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By RobHutchinson on 30th Aug 2010 @ 10:54PM
When Breeze was released a lot of the reviews for it were incredibly positive, here are a snapshot of some of the reviews:

http://www.xboxhornet.com/wordpress/?p=5546
http://indienerds.com/wordpress/?p=517
http://www.diygamer.com/2010/08/xblig-thursday-drifting-breeze/
http://consolepress.com/main/2010/08/19/xbox-lives-breeze-is-not-a-flower-clone/
http://xboxindies.teamkobun.com/index.php/breeze/
http://xblaratings.com/component/content/article/58-family/2879-breeze

I think I only saw one negative review, whereby it was slated for basically being too hard. <-- by design, but point taken. So I've decided to issue a re-release of Breeze to try encourage more people to give it a whirl without sacrificing the original vision for the game. Breeze was always meant to be a difficult game, sometimes even 'rip your hair out'-difficult. But hopefully for those who enjoy a challenge, Breeze gives you a very quick restart and sets you on your way again to give the difficult levels another blast.

This experience isn't for everyone, and for that reason I've tweaked the difficulty settings a bit and a new V1.1 is now in review. V1.1 has a completely new feature: Air-Brakes. This new addition can be activated with the B button on the Xbox controller and will very quickly bring the flower to a grinding halt. This allows you to whip across levels without the fear of having to stop the flower at the other end. To those already hardened to the Breeze experience this may seem like it will make the game too easy. Firstly, it actually doesn't make the game too easy, it's still a challenge but more of a manageable one. Secondly, if you wish to take on the true challenges of Breeze, there is now a 'Hardcore' mode, which is basically the original game. In this new hardcore mode you have no air-brakes on any levels and you will earn a gold cup next to all levels you complete. The new air-brakes mode is now 'Normal' mode and the easy mode has not changed. Also in 'Normal' mode the flower will not be shredded by the fan if the fan is not spinning, so you get a little added protection.

The new version 1.1 will be released hopefully in a few days, or whenever it passes review.

Oh one more thing, there's a hidden bonus stage in Breeze (there's also a few other easter eggs), has anyone found them? I'm betting not. First person to find them gets their name in 'lights'. Here's a hint: the bonus stage is accessed through a level completed in a certain way, somewhere near the 'middle' of the game.
By RobHutchinson on 30th Aug 2010 @ 10:43PM
Ranyl of Good Guy Robots has just released a new game on Xbox Live Indie Game which kept me entertained for hours called Codex. It's an interesting concept whereby you are tasked to shunt tiles in and out of a grid to reproduce the tile order defined for the level. As you move through the levels the puzzles get more mind-bending and the the grid expands to increase the difficulty. The graphics are lovely, the music is fantastic and the puzzles are very cleverly thought out. Check it out!

By RobHutchinson on 15th Aug 2010 @ 11:46PM
Breeze has made it through peer review on XBox Live today and can now be found on the Marketplace: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/games/offers/00000001-0000-4000-8000-0000585505fa. Breeze costs 240 MSP and is available in the Indie Games section of the guide.

I'll do a mini-review round up tomorrow once sites have had a chance to review the game. Hopefully there's some people out there enjoying it now. And if any of you manage to beat the times, or even just the game (it's not easy) then go post on the forums or reply here, because I'd be interested to see who's first (screenshot or it didn't happen).
By RobHutchinson on 15th Aug 2010 @ 11:46PM
I'm pleased to announce that the first Null City game is almost ready!

Introducing Breeze!



Breeze is a single player game written for the XBox and later to be released for the PC. It was written entirely in XNA using the Null City Kitae game engine and features 60 unique levels of flowery twitch action for you to feast upon.

Breeze is light entertainment for persons of any age. Take control of a fan as you strive to gently blow a flower to the goal. Control the flower by proxy across the 60 levels using only the power of wind. Take the flower through all four seasons to reach the goal. Breeze comes with a chilled, lilting soundtrack and an emphasis on the smooth. There's plenty of content to explore with unique and interesting traps and game mechanics.

Teaser Trailer:



Screenshots:



The official address for breeze is http://www.breezegame.com and future information will be posted there.
By RobHutchinson on 15th Aug 2010 @ 11:46PM
Breeze has now been submitted for peer review and will hopefully be released sometime in the near future. If you've got access to an XNA Creators Club account for the XBox 360, feel free to download it and review it through the usual channels on the Microsoft XNA website.
By RobHutchinson on 08th Aug 2010 @ 11:45PM
I've just added a feature to Kitae that a few people have been asking for: Actor Base Typing. Kitae produces objects automatically when you run your game, it's part of what it does in terms of editor > code. When your application is run, your modules are loaded and any definitions of actors, scenes, fonts, etc are turned from their binary saved format into game objects through a process of custom serialization. Kitae has had a feature for a while now, whereby you can specify the base type that it should create for Scenes. However this feature was never extended to actors (even though it was requested). Basically it allows you to have your in-editor actors hooked directly to a base class so you can gain internal control over it at runtime. I've added a new example to the Kitae example set which demonstrates this new feature. Here's a video of the feature in action:



The example has a FireFly SpriteActor which has the following class as its base type actor:

Code:
namespace Kitae.Example.ActorBaseTypes
{
    public class FireFly : SpriteActor
    {
        public FireFly() : base()
        {
        }

        public override void Update(KitaeGame game, GameTime gameTime, float distance)
        {
            base.Update(game, gameTime, distance);

            // [snipped] logic for this actor only here...
        }
    }
}

This allows you to keep your code right next to the actor it is meant for, no more wrapping of actors inside controlling classes. This feature comes with a slight performance penalty if you do use it, as it has to use Activator.CreateInstance when making copies. No access to expression trees on the 360 to speed this up :(.

For the testers, this feature will be in the next release. As soon as I've rebuilt the Tile Map editor the next release will go live.
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