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About cowsarenotevil

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    3D Artist
    Technical Artist
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  1. WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Well I enjoyed this immensely, although I still haven't managed to review a single one of the other games yet. I've liked what I've seen so far, though! I guess it's a good thing I wasn't a judge. I was really pleasantly surprised by the response to my game. It wasn't a great fit for this contest, since it was much more about style than gameplay in the traditional sense, but I feel like it was judged based on its own merits. Even with some major pacing issues, I feel like people still manged to actually engage with it. I wish I'd had a chance to playtest a bit more, since I probably would have realized that going back upstairs after finding the floating orbs was not at all an obvious choice. I also noticed that it's a bit too easy to step into the final trigger zone while pointed away from the window, thus missing the ending. There are some pretty obvious things I could have done to avoid this had I discovered it a bit earlier. The idea for the aliens actually came from modeling the scroll ornaments on the columns. I thought "hmm, this looks sort of like some weird alien face," remembered that aliens were in fact part of the contest theme, and just rolled with it. I'd have liked to incorporate the scroll pattern into the actual alien design, but I didn't quite get to that in time. I've already added a lot of detail and polish to the floating spheres and secret staircase area, but I think this whole baroque + alien aesthetic might actually work if I can get it to gel together with a bit more nuance. It's been a few years since I've actually made a serious attempt at a game jam, and even longer since I've attempted a solo entry, so I'm definitely trying to polish and expand my game into something longer and less broken. The two biggest things I'd like to add are some more involved gameplay with the alien, including possibly some kind of chase sequence, plus actually getting to meet the king. If this works out I might try to have it tested more thoroughly and release it as some kind of donationware. Also, my castle looks a lot like the Cuban embassy for some reason? Especially now that I've gotten around to polishing it up a bit more.
  2. WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    That was so great. I love being able to see people's live reactions, and, despite the fact that I know how playtesting is supposed to work, I have the hardest time not interfering when I see someone playing something I made, so a "naive" playthrough like this is extremely valuable. There are some obvious problems with my game, but I consider myself extremely lucky that people are consistently getting stuck in the same couple of areas. I'm totally looking forward to fixing up the ending as right now a lot of people miss all/part of it. I want to talk about it in more detail but I'm going to wait until all of the judging is done. Finally, and this is purely my own vanity speaking, but I did make 100% of the geometry myself specifically for this game. In fact, aside from some primitive shapes (and a couple of spoilery things that appear at the very end), I managed to make everything out of the same 8-ish models that I made available earlier in the contest thread. I definitely took some of the base texture images from free sources, but all of the actual materials were mine as well (although for these I re-purposed some of the effects, like the dust, from my own other projects).
  3. Hobby: How do you finish your projects?

    One fairly straightforward thing that I've found helps is to tell a bunch of people what you're working on and letting them follow along with what you're doing. If people find what you're doing interesting enough, they'll sort of automatically put some pressure on you to finish. Another thing I've found that works well is to make a short and simple "finished" version of your game, even if you've only been working on it for a week or so. It's a lot less daunting to add features to a game that you know is already good (or at least something) than it is to try to get through a massive list of features before your game be playable at all.
  4. WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    This has actually been a semi-known problem for some people with Unreal for a while, although I've never actually seen it firsthand. It only pops up on some machines, and the symptom is a pretty generic low-level error which made it harder for Epic to pin down. The bad news is that thee "Real-Time Thumbnails" and most other workarounds only help with the editor, not already-packaged games, and apparently none of the workarounds work for everyone. The good news is that most people report that it doesn't happen in Unreal 4.17, and, if you didn't run into this problem with my game, I think it's safe to say that that was the difference. I bet if Newtopia is able to re-build with 4.17 it'll run properly for you. Anyway, I'm hoping to get to reviewing all of the other games some time this week. I'm also polishing up my game a bit. I'm sure I'll get more feedback regarding what's actually wrong with it, but I've already fixed a few things other people have caught, and there's a bunch of cosmetic issues that have been driving me crazy. Mainly some of the geometry that's conspicuously unfinished/un-detailed, particularly when seen in comparison to the more-polished stuff I made earlier in the process.
  5. WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    I'm still assuming the whole thing is just an elaborate ruse to steal my login credentials. Totally worth it though.
  6. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Thanks! Yeah, I figured that might be the cause: I didn't have time to get it to a more reasonable size. I hope it didn't cause too much trouble.
  7. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Hmm, I'm getting an "invalid input" error when I try to submit my entry. I'm not sure if it's a bug or some submission criteria I've missed, but I'm going to upload to Google Drive just in case. EDIT: Done uploading! Game is available at Description: A short first-person experience that takes place in a strange castle.
  8. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    I spent all day working on the actual game, and I'm significantly closer to finished than I ever imagined I would be. Most of the main (and fortunately simple) mechanics are actually working now. I'm using Unreal since I have a lot of experience with it, so it was really the only viable option given the time pressure. That also meant that I could re-use a bunch of materials and effects I made for past projects, like a procedural dust function that I can just slap on to make it look like my game is a lot more polished than it really is. The game is definitely more focused on style and atmosphere than on "gameplay" or "fun" per se, so I'm not exactly expecting it to get great scores in the competition, but I'm hoping that someone finds it engaging for what it is. Having such a small game also means I can afford to use crazy high-detail light/shadow maps that would probably be too large for a "real" game. I started with some non-real time renders as reference, which I find really helps; it's easy to spend so much time staring at a scene that I can't tell if I'm making it look more "real" or not, so I need something to compare with.
  9. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Finished a few more models. Trying to keep the scope very small both so I can finish the gameplay on time, and also so that I won't need any more than these eight models. EDIT: Also free to use under a CC0 license, in case clarification is needed. castle models 2.fbx
  10. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Thanks! Now I just need to make the rest of the art, and then also start making a game, and then before I know it, my game will be done! You know, or something like that.
  11. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Well, as I feared I haven't really had any free time. I've managed to make a couple more castle-ish models, but that's pretty much it. As before, everyone is free to use these in their own games as well. castle_models.fbx
  12. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    I just made a quick vaulted ceiling piece for my potentially-nonexistent game. Feel free to use it for whatever and consider it in the public domain. It's UV unwrapped, but it doesn't come with any actual textures. vaultedceiling1.fbx
  13. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    What's your approach to measuring or evaluating the "economic ones"? Job creation is pretty difficult to quantify in general, to say nothing of the correlation/causation issues of trying to use it to evaluate the actions of a particular president. I'd be curious to know what specific indicators you're following most closely. I'm also wondering about the specifics related to how you're evaluating Trump on social issues. It's hard for me to understand how he hasn't already "[gone] socially consdervative" with respect to transgender issues, "punishment for women," etc. He's also given the social conservative movement a pretty strong voice via his choice of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence. That alone seems like a challenge to abortion/gay marriage. That said, I'm not sure if you're thinking of "socially conservative" in exactly the same way I am. To me, things like racial profiling and religious discrimination certainly fall into that category, but unless I'm confusing you with someone else, aren't you a pretty strong advocate for those sorts of policies? I do take issue with the notion that anyone was expecting the testimony thus far to be Trump's undoing, particularly when we're considering only public testimony under oath. Even if there is evidence of a serious problem, I wouldn't expect to know about it just yet. I'd say the vast majority of relevant testimony is still to come. I'm certainly not claiming to know where that will all go, but again, claiming that the narrative has already fallen apart is a much stronger statement. It's also not a statement that's supported by evidence at this time. I feel quite strongly that you're making a bit of a straw man if you interpret "the narrative" to be something like "Comey's public testimony will get Trump impeached this month!" I haven't claimed that, and I don't think anyone else who is paying attention would have claimed that either. I definitely would like for the North Korea issue to be solved as well, but I think we're a ways off from that no matter how well the president handles it. It would seem weird to me that North Korea would think Trump was "too weak to act," particularly since he's been extremely focused on military issues, and he's even been vocal about the US using nuclear weapons in a fashion that's far more extreme than any other recent presidents. Personally, my feeling is that Trump could fairly easily end up tweeting something that does real harm to himself or others, simply because he doesn't seem to be getting more disciplined in any respect whatsoever. He definitely goes through quieter periods, but they don't seem to last for very long. Part of me thinks that he's too proud to admit that his current/previous strategy is/was in any way less than ideal, so the moment people begin to respond positively to a change in style, he reverts back to the old way to avoid admitting that yes, the new way really is better. To be honest, I'm still not 100% convinced that he even enjoys this whole president thing enough to keep doing it for an entire four years.
  14. WoA V - The Competition Thread

    Well, I want to make something, but it's going to be tough for me to find any free time even at night until Friday, so if I do make something it'll probably need to be pretty simplistic. "Fortunately" I also don't have any good ideas, with the possible exception of a very simple adventure game, so that might be possible to throw together in a couple of days.
  15. Trump and Russia (take 2)

    Out of curiosity, what are your standards for a successful President Trump? That is, what do you actually want him to do (or continue doing, I guess, if you think he's doing well so far)? You mentioned "[throwing] throw senate republicans under the bus," but beyond that it's hard to tell.* Likewise, what are your standards for a failed Trump presidency, or at least a not good one? If the narratives you say have "fallen apart" hypothetically turn out to be true, would that make a difference? What about this weird new Seth Rich story? Are there any specific policy points that are "must-have," such that a failure to implement them would make you deem Trump a failure. I'd also be curious to know exactly when you think the impeachment narratives fell apart. It's one thing to be skeptical, but I feel like typically for a story to be discredited (fallen apart), there needs to be at least some evidence that would actually contradict said story. By all means, I'm happy to admit that the most serious allegations aren't supported by any kind of overwhelming evidence, but it looks like you're making an even stronger claim than just that. *by the way, I know what you meant, but I'm pretty sure the idiom "throw under the bus" doesn't actually mean what you think it does.