Author Archives: Moosader

Out of the Box / Rachel Rambles

"Project Doggie" running on Android

“Project Doggie” running on Android

I am very pleased when something works more-or-less out of the box.  The latest version of RenPy has options in the launcher menu for building your Visual Novel for Android. I had to do a small amount of tweaking to get my own keystore set up (edit a properties file and copy the keystore over), and I had to locate tools.jar and copy/link it to where RenPy/Ant was expecting it to be. But then it worked – no annoying, horrible, headaches.

Same time, I’ve been trying to see about translating (and therefore rebuilding) the Stendhal MMORPG, but that’s getting annoying. Their suggestion for translating the game is kludgy at best, and while there aren’t many open source online RPGs around to tinker with, so it’s aggravating. I just want some multiplayer games in Esperanto to host a server for! I’m already hosting a Minecraft server! ;P

Oh well. So, here’s a screenshot of Project Doggie running on my Galaxy Note tablet.  I think the default resolution for a RenPy project is 800×600, so when we put in final graphics we may go ahead and up it to something like 1024×768 so it looks better on a tablet.

I’m also watching Jeff Gerstmann play Commodore 64 games… so jealous of 80′s developers, being able to make pretty simple games without tons and tons of polish. Seems like so many independent games these days are just loaded with so much polish, it’s hard to know where I should even start sometimes. Plus I’m usually not using an engine, usually coding in C++ or Lua and building a framework and everything else, it probably just takes more effort in general. P:  I wasn’t alive for much of the 80s, but I appreciate (and admire) old freeware/shareware stuff.

Published: 02. 06. 2014 | Comments: 0

Hiatus

So neither Bekah nor I have updated recently. This is mainly due to Bekah having finals to knock out, and I’ve been moving to a new town and that requires cleaning and repainting our old home. Blergh!

IMGA0043

Posting kind of stopped around the time we went to Washington for the Digi Pen Preview Day in April. Rebekah’s looking for colleges to go to for her Bachelors degree. I was actually pretty impressed by the institution (I don’t usually take “game development degrees” all that seriously as a Computer Science major, but this was indeed a technical program). So impressed that “maybe I could get my Masters degree here…” entered my mind. But unless I get a job as a professional developer up in Washington anyway, I wouldn’t be able to afford that place (and the living expenses are higher in WA than KS).

So anyway — I’m still working on getting the old place ready to hand the keys over, Bekah just finished finals recently, so hopefully we’ll get back on-track soon!

 

Published: 20. 05. 2014 | Comments: 0

Game art for those who can’t draw human proportions

I’m an adequate artist. I’ve been drawing and sketching for years, but never really followed proper instruction, aside from some “How to Draw Manga” books back in my teenage years. I’m pretty bad at human proportions, so I tend to draw more cartooney characters:

ami

And it generally works. But for Project Doggie we wanted a more realistic look. So, we’re using a technique that I’ve done for a while, both for backgrounds and people. It’s basically just taking a photograph, and drawing outlines and coloring on top of it.

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Published: 18. 03. 2014 | Comments: 0

The Problem with Perspiration (or something??)

Screenshot-project-doggie I have always been awful at writing stories, so I don’t quite have the same problem as Fyrhino. Usually my brain starts hurting if I try to think of any story stuff, coming up with plots or trees and whatnot (wait, am I talking about stories or agriculture?). I have no talent for coming up with interesting and unique stories, no matter how big or small. :’(

Right now I’m trying to think of what happens when you go to look for bugs at (a) the Playground, (b) the Lake, or (c) the Tennis Court. I have no idea! My brain! It can’t fathom how a child and a dog would search for bugs on a tennis court, or what interesting things might happen! Blahblahblah.

I get really fixated on polish in my games. I like to constantly iterate over the same chunks to refine them over and over, before the game is even done. I would like to get all the draft assets available for the game, where the next step would be to do the art. I would like to figure out how to use RenPy better, so I can make cleaner transitions and nicer menus. I’ve figured out how to use PyGame within RenPy so now I want to make clean, fun, minigames during the non-story bits.

I eventually wrote some basic dialogue for these options, but I spent more time learning to make some custom menus and create a debug setup.

debug debugscreen

Now, Rebekah has FOUR Pokemon badges and I only have TWO! How am I going to catch up now?!

Published: 04. 03. 2014 | Comments: 0

Project Doggie – Fish Catching Minigame

Working on a PyGame fishing minigame. 2014-02

Working on a PyGame fishing minigame. 2014-02

 

One of the features of RenPy is that you can use PyGame to build more than just a simple Visual Novel-style game.  When you first install RenPy, there is a “tutorial” project you can view, which has a pong game under the demo_minigame.rpy file. You can also find additional information about writing mini-PyGame games in your program in the documentation. For example, the Displayable class docs are useful.

Of course keep in mind, that these are not the final graphics for the game. It’s too easy to get obsessed with trying to create nice graphics that it hinders you from the actual programming, so these are placeholders – no animation, rough drawing, etc. Think of it as a rough draft. :)

If you’re curious about how I implemented the fish-catching game, everything is Open Source! Check it out on the GitHub project for “Project Doggie”. This sample is under the RenPy > minigame test folder, since I’m working on these separately from the actual game, so things don’t get all cluttery.

Published: 08. 02. 2014 | Comments: 0

SSNNOOOWWW!!

Snow is not a lot of fun as an adult. :P

It is supposed to snow for 24 hours tomorrow in Kansas City, and Tuesdays are Bekah & my gamedev day. This will be the second week we can’t work together because of ice & snow.

I cannot wait for the spring!

Published: 03. 02. 2014 | Comments: 0

Coffee for Creativity

coffee

Going to work on games tonight, so OF COURSE we have to use the coffee “for” creativity!

Published: 31. 01. 2014 | Comments: 0