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  • Ludum Dare 40

    By Vilem Otte

    Since Ludum Dare 35 I'm regularly participating in every one of them and this one wasn't exception. My release thoughts are positive - this time I've again worked with one friend (with whom we've worked also in the past on Ludum Dare), and I enjoyed it a lot. As this is not a post mortem yet, I will not go into details what went right or wrong - meanwhile I'll just show the results and put out few notes... Yes, that's one of the screenshots from the game (without UI). I'm using this one as a "cover" screenshot - so it should also be included here. Anyways this was my another experience with Unity and maybe one of the last Ludum Dare experiences with it. While I do like it, if I can think about suitable game for my own game engine for the theme next time, it's possible that I won't use Unity next time. Ludum Dare Each 4 months or so, this large game jam happens. It's a sort of competition, well... there are no prizes, and I honestly do it just for fun (and to force myself to do some "real" game development from time to time). It takes 48 or 72 hours to create your game (depending on whether you go for compo or jam category), and there are just few basic rules (which you can read on site - https://ldjam.com/). Then for few weeks you play and rate other games, and the more you play, the more people will play and rate your game. While ratings aren't in my opinion that important, you get some feedback through comments. Actually I was wrong about no prizes - you have your game and feedback of other people who participate in Ludum Dare as a prize. Unity... I've used Unity for quite long time - and I have 2 things to complain about this time, majority of all used shaders in Air Pressure (yes, that is the game's name) are actually custom - and I might bump into some of them in post mortem. Unity and custom shaders combination is actually quite a pain, especially compared to my own engine (while it isn't as generic as Unity is - actually my engine is far less complex, and maybe due to that shader editing and workflow is actually a lot more pleasant ... although these are my own subjective feelings, impacted by knowing whole internal structure of my own engine in detail). Second thing is particularly annoying, related to Visual Studio. Unity extension for Visual Studio is broken (although I believe that recent patch that was released during the Ludum Dare fixed it - yet there was no time for update during the work), each time a C# file is created, the project gets broken (Intellisense works weird, Visual Studio reports errors everywhere, etc.), the only work around was to delete the project files (solution and vcxproj) and re-open Visual Studio from Unity (which re-created solution and vcxproj file). Unity! On the other hand, it was good for the task - we finished it using Unity, and it was fun. Apart from Visual Studio struggles, we didn't hit any other problem (and it crashed on us just once - during whole 72 hours for jam - once for both of us). So I'm actually quite looking forward to using it next time for some project. Anyways, I did enjoy it this time a lot, time to get back into work (not really game development related). Oh, and before I forget, here they are - first gameplay video and link to the game on Ludum Dare site: https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/40/air-pressure PS: And yes I've been actually tweeting progress during the jam, which ended up in a feeling, that I've probably surpassed number of Tweets generated by Donald Trump in past 3 days.
    • 1 comment
    • 1006 views
  • Smoke and Mirrors ... but Mainly Lighting

    By Jon Alma

    Time for an update.  
    So what have I been working on in the last couple of weeks?  Firstly the lighting and particle systems are activated.  The particle system is pretty unintrusive with the most notable aspect being the chimney smoke rising from the different steampunk engines.  Alongside this there is now a bit of splashing water and a few sparks flying around.  Much more noticeable is the lighting system as demonstrated in the new screenshots.  Here there is now a day / night cycle - I spent quite a long time making sure that the night was not too dark and I already have a game setting allowing this to be turned off (while this will lose a lot of the atmosphere just having day light slightly improves performance ... no other lights need to be active ... and maximises visibility).  Introducing other lights was a bit more problematic than expected.  Firstly, it took a while to get the light fall off fine-tuned correctly and secondly I upgraded the code quite a bit.  Originally, the light manager would always choose the lights nearest to the player, meaning that a maximum of 7 lights (beyond the sunlight) could be active in any scene.  Okay, but it did mean that more distant lights would suddenly flick on.  The new logic activates lights nearest to each game object or map tile currently being drawn, allowing a much greater number of lights to be shown in any scene.  In general the list of lights to activate are pre-calculated as each map section is loaded, with only lighting for moving objects being calculated on the fly.  So far seems to be working nicely - if I overloaded a particular area with lights there could still be light pop-up, but with sensible level design this can be avoided.  I did consider pre-baking the lighting but with the day/night cycle and the desire to alter light intensity and even colour on the fly this was going to be too complex and the performance of the current solution seems to be very good.   The other task I've been working on is the introduction of two new map zones.  The objective was to introduce something distinct from what had been done so far and to this end I have been working on a wilderness and an industrial zone.  And the wilderness zone completely failed to work.  It's a beginner zone so there wasn't any intention to overload it with complex gameplay, but even so it's just empty and uninteresting - back to the drawing board on that one.  As for the industrial zone this one is going better.  There are a number of new models being used and a few more to add with a couple of objectives in mind.  First off the aim is to create a little bit the confusion of a steampunk factory - pipes, big machines, smoke and steam.  Secondly, to hint at the down side of (steampunk) industrialisation with the texturing more grimy and even the addition of waste stacks (handily blocking off the player's progression requiring them to navigate their way round more carefully).  An early draft is shown in the screenshot below - the ground texturing needs to be changed with green grass needing to be replaced by rock and sand and I will also be working on the lighting and fog - to draw in the view and create a darker scene even in the middle of the day.  The scene may be a bit too busy at the moment, but I will see how I feel once these changes are made.
    Hope the update was interesting - as before any feedback most welcome.  
    • 0 comments
    • 646 views
  • Graphics Create Game Mechanics

    By Spencer Lockhart

    Beginning I decided around middle of last year that I wasn't good at designing art. I'm good at coding, I'm good at ideas, and I'm good at making tools. I thought, What if I could make game design tools specifically for my own game engine? So I started working on a niche design tool for an HTML5 + Node.js game engine in the style of a 2.5d MMO with 8bit-style graphics. I've never made a real drawing tool before. I've never finished an MMO, but I knew how and what to do to make this. So I scrapped the last project I was working on and started fresh. Map Designer The first thing I started playing with was the map and object designer. I decided pixels in the game should have meaning. Some pixels are walkable, some pixels have height, and it had to be possible to walk behind objects like trees and flowers. Since I had height for pixels, it was easy to use that to cast shadows automatically. I'm probly getting to technical here- but I realized it was a whole lot more fun to use my own tool than it was to use Microsoft Paint. I felt encouraged to create the mob designer next so I could test my map further. Mob Designer My interface design was terrible, but it was good enough for me to use, and that's all that mattered. I could design a mob, make a quick map mock-up for testing, and walk around that map with my mob. One problem though, I'm still terrible at designing graphics. So that's when I reached out. I Had to Clean up my Tools I showed people how to use the tools, made a video tutorial, but my tools were just so ugly, I had to clean them up! Now things are moving forward. The UI is still not the greatest for designing/developing. But it's good enough for most any designer to work with. I realized, the game mechanics were built into the graphics I realized with no coding, things like hit-test, animation timing, equip-able item anchoring, and so many other things were handled in the design tools. That means a lot to me, because I can just keep on working on my tools, and in the future I don't have the option to give up before those little things are developed into the game. If a new item is designed, it just works. If a new map object is created, it just works. If a new area is drawn, it just works. This is what I'm good at, and I sure hope to bring in testers for this game by Spring next year.
    • 1 comment
    • 781 views
  • Why I hate fun

    By FriendlyHobbit

    http://www.tinker-entertainment.com/sitavriend/psychology-and-games/why-i-hate-fun/ Ever since I decided to specialize in game design I struggled with the word “fun”. It might sound silly to struggle with a term that is so central to the art of making games but it makes sense once you start to research ‘fun’. First of all very limited research has been done and secondly the term ‘fun’ is ambiguous. Fun means something different for everyone. Many other industries envy the games industry for making fun products. They mistakenly think that games are this magical medium that are automatically fun and engaging. As a result, they applied typical game elements such as XP and competition to apps as an attempt to make ‘boring’ tasks more fun. But game designers also struggle to make their games engaging and fun. Not every player enjoys playing every game or genre. I typically don’t enjoy most first person shooters because I suck at them. On the other hand it is not just games that can be fun. Many people think knitting is fun, others think watching a football match is fun or playing a musical instrument. What is considered fun often depends on someone’s expectations and their current context. A player has to be in the right state of mind before considering to play a game, they need to ‘want’ to play the game or do any other activity. This can be fun too. A researcher who attempts to understand fun more thoroughly is Lazzaro (2009). She formed the Four Fun Key model to distinguish between four different types of fun: Hard fun, easy fun, serious fun and people fun. Hard fun is very typical for many hardcore games and is fun that arises from overcoming challenges and obstacles. A key emotion in hard fun is frustration followed by victory. Easy fun can be achieved by engagement through novelty and can be found in many exploration and puzzle games. Emotions that are key to easy fun are curiosity, wonder and surprise. Serious fun is fun people have when they feel better about themselves or being better at something that matters. People fun is concerned with the enjoyment that arises from the interaction between people. You can think about competitive or cooperative games people play because they enjoy playing together rather than the game itself. The Cambridge dictionary defines fun as pleasure, enjoyment, entertainment, or as an activity or behaviour that isn’t serious (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fun). While we can measure pleasure and enjoyment objectively by measuring physiological changes in the body, we cannot always say we are having fun when we are enjoying ourselves. Besides that, within casual games mainly, pleasure and enjoyment are supposed to be “easy”. This means that you should be careful with challenging the player. If a player wins (often) they will have fun which is the complete opposite of many hardcore games. Within game design we often use flow theory interchangeably with fun. According to Csikszentmihalyi (1996), flow is a mental state in which a person in fully immersed in an activity. The state of flow can be achieved by matching the most optimal skill with the most optimal difficulty for a person. In the case of games, a player becomes so immersed that they forget about their surroundings and lose track of time. A learning curve is used in most games, both casual and hardcore, to account for player’s changing  skill and difficulty level. However flow theory isn’t a definition for fun but can result in a player having fun. This mainly works for hard fun as easy fun doesn’t require the player to be fully immersed.   References Lazzaro, N. (2009). Why we play: affect and the fun of games. Human-computer interaction: Designing for diverse users and domains, 155. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Collins.
    • 2 comments
    • 1420 views
  • Super Retro Maker Editor

    By SuperRetroMaker

    Finally got around to making a short video of the Super Retro Maker editor in action.  Also, we got into Pax Rising, so we'll be showing the game off at PAX South in January!    
    • 0 comments
    • 943 views

Our community blogs

  1. Greetings! 

    I'm happy to announce that Pixelpunk XL has been released today on Steam! I thank all the people who support me and give feedback on my posts.

    Steam page:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/803850/Pixelpunk_XL/

  2. The game is going to be a mix of three games DOOM Slender man and resident evil

    Story Line So Far: Your Maxwell (( the name is wip)) a 25 year old gang member who gets shot in a shoot out with the cops you wake up in a hospitle and it is empty in journy to the basement level and get it in the back of the head then you wake up in a weird looking room.

    that will be what happens in the first cut video thing lol

    if you want more just ask i am open to what ever ty all who comment

  3. RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-002.thumb.png.b1d5684711d2785f421cfb7efb003741.png

    It’s been a while since the last update, so lots to get through.

    We’re still progressing, probably slower than we had hoped, but never the less, its still going forwards.

    Kat’s been busy working on tons of graphics, icons, lighting, and we now have all the 4 worlds pretty much done with backgrounds and world layouts.

    She is currently working on placing items in the 2 remaining worlds, working on more puzzle ideas and polishing of the graphics.

    RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-001.thumb.png.8ddc3b983a2687b10f41fe7d2a345114.png

    I’ve been working on performance a fair bit, making sure we stay in a good position. Just finished up with reducing memory usage, as I found that unloading scenes wasn’t quite releasing all resources and therefore if you went between 2 worlds it was using 1GB or so extra memory. This was ok on my rig, as I had 4GB VRAM, but Kat’s PC started to chug a bit when she went between worlds because she only had 2GB of VRAM. This was because I had some textures and materials being cached in variables, and the scene unload wasn’t catching that they were now unused, so I had to set them all to dummy textures/nulls and then call Resource.UnloadUnusedAssets() to clear them. I made heavy use of the memory profiler, which also lead me to some more memory improvements to further reduce memory usage. On my PC now we have a steady 200+ FPS (GeForce GTX 970, Core i7 920, 14GB Ram, 2560×1600), and 100+ on Kat’s (GeForce GTX 580 , Core i5 750, 12GB Ram, 2560×1600)

    RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-003.thumb.png.f66d33c769d931399d2690d0f5ef9bac.png

    We’ve shown the game off to a few people locally now, some friends came around for a games evening. Even shown it to some of our nieces and nephews and they all loved it, and we got some good feedback and ideas to make things better.

    Upgraded several times to new versions of Unity in the past few months. Not been great sailing with that, seemed to hit a new bug with whichever one I went with. Been able to navigate around some, but currently waiting for them to fix Resource.LoadAsyc() so that it works with uncompressed Textures/PNGs correctly. Currently on 2017.3.f3, and will probably wait for 2018.1 before I try again.

    RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-006.png.e4a26b25d4d095214cb2bb9d4d6d373c.png

    Spent quite a large amount of time making the loading of worlds (ie scenes) be async, so that we could play an animation/particle effect during load. This was quite a challenge, as I was doing lots on load so that it didn’t effect the actual game, thinking the load would be the best place. Unfortunately, that caused stutters etc with the load animations, once we put them in. After lots of profiling and understanding how the load works, we’ve got it to basically never stutter now. Mainly removing all Awakes() as they were just setting cache vars for GameObjects etc, and actually linking them into public inspector vars. Also turning most of our Init() methods into IEnumerators so that we could yield every so often, and using Resource.LoadAsyc() for loading. Will have to revisit it nearer the end, but its working well now.

    RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-005.png.071041f704dc991cfd25d3d2a7cf0159.png

    Spent some time putting in lots of particle effects to brighten up the game. We used the Ultimate VFX  package from the Unity Store as a basis, and then played around with them. Got most of it done, but I have to go through and find all the graphics and sprite sheets we’ve used and pack them into our own sprite sheets and resize them to fit our game, so that performance is good. The same with the sprites used in the UI.

    DevWorkMagBlocks.thumb.png.d506ce0c04e7c6dc6a0b92c4c6fb3538.png

    Dotted throughout the worlds, there are puzzles that need to be completed to gain items, and we had done the world 1 puzzles, which were just basic push/pull of blocks and positioning them. These puzzles are intended to get harder as you progress through the 4 worlds, so I worked on the 2nd set of puzzles making 2 new elements for them to make them more interesting. ‘Mag’ blocks are placed around the area where you have to do the puzzles, and these either attract or repel the blocks you need to move. You need to work out which ones can help you or hinder you to complete the puzzles.

    RoKabium-Games-Something-Ate-My-Alien-DevLog04-004.png.4ece5300e27fb48f85aed8408e3b1aa5.png

    Implemented a stats screen in-game, so that you can keep track of all the items, puzzles and other elements in the game. Then you can track your progress and see how much you’ve done… and what is left to do.

    Lots of bug fixing. We’ve played though the first level many times now trying to keep the number of bugs low so that we hopefully don’t have a big job at the end to fix lots of things. At the moment we are ‘bug free’ and everything we’ve found so far has been fixed, so that’s a nice place to be in 🙂

    Major things left now are:
    3rd and 4th world puzzles
    In-Game Tutorial
    Customization items for the alien
    Boss levels
    Achievements
    Sounds

    So, we will be powering on with things and will keep you updated either here or on our social media pages at FaceBook or Twitter. So if you’re not already following us there, head on over and give us a ‘like’ or ‘follow’.

    Till next time… watch out for ‘Somethings’ that may eat your aliens…

    Rob & Kat

  4. Latest Entry

    Hey All, 

    Another week another great update!  So we have several new features that were implemented.  First, we now have a start screen with a menu.  Right now I'm just using the starting room background for the artwork on the start screen.  This is only a place holder and will be changed.   Right now the options to select are; New Game, Continue Game, Arena, Store, Credits, and Quit.  3 of these options currently work.  New game starts the game and continue game works as designed, more info below on how that system works.  Arena mode, the store, and credits are placeholders.  The quit option currently quits the game but that will be removed as you do not need that for a mobile title. 

    Also along the same lines we now have a game over screen.  This screen also has the same artwork as the start screen (will be changed later) and displays game over text to hit the space bar to continue.  For this screen I will also be creating an animation of the main character spinning and falling on her knees.  

    So now lets talk about the continue game feature.  This does exactly what it states, allows you to continue an ongoing game.  There is a save system in place for the game that is making all this work.  The save system is an Auto Save feature.  The player is not allowed to manually save their progress.  Remember this is going to be a "rogue-lite" game.  So it will autosave every time the player enters a new room.  I found it best to implement it this way as it's a mobile game and if you get interrupted, your last progress of clearing that room will not be lost and you can pick up where you left off.  If you get a "game over" the auto save is completely erased.   You cannot continue a game after a game over.  

    The next thing I did was some more tweaking on the shadow engine.  I did a lot more work on this to try and get it more realistic.  Now the left wall, door, open door, room props, and enemies have shadows.  I even added depth to the shadows so if an object goes under a shadow it gets darker from the shadow being casted upon it.  Still needs some more tweaking but it looks a lot better. 

    I will be creating a lighting feature in the game.  Some rooms are going to be dark.  The only light in the room will be from candles or a flashlight.  This will just add more elements to the gameplay and look really cool at the same time.  

    Created two new objects in the game.  These are room hazards.  The first one was mentioned in the previous blog post.  

    Mucus was created.  He does not harm the player.  He sits on the ground and pulsates a little.  If the player runs through the mucus your speed is drastically slowed down while your in the mucus and up to 1 second after you get out of the mucus.  This proves to be a huge obstacle when you are running away from an enemy or need to run from an enemy.  The second hazard which I am extremely proud of is the hole.  There will now be random holes in the floor of the rooms.  If you get to close you will fall into the hole.  I have also created the animation for falling into the hole.  Once you fall into the hole you disappear, lose 1 heart of health, then re appear at the location where you started that room.   You will also be slightly invincible while you re spawn just in case you are re spawned next to an enemy (invincible while blinking).  I am very pleased with the results of this feature and it's going to be expanded upon.  Which leads to the next feature that will be implemented......Secret Rooms!

    Secret rooms is the next thing I will be focusing on.  In order to access these secret rooms you have to fall through a hole in the floor and be granted by the RNG gods that the hole does not damage you and brings you to the secret room.  If you find a secret room through one of the holes you will have the option to purchase upgrades.  These can range from +1 heart, +1 stamina, health potion, etc.  These can be purchased via coins that are collected while playing.  What will be offered will be complete random and will only be temporary for that particular play through.  This way every play through is different and you always end up with different stats and upgrades.  More on this to come. 

    Two sound effects have been added to the game.  They are for hitting an enemy and using the firecracker explosives.   Which reminds me I have not talked about that power-up yet.  The firecrackers can be used against all enemies, even damage the main player, and are very powerful.  They require 3 stamina for use and do 4 damage.  Also a long with this I have cleaned up the pause and inventory screen.  I made the dim of the game darker while in the pause screen so you can see the inventory more clear.  Also I will be adding a quit to menu option here if you choose to quit back to the main menu, which can be important because doing so will NOT delete that auto save file.

    I believe that was everything, if I missed anything I will add it to next weeks blog.  

    Here is a gameplay video showcasing most of the features discussed in this weeks blog.  Please post comments and questions we will respond!

    Thanks much!

     

     

     

     

  5. Screen%2BShot%2B2018-03-21%2Bat%2B1.04.42%2BAM.png

         Menus, menus, menus... Looking fresh though. Still going through the process of making sure all the interfaces work and feel better than ever before. Cleaner sprites, dynamic sizing and positioning for every possible device, and helpful new tools like scrollviews and shaders to add some extra polish. Plus, it all runs 40 times smoother now since it gets compressed to one draw call at runtime, meaning no more horrendous lag just from opening a menu!

    Read More: yotesgames.com

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  6. I am happy to announce that we release first demo of Rail Route! We have polished our first prototype of train routing and added a simple tutorial. To make it more a game than a prototype we have included short level where you can try your dispatcher skills.

    You can download it at our blog: https://railroute.bitrich.info/2018/04/17/demo-r0-1-released/

    Or you if don't want download .exe from the internet we prepared Unity WebGL build: https://bitrich-info.github.io/railroute/r01/

    Levels in Future

    Our vision is that the final game will contain a handful of such levels, some longer, some short (puzzle game / unlock scenario). You will be able to compare your performance with the others (global Top 10 list). We are thinking of tools that enable you to create & share own levels, so you will be able to model your home city railways if you want.

    These levels will be only one game mode, but the primary game play will be something completely else. Something like career mode where you take care of rail network that you will need to built, upgrade, manage and so on. We will write about it soon!

    Feedback

    We would like to hear any feedback from the prototype. So feel free to reach us anywhere :-). What's the best score you can reach?

    rrlevel1.png

  7. Ive finally put together this demo. 

    Only one enemy, but I hope you will like it and leave some response. My main goal is inventory system. Grid functions arent my favourite thing, but I will still use them, but first I wanted to show you at least some of my work. Errors will probably appear, Im sorry for that, but the base is good in my opinion. 

    Im NOT an artist, my sprites are bad and I know it, so ignore them now.

    Screenshot_68.png.225d68997f5a32b96f355fa46e607da3.pngScreenshot_69.png.9cf3e61bcb1b30c3b0030f56bfdea6c4.png

    Screenshot_70.png.22b491d57f599efb1d06fdd51563ad6b.pngScreenshot_71.png.e273775941a2c96881effef3a1ad1a3b.png

    Here is my work so far --fightSystem for rpg3.zip--

  8. I've shifted the project from C++ to JavaScript during this prototyping phase.  I've done this for a few reasons:

    • This makes the project incredibly portable, allowing me to work on it on different devices easily.
    • Prototyping in JavaScript is easy.
    • Threejs is cool and easy to use.

    I'm a C++ coder at heart and my ultimate goal is for this to be a C++ project. Pragmatically it hasn't been working for me using C++ for my home projects for the last few years. I find myself needing to upgrade projects and libraries, worry about build processes, ensure Visual Studio is installed on the device etc. Now I can now edit generation scripts almost anywhere, anytime, event on my smart phone. Those little moments of downtime can be much more productive :)

    I'll take the project to C++ once it has matured - though it will continue to support JavaScript generation scripts so hopefully with a little work I won't have to throw anything away.

     

  9. Servus!

    The new sprint starts today. During the last 5 weeks, we built a lot of 3D furniture for Clearwater’s apartment.
    We UWV Unwrapped the furniture, i.e. his home office, his kitchen (see pic below, WIP), etc. and we'll now continue with their texturing. The video is taking place in Clearwater’s apartment, where he’ll face his first bizarre visions. That’s why we want it cozy there.
    😉

    Furthermore, we implemented a player controller in C++ to control the movement of the player actor. The UI for the player control is made with Blueprints as you can see in the pic below. You’ll find the finished control elements in the new video.

    For the player controller we had to implement touch bindings (a link between the user interaction and the code) to analyze the touch gesture in order to decide which action the player wants to evoke. Additionally, the player controller provides a bunch of useful information that can be consumed by the UI to visualize the action. Based on the users’ gesture, the player controller rotates the camera or initiates navigation command to make the player move in direction to the 3D world position that matches the 2D touch coordinate. The UI uses Blueprints driven by the provided values from the player controller to display the corresponding visual elements and trigger animations.

    We also improved all animations that Clearwater is supposed to perform during the new video, i.e. the shooting animation, the walking and running animation. What we haven’t finished yet! On our mobile phones, we found some ‘inhuman bugs’. What does that mean? It’s quite difficult to make a thousands of polygons to look like a realistic human. The movement, the textures, the light, the skin, the face, etc. So, we need to fix all ‘inhuman inconsistencies’ of main-character Charly Clearwater. 😉 After the upcoming 4 weeks, we want to have him ready for the video.

    The evil power behind Clearwater’s head shot and his bizarre visions and dreams, the dark might behind these 13 bizarre wishes that Clearwater is going to fulfill during the game, is a queen of an Ancient Egypt culture. She wants Clearwater to set her free to take control of all humans on earth. We’ll create a new, a so far undiscovered Ancient Egypt culture that is using an own Scripture, an own language, own rituals and insignia, and so on. We’ll publish some drawings as a draft for our later modeling and realization of this might.

    The book BIZARRE Episode I is half written. The 5th bizarre dream is almost written down. When the writing of this book is finished, we’ll start to plan and arrange all game elements and game scenes that are planned to be realized in the final game. Of course, we intend to publish the rough structure of the game for you to see.

    We published a first reading sample of the book BIZARRE Episode I (in German). You can find the link below.

    C u in 4 weeks! :-)

     

     

     

     

    Blueprint UserController.jpg

    KitchenInUe4.jpg

    Epics Sprint 24++.jpg

  10. I have recently created my own Sound Effects plateform:  http://www.ogsoundfx.com    Have a look !

    5ad4fa6b820f7_CaptureOGsoundfx.JPG.7aa7cc68a6f726672885a1f86ed18169.JPG

     

    There are basically 2 options that you can chose from: Packs or Single tracks.

    1/ Sound effect packs/Full albums: Their price range from a few dollars up to $29 for huge collections of hundreds of sounds. If you have the budget, these packs are really worth the money. You can also wait for discounts if you are not in a hurry.

    2/ Single tracks. The prices start at $0,99. The aim is to offer game developers or film makers the possibility to acquire specific sound effects for the lowest budget possible.

    At the moment I am offering a 50% discount for purchases of a minimum value of $10 on single tracks. So if you have $5 to spare on super high quality and professional sound effects, you get $10 worth of a selection of your choice !

    I am planning on creating a permanent volume discount scheme on those single tracks. The more you buy, the bigger the discount.

    For now,  I am only selling my own sounds, but I want to expand by allowing other sound designers to sell their sounds on www.ogsoundfx.com. What do you think ?

    Any opinion or advice you want to give on the presentation, the content, navigation and so on, are most welcome.

    And I would be happy to compensate any feedback with a nice coupon code.

    Oh and by the way, if you subscribe to the newsletter, you will not only be the first ones informed of great deals, but you will also receive 120 MB of free high quality sounds !

    I hope to see you at http://www.ogsoundfx.com

    Olivier Girardot

    Music Composer & Sound Designer

    PS. Let me share latest youtube video too:

  11. Official Game-Guru News:


    I really dig the constant release cycle we're seeing from Game-Guru and TGC now that it's gone to GitHub.  Here are the full details on the 04.14.18 PP (Public Preview) release available on steam:

    https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219574

    This one seems to be more of a bugfix/legacy components fix and users are reporting good results.  That means we're inching closer to a production stable build.

    There's also some good PBR work being done on Mega Pack 2 (one of my favorites) - get the info here: https://www.game-guru.com/news-post/gameguru-mega-pack-2-dlc-update

    New Products On The Store:


    store041618.PNG

    Not a lot going on but some interesting stuff.  GraPhix continues his PBR work with a nice looking bus stop.  One thing that stands out is that the glass isn't suffering that awful 'everything past the second pane gets deleted' bug so it should work flawlessly by the look of it.

    There's a house set if you're interested by relative newcomer 'Homewreckers studio' and some very nice snow decals by RoseMadder (I always love innovative uses of the decal system).

    Lastly there's a Randomized Sound System by Corrosion, who continues his utility scripting.  This particular one looks really useful and I might consider getting it myself.  Definitely give it a view!

    Free Stuff:


    Honkeyboy has some free mechs (WOO!) here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219571
    Bod has revamped his old lighthouses (I'm super excited about this): https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/215012?page=16#msg2599005
    JPH-Games keeps adding to his "Industrial PBR pack": https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219529#msg2599080
    Graphix has honestly got too much for me to list. See his megathread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=10



    Third Party:

    There's a pretty big update for AGK but that's really only useful for people using GG Loader, at least from this blog's standpoint.  Beyond that, apologies but I haven't sifted through the mountains of posts on the forum about updates.  Suffice it to say we should expect a lot of integration of utilities in the near future into GG public releases.

    Random Acts of Creativity:

    So this is the area I'm *MOST* excited about.  We have two mega updates here that need some attention.  Firstly, of course, is Dimoxinil's "Space Losers".  This game continues it's march towards completion and there's also a recipe for cooking eggs buried in there?  That's definitely a new one.
    He's added a savegame feature, day/night transition, a friendly NPC, and a village.
    Details here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217908?page=4#msg2599091

    Next I noticed on the Game-Guru Discord (Yes, that is a thing - it can be found here: https://discordapp.com/channels/332652927082692609/332652927082692609  )

    That DuchenKuke had posted a pretty awesome update and test video for his upcoming fallout/STALKER style game.  You can watch that video here (highly recommended as it's informative just in the sense of learning how to use terrain effectively):

    This is absolutely gorgeous and he's done a great job.  My comments in full can be found at the video.


    In My Own Works:


    Ugh.  Don't remind me that I have more work to do.  I added about 3000 words last week to my book, which is pushing 145 pages now, unformatted.  There is a ton of extra work to do.


    View the full article

  12. Dear friends!

    Today we are happy to announce that the game TERRORHYTHM is ready to be able to play it to everyone. April 7 the game was released in early access!Of course, there were some technical difficulties, the main ones of which we have fixed immediately.

    TERRORHYTHM - Dynamic beat 'em up game in the cyberpunk style with colorful character animations and spectacular FX. 

    Get ready for intense combat action in the battle with numerous guardians of the total silence using only 4 buttons.

    Every action is synced to the music beat. The direct connection between the music and required inputs will give a captivating gaming experience. 

    Play to the rhythm of your own music library! Upload the MP3 track of your choice and the game will analyze the music to prepare adapted gameplay in real-time.

    So far, the game is in the early access, and currently, we are working hard on its preparation for a full release. We're looking forward to your support and comments, which will help us in this preparation.

    Steam Store page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/752380/

     

    Teaser:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAg1-0DPD9M

    Campaign mode gameplay:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1cWQqF-6Oc&

     

     

     

    So, let's go!

  13. We are proud to announce our upcoming cryptocurrency mining simulation game Blockchain Tycoon. We are working on to make it as realistic as possible. For example, by use of real life values and algorithms, you can earn same amount of coins as in real life. Also, the electricity and power calculations varies by warehouse location. We are also working on a simulated world economy for coin prices and world mining ecosystem which effects overall coin earnings.

    The game is designed to be played by absolute beginners and experts on the topics of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and aim to give you a better understanding of the cryptocurrency mining.

    Here is a detailed shot of the one of the warehouses:

    steam-0305-7.thumb.png.a6de239a7685bd51523accf0e1abc3c7.png

    We are planning an Early Access release for June. (Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/824450/Blockchain_Tycoon/)

    Steam Trailer: 

     

  14. Version 1.5 release.

    If you want, you can go directly to itch.io or gamejolt to play the latest free version of Eight Hours.

    A lot has changed over the past few months for Eight Hours. First, if you haven't, checkout our trailer!

    Trailer

    Big Updates

    Here is a list of some of our updates and details of went behind them.

    Entity AI. The entity itself was very lax and boring in previous versions of Eight Hours. So, we had decided to update the entity to appear sooner and more often at random intervals. It also has a scaling difficulty curve based on the amount of time played in the game. This will help limit game time plays as well as induce more stress the longer it takes a player to capture all the EVPs.

    Hints. Previously hints would show up and auto disappear after a few seconds. We now re-programmed the controls so that hints show for a significantly longer period of time after they are triggered. Secondly, objectives and hints are shown by default, and can be toggled on and off with the space bar (default binding).

    Tutorial. A lot of feedback we observed and received was along the lines of "How do I play". So, we had worked to introduce more helpful tutorial text during gameplay at relevant moments. We hope this will help players get into the game quicker and enjoy the investigation.

    Get It Now

    Go directly to itch.io or gamejolt to play the latest free version of Eight Hours.

  15. MY QUEST:

    I found out about Double Fine through your a podcast in 2012.  Fast forward six years, I’m a student game developer giving it all I have for a job there.

    So, I checked their “Action Jobs” page to see what I could find.  Under "We are always recruiting everybody, all the time" there is a short story about what happens when you get a job there.

    http://www.doublefine.com/jobs

    f673_mMs2ntcGK5BFEodWPLxrWwbTtObtU16AHiNz5W4qVJ_1FVm6xEyZcDpEkCshDziPN0j7X21gUz_jTB1E6GgrWi8AmJx0d4efV9IYXY4eAXCqLTyD0xtZoy3gfr29Ulbl2bSdNGZFJp0JIM5S7644wIHWpFA46A2kbAyUyE3DaOS9CE3DuSK2QBIiWMjTpYmNNDnn9ONm5vA4Nbhstje7GFdIVpVQGgKPrCj09xd7v1hJ74CuZ6LtQm-o3hLbAgMPfYdmiMbHVvbmzzEhbb6RxN_ClWu8sxCHjaklVMuogT8KfEutGZxZ9xMgsmrWdNmluHMDim-zVm6D1449PofYEUi_FKOhd7UbdZftjGQTPXp_jrc34QJ7HqYaKlng9KO9YKoySWE3kui_Z2SB1Tf9KdtYFJGUhprwocbNyiSz0W1r24Pxbq7UZ6G05yxakCyEvH_zvkf7yp9zdNesQN2CBuD0JTO0UE_4utjWlqCLkZb8iu6D_UhgpdsRgtyffEmzxJagZAKv1dRRFSIYCarXbt3QtvvdEElyLK4G5y9MPFhjw-b-jgx5beIu7PXMF8XMLWfJ1eW7wSjFCbv3wF010aqm7ThPU5RbAyd=w543-h964-noAlso featured on this fabulous brochure.

    Last summer, I decided I wanted a job there, but they must have interns banging on their windows, so how could I stand out?   I decided to make a game that would have several sections to demonstrate my ability and show that I would work hard.  

    Last Fall, I learned Unity through my University.  Every single project I made was either a part of my Double Fine game, or specifically designed so that I could reuse code for my Double Fine game.

    Around December I realized it would be awesome to go to GDC.  The main reason being that I could speak to people from Double Fine and make an impression.  

    It was too late to sign up as a GDC volunteer, passes were over $1k, but someone told me about the Unity Student Scholarship.  I didn't have a proper portfolio, but I uploaded my work from my Unity class and any other Unity projects I had.  Even without a portfolio, I tried to make it look good.  I spent so long on the application process that I was late to a New Years Eve party.

     The new year came, and my game that would get me into Double Fine, codenamed "Project Sourdough," was not on schedule.  It would never be completed on time, although parts of it were a complete mess.

    Since Sourdough didn't have time to rise properly, I needed to make a more concise experience very rapidly.  I reused as much code as I could to make "Project Unleavened," a game that follows the story on Double Fine's “Action Jobs” page.

    Time passed.  I really wanted to go to GDC.  One night, I prayed that I would go, even though it was unlikely.  I also prayed that if I didn't go, they would at least tell me soon, so I could stop thinking about it.

    The very next moment, I pulled out my phone to call someone, and an e-mail popped up on the lock screen from Unity folks.

    "Thank you for submitting...  We received a lot of high quality applications ... Unfortunately, you were not chosen as a recipient ... But we were impressed with your application" and they gave me a limited access pass.

    I was completely in awe.


    SO I WAS GOING TO GDC!  

     
    The next thing I needed was a way to give them the game.  I designed a one-sided business card reminiscent of an atari cartridge, and had it printed onto two USB Business cards from VistaPrint.

    z1e6je7.jpgv8Vqf7o.jpg

    I had a lot of work to do on Unleavened.  I put in some crazy hours in the weeks leading up to GDC, and had to either solve or work around countless issues.  Unfortunately, due to a quirk in my dialogue system, I could only build for Windows at the time.  Fortunately, I did get some help from my friends.  I found out one of them is a QA guru.  Another one could make great drawings, and it was amazing seeing him bring a piece of the game to life.  But their time was limited by their own schoolwork, so I did all the coding and most of the art myself.  That said, I can’t understate the importance of my friends and family during development.

    The final week of crunch on Monday, my phone died.  It got hot, the battery drained quickly, and then it would not boot up.  I've had it for years, so it was at end-of-life, but the week before flying across the country was a bad time to bite the dust.
    If nothing else, Verizon knows how to sell phones.  I got my hands on a Pixel 2 before the week was out.  Crisis averted, but it took the entire day to resolve that one.

    Tuesday, I referenced DF’s Jobs page.  It had changed.  I had been planning to apply for an internship, but there was a brand new note.  “Alas, we are unable to offer internships pretty much ever, sorry!”

    image.png.7f2b67f00aa036167b8f15c704d96bc9.png

    That could be the end of the story.   But it’s not.  If I couldn't be an intern, I’d apply for a full position as a Gameplay Programmer.

    I programmed, built, tested, rinsed, repeated until it was error-free.  After all that testing I copied those files onto the two business cards.

    I took a few hours off Sunday night before GDC to hang out with friends.  Unfortunately, I needed more than two business cards for GDC, so I got back to work around eleven to design some normal ones.  I lied down for a moment and fell asleep for three hours, woke up at 5 AM and then sent my design to the local Minuteman Press.

    The next morning, there was no next morning, I woke up at noon.   I ran about a mile to the printer to get those business cards, and began to pack ASAP.

    h_q3622iy45Ynpc276p-MVxHHguFnFXZnPlor3JOY8zip02UNtL3_SHkouq0Xn4v7pvBN6BTV--JJj7HsT0ziAHQtgWlbJfE09IP9ojcfKM7Y19y0R8JrarXclTvdu0DErE-wpEZ3eCPfHGthzWsT-ZxBKRwq0teMWAT-xZu0KIHKv2hNXG0FI3sTkN7BRGwo9JBYZuDxfJcAsSur9VQk6RiEg3dkYtxmYo8a13nL3XNhrKnwgiFufYOQH5VQIMQyaijVjO2KayngT6nY9jLS1QEDB61zCI7f0fx3P_cvXhHXFhCccnhf_dz_vKHN77Slgz_5q02qdi4UfXaEC42-S7_448E_fl_sFkKLvQ7-JAdinljTtiyd0fAFcodyFLOGyivCLsMCSx6SXtOGHeliEq3tCrjX5GWjKM4uWbtIuh0MjRMlKK2N4popXxf8WHV8Y0aebKuOTA6ys3h3GMxKcTl429EEA2vQi6sKUJSUuXXpIpmhRS-kxS26e9lX4S5C3a4jZrEdqx0y96K6HHI6qKZ1ni1Kue6r4XXm66zhpiLBaqWSy3dyBuqJkjv3cDXYdhYLD5hM5F8-Q_rmhw06PoDrkR9AF2CEew_uade=w1251-h704-no (Disclaimer: That's not San Francisco :P )

    I had a friend who was on-time to bring me to the airport, but I was too far behind packing, and missed the flight Monday.  They rescheduled me for free since the next flights had open seats.  I was stuck at the airport for hours, exhausted, but Tuesday afternoon I finally made it to San Francisco.

    XKCBMx2xOMQvLJ3_Vje-WRAmWI9Parabr3-4AFyZMxC81V-FUayEtJtsDvceoG5FRVPD7uoUpAYzOfyyPWTKF0H7SXeKPLhmitWW7A_j-rT-TDN9rGOF132FDrSFsMUOno93z18-E7R6HZwxnTgOUS05IznW81gXohuPhIB9tpO3114OGhwwrfCZr2bNcsJnGiRWkEyGH7KONY1DOfEzYUanLji8LC-gVv2m72Bbb5NbYmASyMEtKvO389F8v-Lj-Z6QBEsHEdtUvzJrOfceobqbWoURiWSs3znoEUOEg2qc6MWHd2L7lJFS0Meip_Jr7EiUAlaEzCVnxSyztnmBYZLAmZJ43qvMaZBjf7ArdyIMJWB6_sdXLv_gMOgxANHkIvjKSdb5g5YYEi7aS-wJ2zEh936pc0PNawx4gZbaT4mYkclSUKMM7dARe3WTw4puJGYoKEJjthGLG8pg9w2utMMDQH-Ezfe4q-YEj8WJdb76d1Z0KVua-WirIB6ZdocRVzs5Cujl-ZsQiURE1IsGSoPBJe3K1hTJAPkEgGwMLZvl2npH7WePQum5GYegTtyNVsxV-ktxXxMzi91lOJiAWpSFrNLhSCwTPPDqjDtd=w1251-h704-no

    Double Fine runs a booth called "Day of the Devs" which showcases a few selected indie games.  I hung out there for hours trying to find one of them.  I met plenty of good people, but I missed their main producer (Greg Rice) by literally a minute.  

    Wednesday night was an awards ceremony, and the Tim Schafer got a big one.  I waited twenty minutes after the show until the people from that company started walking out, and caught up to Greg Rice when he separated from the rest of them.

    "Mister Rice, can I talk to you for a minute?"
    "I'm really really late, I can't talk now."
    "Can you at least take this?"
    And I handed him one of the USB Business cards with my resume and the game on it.
    He ran away screaming.   
    Well, not really, he just walked away quickly.

     
    THE HUNT CONTINUED,

    jtg7Buu90nvRJICYOsAbLE2jxIPPQEANU_8D26ZagmrYHXtIn6WhQCmWPn81ltLchWIDv6OeghGezpu14wAYWMoonvRcjsAODdF2Fb2OYQa8TV4kOXRaHcSD6LZNlmD0MIoNASyyFQmSBnpoNOwzpuS1KIUzbogFyEmNo1GDJXBfWD_BoDgiHvEqhYhVzpRC7HFn0tigWNzCc6vs8PbqhAzOgyVi9UFI9mrW8UrPW5kLO6QWZBNgJ8aHYvrgCBY0syZPn_K7KFZXniBuNKy24d1KFbwYhJUzF4WE1QsvzM_05H6s8ikLlsx69OqG-lUyNWQtwMYYhZV5FBr1TcRaQmbiPr78pgR3Z1iYQa-944T_DSi53cjNTXeALXkIHtlarZem1a8E68qE6ZnzYpMn4_R-lsjBoz-g83nsAaWm1vDnePQpM0i68AAr2woGOpXYhk35f5CG9ewoEiKYgY_qFcoNMtVZ5k30eHO2a2ui9cDzoUJdMU2g9u4HN-RGT8bG3jZyKryYEnRClLYCQFszelfiqkCq711SlhLoWTbkcXUTKDJNle1gasIO15HZZNWnQVjCtb2h7gUVWfcz4-kqZY6wJuEilY8L8uWv-E7U=w1251-h704-no

    Thursday, I finally got lucky at Double Fine's booth.

    While scanning badges, I saw some tiny print.  It said "Double Fine Productions."  Whoah.  I looked up, and saw he was wearing a shiny Double Fine pin.  It was beautiful.  I looked at his face, and he was talking to someone else.  

    I awkwardly stood by until he was free, and then told him my story before relinquishing the second USB Business card.  Package 2 delivered!  Delivered to a Communications Manager, no less!

    Friday I walked out of a building and saw some people in Double Fine branded clothes ==> I orbited around in front of them, and introduced myself to two more DF people (programmers).  They really liked the idea of my game, so I gave them my card and told then where to find it online.

    Saturday I applied to Double Fine thru their web site, the normal way, except that I included a link to the game.

    Monday, the Communications Manager sent me an e-mail that the game didn't work.  I know exactly the issue and exactly why.  I sent both the fix and a working version.

    Which brings us to today. 

    Here is the game I made: https://sonictimm.itch.io/action-resume
    Playtime is usually less than ten minutes.  I did modify my dialogue system for web, so you can play it in your browser.


    Experience Points:     

    (AKA fancier way to say TL;DR)

    I'd love to say that you can work hard for your dream job, but at this point I have no idea if I'll get the job.

    What if I don't get the job.  I poured my life into a project for a [possibly] failed endeavor.  I still gained:

    -A portfolio. 
    -A trip to GDC
    -Lots of contacts from said trip  
    -Some free time in San Francisco 
    -TONS of Unity Experience 
    -Practice writing.  I love writing, but it's hard to sit down and do it.  
    -Practice Art-ing.   I love UI, but spritework is not my calling.  
    -A chance to collab with some friends   
    -A game that may or may not be fun, I'll let you guys decide  
    -This crazy story.  Honestly, the University feels mundane after all this...  

    This list is getting crazy long..

    But seriously, if your project fails, you'll probably learn more than if it succeeds. 
    That said, don't ever strive for failure.  Study Failure.  Look at why things don't work, learn from other people's mistakes.  

    Everyone learns from success, myself included.  (I'm not the first person to try and get into a company by making a game...)

    Anyway, I'd love to get your feedback.  If you can spare ten minutes, I'd love to hear what you think of my game.

    Also, if you have any tips for getting noticed by a game company / making yourself more employable, I'd love to hear those as well.

    Cheers!

  16. This week was full work on the AI, which was lacking a bit, to say the least. It is a simple state machine that changes based on the distance to the character (far? jump, close? punch/kick) and its own physical state (falling? stucked? idling? close to edge?).

    Eventually I managed to make sequence I'm quite proud of:

    dgAERKy.gif

     

    Several silly situations came out of it before I reached that stage:

    The AI trying hard to punch, only to fall to their death.

    ALXqzwi.gif

    Finally! It manages to punch me.
    ALMxMla.gif

     

    It's not really hard to terminate the threat.
    goIB2bZ.gif

    Sometimes it even terminates itself... is the most convoluted way.
    DKHECu9.gif

    When your fighting your bro, and a brofist is mandatory.
    nOCpc6o.gif

     

    The AI is not prepared to fight flying robots.
    XznE2xB.gif

     

    Ok, that was a decent punch.
    F6PI6SN.gif

     

    So it does not get too cocky.
    ufNAIsx.gif

     

    If you are interested in Posable Heroes, you can wishlist it on steam.

  17. Hello Readers! I had a great opportunity this past weekend to have some people play test the game. For the most part it went well…that is, until the frame rates dropped to a point of being unplayable, glitches caused the player to reset to random places on the map, and the controller seemed to invert itself through an act of black magic. The experience was very enlightening and served as a gentle reminder that making games is a TON of work and requires loads of dedication to see it through to the end. In the spirit of humility, I thought I would use today’s blog entry to discuss the lessons I learned, and how I intend to progress moving forward. I welcome any insights and comments, and I would love to hear about some of the lessons you've learned along the way.
     
    Lessons
    1) Play test early and often with people other than yourself.
    2) Profile early and often on the target devices.
    3) Don’t leave highly problematic bugs and errors for later.
    4) Don’t change the algorithm for essential game mechanics too late in development.
    5) Keep lots of backups.
    6) Learn from other's mistakes
     
    Play test early and often with people other than yourself
    This lesson was a hard one to learn. When the first level of the game was complete, I thought I could simply play test it myself and would get good feedback. This was true, but only to an extent. When I let other people play it, I quickly found out that the controls are confusing, the map doesn’t provide enough direction, and players will use the main character in ways I never even thought of. It would have been incredibly helpful to test the core mechanics on another person early on while I was developing them, rather than waiting until multiple levels have been made. As it stands, I’ve spent around 12 hours changing the controls on the hero’s climb animation so the mechanic feels more natural.
     
    Profile early and often on the target devices
    There were some serious frame rate drops going on that I didn’t realize because I was only testing the game on my home PC, which has a strong specs. When I put the game on my laptop, the frame rates dropped to the point of losing playability. I learned that profiling isn’t something that needs to wait till the end of development, and it would have been wise to profile as I built up the core mechanics. Using the profile after each new level or major game change and responding to its results is a great way to avoid these types of issues.
     
    Don’t leave highly problematic bugs and errors for later.
    It’s easy to become so fixated on finishing the game that errors and bugs are pushed off until a later time. I find, however, that engaging in this procrastination results in a ton of errors that compound on one another. For example, there was a problem with the hang animation, which caused a problem with the physics system, which caused a frame rate drop, etc. etc. Fixing these errors and bugs in order to build a strong foundation for the game mechanics is essential.
     
    Don’t change the algorithm for essential game mechanics too late in development
    In an attempt to fix the problems with my climb mechanic, I decided that the current algorithm had too many bugs to be salvageable. I spent a good number of hours creating a new algorithm that ended up failing miserably. The worst part is I screwed up the main characters script so much in the process that I had to revert to an earlier backup. After restoring the backup, I discovered a way to upgrade the mechanic as well as fix many of the bugs. Nothing is more heart breaking than losing hours of unnecessary work, which leads me to the final lesson.
     
    Keep lots of backups
    After every major change, make a backup. After every development session, make a backup. After every optimization, make a backup. The point is, keep lots of backups. I made the mistake of optimizing a lot of code and then trying to redo the algorithm for the climb mechanic. Had I made a backup AFTER the optimization, I wouldn’t have spent so much time redoing work.
    I know there are a lot of lessons left for me to learn.
     
    Learn from other's mistakes
    All these lessons bring me to my final point - Learn from other's mistakes. I do a good bit of reading about challenges other developers experience, but it is so easy to think "that won't happen to me." Humbling oneself and learning from another person's mistakes is wise, and I plan to listen to the advice of seasoned developers.
     
    Which brings me to my final question, what lessons have you learned about development along the way?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you and would love to hear any comments or ideas you have. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at watermoongames@gmail.com.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. Hey folks! Back again with a small update this time. This week I came down with a really bad flu, so the art side of things slowed down a bit toward the end of this week. 

    In saying that, we've got enemies started! At the moment we have two enemies: Slimes and Bats, because all RPGs need Slimes and Bats!

    image.thumb.png.91c13a40ad8c6b6172ae0d9eb84b40f9.png

    The Slime is using A* Pathfinding in order to locate the player and navigate toward them, avoiding obstacles to give you a big squishy hug of death. 

    Our Bats operate a little differently due to them being able to fly over obstacles. Instead they are using Raycasts and a simple Rigidbody to give them a "floaty" feel when they move around and when hit with an attack, their knockback is double that of a regular enemy to really give the feeling that these fellas are flying around.

    image.thumb.png.831eeba1453ad8d446a5d452167ea482.png\

    Another thing we've added in is the Elemental Variants of enemies. Whilst we're still working on the different damage types, the artwork for all the variants of these two enemies have been prototyped. (Trying to get a good picture with these monsters hurts! They knocked 5 hearts off me!)

    We've also done more tidying up here and there, though nothing terribly noticeable at the moment.

    I'll hopefully have a bit of a meatier blog post next week as we go further into combat, start working on scene transitions, menus and get this project from a system prototype to something resembling a game. 

    Till next time, folks!

     

     

  19. Well, we have done up the first water and ice textures.  At first we were thinking PBR Specular material, but, there is something additional that looks great when water has that metallic feel.  If you like the water, please comment on it, if not please say why not.  I am just getting a feel for what the overall impression is on our water done with a metallic specular look:
     

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  20. Latest Entry

    Hello all,

    This past weekend we were at our biggest culture/gaming convention our area has almost breaking 10k visitors.  With us we had some screenshots of the new area we had been working on we were calling the Plains area.  After sitting in on some gaming and voice acting panels we've been motivated to do a lot recently and have also decided to release the images we had with us at the convention.  Attached are the first 5 levels of the plains area.  Unlike the training temple area, the plains is an outdoors area with a repeating cloud pattern, and different combinations of repeating grass.  This was achieved using a paint.net file that is originally 64x64 to create pixel art, then upscaled to 1080x1080 to fit an hd screen.  They are designed tile like so that we can use as many as we want wherever we want and they fit together seamlessly.  Instead of a door we have paths where this no grass as entrance/exit areas.  As a new simple obstacle we have boulders that you must jump over, foes are designed to automatically jump over a boulder when they are running and get close enough.  Theses obstacles make you have to take to jumping and may change your attack plans when a foe is closing in.  You will notice a deep mud pit that slows player/foes that are standing in it by an equal amount (faster foes will be slowed the same amount, but still faster than you).  This can hurt you when trying to get away, and will also make you want to jump and dash while in the air to avoid.  Combining the boulder and mud can add unique environments when fighting foes.  The foes in this area are still wolves but with different fur color.  They are not guaranteed to drop health like the good ones in training room, and stats are changed slightly to be more active just a bit.  Please ignore any grid lines or other icons as the screenshots were taken in the unity editor in order to show the whole layout of the level as they get increasingly longer, and more diverse.

    We hope you like what you see, we've been working hard on the rest of this first area where you have no powers yet and are even prototyping the first kinda boss level.  Be sure to follow to keep updated with the game and look for it at https://gamejolt.com/dashboard/games/250527 and https://gunnergamingstudio.itch.io/crystal-dissention.

    Thanks for support,

    Gunner Gaming Studio Team

    www.gunnergamingstudio.com

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  21. Hail to you, our wise readers! Gods generously gifted you all with the power and knowledge. The time of great trials is coming, and the people of Egypt - your people - will need your help. Put your powers to a good use and lead the people of Egypt to prosperity!

    In other words, we're happy to share with you our first trailer! 

    Many indie game devs out there struggle with making a good trailer for their games. We're not an exclusion :) Our game has both strategical and historical components and we wanted to show off them both. So instead of making only one trailer, we decided to make two! First one for the historical component and another one to demonstrate the mechanics of the game. Take a look at the result and let us know what you think!

    Check our page on Steam and add the game to your wishlist!

     

     

  22. logo.png.7c9ca1aabb3f90f665a0f63b065a5167.png

    Here we go! DevBlog #3!

    Wow! It's crazy how far we've come in the past three months or so. The support from everyone here and through Reddit has been awesome! Since the last post so much has changed with the game. It's hard to even know where to start talking about the changes to 'Crazy Seas'. The whole team has been working their butts off since the last blog, and we had a very productive Easter vacation. Before I go any further, I am going to do a shameless self promotion. 

     

    As some of you know from previous posts, we have a twitter which you can find here! We try to post updates on the Twitter as well, so if you want to see progress before it reaches the DevBlog, that's the place to go. As the game progresses and we reach a public play-testing stage, we'll be revealing a lot more on there and you'll be able to see when and how you can get your hands on the game.

    This week we also started a sub-reddit. You can find it here. The sub-reddit is a really important place for you if you want to stay updated on news and be able to actively help shape the game. If you have questions or suggestions, the sub is the place to go for that. We are looking for some community moderators, so if you have experience please let us know!

    Anyways with that said... back to what you've all been waiting for; News!

     

    Starting with some Art

    Alright lets talk art. Over vacation we lost our artist. They moved on to try and make a living through solo gigs so we've been back to lacking in the art department, HOWEVER, I tried to pick up some of the slack. I've been trying to teach myself some art programs over the past couple of weeks and I finally have some things to show for it. I did a lot of GUI work. It's a little rough, but we have the starts of some menus and systems that are coming to the game soon!

    The first one is the Log Book.

    UI_Crazy_Seas_8.thumb.png.07ae5834fa25fa7946b99121f0dbfdd4.png

    This is the menu where a lot of things are accessed. The symbols pictured above don't represent everything, but some of the things you'll find here are your Inventory, Mail, Friends, Announcements, Skills, the World Map, your Crew, your Glossary, and more. All (or most) of these things will also be accessible through hotkeys, so its kind of user preference whether or not you want to use the book. Below are some close ups on some of the symbols. Again, these are rough and were my first ever go at some real art so things can only get better from here!

    UI_Crazy_Seas_7.thumb.png.5c2f96266a14adbdb13c186363bc5883.png

     

    Something felt wrong with my mail icon originally, but I figured it out now... I think!

     

    UI_Crazy_Seas_9.png.05688c64bdfcd966e72292020bd80116.png

     

    I also did a temporary make over for the inventory just so we didn't have to look at the Unity placeholder eye-sore anymore. Now we can look at a slightly less eye-sore of an eye-sore.

    UI_Crazy_Seas.png.0f181a204236ab526b94c0be1d835677.pngUI_Crazy_Seas_1.png.82e7521ca3cbf46343f46fd552cb45ec.png

     

    And of course, we've been working on a chat system, so I did the art for that as well.

     

    UI_Crazy_Seas_10.png.aa907cd533c37c999a1ab6528bceccff.pngUI_Crazy_Seas_14.png.6792dd24425eb9820bd66822c1225e90.png

     

    As you can see, we've made lots and lots of progress even without an artist. Being totally honest, I think we're even better off now because we realized we could do what they were doing without them anyways. However, we are looking for a much more artistically talented artist than myself so if anyone is interested, feel free to hit us up!

     

    Oh and we have an indicator for combat tagging, but I didn't make this one all by myself.

     

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    Transitions

    I'm excited for this one. 

    In a previous post, we finished off changing the water color depending on where you were in the world. It's finally implemented into the build now and well, I'll just let these GIFs speak for themselves.

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    Look how seamless and pretty that is. You may have noticed the big yellowish thing on the top of the screen as well. That's our new transition scroll! It went through a couple of phases before it got to where it is now, and it's still using a placeholder, but this notification pops up whenever you transition from an area so that you can see where you are. It's going to need some modifying, but our eventual plan is for it to tell you what Crew has control of the area and whether or not it's PvP or PvE. But overall, the scroll is looking really good and I'm very excited for the prospective things that could come from it.

     

    Weapons

    I was going to make you wait till the end to hear about the weapon additions but I figured you wouldn't want to wait that long. This post comes with two brand new weapons, and I'm very excited to introduce them both. I also made a TON of placeholder cannon skins for the test build so that we can start messing around with skins. I don't really have any ready to show off yet, but take my word for it, they're coming.

     

    The first new weapon is the Sniper Cannon!

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    For now, it's just looks like a longer version of the Regular Cannon. It shoots a faster, smaller, cannonball that has medium range. The speed of the cannonball allows for a higher hit chance as it has less travel time than any other cannon. The reload speed of this cannon is faster than the others, but it deals much lower damage. The aim of this cannon is so that you can hit your target and know your shot will land. It's useful for enemies who are on the run and need one last hit to finish them off.

    sniper.gif.df55bbe4a25273be2d340de81035d3c0.gif

    (This GIF has the old assets... sorry)

     

    The next new weapon, and my favorite addition so far, is the Harpoon! (Harpoon Cannon? Not really sure what to call it...)

    harpoon.gif.a31ca222016de460aa549efe33a8a4df.gif

     

    The harpoon is a weapon that fires, well, a harpoon, at an enemy ship. The harpoon attaches that ship to yours and drags them toward you for a brief period of time before breaking. You'll be able to extend this time depending on the type of Harpoon you find and with your perk tree. The rope length is also a variable that can change depending on the stats of the weapon. It's not perfect and still needs a little adjusting, but it totally changes ship combat. Since implementing it, we've decided its probably better in a front slot than on a side slot, so it will probably go where the Ram goes.

     

    And speaking of Rams, I guess we technically have three weapons being added because the Ram is now in game as well. I've mentioned it in previous posts, but its in game and fully functioning now. It will Here's a GIF.

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    There's no indicator of damage or damage particles because that's not an actual player I'm testing it on. But normally it will produce particles and the enemy ship will take damage. You can ram an enemy ship without a ram, however you'll need a ram to negate the damage that it would cause to your ship. 

     

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    If you ram a ship at a higher speed, you'll do more damage to it, but it will also do more damage to you. There is a falloff/recoil if you're not using a ram, so it's best to only be charging into your battles with a ram equipped.

     

    Inventory

    The inventory system is coming along nicely since the last post. We now have separate player and ship inventories, and different tabs for the various things you'll be carrying. It's currently in active development, so I took some sneaky screenshots, but a lot of things are missing from it still. It'll probably be done by the time this post is actually out. Hopefully the new GUI art will be implemented for the next Blog post so you can see how pretty the inventory will actually look. Anyways, enough rambling, here's a GIF.

     

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    (The things you see in the player inventory are just testing.. ignore them... seriously, don't read into them.)

     

    Ocean Objects

    Here's a rock.

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    I'ts not very pretty, but it does its job. Rocks, and other sea objects, can be found out in the ocean. They help break up the boring ocean and also provide cool places to have fights around. As of right now, you can also hide behind them. I'm not sure if this mechanic will stay in game, but for right now it's kind of cool to not know when a ship could pop out.

     

    Ocean Locations (Hotspots!)

    Some ocean locations have been added to the game as well in preparation for the fishing mechanics. These locations provide two useful services. For one thing, they help to keep the ocean interesting and make it so you don't have to sail across plain sea for hours on end. Consider them to be "mini-biomes" if you will. The second thing they do is house different fish. At these fishing 'hotspots' you can find different species or harder to catch fish that you might not find in other places. As of right now there isn't anything to show for fishing, but work is starting on that soon. I'll go into more detail on the fishing mechanic in a future post.

     

    Here's two of the three locations currently in the game. The have terribly awful placeholder art (I can say that because I made it) but they serve their purpose. 

    This is the Coral Reef and the Bone Graveyard. There's also a ravine but that placeholder is not worth showing.

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    In Conclusion...

    It's been a very successful past couple of weeks. We're still working hard on features and will have a lot to show off in the next DevBlog. We have been working on a ton of back end and server side stuff behind the scenes so that we can start having people join in the game. Account creation, User IDs, and a lot of other systems are already in place, which is really good. We need to get a few more things done with the inventory and the markets before we can start to allow people to come into the game world as well. I didn't show it off, but we have started to build a town on the island. If you're an eagle-eyed reader, you may have even caught the name of our first island hidden somewhere in this DevBlog.  Anyways to feed your interest, the next entry will probably feature some new weapons, fishing basics, and the finishing of the UI. I'll try to throw in some stuff about the islands as well. That's all I'm willing to tease as I want it to remain a surprise as to what else I'm going to share. Thanks again for all your support and for taking this journey with us!

     

    - Jack from VG

     

    As a reminder, you can follow us on Twitter here, and can stay up to date and participate in the community by exploring our sub-reddit here.

     

    And one more extra reminder, we are looking to expand the team and add another artist. If you're interested you can add me on Discord at Jack#2228, or you can reach out to us in the comments or from one of the social medias listed above. 

     

     

  23. Latest Entry

    First off, here's a video that shows the unit vision in action : 

     

    So, what is the unit vision? It's a simple mechanism that notifies a unit when another unit enters its vision field. It also takes into account if the vision is blocked by entities.

    This is how it is implemented step by step :

    1. A cone ghost control is attached to the unit's head
    2. All units intersecting with the cone's AABB fire events (AABB because of how Bullet Physics work)
    3. Cast a ray towards the visible unit and then adjust the angle so that it fits in the cone
    4. If the ray cast touches the supposedly visible unit, then it is truly visible

     

    Using the debug view of Bullet Physics in the jMonkey Engine 3.1, we're able to see what the vision cone actually looks like.

    UnitVisionFromBehind.png.a0384bcbc7c06a11a280a8e0cf92f96c.png

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    UnitVisionConeFromTheSide-2.png.458f46e114950884091d1b4065175194.png

     

    And when inside the cone we can't see it because of culling. However, we can see the enemy's arm moving, which is a test I did for when a unit see another unit.

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    Behind a box, the enemy does not move its arm because he can't see me.

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    But when I leave my hiding spot, he can see me again.

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  24. Attention colony managers,
    you may have expected from update 42 the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything"or have you ever sheltered a passing hitchhiker in one of your outposts?

    Anyways, what you get instead is of course just another bunch of problems which will make the colonizing business so much more interesting...

    TL;DR

    • Catastrophes let colony shares drop
    • Riots in cities and native camps
    • Security Complex
    • New item: Soma
    • New city center animation
    • Anti-aliasing
    • Biome & forest diversification
    • Fixes & improvements

    Catastrophes Let Colony Shares Drop

    share-drops.jpg

    For example a persisting epidemic in another companie's colony is lowering their colony's stock price. Use this opportunity to buy their shares at a discount!

    Riots, fires, hackings, flood, tornadoes, asteroids, meteors and other incidents have similar effects. Also threats like Assimilators or Xrathul will cause a drop.

    Your ability to artificially trigger these natural catastrophes through temples and items makes price drops an interesting prelude to the next strategic equity buying spree and the takeover of other colonies. The free market makes it possible.

    share-drops2.jpg

    Riots in the Colony

    Riots.jpg

    Riots are now a real threat to your colony! This is what happens when your colonists are unhappy for a long time. Under-supply of resources or negative external influences lead to a poor quality of life. If these circumstances continue for too long, people's misfortune increases to anger and a riot develops. It's too late to fight the causes of the uprising as soon as it breaks out. A riot can be pacified with the use of Soma and prevented by a security complex or a frontier tower. But the easiest thing to do is to provide good colony living conditions in the first place.

    Security Complex

    Security-Complex.jpg

    This building stations police units to maintain order in the colony. Riots of dissatisfied colonists in the surrounding area are prevented. This ensures peace and quiet, although this is associated with additional costs.
    The facility monitoring upgrade scans production facilities in the surrounding area and prevents incidents.
    The cyber security upgrade monitors the information networks in surrounding buildings and prevents hacker attacks.

    Soma

    We could finally synthesize Soma, the famous drug from Aldous Huxley. This is what the packing slip says: "To avoid major mood swings that can lead to negative moods, people regularly take Soma, a drug that has a mood-lifting and stimulating effect and is also used as an aphrodisiac. Unlike alcohol, it has no side effects at the usual dosage and is produced synthetically."

    soma.jpg

    To sum it up: it's raising the general life quality and helps against riots.

    New City Center Animation

    A new age of ingame animations awaits us! Starting with the colony center base which is expanding in various parts that screw, bend and turn out of the ground when the landing capsule is coming down. The worker drones are now stationed on landing pads from which they will lift off to build and repair.

    landing.gif

    Anti-Aliasing

    Might sound a bit weird but we had to disable this basic graphics feature for ages due to framework issues. But what it adds to the game's look is awesomely amazing. Lovely, calm and soft edges everywhere especially when you zoom out from the planet, have a look.

    Biome & Forest Diversification

    Ralph sent us a very detailed feedback with improvement suggestions to make the environment and nature more realistic (Thanks!). Based on this we decided to further diversify the biomes and forests:

    • Forests in fertile areas are often better at binding CO2. This is for example the case for rain forest and bog forest
    • Big fish swarms are more common in cold areas
    • Industrial farming and fishing reduce fertilityFertilityDecrease.jpg
    • Steppe is bad ground for forest growth, but quite good for farms and especially resistant, so fertility is only slowly decreased
    • Rain forest ground in contrast is easily damageable and loses it's fertility fast

    Fixes & Improvements

    • Added achievements for Edora, Iqunox and Thera and when reaching 40 points in the campaign
    • Workshop queue is only available for workshops of level 2 now
    • Camera position is restored when loading a savegame
    • Priorization stores at least 10% of a resource's production. This amount is now shown in the list of consumed resources
    • Fossil resources below 10% will decrease a fossil power plant's productivity (up tp 20%)
    • Fixed bugs in highscore list
    • New unlocked items are highlighted in the inventory
    • Switched background music compression from ADPCM to WMA streaming
    • Fixed game freeze and window disappearing problems
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