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Frank: This is tons of fun

I’ve really been enjoying working on this project for a number of reasons, the first and foremost being that I have been able to experiment with lots of different sounds, instruments, progressions and melodies. This is tons of fun, and I always look forward to the evenings and weekends that I’m free to work on it. I simply love to make music, and because my day job is completely different and not creative in any sense (project manager for an LED lighting company) working on songs for this game does not feel like work at all… Well OK, sometimes it does feel like work (especially as of late with this frustrating issue of not being able to get the Chrono Trigger soundfont to work properly), but even making a song sound just slightly better gives me a great deal of satisfaction and keeps me eager to continue working on it. I have also been learning a great deal already, and I’ve noticed that I’ve become more deliberate in nearly every aspect of the production process. This has caused me to be more productive and efficient with the time I spend on it.

The other major reason that I really enjoy working on this is I think the world you guys have created so far is awesome, and based on the influences, tone, and sense of humor in the game, I can already tell I’m going to love playing it.

Despite not having gotten much work done over the last few days (due to an insanely busy weekend/week at work), I feel that have made good progress. The Shadow song is close to being finished I believe, and I’ve got a few ideas for the Chip song that I’m excited to pursue. As I work my way through the music that has been posted, I feel that I am getting a better and better sense of the style and feel that you guys are looking for in this game.

Before I end my rant, I want to add in here that I will be getting my tonsils out tomorrow morning. Since I’m taking two weeks off work to recover and will likely be bored out of my skull when not in agonizing pain, I anticipate getting a good amount of work done during the recovery. Perhaps the drugs will have a positive influence on the music I come up with

Sorry for the book, gentlemen (and women). That’s it for me.

-Frank

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Isla: I’m here to help

I’m Isla.

I’m here to help… well, you actually.

Yes you, the people reading this.

[NAMESPACE] wants this thing to be great, and I want to help. Actually, that’s kind of the one constant thing that’s happening here.

I’ll be handling playtesting, outreach, marketing, and hassling people for their advice on how to make things better.

As for you folks; got a question? Send it my way. Suggestions? Let me have ’em! Something on the website is broken?

…Ah hell, let me go fix that.

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Christian: I’ve spent the entire time up to my elbows in directed graphs, dialog trees, and quests

Another week has gone by, and this time I’ve spent the entire time up to my elbows in directed graphs, dialog trees, and quests. Having all of them individually isn’t so bad, but making them play nicely together has been a pain in my butt. Complicating all of this is the need to have some sort of file IO so that I don’t have to hard code every single quest into the game. This meant that in addition to doing the work with dialog trees, I’ve had to implement a small version of a developer console, where appropriate strings from the quest json files get parsed as functions inside of the engine, allowing dialog trees to check to see if, for example, the player has talked to npc bob a specific number of times, or to perform some action in order to prepare the game to run a quest.

For now I think the system will do, but it has one major drawback, in that it can only work with static classes. Because the information is just strings of characters in a file, I can’t reference a specific object. Instead, I have to call functions on classes that I know in advance will be there (i.e. the static classes), or perform expensive searching for individual objects. What this means is that I have the world state as a dictionary of strings attached to the world state static class, which the json files run their queries against.

Overall, I’m pleased with the progress, and though I think that the quest system is far from perfect, it’s heading in a direction that should be able to meet all of our needs.

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Hadi: It’s that time of the week again!

It’s that time of the week again!

Hadi is currently drowning in paper work and documents (as shown below) so I, the almighty Monkey, will explain to you the greatness that is in my brain.

paperwork

There’s a story with a beginning, middle, and end (kind of) and a bunch of cool designs that would make the game super cool. There’s a bunch of incestuous creatures that keep on making new creatures and everyone has something to say. Other than the story I helped with the creation of the logo. I want to do more work on it but there’s so many other things to do, (I’m surprised Hadi and Sean can keep up with me)

Well I did my job; (I think), so until next week.

-Monkey

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Sean: This is what I get for listening to podcast commercials

First off, fuck square space and their lack of extensions. I guess this is what I get for listening to podcast commercials. Time to get back to having real FTP access, server space and good old WordPress. It was kind of a pain to switch over last week, but the benefits will definitely outweigh time spent on the switch. Alongside site reconstruction, we finally have a Twitter, Facebook and a Tumblr.

because we finally have a logo… Well we have two logos that we can live with for now while we work on more important things like saying hi to people on twitter… I mean game development. Also I can’t help but ask how did people work on collaborative projects without Slack, I’m honestly asking. Chain emails? /Shudder.

Being able to look at where character concept designs and the engine started just a few weeks ago and scroll though to what we have now is beautiful.

Now aside from businessy shtuff Hadi and I have compiled a few veeeery long lists of all the media that we have consumed to serve as references as well as inspiration for the rest of the team, though the amount of content is a bit daunting. Story and design docs continue to coalesce and character concepts are also looking awesome. I am really excited to start showing them to people outside our studio to get more feedback.

That’s all for this week, time to get back to work.

– Sean Bacon

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Ken: The Disappearing Race

Hey everyone, I’m Ben E, but every just calls me Benny.

I’m the team’s historian and researcher, which means I get to investigate all the terrifying myths, fables, and legends throughout history that have become the basis for our game. Basically, I’m like Indiana Jones with a modem.

I’m really excited to share some truly dreadful and deranged stuff with you all, but to kick things off, I figured I’d start by telling you about one of the greatest mysteries of our time: the Anunnaki.

The Anunnaki were a select society of people who lived thousands of years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Ancient texts refer to them as white haired giants whose knowledge and science was light-years beyond any other people group of the era. The ancient Mesopotamians actually worshipped them as gods, and the name Anunnaki literally means “princely offspring.”

However, one interesting fan theory suggests that they weren’t native to our planet at all. Instead, they came from a planet called Nibiru, which features an extended orbit that allows it to pass by Earth only once every several thousand years (could this be related to the recent discovery of Planet X?). When Nibiru finally does align with Earth, however, it’s close enough for the Anunnaki to make a quick space hop over to our favorite blue planet and start causing mischief.

Unfortunately we don’t know what happened to the Anunnaki. They literally vanished from the face of the Earth. We have a few slivers of archeological evidence that point back to them, but it’s almost as if one day they all got up and vanished. Could it have been a massive famine? A great plague? Or did they all just go back home? …And could they someday come back?

Until next time everyone. Keep your chin up and pick up a history book.

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Dre: This week has been a crazy one

This week has been a crazy one. I tried to buy a car, but it turned out to be a disaster. I’ve been carpooling half an hour to and from the city I work in for a few months and I’m fed up with other people’s schedules ruling my life. So I took the leap to break free and fell flat on my face at the dealership ALLLLLLLL DAYYYY Saturday. So that was fun. Maybe next week I’ll be able to buy my freedom. 

On a more positive note, despite only having 2 days of work this week, I feel like I really got in the groove and nailed some positive stuff down on our characters. They have always had a lot of glaring flaws and unfinished parts, until now. I feel like they are just a step or 2 from being finished. The only major things I think they need are instrument updates and some good lighting.

Also with the news of being rated “M,” I’m excited to see how promiscuous we can make our characters. I think we should have her, or him if you’re in to that, be really easy and sexy and get naked for a couple quests. There is a lot of comedy to be found in the awkwardness of sexual exploits. That’s my 2 cents, and that’s why they pay me the big bucks!

Until next week: signing off,

This has been Dr. E.
The artitiator.

P.S. I know I’m not the only one who wanted to see all my favorite characters naked when I was a teen. Just food for thought.

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Dre: Team management, game design, and production art

It’s exciting to work on this project. I work full time doing mainly team management, game design and production art, so working with [NAMESPACE] is a welcome change to make some real art. I typically work best in an ADD sort of mindset – not sticking to a single task for too long, so switching from my day job to my weekend job is good for my psyche.

The game idea we’re working on fits my personality pretty well: sarcastic, silly and unrealistic. It’s still really early in production so most of the details of the game are pretty vague. This means I get to explore a lot. I’m not sure anybody knows exactly what they’re looking for, but that’s half the fun. I’m currently working on the main characters. I don’t know too much about them, so it’s mainly exploring interesting shapes and visual language. I think some of my designs are pretty successful, but every successive round of designs I do get better and more sophisticated as I explore. Instead of figuring out who the character is, it’s becoming more of an exploration of the design language that will be used throughout the entire game.

I’m pretty confident in where things are going. The only downside is that I’m only working on this on the weekends. It’s a little bit hard for me to switch mindsets from every day life, to full-on art-nerd-mode. On a similar note, living with my parents sucks. It’s a soul drainer. Next month I hope to be on creative overdrive when I get my own place and have a nice work area.

Piece!

-Dre
Artman Extraordinaire

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Christian: Game engines will be easily extensible

So, my thought on game engines is that ideally, they will be easily extensible. What that means is that each script must be compartmentalized. The goal of my engine design was to allow the addition and subtraction of these components on the fly, so that I would only have to program a behavior once, and then I could add it to as many game objects as I needed. To do this, I gave each game object an internal dictionary of components, where the key was the class of component, and the value was the actual component of that type. then, I made a generic method to create an instance of a component object, and link the component object to the game object. This way, what appears to be a single game object is actually a collection of objects, with a game object’s duties delegated amongst them.

It took a while to get this model working, so before I completed this structure, I managed to do other things like create a rudimentary physics simulation, and implement SAT collision. (Both of which took me quite a while). However, once I had made the Game Object / Component structure, I had to break previously functional code apart in order to get the behavior I wanted in a component format. Since then, I’ve been using game components to add functionality like Overworld movement, level behaviors, platformer style movement, and the first implementation of a combat system.

By far the most complex area of this game is the combat system, which must be expertly tuned. Ignoring my instincts to try and tune it as I go has been difficult, but enlightening. I am expecting to have a robust combat system in the next couple of weeks. After that, it will be time to turn my attention to the asset pipeline. I have the game working with a tile map editor for overworld maps, but I still need at least two more editors to generate the json used for levels and gameObject loading. Writing them by hand has been problematic, and I would very much like to have a small application to generate them for me, as I’m sure everyone else at namespace would appreciate having access to them as well.

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Hadi: Hi, I’m a crazy little monkey

Monkey

Hello, HELLO? Hi, I’m a crazy little monkey that happened to get his hands on a bunch of money! Instead of spending it all on awesome bananas (mmmm…. bananas) I’ve decided to team up with a bunch of devs and build a game.

“SMACK” (monkey goes flying off the chair)

Sorry about that! I’m Hadi, also known as “The Guy” on the team. I get to do all the fun stuff, like looking for people, drafting legal documents, monitoring workflow, and coming up with cool shit to put into the game. That monkey from before is called Monkey, he’s just a part of my brain that comes out every so often. He’s usually a nice guy, but since this is our first blog he got WAY too over excited. We work well together though; he comes up with all the crazy stuff and I try to make sense out of it.

I’m really pleased with what we’ve come up with so far. The world that we’ve been constructing is super interesting because there’s so much to explore and discover. It’s a place that Me and Monkey would definitely like to visit.

-Hadi & Monkey