Spotlight On … Gem Raider

Gem Raider Screenshot (Black & Orange Baddies)

My most complete computer game to date is, without question, Gem Raider.  I had been working on one version or another of this design since I had started programming computer games.

In fact, one of the first games I coded for Windows (using VB3! in the mid-90s) was called “Skater”, and was a very early prototype of the design.  That one had moving enemy crafts, a very stuttery feel, and horrendous graphics.  I’m quite happy with how Gem Raider turned out.  As mentioned on its page, it’s my favorite of the games I’ve made so far (and my wife’s too).

The story behind Gem Raider, is set in the near future at a large diamond company.  They had developed a very elaborate vault for their precious stones that involved remote-controlled miniature vehicles to move the gems around.  However, a freak power surge caused things to go very wrong inside the vault.  Some of the gems “mutated” (and, yes, I’ve had it pointed out to me that only organisms can mutate — but just  push your “suspension of disbelief” button and follow along with me, please 😉 ) … and they decided to defend their home turf.  Luckily, the designer of the vault put a shutdown system in each sector.  The problem was that it was a bit tricky to navigate around all of the weaponized gems in order to hit the switches.

And this is where you come in.  You’ve been recruited to operate a special remote-control vehicle (the “Raider”) to get those shutdown switches flipped.  To improve your odds, the Raider has shielding and weapons of its own.  To move the ship, you can either use the keyboard arrow keys or the “W-A-S-D” keys, and you aim and fire your weapons with your mouse.  The Raider is able to move and aim/fire independently … which makes it easy to both “run away!” and “shoot at something!!” at the same time.

So, please give it a try — there is a free demo for download and the full license only costs $9.95 (US) — and let me know what you think.  I mean:  Who hasn’t wanted to blow up mutant gems with a remote control mini vehicle in an underground vault?!

(I will on occassion spotlight some of my own games with a “Spotlight On…” post.  Also watch for “Others’ Works” posts, which will look at games and other creative works by other people, and “Fellow Designer” posts, which will look at other board game designers and computer game developers.)

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