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Ken: Feelings Alienated!

Hey everyone, Ken E. here. Last week I joked that not every conspiracy is alien-related. While I think that’s true, there are still a phenomenal number of mysteries that do seem alien related.

For one, ancient cave paintings from Charama, India seem to depict alien-like creatures, and some them even seem to be wearing spacesuits. Need more proof? How about the fact that we still can’t figure out how ancient structures like the Pyramids or Stonehenge were built using the technology of the day; it certainly seems like our ancient ancestors might have had some extraterrestrials help. And then there are the thousands of undocumented UFO sightings – many of which sound like the rantings of crazy people – but some of which are a little hard to explain.

However, some of my favorite alien-related mysteries are those from the classical era. For example, in 1561, a printer from Nuremberg, Germany named Hans Glaser released a wood print that depicted a “mass sighting of a celestial event,” which happened over Nuremberg’s skies in the spring of 1561. Witnesses described the event as an aerial battle followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object and hundreds of spheres, cylinders and other odd-shaped objects that moved erratically through the sky for about an hour. The event remains unexplained to this day, but I think you only need one word to explain it: aliens.

That’s if for this week folks. Until next time. Keep your chin up and pick up a history book.

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Sean: Distraction Mechanic

So far the best solution for the slime and shield problem is to have the slimes bounce off of the shields, thereby stopping them from sitting on shield colliders like assholes. Having conquered the shield problem, or so I thought, I moved back to turning the swordsman ai into a more fun and interesting interaction. Not halfway through redesigning the swordsmen I discovered that the player controller was misbehaving. If the player character walked while blocking with their shield they would inexplicably pop into a jumping animation. Needless to say I paused working on the ai to figure out wtf was happening the pc’s shield. Turns out the two animation states had been connected at some point and I had previously missed the connection as it was overlapped by another. Yes, that is how complicated the player state machine has become and no I don’t think it is finished yet. When the the final animations are added I will definitely create a tutorial for how I set it all up.

On a more interesting note, after a day and half of design meetings with Hadi, the last bits of design we had been mulling over are finally “done” and neatly tie back into our previous mechanics. Woot!

Until next week,

Sean

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Isla: Link roundup 6/28/16

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

Video of the Week: ‘Hyper Light Drifter’ – Inside the Video Game Inspired by a Life-Threatening Illness from VICE feat. Alx Preston (@heartmachinez)

Song of the week: “Business Is Booming” by Chris Scribner (@ChrisScribs)
Bonus points, play it while watching the gif below by Josh Hano – (@JoshHano)

Reading material: “The Influences and Differences of Team Fortress 2 Classes and Overwatch Heroes” by Arthur Canzi Zeferino (of @GAMESFODA)

Excerpt: “[…]Overwatch is not just trying to copy elements from other games. The differences between Overwatch and TF2 already start at the size of both teams and how the player chooses between them. While TF2 asks the player to choose a team, Overwatch always assign the player to the blue team, making the red team always the enemy. Blizzard doesn’t want to complicate things. Overwatch is always trying to be simple, accessible and straightforward in all of it’s elements, even in those borrowed from other games.

So, if you would allow me, I would like to talk about how Blizzard applied that philosophy in the elements borrowed from Team Fortress 2. Specially in the differences between each game’s heroes/classes and to analyse how the 9 classes from TF2 were turned into 21 very unique heroes.

ADDITIONAL VIEWING: Katana‘s fantastic series “From the Fort to the Watch

Reddit thread of the week: “What’s your “get it done” song?” by /u/slonermike

Original Post:  “When I’m working on a game and I hit a point where I know I have to zero in on my task and get it done, I put on Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JUd3gsNYDE) Something about it makes me feel like I can do anything. I think it might have something to do with the “Space Invaders” episode of Futurama, where Fry put on his “all-Rush mixtape” to fight off the invaders. So my “get it done” song is “Tom Sawyer” by Rush.

What’s your “get it done” song?”

Random Shout-Out: Exploding Dog (@explodingdog) with this:

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Dre: Journal 20ish

So the map making has been going well. I like world’s end and the bacon forest. They are at a level that I’m really comfortable with. It makes me look back on uptown and realize that there is quite a bit more to do on it. The detail level has been ramped up significantly and uptown doesn’t keep to the same standards. Despite that, there is a lot of work still left to do in undertown and the grand passage as well. The interiors of all the places area still yet to be done. The mansion interior is another place that has yet to be touched. These will probably be the hardest part because they need to look like they’ve been lived in and also reflect their purposes. I’m not too worried about it, though, because I feel that one the ball gets ruling, they will come together pretty quickly and each will build on the previous. Soon all the hard parts will be finished and we can focus on the fun part… Making art to really sell the place as somewhere people want to explore. It’s been a fun journey so far and had been the highlight of my recent days. It’s crazy that we’re almost finished with this chapter. Better things will always come and this world keeps getting stronger as it becomes more developed.

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Ken: Let’s Do The Time Warp…Again

Hey everyone, Ken E. here. Have you ever experienced déjà vu? Hey everyone, Ken E. here. Have you ever experienced déjà vu?

Déjà vu is a French term that literally means “already seen.” We actually have a fairly poor understanding of the phenomenon, but some scientists believe that the experience is triggered when electrical disturbances in our medial temporal lobes accidentally trigger the sense of familiarity that is important in forming long term memories. It’s an odd feeling, but doesn’t happen too often…unless you’re extremely unlucky.

In 2014, a group of scientists from the UK, France and Canada began studying a 23-year-old British man who claimed to have been experiencing constant déjà vu for over eight years. The man’s condition was so bad that he actually avoided watching television or reading newspapers because he felt he had “encountered it all before.” His doctors revealed that the man had a history of depression and anxiety, but otherwise couldn’t find the source of this apparent phenomenon. The man’s brain scans even appeared normal. It was almost as if the man was caught in a terrifying time loop. In fact, this man grew so disturbed by the experience that he had trouble functioning in his day to day life.

And for all we know he actually is caught in a time loop. Or maybe he’s bouncing around between similar-yet-alternate realities. Or maybe he’s secretly being operated on by aliens from a nearby planet.

Nah just kidding. Aliens aren’t responsible for everything, guys. Have you ever experienced déjà vu? Have you ever had déjà vu?

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Hadi: Another Week

Hey Guys,

So it’s that time of the week again where I get to regale all you avid readers of this blog with the mundane happentance of my last seven days.

Honestly it’s not that exciting; I didn’t even realize it’s been a week already…

For the most part I’ve been stuck in a windowless room without a clock going over physics derivations and non-eulidean geometric concepts (i.e. when you can have multiple parallel lines going through a point some distance away from an established line).

Anywho, in terms of game development I’m still in a standby’ish mode so can’t wait for the concepts to be done with.

So on that note I’m gonna go back into the black hole where time doesn’t matter! 😀

Until next week,

Hadi

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Sean: Putting Brains in Slugs

This week I started to make changes to the basic enemy behaviors that I had initially put in. I decided that I might as well start with the simplest form, that of an enemy that uses its body as a weapon. So far, I have a little slime dude that will charge at at the player, requiring the player to jump and an Ai one that hops, requiring either a backstep or slide. The behaviors themselves feel pretty good; however flinging large objects at the player was not something that I had initially thought about when initially designing or testing the shield mechanism. This of course led to a few changes being made and the deep question that plagues all designer of what to do when a slime decides to sit on players shields. Do you let it fall on the player? Can you throw it off? Should slimes even be allowed to jump on shields?

Until next week,

Sean

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Isla: Link roundup 6/21/16

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

Video of the Week: What Are You?  from Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (@Kurz_Gesagt)

Song of the week: “Devil’s Got a Gun” by Whitehorse (@wearewhitehorse)

Reading material: “Animal Crossing’s Strange, Unresolved Conflict” by Ian Bogost (@ibogost)

Excerpt: “When my (then) five-year-old began playing the game seriously, he quickly recognized the dilemma he faced. On the one hand, he wanted to spend the money he had earned from collecting fruit and bugs on new furniture, carpets, and shirts. On the other hand, he wanted to pay off his house so he could get a bigger one like mine. Then, once he did amass enough savings to pay off his mortgage, the local shopkeeper and real estate tycoon Tom Nook offered to expand his house. While it is possible to refrain from upgrading, Nook, an unassuming raccoon, continues to offer renovations as frequently as the player visits his store. My son began to realize the trap he was in: the more material possessions he took on, the more space he needed, and the more debt he had to take on to provide that space. And the additional space just fueled more material acquisitions, continuing the cycle.

Reddit thread of the week: This thread on HughSJ’s (@hughsj) post “5 years of game dev will kill you

Selected quotes:

  • TLDR; Best way to build following is to already be popular/known or to have pretty screenshots.”
  • “Most devs aren’t willing to have “a friend” post about their game for them to circumvent that. You wouldn’t have seen this imgur post if a fan didn’t take this off their Twitter feed and post it here for them.”
  • “There were two main things that got us into trouble; we started by making small games but we hated all of them […], so wasn’t much choice but to build something bigger. Also, we wrongfully believed that the attention for a game would scale with the size. In reality, you need a game or two to break the ice and learn the ropes, then go for something big if that’s what you plan to do.”

Random Shout-Out: Tumblr user Asarge (@andresargeant) with this:

“In the new Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Fire you play as a shirtless pyromaniac who has finally escaped from his cave. He had been locked away in hibernation but some madman unleashed him onto the world where he burns everything in his path.”

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare [Source]

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Christian: Planning for Action

Goal Oriented action planning is a method of getting more dynamic AI, without the increasing complexity costs of Finite state machines. Of course, this comes at the cost of an up front complexity cost, but with all of the material I’ve been reading on the subject, it seems to be going well. The basic idea is that you give each AI a list of actions they can perform, but instead of explicitly defining transitions from one action to another, you instead assign each action some preconditions that action requires and effects that the action has on the world. Then, You create a pathfinder to “path” through all available actions when you give the AI a goal, in order to find a chain of actions that will help the AI reach its goal. of course, this method has a lot of hidden moving parts. I’m still working out all of the kinks, but at least I have an AI that’s finding a plan in response to a goal, and moving into range of said goal.

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Andrew: Journal Entry #13

Did you know that horny toads are one of the hardest reptiles to keep as a pet? It’s true, here in the south west we have lots of these running around and most of us would never know how hard they are to keep alive, they have evolved to basically not be able to be moved more than like 10 feet, and only eat one kind of ant. I like horny toads, they are adorable, but truth be told… They are a pretty crappy from an evolutionary standpoint.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this tidbit, I’m just glad I can leave my ten foot radius and eat whatever I want.

Art is awesome, I’m having fun drawing up these characters, I’ve been having real success by pulling a long day on Sunday, it’s good to get into the flow. I’ll try to keep it going for as long as I can.

Until next time!

Andrew