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Isla: Link Roundup 2/29/16 (Leap day!)

As mentioned last week, if anyone has any suggestions for new categories, things to add, etc. Please let me know @isla_es.

Video of the week: “The Unseen History of Portal (VNN Exclusive)” from Tyler McVicker/Valve News Network

Reading material:10 Typical Perspective Errors” by Martina C.

Reddit thread of the week:How to approach a Youtuber to raise the chance your game gets covered” by DaMobileMob_YT

Do’s and Do Not’s

  • DO contact a youtuber via Email..
  • DO choose wisely what kind of youtuber you are going to contact (Genre, Commentary Style etc.)..
  • DO study the youtubers content to maybe find some facts that can help you approach him in a creative way..
  • DO not hesitate to contact any youtuber, they are all humans..
  • DON‘T CC! USE BCC! I don’t want to see how many other youtubers you were contacting before choosing to contact me..
  • DON‘T contact a youtuber via Social Media with your final product..
  • DON’T name the subject: MY GAME IS LIKE CANDY CRUSH, but… (That also counts for your first sentence)
  • DON’T give a youtuber the feeling that you have no idea about his channel’s content.

Random shoutout: Tom-Monster with this:

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Hadi: Well… Crap

I missed the deadline for the journal entry; For Shame.

“…” .

Well, it happens.


Sean and I spent the entirety of yesterday going over project scope, budget and timeline. Super fun stuff. After hours of trimming and fixing we think we can properly see what the project will be, it’s super exciting!

Other than that, I have been replicating people’s isometric pixel art pieces to get use to their style, composing chiptune songs so that I can make simple diddies (they suck real bad right now, I’ll probably make a soundcloud once I have enough of them haha), writing updated GDDs and Story Docs, reaching out to other developers and making connections, and doing research.

I got to go do some more stuff now; pretty sure I’ll be working on some sort of social media thingy, so here we go!

Until next week,


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Sean: I beat Hadi

with whom I have been talking with literally all day and who still needs to both drive home in the snow and write a blog update in the next 10 minutes.

This past week I have been developing the fighting mechanism for the game. So far development has gone even better than expected and basic 2D fighting is way easier in than I expected. Heres the fast version, take sprites create animations, add colliders to appear during certain frames of animation, tie animations to buttons and throw it all on a rigidBody. Now the trick is getting the character movement and animation times to feel right, which was the rest of what I did last week. Next up is creating a very basic bot so that I can stop having to hold the block button on one controller and attack on the other.

That’s all for now, but Im looking forward to sharing what I learn this week on basic fighting AI.

Sean Bacon

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Frank: It Never Ends

I was really hoping that the title of this week’s journal would be something like “Basking in the Light at the End of the Tunnel”, and that the subject would reflect this. I suppose the week began as such, anyway. The start was very promising — I got a good amount of work done implementing a Celtic element into the song Shadow, and I was freshly inspired by a few different soundtracks and songs. I have messed with the Irish flute track some more since my latest update, and while it sounds better than it initially (no out-of-place Dropkick Murphys riff anymore) did I am still not content with it. The master volume level in the whole song is more balanced and normalized, and note velocities for most of the tracks have become deliberate and more polished. I have also changed the percussion track somewhat, but I think I like what I had originally better and will probably change it back. My productivity slowed down on Wednesday due to my abrupt return to a status of “Human Being” once again, but I was hoping to get the Irish Flute track finished and get the rest of the tracks’ velocities properly tuned and adjusted during the weekend. Unfortunately this didn’t happen because I ended up spending much of it dealing with a new, very unsettling health complication that presented itself on Saturday. Looks like I’ve got a few more invasive, uncomfortable tests to endure before I’m out of the woods.

Anyway, hoping to get a lot done this week and make up for my lack of production last week.

-Sad Sack (aka Frank)

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Christian: Quests and databases

After a week, I’ve managed to implement a basic version of the Dialog and quest systems by using a database! Of course, it’s still very un-optimized, and database is probably too generous a term for what is essentially a hash table storage system, but it is functional and at this point that’s what I care about. Basically, both this system works by keeping a bunch of values in a Dictionary called “WorldState”, and then referencing it when a new conversation is called for, or when a quest changes state. It checks the rules of the dialog block and the conditions of the quest against the values in WorldState, and then performs the relative actions. This means that I can keep adding quests and dialog using unity’s editor, and not have to code anything specific! However, there is a major catch. Because it relies on string names to store data under, it is very possible to make a spelling mistake or forget to update the appropriate value, and have everything break. I’m working on some best practices to help mitigate this risk, because I believe the extra flexibility and ease of use is worth having this system in the first place.

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Ken: Sleeping Giants, part 1

Hey everyone, Ben E. here. Have you guys every heard of Robert Pershing Wadlow?

Wadlow was a giant in the field of…well, in the field of humanity. Born and raised in Alton, Illinois back in 1918, Wadlow weighed around eight pounds when he was born. That’s a nearly average weight for a newborn. However, by the time that Wadlow was only eight years old he had reached a height of 6 feet 2 inches. It’s true. Before Wadlow had even hit puberty he was taller than the average American.

At his peak, Wadlow measured 8 feet and 11 inches tall and weighed around 490 pounds. This gentle giant had to consume 8000 calories a day just to survive. Most of Wadlow’s clothing had to be custom made. In fact, this shirts required three times the normal amount of cotton to make. And you could fit a small dog inside his shoes; each pair cost nearly $100, and that was back in the 1930s. Adjusted for inflation, that price would be closer to $1500 in today’s dollars.

Not only was Wadlow declared the world’s tallest Boy Scout, but the officials at Guinness World Records have said that Wadlow is the largest man in recorded history. An impressive feat to be sure.

But, what if Wadlow wasn’t the largest man in history? What if he wasn’t a modern anomaly, but a remnant of our past? I think that the world was once filled with a lot of people who looked a lot like Wadlow. I think the world was once filled with cities full of Wadlows. What happened to them? Come back next week as we explore the lost world of THE GIANTS!

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Isla: Link roundup 2/22/16

I’m thinking of starting a new thing, weekly linkdumps. Hopefully this will be a useful resource (or at least an interesting timewaster). If anyone has any suggestions for new categories, things to add, etc. Please let me know @isla_es.

Image of the week: Roll Your Class (Source unknown)

Video of the week: “Chuck Jones – The Evolution of an Artist” from Every Frame a Painting

Article of the week:Emotions and Mechanics #3: Lessons about Serenity” by Yu-Cheng (Larry) Chang

“Paper” of the week:Rule Databases for Contextual Dialog and Game Logic or ‘How to Make Writers Even More Awesome‘” by Elan Ruskin

Reddit thread of the week:Getting Streamer to play your game, how we did it” by gambrinous, creator of Guild of Dungoneering

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Frank: One Step Closer

My main accomplishment this past week has been getting a solid percussion track completed. Percussion is always my least favorite part and doesn’t tend to be a strong suite of mine, but after trying many different things I finally got something I like. Aside from that, I have played around with a few different sounds and adding some more tracks to highlight the existing melodies (specifically in the middle and later portions of the song), but so far I haven’t come up with anything that excites me. It seems like most of the things I’ve tried adding just increase the clutter, so I’m going to try a different plan of attack. I’m going to do some research and do some youtube-ing to get some inspiration, and probably listen to the posted soundtracks again for the umpteenth time. Also, any additional feedback you guys have will be appreciated. The most helpful feedback is specific and usually critical, so let me know what parts you still don’t like and where you think it falls short.

In other news, I will finally be returning to my regular job tomorrow. Although I still feel far from 100% (especially after a particularly horrendous trip to the ER on Tuesday night that involved vomiting a great deal of blood and almost ended in a transfusion and an emergency trip back to the OR) my boss is beginning to apply pressure. I also need to be making money again, and I am beginning to go crazy after being cooped up for so long. Hopefully it won’t result in further complications.

That’s it for this time. 


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Dre: 2/21/16

This week I went to a  1920s themed party which was pretty interesting. Everyone was totally decked out and it’s the first time I’ve ever gone out in public with a mustache. NAIIIILED IT!

On a similar note, the characters don’t seem to have strayed from the 20s, but I don’t think that’ll matter much when they are thrown in to a world that is themed more that way. It will help them stick out a little more, plus they look pretty badass as they are. Most of their little details are finished including hands and feet. The only thing that would really finish them off would be to spend a hundred hours on their faces. 🙂 But who wants that?

I love pizza.

-Aforementioned pizza lover.

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Ken: Feeling The Earth Shake

Hey everyone, Ben E. here. Let me take a minute to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming.

By now you’ve probably heard plenty about the spacetime ripples discovered by a group of scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Louisiana and The Hanford Site in Washington. These waves were first theorized by Einstein over a hundred years ago when he first laid out his gravitational theory, which explained how objects move through spacetime.

The waves only took about a fifth of a second to pass by Earth, but this tiny ripple sent a shudder through our universe, and its discovery has already been called the greatest scientific breakthrough of the century. Spacetime waves could help us better explore the history of our macrocosm, and they will undoubtedly help us probe deeper into the dark universe.

I won’t bore you with all of the scientific details that you can read in every science journal on the internet, but I do want you to get excited about the possibilities: how will his discovery help us learn about the history of our universe? Will we ever be able to harness these energies, or even ride these waves across the cosmos? How will spacetime waves help us measure all the objects moving around out there in the dark?

And most importantly, will we be happy with what we find lurking inside our night sky?

Come back next week and I’ll give you a hint. But until then, keep your chin up and pick up a science book.