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Everything posted by Dualhammers

  1. Idle Thumbs 168: I Like the Hair

    Next on Idle Book Club: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.
  2. Books, books, books...

    If you like O'Connor you need to read some of Walker Percey's work, such as "The Moviegoer"
  3. Books, books, books...

    Did anyone read Watership Down as a child? I read it recently at the behest of my wife and I don't think I was able to appreciate it the way she did growing up. There were some moments that felt surreal in a good way but overall the plot seemed to meander.
  4. Unfortunately not. Discovery is kind of a pain and I haven't played any paid games on there I'd really recommend yet.
  5. One of my criticisms was that ship and weapon names are evocative but ultimately meaningless without context. This is a peeve I have with a lot of games; it means people can't pick up the game and play it effectively without extensive encoding of names with their meaning. Their response was that they understand but not to worry because there will be descriptions of what the weapons do. Basically they didn't understand my issue I guess? The second one was about how the core combat loop, while fun, may get a bit stale. Enemy Starfighter has added fleet control RTS elements to the game to add depth. I suggested they add something similar. I also gave an example, such as a system where you can perceive the relative balance of individual furballs at a glance and direct other wings of fighters to shore up weak-spots in the battle. The response was "This doesn't make sense to me. A pilot already has so much to do managing their ship that they won't be able to handle fleet control." This kind of response isn't very interesting or useful, at least to me.
  6. Also on the subject of Wings of Saint Nazaire. The game looks super awesome, but it is also staunchly retro. This isn't a bad thing but some of the parts they emulate felt like the flaws inherent in the limited technology of the time and not the nice touches. Here is some advice, too. I got so excited by the game that I wrote them a long email of feedback after a long playtesting session. Hoped it would help and thought nothing of it. A day later I got an excited response back where they explained why they were doing all the things they were doing and explained why certain suggestions I gave didn't make sense; not for technical reasons but why they didn't make sense in terms of realism. This is just a personal taste thing, but if you're a dev and a player gives you feedback you don't need to take it but you also don't need to tell the player why you disagree, especially when the reason is purely subjective. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
  7. I'd like to point out that Itch.io is now more than just a place to host game jams. You can actually sell your game through the site. In a certain sense it is attempting to be a democratic alternative to Steam.
  8. First thought that comes to mind was Is it possible to create a gay character in fiction without having to "do the work" to give depth to that part of their character? Does our cultural reality prevent this? Or are specifically confining this to J.K. Rowling? I can see either being true, especially in regard to the way J.K. seems to have a perhaps dependent relationship with her fans at this point.
  9. Sean seems to have quite the gif system. I wonder how useful he would find a single repository app for storing and sharing gifs.
  10. Game Jams

    It's super weird but my first thought would be to give it away for free. Especially since it is a tool used to interface with another free tool? I mean, I'm all for being able to thrive making games but I feel super uncomfortable asking people to pay for something that ought to be free.
  11. Dune

    One of the things I really appreciated about Dune is how it provides and intricate and detailed universe with an extremely light touch. The prose is straightforward like most genre fiction but it doesn't attempt to make itself seem smart by overloading you with jargon. The intelligence comes through naturally. Was it Frank Herbert who wrote quickly at a paid typewriter or am I thinking of Heinlein?
  12. Space Cowboy Game Jam

    Venus Patrol and Juegos Rancheros are putting on a Game Jam in concert with Itch.io. It is a no-rules game jam about space cowboys and I've decided to take part. Any other thumbs doing the same? If you want to follow my work check out my twitter account. If anyone cares I may cross-post stuff here.
  13. Space Cowboy Game Jam

    DOUBLE POST Forgot to post what I submitted for Space Cowboy Game Jam. It is called The Last Job and I plan on finishing it. I spent most of the weeks writing a Twine parser and then the bespoke content was just too much for a single day.
  14. Game Jams

    Forgot to post what I submitted for Space Cowboy Game Jam. It is called The Last Job and I plan on finishing it. I spent most of the weeks writing a Twine parser and then the bespoke content was just too much for a single day.
  15. Playmaker is a Unity extension that provides a visual scripting system. It allows you to program or prototype games without knowing pretty much anything about programming. I've been using it for the past month on my own game and I've been able to going from knowing nothing about Unity or C# to a fairly functioning game that I will soon be sharing on idlethumbs dot net. This is pretty much a shill post but when I was first learning Unity I was overwhelmed by the amount of extensions out there and I wanted to share what has worked for me, a random person on the internet.
  16. Amateur Game Making Night

    Thanks everyone. This was my first game so I am fairly happy with how it turned out. Much to learn though.
  17. Amateur Game Making Night

    Well, here is my Ludum Dare game. Made on a whim at the urging of Stu Horvath on Unwinnable. http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=23087
  18. Playmaker - visual scripting for Unity

    Going to try to! Teaching myself how to refactor right now so it can be useful as a tool.
  19. Playmaker - visual scripting for Unity

    Woah. Posted this kind of drunk a couple days ago and just found it again. Pretty cool to hear I am not the only one using this tool. I found very quickly it was useful for teaching myself the structure of c# and and how Unity handles component scripts. Working out a project in Playmaker until I hit a wall and then building a solution in code was ideal. One thing I found it did not do well, however, was dialogue trees. It is better than a lot of things but like Chris said repetitive work should be simple and setting up a dialogue response takes a lot of actions. What I figured out was that Twine outputs plain text source code, so I wrote a parser for twine source files and built a set of actions that read from the parsed file and display the appropriate passages. One action loop, no need to repeat, and I can write all the dialog in twine. Pretty neat since I am writer by skill and not really a programmer.
  20. Idle Thumbs 154: Super Good

    I'm torn on how I want Civilization to feel. I am completely with Chris' on how on an instinctual level it feels rad it is to have a game that celebrates human achievement. I also remember Alpha Centauri as being my favorite Civ game precisely because it taught me that while history arcs towards justice along the way we make many mistakes and often become far too enamored with our own cleverness. Finding some space between those two would be ideal. Hearing how Jake was the nexus of Chris' current life makes me think of my own experiences with friendships. It's always best to be bold with your friendships, you never know where they will lead. This episode and last has made me awfully curious about how the podcast is put together. Maybe Chris could enlighten us on some of the work that happens behind the scenes to bring us a super good episode like this one?
  21. There can also be a certain class buy-in you need to participate in to feel completely welcome in a community, especially when it comes to references. The indie games community, for example, already has such a depth of referential history that you will be an outsider unless you have the time to spend now to stay aware of what is happening.
  22. The answer to the question can be found in this answer. Intent is complex and not every time someone is upset by a work is it because the intent of the author was to hurt, but it is valid to be upset even if the hurt is stemming from a place of misunderstanding. If an author of a work flatly says to an audience that they are being ridiculous in their response to their work that can irreparably damage the critical relationship even if they are correct. Simply being right does not make condescension or acerbic remarks helpful.
  23. I am concerned that this way of thinking can justify really selfish creative work that for all outward appearances is incredibly mean-spirited but falls back on "why don't you get the joke" when someone confronts the artist.
  24. The discussion of media literacy made me think of this piece on The Nation about the danger of suppressing viewpoints in an effort to create more progressive society. Not that I think Danielle, Chris or Sean were suggesting we ban South Park but the implication that media literacy is necessary to digest something correctly can and does lead some to consider the inverse. If enough people cannot understand the subtext is it better for it to not exist? I know a lot of my more progressive friends are proudly anti-classical-liberal and don't see a problem with suppressing certain things in an effort to create a more progressive society, but I wonder if using the same tools those we disagree with only makes us the same.
  25. [gamemaker] watch me handcraft a video game

    Will you be doing more? These are great.