The Curse of Mono =\

A couple weeks ago I was tasked with building a plugin for Unity that would allow testers and developers to take screenshots, comment and submit tickets to our bug tracker, JIRA. Our instance is in the cloud and behind HTTPS, which are generally great things. I have used JIRA for Gneu, at Blinkx and even a few of my previous game dev related projects; I had even built a few other tools to move tickets into, around and out of JIRA, so it sounded like a reasonable request from Unity.

Unfortunately, the estimates were far too optimistic.

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Hatred Pulled from Steam… hmm

For the better part of the last 5 years, there have been complaints about the way that Valve has policed their Steam platform, publishing whatever the hell comes along, passing it on to the consumer at a cost and making money hand over fist. Examples of the trash that has gotten through the silly  fake popularity contest that is Steam Greenlight can be found on pretty much every high profile reviewer/critic around… but this game gets pulled from even the Greenlight process, where it is reportedly 7/100?!

Wow.

Folks. It’s a fucking game. Sure, its not tasteful or tactful and I wont be buying it but now im pretty much being forced to reach out and support these developers actively, because unfortunately – it isn’t a matter of just publishing a game. This is a matter of supporting indies and ensuring that when or if I build something ridiculous and terrible someone will be around to reach out and support my own kamikaze run.

Take it away Boogie, much love.

I am shelving Derelict, and that’s not a bad thing

I have a process.

An idea that I have typically spends a good couple months tumbling around in my critical thinking cavity, vetting itself as I ride the Duc around the south bay. Eventually though, it will become something I need to put honest thought into, some of its features will need proving and I’ll need to bang out a few prototypes to see how feasible things are. Ill spend another couple months jotting down ideas and trying to hone the idea down, paring off the silly and unnecessary details so I can handle a 5 minute pitch and probably build out a team that is interested in the project.

When I saw Gravity, it was a must and I was immediately working towards piecing together the narrative. Months later I met a couple folks on the UE4 forums and we did some discussions about collaborating on the project, as we had very similar ideas. And months later, it is shelved.

Why?

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Rift & Nausea & Gaming & Nausea & Porn & Nausea

Back in October of 2013 I made the mistake of watching Gravity and being swept up in the immersive camera work, stunning visuals and overwhelming experience of being lost in space. This lead me, in March of this year, to purchase a Rift, with the intent of building out a game in this universe.

Surely in an industry where walking simulators are becoming a viable sales point, and Carmack is willing to jump ship for the future of gaming – there is a niche for a game about being lost in space, with depth perception.

There were a couple things I didn’t count on – namely, Nausea, nausea and more nausea – but I’ll come back to this.

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BetterTech + JavaScript (in the form of V8)

V8_JavaScript_engine_logo

As some of you likely guessed, the V8 integration walkthrough was not a one off. I have been growing a pretty healthy appreciation for the JS language and so I put it to the test and started linking it into UE4. This past weekend I sorted out the details of defining objects and linking static methods in that reference those objects, which was far from well documented.

Either way, it is working and committed.

BetterTech development has continued, and I have unearthed a number of very interesting things have come of them. Hopefully I will be able to start talking more openly about the state of things soon.

Changes for Alpha 2

 

  • Agents need to check in on a regular basis when they don’t have any jobs.
  • Link in V8 with standard placeholder functions
  • Agents need visible meshes
  • Menu – Pause
  • Menu – Settings
  • Menu – Intro

 

Firearms: Source – Developer Log

About two and a half months ago I agreed to come back to the FA:S team, to help sort out the state of things, get a programmer back into the ranks and help shove the project out the door. The first few weeks were pretty good, exploratory research and all this, but as you may have guessed – much has changed and of those things that have changed I am not happy with much of it. Part of the problem of having closed doors is that no-one sees in, no one can comment and those that are inside get a jaded view of things.

Firearms is no outlier in that regard.

Over the last 148 weeks there were many plans, many ideas and many other implementations that lead the team to its current state, most of which has been for not. The game has evolved into another silly CounterStrike clone, albeit with more accurately animated weaponry and push gameplay. They also went through a gungame phase where the project took a wild bend for the comically tragic.

When Projects get this old, Firearms has been in development on the Source engine for nearly 10 years under many different managers and teams, so it has had a number of incarnations that have come and gone, each slowly pulling away from the original. To be quite frank, it feels like the first time I played Halo 2, where the health/shield regen thing became the norm to speed up combat and get people to use cover. The shock to the system has been tough to understand but it is not difficult to see why.

Many players may be aware of the news posts and updated UI screenshots and such along the way, but very few people played it that were not testers, and when you have the same 30 people playing a game over and over without the target audience getting ahold of it, the gradual changes to damage values and hit box multipliers start to add up.

We are currently narrowing in on a releasable state, with guidance from Vinnie, myself and a couple other key members, but the technical front is always going to need work. Our release is going to be used to test and see who is interested, hopefully a lot of people, hopefully they will forgive our tardiness.