About zez

So, biographies and stuff...
Im not that into identifying as things (mountaineer, hippie, kungfu master, punk, computer programmer, musician, etc...) as I find it to be limiting. I am, infact, enough not into it that I 1.Identify with not being into identifying, and 2. It makes writing a bio friggin hard.
I recently (read, about 4 days ago) finished my first game. I made most of the engine in one sleepless night, and spent about a week debugging it, building levels, scoring the soundtrack, and generally polishing it till it shined. If anyone is interested, it can be found somewhere over there ->https://www.mochimedia.com/games/grave-e-tea
This game inspired me to try out Ludum Dare. The notion of making a game in 48 hours had previously been totally daunting (I usually loose focus about a month - 6 into development, and then my super epic project never sees the light of day,) but after making this one, I realized that I actually COULD pull it off. It doesnt hurt (even a little bit) that Adam Atomic was awesome enough to put out flixel, and that speeds up the creation process about a million fold (totally using flixel for this compo, and writing everything in flashdevelop, cuz Im super familiar with them now.)
Thats about it for indie game street cred, so you know... like none basically. Im decent, not amazing or nothing, but remotely competent at making simple pixelated sprites, so that shouldnt be a problem. I intend to use graphics gale, because I have it, and it kinda mostly works (Its great for animation, sept it cant export them in the free version, but seeing as Im using sprite sheets and it has a built in ruler, thats pretty rad. It kinda fails at doing transparency, so odds are Ill slow down a bit by having to set the alpha layers on my artwork like 30 times before it actually changes.)
Im pretty rad at music. I play a bunch of different instruments, have been in a number of bands, and have all the gear and software Ill need at my disposal. My choices for music will obviously depend more on the theme then the software I use for coding or art (seeing as I have no friggin clue how to do 3d, my art choice kinda makes itself, although I guess I could use photographs or stop motion or something... hmm....) but, that being said, I will likely use Fruity Loops as my tracker/sequencer, sense its easy and works really quickly, and although I have other things for more advanced processing (maxmsp, protools, reason, you know, the usual... no logic though T_T I has a windows box,) Im unlikely to wrestle with the complexity for something on a deadline (sure, max lets me code basically any sound I could possibly imagine, but that takes about as long as coding a game engine, and sure protools is better for live recording, but then Id still have to export to something else if I want to use midi or samples or something, and reason is just mean.)
That being said, my drums, guitar, bass and keys are all standing by, waiting patently for me to figure out what Im doing with them, and which ones get neglected.

Huh... that was easy.


Ludum Dare 17

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zez's Archive

Huh… now what….

Posted by
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 6:50 pm

This is kinda weird, I just wrote code for two days straight, occasionally taking breaks to work on art or music, but worked on this for 2 solid days… I think I only slept about 6 hours amongst them. Im kinda batshit now, but its also sort of a weird feeling. Like…. now I just dont know what to do with myself. Theres still stuff I want to change/fix, but based on how long it took me to upload my game, and how long it would take to do anything I want to do to this, Im pretty sure its done. Fortunately, I did manage to actually finish the thing, including the plot and the between the level dialogue stuff… It need optimization like wow. There are also a bunch of things I just didnt get to that I really wanted too (I wanted to make levels, for example, but then Id have to fix the bounding box on the player and its just kinda ridicules.)

Anyhow. Huh…. Guess its time to wander off into the sunset.

I feel dumb…

Posted by
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 5:17 am

Just spend a solid 2 hours trying to remember my trig to make a compass to point the player towards theyre island, only to realize its always in the bottom left corner of the map, and so the compass pretty much just pointed south east, all the time. *facepalm*

Foodstuffs, game notes.

Posted by
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 1:32 am

OHmnom midnight pizza!

OHmnom midnight pizza!

So, at around this time last night, I ordered a pizza. It was awesome, got me through the night and most of today. It had artichoke hearts and olives andddd feta and some linguica XD. Im pretty stoaked there is late night pizza out here, when I was in oregon if I wanted food past 8 and I didnt have anything in the fridge I was screwed. Pizza rocks.
Today, when I ran out of pizza, I decided to check the fridge. I live with 12 people (some sort of collective, we have a couple houses with a shared yard, its pretty chill, other then being in ghosttown,) and we have a communal fridge. Its kinda a mixed blessing. Sometimes theres kitfo grade beef (meaning, you can eat it raw, and its amazing meat) other times… I make this.
It was better then it looked... but still

It was better then it looked... but still

I made this with 1. Rice. Rice is good. 2. Eggs. Fried rice is better. 3.Broccoli. Its important to eat your veggies. 4. Humus… I dunno what I was thinking. 5. Red Wine. Seemed like a good idea. 6. Tapatio. The red wine was vinegar. I should have tasted first.
It was… food. Not the best of food. But food.

On the game side of stuff, it is now playabe, and coded, and has sound, and graphics and stuff. It takes a second to start up, because I really didnt optimize the bit that generates the world, but its fun, and playable. Mostly. Every now and again my fps will drop down to like 1. Normally, that doesnt happen till Im basicly dead anyhow, so its not a huge deal, but there’s clearly some code optimizations this needs. My source probably wont be to helpful. Sorry. Im also using a different (newer) build of flixel then Im used to on this, so I had to get creative with some things (wtf theres no overlap arrays?) and ofsuch, some stuff is kinda poorly conceived, cuz I was just sorta plowing through it.
Im super proud of the soundtrack tho, I think I managed to capture the feel of the game pretty well, and I even wrote it so all the sound fx kinda bleed into and make for an extra surreal experience.
I still need to tweak the music a tiny bit, theres a bass drop in there that is a bit abrupt, so Ill probably add a fade or something, but its good.
thats V the current build. It wont be for to long.

Whats left to be done, before Im happy with this, are either giving it a game over screen, or making the player respawn when she dies (probably the latter, honestly) implementing a combo system of some sort (if you kill 20 buggers in a row, you are awesome, and should get something for it) adding in a way to actually WIN, the experience screen, and hopefully a story and a short cut scene type thing. I actually have an idea for the story, but it needs some fleshing out. It also might explain the island a bit better (or not, its kinda surreal anyhow,)

OH! On that note, the island in that is actually retardedly important! It doesnt really seem like it at first glance, but I actually am doing this based on the theme, really. If you read the little blurb on the splash screen, it might give you some clue as to what to do with the island, but yeah. It matters.

A short essay on sleep dep.

Posted by
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 4:57 pm
sure the shadows are kinda cool...

sure the shadows are kinda cool...

So, I stayed up till about noon today working on this. Eventually I passed out, largely due to sheer exhaustion, and largely due to the fact that I was no longer capable of writing code, and all attempts at writing music came out as weird drones and the sounds of cats making love. This is unusual, given I have a much stronger musical background then anything.

The interesting thing about it, is after playing my game, the effects sleep dep had on my sanity where instantly apparent. Check out the screenshot.  You can actually watch me loose my mind from lack of sleep. The player sprite (the weird ethereal looking chick,) was the first bit of game art I did. After coding her movement, I decided I needed to add in enemys, and came up with the first game enemy, the weird shadow ghosts, at this point I was kind of tired, but the results are actually pretty neat. Im happy with them, despite them being kind of horrible from a pixel art standpoint (They are MADE of jaggys, nothing but jaggys… wtf?)

The point I wish to draw your attention to are the clouds. Sometime around 10 am I decided that this game needed some sort of bg (totally acurate, it did. Flying around a blue screen doesnt really convey much sense of motion.) That being said, look at the second one down from the top right, that cloud is made of squares. In my sleep addled brain, square clouds made perfect sense to me. Square. Friggin. Clouds.

The really funny bit, is they just may make it into the final build.

I also need to optimize so much code from last night its amazing.

Allright, I totally have this.

Posted by
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 8:43 pm
Yup, It should rock.

Yup, It should rock.

Alright, well. I got a game, and Im already totally done with the graphics! Go me. (Not serious even a little… although I think that is the idea.)

Momentary procastrination to document my morning.

Posted by
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 8:27 pm
I has a pulse and everything.

I has a pulse and everything.

So, first off I woke up. This was an important step in starting my day. Had I not woken up (I suppose I still may not have, maybe Ill wake up after coding my basic engine and the theme will be something I like better, or it will still be islands and this LD will actually just be groundhogs day…)

Next, I got breakfast. Today is a very important day, that day being friday. As of such!

HOTDOGS!!!!1111 and dorito filth.

HOTDOGS!!!!1111 and dorito filth.

Loaded with mustard and sauerkraut. I do this every friday. No, really.

Well, I usually skip the chips.

Soooo good!

Soooo good!

This one had cheese. It was nummy. I still have one more for later, tho Ill probably get a pizza at like midnight. (hurrah late night delivery.)

Sharing hotdogs with pretty girls = mandatory!

Sharing hotdogs with pretty girls = mandatory!

Eating breakfast with mah wife pretty much makes every day a good day.

After that, we hung out, I kinda geeked out at her about ideas for different themes, none of those themes being islands.

I had an awesome one for Isolation where its top down and you spend the whole game in a large metropolitan area like SF or newyork or something, sept totally fake, and the main character is really vibrantly colored, and the whole game is you trying to find a bar, and being lost and asking people for directions, but whenever you ask someone for directions it pauses and shows a dialogue screen with pictures of faces, sept the people dont have faces, just heads with shadows where the eyes and mouths should be, and give really basic 1 to three word responses to whatever you ask them, then, when you finally find the bar, you either get a scene where the player walks into a dimly lit room with nothing but some bar stools and a vending machine labeled beer, buys a drink, starts drinking it, and it fades to black, OR if you talked to tuns of people, walks into a well lit bar full of interesting looking people, talks to the bartender, who has a face and some personality, bartender asks how he’s doing, he responds with “fine” bartender asks what he wants, he says “beer,” his face slowly fades away during the conversation (just make the features an alpha layer… pretty simple) and it ends with him sitting at the bar drinking alone, then fades to black….

Ohh well, not that one.

If it was Pretentious art game, I was gonna make a game where an art critique beats the crap out of various paintings and sculptures and artists,  ala streets of rage. (Yeah, I realize my first idea was a pretentious art game, but if it was pretentious art game I planned to make a murder simulator. I was actually thinking about calling it murder simulator.)

Evolution was going to be a metroidvania… Seems obvious.

OHHhhh Well, I think I have a good idea for an island themed bullet hell, so enough procrastination.

… ohyeah,  I also walked her to work, picked up some coffee (I was out, Im on cup 2 so far, probably about to have cup three then get to work,) then proceeded to pick up some icecream (she works at an icecream parlor, I get free icecream, its organic, and relatively freshly made, meaning her boss makes a bunch of the stuff every week or so, its friggin amazing.)

Then, walked home and booted my computer, only to find the dare had just started. Ohboy.

Well… that wasnt verry helpfull.

Posted by
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 7:55 pm

Okay. I did some research. Facts!

1. There was a comic book villain called island man or something like that, I think it was X-men, but I know it was one of the X’s (force, factor, Excalibur, neXt? They kinda all run together….) and umm… they where looking for him, cuz there was a huge mutant power blip on there finding powerful mutants robot, and they couldnt find him, and then the discovered he WAS the island. It would have been a great plot twist if the cover hadnt given it away. I remember feeling jipped.

2.”To escape to an island in a dream may mean the peace of solitude is needed by the dreamer. A further
meaning is that the dreamer is afraid of the surrounding waters of her unconscious and wishes to
remain isolated from her inner feelings.”

3.(from a veterinary text…)

“A cluster of cells or an isolated piece of tissue.

* blood i’s — aggregations of mesenchymal cells in the angioblast of the embryo, developing into

vascular endothelium and blood cells.
* i. of Calleja — discrete group of very small nerve cells in the olfactory tubercle of the

* i’s of Langerhans — see islet of Langerhans.
* i. outbreak — outbreak limited to a specific population, usually a herd, caused often by a

localized lack of immunity in a closed herd.”

This could actually be awesome, I dunno what to do with it.

4. Those concrete things in parking lots and streets, sometimes the ones in streets have grass or plants, depending on where you are (traffic islands… yeah… Im reaching.)

5.”John Donne –
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

That last one might actually be useful. This is apparently how my brain works. Maybe Ill just make a game about pirates, they can collect treasure. God that sounds boring.

Islands? Are you kidding me?

Posted by
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 7:16 pm

There where soooooo many good ideas this time around. Islands? Really? I mean, at least it isn’t forest, although I think Id win that by default. Islands? Well, queue 50 pirate themed platformer’s, one awesome nautical sim, about 75 terrible asteroid games set on a boat (maybe 20 of them will have the boat shoot sideways, and 10 of those will let you choose what side…)

Allright, all moaning aside, I just don’t have a clue what to do with this theme.

Allright, Ill bite.

Posted by
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 8:09 pm
This is where most of the work actually goes down...

This is where most of the work actually goes down...

Well, Im in. This is my first LD, and as of such, my intention is to be amazing and do better then everyone, on account of how amazing I am.

I plan to use Flash Develop for my ide, along with Flixel, graphics gale for art, some combination of fruity loops and all my physical gear for music, my mic, sfxr, more of fruity, maybe maxmsp, maybe soundforge for sound effects, mappy if I use tilemaps…. Thats probably plenty.

I should probably go buy more smokes before this starts, I seem to be down to one, and Im pretty sure the girlfriend is going to smoke some too….

This is probably going to be where I spend the second largest amount of time...

This is probably going to be where I spend the second largest amount of time...

Well Im out picking up addictive drugs, I should probably make sure I have an ample supply of coffee… that might be important.

I seem to have my music gear all assembled. I should probably get myself a chair though….

All the gear Ill need for the soundtrack, all in one convenient location...

All the gear Ill need for the soundtrack, all in one convenient location...

Yeah… I think Im in, I got nothing to do the next couple days. I think Im sposed to grab a beer with an old friend, but I can just make him come to me, and be kinda crazy (hell, he may actually be participating in this, didnt think to ask him… he probably isnt if he plans to bring me beer tho…)

Anyhow. Should be fun, I already have some cool ideas.

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