Gamocracy Dev Diary: Week Four

Greetings, citizens of our beautiful gamocracy!

The Bearded Ladies are back to full capacity after last week’s unacceptable sickness. (This european gamocracy should really have better universal healthcare ;) ).

So this here is a little of what we have been up to this week:

“Programmer admits error”


The week began with me admitting to a mistake. This is the first and last time this will happen ;).

The mistake(bug) in question broke old maps if new tiles/entities were added to the worlds in a certain order. This was discovered a few weeks ago but I pushed it aside claiming that we weren’t really going to make any real maps for a few weeks anyway.

Sadly those few weeks have gone and the art department (Kalle) was showing its fangs. So I had to spend the first part of the week rewriting large parts of the map and editor code which was a drag; but, like always, this allows you to add a few new features as well (iterative development ftw!).

After this “boring” part it really got much better. We nailed down some core design decisions (which we will show next week) and I got to play around with the winning entry from the last challenge: “The Magnet Hand”. I implemented the core features of the Magnet Hand and have working on level designs to complement it. I think it will work out great and we have some nice plans for it. One thing we most likely will drop however is the “swinging” part of the hand. We feel that the bouncy head already has the mechanics for most challenges where this would be used and restricting the magnet hand to vertical movement will complement the head better.


“Art Department is right… again!”

Apart from finding bugs, I spent most of this week creating art assets for the first world in the game. At the moment it includes rooftops, streets and a subway tunnel. All the sprites can be combined in lots of ways to build different variations of the buildings. That way I can easily add a new type of window or wall-detail to a building later on. The levels feel a bit empty as I still need to make the background art and more “stuff” to put on the streets to make the city really come alive.


Making new art is fun… if it wasn’t for that .txt file where every single sprite (276 at the moment) needs to be manually labeled with coordinates and other data. I can’t recall that in the job description!

Taking of my whining-hat for a brief moment, I’m really looking forward to improving the H7 animations (and tweaking the design a bit) and starting working on the art for the jungle world.

Don’t forget to keep the submissions coming in – you can enter and check out everyone’s entries over at your local official PlayStation forum: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Scandinavian languages. You can also get involved by casting your votes over at the Bearded Ladies facebook page.

6 Author replies

So it’s down to one final boss? Have ideas for one for each zone so that’s why I’m asking.

Also i haven’t got this clear yet (apologiez if it’s due bad info-searching on my part), but is this game gonna be a minis title or a full-fledged PSN title?

David Skarin 18 March, 2011 @ 13:29

You can always make all three as separate submissions! That should increase your chances to get picked for the final voting too ;)

The game will be released as a mini.

David Skarin 18 March, 2011 @ 14:06

Ah, forgot to mention, if you want to submit more than one boss remember to adapt it to Japan, as that is the final stage of the game!


Just to let you know, I subscribe to the RSS feed of the PS Blog, and the YouTube video that shows for this article in Google Reader is an advert for the HTC Thunderbolt. :-(

James Gallagher 18 March, 2011 @ 14:49

How very strange. I’ve checked out the feed in Google Reader and it didn’t appear for me. It certainly isn’t something we’ve added so it must be on Google’s side or maybe even your browser?

somethingatt 18 March, 2011 @ 12:57

The tagline for this game is pretty obvious: Use your head!

Also, as a noob programmer- I would love to see more code stuff. I don’t know if this game is going open-source or not so I’m not sure how much of the code you can show but any amount is appreciated! Very interesting stuff.

David Skarin 18 March, 2011 @ 13:37

Hehe, nice slogan for the game! There will be a challenge later where you get the chance to come up with a name and tagline for the game! Good thing you claimed that one allready ;)

As for open-source there is no plans for that at the moment. We might do a more in-depth blogpost about programming at a later point if there is enough interest!

Well, I really enjoy this gameplay…

It’s very nice to see how H7 can run across the city, from the buildings to the Underground.

And I really love the way you thought that world, because it remembers me a game I enjoyed a lot when I was a young kid : “Donald’s Quake Shot”, played on Megadrive. The city in Quake Shot’s first level is really like that kind of city fo H7 : not full of city elements, but also not too poor.

You’re doing really good work guys, and it’s always pleasant to see how the evolution of the game…

David Skarin 18 March, 2011 @ 14:41

Thanks for the encouraging words! Glad you like it :)

I haven’t played that game but watching it on youtube now I see that they had the same problem as we faced this week – how do we show the player which buildings you can walk infront of? Some houses will block your path and some won’t, but the player must see it instantly. They didn’t seem to have a good answer to it either. The search for a solution goes on!

Anyway the first part of the video showed some birds you had to hang on to to get over a gorge, we acctually talked about adding something similar to the jungle level, hehe!

i’m not really a fan of minis. However, I will buy this.

I’m not interested in the game, but I’ve been interested in the concept of its creation. I want to buy it as I feel it’ll be sales that’ll show wether it’s proof of concept.

I’d honestly like to see a full on retail game made like this, or a HD PSN game. It was a daring move to put yourselves out there with this project, and I feel it should be aplauded and supported.

IainNotAndrew 21 March, 2011 @ 11:15

Just saying that I agree with somethingatt as I am also a noob programmer :P

An in-depth blogpost about programming sounds great!

IainNotAndrew 21 March, 2011 @ 11:25

“how do we show the player which buildings you can walk infront of? Some houses will block your path and some won’t, but the player must see it instantly.”

I remember I use to play an Aladdin game on my sega megadrive (awesome) which did something like this.Not sure if it is exactly what you are looking for but here is a video of it if it is any use to you

To be honest I can barely undestand what’s going on with this. What is this Gamocracy thing? just a bunch of people trying to make a basic game or something? what makes it so special compared to the dozens upon dozens of other real games out there? I’ve tried looking around the blog, the net, the playstation forums etc and just can’t find information about what this thing is supposed to be.

James Gallagher 22 March, 2011 @ 09:12

Check out the forum links at the bottom of the blog post and read this announcement post to see the overall concept:

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