I want you to make games. No, really. I do. Making games is great. Thing is, getting off the starting block can be a right pain in the backside so hopefully, this page might just help give you a kickstart.
What am I talking about?
Here’s the short version. You can go off now and start writing your own SYNSO game. I’ve dumped out all the graphics and sounds I’ve used in the SYNSO games to date and they’re available (with a few small caveats) for you to use right now in your own game. You can even use them in a non SYNSO game, that’s alright. (With a few small caveats).
Here’s the long version.
Getting started can be a pain in the neck. “I can’t draw very well”, “I don’t know how to make sound effects”. I want to take some of that pain away. Now, I could write a series of long tutorials, code snippets and things like that but there’s plenty of places on the internet where you can get that kind of thing and it’ll likely be more lucid and more helpful than anything I put together.
For various reasons, I don’t wish to release the source code to the games. One of which is that source code is only really any use to people who can already read and understand it. Another is that I can barely follow my own source code and I’d only be teaching you bad things. There’s more, much more personal reasons, but for the sake of answering the questions “is SYNSO open source?” or “will you be open sourcing SYNSO?” you can take them as two prime reasons for me to reply “no, they’re not and likely never will be and I won’t be drawn into that discussion”.
Besides which, half the fun of making games (honest) is figuring these things out for yourself and finding your own way around stuff. In all honesty, you’ll probably find a better way than I do things within 30 seconds even if you’re a beginner. I’m not a coder and don’t proclaim to be. You could be. You can be. If that’s what you want.
But maybe you just want to make something and need something to get you on the road. Well, that’s my intention here. A little nudge to get you on the road. I can’t offer much but I do have a load of resources lying around I’ve created for games and I can share them. I am sharing them.
Ok, got that. Where’s the catch?
There’s only a couple and they’re relatively small in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, they’re as much there for me as they are for you. I hope you’ll understand why the things I ask of you are here and they should, really, need little explanation.
Use any of these resources apart from the logos or the name SYNSO in any game without credit required.
Honestly, just make games. Don’t worry about stuff like that. For one thing, I can’t afford a lawyer to come chasing after you. For another thing, I don’t want to come chasing after you. I want you to make games. The use of the resources here apart from the logos and the name SYNSO/Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! can be used for commercial or non commercial games.
Create your own SYNSO game for non commercial purposes.
Honestly, go for it. I don’t mind. If you want to make a SYNSO game for commercial purposes then all I ask is that you ask me first. If you don’t, then I’ll be a very sad Bob.
If you do use the name SYNSO in your game then I’d ask that you put a nice “originally created by Robert D. Fearon” in the credits. A link back to Bagfull Of Wrong would be nice but it’s not required and I won’t shout if you don’t.
If you use the full name “Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!” or variations thereof then you’re also required to credit Half Man Half Biscuit and Geoff at Probe Plus.
Make your own game set within the SYNSO universe for non commercial purposes.
Yes, that means you can make a SYNSO game with my blessing with your own graphics and sound if you wish. It doesn’t even have to be an arena shooter. Go wild, go crazy, have fun. I reckon it’ll be a laugh to see what other people can do with SYNSO and I’m happy for you to try and do something else with him if you want. Make SYNSO:The Text Adventure if you like. Actually, please do.
Again, if you want to do this commercially (and for the purposes of “commercial” I’m including XBLIG, PSN, shareware, flash licensing, cash/points for download, direct sales, portal fodder and retail. Offering a free download whilst having a donation button on your site somewhere not between the user and the download is something I don’t count as commercial but sensible) just ask me. I’m not likely to say no but you do need my permission at the very least.
Do something with War Twat as well if you want
I don’t know why you’d want to, but hey ho. Each to their own. The usual caveats as applied to SYNSO still apply here.
You may not:
Do anything commercial (see above for what I class as commercial) using the name SYNSO or Squid Yes! Not So Octopus! or variations thereof without my permission. You can use the graphics or sounds included here though. If you need to contact me for permission, I’m here.
Rehost these packs elsewhere without my permission. I know this is the internet but there’s no reason to be rude and not ask for permission, mmk?
What you need to know
Up until working on Vampyros Squidos (SYNSO3 by its other name), I’ve been using a package that has little sensible support for transparency so some of the graphics may look a little rough when viewed in isolation.
The reason for this is that for the most part, they’re drawn on the screen using additive/light blending so any rough edges don’t show anyway.
I don’t have all the original source files or original art for the early games anymore due to a hard drive crash but where I’ve been able to salvage them, I’ve included them in the packs. For the most part, these are directly exported from the last bundle of the game I put together.
A lot of the stuff is either badly or barely labeled at all. If I get chance to go through everything and sort it out into nice tidy folders, I will do. As it stands, I currently don’t have the time for even that slight menial task. Consider it a bit of a browse and lucky dip.
Also, none of the music is included in the packs. I do not have the right to distribute it freely outside of the games and all rights to any music used in the SYNSO games remains with the original authors.
Cool, where can I grab these things?
If you’ve read and understood everything above, then you can click on any of the links below to grab the files you want to take a peek at or use and abuse.
SYNSO 1,CE & 360 are all variations on the same game and as such, use variations on the same tilesets (albeit with different effects baked into the sprites). The characters are pixel art drawn in Cosmigo’s Pro Motion using a (admittedly wide) variation on the AmstradCPC colour palette and the backgrounds are drawn in Photoshop.
SYNSO1 & SYNSO:CE contain different sound effects, the former are more “arcadey” analogue sounds, the latter more “synthy”. The sounds used in SYNSO360 are the same as with SYNSO1 so I’ve not duplicated them in the zip file. A lot of the sound effects are designed to be overlayed on top of each other to beef the sounds out rather than to be used in isolation.
Experiment, have fun. See what you can come up with.
SYNSO:Squid Harder and Squid & Let Die are both made using variations on the same tilesets. As Squid Harder has been through a number of iterations from magazine special editions etc… I’ve tried to gather up as many of the resources I could from each variant. There’s also a number of different backgrounds thrown in, some used, some unused. The original Squid Harder backgrounds were created with Groboto and the later versions in Cinema4D.
Both games use entirely different sets of sound effects and I’ve attempted to include all of the ones (speech included) featured in the games.
Whilst SYNSO3 is currently incomplete as a game, I’ve decided to offer up all the sprites and backgrounds I’ve created to date for the game. Included here are 90% of the enemy sprites to date, the player, effects graphics and the few backgrounds I’ve designed for the game so far.
Most of the original models were done in Groboto and then ported into Photoshop to add effects to. I’ll update this package once the game is complete to include the full set of sprites, backgrounds and sound effects. In the meantime, they’re equally as free to use as the graphics above. They’re all designed to be displayed at 1280×720 and above.
I’ll also try and dig out all the original model files and fullsize prerenders when the game is done and offer them up also.
Some other bits and bobs from my archive of “stuff wot I doneded”. There’s the sprites and tiles to War Twat, some slightly rude looking animated organic space ships for a game I decided was a bit too “dark” for my liking and the .psd file for the Specchum that appears in SYNSO3.
Why are you doing this?
I want you to make games. I think you’ll be pretty good at it.
If you want a chat, mail me or catch me on Twitter. If you’ve made something using any of these things or gone mental and made your own SYNSO game, I’d love to hear about it. Speak to me. I don’t bite. Ok, ok, I do bite but I probably won’t bite you.