Zed

So I just realized I hadn’t posted this. Back in November, shortly after Unity and Oculus released the free version of the Oculus SDK, I made a 3D puzzled game called Zed.

http://rhill.itch.io/zed

It’s a Threes-like in three dimensions. The standard approach to VR dev is to do something more immersive, I wanted to try something a little different. Programming was pretty simple, but it was a good exercise in graphic design for three dimensions.

The requirements were, I wanted something that would be very difficult to display intuitively on a flat screen, but the controls needed to still be simple.

I think there is some potential for games that need to present a large quantity of data but aren’t necessarily immersive. Consider an RTS game. You could have a 3D model of the battlefield, surrounded by a half-dozen display screens of important information. You wouldn’t be able to fit as much onto a computer monitor, and methods of switching screens would not be as intuitive and quick as just turning your head.

Or yes, in puzzle games, there might be new types of puzzles that are only possible when viewing them in three dimensions.

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Spider Who Would Only Eat Candy

I made a game called The Spider Who Would Only Eat Candy

I was playing around with hexagons based on this Gamasutra article and this article by Red Blob.

James Earl Cox III, who said “Make the games you want to see on public access television.” which is pretty close to my design philosophy, also asked if anyone wanted to be his nemesis, and I never had a nemesis before, that’d be cool.

I played a game about an elevator he made, and there was a spider in it, though I got the spider twice in a row so I thought it was more prominent than it really is. So that combined in my head with the hex grid, and so that inspired this game to be about the spider.

I get jumping spiders in my apartment, so the idea of a spider hopping around the board made sense to me. I was sort of thinking of knight’s tours puzzles with chess, but to mix it up, you’d have different jumping patterns according to random cards and you would choose which ones and the order. It was only while I was half-way through making the game that I saw the similarity to RoboRally.

I also added interstitials that told a very basic story, which is the first time I tried something like that.

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Thirteenth game jam

The Coolest Farmer in the World:

Made for the Music Video Game Jam.

It helped that the song has very reliable BPM, I could make a bunch of animation loops that sync up with that beat.

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Twelfth game jam – Santa Claus Is Coming To Get You

New game up on Gamejolt, Santa Claus Is Coming To Get You:
http://gamejolt.com/games/other/santa-claus-is-coming-to-get-you/42280/

This is the first game I’ve released with one of the standard game controller assets from Unity. I used a standard First-Person controller. I guess it’s the first time that it seemed like the right feel for the game.

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New games – Snowman, turkey, trampoline cop, ruin videogames gator

A few games I made that I haven’t posted here.

Snowman or Astroman? is a snowman assembling game I made for Ludum Dare.

Launch Turkey is a game I made in a little over three hours because I saw a “Turkey and explosions” jam on Gamejolt that had no entries yet.

Gator’s Secrets is a game I made for ruin jam. If you’ve been following discussion of video games online, you know what it’s alluding to. Though I narrowed the focus to something

Trampoline Cop was one of the arcades in Gator’s Secrets, one of only three that wasn’t taken from an episode of Regular Show. There was a PewDiePie jam, so I decided to turn Trampoline Cop into an actual game. I was originally thinking of something like a cross between Mappy and Jump Bug, but when trying it out in 3D started letting elements of Crazy Taxi in. The largest in scope of these games and I might return to it to make the level design a little more finished. Or I might rather make a bunch of little games like Launch Turkey, we’ll see.

Also this means now I’ve done eleven game jams.

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Wiggling Hands

New video by me. I decided to try my hand at one of those whiteboard animation videos.

The inspiration for this was an Elance job posting asking for a whiteboard animation and the pictures needed to be drawn live. I thought, “I don’t think I can draw that fast.”

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More video games

I’ve got two games online that I haven’t listed here yet. Minewalker and Cube Roller they are both similar in general genre, which I’m kind of thinking of as an endless runner puzzle game. You have to keep progressing forward to keep from falling off the end.

Minewalker uses the minesweeper rules so you have to keep progressing through a minefield to stay alive. At one point the player was going to be a chess queen, in reference to the Red Queen that has to keep running to stay in the same place, but maybe that would have been mixing games too much. If I think of a good chess-based puzzle I might return to that.

Cube Roller was originally Dice Roller, but I switched it because not everyone is intimately familiar with the layout of dice and the numerical values didn’t really matter. With a little people cube, everyone will easily remember the hands are on opposite sides and the face is opposite the butt, etc. Whereas people might not all know that the opposite sides of a die always add up to 7.

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Game Jams

So, because there’s a local game jam coming up, which I haven’t signed up for, I got thinking, and I think I’ve done seven game jams.

  1. Room jam. This is the only local one I’ve done.
  2. Ludum Dare 24
  3. Ludum Dare 26 collaborating with Anand Friesen
  4. Ludum Dare 29 collaborating with Anand Friesen again
  5. I did a Game Jolt contest with a party theme. Which is maybe where I start stretching the definition of jam but whatever
  6. I did the Candy Jam on itch.io
  7. I also did a Flappy Jam on itch.io but by this point I would be surprise if they go more than a week without something
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Procedural generation links

This is just a collection of links I think are interesting for procedurally generated maps in games.

First up, a video presentation of the methods used to randomly generate maps in Sir You Are Being Hunted.

Second is not about randomly generated maps for games specifically, it’s about the visualization of algorithms, but some of those algorithms have results that could be interesting, and being able to see visually how they work really helps imagine how they could be used for this purpose.

Then we’ve got an article on map generation using voronoi polygons.

Then we have one about trying to correct what he calls the “nebraska problem” while developing the game The Witness. He has a follow-up where he shows other patterns and there’s a few other useful ones listed here.

And last this blog sometimes also has interesting things. Again the focus of the blog is on visualizing interesting math, not procedurally generated maps, but some things are good inspiration, like the liquid in a porous material the idea of a Stolum Number or the Cheerios effect a fractal Brownian tree placing dots based on two distance rules, automatically clustering cities, or the tracks of a bicycle.

As they point out in the Sir You Are Being Hunted video, it’s easy for someone new to this to think they can just throw perlin noise on something and that’s good enough, but the most interesting maps have more to it than that.

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Rap video

I animated a rap video, using a combination of Unity 3D rendering and After Effects 2D animation:

For me the highlights from a technical standpoint are:
1) I rigged and skinned the 2D tentacles in blender. Yeah it’s the simplest possible thing to rig and skin, but it worked as intended, which is more than I can say for my previous attempts to skin something.
2) For Mad Child’s jaw I imported After Effects keyframes into Unity. The timeline animation in AE is so much easier to use than the Unity timeline animation. It’s still a hassle to import the keyframes, but in some circumstance that’s nice to know it’s possible.
3) The cave I generated from imported image files. I had already been playing with a tile generating script, what this adds is a height map image file. Again, it could be useful somewhere else, so you can use Photoshop as a level editor, essentially.

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