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Messages - ICLHStudios

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Come watch me be pretty decent at level design, but pretty terrible at streaming.

Ask a Question / Re: Triggering jump and land animations.
« on: August 19, 2017, 01:38:22 am »
Well, first thing I would say is to remember that a smoother feeling jump is better and more desirable than a smoother looking one at least 99% of the time, if not more. I highly caution against having a start up animation longer than a couple frames on a jump (unless you specifically want the game to feel sluggish and borderline unresponsive, which admittedly can work fine if it's the right kind of game). If the animation is fast enough, you can get away with starting the jump immediately and it should barely even be noticeable that the start-up lifts off the ground (animation works by the mind blurring the images together in the first place).

Now, I did my game without a kit, so I'm not familiar with how any built in animation behavior works in the platformer one.  But to solve your specific problem, try to make sure that any transitional animations don't loop (you can turn this on or off when making the animation), you can then check if the animation is done by using:
IF [current animation for 'actor'] = ["start jump" animation attribute]
AND IF <is animation playing for (actor)> = FALSE
To determine that the animation played and finished successfully and then start your jump behavior. Do basically the same thing for landing, and just move to the regular walking/idle animations only once the landing one is done.

One of the other main things that I did that might be helpful to you was to create a sort of hierarchy of animations (so that animations at the top could override and interrupt animations below them, but not the other way around, so getting hit would always animate no matter what you were doing, and any action like jumping or shooting would interrupt basic movement, which itself could only interrupt pretty much the idle animations). I used a combination of attributes, Actor values, and animation checks to determine what the state of the character was and adjust the animation accordingly.

Ask a Question / Transitioning between different collision boxes.
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:51:13 am »
This is a problem I've had in a couple of different games I've tried making, but never managed to solve it satisfactorily.

So, I generally really want to make collision boxes match as closely as possible with the sprites of the player character, but have some trouble, especially with slopes. If the base of the collision box (and the sprite as well) matches the angle of the ground they tend to glitch out a bit when transitioning between different angles.

This is just a specific example, but I've run into variants of this problem or transitioning between miss-matched collision boxes a couple times.

Ask a Question / Re: Error. Encountered errors while building your game
« on: February 20, 2016, 10:06:20 am »
I'm having what seems to be the same problem, I hadn't used Stencyl for a couple months, but when I tried, testing or running any of my games gave me this error; I even tried a fresh install with a new workspace and a blank game with nothing but an empty scene, and still got the same thing.

Chit-Chat / Re: Indie game dev is dying, isn't it?
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:22:04 pm »
I also definitely disagree, this year we've had games like Her Story and Beginner's Guide do some completely original and innovative stuff with storytelling; Downwell with its perfectly crafted minimalist twists on some classic mechanics; Shovel Knight has shown enough continuing success to get a physical, retail release on pretty much every system available, (and the excellent Plague Knight campaign); and we have Undertale, which has nearly universally been proclaimed some of the best writing the medium has ever seen.

And those are just some of the bigger and well-known successes I can think of off the top of my head, there are a bunch of smaller, lower-profile games that have done quite well for themselves.

Chit-Chat / Re: What Have You Been Playing Lately?
« on: November 16, 2014, 12:17:50 pm »
I recently played the first 2 assassins creed games (didn't like the first much, but enjoyed the second a great deal), just beat Darksiders 2 (and am now super sad about the death of THQ because that series is freaking awesome), and am slowly working towards 100% on Hyrule warriors.

Chit-Chat / Re: Post Your Desktop!
« on: October 29, 2014, 10:56:34 pm »
Icons are homemade, current BG is not.

Ludum Dare 30 / Re: Ludum Dare Theme is "Connected Worlds"
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:32:47 am »
Meh, I'm not a huge fan of this one (though I really loved several of the rejected ones), I've got a couple vague ideas but nothing really stands out to me in terms of gameplay, at least not on a small enough scale to be useful for LD...

We'll see, one of my vague ideas is starting to grow on me (as in, as I type this; I'm probably going to decide to try it), but it'll really rest on the strength of design for individual moments (moments which may have some tricky programming/asset creation associated with them) rather than single central element, so I have no idea if there'll be enough time to make it really worth it.

Ludum Dare 30 / Re: Ludum Dare 30 - Are you in?
« on: August 08, 2014, 08:20:30 am »
I definitely intend to participate, my main goal this time is to finish in time for the actual competition, as last time (also my first) I was satisfied with my game  but I finished late.

I don't really have any particular hopes for the theme other than ideas that are heavier on design and graphics but light on programming.

Chit-Chat / Re: What's your dream game(s)?
« on: May 13, 2014, 11:22:09 pm »
My biggest dream would be to head up a 3D Zelda game (or several), followed by Smash Bros, and making a good 3D Sonic game, but I have several of my own dream games as well.

The one of mine that I want to make the most is probably Lynx the Gryphon. He has been sort of my mascot character for nearly 15 years, and he and his game have evolved from a Sonic clone into an epic Tetrology of hardcore platformers with a huge twisty plot, tons of characters, and wide variety of gameplay.

The one of mine that is probably the biggest or most challenging game to make is an unnamed side-scrolling MMO with about 10 different, very unique races with all sorts of different powers and abilities, several distinct magic systems which function almost as programming languages so you can create your own spells, multiple major one-time storyline events triggerable by players and changing important things in-game, and a vast world full of thousands of secrets to be explored by players. I very well may end up taking the different concepts for this one and turning them into smaller, more manageable games, but you never know.

Honorary mention goes to the 'Circle system RPG' a not-even-idea-yet that I've had for a couple years. I once saw an image somewhere of two different sized circles overlapping each other, and just got this gut feeling that in that image there was a new way to calculate damage and stuff without reducing everything to simple numbered stats. I still have no idea what it is, but I'm still convinced that it's there, and I hope someday to get the other half of that epiphany and figure it out.

Windows / Mac / Flash / HTML5 / Re: Mibibli's Quest
« on: May 12, 2014, 11:59:42 am »

Ludum Dare 29 / Re: Petrichor (completed post LD)
« on: May 01, 2014, 01:49:13 pm »
Really cool game, interesting idea and well executed! You should stop some of the sounds after they start however, the noise gets rather daunting
Thanks! Yeah, the sounds get kinda chaotic at times, sound stuff in general is something I'm not very experienced at so most of the time I had for it went into really basic stuff.

I'm in love with the concept of this game. The presentation was just great, the atmosphere oh so eerie, and the reflections creepy and monsters terrifying.

Do you have any plans on revisiting the project and turning it in to a more polished game?
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it!
There were several mechanics and moments that I had to drop due to the time limit, as well as several ways I've thought of to expand on it, so yeah, I totally intend to make a full version reasonably soon.

This was my first Ludum Dare (and actually my first full game I ever finished, although my main in-development game was nearly complete at one point) that I actually participated in, as I usually forget about them or don’t notice until the day or so after,  but even this time I missed most of the first day (though I probably would still have been late).

The game is called Petrichor (which is the smell of dirt or dust after rain) and can be found here:

When I first heard the theme I had two ideas, the first one was a platformer where you replayed each stage at various levels of the process; from puzzling out the shape of the level out of sensory information, to planning a route, to QWOP-like muscle control for the character, up to more traditional platforming controls. However, the different systems required by this idea would take much more programming than I could possibly do in 2 days, and even the design would need much more time to really do the game any sort of justice.

My other idea was really just an image, some sort of horror game where the player is chased by creatures from beneath the surface of water.

After working on it for a while it started to morph into something a little different, the setting was cool but the game wasn't living up to the concept art and the monsters were getting too cliché, so I tried switching it to more of a forest of dead trees darkly overcast,

and got this image in my head of weird shapes reflected in the water that were just unnatural enough to be potentially really creepy as monsters (especially once I started animating them and they were following you), so I made them walk upside down under the water and try to spear you with these spiky tree-like things.

I also had these flood-like monsters that burst open and let out a swarm of bugs, that came from the fact that it seems that horror things tend to handle spiders/bugs wrong, making giant spider monsters is usually less scary than tiny ones for people who are afraid of them.

I actually did better with the graphics than I normally would in the time frame, as I am right in the middle of the free trial period for Cosmigo Promotion ( and had just gotten used to it enough to be efficient but still was able to use it (I highly recommend it, I learned about it through watching the streams of Yacht Club Games making Shovel Knight). But then that was counteracted by the fact that Stencyl was having problems and wasn't opening up right, so I had to use an old version, which was not as fun, then about halfway through I lost about an hour or so worth of work due to thunderstorms.

Unfortunately even without the Stencyl problems I wouldn't have made it, as by the time I got done with everything but the programming and sound, there were only 4 hours left in the comp; and since it took nearly another 10 hours of work (plus 8 hours sleep, plus several hours of not-work) to finish the game, I would not have finished in time even if I had started right away and worked without any distractions. Also, as a side note, the best 'bug' I had, though certainly to the hardest to find or fix, happened when I set an enemy to move at speeds of 284 instead of 4.

I had several ideas that I had to cut in order to finish the game, like a section where suddenly the whole sky would fill up with those black spiky tendrils coming down (or up) toward you, or a section where you get dragged beneath the surface and get stuck down there with the monsters for a while.

These are definitely things that make me want to revisit the game sometime and make a much longer version. I would love to have the dragged-into-the-underworld section use the look from the original concept art, more monster types, have deeper mechanics such as avoiding water to keep from waking the monsters (using better jumping controls as well as things like sticks or logs you can lay across to help you or throwing objects into different pools to distract them), and I definitely want to try and use a variation on this:  "3D" effect in it.

Ludum Dare 29 / Petrichor (completed post LD)
« on: April 29, 2014, 04:39:33 am »

Petrichor is a short survival-horror game made (although not quite completed in time) for Ludum Dare. There isn't much in the way of sound (and no music), a few elements are kinda wonky, and the art (especially the ground, which is really pretty bare) is not as polished as I'd like; but given that this is my first LD, I missed the first day, and had problems with my computer so that I had to use an old version of Stencyl, I'm pretty proud of it.

Ludum Dare 29 / Re: Ludum Dare 29 - Theme: "Beneath The Surface"
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:29:29 am »
I violated my own jam rule number 1: Keep it simple. Lesson learned.

My first idea totally would have done that; really complicated design requirements, no idea how to even begin to approach the programming, most likely very little real substance beyond the novelty anyway.

At least my final idea will be finished with 3 days of starting (literally all that's left now is putting in the sound, title, and credit screens), though not during the competition/jam; because I violated my number 1 rule as well: Remember to start on time.

Still, nearly a day late is better than last time, when I found out about the compo with less than 5 minutes remaining...

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