#WeeklyGameMusic: Following Stanley (The Stanley Parable)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

Today’s music is an upbeat song of excitement and adventure! It’s also 10-hours long. So…Let’s hike with the game, The Stanley Parable, with jolly cooperation! We’re Following Stanley (composed by Blake Robinson)!

Now, where to start with The Stanley Parable? Hmm, well, it’s about Stanley, that’s for sure. A man who happily pushes buttons as instructed by a screen monitor. Perhaps due to his tedious job, Stanley doesn’t operate well by himself, and even gets lost in his dreary, featureless office. Naturally, fate would have it that one day, he receives no instructions. On top of that, all of his coworkers disappears. And Stanley, not sure what to do, decides to venture out of his office, and into the depths of his company. Or so we are told…

The Stanley Parable is a walking simulator, a mid-life crisis simulator, a not-game, and a philosophy. The game shines best on its narrative, or more precisely, the awareness of the narrative. As you, the player plays the game, the game is playing you.

So I won’t mince my words when I say the game has minimal action. The enjoyment one gets from the game is entirely out of its narration, and holy cow does it feature one of the funniest, darkest narrator in the gaming history. The Stanley Parable is a rare gem that delivers a story in such a way that very few other mediums can properly portray. It stands as a shining example of how to tell a story when your main actor, the player, doesn’t have to follow the game’s directions.

The Stanley Parable is available on Steam for PC and Mac.

#WeeklyGameMusic: Ryoshima Coast (Okami)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

This time, we visit ancient Japan from this brilliant piece from Okami. Make way for the epic music, Ryoshima Coast by Hiroshi Yamaguchi! It’s a wonderful composition most fitting for a game that re-tells numerous Japanese fairy tales.

Okami starts with feudal Nippon (“Japan” in Japanese) getting swarmed by monsters and other evil spirits. With the country in peril, the guardians summon the sun goddess, Amaterasu, to rid of all evil. The problem? She’s a lazy wolf, and since the citizens of Nippon doesn’t have faith in their gods, she’s also very weak. Alas, it’s up to (?) the one-inch-tall Issun to wake her up, and encourage her to beat up monster to save the day!

Okami is an action-adventure game, frequently compared to the Legend of Zelda series, that not only manages to stand on its own, but even excel beyond its original inspiration. The game features tight combat system and dungeons with puzzles that even left a Zelda veteran like myself scratching his head. Special to this game is the brush power-ups: “items” are spawned by literally drawing them into the world. Not only does this make puzzle quick to resolve once a solution is found, it also makes the said powers convenient for use on combat. A lot of experimentation is possible in this vast, oriental fairy-tale world.

Okami was originally developed for the Playstation 2. It was also ported on the Wii, complete with wand-based drawing controls. Lastly, a HD remix is downloadable on the Playstation 3.

#WeeklyGameMusic: 9-bit Expedition (Dustforce)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

Let’s go for something more relaxing and slightly more old school with 9-bit Expedition, composed by Terence Lee. It’s a good thing this music is so calming because the game, Dustforce, can be very, very difficult.

Dustforce‘s story is pretty simple. Ahem! The world is in chaos, and covered in dust. Eeeeeeevil dust that transforms innocent animals into violent creatures. And generally making everything ugly. It’s up to the 4 acrobatic, wall-climbing janitors to rid of the dirt and smudge that contaminates this oh-so-vulnerable world!

Sarcasm aside, Dustforce has some very sick moves to show. It’s a hardcore 2D platformer, and each janitor has awesome capabilities, including double-jump, wall-climb, running on ceilings, and most important of all, whipping down enemies with lots of lights and flashes. Said abilities are critical for eliminating dusts on floors, walls, ceilings, breakable blocks, and animals. For casual play, removing all dust isn’t exactly necessary, but for completionist, it is a must to get the best scores in every level. Elegant and acrobatic, this game is a true feast for the eyes and fingers.

Dustforce is available on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux.

#WeeklyGameMusic: Just Dropped In (Stick It to The Man)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

That’s right, folks. I’m here to drop more game music again. First on-plate is the wonderful Just Dropped In, composed by Kenny Rogers. A comical song that fits right in the hilarious game, Stick It to The Man.

The game stars Ray, a rather dull but otherwise ordinary man with a bad haircut. As he finally gets off his job as a hardhat tester, an airplane accidentally drops off its package on poor Ray’s head, rendering him unconscious. A short while after he wakes up in a health clinic, then thrown out due to lack of health insurance coverage, Ray discovers he suddenly started gaining psychic abilities, letting him move heavy objects from one place to another, turning thoughts into physical objects and vice-versa, and most importantly, being able to read minds. Shocked, confused, Ray hobbles back home while a few sneaky and mysterious agents start following him.

If I were to summarize Stick It to The Man in a sentence, it’s Psychonauts in 2D. The game significantly modernizes point-and-click adventure by combining it with platforming, and it comes off very naturally. Not to mention the outrageously hilarious dialog! The mind-reading capabilities not only serve as hints to what objects to bring to who, it also provides some insight on very psychologically unstable people. It’s incredibly funny how everyone in the game are almost self-aware that they’re in a game, then explain it away with a completely different reason.

Stick It to The Man is available on Steam for PC and Mac.

The Struggle of Moving

Compared to last week where a new Patreon page has been announced, this week wasn’t very eventful for Omiya Games. To be honest, I didn’t realize I had a lot more stuff left to do since I moved from Maryland to New York last week. Much of my time has been filling all the necessary forms and payments to complete the move. While the significantly cheaper rent makes the move worth it, I honestly didn’t expect the moving process to take this long. It seems a lot of things just creep up on you when you head to a new state.

Rather than leaving everyone with a simple Patreon reminder, I figured I’d post a small tease about what my next #OneGameAMonth is going to be. As those of you who have participated in Global Game Jam with me know, I have an unusual method for brainstorming a game idea. After the optional theme was announced (The Fair), I spent 30 minutes doing a quick brain-dump of a single-sentence description of a game. Usually, most of these game ideas suck, but every once in a while, I hit some really good ideas. From there, I choose one of these ideas, and start developing on them.

Anyways, for this month, I came up with the list below. A reminder that anything posted in this blog is my opinion, and not of the opinion of the company:

  • The moving mall game idea, Fair version
  • A Rude Goldberg (I think) circus show where using limited resources, you attempt to score as high as possible.
  • The fair maid, fair person, etc.
  • Attempting to level a game with rules to make it as fair as possible to all the players
  • A light illumination game, narrative driven, and with more lights, the clearer the picture becomes.
  • Fireworks show, maybe a puzzle game?
  • Music game, being a conductor in a band, and catching bad players.
  • Reddit meme face fair, attempt to appease the crowd
  • Wario WAre esque game where you have a limited number of quaters, and participate in randomly generated super-short games.
  • Merry Go Round controlling device, make experimental creatures
  • Psychonauts meat circus
  • Handing out tickets job minigame
  • Gun hauling fair game of epic proportions
  • A “fair” rhyming game, like Hair
  • A balloon popping game
  • a balloon catching game
  • a bouncing game about catching mid-air stuff
  • A bouncing game about doing air tricks like snowboarding
  • an arm wrestling game while playing chess on a rollercoaster
  • A game about collecting tickets people dropped to earn prizes
  • Water slide park
  • Don’t die on the waterslide minigame.
  • Color matching game.
  • Painting game.
  • Making extremely dull place more interesting through coloration
  • Guide the flying circus to the wonderful summer locations
  • A Windowsill like game of a fair. You progress by winning the fair’s minigame, but the rules on each minigame are obscure.
  • A game about building a molehill
  • A game about ants
  • A game about ants creating a fair
  • A game about a fair haircut
  • You know it’s a fair when it’s in your head!
  • A rhythimg greeting game, where you hand out balloons to the beat
  • A game about herding lost children in a fair
  • A fun house
  • A room filled with mirrors and mirages. Part of the game is figuring out how to navigate it.
  • The snail fair
  • Human sorting game, based on fair theme. Toss people in the line to their favored ride in a super-quick drag-&-Drop fashion
  • Angry Birds vs Angry Cans
  • Skateboard through the fair
  • Walkig through the degenerating, rotten, old fair to discover new horror
  • A sun rise, sun set simulation to piss off people going to a fair
  • Upside down fair
  • Security camera game about reporting bad guys in a fair.
  • Spin the cup ride barfing simulator
  • The space fair
  • X wing fighter that needs to make money through inventing minigames
  • Cotton candy simulator
  • Face painting simulator
  • Ride of nowhere isle
  • Making a game where the rules are a unfair as possible
  • Creating as many words as possible from the words “The Fair”
  • Pictionary guessing game.
  • The Ninja fair: finding the fair itself, before it’s too late
  • Space fair anti-gravity minigame simulation. I’m sure they’ll work just fine without it.
  • Getting the best picture of the fair, graded by hilarity value
  • Fair inception: a minigame inside a minigame inside a minigame inside a ride
  • Super ride customization, where water and fire are real!
  • Earthquake simulation
  • Beware the clowns traveling joke horror game
  • The Ride of justice
  • A game where you build a rollercoaster track in real-time to avoid obstacles, see Wallace and Gromit’s close shave. Bit like Snake
  • Fire works creation simulation
  • Fire works launch simulation
  • Hotdog eating contest

So which game idea am I working on now? Well, I can give you one more hint. I generally code-name my projects based on an artist’s last name that I think most closely resembles that idea. Part of it is intended to inspire me to think like the artist does: creatively. Anyway, this project’s code-name is Prototype: Lichtenstein. Figured it out already?