Dev - Sort these by name
Devblog: Terror revived
Posted on August 04, 2014 at 15:50
Finally got some free time on my hands so I started working on my fps game Terror
again. It's been a while since I last worked on it. It's still pretty close to being complete on the engine side of things but the game itself hasn't even really started. I have juggled so many ideas for this project but I think I am finally settling on something.
The basic idea for this game is an action-adventure game with minor RPG elements. There will be 3 classes to choose from: Warrior, Gunner and Mage. The game's story is pretty similar to the likes of Doom and such. However instead of fighting off an invasion, this story begins at the end of an invasion, when the human race has already been defeated and the planet has been transformed into a new home for the invaders, so the player is basically just trying to survive. The invaders are not demons or typical monsters but some sort of other dimensional alien lifeforms. I'm gonna have to get incredibly creative as I want the enemies to be very unique artistically.
The structure of the game is also changing, it won't be linear maps one after the other, instead i'm going for a more open-world feel although not in the modern sense. Think more of a metroidvania style open world. In terms of the maps, they will be large non-linear maps that connect to one another. I won't be using a hub system like in Hexen. There also won't be any towns and very few living humans in the game. So no currency or shops. You will have to find what you need and ration your supplies. It's not technically a survival game but there will be an inventory system in place so using items will completely replace the oldschool style of running over health packs and ammo.
Today I decided to ditch the Quake-style scrolling skies for this:
A basic skybox. Looks pretty good though I went a bit crazy with the saturation. Also gonna have to blend the sky color into the textures and lighting to make the whole scene look more consistent. It's still pretty early and this is just a free skybox set I found online. I'll probably try to make my own that'll fit into the low-res graphics of the rest of the game.
As I continue to approach the completion of the programming side of this project, it is time the actual game assets start getting worked on. So far I've made only about 30 textures (32x32), a few object graphics and no enemy graphics yet. I can handle the textures and objects but animated enemy sprites aren't my strong suit, especially when it requires artistic skill. I can easily create tiles and textures that reflect real images but I always struggled at trying to come up with creative life forms in graphics.
Also I have no final-game maps completed and seeing as they are going to be a lot of them and fairly large and complex, this is going to take a ridiculous amount of time to complete by myself.
With that being said, I wouldn't mind some assistance on this project. If anyone is interested in the following, let me know:
- Creating maps
- Spriting enemy graphics
- Composing music
It would be a huge help to have some others to work on maps and graphics, and of course a soundtrack, though that won't be necessary for quite some time.
I'll be releasing a playable demonstration of the game's core game-play as soon as possible. Everyone interested can get a feel for the game's engine, and it's map editor than.
Right now, all I wanna finish up is adding in bullet decals, blood and a few other minor - though important - features. Oh and finish the demo map.
Posted on July 04, 2014 at 21:53
I just got the documents for my eviction from the apartment I have lived in the past 5 years. I was completely unaware of the situation since my girlfriend's mother was paying the rent and I was paying everything else. Apparently she never paid last month's rent so now I hold a document in my hand today that says I gotta be off the premise by Monday. (7/7/14)
Last month we had a break-in here while I was at work, stole my girlfriend's $700 laptop and supposedly $300 from her mother's room - which is her excuse for not paying the rent. That still isn't acceptable seeing as she said at the time, that she would be able to pay the rent, had she at least talked to me about it, it wouldn't have been a problem for me, I could pay it. But no, here I am, being evicted.
To make matters worse, my girlfriend's mother's residency has expired so she got laid off from her job, no income at all on her side. What a mess. She only had over 10 years to renew it. She did file for citizenship a while back but obviously too close to the deadline.
Well things aren't all bad, this apartment is a terrible place to live and a bad neighborhood. I'm almost relieved that I can finally leave, although i wish it had been under better circumstances.
My gf's mom is moving in with her cousin in another city, while I'm gonna stay here in Orlando and move into another apartment with my girlfriend. Luckily we found a place under extremely short notice but I already made the payments and received the keys today! What luck, it's a really nice place too, huge step up from where I've been and it's cheaper too - although much shorter, it's a studio. I've been staying in a 2 bedroom with 2 baths so it's a big difference in size but I'm okay with that. I only need one room anyway.
I barely managed to scrap up all my savings to make the deposits and start-up fee's, which there were a lot of - I was forced to get renter's insurance to move into this new place, first I ever heard of that. Unfortunately we did have to take out a loan to cover it all but it's not too large of a loan so not a problem there.
So, officially adulthood now. Paying my own rent, bills, food, and so on. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time. I'm worried I won't have enough money, when accidents pop up they can cost a lot and I don't have any money saved, completely broke right now. My job is nearly minimum wage and to make things worse, I haven't been getting many hours there recently so... it's looking bleak.
Still, I'm trying my best to stay optimistic in this situation, I've always been the responsible one of the household (except on steam summer sales...) but this is a whole new challenge for me.
Since my options are so low, I may have no choice but to go full-time at my lame job. Which would make going to school much tougher but I really don't have the choice, I need to increase my monthly income practically double. There is no one to rely on by myself now (and my girlfriend of course).
And now some game stuff:
Haven't worked on any games this week because of this situation but before this happened, I was working on an RPG in RPG Maker VX Ace for the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest
. My entry was over ambitious as always so it ultimately fell short of it's initial expectations. In other words, it's pretty short and technically incomplete. It's about 2-4 hours of game play depending on how you play. It's fairly standard jrpg fair using the default RTP. I spent a lot of time designing the maps and the story but it doesn't really get deep into the story at all, in it's current state it just introduces the player to the world and the main character but still much isn't learned yet.
I took a fairly average approach in the pacing of the game, which wasn't a good idea considering it's a competition entry so it's very slow pace at first and not very exciting. That's unfortunate but I really don't mind that at all, it'll pick up and get far more interesting later on - it's just too bad the judges will never get to see where it goes so it's not going to give great first impressions in an hour.
Oh well, if you wanna check it out by any chance, here's my submission.
Hopefully once I get fully moved and settled in, I'll be starting up one of my projects again. Not sure what yet but working with RPG Maker has only made me feel like programming my own engine again so I may continue that NES style RPG I was working on last year. Since the engine is practically complete, maybe I can finally start the damn maps I've been too lazy to sprite for.
Posted on January 02, 2014 at 23:20
Warning: Large image.
Well it's a brand new year, so i thought it'd be nice to look back on all that i've done this year with game development. I may not have finished much but that doesn't mean i haven't done a lot of work. I know the same can be said about most developers-in-training so I'd like to see something like this from other developers here. Well here it is, a long image containing descriptions and screenshots from just about everything i worked on this year, minus a few projects that barely got off the ground.
(if you are having any trouble seeing the image, click here
So what's next for 2014? Well I hope to have some of these completed, the smaller ones most likely. I think my goal for 2014 will be to get something out there, i want a complete game on some market place, either Steam or GooglePlay. I got a new android-ish tablet that uses the Amazon marketplace so maybe I'll try there when i'm ready. It maybe an unlikely goal but ya gotta dream big.
As for now, well this is pretty much it for a while. I start school again next week and they've finally increased my hours at my wonderful fast-food job. Tomorrow i go in for a 13 hour shift, followed by a 10 hour shift and it seems to continue that way for the next two weeks. Between school and work, I will only have Wednesday off for the next 4 months so I won't be getting much free time, which means i won't be able to work on my projects much :( but who knows, maybe I'll figure something out. May have to go back to using my girlfriend's laptop in between classes and lunch breaks to work on my stuff. Worked before. I won't ever give up.
Posted on October 15, 2013 at 15:21
I'll have to admit, i haven't been working on this often. Or at least as much as i would like too. I have however finished about half of the first floor of the house. At this pace, i'm unlikely to finish the project by the deadline, however i will still be uploading something to the competition. It will most likely be what i'm calling a "preview", basically a mini demo that won't contain too much game play and largely unfinished areas but i'll make sure there is something you can do to entertain the players for a good 10 minutes.
I've added a lot of models and reworked a lot of them as well. The list includes:
- entertainment centers
- grand piano
and currently working on the sink and dishwasher...
here's the latest screenshot. it's a little dark and quite large so i'll put it in a link:
Amazon and Bad Sellers
Posted on September 30, 2013 at 16:19
2 Weeks ago when my PC crashed, I was considering a lot of different options about how to get replacement parts. I bought multiple parts from stores and eventually found one that worked, however I also placed an order on Amazon for a replacement as well. Of course it took over a week to arrive despite the fact that i paid additional for faster shipping.
When i finally got the package, i was excited. I had ordered the exact model that i previously had for my power supply so i knew it would be compatible. When i opened the box, i was extremely disappointed... I got a fake. Some sort of cheap Chinese knock off that didn't even have the right cables i needed. It wasn't even the same wattage either. I was pretty pissed off.
But i thought "no problem, i can just ship it back, Amazon is cool like that." So that's what i did. I had to pay $12 to ship it back too. This brings the total amount of money i spent on a fake product to nearly $50.
A week after having shipped it back to the seller, i get an email from the seller and here is exactly what it says:
The item you return to me which is not buy from me, I am selling PSAZ-CP600 600W power supply ( black color ),
why you ship a used defected silver color LPG8 630W power supply to me , I never carry or list the LPG8 630W , Please return the original PSAZ-CP600 to me for refund.
This is just plain out insulting. He's basically claiming that I, for some reason, spent my money to send back a different item than what i received. And for what? What reason would I have to do that? What do i get in return? Nothing!
To make matters worse, he sends me 2 pictures, one of the product he sent me, with a caption saying "what the buyer sent" and another picture of the REAL product i wanted with a caption saying "what i was selling".
So he actually does have the product i wanted, so this was either a scam or a sick joke. Either way, i'[m out of $50 and from what i've read about Amazon's policy is that i won't be able to get a refund unless the seller chooses to give it to me, which seems highly unlikely given the circumstances.
So i learned my lesson about online shopping. It's surprising too because i have bought a lot of things online and never had this problem before. This is the first time i experienced something like this and sadly, i think it's ruined online shopping for me. I can no longer confidently purchase things online without fear of losing my money and time.
Consider this a warning to anyone who hasn't bought things online yet or does but has not experienced this yet. Be careful with your online purchases, you have control over what you are getting.
Back in Action
Posted on September 21, 2013 at 13:23
Finally got a new Power Supply and now my computer is running again. I'm gonna start working on my comp entry right away to make up for all that lost time. Lost 7 days which is a lot but isn't too bad.
Blog's too short... what else to say? Well i was playing a lot of old games while my computer was down. Actually hooked up my Genesis and Super Nintendo and played some classic games like
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (which i beat with only a handful of deaths),
Golden Axe (i got murdered),
Sim City (only reached 99k population, would not go to 100k!)
Mortal Kombat 3 (this game is still so cheap, murdered at E stage on Easy mode)
Than I tried to get back into Demon's Souls on the PS3. Managed to beat the Fat frog-like boss but than i was promptly killed by a reaper that shot a magic beam at me and killed me in 2 hits while i was blocking. This game is insanely hard. Demon's Souls is much harder than Dark Souls by the way.
Posted on September 14, 2013 at 16:00
This is really unfortunate... Today while playing Dungeonland on my expensive and only computer, it randomly crashed hard. Power went out on the PC completely. Upon trying to restart the system it fails. The light doesn't stay on for more than 4 seconds before going out. I've tried disconnecting all hardware and the same problem persists. I've tried plugging it into a different outlet (the outlets here suck) and still the same problem. When it fails to start up, it automatically attempts to start up again and again until i pull the plug.
This doesn't make any sense to me, 2 years of using this PC and not a single problem. Than today it does this to me?
It really sucks... and unfortunately it means i can't play any of my 100+ steam games and more importantly, i cannot work on my comp project either. This means i'm out of the competition, at least until i can get this fixed and i don't know how long it'll be until I can get it fixed if i even can.
The distributor i bought it from has a 3 year warranty so i should be able to get whatever compotent is broken, replaced without any cost. However their tech support is closed on the weekends so i'll have to wait until Monday to call them. I could also try going to a computer repair shop but that would cost me money and could alter my warranty as well. So i'll wait until Monday to see if I can get any tech support. If that doesn't work i'll have to go to a repair shop or start replacing parts myself until i can find what's wrong with it.
As usual it's probably the motherboard. it almost always is.
This is just my luck too, i was really satisfied with my comp project too, i felt like it could have placed pretty well when finished. If i get lucky, maybe i'll only lose a week or two and get this thing fixed quickly. Otherwise i might not be able to complete it.
I'm typing this on my girlfriend's laptop which i can't use all the time. It is possible i could try to start a new project on here but with this thing's extremely weak specs i won't be able to work on a 3D game most likely. If i do decide to start anew, it would probably be a smaller 2D project much like the one i entered in the last S4D i participated in.
Update Sept 16 2013:
Well i got bored today with nothing to do so i decided to open up the system and see what i can do. I called techsupport and they told me to do the Paper Clip test, i thought that was useless since all it tests for is if the case fan will run and since i don't have a case fan i didn't bother with it. So then they said to start taking out hardware and see if it won't start due to a faulty piece of hardware. My first instinct was to go for the Graphics card, so i unplugged it and hit the power button and it started up.
I wasn't happy at all though, right away i knew what this meant, my GPU is dead and only after less than 2 years of use. Replacing this card isn't going to be cheap either, oh and to make matters worse, this shitty card decided to take out my HDD along with it. When i try to boot it says to insert a bootable drive, it seems to be able to detect that my HDD exists but it can't boot from it, so it's probably corrupted which means i can't boot Windows and i can't access any of my files. I also didn't get a f***ing windows DVD with this PC either so if i want Windows i'll have to buy Windows again! F*** you Microsoft!
So i am in the process installing Ubuntu to a flash drive and i'm going to see if i can get it to boot that. Only problem is... i can't find my USB drive...
Currently I got Windows XP booted from Hiren's BootCD. It seems to be running fine but it cannot detect my HDD so i can't see if it's corrupted, bad sectors, or anything about it yet. I imagine this is a problem with XP not being compatible with this fairly new HDD. So running XP isn't really a good option for me it would seem. I can't run any sort of recovery programs for my HDD if XP cannot detect it!
Well the issue maybe the PSU after all. I wasn't having problems booting from the CD drive but it appears that i do now. After shutting it off and attempting to reboot, it is looping once again. So my conclusion is that it has to be the PSU. The motherboard was fine, it managed to run the bios on a previous attempt, and the CD drive was reading a disc. RAM cards were working as well. The GPU remains unplugged, yet it won't start again.
I'm thinking it wasn't booting from the HDD because the HDD isn't receiving enough power to run and since it won't boot again the power supply must be really screwed now.
But what i don't get, is how it still managed to boot up for me and load from the disc. Can a faulty PSU gives such unpredictable results such as powering the system for almost a full hour and then cease to boot again? Or is it a motherboard problem?
My previous machine actually had a similar problem, it would take numerous tries to get the system running, my gf took it to repair shops and they seemed convinced it was a bad motherboard. However the startup process was a bit different. When i attempt to turn that machine on, it would startup with the lights on but no video output would ever happen, so the motherboard failed to load up the bios correctly i assume and it wouldn't power down until i pressed the button. However with my current PC it doesn't stay powered, it shuts itself down before the bios shows up and than automatically attempts to restart infinitely.
Also calling the techsupport from the manufacturers I get the general feeling that they might not be willing to replace any parts at all. The warranty states that it doesn't cover hardware failures that occur after 1 year. So it's up to me to determine which part really needs to be replaced and to pay for the replacement. A PSU isn't easy to replace either, so many cables in here and they're f***ing ziptied together too. Gonna take some work getting this damn thing out. I would like to test each connector too but i don't have the equipment for that either.
Posted on September 11, 2013 at 12:38
Well it's been 7 days since my last blog so I decided to show what work I've gotten done since than. Not much, again just graphical improvements but looking at that previous screenshot I had, things have come a long way it would seem.
Still working on the outdoors area but I think I can say I'm done with the introductory area and will be moving onto the interior designs next.
Here are some new screenshots, I'll put them in links because they are pretty large in size:
Image 1 - no light, no fog.
image 2 - with light and fog.
image 3 - a closer look at the new tree models
The tree model comes from a free model site. It took a lot of work to get it to render correctly in Game Maker but it's nothing i can't handle. the problem was the lack of textures provided with just about every free model i could find on the net. this meant that I couldn't just throw the model in there and be amazed, I actually had to do work on the model myself which kinda defeats the purpose of downloading a free complete model. The UV map for this particular model is very bizarre to, the trunks texture looks pretty bad due to how strange the UV map is. It basically takes extremely small pieces of the texture to stretch across large faces. The only way to improve the quality would be to quadruple the size of the texture which is already too big.
If anyone has any hints or tips for getting good free models or importing models into Game Maker I'd appreciate anything. Although I think this gets the job done for now, I may still need some additional models for more complex things for other objects within the game. For the most part, most of the objects are going to be very blocky but if I need to, i may include a real model for an object if simple geometry can't do the job.
Also, lighting. As usual GM lighting is pretty weird, i played with it a bit but it doesn't want to do much in this project. it either completely lights up surfaces or doesn't at all. it's pure $hit and i can't use it. So there's really nothing i can do about that. So of course I went with a cheap tactic of having a fake flash light in the game. It's okay looking but without shadows or realistic scaling it's pretty bland.
Again, any tips on lighting would be nice. I've done a lot of research on just what can be done with Game Maker's 3D and it seems things like good lighting and shadows are completely out of the question most of the time. the only guys who have done anything with shadows in GM usually only did it with a few static objects against flat surfaces which isn't real shadows.
I did manage to finish the collisions yesterday, very simple but works well enough and is very smooth. The game is paced slowly so I don't have to really worry about collisions all that much. Such an easy thing to do, it's really sad when i play indie horror games that can't get it right.
Well that's it for now. Hopefully next time I blog I'll have a new scene to show. I don't want to show too much of course, the fun in a horror game is not knowing what you are going to see next.
Posted on September 04, 2013 at 01:16
It's been a few days since the comp started and at first I wasn't doing anything, until tonight that is. So far I've only got the basics down for a First Person engine. It's going to be pretty basic in it's functionality. There is no jumping or any fancy maneuvers planned. The project is going to be some what of an experiment. I'm attempting to make the first ever pure horror game. Not an action, survival or puzzle hybrid, just a pure horror game. What does that mean? What will the game play be like?
Well I have a ton of ideas i've been collecting over the past 2 months, I was thinking about this project. The purpose of the project is to create a sense of fear within the player and to build a world of fright, darkness and pure evil. The player's objective will be to progress through the story. There may be some very minor puzzle elements just to add some flavor to the game play, as well as a small amount of survival elements, although there won't be any combat at all. It's probably closer to a horror-adventure game (with psychological elements). You will pick up objects and items and try to use them together or at certain locations to progress through the game using your wits.
The story will surround a young hiker who gets lost in the woods, as night falls and supplies run low he must find shelter until morning. The game will take the player through dark forests, abandoned cabins and possibly more. The player will uncover a very sinister presence in these woods and will learn of it's dreadful history.
The game is using all real textures (from free texture sources) and will include many documents in the game which also use real images and tell of the history of the location.
Here is a screenshot of an abandoned cabin.
This was made in only a few hours so there's still a lot more detail to add (like a roof).
The map making process is pretty much the same system i have for Termination. It doesn't allow for room on top of rooms so there will be short transitions when going up or down steps. Also true story: I started this project in GM:Studio but Studio was completely breaking the 3D drawing. The textures were completely wrong and didn't repeat right at all. I used the same exact code in 8.1 and it works perfect. I'm growing to really dislike Studio as I try to use it.
Well that's all for now. I'll try to post a few logs about this project as i go along. I won't reveal to much but a few shots and bits of information won't hurt. I'm going to be trying a lot of bold things here and some of them i might share here first to get some feedback on.
The difference between helping and insulting
Posted on August 27, 2013 at 15:37
This is a problem I come across mostly on the internet, when you post something to get helpful feedback that you can use to improve your work with. There is a huge difference between online and in person feedback as well.
In person i find people to be too shy to be honest with their opinion, this happens when i'm at school during peer review sessions. I almost always get a very vague positive review of anything i maybe doing. (art, writing, programming, etc) I'm guessing they are afraid of any possible retaliation they might receive for giving a negative review but these reviews need to be honest and detailed for them to be useful in anyway. This ruins those sessions and it's one of the reasons i hate working in groups at school.
If people are too shy to say what they think in person than perhaps they will be more honest online. Well the problem with that is they maybe a little too blunt, and they enjoy that a lot. When it comes to getting feedback online, you won't have the problem of people being shy or dishonest, however you get a bunch of people who get pleasure from being overly negative and blunt. You can see in many responses that these people really want you to feel bad for the work you did and instead of helping you, they want to hurt you.
This is a difference of intention, there are people who comment just to insult your work and they are very different from those who want to help. Some people might do this without thinking or without realizing that their comment is insulting. I myself have probably done this a few times, although i try my best to avoid doing so.
The important thing to remember is that helpful feedback is positive in tone and respectful to the creator. There should be no need for using adjectives that insult elements of the work. If a particular element is weak or flawed, you can state that it needs work and why. You can give feedback that negatively reviews the work without the review being in a negative or insulting tone.
Now let's look at some examples of what i mean. Here is what a rude and disrespectful comment looks like:
This game sucks. The jumping is broken, the music sounds like someone with arthritis is playing an untuned piano and the graphics mine as well have been drawn with crayons, thrown into a paper shredder and than taped back together.
Okay so from this short comment we can learn a few things, that the user was unhappy with the game in general "the game sucks", that they thought the controls/physics were weak "jumping is broken", and that the music and graphics could be better. However we have learned nothing but the emotional impact the work had on the user and not anything specific about what exactly made them feel this way. it lacks details and suggestions. it's only purpose is to insult the game and it's creator. it is borderline trolling since the intention was never to leave any useful feedback.
Now let's attempt writing up the same comment but in a positive and helpful way:
My experience with this game was a bit disappointing for several reasons: the jumping mechanics were flawed, the player has a delay when they land and it causes numerous deaths when trying to run and jump on several platforms continuously. Secondly the music is dull and emotionless, the structure needs improvement, i would suggest simplifying the structure and go with a classic verse verse chorus format for now. Last i have to mention that the graphics lack style, there seems to be very little texture to the sprites, possibly due to the lack of shading. Adding a few more shades to each sprite could dramatically increase the depth of the graphics. I would also suggest a better choice in colors to contrast the background from the foreground elements. Overall it's a solid game without any major flaws but every element of the game has a noticeable weak point that when added together, really does hurt the experience in the end.
This comment has the same overall opinion of the work but instead of using insults to express their opinion, they used real details from their experience with the work. When the developer reads this comment they can actually learn something about their game and get a few suggestions for how to improve their work. You know, the whole reason commenting and feedback exist.
When you read insulting comments they tend to seem more barbaric and unintelligent than comments that contain detail and remain helpful. I also think it's important to think carefully about everything you write and post online. Just because people are anonymous and you may never meet any of the people you communicate with online does not mean we should be so rude and thoughtless when engaging in discussions online. nobody likes it when they receive insulting comments so i'm not sure why it is occurs so often, usually coming from people who have never created anything in their life.
Whether or not you are a developer or a consumer shouldn't matter, be respectful and helpful to people, it will create a better environment for developers and consumers alike and this may increase the improvement potential for early developers.
If anyone has any experience they want to share or any other tips for leaving better feedback than leave a comment.