GameMaker Studio 2
Posted on November 02, 2016 at 11:28
Game Screenshots & Info
Posted on October 05, 2016 at 09:39
As I mentioned before, I wanted to drop more screenshots and game information here before anywhere else. I value what you all have to say about projects, and I feel that this place is largely the reason I'm even into game development, so I want to keep in in the family, so to speak.
So, here's some screenshots showing off more of the project I've been working on, along with some info about what you're seeing. Keep in mind, these are pre-alpha, so you're gonna see a lot of unfinished stuff and repeating assets. I've been mainly focusing on systems and game design, though I'm finally tipping over the edge into actual content development.
The game is a top-down open world RPG focused on real-time combat and exploration. The primary inspirations for this game are Diablo, Dota and to some degree, Hotline Miami. Though, nowhere near the pace of Hotline.
Above you see the player hovering over an NPC as she fishes. That NPC runs a shop in the first town where she sells fish. I've been putting a lot of focus into making things feel alive to some degree, so NPCs go about their daily business with or without you. She heads to the river during the day, and to home at night. Her stock refills over time, giving you a chance to get more of that sweet sweet fish for a nice health boost.
The dots in the river animate to show the flow of water. Water flow is taken into account in multiple ways, one of which can be seen if an item falls into a river. The item will flow down the river, unless it hits some blocker.
As I posted previously, speech is a big deal in this game. Complex speech trees allow for a less static feeling world. Here, an NPC named Daniel is trying to convince the player to join in a heist of sorts. This is actually one of the few quests built out so far. The player has conversation options to request more information before agreeing or declining.
The speech view is also used for reading books, which are heavily relied on for giving a sense of history to the world. One of the main themes in the game is literature. More on that soon.
Can't have a fighting system without abilities. In the game, you play as an "arcane," a wizard of sorts that can study across four schools of magic: Elemental, Light, Dark and Psychic. This screen is the opening screen of your spellbook, allowing you to choose which school's spells to browse.
When you kill an enemy, they will drop experience shards based on the school of magic you used to kill them. Collecting these shards levels up that school of magic, but subsequently makes it more difficult to learn the other schools. This forces you to choose: do you want to go full on in one school? Split your time across two? You can't have it all. What kind of mage will you be?
As you level up a school, you unlock spells, both active and passive. You can equip up to 4 active spells, and as many passives as you have passive slots. Passive slots unlock as you progress through the main game as a reward for progress.
Elemental spells control things like fire, water and earth. They are largely projectile based and straightforward. Light spells invoke the heavens, allowing you to target specific points, though the spells tend to have a delay. Psychic spells are generally closer combat, and focus on controlling the forces around you and the minds of enemies. Dark spells call upon the forces of demons and spirits. If you misuse them, you'll pay with your health. Luckily, a dark passive allows you to heal as long as you collect dark experience.
Here, I have equipped one of the Psychic passives, which lets me read the minds of NPCs and enemies to find weaknesses. This man in town is "afraid of the dark." Loser.
Also to note here, he is the town historian, and thus the place where I can save. As I mentioned before, literature is a big theme here. Saving the game involves making your mark in history. Being written about, carving your name into a tree, impressing scholars who are writing dissertations, and more. When you die, you'll be told what the last known writing about you was, giving you a chance to start again from that point.
Here is an example of the player under attack from an enemy called "drones." These are bee-like enemies who buzz around you, shooting projectiles now and then.
In this screenshot, I'm on the verge of death. Turns out I actually did die after taking it. Woops.
Finally, a shot of the game at "night." As I mentioned earlier, NPCs go about their daily activities. In this world, days are 20 hours long. After sunset, the world begins to go dark, save for anywhere that has a light source. At midnight, it is completely black besides light sources. This makes it very dangerous to be out in the fields at this time.
The lighting system is very basic on purpose. I originally put effort into making walls block light and everything, but it felt too "advanced" for how the rest of the game works. Maybe I'll go back on that sometime, but I like the old-school feel of placing down a torch somewhere (an item you can take with you for adventuring at night) and seeing something beyond a wall or trees that piques my interest. It happened by accident with the old system, and I loved it, so I just let it ride.
You'll notice in the top left corner, a clock and calendar date. As the game progresses, the days go on. The calendar is unique to this world, a 3-season, 9-month calendar based on the trends of farmers.
I'm very excited about how all of this is coming along. There's so much more I could talk about, but I'll save that for when I actually get the game's website up and running, which I'm targeting for getting up in the next couple of months. It's been really busy for me recently, so I haven't gotten a lot done, but I'm excited to get back at it.
Looking forward to hearing what y'all think. I may be reaching out for playtesters down the line, so feeling for interest there as well.
Posted on September 21, 2016 at 09:41
Just got back from a trip to Colorado to visit my girlfriend's family and a few other people we know out there. Though I've been there before a few times, this was my first time there when it wasn't freezing cold
My girlfriend is originally from Colorado, but moved out here to DC for work when she graduated, so it's been good to have some insider info on what places to visit / eat / see from a local. Always the right way to go about travel.
The picture above was taken in Georgetown, CO before going on a train ride through the mountains to show off the absurdly beautiful scenery around there. I took a handful of pictures, but some are blown out from the scorchingly bright afternoon sun.
Here's an album
Forests and mountains have always inspired me more than anything else. The fresh air reminds me of time spent at my grandparent's mountain home when I was a kid, and the forest air that I'd smell through my window at home when I was first learning how to use GameMaker as a kid.
Anyway, I'm back home now and taking today off to get my bearings after a late flight last night. We move to a new apartment in a little over a month, which is closing in fast. Lots to get done but hoping I'll still find time for game dev along the way. Lots of unexpected loss of time has lead to delaying the first playtest and announcements, but still hoping to get to it asap.
What inspires you most of all?
All it took was some downtime
Posted on September 11, 2016 at 08:39
Look at us now, shitposts and all. Got a few blogs up in here.
I've been continuing work on my game, prepping for my first private playtest. My Trello column for the things to do before the playtest is ready has shrunk, grown, and shrunk again. I need to just cut off and get it done.
As much as I would love to drop the playtest here, I don't think its totally ready for that yet, but in the seeable future, I'm sure I'll be asking for people to do some alpha testing and whatnot. I'll need to definitely have some help tracking down bugs, given the open nature and emergent gameplay style of the game, so if that tickles your fancy, be on the lookout for posts from me begging for help.
Besides the game, I've been upping my writing game some more. Besides trying to post more content to 64D in general, I'm also writing on my personal blog
and my joint blog project with my girlfriend
as we work towards simplifying, saving and working towards our dream home.
All of this disparate writing has me drafting up some ideas for unifying my publishing, so once I have some kind of concrete idea, I'll likely post about that here as well. I know StevenOBrien has tweeted about wanting a good, decentralized twitter alternative. I've been ruminating on that idea for a while, but I think it might go beyond that. I don't have well formed thoughts yet, but I'm toying with some content distribution and pub-sub-like ideas, to help cross-post between places as well, so that people who do like other services can still consume them.
Aaaanyway that's about all I have to say right now. More game screenshots incoming later this week.
By the way, this post on image_index in GameMaker
might be useful for anyone working in GM:S. Fucked me real good yesterday.
Posted on September 05, 2016 at 21:39
Spent a fair bit of time working on my game today. I tweeted
about one of the things I was working on, which was the NPC speech tree system in my game.
Though really, I was working more on the method of storing the strings and relationships for the speech trees. My game has a fairly extensive speech system in place already, though it is largely driven through a set of script utilities which can be called to do things like show a speech box, add response options, etc.
Instead of handwriting a bunch of scripts to leverage this, I went for a data driven implementation.
At first, I went with JSON, because I'm an idiot and I like to think that JSON is the solution to everything. Well, turns out writing JSON by hand is some trash, and I got real sick of that real fast.
Where I landed was YAML, which is much nicer to write by hand, and has similar structure to JSON, with the added bonus of references, which allows for reusability of data, which I needed for things like responses that may be used in multiple places.
I took those YAML files and wrote a small parser, which takes the yaml and converts it to GML scripts that use my game's speech engine. From there, I just import the script, and hook it up to the NPC in question, and boom, done.
I could take it one step further and bundle the yaml into the game, reading it in directly, but allowing for the compilation to GML gives me a bit more wiggle room. We'll see if I stick with that for the long haul.
Ultimately, I have something that looks like this:
- slug: intro
- hello, world
- this is some npc speech
- text: Cool!
- text: Lame.
- slug: outro
- Yeah, its kinda neato
- slug: outro_bad
- You're mean.
This super small example would have an npc say "hello, world". The next page of their speech is "this is some npc speech."
Following that, the player can choose between saying "Cool!" or "Lame." Picking "Cool!" prompts the npc to say "Yeah, its kinda neato." Picking lame promps them to say "You're mean". Which, you are.
Anyway, this is my simple approach to giving myself a reasonable way to manage what will ultimately be thousands of lines of speech strings. I don't think I need any fancy graphical editor or anything, but wanted to see what other people have done to solve this problem, as I know its a big one for everyone.
Unannounced First Look
Posted on August 29, 2016 at 09:26
I definitely didn't intend to be posting this screenshot this morning, but I'm just so happy with how this project is coming along, that I'm having a hard time not
talking about it.
As promised, I will be dropping info here about my project before anywhere else, because I love yous guys and yous guys make me happy. I'm not going to go into any real detail, but I wanted to post a screenshot of the game as it exists right this second.
So far, everything has been done myself, which is what I'm aiming to stick to for the whole project. As most of you know, spriting is not my strong suit, but so far, I'm very pleased with how the game is turning out visually. Most things here will likely be replaced before any kind of main release, but I'm already happy with the progress I've made since, well, all of my previous works. Good lord they've been bad.
Here it is:
Tavern in what is currently the first town. I'm going for the top-down perspective, which has been challenging, but lends itself very well to the gameplay of the game, which for now I'll let you just speculate on.
Video, info, and more screenshots to come in the future as I build out what is easily my most in-depth project, ever. There is so freakin much to talk about.
Hope you're looking forward to seeing more. I've never had more fun building something in my life.
Current Tool Set
Posted on August 25, 2016 at 19:58
Lets talk about tool sets. What are you currently using for whatever your project is?
For my current game project, here's what I'm working with:
Game Maker: Studio 1.4
You may have heard of it. Maybe not. I know people on this site tend to hate on it, probably because a lot of people here grew up with the pre-studio version of GM, but I really like this version of it. Best one yet.
It really brings GM into a place where great things can be made, which we're seeing. Undertale, Rivals of Aether, Hyper Light Drifter, Hotline Miami, the list goes on. It has become a wonderful tool for making games, and I've found that mixing in the programming patterns and architectural organization methods that I've learned over the years has made for a really fun development experience.
This is what I'm using for spriting right now. It's actually amazing, though. I've never been great with game art, but I'm putting in a genuine effort to get better at it so I can handle doing my own artwork for my game. I've come a long way, and its largely due to Aseprite.
It provides all sorts of tooling with an approachable interface. Lots of people recommend graphics gale, but it was so messy and ugly, I couldn't get myself to really work with it. Aseprite is designed with a sprite-like aesthetic, and offers things like layers, frames, continuity, onion skinning, color indexing, symmetry and tiling options, and more. Can't recommend it highly enough for someone doing pixel art.
Yup. Using it for music right now. Specifically, music again for my game. I've used FL studio for years on and off, and it keeps getting better. Its not the easiest thing in the world to learn, but I've learned enough to make stuff sound at least halfway
decent. I might reach out to some actual music professional in the future (you know who you are), depending on how its all going, but I'd like to think I can handle doing all of the parts of my game myself. That may be shortsighted, though.
Using Git and Github for version control on my project. Allows for really easy cross-machine development as I go from desktop to laptop, and works great with GM:S. Not much else to say. Learn Git. Its worth it.
Any non-GM work I do now is in Vim. Specifically, NeoVim
. I've never enjoyed working in an editor more than Vim, even though I thought Sublime was the end-all editor. Vim is more portable, powerful, and lightweight than any other editor I've used. I don't actually recommend Vim to people, because it takes a certain kind of person to really want to use it, and it has a very high learning curve, but if you're looking to shake things up, give it a shot.
It's been talked about before around here, but I love me some trello. Its really simple project management software. Right now, I just have four buckets: Planning, ToDo, Doing, Done. I dump ideas into planning, flesh them out, then move them across the board as I work on them. Helps me to keep track of what I need to do, and see the progress I've made over time.
What are you using for what you're making? Anything at all, game, music, website, application, barn, crime fighting outfit, etc.
Further reading on random suggestions of mine: here
. I update that page over time as I find things I want to truly endorse.
Posted on August 22, 2016 at 09:24
I remember when having two posts on the recent blog list at the same time was taboo. Unwritten rule was you shouldn't clutter the blog stream with just your posts. That became the "don't post more than once per day" rule, which lead to allowing for non-front-page blogs.
The point I'm trying to make here is I'm posting again because I've been thinking I could probably stand to post more content on this ol' hunk of code to help keep things lively. Who knows, maybe I'll actually stick to it this time. (Spoiler: probably won't, but I'll try.)
Actual content time.
I'm looking for a new apartment. My girlfriend moved in with me a little over a year ago now, and we've decided its time for a change of scenery. My current apartment is actually very nice. Top floor on a 17 flight building, vaulted ceilings, lots of floor and storage space for a one bedroom apartment, and directly across the street from a metro station, so I can get into DC and around the city very easily. All in all, its been a great 3 or so years here, but there's a few complains that I have that seemingly won't be fixed, and I think its time to get out.
At first, we considered looking at upgrading. Townhouses, mostly. I wanted to look at rending a single family home for a bit. The pricing of a 3 floor townhouse a few minutes down the road from where I am now is comparable to what we currently pay, though we'd lose the convenience factor.
The thing is, we actually don't need more space. Over the past few months, we've been working towards paring down our lifestyle, getting rid of clutter, and recognizing what we're actually looking for. What we decided is that we don't actually need more space, and in fact, we could probably be fine with less space.
We've gotten rid of so much junk, nearly half of the things we own, if not more. I only have about 40 items of clothing now, which includes shoes, coats, scarves and hats. I still think I have too much. We got rid of extra crap we don't use from our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room. I got rid of the gaming consoles I never use, so I could dump the disks and cartridges themselves. I either sold the stuff on Craigslist, or gave it to a friend who would get more value out of it.
I got rid of old electronics, phones, turntables, tablets, anything I had packed away in a box because "I might want it again later". Never did, probably never would take it back out. Seeing the people smile as I made the trade with them, a few bucks for some old phone that I had no use for. They'd tell me why they wanted it, and it was heartwarming. One man told me that he wanted to reward his son for getting good grades, but didn't have the money to otherwise buy the phone. One guy was helping out his aspiring DJ friend. It was great to know that this stuff was going to be actually used rather than collect dust.
We've pretty much locked down where we will be moving next. It's not much of a change, but the building looks to be nicer, newer, and better kept. I think we'll be happy there, even though its actually about a hundred less square feet. We will probably have to give up a couple of pieces of furniture, but that's okay.
Just last night, we had to go through all of our cupboards and cabinets, emptying them out because our building is doing an extermination pass through every unit. It was a pain in the ass, and our crap is lying around everywhere, but it was great for us to see just how much bullshit was hiding in the nooks and crannies. My girlfriend is actually posting about it later today, I'll update with the link when that gets posted.
Ultimately, we are looking to keep our buying and living expenses low, as we save towards our current goal of buying a house on some land to get away from the world together. I find the woods very inspiring, and am looking towards a more peaceful living setting surrounded by the woods, hopefully either working a remote job, or working for myself on a website or a game. (Game, preferably. More on that in a later post.)
I want to encourage you to look around your room / apartment / house / cupboard under the stairs that you live in, and see if you can get rid of something. You probably don't need
all the stuff you have around. Getting rid of the extras makes the stuff you do have that much more valuable to you, and I've found it to be a great feeling.
If you really want a challenge, try doing what I did to start: a decluttering month challenge. Each day of the month, starting on the 1st, get rid of as many things as the number of the day. One thing on day one, two things on day two and so on. It gets hard in the teens and twenties, but its a fun challenge.
Update, link, as mentioned: http://rusticwalks.com/2016/08/22/packing-party/
Posted on August 17, 2016 at 08:59
I recently celebrated my 11th anniversary on this site. You all have stolen over a decade of my life. Way to go.
I should have posted something on the actual day, but oh well. Here we are. Instead of posting something long and rambling here, I'd like to link out to my personal blog, where I recently posted a long, rambling entry about my journey into becoming a developer, heavily featuring 64Digits, as it was the main catalyst in me becoming a programmer.
At the end of the post, I talk about a project I've been working on. I'm just as guilty as everyone with regards to announcing "I'm working on this game it'll be the best and I'll release it soon".
Well, I am
working on a game. It might be the best, I dunno, but I won't be releasing it soon. It's still in its very early stages, and progress is slow, but I'm having a blast making it.
I'll be posting an actual reveal of the game on my site, but I will be posting here as well when I do announce it.
I don't know who everyone is anymore, but that's okay. If I knew you from way back in the day, I'm glad you're reading this, and I hope your life has been as wonderful as mine has been so far. I hope you know you played a part in that. If you're newer, or even if you have no idea who I am, well, I wish you luck in everything you build.
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 14:32
Quoting from my other blog again
In my last post, I talked about a project I recently decided to scrap and totally start over. Thankfully, I've stuck with the new version of the project, and I'm really enjoying the work on it so far.
Here is my problem: I really want to talk about this game, but I don't want to announce it because I don't want the commitment to ruin the fun of the development when it's this early on. My solution is to say "fuck it" and start posting a devlog about what I'll just call "Project B" for now. Sweet deal.
It's been awhile since I've sat down and made a full game. I keep telling myself that I want to go back to how things used to be—making games whenever I could, of whatever size and shape. I like to think that there will be a period of time where I will be doing that, but right now, I can't seem to stray too far from Project B for too long before I get distracted. The issue here is that I need to keep my focus on this project, which keeps getting bigger every time I think about what I want it to be. At some point, I'll have to cut myself off if I ever intend to release it.
So, where am I with the project? Right. So far, basically nowhere. I have been working on basic mechanics and the core gameplay for the most part. The game is a turn based strategy game. I am taking inspiration from games I have found myself consistently enjoying: Fire Emblem, Dota and Hearthstone primarily. Now, those are three vastly different games, I know, but I've been boiling down the essence of what I like from each, and I'm trying to bind them together in a way that I find all kinds of cool. I have zero actual art, UI, sound or any actual resource beyond code. For now, I'm focusing on getting the mechanics of the game right, and paving a way for future development before dumping time, money and effort into anything else. I want to be sure that I have a solid basis to work on.
Once I do get to a place where I'm ready to work with art and sound, I will be contracting with others to ensure that things are top notch. I totally acknowledge my lack of artistic ability (save perhaps for a very basic approach to music, but it wouldn't fit this game), so I will be working with others to fulfill that end of the game.
Overall I can't wait to see where this goes. I don't expect much in the near term, but a solid project and the prospect of making something new and enjoyable excites me. More details to come down the road.