Kilin

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April 23, 2014
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Joined May 26, 2006
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April 25, 2007
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A Two-Year Reflection
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 14:46

I'm in kind of a critical point in my life, where everything has to come together in one stressful mess or I'm really in for it. It's a mountain of stress to move on in life, especially when my hobbies are at risk. I don't know yet whether my hopeful career of game design will work out or not, but the only way to know for sure is to try. And the vast majority of people who complain about not having their dream jobs are those who don't try.

I may be a skeptic and something of a pessimist, but I realized yesterday that there is one thing that makes me happy, and that's making games. There is no greater feeling than doing a day's worth of work, looking back, and thinking, "Man, I accomplished a lot today. This game is that much closer to being finished."

But sometimes it's hard to find the motivation, that much I can understand. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture and not at the little details that act as obstacles. So today I asked myself what I've learned in the past two years -- the two greatest years of improvement in my life. I'd encourage you to ask yourselves the same questions.




My turning point was definitely RPG4D 2012. That was when I first finished something I could be proud of. That was when I really got it into gear and realized I didn't have to be stuck making shitty incomplete games. It was also my peak in motivation and thus the beginning of a long fall I'm still recovering from.

I've found my compositional style, which I've received largely positive feedback on.

I've made significant graphical improvements and can handle myself in both a pixel art environment and texturing. I have a decent and adaptable art style that needs improvement, but is passable.

I've improved as a writer and now have a much better understanding of modern storytelling, though this area isn't without its need of improvements.

I enjoy making complex games. Minigames are successful in short bursts. This doesn't mean that complex, effort-filled games can't be, but it may take longer to see success.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, but the ability to execute them is what sets you apart from everyone else.

Despite what some people say, it's not a bad thing to be a jack of all trades. Having skills in many areas is ideal for indie, though I have selected one to focus on more than the others.

Obstacles can be demoralizing. If needed, come back to them another day, or just plow through them with a cup of coffee in hand. Some say if you don't enjoy your work 100% then it's not for you, but I've found this to be entirely untrue. In your work, you will hit obstacles. The ability to overcome them is what shows your love for your work.

Force yourself to work if you have to, but don't force a product. Do this when you need to overcome a block, and stop when you feel that the quality is taking a hit because of it. More often than not, you will revisit these areas, but at least you overcame the block when it mattered.

You need just as much affirmation as everyone else.

And most importantly:
Coffee is delicious. Don't let anyone tell you that coffee isn't delicious.






Someone get me a new skybox.




3DS Friend Code Blog
Posted on February 01, 2014 at 13:08

Someone requested this a while back. Thought it might be nice to have, especially since half of 64Digits' population has Pokemon X/Y, which has some really nice benefits for having lots of 3DS friends. I'm not sure why we don't have this lying around somewhere already.

If you're interested in sharing your 3DS friend code, post it here and I'll update the list as they come in. Remember, you have to mutually add each other in order to see each other online.


Friend Codes
Kilin: 2363-5654-0709
Iasper: 2062-9435-8002
Kunedon: 3780-9173-1315
Kabob: 2578-3625-1613
Reidd: 4098-3734-4968
Moikle: 0834-1290-8990




In other news, RC and I are delving into Minecraft modding as kind of experimental thing. Don't get your hopes up, though I'd like to get a poll for what kind of features people want to see.

For example, Jeremy is our event mod, and I think he's better at making minigames for us to play on many an occasion, but I was thinking we could have a good survival marathon mod, which, if you've been on IRC, has been pitched as an economy-based mod that gives people professions. Basically, more teamwork, as people can't play the game alone as effectively (due to reduced ore spawn rates and increased cluster sizes).

That's the hope anyway, though we did learn that Jeremy was doing something similar. So other suggestions are still appreciated.




Tempust (Kilin's F4D Devlog)
Posted on January 20, 2014 at 16:58

My goal with every competition is to try something new.

A secondary but equally important goal is to try and get the same high I got back in RPG4D.

I've learned that's no longer possible.

I haven't decided what it is yet, but I've entered every competition since RPG4D in an effort to show myself I can work just as hard as I did back then, and produce a project that garners the same attachment I had to The Twilight Realm.

Back then I worked shorter hours. Back then, I'd come home and look forward to drinking a mug of coffee and working on TTR. Back then, I'd take the occasional walk to relieve the stress and try to find some new inspiration as I mercilessly cut content.

I can't blame my lack of success on work and school though. Sure, they play a large role in it, but another is just a lack of motivation. As my skill levels rise, so do my ambitions, and ambitions are my greatest enemy. Unlike most, I'm not a victim of scope creep, but of being too ambitious to begin with.

I'll continue asking myself what it was that made RPG4D so successful and so memorable for me, because I've accepted now that I won't ever find that again.

Because of this, I'm no longer entering competitions.





Or maybe I will, and I'll just stop with the animation whoring.


What Worked?
I focused heavily on graphics this time around, with some emphasis on the platforming engine. The music turned out decent (all two tracks), and I'm content with how some things turned out, even if I didn't do it optimally.

Where Did I Fail?
At the halfway mark, it hit me that I wasn't going to be able to finish the game as I had it planned. So I started cutting content. Then I realized that I couldn't cut content while maintaining the story. So I gave up.
I lacked two things: graphics and level design skills. Music was becoming a chore for me, too. Basically all I had, and all I ever have, is a story. The rest is so debilitating that I found it was better to give up and shift my focus elsewhere, rather than continuing on a project that no longer motivated me.



In short, it's a Castlevania-esque game with minor bullet sequences. You have a stamina bar which is used to power a shot attack (was previously going to be used for time manipulation and other spells the character had in his arsenal). You also have flames, which, as they nullify the cold, increase health and stamina regeneration.
Oh, and by hitting enemies with the tip of your sword, you deal increased damage.

There is a lot of extra content in the game that won't make it into this release.

The game consists of a single short stage and a boss fight. I'll be entering this into F4D for shits and giggles.

Maybe next time I'll have learned to shoot low, even though I thought I was shooting low to begin with.




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