La Vida, Blender, Humbleness

La Vida is progressing very nicely. Mike, the lead developer, has done a lot of amazing stuff the past week. An example house is visible if you check out the svn from sourceforge and test out his branch. Find out how to do that here.

We are a bit worried about content being the bottleneck to our continuous development, as we have no models. We tried advertising on the blender forums and there has been no response. I completely understand though, those guys are trying to feed themselves and expecting people to appear and contribute stuff for free borders on ridiculous. Hence right now I am making a primitive avatar model as a placeholder so that we can continue the technical aspect of the project while we wait for content to come in.

This is Blockman

Just a note, I am actually a very creative person, so don’t let my names like visnovel and Blockman make you think otherwise – I just get lazy with certain things.

Anyway, following this awesome tutorial, I got the rigging done and I’m hoping that Blockman will be useful. We shall see.


Finally, I wanted to talk about the Humble Bundle, which is probably the most off topic thing I’ve mentioned yet. Being effectively unemployed and quite poor, I never got around to getting World of Goo, and though I wanted to play Aquaria and Lugaru beyond the demos, I’ve never managed to convince myself to buy them. This gave me the opportunity to give $10 (which is still pretty stingy of me) and feel good about having FIVE SIX games. To date they’ve made over $1 million USD, and I’m happy for them. According to their stats page, each developer made around 135K USD, and using Frictional Game’s blog entry as a guideline, the money should feed them for over half a year so that they can continue to make awesome games 😀

Here are my brief thoughts about each game:

World of Goo: While my input is rarely important, its even less important where this game is concerned. Probably the most successful indie game to date, and suffice to say, I enjoy it. It is also quite evil because I tend to sink lots of time into it when I start it up. Whether trying to get the OCD rating, or just pass the levels. I also enjoy the minimalist and surprisingly sad story.

Aquaria: This probably has the most intriguing story for me of the bunch. The game itself I find really hard and would find frustrating if not for the beautiful music and artwork. To me, Aquaria and World of Goo are the most polished games of the bundle.

Lugaru: The only game I’ve beaten so far. Lugaru is weird. The graphics feel very lacking and cheap, and although it is understandable because it is a 3rd person 3D game, it means that it feels the most like an amateur game. Having said that, the battle system is not bad at all and I stopped noticing the graphics I got really into playing this game. It gets really hard, but the trick is to hold the mouse button and release + click at the right moments. However I quickly found the other weakness… the campaign is really short and honestly, not too well narrated. Still, its a great game when I feel like beating stuff up. Overgrowth, the spiritual successor that is in development, seems to target the issues I described. We shall see.

Penumbra: Probably a great game, but I’m a coward. One day I’ll move into the darkness. Maybe after I’ve beaten all the other games.

Gish: Honestly I’ve only played this for half an hour or so. Very unique, but I’m going to need to figure out the controls better. Feels like when I used to die all the time on Storm Eagle’s level in Megaman X.

Samarost 2: Fun and funny. This is a really odd little flash game, but with really good drawings. Finding stuff to click is annoying but solving the problems is very satisfying. Too bad I forgot the password after my browser crashed.

I guess being the only game I’ve beaten, I had  a lot more to say about Lugaru than the other games.


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