Pastel Future

I’ve been working on a world that takes place in an alternate 2005. In this version of the world, the 90s were not the decade of grunge, blonde tips did not exist, and Pulp Fiction was a neon-noir film masterpiece. On the eve of Y2K, instead of hiding in their basements with a two year supply of canned food, people jack in and build a collective experience that accelerates the world’s technology growth exponentially.

Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Watch over a decade earlier than we are used to. It includes a feature that covers you in a protective pill shapped bubble from head to toe; very important when Infection is on the rise! Meanwhile, Quantel combines forces with Lecktrik Systems to create the world’s first line of smart clothing, with Cell Touch technology.

Miami Vice is longest running show of all-time and Don Johnson is the highest paid actor in the world. Jan Hammer tops the charts on an annual basis. What a world!

Telling a Story

I’ve written some short stories before, but nothing on the scale of this game. I have a lot of threads that I need to tie together. The story is a variation on the Hero’s Journey:

In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero’s journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.

You can read more about the Hero’s Journey on Wikipedia.

Black Market Clothing

The first quest in the works has you getting involved in the black market. In our new world, certain types of clothing are banned because of how they are used in the world of recreational drugs. This particular item that you are searching for has a combination of Cell Touch and Quantel properties, which allow it two do two things:

  • Transport matter from a remote broadcast system to the garment’s internal molecular delivery system.
  • Transfer matter and data into the skin at the molecular level.

Enterprising parties use these two properties to facilitate the remote delivery of illicit substances. A string of underground clubs are built around the use of this type of clothing. These clubs are very exclusive and highly illegal. Your client wants to obtain some of the clothing required to attend such clubs and since she has something you need, you’re on the hook to find something she can wear.

 

Summer in the City

I’m using a set of modular city assests to mock up a sample map. I’m going to set up some interactions with some city-dwellers and work on some quest stuff with them. Maybe there is a gunsmith to build me a Sleeper?

Vapor City?

 

The TODO List

Project Management
I love lists. They keep me on track and they let me dump stuff out of my head so I have some room to think. Trello helps me make lists, so I love Trello and it’s simple and straight-forward design. I had more things to say about Trello, but I forget them before I could make a list.

The TODO List

Tech Design
I’m building item pickup functionality, using the voxel Sleeper Simulant to test. Here are the object so far, each lower level object is a sub-class of the object above it:

  • Pickup Primal
    • Pickup Weapon Primal
      • Pickup Weapon Sleeper Simulant
    • Pickup Bonus Primal
      • Pickup Bonus GloDots
      • Pickup Bonus Credits
    • Pickup Ammo Primal
      • Pickup Ammo Primary
      • Pickup Ammo Precision
      • Pickup Ammo Heavy

Primal objects must be sub-classed. The Pickup Weapon Primal describes the weapon and defines available properties (reserve size, clip size, equip speed, mesh, icon, etc) and Pickup Weapon Sleeper Simulant defines the values for these properties. This is pretty standard object-oriented programming. The amazing part to me is how intuitive it is to implement this design within the Unreal engine. Here’s a sample of the Sleeper’s item popup:

These entries always take me longer to write than I think they will. I’m going to do one every three days or so.

 

Nah man, it's August

Website
I am finally DONE with the site redesign. I’m done writing posts in straight html! This site now runs on hexo and has the basic features of a blog. Categories, tags, archive, history… I’m so happy that’s done. Every time I wanted to write a post, I would think about how I still haven’t made a new page for June posts and then I’d think of HTML and then… no post. This is the first post using the new system! There are still some little bugs to work out and I’ll be doing that in the next couple of days.

Vapor Story
I told myself when I started this game that I wanted to make the game I had in my mind. I would not compromise on some part of the design because it was too hard, or would take too long. Then when I chose GameMaker, that’s exactly what I was doing. I said to myself that an Unreal based game would be too hard. I didn’t have the experience I needed. It will take forever. Then I started with GameMaker and got far enough along in the design that I realized I just didn’t like what I was making. It really hit home when I started playing through Hyper Light Drifter and I couldn’t get into it. I wasn’t having a good time and it was because the game was 2d. It was flat. You can’t look out over the land. You can’t see things off in the distance and decide to go to them. I want that for my game. So, I picked up Unreal. I took an introduction course and built some sample levels. It’s been a lot of work, but I think it’s right. I like what I’m making.

Using Unreal engine means that for now, the game is a first person shooter. That is awesome…!

 

Destiny 2

I just had my birthday! I’ve been playing a lot of Destiny 2 on PC lately. I’m a little bit out of the development loop, but that’s ok. I needed a little break after five straight months. I plan on making a big push this coming weekend. I’ll have some down time and will be in a nice quiet place.

I’m going to be working on item generation, stats, properties, etc… I want to be able to equip items and have their properties affect the player. I also want to get battle working. SHOOTING stuff. LET’S GO!

 

That's all we've done?

Technical Design
It’s a been an unproductive week at GlitchRock Games. I suffer from anxiety/migraines and neither of them have been very kind to me this week. I’ve lost the whole week to them. I’m working as much as I can today and hopefully will be back at full steam tomorrow. In the last few sessions, I’ve worked on sorting out the inventory, tweaking some things here and there, and making some changes to make it feel a lot like the system from Diablo 3. I’m doing stacking a little differently, but aside from that, it’s very similar.

I’m going to take a little time to work on character movement now. It feels sluggish and boring. Adding a nice effect to the dash and tweaking the collision code will make it feel a lot more solid and responsive. This will tie in to adding the controller as an input device. Right now, you can only move with the keyboard and mouse. The input system is made up off two layers; input reading and action mapping. The input module reads all available inputs and maps them to a given action, which will eventually be assigned through the Input Configuration menu. An input to action mapping looks something like: action_map[action.attack] = input.mb_left;

This type of mapping lets me reference the actions in the game code, instead of specific keys. It’s a common technique and allows for user control customization. I’m a big fan of customization and options, so I’m working on exposing as many options as is appropriate.

ps. I stole the screen shake code that I used in Poopin in Swoopin and made it an object in Vapor Story.