Guns and Butter
An attempt (failed) to write a computer game

Old website

Guns and Butter is a working title for a computer game that I, and some of my friends, are working on. From the beginning this game was designed for the computer, but always with the idea that play-testing and -balancing could be performed on a board game version. Years later, the board game was dug out, the rules rediscovered, and a willing programmer found (in Michael Ciri.) Currently, I'm busy designing mock screens so that he will be able to create the fundamental game. Eventually, we'll get to the "polish."

What's Guns and Butter all about? Call it an "Accelerating Real Time Strategy" game that draws influences from Axis and Allies, GammaRauders, Shogun, Warcraft/Starcraft, Empire Deluxe, and an old Apple II game we used to play called Galactic Conquest.

There's still lots of work to do. If you're interested in helping out on interface design, graphic content, backstory, or even sound effects / music, let me know. If we're to finish with a playable game, I can use all the help I can get!

Check back every once in awhile. I'll keep this page updated with our progress...

(First time readers, start at the bottom!)   
March 26, 2002      

Map Creation Screen      
Map Creation Screen (old)      
The latest update is simply a work-in-progress screenshot of the very first game screen. This is the Map Creation Screen and we're finally getting into the gameplay issues! For reference, here's the old version.

March 17, 2002      

The Challenges of Making a Multiplayer Game (link)      
Slow going lately. After submitting the final versions of the setup screens for programming, I've been taking a break from the break-neck pace to figure out more of the comprehensive gameplay issues. In the realm of updates, I've got only two things going right now: An audio example from Rob, and a cool link on to check out about the hurdles of good multiplayer game design. You know it's good because it's written by a Blizzard employee!

Oh, and for the curious: Gamasutra. Good resource, that.

March 4, 2002      

(final?) Serve a Network Game Screen details      

Audio Guidelines (draft)     
Last Friday I finished up the details for the Serve a Network Game screen (finally!) I guess I'm ready to move on to the meat of the game, but it's going to take quite a bit of advance planning to get it all to come together...

In the meantime, Rob has agreed to help out on the sound effects side. Armed with Sound Forge, his midi keyboard, and a microphone, he'll be attempting to give G&B a distinctive sound. We should see some results soon, I hope.


February 27th, 2002      

(final?) Join a Network Game Screen      
Join a Network Game Screen details      

Main Menu Screen      

Serve a Network Game Screen      
Serve a Network Game Screen details      

I've been spending a lot of time working out the final details on the Join a Network Game Screen. Michael has that in hand now, and has actually got the TCP/IP handshaking done for the client and server aspect of the game. It really connects!

After that, I jumped backwards for a moment and created the buttons for the Main Menu Screen...

...Before plugging along again on the Serve a Network Game screen. I've got it done, but I'm bogging down on some of the Load a Saved Game details. We've decided to shelve that for awhile and wait 'til we actually have a game that's save-able...

Very soon now, I should be able to post an executable that connects multiple players and let's them at least use the chat window -- then the real work begins!

By the way, anyone interested in working on the sound design?

February 20th, 2002      

Splash Page & Options      
Join a Network Game Screen      
To-do List      

G&B Proposal     
Original Rule Sheet     

Robot animation      

Lots of progress being made: First off, I've got a placeholder for the game's Splash Page (great quote idea, Joe!) and Game Options Screen. From there you can get to the newest rendering of the Join a Network Game Screen (notice that the "inset computer screen" motif is superceding "upraised panels" from last week's interface example.) Other, minor gains are the solidification of a To-Do List, the creation of a Keyboard Command List, and the selection of colors for players.

I also added links (above, opening paragraph) to two documents: My G&B proposal to Michael and the unearthed paper-game rules.

Oh, and let's not forget Derek's first prototype for a robotic unit. Evil, I tells ya! Eeeeeeevil!

February 15th, 2002      
After a brainstorming session with Joe and Karl on Wednesday night, we got a lot more gameplay issues worked out on the Join a Game screen, Game Server screen, Map Creation screen, and Initial Placement screen. We also discussed how to represent units on the map. Since then I've been working on a coherent interface -- see the pics below.



Mockup screen examples