I've recently acquired a full time job with T-Mobile; this is the first full time job I've ever worked and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I expected I would! I'm getting a lot of practice with time management as I find the best method to bring in some money, program artificial intelligence for both Depths of Marlayo and Arx Catalyst, and fleshing out levels for Arx Catalyst. AI for Depths of Marlayo and Arx Catalyst will be using similar if not exactly the same AI, which I'm very excited for. I'm taking extra time to make the artificial intelligence that I develop extremely flexible in behaviors, actions and reactions so that I can use it for most projects I create in the future.
My original goal was to finish Depths of Marlayo in time for the OUYA release date and turn my focus back to Arx Catalyst, but I underestimated the challenges inherent to developing a game for a console who's development kit changes on a couple week basis. I've been frantically reprogramming the game to work on PC and Mac, with plans to convert to OUYA once it's become stable or Unity releases a native build option. If this requirement is never met, I'll most likely attempt to launch it through Steam Greenlight instead. Either way, I really need to become more wise when it comes to creating and choosing projects to work on. Just because I CAN function as a one man company doesn't mean I SHOULD, and the drastic increase in severe headaches I've been experiencing is a prime symptom of the amount of stress I fight against to create these games.
I look forward to the day I can hire a superb team to develop games with. Until then, it's back to the drawing board for me! I've gone through 5 different ways to program combat, and finally I've come up with a system that is both dynamic and manageable. Next up will AI patrol routes and group behavior, all of which should fit in nicely with my ability to assign and change overall 'behavior styles' on the fly. I know for sure that it will be very refreshing to step away from programming and make some more 3D assets after my goals are met.
I've recently competed in the CREATE game jam by Kill Screen and OUYA. I created a game prototype in 10 days that will work on the OUYA console. Here is the video trailer I submitted:
If you enjoyed what you saw, please take the time to like or comment on the youtube video; it helps me out in multiple ways.
I learned a very valuable lesson about game design when I decided to tackle this challenge. I took the first 2 and a half days and seriously planned out how I could achieve something playable and impressive in under 10 days. Today while looking for places to help spread the word of my prototype, I found a Google+ communities group called One game a month. This article holds multiple points that I learned from this experience, as well as a few more useful tips. http://gamedev.tutsplus.com/articles/business-articles/1gam-how-to-succeed-at-making-one-game-a-month/
A lot of the pitfalls the article outlines are exactly ones I've found myself at the bottom of while working on Arx Catalyst. I remember logically having a demo planned for release in June of last year, and the constant sludge of code I keep having to re tweak to work with new ideas I try to implement.
In 10 days "Depths of Marlayo" became more playable than Arx Catalyst. I hope with this new outlook on indie game development, I will be able to more successfully turn my dreams into playable experiences that you all can enjoy!
It's been awhile since I've made progress on Arx Catalyst. I've been working on a cell phone video game with a friend I graduated college with. This game should bring in revenue, unlike Arx Catalyst, which I still plan to release for free. Luckily, cell phone games aren't as big of a project as Arx Catalyst, and two minds are better than one, so I should be finished with this project by mid January. I assure you, any free time I do get from a dip in work from the cell phone game will go towards Arx Catalyst development; I'm looking forward to releasing the next video game update!
Due to the nature of the contract, I can't release much information about this other video game, except that the dancing soldier I animated for fun will be in the game. Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone!
I'm starting a video series to demonstrate game functionality as I develop it. The video pretty much explains itself, so please enjoy, like, comment and subscribe!
In the video I mention the usage of my own custom code for the character's ability to look around, rather than using a premade system like the Locomotion System for Unity. The main reasoning for this is flexibility; the locomotion system, while impressive in it's own way, only modifies bone joints by percentages. It works great for human characters, yet becomes increasingly more difficult to set up with other types of non-bipedal characters. By using Animation Blending, I can do things such as having his arm come up to shield his eyes when he looks left but not right, and other cool stuff. I'm sure I'll be able to demonstrate this in future video updates.
Because of the unpredictability of life, these videos won't come out on a set schedule, but I will release them as soon as I have enough content to fill a video. Until then, thank you for your support!
Well, it's been five months since I've updated and that's four months overdo. I have achieved my degree without realizing the full difficulty of achieving a career. Graduation and the freedom of life without assignments hit me emotionally, followed by the panic of bills flowing in without financial aid around to support my academic endeavors. As of late I am back in my hometown and regaining my creative drive, with a plan to continue production on Arx Catalyst. I've discovered an interesting format to show off my work as well! the site is p3d.in; it allows me to share content like this:
I suggest using/supporting their site as they are still in beta! anyways, I've decided to call out for assistance from an environment artist. If you are interested, please use the "Contact Me" link to drop me a line. I will push to have a new extensive update of Arx Catalyst around Thanksgiving of this year.
Well, I've done it! I've achieved production that I'm very proud of. I will let the video speak for itself, but in short - I'll be getting my Bachelor's degree in animation and visual effects today. I pushed the release of the demo to mid-june in preparation for celebration. Don't worry, even though there won't be professors and academic standards bearing down on me anymore, I still plan to create a unique video game experience of high quality. I suggest enjoying this video with headphones and HD, and please comment or like my video to help spread the news of this project. Thank you for your support so far :)
I deeply apologize for the lack of updates recently. I have been working on the game this entire time, So I'll just jump straight into it.
I've put together a pretty decent modular set piece of which I'll be using to construct the rest of the city. This is the third set I've created, the other two being functional yet impractical. Since I'm learning as I go, I've been running into rough spots quite frequently; I've never been this far into a game project before. I've also been putting a lot of work into AI, though most of it is developed for a different game. Luckily since all the research is already done, recoding AI for this game should go by quick and painlessly. Below you'll find a video of some recorded game play from earlier this year. It's buggy of course, but it should give you a taste of what this game can be.
Currently I am creating the intro cutscene and laying out the plans for a demo level I will be releasing here in a month or so.
I've just finished the basic rough draft of level 2. The city streets are layed out and the shapes of the buildings occupying those streets are in place. Most of what you see is created with a simple cube primitive. Constructing this not only gives me a general feel for playing through level 2, but it helped me further develop my asset list. With a better idea of what needs to be created, my schedule has just become far more organized. I took the time to create little things like furnishing throughout some of the more complete buildings. With that out of the way, it's handling level 3 real quick and moving on to creating more final assets. I kept working on this scene until I found myself saying wow when viewed from street level.
I've also managed to put up a forum on the site, so if you're new and interested, feel free to become a member and post a topic. I'll watch closely and try to answer any questions and take in any ideas as production continues. I look forward to hearing from you!
I'm back home visiting my family and enjoying the snowfall as Christmas day approaches. This, of course, does not halt progress on Arx Catalyst. Last night I drew out a sketch of a title screen for the game, and this morning I set up the basic composition of it in Unity3D. It is by far not a finished product, but it's nice to have a visual representation of the beginning of the gaming experience that you will be able to play through in the future.
Here marks the start of Arx Catalyst. I will keep steady documentation of the progress of this project here on this blog. To begin, check out the screenshots in the Game Content section, and the character demonstration in the videos, which can also be found below.