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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Awesome Platformers of 2013

Start a combo in mid-air, hit the platform and continue swinging, finish the combo with a super-high damage thrust that obliterates the sorcerer before he can disappear. Plummet down into a pit of spikes, but catch yourself on a chain and immediately ledge-hop your way up two screens using nothing but your oversized arms.

Catch a flank attack with your shield in the middle of your spear-throwing animation. Battle a fucking dragon.

Crowd-control grapple moves that lead into air-juggles. Switch dimensions five times in the middle of your 100+ combo.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tiny Barbarian DX: Now on Steam

So, as of this post, the game has been out on Steam for about an hour; with leaderboards...

Meaning I get to be (for the next hour or so) #1 on the global leaderboards! Fuck yes!

Suck it, blizzzilla!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Low-Res Sprites are in Planetside 2

SOE has this Player Studio program where you can make content for their products, and if the devs give it the thumbs up then your stuff gets to be in the game.

So what content did I submit for an epic, modern FPS with notoriously high system requirements? Low-res sprites! 16x16 pixels, to be exact, and I guess Planetside 2's art lead was having an off day when my crap ended up on his desk because it passed and now it's in the game!

They're little soldiers dudes from each of the three factions, and they're vehicles decals so you can slap them on the side of your badass sci-fi death machine so the noobs know you're hardcore!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Favorite RPG Towns #1

Rabanastre (Final Fantasy 12)

The best part of Final Fantasy 12 was the world of Ivalice itself, and the best part of Ivalice was the capital city of Dalmasca, Rabanastre.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Favorite RPG Towns #2

Riverwood (Skyrim)

Riverwood, at a glance, is just some quiet, mountain village; but if you look closer you'll see perfect geometry, the converging leylines, the uncanny details; because this isn't just a quiet, mountain village. It is THE quiet mountain village. The archetype for all quiet, mountain villages; the mould from which all others are derived from.

Favorite RPG Towns #3

Narshe (Final Fantasy 6)

Narshe has a complicated identity. FF6's starting location acts more like a dungeon than a town. The first locals you meet try to kill you, and it's only later on that Narshe starts offering the RPG staples (shops, inn, people to talk to); but then, much later, it returns to being a dungeon, again; with random encounters in the streets.
But then it's also still a town. Narshe is complicated.

When you first see Narshe, it's off in the distance. You slowly approach the town, trotting through the snow in magitek armor while epic music plays. I thought that was pretty cool, but I didn't fall in love with the town until I was walking through the streets and saw all these buildings with smoke rising from their chimneys and spinning wind vanes, or whatever they're supposed to be. The town had a lot of moving parts, and I wanted to explore the whole thing, but the game wouldn't let me. It only gave me bits and pieces. First, you rampage down main street. Later, you wake up in one of the houses and have to escape into the mines while being chased by soldiers; and then you're out of the town and you can't go back; and I had so much fun in this stupid town. Why can't I go back? Why do I have to visit Figaro Castle? Who gives a shit if it can travel under the sand? That's dumb. I want my dirty, half-frozen mining town back.

Narshe is a fucking tease, and for the longest time I thought it was a linear set-piece with nothing behind all those doors; but eventually you get to go back, and when you finally do, there's epic battles, super-powerful secret items, and a god-damned sasquatch.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kickstarter: DinoRun 2

All the delicious sprites are at the front end of this video, but if you stick around you can watch the devs playing Gunstar Heroes and Contra at the same time, to show how metal they are.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Game Design Theory: Joakim Sandberg: Metroid Fusion

This is an old favorite of mine. Joakim shares his thoughts on gameplay flow in Metroid Fusion; what works, and what doesn't.

I'm pretty sure not a single clip that he recorded is random filler. Everything Joakim shows is tied directly into what he's talking about.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kickstarter: Confederate Express

Confederate Express is already a winner for this pitch video alone. Detailed, isometric sprites are just about the greatest thing on this planet.

As of right now, though, I don't have a clue how the game controls. It looks like a mouse-crosshair affair, but there's no UI, so who knows. (And who cares. It's beautiful.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kickstarter: Night in The Woods

So Mae is this college dropout loser, Possum Springs is the hometown she just moved back to, and now Mae's budding supernatural powers is letting her see a darker side of Possum Springs that she never knew existed.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Kickstarter: Scale

Steve Swink's Scale is expanding into something wonderful, but it needs money. Whose money? Yours!

I've seen this game a number of times, and it looks amazing, but I've never gotten the chance to play it because there is always a line.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Stanley Parable: Demo

I'm going to make your day better: Download and play The Stanley Parable Demo.

There. See? Better.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Magicians & Looters: XBLIG Patch

. faster player acceleration
. slightly more generous enemy hitboxes

less-swingy boss fights
. Red Warlock deathball ambush spawns 4 instead of 8
. Red Warlock black knives only hit player once per attack at most
. Jocko Bear Ball does less damage and can't repeat hits as often
. Jocko drops 4 bombs from tightrope instead of 8 towards the end
. Spud fires fewer missiles all around
. Spud's acid gives more warning before rising

bug fixes
. removed ghost orb from orb count
. fixed wrong zone label on Quad Striker
. fixed bug where player would fall through Spud's platform when entering the room

trial mode
. clarified main menu
. added gnome guides to trial game; removed Duel trial game

If you've got Magicians & Looters on your 360 and your adventure petered out somewhere in the middle, I recommend picking it back up. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gravity: Long Shot vs Short

I remember being blown away with the beginning monologue in Sling Blade where Billy Bob Thornton does this scene that lasts, unbroken, for about ten minutes. Probably longer. There's never a cut to a different camera angle, or a quick shot of someone reacting to what Karl was saying. It's just Billy Bob, talking and talking and talking, and you get pulled right in because the camera never says, "Hey, stop listening and look at this other thing." Freaking awesome.

I love long, unbroken scenes. There's a weird magic to them. They can pull you further into the experience, or make you step right out of it.

Gravity has its own unbroken shot and I swear it lasts for, like, twenty hours. It's amazing, and it works perfectly as an immersive tool that forces you into that micro-gravity hell, because those little breaks between shots are tension relievers. They remind you that, "Hey, it's just a movie, Dummy. Relax."
Gravity doesn't do that. It just freaks you out and continues to freak you out until the credits roll.

Imagine if, during that scene, whenever anyone spoke, the camera would cut to their faces. Like, Clooney tells a story so we cut to Clooney's face, and then that other dude starts dancing so the camera cuts to him. It would be a completely different movie, that incredible rising tension would be diluted, and when the shit hits the fan we'd only be halfway invested in the story.

Sandra Bullock, you are fucking amazing. This movie is going to win so many god-damned awards.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Naughty Dog: The Last of Us

I owned a copy of Rings of Power. It was one of Naughty Dog's first commercial titles, designed for the PC, but ported at the last minute to the Genesis (which is another way of saying it was a mess). Playing it as a kid, all I remember was that every time I encountered an enemy I'd get my ass handed to me and have to start over. It wasn't even my fault, either, because (as I learned much later on) all the high-level monster encounters are mixed in with the low-level, and there's no way to tell, so as a new player you're all but guaranteed to run into a monster that will absolutely destroy you.

About two days after purchase, I returned the game.

That was 1991. It's now 2013, and Naughty Dog, the same studio responsible for Rings of Power, released The Last of Us.

That's really all I wanted to share with you, and I'll repeat it:

The studio who made Rings of Power would go on to make The Last of Us.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lefties: Far Better Gamers Than Righties

According to lead researcher Dr. Nick Cherbuin in an interview with AM ABC, the results support the anatomical observation that the major "connection between the left brain and the right brain" is "somewhat larger and better connected in left-handers."

Good job, Science! Continue reinforcing my superiority complex!

And now that we've confirmed that there is a true gamer master race, could we please start having FPS games with an option to put the gun on the left side of the screen?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Animation Test: Walk Cycle

I'm working on something very high-resolution, and I've found that instead of screwing up and redrawing the legs over and over (because I never get it right the first time), it's better just to do a low-res mockup where erasing and redrawing is much, much easier.

This character is about 32x32. 12 frames. Ignore the arms. I certainly did.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Phoenix Art Museum

Morgopolis Studios was at the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday showing off our Magicians & Looters game along with virtually every indie dev in the entire metro area. The turnout was great, the people were fun, and I got to watch a lot of randoms walk up and play M&L cold turkey.

They had a Minecraft exhibit (A.K.A. LAN party) at the other end of the main exhibit hall, so there were about a million Minecraft-addicted millennials who trotted over to get a small fix of something else before returning to their voxels, and they were definitely the best crowd to have in front of the game.

I saw a seven-year-old master the dodging mechanic within seconds of picking up the controller and timed all of her attacks to the frame.

I saw another kid who was waging an inner struggle between playing video games and taking a piss. He spent the whole time dancing in front of the game, jerking the controller in every direction, leaning against the table and doing everything but sitting in the chair. I was worried he was going to knock over the TV, but then in the middle of a morg minion fight he dropped the controller and bolted out of the room.

I saw this one kid who was just terrible at the game, but his ineptitude was equally matched by his persistence. There was this one jump he absolutely could not make, but he kept climbing up and trying it, over and over and over. His poor mother just sat there and watched her son fail this one jump for about fifteen minutes with a blank look on her face.
On a related note, virtually all of the kids preferred the analog stick over the d-pad, which explained a lot of the difficulty some of them had with the jumps. Their stubby thumbs can't shift directions as easily, and fine-tuning their falls is almost impossible.

When you begin a new game in M&L, it asks for you to input your name. Some of my favorites that I found when looking through the files:

g dog

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nowhere: Somewhere Between Batshit and Brilliant

Writing a little blurb underneath this video to try and explain the game is impossible. I recommend watching the pitch and seeing Nowhere with your own eyes. Whether or not playing the game itself interests you is irrelevant. The project's scope and the imagination it took to conceive are the real stars of the show.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Volgarr the Viking: I Won!

Dear Crazy Viking Studios: Please make more games.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Windforge: Somewhere Between Resourceful and Psychotic

Also, check out the crazy localized destructible flesh collision physics. It's so freaking weird to watch, like this is the uncanny valley equivalent of game mechanics.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SimCity: Screaming Beard

Aaron Linde wrote a piece about the final days of his SimCity town, Screaming Beard. Actually, he wrote it in March, but whatever. If you like reading about simulated environments doing a very poor job of simulating environments and the vain attempts of the human element to rationalize a series of bizarre fucking phenomena that's supposed to resemble a digital town, then do I have an article for you!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Fruit Metal

"Fruit Power" remix. Further proof that Ryan's head is a fairytale land of unicorns and goblins where the mundane simply does not exist.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Volgarr the Viking: I Battled the Shark King Dude

I reached the level 2 boss!!!!!
This is the equivalent of speedrunning Very Hard mode on ANY OTHER GAME, so yes, I'm very proud.

Actually, I reached the level 2 boss about five times. Holy crap, he's hard.

I like how Volgarr claims to be old school hard, because it's a flat-out lie. I've never played an 8-bit game that was even half as difficult as Volgarr. It might take a few months, but I'm going to beat this son of a bitch, and then I'm going to place my PC on a viking longship, push it out to sea and set it ablaze.

Then I'll get a new PC, reinstall, and start speedrunning.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kickstarter: Hyper Light Drifter

Damn, that's pretty.

Yet another sprite-based game that looks absolutely amazing. Why are all these great kickstarters being announced at the same time?! I can't back you all (but I'll certainly back this one).

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kickstarter: River City Ransom: Underground

A lot of this pitch is Bannon, the artist, charming the camera; but if you want the money shot then jump to 0:45. It's amazing how faithful this game is to River City Ransom, yet it looks soooo much better.

This isn't a knock-off brand. Conatus has the rights to make an official sequel to River City Ransom.

At this point, I think I've spent more money this year kickstarting games than I have buying finished products; and I have yet to regret any of it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Magicians and Looters: OUT NOW!!!!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gameplay: Winback (corrupted)

All N64 games played exactly like this.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Monsters in California: Cover

Impact Bold is the most badass font in the universe.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monsters in California: Milestone

The cutting and rearranging and remodeling of the book is finished; meaning the story is complete. No more characters being added, or removed, or anything like that.

All that's left is the editing and the art. And then I'm done.


Maybe in a few months.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Greenlight: Teslagrad

I really like that mid-air warp move. It's a great take on the double-jump.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trailer: Saints Row IV

The fact that the main character is dressed up exactly the way most people will be playing the game instead of some default outfit is killing me. Everyone at Volition deserves medals.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Stomping Land: Yay, Dinosaurs!

Trap-setting. Distractions. Dinosaur riding. Pole-vaulting?

I've wanted a caveman survival game for so freaking long, and here it is (the prototype trailer, at least. The game itself ain't even close to finished).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tiny Barbarian DX

Air recoveries, combos, a freaking elbow drop because why not. The moveset is pretty deep.

"Hey, TinyB," I said to the game. "I'm a hardcore gamer. I've played and beat it all. I grew up on NES games. You think you're tough? I'm gonna speedrun your ass. I'm the toughest -"

And that's when Tiny Barbarian DX punched me in the face, knocked me to the ground, and proceeded to beat the ever-living shit out of me.

TinyB is so hardcore even the title screen will kick your ass.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Reddit

We now have a subreddit filled with MAL-things.

Want to watch a MAL trailer? Listen to MAL music? Eat MAL-themed burritos? You're in luck, because it's all right here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Planetside 2: Harrasser Madness

I get a kick out of MP games with vehicles that require multiple occupants with multiple roles. The way you have to communicate and rely on other players makes for some very engaging scenarios. Case in point.

At 2:30 they drive right into the middle of an armored convoy. And live.
Well, not all of them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teslagrad: Trailer

Dramatic music doesn't always work for every game's trailer.

But for Teslagrad it's fucking perfect.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Leviathan: Warships: Trailer

I'll take any excuse to show a trailer.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Greenlight: Cloudbuilt

If you're (like me) fantasizing about high-level speed runs then might I direct you towards the Greenlight page to give this game an upvote.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Protodome: There's Always Next Week

Chiptunes and jazz is like peanut butter and chocolate.

Godless Geometry: Turning a Sphere Inside-Out

Watching this gave me a stomach-ache. That's not hyperbole. I have a stomach-ache. I can't handle this.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon: The Cyber War: Ninja Cyborgs: Oh Hell Yeah

When Far Cry 4 is announced the only thing people will be talking about is Blood Dragon 2,
because this game is already guaranteed a sequel.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Trailer: Gunman Clive

The sales pitch is absolutely priceless.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Planetside 2: The Best Pilot

There are good pilots and there are great pilots.

And then there's this guy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon: Trailer

I haven't played Far Cry 3, but I have to play this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monsters in California: What Sounds Better?

It’s best not to dwell on pointless questions. Turn them over long enough in your mind and they become a poison, because one question can always lead to another.

It’s best not to dwell on pointless questions. Turn them over in your mind long enough and they become a poison, because one question can always lead to another.

I don't want to say which one I'm leaning towards, but I think they're both acceptable, so far as the English language is concerned. I feel like there's a right answer to this, but I'm not sure what it is.

Of course, a few hours from now I'll probably delete the whole paragraph and write something else entirely.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Planetside 2: A Very Intense Squadmate

"Do you want to have fun, or do you want to cap territories?" my squadmate asked me without a hint of irony in his voice.
"That's a really weird question," I said.
He then explained in great detail how everyone in our faction is an idiot and how stupid it is that most of our outfits are only playing the game to have fun.

I once joined up with a squadmate who, out of the blue, said, "Hey, let's drive ATVs!"
So we got on some ATVs and drove around, hitting ramps, catching air, and never once firing a bullet or engaging an enemy.

That guy was pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Indiana Stone: The Brave and the Boulder: Trailer

It'd be appropriate to make some witty pun about boulders, but I can't zinc of anything.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guacamelee: Trailer

Fuck you, Drinkbox. I can't beat this. You're too good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dragon's Crown: Trailer

The wild art coupled with that music makes the first half of this trailer (despite its lack of gameplay) really stand out.
That dancing mouse. Haunting.

The second-half of the trailer is all epic (EPIC) bosses and King of Dragons-esque gameplay. So that's good, too.

Welcome to Justin Talks About Trailers. He loves his trailers, people!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bear Buggy: Rock Wall WIP

Tilesets are fun to make and I love the end results, but once you've stopped experimenting, you know what you're going to do, and your only goal is to just make the same rock over and over again, for hours and hours...

I'm just glad podcasts exist.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Unity: Old Man Island

Learning Unity. Making a procedurally generated island (top-down sprites, of course).

Check this one out! It looks like a guy with glasses and a moustache.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mark of the Ninja: Bragging

You've taught me well, Azai.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monsters in California: Small Edits

Remember when I used to post all kinds of sprite animations every day?
Not anymore! Hahahaha!

All I'm doing these days is editing, and a large part of editing is taking bloated sentence and trimming off all the fat.
You would think that descriptive words would add more imagery, but I've had the opposite results. It seems like the more words you add, the less effective the sentence is at painting a picture in your head.

Miles looks back at me and frowns.


Miles looks at me and frowns.


Miles frowns at me.

The last version is the simplest, but it's also the most effective at focusing on what's important (the frown). The looking back part doesn't really have to be there. (Given the scene that was established earlier in this out-of-context example) it's implied, and you can trust your readers to fill in the ______.

Friday, March 8, 2013

SimCity: One Minute Review

SimCity is one of my favorite video game franchises of all time, and this newest iteration has tons of features that I dreamed about when I played the older versions. It's also very pretty to look at.

I will not, nor will I ever, buy this game.

When people talk about what's wrong with video games today, they're usually my age and whining about gamers focusing on achievements and single-player campaigns that play like extra-long tutorials.

But they're wrong. That isn't what's wrong with video games today. SimCity is what's wrong. Forcing your players to log onto a server for a single-player experience is what's wrong. Inevitably nuking your game in a few years by shutting down the servers so your loyal customers will be forced to buy the next iteration and never again play the old one is what's wrong.

Franchise loyalty is also what's wrong. In my Utopian future, gamers will never pre-order. They will play demos and pay attention to reviews before they buy anything. And when this happens, the quality of video games will shoot through the fucking roof.

(This was supposed to just be an embedded video. Then it got out of hand.)

Planetside 2: Evil Laughs

That was a warm-up. Here's the real maniac.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Game Music: Vagrant Story: Graylands Incident

Vagrant Story is to me what Metal Gear Solid is to a lot of other gamers.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monsters in California: Editing Process Snippet

I've always been interested in the play-by-play editing process of other writers, so I thought I'd show a bit of my own. Here's what happens between the rough and (hopefully) finished version of a single paragraph.

This is going to be a little embarrassing. For me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Game Music: Jamestown: Journey Into the Dark Sector

I will embed Youtube until the end of timenothingcanstopme!

Shootemups that I've properly loved is a short list:

Guardian Legend (counts?)
Life Force

Sunday, February 24, 2013

GTA4: Poonikins

Birgirpall. Funny dude.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FPS Tip: Turn Off Enhance Pointer Precision

I'm kind of pissed off that I'm only finding out about this right now, but apparently there's this setting in Windows that, if you turn it off, your aim in FPS games instantly gets better.

The issue is that the distance your cursor travels is affected by the speed at which you move your mouse, which is great for a desktop where you're browsing a web page or something and you're whipping all over the screen without any accuracy, but it screws you up in an FPS because there's an extra element at play that makes developing proper 1:1 muscle memory almost impossible.

Control Panel -> Hardware -> Mouse

And if FPS games are your thing and you want to go a little further down the rabbit hole then I'd recommend starting at this video.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Game Music: Vagrant Story: Undercity

I'm on a Vagrant kick.

Undercity: There's no other song like it in the entire game.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Game Music: Vagrant Story: Abandoned Mines Level 1

Vagrant Story was nothing if not atmospheric. And beautiful.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Planetside 2: Galaxy Good Time

To anyone who doesn't play Planetside 2, this is probably going to look like a lot of nonsense.

(To anyone who does, check out WarpathWrel's PS2 videos. They're freaking awesome!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Man Riding a Pie

"Please calm down, Jeremy," said the Magic Pie. "The only way you could possibly die right now is if you lost your grip on my warm, flaky crust."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DayZ: How to Scare the Crap Out of Someone

This is an expert-level haunting via admin privileges.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monsters in California: Chapter 1 Comparison

Murder your darlings, right?
I started with the darlings and just kept going.

Left: Original               Right: Revised

What you're looking at is the first chapter of "Monsters in California," which I am currently in the process of destroying--I mean revising!

It's cathartic, taking something you spent years working on and then just tearing it apart. Hopefully, when the dust settles and the editing is finished; I'll have a lean, mean supernatural horror novel.

...Or maybe I'll end up deleting everything that made the book worth reading and it'll be horrible. Time will tell!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Goo? Or Something?

I'm experimenting with particle effects for this goo stuff that needs to come out of a pipe, and while I'm not sure the animation above is going to end up in the game, I like how it looks.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Brent Gameplay Video

Go Brent! Shine your light of hope and lead victory!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Yet Another Frisbee

This was deceptively tricky to make.

It's still a little off.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Jocko's Unicycle

Here's what it looks like when a one-armed jester pulls a unicycle out of his ass and rides it.

Greenlight: Knock-Knock

Russian development studio Ice-Pick Lodge has made some of the strangest, most incredible games ever; and if you don't believe me then I'm pretty sure you haven't played The Void.

As for Knock-Knock, I haven't played it and I don't have a clue what the final product is going to be, but this is Ice-Pick Lodge we're talking about, and trying to pin their games down into a familiar genre is a waste of time. Trust me, Knock-Knock is going be weird both in presentation and in gameplay, but it's also going to be amazing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Spiked Frisbee

Probably not the most exciting post of all time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Smoke Poof Study

Poof 1 

My first poof was built on the concept of the smoke being a bunch of balls that you shrink down; but as you can see, despite using 11 frames (or maybe because of the 11 frames), it looks a little off; like the smoke is flying away down a tunnel, or something.

Poof 2

I wish I saved a few more versions of this somewhere in the middle of development, but what I did was take the original poof and instead of continuing to shrink it down, I fragmented the pieces and finished the poof with something almost completely different from where it started. I also changed the initial frame to be a bit smaller than the following, giving it more pop; and the poof doesn't shrink uniformly (like in the first one). Instead, it keeps most of its width and loses its height.

Poof 2 is a step in the right direction, but I'm already seeing where there could be big improvements.

The important lesson I'm taking from this is that, even in a stupid poof animation, there's a huge amount of room for adding character, and most of that character comes alive when you respect the little things.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Bear in a Hamster Ball

So this bear is only about halfway finished. I'm going from four frames to eight.
I just wanted to show it right now because four frames actually looks pretty funny.

Oh, wait! Crap! Hold on!
180px*8 frames = 1440 pixels

I can't do eight frames. That's waaay too big for the sprite sheet.

Okay. So I guess I'm done, then.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Planetside 2: Tutorial: Leading a Public Squad

One of the side-effects of playing way too much Planetside 2 is that I know a lot about the game, or at least I think that I do, and that's all that's really necessary to write a tutorial! With low-bit art!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Planetside 2: How to Avoid Being a Douche

 - Don't deconstruct your vehicle before the enemy can take it out. Losing that vehicle costs you nothing, because it was about to explode, anyways. Your opponent earned that XP. Show them some respect.

 - The same goes for pilots jumping out of their aircraft before the kill-shot. You're a douche, and you look stupid falling to your death. Go out with a little dignity and attempt a kamikaze run on your opponent.

 - And if you're that one guy who not only deconstructed your sunderer but went so far as to log out so I couldn't get XP for blasting you with my lightning, then congratulations; you're an alpha douche. Work on that.

 - If your faction has 45% pop on the continent, another faction has 45%, and the third faction has 10% and no territories, don't zerg the third faction. Granted, reenacting Helm's Deep with assault rifles is a fun time for me, and you're probably going to be all bunched up into grenade-friendly clusters, but you're still a douche.

 - Are you capping a point? Is victory guaranteed? Don't trash the fucking base. Leave the terminals and the turrets alone, because the more competent and responsible members of your team are going to have to turn around and fix everything you broke before they can move on to the next point.

 - Did an enemy just take you out in a totally awesome way? Give them a '/t' and let them know it, because (surprise, surprise) your opposition is also playing Planetside 2 because they want to have a good time and challenge themselves against opponents they can respect. I've got players on my friends list that aren't even in my faction. You know why? Because I'm not a douche.

(Is bragging about not being a douche something a douche would do? I need to self-analyze.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Morg Minion Enjoying Music

I wanted to do something more horizontal instead of vertical.
The result is a pretty odd looking minion.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Final Fantasy 2 (IV): Retrospective

I'm playing the latest remake of FFIV.
Having not touched the game since I was a little dude, it's fun to see how my perspective has changed over the years.

 - It's really, really fast. All of the dialog feels like the abbreviated version of a modern game. As an adult, this is refreshing. As a kid, this just made sense for my kid brain.

 - ATB. Active Time Battle. As an adult, the combat still feels well-designed and the bosses challenging (granted, this is a remake). As a kid, ATB held my attention better than turn-based because it demanded my constant input. The game's battles were more immediate and the bosses were memorable. That demon wall thing still freaks me out.

 - Cecil, the badass Dark Knight, captain of a fleet of airships (wouldn't that make him an admiral?), is your main character. As an adult, this is a lot more appealing than modern Final Fantasy games. It's like having Auron or Balthier for a protagonist instead of Tidus or Vaan. I don't know why Square assumes that their younger players want a younger character to identify with, because as a kid I thought Cecil was fucking awesome while Palom and Porom were dumb as hell.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Morg Minion

Morg minions are equipped with standard issue longswords and literally nothing else. Not even a toothbrush, which they could really use.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Novel: North of Armageddon

My bro wrote a novel. It got published. It's excellent.
There's a huge number of creative narrative devices in this book that give it a lot of personality and help get you invested in the characters (before everything goes to shit and they're all brutally murdered.) I'm hoping he cultures this specific writing style and tries it out in future projects, because it works really well.

Clint explains North of Armageddon better than I do on his own Tumblr. It's the best post ever because it's 10% "Oh, hey. I published a book. Whatever," and 90% "Let me tell you about the lesser-known projects of Andrew Hussie."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Morg Archer on a Sugar High

These new animations are going to make all the morg minions look hyperactive.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Magicians and Looters: Morgman

I love making these animations. Just moving stuff pixel by pixel is so damn easy--Oh crap! Look at the shading on his shoulderpad! I gotta fix that, now...

Thursday, January 10, 2013