September Jams, Site Migration, and a Progress Report

For the 10th and part of the 9th, this site was down due to my now former web host dropping the ball when upgrading the servers. I spent much of yesterday first getting the site back in working order, then migrating it to a new host. Hasn't been fun. I reinserted againstthewallgame.com back into michaelpconsoli.com, there's no point in having two sites anyway, since I don't post that often. My only concern is for the SEO juice I may have lost in the transition and during the downtime.

Anyway, tomorrow voting for the Ludum Dare 21 ends, which means I'll find out how my product Under a Watchful Eye did. Also tomorrow is the start of the Game Prototype Challenge, a week long game jam for individuals. I'll be entering that and stopping on Friday for a Mini Ludum Dare that is starting then.

There are also two other Jams that I may submit my games to: The Super Friendship Club, and the Experimental Gameplay Project. The Super Firendship club is a month-long jam, September's theme is Mysticism (I studied religion in College, could use some of that expertise for this). The other Jame is a loose week-long one with the vague theme of "Story." I'll assume that this is theme is meta, that I am to make a game that is about stories.

Of course, these jams would hamper my progress on Against the Wall a bit. Last week, I finished the prop manager (for storing and retrieving non-brick objects), an object pool for bricks, and fixed some of the more egregious bugs that I have found. Looking at my checklist, my next step will be to actually fill in the world with some more content and create crumbling bricks. Also, Don Gray has posted a new video of the game that is basically an overview of what is available in-world.

That's it for now. Will update the blog for the next game jam.

Posted in Against the Wall

Against the Wall (Alpha 0.3)

Against the WallThis updated version of Against the Wall includes two destinations (lift station and a settlement), clouds, xbox controller support, overhauled chunk generation, an improved save system, three new brick types (static, short, medium), and a number of other bug fixes and tweaks.

A webplayer version is not available at this time. This game works on Windows PCs.

Download Version Alpha 0.3

Posted in Game Builds, Game Prototype Challenge

Under a Watchful Eye (Post-Compo)

Made for the Ludum Dare #21, the theme for this competition was "Escape." It was created in just over four days. This is the post competition version of the game.

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Posted in Ludum Dare Entries

Under a Watchful Eye

This game was created for the Ludum Dare #21 in two days, the theme for this competition was “Escape.”

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Posted in Ludum Dare Entries

The Unity Game Developers Meetup

So it's been a full week. The game was down for several days after a move from one web host to another. The computer I checked it on loaded a cached version of the game file, leading me to believe it was still up! Whoops.

Also, I went to the Unity Meetup in NYC and met a few other indie developers. Specifically the folks at Muse Games Dave and Janet Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games. The Gilberts are indie game developers that mostly work in Adventure Game Studio (Dave in particular has a decade of experience with it). They recently published a game called Gemini Rue, which everyone should check out. Here is a video of Gemini Rue by GiantBomb which goes through that title's gameplay.

Muse Games makes an assortment of different games. I beta tested their latest title Creavures several months ago, and received a spot on the credits! They are currently working on a persistent multiplayer diesel-punk airship combat game called Guns of Icarus: Requium (that was a mouthful). I've seen some of the in-development content and spoke with many of the people working on it, and let me tell you that I am more than a little enthusiastic for it.

I spent the rest of my time rewriting the level saving scripts. I took a lesson or two from Minecraft and dumped my cache, opting to save the game on my hard-drive rather than constantly store all world data in the memory. This took a lot of optimization to run seamlessly. This is perfect for downloaded copies of the game, but for games playing in the web browser, saving may not be possible given all the disc space that is needed!

Also, all the textures are now stored in texture atlases with DXT1 compression. This means that I can have chunk meshes with multiple textures and limited draw calls (All stationary bricks are grouped into 64×64 objects called chunks). The compression causes some problems with the mipmaps, however, causing unsightly black splotches in the distance. There's a way around this, but it means manually creating the atlases. Not fun.

There's more, but I'm rather exhausted now. Got to wake up early tomorrow and continue this quest.

Posted in Against the Wall

Sound and Tangents

Today was spent entirely on writing a sound manager that instantiates a small number of audio sources that are repeatedly used, for footsteps, the movement of bricks, etc. I've also given the world an ambient wind sound for good measure.

Against the Wall BricksHere is a screenshot. The lines on the bricks currently indicate the four levels that you can pull a brick out from the wall. The player will eventually be able to punch bricks into the wall, though this will take me a while to implement.

Posted in Against the Wall
I'm an independent developer and MFA at the NYU Game Center. I am currently making a few interesting games, such as Against the Wall and Asterisk.