The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: gamedev

Hard to find…

You know what’s really hard to find? Motivation. Well, actually, I had some of that the other day when I’ve been browsing and trying to locate decent pixel art tutorials. The biggest problem I’m finding is that there’s a huge gap from beginner to ‘passable art(ist)’. Let’s be honest, I’m not a good artist at all, however, I can teach myself to do some things and in the end I can be quite creative in that regard. The problem is I struggle mightily with sprites. What’s even more unlucky about that? Good luck finding a pixel art tutorial that leans towards making sprites, its near impossible. I sit most of the time with Aseprite (beautiful program btw) open with a blank canvas I’m either hammering in YouTube searches or google ones. But, it just seems to no avail.

So when I finally do stumble onto something worth reading/watching, it’s like this…

  1. pick a skin tone and draw a couple of blobs to represent the head and body.
  2. now, carefully outline the limbs and add in details of the face (eyes, ears, mouth, nose)
  3. clean up rough lines and add depth
  4. Boom done.

Wait… what?

It literally goes from drawing blobs, to rough outlining to a finished product some how. I need the parts that help in regards to body proportions. Unfortunately I’m thinking of finding a decent skeleton sprite that I can use as a framework for all the characters.

The reason I want a character sprite done first is that it gives you the scale of everything else. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t wanna make a 16×16 sprite of a 6′ person and throw them on a tile map with 16×16 tiles and have a single tile be a chair. Basically you’re saying to the player is that chair is 6′ high, or that lamp, bench, piece of paper, book, whatever it may be. Once I have the basic sprite/design, it’ll be much easier to make the world which encases that character.

Maybe I’ll throw up some ugly drawings I end up doing in my meager attempts at art. Be fore warned. Of course I’ll try and link to any articles and what not that I find useful in my efforts.

Daydreaming…

I spend a lot of time starring at the computer screen with the editor open and just sitting there with a blank face. I tend to occupy that time with Netflix on in the background. More often than not, I find myself paying more attention to the movie or the show that’s on than the screen two inches in front of my face.

I remember roughly eight years ago I couldn’t wait to get off work to come home, fire up a movie and hit up the editor and I just recall going to town. The motivation was uncanny. I didn’t have to sit and ponder up/make a decision in regards to the game, I just did it. Where’d that go?

I also remember one of the true passions behind Traders. It started out because of Asobrain locking up its doors and the lack of means to play Catan regularly. It was a perfect project. There was no planning needed. I knew what to do, what had to be done and how it all worked. I learnt a lot from that project. I learned the in’s and out’s of Sphere’s networking capabilities and I further immersed myself in Javascript as a whole. I’m proud I finished it. I really should step aside and conquer Canasta. but the desire for that is simply not there.

I have so many dreams for Mouse. I catch myself daydreaming about how I view the game in what could be its glory. I can recall the intro and the start of the game before the player has control then it muffles. My vision gets clouded.

Umm… plan? Yea, I’ve got one… kind of.

Right now, my thoughts are this. I’m going to make my hybrid of the two ideas I’ve been fighting with this past while. I’m going to make a “generic” type game that excludes Mouse’s key story/game-play thoughts that make that unique.

“Wait, that doesn’t make sense.”

Here’s my reasoning. I’m going to make this game as much as I can, with the spare/scrap ideas I’ve had before, and with that hope I can concrete the main points/game-play for mouse by this sort of, trial & error. Who knows, sometimes this is how beauty is found. We’ll see.

I’m a terrible artist…

I’ve known that I’m terrible at art for a pretty long time. I have a few issues with regarding pixel art. I’m indecisive as hell. I’ll rework the same few pieces countless times before I leave them alone, but then I’ll go back and hack them up again. I’m also pretty sad when it comes to color picking, there are a few go to colors I like to use and I just try and hash it together to make it somewhat…. nice. One other thing, I just don’t get enough practice. All of it is mainly my own fault, but it stems down to my indecisive nature. If I sat down and had a plan (which I definitely need more of), I could attempt more and get better.

I should also mention that I have a problem with shading/texture. My original plan for the game is to have a ‘clean’ look. So, lack of dithering and all that crap is going to be non-existent, for now. I truly understand this is going to hamper the look of the game, and will indeed turn people off of what I’m going for. However, this is my thinking, I see too many indie games (RPG Maker) that are either square-y or have a terrible mismatch of tiles. I’m hoping to avoid such a thing with everything having my own style.

Here’s where I’m at, yes, it’s not much, but there’s more going on under the hood and other prep that this screen doesn’t show.

The sprite is animated and can walk around freely. Now we’ll talk about the key things missing from the area. First obviously is the clutter and ‘decorations’ that fill up the rooms and such. Next is the obstructions and collisions. Of course the menu displays/HUD are also missing, but here’s my arguments for lack of showing at the moment. Remember my indecisiveness? That’s playing a key role at the moment.

So, for the menu I’m stuck between two ideas at the moment. A fast, easy inter-changeable items al-a Metal Gear Solid type (when you use the bumper buttons to navigate through your inventory), or a traditional, press the escape button and full up menu displays with different categories. The main reason I’m tipping towards the latter is that I can limit the number of required keys to be used. If I go with the former (MGS style), I’ll need to activate two additional keys. I’ve toyed with the idea of only using one action button, but it’s just that, toying around with the idea.

Can someone kill my indecisive nature?

Dug out the ole tablet…

I found my old drawing tablet whilst I was cleaning up some messes the other day, it was nice to see that now a days, it’s a quick simple plug & play. That was hopeful because I remember seeing the disc that came with it, but I no longer remember that location to date, I’m sure that’ll pop up eventually. Any who, I’ve hit a desire snag working on Canasta, I just can’t get into it. The biggest problem is that it’s a string of code I remember doing multiple times, and it’s tedious as fuck. I’m currently developing a much simpler, cleaner & clearer way of doing the AI card selections, but I’ve slapped that to the back burner for now.

You may (or not) have noticed a new tab presented on the site, ‘articles’. I tend to, in the future (ha… isn’t that a theme in itself), place random, interesting, and mainly my gear grinding thoughts/topics into. I’ve wanted a space in which I can write articles that not necessarily have anything to do with the topics of this blog (could very well be in left field), and instead of creating a new site, I figure I would just tab them off in a ‘separate’ folder per say.

So, no news on Canasta and I haven’t written an article yet, traders didn’t get an update, and CCG page is… dusty. So what have I been doing?

Mouse, actually. I’ve laid a lot of bare bones in the framework of the game, unfortunately, not a lot graphically has been accomplished which makes it nearly impossible to show anything at all. Although I’ve re-created nearly everything in the screenshots that are already provided in that tab. Right now though I’m at a crossroads of sorts. I’m trying to nail down a definitive graphics style. I want to try and be as consistent as possible. My first iteration was to basically make a mere zelda clone, graphics and play style. I’ve been following Elias Daler (blog) on twitter and through a SMFL forum post. He made a excellent post a while back about how unrealistic zelda’s view point really is, it simply doesn’t make any sense, the walls (and most terrain) represent a bird’s eye view and the rest is 3/4 perspective. I understand why they did it that way, but trying it for yourself doesn’t yield favorable results. So I’m going to a more true 3/4 view. I’m just fiddling with ways to show doors in a hallway north & south. Interesting.

Hopefully some screens to follow.

I’m really trying to make this a habit to post. It’s hard to lie about progress!

Scheduling some time…

Now that I’m officially off work until the new year (pending something catastrophic), I’m setting up some time for some development, finally. I’m going to hammer out a nice little design doc pertaining to the game and some major points I need fleshed out. I have most of it in past notes and some neat little ramblings on my phone, but the key is to put forth everything in a central location so I can firmly put forth a solid plan.

But first, I must get something a little more important out of the way…

2000px-Star_Wars_Logo.svg

I’m not an absolute die-hard fan, but I’m definitely a huge fan. I just didn’t feel like freezing my butt off in the cold waiting in line for a few hours. I’m a bit of a wimp. We’re (friends & I) are hoping the lines drizzled down a bit so we can head out late tonight to see the movie. I’m pretty excited to see the new one from all the hearsay I’ve heard. Going to be good!

I’ll post some thoughts about it tomorrow, maybe some other news as well…

Yawn…

That was a bit of a nap. Oops. I’m getting really good at being some kind of lazy. It’s getting pretty damn sad as to how lazy I’ve gotten the last few weeks. I haven’t started up Sphere in some time to even think about working on Mouse.

I’ve thought about it. Lots.

I’ve actually got a lot of ideas in terms of game-play and neat things I want to add into the game but the real problem remains, I can’t split certain ideas. I want to make my true passion, the RPG/Adventure that will be Mouse, from the open world/action game that one day I hope will turn online. But that is miles down the road.

So what should I do. Well, I’ve got a little bit of a plan. I’m going to rip the hell out of Mouse and just make the fucking thing like I’ve meant to for years. This is something I need to do, but mostly for myself. I’m going to start during my upcoming christmas holidays, since, I’ll have some time, should get a good deal done to what I’ve already accomplished.

Look forward to more information in the coming days (weeks)…. I’m not going to promise anything, because, well, look at my track record.

Another one of those…. ‘oops’… type of posts.

Let’s just cut to the chase, I haven’t been working on anything really, well with one exception, and I’ll get to that a bit later. I’ve hit a snag with game development. There’s a few issues I’ve encountered in the last couple of weeks that I need to iron out. At this time, I can’t really find a happy medium with what I want to do.

Here’s some enlightenment. I want to make a turn based RPG that features an in & out type of party of two characters. That story is what I’ve been using for most of my main game design. Now, what I’m trying to do is morph the premise and environment to more of a open-world/exploration type of game. I hit roadblocks because I’m not sure where to go now and I don’t know how combine the two. I’m thinking they need to be torn apart again. They are too different to be the same game. So this is my plan as of now, start both projects roughly anew (but not overly), and hopefully creativity will spark up with both of them – like I did with Traders and Canasta when Traders was just a baby. I’m pretty sure I’ll be using assets from both games together as one, until they morph to what I want them to be. Stay tuned!

Other news, I kicked a lot of ass at Chrono Trigger while I was camping a couple of weeks ago.

Chrono-TriggerI’m basically just floating around doing the last few side quests before the big battle. I’ve honestly never got this far before. I was just never that good at it. The best part is that I haven’t really touched any type of guide for it so that’s a bonus. I’m just that gooooooood… Ha. We’ll see how shit goes.

I might have a little A.D.D. just a tad…

Expect some form of information on Mouse in the coming days and hopefully a proper return to 30 day challenge and such.

Just putting about…

I’m getting there.

Slowly as all hell. I’m not entirely sure at the moment what is really killing my motivation. I don’t know if it was the final couple weeks of striving to get Traders (CATAN) out or if I’m still in a bit of indecision mode. I’m trying to conquer that with my 30 in 30 challenge I proposed myself, but to actually open the editor is becoming a struggle some days. Things need to be perfect for me, I have a little bit of OCD… Another issue is that I’m not by any means a pixel artist. I’m getting better at it but it is SLOW going. Lastly I think the biggest issue or real, noticeable progress is that I’m thinking I’m worrying about the games’ systems and how they all tie together and I want to make it whole and proper.

So that’s it… I’m torn between super planning everything, and just saying fuck it and start coding, if I have to re-write chunks, I re-write chunks. So here it comes, I’m going today’s portion of the challenge. I’m doing a hybrid of the two. I’m going to sit down on paper and chew out the details and what system I need and what it will/can tie into. This way I know what needs to stand alone and what needs to be nested with other portions of the game.

Any-who, back to the challenge… I owe seven game related material.
– I made dynamite
– I made a sabre/sword but energized weapon
– I made a shovel
– Inventory/game menu will be very similar to the original Legend of Zelda, including the transition to it.
– The library you first enter in the game is initially empty except for one book.
– The only person left in the bar is drunk and passed out
– The library now has a map in the editor and the floor is being decided.

So there you have it, another week of decisions. Hopefully next update will include a bit of game structure in it. 14/30…. might just run a marathon now! Ha…

Making a list…

To be totally honest, I haven’t physically worked on Mouse. I’ve done a lot of mental planning and documentation of ideas, but haven’t really done anything in terms of opening up the editor and actually doing work that is required. Unfortunately, my personal life is ramping up again being that it is summer. Hockey is winding down and in comes long work hours, golf and baseball. Computer time and productivity unfortunately gets hit the biggest.

I still have the greatest desire to make this game. To me, it needs to be made. Everyday I get closer. I’ve made a little big of a pact with myself, that being…. Everyday I must complete something, one of these tasks:
– create a usable tile.
– map one area (a room, a house, a scene).
– write a working function (inventory displayer, message window, craft recipe)
– concrete a story point (game mechanic, story point, names/places/lore)

So this is what I’m thinking, I’m thinking of a 30-day (maybe 60?) game creation ‘marathon’. Just 30 days in a row with something that contributes to the completion of the game. I was thinking of doing a daily post for each item I do create, but, I think I may settle with a weekly round up of what was previously done for that week/stretch of days. I’m going to try and update more often then not, but given my track record….. you know!