Everyone talkin' about people saying videogames instead of video games when the real issue is woah instead of whoa. (5 days ago)
2014 - 7 - 22 / 1:25 pm / general
Whoops! I think this is the longest I've ever let my blog go without an update in a long time. I've been traveling a lot this month and haven't really had a whole lot of time to sit down and do a lot of cool game dev work to talk about.
I was at EVO just two weekends ago, and this last weekend I spent visiting my old college roommates, and some high school friends that I haven't seen in a billion years. Yesterday I was in New York City, and now for the rest of the week I'm in Upstate NY where apparently it's totally okay to convert the shoulder into a driving lane whenever you want. On Saturday I'll finally be back in Phoenix!
I have been working on a little side thing experimenting with near-infinite level generation. It's a little game in Otter right now with just boxes and the game scene is filled in as the player travels through it. Areas of the level also unload when the player gets too far. I wanted to try to make something in which the player can go out in any direction and keep finding stuff, and not have it be bound by any walls or anything like that. I started it on the flight out to the east coast, and worked on it a little bit in a coffee shop in NYC more, but right now it's just a bunch of squares that aren't that exciting.
I think for my developer/mental health I should start working on tiny experiments like this more. It's something that I used to do often, but now I feel like I don't want to take time away from my main project, but that usually ends up being a bad attitude... more thoughts on that later!
Should have more time this week to work on some stuff though before I go back to the west. Sorry about dropping off the face of the internet for awhile!
2014 - 7 - 9 / 4:20 pm / general
I play a lot of TowerFall. So much TowerFall that I broke a 360 Elite controller within one month of purchasing it. I bought the "elite" controller because it was supposed to have that awesome d-pad that can transform and all that good stuff. Well it turns out that using the d-pad excessively results in the shell of the d-pad just cracking and breaking off.
At this point the controller is already broken, so I figured trying to mod it would be the best bet. I grabbed a new d-pad off of ebay, as well as a set of pink controller parts. The d-pad came with the screw driver needed to take apart the controller. After looking at a quick video on how to take apart the controller, here's the result!
Now I am totally ready to take on all opponents in style.
2014 - 7 - 8 / 3:54 pm / general
Here's something that has been on my task list since forever: showing incoming enemy waves on the HUD! Originally the bottom right spot was going to be something different, but for now the incoming wave information felt like it was more important than anything else that could be there.
Now you can see how many enemies are going to be coming at you in the future. The little blips on the hud scroll from right to left as time marches on.
The enemies are arranged vertically depending on which spawn point they're coming from. I'm not sure how much information will be available to the player from here, but for now you can tell the size of the enemy and how many are coming up. I feel like this took me way too long to figure out, and I'm still not 100% happy with how I implemented it, but hey it works!
2014 - 7 - 5 / 3:56 pm / general
Getting back into the swing of game development has been a little tougher than I thought. Especially since July isn't exactly going to be a calm month for me to really dig into stuff. This 4th of July weekend is pretty busy, and I'm still right in the middle of it. After I'm heading up to EVO with a bunch of folk, and then I'm spending some time on the east coast after that. Traveling and getting work done doesn't really go hand in hand for me, so hopefully I can still salvage some time to get some game development in.
Anyway, my recent developments have lead me into making some sort of overworld map for my game. As I started to work on it, I quickly realized that I have no clue what I'm doing. I haven't really worked on anything like this before, and I'm slowly figuring out how to properly structure and manage it all.
Basically the map screen is going to be some kind of turn based system that will determine what kind of encounter you go into next. The player will be able to choose where to go with their character, and there will also be enemy forces moving about in the area attacking things. The main issue I have right now is that I think I know how I want everything to work, but I have no idea how to code it.
I've never done any sort of turn based anything before, so I've been spending some time researching the internet for any leads. I found a few quick examples, but not really any sort of examples that come with source code to look at. I find it very difficult to go from an abstract concept to actual code, and a lot of times these examples or tutorials I find just explain the broad concepts of a system and don't really dig into the details which is where I always get lost... but hopefully with enough just messing around in a code window I can stumble onto the right answer.
2014 - 6 - 29 / 4:59 pm / general
My break from game development ended up lasting a little bit longer than I expected, but I had a good vacation in the world of web design and development. Unfortunately the stuff I worked on is totally top secret, and will be for a little while still, but when it comes time to finally reveal it I'll be sure to post about it here.
There were a few more things that I learned or picked up that came in handy during this last project and I thought I would just share a few of them again.
Tumblr Custom Theme Documentation
This lastest web project involved using tumblr as the content management system. I haven't done any work with tumblr before, but it turned out to be pretty straight forward and overall really easy to work with. Unlike Wordpress I never have to even venture into php territory. Tumblr seems to use some kind of built in templating system that takes care of everything behind the scenes. The official documentation on how to build a tumblr theme actually ended up being the best resource for getting started on it. A lot of the other tutorials I found on theme building were already outdated, so I just stuck to using control-f on the documentation whenever I needed to know something.
This is a quick and simple tumblr theme that implements all of the essential tags. This was a great place to get started and see how the various tags work along side some HTML and CSS. There was one guide that recommended starting with this, and I used it as a guide when I was starting on a custom theme.
Open Graph Protocol
If you want posts to be shared around properly on Facebook then having open graph meta tags in your HTML is essential. You're able to define things like the preview image, description, and title of your articles, which can be very important for when your awesome web page finally goes viral with all the kids. Facebook and other social media things can parse some things from your site automatically, but sometimes the layout of your site will cause it to parse the wrong things so these tags are a way to overcome that.
Social Media Templates
Related to the Open Graph tags, here are templates that cover the rest of the core social media tags. The meta tags for Twitter and even Google+ are available here to copy and paste into your web zone. Once again just useful for controlling what info shows up when people share your site across various social media sites.
Tumblr Static File Upload
When working with a custom tumblr theme you have two main options when it comes to hosting resources. You can either host them all remotely on a separate web server, or you can just upload all of the files to tumblr and have them worry about it. I found that my work flow was best when using a remote server for awhile, and then when things were more concrete I migrated over to the tumblr server. Using the tumblr static file upload you can host all of your files directly on tumblr, but it comes more of a pain to modify and reupload files (like css, font files, images, etc.) Ultimately I think using tumblr's servers for the final product is the best bet.
Firefox Cross Domain Font Fix
This one is pretty technical, but is super important when it comes to using the @font-face properties in CSS with a custom tumblr theme. Firefox cannot load fonts across domains without explicit permission from the host domain. Since the tumblr servers do not have this permission properly implemented, any custom fonts you try to load with the @font-face property will just not load on Firefox. Apparently this is the correct behavior, but kind of annoying since Chrome doesn't seem to care at all where fonts come from. The fix is simple enough though. By encoding fonts as base64 data directly into the style sheet Firefox is able to load the font no problem.
I think that's all for now! Hopefully today I can dig back into game development work, but I had a lot of fun brushing up on the latest web development action.
2014 - 6 - 20 / 12:43 am / general
Things have been pretty quiet around here for a couple of days! I'm still working on video games, but recently I decided to take up some (hopefully) quick web design work! Although I can't share the details of what I'm working on, I can share some resources that came in handy for prepping me for the new world of web design.
My work flow for sites is terribly outdated in the modern world where 55% of web traffic apparently comes from mobile devices. Then on top of that, some desktops are now reaching resolutions of 2000+ horizontal pixels with retina displays and just plain ole huge monitors. The web is always changing, and it has changed a lot since I've really buckled down for a design project.
Web Field Manual
This is a link to a collection of more links! A lot of the stuff here was pretty useful for getting set up with a new work flow, and to catch up on recent trends in web design. Separated by category, I think I looked through almost every link they offered.
About a billion of free to use icons (as long as you attribute the source) for any sort of design needs.
Useful for taking a look at various styles that are designed with responsiveness in mind. See how various templates respond to various mobile device resolutions.
Responsive Grid System
A pretty nifty responsive grid framework to use when developing a responsive site.
Another nifty grid system for responsive design. I used this for the Otter website.
A collection of high resolution totally free to use stock photos, and it's updated frequently.
Pretty straight forward inspiration gallery of recent cool and/or hip websites. Some of these are a little bit too trendy but there's a lot of good stuff here to check out.
Hi there, my name is Kyle, and I'm a 27 year old kid with adult powers. I'm making video games and living the indie game developer life in Tempe, Arizona. Here you will find my thoughts, games, websites, doodles, and other stuff like that. I worked on Snapshot, Offspring Fling, and a whole bunch of other games. I also created and maintain Otter, a 2d game making framework. If you want to get a hold of me use the form on the bottom of the page, leave a comment, or just tweet at me. I try to post three times a week. Thanks for stoppin' by! You're the coolest.
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Do you want to make a Let's Play of one of my games, or a just a video featuring footage of my games? You have my full permission to do so! Even if you are monetizing your videos, you still have my full permission to use any footage from any of my games. Go for it!