The Tequila Den

Combines the world of Tequila with Games.

Tag Archives: sphere

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…

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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.

Sidetracked?

I think I’m some sort of master at being side tracked. I have an uncanny ability to not only stare blindly at a computer screen but I can say I have the ability to find other things to do, maybe I have a tiny bit of ADHD.

So this past couple of weeks, this happened…

Yea… decided to just beat the game over the past couple of weeks. It’s been a long time since I’ve really played the game, so it was nice to jump back into it and give it a go and try and remember a lot of the little secrets and such. I did utilize a lot of save states so it made life a lot easier. I tried not using a guide for a lot of it, but I did have to use it for a few things I couldn’t quite remember. Anyways, just a nice little accomplishment to start treading into April.

I haven’t done much of anything on the game lately, I started to roughly line up the menu and finish that, but desire just wasn’t there. I’ve been spending some time on YouTube gazing at aesprite tutorials, tips & tricks to try and help me with some pixel art, but I haven’t really begun to practice with it or play around too much.

I think the biggest obstacle at the moment is truly lack of direction. I think a plan going forward is to turn off the computer and start roughing out/hashing out some sort of map & character web. I just know I need to do a lot more planning that I have been. As I’m doing this I’m going to make lists of tiles and characters that I’ll need to make so I can start hammering off some of these assets for the game.

I should get a job, I feel a lack of motivation hitting me. Ick.

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.

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.

 

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.

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!