Sunday, February 19, 2012

Slightly Redder Red: Mojam


Yet another Humble Bundle has come and gone, and this one has been... sub-par compared to past ones. Although that's excusable, considering each team that made a game had 60 hours to do it. Mojang and friends Oxeye Studios and Wolfire Games put out a poll, and we all voted on what we wanted them to make. It ended up being a real time strategy shoot-em-up with an ancient Egypt steampunk theme. This sounds pretty cool, but it actually turned out kind of mediocre.

The cool part about this Humble Bundle was that you could watch the developers put their games together, and it revealed a lot. It looked like Mojang played with Nerf guns a lot instead of actually working, so that leaves me to believe that they slapped an Egyptian theme on a game they previously made. Called Catacomb Grab, there isn't much of a steampunk element to it, either, it's just a game where you run around a temple as a British explorer, firing your bullets in a similar fashion to Binding of Isaac, and you can buy turrets to set up. The turrets are the steampunk part and the real time strategy part (just because Starcraft has turrets doesn't mean putting them in your game it an RTS, Notch. Or should I be addressing Jeb, since you literally did no work, as far as the stream portrayed?). I haven't played the game a lot because it keeps crashing, so I can't give a full analysis, but what I'e played is okay. It feels like I'd find it on Addicting Games, not on the resume on one of the biggest game developers in the last two years.

Wolfire Games's project was actually pretty cool. Called Broadside Express, the name actually fits the title pretty well. Considering Wolfire is two people, I'm impressed with what they did in 60 hours. You're a train, and you have to connect yourself to the two other cars that are lying around, all the while there are scorpions spitting fire and you and another train zipping by firing cannons at you. Hence, the term Broadside Express, since you can return fire in a similar matter. The game is actually harder than it sounds, since you have to back up into the cars to connect them, all the while there's the fire spitting and the cannons firing, it gets hectic. It isn't really a shoot-em-up or an RTS, but it fits the steampunk Egyptian theme better than Mojang's game, and it's a lot more fun to play than Mojang's game. It's in browser, so no download, which is nice considering how simple it is. Mojang should have done the same thing, IMHO, I probably would have had a higher opinion of it if I knew it was an in-browser Java game rather than a downloaded one that my computer detected as "malicious".

Oxeye hasn't even put their game up yet, so I don't know what the hell is going on there. But they're doing a totally different game, I think a dungeon crawling WWII beat em up, so we'll see how that turns out.

Final thoughts are that Mojang is getting worse and worse at being the best new developer, and David from Wolfire is going to be a revolutionary when he finally releases Overgrowth (Google it).

3 comments:

  1. I do agree with most of what you said, but I feel like since there was a time limit, they really didnt have the time to actually make a plan on what they were going to make. Granted, as you said, the Mojnag team would always do ridiculous things like slap each other with bacon, but I really only feel like they goofed off a lot because they wanted people to donate. "If we get tp $350,000 we'll slap each other with bacon!" I mean, comon, who doesnt want to see a bacon fight? xD Anyway, my point was, IMO, while they probably could have done a better job I feel like it's sorta warranted because they set ridiculous goals for charity.

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  2. Dude, its not an RTS. Jeb said they decided to make it a shoot'emup. It succeeds at that. I didn't watch the stream much, but I did catch some actual work. I genuinely enjoy it, especially for the cheap cost, charity donation, and short development.

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  3. I honestly don't have huge problems with Mojang's game, it just seems like they put smaller amounts of effort into a downloadable java game then Wolfire did with an in-browser Unity game. It really rustles my jimmies.

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