SGC, P.A.I.D., and the DSOP Arcade Cabinet

Finally caught up to the present. Last weekend I attended the Screw Attack gaming convention with the Dallas Society of Play, to promote the group, and to get feedback on my own game. It was really great to get my game out in front of so many people, not to mention how fun it was having the arcade cabinet out there.

Oh yeah we have an arcade cabinet.

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Its one of the coolest things I have had the pleasure of taking part in. This thing has come together so well. It was made to showcase games that were made by local indies, help promote the group, and to be totally awesome. We had a game jam a couple weeks prior to make games for it, and it was the star of our booth.

As for the game I was showing. Its the game I have been working on on and off for about 8 months (about half on half off, took a long break). The project formerly known as Dysdoughpia has been renamed P.A.I.D.

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Its really come a long way since the game jam entry, I didn’t realize how much so until I started writing these posts. Playtesting it live was really interesting. It allowed me to see peoples reactions, and the flaws and strengths of the game in real time. I set up my laptop facing me and a monitor with a controller facing across from me where the player would sit. This way I was able to see exactly what the player was seeing on the screen, but also kind of watch their face and see  where they were bored, and where they were engaged.

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From the feedback I received I think I have decided where I want the game to go, and I’m hoping to release within a month. I’m really ready to be done with this game so I can get back to more regular game releases. To see more info about the game, and check for updates check out my page for the game on the P.A.I.D. page.

Just messing around

I have spent a lot of time just kind of screwing around. Lots of little stuff that never really took off into projects. This has all been done in between making the big project stuff. Some of it deserves a place of honor so I present, a gallery of dumb stuff that I made.

Lots of gifs after the break

 

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Submarine Playground – Ludum Dare 29

 

Yeah, cool-ass submarine game. I had a ton of fun making this. I really learned the power of unity, and how easy it is to make 3D games to look pretty good with little effort. The big problem with this game was that I didn’t get around to actually putting the game part in. I overscoped just a little bit, if I had another day for the jam I probably would have been able to get it done.

There are a few lessons I learned from this one. I actually enjoy AI coding quite a lot, its more fun than most other programming for me. I also really like making dumb gifs of my games. Check these out…

Submarine Power

Torpedo Storm

Enthusiastic Enemies

 

The Bridge: Ludum Dare 28

 

The bridge was my first real shot at doing 3D games. I had tinkered around a bit with unity but never really understood how everything worked together. I chose to use playcanvas because the developers had put up a deal that gave out a year of the pro version for free if you used it for a ludum dare game. I found that the documentation was pretty well done, and it was a lot more accessible at first than unity was.

The theme for the jam was “You only get one”. My original idea was to make a game about mosh pits, trying to jump and slam around without destroying your (only one) brain. I spent the whole first day trying to figure out 3D, and I had a block jumping around but to make it really work I wanted to get socket joints for some light ragdoll physics happening. I wasn’t getting very far with it so I decided to cut back the scope a lot and The Bridge is what came of it. The scope worked out really well and I’m satisfied with the result. It really sparked my interest in developing 3D physics games.

Dallas Society of Play

Before ludum dare 27 started I did my usual thing and looked around for any kind of local meetup in the area. Each time before I had come up short. I really wanted to find some kind of game developer community in the area. The IGDA was around but they didn’t do many events at the time, and most of the members were employed at big studios and didn’t have much with hobbyist and independent developers.

This time however my search found something. The group didn’t have a name at the time, it was really just getting started, but there was a meetup group with an event called “Ludum Dare 27 Kickoff”. They met up in a makerspace about 45 minutes away from my house. I had to go check it out.

It was really awesome. There were a lot of people with all kinds of different backgrounds and interests, that all wanted to make games. Ever since then the group has grown a lot. I have made a lot of awesome friends there and we have accomplished some really cool stuff. The meetups consist of work nights, where we just show and tell about our games and just hang out, and presentation events like postmortems.

Since then we have chosen the name Dallas Society of Play. We have built up a bit of a community in the area where there wasn’t one before. I know we have helped several people get into making games, and we are starting to go out and do some public events. I’ll get to the arcade cabinet in another post.

Dysdoughpia: Ludum Dare 27

After the awesome experience with the last Newgrounds Game Jam, I decided to get the same team together to do a Ludum Dare. The theme was 10 seconds. I had been working a pizza delivery job and I thought it would be cool to have the game be about delivering pizza in a short amount of time. We decided on a faux retro NES style game about a dystopian future in which pizza is a valuable commodity and the ouside radiation makes any food outside go bad in 10 seconds.

The jam went pretty well. Looking back however, this game was awful. We actually have been working on it off and on since then up until the time of this posting, and I hadn’t realized how far it had come until I played the jam entry right now. I’ll get back to more of the current game in a later post, but this was the start of the biggest project I have worked on to date.

Tub Troopers. Second shot at Newgrounds Game Jam

I had found out that the NG game jam was going on after it had started, and I joined up kind of late.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it or not. The first team I had talked to didn’t want me as a programmer because I used stencyl instead of native flash. A couple other people messaged me and I was thinking I didn’t really want to do it so I held of on replying.  Later that night I got another message from someone saying that they were an artist and musician looking for a programmer and I decided I’d go for it.

The jam turned out really well. The game wasn’t the best but I pulled off some pretty difficult programming feats, and the art and music all came together really well.

An RTS game about rubber ducks.
An RTS game about rubber ducks.

This was my first experience in a game jam working with a team that I worked really well with. I didn’t know at the time but I was making a good friend that I would be working with for the next year.

Dungeon Fling. Best unfinished game.

I really would like to get around to finishing this one. I could never get the graphics a way I like and now going back the code is really bad so I’d want to start over.

Dungeon fling is an unfinished, un-published game I worked on for some time.

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The game is part dungeon crawler, part minigolf. The player shoots their adventurer-disc around the dungeon trying to reach the stairs down to the next level. There are 3 classes with their own abilities, 4 different stats, and an item system that the player could use to get through the levels alive. I had a lot of fun with the design of this game, and playtesters seemed to enjoy it. I think the thing that got in the way was yet again art, and I just got burnt out on it I think.

This is one that I really need to revisit.

Pota-Do: ludum dare 26

Potato bushido. Pota-do.

This game was a pretty small scope game made for the jam. Its not very interesting but can be kinda fun if you have a few people around. I didn’t have much time during that ludum dare so I think it was a success in that I realized that I had little time and scoped accordingly.

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The game is a mind chess kind of game, in which the goal is to press the button shown on your side of the screen before the opponent does. The longer you wait the more damage it deals.  What makes it interesting is the Advanced Combate Mode™, which encourages players to get physically violent in real life to win the game.