Tom Francis & The Egg Controller

Tom Francis is the developer of Heat Signature, games about ant eaters, Gun Point, and he’s made a ton of other stuff. Currently, Francis is working on Tactical Breach Wizards, which I’m very interested in. He’s also recently had to figure out how to solve for making business cards when you need each one to have a different design:

At one point I wanted to get business cards made that would each have a free copy of my game on them. That meant each card needed a different code printed on it. I had 200 codes, and one image with a blank space for the code to be written. The card company would happily take 200 different images, but they couldn’t combine the images and text for me – I had to do that. A solution for this should exist.

It does, actually, there are dozens. But all of them would require me to learn some new scripting language or tool that was far more complex than what I needed. This was a programming problem, and the only programming language I knew was the one I made the game in: it’s called Game Maker.

So, technically, I made a game. It’s a game where the only level is a giant room that looks like my business card, the menu system writes a giant code across it, then it takes a screenshot. Thirty times a second. You win the game by waiting for 7 seconds. Then when you quit, you have a folder full of 200 images, each with a different code on them, which you can send straight to the printers.

But the real point of this is about an Egg Controller, which, you should read the rest of here.

Battleship Solitaire

Battleship

There’s something special to free games on the web. Luke Rissacher (via Tom Francis)has this quick game, Battleship Solitaire. It is  a  “mindless podcast companion” as he describes it. I like that it is simple callback to a beloved board game, and has elements of sudoku, minesweeper, and picross. Fun.

Tom Francis, His Gnome, and Left 4 Dead 2

In the Dark Carnival campaign of Left 4 Dead 2, you can win a garden gnome at the fairground near the start — and there’s an achievement for carrying it all the way to the end. It is, in fact, the same goddamn gnome I carried through Episode goddamn Two, for the same goddamn reason: there was an achievement for it.

By the end of that ordeal, I prayed I’d never set eyes on his (“stupid fucking”) face again — but here he is, and here I am, and here we go.

via I Played Through Left 4 Dead 2 Holding A Goddamn Gnome, by Tom Francis.