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Everything posted by TopFish

  1. Hi, I'm the Mark that wrote in about Racter - I'm sorry to say the the 'me' in the first poem was a typo on my part, but I'm glad you enjoyed my dumb mistake. Also, I was excited to hear about the Racter/Eliza conversation, I had no idea anyone had ever made them talk to each other. It's led me to this page which contains it, and a variety of other good dialogues, including the famous Eliza/Parry conversation:
  2. I'm really excited to see what happens with the new podcast. The moments that you guys go off-topic have always been some of the best, so the idea having a format that makes it easier for you all to talk about what you want to sounds great. I love the podcast for the way that you manage to combine some really interesting and mature discussion with a joyful and unabashed enthusiasm for glorious dumb shit. Over the years, you've introduced me to films and authors I might not have otherwise considered, as well as some great weird stuff - like the recent talk about Neil Cicierega's albums. It's a shame to hear about the declining readership, but if you're considering looking for other ways to fund the podcast besides advertising, then I'd be very happy to send a little money your way. I'm afraid I've always been reluctant to order stuff from the store - as great as it looks - because by the time transatlantic shipping is added on, $40+ for a T-shirt gets difficult for me to justify to myself. So yeah, I'd love to have a way to pay you guys back for all the entertainment you've given me over the last however-many years it's been. Anyway, I'll go wherever the Robot News goes.
  3. Yanis' Last Move: Some Kind of Drifter It is June 2015, the Greek financial crisis has reached its peak. You are Yanis Varoufakis, finance minister and former Valve employee. You have tried to persuade the Troika of your Keynesian anti-austerity principles, but Wolfgang Schraube and the ECB are deaf to your arguments and refuse to allow you to enact your policies. There's only one option left to you - you don your helmet and your leather jacket, climb atop your iconic motorcycle. Maybe you can still save Syriza, the Greek economy, and the Eurozone - but you're going to have to reach the European Commission before Schraube does! This is it, you think to yourself as you turn the ignition and hear the engine purr into life. Once last chance, one last move to be played... one last ride. About Everybody knows that any game worth its salt needs at least one colon-subtitle, and so I've decided to be greedy and choose two episode titles that I can slam inelegantly together. I would describe Yanis' Last Move as 'a cheerily irreverent alt-history motorcycle racing game', because saying those words makes me happy. I tried to do something for Winter Wizard last year, but didn't really get very far with it. So, I figure I'll try something a little less ambitious, and have another crack at it. This will probably be an unmitigated failure too, but there's only one way to find out. The Plan YLM: SKOD will have outrun-style 2D graphics, and (if I can manage it) wildly physically-inaccurate drifty handling. There's quite a lot of good stuff about on this 'ere internet about making pseudo-3D racing games like this, such as this and particularly this, but I'm not going to simply copy and adapt that code, partly because there's enough I would need to change that it'll probably be easier to write my own using the links above as a guideline, but mostly because I'd rather have the exercise of doing it myself. I don't want to commit to too many diversifiers just yet, apart from obviously 'mainstream thumbs'. However, time and progress permitting, I have a few ideas that I would like to incorporate. We'll see how it goes.
  4. Argh, I've made a lot of progress today, but nowhere near as much as I hoped I would. Most of my time has been squashing bugs, but I've also improved the handling and made the road route randomly generated. Nonetheless, it frankly isn't really a game. There's no challenge, and no proper ending - it just abruptly stops. However, I don't want to admit defeat on this, so it's up on and you can 'play' it: Hopefully I might flesh it out over the next couple of days. I know this is cheating, but I feel the need to do this for the sake of my own sanity.
  5. Well, I've been extremely quiet for a while. I've made a very small amount of progress this week, but nothing gif-worthy. Still, I'm determined to submit something, so I'm going to try to get as much done tomorrow as possibly can, and perhaps I'll then cheat a little an fix things up a bit after the deadline.
  6. [released] Avocado Smash

    Worked fine for me on Ubuntu 16.04! Also, this game has a really great look to it, I love the photo-collage faces.
  7. Still no Yanis, but there is a really crappy looking motorbike now. I've also got the parallax backgrounds working, although the images I'm using don't wrap neatly, as you can see in the gif above. I've also restricted the road and the verges to the same 16-colour palette I was using before. I've done this by creating little 16x16 dithered pngs and using those to fill the polygons, and I'm fairly pleased with the result. I've also switched to using the Floyd-Steinberg dithering algorithm, which I really like. It results in slightly less obviously patterned images, and does a better job of preserving the overall intensity than the previous method I was using, which brightened the images considerably. At some point, I'm going to come back to the motorbike sprite and make it less shit. I guess I'll also have to try to draw Mr Varoufakis as well, so I'm going to put this off for as long as possible since I really can't draw.
  8. oh man those sausage faces are great
  9. Still no Yanis sprite, but there's a red box you can control instead. I've decided to deal with the visual glitches by, um, not doing, so I'm just going to make the game move fast enough that the problems are less noticeable. I'm pretty happy with how zippy it feels, but I'm still tempted to crank up the maximum speed a little further. I've also been thinking about what sort of look I'm trying to go for. I seem to have bit of a retro thing going on, so I'm going to try to stick with it by using pixel-y graphics and a limited palette. One of the next things on my list is to create a background image with a few parallax-scrolling layers, so I've written a little python script to quantize an image into a small set of colours, with some dithering. Here's a first attempt, using the 16-colour palette from PICO-8: [EDIT: If this looks crappy, please enlarge the image. The dithering doesn't seem to play nicely with being scaled down] I quite like the look of this, but I think that 16 colours is a little too restrictive, so what I'm going to try next is down-sampling the image into a smaller resolution to make it more pixel-y, but using a slightly bigger palette. I might also try blurring the image a little beforehand, to see if that helps the look of the dithering. Naturally, I'm hoping to get a lot done this weekend - how much I manage in the next two days will pretty much determine whether I finish this thing on time or not, although hopefully I should have a little more time to work in the evenings next week. Top of the list at the moment are other cars, sprites, and the background. I'd also love to make the route more visually varied - forests, tunnels, cities etc, but this is going to be a considerable amount of work, and less immediately important. I'm also hoping to write some music - I've been noodling around with Bosca Ceoil, and I think I've got the hang of it. My original plan was to write a high-tempo chiptune theme that used little bits of the melody from the Greek national anthem, but Hymn to Liberty is not exactly high-tempo so I think it'll end up either unnoticeable or a mess. Instead, my plan now is to use hints of Common People by Pulp, a song which as you may know is believed to be about Jarvis Cocker's encounter with the woman who would go on to be Varoufakis' wife.
  10. [Dev Log] The Bear's Black Heart

    That camera behaviour looks like it is the platonic ideal of top-down camera behaviours. I'd love to see how it looks from the player's perspective.
  11. So, four days in and I've been rather quiet. Unfortunately, time, alcohol and javascript have conspired against me. I have decided to code this thing using the javascript of the future (ES6 and all that). I've been wanting to get to grips with this stuff for a while, mostly because I like the idea of being able to write classes in a way that seems like it might have been designed for use be something at least approximating a normal sane human being. This has also meant having to get used to using npm, since I now need to build my code using babel and browserify. I can't say I'm particularly keen on the notion of having build javascript, but I'm told this is the future so I guess I'd better just get used to it. Anyway, this is all a very long-winded way of making excuses for the fact that I haven't done much. I have made a little progress however, and I've got a video to prove it: As you can see, there's not much here at the moment, I don't even have a sprite for the motorbike yet. Still, the fundamental system for rendering the road is there, even if the graphics are a little glitchty. Writing this was initially a little mind-bending - the coordinate system works in a rather odd way. The z-axis runs along the centre of the road, and the x-axis runs left-to-right. Curves in the road are created by essentially distorting the z-axis. However, now that I've got to grips with it, I can see how this is going to make a lot of things easier - for example, other cars will only need to move along the z-axis and they will 'steer' around corners automatically as their position will get distorted along with the shape of the road. That was a pretty terrible explanation, so if anyone's interested I'd encourage you to look at the links in the first post of this thread, which explain it a lot better than I can.
  12. [released] Avocado Smash

    I love everything about this. Good luck!
  13. Thanks! Naturally, I'm a little disappointed that the 'Hat Baron' diversifier didn't make the final list, since it'd be such a great fit. Nonetheless, if I have time, of course I would love to add some sort of pointlessly facile millinery-based mechanics in order to better honour the full arc of Varoufakis' slightly surreal career.
  14. I don't think I entirely understand what this is, but I'm definitely looking forward to finding out.
  15. First of all, Hello! I've been thinking of signing up to the Idle Forums for a while, but wanting to take part in this jam is the thing that has finally pushed me over the edge. You all seem like a delightful bunch, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the wierd and/or wonderful things that come out of this jam! I'm sure you're all well aware of the crisis faced by the large number of people currently fleeing Syria and other middle-eastern countires, seeking refuge both in Europe and elsewhere. Unfortunately, this humanitarian crisis shows no signs of abating, and with winter approaching conditions are set to get much worse for those in the many temporary camps across the continent, unfamiliar with and unprepared for the colder European climate. At the same time, with many countries increasing - or set to increase - the intensity of their military operations in Syria, more people are likely to be displaced, adding further pressure to the already overburdened refuge programmes across Europe. I understand that this a very sensitive, very serious topic, and that while I think it just about fits the 'winter' theme, it might not fit tonally with most of the other entries to this jam. Therefore, if there is a general feeling that this isn't appropriate to the jam, I will either make changes as necessary, or choose another project. So, on to the game itself. My plan is to create a fairly simple management game, in which the player takes on the role of a fictional international organisation trying to manage the refugees entering Europe. It will be turn-based, with time advancing daily, and each turn you might - for example - choose to construct temporary shelters, launch a fund-raising campaign, or try to persuade a government to change their policies. Visually, I'm thinking of trying to make it look like a segment from a TV news programme - so lots of simple shapes and bright colours. This might mean that it fits the 'Focussed Pallete' diversifier, but I'd rather have it look nice than constrict the colours just to meet the diversifier. If I have the time, I'd also like to include a commentary for the 'Designer Notes' diversifier. I'm very keen to hear people's advice and recommendations throughout development, so with that in mind, I'll try to make a build available as soon as there's something worthwhile to see. Creating this game is going to involve a lot of research, so if anyone either knows good resources or perhaps even has some direct knowledge of the crisis, please get in touch. Similarly, if there's anyone out there who wants to take part in the jam but doesn't feel like contributing technically or artistically to a project, perhaps you'd like to help me with the research? If so, please get in touch. This game might very well be a complete disaster, but if so then I hope it will at least be an interesting disaster - therefore, I'm going to try to be as open and as thorough in documenting the development as I can. Lastly, but most importantly: if you would like to do something to help those caught up in this terrible situation, The Guardian has an excellent piece here with suggestions of charities and organisations that you may wish to support, either through donations or otherwise. I'm sure there are many other groups not listed in that article who are also doing tremendous work. I intend to add some donation links in the game itself, so please let me know of any other charities that would be worth including. EDIT: Suggestions for names are very welcome. I'm pretty useless at naming things, so I'd really appreciate some help with that.
  16. Sorry for the lack of updates this last couple of days. I had been hoping to try to post something roughly daily, but things at work have been chaotic today and yesterday. I've come up with methods to solve some of the mesh issues I'm having, but I haven't had time to implement them. Even then, I really need to press on with other parts of the code, so I think a better mesh algorithm is something I'll do if I have time towards the end of the jam. Fingers crossed for getting something done tomorrow, but I've been saying that pretty much every day so far. Thanks again for all the nice things you're saying. In spite of these set-backs, I'm still optimistic about getting this done. EDIT: A bit more progress today, but there's nothing exciting to show for it - mostly camera control stuff, such as zooming to a country when you click on it.
  17. [RELEASE] Button Frenzy

    That title art is brilliant!
  18. Your paintings are amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing more of this game.
  19. [RELEASE] Happy Happy Krampusnacht

    Wow, these gifs just keep getting better and better. You are distressingly talented.
  20. Unfortunately, I didn't get much else done yesterday - as it so often does, life got in the way a bit. This evening's been busy too, but I managed to find a half-hour to play around with things a bit more. I mostly just smartened things up a bit - nothing very exciting to report - but I've added normal-reversed copies of the meshes, so you can see the back of the continents on the other side of the world. I'm really pleased with the effect, and I think it adds to the news-graphics look that I'm aiming for. Here's a screenshot: Again, this looks much better when it's rotating, so maybe I'll see if I can put together a gif or something. The other noticable things in the image above is that I've made it so that only countries you can interact with (EU member states) are coloured. Rendering the reverse meshes has also revealed a couple of issues with the way I'm calculating the polygons. As you can see, Antartica has got a disturbingly straight bit of coastline, where for some reason a few triangles have the wrong orientation and have therefore been back-culled. Russia's also causing problems again - since it spans a ridiculous range of longitudes, but only has verticies at the perimeter - its interior is all angular and horrible. So, it seems like I'll have to revisit that code at some point, but for now I want to press on with actually turning this thing into something approaching a game. Hopefully I'll have something more substancial to report tomorrow evening, but I'm making no promises. Lastly, thanks for the positive comments! It's really encouraging to know that there are people interested in this. EDIT: The aforementioned gif: I didn't particularly intend for it to accelerate like that, but it's late at night and instead of doing this properly I just had Unity apply some torque to it.
  21. Progress! Turns out I'd royally buggered up the LLA-to-ECEF algorithm, which is rather embarassing. Now I'm just pretending that the Earth's actually a perfect sphere, which might not be accurate but the difference isn't noticable, and this removes a lot of pointless complexity. Also, I'm not sure why I was getting mesh size errors - Russia is a few thousand verts, but it's not enough to actually cause problems. It's rendering now, so I'm not sure what was causing the error, but I guess I'll just have to hope that it doesn't come back. I've added basic camera movement, and made it so that countries get highlighted when you mouse-over them. There's still no real interactivity, but it's nice to know that things are working. Here's how things look now:
  22. Just to let you know, I'm working on a noise. I haven't quite figured out how best to record it yet, but I'm feeling pretty good about my noise.
  23. ...So, yeah, I kept working. I know how to have a wild Saturday night. Things are going well! Here's a screenshot: There's still a rather noticeable gap where Russia ought to be, since it has decided to remain stubbornly big. However, I'm pretty pleased with how it's starting to look. I think the slightly siplified geometry could work well with the 'TV news' look. Other holes in the map above are due to the fact that I'm currently filtering the map with a whitelist, so a few counties have slipped past me while I was adding to the list. Tomorrow I'll start some basic UI stuff, and try to make it so that if you click on a country, something happens. It'd be good to get the camera moving too, since as it stands it's difficult to tell that the geometry sits on a sphere, rather than being horrendously distorted for no reason.
  24. Things have been a tad less productive than I'd hoped, but unfortunately I think it's time to down tools for the day. After hours of bashing my head against it, I've successfully implemented the 'Ear Clipping' algorithm. It really wasn't as complicated as I somehow managed to make it. Anyway, it works. I haven't managed to get the polygons to render in Unity yet, but mucking around with the object inspector shows that the meshes are there - here's a picture of the mesh of Ireland, to show that I'm not making it up: However there are problems: It currently doesn't support having countries defined by multiple polygons. Russia is too big - it exceeds the maximum mesh size in Unity. I've run into this issue with Unity before, and it's a pain to deal with. My only option is the break the country down into smaller objects, but doing this programmatically, and getting the parts to tesselate nicely is going to be a huge amount of work. The alternative is to remove Russia from the simulation, and avoid rendering it. This currently seems like a much more attractive option, but also leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'll have to give this one some thought. EDIT: Having said I was done for today, I kept poking around. Turns out the reason that nothing was showing up in the game view is because I'd forgotten to scale the coordinates - the polygons had ended up being earth's radius away from the origin, which - needless to say - is a little beyond the draw distance. Solving this problem was now created another - whenever I point the camera at any of the meshes, Unity hangs due to getting overwhelmed by messages saying that the mesh doesn't have texture coordinates or normals. This, at least, sounds pretty straightforward to solve.
  25. Right, time for a tea break. Seems like a reasonable time to do a little update too. If you're not really interested in this perhaps obsessive level of detail, then, um, sorry I guess. It's only going to get more tedious from here. I've installed Unity 5, but it has a habit of spontaniously crashing if I leave it alone for a few minutes, so I've gone back to version four-point-whatever-it-is. I've written code to read and parse the KML file, and extract the lat/lon coordinates. I've written the function to convert lat/lon coordinates to ECEF vectors. This was a pretty nice place to start, since I've done this before in Python. This means I'm onto item 4, which - as I said previously - is the tricky one. While I've been enjoying my cuppa, I've been reading up on how to go about this, and it sounds like the answer is Ear Clipping, so that's the next step. I'm optimistic about getting this done today, but time will tell. Hopefully my next update will include a screenshot - this would make me very happy.