Cottage of Doom reviewed on Destructoid:

Cottage of Doom, winner of TIGSource’s B-Game Competition, is one part shooter, one part tower defense, and one part survival horror. It is, in other words, totally addictive and awesome.

Cottage of Doom’s most interesting mechanic, by far, is the player’s ability to block windows, doors, and entire areas off by moving furniture. Though it sounds like a small thing, there’s literally no other zombie game I can think of (heck, maybe no other game, period) which allows you to dynamically barricade certain parts of a house.

In most zombie games, barricading is a binary thing: you either do it, or you don’t. In Cottage of Doom, barricading is an integral, strategic part of the game. If you don’t keep the right parts of the cottage defended, you’ll get overwhelmed quickly. If you don’t destroy certain barricades ot get ammo from them, you won’t be able to take out the encroaching zombies. If you can’t strategize and find a good balance between blasting the undead and maintaining your barricades and doors, you’ll be screwed.

The barricading system almost makes Cottage of Doom more of a strategy game than an action title. Blasting zombies is fun, of course, but the gunplay never gets any more complicated than “click on this zombie a few times to kill it,” while the barricading gameplay has an incredible amount of depth and nuance. I’m not typically one to enjoy thinking in my zombie games, but Cottage of Doom tricked me into loving every minute of strategic, furniture-moving glory.

Thanks Anthony! Glad you liked it 🙂

Efficient game development in C#

Some good articles plus a free library were posted up at Bitterman’s blog. The articles cover making your game development more efficient by using various tecniques allowing you to modify stuff while the game is running, helping out with your debugging, profiling etc. Great articles that may teach you a thing or two about some nice features of C# too.

Efficient Development – part one
Efficient Development – part two
Efficient Development – part three
Efficient Development – part four


Dyson plans

Thanks to everyone who left feedback on Dyson.

I’ve been discussing Dyson with Rudolf, who is the chief designer on this project. The plans we have laid out for the game design actually incorporate many of the ideas that people have fed back after playing the game. Partly it’s because they’re great ideas and we want to give people what they want, and partly it’s because we had already planned to put these elements of the design in.

Among these additions will be a limitation of how far you can expand; more emphasised attribute effects; interface improvements; defensive structures; improved enemy AI; more visual feedback. Hopefully when we’re done, we will have a more rounded and complete game. If you’d like to know more, do feel free to write to Rudolf or me. We really love getting feedback.

I’ve been on a break after the competition deadline, but I couldn’t help messing around with a few bits of code to make the trees look nicer. This is an early prototype of the code:


I took a month out from Deadrock to participate in TIGSource’s procedurally generated content competition.

I teamed up with a good friend of mine and we are quite proud of what we ended up with.

Dyson is a kind of RTS about taking over an asteroid belt. There’s even some procedural content in there that may be useful for Deadrock, so the time taken to write the game was definitely not wasted in Deadrock terms.

Here are a few screenshots:


You can download the game here.

All feedback gratefully received!

The official competition thread is here.

Town generation baby steps

I’ve been working on town generation for a while now, since the last update. I did a bunch of internet research and I have a bunch of links to throw up on the blog here but I haven’t written it up yet. So here’s an update of what’s been going on.

A week ago:

And today:

What you are looking at is a broad plan of the town – these are large lots into which smaller building lots will be placed. The generation process is fairly simple and goes like this: first I generate a population density map, which is a combination of a cloud of points with an area effect and Perlin noise. Next I distribute some road seeds across the map. These grow outward and branch into smaller roads if they don’t collide with another road. I then distribute building lot seeds over that and grow those at different rates until they can’t grow any more.

Next stage is to put some lots inside the lots I have already made, and then move on to building generation, which I reckon is going to be much harder 🙂

Fluid dynamics

I’ve collected a bunch of stuff relating to the fluid dynamics work I did with Hardcore Computer Simulator, and from previously when I was working on a water game prototype. The end of the story was that I didn’t implement a new version of any of this, but the links are cool and I reckon that it’s only a matter of time until there are games with proper fluid dynamics that aren’t just a bunch of particles or the sand algorithm. I’ve collected them all here both for future reference and for anyone else who’s interested in this topic.
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Programming games, games where you program to win

In the aftermath of Hardcore Computer Simulator’s canning, I’ve been working on some fine code for Deadrock – proper camera frustum culling, for a start. But I thought I’d post a few things I’ve been looking at that are related to HCS. In this post you can see some games where the main gameplay interface is a programming language. I haven’t tried any of these games, but some of them look terrific.

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