Saturday, July 5, 2008

VHEL - Update

We have some new info for VHEL fans!
Van Bush is getting ready to post a new in game screen shot by the end of this month, and then possible game play videos by the end of the summer.
Along with that, we have more info about the gameplay mechanics. Here's Van Bush with the latest info.

With in the gameplay in general, it's been divided down to 3 specific parts, including the controls. You can perform Sympathetic, Aggressive, and Stealth actions, and the buttons are named as so.

Sympathetic actions are nonaggressive actions that allow you to interact with your environment, allies, and enemies in a very peace loving way. VHEL is a stealth/ action adventure game, after all, so you'll begin to see this button's value once I get those videos up.

Aggressive actions, as you can imagine, are all very harmful. This action ISN'T restricted to just using it on the enemy. You can also be aggressive towards your allies as well. This mechanic in itself goes way deeper than just your "attack" button.

Finally, there's your Stealth actions, or what I like to call, your "hide and go seek" actions. Press this button in context to a certain environment object, and your allowed to hide behind it. Near some grass? Well hide in the grass. See a bush you think you can hide behind? Well go right ahead and hide in it. But of course hiding isn't JUST about getting behind something and praying no one will find you. It's about becoming the very environment your traversing in. As so, there are many non-traditional stealth manuevers you can perform.
One of them include intentionally acting like lubbby-dubby couple with your partner. Yes, in plain sight, you can act like a couple with your partner kissing on you to make it seem like your just some random group hanging around. Where you'll do this, I won't say for now.

Now, these 3 actions are tied to something very fundamental to the overall foundation of the game. I call this master all of systems "Stress". Stress is, well, stress. We deal with stress on a daily bases and it basically works on an emotional and physical level. When we're hurt, that's physical stress. When we're "hurt", as in emotionally, that's emotional stress. However, stress as a whole is defined not by the types your taking, but rather, it's defined as you as a whole.
What's my point, your wondering? Well the whole idea behind being in a stressful situation and a situation that inflicts pain on you therefore creates stress within a character. Stress affects their intuition, their ability to rationalize the world around them, and their general sense of being. Say for example that someone like Khana hides in some tall grass after seeing a Ragnic pass nearby... Well instantly, her stress is going to increase. It's going to continually increase until the threat is out of the way. The the closer the Ragnic gets, however, the more tense things are going to get. Her heart will start to beat faster and faster, her ability to see will start to stagnate under the pressures of the situation...
Now that's just one example of how stress works, but that's just showing how it works in a general fashion. Everyone has stress and everyone deals with stress -- even Ragnic, so there are going to be alot of moments where you'll be thinking about their mindset, yours, and your allies. Your allie MIGHT be a situation where the pressures of traversal through the wastelands are too much. They might have a nervous breakdown, one of the conditions you can have within the game. Without spoiling much, conditions are basically mental and physical disorders, or aliments.
You see it, and you deal with it the best you can, otherwise, be prepared for some disturbing sights.
Also, the game isn't randomly generating these conditions. All conditions have to be inflicted onto you.

Simple example: If your in the rain too long, you'll get the common cold. If you have the cold, you'll sneeze. That won't help you much if your trying to hide from the enemy, now will it?
Another example is when or after you take down a ragnic...the hard way. Their guts will be all over the place in a very maddening manner. If you "look" at the guts, Khana or her allies can and will get sick from the sight. Their stress will increase until it reaches a breaking point. Well what happens then? ...They throw up.

Come back soon and we will have the latest on the screenshots and videos of VHEL. Remember you heard it here first, at Game Maker Reviews!

We are Back!

GMR is back! I will be posting a bundle of reviews this month, and previews.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ow! We've been poked by an interview with game design mastermind, Cactus.

I contacted Cactus about a week ago about an interview and I was hard pressed to think up questions, a result of that is only two questions with really amazing answers on Cactus's side.
So, welcome one of the most famous Game Makers to the weeks GMR Interview,
Jonatan "Cactus" Söderström.

So, Cactus.
You are a very famous user of Game Maker, mostly for your style of games and ability to release games pretty quick one after the other. I guess most people would like to know first how you can make a quality game in a day and then move onto the next without any trouble... are there any tricks involved on how you spend your time making the game?

Cactus: Well, I don't know quite how to put it. The key is to work your ass off while you've still got the hots for the project you're working on. After you lose your inspiration it's really hard to keep going. Build up a concept that you know will work even if you don't flesh it out or polish the hell out of it. When the game starts feeling like a chore, then you should consider if it's A: Already fun enough to be released B: Worth the pain involved in developing it further. Hopefully you will settle with A and then you'll have somewhere between a few hours to a few days to finish it off (or else there's quite a risk you'd put it on ice and leave it like that for way too long).
If you're like me, you've probably already got a ton of other projects you want to start with, so don't feel bad if the game didn't turn out as good as you wanted it to. Main thing is that it's fun to play and that there is something interesting about the game that will make people like it. If your game turns out to be a complete failure, then you can always make another one. However if you've spent a long time making the game, then the idea of starting another project won't seem like a lot of fun, which is why I recommend short(er) development times.

GMR: VilleK and yourself have teamed up to form Lo-Fi Minds, which is currently displaying the work on Brain-Damaged Toon Underworld.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you hope that happens with this partnership and a little bit about BDTUW?

Cactus: We decided to team up after having some correspondence because we realized that we both want to do similar things, while wishing to make game creation a full time job. VilleK liked my games, and offered partnership along with employment which would keep me from being forced to take a "regular job". So, right now I'm spending several hours a day making games instead of doing something I don't really want to. At the moment we're trying a few different things at once, we're doing a few games in Flash and we're working on a bigger project, which is BDTUW. We've already gained quite some interest for that game, and things are looking surprisingly positive for it. Up until now, the game has been developed in Game Maker, but we've had a few conversations with people which has started to make a port to a more console compatible language seem like it could be worth it.
As for the game itself, it's about a cute little character named Twink who finds himself in a terrible world filled with bizarre characters. It's an indirect sequel to a game I created a few months ago, called "Psychosomnium", and much like in that game things will be centered around a weird plot with some really unconventional puzzles. We're hoping to make the game last for three or four hours, with some unlockable content to add to the replayabillity of the game. But the main focus is to create a game with varied game play and a unique storyline. Unlike the impression the graphics might give you, the game is actually quite dark and not really intended for children. Games intended for "adults" is one of the things I've been wanting to make ever since I first opened up Game Maker, and this will be one of few projects where I hope that will really shine through.

Thanks, Cactus!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

About our ratings

I would like to take some of my time to address what our ratings mean.
Because of the fact that Game Maker Reviews reviews so many different genres of games and programs made with Game Maker, if a rating is more than another please do not think that one game is better than another game with a lower score. Each rating should be individualized as the fact that its rated the way it is, because it represents say 93% of what that specific genre of game should be. Thanks for listening,

- Noobfarm

PS. If you would ever like to get in contact with me about a rating or just have any suggestions, you can email me at

Physics Playground V2 by Physics

Physics are always interesting when you add elements of awesome freeware. Physics Playground V2 was such a great program that I spent at least 15 minutes of my time just randomly connecting dots like a spider web to make one of the coolest scenes ever. The program itself looks very professional and very inviting for new users. The quick tutorial gives you an optional extra help and lets you get started right away. I hope the rest of you have as much fun with it as I did.

Graphics/Interface: 95%
Engine: 90%

Total: 93%


Play Physics Playground now!

Lab 14 by SuperCasey4

Lab 14 is one of my favorite messed up find your way out games, other than Portal.
In Lab 14 you seem to play as a little messed up bunny who only has a head and feet. You try to find your way through each level but the complication is that the levels are never what they seem...

Sound: 75% (The music got old fast)
Graphics: 90%
Game play: 94%

Total: 87%


Play Lab 14 now!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

BURN!!! by Millsa

I consider Millsa a friend of mine, so even if he doesn't think it to be wise of me to review a mini-game on my blog I'm not going to listen. I found BURN!!! on Millsa's yoyo games account whistle I was surfing through, and I decided to play it expecting nothing special. I was wrong. Even though there is no story line, the game play and graphics are excellent. The goal of the game is to burn the stick people on the bridge, using some weird physics and fire.

Graphics: 93%

Game play: 97%

Total: 95%


Play this game now!