Weekend Download №44


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Weekend Download

JohnBRecently, TIGSource held a competition centered around procedural generation, games that create their content on the fly rather than presenting pre-made areas crafted by the programmer. This gives the player a new experience each time he or she plays, opening the doors of replayability and creating some unpredictable situations. Below are the top five entries as determined by player votes. More than 60 games were submitted, so feel free to peruse the competition page for more procedurally generated goodness!

rescuethebeagles.gifRescue: The Beagles (Windows, 10.8MB, free) - A cargo plane carrying a large shipment of beagles crashed in the wasteland outside of the Amita range. It's your job to grab every dog you see before it escapes or is captured by one of the biohazard guys. This sidescrolling platformer features three levels where the action takes place and plenty of obstacles to keep you busy.

dyson.jpgDyson (Windows, 7.6MB, free) - A game of conquest, colonization and strategy, Dyson is a strangely relaxing game where you plant seeds on asteroids and send self-replicating mining machines out to conquer more. Plant additional Dyson trees on an asteroid to bolster your defenses, and send swarms of machines out to expand your territory. Everything is mouse-driven and remarkably straightforward, but a tutorial session gives you a good overview on how to play.

selfdestruct.jpgSelf-Destruct (Windows, 2.3MB, free) - An insanely intense vertically scrolling shooter where your only goal is to survive wave after wave of enemies. Move with the [arrow] keys and tap [z] to fire your weapon. The [x] button is crucial, as it activates your shield, which you'll occasionally use more often than your gun. The [c] key unleashes a nuke, which should be self-explanatory. Grab items as you destroy enemies to replenish your supplies, and good luck.

droptd.gifdropTD (Windows, 12.7MB, free) - One of the most unusual tower defense games you'll ever play, dropTD uses files you drag and drop onto the playing field to generate the level as well as each tower you build. Each file, no matter what type or size it is, creates a pattern that can then be placed around the maze to fire at advancing enemies. Drop the same file twice and you get the same shape, then remove excess blocks later. A bit awkward to keep a good list of files nearby, but very creative nonetheless.

active2.jpgEveryone Loves Active 2 (Windows, 8.7MB, free) - A colorful arena shooter where painting becomes part of the experience. As you play the background is drawn in real-time. Shoot enemies and the bullets and enemy remains slowly affect the paint behind you. Gorgeous, but a bit intense for older computers to handle.

37 Comments

Personally I didn't like Rescue: The beagles that much. But I really enjoy Dyson and DropTD. One file I had just made a tower with no waste blocks, I felt like I was cheating :D. Dyson is really relaxing to just play and listen to music. It does get a bit more hectic later on when you start getting attacked by the computer.

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Dyson is absolutely amazing and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that everybody play it. It walks the line between zen-like experience and thrilling space-empire builder very well. Also, if you get bored, you can change the configuration and get a completely different game.

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Helmaroc Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 3:47 PM

These all look good, sadly I cannot play any of them.

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Groogokk Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 4:41 PM

I played Dyson before the end of the competition, and I loved the game, too. Wulfo's and Kero's comments nicely sum up the game experience.

Allow me to comment the new layout of JiG: Somehow I don't like it as much as the former one; it looks like a patchwork to me, not like one website. Maybe it's because all the different colours stand out more against the white background than they did against the dark one.

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Thanks for the feedback, Groogokk.

There will be new skins in the future, however the present layout is here to stay.

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fattywads Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 5:19 PM

anyone know what the resource bars (red blue yellow) stand for in dyson? the tutorial doesnt explain it that well.

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willpac June 28, 2008 5:44 PM

how do you play these once you download them?

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How do you get dyson to work? Is it supposed to be a .rar file?

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DropTD is a really amazing Tower Defense game. Well, I can't say much for the graphics, music, or gameplay, but the concept was incredible. Using the very files on your computer to make levels and place towers. 100% kick-ass.

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fattywads Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 6:12 PM

G you need an unpacking program like winzip or winrar. they are free. You can actually play the game without extracting it.

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Fredzorz Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 6:24 PM

DropTD looks like a ton of fun, but the file size is 12MBs (I have a slow internet connection) and I use Linux. I probably could get it working under wine, but it's just too much of a hassle. Oh well. Also, "Note: All games are for Windows, are free, and are less than 10MB in size." is incorrect.

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Can someone tell me exactly what values change what on the Dyson .xml file?

I can figure out the Asteroids section
but I'm not 100% sure on what any of the other values affect in game.

Thanks

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Spinny808 Author Profile Page June 28, 2008 8:11 PM

very disappointed with this weekend's downloads. no Mac games? I know they are hard to come by but you've left a large portion of your gamers high and dry this weekend... tragic.

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*sweeps up the melodrama*

I understand you're feeling disappointed, but I'd hardly call it tragic. (Good) Mac games are definitely hard to come by.

And there's really no reason to complain. I have a Mac and yet I'm still able to participate in all the Windows-only downloads since (Intel) Macs are capable of running Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

My advice: install Boot Camp and put an end to feeling left out.

(Factoid: Mac users make up 8% of visitors to JIG)

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I can't get Dyson to work, it freezes whenever I open it up from winrar

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Freckleface June 28, 2008 8:39 PM

Dyson has really cool graphics and is a old idea very well played out. The only problem is there isn't enough variety for me and after about 3-4 games I got bored of it.

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I use a program called 7-Zip to extract .rar files. It's free, open-source, and it works on just about everything: .zip, .rar, .lzh, .iso, so on and so forth. Great program.

http://www.7-zip.org/

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I got dyson to work, but now I can't play ELA2 because it says "Cannot load reciver" or something. Help?

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Spinny808 Author Profile Page June 29, 2008 12:15 AM

you are certainly right Jay it's not tragic by any means... me and my old Mac can't roll with the duel boot... well it can but with some lag anyway... sorry bout that last message... I am a long time fan of this site and first time stupid poster... you've got a great thing going here. always look forward to seeing what you've got up next... again my apologies.

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Thanks, Spinny! But no apology is necessary. I do feel your pain, really I do.

When new games come out, I am delighted when there's a native Mac version. Trouble is, there usually isn't.

But I do see that changing, albeit slowly.

We will continue to do our best to cover all the Mac games we can, I promise you that. But you should know also that the number of games for Windows will continue to outnumber those for the Mac as long as Windows continues to dominate.

And I do see that changing, too, albeit slowly.

In short: hang in there! :)

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Spinny808 Author Profile Page June 29, 2008 12:49 AM

good thing first impressions are everything... I will certainly continue to hang in there.頑張ろ!(I will try my best). Long live Mac and long live Jay is Games. Thanks for the reassurance!

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Dyson loads to an SDL_APP white window, hangs for a couple minutes.. and then crashes.
Any advice?

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Eviltim Author Profile Page June 29, 2008 4:14 AM

As a proud owner of a Beagle,Rescue: The Beagles made me smile.I haven't actually played it yet,though I might try it if I want to.

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Dyson just had a bad download. First time i downloaded it it was 2 mb, later 6, and the 3th time over 7. At that time i realized they where probably uploading a new version or something. If you just downloaded dyson, and it failed to extract properly, redownload it :)

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CapnHulk Author Profile Page June 29, 2008 11:33 AM

Dyson is absolutely amazing. My mind boggles at the idea of a sequel with more robust features.

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tenkuchima Author Profile Page June 29, 2008 1:54 PM

Dyson was really fun. I probably wont play it more than once but still worth playing. I would've won but but on one planet, one of my little spaceship bug things got stuck at the entrance and no other bugs could get to the core to capture the planet.

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Tried to play Dyson, and the graphics just don't seemt to be working. The status boxes are there, but i can't see the asteroids. Any ideas how to fix it ?

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I love Everyone Loves Active 2!

I really like the concept of having the events of the firefight effect the background. It's a neat touch that I wish more games would utilize. (the only other game I can think of off the top of my head is mono, by binaryZoo.)

Dyson is a fun game too, but I've never been the biggest fan of the RTS genre, so I don't see it holding my attention for very long.

Now I'm going to have to try dropTD. :D

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For those of you having trouble with Dyson, make sure you extract it properly. Running it directly out of the .rar file can cause issues, as with many programs.

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Rescue the Beagles is not even a platformer, it's more in line with those old hand-held games where everything moves fast and you have to multi-task three parallel lines of gameplay at once.

For me, it's not really entertaining nor worth downloading at all. Nice title, though.

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Anonymous July 1, 2008 10:46 PM

Dyson sounds great. But five seperate downloads all fail the crc tests...

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It's such a pity that Dyson doesn't work for so many people, because it is a great game. I'm even getting the hang of it!
So far in this game, I'm in control of a whopping 10 asteroids. Woo. I think the secret is to not mindlessly slap down trees in the beginning.
What's really wierd, though, is when a MASSIVE purple army just decides to pass right through your territory to attack the enemies on the other side. There's a strange distinction between "unclaimable space" and "asteroid territory".
There's also something reminiscient of Dice Wars, in the simplicity and general importance of attacking when your enemy's army is elsewhere. Nothing like waiting until two strong opponents have beaten each other practically to death, and then quietly taking hold of BOTH their properties.

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Faustus July 2, 2008 2:28 PM

JonMW, no the secret is to build as many trees as possible!

more trees=more spaceship/seed/insects=more pwnage.

Every planet I capture I build up until it has six trees before moving on to the next one, this gives a slowish start but your forces build up exponentially until you crush all other colour of seeds beneath your flying swarms mwahahahaha

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But you're spending an incredible 60 seeds on each planet you own! Sure, it'll pay you back EVENTUALLY, but the equivalent of this (say, in Total Annihilation or any one of countless RTS games) is trying to tech straight to the top, no defenses, no spreading out, and crippling yourself in the short term.
Basically, when I tried doing that, a neighbouring enemy asteroid (who, instead, had fewer trees and a larger standing army) decided to wander in and demolish my sole foothold.

From what I can figure:
If you think you can capture a planet using less than 10 seeds, then DO IT instead of building a tree...
...maybe?

If that asteroid is in a "dangerous" location - which I think really means nothing, as you can never make any asteroid of yours safe, even if it's in the centre of your territory, short of just COVERING it in seeds - then you'll also have to expend more seeds to just guard it.
Hm.

In any case, I like games where winning from any starting setup is not guaranteed.

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how do you do .rars?

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Marc.six Author Profile Page July 3, 2008 8:11 AM

I had problems playing dyson too, but in the readme it explains that "The game requires the .NET 2.0 Framework to run. You can find this at the following URL:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0856EACB-4362-4B0D-8EDD-AAB15C5E04F5&displaylang=en"

I installed it and now the game works fine!

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MadWithMuchHeart Author Profile Page July 7, 2008 10:41 PM

@ jhaskifs- .rars can be opened using any zip utility, such as ZipGenius and WinRar.

Has anyone else had issues downloading Beagle Rescue? My request keeps timing out. I am on a Very Slow Laptop, but that oughtn't be an issue... all the other games downloaded correctly.

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