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[dev] Weekly roundup: Never enough

Chugging along.

  • fox flux: Touched up another critter, some more terrain, messing with a background, blah blah.

  • veekun: Pokémon importing is so close. I’ve hunted down how incense affects breeding (which was sort of pointless since there aren’t any new incense), found shapes, dealt with evolution, and filled in a few other little things. It even runs to completion now! But I can’t fully import Pokémon until I import items — oops! — so I’m working on that now.

  • art: Drew some ridiculous nonsense.

  • blog: Been working on a post about datamining, since that’s a thing I’ve been working on lately.

  • cc: I think I basically spent two days squabbling with Unity Collab and the asset store.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Juggling games

I now have seven or eight things in-flight, which is way too much, so I’ve decided to make an active effort to spend four hours every day working on some combination of veekun, the potluck game, my book, and Patreon blogging. So far, so good.

Also, the rest of my Fridays and Saturdays have been reserved for working on Chaos Composer. So, uh, yeah.

  • fox flux: More portrait work, which was surprisingly difficult! I forgot that drawing an actual picture with pixels is a little more involved in some ways than drawing it, uh, without pixels? I also designed and drew a new NPC, vastly improved the sprites for a couple critters, and made a pretty good start on some terrain tiles for a new zone.

  • chaos composer: I fixed a long-standing problem (two, actually) with the pixel scaling being slightly off. I’m helping! I also made a completely empty scene and wrote a basic player controller from scratch just to get accustomed, which I’ll now probably throw away because one already exists.

  • veekun: Added support for extracting move flags and Pokémon shapes (which were hell to find). Wrote a move importer and wrote quick effect text for every move, so moves are now in the database, hurrah! I have a Pokémon importer mostly done, so that’s well on its way as well. I’m so close I can taste it, though I expect I’ll find a lot of minor followup work, and I haven’t even touched more complicated stuff like wild Pokémon encounters.

Most of my four-hour blocks have been going to veekun so far. I’d really like to get blog posts out of the way early for once, but both proposed topics are a little vague, and I’m not sure what I want to say about them yet. I also still haven’t spent any time on my book this month, augh, and of course haven’t touched the potluck game in a week now.

Meanwhile, most of my other time went to fox flux, where I’m just taking forever to do the art. I think I’m starting to get better at it, but spriting an entire game is still a hell of a daunting task.

I spent the week working at a pretty good pace, yet this sounds like such little progress? Making stuff just takes a while, I guess.

[dev] Weekly roundup: Out of potluck

Spoilers: I didn’t finish the potluck game! I think I bit off a little more than I could chew, since the game necessarily needs a bunch of mechanics and world to actually make use of all the tiles. So I’ll just… keep working on it over time. It’d be nice to finish by the end of the month, but suddenly I have far more stuff than before to be working on, so who knows anything.

  • potluck: I made an inventory, added UI for it, implemented the other colors of locks, made several kinds of projectiles, implemented damage and recoil and i-frames, made a whole menu for customizing gamepad controls, rigged a convoluted thing that tries to adapt the UI to the style of gamepad you’re using, implemented conveyor belts, and did a whole lot of planning. But still, so far to go, sob.

  • fox flux: Started touching up portraits from the first game while watching glip play Zelda. Results thusfar are promising!

  • chaos composer: I have been drafted into working on glip’s game, already in progress in Unity. I just got ahold of the game thusfar, and I’ve never used Unity before, so I’ve mostly been giving myself a crash course by clicking stuff at random to see what happens.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing this next week! I have a lot of things vying for my attention, and somehow the month is already one-third over. I’d like to knock out some low-hanging fruit, so maybe I’ll get blogging out of the way and try to finally finish veekun?

[dev] Weekly roundup: On the move

Busy week, including a friend’s visiting, but most of my time went towards only two things:

  • veekun: I got forms dumping (more or less), got moves dumping, spent a whole lot of time chasing down obscure little details, and wrote most of a yaml-to-sql importer for moves. That all leaves me pretty heckin’ close to having the core Sun and Moon stuff in the database. Finally, the end is in sight.

  • blog: I wrote about level design by going over some levels in games that are memorable to me.

I’ll be spending the next week working on the potluck game and watching SGDQ!

[dev] Weekly roundup: Breath of the Tired

I may have spoken too soon; I had some pretty sleepy nights this week. Oh, well. The slow march of progress continued nonetheless. Also I played Zelda a lot.

  • potluck: I built a few little mechanisms: platforms, keys, switches, etc. I don’t have much game yet, but I’m putting off the bulk of it until GDQ week. Hope I can actually do this game justice in just a week! It’ll be a different kind of experience, since the art is set in stone and I already have an engine that can do most of what I want; I just have to build levels and story.

  • book: I churned out a good few thousand words, rewrote the introduction, and got rid of a ton of stuff from the old book concept. It’s actually presentable as a work in progress now! Nice.

  • veekun: I struggled with form ordering for quite a long time, but finally got it figured out, which is useful and important. Getting there. Also I had to yakshave my self-hosted git (which I use for ripped sprites), after an upgrade caused it to bitrot.

I did less than I would’ve liked, but I’ve still got some decent momentum on these three big things. Still feeling pretty good, and eagerly looking forward to having time free in July to mess around with art and work on fox flux.

[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.