Archive for the 'writing' Category

19
Mar
10

In the Real World

I really need to stop promising that I’m going to post more often.

Third iteration is well under way, I should have it done before the end of this month is finished.  Major mechanic changes in it excite me.  The game feels like it slowly starting to actually take shape.  It’s interesting to see how fair it’s diverging from my initial prototype.  Already planning more earthshaking changes for the fourth iteration.

The third iteration would probably be out already if it wasn’t for the fact that I now am employed as a software engineer.  Which means I code all day and then come home and code some more.  Sometimes I get wild and do some sprite editing.  The roof is really on fire here.  I wish I felt worse about the fact that my social life is currently homeless in some dumpster.

More later at some point.

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01
Feb
10

Second Iteration Complete!

Wow, huge milestone done.  I still have a hard time believing I just sent out versions of this to be tested.  Feels surreal.

Some things I’ve learned from this experience:

– Perfectionism is a goddamn monkey on my back and I need to find it some bananas to keep it occupied until the polish stage.

– Everything must be tested is a mantra I need to chant to myself on a daily basis.

– Don’t make any assumptions about how things work.  Lift the hood and start poking around.

– Collision Detection makes me asplode.

– I have an issue with deadlines slipping.  I need to plan and execute faster.

– I love doing this sort of thing. =D

More later.

22
Jul
09

In Darkness: Current Goals

Current Target Milestone:  Build prototype level that explores core gameplay mechanic.

In order to meet those goals:

1.  Prototype level sketch must be finalized.

2.  Pathing logic needs to be reworked to allow NPCs to dynamically detach themselves from path and then return to that exact spot on their current route.

3.  Sound must be implemented for certain events in the game.

Just three things out of a very long list of many other things to do and tweak.

10
Jul
09

In Darkness: Ruminations

To those unfamiliar with the happenings of my private life, I am currently working on making a game.  As of now, it is a solo effort until I have enough work to prove to someone (such as an artist) that I have the wherewithal to finish this project.  I’m shooting for this to be in a “done” state by the end of this year, though a fully polished state will probably take more time.

While this is not my first attempt at a project, I have to say this is probably my best attempt so far.  It has always been my position that making games requires an set of skills that is extreme in its breadth and depth.  One must also consider how all the different aspects of gameplay design, story, art, music, sound, etc. all intermesh and combine into one cohesive experience.  Working on games though has shown me just how much there is to consider when it comes to this medium.  It really is quite humbling.

That being said, I feel that this is the best way to learn.  Nothing beats self-experimentation in my book.

07
Jul
09

Murder Simulators Need Love Too

Because apparently the future is filled with peace and wuv.

Normally I avoid reading Kotaku.  Mainly because when I do, my blood pressure rises and then I need to go lie down.  But things like this are nice to hear.

I might not like/agree with what Bioware does, but they do quality work.  It should be interesting to see what evolves from this.

06
Jul
09

Developing. . .

Once again, my rather longish hiatus is over.  Swinging back into the posting saddle again.

That being said, I am working on a new project.  Expect updates on that here.

30
Nov
07

A More Human NPC

I came across this description of a public defender while reading an article on the book Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago’s Cook County Public Defender’s Office :

The public defender assigned to represent Oliver is a brash, ostentatious lawyer named Marijane Placek. Placek might evoke grudging respect from readers for her prowess in the courtroom, but she’s hardly a sympathetic personality. She is icy, sometimes even rude, to the families of murder victims and is openly contemptuous of police, judges, and prosecutors. She seems to tackle her job with few guiding or undergirding principles: She supports the death penalty, for example, but fights to spare her clients, even those who have pleaded guilty, from getting it. (It was Placek who defended Joan Tribblet in what the attorney rather crudely calls the “Kentucky Fried Baby Case.”) She tells Davis she chose to be a public defender for no other reason than that, at the time, the position paid more than what a starting state’s attorney was getting. She thrives on whiskey and steak, throws lavish parties, and proudly sports an abrasive personality.

Although Placek occasionally gives obligatory nods to notions of fighting for justice or sticking up for “the little guy,” her motives seems to stem largely from a bruised ego: She’s a full-figured woman who has spent much of her life fighting ridicule and low expectations. “She wanted to be a winner at all costs,” Davis writes, “to turn upside down the way she was perceived and treated in the courtroom.”

I was instantly mesmerized by this description the moment I read it.  The sheer power of the personality of this blows away any NPC I have met in a RPG.  This person feels human, eccentric without being comical, and deeply intriguing.  Why can’t I play with complex characters like this in RPGs?

It could be argued that games don’t have the kind of narrative space to allow for this kind of character development.  But in my mind, it is possible if certain things are done.  Like creating side quests that are not completely devoid of NPC and PC avenues of growth and interaction (more on this pet peeve at a later date).

I would love to see more characters like this in the future.