Sunil's Blog

I make games! Mostly weird ones.

Month: August 2014

Rise From Your Grave… Kind Of

Games are weird. You spend a lot of time designing and creating them, and by the end of it you’re left with this weird mutant baby right out of Eraserhead. Sometimes this mutant baby is nice and you grow to like it. Other times it spews venom at you every time you try to hold it.

 

At the end of last summer, I was completely stumped on the game I was working on: The Museum. I decided to just give up on the game, or at least put it aside until I figured out some issues. After that summer I kept thinking about the game in my head, over and over. Then, when this summer arrived, I figured out a lot of the design issues and made even more progress on the game. But, time is a cruel mistress and history loves to repeat itself. As I’m on the last day of my summer, nearing the first day of University classes, I feel the same hopelessness and dread as I did last year; I’m completely and utterly stumped on the game.

Who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll figure out the design problems I’ve been having as I did last year, but it’s looking grim. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling this hopelessness a bit earlier, a month ago to be exact. On that day of dread and despair, I realized that I have one month left before my classes start back up. I could have done two things: A) Realize that this is the last “summer break” I’ll ever have in my life and just relax and enjoy it before I join the cesspool of death that is the job market or B) Prepare myself for the job I want to pursue by practicing some C++ with OpenGL. Well, good news. I didn’t do either.

I instead just started to work on another game! (Commence onslaught of eye rolls) Except this time, I really focused on the missteps I took with The Museum. With every death of a game prototype, I learn a tremendous amount. I scour the grave of the prototype, trying to finding hints of why it went so horribly wrong. After some analyzing, I find some clues about why it died; simply bad (not fun or challenging) core game mechanic, lack of scalability, lack of art, no creative ideas found within the game’s systems. So, for this new game I decided to work in a preexisting genre; 2d grid-based puzzling. I then realized that, hey, I’m not an artist and shouldn’t waste my time on it. So after I completed a short prototype of the game showcasing the puzzles and ideas, I posted it on /r/gamedev and /r/INAT (I need a team) and lo and behold, I got a few responses! To be honest, I was utterly shocked. Who the hell would want to create art for a game made by me? Especially for free? (Also, the game is set to be a free release once it’s finished)

But real talk, the artist that I’m working with, Sara, is seriously talented. Just look at some of the stuff she’s made: https://imgur.com/a/Ek4NI

But alas, the artists I’ve been talking to share the same enthusiasm and passion for the game as I do. And with that, I spent my remaining summer crunching on the game and designing the puzzles. It’s also a short game, containing 5 levels of puzzles with each level taking approximately 25 minutes to beat. I currently have 2 levels completed, and am working on the remaining 3. Here are some screenshots:

 

TV Menu

level 2 boss

Channel 1 Animations

 

Unfortunately as a result of my last year of University classes starting back up on Monday, I won’t have as much time to work on the game. I’ll still try to squeeze in some game dev on the weekends, or If I have any down time during the week. But for now, I’m going to focus on honing my C++ skills and learn to use the OpenSceneGraph library. Thankfully, I have an opportunity to do research this semester on virtual reality, which entails me using C++ and OpenSceneGraph to make cool stuff. Until next time.

University classes start back up on Monday, working on my shitty game, and am a bit stressed about the future.

GAME DEV CRUNCH BEAST MODE ACTIVATE

THE END

Bzzzzzzt

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