Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to the drawing board.

Happy new year to all!  Good riddance to 2014.

So, over the past week I've been toying with some ideas for my next game and came to terms with I want to experiment on a type of genre that's foreign to me:  

Survival horror.

I had all these ideas for an action RPG, though to be frank I don't want to spend a year on a game since I may not have time for an epic scale story.  So I've been checking out some horror themed games, newer stuff as well as classics and remembered I had ideas about a game where you play cat and mouse with a stalker type character.  Hell, I have designs for the stalker himself actually.  I'm looking at incorporating my female protag as the main character still since it seems more fitting to have a male stalker vs a female character.

Any of you remember Maniac Mansion or Dragon's Lair?  The game will be 2D and the best way I can accomplish this is using that format

The setting of it would be either a high school reunion or a college that's demolished one fateful night in an explosion, following three months reports of strange lights and gunshots were heard from the now abandoned school while you as an investigator search the school for clues since the police is unable to act upon this deeming the murderer to of fled the scene but is at large, and without much evidence it would be hard to convict him.  Though a college would make more sense as it's bigger in scale.  Sure it sounds Law and Order cheesy, but I'm confident I can make it work.

As you enter the school ruins, you come to notice that it's possibly haunted, covered in blood and cobwebs you come to find proof that a dark ritual has taken place.  Symbols are etched all over the school grounds, and you will see images of ghosts and possessed crows trying to peck you.

Enemies you need to worry about:

1. Possessed ravens:  These black birds with red eyes swoop down and try to peck you.   Just use your melee to swat them back.

2. Acid spewing rats:  Rats that spray acid, sprinkle some crackers and they'll be distracted.

3. Traps:  Traps have been placed all over campus preventing you from finding the secret.  Tripwire explosives, alarms to alert the Stalker, bear traps, wires in water, etc.

4. Ghosts:  These are meant to be jump scares if they touch you.  Use the flashlight to make them disappear temporarily.

and the big one...

5:  Stalker:  A grown man obsessed with killing you, for reasons unknown he blames you for why his life turned out the way it is so he is demanding restitution. As a side quest you collect pages of his manifesto to get the reasons why he is still hanging around the haunted school.

The mechanic of this is, when you spend more than five minutes in one area, he enters the area and patrols looking for you.  You have to avoid him at all costs while you investigate where the ritual has taken place.  Stalker uses the security cams to track where you will be then patrols until he finds you.  I'll have music cues if he's close, and one when he finds you.

The main part of the game is to locate the ritual and contact the authorities with your evidence and the killer's confession, if you can survive it.  All you have is a smartphone equipped with a flashlight and camcorder but battery life is limited so you have to be very diligent with it.  You explore parts of the school and take pictures of rituals and other oddities taken place.

I want to make this a bit more interesting, since the school is in ruins, you have to navigate al a Tomb Raiderish by hanging on ledges and jumping across small gaps.

The smartphone allows you to also save your game at any point.

I'm still working on items you can collect, I'm really trying to avoid the old "get key to enter area" trope that's way too common in these games.  Maybe I can take a cue from the Arkham games and use alternate means like ventilation, open windows, or tricking Stalker into unlocking a door.  Maybe an electronic combination lock you can hack with your smartphone once you are able to get the right app.

Also, Stalker taunts you by sending creepy texts as you progress.  Keeping with true stalker fashion.

My goal is to make this game in less than two months, my challenge to myself.  Sort of a game jam to test and see where this game goes.

Who's with me!?



Monday, December 29, 2014

Character Design #2

First one is Rylie's redesign, from an old webcomic of mine.   She's a cyborg which fits in the game environment more than my last design.  Bottom is Sgt.  Hardcore, a throwback to another character from the same webcomic.  This guy uses his powers to establish a new era where meta humans rule because of his warped view of Darwinism.

Not much to report about, I did download game maker and will be toying with that this week.  Had some snafus in real life and work so I've been not as active... plus the holidays too.

Take care!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rylie character design update.

I posted an image on my Twitter feed for a character design update, and while I don't want to repost a small update on it, I'll post it here:

I changed some colors around compared to the pic on twitter because I realized the whites on her armmings (name escapes me atm) resemble a certain "party" minus the symbol so I had to change that haha.  Belts are reddish instead of brown, trying to go for the systematic four color range.  I even fixed her left eye because it seemed higher than the other, and her head was a bit too wide.  

Other than that I loved how this turned out, and now I need to start working on sprites, er again.  I want to try out the Zelda aesthetic and try for an action game that way and experiment to see if I can get it to work on Construct 2.

I have drawings of two boss characters and the big bad that I want to illustrate soon, though I'll put that off for a while to see if the Zelda approach works.

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I want to post FFXIV and FFXV stuff so bad, but I tweeted it all.   All I can say is so far, steps in the right direction.  Between this, Street Fighter V, MGSV, Zelda U, and Xenoblade CXis gaming in the east making a comeback?

Going to be an interesting gen.

See you later!



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sorry for lack of updates.

Twitter wouldn't be an idea place to post this.  It's been over a month since I've updated this space it's about due for one.

Haven't done much game devving since I finished Baxter's Venture Director's Cut a couple months back.  It's still in Greenlight Limbo, not exactly sure if it'll ever get greenlit.  It has been creeping up to the 10k vote threshold, though I think I need to find better avenues to get exposure.  My efforts have been in vain lately so I've taken a break from all that before I get more discouraged.

I've started another game project, started putting some concept art on Twitter with a female protagonist named Rylie, even started a sprite.  However, working on a prototype in Construct 2 led me to understand my original plans won't be as fun as I had hoped.  

There have been some changes in her concept art, but I haven't had the chance to scan it and touch it, illustrate it, and post it due to my scanner still at my old apartment propping my modem and router while the maintenance crews fix up my apt due to flooding... they're nearly done and it looks like I'll be moving back next weekend if all goes well.

Back to the game, it seems I'm letting discouragement set in.  Since I became a Wii U dev I learned that if I tried to port my games on the dev kit (something I can't afford as of yet) it's not going to run as well.  I've been wanting to start some kind of prototype to raise money for a dev kit, but getting a prototype has been holding me back as I'm not so sure what kind of game I should make.  I fear if I don't produce something soon I could lose my privilege.

Obviously, my strong point has always been platformers.  Though I am considering a top-down Zelda style game, maybe an action RPG.  Though after reading it seems like Construct 2 on Wii U you have to be VERY careful what you put in there because devs experienced severe slowdowns from having so many spites and animations at one time... I hope that isn't the case because it feels limiting considering what the system could do.  Maybe it's limited for HTML5.

Also I've had swirls of nostalgia hitting me like a ton of bricks, I want to take some older projects and reboot them for this new project instead, I tend to get indecisive when it comes to projects.  Then it hit me why I never finish these.  It's because these featured a male protagonist... and when you look at games and anime, just about every archetype of male protags have been done to DEATH.  My character would of been an alter ego of mine, he'll be darker skinned than the typical male lead but my male characters always get compared to someone who already exists and it drives me bonkers.

When a draw a female protagonist though... there IS no real comparison.  Then I started to think all those articles of lack of female representation in gaming have a very strong point, and when I was doing crossover comics starring Tifa, Cammy, and even Mai from Fatal Fury all my strongest writing skills stemmed from those works compared to Cloud, Joe Higashi, and Solid Snake.

Hell, I already have a very interesting backstory I wanted to try.  I can't make this funny with a male protagonist:

Rylie:  "I once ran an INN in a remote village outside the castle walls.  Day in and day out, I'd watch adventurers spend the night to refill their HP/MP.  Ever since I was a little girl I longed for the days where I would fight side by side with would be heroes to save the world from danger.  I see these heroes come in and I try to engage conversation and hear their stories of their adventures.  In my off time, when I'm not being prepped for marriage, I spend it with an old rusted sword on training dummies in the courtyard."

Rylie: "Oh how I envy them, if only I could quit this boring life and explore countless worlds!"

Rylie: "The downfall of being an NPC is that you're -destined- to settle down, start a family.  My arranged husband is just a mere coal miner... a fat, dumpy, boring coal miner..."

(cue image of an exhausted Rylie wearing an apron, holding a laundry basket and two kids running amok while fat husband covered in soot sleeps on the couch)

Rylie: "NO!!  That does it THAT'S IT!  Next wanna be heroes come in here I'm going to take their shit and go on an adventure, tradition be damned!"

(Alex and Cassandra, the default RPG maker heroes walk inside, Alex draws his blade in a salute:)
Alex:  "Tally-ho innkeep, one bed please!"

(Cass looks upon Alex in disgust)
Cass:  He means, two beds... *please*

(Rylie grabs Alex's blade by the near tip and sucker punches the young hero, takes his sword and items, then takes off into the outskirts.)

Cass:  "Oh my... OH THANK GOD!  Alex is no longer the hero so I don't have to marry him once we save the world, woohoo!. --  Oh, but wait.  I can't be a RPG healer trope without a swordsman, hey lady wait for meeeeee!  You can't fight monsters without heaaaaals!"

(elsewhere in Skyrim)

Coal Miner:  "Babe, I'm home from another day in the mines.  I was almost killed by a giant spider but luckily the Dragonborn was around to shout it to death.   Yo babe?  I don't smell any food... "

Coal Miner:  (looms over stove) Oh well I can make dinner I suppose, how hard could it be?

(image of cottage on fire)

(same image of cottage on fire, zoomed out where we see a dragon turning to the screen.)

Ancient Dragon:  Dragonspeak:   "Iv Nyort Yil Krosis!" (It's meant to be jibberish)                                                Translation:       "Ain't I a stinker?"



See?  I came up with that in a matter of minutes.  When I had G-man (alter ego) it took me a while to flesh out a backstory, because every hero's backstory has been done to death.  I feel my creative strong points are working with something I have little knowledge about so I feel obligated to fill in the blank with whatever I choose and people can't compare it to something popular because it doesn't always exist!   Sometimes miss doing Gman stories, I felt there was potential even if my art and writing were garbage in those days, maybe I need to face facts and come to terms those days are long over and there needs to be something new.

I don't know if the Wii U HTML5 can handle a game that has a story, maybe I could do a basic LoZ type with a beginning and end.  So much work to be done, but this weekend my attention is focused on Playstation's Experience.  I am curious what more bombs will drop.

Street Fighter V and Dragon's Dogma Online so far.

Anyway, stay tuned!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Of gamers and gates.

Evening everyone,

I'm not going to bore you with the details of why I haven't been keeping up with weekly updates.  Honestly, I got nothing notable since I've tend to show off on my twitter feed.

I have started concept art for my next game, it's going to be the game I want to get on the Wii U.  I've tooled around with Unity and to be honest, it's still a bit out of my scope with the limited time I have away from my day job.  It looks like I'm sticking with Construct 2 for this one, my next step is to tackle what kind of genre it is... Platformer/Explorative, Zelda style top down, etc.  

The step after that is to start a Patreon account to get funding for:

-Dev Kit $2k
-Additional Monitor  $200-500?
-Better equipment $400 maybe?

So I'm looking at around $3000.00ish maybe more if I were to make some things for the supporters, but before I put one up I'll have a playable demo showcasing what the game can do, and some swag for supporters like GG-Works shirts, art books, game soundtrack, (both for this and Baxter's Venture), name added to credits into the game.

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I've also decided on purchasing a capture card for my youtube videos, I keep trying to do the el-cheapo way and the quality is pretty poor for what I want to produce.  Not going to do the whole voice acting thing unless the video calls for it.

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Okay, 

Gamergate... I'm not even going to dignify this with a hashtag.  This movement duped many well meaning gamers that it was meant to fight game journalist corruption, but what has been really been going down is people harassing male and female industry workers to the point of them leaving their homes...

...really guys?

To be honest, I've always been thinking that these kind of people aren't really gamers, oh they play and identify as gamers, but the kind of self-rightous psychopaths back before the turn of the century wouldn't be caught dead with a game controller.  I've lived in Kingman, Arizona most of my life and I can testify I've met some very crazy folk in my youth, the kind you would see trolling the interwebs.  Sometimes people say things in the throws of passion, and while they may be passionate about games, they feel threatened that Jack Thompson 2.0, aka feminism are going to take their games away.  In the heart of it, these are the same kind of people who thrive in making people miserable, because "cynicism is cool".

You might know that kind of person, where every other word they say is "fuck", and don't think very rationally.  They're angry, say angry things, insecurity breeding false confidence.  They just hate, and they thrive on it, there's no reason why they hate so hard, they just do.  It's like the Monarch from the Venture Bros, but much less hilarious.

I'll say this, and it's something I'd never thought I'd say, and Godwin help me I promised I'd never turn this blog into a political poopdeck, but here goes:

I don't think Anita Sarkeesian ever made a proposal to ban videogames because they're sexist.  I don't agree with few things she's nitpicked on in her videos, though some areas she does have a point.  Then, and ONLY then if she decides to create a crusade to ban videogames because of the things she criticizes, THEN gamers will have a problem, I think gamers are afraid of that conclusion if the "other side gets their way."

Jack Thompson was still worse, he wanted to outright BAN videogames because of claims that led to people being violent... while dubious in those days, I hate to say it but many gamergate supporters doing the threatening and the name calling are proving him right.  Jack did get death threats and the like, and he still gets disbarred years later.

What would be ironic is that gamergate backfired to the point where the courts do get involved and started regulating what goes into our games... I can't fathom the amount of nerd rage that would surface from this, it would make the backlash from SOPA look like a joke in comparison.  This is my concern, because nature abhors a vacuum.  But it won't happen, Gaming is too big now to be taken away, but it can change.  First of all, speaking to the anti-GG people for a moment:

"Labeling EVERY SINGLE GAMER as vicious sexist trolls because a vocal minority is trying to drag this out with their own agenda is a very naive thing to do." 

Gaming journalists, moreso SJWs, if you're reading remember this:

Racists lump everyone together in a negative light because they believe they are justified in doing so.  People on the anti-GG side are doing the same thing right now, lumping gamers as this fearmongering hate group because a few loudmouths can't learn to shut the eff up.  I've been labeled before, I've dealt with racism and trust me when I say this, lumping people into a negative collective is the exact same thing racists do.  Rather than attacking the gamers, attack the individuals that are harassing you, bring those people toward the light rather than picking on the majority of people who just want honest game journalism, not click bait articles.

Many of us do get some of the things like sexism and misogyny,  hell many of us would love diversity.  Like with every fandom, there are going to be assholes that don't want it, look how long it took for the film and music industry to learn, give gaming some more time, it might suck right now, but trust me on this, once the big companies decide to target a different (wider) audience, those assholes will have to either accept or find a new hobby.  Remember videogames were considered a geek only affair, when the dudebros and "non-gamers" flooded our hobby thanks to a change in the industry by focusing the gritty dark games, Madden, and shooters, it was a hard adjustment, but we managed, and we will again. 

Just give it time.

Look, I've been there.  I used to get defensive when someone questions the things I like, I grew up in a time where you would get your ass kicked in school for TALKING about videogames.  Where the likes of Duke Nukem, Wolfenstien, and the original DOOM were, considered a certain homophobic slur from people who don't play them... I loathed when Jack Thompson came on the scene and try to label videogames, from the harmless Super Mario to the over the top GTA3 as these big evil death simulators that corrupt 'Murica's youth, I wanted blood.  Then I realized (albeit a couple years later) I was being stupid.  This was my favorite hobby, it gave me positive reinforcement when the rest of my life was in constant misery, so please try some kind of understanding when you decide to trash a medium you don't agree with that brings other people some kind of joy, even if they're being a little ignorant of it's subject matter.

As for the more vocal members of GG...

When you're a young adult with an internet connection, you tend to think you're some unstoppable force behind a keyboard.  My advice to you is to take a good hard look at what you're supporting.  I GET there are some bad apples on the other side of the gamergate, but you had the opportunity to be the better person and failed hard.  We had it in the bag when Thompson tried his damnedest to convince the ignorant public that "gamer" is a dirty word.

Now history repeats itself, no one learned a damn thing, you've screwed it up, and Thompson must be laughing in his latte right about now.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Final Testing Phase (again)

Good evening, just dropping a line to say that I'm still testing Baxter's Venture DC due to some more bugs i've ran into today.  Thankfully they're all minor.

Now the good news is that I'm going to try and get this game on Scirra's game store in the next few days if all goes to plan. I want to move on to my next project, which I've already been doing concept art for.

I'm not one to make big announcements without something to show for, but it looks like I'm leaning towards Unity for my next game, despite the lack of programming knowledge which is my biggest deterrent.  Game Maker for all the work it's has been done to it... that you can start porting games to the latest Playstation and soon Xbox One, I'm worried that Game Maker's "unique" tools would be far too buggy.

Unity is widely supported on ALL platforms, because it's coded in C#, my problem is with my abysmal budget I'll only be able to make PC games and have to pay a very expensive fee to port to other consoles.

GameMaker's PS4 export requires you to be a Playstation developer, I'm assuming the same will be for Xbox.  There is no Wii U support, yet, but I hope that comes soon.

I need to get this in gear, because now that I'm a Wii U developer, I need to produce.  I've learned that despite Construct 2 has a Wii U plugin, the original creator seemingly abandoned it to a third party and I have yet to receive it, on top of that I need a development kit which is a bit shy of a couple grand.  I've also learned that Wii U doesn't support HTML5 entirely, like WebGL so your game would have to be minimalist as possible... which is a shame.  So no chance on producing something equivalent to Shovel Knight or AVGN adventures.

And that is why I'm looking at Unity.  I think I'm ready to tackle on a 3D game, a small scale game though.  Otherwise I could be looking at YEARS of development.  In the past couple of years I've watch the indie scene from a distance while making my game and noticed that if I went back in time, I should of made Baxter's Venture pixel art, with some interesting gimmick.  However, I noticed that increasingly more people are getting fed up with pixel art/retro style aesthetic that's all too common with indie devs, it is a niche market after all, since the current gaming generation grew up with Playstation and N64 games they'd probably prefer to see 3D looking titles.

Minimalist survival horror and ragdoll simulators are getting a lot of attention now, but side scrolling 3D games can still turn some heads.  I need to keep the concept simple since it's being an uphill battle, so I'd like to create a linear 3D adventure game where you have to go from level to level.  I'm thinking along the lines of Sonic Adventure minus the HUB world and extra friends.  Just you, some three acts per level, and boss rooms.  The 3D aspect would be great for exploring since I tend to have a scorekeep for when you beat the game you get what ending.  So I guess the hard part is building the engine first, then making the game... but I plan to try to get funding for this game via patreon.

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Oh, Destiny is addicting, at least until you're decked out in Legendary/Exotic and waiting for the next expansion.  Also, looking forward to Final Fantasy Type 0 for FFXV demo!  

Cheers!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Baxter's Venture Director's Cut new screens

In case there are folks who missed my twitter feed.









The video is a bit dated, as the following screens show the graphical changes to Acts 1 + 2, with a little for Act 3.  I'm also going for one more playthrough and I've already found a few things I did overlook as I changed some levels around.  Finished rounding Act 4.  I wanted to make a video tonight, but I feel I should tend to testing this first.

This game has a ways to go if it's going to be on Steam, however I think I'll put this game for sale very soon in the Scirra store to help it gain some kind of exposure.

Originally, I have the tail attack a speed boost, but it has proven to be counter productive so I had to remove it.  Baxter is a little brighter so he stands out from the backgrounds more.

Also, in bigger news, GGWorks Games is officially a Wii U developer!  Still waiting on the Wii U plug in and will also be finding a way to raise money for a dev kit.  I've submitted an application to Microsoft for development access but haven't heard from them yet.  

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I've been talking about this alot, but I will need to find some time to learn Unity, or C# if I want to continue to make videogames.  I have another idea for a game I will pitch to my soon-to-be Patreon account.  It's still in the planning stages so once Baxter's Venture Director's Cut is all done I can start on concept art.

I can say that this time I will make it pixelated, and the protagonist will be female.... NOT because of the whole gamergate mess, this idea I had cooking around February and decided this would be my next project.

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You may notice ads popping up on this site soon, as well as content from Youtube as I now have my platform ready for my Youtube Channel: "Glendemonium"  The first in a hopefully long series stars a clumsy supervillain named "The Revenger" who's going to be played by the lead character from Watch Dogs who I'll dub with my voice.  Been doing some practice runs and nailed the tone, now I need to make it more humorous as the story of this guy is he's a bit of a lousy stalker accusing a high school crush and her "militia" for stalking him back, which evolves into him terrorizing the city in the name of "justice".  I'll have to draw out a storyboard intro to give you the idea of what I'm going for.

Alright!  That's all for tonight, stay tuned!