Weekend update…


For those of you that remember Passhackwords from its initial inception, you’ll be happy to know that I have re-purposed the property (finally) into a much better and more full-featured game design. I’ve been working on this redesign for about the past month now, and while there is still a lot of work ahead of me, I thought it was time to let everyone know what’s been going on.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Passhackwords property, here is a little background. About five years ago or so, me and K (my wife) used to play a web strategy game (that I will not give mention to, as they don’t even deserve the recognition). After a rather large falling out with the administration over false accusations of cheating and the like, we left and set out to replace the game with another. There really weren’t any others that we could get into quick enough, and work overcame me again (as it always seems to do). I decided that instead of sinking my time into yet another game, I would just write my own. At least that way, I could justify the time spent.

It was to be a game of over-stylized “hacker-esque” activities. Simple, almost ready-for-television, concepts of what living a hacker’s life in the box would be like. Unfortunately, I was still too wrapped up in other works, and didn’t give it my all. This resulted in an under-designed, over-simplified, generally weak start to a game.
So I shelved it, as I do any ideas that I can catch before they burn, and waited for the right moment to stake out a new claim on the property.

Well, here we are. I’ve gone and done it… Like a digital phoenix rising up from the fading electron pulses with a glowing cyan fury, I have breathed life back into Passhackwords – rescued it from the void of projects lost! BEHOLD!… Wait. What what I saying?

Here are some of the design concepts:

  • Platform: Currently PC, with an Android mini-game to release a bit after the main game.
  • Genre: RPG/Puzzle
  • Social: Currently giving the highest priority to single-player, but multi-player concepts are popping up like crazy (obviously). At this point, it’s too early to say for sure.
  • Activities: Hack or phish up (every RPG has to have fishing!) addresses to gain temporary access to resource streams, and secret information.
  • Style: No serious hacking realism; just an overtly techy command center interface. Oh, and the music… what hacker doesn’t love their music!? I’m working with indie composers of many different styles to hopefully put together an exclusive musical collection that will be an awesome experience for everyone.
  • Customization: Planning on including the option to create community developed themes. Currently, this means texture packs, but will hopefully evolve into much more.

As for progress made thus far, I am very excited about the level of design progress made, but development is still fresh. As of last night I did create the first glimpse of the address rewiring puzzle, and me and K had ~2 hours each into playing with the node connectivity alone – way fun.

I hope to have the design complete for phishing this week, but that really depends on how much more I work on the rewiring before moving on. Either way, I will do my best to let you all know as things progress. Hopefully, I can get a screenshot or two of the rewiring here in a few days.

Reed’s Mine

As much as I would love to roll out the performance updates and a new feature or two, I can’t. ;( As of right now, after the Unity3D 3.4 release, Reed (his sprite) no longer renders correctly on my device. I’ve attempted to get help from the community on it, with no luck so far. I will set aside a bit more time to get this later this week, but as for right now, Reed’s Mine is on indefinite hold.

Weekend update…

Wow. I’ve been out for a while. Things have been really crazy at the day job so I had to somewhat stop things on Twitter and here and for that I apologize. I believe things have gotten to a more manageable level now, so I think I’m back! Even in my social absence, I have still wracked up a couple of things to talk about at least…

Nekoyoubi Texture Pack

My Minecraft texture pack has been updated to include pistons and shears, and to fix the modifications made to beds and cake. I’m not sure what else is missing from 1.7, but if anyone finds anything, please let me know.

As always, you can download it here: http://bit.ly/nekoyoubitp/

Reed’s Mine

I’ve updated a couple of things and fixed a bug or so. All and all not a big update like I was hoping for, but alas, that is still in the works. For now, here are the update details:

  • In-scene menu and loading overlays migrated.
  • Resource gain text implemented.
  • Adjusted Reed sprite for “skinny cap”.
  • Added dust effect to mining.
  • Fix Copper/Amethyst spawning fixed.

Unfortunately, I won’t be implementing haptic feedback as I was intending, as Unity seems to be very weak on that capability. Perhaps this will get updated in Unity 3.4 (which I hear is coming soon) and I can rethink this.

Tempest Saga

For those of you that remember my Tempest Saga property, I’d like to bring you up to speed. As I stated at the beginning of this year, I ceased development on Tempest Saga and waited until I felt that I had a medium to deliver it to the world as an awesome game and do right by it as the introduction to the property. I am pleased to announce that I have found that medium.

Over the coming months I will be posting information about Tempest Saga (and hopefully some development progress). As of right now, I don’t want to throw too much out there, but I can say that it will be a lot of randomization where it counts, simple control scheme, cartoony 2D graphics and will be released for Windows initially.

An array of characters with various advantages and special abilities will help you navigate a vast (and sometimes complex) platformer world. Enhance those characters’ weapons, armor, and abilities as you progress from town to town. Level up the way you want; the way you play.


I was actually not going to say anything about this for a while, but I was inspired to speak about it by the recent Steam release of a couple of retro-RPGs that were done in a similar spirit (all pun intended). If you are an active Steam gamer, then you probably already know the ones I am referring to. If not, be sure to check out Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World from Zeboyd Games. These games look just as amazing as I could hope. I haven’t been able to get into them myself yet, but I hope to over this upcoming weekend.

As for Epixtory, I’ve told a few people in my gaming group – though nothing overly formal, but this should serve as some form of announcement I guess. I will be working on Epixtory right along side Tempest Saga (unless something changes there). This shouldn’t be much of a problem since they are so different in style (I doubt there will be much overlap).

So what is it?

Epixtory is a retro-RPG fashioned after a combination (but not a direct duplication) of the Dragon [Quest|Warrior] and Final Fantasy styles of the [Famicom|NES] system. The setting is not some far away land where magicks and dragons reign, however. It’s right here; right now (“Right here! Right now! Right here! Right now!”) – with real places and people we know in all their pseudo-8bit glory.

Not to say that magicks and dragons don’t play a part right here and right now… Okay, so that part’s not on the tour…

Let’s just say it’ll be an Epixtory. At least that’s the goal. 😉

Weekend update…

Wow, what a weekend for development. I released my first game as Nekoyoubi and my first Android app to boot!

Reed’s Mine

I finished up the initial release of Reed’s Mine and deployed it to the Android Market. It was listed for approximately eight hours before I realized a bug with ladders and caves that could confuse and frustrate people and pulled it.

I’ve since re-released it (v0.2) after fixing the bug and making a few enhancements. It is currently built for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above, but I will be attempting to let it ride for Android 2.1 (Eclair) this weekend.

Even though I am not using any Froyo specific features, I chose to limit to that version in an attempt to only offer the app to newer (faster) phones in case the Unity Android build was rough. I think things will be fine after some texture optimization this upcoming weekend though.

Apologies for the Unity icon for the app icon on the phone. This is a noted bug that is being resolved by Unity. I think I know a work-around, but I’ve been focusing on the actual game itself more than its publishing thus far.

This upcoming weekend should have some cool changes implemented in Reed’s Mine. For one, I plan to add random dwarves in the mine levels’ generation. They will let you trade some of your resources mined for various items to assist in mining (no spoilers, sorry). Also, I will try to work achievements into the next release, but that may have to come in the next version.

I will attempt to create a build of Reed’s Mine for those of you without Androids as well (probably a web build), but I’m not giving it priority over the features of the real game. Don’t be mad, I just have to make sure I give the people what I sell them. 😉

Click here to check out Reed’s Mine on the Android Market.

Obviously, if you get Reed’s Mine please leave a rating and/or comment, as this is what I hope will get the word out there about it. Also, if you enjoy it, please tell your friends. Thanks much in advance!

Oh, and since I released it, I found that there is actually a real Reed’s Mine! How cool is that?! I promise you that this game has nothing to do with that mine and is, in fact, named after one of our members for his extensive Minecraft mining expeditions.

Check out what another of our members (Blake) made right after the release (and how cool is that?!)…