Showing posts from 2013

pile of thoughts: Indie Megabooth, Death in July, photon cloud, Juiciness, Internet Simulator 2014

Ok! video games!

Let's get started. I will be posting today about a pile of thoughts. I have resumed development on Bad Things, and they are progressing!!! I have refactored the item system into something that is non-ultra-terrible. I guess I really just wanted multiple inheritance in C# but no taco. And now I am focusing on getting multiplayer working again. Multiplayer stuff is hard.
The Indie Megabooth I have submitted ('submote') Bad Things Happen in Space to the Indie Megabooth for PAX East 2014!! Yay! In accordance with this venerable tradition, I will now work furiously on getting a fairly fully featured multiplayer build ready for PAX. I know that getting into the megabooth is nowhere near guaranteed, but I still want to have a game to show off in the case that I do make the cut. Also, ungiving up has something to do with dying in July. The megabooth is more than a sweet way to show off your game at PAX; it's a great community of people who are all working toge…

Ungiving up on Bad Things Happen in Space

OK! Short post this time.

So I will be actually now trying as hard as possible to make a playable multiplayer demo of Bad Things available for PAX East! Which is in Apirl. So 4 months or something! Seems possible. I think I will stop crying about how I'll have to kill fun mechanics and just do it! Yeah! Video games!!!

Other Things Happen in Space

Hi! I'm Kelly. I make video games. Well kind of. Maybe.

Anyways, I haven't posted in like a month now. I've been really busy with fuel cells. Making money! Yay! But that's not a really great reason to not write a blog post for a long time. There is also the fact that my laptop is currently employed 24/7 in mining bitcoins, so I can't really participate in community writing sessions anymore. I have to write these posts on my PC. It's a little annoying, but I will survive. Maybe.

Bad Things So I'm just gonna come out and say it. I'm probably not going to be working on Bad Things Happen in Space for a while. I've gotten to a point in development that it seems to be a little bit too ambitious and not all the design elements are there and the mechanics aren't solid. When I went to Boston Postmortem and I heard Eitan from Firehose Games talk about what Indies need to do to survive, he said a lot of important things (many of which I am taking to heart)…

The Oculus VR meetup

Today I am going to write about the Oculus VR meetup, my presentation, and the weird attention that echobox has been receiving lately. Last Saturday (November 2nd) was the Oculus VR meetup at the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge.

wtf is an echobox If you don't recall my posts from a while back, echobox (link to the demo on the downloads page) is my entry in Oculus VRjam. It was a project I made in 3 weeks specifically for use with the rift. It's an acoustic wave propagation simulation and visualization. It's a big pile of math and you can get a lot of the details in the presentation (also on the downloads page). I've gotten a lot of comments like, "oh it's so trippy," or "this should be in a club," or "I feel like I'm inside the sun." All that stuff is great, but I don't know how to sell trippy sun simulations to clubs. 

Apparently, there is quite some interest in echobox. I've gotten some very positive replies on my vrja…

VR Meetup downloads

This isn't going to be a long blog post, just putting information here for the people at the VR meetup. I gave a presentation on the 2nd of November, I'm pretty sure it was mostly over everyone's heads, but that's fine. I did end up meeting some super cool people at the afterparty thing, and I did get to speak with Palmer if ever-so-briefly. Anyways, here's the stuff. It's all going to be hosted on my google drive, so if the links go down, send me an email:

echobox download:
Hyper echobox repo:
VR meetup presentation:
Bad Things Happen in Space: panic build:

and lastly, as a note, I will be doing fuel cell work for all of this week, probably, so if there is no blog post…

Reverse Engineering Unity Games

Hi. Today I will be writing about my efforts regarding reverse engineering unity games. As you may have read in a previous post, I have recently lost all my project files in a horrific idiot hard drive reformatting disaster. I was able to get my final builds back from some people I had sent it to... and actually, it just occurred to me yesterday that I had sent Unity QA a repro project for echobox that had almost all of the final source in it (except for the visualization portions and the level design), but they have yet to reply about sending me the project.

A bug or a feature? So it turns out that reverse engineering Unity games is actually quite possible, and even somewhat easy. Is this a feature or a bug? In my case, I have a legitimate reason to reverse engineer as much code as possible from my game executables, because it will save me a ton of work trying to rebuild what I've lost. For others, I imagine this is somewhat of a headache. There is an extensive forum post about t…

Bad Things Happen to Bad Things and Everything Else

Hi! Ok, so while I was trying to upgrade my PC to Windows 8.1 RC, I ended up deleting all my game project files forever! And also all my documents. Basically, I've lost about 30 hours of work on Bad Things (the last three days of the ultracrunch) and everything else from the beginning of July. Yep, that means the source for echobox is gone forever. Which is bad. As I mentioned before, I have to give a presentation on echobox and the Rift integration in about two weeks. So this is pretty terrible. Of course, the actual executables are still available for the panic build and the echobox demo. Those might prove useful for decompiling later, but I don't know if it's worth spending time figuring out how to get that information (a cursory search suggests that it is not that hard!?).

Should I give up on Bad Things? Well, I guess the major advantage of continuing to work on Bad Things instead of starting, or resuming work on other game projects is that I've already got a bunch…

Networking Things in Boston

Yeah! I've been doing fuel cells work again, and also Final Fantasy XIV (shhhh). So, the post today is going to be about some cool networking things in the Boston area. But first:
Feedback on the prototype The feedback so far has been mostly Bad! Which is Good if you're trying to make a game that is Bad? or is it? I'm unsure. The feedback has been good, I mean, and that the feedback is that the game is bad. Which is totally understandable. Rami said he'd play it, but has yet to do so, or at least tell me his thoughts on it. Some interesting bits of feedback: Art scale is offThere is no way to quit without alt-f4Without reading the instructions, the game is impossible to playThe mouse cursor shows up while you're playingPutting stuff in the reactor isn't funIt's hard to tell which room is which from the mapThere are some bugs with barrels and the megatongs and also barrels and the oxygen stationThe oxygen station doesn't make sense to anyone, even if you …

Bad Things Happen in Space: Panic Build

So it's done. I completed Rami's challenge... only 13 hours late. I don't really know what the conditions were for him to play my game or what I'd get or if anything would happen at all if I completed it on time. I suppose that the main idea behind the challenge was to get me tobuild a prototype at all - and it worked!

Here's the link:

I don't know what the bandwidth limits are like on google drive (cursory search indicates within the range of 600 mb/day), but if the link doesn't work, try again later. Or tell me, and if it gets to be too much of a problem, I'll host it somewhere else.

I'll copy and paste the shitty instructions I wrote:

wasd to move
shift to sprint
left ctrl to crouch
space to jump (though you can't jump very high without hitting your head)
e to interact
q to drop an item if you're holding one
each tool has two modes of usage:  wrench-wel…

Moving, VRJam, Bad Things, Rami's Challenge

Hey Everyone! I've been doing a lot of stuff over the last month. Let's start at the beginning.

Moving to Boston Yeah, I did it. This place is cool, but expensive and what do people do with their cars? My room mates are the coolest dudes/ladydudes and they're actually probably even smarter than me. In fact, I am writing this blog post during sanctioned house writing practice. Otherwise, I would be furiously developing Bad Things for a reason I will reveal shortly.
Oculus VRJam Yeah! I made a super sweet technology showcase thing for the Rift that apparently nobody cared about.

I didn't place as a finalist, and my guess is because: 1) I didn't actually make a game (it's a music visualization experience). 2) some bugs. 3) needs a very high end gaming computer to run. If you have a Rift devkit you can try to download and play it here. Keep in mind that you'll need a super fast computer. It runs at 60 fps on my development machine which has a gtx 780, and it ra…

Indiecade and Oculus Rift vrjam

Hey! It's been two weeks since I've last posted an update and again, it's because I haven't actually done that much work on Bad Things. I've got some boring level editor stuff working, like saving the level using XML serialization, but loading it up isn't quite there yet. I'm still doing fuel cell work too, but that should be over this week. At any rate, I'm going to be working on the Oculus and Indiecade Rift vrjam thing! Also:

That's a mouthful Yeah, but it's awesome. There's a bunch of prizes, and well, It'll be cool to make some cool stuff for the rift. My idea is to make a game about perspective. People don't usually get to see things at different scales; I think it will be cool to see things from an unusual perspective. Perhaps the scale of an insect will be interesting? There's Pikmin, but that's all I can think of. Also there's... Echolocation All you have to do is implement sound wave propagation in a video game …

Level Editors are Boring in Space

It's true! Writing a level editor isn't super fun. Burn down the level editor:

First, a quick update before we get on to the level editor. I am (not) secretly a fuel cell system controls programmer. Recently, a company I've previously contracted for contacted me to do some crazy-not-enough-time rapid fuel cells programming; and also you have to build the whole system by yourself because the other engineer is harvesting his crops (not a metaphor). In my efforts to quit my job and make video games, I have become a fuel cell system engineer. Oops. Luckily, it's only for the next week or two, so progress on Bad Things should be more exciting after that.

Also, Unity 4.2 is officially out. Now I can talk about all the beta secrets! Err, well, I pretty much did that anyways. I am not the best with confidential information. I am slightly surprised they released with this version because some stuff is still broken (TC particle settings don't show up). Also also, I've fi…

iamagamer game jam: Blood

I didn't actually do much development for Bad Things this week, instead I was focused on finishing up at Intel, and then there was the game jam this weekend. Along with two other people, I produced a game in 48 hours. The link to download it is here, though I'll probably put up a download on this blog on an 'other projects' page.

The topic was "Strong female protagonist", and my first idea was to take the concept literally and make a game about a female body builder. After some discussion among my friends, I decided to pitch a game about bleeding. One person put their name on it (someone I knew already), then I put my name on it, and we got a third person. Luckily for us, none of us had ever done a game jam before, and I was the only one with game development experience.

We settled on an action platformer where your blood is both your life and your ability to attack. Each weapon or spell you use would …

Surprise level editor!

Yes, the next thing I am going to be working on is the level editor. I didn't actually plan to do this for quite a while because it seems like a nice but not essential feature to have. For reasons I will make clear shortly, I need to build the level editor before I can continue.

Wrenching animations I'm so sorry for the pun. What I really wanted to work on after the procedural fracturing was repairing of the fracture sites. Hit the debris with a wrench until it's close to its non-fractured position, and then weld it into place. Here's a spiffy gif of the wrench animation: Here is a video, but it's not the greatest. Everything is 100% broken at the moment; I guess that's what I get for building my game with the Unity betas.

The video shows off some cool stuff, even if it looks horrible. There's the inverse kinematics on the hand placement. Inverse kinematics is a way of calculating the shoulder, arm and elbow position required to place a hand at a certain po…

Procedural fracturing: Mesh generation and physics

This will probably be the last post on procedural fracturing. Why? Because it's mostly done!  In a few hours of heroic brain effort, I went from this:
To this:
The little things After so much brain destruction over this, there were two bugs: one in finding the center of each circumcircle (I was dividing by zero somewhere, getting secret NaNs), and another in the centroid sorting algorithm. I also facepalmed really hard because the first sentence on the wiki page for polygon triangulation is "A convex polygon is trivial to triangulate in linear time, by adding diagonals from one vertex to all other vertices." Oops. I threw out the copy/paste ear clipping algorithm and just wrote my own thing to add diagonals. It's funny how something can seem so simple and obvious in retrospect. The only downside to this technique is that the geometry created isn't really suitable for animation; I'll be avoiding this by joining vorons together instead of animating vorons indiv…

Procedural Geometry from Fracturing

Here’s the follow up to the procedural fracturing post I wrote two weeks ago. As for the assets roadmap I talked about in the last post, I have decided that it doesn’t quite make sense to go over the assets at this point, when so much of that is still up in the air. I’m thinking of creating a dedicated roadmap/status page that gives the current progress on all stuff, for convenient access and updating. Anyways, here’s the juice:
Why can’t I hold all these vertices? Last time we went over how to get the vertices out of a voronoi diagram, and I sort of-maybe-not-really fixed the problem I was having earlier with missing some of the vertices. I scrapped the whole compute shader business and switched it over to Unity C# code, and along the way I discovered LINQ (which is like SQL for code?!?!) but that’s another story. Without using a compute shader, it became both easier and harder to debug. Easier because I could now draw gizmos (which are 3D wireframe objects that are only drawn in the…

Road Map: Programming

Hi everyone, Here’s a first draft of the road map for Bad Things Happen in Space. This is my first attempt at collecting my thoughts into a roadmappy structure so it will be a little rough. Of course, everything is super subject to change and probably not going to resemble the final product. Part one includes an overview of programming tasks. Part two will have an overview of assets, and probably some other stuff. But first, LENS FLARES!

High Level Overviewor what I need to do to launch the kickstarter:

Mechanics programming (two/three months)
Design tools and first ship (one week)
Assets for alpha release (one month? maybe less)
Produce video (no idea, two weeks maybe?)

Kickstarter! (four to five months out?)

During that time, I will also need to find somewhere to live for August and also move to a storage container, and also also move out of a storage container into Boston some time in September, so these estimates are only relevant to Actual Time Spent Working on Game.