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Friday, August 03, 2007
Finalists for the Dream-Build-Play competition (a Microsoft XNA Game Studio contest) were recently announced, with the winners to be revealed on August 13th. A publishing contract with XBox Live Arcade is up for grabs.

The selected twenty finalists are as follows:

Burning AngelsBig Sky
Blazing Birds
Burning Angels (pic. right, video)
Chaos *
Gravitron Ultra
Hasta la muerte *
Hippocrate's Dilemma (video)
HurricaneX PC
Little Gamers (video)
Magic Crystals
Proximity HD *
Ragu (video)
Rocketball (video)
Samurai Soul Hunters
Shuggy *
Sprockets of Strife
The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai (video 1, video 2, video 3)
YoHo Kablammo

* - playable

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai is developed by Ska Software (creator of the Zombie Smashers X series).

- download links for warm-up entries
- links to web sites, videos and installers for most of the entries submitted
- Ziggyware version of Advice from the Swamp
- Dream-Build-Play web site


Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 01:33:00 AM:  
Damn! Burning Angels looks just mindblowing incredible! Absolutely awesome bossfight, I'm seriously blown away:-)
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 02:20:00 AM:  
Amen. It's hard to tell where the hell the player is with half the screen exploding, but it's still a freaking amazing boss fight to watch.
Blogger leo03 said at 8/04/2007 02:31:00 AM:  
the burning angel's music is from Sonic adventure 2...
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 06:07:00 AM:  
Burning Angels..

Good for China
they were not in
the 'black' list..
Blogger Graham Goring said at 8/04/2007 08:10:00 AM:  
Burning Angels looked like shit to play. Nothing even approaching thought required for a really boring bullet-sponge style enemy.

I'll admit the design of the boss's look is very good, though, with the unhinged jaw but as for gameplay it looked awful.
Blogger LoverBoy69 said at 8/04/2007 08:12:00 AM:  
Looks amazing, although the camera didn't seem very useful. Hottest boss I've seen for quite a while.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 10:03:00 AM:  
Burning Angels and Magic Crystals look amazing. The rest, yikes...
Blogger Dominic Tarason said at 8/04/2007 10:19:00 AM:  
Graham - are you even aware of 'bullet hell' shooters? You're not meant to be focusing on fancy ways of defeating bosses. You're meant to hold down fire and focus on the HUNDREDS OF BULLETS, and try and avoid getting hit.


The player in the video there did remarkably well, in fact, weaving between tiny gaps in complex bullet patterns. It looks like you get a health-bar, but I doubt it will last very long against that kind of firepower.
Blogger Graham Goring said at 8/04/2007 10:32:00 AM:  
I'm perfectly aware of bullet hell games and while they aren't my favourite genre at least they generally have the decency not to fudge things with a health bar. Health bars in shoot 'em ups are an admission of sloppy design, IMHO.

Anyway, I still think it looks bad with overuse of special effects obscuring what's going on and a perfectly abysmal "camera" (or lack thereof) which allows the player to get too close to the edge of the screen and lets them be obscured by the boss when they move behind it despite the game being in a circular arena which the camera could have circled around to negate the problem.

And just because an enemy spews bullets at you, it doesn't mean that you can't invest an iota of interesting gameplay design into it.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 11:11:00 AM:  
How is having a health bar an admission of sloppy design? Instead of having three lives (or whatever), it's represented as a life bar instead.
Blogger Graham Goring said at 8/04/2007 11:14:00 AM:  
I think it's sloppy design in shooters. It's an admission that they couldn't design bullet waves which were perfectly navigable, so instead you have this fuzziness added in the form of a health bar.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 11:38:00 AM:  
Glad Samurai Soul Hunters made the cut. Man, that games looks mad fun.

Burning Angels reminds me of an average PSX game being hit over the head with a chair full of shaders and some decent modelling skills.

Pretty, but very uninspired and in turn uninspiring.

And wot Mr G said about health bars ;)
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 11:58:00 AM:  
Why aren't any of the Burning Angels ladies wearing any pants? Does that bother anybody else? They're running around with their arses out! Even if the gameplay is spot-on, I'd be too embarrassed to play it or discuss playing it.

I wonder if whoever was directing the art said: "Well, we have a really solid shooter now with some incredible looking bosses, but I just don't think it will give a single teenager an erection. I'm swapping the pants for something more arse-revealing, maybe a piece of string wedged up there. Make sure we put it on the title screen too, in case people are worried there won't be any arses in the game. Awesome!"

I mean, come on!
Blogger Graham Goring said at 8/04/2007 12:08:00 PM:  
Fark. I'll retype that.

Obviously the "correct" answer is because the characters were probably designed by a man, or at least to a man's specifications.

Sadly, unlike the look of the boss character they didn't really have much thought put into them other than "Woo! Bums! BUMS! BRAS!".
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 12:15:00 PM:  
And thats what kills me!

That boss is pretty cool. So obviously they have some talent. And those models, despite being vehicles for displaying a lady-arse, were put together with some skill. But instead of making the characters something cool (even if generic) it became an arse-game.

From their website:
"The characters and weapons are pleasing to both the eye and the mind, too."

That's creepy. I couldn't enjoy that game any more than I could enjoy a cup of coffee if I knew it was brewed by a naked clown.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 12:54:00 PM:  
Has anyone gotten "Hasta la Muerta" to work? I've done the (overly complicated) install and it crashes after I select my resolution. I'm running XP, which is probably the problem.

Anyway, it looks like it's got syle, so I'd like to try it.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 8/04/2007 01:00:00 PM:  
It looked pretty cool to me, but it raised a question about games in general.

How come most bosses in games attack in a pattern, instead of relative to the player? Even just shooting straight at the player all the time, or using more complicated strategies... For some reason, they just follow patterns, or attack straight at the player only now and then and waste their bullets/rockets/breath/dashing the rest of the time. Why do they do that?
Blogger Lars Doucet said at 8/04/2007 10:08:00 PM:  
Hey, I updated Sprockets' page :)


Lars Doucet, Team Sprockets