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Andrew: Moving on and moving in

I feel like I’ve started to discover who our characters are a little more and I feel much more confident now that we’ve chosen a direction for them. I hoping now to do some paper doll like mock ups where we can try some variant clothing and what not, also maybe do some more specific clothing detail. Before that though I want to nail down this animal Sprite cute extravaganza, and start getting some interaction between the characters and these very important props.

On the personal side, I just signed the lease on a little old house here in Cedar City, while I don’t recommend anyone move here ever I will say that the house is quaint, so fuggin quaint but not in a classy overcharge the hell out of it way, more like a sofa in the backyard kind of quaint, the kind of quaint that should be gross but somehow is charming and, dare I say delightful?   It will be awesome once my wife and I can bring our dog down to enjoy the backyard that I swore I would never have.

Anyways, signing off and selling out one day at a time,

Andrew

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Hadi: Learning So Much

aying that this is a great book is an understatement.

I really enjoy how it’s written and how the author went about going through the concepts. I’ve read this once before, however not as indepth as I am currently. Turned out that I missed a bunch of stuff on my first read through haha.

I’ve been struggling with the movement of my isometric test character, which is mostly due to my lack of experience with isometric. However, after revisiting some reference materials; (ex.

1

2

3

)

I think I’ve figured out how to make my monkey (test character) look right. I was using this spritesheet as my guide through the character motion:

but it’s missing a few important positions that I need for our project… but it’s okay… because I’m learning…

Other than that things are coming along nicely and I think we are going to have something that resembles an isometric game sometime this week so I’m really excited!

I need to go organize all those tiles and frames of animation in tilesheets now, should be too bad, so on that note, that’s all folks!

Till next week,

Hadi

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Christian: The navigation problem – The navigation strikes back

After all of the hassle that went into last week’s navigation puzzle, it was suggested that we simply rotate our levels into unity’s XZ plane, and use additive scene loading to use multiple navigation meshes. While both of these worked well when tried, I hit a particularly unforgiving snag. The off-mesh navigation links, which is what we would have used to move our AI from one navigation mesh to another weren’t working. Unity was just refusing to recognize manually built off-mesh links, and the automatically generated links weren’t being followed by the Ai Agent. After some thought, I decided that redoing our level system to use unity’s navmesh wasn’t worth it if it was going to be so finicky. So, I went back to the A* pathfinding project and made a solution where clicking a button in the editor would generate a navigation mesh for the level, and I updated the Pathfinding Agent to be able to move from mesh to mesh. the solutions I came up with are still a little rough around the edges, but overall I am pleased with their performance.

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Sean: Moving Time

Aaaaand last box is unpacked. Sorry for the disappearance, this past week I have been busy moving to my new residence in Colorado Springs. My girlfriends mom took a job out of the state, so we moved back to take care of the place while she is away. As you can imagine I am really excited to have moved away from my cramped apartment into something a bit more spacious. But enough about me, let me catch you up on what I was doing with the game a week ago before I had to start packing. A lot of the previous week was spent figuring out an optimal way to chain attacks together in a way that felt satisfying. Fortunately I found a way to do it so that any further adjustments can all be done through the animation window. If there was anything else I was working on two weeks ago I honestly can’t remember, I guess this is why these things are scheduled weekly… Anywho, I am super excited to be settled in my new place and to dive back into full time development tomorrow.

Sean Bacon

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Isla: Link roundup 3/28/16 + Meta Update

Link Roundup

For submissions, suggestions, or things to add, send ’em my way: @isla_es.

Video of the week: “Top-Down Forest Pixel Art Time-Lapse ” from Luis Zuno

 

Song of the Week: Come and Find Me” by Eric Skiff

 

Reading Listening material: “Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR ” from Radiolab

Excerpt: “Hidden inside some of the world’s smallest organisms is one of the most powerful tools scientists have ever stumbled across. It’s a defense system that has existed in bacteria for millions of years and it may some day let us change the course of human evolution. “

 

Reddit thread comment of the week: A comment/excerpt from “Surviving the App Store” by the author, /u/amirrajan

Excerpt: “Oye, I know wayyy to much about this stuff (at least on the iOS side, I’m sure that Android will be similar). Here is what I’d recommend:

  1. Do a soft launch in Australia. Meaning that when you release, only do so in that country and see how the game downloads go.
  2. Make any bug fixes and updates as necessary (if any).
  3. You want your game to go live two to three weeks after it’s “Approved for Developer Release”. And you should always release on an Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Here’s why:a. Setting your game for manual release gives the Apple editorial team a chance to look at your game.b. Wait three weeks from the time the game is approved and “Waiting Developer Release” (this is when the teams at Apple start looking at your game).
  4. Wait six weeks between releases. My contact at Apple generally recommends not to release any quicker than that (just too many apps coming through and not enough curators to look at them).
  5. Read this post about contacting Apple.”

 

Random Shout-Out: David Urbinati with this awesome piece of work:

 

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

 


Meta

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a while since I updated on a personal note, so I’ll keep it quick:

  • Over on our twitter account I’m having a lot of fun finding people to follow and looking at everyone’s amazing games, art, music, and just… random crap too sometimes. (Shoutout to @GlassBottomMeg who probably doesn’t even know how much I respect her. I RESPECT YOU MEGAN. I think you are cool!)
  • As you might have noticed on Twitter, Tumblr and the front page of our own site here, we’ve got a lot of concept art going up. I’m really looking forward to hearing what people think of it all.
  • I spent some time on reddit every day, mainly in the game dev subreddits, the community is pretty great.

TL;DR: Just flying along.

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Dre: Journal 10?

So I went to Phoenix then Arizona last week. Traveling is fun. I recommend flying in case you’re wondering. I don’t travel as much as I’d like, but it’s still more than I ever have before.

My day job is pretty crazy. We have been averaging a game demo every week or so. They aren’t nearly as in depth as what we are creating here, but it’s still quite a feat if I do say so myself.

Enough of that, though. So I’ve started to figure out the design of the Keltoise capitol. It’s a half million people living in the roots of a giant tree. They tap into the tree for power, so their location is ideal. The city is very clustered and built upward as much as out. I haven’t settled on the Keltoise form of art yet, but I am trying to adapt it from the reference photos.

My day to day life is back on a regular schedule again, so my work here will be more stabilized. I’m looking forward to this weekend.

-Dretog
The Drayninator

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Andrew: Week what?

This might sound super cliche, but I can’t believe this is my fourth journal entry.  It seems like everybody liked the working class characters which is good news because I had fun making them as well.  Also it will be fun to start doing a little more prop and cute Sprite shapeshifting mascot like explorations.

I’ve been pretty inspired by JC Wyeth and other old timey illustrators, so I’m going to continue to look to them for inspiration, not just for the style of their painting but also because they come straight from the time period that we’re imagining for this universe.

I’m pretty excited every time I see snippets of the game and quest stuff coming together, this is probably the only place where you get such a broad spectrum of people working together to make a single thing.

Well I look forward to seeing more!

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Christian: The navigation problem

This week saw the addition of a few new features to the official todo list. The biggest one of these is to have the AI move around the overworld in response to the player, so naturally this is the feature I started with. This feature is actually two features rolled together. The AI needs to decided what action to take, and in most cases the action will require moving the NPC, so some method of pathfinding is also required. Making a simple state machine (the solution we settled on for decision making) turned out to be the quicker part. Of course the states themselves need to be programmed, but the framework to add large numbers of states is there. It turns out that pathfinding in unity is quite the challenge, not from a technical standpoint, but from a support standpoint. Unity’s built in Navigation mesh is quite well implemented, but is strictly an editor tool. Not having multiple nav meshes per scene or being able to build nav meshes on the fly would mean a complete re-working of our level system in order to make it work. Most of the other solutions on the asset store and elsewhere are locked to the XZ plane, which makes it difficult to use our XY axis assets. What I finally ended up doing is using the A* Pathfinding Project’s plugin to make a simple grid graph that our npcs could navigate with. Whether that will work out as a long term solution is still to be seen.

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Ken: Journal Entry 9 – Split Decision

Hey everyone, Ben E. here. Today, I want to tell you a story of altered realities. A great example of this comes from a popular children’s story. In 1865, the English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, wrote a children’s fantasy book about a girl named Alice who fell through a rabbit hole and ended up in a world populated by anthropomorphic cats, bugs, and playing cards. That novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, has become one of the most influential pieces of literature of our time, and went on to inspire movies, comics, and video games sequels as well as parodies.

But, why do you think that book was so popular? If you’ve ever read it, you know it’s actually pretty absurd and nonsensical. Personally, I think the book resonates with so many people because these kinds of reality altering events actually happen in real life: people sometimes do fall through the rabbit holes of reality, only to wake up in a world they don’t recognize.

Here’s one example: More than half a century ago, a mysterious man arrived in the Haneda Airport in Japan. The man had come in from Europe, on a routine inbound flight. The only problem was that the man said is was from a country called Taured – a country that didn’t actually exist. When the official at customs asked the man to point to the country on a map, he picked out a tiny mass of land between France and Spain called Andorra. The man from Taured was as surprised as anyone that his country had the wrong name, and he claimed that his country had existed for a thousand years. This stranger was even able to supply money and passports as “proof” that Taured did exist. Indeed, all these materials looked authentic to the officials in Japan, with the exception that they were from a country that didn’t exist. That man was held in a hotel for the night, but the next morning he vanished. (Check out this link if you want to read more about the man from Taured?)

So what really happened here? Was this man just confused? Did the border guards just misread his passport? Was this an elaborate hoax or some kind of scam? All of these explanations feel incredibly thin, which is why I propose that this man actually came from another reality, one that was very similar to ours, but different in that it contained a country called Taured located between France and Spain.

These kinds of slips in reality don’t happen often, but sometimes people do end up with alternate memories of a history that doesn’t match our documented reality. People have labeled this phenomenon the Mandela Effect, and it seems to be real. After all, if there is an infinite number of realities out there, doesn’t it seem reasonable for a few people to slip through the cracks?

What about you? Have you ever fallen through a rabbit hole?

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Hadi: Spring is here

Happy new year everyone! Or at least happy Persian new year which symbolizes the arrival of spring.

This past week I’ve been busy with running errands and doing spring cleaning in preparation for this event which happend on Saturday. On top of that Sean and I ended up spending over 30 hours dicsecting the dark souls inspired game Salt and Sancturary, which was an overall fun game even with its major design flaws. So in short I didn’t get to do much in the way of my test character sprite and tilesheet, but don’t worry! They should be done this week 😀

On that note I gotta go to work.

Until Next Week,

Hadi