Gestures Galore

Still at it.  Wow, it’s amazing how much of a difference repeated practice makes.  Just in the pure eye to hand motion of being able to capture things in the right size / position.

Additionally I’m making excellent progress on the thirtydays.club website.  The whole thing is coming together and I hope to have it ready for a late October launch.

On the downside.. the 3TB drive went belly up and a bunch of not essential but useful stuff went byebye..  All the really important things were of course backed up.. but there were a couple huge folders of painting videos that I’m going to miss having around. (the backup stopped working in June when I had to re-install the OS)..

Continue reading Gestures Galore

New WIP

The doldrums of summer and start of a new school year is like a parasitic leech that sits on your forehead and drains motivation and inspiration right out of you.

 

But what do you do?  You plow through it.

goldenturtle

thumbnail / color rough for a new painting.

Pretty excited to see where / how this one goes.

 

 

January Postmortem

Going to keep this short and sweet, can’t stop and reflect too much.

What went right:

  • Web editor –  having a web editor where I can make changes and just re-launch a level for testing was incredibly useful
  • Music – the non repeating drumtrack for in game music works really well wit the musical queues
  • Title screen fire – Damnit particles just make me happy.
  • Pathfinding and combat –  while it’s not the most dynamic combat (see what went wrong) it’s fairly well balanced.
  • Flexibilty of code – adding new UI elements and restructuring how combat works 4 days from launch and not a glitch.
  • Game website – Im really happy with the new http://www.drakkheim.com website.

What went wrong:

  • World rendering – having to re-write the world map rendering took a whole weekend of progress and as such required that things like traps, and ranged combat got cut. no Elves or Kobold archers.
  • Fun – the last minute changes to combat really improved the moment to moment gameplay elements, but really it’s not something you’ll be playing over and over.
  • lack of animation – lack of variety – essentially more time to create art assets would have been really nice.   I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme.
  • Broken analytics –  I totally messed up and forgot to install analytics on the website until 4 days after launch.. so I have no idea if anyone has even played it.

That’s it for now.

 

Enchanting Cadence launched for Slick contest!

The Must do’s got done.

Several of the ‘Wants’ got done.

However Mac support looks impossible.

However, at this time I’m proud to announce It’s live!!!


http://www.enchantingcadence.com

10 levels. Java applet w/ facebook integration.

It’s been on helluva learning experience.  Will digest a few things for a bit and have a postmortem up before too long.

Will update with a link for voting once voting begins next week.

 

IrisEdit Screenshot Saturday

In an attempt to keep updating this on a more regular basis here’s the first of (hopefully) many Screenshot Saturday.

a screenshot of the almost complete level editorThis is a screenshot of the irisEdit map editor on my dev box.  At this point it’s 90% complete.  There’s a glitch in the saving/reloading that needs tweaking but other than that it’s ready to start building levels in.   At which point I’ll move to the live databse over at editor.irismel.com

Unfortunately this week was full of all sorts of fun freelance stuff and prep for the baby’s 1st birthday party (in roughly 11 hrs from now)  so I didn’t get the editor wrapped up.. but hopefully I can get it knocked out Sunday if I’m lucky.  Next week promises to be full of more and maybe even some new paying client work, which of course takes precedence over BSDDoD! progress.

What I’m Playing:

  • http://insideastarfilledsky.net/ A recursive, larger than the Galaxy  shooter.  From the guy who made Sleep is Death (more coverage of that over on RPS) which was a lot of fun to play with P.
  • Bejeweled 3... because it’s like sparkly snappy happy crack…. especially some of the new gamemodes.
  • X3 Terran Conflict – the last, best, biggest, entry in the X series of intergalactic space trader conquer the galaxy games (available on steam)
  • But with a new Minecraft patch hitting tuesday… all bets are off for the next week.

Editor Work

So what do you do if you have an unexpected 3 days of vacation.  Well if you’re like me you get a chance to dig into some new fun tech and wind up making a new version of the tile editor to support your game.   As I mentioned in the last post, I’m in the process of moving to a front face Isometic camera for BSDDoD! (like the original zelda).   Which is going to necessitate a new tile editor to do all the hard work.

The old editor is still online at http://irismel.com/tileEditor/ and functioning in it’s primitive state.  However the new editor, is slowly coming online at http://editor.irismel.com with the real magic happening on the editor pages ( http://editor.irismel.com/maps/editMapTiles/12 )  There’s still a bunch of fun stuff to do, like detecting and placing the  front facing tiles and being able to place and edit objects, not to mention being able to export this and get it into the primary game engine files.    But, overall, this has been an excellent week’s worth of progress.  Cake PHP is proving to be a fast and flexible framwork to be able to create complex data driven applications.  I really hope to get many more chances to dig into it and do fun web-app stuff..

The new editor does everything that BSDDoD! needs and then some, in fact it’s pretty close to being a whole generic level editor for all sorts of tile based games… but one step at a time eh?    I have a short list of to-do items left for the editor and then I can pop back into the main TGB code and start to implement the new map style (should be simple since the editor will generate complete maps) and start updating the player, adding new creatures, and adding the equipment shop…

What I’m Playing:

Revenge of the Titans: This is an addictive, just incredible take on the tower defense genre, and the latest version just simply does so many things right.

Space Chem: This is probably the puzzle game of the decade.  Build chemical compounds with an assortment of commands given to waldos… oh hell I can’t describe it.. just go get the damn thing or read Rock Paper Shotgun’s coverage...

X3: Terran Conflict :  the last entry into the X3 universe by EgoSoft.  It’s got a steep learning curve but leads right into the heart of one of the best space trading/combat/strategy games of the last 15 years.

On the road to nowhere

Well.  So according to “the plan” By now I should have had 28 sheep wrapped and packed.

Turns out it’s more like 4, well.. not like… it’s exactly 4.

On the other hand, though, I do have 20 sheep drawn, inked and scanned ready to paint, and that’s good.  That was all last week but I’d qualify that as keeping up on the schedule.

So this week just didn’t lead to any real work getting done.  Worked on some freelance stuff and started messing about with what will be the marketing site for Mutant Sheep Eat the Earth! Which I’ve the photoshop files all ready to go on. And ninjababy has been taking up all the time that’s more or less left over at the end of a work day.

Baby Jude earns his Ninja Legs at 8 weeks.

So, I’m not gonna fret.  Just buckle down and give it another go.  And I’m gonna be a better blogger and actually post on a semi-regular basis, there’s actually a series of game related things I’ve been meaning to get put down.

For now.. It’s time to crawl into bed and plan to assault next week with renewed vigor.

Mutant Sheep Balanced on a Razor’s Edge

Well as promised, here’s a recap of the weekend’s playtesting. It’s gona be a long one.

The good:

It was amazingly fun.  A bit unlike other games, the going strategy seems to be hording your cards in your hand until you can twist the game in your favor, which seems a bit of a hard concept for Parker to grasp.   Really, even the two player game was a lot of fun and not totally skewed which was one of my big concerns.  It was fun for all of us and the base mechanics and strategy work exactly as I imagined they would.

There was a slight issue with the print of my cards, but the super responsive guys (JT) at TheGameCrafter.com explained the issue and how they were going to have the issue rectified well before I finish up for launch.   So no worries on that front.

The colors looked great and the quality of the cardstock is very nice and they shuffle well.

beta1-gameplay

The ok:

Lots of typos and little phrases that need to be tweaked and made into english.  I got some great feedback on the rules on the little bits and pieces that I assumed the player would know.  During the games we played over the weekend I got a dozen or so cards whos’ verbiage either needs to change or simply be clarified as the ability didn’t make as much sense as I hoped.

The instructions need to mention a couple things about adding Event location points to the size of the current area, but that’s minor.

The eh:

This is probably the biggest list of issues that came up, and the good thing is that they are all fairly easily correctible.

The timing of when you can use side effects and sheep special abilities is not clear and some cards contradict each other.  The usage of Blue (sheep is stunned/busy/incapacitated) tokens was not consistent.  These are essentially just going through and making all the cards agree and putting it in the rules.

Keeping track of mutation abilites  and side effects can become a bit of a slog.  Cleaning up the timing and usage of abilites will make it easier.  Additionally I’ve decided to add a card case which will leave me with a board with some spare space where I can print out some tokens for things like keeping track of the Hairless sheep (yes, its a serious issue when the blizzard shows up)

The massive number of tokens for large events (we easily had some places in the mid forties ) makes it hard to see exactly how much landmass is remaining in the location to be eaten (which is how you get victory points).  This makes planning things 2 or 3 turns ahead extremely difficult.   This will be remedied by cardboard tokens with numbers on em.

There need to be more side effects with a variable range so you can tweak the total amount eaten by your (and other player’s) sheep a bit more easily.

The Uggh:

Late game balance is a bit out of whack.  Not in the sense that it’s once sided or anything, just that once each player gets 5 or 6 sheep out and a couple mutations on them there’s not much you can do to stop them from devouring a whole location per turn.  So the amount of luck to winning goes up as the game goes up.   The good part is that this is easily fixable by a combination of minor tweaks to the game.  We’ve got three major tweaks that we’re going to be testing indiviually and in combination.  1. Make Side-Effects permanent.  This would let you permanently alter yours and other player’s sheeps appetites.  2. Increase the size of the smaller locations so they last longer.  This would potentially slow the point acquisition of the early game but make the endgame less luck driven.  3. Increase the bonus/penalty that Side effects give.

The Yay!

That’s it.  The game was fun, and with a bit more testing I’m sure we can get the balance of endgame to luck worked out and then it’ll be awesome!

Ok that’s it for now.  Further updates to follow but for now I’m just painting sheep like mad!

The Witcher gets a head start.

Looks like the guys who make the Witcher couldnt contain themselves any longer.

Sources report that “The Witcher: Enhanced edition” is popping out today.   The big decision is, buy it off stardock, steam or wait for the box to hit stores and get the extra goodies.  I’m partial to stardock, but steam’s platform is better and I like goodies.

*sigh*

Well I guess there are worse problems to face.
[edit: steam offers 10% off until the 16th]

Let the holiday rush begin.

Well the holiday gaming season looks to be kicking off a bit early this year.

Here’s my shortlist:

  • Rockband 2
  • Warhammer online
  • The witcher enhanced edition
  • X3:Terran Conflict
  • Crysis: Warhead
  • Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway
  • Lost in Blue: shipwrecked
  • Lego Batman
Yeah.  That’s just september. Ie, 2 weeks.   Rockband, is a must before x-mas but since its a party game it’s not that important.  I’d say witcher and x3 are the 2 biggies.. granted I pre-ordered Brothers in Arms a long time ago (steam had a bundle deal).  Might give WAR a month after launch or two before sinking into another mmo.  Yeah, and october looks to be just as full of noteworthy releases.