11/9/2019 – Art Influencing Gameplay

Before anyone lynches me for the somewhat pretentious and “My game is clearly important to society as a whole” title decision, allow me to just say that I wasn’t quite sure how to explain my thought process in regards to what’s happening here.

So I mentioned in my last couple of posts that I started a new project (Which I have been streaming on Twitch) and I seem to be spending more time making art assets than programming gameplay. That’s the stark opposite of what was happening when I was working on Bullet Hell Lane Shooter.

I’m making sprites for stuff, figure out how I want it to animate or move, and then just making the game based around that. It’s an interesting approach, because of which BHLS, I used generic shapes and then built the gameplay before doing anything art related. I’m not sure if the reasoning for this is due to the switch from 3D to 2D, or maybe my disdain for how shit BHLS looked. Everytime I showed off the game in Demo Days, it looked like programmer art; and the lack of artistic cohesiveness mixed with a low effort presentation just made it look like crap. Even though the gameplay was decent enough, the absence of “juice” just made everything feel unresponsive or uninteresting.

In this new game, because I’m done some of the art before hand, I can feel a closer attachment to the playable ship. It feels reactive, more natural, grounded even. It’s hard to describe.

But getting back to the title. When I started this project, I had the idea of a “Kart Racer in Space”. Therefore I went about making a basic ship sprite and had it move around Unity a bit. Then I made the ship rotate. After that I made it shoot stuff. Following that I decided to animate some exhausts for the ship to have it feel right, because otherwise the player ship just felt floaty and loose. At that point, I realised that trying to make a tightly controlled and responsive kart racer in space using the controls and movement that I had made; was a terrible idea.

Once I realised that, I decided to start goofing around and ended up deciding that having an open area was the best strategy going forward.

Subsequently, I’m still in a brainstorming phase where I’m trying to figure out if I want to make a top-down/side-on shooter similar to stuff like Galaga or Thunder Force, or make a Space Trucking Sim sticking to the over world entirely. To be frank, I’m leaning towards to latter as it might require less art.

So that’s where I’m at. Guess we’ll see where I end up. Stay tuned to my Twitch channel for now I guess.

-Adam

P.S. I will publish an Itch.io page for this game with a demo once I’ve added a few more things. The page is there, but there’s nothing on it right now and isn’t accessible publicly.

P.P.S. Should I get a Twitter account?

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05/08/2019 – I Had An Eye Test Today

Nothing particularly interesting happened, but my prescription is gonna get a tiny bit stronger. Hopefully that means I’ll be able to read stuff a bit easier.

Also, another update on the new project.

I added some sprite animation for the thrusters. It looks better than I thought it would, although the ship still doesn’t look great. I also got it to shoot, with some help from someone in my Twitch chat.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do next because I don’t have a plan for the thing. So I’ll probably start brainstorming some ideas soon.

-Adam

P.S. WordPress’ new block system for making posts is both interesting and annoying, but it does let me do dumb shit like that, which looks cool.

P.P.S. I also watched Spaced. It’s alright, a bit dated in parts though.

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30/07/2019 – New Project And Rebuilt Streaming Setup

I have begun a new project!

But this time I’ve decided to stream every time I work on it to help motivate me to finish it, as well as get immediate feedback.

So as you may know by the widget on the side of every page, I have a Twitch Channel. I haven’t streamed on it for a number of years, but now I’m back and streaming as often as I can. Most of the time it’s going to be games, but several times a week it will be this new project or something game dev related. Either way, you should follow me and maybe spread the link out so that more people can watch it, meaning I get more feedback.

I would appreciate it.

Watch Making A Space Game I Think, Kinda Just Goofing Around In Unity & Aseprite. from SGTADMAN on www.twitch.tv Watch Making A Space Game I Think, Kinda Just Goofing Around In Unity & Aseprite. from SGTADMAN on www.twitch.tv

Additionally, I haven’t made an itch.io page for this project yet, but I will update the blog when I do.

I will have a new Den post at some point in the future as well. Later.

-Adam

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08/04/2019 – Bullet Hell Lane Shooter Has Been Shelved

You’ll find more information on this post.

So after the last post I made; I decided to rebuild most of my PC, do a fresh install of Windows, and reinstall a bunch of stuff. I’m now generally back up and running again and haven’t had too many issues with the upgrade (Except for Metro Exodus, which I’ll get to later).

But looking at BHLS, I decided that it would need to be rebuilt. And then I lost all motivation to rebuild it because frankly, Unity is a pain to deal with.

So today I’ve decided to completely wipe my whiteboard clean and start something new… Or get back to finishing my “Gaming Backlog Sorter” that I was working on at one point. Either way, Visual Studio is gonna get reinstalled. And maybe I’ll fiddle around with Godot. Maybe.

Getting back to Metro Exodus; it runs like shit. Even though I’m getting above 60FPS most of the time, the stuttering is insufferable. It makes playing the game really difficult. I managed to help it by moving the game to my SSD, but the issue still persists. The only real solution is to set the graphics settings on low. So I’m thinking it’s a texture streaming issue or something. Either way, it’s very annoying.

It also doesn’t help that the game really isn’t grabbing me at all. The stealth is awful, the AI is awful, the enemies are irritating to fight most of the time because the visual feedback and bullet sponginess is terrible, and the gunplay is crap. It’s desperately trying to be STALKER-like, but ends up eating it’s own identity to do so. Throw that in with the performance problems and the game just ends up being a real pain.

At least the gun customisation is neat. Pulling up to a encounter, pulling out the backpack, and then switching out parts to take advantage of the situation is one of the few parts I like.

And to end on a happy note: Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5 are really good games. Thank you Capcom for finally digging yourself out of that hole and making games people actually want.

That’s it for now. Don’t know when the next post will be, but I’m sure it’ll be a happier one.
I hope.

-Adam

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19/02/2018 – Motherboard Failure

So after months, if not years, of problems with my PC, it finally got to the point where it became more or less unusable.

To summarise; my PSU died and had to be replaced, the on-board sound died over a year ago, one of my internal HDDs died, the USB ports on my rear I/O died, and now my motherboard decided that everything connected to the rear I/O (minus my keyboard and mouse) and everything connected to the SATA ports (Except my C Drive) are no longer recognised.

So right now I’m using my ITX machine. I’ve ordered new parts to replace the Motherboard, CPU, and RAM. I’ll talk about the new specs once the parts get in and once I’ve done all the work to get my rig back up and running. But the most interesting thing is that I’ve bought a Windows 10 install. So that’ll be fun.

As for game development stuff, everything is kind of on-hold right now. My data is safe. I have it backed up in my repo, and I’m pretty sure my HDD still works properly.

I hate computers sometimes.
Or most of the time.
All the time.

Computers suck. Live out in the woods instead.

Tetris 99 is fun.

-Adam

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The Den – 01/01/2019

And so, here are my Top 10 lists for 2018. As per usual, these are my own opinions. Not gospel.

My Top 10 Games of 2018:

10. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory
9. Dragon Quest XI
8. Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon
7. Tetris Effect
6. Detroit: Become Human
5. Valkyria Chronicles 4
4. God Of War (2018)
3. Soulcalibur VI
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
1. Yakuza 6

Honourable Mentions:

  • Monster Hunter World
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2

Released Games I Wanted To Play or Play More Of:

  • Monster Hunter World – Didn’t get very far.
  • Dragon Quest XI – Still playing it.
  • Taiko no Tatsujin – I don’t own it, but I want to play it.

Best HD Remaster/Remake:

  • Shenmue I & II HD
    (Burnout Paradise is still pretty fucking excellent though)

Worst Game I Played:

  • Ni No Kuni II

My Top 10 Anime of 2018

10. Harukana Receive
9. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
8. Asobi Asobase & Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro
7. Back Street Girls
6. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
5. Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san
4. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby
3. Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
2. Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa
1. 3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season

Special Mentions:

  • Conception
  • Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet
  • Takunomi
  • Grand Blue

(I liked FranXX and SSSS.Gridman, but I didn’t feel like they should be on my list.)

There will be a regular blog post within the month, probably.

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04/11/2018 – New Demo!

I have a new demo up, you get it by going to the link below and downloading the “DemoDay23” download.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

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26/09/2018 – Not Much Going On, Continuing On.

For the sake of having something to post, I guess I’ll talk about how things are progressing development wise.

So after some turmoil with trying to get custom inspectors to display the data I wanted, I’ve finally gotten back to actual development. This week I’ve added new artwork to the game in the form of sprite work for item pickups, and changed the colour scheme for the game to make it more uniform.

I’ve also added a few new enemy types which are actually just altered versions of existing enemy types.

So yeah, stuff. Have some images to look at:

As you can see, it’s not the greatest piece of artwork, but it is finally starting to take some shape.

A new demo is slated to come out in the first week of November provided things go well.

That’s all for now. Feel free to continue following development at itch.io page.

Later.

-Adam

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“Paddles, Ball, & Pegs” Now Back Up

“Paddles, Ball, & Pegs” was temporarily removed from the Play Store due to some very sudden changes in the developer’s Terms Of Service. It’s back up now, but if you were wondering why it was missing, there you go.

Additionally, I will be making the APK available to download separately from the Play Store sometime in the near future, on the off-chance this happens again or if it gets removed permanently.

On an unrelated note, if you wish to stay up to date with progress on my new game, please go to my Itch.io page. I will try and get a new demo out before October.

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30/06/2018 – QCon, DOOM Source Ports, and Other Stuff.

Hello again.

I was recently in Belfast along my friend and his friend, attending QCon, held at the Student Union at Queen’s Uni. QCon usually isn’t something I want to go to. Last couple of times I’ve went it’s been awfully boring. This time was a little different, mostly  because I had more time to see stuff at the cost of inconveniencing a friend by crashing on his couch.

But weirdly enough, the day in Belfast started with our group going to get ramen. My friend had been harping on about a place called Wagamama on Victoria Street, which I believe is chain restaurant. I’ll be honest, the chicken ramen I ordered was sub-par, and I couldn’t finish it.

Following that we walked back up to QCon. Most of the time was spent walking around looking at the various things for sale and then checking out all the games you could sit down and play. I only played two things, a 2D Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fighting game, and Quake 3. And let me tell you, Quake 3 is still pretty fucking great and I won the first round I played of it. And it would serve as a warm up for later.

After pissing about till about 7pm, the real reason I bothered coming to QCon presented itself; a chance to 1v1 one of the main designers of DOOM, John Romero.

Meeting the man in person, I can say this; his hair is spectacular. Even in the darkly lit basement of the student union. But on to the main point, he wiped the floor with everyone who challenged him.

The first guy who went up against him had the poor luck of a 30 frag limit, meaning his suffering was prolonged and Romero went 30-0 against him. Following him was another chap, but this time with a frag limit of 10. The guy managed to get at least one kill in at least.

After that it was me. I asked to have the map changed to MAP01 of DOOM II, AKA “Entryway”. I got 3 kills, but for most part got slaughtered. Romero’s use of the RPG and BFG9000 often led to my quick demise. At the end I shook his hand and thanked him for the match. My friend soon followed me and got a bit luckier getting 4 kills.

We stuck around for a bit. I got a signed poster and a picture with Romero. The poster is currently hanging on my wall.

Myself, Romero, and my friend Craig. Sorry for not smiling, my legs were hurting badly from walking around Belfast.

Here’s the poster, framed.

We watched other poor souls walk up to receive an absolute arse-kicking, but around 9.15/20pm we had to get going. Having got something to eat, we went to Queen’s Film Theatre across the road and watched Perfect Blue. Which is still an excellent film from the utter legend that is Satoshi Kon.

So anyway, playing against John Romero reminded me that I still hadn’t finished DOOM II, and I decided that I wanted to also play multiplayer, which more or less requires a source port. So I booted up Chocolate DOOM and decided almost immediately that I would prefer to use GZDoom, which I already had downloaded but previously avoided it because of the amount of settings I had to tweak to get it to be what I wanted it to be.

So this time I actually bothered changing the settings and have been having a great time with it since. Apart from the part where DOOMSeeker requires Zandronum, which basically another version of GZDoom. Which again required me to make a bunch of tweaks to get to where I wanted it, but still required more. So I gave up on it.

And then I got it into my head that I wanted to play some Quake 1 as well. So I installed it via Steam and tried to tweak the settings so it would be 1920×1080. It failed to boot in OpenGL mode. So I Google’d the issue and found that the version of GLQuake that Steam provides is out of date and you need a later version of the executable. So I downloaded it and started using that, and it now fits to my resolution. But the framerate is 72FPS, which is half of my refresh rate.

So then I downloaded EZQuake and couldn’t get it running. So instead I downloaded nQuake and it worked, but then tweaking the graphical settings caused my desktop to have fucked up colours. Additionally I couldn’t turn off the Quake Live style HUD. And then to top it off, it randomly crashed on me.

So I gave up on Quake 1, for now.

As for how my project is going, well you can check up on it on its itch.io page and even try out the prototype demo. I’m working on a new demo with additional features and tweaks, but it likely won’t be out for a while.

Other than that, it’s just bloody hot. And I can’t really be arsed watching the football. I’ll try and fight through the heat and work on my game.

-Adam

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