Alex McGilvray

New website look

July 27th, 2015

You may have noticed that my site now looks different. It’s a new custom wordpress theme I made for my website.

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks working on the site with approximately 30 hours of development time. The reason I decided to make my own theme is the following :

  • This site has a lot of static content that’s not necessarily easy to organize without using a ton of WP plugins. Even with the plugins it’s hard to manage.
  • I wanted a chance to practice some web and graphic design. I do a lot of programming and technical work these days. Practicing visual design helps keep me mentally balanced.
  • The existing wordpress themes I’ve used are never quite what I want and modifying them is always a hacky mess.
  • I wanted my site to look unique.

I will be writing up a small post-mortem this week going over exactly how I setup this theme, what went right and what went wrong.

Overall I’m personally quite happy with how everything went.

FGSL #004 Milestone 1 complete!

April 12th, 2015

Writing this blog post is the last of my tasks for this milestone I set for the fighting game study log. The organizational mix of Trello, Google Drive, Slack and Github for managing this project might be slightly overkill for a one developer project. Mainly I think I probably didn’t need Slack.

That said, once I setup Slack and its integrations there was no further upkeep required so it hasn’t been a loss in time at all. Plus I can use my Slack integrations feed to put together a chronological log of the projects development.

So here were the major goals outlined in Trello for the first milestone which are now complete.

Design

  • Make list of all character states and draw into a flowchart. There will be a future FGSL post on this specifically.
  • Design a button remapping system for the joystick interface.
  • Design a button remapping system for the keyboard interface.
  • Design milestone 2 goals.
  • Fix up character movement speeds now that the game runs on a set fixed timestep.

Research

  • Look up videos and articles to get a clearer understanding of some of the more advanced fighting game terminology.
  • Look up basic fighting game joystick holding techniques. There will most likely be a FGSL post on this specifically.

Code

  • Implement joystick interface
  • Implement global keyboard system (for non-player related keyboard input)
  • Remove Alex D’s gamepad input library and use GLFW’s for now. In the future I may return to using this library if GLFW’s is lacking.
  • Implement joystick remapper.
  • Split character data types into mutable and constant data. For instance a movement data and movement constants.

Reflection

  • Write FGSL log #003
  • Write FGSL log #004

Click to see the git log for milestone 1.

(more…)

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Editon

September 27th, 2014

The past 6 months I’ve been working at United Front Games and it’s been really great. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s really interesting work and I’m learning a ton from some of the very seasoned programmers I work with.

The first game I’ve worked on at UFG is now announced : Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition. It’s been great working on a game I’m personally interested in. It really drives me to want to make the game as good as I possibly can.

Here’s some screenshots of the game.

sleeping-dogs-definitive-edition-crumple_1920 sleeping-dogs-definitive-edition-world_1920 sleeping-dogs-definitive-edition-brutal_1920

3 Hour Opposite

July 18th, 2014

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

July 14th, 2014

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

 

NekoRush Postmortem

May 5th, 2014

I just finished writing up a post mortem for the Playstation Mobile game I released NekoRush.

Click here to read the article

 

MonoRush test game video

April 19th, 2014

MonoRush is a little 2D game framework I periodically work on. It’s written on top of Monogame.

A couple weeks back I made this small shmup to serve as a sort of unit test as I go on with the framework development.

Here’s a video of the game dubbed “CyberStryker”.

 

NekoRush Released on Playstation Mobile!

March 20th, 2014

So my first commercial game NekoRush was released on Playstation Mobile. A platform that includes the Playstation Vita and various Sony mobile devices.

Big thanks to my partner for doing the art and my sister for doing the music.

nekorushinstore

NekoRush Jan 2014 Development Update

January 26th, 2014

NekoRush is nearing completion. With that here’s one of the final updates and some animated gifs I’ve made.

You can read the update here 

Animated gif 1

Animated gif 2

2014 – Finishing up old projects and starting new ones

January 25th, 2014

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/