moment I saw "Get 200 coins", for it to be one of those where it expected me to only be able to find 198 and either scour the world top to toe to find the last ones, it was great how much leniency there was - although the taunting message outdoors telling me my ample 268 coins still left 70 or so unanswered for almost made me turn around and do that anyway for completion's sake.
Cute graphics with a gorgeous colour palette, responsive if imperfect controls... it really just needed sound!
What a strange, unique and intriguing idea! Beautifully presented, controls well, and fun to get into (although quite a niche audience would appreciate it I imagine).
I think it could do with a couple of things - clarity in what the buttons do (eg having a tooltip pop up) and an in-game version of the tutorial GIFs you provided would be great - perhaps even a simple walkthrough with your first restoration. Understandable that neither of these were possible either due to the resolution or the time constraints - the game is very deep so I imagine it took a lot of dev time already - but would be nifty additions to an updated version.
But they are minor problems on a stellar Jam entry. Unlike anything I've ever played, and excellently made. A lot of fun too. Superb job!
Works a lot better at 64x64 than the "Low Rez Edition" made out - went in expecting a game clearly just designed bigger then exported smaller, found myself in a game that, for its simplicity, was absolutely superb at generating an eerie, unsettling atmosphere with its aesthetic and its sound design. Definitely feel like this deserves expansion - there's not a lot to it as is, but a game of this style and this atmosphere has masses of potential.
One thing though, that I couldn't work out if it was a technical issue or just a confusing feature - every now and then (long before the game fades to red) I would get teleported around the map, and it threw my bearings off a lot.
This was pretty great, apart from one major issue for me - the camera. I'm not sure why, but the joltiness of it made me feel almost motion sick - I wonder if, with how the levels were generated, it might have been a better move to make the camera's X axis follow you but the Y axis lock to your current level.
Apart from that, I could tell it's a great game. A lot of variety, a lot of fun to play, with well crafted procedural generation that never felt unfair, presented in a very pretty art style with good sound and music and good use of the 64x64 resolution. Great work!
Neat idea, difficult to review! I've played it on two days and feel like it's probably just different veg and different fortunes if I held off and tried it again on subsequent days, which appears to be the point. Nice work, and not like anything I've ever seen in a jam before!
Beautifully done - an interesting and fresh take on Snake, that becomes surprisingly devious with its puzzles, is presented intuitively, drawn and animated wonderfully and makes great use of the resolution restriction. It controls as well as you could ever hope for a game like this to - it's the whole package.
All I have to say that's negative are the smallest nitpicks - I wish the snake's tail moving was a bit more immediate, I sometimes had to pause to see if I'd left myself enough room, thinking I hadn't, but then the tail moved. I also kept wanting the song to transition into Another One Bites the Dust.
That's all I have negative to say against this otherwise incredible entry!
Played this directly after its predecessor. Such a weird situation - I don't think I've ever seen someone's jam entry be a sequel to a game they entered in the same jam! Unsurprisingly, this is a lot better - appreciated the ability to shoot vertically and the continued authenticity to the 80s computer limitations both of your games were based off. Could not get past the "boss" though. Good job (again)!
Despite the resolution not matching, I loved the authenticity of this game's '80s computer aesthetic, down to the weird colour palette "limitations". Played well too, even with its simplicity. Good job!
Beautiful game, created wonderfully with a couple of major letdowns. The keyboard controls were quite cumbersome - would have loved to have been able to use directional arrows for movement rather than having my hands hunched around WASD and Q/E/R. I also found that a couple of screens had enemies very close to their "entry point" and I would glide into them and die before I really had a chance to react. Would have loved some sound and music too.
Nonetheless, they're small problems in a game that is beautifully presented, making excellent use of the small resolution and generally feeling like an excellent, polished game.
Interesting idea, and fairly well executed - although the AI seems very difficult to beat, kind of wish that either my firing was automatic or they weren't constantly firing. I felt like I could only score against them with luck. Beautifully presented and fitting sound, and loved the title sequence.
Took me a small while to work out exactly what the goal was, however once I got it, it was hard but a ton of fun. On top of that, it used the 64x64 restriction excellently, was a beautiful game overall, played well, and the music and sound design perfectly matched it. This game is pretty much the total package - incredible work.
Interesting idea, broke my brain a wee bit for a while but I got the hang of it, tending to try and find places where a cross of five pipe pieces were clearly out of place all at once. The presentation's kind of crazy, but I'm really fond of how in-your-face it is! A couple of issues with 64x64 adherence though, eg pipe rotations were too smooth, but it's not a major hindrance because the game is clearly intended for 64x64 and fundamentally works at that resolution.
Echoing other comments, I wish this had sound. Incredibly fun little game once you've got to grips with how each obstacle is dealt with, presented gorgeously, and doesn't feel limited at all by the 64x64 resolution. Wonderful.
Yeah, I found the three records. However, I couldn't get them to play - I could interact with the gramophone with a record equipped and it would insert it into it, but then the only actions I could find to perform were ejecting it again or replacing it with a different one. Is there a way to hit play on it to play the equipped record?
Went in blind, did not expect the game to turn into Fez! Nicely done game, constructed as well as a game of this degree could ever be expected in a two week development period. There were quite a few resolution issues (around the character and some sprites, and several misaligned text characters in dialogue boxes), which was a shame - I feel like it would almost have actually been prettier if it had been perfectly capped, and was definitely designed well with the limit in mind. But this has the potential to go very, very far if you kept working on it.
Gave me a strong F-Zero vibe! Interesting idea with a lot of potential and a few flaws - I didn't understand any of the in-game text or HUD elements (wasn't sure if it was an invented language or just a blocky downscaling) and the AI was too hard, able to take 90 degree corners immaculately while I was sliding all over the place, losing health every time I lost where a corner was.
Plenty to like here as well, though. The MOD music is ace (and the sound design is well-fitting), the graphics while simple are very clear and made the lack of text a non-issue, and the actual feeling of the game - the smooth and easily-grasped controls with the physics of the player - is lovely. Great work for two days, could be excellent with extra time!
Seems like it has a ton of potential, but as it stands I had problems. It definitely seemed like the game was made to be a lot larger than 64x64 and was compressed down, with a lot of effects like missile trails being anywhere from thick, visible lines to near invisible occasional dots and the ship itself being very flickery, even when zoomed in. I played for several minutes and didn't find a single enemy, which hampered my experience - actually flew from end to end of the "universe" and only found one large ship other than the one you start near, which seemed to neither react to me firing repeatedly at it, nor fire back itself. I'm guessing there is combat in the game from the screenshots, but I couldn't locate it.
I'd love to see how this turned out with extra content added, some helpful additions like an enemy tracker etc, and probably most importantly, a resolution upscaling.
This was really lovely, if a little short. It took a few seconds to work out what everything was, but even without text, it was fairly intuitive to work things out. Not really sure how to activate the gramophone if it is actually activatable though - the only music I heard was at the very end of the game, and it seemed the same whether I finished the game with a record in the gramophone or with none in it at all.
Really pleasant experience though.
Interesting idea I'm sure could be expanded on successfully! It didn't appear to abide by the 64x64 resolution at all though, sadly. A lot of sprites were smoothed, others were big, and the title was far clearer than 64x64 - which is odd, the thumbnail suggests otherwise, but in-game it's really smooth.
Difficult one to rate for me, I'm absolutely awful at 15 puzzle even at the best of times, and with these, I have very little concept of what the solutions are actually going to look like - I doubt I'd be that good at finishing them even if I could just swap tiles from anywhere jigsaw puzzle-style. A very choice few people would almost certainly appreciate the sentiment of the game though, and it appeared to be well-executed and well-built.
Great use of atmosphere, although I do feel that the 64x64 resolution was a hindrance to it - everything eerie seems to become less so when it looks so cute! It's beautifully made, as well. Would have liked a sensitivity control for the camera, it was very quick, and I was kind of confused overall - I made it to the locked gate twice and was sent back to the start, and on the third attempt, I took a different route and ended up running into a minor jump-scare.
I imagine with a resolution bump and some general fleshing out, this would have a ton of potential for fans of horror games. Commendable entry!
Quirky take on Sokoban and the sliding puzzles in games like Pokémon, and enjoyable. Clearly laid out, artwork was minimal but appealing, one thing I did notice though was that the help screen ever so slightly breaks the 64x64 rule by scrolling too smoothly - the game seemed to be fine in essence, though.
Interesting take on that type of puzzle, clear and easy to understand even at the 64x64 resolution. I do kind of wish you could use the mouse to orient the camera to help with trickier/quicker turning though.
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Some of the earlier games in the pack used drag and drop (back when I was still learning the basics) but most of them are written entirely in GML, especially the newer ones. I can't say there's any one single way to learn GML. Mostly if I wanted to do something and I couldn't figure it out I just looked up online tutorials and the answer stuck with me. I guess I'd advise the following:
- Look for D&D to GML converters (here's one on itch) and try getting into the habit of replacing simple D&D actions with the relevant line of code.
- Look for and download a few very simple demo projects written in GML. Some come with GameMaker already, some are available on the Marketplace. A lot of demos are well commented, so it should help you learn the code.
- Set yourself a few simple tasks to learn before diving into any complicated game mechanics. A lot of the tasks required for puzzle games make good learning tools. For example a "lights out" style game is quite easy to make in GML.
Hope that helps!