Joewoof

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Joined May 07, 2006
Games (3)

Go - Drops Of Life
May 22, 2006
Tolerance
June 15, 2006
Immunocide
July 18, 2006
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Immunocide - Released
Posted on April 05, 2010 at 06:29

It's been ages. Lots of things happened over the years, most of them horrible.

Sapphire Blood Studio is no more. The team fell apart 3 years ago, and that's the main reason I couldn't bring myself to release the games we've made. It's... painful.

Still, I shouldn't put it off forever.

Finally, here is Immunocide:
on Game Jolt - http://gamejolt.com/freeware/games/strategy-sim/immunocide/2047/
on my website - http://joewoof.wordpress.com/games/immunocide/

I tried uploading it several times on 64Digits, but the File Manager refuses to let me, for some weird reason. It says "file can't be moved". What the hell? :/




Immunocide - Update 15 & More
Posted on February 25, 2007 at 12:18

Immunocide - Update

Well, as I've said, Immunocide is technically complete and tested. So what am I waiting for?

Well, a few things...

First, I was finishing up a new Sapphire Blood Studio logo (yes, savor it within the new awesome banner) and presenting it to my local team. We all like it, and although it may seem a little weird, our team is anything but ordinary. I wanted to fuse together two polarities and give the impression of sophistication. Thus, we have a merge between a heart and mechanical parts which interact with each other. The 3 "gears" aren't there just to for it to look nice/cool/stupid, it's symbolic of how the team originally consisted of 3 members. Recently, it had officially grown to 4.

As for the equally strange (and hopefully cool) banner, I originally wanted to just place the team name and the logo there in a sea of black. Well... it really felt plain for a banner, so I decided to make an abstract background to spice it all up.

The motto there - "Binders of Chaos" - isn't our official motto yet, although it fits the team philsophy of "fusing seemingly incompatible elements".

I want to release Immunocide with the new logo, so this part had to be cleared first. Haven't put it into the actual game yet though... but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Why didn't I put it in yet? Read on.

Second, legal matters. Meh. All that stuff regarding copyrights, trademarks... it's driving me insane. However, considering that we are going to sell some of our games at a Thai anime convention in April, we have to learn about all that. It's boring, dull and becomes exponentially complex once you want to use a fictitious name to represent our collective (the team) as a pseudonym. Lots of stuff to study in detail, and I'm still not done yet.

Third, GM7. When I was about to register for GM6.1 (so that I can finally remove that annoying GM banner), Prof O posts a notice saying that I have to wait for GM7. About 2 weeks. Ok, no problem. I can definitely take advantage of Vista compatibility (for end-users), additional security, and maybe better performance and stability? So I wait for 2 weeks. Delayed. So I wait for 2 more weeks. Still not released yet. Ugh. I want to make all the tweaks and also put in the logo in one go.



MBF - Update 2

MBF is almost complete. You can play the entire game from start to finish, but without the opening and ending scenes. We're putting those in right now, along with many important gameplay tweaks and a few graphical enhancements.

This game will probably be released around the same time as Immunocide. I'm still not revealing any details though; that'll ruin the surprise. :)



Sapphire Blood Studio - The Team Grows!

Originally, Sapphire Blood Studio was a team of three. We've had a few contributors, but we've recently decided not to receive any more contributions (or wait to receive such contributions), since it raises some problems with coordinating teamwork. We told one of the artists that he had to fully join the team if he want to continue working with us. After some discussion, he agreed. John is a very talented artist who can draw just about everything imaginable - and unimaginable! :)

Sapphire Blood Studio Team:

Joewoof - Graphic Artist, Game Designer
ParadoxEquation - Programmer, Level Designer
APCLdx - Audio Artist, Supporting Designer
John - Line Artist



And that's all for today. Visit my blog at Eo Community sometimes too. It's usually more interesting. :)
http://eocommunity.co.uk/blog.php?id=57




Joewoof is back - with updates!
Posted on February 19, 2007 at 12:02

First, it was GMG. Now, even Eo Community is down. WHAT THE HELL!? And in the middle of some hardcore theoretical game design discussion! ARGH!!! WHAT IS THE INTERNET COMING TO!?

I know, nice reappearance for me here at 64Digits. The reason I'm here is because I have nowhere else to go... nowhere as lovely, that is. GMC is n00b infested. GMS is a ghost town... well, almost.

And of course, I need a place to rant.

I thought I only have Darthlupi's ass to kick. Well, Pug Fugly now better prepare his ass too.

Ok, maybe not, those guys are cool. Their sites are also cool, but not when they're down. URGH.

No hard feelings, melee. :P

So, why was I gone? Well, I made a hell lot of promises about releasing Immunocide, which I didn't meet. I vowed to never return here until finishing Immunocide. Well, it's finally done! HUZZAH!

I know, stupid reason, but I don't deserve the love of 64Digits without making a tangible contribution. Yes, I savor the warmth of 64Digits. Literally.

Anyway, I didn't just finish Immunocide, but I'm also done with ANOTHER game! This "secret project" is going to blow your minds - and if you survive that, you're in for some intense experience! I'll just codename it "MBF" for now. Release date? Not sure. If we're nasty, you have to wait until April, to coincide with the "commercialware" release. You guys get the free version, of course. XD

And what else? Oh, I got into Eo. Fools, bow down to my superiority and bathe in my greatness! Yeah, I've been complaining for some time around here about how I want to get into Eo and avoid you kiddies - ah, just kidding. You guys are lovely. Better than those GMC wimps! Hah! Naw, they're okay. I'm just not too fond of busy streets, even on the net. I know - I used to raise chickens on the countryside - anything wrong with that!? Hm?

I know. Frustration makes me cranky.

Anything else? Oh man, I have so much to tell you guys. I hope I see familiar faces around here. Did you check out Cactus's masterpiece, Clean Asia? Whoa, great game. Not for thumb-fumblers though - it's excruciatingly hard, but also exceedingly cool. Jabberwock's The Wasteland got into Cage Match too. Neato.

So... Sapphire Blood Studio is still going strong. In the beginning, we were chained down by projects of past games. This limited our creativity and our overall potential in game development. Well, I decided to rip off those chains, chew those iron balls and release myself from all that burden.

I hereby CANCEL the following projects (with the approval of the rest of the team, of course):
One
VouSei Tactics
The Chained Sky

...and VouSei Advent will also be freed from VouSei Tactics. I'm going to dump the VouSei concept altogether and head off in a refreshing, new direction. Yes, VouSei Advent will be overhauled. The game engine, which is 100% complete, will be stripped bare of the artwork and story - and refitted with new upgrades. The story will be re-envisioned. The artistic direction will be simplified, since the style I was going for is over my head. Unachievable at my current rate of artwork production. I'm just too slow and need more experience.

And hey, I suspect that this new approach will actually make the game greatly more exciting and original! Not to mention that it will take less time! Win-win-win!

Of course, all that ripping is... just ew. Maybe I'll work on something else before getting to that. I have to start collecting droplets of ideas for the new approach anyway.

So, there's this new idea I have:

I look at a twilight dew and find a world within in. What kind of world will it be? How does it work? And how does it fit in with the rest of the universe?

At this point, I have no answers to that, save for a few vague (and some vivid) images. This exploration will be exciting - and I'm not even sure what kind of game will emerge from this. Perhaps experimental? Or another cool fusion hotness?

Long blog? I'm not done yet. My solo projects are side-stuff. The main course is what my team and I are going to work on. The next project is, like MBF, CLASSIFIED! NYAH HAHAHA! What it will be, however, is an insane fusion between edutainment, vertical-scrolling flying-shooter and space-sim. Interested yet? No? Aw, whatever.

I must be high on my own brain chemicals... or too much refreshing of Eo... ah! It's back online! Yay! *dances*

Well, adios! I'll be back. Mwahahahaha.

...man, I just destroyed my reputation there. Oh well.




Immunocide - Update 14
Posted on September 14, 2006 at 13:33

It's been a month and a half behind the originally intended release date. On that, I'm sorry for all you eager fans and supporters.

I don't want to make any excuses but one serious event came up.

My grandfather recently passed away.

As if the emotional blow wasn't bad enough, here in Thailand, funerals last an entire week. In my family, it's twice as exhausting as we're both Chinese and Buddhist. As a result, we held two ceremonies per day, with the last two days lasting from 8 in the morning to 11 at night.

Already, I was suffering from a "writer's block", due to the unconventional way in which the story of Immunocide is going to be presented.

And so, there you have it, over 2 weeks of... nothing. The game itself is already finished, but I again underestimated how much effort it takes. In this case, I never imagined that the story component is so difficult to finish up. The hardest part is incorporating "hints" about passing some of the levels into the story.

I'm picking up the pace again. Actually, I'm almost done. <b>29 out of 32 levels are fully completed!</b> Only 3 more to go!

I'd like to say a bit more on my grandfather, but the blog is getting too long (my blogs are usually too long anyway), so I'll leave that for a later date.




Immunocide - Update 13 & More
Posted on August 19, 2006 at 17:56

Development

[li] Four more "mission briefing texts" added. 23 out of 32 levels now fully completed.

[li] Changed the name of the first unit from "Lymphocyte" to "Neutrophil", after a little extra research.

[li] Minor tweaks.

[li] Made the title screen a little fancier.



Babble

I'd been more productive tonight if it weren't for my stupidity. I recently downloaded two Thai RPGs onto my mobile. They're simple games, but they're enough of a distraction to give me double vision. It's a little obvious that it would happen. For a screen that small that have to be held that close in a dimly-lit room (I like it better that way), anyone is bound to get eye-strain.

Eh. Oh well.



The Chained Sky - Update

[li] This team project will no longer have original music composed specifically for it.

[li] Beta Demo should hopefully be ready at the end of this month. In the light of recent delays (especially regarding Immunocide) though, I really can't guarantee that.

[li] Story & Character Context should be finished very soon. After that, we'll start immediately on the Script.



Seraphic Secant - Update

The plans for this game has changed. Due to having to deal with a potentially hazardous and over-complicated AI coding, we'll push this game down the list.



VouSei Tactics - Update

Instead of waiting 2 years before re-attempting this project, we're considering the possibility of revisiting this tactics RPG much sooner. Without the great size of the original team of 12 people, it is definitely going to be cut down and the gameplay will be largely modified. However, the highly complex story should remain intact.

If we decide to go with this, this team project should begin sometime in January.




Immunocide - Update 12
Posted on August 18, 2006 at 16:32

Development

[li] All Levels Completed. Including tutorial levels, there are 32 levels in total. The length of the game is about 2 hours (unless you are really good). On average, each level lasts about 5 minutes, but of course, that is if you never lose. It is almost impossible to lose on the first 8 levels. Four levels after that are expository, meaning that they are very easy. The difficulty will steadily climb over the following 9 levels. After that, the difficult curve will follow a very steep slope, until the game will leave you whimpering on its last 4 levels (hehehe).

[li] Started In-house (Alpha) Testing. With the help of my brother's comments, I've tweaked a number of levels, trying to smooth out the overall difficulty curve as much as possible, while at the same time retaining a great deal of variety from level-to-level. Each time a new enemy is introduced, the difficulty will drop, then it will climb again in the next level (where nothing new is introduced), higher than the previous level before that.

[li] "Story Content" written for 17 out of 32 levels. Due to the nature of the game, the plot will be presented in an unconventional way. It's nothing fancy, but it's hopefully an interesting enough read. This is not a major project to begin with, so don't expect too much in this regard.

[li] "Cheat System" implemented. For faster testing and potential losers. :)




Cousin. Celebrity. Bad.
Posted on August 17, 2006 at 11:41

Rant

I'm pissed. Really, really pissed.

Why?

Well, last week, my cousin became a local, youth pop star here in Bangkok, Thailand. And since then, I've been getting calls... daily calls by unknown adolescent girls, all wanting to know his number. Sometimes I get them three times a day, even.

Here I am, going about my usual days, developing games and suddenly, I get phone calls from girls everyday, wanting to get to know my cousin...

...and lately, even me. Yep.

Sounds cool? Nah, it's annoying. Really annoying.

I've seen celebs go mad over too many people wanting to bathe in their glory - and it's one reason I will never wish to be one.

I have a friend who is extremely popular among guys at the college. Once she would get calls all the time, actually on a daily basis, from guys trying to ask her out. She seriously hated it.

Popularity is overrated.

Oh yeah, did I mention that there is a fan club dedicated to him? Oh lord. I hope this is a short fad that ends soon. If the fan club grows, I'm going to be swamped.

Meh.




Immunocide - Update 11
Posted on August 16, 2006 at 03:15

Development

For all you eager fans, I'm really sorry for the long delay! I know... the original release date was August 7th, but many things came up. :(

For the past few days, I've been feverishly working on completing the levels. I've decided to cut the total number of levels down by about 5.

Hopefully, I should have the game finished in two days, have it tested in the day after, and have the final version ready by Sunday. Hopefully.



Design

Tweaking difficulty is much, much harder than I thought for a real-time strategy game. I'm constantly torn between giving too much guidance and maintaining challenge.

Now that I think about it, maybe I should just screw it and follow an expert's advice - "there is no such thing as giving too many hints".




Joewoof Babbles
Posted on August 15, 2006 at 15:54

Babble

Is it becoming a trend or something? The posts and blogs I've been reading recently aren't posts and blogs anymore, but more like essays.

Not that I'm complaining. Hell, I've been wishing that there's more of that for a while now.

The problem though, is that, somehow, the length of posts are inversely porportionate to the amount of time I can actually spare to reading them at the time.

There I was, wishing for long, meaty blogs all long, and when they come, I have no time to read them (I barely have time to write my blogs).

Funny how these things turn out.

Anyway, I've been so busy the past couple of days that I completely screwed up my game-dev plans. I've been doing so many things at once that I'm accomplishing nothing of any worth.

Eh.

I'm trying to beat down that perfectionist in me, telling it that it doesn't really make THAT much of difference in the end.

Oh well.

Yeah, I know, I'm babbling. Shush.

Oh right, I got a new, old scanner from a friend. Finally, I can generate new graphical content, since I'm line-art oriented. Not that I'm a decent artist - hell no. I'm pretty bad. I mean, I can't do any pixel art... yet. 3D art is beyond me. And my line art themselves are questionable. The only thing I can do really well is drawing real life, which... isn't particularly useful in game development.

So yeah, let's celebrate with a rough, random 10-minute character sketch I just did. Feast your eyes (or not)!

<img src="http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/5522/ruby1bjx7.jpg"; alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us" />




Immunocide - Update 10 & More
Posted on August 09, 2006 at 10:42

Development

Yes, you guessed it - due to my sickness a week ago, Immunocide will be delayed. :(

I'm trying to get it done as soon as possible, but The Chained Sky (team project, traditional RPG) is chewing into my time.

Anyway, things I've done lately include:

[li] New Unit - Absterger Nanomachine
[li] New Enemy Unit - Last Boss
[li] Tweaked GUI
[li] Changed "F1" controls display (no longer uses "show-info()")
[li] Minor Bug Fixed: Core Health display
[li] Added Opening Titles
[li] Bug Fixed: "Infected Cell" unit.



Life

Today was a long day. Took sleeping pills the night before to wake up horrendously early in the morning. And for what? To sit at the Drama Club booth, for the Open House festivities of my university. Then finally, after doing essentially nothing for the whole day, I got to peform in what I believe to be a crappy theatre play.

This thing is taking too much dedication for a "fun hobby". Meh. I'm quitting Drama Club and I'm going to focus my efforts on the Sapphire Blood Studio team.

Oh well.



Theory - The Nature of Game Design

Game Design - An art or a science?

Even the professional veterans at GameDev.net have reached no agreement on this. This means that it is neither or both. From my experience, it is both.

What makes a great game is directly linked to human psychology and sociology. For example, it has become a known fact that the human brain will deteriorate at old age when there is no constant flow of “new” stimulants. On the other hand, “new” experiences promote the development of the young brain. That is half of the reason why Variety is so important. The other half is the commonly known fact that repetition is a highly unfavorable experience for humans. The opposite of repetition is, of course, variety. In another instance, it is known that frustration counteracts the experience of fun. However, the elements of frustration simultaneously generate the experience of pleasurable addiction and excitement. That element is challenge. Thus, the ideal is to customize challenge so that it is at the optimal balance for each individual player. That is Modulated Challenge.

All this is Science.

However, the tricky part is actually going about putting all this together under one theme. The exact same game engine, with exact same gameplay, when used with different graphics, may result in completely different experiences. Modulated Challenge, with the exact same game elements in both games, may work for one, but not for the other. That is where Art comes in. Here is where reason is probably less important than intuition.

It is not so different from storywriting. We have an established dramatic curve, perhaps scientifically proven to be effective. But even if that is true, it is what to put upon that curve that is often based completely upon intuition, instead of reason.

The ideal is to use a balanced mixture of reason and intuition.

Equal amounts of Art and Science.

Art often brings an element into existence. Science gives a reason for that element to exist. Art further increases the significance of that existence. Science explains why it is significant. And finally, Art allows you to understand why you should care in the first place.

It’s a delicate dance of reason and intuition. And it’s part of the reason why I find Game Design so fascinating.

(Note: This is in reference to my AVDOSFMIP Game Analysis Criteria)



Thoughts - Fiction vs Nonfiction

I came upon this important reminder and conclusion after watching the dramatized documentary, “Hiroshima”, on Discovery Channel. In only 2 hours, it built up to a point where I wept real tears.

I only cried after experiencing media about 5 times so far in my entire life. However, none of them lasted merely 2 hours long. I spent several weeks reading Video Girl Ai, for example, and it built up a firm and powerful dramatic backing to the point where the climatic peak was overwhelming.

The reason is because fiction itself – the unreal – is ultimately all derived from nonfiction – the real. This is why it is always important to look for creative inspiration from your real life experiences. Unfortunately, our experiences are limited, which is why relying on others’ creative works can help, to get more variety. However, when it comes to creative depth, nothing beats reality.

That’s is why I like the creative direction that we’ve decided to take for The Chained Sky. We’re drawing upon real local problems within our Thai society for inspiration – and there is much to tell.



Rant

(Following is within the context of a Thai suburban neighborhood.)

Tonight, I overcame the single-most difficult challenge I’ve ever faced in 2 years.

College final exams don’t come close!

What is it?

Training my dogs to walk with me on a short leash.

I sweated like a beached blue whale melting under the solar flare.

It took the most mental and physical stamina I’ve ever had to endure.

Sample Scene 1:

Yuki on short leash. Pull. No response. Pull. Pull back. Pull. Sit. Pull. Lies down. Pull. Rolls over. Lift back on feet. Pull. No response. Pull. Neck belt (is it called a “choker” in English?) comes off with the leash.

Yuki runs away. Chases for 100 meters. Slips belt and leash back on. Pull. Whimper. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Beckon slowly. Gradually increase tension. Release. Wait. Wait. Wait. Nothing.

Ties Yuki’s leash on Thaan’s leash. Runs away and calls Thaan. Thaan drags Yuki across the street. Belt slips off Yuki’s neck. Yuki runs away. Chase for 200 meters.

Slips belt back on Yuki. Try repeat. Pull hard. Walk. Pull hard walk. Slips out. Tightens belt. Pull. Push. Push. Push. Yuki lies down. Rolls over. Lifts up. Pull. Pulls back. Push. No budge. Lies down. Rolls over. Lifts up.

...and it went on for 2 hours.


Thaan took 10 minutes to train. Soba took five. Dogs are like people, they are all very different. I must have tried about 40 different methods to try to get it through to Yuki. Walk dammit, walk!

Anyway, I was successful at the end and I did go out for a walk with 2 dogs on the leash.

Not sure if it was worth it. It took so much physical and mental energy that what people call the hardest final exam in MUIC, the logic exam, is comparatively easy.

Oh, and the “coolest” thing. Halfway through, it started to drizzle. Then a fog began to build up. It was like steam sauna, but I didn’t give up.

Right now, I’m completely exhausted AND fatigued. The only things working right now are my fingers, my eyes and my brain (to certain extent).

I’m going to try it again tomorrow or the next day. If Yuki still hates it, I’m not going to force her to go outside on a leash. It’s better though, since I can travel farther and don’t have to go through the hassle of having to keep constant long-range reconaissance on my dogs.



Note: The above sections were originally posted elsewhere on different dates while 64D was down.



More Babble

By some strange luck, I happen to be completely worn out everytime I make a blog entry. I'm too tired, lazy AND lethargic to fix grammatical mistakes, which should be abundant.



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