Posts Tagged ‘Jan Willem Nijman’

The making of Minit: how constraints led to an indie gem

making-of-minit-header

“So we kind of said this is a one time thing. We’re all coming together to work on this one project.”

That sentiment is very much the spirit of Minit itself. The adventure game where you’re stuck in a loop and each life lasts sixty seconds is all about doing as much as you can in the time given to you. It’s a magic gem of a game, small and focused. A playthrough will probably only last a few hours but every minute of it will stick with you.

For developers Jan Willem Nijman and Kitty Calis, it was an opportunity to get away from larger projects and do something completely different. Though Minit started out quite differently from the game we have now, with a game jam back in 2012 where Cartoon Network put the Adventure Time IP in the hands of creators. Read the rest of this entry »

This tiny man in Minit is my fave character of 2018 so far

minitlighthouse

Minit gives you sixty seconds to achieve great things. As soon as you wake, in whichever place you’re currently calling home, a timer begins to countdown and when a minute has expired, you die and restart. In that time, you might find a useful item, which will be close at hand in the next life, or you might discover a new area and start to formulate a plan for exploration and infiltration a few lives down the line.

It was during my second life that I found the lighthouse. By the lighthouse, an old man stands, crooked of spine. He tells you everything you need to know about Minit’s wit and central conceit, and he does that with nothing more than a text box and a very clever monologue.

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Wot I Think: Minit

Minit is that most rare of joyful things: A really good idea, done really well.

In Minit you play a little bird-like pixel character who lives in a black and white pixel world, and is cursed with only ever living for a single minute. And yet despite this limitation, it presents a little RPG. HOW?! you ask, in your belligerent way. Hush, I shall tell you. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheaty Tennis For More Than Two: Tennnes

The extra N is for all the times you'll cry 'Nnnoooo!'

A very cool and exciting thing happened in indie games in 2011. Unfortunately for most, it was largely confined to far-away events, people’s friend’s houses, pubs, bars, and other dark rooms. Oh, but what wonderful games the local multiplayer minimalist sports game craze brought! Hokra, Tennnes, and others inspired by these that I saw in aforementioned dark rooms, demoed on laptops and shown in videos on phones, and whose names I’ve forgotten. Some are finally coming to light.

Minimalist arcade tennis Tennnes launched for the hoi polloi yesterday, with a pricing model as quirky as its fondness for N. It costs $20 (£12.50), but you’re allowed to give it to yer pals for free.

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Interview: Jan Willem Nijman On Nuclear Throne’s “Feel”

The character design is lovely.

Nuclear Throne is an “action roguelike-like”: a top-down shooter with permadeath, set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and starring a cast of mutants who need to hoover up radiation to gain in power. It’s fast, frantic, and made by Vlambeer, the two-man indie development studio behind similarly compulsive shooters Super Crate Box and LUFTRAUSER.

Nuclear Throne (formerly Wasteland Kings) is currently available in Steam Early Access, and like those other games, it already feels great. “Feel” is a poisonous word in games criticism though, and I was unsatisfied with the normal language used to describe games like this: “meaty”, “weighty” and “crunchy” only gets us so far.

I wrote to Vlambeer game designer Jan Willem Nijman about how you make pixels bullets feel powerful, and about finding a better language to talk about videogames. He was gracious enough to do the hard work of explaining why Nuclear Throne feels great for me.
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Marine Cor: GO GO MARINE SQUAD!

If only you could shoot at the monsters now that... oh, wait.

God help me, I like this. And I’ve also re-named it. It should be called Go Go Marine Squad, but I’ve added an exclamation mark and put it all in capitals. Creator Jan Willem Nijman can expect my consultancy fee invoice in the post. It’s a low-tech first-person shooter, with you controlling a marine whose sense-organs are positioned way outside his body, featuring destructible scenery, multiple weapon types and genuinely pummelling weapon sounds. Oh – and you can get a higher level view of the situation for strategic positioning (i.e. Getting behind them and shooting them). In a cut-to-the-core take on the FPS, it actually kinda reminds me of a micro-scale version of Amiga micro-classic Gloom. It’s about as dumb as toast, which can be a good thing in my book. You can get it from here or watch some low-frame-rate footage below…
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4 Hour RPG


This is tiny and brilliant. 4 Hour RPG is a randomly generated dungeon hacker made by Jan Willem Nijman for The Poppenkast’s friendly four hour competition. We picked it up via Indiegames, and it’s a riot. The Necromancer is best – I’d love to see this idea developed a little more with some serious player-defined options. The four scenarios require a particular level of character to play properly, so I’ve posted the controls and the relevant level instructions below the cut. A direct download is here.
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