Archive for February, 2006

Ritual Sacrifice

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Page 50. Two and a half months later.

Finally... damn rechargable batteries not being charged when needed.

Sure it’s not front page news (except maybe for here), but it’s a small achievement I like to indulge myself in. Being a coder, I code a lot. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been doing professionally these past 6 years. So, I’m on a mission to improve my art and music skillzorz whilst on my adventures in independent game development. This little burning through a sketchbook challenge has been a constructive one for me. Previously, it’s been taking me 8 months to a year to go through a mere 50 pager. I’d like to be pushing it down to a month per, but I’m sitting at a 3 and a half, and my recent 2 and a half.

So, for fun, a small selection of confusing imagery not previously displayed.

Death SmilesMy gawd, what happened to your arm!?!

Aint nothin\' better than bunny crack cakes.

Happy Hoppy!

Guah! Bendy!

And scary things from the future… err… I mean the new sketchbook.

Such choices

And the Project Finale, Part 7

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Low fat disposable hats present, part 7:

A Sunset in Stone

Which is probably quite warm, despite the cold imagery of anything in stone…… Why are you looking at me like that?

Okay, I wanted an epic name to finish my cheesy little series of updates. Then it’s actual updates when they happen!!! Wow! That actually makes this a blog, instead of story time!

But I like story time …

So back to the technical. Don’t worry, I’ll put a stupid image at the end to better transition artfulness to technicallityfullness.

Way back, I mentioned the engine used the monkey of a library AllegroGL, as a wrapper to hardware, and OpenGL. Well, some time in December, we decided we couldn’t stand the instability of AllegroGL. Yes, AllegroGL, the not so updated piece of honk honk is unstable. I’m actually impressed the game worked at all. I had to disable deletion and destruction of any GL or related objects so the game wouldn’t crash on exit, and trust XP to handle all the recovery of memory. It was that bad.

So eventually, on and off busy with some other obligation, the code was ported and made a tad more generic as we moved to SDL/OpenGL. Hurah. And an exciting story that was.

And wow, that’s it? We’re all caught up!!

Okay, well, I guess we’ve been building some tools as well. These past few weeks, Richard has been working on the object editor. Collision/Spring placement is all there now, and he’s started working on our little interface for associating display polygons with these fancy collision thingies we can make.

I\'m advanced

Sophisticated looking isn’t it? So, soon we’ll be playing with and building game content.

Then there’s me. As mentioned last time, I’m working on art stuffs at the moment. I gave myself a crash course in Blender, and I seem to have that reasonably well figured out. Though, I wish the scaling via the normals feature was a tad less destructive. Anyways, prior to that, I’ve been toying with game mechanics, and fixing stuff to make the editing interface work. One item from the mechanic playing was switching to a segmented rope, instead of just the big spring between point A and point B.

Subdivided ropes, that suck

Visually it’s nice, as it’s all bendy, curvy and swingy. But what you can’t see in this image, is that compared to the old rope, this one’s functionality is crap. So, it appears Umihara Kawase got it right, with the stiff rope that bends only when it crosses collision. Unfortunately that means a bunch more work, making the rope a really special case in the engine’s design.

There’s also this *other* gameplay element I’ve been toying with, with some encouraging success. But I’m going to be an ass, and sit on it for now. I’ll try not to tease it like it’s some super clever gameplay element or something. It’s more of an “oh! hey cool!” type mechanic, than a “Holy shoe!” type mechanic. That’s right, shoe.

And there it is. You’re caught up. I’m experimenting with art stuffs now, so expect something on that front to pop up. I can’t vouch for exact days or frequency of updates. Every couple weeks though, there should be something. Or just RSS me, and know. RSS, it’s an ESP for us non psychics.

And, your wacky image.

Have you had your glass of hate this morning?

Have a good week.

And the Project, Part 6

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Cream soda kung fu presents, part 6:

The Epic Tales of Hypocrisyism

Viewer discretion is advised.

I can't believe I actually colored it... that's like the 3rd time I've ruined a perfectly good sketch like that

So, right now, the current evolution of the character is this said goo blob thing. It shoots these tentacles/appendages out and swings, like any good monkey should.

However, for as long as I’ve been thinking about going with a gooey character, I’d been concerned about the Gishness factor. This “factor” is what I’m calling all the references to Gish. Comments like “reminds me of Gish”, “very Gish like”, or “gross, there’s Gish in my coffee”. To test this theory (and to indulge in positive commentary), I shared a gameplay video with several friends. But despite its complete lack of hard/soft/sticky gameplay, the Gishness comments were there. Damn. How appropriate though, given I poked fun at another Gishlike experience, back in the early days of this blog. Good job Mike. The gold star of suck is yours. Still, I’d be getting those references even if I went with a spider character.

Moving on.

Oh my, the bubbles!

But there is a reason I’m sticking with the dynamic gooey character idea. The best part about random goo entities, is they totally make sense to have unexplained things growing out of it, not just tentacles.

Oh, I can do that too.

Well, “totally” is pushing it, but it’s ether goo or a magical tire… or perhaps a magical orange. But they don’t make as much sense, that is, without the over use of “magic” as the explanation. Magic limbs, magic trees, magic game crashes. No bugs here, just magic features.

But hey, it’s still early development, and nothing is really finalized. I’m currently working on establishing the art style, so more artful thing should pop up in the next few weeks.

Or maybe. Just maybe, I’ll find what the game really needs is a potato character that lacks self confidence.


Stay tuned for the finale, as I get us technically up to date in: Part 7, a Sunset in Stone.

(See, that’s clever and epic sounding. Set in stone, sunset, get it? No? Oh dear.)

Round and Up February

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Snorting the yellow snow again are we Snowy?Dude! There’s like, this site. And it has something to do with tunnels, or tunneling. Boy, I could tell you stories of tunneling. But they’re so amazing, they’d blow the minds of my 5 readers. The problem is I’d then have to acquire a new reader base. I can’t have that. Especially with the likes of Jack Black and Bob Villa reading. Their fans would kill me.

Right, so the more temporally correct but logically wrong February Round Up is online. Can you believe it? People mistakening the round up’s as horribly late or something. So, for the sanity of the readers then, they’re now being branded with the month of their release. Madness I say.

Nothing big this month, but a few interesting ones. A pipe based throw back to The Incredible Machine, Tube Twist. A defensive RTS like game, Tower Defense. A typing tutor SHMUP, TypeStrike XE. And the most unexpected of them all, a wrestling game. That and a fair share of match 3’s, simple item grabbing platformers, and an Arkanoid just to prove the hate never dies.

Visit the Tunnel and learn all about the act of tunneling.

And the Project, Part 5

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Hey there sports fans. Our epic saga continues with part 5:

The Character

(or I’m a little tea pot why are you reading this sub heading like I have something insightful to say e-i-e-i-o)

Last we left our hero, he was an eight legged insect. Now he’s an eight legged insect looking for a job!!!

Only the finest cakes

Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad guy. You see, it’s not you, it’s me. I don’t think it’s going to work out between us. I’ve met someone.

As suggested, I’ve de-evolved the spider. Eight legs and webbing is just a bit more detailed of a character than I want to make here. So that means I want to simplify the character. Combine the concept of legs and webbing into a single idea. Of course, that can mean only one thing.

Tentamar! The smiling tentacle monster!

Go Go Tentamar Go!!

Alright, no. Not Tentamar.

Actually, the character I’m leaning towards is nameless, just like the game. I’m assuming the name of the character and the name of the game will share some elements in common.

So anyways, as before, a bunch of random design ideas. Some of the multi-eye monsters you see here were early concepts for a sort of multiplayer monstrosity.


Might be on to something

And the result of it all, something embarrassingly familiar.

Epic tales of...

A goo ball.

Tune in next time for part 6, The Epic Tales of Hypocrisyism.

And the Project, Part 4

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

So we have a character, and certain way the physics work. Cool. I want this game out reasonably soon, so that meant I needed to keep things simple. So minimal amounts of non functional stuff and no heavy animation. I don’t have an art team, just me. So the thought was to make the legs dangle and have shots of webbing shoot out.

Wowza! I\'mza flyin\'!

And sure, this’ll make some nice still shots, but the character was going to be very nonfunctional looking. It just sort of floats there, and things shoot out of him. Actually, that’s kind of weird. Hmm, trying to rationalize this brings up some odd imagery.

Err, two natural orifices? I\'m sorry. The gift of 2 behinds

The rope shooting core mechanic works well. To make a spider really work, I’d have had to use his legs more. Looking back, I’d imagine constructing webs through a level for use by your character, vaguely similar to rainbow platforms in Rainbow Islands. But again, this’d be an abstract control, which like PuffBOMB would work best on a mouse. Nope, the scheme here is direct and local to the character. An analog gamepad works well here, which is a goal behind the project.

Mad Skillz

The solution to my “practical lazyness” seemed to be to de-evolve the character. The design isn’t finalized, but it’s certainly brought up some questions, and provided solutions to functionality problems. Not to mention, opened up several more control possibilities. We’re almost up to date. Don’t miss our exciting next episode. Part 5, The Character.