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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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About this blog

The most interesting journal here ... by far. Maybe.

Entries in this blog

23yrold3yrold
Bwahahaha! I have lots of free time at the new job right now, so I'm inflicting an entry on you. And yes, a new entry in this particular journal was said to herald in the end times. May God have mercy on your souls.

Fun times at the new job, which is 4 months and counting now. Tech support; yay! "I broke my Intarweb; can you send it to me on back-up CD?" Oh, the stories. The commute is terrible (horrible, even), but the job itself is much more enjoyable that the Buhler job. It murders my free time though. No programming, no weightlifting, no running (will start again soon though, in the mornings), barely even any WoW (oh noes!!) and pretty much no social life. Well, aside from socializing here at work. Nice people I work with. Getting lots more sleep too.

Also turned 29 May 17th. Bought myself an IPod Shuffle. I love this thing.

PS: Remember that invention I mentioned my Uncle Keith had come up with? Keep an eye to the news; you will know the name Keith Barry in a matter of months. Mark my words.

Will post again when bored again.
23yrold3yrold

Bump

I'll fill this in in a bit. [smile]

EDIT: Wow. I actually meant to fill this in, but then my computer went crazy in revolt (see here). So now don't I look stupid. [grin]

In all honesty, I mostly posted to bump it so someone I was directing here could actually see the thing. As far as things to report in life itself ... not a whole lot. The article I wrote for that European magazine? Well, the mag is out, but I ain't paid. I don't think that's the magazine's fault; they seemed to legitimately try to get the money to me. My bank and their accounting department don't seem to be able to figure out how to transfer the money though. Oh well.

That new job? Within the next 4 to 6 weeks. The offices for the project are already set up downtown, and apparently they want to be selling this thing as soon as April. I need to get in some meetings and get some details about my part in this, hopefully soon. But I may finally be getting my butt out of Buhler. [inlove]

My computer is still acting up a bit, so I'm signing off for now ....
23yrold3yrold

WoW

And I mean World of Warcraft, not [wow].

I bought this first day, and aside from the odd server problem that seems to have evaporated, I'm loving it. If anyone wants to party up, my main characters right now seem to be a male DE Hunter named Trial on Whisperwind (Central Normal), and a female DE Druid named Shii on Shadow Moon (Eastern PvP).

Needless to say, work has slowed to a crawl. I did finally do work for the church on Monday, working a fundraiser. I was behind the espresso bar, and also served as an extra pair of hands for some of the cleaning up. We've got some cool holiday drinks; the Gingerbread Latte is friggin' awesome. [cool]

I also did something for TMS which I'd been meaning to do for a while; make the sprites bigger. Like, area-wise, when rendering. TMS has massive reach, and 130x100 sprites weren't cutting it. [smile] The animation file is huge, but Bola will soon have functionality that trims down the fat on the sides, and also corrects the offsets for the new sizes. It was actually crashing a bit as I tried to add these new sprites. Not sure why. Not sure I want to spend time trying to fix it when it works well enough as is. Last time I worked on Bola, work on TMS stopped.

Aw, who am I fooling. WoW is here. Work on TMS has already pretty much stopped. [grin] Just kidding; I'll keep working on it. Saturday is still treated as a work day, especially ...
23yrold3yrold

Laserbeak update

I fixed the wings up. I was having a lot of trouble duplicating them without linking the IPO data, which was pissing me off. All's well now. Just to make things different, I used toy/cartoon colours this time, switched to toon shading, and added outlining.



The head and feet need sculpting a bit, and a few details to add to the body. Plus the weapons of course. I think those will just magically descend from on high as he transforms. If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll try to rig it so they pop out his back in some form.

Working on TMS the rest of the day ...

EDIT: BTW, the sprites for TMS currently clock in somewhere around 45MB. [wow] Those sprites have a lot of padding around the edges since they're currently all the size of my Blender window. Bola needs functionality to trim the fat off the edges (while preserving offsets). Until then, good thing Grabber has compression ...
23yrold3yrold

Meh

Just so I can say I did something other than sit on my butt today (Fridays are not good for productivity), I did this:



Needs work along the outside of the texture, if you ask me. Oh, did I mention Blender 2.35 is out? Now with "a full undo system, complete rewritten and upgraded mesh modeling, Outliner tool, new deform features, and much much more"? Probably not, since I just discovered that myself. Go get.

Tomorrow gets treated like a work day again. Time will get tied up over the next couple of weeks with ministry, as I will be off for no less than 4 nights, two of which are actual work, one of which is training, and one of which is a party management is throwing to celebrate how great we are. Does where you work do that? [wink]

I should hold a vote to see if you guys want me working on TMS, House of Stairs, or Laserbeak tomorrow. But only one guy reads this, and we all know what he's gonna say (don't we, Richard? [wink]) ... heh. [cool]

PS: remember that article I wrote a month ago? I'm on schedule to actually get paid! [totally] I'm a little suspicioous of giving some guy in Poland my IBAN number, SIN, etc. but I still have faith I won't find my chequing account emptied next time I check it. [looksaround] I could use the cash, if only for WoW (hits this Tuesday! Pick it up!)

PPS: This amuses.

And now, sleepy time.
23yrold3yrold
I basically had a day off today. They marched 10 of us into some Red Cross First Aid class for 8 hours today. Not that I'm taking it lightly, of course. Learnt some good stuff, and I got a nice little book to take home (First Aid: The Vital Link, Second Edition). It's some pretty cool stuff. I took CPR and first aid way back in high school, so it wasn't entirely alien to me, but obviously I'd forgotten a lot of details. If I had been in a car accident a week ago and I'd have happened on the scene first, I wouldn't have been too optimistic to see me, really. Now, I'm not so worried. This training might come in handy during ministry too, since I work the youth shift. I don't know why I would think youths have a higher rate of dropping unconcious than, say, the elderly. But folks trust us with their kids/teens all night, so I guess we'd bloody well be as capable as possible if something does happen.

Also, the House of Stairs is filling vacancies.



Needs work, obviously, but I'm happy with how it's progressing.
23yrold3yrold
There's 2 sets of stairs that cross the middle of the room near the camera; one you look down on and another set you look more across. The former I really had to scale up to make the ends meet. It looks decent, but I bet I could hide the scaling more.

I'm thinking of making the lighting something like lamps with very limited range along the walls. It would give it a darker feel. Right now it feels too pristine. [razz] My texture work kind of sucks, but we'll see what I can do with this. Right now it's sporting an ugly Blender texture just so it's not too plain. I still need to add a few more minor details. Couple more doors. Get rid of the black background. Round off the door tops.

I think I'll model the actual creatures now ...

23yrold3yrold

Spam!

It's time for one of those "let's make the journal more personal" entries. Like when I posted my pictures. Today I'm just going to share the webcomics I read. And you may wish to read them too, since everything I like is approved for quality by the very definition. I'll list more or less from most favorite to least favorite.

Player Vs. Player: daily comic that's been running for five or so years. Follows the employees of PvP, a fictional video game review magazine.
Pros: daily, good continuity and ongoing plots, topical, funny, clean sense of humor, very professional and competent.
Cons: black and white (if that matters to you), not terribly punctual.

Megatokyo: hand drawn manga-ish comic following two Americans stuck in Japan.
Pros: well written long-running plots, good artwork, interesting characters and character interaction, any scene involving Largo is hilarious.
Cons: only updates 3 times a week, running late or skipping days not unheard of (ugh), not coloured (again, if that matters to you), while it's interesting it's not terribly original.

Homestar Runner: a site full of short cartoons featuring some really odd characters.
Pros: Come on; it's Homestar Runner! [cool] Very quotable and lots of running gags. Large collection of videos; you can waste a day in the archives. Clean humor for all ages.
Cons: updates are very slow (lots of effort goes into these, of course). Humor is not to all tastes.

8-Bit Theatre: a sprite comic that (loosely) follows the plot of the original Final Fantasy. One of the few sprite comics that doesn't suck.
Pros: Good dialogue, based on the classic Final Fantasy, pokes fun at genre conventions, well plotted, funny (swordchucks, yo!)
Cons: only updates three times a week, moves a bit slowly.

Real Life Comics: a basic comic about Greg and his buddies, all of whom are based on real-life people.
Pros: Colourful if repetative artwork, comes out every weekday, punctual, funnier than most, good ongoing stories
Cons: no real strengths. Just a competent, average webcomic. But reliable for teh funnay.

Questionable Content: a comic following the lives of a few people living in the city and the relationships between them, mostly between Marten and Faye. The title is appropriate; it brushes close to some vulgar material, but never really crosses the line.
Pros: big colourful comic five days a week, witty dialogue, interesting long-running plot, good characterization, the simple art style appeals to me.
Cons: well ... questionable content. [smile] How questionable is up to the reader. Dialogue can be a bit too witty to be believable; most people don't talk exclusively in one-liners.

Red Vs. Blue: movies made using the Halo video game. Follows the exploits of the Red team vs. the Blue team in Blood Gulch (until recently, anyway).
Pros: well written ongoing plot, innovative use of a video game to make movies, memorable characters and dialogue, very funny.
Cons: awfully foul mouthed, but censored versions of movies are (sometimes) available. Some of the humor can be crude, but it's pretty good about that. New episodes are slow to be released.

User Friendly: comic focusing on tech support staff, and on-the-job humor therein.
Pros: daily and punctual, competent, hand-drawn.
Cons: the (fairly constant) anti-MS bias is a bit grating. Humor doesn't exactly bust my gut.

Penny Arcade: topical game news/comic site. You all read it anyway; it's the biggest comic site on the Internet.
Pros: Well drawn, colourful artwork. Very topical, poking fun at current events. Some of the comics are oft-referenced classics. Tycho's news write-ups are entertaining too.
Cons: humor is very hit and miss for me, sense of humor is a bit crude, only comes out three days a week. No continuity, which is a bit of a sticking point for me.

VGCats: comic about video games (usually), with a small cast of characters inserted into the mix.
Pros: great artwork; very colourful and well-drawn. Pretty creative. Does a good job of finding humor in games and the industry.
Cons: high vulgarity, which is starting to get on my nerves. Due to high quality of art, comes out slowly (weekly, if that), and a lot of them aren't terribly long.

Little Gamers: Swedish semi-topical web-comic about gamers.
Pros: some unique running gags, pokes fun at current events, artwork is cute
Cons: art is also very simplistic, language can be vulgar, humor can be both. Okay, but not great.

All for now. Lat0rz.
23yrold3yrold

Early report

Well, looks like your friendly neighbourhood Transformers collector can animate vertices now. Click the still shot for an animation (and just imagine the transformation sound effect) and note the movement of the wings (or just look at the wings in the still, compare with the old cassette render, and use your imagination). If I had known this sooner, TMS's shoes and hands would have been easier to handle. [smile] Blender's interface remains as unintuitive as ever, so I should probably make some notes on how I did this or I'll never remember.



I now have the m4d sk1llz to animate the rest of the model. If someone can give me pointers on animating textures so I can fade to the materials present in the render posted many moons ago, I'll be set. [smile]

I think I'll hit TMS again now ...
23yrold3yrold
As mentioned previously, I bought 6 Transformer cassettes last Sunday. And as you've noted, I've done a bit of modeling of Transformers in Blender. Well, I got it in my head to try a different approach to modelling, and I decided to test it by redoing Laserbeak. It's not quite as pretty as the old one, but that's okay for two reasons, a) this one already fully transforms (!) and b) I can manipulate the vertices after the fact to get it as pretty in condor mode as it was before. I've never done verex keys in Blender before, but it will be a lot easier trying to make a cassette look like a bird than trying to make a bird look like a cassette.

What I did this time was start with a cube, in the shape of the cassette. Then I carved it into its respective parts, and tried rotating and parenting them so I could transform it into the condor. After a couple of hours work, the results can be seen here. I even added a (Photoshopped) scan of the toy as a cheap texture, which looks great on the cassette but isn't doing the condor any favours. If I can figure out how to "animate" vertices and textures, I'll be home free. Already it's pretty much an exact replica of the toy, aside from being a bit boxy-er. I need to do more cassettes; these things are even easier than Slapper. [cool] Took me about two hours so far.

Code was done on TMS to tweak the controls for the "heel slam". I'm trying to hit a balance between how much you can and can't control the recoil from the jump. You'll see what I mean when you play it. I'm probably going to work on the jump-punch animation next. This playing with Blender to make Laserbeak is also an effort to learn more about how it works (man, does this program have hotkeys out the wazoo) so other models for TMS will be that much easier.

(this is a partial lie; I didn't want to waste another day sitting on my ass procrastinating, so I decided to do this. I figure it's better than nothing.)

Work has gotten more enjoyable. I've been given the responsibility of maintaining all the extra stock parts which have been sitting around waiting for them to be used. Of course, no one was managing these things, so I guess they were just waiting for the magic furniture faries to come along and use them. I've got a ton of work ahead of me to organize wagon upon wagon of random parts, but already we're using some of it up. Remember how I said the new foreman was implementing a bunch of common-sense innovations? There you go. I was amazed no one actually had a plan for what to do with all that stuff. What were we hanging onto it for if no one planned on using it? Were those piles made for decorative purposes? Maybe we were collecting them, like Beanie Babies? Eesh. Anyway, I enjoy it. I already have to clean up and stack all my own scrap, so I have a lot of experience doing with it. And it's easy. If everything wasn't so friggin' dusty, it might actually be fun.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. Days off from work are, as always, treated as work days in front of the computer. I resolve to do something worth reporting on. Probably at least get a start on that TMS animation. There really aren't that many left to do ...

And finally, I'm almost set for ministry work at church. I need to be checked out for records of child abuse and such before starting on youth ministry, so I filled out my application and told my supervisor that I was available (among other days) Fridays for the youth service. So someone put me on for Friday, without realizing I hadn't been approved for that service yet. Whoops. See, parents are trusting their kids with the church for a few hours, so obviously there's a fair bit of screening that goes on. So I'm finally put on the schedule, and I can't do it. [lol] Man, what I go through. Hopefully I'll be approved before December, so I can at least do the last half of my schedule. [smile]

BTW, the best drink I've made with my juicer yet is two oranges and half a pineapple. Yum yum ...
23yrold3yrold

Toy day

Back when I was big on Transformer collecting (four years or so ago), I used to hit every toy sellers convention I could, as well as make the rounds regularily at the collectors shops for new stuff. Lack of funds has halted that particular habit, but I saw a flier for a show literally within a five minute walk from my place, so I decided to go for fun. That was today. I grabbed a hundred bucks and headed in.

I didn't see any dealers I knew, and one guy was selling his TF's way overpriced (and another had nothing special) but one fellow had a good selection of complete figures at decent prices. I picked up a Thrust for 30 bucks, which is sweet because I don't think I've ever seen one before. Plus it means I have 3 complete Decepticon jets, and if I had Dirge's missiles and one more of Skywarp's missiles, I'd have 5 complete. [cool] I don't have Starcream though, but since Thundercracker and Skywarp are the same mold, I'm not losing sleep.

I also picked up Slamdance and Squawkbox, both of whom I bought more for novelty's sake at 20 bucks a pop (10 per cassette). They're the only cassette combiner teams, and I'd never seen them before either. They're decent.

And finally, some original Autobot cassettes from way back in 1983: Steeljaw and Eject for 15 bucks each. I see now that Eject came with Ramhorn and Steeljaw came with Rewind, so maybe I should have picked up Rewind instead of Eject since then I'd have the set (and they're the same mold anyway). Oh well. Now if I had Ramhorn and Slugfest, I'd have every cassette mold. And if I had Buzzsaw and Rewind on top of that, I'd have every cassette, period. Sweet. Steeljaw has a nice lion mode, contrasting well with Ravage's panther mode. I think he's my favorite purchase.

So altogether, he mugged me for a hundred bucks. Fair enough for what I got; expensive, but not overpriced. He also had some really nice stuff there, like a Fortress Maximus, and Scorponok. Lots of complete teams too, like the Predacons, Technobots, Terrorcons, etc. But that's too rich for me. He also had some alternate TF's released in Argentina, like a green Bumblebee, or a yellow Windcharger. Kind of neat.
23yrold3yrold
Why am I even posting? I didn't do anything on the computer ...

Well, I saw The Incredibles (warning: mild spoilers follow). It's a great old-school romp. The high concept is that "supers" had started being sued for things like property damage left after their battles, or injuries sustained from supers who were just doing their jobs (catching a "jumper" in dramatic fashion, then being sued for wrenching his neck instead of allowing him to commit suicide). The government thus outlawed supers due to public pressure, and put them all in a program to give them "normal" lives, and help them relocate or cover their tracks in the case of ... incidents. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl are just getting married as the movie starts, and as the timeline fast-forwards 15 years to the present day, they're living normal lives with three kids (two of whom have powers of their own, of course) ... and hating it. The kids especially don't see why they should hide, since they weren't around for all the suing. Dash, for example, wants to enter sports, but his parents won't let him since his competitive nature almost guarentees he'll out himself as a super (100m dash in 0.8 seconds ... nuff said). Violet is my favorite character in the movie. Her invisibility helps accentuate her shyness; she'll turn invisible just as a boy she likes turns to look at her, for example. She also wears her hair over her face, which makes her look like she's hiding even more. Frozone is a buddy of the family, who spends Wednesdays with Mr. Incredible, talking about all the good old days and listening to the police scanner for crimes to stop, just to break up the monotony of the daily grind. Obviously Mr. I just tells his wife they're bowling ...

Anyway, they obviously get drawn back into the heroics. Or there'd be no movie. The kids are more interesting to me here; while the parents get great action sequences as they return to their days of glory and we (and their kids) get to see how competent and baddass they are, the kids are forced very quickly to learn to not only use powers they've repressed, but get inventive about them too. Violet gets much more confident as she suddenly gets free reign to turn invisible at the drop of a hat, and relies on her force fields to protect their very lives. And Dash's face lights up like a Christmas tree when his mom tells him, "at the first sign of trouble, run as fast as you can!" You mean I'm allowed now, Mom? Yay!

It's really standard superheroics, nothing you haven't watched or read a million times, but it's well plotted, very well animated, and the angle of the superhero team also being a big family adds an extra dimension to the characters. Great character moments and great action sequences. Very silver age in tone too, right down to the bad guy island headquarters and a giant robot which couldn't possibly get more B-movie. Since it's just running the formula, it's nothing spectacular. But it does the formula very, very well.

Also got my juicer. Cucumber/celery juice is rather tasty. Sure does take a lot of veggies to get some juice though. But my juicer works great and cleans up fast too. Pretty noisy, but oh well. Purchase originally inspired by this post. Let's see if I can kill myself.

Saturdays are being treated as work days now, since my only Saturday commitment is church at 7:30PM, so let's see if coding can be done tomorrow ...
23yrold3yrold
I have come to the conclusion that very little after-day-job work gets done around here. [smile] I am willing to accept the fact that I tend to be tired, and things like weight lifting (which has been quite rewarding) and ministry (I start working youth services as soon as they check my past for record of child abuse and stuff) and odd chores will keep interfering, and that's life. But I'm still trying to get work done. I gave the "heel slam" move a redesign; instead of making an air kick, he simply rears back, then returns to the falling animation if there's nothing to hit. He only kicks if there's something to kick. It looks much better from an animation standpoint now; before, the kick animation got interrupted by the jump animation (because a successful hit propelled you in the air) and it looked choppy and a bit weak. Now the kick is part of the jump, and it looks much smoother and more powerful. But I still need to get more done on this. I've been working on the player animation alone for way too long. It does look nice though, I must say. [cool]

That probably doesn't sound like much. Keep in mind the kick is a re-design; I've done 2 versions these last few days. I also got distracted Tuesday by the election, of course. Fun times. I probably know more about American politics than Canadian politics at this point.

Commence rambling.

My buddy hasn't handed in a second letter (or asked for my signature yet) but the previously unmentioned new foreman is a good guy. I don't get along well with my supervisor or the current foreman (few people do) but this guy is much more professional and competent. I hear that my supervisor doesn't like him much, but I think that's just the new guy is eating his lunch. He's implementing all these common sense innovations they really should have been doing ages ago (like moving people to different machines for more training; I've been bugging them for that for years) and making them look like the incompetent hacks that they are. It's pretty funny. [lol]

PS: The Incredibles comes out in theatres tomorrow. Maybe I'll post a review.

And now I'm off to blast my bi's and tri's.
23yrold3yrold
Well, I did the picture for the Breakout game (which I've been playing and it's cool) and I have plans for a few others which I think are pretty interesting and creative. And I did the work for the tilemap for KQ. It was rough making good looking walls and floors from scratch, but I did it. Now I need to make lots of pretty coral/rocks/seaweed, since it's an underwatter passage. It will look pretty. Which is good, because you'll be there a while. It's kind of an endurance run; a long level with a lot of fighting to the end. Nice to see this project continuing.

I juust finished that today, so I'm going back to TMS animating tomorrow.

In other news, there's rumblings at work. It's employee evaluation time, and one worker who's been there 7 years (I've been there 9) wrote a letter to the boss complaining about the way employees get treated, and focusing on morale in general. Like some areas of the plant getting incentives for how much work they get done, but most don't. Or just management attitude in general. I read the letter; it was quite professional and honest, not very nice but not rude either. It rocked some boats. Doug Buhler was apparently not in a great mood after that letter, nor was he after the meeting he had with my buddy (Rob) later on. Rob also mentioned a lot of people in the paint shop think their supervisor is an asshole (whether he is or not I don't know, but I hear the same) and this got back to said supervisor, who put the gears to Rob trying to figure out who said that. Like Rob's going to say. [rolleyes]

Next week, Rob is writing another, much more pointed letter, which may make its way to the Canadian Labour Board. He expects he'll lose his job, but he's discussed the matter with his wife and he's ready for that. He asked me if I'd sign the letter and I said sure (I'll read it first). He hasn't shown the first letter to anyone who has disagreed with it yet, but few people are willing to go on record. I think I can discuss matters around here constructively, so hopefully I won't get in too much trouble. But I've got 9 years of experience working with these people, so needless to say I've got dirt on pretty much everyone. Wonder what the Dougster will say about some of what I have to tell him. [smile]

Oh well. Interesting times.

PS: The new Toby Mac album "Welcome to Diverse City" rules.
23yrold3yrold

Alright already

I guess I need to type something here or something, eh? I mean, even SiCrane is making entries again. [lol] Guess I better get back in the saddle ...

I've been getting a little more productive lately. Most of the player animations are working well, though it's a bit more tedious working on this stuff than I thought it would be. But it's looking good in game. Most of the attacks are done or started. Once that's finished, I'll touch up Level 1 and try for another demo. I'll need to improve the tileset, and maybe model the foot soldiers (though I'm in no rush to do that after all the headache animating TMS. At least the model is well under way). I think part of my lack of motivation is that job I mentioned earlier at the university. Of course, that whole project is moving like mud right now, so I guess I won't count on it being ready during my lifetime.

I'm also making a picture or two for a friend's commercial Breakout game. Making art on the computer is hard. [razz] I never got the hang of my stylus, though I'm trying. I'm also working on a tileset for a freeware RPG a bunch of us are making. So I guess I won't actually be getting back to TMS animating for a few days.

I think I mentioned this already, but I started working out again. I've been getting good results, and after a thread or two of advice in the Lounge, hopefully results will improve from now on. I need a juicer too. Next payday.

I guess this is a rambling post. I don't totally remember what I did since last entry. [grin] I had a stretch of laziness; I won't deny that. But vacation's over; let's see if some work can't get done.

*zips back up to the top of the page*
23yrold3yrold

Actual post!?

Yeah, I've been a sloth lately. I decided to give that a fight today, this being a day off and therefore getting treated like all my days off; schedule a workday in front of my computer. I still go on the Internet way too often. [smile] But I did a lot of animations for the player. Plus I got caught up on a lot of other little chores (letters to send, purchases to make, chores to do). So I'm happy about that. I'm going to keep making rough animations, then adding the details later. I need to stop wasting time on renders with good lighting and anti-aliasing as much though. Should just use the rough options so the renders don't take so bloody long. I can do the final renders later. But they just look so pretty ...

So, yeah. There's that. Got a few more Bola bugs to stamp out too. But mostly I'm just running on the animation treadmill. Good thing everything else in the game doesn't need even half this many animations ...
23yrold3yrold

Informal contest

I asked for some ideas on how to highlight the weak spot on the new first level mini-boss in TMS. Kind of had a Photoshop Phriday rip-off out of it. [smile] I got some good ideas unrelated to what you're about to see, but I thought these were worth sharing.




23yrold3yrold

Yay, animation!!

Well, the next part of the combo has been rendered. I want to do the air stuff because it looks cool, but I'm trying to do them in the order you perform them in to maintain some sense of order. I'm just doing quick broad motions for the animations; rotate the body, move the essential body parts, and that's it right now. Later, when they're all "done", I'll add touches like the cape and tongue reacting to the direction they're moving in, or adding smaller details to the animations.

Anyway, I also did a full re-render of my quick animations, which means full raytracing, anti-aliasing, and radiosity-faking lighting. So now the game's looking really good, even though the animations themselves are a bit incomplete in terms of motion. But at least I'm back to TMS work. Yay, me.
23yrold3yrold

Spam

I have a new avatar. Yay.

... yeah, I got nuthin'. Nothing really new over the old post; Bola's gotten a little better, the player animation is fully ported, etc. But I haven't posted in nearly a week, so what the hey. I'm going to actually open Blender tomorrow and start on new player animations again.

And if I forget, someone remind me.
23yrold3yrold
So, remember how I said the next conquest would be to move all the player data to a .bola file? Done and done. I haven't finished adding the bounding box data, but it's in game and animating nicely. I need to fix one or two last things with Bola and add the last of the bounding boxes (I'll be turning in early tonight, though), and then it will finally be time to make some new animations. This was the purpose Bola was designed to help facilitate, so we'll see how that goes. Starting tomorrow.

Speaking of Blender models and animating, here's the new model I mentioned last entry ...



That's right, folks; my first transforming Transformer! It's Slapper, from Robots in Disguise. I picked him for a few reasons. First, his is a fairly simple transformation which looks more impressive than it really is. Secondly, Transmetal 2 models like this have quite a few varying textures (some metallic, some organic) which I think will look great in a rendering once I start adding detail. He's missing his lower arms and legs right now (they don't interact with any other body parts, so I'm not concerned with them right now) but at least he does transform. The model's not quite perfect, but it's pretty close.




Obviously missing a lot of detail, but the basic design and layout is there. And transforming. Did I mention that?

I got in touch with the guy I sent my article to. He apparently either forgot to confirm he got it, or did and I never got the e-mail. So that's good there. He could still run off with it, but I have faith the deal is still good. My article is being translated now (it'll run in four languages) and will see print in about a month. So it's time to play the waiting game.

.....

Aw, the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!
23yrold3yrold

More later, I suppose

No, I ain't dead. Just haven't had much time the last few days.

I don't know about this magazine guy, but I hope he's not stiffing me. I sent him the final copy of the article Tuesday and haven't heard a peep since. Maybe I should just submit the article to GameDev. [razz] Not much has happened with Bola/TMS; I need to stamp out a couple more bugs before I finish the player animation. I did start a new Blender model though. It doesn't really relate to anything; it's kind of a for-fun thing. Like the curio cabinet below.

Elaboration can wait for a more productive entry. Right now it's almost 11 and I need to get to bed so I'm ready for work tomorrow.
23yrold3yrold

Post time

I was going to post last night, but the site was down. At least I know people are still coming here when I get PM's telling to update my journal or else, or warning me I'm too far down the page.

I spent Tuesday night formatting my article. The editor wanted it tagged in a very specific manner using OpenOffice. Which suggested to me that maybe I should download it first, and it ain't half bad. If I'd have known what this was like sooner, I would have long since installed it by now. Nice setup.

Last night ... I think I was lazy. Minor Bola coding and that was it. Tonight I did that bit about converting a non-trivial animation to the Bola format, and that went well. A minor hitch here and there has prompted me to continually tweak the functionality and add the odd shortcut here and there. So Bola keeps getting better, and now I have a little green guy running around in my game who can hit and gets hit, running off a Bola file in my animation datafile.

I'm going to add a few more little helper details to Bola, then start on converting the player animation. Once that's done, I can finally get back to adding new content to the animation, without the headache of messing with text files. So far it's running beautifully. I still have no idea if anyone but me could ever get any use out of it, but who cares. It's doing me well.

I'm going to try and get a fair bit done today and tomorrow; the weekend will be busy. Not only will I be hitting church an extra third time this weekend for a meeting, I might have another meeting regarding that top secret job I mentioned earlier. But Bola's rockin' and TMS is starting to be affected by that, so it will be back to actual game production (gasp!) presently. About bloody time ...
23yrold3yrold
Last week, someone posted on the Allegro.CC boards, asking for someone to write an article to be printed in their magazine about Allegro. Paid assignment, of course. Well, lots of people applied for it ... and guess who won. Possibly the guy with 4 or so Pixelate articles, some AGDN tutorials, and a GameDev article under his belt. Yup. Just maybe. Wink, wink.

I did a good 15,000 characters of the article on Thursday for a rough copy and waited for feedback. It took so long I thought the guy either stole it or hated it, but I finally got the word back today (positive overall), and finished the article and accompanying source code just now. It's kind of cool; not only do I get paid for it, but seeing my name in print (I get a free copy in the deal) is going to be something. I wonder if I can buy copies of the mag around here to show my bros, my parents, etc. Probably not, but I gotta try. The money will be nice too. Not that I'm doing it purely for the money (all my other writing was volunteer work), but I could use the cash right now all the same.

I'm not sure it's okay to say I won the deal over everyone else (why wouldn't it be? I dunno; I've never done this before), but I figure I should be saying why updates dried up for the last half week. And no one reads this anyway.

I'll post again when that finally sees print. I'll be hitting Bola and TMS again starting tomorrow. I've begun the conversion of the non-trivial animation, and I've been adding the odd shortcut here and there to make it easier. Done coding for the night, but I should finish converting the foot soldier tomorrow. Nifty.
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