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Sean: This is what I get for listening to podcast commercials

First off, fuck square space and their lack of extensions. I guess this is what I get for listening to podcast commercials. Time to get back to having real FTP access, server space and good old WordPress. It was kind of a pain to switch over last week, but the benefits will definitely outweigh time spent on the switch. Alongside site reconstruction, we finally have a Twitter, Facebook and a Tumblr.

because we finally have a logo… Well we have two logos that we can live with for now while we work on more important things like saying hi to people on twitter… I mean game development. Also I can’t help but ask how did people work on collaborative projects without Slack, I’m honestly asking. Chain emails? /Shudder.

Being able to look at where character concept designs and the engine started just a few weeks ago and scroll though to what we have now is beautiful.

Now aside from businessy shtuff Hadi and I have compiled a few veeeery long lists of all the media that we have consumed to serve as references as well as inspiration for the rest of the team, though the amount of content is a bit daunting. Story and design docs continue to coalesce and character concepts are also looking awesome. I am really excited to start showing them to people outside our studio to get more feedback.

That’s all for this week, time to get back to work.

– Sean Bacon

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Ken: The Disappearing Race

Hey everyone, I’m Ben E, but every just calls me Benny.

I’m the team’s historian and researcher, which means I get to investigate all the terrifying myths, fables, and legends throughout history that have become the basis for our game. Basically, I’m like Indiana Jones with a modem.

I’m really excited to share some truly dreadful and deranged stuff with you all, but to kick things off, I figured I’d start by telling you about one of the greatest mysteries of our time: the Anunnaki.

The Anunnaki were a select society of people who lived thousands of years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Ancient texts refer to them as white haired giants whose knowledge and science was light-years beyond any other people group of the era. The ancient Mesopotamians actually worshipped them as gods, and the name Anunnaki literally means “princely offspring.”

However, one interesting fan theory suggests that they weren’t native to our planet at all. Instead, they came from a planet called Nibiru, which features an extended orbit that allows it to pass by Earth only once every several thousand years (could this be related to the recent discovery of Planet X?). When Nibiru finally does align with Earth, however, it’s close enough for the Anunnaki to make a quick space hop over to our favorite blue planet and start causing mischief.

Unfortunately we don’t know what happened to the Anunnaki. They literally vanished from the face of the Earth. We have a few slivers of archeological evidence that point back to them, but it’s almost as if one day they all got up and vanished. Could it have been a massive famine? A great plague? Or did they all just go back home? …And could they someday come back?

Until next time everyone. Keep your chin up and pick up a history book.

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Dre: This week has been a crazy one

This week has been a crazy one. I tried to buy a car, but it turned out to be a disaster. I’ve been carpooling half an hour to and from the city I work in for a few months and I’m fed up with other people’s schedules ruling my life. So I took the leap to break free and fell flat on my face at the dealership ALLLLLLLL DAYYYY Saturday. So that was fun. Maybe next week I’ll be able to buy my freedom. 

On a more positive note, despite only having 2 days of work this week, I feel like I really got in the groove and nailed some positive stuff down on our characters. They have always had a lot of glaring flaws and unfinished parts, until now. I feel like they are just a step or 2 from being finished. The only major things I think they need are instrument updates and some good lighting.

Also with the news of being rated “M,” I’m excited to see how promiscuous we can make our characters. I think we should have her, or him if you’re in to that, be really easy and sexy and get naked for a couple quests. There is a lot of comedy to be found in the awkwardness of sexual exploits. That’s my 2 cents, and that’s why they pay me the big bucks!

Until next week: signing off,

This has been Dr. E.
The artitiator.

P.S. I know I’m not the only one who wanted to see all my favorite characters naked when I was a teen. Just food for thought.

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Dre: Team management, game design, and production art

It’s exciting to work on this project. I work full time doing mainly team management, game design and production art, so working with [NAMESPACE] is a welcome change to make some real art. I typically work best in an ADD sort of mindset – not sticking to a single task for too long, so switching from my day job to my weekend job is good for my psyche.

The game idea we’re working on fits my personality pretty well: sarcastic, silly and unrealistic. It’s still really early in production so most of the details of the game are pretty vague. This means I get to explore a lot. I’m not sure anybody knows exactly what they’re looking for, but that’s half the fun. I’m currently working on the main characters. I don’t know too much about them, so it’s mainly exploring interesting shapes and visual language. I think some of my designs are pretty successful, but every successive round of designs I do get better and more sophisticated as I explore. Instead of figuring out who the character is, it’s becoming more of an exploration of the design language that will be used throughout the entire game.

I’m pretty confident in where things are going. The only downside is that I’m only working on this on the weekends. It’s a little bit hard for me to switch mindsets from every day life, to full-on art-nerd-mode. On a similar note, living with my parents sucks. It’s a soul drainer. Next month I hope to be on creative overdrive when I get my own place and have a nice work area.

Piece!

-Dre
Artman Extraordinaire

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Christian: Game engines will be easily extensible

So, my thought on game engines is that ideally, they will be easily extensible. What that means is that each script must be compartmentalized. The goal of my engine design was to allow the addition and subtraction of these components on the fly, so that I would only have to program a behavior once, and then I could add it to as many game objects as I needed. To do this, I gave each game object an internal dictionary of components, where the key was the class of component, and the value was the actual component of that type. then, I made a generic method to create an instance of a component object, and link the component object to the game object. This way, what appears to be a single game object is actually a collection of objects, with a game object’s duties delegated amongst them.

It took a while to get this model working, so before I completed this structure, I managed to do other things like create a rudimentary physics simulation, and implement SAT collision. (Both of which took me quite a while). However, once I had made the Game Object / Component structure, I had to break previously functional code apart in order to get the behavior I wanted in a component format. Since then, I’ve been using game components to add functionality like Overworld movement, level behaviors, platformer style movement, and the first implementation of a combat system.

By far the most complex area of this game is the combat system, which must be expertly tuned. Ignoring my instincts to try and tune it as I go has been difficult, but enlightening. I am expecting to have a robust combat system in the next couple of weeks. After that, it will be time to turn my attention to the asset pipeline. I have the game working with a tile map editor for overworld maps, but I still need at least two more editors to generate the json used for levels and gameObject loading. Writing them by hand has been problematic, and I would very much like to have a small application to generate them for me, as I’m sure everyone else at namespace would appreciate having access to them as well.

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Hadi: Hi, I’m a crazy little monkey

Monkey

Hello, HELLO? Hi, I’m a crazy little monkey that happened to get his hands on a bunch of money! Instead of spending it all on awesome bananas (mmmm…. bananas) I’ve decided to team up with a bunch of devs and build a game.

“SMACK” (monkey goes flying off the chair)

Sorry about that! I’m Hadi, also known as “The Guy” on the team. I get to do all the fun stuff, like looking for people, drafting legal documents, monitoring workflow, and coming up with cool shit to put into the game. That monkey from before is called Monkey, he’s just a part of my brain that comes out every so often. He’s usually a nice guy, but since this is our first blog he got WAY too over excited. We work well together though; he comes up with all the crazy stuff and I try to make sense out of it.

I’m really pleased with what we’ve come up with so far. The world that we’ve been constructing is super interesting because there’s so much to explore and discover. It’s a place that Me and Monkey would definitely like to visit.

-Hadi & Monkey

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Sean: So far so good.

So far so good.

Not a great way to start a journal entry, but then again who am I trying to impress with this shit.

The world? Hardly.

My team? Slightly.

Myself? Mostly I guess.

Seems like a hard task. Surprising yourself that is. Yet that is exactly what has been happening these past few weeks. Continuous surprise at how well things are going. I guess saying it that way makes it sound bad, but the name of the game is to expect the worst right? Finding and contracting Dre, our concept artist and Christian, our Programmer went as smooth as could have been hoped for.

The last week and half work has been a mixture of finalizing administration (woohoo!/s), world creation and game design. I have to say that I am really excited with what we have come up with, I think we are getting really close to finalizing the history of this world we are building. Spiraling towards the center as Hadi would say.

The entire design of the game is looking like something that I can get really excited about. Which is important, it shows whether you’re into your own game. Guillermo del Toro has a great quote on this in an interview with Ken Levine, (definitely worth the listen), that the creative process is like sex;

“It’s hard to fuck without a boner”.

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Well, now it’s time to consolidate all of these scraps of paper and whiteboard diagrams into a singular design doc.

-Sean Bacon