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.





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!





Will it Blender? – From Pixels to Polys

6 05 2014

So in between working on Shuffle Breaker and playing stuff like AC IV: Black Flag, Dark Souls II, and Mario Golf World Tour, I’ve also been diving back into making more complex things with Blender. I decided as a challenge to myself, to take the Golden Jackal ship from my Ablation prototype, and turn it into an actual ship.

If you don’t remember, the Golden Jackal looks like this:

GoldenJackalOriginal

Before I could make it 3D though, I decided to revise the design, and get rid of the side-mounted engine pylons in favor of something mounted in the back of the fuselage.

 

GoldenJackal2

And then using this as a template, I went to work, and here’s what I’ve got so far.

3D Gold Jackal Draft

Granted it’s not done, I sorta left out the wing pylons on the end and I’m not sure I’m going to put them back in, but not bad for about 5-6 hours of cumulative work. Hopefully the UV mapping goes as smoothly.





2013 In Review

19 01 2014

I’ll have some more information about Shuffle Breaker in a bit, for now though here is a YouTube video compiling my work over 2013 into a bit of a portfolio piece.

Also I’ll be attending Global Game Jam 2014 this year cause I got lucky with the way my work schedule sorted out for that week. Should be fun!





Small Miracles: Ablation Dev Blog #6

31 03 2013

Despite Internet issues this weekend, I finally managed to finish the Beta of Ablation and submit it to One Game a Month, where it now sits on my profile page here. You can download it either from that link or the direct dropbox link here. I’m hoping later this year to come back to it and finish it up. I’ll have a postmortem post up within the next couple days as well as possibly some more video footage, but for now enjoy the 3 level beta and these images a friend made up for the Gold Jackal and Blue Bobcat on the ship select screen:

Gold Jackal

Blue Bobcat





The Way Forward: Ablation Dev Blog #5

25 03 2013

I finally have a video up of the first level being played through…by me. And not very well I might add. But it’s a video all the same. There are still a few technical issues like the maneuvering I added to a few ships not quite working out so well, and that upgrade canister getting stuck in the top part of the screen partway through. But it’s coming along quite nicely (which is good given that I only have 6 days left). This also marks the first in-game appearance of the second player ship, Blue Bobcat.

You can see the video here. Music isn’t for the game itself as I mention in the description; I just decided to throw “The Way Forward” by Richie Kotzen up as a backing track.