clyde's blog

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Midi files in Unity

You have to rename the midi file so it has .txt at the end.

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JSON files in Unity

I finally implemented a thing where a text file can be used as variables to load things in a game. I've wanted to do this for a while, but never had much reason to go through the tutorial. I'm putting the tutorial here so I can find it when I want to do this again in the future. I don't really know how to do it.

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replacing Ethan

I finally managed to put the standard third-person character controller into another human model. I want to put the youtube tutorials I used here so I can remember how to do it again later.

This is a start, but I messed up somehow

Finished it off with this.

Also, this slows them down:

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Working on my Mysticism game

I just need a place to start putting reference material.

Alien religion

Copper Mining

-why would you trust medicine that was made by people you have never met.
-entering a foreign system of medicine would mean that they don't have the resources to troubleshoot.
-maybe they have evolved along with the ecosystem there.
-Doctor tree
-The technology from industry which is used, is used to make traditional ways of living more convenient.
-There is a chief with two wives.


King Crimson Covers

Giannis Fiorentis

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3-week Vacation from Witch's Tree


Boy have I had a great time this week. I jumped into TyranoBuilder and started making stuff.
First I started making an EXO fan-game. The narrative comes from a vivid dream I had and some thoughts on how to make it more interesting. I decided to do image-searches and crop things out of the photos in order to just visualize how I wanted the eventual sprites to look. This lead me down a really interesting path. I was hanging out in the IRC and I played ghettoshamrock's game Zyphrandomora while chatting with them. Seeing that you could put animated .gif into TyranoBuilder was kinda inspiring so I quickly threw something together by using gifcam to capture some of a funny dog faces video on Youtube, taking a photo I had in my personal collection for a background, sampling a bark from an online file using Audacity, and using one of the place-holder sprites that I had already cropped for the Exo fan-game.
The results were very exciting for me. I don't know if I have explained this to y'all, but there is a certain something about a lot of the games on Glorious Trainwrecks that seems to emanate from this community. It's something I have a lot of respect for, but have not yet been able to achieve. I'll go ahead and call Destroy Your Home out because it is probably my favorite example of this quality.
I felt that I achieved the quality I have thus far been envious of with Duchess. That was very exciting for me. Then I decided that I didn't like how it didn't have an ending and the ending turned into a manifesto.
Appropriating images so freely was intoxicating. I fantasized about how I could do this for a while and quickly get results, some of which may be good. I like the look of Duchess. But I am vaguely aware of cultural norms and possible legal concerns in game-development. I'm not hyper aware of them, I just have noticed over the years how sometimes people get super mad and indignant about stolen assets or lack of credit. This is just not a personal concern of mine (having people steal and use my shit is something I WANT to happen). I have a hard time understanding it and to be honest, most of both the legal and taboo aspects of this massively controversial issue seem to be based on double-standards, superstition, and greatly varying amounts of enforcement. So I started a thread about it.
I'm pretty radically liberal on this issue and underestimated how many people are significantly conservative on it. I think that underestimation made my original post appear like an intentional desire to inflame. To be clear, I do feel passionate about appropriation and the constraints of intellectual property-rights (and expectations of them), but I can understand why the original post was so off-putting for some. I started to see that I want to ask people about a bunch of hypothetical situations so that I can suss out what it is that an individual bases their personal feelings on appropriation (mostly image-apropriation). But doing that would make it look like I'm just trying to set up an ad hominem fallacy by making people with opposing views look like hypocrites. Still I want to present the hypotheticals, and a game-form seems appropriate especially since people can do it in privacy and so much of this is about how one personally feels about it. I think of this appropriation-game as something that I can populate with more examples and probably make some much more subtle once I have gathered perspectives on appropriation. It's a work in progresss that will supplement the discussion.
The thread is going well, I think that people are realizing that there is a huge variance in opinion on the subject (myself included) and it is provoking valuable thoughts for me personally. The thoughts being expressed in that thread is having a formative effect on how I see myself as an artist who uses computer-games as a medium. Just this morning I realized that a big part of my emotional reactions in the discussion is the confusion between my personal ethics and the cultural norms. I'm realizing that I do care about cultural norms when I prefer to think that I only care about my personal ethics. Coming to terms with the influence of cultural norms that I don't agree with (and have problems with) on how I go about my creative-process is helpful and empowering. It is orientating to realize that there is a very real boundary that I feel the need to push. I'm not saying that all of my games are going to be about this subject, but some of them will certainly be informed by this experience. A good example of the influence this discussion is having on me is that I found out about reverse image-search and spent an hour drawing pictures just to see what similar ones on the internet would look like. It's super fun.
This morning I started going through my decade and a half of digital photos, looking for assets that I could share with the TyranoBuilder community (which is freaking out because they don't know how to create or find character-sprites that they would be satisfied with (or how to become satisfied with them)). I became excited about how my older cell-phone pictures have certain looks to them. After trying to make a sprite, I realized that the TyranoBuilder community probably wouldn't want to use it, but I would. I can't say what it is that did it exactly, but something about the appropriation-discussion has made me more excited about the images that I create. I think it's that as I'm exploring the threshold and forms of source-material-obscuration the games-culture seems to be permissive of, I'm enjoying the idea of performing those same techniques to my own photos. It's been an interesting week. I'm hoping to get back to my EXO fan-game this week. My break from my break was a great idea though because I ran into some technical problems in TyranoBuilder that I was able to send samples of to the developer, and I am more familiar with the engines idiosyncracies. I'll make the EXO fan-game a goal, but only for direction for the week. I'll probably get distracted again.

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The Witch's Tree

So my goal for 2015 is to experiment with character-driven narratives in games, emphasizing romance. Really, I want to make a romance in a game that I can get into. At first I was going to try to do some rapid-prototypes, but I quickly realized that any romance in a single rapid-prototype is going to be trivial and unconvincing. I am a big fan of Korean-drama romantic comedies that follow a 16-episode format. Usually it takes at least 4 episodes (4 hours) for them to manage to make me care about a ship. So I decided to make a larger scope narrative in a game so that a romance could form in context of a larger story. I'm not happy about having to make a larger game, but I do want a believable romance, so I'm doing what I find necessary.
I am using Unity rather than Ren'Py because I like focusing on Unity and C# and there seems to be more potential for gameplay that is not exclusively visual-novel-esque. I don't know what extra gameplay I want to put in, but I like the idea of having some gameplay to break up all the reading. I've spent a lot of time trying to build a system in Unity that would allow me to script the animations and dialogue in a convenient workflow. I basically want to be able to write it as if it was Ren'Py. So for instance, in my StoryScript.cs I can write

Move(character_talking, Direction.InLeft);
Say("Hey there I just came in from the left side of the screen!");

I also included some commands for options that jump to different parts of the dialogue and stuff. I keep thinking that I'm finished with that system, but then I start writing more dialogue and realize that I want to program something else in. The difficulty is largely in programming this stuff that takes simple lines and converts them to various arrays of instructions that are eventually enumerated through during run-time. It is by far the most ambitious programming I have done.

As far as the narrative goes, I'm learning a lot. There are many things I did not consider and trying to create awesome characters is far more involved than I expected. I don't have much finalized, but I have a pretty good idea of how the arcs of 3-5 of my characters will go. I also have a pretty good idea for a main narrative-arc that expresses something that I think other people would benefit from understanding themselves. I'm very excited about how much work I have done in thinking about my characters. When I play a lot of hobbyist games, I often feel that they are lonely or isolating. Even when NPC's exist, I rarely have an opportunity to or interest in getting to know them better. In trying to do it myself, I can see why it is rarely done. In order to have characters that you can get to know, you have to have interesting characters that are interesting to know, and they need to be engaged with the other characters in the world (I'm not doing much of this with emergent systems, I'm doing it with authored narratives). But it is already paying off. Regardless of whether or not I finish this game, it is satisfying to have a roster of interesting characters (that I can call mine) to use in other games and stories. It really is a craft.

I'm going to start my dev-diary here. I'm becoming annoyed with not being able to feel small accomplishments. Part of it is that I'm not keeping track of my progress and part of it is that I haven't been showing any of y'all what I'm working on! BUT I'm not going to concern myself with hiding spoilers, so if you want to be able to play my resulting game in the intended way, don't read this blog. The game's appeal is largely discovering the world and the characters and you can only do that once. There won't be much replay value.
This is a much larger project than I am comfortable with, but I'm going to push until I get something cool or it collapses. One thing I find myself doing is trying to integrate other game ideas I have into this one. The way I do that is this:
-I have an idea in the shower for an awesome concept for a game's story.
-Instead of starting a new game I ask myself if I have a character in *The Witch's Tree* that can express that narrative with their attitude or narrative-arc. If not, I get to make a new character that you may run into!
Thus far, it has worked beautifully.

I'm still unsure how much refinement I'm going to put into the art. Right now, everything is placeholders that I can easily open in Gimp to make further adjustments. So for instance, just this week I decided that the protagonist will be of Peruvian genetic-descent and so I'm going in and changing her skin color. But in doing so, I find myself getting bogged down by whether or not I should go ahead and do something less cartoonish. This is the type of workflow I have.

Usually what will happen is I'll think of a character idea and then try to figure out why they would be going to a magical school of mythical creatures. I'll do some character-sketches and write a sample section of dialogue that gives me a better idea of who this character is and how the interact with the protagonist. Then I'll make a placeholder background and character art to put them into my visual-novel system just so I can see if the dialogue I wrote works well. It usually doesn't, but that's fine because having any dialogue gives me something to mess with and change into something I like.

I'm going to publish some playable builds here as I progress further. Here is the first one.

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Starting to work on another game.

blog screenshot 9-10-2014.jpeg

I'm starting to work on a new game. My ultimate goal is to have a bunch of (hopefully) procedurally generated motored mobiles that race. I want to create a 3d environment where you can walk around, place bets on the mobiles and watch the races from a viewing area. It's really ambitious for me, so I'm going to try and just make smaller pieces of it. Eventually I may get enough experience making the pieces that I can make the game as I envision it, but until then I'm just going to kinda prototype it in smaller modular games. First, I'm using Unity's physics stuff to make the mobiles. I'm not familiar with hinge-joints and motors, but I'll get there by just trying to make some of these.

Here's what I've managed this morning:

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