03/02/2020 – Pretty Randomness

Above are some images I’ve collected while working on my new game, currently titled “Space Cart“; and I quite like the look of them. And yes, this post is mostly an excuse to dump them on my site.

But getting to the point, random generation isn’t for everyone. But also, this isn’t technically random, as there are some bits in the code that define shape and positioning. Regardless, there are a lot of negative opinions about random generation of worlds.

Most of these views are along the lines of; unfocused design, laziness, “soullessness”, and so on. Then there actual complaints about bad RNG and bugs with collision or scripting.

While I’ve been working on this game, I’ve been learning things about this type of creation method and coming face to face with a lot of its drawbacks. With the example of planet generation, some of the sprites used to create those planets can look Godawful at times and point out how much of a video game this is. Take a look at this.

Bad generation example.

Look at the planet there, and you see a sharp square edge where the sprite isn’t properly alined or sized correctly. It looks awful. Thankfully, I know how to fix this issue, so it won’t be a problem in the future.

That said, there are other issues with positioning. Currently the planets are so rare to spawn that they don’t collide or intersect with each other. However, on the few times it does happen it looks very bizarre. I don’t have an example image to show unfortunately.

When I originally started making this, I thought about making all the planets from scratch. Then I realised that would be bad idea as I could potentially spend a lot of time doing sprite art instead of making the damn game. Doing what I’m doing now was probably the best choice in the grand scheme of things.

But aside from random generation there are other issues with my game, mostly the noisy art style that makes it difficult to differentiate objects on the screen.

If you want to know more about the nitty gritty of development, you can see the newest development log post here.

So What Else Has Been Going On?

In short: Not much.

I’ve been unable to find a job that I’m qualified for, and not just because my degree grade isn’t great; but rather because a lot of the lower positions at companies are starting to get out-sourced out of the UK, meaning what’s left are senior roles that I couldn’t hope to get.

I’ll keep looking, but I don’t have much hope. I’ll work on improving my portfolio in the meantime.

Video game wise; I played some Dreams, but I found the creation tools to be kind of overbearing. There’s a lot to learn, but using a normal DualShock isn’t really all that intuitive when using their editor. I feel off it pretty quick.

I finished playing Prey. I enjoyed it but it has a lot of caveats, mostly relating to the combat. If you’re into the System Shock or Deus Ex games, you might enjoy it.

Finally, I’ve been playing some Tokyo Xanadu. It’s a bit Persona-esque in that there are social aspects to game. It does things differently though by letting you explore the world openly during your free time, and only limiting your interactions with others using a consumable, something that you can gain more off by taking on some optional dungeons. On the subject of dungeons, you can revisit them as many times as you want without penalty. No cat telling you that “you’re tired” and that you should “go to bed”. Hell, there’s no talking animals in general. Plus mini-games that you can actually play.

Persona has the advantage in terms of personality though. A lot of this game from the writing to the dungeon aesthetics to the menu design seem really flat and uninteresting. Thankfully the action game combat and enemy variety stop it from being too boring, just don’t expect a high budget.

That’s all really. Demo Day 32 is happening in under two months, so I’m gonna try and focus towards that. Knowing how frequently I post, I might not write again until that demo is ready.

Finally, as a reminder, you can follow Space Cart’s development on my Twitch channel every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Feel free to follow too.

-Adam

About Adam Lutton

Game Designer / Programmer
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