For my level design class final project, I needed to make a platformer in Unity, and my god is it terrible. I’m not sure if it’s possible to be dyslexic but just in Unity, because I think I’ve got that. I mean seriously, you nonexistant readers have been following my adventures trying and failing to learn how to code since 2012, and I couldn’t believe how hard this still was. And all it was was just making a bunch of squares out of ProBuilder and adding a free-to-use third-person platformer dude from the Asset store, but it was an act of congress to get anything to work properly. I needed other students to help me with literally every single step, but Hurdles is finally the absolute bare minimum of what would consider itself a completed game. So if you wanna try it, here’s the link, only on darwinssoldiers.com:
I’m only doing this because I firmly believe that any work unpublished is being under-used. Half of my success in this industry involves forcing myself to finish any projects I touch, in order to bolster my portfolio. Normally I’d spruce up Hurdles and add shit like music, but it’s really, really not worth it. Just give it a go if you want to see a game trying desperately to have a plot when the author doesn’t know how to add textures and can’t use any mechanics other than jumping puzzles.
Kinda unusual situation happened tonight. Be warned, this whole blog post is entirely pointless. If you’re looking for something about game development, look no further.
Basically, while trying to find something unrelated I stumbled across this wiki page for an MMORPG I’ve never played called “Shroud of the Avatar.” It looked like just a gigantic list of random dragon names, including the ‘Aabicus Dragon.’ Now, this isn’t the first time my avatar appeared in a bizarre, probably procedurally-generated list (aabicus was also the subject of a word pronunciation video that somebody’s bot spat out), but I do like to get to the bottom of whenever it happens because it’s a weird enough word that it rarely appears anywhere by accident.
And it turns out, this wasn’t an accident at all. The Domesday Book of Dragons was a Patron reward on Kickstarter. Anyone who donated $200 could choose to have their name included in the book (though the codes appear to still be sold for as low as $20, which would explain why the list is so huge). That’s really weird to think somebody else willingly chose the name Aabicus in a username setting. I can’t help but wonder if they were referencing me, since it’s not really a string of letters that would come about on accident. When I was young and just starting out on the internet, I chose the name because (1) abacuses are cool (2) the double A would help me show up first on any alphabetical lists, (3) it had the letters A, B and C in alphabetical order, and (4) grossly misspelling the name would make sure nobody else on the internet was using it.
Until now, I guess. I wonder if that guy’s gonna start using it anywhere else. Guess it’s a good thing I’ve got it SEOed to the nines.
I made another in-browser game! This one doesn’t use my own art (I only had a few days to make it) and the assignment was to practice level design so I needed to make a bunch of maps with different themes.
I tried to make each map play different from the others. The cityscape is really cluttered, the island is more open. The bridges map is mostly corridors and long-range combat, the Crossfire map is claustrophobic and bullets will (unlike every other map) rebound off walls and remain in the playable space until colliding with another bullet. And the circus map has bouncy walls, meaning players will rebound if they crash into obstacles
Also, if you’re wondering where those dev diaries went, I’m posting them on the other blog every Saturday. Here’s the first one, you can figure it out from there.
New quarter, new set of dev diaries! They didn’t actually assign one this week, but I’m writing one anything just for recordkeeping purposes. These upcoming Dev Diaries are gonna have a slightly different tone from the old ones because we need to write them as if they were press releases. So kinda like the “What We Are Up To” updates the Killing Floor 2 devs love to release. And I don’t think a press release would talk about the first (and, honestly, only) hurdle we had to tackle: somehow it wasn’t until our third meeting as a team that I finally discovered none of them played shooters. Like, there were fundamental elements to the core concept of shooters that they were really missing. So yesterday, we skipped our daily meeting and all played Team Fortress 2 together on a server full of bots. They had a blast, learned a lot about the relationship between different classifications of firearm, and I’m hoping I can get them to play Counter-Strike next, even if it probably won’t be as fun and accessible.
And on every other front, we’re ahead of the 8-ball. San Jose University dropped a bombshell that they won’t be sharing their artists with us next year, which affects every team except us because we already have Will and his art degree. Unity decided to restrict free Unity Collab to teams of three or less, which all the teams are freaking out about. Luckily, my team is only four people and I don’t program, so the other three just made a Collab and we’re off to the races. Me, I’ve been working on a design wiki, since I love making wikis and I’ve found it a great way to sort my thoughts out in a clear, understandable way. Enjoy looking at what you see, because my team requested that I port everything to a private wiki so we aren’t forced to commit to everything I write down. A reasonable concern, I just have an uncontrollable urge to publish everything I ever work on so the hypothetical masses can see it. I really need to work on reining that in.
Had fun making these little filler icons too. They’re not Rembrandt, but I do think I’m getting better at pixel art.
So I was googling my username, and on like the seventh page of Google I found this: Kings of Greek Mythology by Burton Menomi. For whatever ungodly reason, he decided to cite the Wikipedia page about Odysseus, and include the names of every single user who’d edited the page up to that point. I don’t even know what edit I made, but now I can say my writings have been cited in an academic publication.
That’ll go nicely with my other dubious achievements, which include ordained minister of the Church of Universal Life, only verified Overwatch player to level-up three times after a single match, winner of the first PvP duel in Legends of Equestria history, and the existence of this bizarre video that someone made to show how to (incorrectly) pronounce my username.
Last year’s new year’s resolution was to give up sugar drinks and candy. I’ve been doing really well, and I’ve lost a bunch of weight. Down to 210, only ten pounds over what I’m supposed to weigh at my age, and this year I’m taking the next step and doing meal prep Sunday. I need to eat healthier, this is the only life I’m going to get, and I’m not going back to the chronic heart pains that used to haunt me since I finished undergraduate.
But this isn’t my New Years’ resolution: instead I’m spending it learning how to art good. Drawabox is an ongoing art lesson made by a programmer who wanted to apply the same practical and analytical coding mindset to learning art. I’m really attracted by that attitude, so my New year’s resolution is to make progress on drawabox every day. (It was originally 1 lesson a day, but the website stresses that you shouldn’t put solid deadlines and schedules, and instead just focus on never falling completely off the boat.)
That being said, I blitzed through the first lesson because I’m not a complete newcomer to art. It was entirely drawing lines, something I’ve been doing in the margins of my schoolnotes since first grade. I was working in pencil right up until the part where he mentioned you’re supposed to work in pen, and it’s in a lined spiral notebook because I don’t have a sketchbook at my parent’s house. You’re supposed to turn your work into the subreddit, but I’ll redo the lesson on proper blank paper tomorrow and turn that in. I can’t properly do the work until I’m back home in Santa Clara.
But you nonexistant readers can still see it!
WordPress keeps forcibly rotating the image. It’s oriented properly when I upload it, I promise
Seriously took me like five minutes. The hardest part was the “ghosting” lines, where you place two lines and then draw a line connecting the two. I’ll put in more time tomorrow, this is really just to get the ball rolling. No time like the first of January, right?
the Greenlight pitch. And immediately failed in my self-made promise that I was going to decline even if I won. Medical Necessity had great reception, I had seven full minutes of questions, way more than anyone else got. I couldn’t have asked for that pitch to go any better.
So what next? Well, during the two-week winter break I’m going to write a design document. I’ve already chosen my technical director: Tyler, my old partner for the two-person project ZoneOut. He had a strong work ethic and a great grasp on programming. I also got to pick one teammate before the prof started assigning people, and went with Will, the only student who’d approached me about joining the team before I’d already won. Will got into the master’s program on his art portfolio, but his real dream is to be a programmer, and he’s made some great Unity games since then. His hybrid skillset will be extremely useful on a team this small, especially when we need to communicate with the designated art people at San Jose University. To round the team out, the professor assigned us Simon, a programmer from China and the only person on the team who actually specialized in programming. Since the bot AI is our biggest issue, I couldn’t have asked for a better final teammate.
Not much more to say. Normally I’m more talkative, but I’m just tired and really need these two weeks off. Onward and upward.