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Isla: Link roundup 12/27/16

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

Video of the Week: How “Smart” AI (Basically) Works in Games (Goal Oriented Action Planning)” from TheHappieCat (@TheHappieCat)

Song thing of the week: Pokémon S/G – Lance/Red Battle (metal cover)” from talkgick

Reading Material: Two Mountains are Better than One” and “How to Decorate a Mountain” by Scott Turner

Excerpt: “The top shows the two separately generated mountains.  The middle shows them overlapped normally, with the right mountain in front.  In the bottom, they are overlapped, but the right mountain has been cut off along a line from the intersection of the two mountains to the bottom roughly parallel to the ridge (shading) line.  The effect is that the right mountain is sticking out of the face of the left mountain, rather than just overlapping.

This should be too hard to implement — I have at least some of the tools already written.”

Reddit thread of the week: My Evolution in 4 Years of Game Development

OP: “I’ve been developing games for over 4 years now. On that occasion I’ve created a little flashback to review my progress and my achievements so far.

– VIDEO –

Of course I’m still far away from being a professional, but I’ve already learned quite a lot of important lessons, the most important of which, especially for newcomers, is probably:

Make stuff and get things done. Release it and collect feedback. Better to finish one nice and small game than to have a thousand potentially huge games dying on your hard drive.

Anyway I’ve really been enjoying the progress of creating things and constantly improving my skills and I’m thrilled to continue this quest.

For those of you who are interested in my released games, here they are (all for free, of course):

Have fun ;)”

Artist of the Week:  Animator and illustrator willow-s-linda

Podcast of the Week: DLC (@jeffcannata + @spicer)

Description: “DLC is your weekly audio tour of the latest in video games and tabletop entertainment. Hosts Jeff Cannata and Christian Spicer are joined every week by the best damn gaming experts on the planet as well as YOUR phone calls! Disagree, Like, or Comment by Direct Live Call-in or in the Designated Lobby Chat! It is the gaming show Decided by Listener Contribution. DLC, the Digital Lifestyle Companion for gamers who Don’t Like Cynicism.

Hosted by Christian Spicer and Jeff Cannata.”

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Isla: Link roundup 12/20/16

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

Video of the Week: Trope Talk: Strong Female Characters” from Overly Sarcastic Productions (@OSPyoutube)

Song thing of the week: D3sire” from Airlocksound (@airlocksound)

Reading Material Lecture: Brian Bucklew, Data-Driven Engines of Qud and Sproggiwood” (@unormal)

Reddit thread of the week: Doesn’t seem like much, but getting footprints working in my game is huge for me [The First Tree]” from the creators of The First Tree (@DavidWehle)

View post on imgur.com

Artist of the Week: Paper art artist ShadowofDorkness (@ShadowDorkness)

Podcast of the Week: Crate and Crowbar (@crateandcrowbar)

Description: “The Crate and Crowbar is a weekly PC gaming podcast produced by a group of friends who live in Bath, UK and work in the games industry.

Caution: we swear a lot. Sorry, kids.”

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Christian: Don’t dam the flow

A lot has happened since my last journal update, so this is going to be a little bit more summary than explanation. The decision was made that the AI we had was too clunky for our task, so we changed to using behavior trees. Behavior trees work excellently for both the size and scope of our project. Next up we started on redesigning the dialog system. Originally, the dialog was going to require only a yes or no from the player. However, we decided that a type of item based dialog would be best, so I have begun overhauling the dialog to allow for item-speech interactions, as well as more branching. Two of my main goals for the overhauled system are to improve the way the dialog database selects dialog, and to improve how dialog is created. We’ll see how it goes, but the first steps on the upgrade have gone well.

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Sean: Holiday Cheer

My biggest concern I had on implementing stealth mechanics is out of the way. Vision cones and sound ripples have been visualized and don’t look half bad for being a prototype.

Whew.

With visualizations out of the way, I can go on holiday without my mind interrupting me to think about how to implement that when I get back.

As for the actual implementation of the AI stealth mechanics, that can wait until Christian is finished with the behavior tree. By the look of things, everything should be in place when I get back to begin implementing guard behaviors and whatnot in the overworld. Super exciting. I have been waiting almost a year to get to this point in development, so I’ll take being at this point in development as a holiday bonus.

On that note, I would like to thank everyone at Namespace Studio for the work that they have done this year, we would not be where we are now without all of your efforts. 2016 may have been shitty for everyone else this year, but Namespace had a great first year. So thank you, all of you and have an awesome holiday and begining of the new year.

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Hadi: That’s it for 2016!

Hey guys!

It’s been awhile since my last journal entry; shame, shame, shame…

I’ve been so bad at keeping up with this DevBlog as we come to a close on 2016. I’d like to say it’s not my fault, but it’s totally my fault! That’s what I get for trying to juggle too many things at once, again… oh well.

So what’s been new since the last time I wrote you ask? The short answer is; a good amount.

Concept art, for now, is all but done. I’m looking forward to the concept pieces our awesome artist Andrew has been working on for the past month. Programming is coming to a point where we are combining all of the isolated prototyping done by Sean and Christian, who have done a great job getting us to where we are this year. Our social outlets have been doing very well thanks to Isla, our community manager, with new followers trickling in almost everyday, and our plans for our podcast, which has been changing back and forth due to various reasons, are well on their way and should become available starting in January of 2017!

As with any developer working with their team, I feel that there is so much potential for this ragtag group we’ve come to call “Namespace Studio” and moving into 2017 I hope that they continue to grace us with their hard work and creativity. I’m grateful for everything our team has done up to this point and I’m excited for the upcoming year! So thank you Sean Bacon, Christian Barentine, Andrew Mitchell, Dre Freden, Isla Schanuel, and Ben Reeves for all your hard work this past year. You guys are simply the best and believe me when I say that;

😀

Until next time,

Happy Holiday,

-Hadi

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Isla: Link roundup 12/12/16

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

Video of the Week: 5 Game Design Innovations from 2016 | Game Maker’s Toolkit” from Mark Brown (@britishgaming)

Song thing of the week: Mario Kart 64 – Toad’s Turnpike (F1NG3RS Remix)” from F1NG3RSMUSIC (@F1NG3RSMUSIC)

Reading material: Game Marketing Cheat Sheet: All You Need To Know In One Page” by Marco Mignano (@Marcomignano3)

Excerpt (from reddit): “Hello guys, I’ve created this cheat sheet with all the marketing stuff that are useful to market my games. I thought that it could be helpful share it with you. Is it basically a super reminder with all the checklist to don’t forget anything when is time to market my games and all the useful instruments/websites that I usually use.

So here it is.

If you want to know more or have more info, Here is the link to the full article.

If you think that is worth to add something to this cheat sheet, please write your feedback with your suggestion and I’ll be more than happy to add them to this cheat sheet.

Thanks, guys.”

Reddit thread of the week: How do you choose a name for your locations / characters / items / etc that sound meaningful and not random

OP: “I have been trying to come up with names for cities and characters in my world without them sounding completely random. How do you pick names for things like that?”

Artist of the Week: Illustrator and hexel artist Etall (etall.tumblr.com)

Podcast of the Week: Pretentious Game Ideas (@pgicast)

Description: “Pretentious Game Ideas is a way for four friends to force themselves to talk about game design for an hour or two every month. Occasionally we may say something of value, which you might enjoy listening to. That’s the plan, at least.

Sometimes we even have guests! This is exciting, because it’s good to have someone around who knows what they’re doing.”

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Sean: A Brief Overview of Stealth

Not much to say this week. Stealth research was fun and I thought I might as well give a brief overview of my notes since I don’t have much else to talk about. All stealth mechanics seem to break into essentially two categories, hiding and detection. Hiding is the name of the game and comes in many forms, behind objects, in objects, in shadows, in disguise, in-visible(hahaha) and you get the idea. Detection happens whenever the enemy AI is alerted, whether that happens by seeing, hearing or smelling you or something you trick the AI into thinking is the player character. All of this is of course wrapped up nicely with clear communication to player of what the AI can sense and where the AI are located (not that this needs to be handed to the player from the beginning).

On that note, I am off to research how to code dynamic vision cones as that seem like the trickiest and most crucial part in getting this to work.

Until next week,

Sean

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Isla: Link roundup 11/29/16

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

Video of the Week: Mixed Reality Trailers: Behind the Scenes” with Kert Gartner (@kertgartner)

Song thing of the week: Searching for the Light” by Will Bedford (@WBedford)

Reading material: Wind Waker Graphics Analysis” by Nathan Gordon (@gordonnl)

Excerpt: “I’m a huge fan of Zelda, The Wind Waker’s graphics. Bright, caricatured and well balanced; they were a masterful combination of artistry and technical ingenuity.

By accepting the limitations of the hardware, and pushing for a stylised aesthetic, the artists and developers created one of the most-loved video game styles ever made. Even today they don’t look outdated, which is something you can say about very few games.

So how on earth did they achieve this? How did they merge the use of tiny textures with insanely low-poly geometries to create such heartwarming visuals?”

Reddit thread of the week: Steam Spy: 38% of all games on Steam released in 2016” (Discussion)

Artist of the Week: Illustrator and concept artist Yuri Yakovlev

capture

Podcast of the Week: Lostcast, the Lost Decade Games podcast

Description: “Lostcast is the Lost Decade Games podcast, where Geoff and Matt talk about running a small, independent game studio.”

Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare

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Sean: Sneaky Snakes

Last week was an excellent break from all things game development. I spent a good chunk of the time climbing both inside and out with my brother before the season ends. Although with how warm it has been, who knows when the snow will come this year.

In relation to games, I played quite a bit of Gauntlet Slayer edition which was quite a bit of fun to play with a bunch of us sprawled on the couch.

Except for the last boss.

Fuck Morak.

I also got into some mayhem during a few local missions of Helldivers, first time I had played with three others in couch co-op.

Got to say that no matter how many times we accidently killed each other during respawn there is always something absurdly funny about it. It is almost as if the situations which require a respawn and lead to good comedic timing, which for some solid game design. Speaking of which, I am taking a short break this week from coding to do a little bit more research on some stealth mechanics that I would like to play with. Not that I haven’t played stealth, far from it. Sneaking is my default way to play if the game allows for it. I just find in useful to re-immerse oneself when dabbling with similar mechanics. Prime the brain as it were.

Until Next Week,

Sean

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Christian: AIs can think, but do they have soul?

The AI for this game is an interesting beast. Right now, I can see that it has a lot of power and flexibility to it. AIs can prioritize food and attacking and other tasks. They have needs which they want to fulfill, and in essence they will be able to look a lot more lifelike than your standard JRPG AI. We’ve all seen the ones. They stand in one spot for the entire game, say the same 3 things, and wouldn’t move out of the way of a flock of dragons. Not so with out AI. However, there is one problem that I’m still working out, and it has the potential to make the AI useless. That problem is, they are very expressive, at the cost of being quite difficult to work with. Making sure that states function as intended in the AIs database, making sure that actions perform all of their specified tasks, and so on has meant that I’ve spent the better part of 4 hours just adding a single action. And the bugs for that action haven’t even been fixed yet. This has lead me to another large concern, which is getting the AI to work with the dialog system. I want the AI to be intelligent about engaging the player, but right now, the troubles I’ve had integrating just one new action suggest even more troubles when integrating a whole new system. I’m continuing to search for solutions to this usability issue, but while the AI is technically usable, it may need a much deeper overhaul to get to where I want it to be.