Stuff

Summer vacation has just begun for me and to be honest, I have both been taking time off, but staying very productive. I have been in and out of contact lately, so I thought this would be a good time to explain what is going on as well as future stuff as I head to college this fall.

GENERAL STUFF:

My school year ended a few weeks ago and I just had my graduation a week ago. This mixed with family and the enormous amount of grad parties I have been attending have lead to me being M.I.A for some days and not working on projects. My senior year is now almost fully behind me, but my summer vacation, along with getting my wisdom teeth removed has lead me to take days off and just simply rest or have a day to myself.

MODDING:

Currently I have been working a little on a new project but overall I have been experiencing some burn out with programming. I have recently been taking time away from these projects as a recuperate myself. This does not mean I am done working on these projects by any means and I have experienced this in the past with becoming burned out so don’t worry, I know how to handle this and I will be back.  On another topic, I am heading to my first year of college this fall and this will effect many of the projects that I am working on. I will have a laptop and I do plan to try and update my mods, but the reality is I have no idea what I should be expecting. Between classes and the probable job that I will need to find, I do not know how much time I will have to update my projects.

GAME DEV/ LUDUM DARE AND SORTS:

I recently saw that there will not be an official August Ludum Dare and to be honest, makes my life a lot easier as that would have occurred right as I was starting my first semester of college. Overall, it just lessens the amount of things I will need to worry about when I start my semester. Also because of this, I will also most likely not be working and any other game dev projects in the meantime.

 

Again I am just taking everything one day at a time and doing my best to just have fun. If you have have any questions, concerns, comments or anything else, you are always welcome to reach out to me! Enjoy your summer and stay amazing!

Also p.s. If any of this has some weird sentence structure, please pardon it as some of this was written while I was recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery 😛

 

Ludum Dare 35 Postmortem

Ludum Dare 35

Game Name: Geo-Shifter

Play The Game Here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=24562

 

It’s almost 2 weeks since Ludum concluded, so I thought I might as well get around to making this Ludum Dare Postmortem thing that people sometimes do. I have actually done one of these before, but never posted it anywhere and I went searching for it before making this one, but I sadly couldn’t find it. Now that I have my blog set up on my website, I think It’s a great time to start doing these post Ludum Dare write ups to just say a few things about my experience. I have no idea who will actually ever read these and well, my english skills are not the best (I’m a programmer, what do you expect?), but let’s do this thing anyways!

 

What did I make?

Ah yes, the big question everyone asks when Ludum Dare finishes. Well this time around I used LibGDX for the third time after not being able to get my OpenGL base code finished in time. I actually tried to make a 2D version of my OpenGL base code and I actually contemplated using it, but given the theme and geometric design that I ended up taking on, I decided to not use it. Anyways, back to the game. Given the theme of “Shape Shifter”, I decided upon the idea of applying the theme into a geometrical sense where you were literally changing geometrical shapes. After a good half hour to an hour of talking to people on my stream and brainstorming, I finally settled upon the game idea. The game follows a Binding of Isaac type control system with a single room, endless, wave based enemy configuration, and some dropping perks. The enemies are composed of 5 geometrical shapes: squares, circles, or triangles. These shapes are broken down into 3 body parts, ears, eyes, and main body, with each body group having a random shape. From these enemy configurations, your job is to “Shape Shift” you ammo to match and shoot at the monsters. Each hit upon the monsters will remove one body part if the bullet shape matches a shape on the monster until all 5 body parts have been removed, at which time the monster is destroyed. Lastly, there are perks that are randomly dropped from the monsters after destroying them. Some are good, some not so much, but they do add another layer on top of the game to give it a bit more depth as well as entertainment while playing. This game is actually a fairly simplistic game, but the waves speed the difficulty up fairly fast and provide a challenge.

 

What went wrong?

Well to start it off, probably the one thing that didn’t turn out well was the monster movements. I went for a very basic and crude method of movement and pathing and in turn forced me to make the monsters move at the same speed as the player in order to not allow them to be easily jukeable. Unfortunately this caused the opposite extreme to happen and made it next to impossible to strafe and juke the monsters. This ultimately causes serious problems for the player if they can’t destroy the monsters before they reach the player. Overall, probably something I would change in future games.

Enemy stacking provided another struggle to players and to me as well as I noticed it during testing at the end of the 48 hours. I probably did have enough time to fix the problem, but due to the very minimal collision detection currently used as well as crude movement of the monsters that I mentioned above, I decided to just leave it as is and let the game be. The main problem with stacking is that the monster the player is shooting is not on top of the stack. This prevents the player from knowing what It needs to shoot at the monsters and causes blind, random guessing that slows their progress and overall, a lot of hassle. This is something that I really wish i would have fixed or at least made it less of a random guess, or struggle to the player.

Another mechanic that I didn’t have a problem with, but people playing with my game suggested that I should have implemented was full range, or full 360 degree shooting. My reason for only including shooting in the main four directions was to keep it easy to make, as well as keep it mostly true to the Binding of Isaac style controls and physics that I initially went with. The players who played my game seemed to disagree, mainly saying that they would have rather user a mouse to shoot at all angles. I personally think that this would have made it harder to destroy the monsters, but If I were continuing to develop this game further, it would be something that I would consider.

 

What Went Right?

Now for the fun part, talking about all of the things that I am happy with in the game.

Biggest thing that I am most happy with is the sound effects that I added. First time ever including sound to one of my Ludum Dare games and It goes without a hitch. Sure It took me a little while to learn BSFX, the tool I was using to make my sounds, but It was all done as extra and implementing it into the code provided no problems. Best of all, it really did put my game on a whole new level as there was actually sound to entertain the players ears and not boring silence like I had in my past games.

The artwork was another major factor that stepped my game up to the next level this year. Geo-Shifter was only the second game, next to God-Kill-A and not including Flash Memory, that did not follow my normal top down game and artwork design. The art was very simplistic (If you couldn’t tell by the all black background and solid color shapes), but at the same time, the art that was included was very basic and meshed very well with the overall game. The player and bottom bar are the only two pieces of art that are always visible during the game and many probably don’t notice the bottom bar is not actually part of the overall background because it just fits so well. Just like the sound, I think that the art really provided another aspect of something visually appealing that caused a lot more positive feedback from the players.

The last concept that I really enjoyed was the game concept itself. The minimalistic approach along with the endless style gameplay encouraged players to play again to try and beat either their top score, or the global top score. Even though the game had it’s problems that took away from the concept, I am still overall happy with what I decided to go with.

 

To wrap things up, I am very happy with the game I have created over the 48 hour period. While it may not be as aesthetically complete as my past games, I do think the overall gameplay and features make it the best game I have made thus far for Ludum Dare. I have conquered 9 Ludum Dares so far and I have no intention to stop anytime soon. 

 

p.s. If you find and spelling or grammatical errors anywhere in this post, please feel free to contact me and point them out. One of my goals in doing these blogs is to hopefully improve my writing abilities.

Updating Chance Cubes

With Minecraft Forge now breaking into the 1.9 scene, I have decided upon a plan for updating Chance Cubes in it’s current states. Currently Chance Cubes is available for, and being worked on, in 1.7.10, 1.8, 1.8.9 and now 1.9 with the main working and development branch being in 1.7.10. This is starting to become too much for me to handle and I have decided to drop development for Chance Cubes in 1.8 and 1.8.9. If there are any bugs, crashes, or other flaws in these versions of the mod, I will try and patch them, but as of right now these versions of the mod will no longer be under development. The 1.7.10 and 1.9 versions of the mod will continue to be updated and developed with the 1.7.10 version of the mod being the head and test branch, and the 1.9 version simply following behind the changes made there. My current plan for the 1.7.10 branch is to continue using it as the development branch until 1.9 get’s to a point where it is stable enough to use as a test branch, or if 1.9 overtakes 1.7.10 as the majority used by modpacks. While on the topic of updating, I do want to touch briefly on the subject of the Icosahedrons. Yes, I am aware that they are very buggy in 1.8.9 and 1.9. I am trying my best to get them to render correctly, but I am currently being limited to what Forge provides me with in model rendering. Since I am dropping development on 1.8 versions of the mod, I will not update the Icosahedron on those versions, unless I am able to get it fully working in 1.9. As always, If You have any questions, comments, or questions, feel free to reach out to me on one of my social medias.

tl;dr – I am dropping development for the 1.8 and 1.8.9 versions of the mod and will continue updating 1.7.10 and 1.9 untill 1.9 takes over. I am also working on fixing the Icosahedron.

New Chance Cubes Chance System

Chance Cubes has taken off like nobody’s business and I have been struggling to keep up with balancing and tweaking the mod as I watch people use the cubes. Over the past month, a few things have come to my attention that I am hoping to address before the next update. The first thing  is that hardcore players are constantly too under prepared and due to the nature of hardcore, die, often. The other problem I have noticed is that late game players are too op, and opposite to the hardcore players, just simply don’t die. The latter can be fixed to make rewards have no outscale ability, but that is for another post in itself. I am going to instead focus on the first issue as well as explain to you a major change that I am making in the Chance System for the Chance Cubes. As it currently stands in the mod, every Chance Cube is given a random chance value from -100 to 100 when the block is placed/ spawned into the world. This will go

onto produce a graph of something similar to this:

Current Chance Cube chance distribution graph

This distribution is great and all for encompassing all rewards of all levels, but it provides some setbacks in that It creates a “Get rich quick” ideal in early game players who get good luck, and it also promotes an ideal of just straight up death for the more unfortunate. Another problem this creates is that there is no way to create more rare rewards that occur less often as with this system, every reward is just as equally likely to be chosen.This system was a great starting idea for the mod, but now, it just isn’t going to cut it anymore, so Chance Cubes will be moving over to a new normal chance distribution format that looks something like this:

New Chance Cube chance distribution graph

This new system will provide lots of benefits on top of a dynamic reward rareness system. The new system will help early game players survive more Chance Cube as the probability of getting bad chance values is a lot slimmer (Yes this does mean there will be less early game death). However, this system also limits the get rich quick play style that the cubes currently provide with making the more op late game rewards less likely to occur. By structuring the reward system like this also open many doors for future chance system changes. One change that this can provide for the future is the ability to “skew the graph” and make rewards either harder (or easier if you are that kind of guy), as the game progresses. The Icosahedrons (D 20) blocks also gain more purpose in the new system as it allows the users to experience the more deadly or op rewards that they may rarely see otherwise, providing an almost new reward system. The last this that I want to bring up is that I am going to need your guy’s help. By making the new chance system normally distributed, rewards around the 0 chance value are more likely to occur, meaning I need lots of what I am calling “knick-knack” rewards. These rewards are simply smaller rewards  designed to aid, or annoy the player in most of the cubes that they open. If you have reward ideas feel free to tweet me @Turkey2349, DM me on Twitch @Turkey2349 or through any other contact that you have with me. I hope that this new Chance system will open many doors as well as provide a more enjoyable experience with the cubes!

Hello world!

I am currently setting up wordpress to host a small blog. This is a work in progress. The Main purpose of this blog is to relay information about my projects to anyone interested as well as provide a place for me to practice my english skills, because they are not quite the best ;). Anyways, thank you for stopping by and I hope you find this interesting!

My Blog About Random Stuff