Thursday, June 09, 2011

Nothing good can ever come from staying with normal people.

Along with a good deal of souls from my generation, I highly enjoyed coming home after High School to watch Toonami on Cartoon Network. It was an incredible block of action cartoons, anime and american alike, from Thundercats and Dragonball Z to more bizarre shows like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.

And it was awesome.

The host of Toonami was originally Moltar, of Space Ghost fame. Then it moved onto a little robot named TOM, who went through a couple iterations of coolness. They would have random PSAs, game reviews, and just plain neatly edited and soundtracked bumpers - in between commercials and programming. These extras really turned Toonami into a culture force instead of just another cartoon show.

Toonami essentially laid the groundwork for the success of Adult Swim.

I'm bringing this up because I just found - a fan resurrection of all that was right during that period of television.

If you too miss one Cartoon Network killed, give it a shot. Just don't give the people in the chatroom much faith. They're a bit... well...

A mod called me a douche for calling out homophobia.

But, at least there's ReBoot!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's BYOND me

Yeah, that didn't last long.

It's very frustrating, understanding how to script but not understanding the particular programming language. Time and time again, in reference files and tutorials, I find myself thinking "That... doesn't make any sense..." or "But why do I do that?"

Then, if by some miracle I find out how to solve my problem, it's almost always something ridiculous. An answer that was just phrased in a fashion that I could understand. Generally, something that makes me say, "Well, why didn't they just say that in the first place?"

Maybe I'll take a look at Game Maker. Apparently they have a huge community there that's easy to interact with. (BYOND does in fact have a community of some sort, but it isn't very large. That and the forum isn't very inviting to me for some reason.)


What I'd really like to do right now is play with combat mechanics. I've been playing Darksiders lately, and on a whim visited Vigil Games' website to look at their job openings. They're the folks working on Warhammer 40k: Dark Millenium Online - and that alone can keep my eye on them like Sauron to the Ring. For their Darksiders franchise, they had a Senior Combat Designer posted, which got me thinking.

That would be ridiculous amounts of fun. How can I do that?

So I think I'd like to make a simple brawler, like a Streets of Rage - but with more dynamic fighting. Something more fluid and lifelike, less of the standard hit-it-til-it-dies.

I find that my enjoyment of hit-it-til-it-dies is waning quickly. Perhaps I've just been spoiled on Hit-Point-less roleplaying games, like White Wolf and Savage Worlds.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Into the great BYOND

The rant of Brenda Brathwaite concerning the current state of new blood in the game industry hit particularly close to home. I completely fit the mold of the student sent out into the world with design docs and meager skills, without having anything solid to contribute to a game development team. Due to the structure of my undergraduate program, those of us without a programming or heavy art background were forced into support position.

Personally, this meant positions like 'project manager' or 'sound engineer' - two things I wasn't intending to focus on at all when I decided to go into game development. For the good of the many, though I did what I could - to the extent of a floundering undergrad's capabilities at least.

Fast forward a few years, and I am still not a published game dev. Even despite the frantic designer mind and incessant idea brain.

A few posts ago (which translates to about a year and a half) I was working on a game in Inform 7 - a natural language programming language for Interactive Fiction. It was an attempt to Make Something No Matter What, and it failed. The laptop that the game was being written on is out of order, and some very pressing things happened in my life around the same time. I suppose it is a good thing, however, since I'm not sure I quite have it in me to make that particular game work in that medium.

Since I don't have any formal training with a programming language, Inform 7's grammatical syntax made it very easy for me to leap into creating a game all on my own.

Which is probably why I'm having such difficulty with BYOND - or Build Your Own Net Dream. Kotaku recently shared NEStalgia, which is like the MMOG baby of Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. I've played for awhile on the Zenithia server and rather like it. The program itself allows you to create your own worlds as well - for free - and seemed rather straightforward.

I'm stuck, but I know that it has a lot of potential for rapid prototyping of single- and multi-player games, so I'm going to do my darnedest to make it work. More to come later. In the meantime, I made this in Byond's icon editor in no time. Which gives me hope.

Once more unto the breech, dear friends, once more

After seeing so many of my friends having such a great time at GDC, I've reached the final stage of admittance.

It has been far too long since I've been a part of the industry community, and I need to get back into that sphere. Now that I have stable employment and a tiny bit of free time, I can devote more energy back towards my initial goals. The main reasons for me leaving Michigan and moving to California in the first place.

One of which is "attend GDC." So next year, that's exactly what I'm gonna do!

(Disclaimer: unless it makes absolutely no freakin' monetary sense for me not to.)

I wanted to get this post down and get the momentum going again, before I had a chance to tell myself "Ehhh I'll do it later."

Next time: "Learning BYOND" or "Why the freaking hell can't I finish a game?"