Thursday, August 26, 2010

Google Book/Magazine Search

Just came across this stuff again today when I was searching for a phrase... But Google's Book and Magazine search has really come along! Just doing a search for "flash game development" pulls up all sorts of books, and most of them have quite decent previews! I've always had issues with buying game development books because they're typically around $50 and it's hard to tell if they're any good... The previews are quite nice!

Monday, August 23, 2010

LD 18 Jam Complete!

So I got home right around 8:30 and fixed up lots of the bugs til around 9:30 or so, then got the game submitted! Apparently games in the Jam don't get voted on or anything, but it was still a great challenge to finish this game in 3 days, and I'm proud of how well it went. Some bugs went unfixed (if a critter is playing his animation and gets hit again, it simply stops its animation; the insults don't always bounce the right way, which includes sometimes making it appear the insult is simply continuing straight on), but the majority were fixed up, and some other things were improved on as well (the text in the game was improved a bit, and the insult bubble was fixed up quite a bit too).

You can also:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

LD 18: Try it Out Thus Far

Here's the game thus far... Now I'm going to warn you, IT IS BUGGY!!! Yeah I didn't fix them all. Some are minor yet annoying (sometimes insults just freeze, when you win it may not clear it, on level 3 many of the critters vanish all at once), and some are drastic (can't play through a second time). (EDIT: NON FUNCTIONAL NOW!!!)

However, if you do play it, please comment here, or email me at, or message me on Facebook or Twitter or just in any way you can, let me know your opinion (don't hold back, be brutally honest!) and let me know whatever bugs you may find, even if they're the ones I've listed above. I'd TOTALLY appreciate it if you do since I won't have much time to work on it after I get off of work. Also let me know how annoying each bug is so I can prioritize :)

LD 18: Now Jam, Not Compo

Ludum Dare has two different types... The competition is the 2 day event, whereas the jam is a 3 day event that is a bit more lax for its rules. I was really hoping to make competition (hence all the talk about 2 days of development), but due to several major bugs, I was unable to do so. Instead, I will be aiming for the jam, although the 24 extra hours doesn't really add too much development time for me. Here's how the next 24 hours goes for me:

10pm(now) - midnight or so: Enjoy my time with my Angel (since the whole rest of my day has been game development and all)

12am - 7:20am: SLEEP!
7:20am - 8:30pm: Work and work related stuff (get ready, drive to work, work, come home)

Leaves me with about an hour and a half of development time. But since there isn't much more to do with it, that should be enough time :) And I'm going to use this game as a demo for a fuller, deeper version as well!

LD 18: Missed Opportunities

About 67 minutes left... So many things I wish I could add but don't have the time! I want a boss fight or two, I wanted the enemies to attack each other, I want to fix some of these random bugs (sometimes the insults just stop when they are intercepted by Rubberman, and if a critter is hit mid-animation, it simply stops and won't go away.), and I wanted to add a little map between levels to show progress. And different levels would have different shooting as well, like a whole wall to defend instead of a little ring of critters. But it'll still be a game at least, and not bad for someone who's never made an action game before (I've always been a puzzle game developer, MUCH different believe it or not).

LD 18: 2 Hours Left... Level Setting Problems

It's going pretty well and now it's more a matter of level design than anything... But for some reason enemies aren't where they should be! DOH!

125 minutes left!

LD 18: Getting There!

... And it's a good thing since there are only 4.5 hours left til 10! The menus are all made, and the game pretty much works. Levels need made, and I need to create a popup to redo a level if the player loses, but other than that it should be good!

So I bring you... a screenshot of the main menu! Check it out up there!

LD 18: 6 Hours, Bugs but Engine Almost Done

Well the insults bounce right off Rubberman now, and they infuriate the insulting critters, and they even vanish in their rage afterward, but for some reason they eventually stop shooting, leaving some of the enemies alive. Aside from this, though, all that's left is to build some levels and sparkle it up!

LD 18 Checklist to Completion

Copying this from a previous post so that I know where I stand on everything. Will post times as I go. 10 hours left!


1) Move Rubberman - DONE
2) Enemies Shoot - DONE (12:00)
3) Enemy fire damages innocents - DONE (12:27)
4) Enemy fire bounces back toward random insulter when hitting player and causes them to attack nearest insulter, destroying them both. If only the one insulter is left, he simply runs away. - DONE but changed a bit...
5) Game Over possibility (12:27)
6) Level Success possibility (12:31)
7) Create additional levels
8) Create menus (5:30)
a) Main Menu
b) About LD
c) Game Over
d) Game Win!
9) Additional touches where possible:
a) Display actual insults when they strike
b) Compliments
c) Power Ups?
d) A map and fuller story?

LD 18, Awake on Final Day

So I set the alarm for the first time in months on a Sunday, and set it for 9:30. I've got slightly over 12 hours to go, and quite a lot left to do! I did get some more ideas on how to mix the game up, though, so that should help :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

LD18 Progress, Slightly over Halfway

So the game concept has been pretty much solidified and a lot of the art made (although some may be changed later if time allows...). I've also gotten the engine to work for the most part. The overall pieces needed to make are:

1) Move Rubberman - DONE
2) Enemies Shoot - DONE (except it doesn't reset yet)
3) Enemy fire damages innocents
4) Enemy fire bounces back toward random insulter when hitting player and causes them to attack nearest insulter, destroying them both. If only the one insulter is left, he simply runs away.
5) Game Over possibility
6) Level Success possibility
7) Create additional levels
8) Create menus
9) Additional touches where possible:
a) Display actual insults when they strike
b) Compliments
c) Power Ups?
d) A map and fuller story?

Maybe some more stuff too... We'll see :)

The Adventures of Rubberman!

So to make a game based on using enemies as a weapon, I've come up with (thanks to Angel and my mom, Dora) a game based on bouncing back various insults hurled. The player plays as Rubberman, one of SuperCritterMan's alter egos, who must run around the people he is trying to save as evil critters hurl insults at them, which are fired much like bullets. Rubberman must intercept these insults, which causes them to bounce to one of the other enemies around. Once one of the enemies gets insulted, it goes berzerk and attacks the one who initially sent out the insult, destroying them both. If an insult makes its way through to the innocent critters, their happiness will drop until they become so depressed they can't take any more and just go home.

Compliments will be flung as well, and if they reach the innocent critters, their happiness level will rise. This also causes them to thank the critter, thereby turning them kind ("They appreciated my compliment?"), which leads them to simply walk away from the insulting, done with being mean. If the compliments are deflected, it insults the complimenting critter, making them mad, calling a friend or two to help insult the innocent critters.

The goal of each round is to get rid of all the mean critters and make it onward. If the player beats a level, they get a bonus for the happiness of the remaining critters.

As far as more specific than that (level development, possible power ups?, etc.), I'm unsure yet. I will create a rough playable of this and see how it goes. 25.5 hours to go!

Friday, August 20, 2010

LD 18 Voting Results - Theme Chosen!

So the voting is over (yes, I know, I posted my votes kinda late, since I'm publishing this post about 3 minutes later...) and the theme that was chosen is...

Enemies as Weapons!

WOOHOO!!! This is one of the themes I was most excited about! Although being excited about the theme and having a great idea for it are not one in the same... So here goes nothin!

LD 18 Final Round Votes

So that's what the final rounds were and how I voted. The way it works is that you choose either you don't like a particular theme (-1), you do like it (+1) or you're neutral (0). Sure you could vote +1 on each one or -1 on them all, but it wouldn't really help you get the topics you were wanting...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ludum Dare 18 in under 24 hours!

Ludum Dare is a 48 hour game development competition - a topic is voted on and chosen out of 18 final topics, and everyone has 48 hours (from 10pm Friday to 10pm Sunday) to complete the game. That's 48 hours to come up with an idea from a topic, develop, test and get it done! Now with Flash, it's much much quicker and easier than with C++, but here's how my 48 hours of the competition go:

Friday Night

10pm: Topic Announced
12pm or so: Go to bed

2 hours to work


7:20am: Wake up, get ready for work
8am - 7pm: Work (including travel time)
Dinner at some point...
12pm or so: Go to bed

5 hours to work


8am: Wake up (as learned in previous compos, any earlier kills my ability to work)

Shower, eating a few times, relaxing between working (also a lesson learned... If you work nonstop, your brain will be so fried that no work will get done and time will just tick by as you try).

10pm: Competition over

10 hours(?) to work


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Wall of Compliments

If you've ever looked at a youtube video that had a couple comments on it, or a game, or a movie, or anything else with any sort of review to it, you'll notice that basically everything ever made has insults. Search for your favorite song on youtube. Nearly every one of em has people going back and forth over the band being the best ever, or how they suck and [band x] is way better.

It's in our nature, especially with something creative we've made, to take the bad the hardest and hardly even notice the good. It's for this reason that I've decided to start my own list of all the compliments I've gotten about my games and save them together. So just know that if you send me something nice, I'll have it saved, and thanks :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lots of Hats to Wear!

It's really weird... For a long while, I just played with game making as a hobby and it was fun. I never finished anything because as long as something isn't finished, the ideas and possibilities still exist, but once it is, it's either great or it's not, and no amount of imagination will fix it without some actual action (any of you who have done anything in any sort of artistic way will understand I'm sure!). It's so weird to finish a development cycle though! You start off, so excited by what may come... Get the ideas together, build it into awesomeness, and then... All over again! No more "all that's left is these little few checkpoints", oh no, now it's "what's next?"

And I've noticed this is particularly odd when changing between doing different things. For example, after getting TruHangman into testing, I had to develop some websites. Not really that different on the surface - some stages in line to finish a project, involving coding and some art - but entirely different in execution! Now that that's done, going back to game development is just plain outright craziness! Make a Story is nearly ready for testing, and anyone on the mailing list will get a link here within the next week or two. The project after this one, Million Dollar Words, is the first one to be a bit more unique though, I think you'll all enjoy the humor in that one a lot :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's to Come

So I've completed as well, feel free to check that out too! But the main reason for this post is to share one very important piece of information:

What's all this about anyway?

Well here it is!!! Directly off the "What's Next?" link on

Mrs. Bookworm's Classroom

TruHangman isn't just a stand alone game, it's one piece out of five for Mrs. Bookworm's classroom! The other four are, in no particular order:

  • TruWordHunt: Play word hunt puzzles with a twist - many require figuring out a hint to even figure out what word needs to be found. Each one has ten words to be found, and the faster you find them, the higher your score. See if you can get the high score on each one!

  • Make a Story: Mad lib type stories! See what kind of funny stories you can make with your own words.

  • Million Dollar Words: Quiz time! Each quiz deals with crazy words, see if you can figure out the correct answer from the multiple choices in categories like crazy diseases, definitions of words from bands and products or creative compliments and insults.

  • Word Detective: Solve the mysteries by figuring out the words! I'll keep the gameplay of this one a little bit of a secret ;)

The First Big Adventure

It wouldn't be much of a "critterverse" if it all existed in a classroom now would it? Crush the Critters is the first big adventure for the critters, and will be your first chance to meet many of them up close and personal! Dark Lord Critter is up to no good, amassing a zombie critter army to rule the world, and it's up to you to stop him! You'll have to travel across much of the world to gain your own friends and equipment to stand a chance.

...And Beyond

There is a lot more to come after that, this is just the beginning! You'll be able to win tickets across all the games, keep them in your own profile and buy all kinds of prizes, make your own critter, earn rewards, even print out your own goodies to save! As more of this is completed, I'll reveal more as well.

The Critterverse is Alive!

Check it out! is all ready to go! Hoping to have redone today (as of right now it's basically the same website as thecritterverse, although before it got all fixed up...)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August Goals

So, August is going to be a much more complex goal month and it's the first month I'm trying all this out. Here are my goals to keep myself accountable:


Get Make a Story into Testing (15th is goal 1, 19th is goal 2, 22nd is goal 3)
Get Million Dollar Words into Testing (31st is goal 1)


Attain Fitness Personal Points (140 is goal 1, 125 is goal 2, 100 is goal 3)
Hit Target Weight (252.4 - 4 lbs down is goal 1, 249.9 - 6.5 lbs down is goal 2, 246.4 - 10 lbs down is goal 3)


Launch and redo (8th is goal 1, 12th is goal 2, 15th is goal 3)
Submissions received total (with 1 going into the month) (25 is goal 1, 15 is goal 2, 10 is goal 3)
MochiAds total (gain $4 is goal 1, gain $3 is goal 2, gain $2 is goal 3)
Attain Promotional Points (140 is goal 1, 125 is goal 2, 100 is goal 3)

At the beginning of September I'll post how it went :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Motivation through Accountability

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, challenges to all this self-"employed" development and promotion is staying motivated and inspired. Walmart had a $20 little briefcase styled bag thingy with a planner, binder and pad of paper inside, and it's helped me stay organized. One of the biggest thing lots of other developers do is track their little accomplishments daily. So instead of giving themselves a deadline of four months from now to finish a game, they'll give themselves weekly goals or even daily ones... Say for example, finishing a particular screen, creating x amount of content, even something as small as fixing one single bug... That way you can look back and see all these little things you've accomplished.

So what I do now is track several different things. As of now the way it works is:

Goals I set for myself are in yellow.

Game development and promotion are blue. Fixed x bug, got another newsletter subscriber, etc. Heck, even posting here in this blog counts as one :)

Weight loss is displayed with pink highlighter and I put down my current weight once a week (if not more, depending on weigh-ins, but at least on Sundays).

Then on the side of everything, I put the month's goals. These are broken down into game development, promotion and weight loss. At least as of now, this is how they work:

- Game Development has whichever games I want to reach whatever state. I will set up to 3 different dates, although at first I simply put the first goal attempt. If I succeed, I write a little 1 next to the goal. If not, I set a 2nd date for it and if I hit that I write a 2, same for 3rd if necessary.

- Promotion uses an amount of money goal for MochiAds for the month, a number of Personal Points (which are attained through daily activities that I track) and a number of newsletter members by the end of the month.

- Weight Loss is done through Fitness Personal Points (also attained through tracked daily activities) and an end of the month weight loss goal.

At the end of the month, depending on how well I've done at certain things, each goal gets a 1, 2 or 3 (it works a lot like golf for scoring, lower is better). I tally up how many 1s, 2s and 3s (as well as 0s, aka Epic Fails) at the end of the month and see how well the month went!

Tomorrow I'll post what this month's goals are, to give a better example of exactly how it works. This is my first month trying this, so we'll see how it goes!