There's a disturbingly high amount of cool games at PAX not giving out buttons... :I (Yesterday)
Overcame the terror of flying once again. In Seattle now. Let's do this. (4 days ago)
That terrifying feeling of realizing how long it's actually been since I started my break from my main project. (11 days ago)
2015 - 8 - 20 / 9:41 am / general
It seems like 2015 is really flying by and once again I'm trying to figure out what happened to it! Obviously I have kind of shifted my priorities again to maintain some sort of sanity and happiness. What started out as a year of working on the island game tentatively titled Stratoforce has turned into working on a bunch of smaller stuff. The stress of working on one big thing for a long time got to me so I took a break, and now that break is pretty extended.
I'm still working on finishing Super Sky Sisters which is probably 98% done at this point. There's just a few more things to do, like figure out how I'm releasing it. I've gotten a lot of feedback from people that suggests I should put it on Steam or something, but that honestly sounds like more trouble than it's worth. My current plan is to release on itch.io for a small amount of dollars.
Other than that I'm working on a prototype involving dice. I've posted some gifs and such of it from time to time. I haven't spent a super long time on it yet so there's no real game yet, but I've been trying to figure out how to make rolling digital dice feel cool and not like a chore.
I currently have a contract gig that is taking up some of my time. I'm doing some character art and level tile art for an upcoming indie game that for now I don't think I can say what it is, but it is pretty cool to work on!
On top of that I'm still trying to flesh out all the examples I can for Otter. I think pretty soon I'll be able to call it version 1.0 and figure out what I want to do with it after that. I have tinkered around with some other frameworks and engines, but I still always go back to Otter... I just wish it were easier to export to Mac and Linux.
I think that covers everything! I'm staying busy, still just living that indie life I suppose. Eventually I will have to buckle down and release a new proper game, but for now I still think I'm having fun and keeping my emotional health up which can be very important. Working on small projects that have no expectations is way more comfortable for me, but I know that eventually that won't be paying my bills.
2015 - 7 - 25 / 6:35 pm / otter
I want to keep the Otter example train rolling until I manage to flesh out enough examples to cover all the basics of making a game. The newest example covers animating sprites using a quick example sprite sheet from the Spriter's Resource.
The example with all of the code and required image is available right here.
Also a reminder: if you're using Otter actively make sure to stop by the forums, or sign up for the relatively new Otter Slack Team. There's actually quite a bit of activity happening in the Slack, and recently one of the Otter community members posted a new GUI suite of components to use in your Otter made games!
2015 - 6 - 4 / 3:21 pm / general
Hey I'm being productive! Mostly. I'm still 'crastinatin' on the animations I have yet to do for Super Sky Sisters, but I am now getting some final stuff done on other aspects of it. I've been tackling some of the sounds lately and throwing in some temporary music so I can set up the music management system.
For sounds I'm turning to a new program I found on the internet called LabChirp. It's similar to the great and eternal BFXR, but it creates a different style of sound that's (to me) more akin to the old console sound chips.
In other news I'm also working on the balance of the game. I've gone through and tweaked a lot of the game events in regards to how they grow more difficult over time, and I've also done some reworking of the difficulty levels that can be selected at the start of the game. My goal is to have a single play session last around 10 minutes, and during those 10 minutes I want the player(s) to be able to defeat all three of the game's bosses.
2015 - 5 - 30 / 4:54 pm / general
Yes, the procrastination continues on the animations for Super Sky Sisters. I've been diving more into doing general drawing and art stuff lately and spending a lot of time with the ole Manga Studio... but this of course isn't really pushing the game closer to completion. I mean, this is pretty much all I have left:
The enemy animations task will be expanded for each enemy, but aside from that everything is pretty much straight forward. I am working a little bit on getting music and sound in there but with just placeholder stuff for each. Balancing the game is also proving to be a little difficult as it's really hard to see the effects of each change without playing a bunch of full games.
I'm at the point of the project where I think I'm spending more time playing the game than working on it since a lot of what's left requires complete play session to test. Sometimes I toss around the idea of making a simple AI that will play the game but I feel like that's just going to be opening up a dark dimension of infinite iterations and procrastination.
I think I'm going to have to super buckle down and do some time boxing to finish this out.
2015 - 5 - 28 / 2:48 am / general
Last night I had the opportunity to talk about explosions in front of a group of game developers. I ended up doing a live demo of making an explosion effect from scratch. Here's what I ended up with after about 45 minutes:
Not my best work but not bad for having to come up with something on the fly in front of a bunch of people. I ended up using Photoshop for animations, ShoeBox to spit out sprite sheets, and Otter to implement the effects.
One of the fun things of the presentation was adding suggestions from the audience which included spawning more explosions from the first explosion. This is why the whole screen briefly fills up with explosions and then calms down again. It uses a quick recursion to make the explosions chill out after a couple of booms.
I had a lot of fun doing this and I want to turn it into some kind of screen cast or stream. I didn't end up recording it since I didn't want to really complicate the set up at the last minute. Running a live demo is already scary enough.
The full source code is available here. The assets needed are uploaded here. If I do a more full version of this talk I'll be sure to post it here!
2015 - 5 - 16 / 4:14 pm / general
Super Sky Sisters is almost done, but I'm having a lot of trouble actually bringing it across the finish line.
The very last thing to do on the game is animations and this is something that I struggle a lot with usually. Animation is probably my weakest skill amongst my game development related talents, and I usually save it for the very end of the project if I can help it. Offspring Fling had almost no animations until I was about 95% done with the game... I think the entire game was totally playable start to finish with all of the secret content and everything before I did a single animation on any of the enemies.
Since I'm not that good at animations I usually get very flustered when trying to work on them. I constantly do not produce results that are good enough for my own taste, which leads to me being very discouraged, which leads to me not liking to do animations, which leads to me procrastinating on doing animations even when it's the last thing to do in the project.
I should probably stop making excuses and just do it because that's the only way I'll be able to get this game done! But first.. I think I'll go work on sounds for a little while.
Hi there, my name is Kyle, and I'm a kid disguised as a grown up. 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!