A Dream Come True

Back in the summer of 2006, my friend Alex Barker coaxed me into downloading StepMania, a free, open-source dance simulator. It was one of his favourite games, and he wanted me to try it out too. Reluctantly, I gave in an downloaded StepMania with a couple song packs (DDRMAX, DDRMAX 2, and Pop Candy). I started playing the game using just my keyboard and ended up enjoying it a lot. I decided to buy a cheap, $20 dance pad off of eBay to get the "full" experience and within a few weeks I was rockin' out like I'd never done before.

In December of the same year, I started working at the local movie theatre. I noticed that the theatre had a dance arcade machine, "In The Groove 2" it was called. In The Groove was a franchise made by the same people who created StepMania as a competing game for Konami's Dance Dance Revolution. Some legal troubles happened and not long after In The Groove 2 was released, Konami opened a lawsuit against RoXoR Games and eventually In The Groove was handed over to Konami and killed. That aside, I decided to download the In The Groove song packs for StepMania to practice them at home. Once I felt confident enough, I started playing on the arcade machine and it was a completely different experience. Dancing around on a steel and polycarbonate dance floor that doesn't move was so different than my little foam pad that always slipped and slid around, I just couldn't play

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Ludum Dare 33: Post Mortem

Shark Swimulator Title Screen

Another Ludum Dare has come and gone. Colby and I decided to participate again, this time taking a more active approach than four months ago when we decided to enter on a whim. We spent about a week setting up a code base we felt comfortable with and even came up with a few ideas for each potential theme to help us get the ball rolling right away. We also too an active role in voting and were very happy with the theme for Ludum Dare 33: You are the Monster.

To prepare our code, we first decided on the libraries we would be using so we could create template project that was ready to go. Firstly, we have recently switched paradigms and have moved away from class-based object-oriented programming (OOP) in favour of data-driven entity-component-systems (ECS). We have significantly improved the readability and sensibility of our code with this switch and I plan to do a write up about it at some point. Knowing that we'd be using ECS, our first library of choice was the truthfully named tiny-ecs. We've been using tiny-ecs for a little while now and it's just magical. It works great, is super fast, and very flexible. We were intent on making a 3D game so naturally we included LÖVE3D, CPML, IQE, and our new animation library anim9. I'll note here that we had a serious bug in our IQM library that has since been fixed, but was not ready for Ludum Dare. Our IQM library is about 40x faster than

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IT Simulator

Title Screen

When I was first contacted by Binary Cocoa to help them finish off IT Simulator, I was in the middle of my Ludum Dare project. I offered to help out after the contest if they still needed me, and they were gracious enough to wait for me. I've worked with Binary Cocoa in the past on the BOCO title so I was already familiar with some other projects they had up their sleeves, including IT Simulator.

IT Simulator is a title that was made in partnership with Fisher's Technology, a private business based in Idaho, the same state where Binary Cocoa is headquartered. Fisher's Technology wanted Binary Cocoa to create an arcade-style game to be used as a marketing tool at an upcoming IT conference.

Loading Screen

The gist of IT Simulator is that you are a Fisher's Technology IT worker who must travel to various locations to fix and prevent the destruction of several pieces of office equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, etc. As customers use the equipment, the equipment's health goes down. You need to make sure that health doesn't reach zero or else the equipment will catch fire and become unusable. As customers use the equipment, the equipments make money for the business that you are helping to service. If there is not enough working equipment for customers to use, they get angry and temporarily stop spending their money. Some fun little features in IT Simulator include being able to pick up and throw office equipment, smashing and jumping out windows, and moving equipment

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My First Ludum Dare!

Alright, now that we’ve had some much needed sleep, it’s time to talk about our project, “Not My Panties!”. We weren’t originally planning to join Ludum Dare, but once the theme was released, myself and Colby decide to at least think up some ideas. After about two hours of brainstorming, we settled on “A game where a cross-dressing boy is avoiding being outed by fighting off his pursuers with a giant DS Touch Pen”. With a subject and weapon in mind, we committed to enter our first Ludum Dare Jam.

With commitment to the jam, we needed to work out exactly what sort of game we were going to make. Since it was our first jam, we decided on taking the easy route and making a turn-based battle system. I had made one of these before for a different game, so it was minimal effort to recreate it for LD. To add a little bit of depth to the game, we decided to go with a visual novel style for the story screen. Now that we had a fully mapped out plan, we got to work.

I started working on the battle system while Colby gathered up some 3D models we had kicking around and added a basic-but-working skeletal rig to our character model. By the end of the first day, we had the basic skeleton of gameplay working, a basic UI, and some little things like circle shadows for our models. We ended up spending most of day one fighting with our

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I Released a Game!

BOCO has finally been released! You can purchase it on the Official Website for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android or on the Google Play Store. The version on the website is DRM free and comes with the game, the sound track, and the source code (I'm sorry) and costs $3. The version from the Play Store is just the Android game and costs $1. I made this game with the guys from Binary Cocoa, so check out their website too!

I guess this officially makes me a game developer, eh?

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