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Sean: Not Too Exciting

Coming back from a week hiking and climbing around Colorado with my father and brother I felt recharged and ready to get back into development; however this last week was a bit slower than I was expecting due to merge issues. I spent most of the week researching potential stealth mechanics while I waited for all of the merge conflicts to be resolved. So, nothing exciting to talk about this week, but hopefully there will be more interesting developments to talk about next week.

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Isla: Link roundup 5/31/16

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

Video of the Week: DOOM: Behind The Music Part 1  from Mick Gordon (@Mick_Gordon).

Song of the week: “Demon Dance” by Parov Stelar (@parov_stelar)

Reading material: “Samsung contact lens displays will put AR videos and cameras in your eyes” by Luke Edwards (@eelukee)

Excerpt: “The ultimate goal of augmented reality is to seamlessly blend the real world and the virtual, which is done best without a headset. Now Samsung has won a patent for a contact lens display that will do that and more.

Reddit thread of the week: “Why it’s so hard to define ‘RPGs.‘” by /u/action_lawyer_comics

Excerpt: “So the problem is that “RPGs” and “RPG elements” are fairly distinct mechanically, and we seem to have no problem deciding that Fallout 3 is an RPG with a default first person camera while Borderlands is a FPS with RPG elements. If a game has heavy stat-based combat, or the combat is turn-based, or there’s a grid overlaid on it, it’s an RPG. But to those of us who know that RPG actually means “role-playing game,” this definition leaves something to be desired.

Related video:

Random Shout-Out: Soulbound Studios (@SoulboundStudio) and their Kickstarter for Chronicles of Elyria

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Christian: Merging, the gift that keeps on giving

This week was focused on two features primarily. Feature one was to make a moving platform for the tram that is planed for the starting area. Feature two s to get the arena transitions working again. The first one I was able to get done relatively easily. We wanted the player to be able to board the tram, walk around on it, and be able to see the scenery passing by, all without taking a break to load. It turns out this was a relatively simple matter of updating the player’s velocity by adding the velocity of the platform AFTER the player had completed their movement step. Figuring out a bunch of small details like that the update should be after, or that gravity should be turned off for the platform consumed the bulk of development time. It was especially tough to get the platform to always stop on the “end point” of its track, with a distance that hides when the platform snaps to the destination at the end. If the player had jumped against the walls of the tram, they could sometimes move it far enough off track that it would miss the snap marker entirely and just keep going forever. to fix it required a more complicated end stop system, but now it is impossible for the player to push the tram off the rails. The second feature is where merging rears its ugly head again. Unity’s tags and layers are stored in binary files, and as such, when I change a tag, and Sean changes a tag, git can’t resolve the merge conflict, so we have to pick one or the other. What this means is that pretty much any time we add new tags or input buttons or things like that, we have to manually go through and combine them in someone’s project, and then re-commit. It’s not a particularly big hassle, but it is a little more time consuming than I would like.

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Isla: Link roundup 5/24/16

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

Video of the Week: How Overwatch’s sound design makes you a better player   from Eurogamer (@eurogamer)

Song of the week: “‘THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK A Bad Lip Reading’ Rockin’ and Rollin’ 10 minute loop ” by Lyon Richardson (Original by Bad Lip Reading)

Reading material: “How to Use Twitter as a Game Developer” by Dark Square Games (@darksquaregames)

Excerpt: “Twitter is still a hugely popular social network and it can be a very useful tool for creating a following for your up-coming game. We wanted to create a simple guide for game developers to learn the basics of how to use Twitter to your advantage.

Reddit thread of the week: “Which are the best games produced by the “B TEAM” of a certain studio or publisher?” by [Redacted]

Extract: “I’ve been Dark Souls 2 for a while and while it lacks the certain magic of the original which made it extremely special. It was a good game in its own right and a worthy successor to DS one especially considering that it was a product of From Software’s B team. It got me thinking of other “B team” products made over the years”

Random Shout-Out: Adrian Biagioli‘s HTC Vive Teleportation System with Parabolic Pointer for Unity3D (on GitHub).


Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Ken: Rise From Your Grave!

Hey everyone, Ken E. here. When I was seven my uncle Dave seemed like the coolest guy around. He had a giant mustache and a fat belly, which made him look like a walrus, and he always seemed to have candy stashed somewhere nearby (don’t take candy from people you don’t know, kids). Unfortunately, the summer before third grade my uncle Dave passed away. I remember my parents telling me that he wouldn’t be coming over anymore, but I didn’t really understand why. Even at the funeral, I kept thinking that at any moment he might just sit up in the casket and everyone would cheer. Of course, people don’t come back from the dead.

And that’s because the ancient Greeks sealed them away with magic.

It sounds like a cheesey 1940s horror film, but according to burials recently unearthed in the necropolis of a Greek colony in Sicily, the ancient Greeks believed that ghostly versions of the dead could rise from their graves and hunt down the living. The coastal town of Kamarina has a nearby cemetery that holds almost three thousand ancient corpses. A couple of these graves contained individuals who were clearly weighted down by large rocks or amphora fragments. Amphora is usually used for storing wine and olive oil, but according to archeologist who discovered the site, these fragments were clearly intended to pin these individuals down and prevent them from rising.

It gets stranger! Amists the gravesite, archeologists also discovered stone tablets filled with ancient greek writing. Once these texts were translated, archeologist realized that the tablets were inscribed with magical petitions to Greek deities, confirming a suspicion that the inhabitants of ancient Kamarina used curses and spells to keep their dead buried.

If the dead actually can rise from the dead, then these spells must have worked. Of course, since no one has practiced this magic for nearly 2,000 years that means we’re likely vulnerable to an undead attacks. Has our society’s increased interest in zombies over the last few decades been preparing us for something? Or were the Greeks crazy? And can we afford to assume they were?

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Andrew: Abstract

I’ve been thinking a lot about sketches this last week, a lot of what I throw up on here is in the rough sketch phase.  This is a phase that doesn’t always see outside of the sketchbook.  The moment we live in now seems flooded with process, people actually want to see how the sausage is made.  The truth is that for most of us, it’s really really messy.  There is an artist named Rick Berry that I had the chance to meet while I was going to school who’s work is made by smearing paint around until he see’s the image, he never quite knows what the image will be. In the mess he sees. It’s like when you see stuff in the clouds or in the patterns in the abstract ceiling shapes.  I feel like we’re all involved in the mess right now and hopefully we are starting to see shapes that haven’t been seen before.  Sure, things we have seen will influence what we will see, but this exact combination of talents and circumstance hasn’t existed before, not in the same way, I’m not sure if I believe that a person is a unique creature but I believe groups of people can be. So good luck in your individual messes and to the big mess we’re making together!


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Hadi: IT LIVES!!!

So guess who’s computer decided that it was time to start smoking? This guy!

After almost a week and half of having no access to the internet and my computer I must say that I have missed it. Books are great but after a while you start getting bored.

Now that my little slavebot (my laptop’s actual name) is chugging along just fine it’s time to dive into the mess of things headfirst!

Here we go,


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Christian: The Long Day

Lots of lose ends got tied up this week, which is nice. I finished up saving for the moment, and I made a generator for creating prefabs from the tile maps rendering data. This way, the timeless don’t need to be force built any time they’re loaded, which has eliminated the hang up that occurs when crossing level bounds. The final piece was the merging of the overworld AI branch, which went off (mostly) without a hitch. This frees me up to work on arena transitions, and other more behind-the-scenes sorts of things.

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Sean: The Little Things

While this past week wasn’t nearly as exciting as the week before, some great progress was made. However, you probably wouldn’t notice unless you had played the build before. I think that is the element that catches us all by surprise, game developers that is. There is soooooo much work that goes into nailing that feeling and the funny thing is if you do nail it, no one should really notice. Only after looking back on the experience should someone say, “Wow, that handled really well.”

Having said that and having just come off a weekend of playing the new Doom. Damn, that game feels good. The designers really managed to capture the frantic run and gun feel of the original. If you haven’t played it yet go do so now, because that it is a game that knows exactly what it is and how it should feel.

Now to get back to making our game to feel great.

Until next week,

Sean Bacon

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Isla: Link roundup 5/17/16

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

Video of the Week: Pixar – What Makes a Story Relatable  from kaptainkristian (@kaptainkristian).

Song of the week: “Ghost Turbine” from SKENIK

Reading material: “ Disney cans Infinity line, exits console game publishing, as dev shutters ” by Kris Graft (@krisgraft)

Excerpt: “Disney Infinity was once The Walt Disney Company’s successful franchise that brought video game sales together with retail sales of figurines. But since the franchise launched in 2013, sales have been on the decline, and today, Disney said it would be canning the Infinity franchise, effectively exiting the console video game business.


Reddit thread of the week: “The first years of our studio, our failures and what we learned from them” by /u/ShishiSoldier

Excerpt: “I’m Fred from ShiCompany. Today, May 12, is an important day for the studio, but not for the good reasons because it represents our two greatest failures until now. Those will be described among the events and choices that made the foundation of our game studio.

Random Shout-Out: Hydraulic Press Channel for getting their hands on a 1.2 carat diamond… and sending it straight to hell.

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare (@MTCyall)