Games Wot I Made Page Fixed, Expanded, and Updated

Well, seeing as how my lil' corner of Florida is about to be wiped off the map by Hurricane Irma, it seemed like a good time to finish up some outstanding projects. One of the older entries on the procrastination list was the spiffying up of my games page. Good thing, too. It seems that a bunch of the links to my stuff was completely broken (Thanks, Google).

Anyway, everything should be back online and the page itself, while not the best, is at least something more than a list of link. It has been updated with 'box shots' as well as some designer notes, fun facts, and Easter eggs . Didn't have time to get all the screenshots sorted out, so maybe I'll do that next time I plan on cheating death. Probably got some typos hiding in there too.

Perhaps once I'm gone my art will finally be appreciated. Goodbye, cruel Internet! Be better to each other.

You can visit the revised page here or by clicking the "Games Wot I Made" icon in the sidebar.

The Ludum Dare Game that Almost Wasn't but then Was

Ludum Dare Compo came around again. A global 'game jam' competition that challenges participants to develop and publish a video game from scratch in 48 hours based on a mystery theme announced at the beginning of the deadline. Once again, I was in. The theme? Running out of power.



I got off to a fine start. Progress was great after a mere two hours in. The world of "The Last Gladewarden" was coming together nicely. A few of the trickier mechanics were already slotted into place and even Blender's insatiable desire to swallow my soul appeared less vengeful than usual.

Disaster struck as I headed to bed at 5 AM. I realized the spark was gone. There wasn't anything wrong with the Gladewarden, there just wasn't anything new about it. The planned hybrid action/tower defense was far too close to Antagonistic, my last Ludum Dare title. Sure, there were a number aesthetic and gameflow differences, but the code I was writing was painfully similar to that previous title. It wasn't new enough, different enough, 'dare'ing enough.

The next morning I awoke to a sobering realization: I was quitting. Ludum Dare Compo may very well be one of the most grueling technical competitions in the world and I wasn't about to kill myself rehashing the same ol', same ol'. I was out.

A mere hour later, I was back in. A concept had bloomed in my mind so bonkers is simply had to be given a chance. But could I make it? I had already lost nearly 15 of my scant 48 hours. There was only one way to find out!

With only six hours left on the clock, I was still missing the victory/failure conditions and an actual algorithm governing the main power mechanic. It was going to be tight, to say the least.

The game was completed with less than 30 minutes left until the deadline. 

Thus, without further ado (mostly because I'm drifting off to sleep here at my keyboard*), I present Airship Engineer: A gonzo little arcade game that challenges you to maintain three cantankerous steampunk engine contraptions to keep your travel schedule. Admittedly, it is missing a couple of my signature touches (such as an animated main menu), but it is a fine bit of silly fun. I hope you enjoy.

Grab it from MikeyKae.Itch.Io
See what other contestants thought about it at Airship Engineer's Ludum Dare page


*Then I went to sleep and forgot to post this until now ;)

Ludum Dare 38 - I made a game in 48 hours

And, boy, is my everything tired!

One dev. Two days. A mystery theme. Welcome to the impossible world of the Ludum Dare Compo game jam. You might remember I triumphed over these ridiculous stipulations once before with Runty Raptor. Well, with this latest entry, I've set a whole new bar for myself with Antagonistic : Hamburger Hill.



Large scale action and big strategy in a small world!

Fly, spit acid, manage egg production, and lead your army of ants up Hill 943 to snatch the burger from inside beetle territory in this completely new action-strategy experience.

God save the Queen's lunch!

You can grab a copy from MikeyKae.itch.io for Windows, Linux, Mac, or even the full source code (Unity 5.5.2). The official Ludum Dare page is here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go collapse on the floor now...

UPDATE 4/24: Patched to v1.1 to fix a couple bugs (Not those kind of bugs, silly!) including the grass system!

UPDATE 4/25 : Fix for workers carrying food when game ends not being counted making it impossible to achieve perfect score.

UPDATE 5/3: Added 'bomber style' crosshair.  Spit travels farther and faster. Acid spit that now expires from being out of effective range disappears rather than explodes. Repurposed particle grass for new skybox. Tweaked lighting to match new skybox. Ant commander moved further to the left and out of your way. Wing flap speed now changes based on move speed and, even at max, is slower for less seizures. Wings made more transparent. Link to in-browser WebGL version added.

Zero Sum : Stalemate Manager - A new type of RTS in which you play both sides

The global financial collapse of 2026 marked the dawn of a new age of chaos around the world. Alliances shattered and revolution burns throughout regions previously believed unshakable.

It is in this dark future that the shadowy Pyramid organization has reassigned your position in Financial Oversight to Conflict Management. Your task: Spearhead Pyramid's new, more aggressive, "fundraising" efforts by manipulating these revolts into unwinnable wars while selling both sides the materials required to continue fighting.


The world order must be restored. Control is your burden.
  • Experience a revolutionary new form of RTS that challenges you to play both sides and avoid victory at all costs.
  • Manipulate the conflict by funding production, creating false orders, and blackmailing the influential.
  • Manage massive stalemates consisting of more than 100 units.
  • Plan your moves carefully to avoid suspicion lest either side uncovering your nefarious plans.
  • Play several challenging scenarios or create your own.
  • Name your own price (even zero!). 

 Now available for Windows, Linux, and Mac PCs at MikeyKae.itch.io/ZeroSum.

Project DFD is now Zero Sum:Stalemate Manager. Also done :)

Just a quick post to close this prolonged chapter of GUO. After about two-and-a-half years, I've finally decided that it is time for Project DFD to see the light of day. Two rewrites, three UI schemes, and half a dozen name changes later, I'm proud (and relieved!) to finally shove this little baby chick out of the nest and hope it goes on to make lots of friends.

While I can only dream that Zero Sum goes on to warrant enough attention to justify continued development, I am, at least, content in knowing that I've managed to complete another game.

Unless something goes horribly wrong, a full post with details regarding distribution will follow shortly.

Chasing GOTY 2016: Pokemon Go, XCOM 2, Superhot

Regardless of your preferred platform, genre, or commitment level, you had no shortage of great stuff to keep you busy all year. Even long running franchises seemingly oblivious to change got a shot in the arm. I mean, Mario got a runner game? Call of Duty has starfighters AND an emotional punch? Skylanders lets you mix and match your own characters without buying an army of figures? Uncharted replaced action and adventure with walking around and looking at stuff? Heck, The Last Guardian came out! Quite a year indeed! While RimWorld might have run away with our coveted Golden Giant Fire-Breathing Robot Baby GOTY statue this year, there were a few other titles we just couldn't let go unrecognized.

Let's deal with the hundred-pound Machamp in the room first: Pokemon Go is... not a great game. It is, however, a singularly magical experience. The combination of augmented reality, geocached treasure hunting, and one of the world's most beloved franchises created a perfect storm of childlike delight that kept many glued to their phones for months. Well, glued to their phones even more than usual. On the up side, we were all up, out, walking, and rediscovering our neighborhoods in a whole new light. No matter who you were or what you were doing, you'd have to be one cranky SoB not to crack a smile at the antics of a bunch of strangers laughing together as they ran from one side of your local park to another in search of virtual pocket monsters.


Growing Up Otaku Game of the Year 2016 : RimWorld

It was over. The colony was doomed.

We had survived the shipwreck that stranded us in this frozen forest at the edge of known space. We had survived the constant raids by passing star pirates and local tribal communities. We had (barely) survived that first hellish winter when we were forced to eat the chewed up remnants of our own after a hungry bear broke down the door to our ramshackle fort to devour the starving colonists within. We even survived the great fire that burned our humble abode to the ground and left many of us a missing few frostbitten fingers and toes. We had survived disease, killer robots, and toxic fog. Well... Some of us had survived all that. A lot of us didn't. But the colony, our fledgling civilization build on the bones and blood of our own (and the skins of many a local Muffalo) had survived. Until now.

Mae was one of our best. Well, maybe not our best. She was old and frail with a bad back. She refused to ever haul the crops in from the fields or clean the blood from the medical ward after our warriors were patched up following a skirmish with the locals. Still, Mae was a doctor. Not a great doctor, but a doctor none-the-less. She also had a special gift for negotiations, both with man and beast. It was Mae who trained the local wolves and foxes to haul grain while half the colony was bedridden with the plague. It was Mae who patched up captured raiders after an assault. It was Mae who later brainwashed convinced those prisoners to give up their piratey ways and find a better life at the colony with us. Everyone loved her. She had saved most of our lives, charmed many of us into settling here, and bolstered our workforce with four-legged, furry companions. She couldn't fight, haul, or clean, but she was the secret lifeblood that made sure we endured.

One chilly winter morning, Mae died from a heart attack.

Many of the domesticated forest beasts sharing our home went berserk with rage at the death of their mistress. Gunfire rang out from every corner of the fort as colonists desperately fought back against the furry horde. Some of our own fell to tooth and claw. Still others fell to friendly-fire in the impromptu firefight. Our medical ward overflowed. Many colonists needed to be treated in their own beds. Blood stained every corner of the colony. Still, few of the initial injuries were grave and it seemed we might pull through. Then the despair of Mae's death began to sink in.

Mae had saved many of us. Mae had spent many a day talking with us, eating with us, playing chess with us. She always had time for us (Mostly because she refused to haul, clean, or fight.). For some, Mae was the reason that they joined the colony in the first place. Mae's loss would take a heavy toll on the psyche of the colonists.


One by one, we began to crack. Some stripped naked and ran into the twenty degree below wilderness. Some went mad and started pummeling their fellow colony dwellers. The injury count grew. The blood spread. The despair deepened. Our one remaining doctor was forced to inject Go Juice every day just to keep up with the tending of wounds. Those not bleeding tried to clean as fast as possible to remove the offending blood from the most commonly used rooms. The medical supplies ran out. Infections set in. Emergency amputations amongst those suffering frostbite from wandering outside in the brutal winter weather, lost to reality in a haze of sadness, became common. Our people, even when sane, were becoming slower and less able-bodied with every lost appendage.

This is the way our world would end. Not with the bang of a pirate triple rocket launcher, but with the whimper of a woman dying of natural causes.

But usually you'll be wiped out by giant bugs tunneling into your bedroom a mob of bloodthirsty alpacas.


Checking in with JC for Christmas

Not that JC! Johnathan Coulton, silly. It is yet another winter holiday thing here at GUO and we have a tradition to keep up. You all should know the words by now, so sing along!




I Made This for You for Christmas: Play Kringle Krunch


Well, I actually made two Christmas games this year, but the other one was a whole lot more ambitious than I was able to get done in the two weeks I had left. Maybe next year. Still, I managed to burn some midnight oil and craft you this fine little arcade sugar plum I call Kringle Krunch!

Dodge the local air traffic and drop presents down chimneys in this high-skill arcade adventure staring Santa Claus!

Play in your browser or download this .zip file containing stand-alone build for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Judging a Politician by Its Wallet - Let's Look Up US Prediential Campaign Contributors

Unless you're a fan of staged reality TV shows, the latest US presidential race has been anything but interesting. None the less, wouldn't it be fun to look up our family, friends, and coworkers to see exactly who's been dumb enough to dump money into this sideshow? Thanks to Campaign Finance Reform and a global system of data tubes, you can!

Federal Election Commission



Welcome to the Federal Election Commission's Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal! Wanna search for a potential contributor up by name? Looking for a pretty infographic map? Just curious to see how folks in your zip code lean? Need to know which party is leading the cash race? This is your one stop shop for political campaign contribution data! Heck, spreadsheet nuts can even download a copy of all the data for themselves and make their own reports. Won't Uncle "I ain't got nothin' ta hide" Tony be surprised when you post a link to the ten grand he gave Bernie Sanders on his Facebook wall?

Sadly, this data is a good deal less interesting than back when GUO first showcased this site. See, following the sudden rush of transparency ushered in by McCain-Feingold back in 2002, political power players have sought to find new ways of obfuscating the money trail. Once we could look at this data and see the political leanings of your favorite companies as well as comrades. Sadly, those days are gone. The latest trend in political money laundering started in 2010 and today most major campaign contributions are paid not to the campaign, but an 'outside' committee such as a "Super PAC". Political campaigns then take out a loan from said committee so they need not disclose contributors AND the money does not count towards the maximum amount of cash a political campaign is allowed to raise. Just like how Uncle Tony funnels the profits from his heroin running totally legit cargo hauling service through his laundromat that the pizzeria borrows money from when he needs a new car or three. Pretty clever, eh?

Looking for a little more information on Super PACs and the recent "dark money" fad among today's political movers-n-shakers? I urge you to check out OpenSecrets.org run by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit research group dedicated to studying the flow and effects of political monies.