Problem Machine

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Everything posted by Problem Machine

  1. The Huge Armored Core Playthrough

    That's actually not entirely true about the splash damage. Most weapons with apparent explosions actually do have splash damage, it's just completely trivial compared to direct impacts, amounting to usually like 20-30 AP damage. However, some of the weapons in the PS1 games do notable splash damage: The large back-mounted grenade launcher not only does splash damage, but is primed to automatically detonate when it reaches wherever the opponent was when you shot it, so it relies on it. There's also the huge 4-shot 'nuke' missile added in Project Phantasma, which creates a gigantic explosion such that just dodging it normally is grossly insufficient and you need to figure out a way to safely block it against a chunk of terrain a reasonable distance away (or just outrun it until it runs out of gas). Actually, in all likelihood splash damage was phased out in AC2 forwards for the same reason projectile speed was reduced, to make it still possible to dodge when weapons predicted against your movement vector.
  2. Steam Greenlight

    This seems very bad? Like I don't see any mechanism here at all to address free games, no new mechanisms for discovery/curation, just a bland assurance that charging people money will somehow help, even when it didn't with Greenlight. This just seems like a way to scam money out of small devs to me. For all the problems with Greenlight, the relationship between people saying "yes this game looks fun" and putting it on steam at least made sense: This is just going to turn the store into an exploitative clusterfuck. Plus I don't even understand what's THAT bad about Greenlight. It feels like "Greenlight sucks" is an idea that has more memetic currency than real-world relevance at this point -- it's a clearly suboptimal solution, but it seems like one that should be improved upon rather than discarded.
  3. The Huge Armored Core Playthrough

    Haha I remember the new game thing. Yeah that sucked. AC2 was definitely slower than the PS1 iterations -- all of the PS2 versions were, to varying degrees. Or, perhaps I should say that fast ACs were faster in the AC1 generation -- heavier ACs were generally unaffected by the changes. It was probably a good change balance-wise, because the first games ran into the problem that heavy ACs were nearly OP because they could absorb so much punishment but then ended up being severely underpowered because the MOONLIGHT laser sword was so powerful it could still tear them apart like butter. Flattening the defense and mobility curves a bit helped a lot with that. AC2 and forward also use predictive tracking on the weapons, leading the opponent to make the shot hit if they maintain trajectory, which fundamentally changed optimal dodging patterns and forced them to slow projectile speed WAY down, which is probably also part of where that complaint came from. I do think it's the weakest of the AC games I've played after Project Phantasma, but it was a day-one release on a new console so I think it's fair to give them a bit of slack there. Actually, regarding the decoys and stuff, I don't remember if this was a thing in AC2/AA or it came into the game in AC3, but the competitive community noticed that decoys actually collide with projectiles. Usually this doesn't matter much, but grenade launchers have exceptionally large projectiles, so it actually became a very common tactic to bait out a grenade shot and drop a missile decoy right before it hit to trick your opponent into wasting ammo. It was especially effective vs quad ACs since they had to fire from the ground.
  4. Idle Streaming Community: Twitchy, Tasty

    Added some info about the slack channel and twitch community to the first post, since it seems like they're going to be a big part of this whole endeavor
  5. I Had A Random Thought...

    The big teeth, the bushy tail...
  6. Regarding arbitrary rules kids make up for games, this is actually secretly super common among Dark Souls players. Everyone seems to have their one right way to play the game. No magic, no ranged attacks, no 'cheesy' weapons, all parrying, no parrying, etcetera. Some of these are explicit challenges set out by the player to themselves, but just as many are unchallenged assumptions about the best or most interesting way to play. I very intentionally play in the way which I believe is most interesting and fun to me, but everyone has their own idea of what the game is, which is very often a pared down subsection of the actual gameplay space. Often players end up stuck on challenges, not because they're categorically incapable of completing them, but because their presumptions about how the game is played don't allow them to try varied approaches that would allow them to complete the challenge more easily. The same is true of other games to varying degrees, but it's especially visible with the Souls games. Also, in addition to the Don't Give Up, Skeleton there's the Listen Carefully, Skeleton
  7. [DevLog] EverEnding

    Hi. I've been working on a game called EverEnding for like five years now, give or take. Most of this time has been taken by developing the base code for the game alongside the editors necessary for developing its content -- the room editor (tile data), map editor (arrangements of rooms), entity editor (all interactive data in a room), and detail editor (all non-interactive data in a room). This may have been a bit of an ass-backwards way to work -- I am still a while away from having a vertical slice -- but I did things the best way I could figure by myself. I've realized that's a problem though. Doing things by myself is an extremely inefficient way of doing things. And I'm not talking about getting other people to work on the game, which I couldn't afford to hire for and wouldn't feel comfortable asking people to volunteer for, but being willing to open up my process in a way that lets me give and receive advice and generally participate in a development community outside of my own brain. But I digress. Let's talk about the game. EverEnding is a story-focused 2d platformer, somewhat in the vein of Cave Story. I don't want to give everything away, since a big part of the game will be discovering what's going on as you go, but it takes place in a surreal post-apocalyptic setting. The player controls some sort of angelic character named Eve (the original title of the game, which I changed for reasons both numerous and obvious), tasked with collecting all of the stray souls left behind after the end of the world. Many of these are just lost, but as the game progresses those who remain become increasingly warped and malignant. The project is being developed in Haxe and compiled to AIR. This is subject to change, as one of the reasons I chose to switch to Haxe from AS3 was the flexibility in compile target, but for now AIR is suitable to my needs and from my brief experimentation with OpenFL (an open-source project that mimics the behavior of Flash's built-in classes) I would have to completely rewrite the rendering code to match or improve upon the current AIR performance. I'm targeting a 960x540 resolution with the intent that it will look nicely crunchily pixely at standard 1920x1080 resolution, and though I have no particular restrictions in the art pipeline I am attempting to minimalize the color palette within each asset. The hope is to capture the restrained abstraction of pixel art without hewing too closely to any particular era of retro gaming. As will become obvious, I'm not shying away from using certain non-retro effects, such as transparencies and blending layers, but want to maintain the tooth and style of the pixel while I do so. This is Eve, and one of the few pieces of concept art I've made and which I made four years ago: And here's a little look at what the project looks like right now: Here's a little bit of music that is probably going to be in the game: Falling Angel The current state of the project is that most of the basic programming is done and I'm working on getting some good art assets made for the game: Final character animations, final tile sets, and soon extra details and particle effects. Once this stuff gets a bit further along I'll be making the enemy entities, which all the groundwork is laid for (including pathfinding, a notably tricky challenge) but which still need a lot of work to be finalized. Once the character animations, tilesets, details, and enemies are done, I'll have everything I need to construct the first chapter of the game -- well, everything except for some special effects programming and the first boss, which I expect to be a task beyond the scope of the enemy entities, who will hopefully be old-hat by then. I'd say realistically that's probably a goal I can aim to achieve by the end of next year, if everything goes very smoothly. I've been posting regular progress DevBlogs on my blog for the last four years or so, and am now going to start mirror-posting them in this thread as well. Thanks for taking the time to check my project out!
  8. [DevLog] EverEnding

    EverEnding Devblog, January 2017 (posted February 8th) It's been kind of a strange month for the project. I've made next to no progress on the task list I've created for the game, but I'm still largely satisfied with the work I've done. That is to say, I've been putting a lot of time in on things that it hadn't previously occurred to me I would need, so I can't really cross anything off a list when I get it done, but nevertheless the tasks I've done needed doing. So, what are these tasks? Created a system to modify hue/saturation/brightness of animations, and implemented controls for this into existing particle systems and associated editors, as well as creating a similar system for modifying tileset colors Fixed up the detail editor to make it more flexible and easy to use, including the ability to modify multiple details at once Created a seeded random number generator so particle systems that use random numbers will generate consistently from one play to the next Created a simple collision system for particles, which can be used to make them only spawn on top of tiles or perform special behaviors when they collide with tiles Added the ability to have particle behaviors that only trigger once on spawn rather than updating continuously Collision improvements and implementation of water tiles and combination platform/slope tiles Fixed the way perspective is calculated on details to center the vanishing point rather than have it locked to the upper left Stripped out a non-functional zoom in/out system in favor of a much simpler one that actually works With all these color controls I have a lot more ability to customize areas without creating all-new assets On top of that I've been building levels out, which is on the list but also takes a long time to make progress on. It's really difficult to say much about the process of building levels, because 90% of it is just spent on making sure tile boundaries line up and making tiny aesthetic tweaks. In that way it's a lot like working on the animations after I created prototype animations: All of the concept is mostly there, I just need to elevate it to finished quality. I'm getting close to the end of my ad-hoc list of unexpected and unscheduled problems/improvements, so I ought to be getting back to the game schedule soon. Worst case scenario is I'm a month behind of where I wanted to be: Best case scenario is that I end up making up the time I lost by leveraging some of the improvements I've made. We'll see. In any case, I'm probably going to be spending the coming month or two getting early-game enemies fully animated and operational. The first couple of enemies will be the most difficult by far, I believe – after those are complete I should be able to copy and paste from them for almost everything I'll ever need an enemy to do.
  9. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    I think the main difference for me is that these are all things that it makes sense to me that a sheltered kid in a Christian family has heard about, if perhaps with only a vague idea of what they signify, whereas the gimp mask is intensely specific. While the Cat-o-Nine-Tails has some SM connotations, it's also just a straight-up old-timey form of corporal punishment, and quite likely to be discovered by a child on that basis long before the other. All of these references to drugs or abortions seemed muddied in exactly the ways that a kid with no direct experience who hears a lot of fire and brimstone horror stories would interpret them. The gimp mask just doesn't fit into that narrative at all for me.
  10. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    I think the biggest flaw of the fundamental game design of Isaac is that how enjoyable it is depends completely on the items you find. It's not really a problem that your run can get weaker or stronger based on items, but having it so that you NEED to find something interesting or it becomes a chore is not great. Some of the better designed characters have ways to be interesting regardless of what items you find, but they're kind of in the minority. Anyway 80 hours is a good run. To be fair, I don't think the original game was really intended to be played for hundreds of hours, so it turning into that kind of game probably also warped the design priorities of the remake.
  11. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    With the benefit of hindsight, I looked at some of the ways I feel Rebirth didn't quite live up to its promise
  12. The Huge Armored Core Playthrough

    Very odd. My assessment is largely from playing a whole shitload of vs with buddies of mine, and AA is a standout there because it has probably the best battle arenas of any game in the series, a huge and fairly well-balanced parts list with a bunch of different viable builds, and a great soundtrack. AC2 was one of the most flawed games in the series, especially after the high of MoA, and AA did a ton to redeem it. Having a HUNDRED missions was pretty nice too.
  13. The Huge Armored Core Playthrough

    Master of Arena is fantastic, definitely one of the standouts of the series. The others, I would say, are Another Age and Nexus -- though Nexus has a nasty learning curve. Curious to see if you'll agree with these assessments as you move forward!
  14. Idle Thumbs !!: With Bagblast

    I don't think I'd even want to hear an ad free version, the ad reads are often Good Content. Anyway this feels like a good decision to me. Making a clean split instead of a rebrand means that further IT episodes are much more feasible in the future, when things are less fucking crazy and the idea of having to play a game a week seems appealing rather than onerous. In the meanwhile, I'm eager to see what you come up with as a high concept for the new pod.
  15. Switching Careers

    It's possible to make a commercially viable game with no real art, as with Super Hexagon, but that's pretty far afield from the first-person narrative niche you'd like to find yourself in. During the WizJam4 stream, though, someone submitted a game that was like a hybrid first-person-text-adventure, which was I guess built in the Icicle Engine, so that may be worth checking out. As for getting on teams, I can't really say anything there, being a solo project man myself. Game Jams are a good place to start, anyway: You can hone your skills, build portfolio, and meet potential buddies and collaborators. I've never really gotten the hang of 'networking' myself, though.
  16. I Had A Random Thought...

    Diddy and Dixie are chimpanzees, right? But isn't Donkey Kong a gorilla? So what's the deal, are they adopted children or is 'Kong' more of an honorary title? Or Is Donkey Kong just a hyperdeveloped chimp rather than a gorilla?
  17. Criticker: It Tells You If You'll Like a Movie

    Nice! Only complaint now is that it wouldn't let me use "kinda like real bad" as a tier quip
  18. Criticker: It Tells You If You'll Like a Movie

    Yeah I'm mostly just taking issue with the little text box underneath the ranking saying bad, terrible, okay, etc. That's probably also partially because their calibration movies tend to be extremely well known and popular, which skews it towards movies that I like. That said, a movie has to be pretty bad before I rate it under a 50, just because I think we're generally okay at making movies and it's rare for movies that actually get eyes on them to actually be below average.
  19. Criticker: It Tells You If You'll Like a Movie

    I like most movies okay and it's normalizing my rankings. Even if I haven't given many ranks below 70, that doesn't mean I think 70 is bad! I looked up The Life of David Gale just so I had something I could confidently give a near-zero score but it doesn't seem to have helped. Maybe I need to think of more shitty movies. Even movies I don't like much, like Avatar, usually still have something to recommend them, so it's hard for me to just totally pan them.
  20. Idle Streaming Community: Twitchy, Tasty

    Added, followed, autohosted -- though for some reason when I tried to add aprettycooldude for autohosting it didn't see his account. Oh well!
  21. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    I'm not really a Star Wars nerd beyond seeing the original trilogy a couple times and thinking it was pretty good and seeing two out of the three prequels so I had no idea who Tarkin was. I was a bit confused because I was like "this guy looks a little bit weird, is he supposed to be a robot or a ghost or something?" Leia, who I was more familiar with, struck me immediately as looking fake, though I'm not sure if that's because she was worse or because I remembered the character more.
  22. Idle Thumbs 298: For You, Not Them

    That does seem a legitimate concern, but having regular guests helped keep things fresh. Perhaps a less informal arrangement, where guests are lined up and announced beforehand? Well, it's your show anyway. I'm fine if there's not a lot of games talk generally, but I worry that with no focus at all it will be hard to direct the discussion somewhere interesting. Constraints are a big part of making good art
  23. Idle Thumbs 298: For You, Not Them

    If the primary concern with the rotating lineup was losing listeners, and you're going to lose listeners either way, why not just go back to the rotating lineup if playing a video game every 3 weeks is too strenuous?
  24. The Huge Armored Core Playthrough

    It will never not be hilarious that by far the best weapon in that game is a machine gun shaped like a hand that shoots five bullets at once called the WA-FINGER