Tag Archive for XBLIG

Anyone want some free Xbox 360 games?

I got given loads of codes with my Xbox 360 releases, however as found the experience of contacting review sites to never hear back just depressing and not worth the effort, they have went unused.

Until now I’ve occasionally thrown them up on Facebook and Twitter but I figured that as I’m happy giving away most my games for free, why not make my Xbox games available to folk for free – especially those visiting the site.

I’ve created a new page that contains a few codes for each of my games.

Unfortunately I have no way of tracking whether codes have been used so if anyone finds themselves out of luck with codes available for their game of choice, give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll provide you with a unique code and replace the codes on here.

If you enjoy your free game then sharing it with your friends, Facebook feed or Twitter followers would be great!

Below are my first round of codes:

X-Orbtek II: P44GX-8Q4D3-JC7HX-CRTG9-G64QT
Adventures in Text: FRMFY-Q7MWY-V2RWR-TWH2R-2HMJG
Adventures in Text: PY49G-K6WRR-94TWY-QFC6M-GYKM8
Adventures in Text: GQGJD-D9CKX-M24WD-7W33B-W844M
Adventures in Text: K33GV-HB2MR-MPV7H-GWPH3-QP38D
Mashapocolypse: PTQT6-47GTW-Q8CW2-MF6TQ-KG8M8
Mashapocolypse: BMRPQ-YFBFK-26Q3P-QQRT7-XBGWM
Mashapocolypse: RQPVW-VBJ3H-KT2YP-GYBDR-F29JD
Mashapocolypse: XHC7D-TMFGQ-4F4GX-R2GTQ-KG8M6
Avatar Runner: FJ6KY-2VB37-DTJ6Y-HR86W-3X7KW
Avatar Runner: WWWC7-XKC2X-C7TCB-CK6P9-KKKDM
Avatar Runner: FJ6KY-2VB37-DTJ6Y-HR86W-3X7KW
Avatar Runner: WWWC7-XKC2X-C7TCB-CK6P9-KKKDM

Out now on Xbox 360 & PC: Adventures in Text

AdventuresInText-BoxArtI am delighted to announce that I have released a new game on Xbox 360 and also PC called Adventures in Text!

Adventures in Text provides a series of multiple choice text adventures that can be played with friends, including quick quests and also the longer quest through the world of Aeski.

Xbox Live Indie Games

How does the multiplayer aspect work? Well get your friends together when playing through the quests and together you can vote on which answer to take although you’ll want to discuss decisions first. If you fail to agree, the game will pick for you!

Additionally there are also three quizzes included to challenge your knowledge of Halloween, games and the world.


Xbox Live Indie Games

Available on Xbox Live Indie Games for the lowest price point (69p / $1).


Also available on PC for FREE!!! Xbox controller (or equivalent) still required on PC.

Aeski quest begins

Aeski quest begins

p.s. Please do not resort to violence when debating answers.

Avatar Runner released!

I am delighted to announce that the Xbox Live Indie Games title Avatar Runner is now available to buy!


Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach or sprint through a nightmare world in Avatar Runner. With a unique scoring system, collecting items builds up your combo. These points are only earned when you bank so if you make a mistake – all your combo is lost. Run to your own music library with a custom run and compete against friends through tournaments.

It costs just $1 or 69p or whatever the lowest cost is in your local currency.

X-Orbtek II released on Xbox 360

X-Orbtek II and Minecraft sat side by side on my X-box. This pleases me.

X-Orbtek II and Minecraft sat side by side on my X-box. This pleases me.

I’m delighted to announce that X-Orbtek II has been released on Xbox Live Indie Games!

X-Orbtek II is a new blend of arcade style gameplay. You’ll be chasing after orbs whilst dodging swarms of enemies. If all the orbs disappear it is game over so the game is quick paced arcade highscore chasing gameplay.

Be warned – the enemies will take shots at you but you’re not defenseless. Blast them back or use your mines, bombs or pickups to clear out enemies.¬†Alternatively choose one of the non-combat modes (or custom mode) to remove combat and just chase after orbs.

There’s also local multiplayer and with four players it can be insanely good fun! If you get the opportunity to play with a couple of friends, I’d recommend it.

You can pick it up now for just 80 Microsoft Points!

X-Orbtek II Single Player Trailer – Indie DB

Controlling X-Orbtek II

Probably the biggest change in X-Orbtek II compared to the original is that it now plays a lot more like a twin stick shooter. This has a huge impact on controls.

In the original game I built it with the intention of being played with a controller and provided keyboard controls for those who prefer that sort of thing. In hindsight I should have given more love to keyboard as people will play with weaker controls and then come away with a negative opinion. I like that Super Meat Boy is quite blunt that you’re better using a controller and I’m likely to do the same on the PC version of X-Orbtek II.

That said, not everyone has an Xbox controller on hand and I don’t want to make the same mistake of having a game get reviewed by someone on rubbishy keyboard controls. I plan to do a lot more work here to refine how you play the game. One change is that WASD/arrow keys will move the player up/left/down/right. There’s no turning. Direction will be based on where you are aiming, which will be controlled with the mouse.

This provides precise aiming and negates the issue of the turn circle that affected the original so heavily. However it does still have one of the same issues. Keyboard controls are on or off. This means there’s no moving slowly and much more importantly you have limited angles of movement. Movement is limited to 8 directions and is very rigid. With a controller you will be weaving smoothly between enemies (unless you’re rubbish at the game) but it be more challenging for keyboard users.

Unfortunately there’s not a lot that can be done. My only other option would be controller only but that cuts the player base and there’s no guarantee that those reviewing the game for online stores (eg IndieCity) will have access to a controller.

On the Xbox players may have a range of controllers, however I don’t imagine playing X-Orbtek II with a guitar or steering wheel will be much fun. To avoid people judging the game when played with devices that aren’t up to the job I’ve deliberately limited what you can use. This means if you plug in your guitar it will show up as unavailable. Originally I never showed this information but this led to two issues. Firstly people might be confused as to why only 2 of their 3 signed in profiles are showing up. Secondly, which unfortunately led to a failed review, it caused a bug. The bug itself was fixed to but it was clear that we want to convey this information.

Well that wraps up how I’ll be handling controllers in X-Orbtek II. I don’t believe it applies to all games but I feel that for a game designed for twin stick controls you need to ensure that your end users have the capability to play.

Highscores in X-Orbtek II

I’m currently looking at the options available for high scores in X-Orbtek II.

I figure that for local high scores, you don’t care about beating the 7th placed score. As a result I plan on keeping to one “high score”. When I first build the game it had two modes and then single player and multiplayer versions of those. This lead to four “High Scores” (i.e. one top score per mode). A little clunky but possibly explainable.

However now I’ve gone and expanded that. Effectively I could have 8 different forms of gameplay with 5 difficulty levels, which of course opens up a horrible mess of highscores. “You beat your top single player score on Easy difficulty with Classic orb collection and combat enabled”. Hmmm. I think not.

I’d like to reduce that but should that be reduced to just one highscore or have a couple for specific configurations (eg single player / multiplayer, combat / no combat, classic / survival). My concern is that it may be exploitable and there may be a specific configuration that allows for near unbeatable scores.

Saying that, this is for local highscores only. The goal of a local highscore is to get you trying to better yourself and making the best of any specific unbalanced selection only really applies in the online world. Also if the game becomes popular enough for an exploit to be known, well I’ll take that and address it later. Of course I hope to balance the game as much as I can before release, although there’s only so much playtesting that you can do!

I don’t expect to provide any form of online highscores for the XBLIG version* of X-Orbtek II, in large part because you can’t. Okay, there’s ways to fudge it via P2P communication but I’d rather only implement it if I’m doing it properly!

Anyway… here’s a video:

* As opposed to …?

Why X-Orbtek II has a key focus on local multiplayer

One of the major changes in X-Orbtek II over the previous releases is the introduction of local multiplayer.

Two player action

Two player action

I’ve always been a fan of local multiplayer over online multiplayer as half the fun is simply the banter with your mates. Friends mocking each other is completely different to any online discussion and its generally good fun. A great game just makes the experience even better. The other benefits are that you don’t have to deal with people quitting out mid-game or struggling to get an opponent on a quiet day. I’ve often found the process of going through logins, lobbies and having to wait on other players remembering to ready up can be infuriating. Imagine in X-Orbtek if you had a 2 minute wait and crashed within 20 seconds? Rage quit time! So yeah, X-Orbtek II is sticking to what I feel suits it best – local multiplayer.

That said, one of the difficulties that I’ve found with local multiplayer is that skill and experience can lead to the same result over and over. What really exacerbates the issue is that a lot of games are quite complex to pick up or require in depth knowledge to compete. For example in most fighting games, someone with a bit of experience will know a move or two. They will obliterate someone who can only button mash or do basic attacks every time. Equally they’ll get destroyed by a pro. This takes a lot of the fun out of the game.

I am looking to avoid this with the multiplayer in X-Orbtek II. The game itself is a simple concept. The same applies to the various multiplayer modes and this means that new players can come in and straight away start playing. Okay, they may make a few judgement errors at first by firing off bombs needlessly or trying to squeeze through gaps that aren’t there but a few games in and all players should be up to speed. Of course there is still a big skill demand to “master” the game so I’ve looked to ensure that the top player gets more attention from the enemies.

On both the new main mode and Classic mode it requires co-operation. When you work together it will be possible to keep collecting orbs for much longer than in single player. Because the game becoming increasingly difficult, as you start getting overwhelmed as the game goes on with ever increasing numbers and difficulty of enemies then you are really going to want your mate there to lend a hand! The session, and ultimately your score, will certainly keep going longer if you can support each other.

From my early playtests this proved good fun. You always push to do as well as you can for your score but at the same time you want to keep others going. You may even find yourself giving up that extra life or ammo to your fellow player as they struggle to keep up. I am very excited to do further playtesting with different people, different mindsets and different skill levels.

If saying “Go team!” isn’t for you and you just want to lock horns in a battle of skill then this can still be done in the main mode and Classic mode, however there’s a third mode that is available only for multiplayer. The “Survivor” mode will be much more competetive. The rules here are very similar to Classic with one life and no weapons, however unlike anything in previous versions of the games, it isn’t game over when the orbs disappear. The game keeps going until you are all dead, ensuring there is at least one orb available at any given time. Rather than having everyone chase the one orb around the screen, this mode gives players their own orbs to collect. This should bring a real competetive element to the game and some new tactics.

There’s still plenty playtesting to go in order to refine these modes but I’m very excited about playing X-Orbtek II with friends and hope others get to enjoy it as well.

Introducing X-Orbtek II

I am delighted to reveal my forthcoming game is the sequel to X-Orbtek, which was recently listed as one of the Top 5 Pick Up & Play PC Indie Games.

X-Orbtek II will introduce new gameplay that brings a whole new edge to the game as well as a local multiplayer mode that combines competetive and co-operative play in one mode. There will also be a classic mode for those who are fond of those simpler days…

Release is scheduled for 2013. That is about as specific as I’m willing to get for now!