NEW: Arcade Game Section Added to the Site

There’s not much there now, but I’ve added another section to my website accessible from the menu (or right here) that I affectionately call the Arcade. There you can play ‘Flight of the Stratos Guardian’ (a touch/one-click based endless flyer) and the work-in-progress of the Jet Dancer game (an action platformer). After having some trouble uploading ‘Stratos Guardian’ to the Windows store, I decided to try plopping my stuff right here. Just a fun little idea I had.

Try as I could, I could not figure out how to get the ‘iframe’ any larger on the pages for the game, so I included links to the games on the Arcade page to play them full sized.

By the way, the Jet Dancer game supports both keyboard and XBox controls, so if you have the latter, plug one in before you try it. The controls shown in the options menu will reflect whatever buttons you press to get there.

The Jet Dancer game doesn’t work on mobiles, since I didn’t add any touch controls, but Flight of the Stratos Guardian does (although at least on my smartphone, it took forever to load and the music didn’t play).

I’m just trying things out. Let me know what you think of my games!

So what is WCL, or WEAPON Combat League?

You may have seen my posts here and there (on my DeviantART or Instagram or somewhere else) mentioning something called WCL, or WEAPON Combat League, and maybe you’re not as familiar with my work as say, the folks who I’ve known for a decade or more through deviantART. You might have found yourself asking, “Just what IS WEAPON Combat League?”

WEAPON Combat League is a concept I originally came up with in 2003. The easiest way to describe it is “Mega Man meets King of Fighters”. It started out as a fighting game idea, but I wanted to make a fighting game that had a story that was actually worth reading. I may have gone a bit overboard (I wrote two novels and half of a third telling the story of the concept; you can find links to the first two on the Products page–but since I realized WCL is a story best told visually, I’ve decided not to put too much emphasis on the prose novels).

The story centers on the titular WEAPON, or War-Equipped Armor for Protection, Offense and Navigation (acronym subject to change) and the people who use it. It takes place in a futuristic universe not unlike Earth, in a fictional city called Terradin, the most advanced civilization in the world. The setting (but not necessarily the technology) is inspired by the settings of movies such as Appleseed (and its sequel Ex Machina), Ghost in the Shell and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The WEAPON starts out as a tool of the Defense Force (Terradin’s military and law enforcement unit), but a few years before the start of the story, everything there is to know about WEAPONs is released to the public and soon the devices flood the black market. The WEAPON can be customized much the way software can be programmed, but in this science fiction fantasy universe, the customizations can be used to give the suits unique powers, far more radical what the Defense Force had ever produced.

Faust Raven a.k.a. Ruin, captain of the Reaper Team

The suits are illegal for civilian usage, but this doesn’t stop people from doing what they want. Before long, black market enthusiasts, underground fight circuits, and of course, criminals start spawning all over Terradin. The Defense Force can barely keep up with all the WEAPON-related crimes.

Soon it becomes apparent that if something doesn’t change, Terradin will face civil war. So General Patricia James, the supreme commander of the Defense Force, comes up with a new plan: instead of fighting the custom WEAPON-wielding civilians, embrace them.

The Defense Force starts a legal, sanctioned competition featuring the best of the best WEAPON wielders. Promising them fame and fortune, General James hopes to encourage them to do positive things with their WEAPONs instead of criminal acts and property damage.

These are designs from 2012-2013--I'll be updating many of them.
These are designs from 2012-2013–I’ll be updating many of them.

Twenty-four warriors are chosen and divided into eight teams; each competitor with their own motivations and their own unique, customized WEAPON. A tournament is structured and the battles begin. The WEAPON Combat League is born.

But not everyone in the military–or government–agrees with the idea. Some want war. Others want martial law. Some just want to take control of all WEAPON wielders and either force them to serve the greater good of Terradin, or be crushed under its heel.

A story of epic battles, of rivalry, of love and loss, of haves versus have-nots and a vast conspiracy tying both the military and the government to a dark secret thought buried in the past–this is what WEAPON Combat League is.

I’m giving WEAPON Combat League one strong, solid push starting now. I have resumed working on the comic I’d been planning since the concept’s inception, and I am now well into the second chapter. I intend to post the comic on Patreon, starting once I’ve built up a substantial buffer of content. So far, my momentum is high and I’m doing well.

WEAPON Combat League, Book One, Chapter 2, Page 1

Any questions? Concerns? Feedback? Feel free to contact me!

Ready to read the story of WEAPON Combat League? Start HERE!

Short Game Review: Curses N’ Chaos

Curses ‘N Chaos is a 2D wave-based brawler in which you control one of three characters (the third has to be unlocked) and beat up monsters. It has platformer mechanics (X and Y axis movement, double jumping), but there is no platforming. All you do is fight enemies and bosses with your fists, your feet and the occasional sub-weapon.

And shake your belly if you’re the dude, or twerk (I never thought I would type that word, let alone use it in a sentence) if you’re the girl. This taunt gives bonus points, which is a neat addition.

It’s a very simplistic game, but it’s also quite retro-charming and fun to play in short bursts.

The game is straightforward and elegant; every time you hit anything, your combo counter goes up. Hit 10 enemies and you get increased score for hitting enemies and more money. The more you do this, the higher your multiplier goes, but get hit once and it’s back to the bottom. Money can be used to buy items to start the game with or mixed to create new items. You’ve got five hearts and five lives to make it through ten waves of enemies and beat the boss, and near as I can tell, there are several worlds (but each level is a single screen, so there’s not much to it). It can be quite challenging and even a bit unfair, but it’s still fun to me. It also has 2 player local and online co-op.

I only wish the visuals were better. They work (and look better in motion), but they’re really cheap.

I played the game thinking, this is simplistic fun that would be fairly easy to mimic in a game IDE, like, say, Construct 2 or Game Maker. I should try making something like this, realizing that my Jet Dancer game is perhaps too complicated to develop any further on my own. I could see myself building a game like this with my WEAPON Combat League concept at the core, perhaps giving every character some simple but diverse attacks–only a few–and have many of the characters unlockable. Maybe even include a versus mode.

Jet Dancer Game Development

(Those who follow me on Facebook have seen/read this already, but I’m putting it here for those who may not have seen it elsewhere.)

I’ve been working hard on my Jet Dancer game. I had to deconstruct a lot of it and put it back together in order to make it less messy. I wanted to talk about the gameplay that I’ve designed since I finally have Jet to a point where she doesn’t feel sloppy and unpolished. I got rid of several superfluous attacks that were causing glitches and not benefiting the game much.

The vertical gauge that glows is Jet’s power gauge. It fills up rapidly and certain attacks and moves drain it. Jet can only dash or fire her kick cannon (not shown) when the gauge is full, but most moves such as dashing, backflip and getting injured drain it.

Jet can now dash in the air, at a downward angle. It extends the length of her jump distance significantly when used properly. If you jump as soon as you dash, the energy is maintained and she can dash again out of the air. It’s useful for getting around since Jet is invulnerable while dashing.

I also implemented a power stock feature. When Jet lands her signature Rebound move (or collects a certain power-up item), her gauge increases up to a max level and an aura glows around her. Rebound also accelerates the recharge of her power gauge. During this time her attack power increases significantly. However, the buff is only temporary (I’m still playing around with how much time I want it to last for) but can be reset by landing another Rebound. This means that a skilled player can maximize damage (and score) by doing multiple Rebounds and dash evasions in combat.

Finally, I implemented a much-needed crouch ability. It can stand to be animated better…I’m thinking of changing it to a dance-evasion ability that renders her invulnerable for an instant, since Jet Dancer currently isn’t doing a whole lot of…dancing.

I’m ready to move onto designing better enemies and levels now. My next goal is to produce the first boss enemy and set up the fight.

I’m planning to use a part of my site as a developer diary, as part of my goal of putting more effort into developing this game. I’ve decided to stop dancing around numerous projects and just focus on this for now. I expect every once in a while, I’ll want to take a break and add another piece to my 100 Girl Artbook, and I’ll do that, but I’m no longer considering that my primary focus.

Jet Dancer will be a playable game, and I intend to make massive progress in the year 2017. The framework is there, now I just have to build on it.