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Ludum Dare 31

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The Prokaryotic Prize
Awarded by Backterria
on December 18, 2014

Taunia Sabanski's Archive

It’s that time again!

Posted by
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 11:07 pm

Playandrate*witty, intellectual, vaguely pop-culture oriented comment about playing and rating more Ludum Dare entries*

Hey, everyone! I’ve finally managed to settle in a bit to continue playing your games. I know we had quite the lengthy experience last night, playing a very enjoyable (but lengthy to stream) board game created during Ludum Dare — but we’ll be going back to our regularly-scheduled list now!

I’m going to continue to play in accordance to how people show up in chat via the stream, to give the best personal feedback possible. Just remember that I will be playing all the games on my list regardless, so even if you don’t jump in during a stream, I will continue to play, rate and give feedback to your entry when I’m able to!

Looking forward to seeing you there! :)

Sword_Click_HereDon’t forget to PLAY & RATE the game I worked on: EX-SWORD-STENTIAL CRISIS!

It needs more love.

480px-Tumblr_static_heart

What time is it? Time to play and rate some games!

Posted by
Friday, April 24th, 2015 11:24 pm

PlayandrateWalk right in, sit right down, we’re gonna play some real cool games.

Night two and I’ve already got quite a substantial list to work through.

Don’t worry — if you don’t want me to play your game until you’re around, I will keep it on the list until you are! We’re cool about that ’round here.

I also had some curious people watching the stream last night — feel free to pop in and just discuss game development if you wish. It’s totally awesome and completely acceptable to have micro-discussions and the more people other than myself giving feedback , the better. I go over a lot, but I can’t discuss everything! It’s simply not humanly possible. 😀

See you soon!

Sword_Click_HereDon’t forget to play and rate EX-SWORD-STENTIAL CRISIS!

It’s that time you’ve all been waiting for ….

Posted by
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 11:50 pm

PlayandrateLET’S GET READY TO RUUUUMBLEEEEEE!!

That’s right, ladies and gents, me and my trusty Twitch channel are back to rate, review and give feedback to your games!

I’ll be going at least a couple hours tonight, and will hopefully get through as many games as I can.

Click HERE for your portal to Awesome-ville. Population: YOU.

Sword_Click_HereDon’t forget to play and rate EX-SWORD-STENTIAL CRISIS!

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis — Day One Development

Posted by
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 12:23 am
Sword_Click_HereCLICK HERE to play EX-SWORD-STENTIAL CRISIS!

So by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, we were all patiently waiting for Daniel to finish up his work on “Rocket Fist” so he could submit it to the contest and we could finally start putting together our game for Ludum Dare. In the meantime, I had already passed the concept art on to Rachel, who started on the base goat model. I’d already started on Rusty and was already thinking about how I was going to put together clumps of grass to be effectively cut.

rusty_swordModeling Rusty was honestly the easiest part of the whole process. 😀

Admittedly, grass is not one of my favorite things to do in 3D. I knew it was going to take me a couple of tries to get the grass exactly how I wanted it. Having grass in a game that has volume and substance to it is not only really rare to see in large quantities (as putting a lot of polygons on grass is super-hella-wasteful in terms of resources), it’s also something that’s generally reserved for large plants, because that’s how the grass generally ends up looking when done in this style.

The overall challenge for creating the grass was to:

  1. Make the clumps of grass visually appealing for the player.
  2. Make the grass look like grass, and not large-leaved plants or bushes.
  3. Have it take up as few polygons as possible. but still have volume.
  4. Create more than one “variation”, including cut versions of the grass.
grass_stuffHere are my 3 finished grasses (cut/whole), the finished bases for the grass (far left) and the scraggly rejects in the front.

It took me a few attempts. I moved up from bunching together separate strands of grass, to forming a clump of thin grass and attempting to deform it, and then moving up to creating a large-leaf plant on purpose, where I then positioned and sized down the leaves to create sensible blades of grass.  I used the soft-selection tool to shape the grass into different forms. I then removed the tops half of the grass to give it a trimmed look.

Daniel then implemented an awesome physics explosion/animation for the cut grass pieces so they’d burst and fall and splay all around when you destroyed a grass clump. It was a fantastic touch, as the sight of all the cut grass on the ground really gives a sense of accomplishment and adds some texture to the otherwise flat-colored ground once the grass stalks disappear.

At this point, Rachel had finished the base goat mesh and passed it off to me to get it ready for rigging. To prevent unwarranted deformations in a mesh when being animated, you absolutely must model your meshes to facilitate movement. You can do this by creating cuts around joints, giving more polygons to places that squash and stretch (knees, shoulders, elbows), and giving fewer polygons to the inside bend of those joints.

goatFinished goat model. You can see where the cuts were made to facilitate squash/stretch around certain joints.

Since we wanted to have two types of creatures instead of just one (to give some visual variety to the environment), a sheep model would also have to be constructed. As I planned to make a new sheep model out of the goat model, we went right to work as Daniel (begrudgingly) started rigging and animating the goat. I deleted some of the body, sized up the existing mesh to form a bulky wool coat, and Rachel reformed the horns to be twisty and twirly.

goat and sheepSheep and goat models side-by-side.

This, by far, is the most effective way to create diversity in your models — like the three R’s: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. The more you can cut back, stylize and re-purpose already existing assets, the easier time you’re going to have completing something a bit more complex. Since Daniel had already rigged the goat (which has the exact same major joint groups in the same spots as the sheep), all he had to do was copy the weights from one model to another and — tada! Two rigged and animated animals, ready for slaught  — er, I mean, observing! :)

And the goat was promptly imported into Unity and given ragdoll physics! The. End.

In my next post, I will talk about making simple textures that look great, creating the overall level/environment and the most interesting job in game development, ever: the chaotic task of placing foliage.

Ex-Sword-Stential Crisis — Day Zero Development

Posted by
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 6:54 am
Sword_Click_HereCLICK HERE to play EX-SWORD-STENTIAL CRISIS!

When the theme was announced on Friday evening, Team Infection’s Daniel Snd and Thiago Adamo (PXLDJ) hurriedly sat down with Rachel Rios and I (Taunia Sabanski) and we immediately had troubles coming up with a simplistic concept that people likely would not have thought of yet. After ditching an overly-ambitious idea about WW2 and bird poop, we ultimately resorted back to one of the first concepts that were pitched: “You are the weapon.”

At this point, I expressed extreme frustration at how most people seemed to be falling into the trap of handling the concept of “An Unconventional Weapon”. With this sort of theme, most people were focusing on what their weapon was going to be, rather than how the weapon would function in terms of play and fun-factor. Instead of going from game play concept to weapon, people were going from weapon to game play — I wanted to be extremely adamant about not falling into that trap. Game play and fun-factor would always come first — the weapon design would then follow.

As we began pondering exactly how to implement the sort of game play we wanted, Daniel started messing around with Unity. It was then that he made a simple sword shape, enabled movement on the sword shape, and began laughing.

He then sent us this.

The collective shouting of “THIS IS PERFECT!!”, “OH MY GOD YES!” and “LET’S DO THIS.” could likely be heard from orbit.

The concept of the game simply fell into place after this. Naturally, it was decided that the sword should cut grass. Now, not wanting this to be “Lawn Maintenance Simulator 2015”, we decided that this would be an unconventional sword — an enchanted sword, with a face, a name and a personality. A pacifist sword, that disliked killing things.

Our sword was then named Rusty, and given real googly eyes.

Why googly eyes? Because we could.

At this point, we were pretty pleased with ourselves, but we couldn’t start work on the game yet. Unbeknownst to most, there was another game that needed to be finished and submitted to another contest (Daniel Snd’s “Rocket Fist”) on Saturday evening that was monopolizing Daniel’s (and Thiago’s) time. I helped where I could, but our Ludum Dare development was tied up until the submission deadline for “Rocket Fist” wooshed past.

In the meantime, I worked on some concept art, as I knew Rachel Rios needed solid references to assist in creating 3D models. I also decided this would be the best way to solidify our color palette, stylize the graphics and map out exactly what we needed in terms of “loose” assets.

 Swordguy
Here’s Rusty.

I had initially wanted to give Rusty hand-drawn/animated eyes, a mouth and eyebrows. I’d also wanted to position them on the blade of the sword. I realize now that you likely would not have been able to see the eyes. I wanted the hilt to look like the collar of a shirt, and be representative of his body, but with how the googly eyes got placed, the hilt still looks like the collar of a shirt — but the blue jewel and blade look like a giant tie. So, you end up cutting grass with his tie. Which is awesome.

Animals

Here is the concept art/3D reference and color palette for the animals.

As you can see, we also planned on having chickens, but simply ran out of time. The method behind the madness of having goats and sheep is that we could use one rig and one set of animations for both, as well as use a modified goat mesh for a sheep mesh. With minimal alteration, we could have two animal types meandering around instead of just one. I’m fairly sure that if we had chickens, they’d also ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO lay eggs. There is simply no working around that.

Environment

Environment concept art/3D reference and color palette.

As you can see, the trees also didn’t make it past the cut. Simply not enough time. Also, we had planned to have a “sword in the stone”-esque platform to act as a “start and/or end level” — this also didn’t make the cut, though it was simply superfluous to have it in the first place. We wanted everything realistically destructible to be destructible. We wanted sign posts to become chopped up, and trees to leave stumps when hit multiple times. We had also planned destructible fences. Again, all superfluous.

I’m starting to really realize that all my years experience scaling down and scaling down and scaling down projects has really been worth its weight in time and effort. It really is something you need to learn to do — simply, how to strip projects down, realize what you don’t need, get rid of it as quick as you can and implement what you do have to its utmost potential. Figure out what can be re-used, reconfigured or most easily created, and prioritize accordingly.

More on that in my next post. :)

 

We’re in — and I’m eating well! Daily Feedback?

Posted by
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 1:39 am

Hello, everyone!

Obligatory “I’m in!” — it’s great to see all of you for LD#32!

I would have posted this earlier but the site was going down in flames as the theme was announced — and what a theme it is.

I’m so thrilled to be in the team I am this round — Rachel Rios is back (not coding like last time, to her gargantuan level of relief) and we’re joining forces with two of the people that helped create “Bugged Out” last round — Daniel Snd and Thiago Adamo PxlDJ — to form a SUPER MEGA AWESOME TEAM.

The LudumDaVengers, if you will.

While we’ve already gotten things underway in terms of conceptual idea, I wanted to make my first post about a couple of things close to my heart — first and foremost: my Ludum Diet.

(Aw yisss two Ludum Dare puns already and barely 150 words in.)

I think most of us can relate to theMeatly’s comic about Game Jamming, and what such activities do to our bodies. While I do work hard, and get barely any sleep, my worst offense out of all of these is I starve myself. Not on purpose, mind. I literally forget to eat. Unlike some, I do not have a personal sla — I mean, husband/wife/mom/dad/girlfriend/boyfriend/sibling who will cook for me. When I do manage to eat, my diet is in shambles and I go right for the bad stuff.

Well this time, it’s going to be different.

healthyeating

Three days. One game. Broccoli and carrots.

That’s right. No energy drinks. No nachos. No chips or doughnuts. No pizza. No fast food. Everything’s pre-prepped, packaged, and ready to be consumed. The only naughty things I’ll allow are coffee and alcohol (because beer), and a bit of that chocolate bar I had stashed away for later.

I will also be sharing some of the recipes/tricks I’m doing to ensure I’m eating healthy food through the whole weekend.

Friday, 17th:

– On Thursday I prepped a “Veggie Bucket”. This is, literally, a very large tupperware bucket filled with chopped vegetables, ready to eat with your fingers. This one’s pretty easy to put together, and it keeps really well in a sealed container. Go to the grocery store, pick out whatever veggies you love, bring them home, chop them up and throw them into the bucket. Whenever you need something, those veggies will always be there to give you nutritious fuel.

– Three words: Avocado. Chocolate. Pudding. Food of the gods. Best stuff I’ve ever eaten. Full of nutrients and the good fats your brain needs to come up with the best ideas. Get yourself a blender and 5 nearly ripe avocados. Scoop the avacado innards (minus the big pit) into the blender. Add 1/2 a cup of moo milk or coconut milk. Add 7 tablespoons cocoa. Add 10 tablespoons honey. Put in some vanilla extract and a couple pinches of salt. Blend. Feast. Enjoy. (Best chilled with a sliced up banana.)

feedbackhour

ALSO: I will be streaming again for sure after Ludum Dare.

I would like to stream during Ludum Dare. I was thinking of doing a “Daily Feedback Hour” where people can throw me questions, progress images, current builds, etc, to get quick feedback on the fly. I can’t do it the entire day, but I’m more interested in seeing if people would like something like that.

Please let me know in the comments!

Good luck everyone! Stay healthy!

Moar Streaming! Let’s get to my goal!!

Posted by
Saturday, December 20th, 2014 7:28 pm

PlayandrateAlmost there. Almost there. Come watch me on Twitch!

My goal is to a) run out of games on my list or b) get to 100 Coolness — whichever comes first!

If you still want your game played and rated and given some amazing-tastic, in-depth feedback, there is still a chance!

TC_DL_MWThere’s also still a chance to play and rate the original prototype of “A Fine White Line”!

Twitch Stream is Up! — Also aFWL Update!

Posted by
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 9:56 pm

PlayandrateFeeling a little under the weather today — but that doesn’t mean I can’t play some games!

Not been too great today. As we get closer to Christmas, it starts turning into a perpetual wave of get-togethers and celebrations and food and a lack of a spare 6-8 hours where I can sit and give more feedback! I’m getting close to the end of my list though. Once I run out of games (I’ve played, rated and given loads of feedback to 79 games at present), or when I make it to 100 (whichever comes first, dependent on how many people continue to add to the list and how many games I’ve had my eye on but haven’t played yet), I will stop. I need to get back to my RL work — oh. And —

THE FULL POST-LD VERSION OF “A FINE WHITE LINE” IS IMMANENT!

That’s right, everyone!! I’ve finally gotten some things straightened out, and a full-on, post-LD version of “A Fine White Line” is NOW in production!

(I swear I WILL make a Post-Mortem. Eventually.)

TC_DL_MWDon’t forget to play, rate and comment on the LD entry!

Daniel Snd , who worked on “BUGGED OUT” during this LD has been graciously taking his time to help me with a well-thought out programming structure for the game. I have so much heart-felt appreciation for this, like you WOULDN’T BELIEVE.

Go! Play “Bugged Out” if you haven’t yet!! It’s fantastic!

 

BuggedOUT

 

Check out Daniel Snd’s YooToobs! He makes tutorials! GOOD ones!

Late Night Gaming! Let’s get through a few of these!

Posted by
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 12:25 am

PlayandrateWhat’s better than a Christmas Party Potluck and a late night spent playing games? Not much.

I can’t move because food.

Since I’m pinned under the weight of my own gut, I might as well make myself useful and play some of your games!

It’ll be a short night tonight — but it’ll be a good one!

TC_DL_MWIf you haven’t already, make sure to play and rate “A Fine White Line!”

Late Sunday Night Gaming — Let’s Clear the List!

Posted by
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 9:53 pm

PlayandrateCome live vicariously through my gameplay on Twitch!

I’ve watched the I Am Technician tutorial at least five times. I am ready.

This is going to be good.

TC_DL_MWDon’t forget to play and rate my entry, “A Fine White Line”!

PlayandrateClick it. You know you want to. <3

I’m going to continue down my bottomless list of Ludum Dare games as I continue to rate and give feedback to you guys! Some of you have been very patient, watching and waiting as I try to give everyone equal consideration and attention. Props to you all! I’m glad this has become something you intrinsically value.

A lot of you have also been taking part in some amazing discussions about gameplay structure and development, and I am so incredibly happy that anyone who’s latched on to the stream has managed to walk away with new knowledge, passion and inspiration. The chat discussion has become just as valuable as the ratings and comments! I plan on trying to do this for as many voting days as I can, even if only for a handful of hours. If I haven’t rated and reviewed your game yet, don’t hesitate to jump into the stream, post me a link to your game in chat, and stick around to participate in the discussion!

TC_DL_MWDon’t forget to play, rate and comment on my LD entry — “A Fine White Line!”

Late Night Playing & Rating Moar LD Games!

Posted by
Friday, December 12th, 2014 11:38 pm

Playandrate

Late night gaming is the BEST gaming! Click here to come watch on Twitch!

I got a nice hot cup of tea and some comfy PJs on! Let’s get down to business!

I’m going to try to get through my current long list of games. You can go right ahead and link your game in chat — but I probably won’t get to it tonight! :)

TC_DL_MW

Don’t forget to play, rate & comment on “A Fine White Line”!

Let’s Play and Rate Moar Games!

Posted by
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 5:06 pm

Playandrate

CHOO-CHOO! Click here to board the TWITCH TRAIN to AWESOME-VILLE!

I’ve got my cup of Tim Horton’s coffee and a Red Velvet muffin and I’m gonna sit and go through this gregarious list I accumulated last night!

DEEPEST Canadian apologies for leaving so suddenly, by the way. My ISP decided to do emergency maintenance about five minutes before I was going to leave. (I wish they’d tell me when they were going to do that so I wouldn’t have to call and wait to find out what’s wrong. I ended up staying awake far longer than I intended. :( So, I ended up sleeping in a bit, too!

Also, my plans were dashed this evening! So I’ll get to spend a chunk of time giving more stellar feedback and playing some great games! :)

TC_DL_MW

Don’t forget to play and rate “A Fine White Line!”

I’ll be doing a post-mortem for aFWL soon! There has been some absolutely great feedback and comments being left by you guys, and I want to take the time to address you all about the challenges we faced making this game, and what had to be (unfortunately) sacrificed from it so that it could get done in time!

See you in the stream!

Kicking Back and Playing Moar Games!

Posted by
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 8:15 pm

PlayandrateClick here for your Twitch Taxi. “Twaxi?

I’m going to crack open a Shafterbury, get comfortable and get back to playing some of these games! I’ll be giving out more wicked feedback while I rate and comment on every game I play. Everyone is welcome, no matter your game or how utterly horrible you think it is!

Also, don’t forget to check out, play and rate “A Fine White Line” … IF YOU DARE!

TC_DL_MWClick here to play “A Fine White Line”!

A Fine White Line – Now With MORE WEB!

Posted by
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 4:25 pm

TC_DL_MW
Play “A Fine White Line” Here!

I think something happened during the upload process and there was a misunderstanding with the files, so we ended up with a downloadable Web game but nothing that popped up in the browser. Of course, the individual with all the files set up had long passed out from exhaustion, which left the poor, defenseless, sleep deprived artist to set up a Web link at 1 am.

And then my internet went down. :C

It’s fixed now, though! 😀 Not only can you play from the web, you can download and play as an embedded media file right on our entry page!

Small victories.

I’m going to chill, drink some tea and play/rate some of your games for awhile.

If you want me to play and rate your game, hop into my stream and post a link in the chat box!

Here’s your Twitch Taxi: http://www.twitch.tv/taunia_sabanski

 

TWO HOURS BEFORE DEADLINE WE HAD NO ACTIVE GAMEPLAY!! RACHEL DID IT!! OMG!!

You could have photo-finished our upload. We got it submitted with two minutes to spare.

AFWL_BANNER

 Play “A Fine White Line”!

I honestly can’t believe Rachel made this playable. (Actually, I can! She worked really hard!) Hammering away on her keyboard, she literally learnt how to do all of the Unity programming this weekend. Unfortunately, she got really stuck, and we couldn’t find any answers to the logistics problem online — we were just about to throw in the towel completely and chock it up to experience.

AND THEN … she figured it out!

afwl_Screen_02

 

With 1.5 hours left on the clock, we managed to throw in some win/lose conditions, music, more art and added an extra variable. It likely needs some washing up! But it’s done.

We’ve tried to incinerate all the bugs we can for the time being. Hopefully they will all (mostly) be squashed. For now, enjoy the bugs! They are horrible and only around for a limited time. Like the McRib!

Enjoy, everyone! This game really is one of those little miracles.

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