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Everything posted by I_smell

  1. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Character check-in: I drew one more layer on this character for colour and depth. Now you can see she still has the deep, skeleton eyes of a killer. I put a mole on her face for half a sec, but I think most people actually associate that with being a cute perk, so I moved it to the more awkward spot on her neck. I like the story it tells, that someone would put up with that for so long that they're over the insecurity of hiding it. If I drew this character 10 years younger, she would be wearing her hair down. On that note, I did at some point give these guys a cigarette. It was on a day that I wanted them to be more uncool (sorry, smokers). I was aiming the chain them to an old mistake they made as teenagers, or seem bad at kicking their own comforts. That's a normal human thing, but it turned out people looked straight through the characters and just assumed I thought smoking was cool. I did a lot of similar things with concepting the male protagonist here, giving him evidence of an old eyebrow-piercing, outdated sideburns, an old tattoo of a shamrock that's starting to fade into a green blob, but all of these backfired-teenager-ideas I put on him just look like me trying badly to draw a cool guy!! It turns out I can't pull off a lot of the really down-to-earth stuff I come up with, but I'll keep it on the shelf for later anyway. I'll talk a bit about my process for concepting characters aswel. I'm about to start concepting a character who lives on a unique combat mechanic: Their units do not take damage unless you ricochet a mate into them for bonus damage. Direct hits do NOTHING. At first I just drew an extra-strong and intimidating man, but that was so boring I didn't even finish. Digging into this concept a bit more, I balance him out by only giving him access to BASIC units. No freezing, stealing or anything fancy. Furthermore, he does NOT DO any extra damage, he's less "strong" and more "resilient". So I thought about drawing a face that looks like it's really weathered a storm. Maybe someone who somehow stuck around, and didn't progress. Sitting down with a crutch and a big fat turkey-neck does evoke a sedimentary bed-rock person, so that's good. I pulled together some pieces from different people here, and it emerged that this character should probably be old. That's okay, because it's a space I'm not exploring with the other characters. HOWEVER~~ His old, fat cantankerous body here isn't very intimidating. I wanted to try the character again, pushing the things I liked and ditching the things I didn't. So I searched again for people with weathered, craggy, resilient faces who were intimidating BECAUSE OF their diamond-hard endurance. Instead of pulling his skin down, I pulled his bone structure downwards to make this long, sunken face. Instead of leaning on a cane now, he's digging this old commemorative sword into the ground. It's a person who's a lot more spooky, who's probably living on some scary tales. I guess I upgraded from right-wing republican to all-out imperialist Demon Headmaster. I came back the next day and really kicked the shit out of his face to double-down on the concept. There is a line, though, at some point he starts to look less like a haggard old neighbor, and more like a gross monster. So I might dial it back. So most characters start off as a few communicative faces and photos blended together. Then I push the parts I think are adding to what I'm aiming for, and mute the parts that aren't. Next I think I'll take on a character that converts units from your side, so characters from here on will likely be a bit more nice-looking.
  2. Inside

    Since this thread is here in the Recent Posts in June 2017 I'll just share some news I've been following on the studio. Dino Patti, co-founder and CEO of Playdead, left the company earlier this year. Creative director on Limbo and Inside, Arnt Jensen, is still at the company and announced that they will continue to work on new games shortly after. This morning, Dino Patti announced that he landed at "JumpShip", a recent indie startup in Guildford UK, who is working on their passion project: Sommerville. Mostly I wanted to plug Sommerville as it looks amazing, and I think shares a lot of the same inspirations as Inside. http://somervillegame.tumblr.com/ There's a dev-log on Tigsource.
  3. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Hello friends. I clearly abandoned this project last year, because I was sitting down and making character art in drips of one hour every few days, and it was very uncomfortable and frustrating. Today, in 2017, I've decided it's really stupid of me to have such a finished game project sitting on my hard drive, wistfully remembering the times I used to make games. So why don't I really knuckle down and polish it off? Coding Update: After porting other peoples' games to many different boxes over the passed year, I've really learned a thing or two about organizing a project, and optimization. Coming back to my old code was pretty hilarious, so I've started USING VERSION-CONTROL, DELETING UNUSED CODE and JUST BEING NORMAL. I remember I was really adamant about doing everything in raw maths and numbers before, completely banning myself from using built-in physics functions and hit-detection. My logic was: if I don't know how to code a snooker game, I better not go around calling myself a programmer. In the interest of getting a project finished, making everything a lot more readable and even have a smoother game, I've decided to just get on the highway with everyone else and do things the easy way. Design and UI Update: I've decided I'm not adding any more features; I really am aiming to finish and release the game. Here's some iteration when I looked at my Level Select after 9 months: The old screen was such a confetti-bomb of information, I tried to minimize more and more, asking what this screen truly needed to show and how I could show it in the fewest, most common-sense pieces. I went back to old-faithful, using Advance Wars characters as stand-ins for my own. Squashing a person down into a circle just felt contrived. It felt MORE suffocating, even though the artwork took up LESS space. I wanted to air-out the menu like an old rug. I wanted to drop the player-character on the left because it just doesn't give you any information to see your own man in EVERY LEVEL. I remembered later, though, that I am also recycling this screen for a multiplayer lobby, and a daily generated single-player match. In those contexts, playing as different colours, characters and using different units actually would have to be represented for both teams. I decided the pips that represent each level are a superfluous addition to the language of the interface. It would be more consolidated if the levels were their own thumbnails, like on Youtube or Netflix. That way it might feel more natural to glide through them, instead of new artwork popping in and out every time you nudge forward. The planet background took more of a backseat. It's purely decoration, so it belongs in the distant, distant background. Character and Artwork update: I'm diving into making the real, final characters for the game now. If I have one for each new type of unit introduced, I should end up with about 6. I've decided the main character and tutorial-voice will be male-female twins. They can switch seats whenever you tap the portrait in-game. I figured it was a nice, in-world way to flip genders, and I like using siblings or twins as a character trait. As I discussed before, I like characters that are not 100% likable, confident or morally good. I seem to get worse and worse at drawing every year, but I've found it helps for me to draw people doing twisty, bad faces. It alleviates the starting insecurity that my characters are hollow, bland nobodies. This was my first day coming back to game art, and it was a bit more abstract and Nickeloden-looking than I wanted: I do like this short-fuse, hot-headed little-brother personality though. I'm dieing to blend from dark hair roots to bleached tips, but I just can't draw it. Using that, and the Mad-Magazine ears, unfashionable sideburns, sporadic drooping hairs and one tooth that's mysteriously whiter than the others, it does build a frayed, uncool, trying identity that I'm attracted to. This is Elaine, from Seinfeld, feeling uncomfortable about saying "spongeworthy". Then given a new hairstyle 16 times and dressed up like a casino croupier. I finally found a haircut I liked, but this character doesn't feel like they could command units. I talk a big game about having a variety of personalities, but when I look at this girl I just don't see much motivation or opportunity for good material. I decided to try something else with costumes, and push it more towards Civil War generals. 200 years ago, high-ranking uniforms were very colourful and decorative. I’ve also had this idea for a really long time that I’d like characters to have these giant pool cues that double as a pointing stick- I thought it would be a good identifying signature for the game, but in practice it just limits the kinds of poses I can have and, in other sketches, I found that I was trying to hide them. Shortly after this sketch I started drifting into bondage territory, and then steered away from it. I like the really deep eyes on this character. I think it could lead to the Napoleon-complex I saw in my male character sketch, so I’ll retain some details and smooth her out from here. I could write pages and pages about the road I went down in character concepting, but long-story-short this is what I have today and I think it’s a good spot. They look like uncouth, abrasive 20-somethings in classy eveningwear and I think I’ll get a lot of mileage out of that in the long-run. I’ll give them both one more pass to make them look more like twins and just decide what’s too ugly to be a protagonist and what’s too attractive to be interesting, for both of them. In the next post I’ll show final character stuff, reveal my lazy-ass process, say some really insensitive things about designing uncool people, talk about why I almost gave every character a cigarette, and show an addition I made to the in-game UI.
  4. Yesssss nobody else commented yet, now I can jump in on the narratology / ludology discussion and be the first person to say "DWARF FORTRESS" ! Dwarf Fortress, Rim World or Crusader Kings 2 are each a pile of systems that are basically made to generate stories. You could say the same thing about other system-heavy games, but these are especially focused on communal relationships, so their stories have a lot more to chew on than "I fell out of a jeep, and a grenade rolled down a hill and I blew up". There are games where real-world social dynamics emerge too, like in EVE Online- but then you have to start asking "What counts as a story?" In terms of strictly pre-authored, written narrative that is also systemic, I guess the ceiling on that is something like The Stanley Parable, which is a dense choose-your-own-adventure book you interact with by jumping around a 3D space in the Unity engine. So I think Dwarf Fortress and The Stanley Parable both use different methods of trying to make a game that is all-systems and all-narrative at the same time.
  5. I went to the M&M's store on the Las Vegas strip, and if the one in London is EVEN BIGGER than this enormous world of M&M's then that's a shock. It's about as big as a supermarket. I went for the same reason Chris did, it's completely bizarre. It's like walking into an alternate history where M&M's were as big as Harry Potter or Star Wars. Nobody's having an M&M's wedding at M&M's world, you can't trick me into believing that. EDIT: This is a grand conspiracy. M&M's are not this beloved, don't fall for it.
  6. He was recalling the time he said it just now. This is a time loop.
  7. When they said "Jurrassic Galaxy", I was totally anticipating someone to say " U R MR DNA ".
  8. Saw this video this morning, and I thought I better share it with thumbs: - Oh they mention it in the episode!!
  9. Wow that board game is amazing! So much work, so much craftsmanship. I just came here to share this ominous Samurai Mario art that makes him look more colonial than ever. The site has a lot of good images, to be honest.
  10. GOTY.cx 2016

    Actually I just remembered, as sacreligeous as this sounds, I did start playing Clash Royale this year. That game really impressed me and it felt like a fresh mix of some strong ideas. The short fights and the nicely creative units are exactly what I want on my phone. Other phone game one-hit-wonders always underwhelmed me, but this was a home-run that stuck. I even liked it's bullshit time-locked, random-roll, energy-gated app-store junk. I think it was intelligently designed and does a good job of keeping the momentum rolling between fights. I spent no dollars and played the whole game!
  11. GOTY.cx 2016

    I'm very happy to see some of the games I worked on in that list (everybody play ClusterTruck, it's good!) but they did forget Stephen's Sausage Roll. Just like everyone else, I UNFORTUNATELY don't have time to play every game that comes out. You have to resign yourself to pick your battles in that situation, and I'm sad to say I did not touch Overwatch once. However; I did just last week finish Doom, and it was a wonderful game! You were right, game players! I love games like Devil May Cry, Vanquish, big meaty combat like Gears of War, and I now know that Doom has been missing from that list my whole life. I'm excited to jump into it again on a higher difficulty to really push these enemy and weapon designs and see where they go. On that same note: Devil Daggers was a really welcome boost earlier this year. I'm sure I would've liked Enter The Gungeon a lot more if I was only good enough at dodging bullets to get very far in it. I promise myself that in 2017 I will actually download and play SuperHot. I'm sure it's a brilliant game.
  12. One of the more dark and mysterious episode descriptions on this one.
  13. Pikmin 3

    ...there wasn't a thread for it. Just wanted to share: I saw this inbetween a fat list of E3 trailers, and the musical direction of this one deserves a round of applause.
  14. Yeah I signed in to say that the new header image is really good!
  15. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Hey gang! I haven't updated for a while cos it's been very busy at work, we're porting games to consoles and there are some very important deadlines. Coding update: I have re-vamped the "Daily Challenge". It now generates 7 levels with increasing complexity, and unlocks one each day of the week. If you're playing on Wednesday, you should beat Monday, beat Tuesday, beat today, and then wait for Thursday's level to be delivered. The leaderboard will be the total of all your scores up til Sunday. So if you're 600 points behind a friend on Thursday, you still have a chance to beat them!! Artwork update??? I've officially started thinking about artwork. I said from the beginning I wouldn't get distracted by art, but now I think it's about time to wrap things up. For this concept art, I'm only thinking about rendering style. Concept art should help you answer some questions before you enter production. Like so: Should the characters have black outlines? No, it's difficult to keep uniform scale with line art in games and I don't want to worry about that. How many different colours is too many? I want to aim for a maximum of 4 colours in a character portrait, so they can double as printed promotional artwork later. How much is too much fidelity of detail? The game has a very clean UI, and could potentially be on small screens, so I want large basic shapes that read well, and shouldn't put more detail into a square inch than the rest of the game would. What is too little detail? Should there be shadows, hard shadows or gradual shading? Should these characters be tall and lean, have big heads, big eyes, Charlie Brown dots for eyes? I dunno, let's find out! Remember: We are concepting RENDERING here, NOT CHARACTERS. So I rounded up some reference art for a few minutes to give me an idea of what to try: And just splashing around, here's my first test: I like the colours and the shapes, but it's TOO clean. This makes me think of a facebook game or mobile game from a few years ago, and I don't like how inoffensive it is. The game lacks character right now, and I don't think this adds much to be interested in. I don't think I could show a very wide range of personalities when things are this clean either. These are my first characters who I DON'T plan to animate, so I do have the liberty to spend more time on a portrait than I did in SpeedRunners. I should stretch out a bit more. After a few other attempts, here's something completely different: Wow okay. So one thing I got a bit better at was defining a character that looks like they've got things to talk about. This guy looks a bit more potentially dangerous or funny or interesting, so that's good. I don't like how ill-defined everything is, I think it's too smudgy. Pretty weak lines, and I think it's too dark. Most of the contrast is happening low down and the face is a blur- which is the opposite of what I should do to communicate personality and identity. Proportionally, his head is about 15% of the image, while if you look at my Super Mario Hoops 3-on-3 Basketball placeholder art: they put great focus on heads and faces. So I definitely need to try again. By the way, this pose is stolen from a photo of The Fonz, from Happy Days. I tried again: This is one that I liked. I like the colour balance, it really draws you up to the face. I used one-colour hard shadows, and then did one layer of more ambient light and shade. The skin turns a bit more yellow when it gets light, and a bit more red when it gets dark, which helps the game stay colourful. I think proportions could still be tweaked a bit, this is still a bit too tall to squish into a game interface... maybe I should draw from the stomach upwards. I love this character pose, it makes me laugh, and I actually really like the outline on the eyes which was a complete fluke. Oh and I decided to include a highlight down one side to help strengthen the character silhouette. I felt like I was missing some definition from the line art. I started to think about what kind of characters I want to show, and I should aim to tell a story from a photo, because there's not going to be a lot of explicit narrative here. Sometimes you strike a connection just from seeing a person, or they just have evidence painted on their face that they've been through the same trials you have. Sometimes people are funny without jokes. I think each of the characters in Seinfeld tell a story at first sight, and in this next piece of concept art I decided to use Tuco from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as a base for someone with powerful identity in a face: This is very similar to the last one, it's rendered almost exactly the same way. The proportions of the character are now almost 40% head, and MOST of that head is a face. My girlfriend just told me that looks weird, but I'm not sure yet, I think I like it. It feels like South Park to me, which I don't mind. I think there's a lot of harmony in the colours and I like it. I'm a bit nervous as to whether or not the shadows make it feel too high-fidelity, or if I should blanket him in more broad light. If you look at my Advance Wars 2 placeholder art, they do use a bit of shading, but very sparingly, and almost none on the face. I think I like the shadows on my previous test more. I think the prop works, and I like how snugly he fits in the circle. That just means he fills a box really well, and will make for an easy UI element for me to use and play around with. So this was my journey through some potentialities of how characters could look, and I'm still not finished! It's been painfully slow working on this, because I've been opening the game in 3 or 4 hour blocks on Sundays and that's all D: After this it'll be actual character concepting, then making the assets, maybe funnin' up the game board and in-game elements, then the game's ddddooooooooone? Music too, I'll need to figure out music.
  16. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Not much BS work at all these days, there are some real deadlines comin up at work-work. Here's a quick mockup I managed to sneak in today though: These sprites are from Mario Hoops 3-on-3 for the Nintendo DS. The idea is that my current match screen shows your upcoming enemy character... but it's not clear that that's who it is. It might better communicate that a match was starting if it looked more like a versus screen. I also had a problem where I was telling you that you unlocked a new unit in your inventory... but what the heck is your inventory, right? With this new design, I get to show your current ball choice and also your enemy's. This really ties the enemy characters to their signature units, which I wasn't doing before, and gives an even better preview of the upcoming match. One more thing: All of this info is even more helpful when I re-use this on the Multiplayer lobby screen! One downside to organizing things into these two compact widgets is that I was looking forward to drawing my big proud character art for each character. I imagined them being tall and stylish, not squat and bulky :/ Well... it's a good thing I'm doing all this paper design before diving into the artwork, cos at least I don't have to throw my own characters in the bin.
  17. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Man I'm glad I'm making this as a hobby and not my job, cos if people were this disinterested while a whole company was on the line I'd be really stressed out! The linear progression of levels is cool, I'm happy with where it's at. I'm almost feature-complete here, it's just about time to start making all those characters and artwork! Feels very weird though, I've been holding back on it for so long that I have some anxiety on biting the bullet and working on style. My goal with this project was to push style and flair BACK, behind more structured design work and code... so is it really time to polish things up, or am I jumping the gun? Speaking of design, there are two more unit types I'd consider creating, but I'm just not 100% sure. So I'm doing some on-paper design here; I was telling my girlfriend about why I don't want a vampire unit, and she came up with the idea of a Jesus-ball who would save everyone else at the cost of his own life-points. I was very happy about the concept, but thinking it through I'm a bit hesitant: ...Really not sure if it's worth working on. Here's another one I came up with myself: ...So I'm not sure if I should add more content or start colouring in, and this is paralyzing me for a sec. EDT--- I guess if the Martyr blew up when he died, damaging units within his radius, it would be a more climactic ending and make him more useful as a standalone. Too complicated, though? It's not really very intuitive for your support to blow up.
  18. [Release] The First Age of Extreme

    Sorry I'm catching up on the Wizard Jam stream so late, but oh my god that webcam blew me away. He actually reacts! It actually feels like a video with such low-fidelity assets! He drinks when you die The wizard jam is a volcano eruption of ideas that I sincerely hope survive and go on to live powerful and famous lives. Also: I've played Shadow of the Beast and Altered Beast, and I easily believe you could top those at their own game if you wanted to pursue it. Really nice work on the game overall.
  19. [Dev Log] Blocks

    Very nice interface, I think you should place the block queue ABOVE the map. They do drop down from the sky, after all.
  20. When do they stop spoiling Inside?? D: EDIT-- 46:30 is actually the answer to that question.
  21. Upgrades and Progression

    Just starting an open discussion here, I've been thinking about upgrade trees and progression systems. It's typical for new designers to know that they want an upgrade path in a game, because they loved unlocking objects 1, 2 and 3 in a game, and so start building out an attractive unlock system, but I get pretty skeptical whenever I see this plan forming. I've been recently finding them useful as discreet tools to control pace, and organize tutorials over time for a design that you've finished and closed the book on. If you've made a game that's truly too much to take in at once, like The Witcher or Kerbal Space Program or Civilization, then pacing out those features can be a great long-term tutorial. Another case might be if you want people to develop a routine of taking detours and switching their focus. Unlocking a character in a fighting game is a good nudge that it's time to back out and try something else, and adversely Grand Theft Auto might lock those 3 districts for now to maintain focus, then unfold later when you've got a good grip on how to drive around and accept missions. I think a weak approach to an unlock or progression system would be to make a tight design, like Devil Daggers or Downwell, and then come up with extras and twists that dilute or distract from what you've come up with. If you're sitting around brainstorming upgrades; maybe your design is actually just finished, or needs to be finished. What do you guys think about some really stand-out great progression systems? Or really terrible ones? Have you ever worked on them before? They're very different in mobile games and online competitive games, but I don't think they're 100% out of place.
  22. Upgrades and Progression

    I think design-wise I would approach a Metroid game on paper, designing a fairly linear progression of combat and puzzle scenarios. I'd come up with a game where you simply unlock the missile 3 meters away from the missile door- which is how most games work! Maybe this is how Metroid started out. Maybe they were inspired by the practice of back-tracking and key-finding for extending the play-time of other games. Maybe it was a space-saving measure too. I don't think it's an intuitive structure that you'd stumble into as a designer these days. Similarly I've been thinking about Pokemon a lot recently (OBVIOUSLY), and they do a similar thing with the bicycle bridge, the giant Snorlax blocking the road, and required abilities like CUT and SURF. In Pokemon games, these are not only progress blockers, but they're almost always a double-whammy of an upgrade. The road to Fuschia City could've just required a rusty key like Resident Evil, but it requires a BICYCLE that you can ride forever onwards! I bet this was already a planned feature for the game, but tying it into the progress gates was a great choice. A bit of a more open example might be the Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time. You get the bombs and there's more to see, you get the gauntlets and there's more to see, etc. Considering that you only ever find Rupee rewards behind these locks though, I think this example might be just an economical way to support the items. Maybe it's an effort to make them feel like incredible utilities while also making the game world feel full of potential and secrets to the very end. never thought of that as an effect of unlocking things; just reaffirming that there's more in here and you're still far away from being done.
  23. Idle Workouts

    I've been going to the gym twice a week for a few months, and I'm fairly happy with the impact that it has on me health-wise. It's some nice cardio and weights, it's slowly helping me get into the shape of a real functioning adult. But man I just eat too many snacks! I have a real weakness for baked goods, I can't go a day without stepping into the snack bar for a focaccia, croissant, sandwich or some toasted, fried snack. I guess it's because a year ago I researched how to eat when you're hypoglycemic; that's erratic blood-sugar levels dawg. It's healthier to eat slow carbohydrates in smaller meals, more frequently, so now I've set myself on the path to a husky dough-boy metamorphosis. WHOOPS! I'm gonna be trying to fix it now, cos my exercise routine is going nicely and I do want it to show!
  24. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Here's a playable build! The game's chugging along with plenty of levels and placeholder Advance Wars characters, so I might as well put it out there for people to try. Please give it a download, and let me know if you found it too boring, too confusing, slow, weird, or bad! I would love to go in and change things.
  25. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    As with every E3: I am completely intimidated by all the amazing indie games and feel like throwing in the towel! Well, heres an update for this week: This new unit is a mobile factory. He/she spits out a small support ball instead of taking a turn. This unit started off as the SPLITTER. They'd split into two smaller units when they hit an enemy. That gets complicated, though; at what angle do they split? What if they do it while moving really slowly and end up occupying the same space? What does that idea ACTUALLY ADD to my strategic decisions? When I came up with the idea of firing a dummy, I felt a lot better about it. The role of this enemy is to multiply and overwhelm you over time, so now they can achieve that in a way that's much less complicated. For a long time, you would fire a dummy and then fire yourself. I thought this was great, it was so powerful to take 2 moves at once. The enemy was very challenging, which I enjoyed! I had to remove the 2nd shot though, because it was such a massive sum of damage all at once, it just aint funny when somebody really cracks how to use it. Instead, I turned up the frequency that it would fire a new unit, strengthening it's role as a source of overwhelming numbers. As an added bonus, it's one of the only units that can't actually fire itself, which is an interesting vulnerability. I came up with an interesting solution for effects in the game, by the way: This is a 256x256 PNG. Shades of gray, from black to white, act like an animation timeline from 0 to 1 second... or 0 to 30 seconds, or whatever you feel like stretching it to. Let's say it makes black pixels visible at 1 second, grey pixels visible at 5 seconds, and very light pixels visible at 10 seconds. Working on SpeedRunners, I would hand in these massive sprite sheets with sprite sprite sprite sprite sprite of animation frames for daft things like a big circle, or a little splash, or a puff of smoke. I'm quite happy to have come up with something so small and neat. Here's another bonus: If you look at particle and trail effects in Street Fighter, you'll notice that they animate at a very choppy and staggered framerate when the game goes slow-motion, but these little effects can be played at ANY speed no problem! I also use this colour ramp to tell the effect how to animate colours, which is also a very small PNG: With this method, I can make effects animations that might otherwise be 50 or 60 frames of hand-drawn work! This one is the splash you can see when two balls collide: I also used this method on my explosion: I can't wait to see what else it could be useful for, but I'm quite busy actually working on the game. Speaking of which- this has been kind of a grace period where I've not been too busy at work, but I'm really about to plunge my gross uneducated hands into porting and certification. I'll actually be directly responsible for game code again on small projects at tinyBuild, so I'll be much too busy cleaning up after myself and apologizing to make solid progress on BAT SNOOK. Oh well!