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game dev | Sunil's Blog | Page 2
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Sunil's Blog

I make games! Mostly weird ones.

Category: game dev (page 2 of 3)

Third Person Demo

So I’ve made a little demo of third person controls and movement in Unity. All the scripts/code is custom. I’ll probably build upon this and make something interesting. The driving force behind this is to make something with fast and fluid movement.

You can play it here (requires a small Unity plugin):

[unity src=”332″]


Movement: W, A, S, D

Look Around: Mouse

Jump: Space

Move faster: Left shift


I’ve been teaching myself Unity and it’s been going pretty well so far. You can find the web version of the demo I made here.

I wonder what I can make with this awesome engine… Bye bye flash.

2 more prototypes…

Scrapped! They’re just not working, but that’s okay. I learned a lot. So, here they are:

Minigame-Narrative Experiment: Life

Mirroring Experiment: Mirror

Going to keep up this prototyping phase until I find something truly good.

Lost in development

One month has passed since my break has started and the only emotions running through me at the moment are confusion, frustration, and regret. I’ve been working on this game for the past 3-4 weeks and I’m having second doubts on the whole thing. Instead of building a single system and game mechanic that I can expand upon, I made 5. I tried making a game where the narrative would be presented through the gameplay, and because of this, I made 5 mini-games that contain a very loose story which I don’t think anyone will understand but me.

I’m conflicted whether to scrap this whole game (or 5 mini games rather) and just start fresh, or keep working on something I don’t feel comfortable with. I really don’t want to waste all the work I’ve put in the past few weeks. It’s strikingly apparent at how new and inexperienced I am at game development just by looking at my progress. This will be the second game prototype I’m scrapping in the past few months, and it just feels really discouraging.

To add to that, I even contacted a few artists who would want to help out, but I feel so bad about the game that I don’t even want to show them. The game doesn’t have a solid foundation, consequently becoming a mishmash of subpar mini games.

After writing this post, I’ve come to the decision of just completing the prototype with the original idea/story behind it, and just leave it at that. I’ll keep the programmer art and just try to move on. Overall, this is the 4th game prototype I’ve shelved. I really hope I get better at this.

Hidden Stories

Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve updated information about my second game. Progress is being made, it’s just that I’m taking a rather different approach to the game design this time around. Instead of working on a preexisting framework, such as Inner Vision simply being a visual novel, I’m experimenting with different types of gameplay.

With Inner Vision, the story was presented through a visual novel format. For game #2, the story is being experienced by the player through playing the game. No words, just playing. Sure, there will be a menu with words, but I’m trying very hard for the game and story line to flow together really well.

Game #2 is more of an experiment than an actual game. I’m trying different techniques and putting a lot more time into making the game itself contain a narrative rather than just laying it out on the table. In a way, this is my response to a lot of games these days that have such explicit stories. Hell, Inner VIsion’s story was very explicit. One of video games’ strengths is in its interactivity. With this interaction comes gameplay, and through this gameplay we are able to embed an underlying, subtle story.

Since I’m on break for the summer, I’ve been reading a lot (currently, Walden by Henry Thoreau and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson), and one thing I’ve noticed is how cleverly writers express themes and motifs through their writing. For example, novelists disguise philosophies in their characters, and portray the clash of ideals through the interactions with said characters. It takes practice and skill to get that good at writing, so why not for games? As stated previously, I’ve been spending most of my time on designing the game itself rather than programming. Instead of disguising ideals with writing, I’m disguising ideals with gameplay.

I’ll continue on this crazy development process and see where it takes me. Until next time.

Learning from other media

With the recent debate of what the definition of a “game” is, I thought I would write this post up. Video games are not movies. VIdeo games are not books. Video games are video games. But at the same time, I find it valuable to learn from other media to empower the medium that you are woking on.

Many game developers, including myself, get angry when studios, especially triple-A, try to develop video games with this hollywood-esque movie format (i.e. quick time events, lengthy cutscenes). Instead of playing a game and experiencing a story through the gameplay, we are subjected to play a game, watch a video for about 10-15 minutes, than go back to playing. This pattern pretty much goes throughout the entirety of the game. This is a very common format in video games these days, and I feel as if we’ve hit a wall in this regard. We need to learn and experiment with new ways to represent the stories and experiences in video games.

Video games are going through an identity crisis. We don’t know what we are, consequently sucking up all parts of different types of media into one cesspool. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if used wisely. There have been amazing games that have incorporated music videos, and animations quite nicely (go take a look at POP).

It’s organic in a way. We look at the past to try and improve the present. This viewpoint can be directly linked to video games. Game developers are looking at past media, and trying to improve upon it. If we can learn about what makes movies good, and what makes books good, maybe then we can learn what makes games good. For the game I’m currently developing, I’m looking at a certain movie opening (For the curious, the opening scene to the movie Enter the Void) that I’m trying to incorporate into my game. The difference is that instead of just copying the opening, making it into a video, and stick in as the intro of the game as a cut-scene, I’m trying to “gamify” it. In other words, make it video game-like, somehow. This is where the challenge comes, but a welcomed one.

Lots of developers. including myself, bash games for having too many elements from other media, especially movies. After some thought, I disagree. Instead of completely removing aspects of video games that aren’t games, let’s try to gamify other media!

Let’s take the movie Lion King. It’s a great children’s movie with some important themes that are good for children to be taught at a young age. If one was to go about and make a video game about Lion King (SNES!), and Instead of just using cut-scenes and cinematics, we should be looking at the important themes present in the movie, and try to make those themes into a game, somehow.

This all may seem a bit idealistic, but I do believe that we can learn from other media in a positive way. The problem is that it’s simply hard because of how new video games truly are. The reason I make games is because it’s the only medium where everything feels new, where there’s plenty of untapped potential. So with that pioneer spirit, let’s make some cool games in weird ways!

Decided to temporarily call the game Robot + update

So I’ve been hacking away at Robot this past weekend. Did a lot of programming, and got the tilemap and collision working pretty well (which took me a while to be honest). The character can move around, as well as jump and animate. I still have one big programming problem I need to figure out, and that is the player’s special abilities. (Oh, and Robot will be a puzzle-platformer by the way)

The player will be able to change the center of the character’s gravity with the push of a button, and the center of gravity will be floating globes in the map. This may seem a little tough, but there are plenty of physics based engines out there for flash, and flixel handles a lot of it too. I’m pretty excited to program that aspect of it since I love solving weird programming problems like that. The other special ability the player will have is still in the works.

These special abilities directly feed into the story. I’ve been writing a little script of the story, and it’s coming quite nicely. I’ve been putting a lot of work into this game, and it seems much larger in scale compared to Inner VIsion. I’m excited to where it will lead!

This project will have much more art assets than Inner Vision, so I’m a bit worried since that is my weakest skill. With that said, I still enjoy myself while drawing out the sprites, so we’ll see what happens.

I don’t want to get into the details of the story in this post, but in short, there are two robot races with different values. There isn’t one “bad” race and one “good” race of robots, like most games tend to have. These are some mockups/sketches of one of the races. Just like Inner Vision, I hope to make Robot meaningful and not just serve as game “candy”. Until next time!

Block Head Sketches 2

Back in gear

Well, time to get back to working on my flash game. Yeesh, what a long break that was. You know, it was just one of those “oh god what am I going to do with my life I’m going to be poor because I’m not a good enough programmer to make into the gaming industry”  kind of breaks. We’ve all been there.

Here are some sketches/mockups of the main character of my game. Whenever I make sketches, it means I’m working towards something that I’m going to finish. This time around, my game will be a lot more positive and upbeat:

Robot Sketches


Still don’t know what the game’s title is yet. Until next time!

Dropping Gravity

I’m breaking one of my rules. Instead of pushing forward and trying to complete Gravity, I’m going to shelf the prototype completely. The only reason is because I created the prototype without thinking of what the actual game would be. When I created Inner VIsion, I had the intent of creating an interesting visual novel. When I started prototyping Gravity, I had no idea what I was making. Big misstep on my part.

So, I’m currently trying to create something new. This time, I’m planning a lot more things in advance, then jumping in. Times like these I am reminded I am a complete newbie sometimes… So, until next time!

I added sound to the start menu and intro

This is my first time creating music. Back to work!


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