The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Still procrastinating…

I haven’t really done a thing. Well, okay, that’s a small lie.

I built a deck in two days, so that’s a plus. It tends to help to a bit handy when it comes to power tools.

Anyway, I haven’t done anything in regards to game making, as initially promised, but hey, I can do what what I want. It’s been such a shitty last calendar month, I think I’ll cut myself some slack. I find it extremely hard to find motivation to work on anything related to that regard, but it’ll come, eventually.

I’ve been roughly planning our next adventure when it comes to Star Wars: Force and Destiny, the boys somehow managed to escape the harsh environment of … <insert planet name here when I recall it> and harvest their rubat crystals. I’m thinking I’m going to get them to find a place to find some old parts and such to craft their hilts for their sabres, but I need to read up on the whole lightsabre creation mechanics.

You know you’re getting old when you start getting arthritis in your elbow, I’m starting to worry about it and specifically how bad it could get in the coming years, especially 15-20+ years in the future. Yikes.

One day this blog will once again feature game making skills…. sometime.

A new day…

Kind of redundant, because everyday is a new day, but today feels a bit different. I feel a bit more motivated today but I also anchored with a bit more defeat. I have a strong urge to accomplish a few things but lack the will to start them. It’s an odd sensation. The past ten months have been a complete and utter challenge mentally and with the recent passing of four months of unemployment, you start to question your own abilities. Everything really compounds exponentially and quite easily I might add.

What’s on tap?

I haven’t touched Mouse or its imaginary counterpart in a long time. The biggest obstacle in the game is simply the art (update on this near the end of this post).¬†A believe I released Canasta a bit prematurely, without the polish I had desired, this will eventually be corrected in due time, but for now, it’s on the back-burner indefinitely. Traders was released over two years ago… (wait, what??!?!?). I didn’t realize it was that long ago. A plan is in the works to work on a 1.5/2,0 release in the near(ish) future.

Currently I’m scripting and planing an adventure in our IRL Star Wars RP campaign that we had started a couple weeks ago. Currently I have a page splashed with ideas and minor things that I’ve come up. Now I’m just deciding what main adversary they will encounter over the next while and ideas where they can find some of their Jedi training. So many possibilities.

As with being off work for the past four months, I’ve found a spare tire. Unfortunately, that spare tire is attached to my mid-section and its could currently replace a small trailer’s tire in case of a blow out on the highway. So, it’s time to nix this before it becomes a replacement for a tractor tire, the bigger rear ones, not the smaller steering wheels. Anyways, I’ve embarked on a 28 (not sure why 28, seems like an odd (err… ) number) days planking challenge, which seems simple enough, but it only takes a few minutes out of the day to do so. Which brings me to my next challenge…

Hour a day. Yea, I know I’ve attempted something similar in the past, but hey, how are you going to get any better without a hair bit of failure? So, off I go again. I’m not sure if I’m going to blog about it every day, but if I’m home all day anyways, I might as well be a bit productive.

I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I released Traders… Fack.

Learning… understanding…

It has been a long, crappy few days. I’m not going to get into any personal details about it, but I wasn’t ready for it, it was much too soon and you’re never truly ready for it to happen.

Alas, I’ve had a bit of time to attempt to get into life again, and that means, back to learning. I started reading the core rule book from Force and Destiny a lot more into simply character creation, mainly so I have a better handle on it. I believe that I do, a lot more things have become a bit clearer and some things make sense. I familiarized myself with a few of the common skills and imprinted myself with proper ways to do checks.

I finally figured out how critical injuries become inflicted on targets, now just to get the rest of combat configured, mainly recovering from wounds, critical injuries and what to do if someone is knocked down/out. I also need to get up to speed with the use of strain, and ways to encourage the use of it.

And then there’s the writing of the story. I seemingly agreed to more or less “wing it” from here on out. I don’t think its a big ordeal in a sense, as I’ve been kind of flooding with ideas and neat little obstacles and rights of passage. I think it’ll mainly be the main points I need to keep track of, I can pretty much improvise most things they decide to encounter.

Anyways, I’m off to be productive… possibly.

That was a late one…

The boys and I probably hung out a little bit too late last night and it was all thanks to Star Wars. Force and Destiny to be exact. Overall, after we concluded, it was fairly well received between all of us, but we hit some snags along the way.

The first few issues came from character creation. So right off the bat, we got confused and the books really don’t aid you too well in terms of how to actually set up a character properly. A lot of the steps are unclear and somethings are a bit convoluted. We had a hell of a time figuring out what skills the players got for free and the cost of said skill in experience. Nothing was really clear in that regard. We also didn’t fully realize the potential of characteristics either, which set off a mis-match disaster in terms of playing, when we finally got there.

Now, what I thought was going to be the biggest disaster of everything, actually turned out not too bad…. the dice.

After educating the players in what means what, what cancels what, and what each die represents, after a few instances it was actually pretty easy. Although we fucked up bad at the beginning, we mis-read a bunch of rules involving checks/initiatives so the players were actually quite under-powered so they ended up failing a lot of simple checks, always putting them behind the 8-ball in most situations.

Then I forgot all about destiny points.

Then I forgot about the force/conflict/morality.

It was a shit-show.

The next real pain in the ass, although still very much clouded in terms of clarification, are the range bands. I understand the idea, but it some regards its a bit confusing and most of the time, we didn’t feel the need to really move back and forth as for the most part it was a bit of shoot-out. I do, however, believe a lot of this issue was my own, I should of tried to flee a bit more.

After getting proper initiative checks down, we finally had the right order but combat felt a bit… clunky. Weapon use didn’t make a whole bunch of sense in some regards. The players didn’t have any skills in the particular weapons they had purchased and in the books its quite unclear what stats you’re supposed to be using when firing the weapon, then there’s the issue of critical hits, enemies having too high of a soak value for the party, alas… again, this being my issue as I didn’t read a bunch of information as to how it all goes down.

*sigh*

More reading I’ll have to do…

The biggest thing that bites my balls is the lack of information/direction in the supplied adventure. I’m glad it gave me some checks to do for certain things but there wasn’t much in terms of resolution, success/fail. I think I would have been easier off wing-ing it.

I thought about getting more campaigns/adventures, but I think I’d be better off doing it through my own ideas/eyes.

As a group we’ve decided that I would be better off just doing something I’ve prepared as opposed to a dedicated resource.

But, first and fore-most, I need to get a lot of things clearer, easier to understand for a much, much better experience.

Getting ready to hear that familiar sound…

Tonight is finally that night that the boys are getting together for a bit of Star Wars Edge of the Empire/Force and Destiny. I was a bit shocked that the dice finally showed up a couple of days ago. We were planning on forging ahead without them, but I think that would have been a logistical nightmare.

I’ve already told them that at least one of them has to be a jedi as it appears to be a cool struggle with the light/dark side of the force.

Anyways, off to prep for my first crack at being a GM/DM. This could be quite interesting! I’ll post a review of some sort later this week and discuss our pros/cons from the game session.

Wish us luck!

Learning to read…

The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending a lot of my time reading. I don’t normally read a lot of books so this should come as a big surprise to a lot of people. The reason I’ve started doing this reading fiasco is because of this…

I’ve recently purchased a few items to get a group together to get this game going. I’m not going to lie though, its been a huge pain in the ass sourcing a lot of it. I ordered the Core rulebook as well as the Force and Destiny core through amazon.ca to good success. I later got the GM screen from there as well. The biggest issue is trying to get the dice. I ordered one set off of miniature market (which has yet to arrive) and after doing a bunch of reading I’ve heard its much more convenient to use three full sets, so I decided to find some more with the only place to find them is by going to Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately in my town there isn’t a game shop I can just swing by and snatch up a set or two. So now we’ve been delaying our group waiting for these dice to pop up. I’m debating to just use the iPhone app, but it’s just not as much fun than rolling dice. I really disappointed that this isn’t a d20 system. I’m debating on making it one just because that’s what we like.

Frustrating.

…..

I’m still in the process of ¬†planning the new game, but honestly haven’t done a whole lot in those regards. Just haven’t found my drive for it just yet. It doesn’t help I’ve been spending a bit of time outside in the sunshine either cleaning up the yard or improving my golf game. Summer can be a busy month for myself so I tend to limit a bit of screen time. It’s coming, one day it is.

Stepping into the light…

I’ve taken a bit of a break from game-making the last couple of weeks. Just felt like I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer so I decided to close my eyes to it for a little while. Also it hasn’t helped that I probably have a fairly unhealthy addiction to Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. Very, very, addicting.

I remember loading up Clash of Clans and being totally hooked on that for the first couple of months, but I don’t remember just loading it up just to take a peek at it, like a million times a day. I think it emits crack. It has to.

I’m just dumbfounded a bit as to how addicted I am. I’m running two different accounts on two devices, its stupid. Someone save me.

Anyways, an old friend of mine came to visit a buddy and me a week ago and got us salivating at playing table top RPGs again. Back in the day we played all sorts of games together and more recently we had started a 3-man group of DnD and were doing pretty good, but this last time he came down he forgot our load-outs. Bastard.

So, in turn he recently picked up a game called Descent. It reminds me a lot of playing HeroQuest, but updated and a lot more advanced in some regards. I particularly like the idea of the dungeon master (?) actually has his own goals, perks and a bit of desire to win. Leads to a neat dynamic to the game. I definitely enjoy an ongoing type of board game that can be so immersive. (hint: that’s why I added a CCG tab long ago).

Any who, we mentioned we were addicted to SWGOH, and he slipped up. He mentioned something he definitely shouldn’t have. He told us about Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. He’s like, its DnD, but Star Wars. I think our mouths dropped. Seriously. We love Star Wars and this is the perfect thing. Immediately we started googling and finding somethings out about it and it was heaven. Ha ha.

So, a costly trip around the internet and the books are in the mail. Now I’m simply eager and inpatient.

We just find that it’s easier to find a group of guys to RP with Star Wars as opposed to traditional dungeons and dragons.

And, it didn’t help I found Star Wars Force and Destiny. Credit card took a nice little shit kicking this past week, ha ha. Oh well. I’ll try and post some antics on here as time goes by, and maybe throw up a bit of review in the process. Gotta use up the articles tab somehow ya know?

Threw it out there…

Late last night I decided to stop production on Canasta. That’s because I decided it was worthy enough of a 1.0 release. So that’s exactly what I did, closed it up and threw it in a zipped up folder for the world to play around with.

Canasta 1.0 (May 5, 2017)

My only regret about it right now is that I didn’t do as many “tool tips” and a real proper read-me file to accompany the game. My only suggestion, if you’re going to try and play it, is to google rules to Canasta and get a feel for how the game is played. Rules to this are a bit different but for the most part, they’re relatively the same. I’ll try and include something in the near future, but can’t guarantee anything at this time.

Feel free to comment to this (or any) post or email me (4tee1.mk@gmail.com) and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Back to planning…

Making up for shortcomings…

I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks going crazy over Canasta. It seems today it has finally paid off. I’m glad to announce that it right near reaching that elusive 1.0. It was a mighty struggle over the last few days in getting the AI to act properly under certain conditions, but after some constructive bug hunting, many of those have subsided. It was surprising to have the AI beat me, even when I could see their hands. I’ll have to dust off some strategies so that doesn’t happen again.

So, what’s missing before the 1.0 release? Well, there’s still a few things I’d like to clean up before I release it to the world (all… 3 of you that might see this,) I want to polish some of the animations I’m currently doing and adding a few tool tips in regards to game-play. It’s bad when you, as the script-er, forget some of the controls and necessary keys to actually play the game. I will also have to write some sort of ‘rules’ document to accompany the game as its not a completely common game to most. I was toying with the idea to have a bit of a sample hand, but I think that’ll be a 2.0 experience.

After the release of Canasta coming soon I can focus my energy on a game that’s been cooking up in my head this past while that just recently started hitting paper. I began thinking that one of my major pitfalls of getting ‘mouse’ or what should starting calling ‘rat’, is the lack of planning. It terms of canasta & traders I’ve actually planned a lot of the games’ GUI, functions and features on paper/word doc. I need to start doing this for ‘rat’ more extensively.

At roughly three o’clock this morning, when I had a bit of trouble sleeping, I opened up notes on my iPhone and started jotting down the ideas and story that I’ve concocted in my brain. Currently I was struggling with how to tie certain ideas together to make it all work. The biggest struggle for sure has been debating between sand-boxing and a more linear story line. As of now, it’ll be a mix of both, with more of a loose story and more of a sandbox given the universe it is loosely (or tightly [undecided]) based in.

But for now, Canasta is going to make the jump to 1.0. Stay tuned.

Back in the saddle…

I’ve been a bit of a rock-star the last few days in regards to getting Canasta finished. I’ve nearly got most cases finished in the new AI scheme and it’s looking rather promising. I hit a few snags after the initial implementation, most being a few type errors on my part, and the other half stemming from me not paying attention or simply using the wrong parameters or creating a new undefined variable. For now it seems as though many of the bugs have been flushed out. Now to add a few more cases for the AI not to play so mindless and to fix some ungodly animation errors. Although, it is fun to see cards fly across the screen in one direction, even though they should be flowing in the opposite direction.

I haven’t done any sprite-ing or art of any kind the last few days. I’ve rather taken the approach of more planning and a bit of recon. The best way to develop a style is to study others. Another big obstacle I’ve stumbled upon is resolution. First, with Canasta, it’s been an issue which needs to be remedied. I need to lower the resolution so it fits on more native displays as most displays have gone widescreen. When I first developed the game I made it for a standard 4:3 display, well it doesn’t fit on my laptop. Once I get everything sorted out behind the scenes with AI and the card handling, I’ll be tackling that as definite.

Back with “mouse” though and resolution, it’s become an issue because it’s hard to develop graphics for a game when you don’t really know the resolution. A few pieces of art and my studying is that it’s much prettier if you can go with a larger resolution, and in some cases, easier. So right now I’m trying to find a new medium in terms of that. I’ve already decided to limit myself in terms of color, by selecting a specific palette. (pretty sure it’s an SNES, but I don’t recall for sure). There is a degree of difficulty when the resolution is smaller, you almost get limited in the detail and some things may seem unclear as to what it is, but then you get to the point “when’s enough, enough?”. So that’s where I’m at for the moment. Sooner or later I’ll crack down and whip up the debug room for the game, but for now, full steam ahead on Canasta.