jump to navigation

Review: Bloc November 19, 2008

Posted by Jesse in : Game Reviews , 2 comments

Game: Bloc
Developer: Metacreature Games
Version: Full version
Platform: Xbox 360, Community Game

Long time readers might remember that I used to write the occasional review of indie games that I enjoyed. Well, that feature is back. Today’s game is Bloc, one of the launch games in the Xbox Community Games program.

At first glance, Bloc looks like a dual-stick shooter, like Geometry Wars or Robotron. But as soon as you fire it up, you’ll realize that’s not what’s going on here at all. Instead of firing in the direction you aim the right thumbstick, you fire by pressing one of the colored face buttons, and your ship launches a missile of that color. You destroy enemies by hitting them with their matching color. The trick is that you rotate your ship with the triggers or bumper buttons, and that might mean you start firing in a direction you didn’t expect.

And that’s the innovation in Bloc. Instead of thinking “press up to fire up,” you have to “press red to fire red.” But my brain just can’t do it! I’m so terrible at this game, and yet I just keep coming back. I think that’s a sign that the creators have done something right. If you’re like me and just can’t get your brain wrapped around the colors (and believe me, I’ve tried), you can go into the options and turn on “Color Assistance.” It adds the letters A, B, X, and Y, onto the appropriate colors. I’m guessing this mode was added to help colorblind players, but it helps me a ton.

Also, for added silly fun I recommend getting out your guitar controller, and giving that a go. You have four color buttons, and your fifth fret button rotates your ship. You control with the dpad on the guitar. It really changes the game up a bit.

I’ve had alot of fun with this game, and I recommend it. The demo is up on Xbox Live now. If you have an Xbox 360, go give the demo a try.

Some press

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Game Development , add a comment

Purchased November 15, 2008

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Game Development , 2 comments

Today I was lucky enough to make it into the final round of users who received early access to the New Xbox Experience.  That means I was able to buy Being today!

While I realize that this stuff isn’t likely to make me rich, and it’s not the start of a new career, it’s definitely made me very happy.  This has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and I’ve finally gotten off of my behind and made it happen.  Thank you very much to all the people who helped make this possible!

It will be awhile before I have anything to show off from my next game, but I’m already experimenting and learning the things I’ll need to bring it to life.  I’m not stopping now!

Being on Community Games November 7, 2008

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Game Development , 5 comments

I didn’t think it was possible to be more excited than I was when I posted the approval letter. But this totally trumps it. The ZMan from thezbuffer.com captured some screens of what Being looks like in the Community Games section on the Xbox 360.

Thanks, ZMan!

(Click for larger images.)

Being is approved

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Game Development , 3 comments

I just got the most awesome email ever. I had to run around giving high-fives to everybody I work with. Allow me to share.

Dear Chounard,

The XNA team is delighted to tell you that your community game has been approved by your fellow Creators. You should see the game appear within 48 hours of the time of this message on the community games area of Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Your game should also show a status of “Approved” in your Creator profile at http://creators.xna.com within that timeframe.

If you receive this email, but do not see your game in either location within the approval timeframe, please use the feedback form on the creators.xna.com site to let us know, so we can track down any issues.

Since you are now a successful game author, you might consider sharing your tips and tricks on forums.xna.com, celebrating, or just bragging a little. 🙂

Thanks again for making our community great!

The XNA Team