Archive for the ‘Games’ Category


Today is a great day. The version of Spelunky for the PlayStation®3 and the PlayStation®Vita we’ve been working on at BlitWorks has been released both in America and Europe.

Spelunky is a 2D platformer with randomized levels where endless combinations of crazy stuff can happen everytime you play, thus redefining the word ‘addictive’.

The game came out last year for the XBox360 achieving great success. Earlier this month a slightly more featured version for Steam and GOG was released, but today it makes its debut in Sony’s desktop and (for the first time) handheld consoles.

What sets this port apart from the others is:

– Cross-buy & Cross-play: Buy the PS3 version and get the Vita one for free (and vice-versa). Play in one console and your progress will be automatically sync’d in the cloud letting you continue in another console where you left.

– Wireless co-op mode: Up to 3 Vitas can be hooked up via Wi-Fi with a PS3 to play in co-op (either adventure or deathmatch). Or use your Vita to play against other vitas on the go via Ad-Hoc.

– Every Vita owns its own camera, so there’s no need for everyone in the game to be constrained to the same frame like in other versions.

– Touch features and accelerometer 3D effects on menus! (Vita only)

– Controller vibration feature in PS3

There’s a free demo awaiting for you to try at PlayStation Store.

The full version is priced at $14.99 in America and 14.99 € in Europe. If you’re a PS Plus subscriber you’ll get a 20% discount.

The port is getting fairly good reviews so far 🙂



Yet another Sonic clone

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Games


I’ve been a Sonic series enthusiast since I got my Sega Genesis as a child. To me, it’s the perfect match between platforms and speed, two genres I love. Even though time flies, it never gets old.

First off, I must say that I’m not associated with Sega or Sonic team in any way, and what I’m gonna show you is just a simple fan game I made for fun.

This was one of my first amateur side scrollers that I made like 5 or 6 years ago or so, I had made a couple of very simple scrollers in Flash in the past, but I wanted to work with old school tiles.

MFC stands for the Microsoft Foundation Classes which I used as a rendering API. Since I wanted to use it as a project for a college subject the use of MFC, though not the most efficient, was mandatory.

It features a couple of badniks, rings, goal billboards, moving platforms, springs, a final boss and a level editor.

I found the tiles, backgrounds and sprites on some website so I only needed to focus on programming.

Got ring?

As you may know, in the old times the home consoles and arcade machines were mostly tile-based engines. In a nutshell, everything you saw on the screen was made up of fixed-size *usually* square tiles which were laid out in a particular fashion according to some table in memory.

The video signal generator just checked that table and the tiles in video memory to generate the video output.

Of course there’s a lot of nuts and bolts to it (scrolling playfields, mirroring, transparency, overlapping…) but that’s another story.

This app allows you to set up a scrolling playfield made of tiles and specify its absolute position on screen. It will determine the tiles visible in the viewport, their offset and how they should be displayed. Then the backend MFC renderer does the rendering job.

As for the animated sprites, there’s a base AnimatedSprite class which implements an interface for rendering and for specifying the status of the animation (playing, stopped,…) as well as its speed and extents.

The physics are simple enough to make the game look almost like the original (of course, it’s substantially less feature-complete). Collisions with the scenery are handled in a per-tile basis where each tile has its own collision properties.

The game logic and automatas glue everything else up.

Regarding sound, the Windows MM API is used and there’s a folder with .wav sound cues and BGM on it. But I have recently discovered that it freezes on Windows 7 when it tries to play more than one sound simultaneously. But there’s a workaround.

The final boss is a funny inter-company match where Super Mario throws items from his game 😀

The whole game was created from scratch in about three weeks working about 4 hours per day in the evenings.

Unfortunately and due to a hard disk failure, I lost the source code, but I still have the binaries.

And I keep it as a bit of history.

Dead And Angry

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Computer Graphics, Games

That is the spooky title we gave to a demo game we’ve made at the URJC.

This game has been made by a team of 4 people (which includes me) with no prior knowledge of Unreal Development Kit.

It features custom models, AI, sceneries, UI, cinematics, gameplay and a mutiplayer mode.

In my opinion, UDK can be an extremely sweet tool for artists and designers but it can also be a pain to programmers (let’s recall that I’m talking about the free UDK version) due to the lack of consistent and well-organized documentation and examples. But in the other hand, the community is very active and responsive.

All I have to say is that we’ve learned a lot about the whole process of making a game, especially about how important the preproduction is. And how many features you have to prematurely trash due to deadlines.