Lastair

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  1. [Dev Log] To Me, To Me, To Me

    I'll be making a kind of purposely unwieldy arcade game based on the Important If True episode "To Me, To Me, To Me". Just put down the very basic mechanic: The idea is that you move the thing in the center by attracting it to the corners, pressing left, up or right, and pressing the key multiple times to go faster. Not sure what the objective is going to be, but I've got some basic ideas I'll be trying out. "In fiction" the corners will be networked computers conducting some kind of negotiation (as in the origin of the To Me To Me To Me phrase), and I'll use some kind of crappy Microsoft Sam style text-to-speech to make them literally say To Me every time you press their button. Probably going to go for a glitchy pseudo-win95 / vaporwave / lo-fi a e s t h e t i c to go with the audio nonsense. The jam lined up with my vacation this time so I should be able to put some decent time into this.
  2. [Dev Log] Doctor DNA

    Rotation was a pain, ended up using a few days to set it up in a way that wasn't an insane list of exceptions, and that could actually support some of the animation stuff I plan to add later. I'm spending more time than I predicted on just getting the basics done before the "polish" pass, which was kind of supposed to be the whole point ... but I'm about done now.
  3. [Dev Log] Doctor DNA

    This weekend's progress: Keeping things very simple with placeholder graphics (and testing without randomization) as I work on getting the actual mechanics down, which are basically all done except for pill DNA(?) rotation. I expect that rotation will be a pain since it happens on a grid array and follows very specific rules (stay within a 2x2 square, except also gracefully handle cases when next to walls or other blocks, etc.) that aren't really generalizable. It'll probably just turn into like a dozen hardcoded cases and exceptions. I also found some incredibly useful information on the "Tetris Wiki": https://tetris.wiki/Dr._Mario I guess the pros need this information for high level play (or some people in the scene are just completionist documentarians?), but it's incredibly helpful to someone just trying to clone the game as well. And kind of crazy.
  4. [Dev Log] Doctor DNA

    Hello! I've missed or flaked out on all the WizJams after the very first one, but I'll try and take part again this time! (And also try to engage with other people more during it.) Anyway, the episode title I decided on is "Doctor DNA", and my first idea for the game concept was the most surface level reading: effectively cloning a certain Nintendo puzzle game with "doctor" (or "Dr.") in the name, and branding it after a certain fictional mascot character from a certain dinosaur franchise. As the Thumbs point out in the episode, it's actually Mr., which made me think about knockoffs and the idea of cloning games in general, so I came up with a sort of meta-fiction: in the 90s a European game developer with a history in Amiga games was working on a game with the actual license which quickly got pulled because of their incompetence, but they decided to run with it anyway with the smallest possible changes to make it technically not illegal. The target platform would have been somewhere in the SNES/PSX zone, ideally the Saturn which perfectly hits the awkward 2.5D puberty that I'm going for, though I won't try to exactly emulate any specific platform. The point is kind of the strange non-sequitur aesthetic of Amiga games that I never played myself but am kind of fascinated by - primarily the technical wankery (and real skill!) that is unconcerned with cohesion or direction (I say this lovingly). I'm looking forward to replicating all the Dr. [REDACTED] mechanics as a sort of programming exercise, and to making the whole presentation ... appropriately inappropriate. The doctor is also a prime target for that totally rad style of drawing and scaling non-deforming 2D sprites bound to a 3D rig, though instead of the demoscene savant programming they actually used I'll just cheat with modern 3D modeling/animation software and Unity. I was unemployed back during the first jam and could pour a lot of time into my vague Shadow of Mordor clone, but I think this scope should be pretty manageable - I think I can definitely get this basically working and looking ok pretty fast, the issue will just be how much thematic love I have time for. I'll try and post screenshots and progress reports when I get going during the weekend. Cheers!
  5. Super Mario Maker

    Finally got this game on friday, and it's super rad. I really hope the game gets good DLC / expansions - world authoring would probably be on the top of my list. Set a number of starting lives and chain a number of your levels together, and suddenly there's actually a reason to have 1up mushrooms, and you could achieve all kinds of longer arcs for things. I played a random selection of a bunch of you guys' levels just now, though I did enough in a row to forget some of what I meant to say in detail. I probably should've just used the in-game comments system, but anyway: TangoCharlie Nice understandable premises and readable layouts. Blowing up the spinies in Bowser's Back Door was really satisfying, probably because it was nicely contained and for a clear purpose. Getting tired of the huge crazy messes of spammed enemies you see in some levels, I hope people get over their baser instincts over time. Goob The airship level was cool, in an orthodox way. I really like it when there aren't too many elements in a level, it keeps it understandable. graddy Cave Bouncin' was a good compact challenge, and I liked that things happened one at a time. The editor almost invites you to fill the screen with stuff, but I enjoy being able to know what to do immediately. Ice Sculpture Park I had to give up on for now, since dodging projectiles kind of stresses me out and I died really close to the end, haha. colinp Nice terrain shaping and orthodox design. "Nightmare" had a fun premise, though both big-mode hammer bros buttstomped their way through the floor somehow. Weird stuff happens in dreams I guess. Cbirdsong Cool level, clean and spacious enough to actually "hurry" through. And here's some of my first few levels, done using the early tools: Diminishing Footholds (F78D-0000-006F-F04E) Plantforms (AF03-0000-006F-A300) Both probably on the more challenging side, but pretty short. Went for a "simple to grasp, tricky to pull off" thing, focusing on one or two elements at a time. Trying to strike some kind of balance between clear objectives and thinking on your feet - though I really really hope they'd just put checkpoints in.
  6. [Release] Shadow of Something

    Thanks, hedgefield and Reverend Speed! It's free (CC BY-SA) music. "Excalibur", "Transylvania" and "Dragon Fight" by this guy: https://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/560/gregoire-lourme The credit's also on the about/credits page on the main menu, though I forgot to do the CC license thing "properly" in the game itself, but I added it to the itch.io description now.
  7. [Release] Shadow of Something

    Thanks! There actually is grain, bloom and sun shafts, but I kind of made them all a bit subtle. The actual game was pretty tastefully rendered all things considered so I didn't feel like going overboard there. Though at one point I actually did have a pretty heavy blur filter over the entire game (except the GUI) to really hammer in the "somethingness", but decided it might get actually annoying, haha. Now that I think of it again, it did look pretty funny and really suited the theme, I could've just had a simple option for people to turn it off if they wanted after they got the joke. Oh well.
  8. [Release] Shadow of Something

    Thanks, everyone! I did take a bit of a headstart by figuring out GUI stuff in advance for the jam, though I rewrote it all anyway. And I'm between graduation and looking for work so I could put in a bit more time. Plus working towards a proven finished design makes things easier, just figuring out how to implement things that you already have an overall picture of, in a relatively solid way. Yeah, but the left trigger is for "Ranged Mode"! (I did know it was a problem and intended to make the camera adjust itself to point in the direction of movement like in the actual game, but ran out of time and left the buttons as they were.) I also wanted to make some kind of fake steam/xbox achievement thing pop up for 100%, but yeah. Other scrapped parts I didn't have time for: (but for some reason thought I might?????) * shooting guys * actual stealth * see stuff thing - aka detective vision, high contrast mode, video game eyes * another set of collectible things only visible through above * more abilities Though I guess it might be better focused without all that stuff anyway.
  9. [Release] Shadow of Something

    I made a few gifs. (not sure what's the board policy on embedded gifs, these total to around 9MB, hopefully that's fine) It's kind of funny that starting out on this I genuinely thought I'd have time for some kind of stealth and bow mechanics too. I kind of turned it into an Unity exercise, trying to build something complete and solid, but then when time started running out I dropped all pretense of 'best practices' and just piled on the hacky spaghetti code. Not sure what I learned in the end, but it's still satisfying to work from a finished design and just worry about implementation. I basically spent the first week figuring out the new Unity GUI and pointlessly noodling around, trying my baby programmer best to code robust general solutions to things, spending way too much time on them for purposes of the jam. Most of the second week I spent doing the pathfinding and detection/AI stuff that still ended up half broken, plus I didn't have time for the actual stealth part. Then I did the whole level design and basic combat and other crap in like 2-3 days, which of course makes up most of the actual player experience. Welp. Heh, yeah, I should've made it clearer. I cut it so close that I didn't have time to put in a proper explanation of the controls in the game itself.
  10. https://itch.io/jam/wizard-jam/rate/24551 Here's my game. Made as more of a technical Unity exercise than anything, with a dumb one-joke concept based on cloning parts of ... a certain game, as well as I could in the time given. I have no formal training in programming, just that slightly dangerous level of C# scripting knowledge picked up from messing around with Unity for a good while, so this kind of undertaking turned into horrible spaghetti. Stuff could be all kinds of broken, and the whole thing's very uneven since I half-purposely didn't plan too far ahead. A few things I should probably make a bit more clear than the game does: * Press Tab on the keyboard or Back on the Xbox controller to open the in-game menu to do stuff when you get points. I didn't have time to make the game authentically bug you about it. * The pink things restore health. Anyway, this was a bunch of fun. I should've probably posted a bit about my process and stuff since it's a jam, and kept up with the whole jam more in general, but I just kind of wanted to keep my dumb joke/exercise to myself and see what I could do with it. I'll get to playing the other games and stuff after I get some rest, and maybe I'll post a bit more about this thing too.
  11. Only just registered on the forums to keep up with this jam thing, though I've been a listener for years and hanging out in IRC for some time. I'll be doing ... something, for "Shadow of Something", on my own in Unity. With a slight headstart making parts that I've convinced myself are totally modular systems and not at all specific parts of this thing.