A guest post from Vourbot on The World's First And Only One-Off Arcade Game ...
I'm presenting a brag- just in order to shine some light on some times that are a-changing, hopefully, in this stunted version of 2017 that's a little high on the Trump-age and a little low on the sci-fi. And, for full disclosure, I only went three google pages deep as I attempted to corroborate the brag. But I came up with no opposing material.
The brag is that, possibly- and as it's just recently occurred to me- I, Vourbot, may be the creator of the ONLY SINGULAR ARCADE GAME IN EXISTENCE since the very first interactive program was written and executed in the 50's research facility.
Don't believe me? Well, here's how I came up with that.
1. I've been trying to make video games my whole life, in my mind. I experimented one time with Flash and gave up. I experimented once with Game Maker and also gave up. My background in the field is that I like shmups and I'm an artist. Not a visual artist, but an artist of sight, sound, movement, muscles, adrenaline, pacing, imagination and all of that combined into single linear experience, that's why I like shmups, duh! I am not a syntax artist, nor am I a code organizing artist, and I barely speak English, and no other languages at all.
So anyways, if you can do the math on that, it's clear that I've spent my whole life as an artist without a brush.
Around October 2016, I gave google another go, looking for my brush, and I happened to come across a program available on Steam for around 40$ called Tall Studio's "Shoot Em Up Kit". I was so desperate and rich right at that moment that I gave it a chance. The program promised that "anyone could make a game with drag-and-drop interfaces only, and no programming knowledge or language would be involved, ever".
Over the next couple of months, as I struggled to get a grip on the program, I learned a few VERY interesting things:
A. The program was an extreme beta release- especially for me. It actually worked very well, had just a few bugs- almost none, but I needed it to do some very specific things that were right past the margins of what was finished with the program. Plus, its documentation, particularly relating to what I needed to do exactly, was nonexistent. So I spent a very long time spinning my wheels, going to and fro, and getting help directly from Tall Studios. And they gave 100% help within 24 hours throughout, basically (it is a very small company and they are passionately developing the program. The user feedback was very important to them- problems plus suggestions). Looking back, the program really worked pretty elegantly the whole time. If the documentation was more robust, I would have had no problems. If I wasn't cutting new territory, I could have finished my work in two months instead of nine.
B. During the moments I struggled with the program, I'd search for other options; other programs I could invest my time into that were better or easier. Now, hold on to your chair while I say this: in twenty-seven-frickin-teen, there is not another program that does this (as far me as could/can find). I repeat: are no other programs that do this. There are children's programs, there are logic blocks, there was "sketch shooter" on the iphone, but there is nothing like this program. It lets you take art, place it on the screen, and describe how it interacts- with the only limits being however far they've developed the program up to that point (I think Tall Studios has just been working on the program every day for year and years). And, you know, It just blows my mind that they alone are carrying the torch for this kind of usage of common technology. But, I guess we can't all live in Star Trek land. Gah! It just makes my furious to think about. Thank you Tall Studios!!!
2. So I started making my game. It is a documentary shmup that tells the tale of some out-door concerts that my brother's band, the Joshua Payne Orchestra, played in Salt Lake City around 2010. It's called JPO in SLC, and it's authored by Rest 30 Records: Video Game Division (that's just me). I'll be done with the game this month, just in time to show at a local science fair.
3. I'm presenting the game in an arcade cabinet with proprietary controls. I'm only making one. Of course, I'm going to share the program, but it's really designed to use with the cabinet, and it's final and sculptural form will be that one object. Plus, as far as I know, it'll only work properly on the one computer in the cab (I've optimized it for that one PC and display in the cab).
4. I can't capitalize on the game. While I ethically don't believe in intellectual property, I legally can't sell the game. I made it using ONE HUNDRED PERCENT art that I gleaned from the internet with google search. There's sprites from Strider and 1945 II, animations from other people’s indie games that I don't even know-- I typed in "animated gif" and just took what I needed. Plus, lots of sounds and assets that came with the kit (which I think is owned by Tall Studios). Anyways, I'll do some construction as well as composition on my next game. I'm an artist, though, I'm not going to sell that one either.
So, in conclusion:
1. Before now, up until just last week when Tall Studios updated the "feature-test beta" I'm using that got the super bomb to function properly (I was waiting on that), there was no way for a layman to make a game like this.
2. I only had artistic intentions in the first place, I can't capitalize on the game, and I don't have any motivation to replicate it. It will remain a sculpture in the arcade shmup medium. It's got five long levels.
So...... Is this the only one? Am I the only one? Would you like to make one too? Any "video game artists" out there??
Check out Tall Studio's "Shoot Em Up Kit". It will give you your brush.