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Member Since 25 Sep 2000
Online Last Active Today, 06:33 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Exercise from Tracy Fullerton's Game Design Workshop book

22 June 2016 - 10:22 AM

Looks like I totally misread the original post (to the point it looks like I didn't read it). Sorry about that.

What actually ends up in your journal is going to depend on what you want to focus on at the particular time that you're writing in it. Maybe you want to focus on mechanics and elements, maybe UI, maybe story, or maybe stuff that'd be interesting from a marketing perspective. It's also going to depend on whether you're playing one long RPG or multiple pick-up & put down games. Whatever it is that you write, you should make sure that you write what is going to be the most useful to you (assuming that you are your sole audience member).

Awhile back I posted a few "reviews" or thoughts on some assorted flash games I was playing at the time. I made a point of keeping each entry short with one paragraph describing the game and then whether I'd play the game again and why (you'll probably want to go into more detail than that). Mostly I think I was just looking for an excuse to post something in my journal here but I found it interesting looking at a game and trying to identify some of the details that appealed to me. I liked trying to be aware of what it was about the game that got my attention in the first place and what it was that flipped the switch in my brain to actually download it. I would also try to note what, if anything, hooked me into continuing playing the game or otherwise turned me off.

Journal Entry

Journal Entry

In Topic: Exercise from Tracy Fullerton's Game Design Workshop book

21 June 2016 - 03:53 PM

I've basically learned to write down my train of thought while I work on a project. This can include writing out ideas and observations, various decisions or thought processes that explain why code works the way it does or it can be about design choices or various tasks that I want to look at for the next while. I find it particularly helpful for when I go off on a tangent dealing with one thing that I found while working on another thing that was a necessary change to implement the new feature that I really wanted to focus on. It also allows me to comment my code with just the current date which then allows me to look up the larger relevant note if I need to without cluttering my code

However, I've gotten so used to just writing my train of thought all in one place that it's actually a bit tricky to stay organized when trying to keep descriptions of various game elements. I have to remind myself that I want to update the notes in a completely different file. The wiki software I use to keep my notes in makes it a simple enough matter to do, I just don't bother most of the time.

In Topic: Fellow game devs and artists,How do you animate your games?

15 June 2016 - 06:37 PM

I consider myself a hobbyist and I would say that my art skills are... well it's pretty obvious that it's programmer art.


1) Just about everything I do is in MS Paint because the basic stuff I do I keep it pretty simple. Sometimes I work in a version of Paint Shop Pro that I have which last I checked is less powerful than the latest version of Gimp. The version of PSP I have came with animator software which had an "onion skin" feature where the previous frame appears translucent on the current frame that you're editing so you can get some idea of what kind of edits you want to make.


2) I just googled for "walking animation" to get images for inspiration for what my animation ended up having. I didn't follow every frame but I considered the various details that seemed like might be relevant for what I wanted and applied to my work best I could.


3&4) I'm not sure about what software or tools you should look into to develop towards a professional career but artist & programmer are two different specializations requiring time to practice and develop your skills.


As a programmer, the art that I've done that I've been the happiest with has generally been the stuff that I've kept very simple. The majority of the time I slowly build sprites using copy & paste with transparency functions and use gradient flood fills & alpha blending to whatever advantage I can. I often try to build sprites with some kind of paper doll technique, building and keeping small parts and trying to fit them together to make one larger sprite. In theory, you can use these smaller parts (maybe modulate their colour) to build sprites at run time in your game and it might reduce some of numbers of frames you need to do by hand, but there can be a lot more programming involved.


Other than that, it's going to come down either to practice or getting someone else (probably by paying them) to do the work for you.

In Topic: forcing negative plot twists on the player

13 June 2016 - 06:51 PM

Why push for the death of a significant character? What is the player supposed to get out of it?

I think you'd have prime the player's mind into thinking that something negative isn't going to impede or ruin the game. You might be able to get players to accept with just some kind of foreshadowing. Somebody has a vision or a dream or something that the a death or the specific death will occur. You'll still get the players that are determined to reload the game after the death occurs maybe because either they don't want the character gone or possibly they just to see if they can do anything at all to save him.

I can't think of many examples where I've accepted a negative element thrown at me from a game without having some idea that there isn't really an option (check that list of RPG cliches).

In Dwarf Fortress, the idea of accepting death and disaster are a "fun" part of the game is communicated to players... somewhere. Maybe you have to read it in the forums or something. Once you understand that having to rebuild isn't a big deal, it's just part of the game.

In X-Com (90's version), I think I'd usually reload the game anytime I lost a squad member unless on some occasion I managed to find something pretty cool. It was a little easier since squad members were pretty easy to replace. But usually I didn't want to loose the character's experience that I had invested all my time and effort in.

In Topic: When you were starting out...

13 June 2016 - 11:25 AM

It feels to me like I have to write something in order to retain it in memory. I write down just about everything and then never look at what I wrote again. Maybe it's a whole "hands on" sort of thing.


Reading, watching, or listening just doesn't do it for me very well. I don't worry about memorizing something that I can look up easily enough. If I look something up enough times, I'll probably retain that info for awhile but, if I don't use it regularly, it's gone after awhile. Just make sure you have a source that's reliable and fast to get to.