About Doches

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Doches's Trophies

Tastiest Sammich Medal
Awarded by Tyler
on August 21, 2010
The Scrabble Tile for Success in Alphabetical Sorting Position
Awarded by Sivart13
on December 14, 2009
The NP-Complete Award
Awarded by midwinter
on December 6, 2008

Doches's Archive

We’re bringing the funk, right?

Posted by
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 11:26 am
I guess this makes us Earl.

I guess this makes us Earl.

Meh.

Posted by
Saturday, February 20th, 2010 1:22 pm

I’m just not feeling this for some reason. The theme rocks, especially the limited palette and fixed window size — but I’ve completely lost interest in the thing I’m building.

Click me! I play! Seriously!

The title reflects my soul-crushing lack of creativity this weekend...

The game is in as3, and is, if you like, quite playable.

Global Game Jam

Posted by
Friday, January 15th, 2010 12:26 pm

The 2nd Global Game Jam happens at the end of January, one week after the upcoming MiniLD. I’m curious as to how many LDers will be participating, and where — I’ll be at the Scottish Game Jam in Glasgow. Anybody else feeling up for some slightly more social game dev?

…Deeper: Calling it done.

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2009 1:13 pm

Seeing as I expect to be somewhere over the Atlantic in about six hours I’m going to have to call this short and submit what I’ve got. Fortunately, what I’ve got is a reasonably complete (if somewhat slim) roguelike: …Deeper. Download it from the submission page and give it a go.

Hex Roguelike! Huzzah!

Hex Roguelike! Huzzah!

The game is a teensy bit lackluster, lacking several significant roguelike features. I’m pretty excited about the tech though — my goal for the weekend was to come up with a solid hex-based map and associated utilities that I can use in another project, and I think I’ve succeeded at that.

Let’s Make a Deal…

Posted by
Sunday, December 13th, 2009 11:51 am

Ok, guys — thanks to the awesome doohan (tester extraordinaire) I now have, in my possession, a fully working build for both Windows and Linux. I’d really love some testers, since my score submission system could use a shakedown (who am I kidding? The whole thing needs a shakedown…) — so I’m proposing the following bargain:

You give my game a quick playthrough, submit a score, then leave some kind of feedback in the comments here. Leave me a link to your builds and I’ll download, play, test, and generally try to break ’em, generating needlessly detailed bug reports in the process. Sound fair? Together we can improve the overall bug-free-ness of LD16 — download the Windows or Linux build of …Deeper and leave me some thoughts.

A beautiful, animated, working title screen.

A beautiful, animated, working title screen.

...and a gameplay screenshot. Did I warn you it was a roguelike?

...and a gameplay screenshot. Did I warn you it was a roguelike?

In the meantime I’m going to go off and try to hack together an OS X port — and, oh yeah, pack for the plane I’ve got to catch in seven hours. I love LD.

Shadows, and Seven Hours

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2009 10:50 am

So I’m just about seven hours into this thing, and it’s going reasonably well. Lighting works, which is cool — when you walk around the map things are revealed as you approach, then fade back into darkness as you move elsewhere. I’m probably going to duck out of here a little earlier than normal (got to catch a plane Monday at 4am, and I still haven’t packed!), so I don’t expect to get too much else into the game beyond some simple dungeon crawling mechanic.

Lighting!

Lighting!

Lunch

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2009 8:19 am
Brie, cranberry, and chicken ciabatta. Mmm.

Brie, cranberry, and chicken ciabatta. Mmm.

I remembered, just before I took the first bite, that my phone is more than just a device for playing Galcon. Lunch was a pair of brie, cranberry, and chicken ciabatta sandwiches — and I moved a Hobgoblin into the fridge, so I get to follow up this foodie binge with a bit of excellent beer. Celebratory, you ask?

No, just tasty.

Progress proceeds apace: no new screenshots, because nothing new is going on in the visual department. Lots of map-related mechanics in place, though — and I’m about twelve minutes away from having walking entities in the world. All right!

Things are looking increasingly roguelike on this end, which is nice in the sense that I finally have a direction. But a bit problematic in the ever-going-to-finish department, I’m afraid…

…At Three Hours

Posted by
Saturday, December 12th, 2009 7:19 am

I have a procedurally generated hex map. I’m not entirely sure where to go from here, though I’d like (for starters) a less organic-looking map. The plan is to drop the player into this world (cavern? déjà vu…), fill it with fog, and let them loose with limited vision range and line-of-sight. I’ve never done either of these things before, so I’m looking forward to figuring them out. Vision is easy, I think — cover the map with an additive-blended mask — but I’ve no idea how to go about implementing line-of-sight. Wish me luck

See? Hex map.

See? Hex map.

This is all in python, by the way. In case you were interested. Same basecode as before, caveat bugfixes, etc — I’m not entirely displeased with this progress, because I’ve only been awake for a few hours. Damn you, 2am compo time. Damn you.

Also, my camera is on loan for the weekend so I’m afraid I can’t participate in the great parallel foodie blog. Tragedy.

An Ode to Themes Discarded

Posted by
Thursday, December 10th, 2009 5:28 pm
I mean, I kind of like it, but...

I mean, I kind of like it, but...

For Science!

Posted by
Saturday, October 10th, 2009 3:20 pm

Oh, man. Has anybody else noticed that we’ve had a truly excellent run of MiniLD themes lately? I’m in, and on time too — I started thinking seriously about things this morning, but didn’t make a post until now. I’ve got something on the order of seven million ideas for this one, ranging from the totally reasonable to the downright Vista-esque, but instead of actually fitting the theme properly I’m going to engage in a little quick-and-sly reinterpretation. It may not be educational, but it will be for education! I present a ludicrously rough version of PopCat!, a collaborative offline-multiplayer wordgame:

Early PopCat! screenshot

A bit of backstory (warning — academic-speak to follow): I’m working on my PhD in cognitive science, and my research revolves around something called categorization — the process by which people recognize objects and group them into logical categories. I’m trying to build a computational model of this using only words, but there just isn’t any data to be found. So far I’ve been getting folks on Mechanical Turk to fill in dumb little surveys, but maybe, just maybe, I can make the task fun enough (and competitive!) that people will produce my data for free. Maybe.

/end academic speak

Anyway, the game is something like Scattergories played in reverse; you’re given a bunch of words and have to come up with a category for each one. There’s a timer, so you have to think fast, and you get points for each category proportional to how many other people came up with the same category. The idea is to make it something of a mind game — do more people thing “tomato” is a fruit or a vegetable? Which is worth more?

The game is in Flash and Flixel (well, B-Flixel specifically), while the data server is in PHP. Joy.

Shelter from the Wiki: A Retrospective in Two Parts

Posted by
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 9:10 am

It’s been a few weeks (!), but I feel like I’ve been sitting on this retrospective for so long I may as well post the thing. LD #15 had a fantastic theme, Caverns, and I got a kick out of participating. As usual.

Shelter From the Rain

Looking back at my past LD and MiniLD entries, I really feel like I’m improving. My games for LD15 and MiniLD12 just feel more polished, somehow — a feel which makes me inordinately happy. I did something a little different with Shelter From the Rain; I knew I didn’t have a very strong gameplay idea, and that my mechanic (running around picking things up) had more holes in it than a ten-gallon coffee strainer. So I got the basic game together, then spent most of my time working on little polish-type features. Things like my (relatively) slick menus, configurable options, and online high scores — not to mention some, for me, pretty good atmospheric audio. In my previous entries I’ve always tried to focus on improving my skills in a particular area; this compo was no different.

If I were to go back and re-do Shelter From the Rain, I’d break it up into a series of ‘quests’ — tasking the player with going out and collecting, say, 10 cans of beans. I’d also add more hazards to both the above- and below-ground: fallout, soldiers, survivalists. In short, I wish I’d made the basic game more complex. I also feel like the visual style was crazy-disjoint, something I’d love to improve. “What are these black geary things?!” you cried. What, indeed.

Wikirunner

Oh man. I’m so pleased with this one. If I’d realized it would receive any publicity at all (ohmygod, indiegames.com. I feel legit) I’d have spent way more time working on it this weekend — as it is, the game is basically the product of some hasty Saturday morning programming, and a little polishing on Sunday night. It’s rough, and ugly — but, I like to think, actually Fun.

This is promising. I’m working on a post-compo now, to fix some of the glaring usability bugs people have been reporting and clean up the AI a little. Breath, held.

Wikirunner (Wikipedian Tag)

Posted by
Sunday, September 13th, 2009 4:55 pm

Wikirunner (aka Wikipedian Tag) is a go:

Every screenshot I post looks the same...

Every screenshot I post looks the same...

Wikirunner is a game played on Wikipedia articles. There are two players: a runner and a chaser. Both start on a random article; the chaser’s goal is to end up on the same page (at the same time!) as the runner. The runner is simply trying to evade the chaser for as long as possible. You can play it single player, as either player, or hotseat with a friend. Woo! It’s based on Jeremy Bushnell’s Wikipedian Tag rules — be sure to check him out as well.

I spent the last two hours or so giving myself a crash course on python threads, and re-writing all my internet code to be asynchronous. I’m certain this was a good use of my time, too — the little throbber that flashes up while it’s downloading from Wikipedia is so very worth it. Plus I have (tentative, indirect) permission from the author of the ruleset I’m using (‘Wikipedian Tag’) to re-use it here — something I need to actually obtain, as it’s licensed CC-BY-ND, and this is pretty clearly D.

Linkrunner = Wikipedian Tag. Mostly.

Posted by
Sunday, September 13th, 2009 2:22 pm

I knew I’d seen a game like this somewhere; HybridMind surreptitiously reminded me that it belongs to Jeremy Bushnell, whom I dearly hope doesn’t mind my stealing it shamelessly. Perhaps I should ask.

I should ask.

Anyway, soldiering on in the face of an almost certain copyright violation:

Progress! Even though things look the same.

Progress! Even though things look the same.

I’ve got both AI players working — they’re not the smartest in the world, but they’ll do. And the Chaser will give you a run for your money if he picks up the trail. Pretty pleased about that. Still have a few bugs relating to turn length and whatnot floating around, but I welcome criticism! And suggestions!

You can download a windows build here, if you want to give it a spin. Or click mindlessly for half an hour in something other than Firefox. Same thing, really.

After re-discovering HybridMind’s friend’s ruleset, I realized I’m doing a pretty mediocre job of enforcing those rules. I may go back and make this an explicit version of Wikipedian Tag, just to go with the tried-and-playtested rules they’ve hammered out. Not without getting very definite permission, though — that would feel overwhelmingly like theft, even moreso than now.

Linkrunner

Posted by
Sunday, September 13th, 2009 5:07 am

Alright! This is a totally kick-ass theme (thanks, GirlFlash) and I’m glad to see lots of people running with it. Too bad I’m not one of them, though — this is just about the most straightforward Wikipedia-reliant game you can imagine. There are two players, a runner and a chaser, each of which starts out on a random page. It’s basically a game of tag with the chaser chasing the runner through article after article. The chaser moves faster, but the runner has complete freedom to duck into “Lists of Phoenician Rhetoricians” and hide all night, if they like.

It really just looks like a two-player browser, doesn't it?

It really just looks like a two-player browser, doesn't it?

While technically two-player, you can only (at the moment) play as the chaser against a simple AI runner — I’m currently trying to figure out how to adapt an existing bit of code that calculates the distance between two phrases (actually, my PhD project truth-be-told) into this without making you download ~80gigs of word-vectors.

Timelapse for ‘Shelter From the Rain’

Posted by
Monday, August 31st, 2009 5:22 am

Put together a timelapse for this weekend; the picture-in-picture is me, waving my arms in time to the beat of stupendous bugs.

Shelter From the Rain

Posted by
Sunday, August 30th, 2009 7:24 pm

Finally, a submission-worthy version, complete with menus, music, and online high scores:

Shelter From the Rain

Shelter From the Rain

And, of course, a gameplay screenshot:

Nuclear War. Truly, the end has come. Wait, is that a cereal box?

Nuclear War. Truly, the end has come. Wait, is that a cereal box?

You dig a fallout shelter, then hoard supplies in it. The ultimate goal is to extend your shelter all the way to the cavern below, and re-unite with the rest of humanity. If you make it there you even get to submit your score (a composite of how much stuff you’ve gathered) to the leaderboards!

Download Shelter From the Rain for Windows, or get the Python+PyGame sources (for Linux).

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