The New Site is now open!
Thu 24th Nov 2011 8:52pm
You can all join the new site now. Please start by reading this: [LINK]
What is going on?!1
Sat 29th Oct 2011 12:23am
The new version of the site is up and running and available to a selection of 'beta testers' of sorts. I'm not letting other people join for now, though, and anyone who does have the link to the place should not be giving it out to anyone.
I've got work left to do on the new version before I can replace this version with it, but I don't know how long that will take since I've been busy working on a game rather than the site recently. It's a game I've not talked about yet; maybe I will do soon. It should also be finished soon; it was meant as a quick project as a break from Miasmon, which was getting hard to work on.
I'll make another announcement closer to the public release of the new site, but this is all for now! Hello!
Thu 6th Oct 2011 6:15pm
Category: Weekly Updates
Hello there. It has certainly been a while! I've been rather neglecting the site lately.
I've been all over the place recently in terms of projects and stuff, so I suppose I should explain things in as much detail as I can be bothered, in chronological order.
Some of what I say is sure to be poorly-received be many, since it seems like I'm falling into old, disappointing habits that I've said I've got out of, but clearly haven't... I know that, and it's probably the main reason I've neglected to report about these recent activities.
So anyway... I was SUPPOSED to be working on the new version of this site, and I'd almost done, except for a few key features. I was getting frustrated working on it, though, and being indecisive, too; I was getting less and less done on it each day. So I decided it'd be best to just take a break.
For whatever reason, I was searching through some folders on my computer, and came across an .exe file that I made years ago while trying to learn C++, before I even knew what Flash WAS. It was quite a relic.
It was a simple - VERY simple - text-based 'RPG' of sorts, which I actually originally wrote on one of those graphing calculators that some schools give you towards the end of your time there.
This .exe file brought back fond memories, I suppose, of when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about programming; clueless, naive, and ignorant, but eager to learn all kinds of new things by teaching myself. I hadn't become jaded at that point.
So I was in a bit of a rut when I came across this file, and thought 'I didn't hate that game... I wonder what it would be like if I remade it with the skills that I have now? Not that I should; I have far too much to work on right now... But hmm, maybe I could try it just as a short, entertaining distraction?!'
So I did.
I'd actually 'remade' this game before, in 2007, before I made MARDEK. The game was called 'LONEWOLF' from the start, and predated my username. The 2007 version featured the first appearance of a character named 'Social Fox', who was the direct inspiration for the one who lived on Belfan, as well as the protagonist, who was called 'Lone Wolf' and wore green armour.
The first version on the calculator was a simple, crude, text-based affair... You were a generic, silent 'adventurer' who was supposed to 'save the village of Jetek from a curse'. You had a weapon, armour, gold, and experience. 'Gameplay' - if that's even the right word - consisted of selecting a location from a list - things like 'graveyard' or 'forest' - and then selecting a themed foe from that location to 'battle'; skeletons and zombies in the graveyard, wolves and plants and stuff for the forest.
Battles were just an exchange of blows with no subtlety; you did damage, they did damage, then you again, etc... You got experience from winning, and gold, and you could use your gold at the end of battles to upgrade your weapon or armour, or to rest in an inn to restore lost HP.
Each location had a boss; defeating it unlocked the next area.
I'd say it was a fairly solid but very bare-bones concept. Nothing special, but something I could easily expand upon.
The 2007 version, however, was a rather different beast. It involved some graphical elements, sort of, and you wandered text-basedly through an area made up of 'rooms'.
The interesting thing about it though was that it had a limb-based battle/equipment system. You had a head, torso, two legs, two arms, and, because I was feeling silly at the time, a 'todger', all of which could be given pieces of equipment to wear, or attacked and severed in battle.
Enemies, too, had limbs, and combat was about targetting these limbs one-by-one, reducing the HP that each limb had until the foe's total HP fell beneath a certain level, or a vital limb like a head or body was lost.
It was rather amusing, since you might fight, say, a wolf, which could be beaten in one go by lopping off its head, but that was a risky business since that part had good evasion, so it might bite off your todger as you swung at thin air, then your arms, meaning you could only headbutt it... All very easy features to add if I didn't have to worry about graphics.
That was the concept that interested me when I dug up that old fossil .exe file, the concept that I'd like to do again.
I tried it with Chimaera a while ago, but that never worked out, so I decided to go with the same you-are-a-human text-based setting.
So I started this game, and worked eagerly on it for about nine days before 'crashing' and reaching a point where I couldn't be bothered doing any more...
I made a lot of progress on it in that time, though, and it is a very playable game as it is. It was also a great distraction from my other projects like the new site or Miasmon; it got my passions burning again and rekindled my love of game design. Or something like that.
It's a shame I didn't finish it, because it would have been a nice surprise to present some finished game I'd never even mentioned before.
While I've given it up for now, though, I've merely pushed it aside rather than scrapping it, so I may well finish it at some point!
(Though I have my doubts that it would be widely appealing...)
After that distraction, I tried to get back to Miasmon... I wanted to compose some music for it, since it being silent is off-putting, and I'd be more compelled to work on it if I knew it had music, based on my experiences with other games.
But ugh... I've been having terrible luck with composing lately! Some kind of 'music block' or something, where I can't produce anything satisfactory, despite repeatedly trying... Several days of repeated failure put me off Miasmon for a while...
It was hard to get the Main Theme just right, you see... Once that was in place, I imagined that the rest would flow easily enough since I'd be able to use the theme as a recurring leitmotif...
But it was hard getting the feeling right due to the game's genre and setting... I wanted something 'adventurous' but also 'mysterious', but the pieces I was coming up with were too far in either direction; either Indiana Jones levels of 'adventure!' vibes, or moody, contemplative things... Some sounded nice, but just *didn't fit*...
Anyway, yes, due to struggling with that, I moved on to something else... It seems like I should have got back to the site, and I tried, but felt all drained just looking at it... I also came up with some interesting possibilities that made me unsure about the direction of the new site, so I decided to leave it to think more about what to do. I might write about my ideas at a later date.
M β Firequill and I had been talking for a while about working on a game together, since it does seem to be a fairly obvious and sensible thing to do, as it'd speed up development and we could use the skills that we were good at...
We talked about making a platformer, but it never really seemed to be getting beyond the 'just talking about it' phase... I became more and more interested in making a platformer again, though, so I did start such a thing alone.
Progress was fast, as I was able to use what I'd learned from working on Clarence. I made the main body of the engine in about a week, and I also designed it, for the first time, to be easily *reusable*. The engine's code is in a separate location to the game, which is what I don't normally do, meaning that to reuse it, I wouldn't need to gut the game and take what I'd need; I'd merely need to just tell a new game to *also* use that engine folder thing...
That's probably boring, obvious and poorly-explained, but it marks a significant development in my game design practices.
So anyway, I am still working on this platformer! I started it about ten days ago, and it is 'almost done'.
M β Firequill has been working on some graphics for it after all, so that will likely speed up development.
I tried to compose for it, too, and while it has been a struggle, I have successfully finished almost half the soundtrack in just two days!
Finally finishing some music has been a huge boost in my motivation, and I rather want to make the areas that they're supposed to be for, so I can see myself doing that fairly quickly.
I don't want to talk about the details of this game just yet, though. I will describe it in time, and I hope to be done with it in a couple of weeks.
It's been nice to have a break from my larger project, Miasmon, to work on small, fun things. I haven't abandoned the new site or Miasmon, though, and will return to them soon!
So yes. That is what I have been up to. Now that I have mentioned that, I'll probably get back to updating this site more regularly.