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Always in

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Friday, December 11th, 2015 6:43 pm

6th time around, I’m looking forward to making something bigger-and-better than I have before! (Or at least more polished than before)

Tools:

Unity3D
Visual Studio 2015/MonoDevelop
Photoshop
3DS Max + Mudbox (if 3D fits the theme)

Looking forward to getting started!

RIP in piece

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 3:38 pm

So, I’m calling it a night/weekend/7am-on-a-Monday?

I didn’t complete anywhere near what I hoped to (though that was my own fault for forgetting I can’t art), but I did get something simple made.
Sure, I could probably have done it better in a couple hours now if I wanted, but working with a rapidly-shifting scope is what makes this interesting!

Next time, I’ll definitely plan around my capabilities concerning art, and will scope my ideas better.

Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=15130

Source is included, cause that’s what the comp is for, but I’d recommend against looking at it. It’s not pretty.

WebGL is still pretty bad, too, so the local builds are the way to go if looking for performance.

Well, I guess all I can do now is sleep, then play some submissions.
I’ll have to learn art for next Ludum Dare!

Alpha the First

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 12:42 pm

So it’s 3am and I’m dead in the brain, but I managed to get a ‘playable’ version of my game running.

You’re a Blue Warrior, and you need to save Green Villagers from Red Monsters.
Theme will be worked into it later (fits in pretty simply), but right now it’s pretty basic.

Tomorrow will be for ART, which is gon’ be tough.

VIDEO (youtube.com/watch?v=av_V8y-p9AQ)

Here we go~!

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 9:31 am

As (almost) always, I’m in!
Though, I’m not feeling too keen on these themes so far… Feel like I’ve done more -1s than ever!

As usual, my tools consist of:

  • Unity3D
  • Photoshop/Paint.NET
  • Any other tools I have an academic license for

After what happened last LD, I may just do the Jam, but I’ll aim for the Compo. Either way, it’ll be a tonne of fun!

If the postal service is kind, I’ll also have everything needed for some o’ dat sweet, sweet streaming. If I do, you can find it at twitch.tv/pheonise . If I don’t, well, the link will still be valid, it just might be a little… Blank.

Can’t wait for the weekend!

Forgot to say I’m in!

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Friday, December 5th, 2014 7:05 am

So I’ll say it now!
I’m in!

I’ll be using Unity3D, Paint.NET, and whatever other software I can manage to get back in time.
I’m playing on super-hard mode, by not being home with my main machine; instead, I’ve got nothing but a freshly-formatted laptop with no drivers, no external mouse/keyboard (touchpad + inbuilt keyboard make me… something, something…), and no comfy headphones for long periods of audio work!

This’ll no doubt be the smoothest LD of all time!

 

Good luck to everyone (unless the unicode snowman wins)!

Convergence – Post Portem

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 10:33 pm

Had a lot of fun this Ludum Dare; theme was great, and the game idea came pretty immediately.

SS3

 

If you haven’t played, well, why not?

Tools:

  • Unity3D
  • Paint.NET
  • Guitar Pro 6
  • Audacity
  • Prototype (Unity asset for geometry modelling)
  • MonoDevelop

Convergence is a (very) short multi-dimensional puzzle/story game, where you switch between dimensions to reveal paths/hide obstacles. It drew some inspiration from the early levels of Half-Life 1, where the aliens were invading through rifts in space. The difference being that you were being torn between nearly-parallel dimensions, instead of being a bad-ass scientist.

It was originally intended to be a mechanic you could activate at will, but many puzzles became problematic due to the fact that I wanted to avoid jumping puzzles (they aren’t good in first person!). This led to most puzzles being completable in seconds.
So, like every Ludum Dare, the mechanics took a big ol’ midway change, and now the dimensions are changed by activating a pedestal. This prevents a lot of the problems, because the pedestal is only interactable in it’s designated dimension, much like the puzzle elements. Unfortunately, since all the levels were designed around the original idea (and didn’t work with the new method), I had to scrap everything, and with barely any time left, I only had time to make 1 ‘puzzle’. But, the mechanics work in a pretty simple way now, so it’d be easy to make levels after more design work.

This was the first game I’ve made with dialogue. It wasn’t very good. I recorded it in the final couple of hours, after I had been awake for 27+ hours at that point. I recorded with Audacity, adjusted the pitch, treble & bass, as well as amplified then reduced to add distortion (albeit only a little). Then some reverb was added, and even more was added inside of Unity with an Audio Zone.

Audio was triggered by invisible trigger zones, which doubled as ‘event’ zones, too (like the first time the dimensions switch).

I’m not a fan of unnecessary HUD elements and tutorials, so I tried to incorporate them naturally into the game. The controls are written on a sign on a wall in the beginning, in the style of a safety advisory board, and the voice-over lets you know you can open doors. Rather than having an indicator telling you what dimension you are in, you can pretty easily tell, since the walls will change colors. Looks much better than an icon 😉SS0

The levels were made with a Unity asset called Prototype (a cheaper, but reduced version of ProBuilder), which allows you to take a primitive (like a cube), and extrude faces, rotate them, etc., to create neat-o geometry. This is a vital tool for me, because I don’t know how to model with ‘standard’ software, like Blender, or 3DS Max. I built 3 rooms, a tunnel, and a crosspath, and simply reused them to create the levels. I also created the cryo-pods with the same tool.
Because I was taking part in the Dare, and the source needed to be provided (and because I also like to include the builds), I exported all the models made with Prototype into OBJ files, then reimported them. Unfortunately, they weren’t named properly, so it’s impossible to tell which model name is what, without checking it manually (sorry to anyone who looks at the source!)
The human models were created with a free program called MakeHuman, which does exactly what you’d think it does. They’re even rigged, but I’m about as good at animating as I am modelling, so they just float there… In stasis…

The textures were all made in Paint.NET, with the black tiles simply being an inverted duplicate of the white tiles. The Purger used the black tiles for his emmittence effect, and his wings(?) were made from a different texture. That effect was actually completely accidental, but I liked it a lot so I altered his design to incorporate it more.

The worlds were switched pretty simply – I had a public bool called ‘currentWorld’, and the idea was that ‘true’ meant you were in the normal world, and ‘false’ was the ‘other’ world. The texture of the walls were changed based on this bool. A separate script was attached to each mesh renderer that was world-dependent, and changed the alpha value of its material based on the world. If it was a true world object, and the currentWorld was false, the alpha would be lowered. If not, it would be completely visible. This made it super-easy to set up which objects should be visible when.
It also made it super easy to determine which sounds to play, since all the sounds were added to the same GameObject.

 

Overall, I’m happy with this game. It’s much shorter than I’d like, and it’s not at the quality I’d like, but everything was present – audio, textures, dialogue, gameplay, etc.
I’d like to use the boss in something else later on, since he’s my favourite part of this whole thing!

Looking forward to the next Ludum Dare!

Accidental boss: Destroyer of worlds

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 10:20 am

I was messing about with particles, trying to get one effect, when I accidental’d some things and ended up with a pretty neat effect. I duplicated it, positioned them, and got this weird, other-worldly, almost-angelic kind of entity, which works great for the ‘boss’ I needed.

Here’s a vid of it in all it’s rough wonder (Might be a bit loud on the volume):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Q_uWf3AHU

 

Loving this theme so far! I’ve barely felt the nagging of tiredness yet! Gonna push through the final ~7 hours, submit, then sleep.

It goes without saying

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 8:09 pm

But I’ll say it anyway: I’ll be taking part in the Ludum Dare!

I’ll be using Unity3D, Paint.NET, and Guitar Pro 6 (ezpz music making).

I’ll also be streaming this time! www.twitch.tv/Pheonise

 

Depending on how things go, I may submit to both the Dare and the Jam; Dare will be gameplay/systems focused, just getting everything working and playable; the final 24 hours of the Jam will be focused on artier stuff for the same game. Let’s see if things work out that neatly!

[Post-Mortem] So about that ending…

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Friday, May 2nd, 2014 5:26 am

Figured it was about time for a postmortem of the game, talk about what worked well, what worked not-so-well, the ending (or lack thereof)…

First thing’s first: if you haven’t played it already, give it a go here: http://bit.ly/1rAlWhZ

 

Inspirations:

I drew from a number of inspirations for this: The first, was from an old Star Wars game (Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy or something like that). In one of the levels, you crash your ship like an idiot, and have to hop across parts of broken ship to get to the end, but if you stand on the sand for too long, a big ol’ worm will burst out and eat you. This was the initial ‘Beneath the Surface’ concept that occured to me.

I’d also been playing a tonne of Shadow of the Colossus, of which there are 3 or so Colossi that spend most of their time underground (or underwater). I wanted to do something similar, but also didn’t want to deal with fighting them; ‘Survival > Defeating’ for this concept, in terms of both gameplay, and what I could realistically accomplish in <30 hours.

SO: I decided on underground stone snake-worm creatures, Guardians, that would become aggressive if you stood on their sand.

 

What worked:

The visual aspects all worked! This was something I was pretty proud of, since I’m neither a modeller, nor a texturer. Because of that, the models aren’t actually textured properly – I just applied a sort-of-tileable texture to them, that I made from inside of Paint.NET (32×32 – 64×64 pixels = great visual consistency, because there isn’t enough detail for inconsistency)!

The Guardian’s AI (mostly) worked! It was a very simple “AI system” – if player is on the sand, go to him. If we’re above x height, dive below, otherwise surface. If player is on a platform, dive, and just wonder around for a bit. To make it much more ‘robust’, I actually raycast above the Guardians head to check for terrain, and create a ‘Relative Y’ value; the terrain’s face’s position becomes y, instead of y= World Space 0. This means it’ll behave the same on hills or mountains as it would on ground level, rather than just take a WS value of 0 and find mountains unconquerable.

For some reason, the AI goes weird in the WebPlayer build, and will often just wind up going around in circles for eternity. Some kind of surface-timer could probably fix this.

 

What didn’t work:

Skybox was atrocious. I have no idea how to do them properly at all, so I just made a circular shape, distorted it, added a bunch of effects, and called it the sky. The other 5 textures of the skybox are just a 4x4p (I think) black texture.

Ending was… Bad. So bad that I actually removed it. Not bad as in, “Wow, what a bad ending; that wasn’t satisfying at all,” bad as in glitch-bad (not even good glitches, either!). If I weren’t for work starting 4 hours after I submitted it, I’d have definitely either fixed it or replaced it (since there was still ~12 hours left of comp at that point).

Sounds were bad. By the end of the comp, I was so sick and tired of the sounds that I just wanted to go soundless again (They were actually about 800% louder originally). People seemed to like the sounds for the most part, which I guess is good, but I hate the sounds now. Next time I’ll use placeholder sounds until I’m ready to submit it…

 

Overall:

A lot of it all came together nicely, so overall I’m pretty happy with it! I learned a lot about how to cheat AI and keep it natural-looking, which is something I’ll be keen to exploit again in the future!

Unity3D is still, by far, my favourite engine to use. I was able to prototype a lot of this stuff (after scrapping previous prototypes, too!) in such a short time, and achieve most of what I set out to do.

Shadow of the Colossus was one of the greatest games of the PS2, and remains one of my biggest inspirations as a developer and pretend-designer.

Escape From Guardian

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 6:42 am

So! It’s as done as it’ll get! I’m pretty proud of this one, it’s been a good learning experience.

Here’s the game page if you want to give it a go! See if you can reach the end!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=15130

 

 

For now though, I sleep. If there’s any bugs, I’ll squash ’em in the morning if I can!

 

"Woah hi guys look I can stand too wow so cool!"

Creatures of stone and sand

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 8:57 am

So, I’m really big on the whole idea of ‘ancient living stone’ creatures/monsters (especially after spending the past week reliving memories in Shadow of the Colossus), so I was keen on the theme being ruins. With my hopes dashed, I was going to do a lame ol’ Aztec underground maze, but suddenly recalled some moments in my gaming history that chilled my spine, involving unseen creatures that lurked beneath the sand, and would snatch you up if you tread on the sand.

SO; don’t stand on the sand. You are safe on the rocks. It will come for you if you leave the rocks.

Emerge01

(It’s actually uses a really simple physics-based movement system, to give some nice arching effects when surfacing/diving)

16 hours until Super-Fun-Time!

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 2:47 am

This’ll be my second Ludum Dare, and this time I’m doing things differently;

This time, I’ll be doing a blind start – no looking at the topics until the final one is decided, and the event begins. Too keen to begin!

My weapons of choice: Unity3D, Paint.net, Google Sketch-Up, and (if I get to it) Guitar Pro for music!

Probably might stream, too; if not, I’ll definitely be frequenting other’s streams on the side 😉

Good luck to everyone taking part!

Fly around as a dragon and raze the earth!

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 5:41 am

Programmer art never looked so good

http://ludumdare.pheonise.com/Raizer.html

 

Well, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds Just yet. My original concept/game made me too mad, so I started again with just 24 hours left! Daring!

To play, you can either use WASD + QE, or the mouse to turn. Hold Shift or Control to speedup/slowdown

 

You start off with 10 seconds to scorch as many buildings and people as possible – people are worth 2 points, buildings are worth more depending on their size.

Every 20 points earned, you gain 5 extra seconds.

 

‘Most everything is placeholder at the moment (And will probably stay that way, muahaha!)

First time for everything!

Posted by (twitter: @Pheonise)
Monday, August 19th, 2013 6:10 am

Hi all, I’ll be participating this time for the Ludum Dare comp! I’ve often followed along with the Dares, and this time I’m ready to have a go! I’ll even be streaming it over the weekend 😀

I’m a Unity3D user, with a fondness for abstract thinking, so whatever the theme, my game won’t be simple.

Unless..

Unless that’s the theme.

I’m not sure what I’ll do then..

Probably Pong..?

 

Anyway – I look forward to making games with you all!

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