American health care is terrifying. Even with insurance I am nervous to seek treatment for things because insurance can just not cover you. (3 days ago)
2014 - 3 - 6 / 12:02 pm / general
I've been pretty heads down on my game project for the past couple of days. I've managed to fix a few bugs in Otter as well, but I'm putting a hold on any official updates due to issues with the Spine license that I'm pretty sad about.
The Spine license only allows people with a full copy of Spine to download and use the official Spine runtimes. I didn't know this at the time when I created a simple Spine graphic type for Otter. The situation I'm in now is trying to figure out how to easily provide that Spine graphic type for people using Otter, but also separate it from Otter so that I can distribute it only to people that have the Spine license... argh.
In the wild world of my new game, I've been just working on some art related tasks. I've been jumping all over the place and working on totally different things on each day, but that ends up working out because it keeps things fresh and interesting.
That's all for now! Things are going to be pretty hectic for me in the next 2 or 3 weeks, as GDC is fast approaching and I'm also going to be traveling a little bit before then. If you're going to GDC, we should hang out and get sushi!
2014 - 2 - 27 / 5:55 pm / general
Been having a lot of fun with my workflow of animating in Flash, exporting to a SWF, and then using ShoeBox to convert to a sprite sheet. There are some hiccups in the pipeline still, but hopefully I can get them ironed out before I get any deeper in the art department.
I should really be working on the actual game part of this game, and probably all the systems that are going to be needed to be intertwined, but at this point I'm having way too much fun with particles. I've been bound by the word of Flash and ActionScript 3 for so long. Having 30 particles on the screen in Offspring Fling was a nightmare for performance, but now in the land of SFML, C#, and Otter, I can spawn hundreds of particles and the game doesn't hitch at all -- not even in debug mode!
2014 - 2 - 24 / 2:19 pm / general
Been working on getting some particle effects going lately. At first I was trying out a workflow of animating in Graphics Gale since it's so easy to use for animating pixel art. The entire process was animating in Graphics Gale, upscaling in Image Resizer using an HQ 4x filter, then downscaling it and cleaning it up in Photoshop. Although this yielded some pretty decent results, the actual pipeline of getting it into the game from Graphics Gale was becoming a huge pain. Here's a sprite from this process:
I did give Flash a try before this, and all I could find was this tutorial on how to export to a sprite sheet. I had a lot of issues with this process. First the entire SWF document couldn't be exported, only a symbol. Second is the fact that you pretty much have no control over the pixel size of a symbol, and therefore the size of the export. Thirdly the export to sprite sheet just didn't have enough options for my needs. This is why I passed on Flash initially.
Then I discovered that you can just export an entire swf has a .png sequence. Hooray! I can export a bunch of images of an animation, and since I can define the size of the swf, I can define the size of the png exports. Now all I need to do is somehow turn it into a sprite sheet.
That's where Shoebox comes in. This program is an Adobe AIR application that is sort of a swiss army knife for 2d game development. One of the features that I'm using in my current process is the frame sheet builder.
At first I was using the frame sheet builder with a sequence of png files, but then I discovered you can just use an exported swf file instead. So after all of that, my current pipeline for animating frame by frame stuff is Flash, export to SWF, use Shoebox to convert it into a sprite sheet, and then import it into the game. It's not a terrible workflow at all, but sometimes using Flash is a little infuriating.
2014 - 2 - 22 / 8:09 pm / general
Just a quick post for Screenshot Saturday. Working on getting a first pass of art in the game and hopefully have something to show by GDC time. I'm still figuring out the whole work flow with Spine, and also high res assets. For now it's looking like Flash is my best bet, at least for particles, but for other frame by frame stuff I'm still not sure what I'm going to do to achieve the look that Photoshop gives me...
I'll save those details for a future blog post though!
2014 - 2 - 9 / 8:42 pm / games
Apparently there's a game jam going down soon about a recent mobile game sensation. I had a few hours to spare today and I wasn't being productive on my big game, so I decided to whip something up in Otter.
Download Flippy Flop 1.0 (Windows, 1.6mb)
Not really a game jam game, but more like a game doodle.
2014 - 1 - 26 / 5:58 pm / general
My most recent development in my game's crazy system is implementing an area of effect. Right now areas of effect can keep track of any Entities that enter them with a "Combatant" component. I'm using the Combatant component to keep track of anything in the scene that can either deal or receive damage in some way. Here's an area of effect that increases the player's "TimeRate" stat:
When the TimeRate stat is modified the player's weapons will fire faster, and anything else that depends on that stat is also changed. I think the way I have it set up right now any sort of regeneration status will be effected by the TimeRate, so if I had a health regeneration modifier then it would be applied faster than normal.
The way I have things set up right now is that all entities in the scene that are combatants have some sort of core stats table. These stats determine all kinds of things for each of those entities, and things like areas of effect can just apply modifiers to those stats and hopefully the entities will react accordingly. This is all totally new stuff to me and I'm learning a lot as I go, but progress is kinda slow as the more I learn about this stuff the more I know about what I could be doing better -- so I end up scrapping stuff and writing it better as I realize it.
Not quite as fast as a game jam scenario, but I don't want to code myself into a corner when it comes to making a system like this!
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!