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[dev] Weekly roundup: Successful juggling

Despite flipping my sleep, as I seem to end up doing every month now, I’ve had a pretty solid week. We finally got our hands on a Switch, so I just played Zelda to stay up a ridiculously long time and restore my schedule pretty quickly.

  • potluck: I started building the potluck game in LÖVE, and it’s certainly come along much faster — I have map transitions, dialogue, and a couple moving platforms working. I still don’t quite know what this game is, but I’m starting to get some ideas.

    I also launched GAMES MADE QUICK??? 1½, a game jam for making a game while watching GDQ, instead of just plain watching GDQ. I intend to spend the week working on the potluck game, though I’m not sure whether I’ll finish it then.

  • fox flux: I started planning out a more interesting overworld and doodled a couple relevant tiles. Terrain is still hard. Also some more player frames.

  • art: I finally finished a glorious new banner, which now hangs proudly above my Twitter and Patreon. I did a bedtime slate doodle. I made and animated a low-poly Yoshi. I sketched Styx based on a photo.

    I keep wishing I have time to dedicate to painting experiments, but I guess this is pretty good output.

  • veekun: Wow! I touched veekun on three separate occasions. I have basic item data actually physically dumping now, I fixed some stuff with Pokémon, and I got evolutions working. Progress! Getting there! So close!

  • blog: Per request, I wrote about digital painting software, though it was hampered slightly by the fact that most of it doesn’t run on my operating system.

I seem to be maintaining tangible momentum on multiple big projects, which is fantastic. And there’s still 40% of the month left! I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m standing; if I can get potluck and veekun done soon, that’ll be a medium and a VERY LARGE weight off my shoulders.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Potpourri

  • potluck: It’s about time I actually started on this! I spent a couple days squabbling with JavaScript frameworks, but in the end I gave up and decided to just build it on my existing LÖVE code. Trying out a new thing is nice, but maybe not when I have a somewhat complicated game in mind that I want to build as soon as possible.

  • fox flux: I made a font! Also drew a ton of player sprites and made my grass much prettier. I’m going to need to start thinking about environmental art soon, and I’m kinda dreading it because I have no idea what I’m doing there.

  • art: I did some (unfinished) modelling and painted some character art (warning: this pic is fine, but the rest of the account is NSFW).

  • blog: I wrote some thoughts about teaching technical subjects.

For the first time in possibly my entire life, I feel like I’m a little ahead of the game! The month isn’t even half over and I’ve already done some obligatory stuff, finished off one languishing task, and made some decent inroads into several other things. Nice.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Flux capacity

  • blog: I wrote about introspection, or more specifically, what it’s been like to gradually shift from “pure tech” to more creative work.

  • fox flux: I am trapped in animation hell, but making progress. I made a pretty cool new parallax background. Also took a short break from drawing to do some physics, and now I have critters that can stop at ledges.

  • idchoppers: I wrote a quick thing that counts texture usage in maps, by both count and area.

    Honestly, I’ve been avoiding idchoppers because getting the API right is going to be a good bit of tedious work, so if it’s going to go anywhere then I’ll need to devote some serious time to it. Not sure whether I will or not. Little cute tools like a texture count make for useful example cases for an API, though, so I guess this helps.

  • flora: I did some secret work for a not-yet-released thing. It is very good.

  • art: I drew a June avatar which I am super happy with!

Mostly I’ve been doing a lot of pixel art, and I should maybe take a break from it for a little while, because I have a lot of stuff to do this month. Stay tuned.

[dev] Weekly roundup: In flux

  • fox flux: I have been working on fox flux a lot? Like, a lot. There’s so much art and planning to do, but I’m starting to make some serious dents in both, and I’m getting pretty excited about this game. I hope other people are too! (And don’t worry, it’ll have a SFW mode.)

  • blog: I wrote a post on what I know about networking in games, which is admittedly not much. Also I wrote half another post that I didn’t publish until today so I technically can’t mention it here until next week.

  • flora: I was held at gunpoint by glip and forced to help them design my own characters, which is, extremely cool and good. I’m starting to think they like doing creative work with me and think I have interesting ideas??

  • art: I painted a picture, which is sort of fox flux concept art.

  • veekun: Whoa hot damn I worked on veekun a bit. I finished up item parsing, though I didn’t quite get as far as loading items into the db. So, uh, not a whole lot, but I’ve dipped my toes in so now it’s fresh in my mind and should be easier to keep working on.

I’m feeling pretty good? It’s nice to have a couple of big projects to work on that hold my interest and offer enough variety that I can do something no matter what kind of mood I’m in.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Nowhere fast

I accidentally went nocturnal again, so I spent much of the week in a tired daze, which I’m not really very happy about.

  • lunar depot 38: I finally fixed both of the bizarre graphical bugs some people were seeing in Lunar Depot 38, so if you were one of those people, feel free to give it a try again! The problems were, alas, just some unsatisfying shader bugs.

    Oh, and the Ludum Dare judging is finally over; we came in 204th. Hooray!

  • fox flux: Spent most of the week on pixel art. I say “on”, but a lot of that time was spent staring at the screen not really sure what to do next. Learning how to squeeze new ideas out of my brain is… really hard. I did a decently complex animation and a few new kinds of terrain, though, so I guess that’s tangible progress.

  • potluck: The potluck is over, and I’ve assembled the full final spritesheet. Now I have to make a game that uses every single one of these tiles, and only these tiles, somehow.

  • blog: I started writing a little sample game for a blog post, then abandoned it and rewrote the post from scratch, so that was a good use of time.

Feel detached from the world (since I’ve mostly been up at night) and like I’m not making much progress on anything, which is, frustrating.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Pixels and art

  • fox flux: I spent a preposterous amount of time spriting, and somehow came out the other end with like… five more sprites. I’m having a tough time designing abstract tiles, too. This is going to take forever.

  • game boy hackery: Pokémon Red and Blue didn’t have unique small sprites for every Pokémon in your party list; instead there were half a dozen general shapes like “generic insect” and “generic snake”.

    A full custom set of icons in that style, by Emi Monserrate, floated past my radar a week ago.

    It seemed like an obvious and interesting challenge to try putting those sprites in the games. So I did.

  • art: I doodled, just, a whole bunch of stuff. Some of it was okay! I oughta produce some actual finished work sometime, for real.

  • blog: I got rid of the Disqus ads. Sorry about that.

  • potluck: You may recall that I’m doing TILESET POTLUCK, a project where people contribute tiles (without being able to see what’s been submitted so far) and I make a game out of whatever I get. This week I got a jump on the actual game by spending a day making a tiny baby environment with Phaser, which seems pretty neat so far.

  • flora: I wrote a third of a short story as a way to get myself jumpstarted on writing, since I still have a bunch of it to do this month. Then I went to bed, so, not sure how well that worked.

  • stream: I streamed the middle third of Doom II The Way id Did. Very exciting.

Still have infinite art to do, but I’m starting to get somewhere. Really need to get started on some writing, so I’m gonna go do that now.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Potluck jam

Oh hey I did a bunch of stuff.

  • patreon: I wrote the usual monthly update and posted my progress so far on my book for $4 patrons. Also I meticulously tagged all my old posts for some reason, so I guess now you can find photos of Pearl if you want to?

  • blog: I finally fixed the archives page to not be completely flooded by roundups, and added a link to it, which has been missing since the last theme refresh ages ago. Also updated the sidebar to match the front page.

  • flora: I hastily cobbled together a species sheet VN, the first new one in a year or so.

  • music: I made a song. It’s okay. It feels incomplete, probably because I got tired of working on it partway through and gave it a hasty ending. Maybe I’ll iterate on it sometime. I also started mucking around with an attempt at contributing to the Flora glitch album, but I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

  • potluck: I came up with a weird idea: ask the general public for sprites, then make a game out of whatever I get. I made a tiny Flask thing for submitting tiles and the results so far are… weird. Nine days to go until I close tile submissions, if you want to give this a shot.

  • dev: I fixed some mGBA bugs with multiple gamepads, woohoo.

  • art: I did some doodling that wasn’t too bad. Mostly I started trying to flesh out the fox flux tileset, which is proving more difficult than expected.

I have some Patreon obligations I oughta get to sooner rather than later; I should probably get a skeleton engine ready for the potluck game, whatever it ends up being; and I’d like to get some more book work done. But at the moment I’m mostly practicing art and trying to make tiles, since the art is going to be the major blocker for expanding fox flux into a somewhat bigger game.

[dev] Weekly roundup: The eagle has landed

  • lunar depot 38: As previously mentioned, glip and I did Ludum Dare 38, producing a little tower-defense-y game called Lunar Depot 38. Judging is now open, so if you also did LD, feel free to rate our game!

  • fox flux: I still want to extend this into a more finished game, so I’ve been working on that, mostly in the form of sprite work. I spent at least half a month on the art for the jam version, and I suspect it’s going to take even longer to get all the art done for the final. Should be really good practice, at least?

  • blog: I finally finished redoing this site’s landing page! It’s much easier on the eye than the old projects page, I think, and spreads focus around more sensibly.

  • etc: The Internet was down for a day, and then I spent two days on a weekend trip with glip, so not much happened there.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Business as usual

  • art: I bought a tablet — like, one with a screen, not a graphics tablet. But it’s also a graphics tablet, with Wacom pen pressure and everything. So now I can draw in bed, and have been doing some of that. Results are mixed; drawing on a screen is pretty weird, and undo is not as readily accessible.

    I continued touching up my Lexy sprite from Isaac’s Descent — working on the walk cycle now. Not the most exciting work, but it looks much better.

    I also drew a snake sipping coffee, for reasons.

  • book: I finally got through collision detection and some physics. This thing is really coming along now, and it’s cool to see it develop! I doubt I’ll finish the first chapter this month, alas — turns out there is a whole lot of groundwork to lay even for my tiny baby first game.

  • blog: Finalized a Sitepoint article. Did some more work on a new homepage, which is finally nearing completion, I hope.

  • spline: Wow, haven’t touched this in a while. Started implementing editing things, because glip has needed that for forever. Didn’t finish.

  • lunar depot 38: I participated in Ludum Dare 38! This time I teamed up with glip to do the Jam, so we spent three days scrambling to make a game together. (Spoilers for next week’s roundup: the game is Lunar Depot 38.)

[dev] Weekly roundup: HP restored

I spent a good chunk of the week sick and/or becoming nocturnal, so not a lot of actual work resulted. I’m feeling better now, though, and getting back into the swing of things.

  • art: Did a lot of doodling, since that’s fairly low-energy. Probably the best thing to come out of it was some character design slash concept art for Isaac’s Descent HD.

  • games: Streamed some more Eternal Doom. Seems like every third map has some incredibly obtuse secret required for progression.

  • book: Once I was over the plague, I got back into this, woo. Wasted too much time squabbling with LaTeX before conceding defeat. Working on explaining a bad approach to collision detection at the moment.

Now I can finally get to my plans for April: working on the book more and exploring art/music.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Fever dreams

I seem to be sick! Again? All of my cycles are devoted to antivirus. Please forgive my brevity.

  • art: Did some final toodling around in Blender and made myself a really bad ironic 90s avatar out of my Eevee model. Speedpainted a rainy view out my window. Doodled or whatever.

  • games: Streamed Eternal Doom and some other stuff a few times, for probably far too long, but whatever it’s fun. Played through Axiom Verge, which has gotten some gears a-turning.

  • blog: Spent probably more than half the week working on a post for Sitepoint, plus a bit of work on another about fox flux, neither of which are published yet.

[dev] Weekly roundup: A model week

  • blog: I’m working on revamping the landing page here, and it’s coming along pretty well, but not quite done yet. Also, worked on some posts.

  • art: I drew some quick sketchy Isaac’s Descent concept art (twitter, tumblr) and also three Eevees in a skirt (twitter, tumblr).

    More noticably, I took another crack at 3D modelling again, to much greater success. I modelled Lexy (twitter, tumblr), then Kid Neon again (twitter, tumblr), then some kinda Eevee (twitter, tumblr). I didn’t intend to let this take over the better part of the week, but it’s a whole new thing so it kinda got stuck in my head for a few days.

    Also I became a Veemon for April Fool’s Day (twitter, tumblr).

  • book: I made a pretty decent dent in writing about collision detection, which is almost as hard as writing collision detection.

  • gamedev: Little aimless work on fox flux and egg watch.

I’ve got some writing I really need to finish, but I’m hoping to spend April working on the book and doing low-pressure, vaguely experimental art/game stuff.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Back in the saddle

  • egg watch: Our little PICO-8 toy became a little more of a game; we started coming up with and implementing mechanics. And then we forgot about it, oops. Or maybe I forgot about it, since all the art is done, so the ball’s pretty much 100% in my court now.

  • blog: More work on some words. Also, I wrote a post about why I used LÖVE for my recent vidyas.

  • adulting: I did my taxes and realized that self-employment tax is completely flat, ignoring all deductions and exemptions and brackets and whatnot. So that stung. Whoops.

  • book: Oh, hey, I’m writing one of those! I finally sat down and wrote a new start of an outline and cranked out a good few thousand words. It’s coming along much better than the previous attempt, too. Pretty happy about this.

  • pico8: I was thinking about UI, and about the PICO-8, and realized the PICO-8 console could be entirely reconstructed in LÖVE. As a weird sort of experiment, I set about doing that. I only spent a few hours on it across a couple days, and am not pursuing it all that seriously, but it’s been interesting to work on.

  • art: I actually spent a few hours on art almost every day this week, to great success. Then I tried to make a 3D model for the first time for glip’s birthday, to not so great success.

I am now cruising, which is great. Alas I have jury duty in three days, which is extremely not great and will probably trainwreck my momentum again.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Slog

Uhhh I am having a hell of a time getting back in the saddle. We had a friend visit, and I think he gave me his cold, and my cat is an asshole, and the dog ate my homework.

  • blog: Some work on some words.

  • art: I haven’t drawn in months. I tried to do it a bit. Results inconclusive.

  • games: I spent a whole day powering through the last 20 or so Strawberry Jam games, just in time for voting to end! Phew! The results (probably NSFW) are in, and, er, I won? This didn’t really occur to me as a thing that could happen and I feel a little guilty about it, hm.

  • gamedev: I merged most of the later fox flux work back into Isaac’s Descent HD, which I’m treating as a central repo for the engine guts I keep reusing. I really, really need to sit down and split the engine stuff out cleanly so I don’t have to keep cherry-picking stuff around, but I haven’t had time yet.

    Also, Mel and I started working on a little PICO-8 toy in an attempt to get ourselves moving again. It’s coming along okay.

Spoilers for next week: I’m doing better this week, finally. My sleep is still wrecked and I still have a cold, but I’m at least sorta doing things.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Slow catchup

Trying to catch up on stuff and also relax a bit, simultaneously, and the results are confusing.

  • blog: I wrote a late sponsored post on utopia. Also some work on a couple others I have in mind.

  • idchoppers: On a total whim, I started writing a WAD parsing and whatnot library in Rust, called idchoppers. It doesn’t do a whole lot yet and it’s kind of a mess while I figure out how to design types in Rust, but it’s enough that I managed to flip every map in Doom 2 and dump MAP01 to SVG.

  • games: I played a lot of Strawberry Jam games, and I think I’m still only halfway through, yikes.

I feel awake and decently-rested, but somehow still drained. Oof.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Strawberry jam END

Hi! It’s been a while. Per tradition, I didn’t write roundups while in the middle of frantically working on a video game.

  • fox flux: Mostly, I made a video game for a month-long game jam. It’s an hourish-long puzzle platformer and is somewhat NSFW but you can snag it from itch.io if you like. (If you install it via the itch app, it’ll patch automatically and more quickly in the future. Though I’m not sure how itch will handle the Linux “build”, which is just a LÖVE file.)

    My ever-evolving physics code got some improvements again, but the biggest time constraint by far was the art — I am not very fast, and I had to learn a lot of things as I went. I’ll be writing about some of that in the near future. Still, it’s pretty cool that (with Mel’s indispensable advice) I managed to produce enough art for a competent-looking game.

    I did all the sounds as well, though Mel composed the music, which made the whole thing much better.

    Post-release, I fixed a few critical bugs, and I’ve been working on some little vignettes to make the ending a bit less, er, anticlimactic.

  • bolthaven: I also worked on Mel’s game for the same jam, but the script turned out to be much longer than expected, so it wasn’t finished in time.

  • blog: I’ve started writing both a Patreon post for February and a spontaneous post on some art insights from the past month.

Lots of work, but a short summary. I’m exhausted and moving a bit pokily these last couple days, but I’m more inspired than ever. I’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on and plenty more gamedev to do; hope you enjoy some of it!

[dev] Weekly roundup: Strawberry jam

Onwards!

  • flora: I wrote another twine for Flora.

  • music: I spent a day with MilkyTracker and managed to produce a remixed title theme for Isaac’s Descent HD! It’s not entirely terrible.

  • isaac: I redid all the sound effects, slapped together a title screen, fixed a ton of bugs, added a trivial ending, and finally released a demo on my $4 Patreon tier! It’s just a port of the original Isaac’s Descent levels, so nothing particularly new or exciting, but I’m happy to see it in a more polished form. And now that everything basically works, I’m free to experiment with puzzle mechanics.

  • neon: I released NEON PHASE 1.2, with a few bugfixes, most notably making the game not be glitchy as all hell when playing under fairly high framerates.

  • patreon: I wrote the monthly prologue, which is just so amazing, you can’t even imagine.

  • games: And then the latter half of the week went towards Strawberry Jam, my month-long horny game jam. I’m churning out art for a puzzle-platformer (surprise), while Mel is doing something more story-driven (surprise), and we’re both helping each other out. Rate of progress seems okay so far, but I do have to put together two games in only a month, and I’ve still got a couple other looming obligations as well. Fingers crossed.

    I’m tweeting bits of progress in a thread on my secret porn account.

Next few weeks will largely be, well, work on video games!