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DevLog Watch: Gastropoda, Gangster Tactics, M.I.N.T.

At A Snail's Pace

Mr. Rainweather is not amused. The stacks of letters I receive from developers have begun to overflow from every surface in RPS' office, and Rainweather, the office temp, has done nothing but stack and alphabetise since he got here a fortnight ago. He tells me that each missive is brimming with enthusiastic detail about unknown videogames, but I don't have time to read them in full myself. Instead I have the mewling Rainweather hand me three at random and write about whatever games they contain.

Snails! Gangsters! Mechs!


Sometimes while I'm working on it, it hits me that I'm [...] implementing snail arousal timers and jotting down ideas for the steroid system, next to a terrarium of real life snails (which I'm keeping for scientific game-research purposes...). Then it becomes kind of hilarious to me, too. In a sad "I've just realized I'm a total weirdo" kind of way.

I don't think the developer of Gastropoda is a weirdo. The tagline for Liza Shulyayeva's snail breeding and racing game is, "When you play the game of snails, you win, or you die." How could anyone resist?

The planned game itself sounds like a cross between Quadriga and Darwin Hill, in which you catch randomly generated wild snails, care for them in jars, help them through disease, and race them before old age claims them. There's already a browser-based playable prototype over here made in a single month, but this long explanation of the game's breeding system should be all the convincing you need. You can follow the game's development on that blog or, of course, on TIGSource.

Gangster Tactics: Pile Them In

Even someone as guileless and dimwitted as I looks at an in-development game through a lense skepticim. So Gangster Tactics initially caused concern; because it's called Gangster Tactics: Pile Them In, and because its devlog page begins with a yada-yada story.

But then, this screenshot.

"A dangerous person who drinks a lot and thinks only of beating other people." A field labelled "Stereotype".

Gangster Tactics is an isometric turn-based RPG, partly inspired by Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (which sort of explains the name). Your party is a gang, your battles are barroom brawls, and your strategic map is a city waiting to be brought under your control.

Don't be fooled by the cutesy sprite art. There's evidence to suggest that the game's depiction of gangs and inner city fighting won't shy away from grimy subject matter. I hope it does it justice. The devlog is currently four pages long and full of detail.

Update: As people in the comments have pointed out, there's worse in Gangster Tactics than I initially realised. I'm going to leave the game here, as I still think there is potential and DevLog is about seeing games when they are rough and unfinished. But I hope the devs are smart enough to reconsider some of their work.


It's a week for turn-based tactics. M.I.N.T., which I will never again write with the dots, stands for Mecha, Infantry, and Tactics. It's been in public development since January 2013, but I've only just found it.

That's a shame, because its thirty-page devlog contains more than just these delightful animated robots. There's also video to show off its user interface design and a near weekly official blog.

Most of the games I link here are being made in Unity, Game Maker or maybe Construct 2. MINT is different in that it's being built on the developer's own C/C++ framework, which means the development blog is as much about building rendering frameworks and animation support as it is system design. I suspect that's made development a longer process than it would have been, but it also makes the devlog more interesting.

Mainly though, I'm in it for these orange robots.

In briefs

  • Ultima Ratio Regum's is a procedurally-generated 4X roguelike, and its development is huge and unstoppable. You might enjoy this first look at city districts, or these generated key designs.
  • Tom Francis' grapple-swinging arcade game Floating Point began as a Ludum Dare entry but has grown into something more. He's made a three-part video series about the design decisions he made along the way.
  • Citybound's latest weekly video update shows for the first time: i) the game's expanding road system and ii) the game's author.
  • Office Management 101 has launched a new website, and continues to update its TIGSource thread with new screenshots and animation cycles.
  • IRKALLA has updated with a bunch more GIFs since we last covered it, showing off its beautiful, side-scrolling mech art.
  • From the archive

    EA's bright and shiny new corporate trademark is "Challenge Everything." Where this applies is not exactly clear. Churning out one licensed football game after another doesn't sound like challenging much of anything to me; it sounds like a money farm. To any EA executive that happens to read this, I have a good challenge for you: how about safe and sane labor practices for the people on whose backs you walk for your millions?

    It's been ten years since EA Spouse. Has anything changed in the time since? It doesn't look like it to me, as an outsider. Maybe you know different.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.