About CliffracerX (twitter: @CliffracerX)

Some guy who's interested in Ludum Dare and whatnot.

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Ludum Dare 36
 
Ludum Dare 35
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 31

CliffracerX's Trophies

I HATE THIS GAME (Beat Hazard Hills)
Awarded by CliffracerX
on December 17, 2014

CliffracerX's Archive

Kinda-maybe-possibly-in

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Sunday, April 16th, 2017 3:22 pm

I’d like to participate in LD38, but it’s possible I won’t be doing so.  I would’ve been in #37, but between an incredibly severe lack of inspiration for the theme, and a lack of energy to code, I wound up abandoning the idea.  These same issues could knock me out of 38.  Let’s pick a fun theme for this one, like Unconventional Weapon (LD32) or the likes.

If I do participate, it’ll be with the same team (or, more specifically, lack there-of, most of my Ludum Dare friends have been busy lately) as LD35 and 36.  Similarly, I’ll also be using Unity for the engine, Blender for 3d work, GIMP for texturing, Audacity for normal audio work, and Caustic 3 comboed with Ableton Live for music.

“CRTs are Ancient, right?” post-mortem-y thing

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 3:18 pm

I’m both proud of, and really disappointed with my entry, “CRTs are Ancient, right?“.  Gameplay-wise, I think it’s probably the most polished, and with the most potential for continuation.  Content-wise, I’m really disappointed.  There’s a lot I wanted to do, and a lot of potential, but I was too focused on all the mechanics to be able to get any of it implemented.

All of my other entries usually take at least 10-15 minutes to play through and get a good idea of, whereas this can probably be done in five or less.  There’s one proper level in the game.  One.  That’s the shortest of any Ludum Dare entry I’ve ever made.  Considering how much effort I put into making the mechanics, I’m really sad there’s only one puzzle to use them with.

I think the biggest mistake was trying to make so many features; it’s a stealth game, a hacking game, and a first-person shooter all rolled into one.  You use the computer terminals to achieve your objectives, doing things like printing important documents, toggling lights, or working with elevators.  You can hide in the shadows and move swiftly, like a ninja, and never have to kill a single guard.  You can rambo through and shoot all who stand to oppose you.  All these mechanics are pretty decently polished, but I spent so long making them all that there wasn’t any time left to build a game around them.

Level creation for puzzley games is always a pain, there’s no denying that.  I was lucky to get four made for Shift back in LD35, and it was a real struggle to get them all working; and the number of mechanics to juggle was *way* smaller.  I wanted this to have lots of interesting puzzles built around timing, working with lights, shadows, etc; true light-n-dark stealth is hard to come by these days.  I wanted the computers to feel like an important part of the game; out of everything, they’re still the most clearly ancient.  But instead, they’re more of these simplistic things that you type away at for a couple of seconds, do whatever it is you need to do on them, and then go back to running/gunning/doing whatever it is you do.

I had these grand dreams of putting some social commentary on them; if you stopped and used “viewData” on some, you’d get these little insights in SCI-style files, where someone at the coropration (aka: me) would have written some info on something or another.  An entry on Tulpas, or psychology, social studies, even OS security holes.  Social commentary and story building.  It was going to be awesome.  But when it came time to write them, I realized there wasn’t any time to spend sitting around writing walls of text; not many people would end up reading them, and I needed to focus on level-design or gameplay mechanics.

 

In the end, I’m happy-ish with what’s out, but disappointed by all the lost potential.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go relax in No Man’s sky for a few hours before going back to playing and rating some of your games.

The obligatory “I’m done!” post

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 7:55 pm

I’ve hit the hay earlier than usual; rather than going until the last minute, I’ve gone ahead and put the game up.  You can view it’s LD page here, or go straight to it’s download page on Itch.io here.  If you use the fancy-shmancy Itch.io desktop client to grab it, it’ll auto-extract, install, and I presume even auto-update, akin to Steam!

Have a celebratory bean.

Have a celebratory bean.

YAPP (Yet Another Progress Picture)

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 2:12 pm
A security guard bean with a revolver.  I don't think I'll be de-beaning them in time for the jam.

A security guard bean with a revolver. I don’t think I’ll be de-beaning them in time for the jam.

Actual gameplay other than console-puzzling is happening!  There’s now basic stealth mechanics (centered around light, primarily), and a goal: Get all the data in each level.  You’ll win the level if you get all the Core Data, but there’s bonus data you can acquire too.  Data is gathered in the form of papers; you can print them out from a computer, or find it on tables, etc.  There should be one playable level by the end of the day, and a second playable level alongside maybe a tutorial should be happening soon.  Then, music.  I really want to make some good music for this.

Progress Report: The Next Morning…

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 1:45 pm
Now with working on-screen text, and two utterly useless commands!

Now with working on-screen text, and two utterly useless commands!

I still don’t know where I’m going with these, to be entirely honest; I want to make some hacking and fun stuff built around these computers, but I’m not sure what to put on them TO hack.  I haven’t even started on doing stealth gameplay mechanics yet!

One thing I’m thinking about is maybe taking a leaf out of Gunpoint’s book, and making various hackable objects (like lights), that you can control from these computers.  Next floor swarming with guards?  Turn off their lights!  Want to dig up dirt on the CEO?  Look through his search history!

The problem with this, of  course, being that I need to program a faux OS to hack, give computers separate instanced filesystems and things they can modify (e.g; lights), etc.  Furthermore, I need some kinda model for guards, workers, etc.  A low-poly or abstract human is the obvious thing to jump to, given the nature of the rest of the game’s graphics, but whenever I model a human, it always comes out ridiculously uncanny.

The First Progress Post

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 1:41 am
Arcade Machine meets Computer.  A Console.  These'll have real GUI on them soon!

Arcade Machine meets Computer. A Console. These’ll have real GUI on them soon!

After struggling pretty badly with picking an idea, I decided on a weird stealth/hacking/FPS game set in some alternate 90s-esque time.  No idea where this’ll go yet, but…I made progress!  That’s a big deal, after five and a half hours of “WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS BLOODY THEME”.

I’m in! Send help!

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 3:58 pm

Once again, after much back and forth, it has been decided: The 006 Cooperative shall participate in the mind-melting crunch once more!

As per usual, Unity for the engine, Blender for modelling, The GIMP and Inkscape for any textures, and a mix of tools for music and audio.  I might shake things up this time, using some Ableton Live alongside Caustic 3 for music.

If “A different kind of combat” or “Don’t kill anything” win the final rounds, I’m liable to grumble a lot, and make something really sarcastic; expect to see me making fun of Undertale and the likes.

You know you need help when…

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Thursday, May 5th, 2016 3:56 pm

…you spend 30 minutes yelling “JUST ONE MORE VOTE!  JUST!  ONE!” at your monitor while repeatedly refreshing the main Ludum Dare page.

Getting to a measly 25 votes for Shift is becoming an obsession, even though 25 is, like, basically nothing in Ludum Dare terms.

Halp.

Favorite games so far

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 1:02 pm

Party at the Knight Club, by Elisee & co: Somewhat short, but fun and puzzley, and certainly a valid use of the shapeshifting theme.  If you haven’t played it yet, stop reading my post and go do it.

Wood for the Trees, by ratking: Also short, but bloody amazing.  It’s not quite a puzzle, more of a riddle.  It’s also beautiful looking.  After you’ve beaten Party at the Knight Club, go play this and savor the experience.

The Creatures of Pflaumotopia, by Yazara: It’s a bit bare-bones in terms of gameplay and the likes, but still worth mentioning.  Not your usual MMO.  It’s more like a weird Spore-but-not thing – and it’s bloody awesome.  Keep an eye out for the Dorians, my species in it.

h3ss, by wboqm: It’ll bend your brain and leave you confused as heck, but it IS pretty dang cool.  I’m too rooted in standard X/Y/Z/ 3d-space, so I wasn’t even able to beat the first level.  Protip: Don’t be me.

And finally, some sameful self-promotion, don’t forget to play Shift, the entry I submitted.  If it reaches 25 votes, I can walk away happy this LD, though I would like to see it do better than my previous entries.

Shift: A Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 4:29 am

A bit later than most of the other jam entries, but it seems like a good time to write this anyway.

Not super happy with Shift.  Kinda feels like it’s mediocre in comparison to my previous entries, and it wasn’t fun designing it, certainly in comparison to the previous entry I was the lead coder of, The Adventures of Cactusman.

Things done right:

  1. Keep it simple.  Shift has very few gameplay mechanics, which makes it easy to code, maintain, and upgrade.
  2. Quality > Quantity.  Shift only has four test chambers, but each one has a unique soundtrack and adds SOME new element to the testing experience.
  3. Programmer art is okay.  For the most part, the models had been made on-the-spot just so I could rush to implement them, and even during the final polishing run, it didn’t feel like new models were needed.  It IS supposed to take place in a lab environment, after all!

Things done wrong:

  1. The music.  For the most part, I was responsible for making the music, and I personally am not too happy with how some of it turned out.  I threw it all together in a bit of a rush during the final polishing hours in the last day, and because of it, I wasn’t able to safe-guard against any ‘assimilated elements’ of other game soundtracks I’ve overanalyzed recently.  This means that there are a few tracks that have moments that sound infuriatingly like Undertale.  I’m so sorry, LD-goers.
  2. Puzzle game.  Yes, puzzlers are cool, but test chambers are hard to design under NORMAL scenarios, let alone building an entire game AND chambers in a 72-hour period.  Most of the chambers felt a little mediocre because of the fact that making up good designs was very difficult.
  3. Late release.  I should’ve started releasing it TWO hours before the Submission Hour started, so I wouldn’t have scraped through in the last THIRTY SECONDS.  No joke, I nearly missed this LD because of my crappy internet connection.
  4. Main menu.  I’m not super happy with the main menu at the moment.  The level select screen is okay, and the control screen gets the job done, but the main menu itself is just…lacking.  Plus, nobody will understand the “Made with love by: The 006 Cooperative” thing under the logo.

All in all, not super enthusiastic about the product available for the moment, and ready for some more R&R.  At some point, I’ll probably return to rate games, maybe starting tomorrow, but right now, sleep is mandatory.  Have a good week, Ludum Dare-goers!

Shift is complete…Sorta

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 8:14 pm

I have yet to actually submit it, because I’m sitting around waiting for ‘git push’ to finish and the Windows binaries to upload.  I refuse to submit it until there’s actual proof my game exists!

However, I feel decently happy with what I did.  It’s a simple-ish physics puzzler with some multi-dimensional madness and shape-shifting boxes.  I would’ve liked to have had at least five test chambers in it, however, due to time constraints and lack of creative energy, I had to settle with four test chambers.  However, to make up for that, I did spend some time polishing the game and making the different dimensions feel mildly more unique and themed, as well as putting in some nice quality-of-life features, like little mini musical stingers for buttons being pressed.

Code will be up at github once my internet complies, but hopefully a Windows binary will be up before then.

A viney room in Shift.

A vine-filled room in Shift’s green dimension, in the 4th chamber.

The 48~ hour status update

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Monday, April 18th, 2016 3:02 am

Very little progress was made.  There’s a fourth puzzle now, and some new music made in Caustic 3, however there’s still a 5th test chamber/puzzle to build, and music is needed for the third and fifth chambers.  There’s also no name for the game yet, and not MUCH in the way of shapeshifting.

Now, for the part where sleep is obtained, so that tomorrow, maybe the new songs for the soundtrack WON’T sound like they’re made of pieces of other game soundtracks, mashed together and assimilated by the Borg.

Goodnight, jammers in the EST timezone!

The ~24 hour progress report

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 6:09 pm

Despite going without my buddy crux_f (the Idea Guy and Orange Wizard, who’s pulled a good few jams out of the dustbin), I feel like I’ve made some pretty good progress so far.

The core gameplay mechanics I wanted to implement are there, it’s just a matter of content now.  Content, in this case, means music, audio, and perhaps most importantly: puzzles to solve.

The game is a puzzle game, akin to Portal or perhaps Antichamber.  The use of “Shapeshift” in this, would be two things.  Each ‘test chamber’, to use Portal terminology, takes place in a number of dimensions that can be swapped between by walking through a wormhole of sorts.  The wormholes and level exit are in fixed locations in each dimension, but the contents of the dimensions can change.

Have a picture of a button, with a box on it, in the first puzzle!

A button with a box on it, and some stairs to the exit

A button with a box on it, and some stairs to the exit

Achievement get!

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 12:55 pm
By CliffracerX?!

By CliffracerX?!

I honestly can’t believe it, one of my themes actually made it into the final round!  I sort of threw mine in for fun, thinking “oh man, wouldn’t it be cool if mine made it into one of the early voting rounds?”, not really expecting any of them to get into any round, let alone the final one!

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take a break from preparing myself for three days of coding, and go do a little happy dance somewhere.

I’m In…maybe

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 11:26 pm

Barring any horrible disasters, I *should* be participating in the next Jam.  Very likely I’ll be working alone, using Unity for the engine, with Blender for modeling, Gimp and Inkscape for texturing, as well as Audacity and Caustic 3 for sound and music design.

The aforementioned “Horrible Disasters” would include my computer exploding, being stuck in a car for most of the duration of the Jam, etc.

Adventures of Cactusman is finished!

Posted by (twitter: @CliffracerX)
Monday, April 20th, 2015 9:45 pm

Pretty happy with how it came out!

It’s a sort of Roguelike game where you are a cactus with 4 legs and 2 arms and a face.  Don’t forget your sombrero!

This game’s unconventional weapon is at first, you.  When’s the last time you tried hugging a cactus?

Later on you find loot chests containing randomly made weapons with absurd names and types (Derpy Broomstick of Oolong Cows, anyone?) that can give you stats buffs or debuffs in addition to looking cool.

You can also use RMB to shoot a spine at mobs, but it uses SP (1 SP to be specific), or Special Power (probably, that’s what I call it).  Space gives you a health buff (health restored equal to your current level).

I won’t spoil the “ending”, but I will say you can keep playing afterward and keep descending deeper into the dungeon of Cactusman.

Play it and vote for it here!

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