This Game is Not a Dating Sim!

(Okay, maybe I am trying to be witty, but it’s also the name of my submission for Insanity Jam #2!) In this game, a melon in a city of food dates a famous grapefruit actress, and has to survive a day without being bothered by paparazzi and annoying fans while they go on their first date. A point-and-click adventure with “survival” elements, it’s the anti-dating sim!

So far here are some screenshots of the working playable:

Tonight I also recently added more expressions for our plucky characters, and I’ll be drawing up a CG art as well (every visual novel needs some :). The game is being built with Ren’py, like of the other visual novel I’ve had to unfortunately put on the backburner.

I may only have one route playable by the time the jam ends however; this week has been busy for me. There will still be fun to be had, hopefully! I’ll also include some audio and even some voices as well this time around, though the voices will just be cutesy gibberish (like of Animal Crossing), so no actual spoken dialogue of a known language. It’s not that kind of game. (My other VN is though!)

My next update will have my forum link for download and voting for the jam!

Insanity Jam #2 under way!

I apologize for being quiet here lately; I was at ConnectiCon over last weekend, though that was for leisure and not scraping up money for my starving artist lifestyle :). With it over and done for the year, I can focus more on gamedev!

Besides my usual projects, Insanity Jam has kicked up again and will be a quarterly event. My idea has been announced already, and aside from here and Tumblr you can see all of the updates on it when the jam begins tomorrow!

The game I will be entering will be “This Game is Not a Dating Sim“. It’ll follow a one-day adventure of a melon who dates a famous grapefruit actress, and will have to survive their date without being bothered by paparazzi and annoying fans. I plan to build it in Ren’py for HTML5, or some sort of JS for HTML5. The art style will be very hyper-Japanese, tons of saturated colors and all things kawaii. Since Asia tends to like their dating sims and visual novels, I wanted to play on the style but present what basically is an anti-dating sim (it behaves more like a survival point-and-click adventure if anything).

I’m very excited to work on it! Ideally I would like to use Ren’py since I’m using it for my visual novel anyway so I have a good sense of the language, and also I can showcase more of my art! 

Jumping Around

Hello everyone, had a busy week and a half but now I can get around to continuing my game dev! For those that saw me at Eternal Con, thanks for stopping by my table and I hope you had fun at the convention! Sadly I won’t be returning to that one next year, but I’ll see what else is around the area for me to check out next.

A few days ago, I got my new Marmalade build to work again, support moved my license over with no troubles. I went ahead and placed Sullivan’s hitbox, as seen here in the gif, and I also got him jumping!

 

sullivanjumpgif

I plan to make the transition smoother for his jump.

 

I hadn’t been able to test collisions yet, but that’s my next step. That aside, I completed some more stuff for a colleague’s game though I can’t show at this time still. I saw the sprites in action today though, and I’m very pleased with how the animation turned out.

Sorry that this post is rather short, I only had been able to continue my own game dev recently this month. As of my visual novel, I continued on with the script and that’s turning out nicely. Still nowhere near done rewriting the prologue chapter, but I’ll get there, don’t worry. I do admit I miss drawing my characters though, so maybe I might crank out another avatar next.

Moving backgrounds and the Software Saga continues

I’m finally proud to say… that Sullivan, our unfortunate prison in-mate main character of the Lua game Alterna Comics’ “The Chair: Prison Break”… is no longer walking in place.

 

He ironically matches very well with my neo disco Spotify station as I'm typing this...

He ironically matches very well with my neo disco Spotify station as I’m typing this…

 

(ugh looks like WordPress’ larger editor doesn’t like custom image resizing; I recommend clicking on the gif above to launch it in a larger size in a new tab.) Sullivan is finally moving places, albeit at a snail’s pace in comparison to how fast the game will be going later on. I’m also working on making the background transition more seamless, but any progress is better than none!

I would have also liked to show my hitbox collisions I started on, but Marmalade released 7.3 yesterday so I wanted to keep up-to-date as well. Unfortunately support has to manually release my license in order for me to transfer it to the 7.3 build though, so I await their response. Hopefully that gets finished up soon so I can continue programming!

 

In the mean time, I’m working on spritesheets for another game for a different colleague of mine, though they won’t contain as fluid of an animation as my game here. It’s more of a retro game so the framerates would be smaller to compensate for lesser frames. Not sure on how much I can show of it because I would really like to showcase some of it for my next blog update, so I will ask my colleague beforehand. If anything I can always do something more of promotional purposes (non-gaming assets). All I can say so far is that it’s really cute and a lot of fun to work on!

 

 

ikemarthpreviewmsfortunepreviewportalkirbypreview

 

 

Otherwise, I will be at Eternalcon‘s artist alley next weekend selling my artworks (and any commissioned pieces upon request at my table). So if you’re in the Long Island, NY area, please feel free to stop by! Aside from my prints I also will be having freebies to give out, mainly bookmarks. Reading is good for you!

If you’re not local to the area but still wanna purchase or keep an eye on my work anyway, I am now open on Storenvy and running a coupon promotion for the month of June. Use coupon code “GRANDOPENING” for 40%off!

Smells like progress

Hello all! I mean to update the other day but then it escaped my mind, so for this update I decided to just post early rather than wait midweek again.

I have a progress gif of the finished sprite for Sullivan; he since is bigger now but here’s his animation regardless.

 

Image

Now walk it off! 1, 2, 3, 4…

 

Next update I’ll have other elements added, most likely not sprite related but some more things regarding game mechanics.

I also finished cleaning up my new portfolio site, though I still need to add other examples of my more recent work. I wanted to add collapsible divs but the code I was using wasn’t cooperating with it, so I went for anchor jumps instead and so far it’s worked well. It’s also much more mobile friendly than my previous layout.

 

Image

How come my color schemes always remind me of ice cream flavors…

Please support my brother’s Kickstarter!

Hello everyone! I know my update hasn’t been as recent here, been doing small things here and there, and my job has been taking me away from doing game dev stuff the past few weeks. I did get more spritesheeting done however, but I need to add more frames to the running animation so that it isn’t so choppy. So no fun gif this time, sorry!

 

Image

Running animation so far!

 

That said, I do have something of importance to announce! (In fact the character up there is related to it.) I had mentioned a few posts ago about my brother’s graphic novel turning into a movie, and with pre-production under way, their Kickstarter to raise the funds has just been released live last night!

 

Image

“Equal parts horror, thriller, drama – this comic to film adaptation features a cast & crew of fan favorites, now all we need is YOU!” (click to go to the fundraiser page)

 

As you can see, their budget is $300k and they have already hit over $2k! There are a ton of rewards available and other neat perks (some of which are very limited so grab them while you can! Some fan-favorite actors have been casted, including Brian Thompson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Bill Oberst Jr. (Children of Sorrow)Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story: Asylum), Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Noah Hathaway (Neverending Story), and Ezra Buzzington (The Hills Have Eyes), to name a few.  If you’re not familiar with the graphic novel, that’s cool, but if you’re interested in a good psychological horror, check it out!

Next update I’ll have some more finished sprites.

Adventures in Lua and Pixel Art

So after my dilemma regarding CoronaSDK  and iOS development using Windows, I had since moved on to Marmalade and I love it! I still like Corona but I will use it for Android builds only, though since I took advantage of a free yearly license kudos to the GDC, why the heck would I switch? Both cost the same and Marmalade does way way more. Very powerful stuff. Remind me to kill my Corona subscription later next year.

(Though a colleague of mine reminded me Unity has a 2D engine now, and I could have used it in the first place. We won’t talk about that however, since it just reminds me that I’m a dingus of a developer sometimes. Or I just wanted to do some Lua bonding that bad. Oh my.)

 

thechairgifprogress1

Some basic elements for the game so far. Background was made by me; the sprites are from tutorials as placeholders.

 

Nothing super fancy so far going on for my brother’s game (see above), but I did get a timer and score going, as well as other basics like laying out animated sprites and touch events. Though I made the background to be more finalized art, there’s a chance it won’t be the final version used for the game. Still playing around with how pixelated I want the style to be. For my next update I plan to have a jumping animation and even a hit box test, so that you can collect the coins and improve your score that way. The hit boxes will also be useful for obstacles and collecting other things like power-ups.

Somewhat game dev related, I also am remaking my current portfolio site. For some reason the JQuery on my 2nd page died, and won’t load the new beautiful version I set up on my FTP, despite the preview working well beforehand. At least it shows part of my script for Compendium, but still. Since my portfolio needed some organization anyway, I figure it was a good opportunity to jazz it up.

 

tumblr_n4t62w5hFw1t3a18ko1_1280

Mmm, smells like HTML5 and CSS3!

 

I’m using a responsive grid gallery kudos to codrops, since I generally like their tutorials and their HTML5 galleries, in particular. I’m a sucker for good web design though, and the marvels we can do with it. I still get really excited when I discover new things about it, such as that CSS3 allows embedded fonts! No more same old Arial or Helvetica here! What you see in the screencap is a working page, not a Photoshop mockup! Beautiful stuff.

I also made the resume icon you see at the top right corner there, and am considering making a high-res vector of it that others can use as well. (I may reverse the colors so that it matches better with the other ones though.) I miss making icons and vectors. Even though I just made a handful last week for another game project.

“Compendium”: a post-mortem

Image

Came across the list this morning, and guess what made it in!

I never thought I would really have to do a post-mortem yet on my game, but considering that it made it as one of the Highest-Rated Submissions for Insanity Jam 2014, it’s basically called for now. First off, I want to thank everyone for their support, whether you played the game and got to vote, or just spread the word around for this wonderful jar of jam! As my first game jam, it certainly will not be the last. I learned a lot from it and it was an amazing experience, aside from meeting other awesome devs doing some crazy stuff. I was also able to play some fantastic games, some of which on the list here that I was even surprised I was rounded up with.

After all, let’s face it, the poor game can get pretty buggy, not to mention I ran out of time to do a walkthrough. I guess it added on to the challenge though, some players were able to make it to the end, others not so much, so I wonder if I was able to add in the walkthrough like I wanted, if that basically would have been a cheap way to give Charlie the golden ticket to the Wonka factory. Perhaps it even could have rated even higher than it did already, though honestly I’m still happy it got the 7 out of 10. That’s pretty awesome, all things considering.

With that said, I’ll break down the pros and cons as far as feedback was concerned, cons basically being any bugs or any other features that could be enhanced or fixed when the game is fully completed (rather than this demo run for the jam).

Image

“Compendium” in action (click to play)!

Pros:

  • Positive feedback on the narrative and overall story. Many players liked the humor it contained, and despite being stuck on a puzzle or certain elements not working in the game, they were compelled to stick with the game a little longer since they appreciated the story.
  • Positive feedback from retro gamers in general, particularly from text adventure fans. I played these games growing up as well, and I was surprised myself that others were still making text adventures and other interactive fictions today. It’s a great way to improve reading and vocabulary skills, while still making the experience less passive and more engaging.
  • ASCII art got a lot of nods of approval as well, though I admit that’s thanks to the power of technology and free license material. I generally do all of my own art for games, but I really wanted to focus on code and story since the projects have to be done solo for this game jam. For those that miss seeing my art, don’t worry, there are plenty projects I’m doing that has it!

Cons:

  • Certain verbs were either not programmed into the game to respond to the character’s commands, or just weren’t working at all. While much of it really was the fact that I didn’t know what other verbs players would use besides the ones I would use, a percentage also went into how Quest programs certain words and verbs. It doesn’t like spaces in names, for one thing; like how post tags are separated with commas, Quest separates the keywords with spaces. Heaven knows why. Either way, I took the game jam as an opportunity for feedback, and noticing others’ problems or bugs they spotted helped me figure out how to improve on this moving forward.
  • As I mentioned earlier, no walkthrough. Really wanted to add one, and as other feedback came in, it needed one badly. If the game worked fine it probably could have gotten away without one, but I always appreciate anyone writing a walkthrough for any game though, even if I use them sparingly.
  •  Could not get the game running on a browser, despite it being coded in HTML5/Javascript. This was something more research simply could have told me in the first place though; Quest outputs the final game as (drumroll please) Quest files. From there, either you upload the game to their site’s database, or set the file up in a Cloud sharebox (I used Dropbox) and have players install Quest to run the file. Fortunately the file does run as a regular game though (not a project file), so while it’s not a true browser game upon the demo release, it was playable and able to reach the masses. I just was hoping it would have exported itself into an actual .html.

 

Either way, it feels amazing to actually finish a game that people enjoyed for what it is, and for it to have done as well as it did. Moving forward, I’ve continued back on the Lua game for my brother’s movie, though I regret to say that due to everything the past few weeks, I had to put my visual novel on the backburner. I haven’t forgotten about it though, in fact I’ve spent time in between polishing up on character development as well as my artwork, so expect scattered tidbits of these three projects within the next couple of months. Until then, I look forward to the next game jam!

 

‘Compendium’ is now available to play + vote for!

Image

Testing .gif of the quiz playthrough in “Compendium”.

My text adventure is finally complete for the Insanity Jam 2014! It was quite the journey but I learned a lot! And possibly may have conquered my fear of intense javascript. Please check the official submission thread at the Insanity Jam 2014 forums, where the download link will be (you will need to install Quest to play it, link is also at the thread). If you’re able to vote that would be greately appreciated (not just for myself but for some of the other fantastic games other devs did)! Last day of voting is April 15th so get playing!

 

There are also a few known bugs so please be aware that I may know of them already, and plan to fix them as I continue coding the game. If there’s a new bug or other mechanic that you come across, please let me know! Feedback is greatly appreciated.

C’mon and slam, and welcome to the game jam

I apologize for being quiet here these past couple of days. I had just finished holding a dealers table at LI-Con, a local con within my area. I did extremely well and am planning to return to next year again. Soon after it ended, an online game jam started, and I’ve been busy building a game to complete its deadline.

I am working on a HTML5 text adventure game called “Compendium”, for Insanity Jam 2014. In the game, you play as a busted-up book in the back office discard pile of a library. You have to solve puzzles in order to gain back pages and repair yourself before morning comes. There will be multiple short routes, so the player is encouraged to play through the game more than once, in order to become different wacky book subjects.

So far the intro itself is already done, just a matter of figuring out the javascript to add some actual puzzle gameplay. By end of tomorrow I hope to have at least one route done, with up to three by the end of the jam’s development timeline.

Image

ASCII art and room description so far.

As you can see, it’s very old-school looking. The idea that the generator gave me just fit very well, and at least now I can tell people I actually made a game about a library! I’ve been working part-time at my local library for a number of years now, so it’s a bit of an inside joke when I talk about developing games.

That aside, I’m having issues with CoronaSDK (what else is new), but once I finish this jam I can return to taking a better look of that mess. By next week’s update I will have a link to the finished game jam..game..and you can play it! Don’t forget to vote as well!