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About Zzot

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  1. Wizard Jam 4 Feedback

    I was a first-time jammer and I’m too all-over-the-place with development and art to try to work in a team… however, for me everything was amazing. I had a lot of fun, everyone was helpful and, more importantly, supportive. I guess it applies to every jam, but working in parallel with other people is very powerful, especially in an environment like this one, where no one seems afraid of sharing issues, failures or just pivoting their game to something else mid-flight. Diversifiers were a bit unclear, to be honest. The format I got from the podcast is: pick a title of an episode, add optional diversifiers, make a game. While, from what I understand, this year the title itself was a diversifier and you could do whatever you wanted. Which, in a way, is also good because it lowers expectations and constraints to the point of: let’s just make something. As a final note, I really enjoyed the Slack channel over the forums for the Jam. The forums are great for stopping one second, reflecting and sharing what you are doing, while the Slack channel was fantastic for quick help and feedback. Thanks for organising the Wizard Jam, I can’t wait for Wizard Jam 5.
  2. [RELEASE] Dead Letters

    So… here’s a final update for this game. It’s my first ever released Video game, it’s crappy and buggy, you can play it! 🎉 It’s here: http://zzot.itch.io/dead-letters And I also want to add few things I learned along the way. I wrote this for a Facebook post and some things are already in previous posts but this could serve as a final recap. 1) It seems obvious but building with a community changes everything. The Idle Thumbs listeners are a bunch of nice people and working in parallel with a lot of people that share the same goal as you is an incredible feeling. I could feel the momentum, and in the Idle Thumbs Slack channel dedicated to the Wizard Jam you could see people stuck on problems, people asking for help, people changing their games on the fly and, in general, just games turning from barely playable concepts to fully developed things. We have a myth of the lonely genius but it’s a false myth. We both do better things and do things better when we bounce ideas and support each other.2) I aimed for the lowest of the lowest hanging fruits. And even that was challenging. Game design is messy and game development is messy. A normal match in my game lasts for 30 seconds or less. My game core mechanic is also its only mechanic. Despite that, building the game, the menus, the interaction, took a long long time. I started building a prototype for the game in an environment that I know well but that is not designed to create games… but toward the end of the first week I panicked and decided to go all-in and develop the whole game in that environment. Bad idea, of course. My only excuse: my main goal of this jam wasn’t to make a good game, just to make a game. There will be time to learn and time to improve, this time I wanted to finish and publish something.3) The biggest consequence of turning a prototype into the game I was developing is that I increased resolution too fast. Another classic mistake. A thing I was using only to test if the game was actually fun, became the thing that was supposed to be fun. I managed to still tweak the game and the mechanics a bit, but my efforts turned too quickly to everything that sits around the core mechanic: explaining players how to play the game, adjusting the style of the game until it looked decent, ensuring that the game has a menu, ensuring that the game has a end, ensuring that the game can actually be played on other people’s computers… I did some play testing but not nearly enough and not at the right time. Next time!4) Sound is so incredibly powerful. My initial idea was to create a fun and fast Twister-style game, where two players have to stretch their fingers on the keyboard to win. However, as soon as I started adding sounds the game completely turned into something else. I used a library that generates sounds on the fly and I based the sounds on the key code of the letters that the players where pressing. The default sounds generated by the library however, were not what I expected. They were… spooky. Way too spooky for the game I wanted to make. Sound is not my thing and I did not enough time to figure out how to create something that wasn’t standard with the library so… I went with it. I tweaked the colour palette of the game, the copy and the typography to match the spooky atmosphere. Not sure if it works but it’s… interesting? Now I know how important sound it. Another lesson learned.
  3. [RELEASE] Dead Letters

    So… I’ve been working some more on this and something interesting happened. My original plan was to make a fast and playful keyboard masher but… the game ended up being something else turned into a two-players-stretching-over-one-keyboard game. Yesterday I played around a bit and added sounds using a dedicated p5 library to generate sounds on the fly and the game… became really really spooky. It reminded me a lot of Device 6, so much that I’m trying to reframe the whole game as a mysterious test performed on two subjects. The game is still just barely a game (and lacks a lot of stuff!) but I feel like I learned a lot already. Four more days to improve it and add more spookiness, I guess! 🙌 Video proof:
  4. [RELEASE] The Hypersonic Effect

    Everything in this thread is stellar. Amazing work, zerofiftyone!
  5. [Dev log] I Am Suspicious of Myself

    I guess “Bourne identity” could be included in you list? Wikipedia has a list of “Simulated reality in fiction” that could be useful! Good luck with your game, can’t wait to play it!
  6. Googles Wako. Watches several Youtube video. Comes back. «Wako looks amazing!» The twin stick shooter with swap movement sounds intriguing. I like the idea of playing something that looks familiar but feels alien at the same time. Good luck!
  7. These are adorable! Fantastic style!
  8. [RELEASE] Dead Letters

    Tiny update with tiny rant. It’s 2016 and we still don’t have keyboards able to send a key input for each key that has actually been pressed (not via browser at least). The first version of the game used a simple random array of letters to generate the combination of keys that the players needed to press. Apparently, however, a computer is still not able to recognize that you are pressing an “S” if you are already pressing an “A” and a “Z”. I had to fall back to mapping common keyboards areas and generate the combinations using only one key per area. Next steps I want to test a simple “hold keys for 3 seconds” bar before the score is actually assigned to a player. I think it could add an interesting tension? People loose grip, hands move on the keyboard and so on… And then play-test a bit! Onward! (And thanks for all the feedback. Keep them coming)
  9. Love how bonkers the idea is. Maybe you could have a loosely defined set of goals the corporation wants to achieve to compete with other buildings? Something like charismatic, sleek, fear-inducing, and then a set of add-ons that have hidden values toward that goal? Don’t know, but I can’t wait to play it. Good luck!
  10. [RELEASE] Dead Letters

    Yes! I'm 100% going to add a high-contrast mode and a colorblind-friendly mode. Also, hard mode with Wingdings! 😬
  11. Update: it’s published, here: http://zzot.itch.io/dead-letters 🎉 --- Hey there! Medium-time listener. First time jammer. Barely able to code. YEAH, what could go wrong? What I’m working on Dead letters is a local multiplayer game where 2 players share the same keyboard and try to hold a combination of keys quicker than the other player. A bit like a Keyboard-twister if you want. The first player to get, let’s say, 10 points win. I’m trying to emphasise the movement and stretching on the keyboard as much as possible, scale up the game in difficulty over time (start by holding 2 keys, move up to 3 and then to 4) and make the game dynamic (I’m exploring different approaches for this: maybe not holding but just pressing in sequence or maybe something else). At the moment, it looks like this 👇 I’m also using the only programming language I know an developing everything with Javascript and a little bit of help from p5.js, the Javascript version of Processing. I started using it only for prototyping but my main goal now is to finish-a-damn-game so I’ll stick to it. Diversifiers I’m aiming for Uncle Who Still Works at Nintendo and mayyybe Super Briefly if I manage. Demo time Get a friend, a significant other, a cat and give it a try! I’m at version 0.3 and it barely works but every feedback is very much appreciated! https://deadletters.htmldrop.com/prototype/v0.3/index.html
  12. WJ4 "Why I Jam" Audio Compilation

    Hey! Hopefully this is also helpful for the edit! I joined the forum after being a listener for a long time just to join the Jam! The last one seemed SO MUCH FUN! Why-I-Jam.m4a
  13. New people: Read this, say hi.

    Thanks for the warm welcome! I totally don’t mind! The podcast is still running but there’s a catch… it’s completely in Italian. It’s called Fumble and we were the first podcast to bring live-play in Italy. If you have some Italian skills, I’m pretty sure you would enjoy it. We played a bit of everything (Pathfinder, D&D, Edge of the empire, Dungeon World…), usually with the silliness of a Monty Python movie.
  14. New people: Read this, say hi.

    👋 everyone. Zzot here! I… … am new to the forum, pretty new to the podcast too (I’ve been listening for around 6 months or so). … am an Italian that recently moved to the very-cold-Norway. … used to run a live-play role-playing games podcast. … slowly learning game design and considering more and more to join the next Wizard Jam. … interested in adopting a big dog if Boston Dynamics starts abandoning them. Happy to meet you all! It has been a while since I posted on a forum, feels good to be back!