2018 - April  |  2018 - March  |  2018 - February  |  2018 - January  |  2017 - December  |  Work Log
2018.01.31 - Wednesday
I would like to take this oppurtunity to coin the term 'Zetroid,' which is Metroid + Zelda. I think that will be good!
2018.01.22 - Sunday
Technical Design
It's been a busy week! I've been working a lot in Unity, trying to get familiar with all of the things that make it soooo good. I'm working on the tile mapper now, trying to figure out a way to have really big maps. The stab at it had a 1000x1000 map taking up about 5gb of ram. I have some ideas about how to bring that back down to earth, so that's what I'll do next. The self-imposed dealine (Sunday the 5th) to have a working prototype is approaching very quickly. Is this my first crunch??

You know, I'm pretty sure I'm trying to make Diablo 3 style combat. If you've played Just Cause 3, think about how you feel flying all over the place, blowing holes in everything and everyone. I want to have some of that in a top-down looter.

Asthetically, I am thinking of two distinct styles, one for each main location. Then I say to myself "how many bloody main locations are there??" One of those locations is going to be cut. That saves so much time in map building alone. The world with a vaporwave palette and retro futuristic styling is the winner. Is the Vice City source code open source yet? Maybe I can just mod that game into a looter and I'll be set! It looks like jte and clashbyte were working on something. Dead now though.

Website Design
I have some new colors in mind. If the bright green is gone, then I got them changed before I went to bed. If not, SOON.
2018.01.22 - Monday
Technical Design
I'm revising my prototype date to Feb 5th. I'm off the Thursday and Friday leading into that weekend and I think I will need those extra days to finish. I would really like to make this available for download, just for the heck of it.

Website Design
I am going to use Jekyll for my sitebuilder. Github supports it natively, so that's a done deal. I have just have to convert everything. I think the workflow will be, edit on my pc, commit, push, github builds with jekyll, display to web. Sounds easy enough.

While I was messing with Wintersmith, I wrote a plugin for it to use crass css minification. It's on npmjs, and is named wintersmith-crass.

Go mine some Garlicoin, the difficulty is still pretty low. Check it out on reddit. I changed the site icon to the old Doge Miner logo to feel a little bit of that memecoin nostalgia.

Such video.
2018.01.18 - Thursday
Website Design
I don't like web design or html or css or any of that. I'm dreading adding another archive link when February comes around. To try and alleviate some of the work involved in updating this site, i've been looking into using a site generator. I'm going to use Wintersmith, which is described as, "a simple yet flexible static site generator." Node to the rescue!

Technical Design
I've been working in Unity the last couple of nights, and it's amazing. Like I mentioned before, I'm going to rebuild the little prototype I made with the homebrew engine. This one will have some core gameplay...
  1. Tilemap: scrolls
  2. Player: move, shoot, pickup items
  3. Enemy: basic player tracking
  4. Loot Crate: generates random items
  5. Maybe: inventory, cybernetic monkey?
I want to be done by 1/28.
2018.01.16 - Tuesday
Technical Design
Today, I've been working on the Inventory system. I'm thinking of it as two pieces. Take the Diablo 3 inventory screen and break it apart, top and bottom. That's what I'm calling my 'Active Gear' and 'Inventory' respectively. They can be displayed together like in D3, or they can be displayed independently. I would like to be able to popup a selection list, like Breath of the Wild, for any gear slot. BotW allows four different popups, one for each d-pad button.

Ultimately, I want you to be able to select your most important pieces of gear, with the fewest required actions possible. I'm not sure how much that will matter, given that I don't know the exact role gear is going to play in the moment-to-moment action. It will be interesting to see how inventory space, including the 'vault' or 'stash', plays into the feel of the game. I'm sure there is a balance between having infinite space and not having enough. My feeling is that you want to be able to make it through a play 'session' without having to stop and organize your gear. Session being some event, length of time, number of kills, etc... I'm positive that whatever I decide, it will not be enough.

Start your ENGINES!
I've had this thought in my head for a few days now: "Did I pick the right engine?" I'm not sure. Choosing to roll my own engine is a huge undertaking, which could pay off big time or cause the game to die a slow miserable death. I can honestly say that I'm totally happy writing my own engine, as long as I can confidently say that none of the available engines would be a better choice. Now, what has been eating at me recently is that I don't feel 100% confident that another engine isn't the answer. I have to stop for a minute and fix this. I'm going to rebuild my prototype in a variety of ways. These will be... The first three in this list are unbelievably powerful, affordable, well documented, and suited for the type of game I want to make. They have assest stores, tons of tutorials, huge communities, and include every feature I need. I threw Godot in because it's kind of a lite version of the first three, as far as I can tell.

I haven't spent more than 30 or 40 minutes with any of them and for my own peace of mind, I need to give them a really solid look. I don't think for a second that I can build anything to rival even the most basic time tested engine. Making an engine is very hard, and hopefully very rewarding. Before I start, I want to make sure that doing so will make the game better for the players as well as its sole developer.
2018.01.15 - Monday
I went with a little more of the Twin Peaks color theme. I think all I need now is the theme music playing as a midi when the page loads. With that and a few animated gifs, we'd have the perfect late 90's Geocities fan page.
2018.01.14 - Sunday
The Story So Far
The story for Project Ever has gone into orbit. It's getting good and I've started on my research to fill in factual details. I'd like to share something soon, I was thinking about one of the in game backstory items, like a journal, that type of thing. I know a few specific things that happen, when they happen, and who they involve. One of those would fit the bill.

Technical Design
I have been looking at using an IoC container, mostly StructureMap, but so far have decided against it. Maybe I'll regret that decision later on, when I'm pulling my hair out over some lifecycle bug.

Misc Stuff
2018.01.09 - Tuesday
Game Design
I'm working on the story a little bit today. I drew up some kind of triforce like talisman. It's supposed to represent a cave entrance at the site of two mountains. Maybe the compass shows you where to go once you find it? It's really just a demo of an idea, and builds on the idea of a Trifoce like object that must be collected and put together as part of the main quest.

2018.01.06 - Saturday
I've been reading The Secret History of Twin Peaks, and it's really amazing to me how Mark Frost is able to take the story of TP all the way back to the days of Lewis and Clark.

A vastly layered, wide-ranging history that deepens the mysteries of the iconic town in ways that will thrill disciples of the original series and will prep fans for the upcoming SHOWTIME� series like nothing else out there.

Four original Twin Peaks cast members who are appearing in the new Twin Peaks for SHOWTIME� - Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Michael Horse, and David Patrick Kelly - join three new actors - Amy Shiels, Robert Knepper, and James Morrison - to voice the audiobook edition of the novel along with cocreator Mark Frost and original cast member Chris Mulkey.

Game Design
I want to share some notes I've been keeping, just to show some things I'm looking at...
Weapon Design
Need to implement weapon states
if a weapon is reloading, call Reload()
if a weapon is firing, call Fire()
and; Idle(), Empty()

Prevent having to set explicit timers for things by using the states, and tracking the amount of time spent in each state

Sound Effect Component
Build a way to load a 'sound bank' which will be a group of related sounds. For example,
firing sounds for the SMG, would be one bank. Then, have a way to play a random sound from
an specified bank.

During content load, individual weapon configuration files are read to create the weapon banks.

World Manager
Some things to think about for world management...
  1. Do we need managers for related entities? ie; Items (drops, gear, weapons, mats), Projectiles (bullets, casts, bombs), Actors (player, enemies, NPCS)
  2. Is the world instanced or static? What do we get from either method?
  3. When do we start thinking about serialization?

Size = how big something is or how many something can hold
Count = how many something currently has
MagSize = how many rounds a magazine can hold
MagCount = how many rounds a magazine currently holds
2018.01.03 - Wednesday
I don't have any video game work time scheduled until Saturday. In the meantime, here is a video showing the HUD, which has ammo current and current weapon.

A picture of my setup

Fairly current state of the Engine

Vapor Story Design Edicts (draft)
  1. Figure out what FUN is and make it rewarding.
  2. Make the FUN competitive, and let people compete.
  3. No fetch quests. These are not FUN.
  4. Have lots of guns, really hundreds.
  5. Drop loot from the enemy that awards it.
  6. Breadth, then depth. Iterate to add depth.
  7. Loot must change gameplay, must be interesting.

- my music