The two thousand and twenty third year is upon us

And with it comes a Fishticuffs update. While it was previously mentioned that Fishticuffs had reached its final form, in retrospect it is revealed that I was a liar and a charlatan. That day saw at most the penultimate form of Fishticuffs. It can be bought here. If the question is one of whether or not there will be future updates to this game, I am no gambling man, but if I were I wouldn't bet against it.

The Game of Fishing is not the beginning and end of my list of projects for the past year. Indeed, it turns out I have made six games. Here's a montage:

What's up next? Whomst knows, certainly not me.


Thisorientation now

A new game has arrived, a walking simulator in which you embark on a troublesome and fraught quest to locate the toilet in someone else's house, and walk all over the walls in your search.

It can be played here


Fishticuffs now

By "now" I mean on the 21st of December and for a small fee.

[ Here it is on Steam, | Here's its page ]

Here's a trailer:

As the astute among you may observe, as well as those of you capable of scrolling down a bit, this is no more than an expanded version of Fisherman's Peril from February. Your observations are completely correct of course. These months I have spent in the concentrated game development chamber, polishing and inflating Fisherman's Peril into its final form, Fishticuffs. And now I emerge from my cave to let my shiny new videogame go free into a world apparently plagueridden.

Notable additions include a threefold length increase, a bunch more items and fish, a shop and a hammerhead shark with a literal hammer for a head.


Two new games, and an additional game

Some Crates

is a game I made last month, a game in which you play as a crate upon a conveyer belt of doom, leading you away from shurikens (also of doom), into other shurikens (that are of doom). The situation is difficultified by an armada of crates (mostly not of doom) that rain from above, some of which produce explosions (of fiery doom), and some of which bear spikes (of death). Survive as long as you can, and as long as you dare in this dire room of doom.

You can download this game yonder

I also made a youtube video about it:

Fisherman's Peril

is a bullet hell fishing roguelite. You take your hook into the dire and deadly depths (of doom), dodging bullets brought about by boistrous beasties. Enjoy a rich palette of TWO levels, both filled to the brim with oceanic treasures and aquatic creatures. I implore you to give it a go,

A task that can be attempted through this page

and I made a youtube video about this one too:

Cloak and Dasher

is a videogame that I did not make, but I did the art for, and it is available for purchase over here, where you can exchange articles of currency for hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of copies.

Over the coming month I have to make an update for Snackquisition, a story that remains partially unforgotten by its creator. Perhaps I will also develop all or part of a game, be it Clouthook or some other game.


Clouthook has a level editor

Clouthook now has an Editor of Levels, which will hopefully make making levels easier for me, and also for anyone else who happens to want to build platformer levels without first building a platformer. Behold:

Next week

I will likely have less than average time over the coming week but I intend to add more options to the level editor, spice up the menu from which levels are chosen (which is currently so shitty that to witness a screenshot of it turns a man to stone), and make some more levels, of which I only have one right now. Two of those goals are as vague and wispy as a squid ghost, but I do specifically want to make a little wee tooltip popup dealio when you hover over a level about to select it, which shows your stats on that level: best time, total deaths, et cetera. Other than "tens of levels" and "any sound at all" it's not entirely clear what this videogame needs to reach completion. I guess what I'll do is add them stats, then add some deployable decor to the level editor and make some levels in either order.


Snackquisition now

tl;dr: new quasi choose your own adventure comic-esque tale here.

explain this

it's an experimental image and text based story about a kid trying to acquisition cookies that are too high for him to reach, while being sworn at by strangers on the internet. sometimes it is at least partially interactive.


Clouthook now

tl;dr: new game here.

what is this cool and new videogame?

it is Clouthook. it is also a platformer in which you are armed with a reverse grappling hook, which gives you the revolutionary ability to reverse grapple. thusfar there are 4(?) levels, and their difficulty I hope can be accurately described as escalating. I plan to octuple the size of this game then release it on Steam and such to one or more standing ovations. I also plan to, beyond the first world (which is what's in the demo up there), avoid normalcy as though it were some kind of plagueridden leper with omega measles. so many times I see a platformer do the grass world -> desert world -> ice world -> fire world thing. mates, there are more concepts than that. how about a black hole world or something, I'm sure someone could get some spice out of that.

what happened to no pain no grain?

[+] [-]

good question.

it was poorly thought out: I and all others on this Earth were thrilled and besides ourselves with the fact that this was a bullet hell farming game, a notion none of us had considered prior. but inadequate thought had been given to how this would work. What I thought was the best way to set it up, and what I still think is such, is to have the plants you deploy be the things that shoot at you. However the meat of the game was structured almost as if the enemies were things that jumped out at you, or that were already present, as in most videogames. The ability to wholly determine the composition of enemies you will be standing against is as interesting albeit less spectacular idea than the whole "bullet hell farming game" thing itself, and requires more thought than I had put into it.

it was poorly made: I did not and do not have the competence yet to actually manufacture a game of this complexity. A regular mistake was making things assume the state of the world when they really should be able to function in any situation. And so if I went to change vast swathes of how the game worked, as needed doing semi-frequently, I'd be given trouble by all these different aspects of the game breaking because the rest of the world is not as they assume it to be. It's like a chair that only works if it's next to a table, and if the table is removed the chair turns into a pile of serpents. Clouthook isn't as complex and I've improved in the time since, so it's looking more likely to actually get made than NPNG.

it's no longer unique: shortly after I started making NPNG, which hadn't been named yet, I heard about Atomicrops, which hadn't been named yet. no problem, I said 2.5 years ago at the time, I'll just finish this game real quickly and release first and all of the handstanding ovations will be mine. I then later was alerted to Dark Soil, which I daresay has a better name than NPNG. My point is that merely being a combat farming game seems that it will soon not be enough to gather attention, and so off I go to try and fail to identify greener pastures.

maybe I'll try making it again (again (again)) at a later date, but different this time.

what's the story of this game

the king has been kingnapped. go rescue him.


Final Woodbound demo

tl;dr: new demo here. Again. also I made a puzzle game. Check a look if you like.

Heck it's been a while innit? I've been on hands and knees furiously polishing this videogame No Pain No Grain like there's no tomorrow. Then it was revealed to me that there was in fact a tomorrow, but the polishing, it continued. There are also new plants in this version. And there is still an ending, that hasn't been removed. Play it, and behold my glorious 5/10 UI! Be consumed by your own hubris and plant more flora than you can safely challenge! Because I assure you, you will do that! What else, what else... ah yes, be amazed at cool and new particle effects and all that jizz!

Aight I'm out I'm gonna go yell about this game from some local rooftops and think about what I'm gonna put in the next area, later nerds.


Woodbound demo 2 of 3

tl;dr: new demo here

Like a professional trophy cleaner I have held a cloth in one hand, cleany sprayey stuff in the other hand, and delivered unto my prey a polishing the likes of which man has never known, and will never know again. But today I polish not trophies but videogames. By which I mean only one videogame.

There is now a sandwichtable of sound effects and additional particle effects in the game. As well as an upgraded version of the tutorial book, the Botanomicon, and a souped up options menu. It should be even more enjoyable to play than the previous demo.

On a semi-related note, is "demo" a good word for these? They're early builds of the videogame from before most of the content is added in the future. I'd call them "prototypes" but it seems further along than that. Anyone got a good word, hit me up on twitter at yokcos700 or wherever else you can get a hold of me. Next demonstration, the final woodbound demo, will feature more plants, more items, more stuff, filling out the first area of the game nicely

Simplifying things for the sake of time

So originally I had intended the handful of areas in the game to work like this:

Where within each series, if you harvest one plant you get the seed for the next; and to move from one series to the next you usually have to do some puzzle like luring a bear into a venus bear trap. This graph doesn't represent physical routes through the world, rather different methods of getting out of the area and into the next; the location in which you harvest these plants is irrelevant. Although some of them may only be plantable in certain places... Anyway this strikes me as something that is interesting, but which can be simplified for the sake of time:

With this more linear, simple, and frankly worse model, I can finish up areas of the game in a timely fashion and actually release the damn game before the heat death of the universe. Plus, if I end up with more time on my hands than expected, I can expand it out to have multiple routes as originally planned.

I also added a boss, the Deadly Nightshade: This bad boy caps off the Woodbound of the Lilac, the first area of the game, and its defeat will open up the next area. As such it will stand at the end of all three of the incoming Woodbound demo


The Woodbound of the Lilac

No Pain No Grain isn't about standing in one place or some little field and farming till the cows come home. Nah, you're a busy protagonist, you've got places to go, things to see. Maybe tyrants to hydrate, who knows. So therefore to keep things from becoming staler than an ancient egyptian biscuit I shall divide the game up into an integer number of areas, each going on the same basic template. The development plan goes as follows: Make the first area, and make it well, so that I know what an area in this game consists of, what the template is, how long it is, etc. Answer these questions. Then once this first area, the Woodbound of the Lilac, is in a state resembling completion, make all other areas in one fell swoop. Not because it seems like it'd be faster but because I like skipping to the end of these things. Makes it clear not only where the game will start, but when it will end. For instance with the Woodbound I've made it something that's playable to completion before making it something all that enjoyable. Here, look:

I've thus far done the first two steps of this advanced three stage process, and am yet to intersperse the interpuzzle farming with anything noteworthy - or indeed anything that takes more than fifty seconds to do. Now, the eagle eyed of you may have noticed that this is a bullet hell farming game and yet I am speaking of puzzles being dotted around the game. Fear takes hold as you realise that you will be forced to hang up the hoe and trowel every four and a half minutes to stare nonplussed at some incomprehensible engravings on the wall of an ancient city, trying and failing to figure out in which order one must step on the stone floorbuttons in order to open the great doors. But nay, I say, this is not what I mean by a puzzle. A puzzle in this context is merely some interesting application of the available plants other than "water plant, get resource". For instance, something like using an electric plant's attacks to electrify some water, killing the deadly squid within and allowing you safe passage. The "puzzles" are often nought but a natural extension of partaking in the normal combat of the game in a particular place.

"But Yokcos, when can we play this masterpiece to define a generation?", you may ask. The answer, like a photon, is two different things at the same time. The answer is simultaneously "Dunno" and "Right hecking now". The most recent output version of the game is constantly available over here, and so one can familiarise oneself with the setup of the game without fee and without wait. But when will it be done? Dunno. One thing about making the start and end of a game then proceeding to fill the middle with details is that you can do it infinitely, there's no final certain endpoint. But that said I'd like it to at least be done by the end of the year.

Please refer me back to this post when the game releases in 2025 after numerous completely predictable delays.

Oh, oh also I made two games in February: Rotating Squares of Quantisation, a mechanically uninventive aesthetically novel Frogger clone, and Relative Fray, a spacegame without arbitrary spacefriction slowing you down all the time. Check them if you want.


Creating a challenge

A key problem in the design of No Pain No Grain is that the player can make the game very boring and easy for themselves. This is not too much of a problem in the early game as things are supposed to be easy. We just want to not drag it out too long; let people get to the interesting stuff rapidly. However I'm not fully sure of what shape this interesting stuff will take.

So how it works right now is that you chuck seeds into the ground, as many as you want and whatever type you want, and you can usually circlestrafe their attacks and remain completely save. In the case of moneystalks they all literally shoot in the same direction. This is a problem because if someone plants any number of moneystalks they will encounter zero challenge, at least until the radius of the blob of plants becomes so huge that they can't walk out of the way of the unfathomable wall of bullets in time. Okay, you might say, just make them shoot in different directions, or in different ways that circlestrafing would not render trivial. This is one possible solution; a few plants already employ it like asparaguns and red hot pokers. Plants that lead their shots, shoot in many directions, spread out their shots or move... there are a lot of potential patterns that could solve the problem of triviality and banality. But this leaves behind a lesser problem: You'll just have a bunch of plants of the same type doing the exact same thing at any given time. Ten nukumbers or twenty gunflowers or fifty moneystalks. Perhaps it is wise to come up with some incentive to plant multiple different types of plants. This I hint at in the intro video - plants that auto-water nearby plants but also attack themselves could spice things up. Plants that make others drop more loot but also beef up their projectiles. There are a thousand slight carrots I can offer in exchange for the mild inconvenience of planting multiple species at the same time and I think I'll enjoy trying some of them out.


The Basics

This took way longer than I was hoping.

Here be a video on the quick basics of No Pain No Grain: It describes the basic gameplay you can expect to permeate the entirety of the game from beginneth to finale. It also postulates on some directions in which the game can be taken; augmentations that can be made to the simplistic loop that forms the bedrock of the design here.

Also I now have a Patreon page for NPNG and a Discord server!


Something Useless

Feast your eyeballholes, it is the new and shiny logo for No Pain No Grain!

Also, check it out here's some totally unrepresentative silent footage of No Pain No Grain - just the thing that everyone's been waiting for!


> Older >