The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: life

Starring into the screen….

I can’t even count how many times I’ve fired up the computer to just simply look at the desktop. I’ve literally got nearly zero motivation to really accomplish much of anything. It’s quite tragic. I’ve thought about rambling off about a few topics to sneak up a couple of articles, but to no avail (obviously). I’ve even scratched down a few ideas on my phone as to game ideas, certain story points, lists for this and that, but, that’s where they’ve stayed. I’m really fearing that my time as a “game developer” may be drawing to a simple, unfinished end. That terrifies me. What happened to that drive? Is it really all of my indecisiveness that has caused this? Could I be that fucking lazy? Possible fear of rejection?

I think it is because I see it as a huge daunting undertaking. And that is a brutal thought. I get the same feeling when I start to read a book. I see all the pages and I go… eww… no. Same thing happens when I start up with the NHL series on xBox, (NHL 18 this time around,) I always think of starting a new Be a Pro or franchise mode and go… 82 games… yikes. No thanks.

So does it simply come down to time?

Partially, yes.

Particularly, no.

I’ve made time before. I can simply find time to do this. I know I can. I literally sit on the couch for 4-5 a night doing nothing but watch TV. Stop being a lazy ass.

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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.

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!

Familiarization….

Its been just about a day and I’ve been going through the code in canasta, trying to determine what I was I thinking in terms of some code changing. I almost abandoned the new additions I’ve made to the code because I think it was going to be a revert of sorts, but instead, it dawned on me, I’m re doing all of this to ensure the AI doesn’t get stuck in a position it can’t do anything, or the wrong/illegal move for that matter, I’m only partially through fixing and cleaning up, haven’t even got to the testing phase of it. In due time.

I know I should of just released it as 1.0A, then went back and fixed it properly for a 1.0B, or 1.1.

Every time I’ve been opening the editor up I’ve been thinking more and more about Mouse and what I want to do, plans for it, and such, then, after I’m doing with a tidbit I’ve been working on, I shut off my computer and start power up the XBOX, or my phone.

Big mistake.

I started playing GTA again since a bunch of friends also have the game and we’ve delved into the world of GTA online, oh my, now that’s a hoot. I absolutely love the idea of open worlds, do what you want kind of game-play. Then you have heists, robberies, businesses, and a bunch of mini games that can be played and land to explore. It’s my idea of a great game.

I also have a great idea of a game in my head, but unfortunately, that’s where it stands. Well, technically I have two, and the other problem with them is that they are not separate entities. They cross paths with each other so much that it’s nearly one giant game, but it can’t be. It wouldn’t make any sense.

The first, the one I mention most often, Mouse, was originally a two person party turn based combat game with close ties to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. I had a large storyboard made out with characters, backgrounds, maps, ideas, places and most importantly, story.

Cue: computer crash.

Roughly 6-7 years ago my computer failed and couldn’t recover my hard drive. I had an older back-up disc I made that had personal stuff on it, some gaming stuff and some applications that were handy at the time. It also included a rough, old copy of my dream in the making. It was demoralizing, it was really hard trying to motivate myself to continue and try and get back to where I was, which was a solid 4-6 months of good progress. So I stopped.

Anyways, idea number two. A lot of mobile games hinge around a couple of common themes now a days, building an empire of some sort, and PVP (player verses player). My initial thought was you logged into a server (which in a sense be a city), and you’d be at home. Generic place in the city, could of been an apartment, nothing really concrete at this point. But the idea was, you’re unemployed, and you’re broke, and you need to get rent money. So each day a paper shows up with a job opportunities and you get to explore the world to try and get a job and make some money. Then your, ‘life’, or such begins.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned is a huge undertaking, not likely something I’d conquer myself, but I had ideas for a smaller, localized scope, which also tragically gets ties with Mouse, and then shit just spit balls down a large hill full of crazy brainstorming.

So, as I squeamishly work through fixing Canasta, I dream, and think about working on Mouse. Soon.

 

New year, new….errr… same me?

Of course Its been a month since I’ve last updated about anything. Well, that’s because it was the holidays! So hopefully everyone had a great holiday and fed themselves excessively, as I did. Yikes, new year, time to get into shape… well at least curb my current lifestyle. The main motivation behind getting in shape (other than the fact I need to,) is that we’re headed to Cuba! Just temporarily of course! Two short weeks and I’ll be on the beach slamming cocktails and beers like no man’s business!

cayo-santa-maria-luxury-vacation-melia-cuba-84-luxe

So that’ll be the start to my February, I’m slowly getting super excited!

So… on that… game making thing… I haven’t touched it for a while. I’ll be honest, it’s definitely in the cards in the near future, just been a crazy start to the year. Especially since I’ve been out of province working all month, ugh. I promise work will re-commence! It’s even open right now on my computer!

I’ve also thought of opening more sections on to this blog with a lot of different topics as a lot of what I write and want to write about aren’t necessarily about game development. Don’t hold your breath!

Anyways, new shit coming soon! Hint… name of the site may be changing soon too!

2016 hasn’t been a kind year…

There’s definitely been a ton of speed bumps in 2016 so far, and it definitely seems that it’s not done and things are only about to get worse. It’s getting harder to focus and harder to get things done. Getting old is terrible, awful thing to happen.

Not willing to delve too much into my personal fiasco at the moment, lets talk about something a little more, fun per say.

With the aforementioned, I’ve been stalled on many of my projects and desire tends to fade away with that unfortunately. I haven’t touched Canasta in months, and its so damn close to being finished it drives me wild. A couple months ago I pissed around with the idea of Traders 2.0, I started by stealing new placeholder images from a popular playing site, if I ever end up with time, the plan is to acquire legit tile faces, or in some unlikely event, I may make some neat custom ones. I also reverted to the default color scheme of the game, which gives it a more classic and true feel. As of yet, I haven’t added anything new visually, however a lot of the back-end logic has changed considerably. I’ve tried to get a lot of the hard coded aspects out of the core to make it much more manipulative and easier to correct and change.

Don’t expect Traders 2 to come out  any time soon. I think I’ll start my focus on completing Canasta to get that dog out the door.

Then as always, comes Mouse. Fuck.

I really want to make this game, so many things I want to do with it, just really want to get that story out and just make a great game. However, I’ve been following a few sites and other developers with the games and all I can think to myself is, wow, don’t you ever plan anything? There’s a lot of shit out there being created and it’s just garbage. Awful. Needless to say, I need a plan, and a direction, I want to make it cut and dry and leave out a lot of guess work. It’s unhealthy and it’s harder to work towards a certain goal if you don’t know what it is. So, that’s the plan.

Canasta, plan Mouse, make mouse, release mouse. Ha.

We’ll see when I write again.

Sometimes life just throws you a curveball…

It’s been an interesting last few months to say the least. I’m not going to go into any such detail as it’s quite personal and family related; it’s not to be put on here. It’s still an ongoing issue and I hope everything turns right side up once again. I’m only updating this blog now because things have gotten less … nuts.

I’ve tried to write a blog like six or seven times now, but issues still persist with the aforementioned, so hopefully I’ll get this out now.

Recently, (well, not so much, maybe a few months), Asobrain had re-opened their doors back to the public (at least, more open then they were). So, a few of us quickly jumped back on ship to re-capture our love for the game of Catan. I’m still going hard on the game on the site as it has a very good following and it’s well programmed and set up. My only wish, (reason why I built my version of Traders), was the ability to interchange some rules and play more user generated (and awkward) maps. Now, I want to say I’ve officially begun work on 2.0, but, I’m still in the brainstorming mode of which ideas I’ve got going through my head for it. Safe to say, it’s a long ways off.

So what happened to Canasta?

It obvious I’ve put a lot on the wayside, Canasta is definitely no different. Honestly, I should have released it before the roller-coaster had started, but I don’t want to release an unpolished piece of work. It’s nearly in the finished state, but it requires more work in my opinion before I release it. (It’s not like anyone is anticipating it anyways….).

What’s on tap?

I’ve already mentioned plans for the next edition of Traders, and I’ve already laid some framework for next iteration of Canasta. Both are currently on the back-burner for now until life decides to regulate itself once again. So this is my plan, I’m going to throw some much needed polish on Canasta to prep it to it’s first 1.0, then, with any luck, some progress can be shown towards Mouse.

Happy sailing….

Slave driving…

After a long month on working on the road, I’m finally back home to my own bed. Sure, I make more money working on the road, but I’d much rather be home, near my girlfriend, friends and family. The road gets old quick. But, I did find out I like quadding… a lot. So much as that I’ve held back the urge to search for a reasonably priced quad for the reason I may impulse buy one. I’m not against the idea of spending a couple thousand on one, its more the fact that I’d have to buy a truck and/or trailer to bring this quad around with me. So there’s that dilemma. The other part is that I don’t have a lot of access to good trails and other things to actually use the quad while I’m at home. So, best to put that idea to bed, for now.

So what’s the plan now that I’m home? Work will resume on Canasta, and when I get tired of the tedious testing of it, I’m going to switch to working on tiles for mouse. I’ve been a bit inspired to work on graphics since viewing the screenshot thread over at RPGmaker.net. There are some astounding and bright futures over there working away on games. It really makes me want to join the mix.

As of now, I’m re-working the AI portion of canasta yet again, making it a bit more robust, smoother, and adding more conditions and available actions. Doing so will hopefully dwindle the stalling and some unorthodox  play. Time will tell. In turn with these changes, I’ve had to rewrite a lot of the internal code that handles the AI which I’m hoping will not require an animation handler change. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, look forward to some new tiles/screens from Mouse, and the eventual release of Canasta.

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.