This game was the genesis of what ultimately became the “Flynn” vector game engine that powers of all of the Vector Alchemy games. My son Trayton and I created the first version forMini Ludum Dare #56 with the design goals “Make the player dizzy” and “Use only 2 keys”.

Roundabout turned a huge corner when Trayton came up with the idea of adding knock-back to the shots. Suddenly you could control your descent speed (by firing), which made the game instantly more fun.

Back in 1998 I built a MAME arcade cabinet which I still have today. When we were developing Roundabout I put the project into Dropbox and synced it to the arcade machine. I’ve rarely had so much development fun as hitting save on my Mac, punching a button on the arcade machine (mapped to browser refresh), and instantly playing the change, standing up, in full retro arcade glory. It’s a great way to make games ?

Play Roundabout
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I created Exhaust for Ludum Dare #32, which had the design theme “An Unconventional Weapon”.

Exhaust pays homage to some favorites of my youth (Defender, Choplifter, Lunar Lander) and deliberately breaks the vector rules a little with respect to quantity and shading of particles. I just love the mayhem of decaying exhaust particles bouncing everywhere.

Play Exhaust
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My son Trayton thought it would be interesting to make a Left/Right/Thrust/Fire space shooter where the ships had punching arms instead of traditional particle weapons. I was interested in making the Flynn engine interoperate with a 2D physics engine so I mocked up a prototype. Punching each other wasn’t very fun so I added a ball and it turned out that fighting the other player for control of the ball was a blast.

VBall has 1 player (timed) and 2 player (scored) modes, but 2 player is where the real action is.

Play V-Ball
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Deep Trouble (Alpha)

Deep Trouble is a concept demo to test the idea of applying a combo system to a two-button control scheme. The idea works (in a retro context), but I haven’t (yet) fleshed out the gameplay to go with it. Stay tuned…

Play Deep Trouble