A new Year, A new Look, and a new Commitment

If you are seeing this page, then you have already seen the new look for the All Around Games website. This look is partially a reset to how the website looked in 2010, but it is also an updating to how the website is handled. The old website used a table for the layout needs, this was the way I learned to do websites early on and I just kept using the same tried and true method. I still don’t like CSS, but it does have its uses, so I went ahead and switched the layout over to use CSS. I also brought the Blog (powered by wordpress) under the umbrella of the new website, because a uniformed look is important. (and it was something that always bothered me with the Blog)

If you have forgotten what the old website looked like here is an image to remind you…

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All Around games Website from 2010 to end of 2015

I have resumed working on Ythmeven, a project that I started back in 2012 right after finishing Untitled. Lets just say that I bit off more that I could chew back then and I just stumped myself in a corner. Then the YouTube started and I was lost for around 3 years to the blight of trying to build a YouTube Gaming Channel. 2016 is going to mark a large return to the gamedev side of things for me. Next week I will be making a blog post outlining my Phases of Development, a sort of guideline that I intend to adhere to. The entire goal of the outline is to focus a lot more on community building/interacting, while still being realistic about developing a game.

At different times I’m sure I have mentioned monetization of Video Games, I am still committed to making games that are 100% Free. I don’t view this project as a money making venture. As such if I ever had the ability to make money from a game I created it would be via Patron with a few appearance awards (think colored names/icons)

As far as the development on Ythmeven goes currently, I have started to relearn what I wrote back in 2012. There are also a few changed that I want to make. In the old code I had a mysql row for each sector in the system, so for ever spot you could move to there was a entry for it. This is such a useless way of handling the data that I’ll be redoing that. Apart from that I am still trying to remember some of my intentions. I gave the players Ratings that they could gain experience in, such as Maneuverability (moving you ship), Efficiency (Gathering raw materials), and Barter (Trading with ports). I also had it marked for a Speed, and an Effectiveness rating. I just don’t remember what the plan was for these ratings, I know that Efficiency is used when you gather materials from the sector. Outside of that I don’t believe the others are in use. Part of me is tempted to scrap it entirely and write it all from scratch, but there is so little here that it just doesn’t matter (it will take just as long to rewrite as it will to check it all over) My goal is within two weeks to have the current systems fixed up to be more efficient.

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A Ludum Dare Year in Review

The last Ludum Dare event for 2015 took place earlier this month, and voting is ongoing. I figured now was a good time to take a look back at my contributions to Ludum Dare this year in a sort of overall postmortem of sorts.

Noodle Kombat

noodleKombat

My first contribution to Ludum Dare for 2015 was this quirky fighting game. The inspiration for the game came from Mortal Kombat. The theme was An Unconventional Weapon in my mind noodles and meatballs fighting it out is unconventional. I wanted to add online multiplayer to the game but ran out of time. It does have two player multiplayer locally. The single player mode was really quickly added and is how you unlock the meatball character.

You Are the Monster

youarethemonster

This is by and far my most lazy game this year. The laziness is strong in this one. I was working as a Tour Guide the entire weekend, after walking all day you surprisingly don’t feel like making a game much. The theme was You Are The Monster the idea of the game is that you are the monster by harassing this monster with your mouse click. The extended goal was to make the monster say things and change/evolve until he got so mad he swatted the player…or something like that. Instead you can click him for a level and he spins…

A Growing Prince

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My final Ludum Dare game for 2015, A Growing Prince. The theme was Growing well one of them, the other was 2 Button game, you could select one or both themes. The Ludum Dare version of the game is seriously lacking, all you have to do is level up and push the castle button. You cannot be attacked, or lose. The idea was to make a light MUD style game that was all based on a single php file. The issue was I got stuck on the brainstorming part and only had 24 hours left by the time I started. There is already a post-compo version of this game released, and you can read more about it here.

 

That was Ludum Dare 2015 for me, 2016 will bring around three more main Ludum Dare events. Ludum Dare 35 will be in April sometime. Who knows what will come out of my mind next year, stay tuned.

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A Growing Prince

For Ludum Dare 34 I created a small game called A Growing Prince. The game itself was largely incomplete and lacked a lot of expected features. I then preceded to finish/create a game that was functionally complete. This is a small part of a larger project that I will go into more depth about at a later time. Below is a Screen Shot, the game is not much to look at, but that is the roll of a text based adventure game. You can play the game right now, right here. Below will be some thoughts about the game, and how it all works.

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Assuming that you followed the link above you will have noticed that you can just start playing the game. No logging in, no registering or anything. Yet the game is still saved for you, so that you can play it over a few days. This was one of the fundamental goals of creating this style of game. I also did not want to make use of a mysql database to accomplish it. I like the idea of having a lighter weight web browser game. What happens is that I take your ip address (in theory each user has a unique ip, in practice it is not so) from this I create a file that store the variables in a text file. Then each page reload I recreate the file that stores your data.

That was the basis of the game, and what I accomplished for the Ludum Dare version of the game. for Ludum dare I just added some really simple leveling/game logic and that was it. There was no way to lose, no way to move around, and no story. It wasn’t a game so much as a test to see what I could do with this style of game engine.

Post Ludum Dare I wanted to expand the game, I wanted to add a story, a location, and build something of a world. I don’t claim that the story is good, but it is there. The text was handled dynamically, rather than writing just the four lines of text that you see I wrote all of the lines of text, then I just had to clip it down to the proper size. This proved a little bit tricky because I needed to have respect to the words and not just cut them off. But the php function of wordwrap can be used to accomplish this goal. Then I just load them into an array and pick the array value based on the id starting at zero and progressing based on input.

The next part was to add combat to the game. I wanted a simple turn based combat system, You strike the enemy, if they don’t die then they strike back. The damage and armor stats come into play for combat. It is really just simple math with a few other factors added in to add some variation. The mob stats are set in the player file and stored there until they are defeated.

The final part of the game (although I actually worked on it first) was to add movement to the game. The player needed an actual location, the first step was just to add a X and Y position variable to be stored. Next I needed to create the actual maps, simple enough to do with a max size value. Then I added a peppering of Treasure Chests, NPC, and teleporters (to change maps).

Those are the three biggest features that were missing from the Ludum Dare version of the game. With them in place now the game feel a lot more like a game, and presents a challenge. I still think of it more as a engine experiment than a serious game, but it presents the possibilities that can be pursued later on.

If there is interest in the game and seeing how it works I would be willing to released the code as open source. If you are interested just let me know in the comments below.

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A Weight Lifted

You probably know how it is, being in college the last week of school you feel so weighted down. Now that its over, its Friday and I only have One final next week (on Monday, and its an online one) it feel as though a weight has been lifted and I can have energies again.

An I’m going to need them, as of the writing of this Ludum Dare 28 start in six and a half hours. For some reason I’m really excited about this one, I’ll be using Construct 2, but I plan to have an online highscore table (assuming my game has a score system) similar to the ones that I used to do for Ludum Dare entries, I went away from it because its an extra step.

For themes I am hoping for:

You Only Get One – I think this theme would be great, because there are so many ways to answer the question of One of What? One Life? One Shot? One Move? One Click? One Color? and so on the list goes. I think this would make a great theme because of how open-ended it is.

2 colors – More or less because of my fascination of colors as a game. I can think of several ideas that would work for this theme.

 

And in other News, the website should be working much much faster now, it was migrated to a different server recently and the page is back to loading in less than 1 second most of the time. WordPress is also working much better now (wordpress is mysql query heavy) so I’ll be sticking with it, because the alternatives arn’t there yet. I mentioned doing my own, it was going to be an integration with SMF but I don’t know that I could get the features that I want as easily as I would hope. (display the posts by date is easy, even listing them by date would be easy enough, but tagging or categories would be harder)

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Changes to the Blog

I did some general website work today, updating and the like.

The games page on the website is now updated with Ludum Dare Jam games.

The blog was being very slow, It is still sometimes slow. I moved it to a separate database, in hopes of fixing the problem. The only thing lost was the categories for the posts, but I’m working on recategorizing them.

Last weekend I took part in Mini Ludum Dare #47 The theme was Humble Beginnings, take your first game, and recreate it now. I decided to apply it to the first game that I thought of as finished, Untitled. I recreated it using Construct 2, so that it would be html5 web based. It all works quite well right now, but I didn’t manage to finish it in time. I will be continuing work on it this weekend a bit, and at some point it will be done.

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New Video Series: Ludum Dare #27 Games

If you managed to avoid the slight amount of Twitter spam I did the other day, then you may or may not know I am starting a new series on YouTube for Ludum Dare #27 Games. Each game will get five minutes of gameplay, and each video will be comprised of three games.

The Games that are tweeted to me have priority, I’m planning to play a total of 84 games, so 21 games per week. There are still plenty of spots, so if you want me to play your game, then tweet @ythmevge with a link to it.

Any slots that are not filled by the time I record the video and I will fill it with randomly selected games. I will also be playing the games of anyone that comments on my entry.

Airing Time:

The first episode will air tonight (Monday the 2nd, also Labor Day) at 2pm PST, this series will run in addition to my regular series, and will not interfere. So every day of the week, including weekends at 2pm PST there will be a new episode of Three Ludum Dare #27 Games.

I’m recording one week at a time, so each weekend I will be recording additional games. So far this has proved to be one of my most challenging series yet. With so many different screen resolutions used, as well as lack of volume control in most games, it has made editing and recording a bit tricky and slowed the process down. But so far it has been a lot of fun. Some of the games also dislike being recorded by fraps, one would even stop the recording every minute or so.

So look for the episode tonight at 2pm on my YouTube channel.

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Return of the Long Neglected Blog?

Maybe.

It has been a long time sense I have made a post here, over a year in fact…

So what happened? Well YouTube happened, I started creating videos for Minecraft to upload to YouTube, and sense then I haven’t stopped. In fact it has only grown from that point.

The plan for the blog has changed some, as I am not doing much game development stuff at this time. I will be writing blog posts about YouTube, and my thoughts on different topics of YouTube.

I will also be posting more about Ludum Dare or other GameJams (when I participate) on here. The Ludum Dare compo blog gets so many posts when an event is happening that your post gets buried quick, so I will be mirroring them here on this blog.

The next Ludum Dare is Next weekend (23rd-25th), and I would like to participate in it. Right now I don’t know if that will be possible, as I will be going back to my apartment in Chico and starting school on the Monday after. Ludum Dare has collided with the start and end of my semesters sense I started at Chico. But so far I have yet to miss a Ludum Dare event.

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