2015 - 11 - 7 / 1:40 pm / general
It's been a pretty crazy week for me! Last Sunday I packed up my car and started off on the trip to Denver from Phoenix. Stopped in Santa Fe for the night and ended up in Denver the next day. I stayed with some friends for a couple of days, and through some weird stroke of luck and good fortune found a place to live the day after I got here.
So hopefully pretty soon I will have some internet hooked up, but for now I'm sitting in Roostercat in Denver with my laptop typing this up. I'm really anxious to get back into a schedule of working on my projects.
I'm also going to be on the lookout for Denver game dev meet ups and so far CiGDA seems like the best bet.
Until I get back into the groove I probably wont be posting too much here but I still want (or need) to make my post quota for the month. Hopefully by Monday things will be back on schedule and I can get back to work.
2015 - 10 - 27 / 1:08 pm / general
Well for the past week I've been working on getting Super Sky Sisters to a more finished state, but I've also been trying to figure out all the details of packing up all my stuff and moving to Denver, Colorado.
My time in the sunny desert of Tempe, Arizona is coming to an end. It's gonna be super tough to say goodbye to everything and everyone in the place I've called home for the past 6 years of my life. I originally moved out to the desert to join my teammates to work on Snapshot (a one year project that quickly became a three year project, whoops.) The other team members moved away, but I ended up staying in Phoenix since I loved it so much. Phoenix has a small, but active game developer scene that I enjoyed being a part of during my time here, and I even took up helping lead the local IGDA chapter here. I'm gonna miss this place a lot!
I'm officially making the move to Colorado on November 1st, so unfortunately that means that working on stuff this week, next week, and probably still after that is going to be a gigantic pain in the butt. I actually haven't had a proper home or place to work in about 2 months since it was almost nonstop traveling during the summer, and over the past month I've been waiting on figuring out if I was in fact moving to a new city or not. I'm currently writing this blog post from outside a coffee shop in Tempe as I haven't even set up my desktop computer in weeks. Surprisingly I've been doing okay without my desktop set up, but I am missing having a multi-monitor set up.
What's this all mean?! Well I don't know, I'm going to still be trying to make games, work on Otter, and update my blog a few times a week, but I am expecting that to slow down while I'm on the move... we'll see how this goes!
2015 - 9 - 8 / 12:14 pm / general
I'm almost at the end of my great travels in the Pacific Northwest, and I've spent a lot of time just jamming on some metroidvania type stuff in Otter. Yeah, I know I probably shouldn't be always starting up new projects when I have a bunch of other projects that still need to be finished, but I think right now I've just decided to do whatever makes me feel good and right now that's make some metroidvania game systems.
I spent some time redoing most of what I had for the map system to enable the ability to have weird shaped rooms. The most common case of a weird shaped room is an L, and more rare than that might be an O shape, but beyond that now nearly any shaped room is possible. After I got that working I changed some of the guts of the code around to support rooms overlapping each other's bounding boxes, so that a 1x1 room can exist inside of a 3x3 O shaped room.
Going back to the desert in just a few days and I'm not sure what I'll be working on when I get back, but for now I'm having fun with this thing.
2015 - 9 - 4 / 11:50 am / general
After my time in the four days of sickness and chaos known as PAX I hopped on a bus with wifi that dropped me off in Canada. I'm chilling out at the indie house of Vancouver for the next few days and working on some various game related things.
I have way too many game projects spun up already but this week while I'm in Canada I wanted to spend all of my time on a new prototype and work on some things related to Otter. I'm spinning up a little metroidvania style thing.
I still have Super Sky Sisters, the island game, a dice game, and now this all in the mix... but I tend to just work on whatever thing I feel strongest about at any given time, which now happens to be a metroidvania. At least I do plan on sharing the source for the metroidvania system I made for Otter so that anyone else out there using it can work on their own. I am using Ogmo, and so far just one class that links all the levels together based a position usually set by the player entity.
2015 - 8 - 31 / 1:16 am / events
I feel like I just got to Seattle a second ago, but it looks like PAX is already coming to close. Hard to believe that 3 days of insane exhaustion have already gone by. I thought I would just quick list off some games that I checked out that we're super neato:
Viking Squad: Co-op lane based brawler thing that has the procedural levels that all the kids love these days. Had a lot of fun playing with some folks.
Chasm: Procedural metroidvania (my favorite) that is feeling really good these days. I think I played a build one or two years ago that was kinda cool but didn't have a super solid feel yet, but now I think it does. I do wish for a few things with the movement, but I understand that not everyone wants to make a game with movement exploits.
Timespinner: Another metroidvania but this time not procedural. Freeze time as of right now feels like a Super Metroid ice beam that just captures the whole world instead of just enemies. Cool system with weapons that are orbs that float around the player.
Futuregrind: Kind of like a Trials game but with a crazy future bike that grinds of rails built with my favorite colors. Interesting and expressive controls and movement. Trying to get a high score on the tracks leads to some pretty interesting scenarios once you master the techniques. Really good feel, these guys know what they're doing.
Shovel Knight Plague Knight DLC: I liked Shovel Knight a lot and the new Plague Knight DLC really changes how the game is played entirely. Plague Knight's movement options are really interesting. Combining double jumps, bomb jumps, and hovering from tossing bombs leads to really expressive possibilities.
Shantae: The new one is looking really really nice and has a good mix of 3d world and 2d sprites and animation. This kind of look is really hard to pull off but I think they're doing a good job. They're using Spine to do sort of frame by frame but also transforming animations which look really smooth.
Freedom Planet: This game is totally insane to me because it was made in Multimedia Fusion (Clickteam Fusion) and I have no idea how it can possibly work. I'm saying it's a Sonic the Hedgehog like and it has the full platforming engine of a really good 2d Sonic game. There's three characters to play from, and it has awesome stages and art. It's just a good solid game. I actually bought it awhile ago, but haven't played it that much yet, but seeing at PAX leads me to believe I should get to it pretty soon.
The King's Bird: Never heard of this game until playing it at PAX but boy was it great. Momentum based platformer. I'm sold already. Very fluid controls and just all around excellent game feel. Has a cool flying mechanic and so far just the two demo levels are pretty fun, so I'm interested in seeing more.
I've played many many more games but at the time of writing this post I can't think of them all! Everything in the Indie Mega Booth and the Indie Mini Booth are worth checking out so go through those lists! Now to just survive the final day of PAX.
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.
Hi! My name's Kyle, and I make video games most of the time in Denver, Colorado. 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!