The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

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I’m the best procrastinator…

Most days I come home, grab a beverage from the fridge and plop myself up on the couch and recline my feet. I need to have more drive in my life. More goals. There is one thing I know I want in my life and that is a house, a real house. One with a garage.

I recently built a set of permanent shelves in a place where a door used to be and I really enjoy wood working except the fact that all the necessary tools are scattered about and I don’t have a pleasing workplace. It makes me frustrated and un-involved.

I also want a new truck.

I don’t really know for sure if I want to continue with my profession, it doesn’t make me happy. It makes my account happy, but doesn’t make me happy. I’m at a crossroads for sure. Frustrated.

I bring a lot of this indecisiveness to my ability to game-make as well. I used to have a set goal when I was working on anything Sphere related, I took the baby steps to accomplish a task. I saw a direction. I worked on a system that I didn’t have/needed or something that needed updating. I now just stare at a screen. Most recently, the lap top stays closed, sometimes days on end.

At a peak of frustration, trying to find the proper motivation.

Dream, dream bigger.

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Sometimes I waste my time…

I had to head out of town for a few days last week and for whatever reason, my cohort, decided to pick up a rubix cube from Best Buy. I was a bit puzzled as to why he decided to nab one up, but I was intrigued to say the least. Now, I’ve had one in the past and probably have one kicking around in the closet unsolved this very minute. Anyways, after a lot of pissing around and jealousy of this cube, I had to go get one. I spent the ride back to my home town watching youtube videos on how to solve it, and after a couple of days, boom… what I thought to be impossible, became the possible.After some practice it became second nature and it has become second nature to me. I never would have thought I would have learned how to do a rubix cube, but hey, at 35, I finally know now.

In other life news, I’ve recently finished reading two books, albeit, part of a series, but that’s a huge accomplishment in my life. I rarely read books unless I’m in Mexico, which is why I read two, I was in Mexico.

It’s been a great read so far, I’ve knocked off the first couple over the course of a week, Aftermath and Life Debt, currently working Empire’s End after a short stint re-reading the first by accident. (it was Mexico, I wasn’t sober most of the time.)

Dev news… well, not much to report really, still half heart-idly work on the new revision of Traders, and of course Mouse hasn’t moved a whole lot since I’ve left in a hiatus, but I’m currently making a bit more robust in terms of resolution as I thinking of going to more of an old school lower resolution feel, thus easing a bunch of the artistic restrictions that I have.

I’m hoping to find that drive once again and truly push through these laziness barriers that keep popping up… ugh!

Re-tooling…

I’ve taken a bit of time off from game making in general, but more particularly Mouse. I’ve exhausted many options to speed up/mitigate a change to how to progress Mouse beyond its current state. I’m tempted to use temporary (read possibly permanent/edited) tiles to basically be place holders of the finished product. This would in term be a lot easier to continue script the game and further the mechanics of the game. I’m undecided.

So I did something stupid…

I started Traders 3… I really don’t know why to be honest. Instead of patching the game and simply adding a few things that I’ve wanted to add in the past, I’ve cracked it open and started from scratch. Well, not completely from scratch, I’m re-using as much as I possibly can, but I’ve started to structure the game a lot better and group a lot of items that should of been together in the first place and never made it there.

The main goals is to add cities and knights to the game and to make the rules of the game interchangeable with one another. I just think it’d be a fun experiment to be able to mix and match and explore what Catan all has to offer. Next is to add a second robber to the mix along with the pirate robber that rules the sea.

Finally the biggest challenge is going to be the bot.

Another big plan for the game is to encompass a real lobby, where all the players can join/chat with one another and then separate into individual games. But, depending on how everything progresses, this may be left off yet again.

One day…

Tick, tick, boom…

I’m not sure what it is… I sit on the couch nearly everyday and usually at some time in the night/day I’ll pop open my lap top and make my way to notepad++ and sphere. I’ll just stare at it, read a little bit, test a game, and just … piss around. I won’t actually progress at all. I’m daunted by what I got to do. I’m at the point where I need to do art and I literally hate it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll basically just start editing current available tiles from other games and in term, hopefully piece something together. But I have no desire to do it.

I’m frustrated and I’m losing motivation. The worst part is that I decided to start combing through some of the code and altering some of the dialogue behavior, then I broke it. And I’m mad, and well grr…

Yea, I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I’m just frustrated.

I think I’m crazy…

These are some of the rarest cards you can find in Ultimate Masters.

And I have them.

I was shocked, these three cards alone are worth nearly $200, and hopefully, their value will only increase over time. This set will be exceptionally hard to finish simply based on the fact the singles are very hard to find and boosters are not cheap at all. I have no idea why I’m trying to complete this set in the first place. It helps nabbing 2 of the top three in prices in the first two boosters I’ve opened. So that’s a bit crazy.

And that prelude basically runs into this…

I’ve found a good detour to making tiles for mouse, and that is CCG. Now, I’m not just talking about collecting Magic cards, I’m talking about one of my young-self’s dream, building a CCG.

I know it sounds incredibly far fetched and an odd aspiration, especially since we live in such a vast digital world (even more so with gaming/sociability), this has been my dream ever since I ripped open a pack of Magic cards back in the early 90’s. Oh how much I kick myself for not finding my old collection, although, I missed the bus on alpha/beta and caught the revised/4th edition cards, so the cards I had were not crazy rare to begin with. Still, I love the nostalgia of collecting cards. I’ve collected thousands of cards from many games, mainly Magic, Overpower, Star Wars and even Pokemon, nothing beats the mini rush you get when you tear off the plastic of hidden, unknown cards underneath.

My goal in my CCG was to bring better game play to Magic, more players to Star Wars and more detail to Overpower. And with that ball of flames, add in DND (Dungeons and Dragons) elements to make it less static and more robust.

My childhood was filled with so many games and fads that my imagination ran circles tirelessly on end. Not only did I grow up with the best era of video games (retro 8/16/32bit), I dabbled in the aforementioned Magic, Pokemon, OverPower, and Star Wars, but I saw (and played) the rise of Pog, and it’s fall for that matter. I played HeroQuest and dungeons and dragons.

Basically what I would love is Dungeons and Dragons but in a CCG, but the CCG would work like Dungeons and Dragons, confusing, and weird, yes. But that’s what I want.

So this is my other oops. I’m making a digital “tester” per say, but unfortunately it’s quickly becoming more and more of a necessity to create the actual paper equivalent to hash out real game play, mainly because it’s a lot easier to code something that actually exists (set behavior properties) than it is to try one thing, but having to modify it could be an absolute nightmare.

I did however, benefit greatly from this prototype, (a lot of leg work was previously done from Traders), this demo is currently fully networked and I’ve addressed a few issues I’ve encountered in Traders (mainly the odd abnormalities).  I’m getting a lot better are creating a better framework for networking which will benefit future projects.

So yea, I’m now doing art on two fronts, digitally and physically, FML.

Taking way more time than anticipated…

Pixel art is hard.

Pixel art is very hard for me.

I hate that I’m not good at it. Currently, my biggest problem is maintaining perspective/depth with all the conjoining tiles. I’m constantly trying something, deleting something else, then, eventually, deleting it all. Frustrating to say the least. Then, I ran into a small issue. I forgot about the sprite size. I was wondering why something felt small and kind of awkward, then I made a placeholder for the character. Well shit. You see, it turns out the dummy sprite I was using I forgot to up-scale it to the new resolution from the old prototype. So, I tossed the new tiles in the dumpster.

Back to square one for tiling/mapping.

Let’s talk about a new addiction. (This is why I can’t do drugs, I’ve got an addictive personality.)

Magic. Magic the Gathering, magic. I kind of stumbled upon it the other day cleaning up some old storage items and found a collection I had started when Core 2015 came out. I remember being bored and decided to start collecting and possibly get back into it. I can’t say I’m really committed to the idea just yet, but I did download MTG Arena, which I did stumble upon on twitch one night when I was bored. What I had thought it was players playing real magic against each other (since it was a Friday night). After some research, I found the game on windows and delved right into it. I really liked how it trained you how to play, what cards do what and it’s very easy to learn, since the game has changed so much since I last played (some time in the ’90s).

Long story short, in the coming weeks I’ll finally complete the Core 2015 set, card 1 to 269. Of course I don’t have all the foils. It’s simply a mix of foils and regular finishes (since when did they have to make a special finish, like fuck off, it’s hard enough to collect rares). After investing some $, I started doing some research as to what set I may want to collect next, I was thinking Core 2019, but I haven’t been attached to the idea and looking at the extent of cards, I’m not sure the risk/reward is worth the investment to complete that set. I was looking at Ultimate Masters, and the list of cards and their prices got me a bit excited, until I saw the prices to buy boosters (and booster box). Yikes.

Tiles…

Happy new year and hopefully everyone had a joyous holiday season.

I’ve been meddling around the last few days fixing some uncommon and erratic errors/bugs that have been popping up as I’ve been testing. Currently I’m pretty happy with how the dialogue handling is going, including the structure and how I’m loading/saving and accessing this information. I think it’ll do for now until the game progresses and if I need to modify it, I’ll do so at that time.

Current task(s)… currently I’m making tiles (horribly slow as I suck at pixel art, and I’m fussy), and it isn’t going great. I really wish I had a knack for artistic talent, because that would make it so much easier. Right now I’m making relatively simple tiles to try and get better with the art so I can progress to the next tile and so on, it’s a huge work in progress.

The second thing I’ve tasked myself with is the HUD (heads up display). Before I decided to expand the resolution, essentially doubling it, I was going for a Legend of Zelda style feel. Simple, informative and to the point. That HUD is actually buried in the ‘mouse’ tab of the site. With the larger resolution I’m having a hard time coming up with something clean and worthy of its next iteration.

To work we go, I’m hoping the next post will contain a new map with actual tiles.

(26/1166)

Start talking tough guy…

Anyone require a shoe?

After some messing around and attempting to figure out a good template/system for handling dialogue and all of it’s limitless possibilities, I think I’ve come up with a decent solution to the issue. None of the dialogue is currently hard coded into the game. Each entity/NPC (basically anything that can talk), will have its own unique save file with all their dialogue printed into it. Each text block has a few special qualities attached to it besides just the text. They ca have a remove tag, which takes something (if the user has), they could have a choice tag, which requires the user to pick a choice, or it could have a lock tag at the end where the character shuts up after the last dialogue.

There are still quite a few options I want to incorporate into this system, first being having a detector for some people to react differently to what item is equipped, speech might change when the user has a specific special/normal item in their inventory, have the NPC move/disappear after some dialogue/item/etc. Multiple speech paths at the same time.

So many options to come!

I worked a ton on saving/loading on the weekend, now everything tends to be in order. I now save more of the user information, where they are in the map, the camera shifts/positions and the user’s inventory. There’s also now a rough main screen that allows the user to choose a new game, or load a game (if there are saves). The controls for these menus have also been re-vamped, I switched the menu screen and the save screen keys with each other for a better feel. Of course though, eventually, these keys will be able to be altered by the user at their discretion. The functionality is already there, just not the practical part of it, it’s on the docket.

I’m going to continue messing around with the dialogue and attempt to clear up most of the needed possibilities that I’ll require. Then I’ll probably shift back to the in game menu to further clean that up. After that I’m planning on adding more map interactions and eventually leading to…. tiles!

(25/1080)

Saving/loading nightmare…

Sphere is interesting in more ways than one. Sometimes I wonder if it’s Sphere’s behavior or if it is the robust nature of variables that make Sphere act obscure or maybe it’s just me and I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. The reason I bring this up is that depending on the function I’m calling, it doesn’t like taking a string verses a number, and vice versa. However, when I use alternate functions which in the same type of structure requiring the same results, things work fine. Drives me bonkers.

I’m only guessing this is because of filenames and how some functions return results.

Well whatever…

After some late night headaches I managed to accomplish a fairly big deal (in my mind), saving & loading. It was a nightmare in some regards which required a great deal of testing and debugging. There were a few instances where I was like, “wow, I got it!”, then I dug a bit deeper and it was a false hope. But after a ton of meddling and play testing… it works. So after that major hurdle, things can continually progress.

Speaking of debugging, if you’ve noticed the last couple of screenshots posted in the mouse folder, you’ll notice the garble of text on the left side of the screen, it’s mainly debugging information. I managed to squeeze in my own debugger console (as I have previously with Traders and Canasta). Makes a lot of bug testing go a ton faster as opposed to using logs and Abort calls.

Now since I’ve got saving and loading files/information under control, now I’m going to implement “save points” to further add information to be saved (mainly, character information, inventory, keys, camera positions, etc) then to story handling with dialogues and eventually, cut-scenes.

(23/874)

Screen transition-ed…

So, it took a lot less time to figure out a decent (albeit lame) screen transition when changing the map from one to another. It’ll do for now, It’s not exactly the idea I had in mind, but it’ll be a perfect placeholder for now.

So first leg of the transition, covers the screen in squares, tile by tile, randomly.

Secondly, the screen is covered in a brief black mask, in time, this is where the real change takes place. The map is changed underneath, the old mapEvents are saved and the new set is now loaded.

Last leg of the transition is simply a reverse of the beginning transition, once all blocking tiles are removed, movement is restored to the player and game resumes.

I want to touch on something I’m a bit proud of, well, maybe not proud, shocked that it worked the way it was intended. So each map has an associated save file which holds all the map changes and interactions. All these have unique ids. The best part about the system is that some of events are a single time use; for example, picking an item that was readily available on the ground. The item isn’t meant to be re-spawned, so therefore, it would hold a dead id once the user acquires the item. The map also holds a dead id array that can be re-used if the user places a new item and essentially creates a new map event. The only reason I thought about doing this was because I was messing around picking items up and then dropping them in new locations on the map. After some testing I noticed my event count went up drastically. (Some times I’m smarter than the average bee.)

I’m happy about the progression so far.

(20/761)