posts dated from: june 2015

Doodle Post

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Dev Log: Imp Anims

Dev Log: Imp Anims
The animation train has kept rolling on somehow with some animations for the Imp enemy. Although I'm not totally satisfied with this, it is better than the static image version for now. I don't know how much I'm going to be motivated to keep going over animations until they're perfect.

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For now that just leaves the player animations left. Then when those are done I'll really have to figure out what I'm going to do with this game...

Dev Log: Bloat Animations

Dev Log: Bloat Animations
Managed to get another animation done! (Until I decide that it's crap and I redo it again.) This time for the bloat monster that spawns mini versions of itself.

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This one came out a little better than I expected it to! My workflow for animations in Photoshop is at least improving, I think.

Dev Log: Better Animation

Dev Log: Better Animation
I put that animation of the purple squid enemy into the game and realized it looks really bad, yahoo! This is why I hate animation... so I redid the animation to try to tone down the movement a bit.

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It looks pretty good now, and I think this guy is just going to have one animation like this, so onto the next stuff!

The Future of Otter

The Future of Otter
Time for some thoughts!

I have this game engine called Otter. It's heavily inspired and influenced by Flashpunk which I used for a number of years for a number of games including Offspring Fling.

I really like using Otter, and it was a lot of fun developing it, but lately I'm not feeling super sure if I can depend on it for the future. Otter really fits my coding style, and I've learned a lot making it, and I feel like it can always be improved (often times I have to resist the urge to start a new version of it that would improve on the core of it now that I know way more about .net, SFML, and openGL,) but I'm not sure how worth it is to keep using.

Unity is gobbling up a lot of game devs these days. Everyone and their grandma is using Unity to develop games. I don't have anything against Unity, but I have a hard time leaving my fate to a tool that is essentially a black box. I have a lot of friends that use it, and sometimes their stories about core Unity bugs disrupting their entire project can give me nightmares. Being at the mercy of a crazy Unity bug that wont be addressed for a few versions seems incredibly stressful... so I'm not totally sold on jumping ship to the Unity train.

I think the core hesitation I have with Otter lately is its dependency on SFML.Net. SFML has had a lot advancements lately thanks to the recently formed core SFML team, but I think SFML.Net and the C bindings are going to be left by the wayside as they start making progress on the core C++ version. There's just not enough people using SFML.Net, and often times I feel very isolated when trying to solve weird issues since the community is so tiny.

So maybe one of my options is to go to XNA/Monogame, but that isn't a perfect scenario either. Unity's main draw to me right now is the whole built in editor and inspector thing, and XNA/Monogame doesn't leave me in any better of a position than SFML in that regard. I don't have any editors for Otter, and once I step outside the realm of pixel art there's absolutely zero good solutions out there for editing content (for something like a platformer, for example.) There are a couple of spun up editor projects out there, but they are barely useable and have way too many bugs for any project outside of the scope of a 48 hour game jam.

Another option is Haxe, but honestly I'd do anything to stick with the world of .net and C# for as long as possible. I love C# and it's amazing, and I don't want to go back to anything that resembles actionscript.

I'm just sort of using this blog post to think outloud really. I really like Unity's editor aspect lately, but their 2d support still seems really dumb... and relying on a third party tool is something that I'd rather not do (I've been scarred though my years of using Klik & Play and all of it's successors.) Maybe I can port Otter to XNA/Monogame and that would be a good solution, but I'm not exactly looking forward to spending a month or so doing that. What I was really hoping for was for someone to join up with me for Otter development but unfortunately I don't think Otter is cool enough for that to happen. Really what I probably need is more info about how to get started using Otter. The little info I've put out there has now become outdated, so starting up with Otter can be pretty though for the average person.

All in all I think I'm going to keep using Otter for the time being, and I think the most realistic scenario is a port of the internals to something else. The XNA/Monogame route seems very tempting, but I know there are a number of problems with that that need to be solved beforehand. There were some specific reasons I went with SFML over XNA and I'm not sure how I'm going to get around some of the issues there. Maybe I can cut out SFML and just go straight into openGL or something... but then I know things like text rendering is going to be an even bigger nightmare than it already is now.

There's never a perfect solution for this kinda thing! If only I had a little bit better of a programmer brain I could make Otter into the perfect portable engine for different platforms, and I'd make a sweet editor to go along with it... oh well! Really I have no idea what to do right now, but that's par for the course. Guess I'll just keeping working on Sky Sisters and a couple of other projects I have spun up and see what happens.

Dev Log: Animations

Dev Log: Animations
Whoa what is this! I opened up Photoshop and I'm actually working on an animation for Super Sky Sisters!

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Just a simple little animation for the squid guy enemy:

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Progress!