we got options

game update

What's up?! it's about time for an update so brace yourself (no.... not that tightly). Well, gameplay isn't wrapped up, but I had to break down and work on menus. I was at a point where I couldn't finish some of the extras without menus, but I won't be able to finish menus until the rest of the game is complete. So, no more avoiding them. I can hear marketing types saying dont bother talking about menus, but w/e! That's what I'm working on, so that's what I'm talking about. So, it's official... I'm in the latter stages of development! There's still a lot of work to do, but I can see the sweet light at the end of the roguelike action tunnel game!

Don't ask me why, but sometimes I get amped up designing some fucking game menus. its not like gameplay or anythign, but i think menus are the caca. I don't mean to be an extras snob. Anyway, I gotta take menus seriously now.... I don't mess with stuff like that too early on for a lot of reasons. A couple of the reasons are:

(1) I just don't know if I'm going to change my mind about what the game is later. Then, the menus could end up being a missed opportunity, and
(2) I usually let some ideas incubate in my brain while I work on the core design. Sometimes, the coming up with an idea and the seeing it fully completed can be the only fun things. Everything in between might just be different degrees of torture.

I finished some of the art and graphics for the menus, but not all. They'll all be consistent with each other, and they don't get in your way. Hopefully, you'll have a familiar feeling no matter where you're. I'm happy with the visuals, color scheme, and everything really. I still have a ways to go, but I think you'll be at home navigating through them. I decided on final featured options, and at this point, it's challenging getting it all in. I wanted you to have a full set of options! I set the bar pretty high.

A core component of this game is rng and it even shows in the menus. you'll see what I mean! I might have a couple surprises up my sleeve. It'll take a lot of work to get the menus where I want. So far it feels satisfying to use, and it's looking good. I think it's gonna work. Everyone chant with me now.... options - options - options. Very good. You are dismissed.

Holler if you like a good menu.... til next time!

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randomization

game update

It's update time! things have been kinda wild lately as I move along with the new game. It never gets easier getting mountains of work done. Even as you level up personally, mountains are always mountain sized, damn things.

I'm really satisfied about the hud most recently. You'll see it's a crucial part of gameplay, and I think you're gonna like interacting with it. I officially don't need to touch the hud anymore. Oh yah, I reorganized my plans to make things more fucking efficient. I regrouped the remaining tasks, and consolidated my notes for what's left. I'm slaying this todo list piece by piece. it feels good completing shit I had planned for a while. I made a comment a while back that one of my design notes was to not let my design notes get any bigger. Well, I didn't listen to myself, because if something is going to make the game better.... then guess what i'm doing? BUT It did make me stop and think a lot harder about adding to it.

There's still some visually dramatic things happening, but I'll start explaining gameplay! You'll move through space tunnels, collecting items, and destroying obstacles. As you move from level to level, you need to manage all your stats to survive. The items you can pick up along the way can make or break you. Building your game knowledge will come in handy. Also, EVERYTHING is randomized!

The replay value is very high. You won't play the same game twice. I experimented a lot with randomization to find new ways to surprise you. Well, that's just the bones of it. there's plenty you're going to have to discover on your own. There's a fairness you'll feel though. Building your skill will happen naturally, and it will be critical to succeed. So get ready!

Balancing the core mechanics with all the items, obstacles, layouts, achievements is really important to me. Anyway, I'll be doing everything I can to come up with ways to keep you on your toes. I don't want sleep walkers moving through. I'll let you know as soon as I can.

Maybe if this game is just fun and dirty enough, it will infect the globe in much the same way as herpes has been so able to do. Hmmn, do you know anything about it?

Spreading Around the Globe

til next time!

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new groove

game update

Yoooooo! things are starting to get hot outside and with the new game. there are several different things to cover in this update. But I won't let this get too long!

as i've been working on this game, i planned on making some technical changes to the art once most of it was complete. i considered for a good while converting everything into pixel art, but i just couldn't do it. i appreciate pixel art more than most, but it's not my favorite art style. At the end of the fucking day, it didn't fit my vision for this game. so it would've felt like trend chasing instead of followthru. This is prolly a good time to say... i'm almost done with all the gameplay art!! once gameplay has the right pacing and balance, i should be able to start showing off the game (title tba)

a big thing that just got wrapped up are achievements. I for one am really damn happy about it. the achievements in this game are uniquely intertwined with the hud. I wanted achievements on everyone's minds, not just the hunters. But if you're a hunter, it's gonna be even more in your face if you haven't been succeeding the way you should. The hud is an important part of giving you the right info and setting the tone. i designed it very carefully, which is about all i can say right now. i added one more important element to it recently. i'll have more about the hud at a later date. anyway, the fact is there are a lot of badass achievements to dig into.

i just started a new major part of the game. there's always this feeling of being lost when something big gets finished. the jet lag feeling is hard but i get it through it by resetting my brain to think about little steps again. then, i usually find a new groove in the current thing and it goes away. Wtf, i think this is getting long enough for now. i'll have to save gameplay talk for next time!

summer's almost here... so have a damn seat and get ready for some action

Have a seat in this retro beach chair

til next time!

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aint no shortcuts

game update

Sometimes, I do an exercise where I think about other mediums, comparing them with game development. most things just take experimenting to execute your expression, but years to master a more full understanding ...and the skills if you wanna do it well. Cooking is great because in less than an hour you can have happy people eating your food and getting their satisfaction. You can get some kinda feedback and that quick reward. Some musicians can write a song during the time it takes for a ski lift ride, like John Denver with Annie's Song. film is different though, it has a lot of parallels to making games, especially animated movies. One thing that feels crystalized to me is the unique combination of mediums in game development. It's like a mixture of abstract painting, carnival ride design, moving making, casino design, plus mad science. I could say so much about the bizarre shit and surreal moments. There's plenty of magic involved.

you get time to think when you're making a game. you can't even avoid it. sometimes, I wanna hide from it. But at this point, i'm so excited about this game. It's my best thing by far, even though it's not done. I can't wait to finish, but I'm not releasing it until it's fully cooked. I promised myself I'd put it all together this time. All I wanna do is make this game great, now that I know what it is.

i've been making the most of productivity lately. Things are going well with an achievement system I designed. I've been working on achievements and player stats most recently. There'll be a great deal of achievements in this game. the achievements themselves are expanding replayability a lot, and make you see the game through different pov's. There won't be any shortage of fresh challenges. The achievements and everything are feeling fluid. My style is more consisent than ever. Consistency throughout is a big thing for me now. i'll have more details about achievements soon. plus, i'll be talking more about gameplay. please spread the word.

with your help, we'll light this bitch on fire

Light It On Fire

til next time!

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gimme more content

game update

What up! I talked before about how I'd be saying what I could about development from now on. that's the plan for the future, plus random stuff. I just think that's fun and I can't be one dimensional ;-D Most of you know I'm anti-spoiler to the max... always have been - I had brought that into game development, but when you don't have a marketing department, you need a running stream for people to find. I used to be extreme about it and didn't realize how I much I was in the minority. I'd be confused as shit about why other people were explaining so much and why their trailers revealed too much. Didn't they want ppl to find it on their own and be surprised? The holy purity of a fresh experience is apparently not that important to most people. I get really into what I'm doing and I forget basic things. I'm the kind of person who will find an interest in something remote, want to know everything about it, ...and once I do, it hits me later that nobody else would ever give a fuck about this subject. That's why i decided to find a happy medium. The result is this blog! Once things get further along with this game, I'll be showing you more stuff. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Since my last update, progress has been like mannnn. I've been hammering and not looking too far ahead on the todo. I'm working on more and more content, especially obstacles. I want there to be an overwhelming amount of content all on-theme and randomness too. A lot o ppl talk about games with a unique experience every time you play, but most games arent that randomized. I've seen some interesting things, but there's a lot that still hasn't been done in gameplay randomization. I'm looking to push the edge in that regard. The downside is this game doesnt fit nicely into any genre or common genre combo, even tho it's gamey. I've been mixing interesting elements in a way that makes sense and is fun, and it's still an exploration.

this game has a much more complex gameplay system, giving you plenty to consider. I'm on the last two-thirds of obstacles, and then I'm starting one of the final major elements of gameplay. Once that's all done, i'll have a lot to work out making it all gel just right. Next is gonna be a major section so I can't even think about that right now. Breaking things down into their parts is the only way to put your best into every step. I've been designing and laying out everything very carefully. One issue of there being this much random content going on is performance. I created some custom solutions for that. I had to stop and focus on this in a special way already, because I'm far enough along that a bulk of content is already in. I'm starting to get a real feel for this beast moving with all its parts. There's major stuff planned later was all the content is created to get it to the level it needs to be. I dont want anything messing up your experience.

so I'm excited about the results, but focused with my head down on what's next. I'll have more details for you soon.

I made a fan to cool you down

Fan to Cool Down by Timothy Courtney

til next time!

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download

gif series

Download by Timothy Courtney

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what's up yall

game update

A lot has been happening with new game... I'm gonna run through some of it so here goes!

critical changes are still happening so I can't spell things out for you just yet. I have to keep things cryptic still and on goldilock's life it's killing me! There's still a lot I can say though.

I recently got to full on prototype stage. I was able to make the proto available to a limited group of people for some feedback on their experience. As usual, I've been testing a great deal and still nailing down the design. This game doesn't exactly fit nicely into any one genre. I melted several ideas I thought would be interesting together to create the core. then just kept rethinking and reworking every component of gameplay until I had a design that felt good. That's still happening somewhat. I've been thinking hard about what the hell I spawned! designers like to feel like things are going according to their plan. It can be painful when something different pops out and you're left trying to understand it yourself

I'm still planning some pretty big visual changes and debating between a couple of titles Once that's all set in stone, Ill start showing you some behind the scenes stuff, screens, or gifs... who knows!

Lately, I'm creating a lot of new gameplay content, and I have a ways to go on that. It's important to me that the theme stay focused and consistant. this is some stuff that didn't fit the theme and therefore got cut....

Game Characters Sketch - Tucker, Stash, Crank - Before
Game Characters Sketch - Tucker, Stash, Crank - After

I'm also working on getting the balance of certain components of gameplay just right. i could do a goldilocks callback but idts. ;-D Stay tuned for more updates!

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prototype reveal

game development

First, I have a quick update: progress on the new game is going well, and I'll be able to talk more about it soon! This puppy is really taking shape. In the meantime.... there are some random posts i have planned and this is the first of them!!

In game development, there are often prototypes that are shortlived. during the making of a game, I get the temptation to make dozens and sometimes hundreds of other games. What i usually do is write the ideas down, along with a title. this usually satisfies me enough, since there's no way I can actually stop what i'm doing to take on all these ideas. By now, I have journals full of game ideas. Some get very detailed / One of the worst pains is having an idea and forgetting about it later. it'll make you want to die if that happens. So I try to always write it down. Occassionally, I reread my journals, tweaking notes, and designing on paper the ones that interest me most in that moment.

I've had prototypes get to different stages of progress before deciding it wasn't something I wanted to keep going on. I'm focused on PC/Mac/Linux game development but this prototype was for mobile.... android. The limitations and casual nature of mobile isn't my cup of tea - I do like some casual/mobile games. I'm not against maybe making a mobile version of one of my games if the conditions were right. But it's not my target. I just have to make games I feel from the heart, and that's never been mobile (so far).

i started the following prototype before SAA:CG, and it was influenced by several ideas. One of the core ideas was: What if i could find a way to make a style of gameplay mechanics similar to Adventures of Lolo (1989) work on mobile? ... What would I do differently, and how would i make it work with touch screen with only a few controls? I actually got this prototype pretty far. Below is an early screen shot. I don't have many screenshots of this proto. I take more care now to document progress better so I can look back on the process. Uh, I was just calling it Square Man while I was working on it. I also had enemies and gameplay objects for it. Keep in mind, the theming and art would have been refined, so this is a rough shot from early on

Square Man - Game Development Prototype

It was worth exploring, but I don't see myself revisiting this one. There are several reasons but the biggest is what previously said. It was quite functional at this point and I discovered some cool things. Square man could already be controlled, make moves, kill/be killed, cross bridges, etc. Yes, there was water. I was working on an in-game shop when I figured out this wasn't it. So you can start to see how I was building on an old idea with new elements that hadn't existed in the design of its inspiration. New elements like that would have been woven deeply so that it became a new beast where you had to think differently to win.

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