Hi there! You've probably reached this page from the Freeplay website in search of the elusive 'Up Down Ready' which took Best Design in this year's awards.

UPDATE: Hello! If you've arrived here from StumbleUpon, why not go play the game now on Kongregate! With high scores and EVERYTHING.

The versions of the game that were on this page were hosted on Dropbox. Since the recent spike in traffic, Dropbox has cut off access to my public folder. I will hopefully be migrating this stuff across to an actual server, but the version on Kongregate is the official release.

I'm Delia, the Sword Lady half of Sword Lady and the Viking. You can find my teammate over here. We are third year students in the Games Design course at Griffith University, and Up Down Ready (previously known as Horse) is our first semester project from this year, made using Adam Atomic's free Flixel library.

We entered it in the Freeplay Awards for a lark, and were incredibly surprised and excited to make it to the finals and take away an award. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed making it!

- Delia

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Pitch - Retrospective

I've put a bit of thought into the outcomes of this session and my reactions to it, and haven't been able to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

I think the net outcome was successful, but the process was incredibly wearing, and perhaps this is because it was not entirely what I expected. I felt that we had all worked too individually, and I think the game ideas we were pitching were, on the whole, too complete. The result was what I like to think of as the ownership problem - there was a sense that each pitch idea belonged specifically to the person who had pitched it.

The following session of picking and choosing the games we were going to prototype was therefore very difficult, because the language we were using lent itself to the description of the games by the name of the originator. It was difficult to separate which game we wanted to make from the idea of whose game we wanted to make. That said, I think the whole class managed this quite well in the end, and I think we have a good range of interesting and diverse prototypes to work on at this stage.

Vis-a-vis my individual experience of the pitch, I will say that I wasn't happy with it. In my impeccable 20/20 hindsight, it may have better not to include Threadsuns in my pitch. In my head, it was a very malleable idea that I just wanted to put out there for kicks, and I was hoping for maybe a little more interaction and back-and-forth during the pitch session (see above re: possession problem). Again, I think everyone was too shy to put their own spin on something that was being presented as 'my' idea and 'my' game.

Alternatively, they thought it was a stupid idea (never ever rule this out. Everyone has stupid ideas. The important part is always seeking feedback so you can tell the difference).

I also don't think I really managed to accurately convey of my ideas with the possible exception of the fisherman and the moon, because it was dead simple (an interesting note: Henrik correctly cottoned on that I had been thinking of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Nobody, however, managed to pick up the loose parallels to Terry Pratchett's Nation.)

So, hm. I suppose all of this adds up to the fact that I would have preferred a more open pitching session - something with a little more trading of ideas, and less fully-formed concepts coming from each individual. This point, of course, is moot, because that process will inevitably take place over the semester as development progresses.

My thoughts on the whole thing, anyway. I think we're doing pretty well though.


  1. Just to add my 2c.

    I liked the Threadsuns idea. It's connect the dots in space. And from a theory perspective it could be a good implementation of how to make a game out of the traveling salesman problem.

    I think the weak link in Threadsuns was that I could make nodes. That felt like subverting the puzzle aspect. I'm thinking it'd be rearranging pieces on a chess board in mid game to get a better move.

    It was a long day but I think we ended in a good spot. I do take your point that a more open "round table" pitching session would have been good. At Pandemic I was fortunate enough to go through one. It was incredibly productive and rewarding. It just took 2 weeks.

  2. Yes, I agree re: subverting the puzzle aspect. That particular element was a hangover from the original concept, which, in my head, was less of a game and more of an atmospheric experience, I guess.

    And I figured time might have been a factor.