I swear I’m still around, honest

15 03 2015

Haven’t had much time to work on anything recently. My day job sent me off to Arizona for a week, which was admittedly pretty cool, but not really related to this blog. So, moving on!

Been playing Homeworld Remastered. It’s still really janky, such is the problem with porting Homeworld 1 into an updated Homeworld 2 engine, but it’s still Homeworld and it’s still fun and it’s still evoking the same feelings the original game did for me. Also nice is the ability to make custom emblems…which of course means its time to put emblems from other sci-fi properties into it…

AndrossScout CornerianInterceptor StarfoxAttackBomber

Yes, I am still a huge nerd. And while it’s still broken in a lot of respects, Gearbox and the modding community are doing a lot to fix it, so I think in time it’ll be great again. Plus the game looks gorgeous.

On the art front I’ve been doing more enemy designs, specifically making some enemy fighters that look more like modified mining craft:

EnemyMiningFighter_AnimStrip

In this case, the cannons on the front were originally drills. I’m still working on more designs but this week I’m also getting more into the actual tech of the game. More to come later.

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Careful what you write for – a series of thoughts on writing and designs.

23 02 2015

I really need to do better at writing any sort of post even if I don’t have much to talk about. In this case I do have a bit to talk about which is my slow process at working on Ablation again. While trying to figure out if I should get 2D Tookit or not (yes I’m going to), I also worked on making a Design Document so I could ground my ideas a bit better. This helped in a few ways, namely identifying I want PC and FireTV releases above all else, and while I’d like to put the game on mobile phones and tablets I think that should come after I at least have the core tech down.

I also tried to write a very bare-bones plot for the game in the document. While doing so I got reminded how your story decisions, even when you don’t expect it, might influence your artistic decisions.

When I first envisioned this game, back in college, it was going to be more of a free-form shooter similar to Escape Velocity, only set in a massive debris field. The idea being this field was the result of a never-ending series of battles between two rival star empires. The player belonged to neither of those empires, instead a “neutral” third party that would routinely scour the debris for technology to repurpose. Of course the empires would also send their own salvage teams to recover tech, as well as patrol ships. The idea being the player could grab other pieces of debris to make their ship bigger and more powerful, but at the cost of maneuverability. The top “layer” of upgrades (i.e. the newest attached ones) could be cast off as missile/bomb type weapons to also free up speed)

While I do like this idea still, I feel it’s very similar to the game Habitat (although my idea would control differently), and as such I probably won’t try visiting it for a while.

Anyway, for this iteration of Ablation I initially wanted the attacking force to be colonists, miners, etc. attacking Earth over some greivance or another, but I felt that was cliche so I wanted to turn it around, that the player was on the side of the colonists attacking a facist Earth government. The problem is that doing it with the colonists as the enemies would’ve actually been more interesting from an enemy design standpoint. After all, miners could be using ships that were jury-rigged or repurposed mining vessels rather than purpose-built military craft.

So I almost want to go back to that idea, but I want a way of doing it that doesn’t feel cliche, even though this is a vertical space shooter and the plot doesn’t really matter. Also at the same time a bunch of jury-rigged ships might be seen as less powerful than a military one, but at the same time i’d imagine mining craft, especially out in space, would be made to be pretty robust.

Anyway, I hope to have more in a bit, possibly some art or something of that effect because I have been doing a lot of art work in the background.





Pixel Dailies and other stuff

27 01 2015

So a bunch of life stuff and a sinus infection happened this month so I haven’t done too much worth of note. I am starting to get the hang of doing mobile/touch based gaming which is nice, and I spent some time making nicer sprites for the new version of Ablation:

Golden Jackal Mk IIBasically after looking at a bunch of different vertical shooters both old and new, I realized the way they tend to “light” their sprites as far as shading is to do it as if the light source was directly (or almost directly) overhead.

I also started doing up some of the new bosses but they’re just in what amounts to the sprite version of a sketch or wireframe so I can’t show you those right now.

And lastly I’ve also been doing Pixel Dailies a lot, via the twitter account of the same name. Some of them haven’t come out too well but here’s a few that I am particularly proud of for those who don’t follow my twitter:

Boat at Night

Bomberman theme

Tron Theme

That’s all for now, I really plan to update more in 2015 and stay on top of things so stay tuned!





Block Break Air Hockey now released on Kongregate

11 11 2014

Title pretty much says it all. It’s been 17 months, some of which I should’ve spent working longer on it, but the game is now released. I’ll have a detailed post-mortem to follow but for now if you want to play it, you can find it on Kongregate by clicking here. Unity Web Player is of course, required.

BBAH Candidate Screenshot





Almost Done, but with a name change: Block Break Air Hockey dev blog

4 11 2014

So yeah, Version 1.0 of the game is almost finished, and I decided that I really didn’t like the name “Shuffle Breaker” anymore so I cahnged it to “Block Break Air Hockey” which is a bit more unwieldy admittedly, but I like it better. I’ve had a couple people testing it, just about all the issues have been accounted for. All that remains is one more pass for good luck and then I’m going to try to submit it to Kongregate. After that’s done, I’ll of course support it based on feedback, and I’ll definitely be looking into making a mobile version especially now that my parents gave me a Kindle Fire HD for my birthday, so now I have both FireOS and Android to consider deploying to.

And then after that? Well I plan to be revisiting an older game I worked on to try and make that a full-fledged application as well. But more about that when I come to it.





Rinksmanship: Shuffle Breaker Dev Blog

21 08 2014

So I’ve been reworking the design of the rink in Shuffle Breaker. Right now I haven’t put it into the game again but here’s a couple quick previews in the renderer…

ShuffleBreak_Sample_Redux

ShuffleBreak_Sample_Redux2

I’ve redone the UV mapping because it was a bit dodgy beforehand, and I also reworked the design of the goals. In addition, everything is now completely UV mapped so I will be able to use actual materials instead of just solid colors if I so desire.

Hopefully I’ll have this dropped into the game in the next few days.





Apologies for the lack of updates

3 07 2014

Due to a few extenuating real-life concerns I haven’t really been able to work on my games and other projects as much recently, but I have been working on them. Shuffle Breaker is getting some feedback and adjustments from the people at TIGSource as well as some of my friends. I also finally went back and textured the ship I was working on in Blender, deliberately going for a very flat, retro style:

Golden Jackal Front 3/4 View Golden Jackal Back 3/4 View

Granted it’s not perfect, but I think I learned quite a lot from doing it.

I’ve also been working on making textures and materials in Unity as a way of increasing artistic output. I did a set of wood textures which I think came out pretty well:

Two Types of Flooring Wood Paneling Basic Painted White Wood Fill with texturing A larger view of the test room

I’ve made diffuse, normal, and specular maps for everything, learned quite a bit, and feel pretty accomplished. I’m hoping maybe in the future to have something up on the asset store but we’ll see how that goes.