Transfer Complete!

If you’re reading this, then that means the server change has worked, and I have successfully migrated the website to a new hosting provider.  Huzzah!

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Neverending [Cave] Story

Fly away Cave Story, fly away!I assume that most people are in-the-know about such things, but in case anyone missed it, today is the day on which the WiiWare version of Cave Story has finally been released.  It is looking mighty fine.  Mighty fine indeed.

Sadly, for various (amicable) reasons, they weren’t able to keep Shih-Tzu’s excellent translation, but from everything I’ve seen and heard, the replacement is still quite good.

And if you’re reading this and you still don’t know what Cave Story is, then it is possible you have wasted your life, and there is nothing that I can say that will make things better.

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Case Study: Risk/Reward in Imperishable Night

Character Select

Your first big risk/reward choice.

I’m trying to avoid having Touhou games take up too much space here.  I don’t want to turn into “another guy on the internet who won’t shut up about ZUN’s Shmups.”  But deconstructing them lately has been fairly fascinating stuff, and I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about what seems like a high point in the series – Touhou 8: Imperishable Night.  It has a lot of neat things going for it, but I’m going to focus on one particular aspect of its design:  Layered risk/reward mechanisms.

Continue reading »

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GDCeems like only yesterday…

GDCAnd thus another year’s Game Developer’s Conference has come and gone.  I was going to post some photos, but after digging through my camera roll, it seems that I didn’t take as many as I remembered, and none of them turned out terribly well.  So instead, I’m just going to skip the pictures, and use only text.  And take you there, gentle reader, through the magic of reading!!

Continue reading »

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Player-tuned SHMUPS or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I love it!

I’ve been thinking a bit about the role of bombs in SHMUPS, and why they are always there.  While I have never been a fan of doing things “because all the other games do them”, the more I have thought about the bombs, the more I have realized just how many problems they solve in ingenious ways.  This has been floating around in my head a lot lately, but a recent conversation with a friend brought it to the fore.  It made me realize that not everyone appreciates bombs as I do!


Clearly the only way this could possibly be resolved is via an overblown blog post.  To the internets!

Continue reading »

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What are the haps, my peeps?

QuestionsSo right about now, a reasonable question might be “So what ever happened to Boss Rush?”

It HAS been about two and a half months since the last official word.  And at the time, the word was “any moment now, for real!”

So where is it at?

Well, happy news!  While there have been a few delays, it is still there, and still about to be released.  It is on a test server right now, and this is (hopefully!) the last week of pounding on it.


There is a new project in the works!  While it has a ways to go, it is coming along rather nicely, and is looking pretty neat.  It should be announced soon as well!

The tl;dr version:  Boss Rush is coming.  Something else is too.


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Yet more press!

BossRushIcon1Getting some nice mentions!

First off, the fine folks at Level Forty-Two got to see a prerelease copy, and have a review up.  They seem to like it!  Yay!

Also, getting some mentions in blogs!

Very cool!

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Game Set Watch this space…

BossRushIcon1Nice!  Got a very nice mention on Game Set Watch!  It’s dated last Tuesday, so apparently I completely missed it in the thanksgiving buildup.  Nice!  They were even nice enough to link to my trailer!

Update: has also given me some ink.  Double-nice!

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Justin, on Music

Artist's Conception of Justin

Artist's Conception of Justin

[Justin Mullens, the man behind the fine, fine music in Boss Rush, has graciously offered write down some of the thoughts he had while he was composing.  For anyone interested in how the music came to be, it’s a fun read, and offers a fascinating glimpse into what his creative process looks like.  He clearly knows what he is talking about, since he specifically calls out the Moon Level music from Duck Tales. 🙂  -Montoli]

First of all, a little personal background: I loved shooters when I was growing up. I was addicted ever since I first laid my hands on Defender in the arcades, I got really into them with Gradius and R-Type on the NES & SNES, and was completely hooked when Square released Einheinder on the Playstation. There was a ton of shmups I didn’t play, but the ones I did play left an indelible impression. It was around this time that I first started making electronic music using Impulse Tracker in DOS, which is basically the origin of my career as a sound designer in the video games industry. Even though shooters and tracker music were two of my loves growing up I’ve never had a chance to work on a “classic style” 2D shooter before now, and I was really excited by the opportunity to work with Chris (Paper Dino) when he asked me to do the music and sound effects on Boss Rush.

Continue reading »

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Music for Bossing to!

BossRushIcon1Justin Mullens, Sound Designer and Composer Extraordinaire, is the brain behind the excellent music in Boss Rush.  He has thoughtfully sent over some of the music, in long-format MP3 files designed for listening.  (As opposed to, say, looping in-game.)

What’s neat about this is that the actual game only contained TWO pieces of music.  The other two are pieces that never made it into the game for various reasons, but were composed during the same period, with the same sort of mood in mind.

Have a listen! Continue reading »

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