Here’s a little animation I did just now of a Pygmy Shrew. I’m currently trying to figure out a small Flash game involving him, which I’ll post here when it’s done.
I downloaded the Steam client the other day, having enjoyed buying retro games from GOG which will run on my computer. It’s about 6 years old and before a month ago didn’t have a graphics card apart from the very low-powered onboard one. Incidentally my advice is to steer well clear of Dream Pinball 3D because it is horrible.
Anyway I’ve enjoyed the stuff I got from Steam, apart from my minor discomfort about DRM and having another process running in the background. After doing some surfing looking at indie games, I decided to buy Lume, which looks gorgeous and has a nice tinkly soundtrack, and struck chords in me about bodging things together on a small scale and talented people who do many things at once.
I played it for a while, and got stuck when asked to enter a combination for a lock on a sink cupboard wherein I knew I would find useful things to help finish the game. And got frustrated, and got annoyed. And so being the I-want-it-now kind of guy I am, I found a walkthrough, and got even more annoyed at the impossible solution that I couldn’t even have dreamed was required. I mean, shame on me for doing what is essentially cheating, but how was I ever supposed to guess the following solution?
I found the following from the site Gamezebo, and reading it still curdles my brian and boils my integuments:
The object is to take the various clues you’ve found and figure out how to illuminate the 3 lights and unlock the Cabinet.Clue for the first number: When viewing (close-ups) all the Pictures hanging on the Walls, there were 1, 2 and 3 picture frames showing (only part of a third picture frame in the third set).
Clue for the second number: While standing in the Hall, you can see there are, from left to right, 2, 1 and 1 round objects on the Walls.
Clue for the third number: 1. In the Hall, there are 8 Pictures. 2. Upstairs, the shadow of Lumi’s Topknot looks like the number 8. 3. Outside, on the Lower Level, there are 3 objects with a total of 7 sides (the round Window has 1, the Door has 4 and the Ladder has 2).
On the other hand, this clue could just be Upstairs: 1. The shadow of Lumi’s Topknot looks like the number 8. 2. Her actual Topknot looks like the number 8. 3. The shadow of the lower, left side of the Drafting Table, on a diagonal, next to the Bookcase, looks like the number 7.
The clues for this lock are really obscure, so what I listed may not be accurate. They’re just what I used when I chose the numbers to enter. They worked; so, the numbers are:
1 2 3
2 1 1
8 8 7
I finished the game (disappointingly short for 4 quid) with an appreciation for the lovely colours and music and innovative cardboard-y graphics, but with a grudging feeling that this was all set-dressing for a do-this-then-do-that game with insanely arbitrary puzzles.
I’ve been re-reading Simon Winder’s book “The Man Who Saved Britain” which I fished out of a pile of stuff I was going to take to the second-hand shop (small plastic globe, candle-holder, CRT-era screen-guard, hideous tie, “Assembly Language Programming for the Amstard CPC 464, etc). The book is about James Bond, and his wider cultural influence and meaning, of having come about just as the British Empire was completely disintegrating, and therefore acting as a supreme, and almost unique, consolation for a country in decline.
And it’s great – I’ve been chuckling along all week and annoying people by reading bits to them. Although I wince with his merciless treatment of Roger Moore as the naffest incarnation of Bond (I personally think Roger Moore knew exactly how ludicrous Bond was and was just the time of his life. Even though I let out an genuine cry of grief every time he dresses up as a clown in Octopussy).
For simple spot FX in animations, I found Tomas Petterson’s Sfxr to be a simple and powerful tool. It was written, in the author’s words, for those who “need some basic sound effects, don’t really care about top quality, have no idea where to get them.” Now there is a new version Bfxr which is even more fully-featured.
It’s simple to use, produces fun old-school sounds, and serves as a great introduction to electronic sound generation. I’ve always loved making electronic noise – my favourite tool for just mucking about was the Korg DS-10 cart, and before that I spent countless hours making my Gameboy SP splutter, glitch and hiss with the spartan beauty of Oliver Wittchow’s Nanoloop, which I now learn is available for iPhone and Android.
I have a fondness for 8-bit and glitchy old-school sound, having grown up with a computer that made no sound at all, and graduating to one that produced lots. I’m a sucker for anything (except the very experimental stuff) on the website 8bitpeoples.