3 Hour Opposite

I decided to participate in the 3 hour game jam. The title is pretty self explanatory. They announce a theme on Friday then you have to make a full game in only 3 hours before the end of Sunday. Submissions are then put to the vote during the week and a winner is announced the following week. This weeks theme is “Opposite”.

My entry is called 3 Hour Opposite. As you can see I spent a lot of time working on the title. The game involves you eating small cute green creatures and randomly the stat of the world will change from non-opposite to opposite. When the world changes state to opposite the creatures you are eating are now hunting you.

3houropposite

I managed to get the basic game done in the 3 hours along with about 30 mins of me getting re-acquainted to Haxe/Haxeflixel. I had used Unity the previous week and got stuck troubleshooting for so long I didn’t have anything to show after 3 hours. The lesson is if you are doing a ultra-short game jam then make sure you use your most comfortable development stack.

I plan to spend some more time on this game in the week. I suspect I need about another 5 hours to get the game I want to make. It will be interesting to see how many gains I get for the time spent in the next version of the game.

If you’d like to play the game you can play it here :

http://alexm.itch.io/3-hour-opposite

 

I’m a occasional writer for IndieRetroNews

Every new year I make a list of new things I want to learn, two of those things are to write more and play more indie games, preferably lesser known ones. So when I saw that IndieRetroNews was looking for writers I figured that would be a great way to achieve both those goals. Plus I’m a big retro game fan so the overall focus of the site is quite compatible with my tastes.

So far I’ve written 3 articles. On my first article I was nervous to pull the trigger on publishing it but that fear is subsiding with every article I write.

Here are 3 articles I’ve written so far :

    Console Saga
     Midboss
     Rampage Knights

 

Cyberpunk Gamejam Entry : Arial Society

I recently entered the week-long Cyberpunk gamjam sponsored by itch.io and presented by Deviever.

Due to work I was only able to really spend about 4-5 half days on the game working casually. It was quite fun but I did make some mistakes in relation to the scope and timeline. I’ll address that in a post-mortem that I’m working on.

During development I made a dedicated blog for the development of the game. I updated this very frequently. Whenever I had something new to show, even if it was generally minor I would post about it. This served as a good way to determine how effective I’ve been as well as serve as motivation to continue development. I think I’ll be definitely doing this in the future.

The game was developed using the Haxe OpenFL HaxeFlixel stack and development went great. The development stack will definitely be a key positive in my post mortem.

You can see the development blog for the game here : http://arialsociety.tumblr.com/

Short gameplay video

Some screenshots

hideout.

screenshot

 

New Onyx Jaguar Website

Redid the Onyx Jaguar website in anticipation for the release of some games. Onyx Jaguar is the group of artists/developers I developed NekoRush and Cult Retribution with. Hopefully it will have a nice history of artists collaborating on varied projects.

The previous version was visually unappealing. Not saying this one is beautiful but it’s definitely an improvement over the last one.

I did all the visual stuff in Brackets.io and it was amazing. Suddenly making webpages is so fun when you can code in one screen and see realtime feedback in the other.

My css coding in particular must have sped up 10x.  Not only that but with the instant feedback I got a better understanding of some of the layout modifiers like float and display.

In order to save time the news feed is the website reading the Onyx Jaguar tumblr account and transforming it for the website. The about page is Presskit.io . Both of those things really cut down my dev time. I’d estimate it at 8-10 hours including learning Brackets.

Presskit + Tumblr + Brackets + PHP = Interesting and fun solution

You can visit the site here:

www.onyxjaguar.com

 

2014 – Finishing up old projects and starting new ones

Apologies for not posting lately. I’ve been finishing up my last semester of school, then vacation and I was a little pre-occupied. School is over now and I’ve managed to pass with distinction (over 0.8 gpa).

Now that the new year is back in full swing I’ve gotten back work on various projects. For a living I’m currently finishing up a 2.5 year project I’ve been working on when I’ve had gaps in school and work for my professor at school. I only have to work about 35 hours a week which is almost like a vacation. So with that for the next few months I have a lot more time for various game development and art projects.

I’ve also blocked out time in my life for general improvements I want to take for the new year and have been fairly meticulous so far about documenting my improvement. I give myself weekly report cards and plan to compile them into monthly reports and track my improvement over the year. I’m still considering whether or not to share them publicly. It’s mainly an issue of whether or not I want to share something that personal.  Some of the the areas I’m trying to improve my life are exercise, learning Japanese, drawing, reading (non-technical) and cooking healthy.

As for projects I’ll go over briefly what I’m working on right now and what I plan to work on in the near future. I’ll elaborate further in future blog posts.

Monorush – Monogame framework (Name subject to change) 

After having a fair amount of issues with the Playstation Mobile framework I decided to go with Monogame so I have more platform options and can leverage my previous experience with XNA. It will definitely allow me to spend more time on a game vs platform/framework development issues. Plus relying on Monogame would hopefully give me a chance to find some place I can contribute, maybe in the PSM area. Since I haven’t really had a lot of time for game framework development in the last year or so I’ve decided to implement a new 2d library on top of Monogame for faster, more structured game development.

Cyber Stryker – Game

This is a small game I’m making as a glorified unit test for the previously mentioned Monogame framework. Progress is going very smoothly and there should be some information and media on this game very soon.

PAEA – Game

I’ve been working on PAEA for about 2 years for a professor I had in college. It’s a grant funded child education game/web-app for teaching Math. This is currently my fulltime job and am hoping to have what is ultimately the third major version of PAEA by the end of February. I’m looking forward to being able to talk about this project more but I need to first consult with my superiors to see what I’m allowed to talk about at this stage.

NekoRush – Playstation Mobile Game

My Playstation Mobile game that I’ve been taking forever to work on. Initially it was due to time constraints and sdk issues but now it’s just fear to pull the trigger on my first commercial (no-ad revenue) game. I’m going over the menu typography with my partner tomorrow hopefully then will be packaging it for submission.

Cult Retribution – Game

Game I’m doing with artist Shea Lane. We’ve worked on this on and off for a couple years. This will be implemented using the Monogame engine as well. Cyber Stryker is essentially a small prototype for the game.

You can view Shea’s art on his website here: http://shealane.levelism.com/

Japan Week #24 – One of my Favourite Restaurants

That’s right it’s a food blog post. You’ve been warned.

One of my favourite things about Japan is eating out. The chance of finding a restaurant where the food is cheap, high quality and has a good atmosphere is really good in Japan. I’ve had really good luck randomly going into interesting looking places in Japan and having a good overall experience.

This restaurant (NAME) is such a place. It’s a place in Kyoto which specializes in seafood. Price is good (about 40$ for two with drinks), the food is really good and it has a menu that encourages sharing.

01

02

First up is some deep fried assorted skewers. Great drinking food of course. This was mostly various seafood such as fish and octopus but there was some pork sausages in there too. It comes with a special restaurant sauce they make. The deal is that they give you the large bowl of sauce which you can only dip once into since it’s shared by the restaurant. Keep this in mind if you ever are served a large bowl of sauce that seems far too much for the table.

Also the sauce was amazing.

03

This is Oden. A pretty popular food in Japan that didn’t seem to make it overseas. It’s basically various things braised in a light broth. In our case we got 2 eggs and a daikon segment. it’s served with a spicy mustard.

04

I was introduced to a new way to be served Sake at this restaurant which I’m told is fairly common. Basically they put a large glass in a box then pour Sake until the glass overflows and fills the box. You do drink the box (or add it to your glass). The quantity is much more than a typical order of Sake.

05

06

This is one of my new favourite foods. A braised Tuna jaw with a lot of Wasabi. The thing is about 8$ (or less considering the value of the yen at the time of writing this post) and has a ton of meat on it. The thing is you have to work to get to all of it. Luckily I was with someone experienced at finding all the regions with good meat on them. For the price it’s a great deal and it takes at least 30 mins to prepare so you have plenty of extra time to drink and socialize.