Development Diaries

Kate B's picture

Multiplayer/Multimedia/Multi-stuff

Just remembered one thing I wanted to explore a lot when I came here and moved onto smaller more experimental works was multiplayer. I think local multiplayer is pretty underutilised in AAA games. It's still there obviously, but I think it's like... It should be used more, cause it can turn an average game into a very good game, and a short game into a game you play for days at a time. I know I've sunk days into things like Skullgirls, which I otherwise wouldn't if I was playing it by myself.

The other thing I am exploring is multimedia. Games that are like... The stuff you found on old promo CDs or educational CDs back in the old days, and they resembled websites rather than games. I'm not sure what genre I'd categorise them as.

I tried exploring the multimedia genre by looking into long-forgotten genres like "animated storybooks" "activity centres" and stuff like this. I think it's a genre that was always aimed at kids but I reckon you could do more with it. Like that third example is not a kid's game. Anyway I threw this idea for an animated storybook together where I wanted it so there was a room with a few things you could click on.

What I like about these games is it's not clear who the protagonist is or even what the plot is or who you are. Are you playing in the second person, ie A cursor following the protagonist on their adventures? Are you the protagonist controlling yourself with a cursor? Are you just someone reading a book? Are you controlling the reader AS A character? Are you playing in the first person? ARE YOU PLAYING IN THE FIFTH PERSON???

I've been thinking about music too and what I like about the medium of music is that it is THE medium if you want to deal with disparate concepts rather than characters. If you make a song, it doesn't need characters. Otherwise every song would be kind of a novelty song. And thinking about this with relation to video games makes me wonder: Are video games un-evolved as a medium to the point we could be making more games about CONCEPTS rather than characters, but we are still borrowing from film to the point we think they're required?

I feel like... Can you imagine what music would sound like if it only borrowed from literature and tried to tell a story, for example? Is that what we're doing with games right now?

Anyway, I'm thinking of various games that move away from the idea of characters, or even "the player" as a character who exists in a world, and thinking of more weirder structures where it's less clear- using the above examples as my starting point, and I have come up with something. It's something that'll probably be finished just before the year is out- and that's a good time to release it, as it'll be the denoument of the first part of these studies

I'm also not doing it yet- I'm working on a smaller game first, it's called LEGACY OF REALMS I: REALMS OF DARKFYRE and it's as silly as it sounds. It looks like this. I'm pleased with the flat shading it has. I'm also doing music for this game, it's got a bangin' metal soundtrack

Johny L.'s picture

I couldn't keep on my promises.

Even if somebody hasn't ever noticed my latest blog posts here in the nearly-dead Glorious Trainwrecks site, and with the Klik of the Month Klub not getting activity as it used to be, i'm once again speaking up about my plans for another Mr. Cat game.

If you're asking that Sergeant Duck game... No, Sergeant Duck isn't happening either. Everytime i try to bring up another Mr. Cat there's always the usual thing that drags me away from development, it's called procrastination, and it's a thing which i've never found its name until now which has been always going around for many years. Memes have been always spinning around my head, and a swarm of game and project ideas have prevented me to write the story of Sergeant Duck. As i said before, this game is a sort of "dark and edgy" spin-off of the Mr. Cat series which focuses on a never-seen before character, existing inside the Mr. Cat universe, and the game would go on a storytelling gameplay akin to Konami's "Policenauts". Considering i've never ever continued to work on my game's story anymore, i'll reveal certain aspects of the story...

The story starts with a sort of Vietnam War-ish backstory which a sort of army of cats known as the Vanskan Cats, also known as a rock band, is attacked by aggressive Shiba Inus, race of dogs who desire glory on the nation of Vanska. Following this, a nuclear warfare led by rebel forces bomb Vanska, and few days after its bombing, a person belonging to the Papadakis family, Dave, was recognized to have lead the assault and for murdering the president of Vanska. Thus led the animals to rebel against humans. As we switch to the perspective of Sergeant Duck, as a child, his family is killed and captured by security drones/robot. Only Sergeant Duck was able to escape the prison, but after finding his son dead from a prison camp, he tries to find fortune and through time, he would eventually find truth why animals have turned against humans.

Kind of really unforgiving story, eh? I would tell that all the Mr. Cat games so far had been made without the need of writing down a story, so the sequence had to be made by mind, considering how jokey the Mr. Cat games are.

May or may have more hypothetical plans for a Mr. Cat IV, one that would be made in RPG Maker, or just restart the game with Fusion 2.5.
But unfortunately, times have changed and i really no longer use Fusion 2.5 as my primary game dev tool, considering i've switched to GameMaker Studio and making games in there feels more "serious" to me.

Or maybe. Mr. Cat IV isn't truly happening.

danyburton's picture

Making 2 (two) new games RIGHT NOW

league of piss 2 is going to have some very nice shit because I have figured out about using GLSL shaders in godot which means now I can have some three dimensional planes coming along it's LIKE THEy ARE COMING OUT OF THE SCReenen!!!!!!!!!!!!
This game will be very long compared to league of piss 1, and it will have islands and also there will be no more of that car driving bit that everyone including me hates because NOW YOU ARE IN A BOAT HELL YEAH. this is much better because it is non linear beside a few bottle necks so therefore you can't get lost because you haven't got a destination also the boat bit is in glorious 4k ULTRA hd 3D graphics with GLSL Shader. yeah it will be my best game yet just as long as all goes well. I am currently in the process of building my meticulous design documents and notes required to craft this experience for my agape viewers.

the other game has jars and there are bugs trapped inside the jars kinda like amber and there are sheep too because the characters wear woolen clothes because it is cold and they live at the top of the trees but they have got sheeps up there. one of these characters might appear in league of piss 2 at one point as welll. also they wear a mask.

I made soup of chicken bone yesterday and it was good shit, I have now developed a special power

Kate B's picture

What next

I've been making some stuff that seems to be steadily increasing in scope (Caught Between Dimensions and Flamingo Quest both being stupidly large for the scope I want to work in) and it stresses me out so I'm kind of forcing myself to scale down, have fun, and relax, which is sorta why I signed up to this site in the first place.

Every time I finish one of these games, I usually decide which game to make next. I have a list of games at the back of my last 3 notebooks that are all small ideas I want to make at some point. I enter ones that interest me most in that moment into a tournament bracket and then see which one wins

Usually... The one that wins isn't the one I make next. And it's usually one I don't expect. I'm currently working on a microgame about attending terrible lectures. It's called "terrible lectures". But that might not even be the next one I finish.

Right now I'm just sort of riding whatever idea takes my fancy and if I lose interest in something and get interest in something else I'll work on that. It feels much healthier and ensures everything I work on is something I'm actually passionate about and the work I release will be the games I was most invested in

nilson's picture

So I put my dating sim online

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I'm not sure who would want to read this or anything,
or even if I should be saying this at all
but here goes:

There's an irrational fear to share games online because what if no one plays your games or people don't care about your games and all you really ever wanted to do was to connect with people and engage in a deep sharing--

I made a dating sim where the player dates different versions of myself (there's a barista nilson, an art student nilson, and a "boy" nilson) for a semester project in the MFA (visual studies) program I'm in last winter. The game's ok, but what I truly love is watching people engage with the game in person. The game exists now on a Mac in the school's computer lab, and I'll invite people over to play it, or my friends will play it on their own, or (the best) strangers will try to use the computer and accidentally start playing (dating) a game that was left open from someone else (and then recognize me later in the hallway, lol).

A few weeks ago, at the stroke of midnight, my friend and mentor visited the school (there was a great moment where Mary says to him as she walks out the door "have fun dating nilson" to which he had no reference to at the time...). We sat down and he started playing/dating. A few minutes in, he stopped and said "what do you want to be?" I laughed because I laugh. "What do you want to be?" I dunno. He holds me accountable. "An artist, right?" Okay. "Is this online?" No. "Why not?" It's very silly to explain why the dating sim wasn't online for so long, but it can probably be summed up by the word fear.

When we presented our work that semester for the public, some people would play the dating sim, and then walk away from the installation, leaving the date in limbo, the stupid-looking nilson sprite frozen and abandoned (a boy stripped bare). This is part of the exercise of being vulnerable (and I would never ask anyone to pay attention to me for more than a few minutes). Being vulnerable is tricky.

I loaded the dating sim onto itch.io a week or so ago. I at first didn't know how to price it... Charging money for something immediately feels unnatural to me - this is ironic because I serve people 7 dollar drinks every day, but I'm afraid to ask someone for a buck to play this game. A game that I worked on for months, and poured my body and my spirit into... surely this is worth a buck, right? But even a buck limits access (and who is really even paying attention anyway?). One of my best friends bought the game for $4.20 (thank you), and I think maybe 2/12 free keys I gave out were redeemed. It's not about making money, but one of the things we talk a lot about in school is "artist legitimacy." Ugh.

I've been antsy af ever since. I asked everyone about prices. "Make it free or charge ten bucks." I ended up putting a meticulously phrased sentence on the game's page saying if anyone wants a free key, send me a joke or something, a feeble attempt to connect tossed out into the void. I even made a post on itch's new game forums, lol. There's no right answer, there's no good answer.

If I want to "be an artist" so bad, I need to learn to share. The first share is the most difficult. I made myself as vulnerable as I could, but my project lacks networking, marketing. How do people connect with a community, and grow that community?

The best way to play Untitled Dating Sim (first three dates) is in bed with your friends, preferably with the game projected (light) on a wall. The game's funny, yeah, but it exists as an intense act of sharing (something I had to get over). It forces people who play it to get vulnerable as well. People who play the game see what they want to see in it - my one professor who thinks I'm some post-modernist derrida huffing warhol troll sees the game as a joke on the player... others see something more gentle, almost romantic. Certainly human.

Should it even be online? And what do I do with it now? A part of me says I need to move on. "It's just a project, and it's done. It's complete." It'll always exist now, on my website, on that Mac (hopefully), on itch, in the few people's memories who played it. I guess this is the point where (as an "Artist") I need to start applying to "shows." I need to start networking. All successful artists say "I applied 100 times and got accepted once." What galleries want this dating sim?

I recently saw a dating sim at squeaky wheel, so "it's out there." "Being an artist" seems like a heartbreaking job, until at least you're satisfied with your level of network. I don't think about networking when I'm making. I want to make games that kids on the internet like, mysterious software that transmits energy to them. I want to send CDs of games, mail art, to like-minded communities. I don't want people coming up to me and asking me "how do I win?" (unless I'm making JRPGs, then please PLEASE ask me about strats etc)... I dunno... I don't really have anything to be bummed out about, lol.

I just bought Anna Anthropy's rise of the videogame zinesters on amazon, so that'll probably re-energize me~

ncrecc's picture

Knytt Scraps/WIPs

Collection of ideas for scrapped KS levels, or those I don't know if I'll ever finish.

Knytter: Exploration level with the red/blue switch mechanics of REDDER. Never made a single room for it.

Hourglass Shape: Level where all of the rooms were arranged in the shape of an hourglass. Would feature a part near the end with seemingly unscalable overhangs that would grant you an easter egg if climbed. One of the few rooms I made for it would later be used as the starting room for garden.

Columbo: Juni wakes up, goes to her workplace to set a disguised explosive under the desk in her cubicle, works her shift, then goes back home before the bomb eventually explodes. You'd be traversing with no run powerup through a boring flat landscape both to get to work and on the way back. Entirely meant to riff on one particular Columbo episode with virtually the same plot where it took from the beginning of the show to the first or second ad break for this to actually happen.

crate pushing level: Shift-based level that would have played like a side-view sokoban with gravity. Juni would walk into the side of a crate to "push" it. Abandoned by the second screen.

flambe level: Another shift-based thing. The foreground and background are both transparent, only the foreground is solid. Shifting would cause the foreground and background to switch places. Combined with KS+'s Overlay=True feature, this would make it look like the shift is actually sending you between the layers.

minimalistic closer: Prototype of Get focus. I had almost the whole map layed out, but never got around to A) finishing the final area or B) actually adding the "closing behind you" effect.

Space is Cliche: Dr. Cliche's lab in space. The whole gimmick was that you'd occasionally exit the safety of his various rooms and tubes, and a timed shift (plus a custom object that resembled a timer) would kill you if you were outside for too long.

Good Day For Poker: Would start out as a pastiche of Healy's style, with the plot being that your neighbor just invited you to come over for a game of poker, but her house is too high up to get there without both jump upgrades. Eventually you'd stumble into some virtual reality room (like the one in Dark Sea) and go through all sorts weird settings like the space station from VVVVVV.

Quick KS Editor Demonstration: Self-explanatory. I tried to make the kind of guide that could have gotten me into level-making a long time ago.

careful!: The first draft for this was a level where you could "die" from trivial things, like falling on the lawn and "choking on a blade of grass" thus giving you tons of different endings to achieve. Then I abandoned that for some reason, and tried making a level where you had to infiltrate Dr. Cliche's lab from behind most of his structures.

You Have to Put the Juni in the Juni: KS+ level, map is enabled, map resembles Juni's sprite. No idea where to go with it.

ncrecc's picture

Kneat Swapzeese

Complications have arose! For me. It'll take me a while to finish my half of the swapsy (or it'll just be shorter than normal) because I've barely had any time or focus to put into it. Sorry yo

NatQuayleNelson's picture

Stream of Pretentiousness Season 2

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Hey all! In the last few weeks I've revived a project I was posting about here a year ago:
Stream of Pretentiousness

It's daily vignettes about my life (interactive non-fiction, if you will). I'm calling this Season 2 because last year I was making them in Twine, and this time I'm experimenting with other open-source engines for making hypertext stories. So yeah!

Very own love dress for this the summer time

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Elegant flowing dress on the 17th to the beginning of the spotlight, if you have not yet started, 15 years must try to dress yourself in a dress that suits you, the cover has the advantage of short cloth, the perfect cover small midriff, Stout thighs are really fantastic.

Giving people a gentle becoming like a fairy, Wen Yinxian's temperament people can not amenable their eyes, skirt wonderfiul metal materials, not only appearances full of layering, wild styles, classic retro design to draw the public's attention, glance Waist is very thin, explaining a full body posture. Lovely pleats crumpled, layered clean! Large skirt, elegant and even beautiful.

For you to save the very troubles of wearing, such a fleece with a retro dress to the United States and the United States, grayscale gold colors in Western world and the United States is a very timeless classic color models, bring about against the skin color of the positive, very significant Temperament, but probably in line with the body's color, good results . the three rules, temperament person on the line.
[link removed]

Kate B's picture

Health Bars

I'm swearing off health bars for a while. If you see me making a game with a health bar, tell me off

ALTERNATIVES:

1-hit death- I've done this a few times in a few games. It works well, and if you need to give the player leeway you can have it so like, there's a really small hitbox on some things that hurt you, or there's like... Bombs that go off on a timer, and overlapping them makes that timer count down faster, for example

No HP/No death- Speaks for itself. More interesting penalties are: the game's story continues but you are handicapped in some way. Like you're on fire (which doesn't kill you but does inconvenience you on future obstacles)

Getting launched across the map- What is death in most games but simply sending you back a few paces to try again. I think that's why dark souls worked so well, cause there was another penalty on top of that. Anyway, why not cut out the middle man and just launch the player somewhere else as penalty for their fuckups

"Weird Health"- I also had a game still in development where if you get hit dirt appears on you, and once you get dirty enough you have to take a shower (sent back to somewhere else) you healed yourself by physically wiping the dirt particles off yourself. I also tried the opposite where your HP was a petri dish full of bacteria, and whenever you got hit an explosion randomly went off in the dish, killing some of the bacteria. The dirt system evolved out of that. Also you could get different bacteria in your petri dish that changed you into cool alternate "forms"

Anyway that's tha plan

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