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Messages - GuerillaGrue

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Game Art / Re: Free to Use Music
« on: July 30, 2015, 11:48:39 pm »
Hi GuerillaGrue . Um it seems there it is not downloadable. In order for people to download it you have to enable downloading on that song.

...Oops. To be fair, it's my first SoundCloud upload :)

Permissions have been fixed; download away.

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Game Art / Free to Use Music
« on: July 30, 2015, 04:27:40 am »
I know it's free because I wrote it and put it up.

https://soundcloud.com/nolan-ezell/sets/first-impressions

Use if you want, all I ask is to be credited if you do.

If anyone REALLY likes the work or thinks my style of song construction would work for custom tracks for a project, contact me and we can discuss things.

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 21, 2015, 10:57:02 am »
Update 7/21:

Not a lot of progress per se since my last post. Between work and other things (other things being ALL THE GAMES) my time spent on the project has mostly been dedicated to reading up on Stencyl itself and sprite work.

Goals for this week:
--Complete sprite sheet
--Institute acceleration/autoscrolling mechanics
--Institute collision mechanics

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 16, 2015, 06:49:51 pm »
Update:

New program in the Humble Bundle for sprite creation! I'll be delving into it tonight to see if it can help to improve my work.

I ended up spending last night working on music rather than graphics or gameplay, but on the plus side of that I have a collection of 5 original chiptune-esque songs for the game that should serve me well.


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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 15, 2015, 05:29:34 am »
Guerilla

Nice to see another newcomer here. I don't have much to provide in the way of advice, as I'm just as green as you are with the platform. 

I can definitely attest to how outdated ALL of the tutorials are that I've found online. It's really come down to getting ideas from them, then digging into the blocks currently available to recreate the functionality in the tutorials a different way.

Anyhow, congrats on picking up Stencyl. Looking forward to what you've got coming out!

I'll be sure to check out your projects too! :D

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 14, 2015, 07:11:30 pm »
My first game was a result of playing with the platform kit. But, I think I learned more by starting from scratch. Sounds like you're making good progress!

I think an endless runner involves a bit more extensive knowledge of Stencyl than a static scene-based game--but could make a good second step. The main problem with endless runners is scene generation, which can be a tricky issue depending on the circumstances of your game. On the other hand, it could also be very simple. In any case, it's worth doing a little research first.

On average, generating tiles and terrain is more difficult than generating actors, particularly if scene size/lag becomes an issue.

I definitely feel that going level-based is the way to go with this project. In the final product I want to have a time attack mode available as well as the normal score attack and quest modes, and setting something like that up in an endless runner doesn't seem like a viable option for my concept.

I know I'm probably being overly ambitious with my first game: I've read plenty of articles online that highly recommend a much more organic flow to your first projects when getting started, but I really feel like this is a good project to help me learn the basic ropes of design, both with Stencyl itself, and just in general.

No work was done today, but I have big plans for tomorrow:

--Building the new tileset
--Building a new, smaller character sprite
--integrating a movement-independent acceleration system
--Begin researching scoring systems and how to integrate saving best times

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 11:03:57 pm »
Todays progress thus far:

--Learning the basics of the LEGO-like programming interface: it seems like it will be simple to understand once I get some more experience with it
--Camera centering complete!
--After some experimentation, my tileset is grossly inadequate and will have to be reworked from the ground up in a different manner than I've designed it to this point
--Likewise with my character sprite: too large for my needs, plus a simpler model for collision would be beneficial
--Tutorials for this program seem to be a very mixed bag online: simple experimentation may prove to be the best route to take in general.

So, at the end of the day I've rendered all my previously created assets -- scenes, players, and tiles -- inadequate, but in exchange I now have a better grasp of the overall mechanics of the program and where I need to go to get my design to work.

Progress!

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:02:19 pm »
I really want the level-based format, though, because I want to be able to provide players with a chance to practice and hone their skills on a level over and over with predictable results.

I haven't done a level-based endless runner, but I could certainly see it working in terms of specifying when a spawn happens. Say you wanted to have five obstacles that appear in a specific order. Have a number attribute (the blue ones) that adds +1 for each obstacle that spawns and then gets set back to 1 when 5 is reached. That way the obstacles would spawn in the same order every single time.

My one real attempt at an endless runner was: http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/27933. People told me that I should have had the obstacles come out at specific times in order to make the player play a real song. It was made in less than 48 hour so I did not have the time to go that in depth. If you want to work with me on that project at some point, it might be a win-win for both of us. You would see some neat Stencyl programming tricks and I would get free labor for someone working on my game :D

A cool little project! I'll hold off on promising to work together until I've built more of a skill set, but I do like the concept a lot!

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 03:12:07 pm »

--Figure out how to center the starting location on the play field on the player rather than being anywhere-but-on-the-player

Since it will just be dodging obstacles, with the car centered on the screen, there is another option - endless runner. In endless runners, such as a flappy bird, the player is not actually moving. Instead, the world moves around the player. This way you do not need to develop any gigantic scenes, just a small scene where the obstacles appear and come at the player.



That's a great suggestion! Endless runners offer an experience that has a lot of similarities to what I'm aiming for with my concept! I really want the level-based format, though, because I want to be able to provide players with a chance to practice and hone their skills on a level over and over with predictable results.

I guess a better comparison than a racing game would be a bullet hell shooter played in passive mode: progression through levels with predictable obstacles and patterns but with finite goals in mind.

Looking at an endless runner could be useful for me in terms of getting a better grasp of some of the mechanics I want to introduce though: thanks :)

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 12:55:18 pm »
If you have not yet found these assets, please take a through look ...
http://www.stencyl.com/help/

I glanced through this a bit, but I'll be delving into it in more detail today since I've got tonight off work, thanks :P

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 12:54:27 pm »
I won't derail this thread any further after this. I'll just drop in a quick note: I was a biology professor before game development. I knew my contract was expiring, and looked for a teaching job for over two years. Once my contract was up, I still looked for another 7 months before deciding to become a game developer in March of last year. After a year of learning Stencyl, I am actually making enough money to pay rent and eat (my bank account thanks me for that). Like you, I always wanted to make video games, but never felt like learning a coding language. :)

Back on track: if you could post a screenshot of what you have going, it will give us a better idea of your "racing-esque" game. My best suggestion is to leave out AI opponents for a while until you have some solid mechanics for the player.

Now that's a career change! :D

As for what I have going: AI opponents aren't going to be an issue, since there won't be any. I'm focusing on a reflex-based time-attack style gameplay for the game on a 2D vertically-scrolling playfield, almost a combination of Bump N' Jump combined with the hazard-based sections of games like Vanguard or, more recently, Velocity. Preliminary plans (once I get the base of the game working) are for an initial collection of 25 levels for the initial competition. I'm focusing on gameplay and presentation only, with an emphasis on making the game's visuals as clear as possible to promote quick identification of hazards: no more than maybe 8 colors on screen at a time, simple and quickly identifiable shapes, etc. I'll be posting screenshots, but only once I've got things to the point I feel my problems are legitimate problems and not just "I'm an idiot who can't read tutorials," or I've got something I think is worth showing off.

Honestly, I KNOW the game is going to be terrible: it's my first game (outside a few experiments with RPG Maker that never went anywhere,) and I know there's next to no chance I'll actually win the competition, or even finish on time, but that's not really the point, is it? The point is to try, and to learn, and to improve, so that my next project's proportion of suck to not-suck will be much improved, and maybe within a couple of years I can launch the shareware revival episodic flat shaded polygon FPS I've been dreaming about for years (along with a host of other projects.)

I've had my 4 hours of sleep for the day, so my plans for today are as follows:

--Figure out how to center the starting location on the play field on the player rather than being anywhere-but-on-the-player
--Minor clarity tweaks to sprite assets and expansion of the tileset to include more variation
--Experimentation to implement an acceleration system for the player independent of on-screen movement

At that point the actual core gameplay will be finished, since accelerate and dodge are the only two controls my game design needs, and about as complicated as I dare get on my first project.

Once I've got the base project functional I might consider some minor expansions to the gameplay mechanics, such as moving/projectile hazards, but the next WipeOut this ain't.

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Journals / Re: Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 13, 2015, 07:19:50 am »
Nice you have you. I'll give you some more specific feedback once I've taken a moment to read your entire post :)

EDIT: I never tried any of the tutorials, so I can't attest to how outdated or useful they are. I actually am using tiles for the first time on a game I am creating right now. I didn't get the whole tile system for a long time, so I just didn't use them. For most of what I do, I just find my own ways of getting the job done instead of figuring out what I am "supposed" to do.

Most of the forum folk are pretty friendly. Let us know how we can help. I pretty much only lurk in the Game Journals and Chit-Chat. I like giving people feedback on what they are developing.

Thanks for the welcome! I posted this right before I headed out for work last night, so I've actually yet to start really delving into what the forums have to offer, but I'm sure they'll be an invaluable resource.

I've been wanting to get into game development for literal years, but I've been put off by a combination of impatience, laziness, and difficulty of gaining access to resources, both for monetary reasons and due to bad internet access. I'm finally at a place where the last two aren't such a big deal, so now all I've gotta do is stop procrastinating and not let myself get frustrated as I learn my way around things.

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Journals / Acceleration: Jumping In The Deep End
« on: July 12, 2015, 07:32:32 pm »
Welp, here goes nuthin'.

The Humble Bundle deal was just too good to pass up. I was twelve dollars poorer, but a couple of thousand dollars in software richer, and ready to start creating some of the games that have been filling my head for years, scrambling to escape and wreak havoc on an innocent populace. By luck there was even an indie game competition going for games created in under a month: what better way to stretch myself and learn basic game creation than to try for the contest?

For my initial concept I settled on a simple racing-game-esque concept with a low fidelity, clean aesthetic and simple gameplay. For my weapon of choice to tackle creating that project, I chose Stencyl, since it seemed the most flexible of the tools at my disposal.

First step: jump into some online tutorials. Only, what's this? All the tutorials I've found made use of assets I didn't have! Ah, well, download them and try again... except for some reason I can't get them to work. Maybe a non-video tutorial then? Except, wait: these seem to be for an outdated version of the program?

*sigh*

Feh. Who cares! I'll just jump in and start messing around with things! Surely I can have something playable up and going in a couple of hours that way, right?

--Build a non-animated sprite in Paint to test with
--Import sprite
--Download Gimp to add alpha to the sprite
--Import sprite again
--Mess with tiles
--Spend two hours trying to figure out how to get tile scale off of 80x80 and stop being blurry before realizing it told me right on the screen what to do if I'd paid attention
--Import tiles
--Realize I built my character sprite to the wrong scale. Completely rebuild
--Build collision box for character, assign collision boxes for tiles
--Realize assigned all tiles the reverse of the collision box they needed, start over
--Build a test single-screen tile-less level to test character movement
--Success!
--Build a level with the tile set to try and experiment some with movement within the tiles, including scrolling screen movement
--Can't get it to load centered on character sprite, no idea what I'm doing
--After two days of experimentation, delve into the forums a bit

And thus we are at my current stage. Art: viable (if simple.) Game concept: viable (if, again, simple.) Skills at execution: sorely lacking.

Coming soon to this thread:

--Forums: friend or foe?
--More stumbling around and missing the obvious!
--Experiments in menu design!
--Figuring out how to force scroll levels!
--Bleepy chiptunes!
--PROFIT

(In all seriousness, though: first time dev, but I hope to be making a lot of games as I get more familiar with Stencyl. So far the program seems pretty darn flexible as far as game types and depth that can be achieved, so I'm looking forward to figuring out what I'm doing wrong, how to do it right, and if I'll ever be able to do half-decent sprite work. Cheers!)

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