My wife teaches Spanish. A while ago she needed to create fun games for her students to learn in a more engaging way, and one idea was crosswords. However, making them manually takes a lot of time. At the time, there weren’t many crossword generators around the Internet, and I created a tool for her. I never shared that tool with anyone else, until now.
Nowadays, the picture is very different. There are a few crossword generators already. However, I decided to put my tool online for others to use it because I believe it’s better than the other options:
Generates more crossings than other tools, and can be configured to control how much you are willing to wait for a better crossword.
It’s much more user-friendly than the other tools out there.
Plus, I already had the tool, and it was written with web technologies anyway, so I only had to refresh it.
By the way, my daughter loves it. She keeps wanting to make crosswords with the names of her family, friends, and even puppets!
Today I want to tell you about the next project I’m about to release. I created a new game together with Silvia.
Star Balloon is a breath of fresh air in a sea of asset flip puzzle games. A challenging match-3 puzzle game in which you steer colorful balloons in real-time to clear a path for a special balloon that will bring free internet to the world.
Star Balloon includes familiar mechanics of match-3 games, but runs in real-time. Whether you take action or not, balloons keep going up, swinging left and right until you take control of them. Balloons are controlled by tapping on a pair of fans located at both sides of the screen. The control is a bit challenging at first because fans blow balloons in the opposite direction, but very rewarding after you get used to it.
The game starts after the balloons in a factory are accidentally released to the sky. Some of the released balloons use experimental technology that gives them exceptional properties. The most important one is the star balloon, part of an ambitious research project to provide free Internet to the entire world, but in order to do so, it must reach first the stratosphere. The goal of the player is to clear a path for the star balloon to get through and eventually reach the stratosphere. The other balloons will get stuck to the clouds, blocking the way for the star balloon so make progress, but some of the exceptional balloons will be useful to clear the path faster.
This is the first paid game we release. You can buy the game here. Until the launch in 2019-11-14 you can pre-register it in the same link.
Quantum Derail is my latest personal project, a point and click adventure game set in the near future in which you play as a policeman solving a physics related mystery. You can play online in your browser, without flash, for free!
You arrive at the police office to meet your boss and figure out what’s next. What’s next is the theft of the first quantum locomotive in the world from a company named Quantum Steam, based in New Palo Alto. You have been following that development since they made the first press release! The main suspect is the ex-lead scientist from the company who is known to be hiding in an abandoned station with his uncle. There is where the adventure really begins.
I used Blender to create all the graphics in the game Quantum Derail. The game renders 2d images and sprites on HTML5 canvas, but I made these graphics by pre-rendering 3D geometry on Blender.
I had to figure out a number of things, and I thought I should share the workflow with others in case it is useful. Keep in mind that this is one of the many possible workflows, but it is one that has proven to work for me. This article will focus only on the workflow to produce the visuals for a point&click adventure game, not on the code needed to run the game. For the coding part I wrote a separate article.