About BMacIntosh (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)

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Sounds like the end of the world

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 7:10 pm

In addition to being a unit of time, a second can also be a unit of distance.  One second is 1/60th of a minute, and one minute is 1/60th of a degree of latitude or longitude on the globe.  What would the world look like if only 10 square seconds of its surface remained?  The area would only be about 300 feet on each side.  Sounds like a great setting for a survival/horror “Don’t Starve” game…\

Have fun all.

Camera Obscura – my game on Steam Greenlight

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Sunday, January 27th, 2013 3:28 pm

Hello fellow game developers,

I wanted to make a plug for a game I’ve just submitted to Steam Greenlight.  The game is called Camera Obscura, and it’s being developed by a small group of college students from UC Irvine.  We started it in a game jam almost two years ago, and we liked the idea so much that we’ve continued to develop it into a full-length game.

Camera Obscura is a puzzle-platformer that revolves around a unique mechanic that allows the player to activate a camera flash so bright that it creates “afterimages” of all visible platforms.  These platforms are solid enough to walk on, and they can be moved around for a short time, mimicking the player’s movements.  This ability allows players to cross wide chasms, reach high platforms, and otherwise alter the shape of the environment to accomplish the ultimate goal – reaching the top of the mysterious Tower.  You can see some gameplay footage here to get a better idea.

The Greenlight page is right here.  We’d really love your support and your feedback!
Steam Greenlight | Camera Obscura

Screenshot

The game also has a full, custom soundtrack by the amazing Trenton Ng, and we’ve shared a few of the tracks here:
Soundtrack

Thanks for your time,
Brian MacIntosh

May be joining

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 10:41 am

This weekend may be busy for me, but I’m going to make an attempt to enter anyway!  I’ll be using C++ with SDL and a partial engine of my own creation built on top of SDL, uploaded here.  Good luck to all, and at the very least I look forward to playing lots of great games.

Oh, and I may be trying to integrate some procedural music generation if it’s appropriate.  My code for that is up here.

Primeval Labs – The Future?

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 10:29 pm

Primeval Laboratories

I haven’t yet decided whether I will continue working on my game, Primeval Laboratories, at some point in the future (October Challenge?). The feedback seems to be quite positive so far, but I’m not sure where to go with a low-scope XNA game, other than XBox Live Indie, a market I have been singularly unimpressed with.

Anyway, I though I would brainstorm what I might do to complete the game. Any feedback from those who have played would be great!

  • Music and sound effects. These should be a critical part of the game, and I learned too late that they take time and skill to produce that I did not have. Free resources from the internet should suffice.
  • A character sprite. Should be human but as generic as possible (a la Portal’s Chelle).
  • A degree of player evolution so the player isn’t so static. Maybe issuing the player a new type of gun each round. The guns would receive small boosts each round (fire rate upgrades, spread, etc). This should involve some kind of choice on the part of the player.
  • More variety in enemies. As much as possible. Prominent things I had to leave out for the compo game were armor plates (bits of the enemies that block shots from certain angles, have their own health), and visual distinctions between the enemies (visual guns and such).
  • Add passive stat genes to the Products display panel in addition to weapons. Add an interface for saving enemies through the Products panel.
  • Currently the player can only load two bots and fight against their offspring. May also include a feature where the player can load two pairs of bots and have them fight each other and evolve.
  • Balance difficulty (restrict how good enemies can be on the first wave a little better)

Obligatory “Finished!” Post

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 6:54 pm

Because finished is what I was with a few hours to spare, and finished is what I am right now!

I’m pleasantly surprised with how well this went.  My idea was scoped very ambitiously, but I managed to get through nearly everything I envisioned (even saving and loading of genomes).  I learned a lot about genetic algorithms, too, a technique I’ve tried to implement in the past, unsuccessfully.  So that alone seems like a good use of a weekend.

I also learned that I actually stink at making sounds.  Also, music takes more than an hour to do to satisfaction.  Perhaps next time I’ll make a purposefully silent game.

My art is decent (but it looks a lot better in motion).

Screenshot

You should, of course, play it: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=15030

Genetic Algorithms and Debugging

Posted by (twitter: @BrianAMacIntosh)
Sunday, August 26th, 2012 12:40 am

This is my first time participating in on of these competitions, and I’m greatly enjoying it so far.  I figured I’d write a blog post to summarize the first day here.

My game has you fight waves of randomly-generated enemy “bots”.  When I say randomly-generated, I mean whole-hog random.  Colors, behaviors, weapons, stats – it can all change.  After the first set of enemies, I start using a genetic algorithm to combine these enemies, hopefully ramping up the difficulty and making some neat combinations.

Genetic algorithms are really cool and they suck at the same time.  On the positive side, it’ll be easy to balance the game when the algorithm works right – if it keeps picking certain features over and over, I’ll nerf ’em.  On the downside, it’s hard to tell if things aren’t working quite right.  I played a few generations and noticed that the game kept dropping weapons for some reason.  It would select out almost all weapons by the fourth generation.  I was pretty sure this was not, in fact, the optimal solution to the problem.  Turned out to be some misplaced curly braces (sheesh).

So what’s still to do?  Sound and music, notably. A pause menu. I also think it would be pretty cool to have a system for exporting enemy genomes having friends fight them, or even having two bots fight each other.

Here’s a screenshot!
Screenshot

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