Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Right now I'm working on the main fighty part of the mission, so I thought it'd be cool to show you some footage of the new bad guys and how their AI looks/behaves.
Less progress than usual this week, I've had to dedicate a lot more time to applications and doing night courses on skills I can't get work without.

This week:
>Added Charger AI and troop;
enemy lines up with player and charges from a distance, sprinting.
The more ground covered on the sprint, the more damage dealt to target when hit.

>Added Sniper AI and troop:
First time creating a state-machine-based AI!
long range, high accuracy.
Needs to be positioned after moving in order to fire.
Needs to reload between shots, which takes a full turn

>Changed shooting criteria, enemies will now sometimes take pot shots, firing even if they can't get a direct shot at the player.
>Added weapon use cost, rather than a blanket 2 move.
>Removed jQuery dependency, replaced the last jQuery function I used with an iterative deep cloning, which should be fine for my needs. Tested, objects are 1:1 as before, persist through saves.
>Added visual and audio cue to start of player turn, reworked some sounds.

It's real scary that for years I had no need to do any of this stuff, no on-job training toward it, but suddenly it's absolutely mandatory and I'm up against 40 other guys with a wealth of experience.
Doing night classes and tutorials. That luddite feel when robots took my job while I slept.
Two of the companies are based in a bad neighbourhood notorious for drugs and crime, so I'm kinda hoping that means a little less competition. I'd take literally anything right now.

oko x

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mapping and Story


A day late this week, sorry.
My sleeping pattern is crazy, man. Can't seem to lie in a dark room for longer than 3 hours at a time, so for the last week I've just been having two naps instead of a full night.
It's actually not so bad, it helps me have two mini days, one for job applications and interviews, one for gamedev.

This week I've been mainly occupied with Mapping, new map art and story revisions.
It occurred to me that the narrative was pretty convoluted despite being fairly short and that situations more complicated than they need to be aren't automatically more interesting, so I've simplified a lot of the flow.
Nothing I've worked on already needs to be changed, it's all to do with how it comes to a head and wraps up, which has been drafted but not scripted in yet. I'm feeling a lot more confident charging ahead now. Sometimes I get caught up on pretty trivial details, and what should matter first and foremost is that you can play through it, fight some dudes, laugh a little and get lewd with space princesses.

So far I think I've been approaching writing wrong, it's easily my weakest area, and I've been tempted by offers from others for help there, but if I outsource it I'll never get better, and this whole thing is supposed to be a multi-faceted solitary hobby. That's what a man needs.
So I figure it might be better to have a tight, basic little story and then weave subplot and choices into it, rather than start with a bunch of multiple-choice situations I want to happen and try to string them together.
Because sometimes they don't string together well and I get stuck in a bit of a loop wondering which one should move to close the gap, which one should be changed, should I add in another story beat to bridge between them?
I thought I was really onto something with these little nodes, but it's a really unnatural way to work and a weird way to tell a story.
This is a pretty convoluted way to explain a simplification in approach.
tl;dr Story was complex in the wrong places, revised the middle and end sections, so now I can push ahead and get it done.

I've been working with a vague mental map of how all the areas will look, but it wasn't until the last few days that I sat down, made new art for the areas and actually got it mapped out, matched up all the doors and joined sections together. I'm really close to being done with mapping for this level, with 24 areas drawn out and connected up and maybe another 3 rooms still to go.

This week:
Story scripting, for sure. I haven't written a line of js in days, I just want to get moving now that I have these nice areas, want to populate them with fun monsters to see and kill.
Monster design, I need two more enemy types, I know how I want their AI to work, but it's gonna take a little experimentation to get it working. I'll probably tackle that right after posting and if that goes good I'm just gonna nose down and call it a night.

Job/life stuff:
20 applications sent out this week, though I'm pretty sure 2 of them are for the same position, one of them being a vague recruiter ad that obfuscate the exact nature of the company.
I'm noticing a weird trend where the ads are written like they're looking for a general team member, but in the first call they're all like:
>"haha, yeah, so listen, we've never had somebody do this job for us before, so we'd need you to set up the whole department and be a manager for team member wages, cool?".
I mean, I can do it, it definitely sounds like a great opportunity to define my own workflows early on with my own choice of tools would be pretty cool. I'm in no position to be turning anything down, it's just kinda misleading. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be allowed to misrepresent myself to quite the same extent.
One place from over a month ago I'd already written off actually got back in touch to say I'm still in the running, but I need to put it out of my mind because there are no more stages so it's all up to them at this point. I need to just keep on applying and talking with other companies.
I just wanted to make game.


Sunday, 30 December 2018

End of year report

Hey, how's it going? I hope you had a nice Christmas time!
I've been pretty hard at work the last two weeks, figured I'd leave off posting last Sunday to give myself and others a bit of a break.

What's new / changed:
- Replaced the jerry-rigged "invisible bullet" raycasting technique with something proper.
Now using a "Bresenham Algorithm" solution I'm still not smart enough to fully get, but it works, it's instant and checks every square between two points in a straight line for impassable objects, besides those I've designated as "half-height" so you can still shoot over tables, boxes etc, even if you can't walk over them.
This is set up now for player and enemies, and I also extended it to:
- Enemy discovery of player
I've added patrolling for enemies, and using the same line of sight rules (and half that radius regardless of direction they're facing for "hearing").
I'd like to eventually expand this to have every enemy in some areas patrol and also activate those within earshot if the player is discovered, for some stealth or just plain unscripted encounters.
- Added new tilesets
- Added new weapons and sounds
- Added new race of fighting robots
- Condensed player sprites into broader sprite families
- Lots of mapping and filling out the station areas, replacing previous soulless temporary standins
- Fixed projectiles start location so they come from the gun barrel regardless of direction faced
- Added player sprite aiming when choosing a target
- Fixed attack animation system; previously altered step animation speed and made it cycle an alternate walk cycle once before returning to the regular one, which made things look weird 50% of the time and just seemed like it'd be a liability. Now got a system where individual frames are specified at individually-set intervals I can tweak, so gunshots and things look much better.
- Further developed story, nearly at a final draft for this level, the first 30% is playable, start to finish.

There are a bunch of other small things I fixed, art tweaks and boring stat edits that weren't quite worth noting down, I wasn't really on top of my note-taking since last blog, as a lot of the work was just story writing, conversation scripting and mapping, with pauses to create new assets for rooms.

This next week is all gonna be story scripting and titties, may be able to start on busts, too.
No news on the job front, had a couple of interviews  a week ago, but haven't heard back because Christmas. Nothing like a bit of existential dread during the holidays haha¬

That's it from me, I hope you have a great New Year's Eve, and I'll becoming back at ya with something new... or old.

Alright, cool. See ya.