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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

IAmAGamer Game Jam

About 6 weeks ago I attended the IAmAGamer Game jam with a focus on a strong female protaganist. We ended up making a game called GameChanger where you play a piece of concept art with a female protaganist who’s been thrown away due to an order from management.

The game involves you returning and entering the computer with the source code, traversing the levels and getting yourself in the game. It was quite fun, I got to see a lot of schoolmates I haven’t seen and my sister helped out with music while my partner did art.

You can see a video here

And you can play the game here:

http://mahwebspace.levelism.com/GameBuilds/GameChanger/gamechanger.html

Japan Week #20 Ni-Jo Jo

In the weekend of week 20 we went to Ni-Jo Jo. From what I recall this was a palce where the king once lived. I would have loved to be able to share some interior photos but that is forbidden at Ni-Jo Jo. The interior is very impressive though. If you are in Kyoto I would definitely say this is a place you should visit.

 

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This is a view of the house area for the king from a high vantage point in the corner of the courtyard. It’s about 2-3 stories in the air looking down.

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Another shot from outside the courtyard walls.

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Another shot along the outside of the center courtyard. Lots of good environment art inspiration here.

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The garden along the outside of the castle is kept immaculate and trimmed to the smallest detail.

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Anyways Ni-Jo Jo was a great place to visit. You can easily spend a few hours there just looking around. Definitely worth the visit if you are in Kyoto city.