Doin’ game stuff. Probably going to be quiet for a few weeks still.
alice: Actually wrote a decent amount of stuff, though fairly haphazardly. Finally kind of getting into the groove here. Still contemplating more interesting ways to offer choices, without turning the game into a combinatorial explosion.
art: Did some doodles. Not as frequently as I’d like, and mostly not published, but I did some, and that’s nice.
fox flux: Revisited the parallax forest background briefly. Made some progress, but talked to glip and maybe it’s not the right approach in the first place? Not thinking about it too seriously right now, regardless.
idchoppers: Miraculously, I got multi-polygon splitting finally working… and then hit a panic when there are coincident segments, which offhand I’m not sure how to fix. Sigh.
I’m running a game jam, and this announcement is before the jam starts! What a concept!
The idea is simple: you have all of February to make a horny game.
(This jam is, as you may have guessed, NSFW. 🔞)
I think there’s a lot of interesting potential at the intersection of sex and games, but we see very little exploration of it — in large part because mega-platforms like Steam (and its predecessor, Walmart) have historically been really squeamish about anything sexual. Unless it’s scantily-clad women draped over everything, that’s fine. But un-clad women are right out. Also gratuitous high-definition gore is cool. But no nipples!!
The result is a paltry cultural volume of games about sex, but as boundaries continue to be pushed without really being broken, we get more and more blockbuster games with sex awkwardly tacked on top as lazy titillation. “Ah, it’s a story-driven role-playing shooter, but in this one part you can have sex, which will affect nothing and never come up again, but you can see a butt!” Truly revolutionary.
The opposite end of the spectrum also exists, in the form of porn games where the game part is tacked on to make something interactive — you know, click really fast to make clothes fall off or whatever. It’s not especially engaging, but it’s more compelling than staring at a JPEG.
So my secret motive here is to encourage people to explore the vast gulf in the middle — to make games that are interesting as games and that feature sexuality as a fundamental part of the game. Something where both parts could stand alone, yet are so intertwined as to be inseparable.
The one genre that is seeing a lot of experimentation is the raunchy visual novel, which is a great example: they tend to tell stories where sexuality plays a heavy part, but they’re still compelling interactive stories and hold up on those grounds just as well. What, I wonder, would this same sort of harmony look like for other genres, other kinds of interaction? What does a horny racing game look like, or a horny inventory-horror game, or a horny brawler? Hell, why are there no horny co-op games to speak of? That seems obvious, right?
I haven’t said all this on the jam page because it would add half a dozen paragraphs to what is already a lengthy document. I also suspect that I’ll sound like I’m suggesting “a racing game but all the cars are dicks,” which isn’t quite right, and I’d need to blather even more to clarify. Anyway, it seems vaguely improper as the jam organizer to be telling people what kind of games not to make; last year I just tried to lead by example by making fox flux.
If exploring this design space seems interesting to you, please do join in! If you’ve never made a game before, this might be a great opportunity to give it a try — everything is going to be embarrassing and personal regardless. Maybe hop on Discord if you need help or want a teammate. Feel free to flip through last year’s entries, too, or my (super nsfw) thread where I played some and talked about them. Some of them are even open source, cough, cough.
games: I launchedStrawberry Jam 2, a month-long February game jam about making horny games. I will probably be making a horny game for it.
idchoppers: I took another crack at dilation. Some meager progress, maybe. I think I’m now porting bad academic C++ to Rust to get the algorithm I want, and I can’t help but wonder if I could just make up something of my own faster than this.
fox flux: I did a bunch of brainstorming and consolidated a bunch of notes from like four different places, which feels like work but also feels like it doesn’t actually move the project forward.
anise!!: Ah, yes, this fell a bit by the wayside. Some map work, some attempts at a 3D effect for a particular thing without much luck (though I found a workaround in the last couple days).
computers: I relieved myself of some 200 browser tabs, which feels fantastic, though I’ve since opened like 80 more. Alas. I also tried to put together a firejail profile for running mystery games from the internet, and I got like 90% of the way there, but it turns out there’s basically no way to stop an X application from reading all keyboard input.
(Yes, I know about that, and I tried it. Yes, that too.)
I’ve got a small pile of little projects that are vaguely urgent, so as much as I’d love to bash my head against idchoppers for a solid week, I’m gonna try to focus on getting a couple half-done things full-done. And maybe try to find time for art regularly so I don’t fall out of practice? Huff puff.
A year strongly defined by mixed success! Also, a lot of video games.
I ran three game jams, resulting in a total of 157 games existing that may not have otherwise, which is totally mindblowing?!
For GAMESMADEQUICK???, glip and I made NEONPHASE, a short little exploratory platformer. Honestly, I should give myself more credit for this and the rest of the LÖVE games I’ve based on the same codebase — I wove a physics engine (and everything else!) from scratch and it has held up remarkably well for a variety of different uses.
I successfully finished an HD version of Isaac’s Descent using my LÖVE engine, though it doesn’t have anything new over the original and I’ve only released it as a tech demo on Patreon.
For Strawberry Jam (NSFW!) we made fox flux (slightly NSFW!), which felt like a huge milestone: the first game where I made all the art! I mean, not counting Isaac’s Descent, which was for a very limited platform. It’s a pretty arbitrary milestone, yes, but it feels significant. I’ve been working on expanding the game into a longer and slightly less buggy experience, but the art is taking the longest by far. I must’ve spent weeks on player sprites alone.
We then set about working on Bolthaven, a sequel of sorts to NEONPHASE, and got decently far, and then abandond it. Oops.
We then started a cute little PICO-8 game, and forgot about it. Oops.
I was recruited to help with Chaos Composer, a more ambitious game glip started with someone else in Unity. I had to get used to Unity, and we squabbled a bit, but the game is finally about at the point where it’s “playable” and “maps” can be designed? It’s slightly on hold at the moment while we all finish up some other stuff, though.
We made a birthday game for two of our friends whose birthdays were very close together! Only they got to see it.
For Ludum Dare 38, we made Lunar Depot 38, a little “wave shooter” or whatever you call those? The AI is pretty rough, seeing as this was the first time I’d really made enemies and I had 72 hours to figure out how to do it, but I still think it’s pretty fun to play and I love the circular world.
I made Roguelike Simulator as an experiment with making something small and quick with a simple tool, and I had a lot of fun! I definitely want to do more stuff like this in the future.
And now we’re working on a game about Star Anise, my cat’s self-insert, which is looking to have more polish and depth than anything we’ve done so far! We’ve definitely come a long way in a year.
Somewhere along the line, I put out a call for a “potluck” project, where everyone would give me sprites of a given size without knowing what anyone else had contributed, and I would then make a game using only those sprites. Unfortunately, that stalled a few times: I tried using the Phaser JS library, but we didn’t get along; I tried LÖVE, but didn’t know where to go with the game; and then I decided to use this as an experiment with procedural generation, and didn’t get around to it. I still feel bad that everyone did work for me and I didn’t follow through, but I don’t know whether this will ever become a game.
veekun, alas, consumed months of my life. I finally got Sun and Moon loaded, but it took weeks of work since I was basically reinventing all the tooling we’d ever had from scratch, without even having most of that tooling available as a reference. It was worth it in the end, at least: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon only took a few days to get loaded. But veekun itself is still missing some obvious Sun/Moon features, and the whole site needs an overhaul, and I just don’t know if I want to dedicate that much time to it when I have so much other stuff going on that’s much more interesting to me right now.
I finally turned my blog into more of a website, giving it a neat front page that lists a bunch of stuff I’ve done. I made a release category at last, though I’m still not quite in the habit of using it.
On a whim, I made a set of Eevee mugshots for Doom, which I think is a decent indication of my (pixel) art progress over the year?
I started idchoppers, a Doom parsing and manipulation library written in Rust, though it didn’t get very far and I’ve spent most of the time fighting with Rust because it won’t let me implement all my extremely bad ideas. It can do a couple things, at least, like flip maps very quickly and render maps to SVG.
I did toy around with music a little, but not a lot.
I wrote two short twines for Flora. They’re okay. I’m working on another; I think it’ll be better.
I didn’t do a lot of art overall, at least compared to the two previous years; most of my art effort over the year has gone into fox flux, which requires me to learn a whole lot of things. I did dip my toes into 3D modelling, most notably producing my current Twitter banner as well as this cool Star Anise animation. I wouldn’t mind doing more of that; maybe I’ll even try to make a low-poly pixel-textured 3D game sometime.
I restarted my book with a much better concept, though so far I’ve only written about half a chapter. Argh. I see that the vast majority of the work was done within the span of a single week, which is bad since that means I only worked on it for a week, but good since that means I can actually do a pretty good amount of work in only a week. I also did a lot of squabbling with tooling, which is hopefully mostly out of the way now.
My computer broke? That was an exciting week.
A lot of stuff, but the year as a whole still feels hit or miss. All the time I spent on veekun feels like a black void in the middle of the year, which seems like a good sign that I maybe don’t want to pour even more weeks into it in the near future.
Mostly, I want to do: more games, more art, more writing, more music.
I want to try out some tiny game making tools and make some tiny games with them — partly to get exposure to different things, partly to get more little ideas out into the world regularly, and partly to get more practice at letting myself have ideas. I have a couple tools in mind and I guess I’ll aim at a microgame every two months or so? I’d also like to finish the expanded fox flux by the end of the year, of course, though at the moment I can’t even gauge how long it might take.
I seriously lapsed on drawing last year, largely because fox flux pixel art took me so much time. So I want to draw more, and I want to get much faster at pixel art. It would probably help if I had a more concrete goal for drawing, so I might try to draw some short comics and write a little visual novel or something, which would also force me to aim for consistency.
I want to work on my book more, of course, but I also want to try my hand at a bit more fiction. I’ve had a blast writing dialogue for our games! I just shy away from longer-form writing for some reason — which seems ridiculous when a large part of my audience found me through my blog. I do think I’ve had some sort of breakthrough in the last month or two; I suddenly feel a good bit more confident about writing in general and figuring out what I want to say? One recent post I know I wrote in a single afternoon, which virtually never happens because I keep rewriting and rearranging stuff. Again, a visual novel would be a good excuse to practice writing fiction without getting too bogged down in details.
And, ah, music. I shy heavily away from music, since I have no idea what I’m doing, and also I seem to spend a lot of time fighting with tools. (Surprise.) I tried out SunVox for the first time just a few days ago and have been enjoying it quite a bit for making sound effects, so I might try it for music as well. And once again, visual novel background music is a pretty low-pressure thing to compose for. Hell, visual novels are small games, too, so that checks all the boxes. I guess I’ll go make a visual novel.
In an unprecedented move, I did one thing for an entire calendar week. I say “unprecedented” but I guess the same thing happened with fox flux. And NEONPHASE. Hmm. Sensing a pattern. See if you can guess what the one thing was!
anise!!: Wow! It’s Anise! The game has come so far that I can’t even believe that any of this was a recent change. I made monster AI vastly more sensible, added a boatload of mechanics, fleshed out more than half the map (and sketched out the rest), and drew and implemented most of a menu with a number of excellent goodies. Also, FINALLY (after a full year of daydreaming about it), eliminated the terrible “clock” structure I invented for collision detection, as well as cut down on a huge source of completely pointless allocations, which sped physics up in general by at least 10% and cut GC churn significantly. Hooray! And I’ve done even more just in the last day and a half. Still a good bit of work left, but this game is gonna be fantastic.
art: Oh right I tried drawing a picture but I didn’t like it so I stopped.
I have some writing to catch up on — I have several things 80% written, but had to stop because I was just starting to get a cold and couldn’t even tell if my own writing was sensible any more. And then I had to work on a video game about my cat. Sorry. Actually, not sorry, video games about my cat are always top priority. You knew what you were signing up for.
Oops, I seem to have missed a week. I was doing Ludum Dare 40, but then I stopped, because— well hang on lemme just bullet this.
anise!!: I intended to enter Ludum Dare with glip; we were working on a game about Anise that we’d conceived about a month ago but never gotten around to. We made pretty decent progress, but realized we couldn’t fit anywhere near what we wanted into only three days, so we’re just… running with it. It’s going on a little longer than we wanted, but it’s getting pretty fun to play now, and I guess that’s pretty good progress given that we had absolutely nothing ten days ago. I’m even figuring out AI for once.
cc: I got so frustrated with trying to find something in Unity Collab history that I cobbled together a thing for exporting Collab history to git. No, you can’t have it, I’m still not convinced it won’t delete my entire hard drive or something. Also I probably fixed a bug in the actual game somewhere in there.
fox flux: Cleaned up and committed the “heart get” overlay and worked on some more art for it. Diagnosed a very obscure physics problem, but didn’t come up with a good solution yet; physics is hard! Drew a very good tree trunk to use as a spawn point; also worked on some background foliage, though less successfully. Played with colors a bit. Tried to work out a tileset for underground areas.
music: I wrote like half of a little chiptune song that I actually like so far! I’m now seriously toying with the idea of doing my own music for fox flux. Played a bit with more sound effects, too.
veekun: Finished up Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon! Pokémon sprites, box sprites, item sprites, and the same data as Sun/Moon. I say “finished” but of course plenty of stuff is still missing, alas.
cc: I’m trying to make glip some building blocks so that they can actually start building the game, so I made some breakable blocks. Also wrote a little shader for implementing their parallax background, which involves a bunch of layer modes.
misc: I got a new keyboard. Also I installed umatrix because noscript’s web extension version is half-broken and driving me up the wall. Sorry, noscript.
Huh, that’s not a bad haul, despite a few nights of incredibly bad sleep. Cool.
blog: I wrote a rather large chunk of one post, but didn’t finish it. I also made a release category for, well, release announcements, so that maybe things I make will have a permanent listing and not fade into obscurity on my Twitter timeline.
fox flux: Drew some experimental pickups. Started putting together a real level with a real tileset (rather than the messy sketch sheet i’ve been using). Got doors partially working with some cool transitions. Wrote a little jingle for picking up a heart.
veekun: Started working on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon; I have the games dumped to YAML already, so getting them onto the site shouldn’t take too much more work.
cc: UI thing I was doing is actually, usably done! Hallelujah. Now for more of it.
idchoppers: I got in a surprise Rust mood and picked this up again. I didn’t get very far, mostly due to trying to coerce Rust into passing around interconnected pointers when it really didn’t want to, but I did add a tiny stub of a CLI (which should make future additions a bit less messy) and started stubbing out a map type.
fox flux: Some more player sprites, naturally. But also, a bunch of stuff! I drew and animated a heart pickup thing, with the intention that hearts are a little better spaced out and getting one is a bit more of an accomplishment. I also figured out how to do palette translation in a shader, ultimately culminating in a cool palette-preserving underwater effect. Oh, and I guess I implemented water. And a bunch of new movement stuff. And, yeah.
I’m so glad I’m finally doing game mechanics stuff — getting the art right is nice and all, but this is finally something new that I can play. And show off, even!
doom: I made a set of Eevee mugshots. I don’t know why. Took about a day, and was pretty cool? I might write a bit about it.
I also streamed Absolutely Killed, a Doom 1 episode of “gimmick” maps that I enjoyed quite a lot! The stream is on Twitch, at least until they nuke it in a week or two, and I used my custom mugshot the whole time.
I did not work on the final October blog post that I started on almost two weeks ago now; my bad. I’ve had my head pretty solidly stuck on fox flux for like a week, now that I’m finally working on the game parts and now just fiddling with the same set of animations forever. I’ve got a lot of writing I want to do as well, so I’ll try to get to that Real Soon™.
Hi! Sorry. I’m a bit late. I’ve actually been up to my eyeballs in doing stuff for a few days, which has been pretty cool.
fox flux: Definitely been ramping up how much I’m working on this game. Finished another landing animation blah blah player sprites. Some more work on visual effects, this time a cool silhouette stencil effect thing.
art: Drew a pic celebrating 1000 followers on my nsfw art Twitter, wow!
blog: Wrote half of another cross-cutting programming languages post, for October. Then forgot about it for, uhhh, ten days. Whoops! Will definitely get back to that, um, soon.
bots: I added a bunch more patterns to my Perlin noise Twitter bot and finally implemented a little “masking” thing that will let me make more complex patterns while still making it obvious what they’re supposed to be.
Alas, while Twitter recently bumped the character limit to 280, that doesn’t mean the bot’s output can now be twice as big — emoji now count as two characters. (No, not because of UTF-16; Twitter is deliberately restricting CJK to 140. It’s super weird.)
cc: I got undo working with this accursèd sprite animation UI, and I fixed just a whole mess of bugs.
This week has been even more busy, which I think bodes well. I’m up to a lot of stuff, hope you’re looking forward to it!
fox flux: Some nitpicks to the landing frames, and copying them to every other form (augh). Finished up another form entirely, hallelujah. Very little left now. I think last week is also when I pixeled out a few more experimental characters.
cc: More sprite animation UI work, which is incredibly tedious oh my goodness. I spent a day investigating Mecanim’s suitability for sprite animation again, and ultimately concluded… no. Good use of time.
blog: I, ah, started on my final October post. Should be done shortly.
Kind of a slow week, I guess. We did spend an awful lot of it playing Danganronpa V3.
fox flux: Cleaning up the division between this game and the generic engine guts. More work on the remaining protagonist sprites, including finally coming up with a “landing on the ground” animation I like. Experimenting with shaders and game mechanics and whatnot.
cc: Got that UI for editing a sprite animation to a mostly usable state.
Getting back up to speed, finishing getting my computer back how it was, etc. Also we got a SNES Classic and Stardew Valley so, those have been things. But between all that, I somehow found time to do a microscopic amount of actual work!
art: Sketched some stuff! It wasn’t very good. Need to do this more often.
fox flux: Finally, after a great many attempts, I drew a pixel art bush I’m fairly happy with. And yet, I can already see ways to improve it! But hey I’m learning stuff and that’s really cool. I’ve been working on a much larger pixel art forest background, too, which is proving a little harder to figure out.
Uh, hey. What’s up. Been a while. My computer died? Linux abruptly put the primary hard drive in read-only mode, which seemed Really Bad, but then it refused to boot up entirely. I suspect the motherboard was on its last legs (though the drive itself was getting pretty worn out too), so long story short, I lost a week to ordering/building an entirely new machine and rearranging/zeroing hard drives. The old one was six years old, so it was about time anyway.
I also had some… internet stuff… to deal with, so overall I’ve had a rollercoaster of a week. Oh, and now my keyboard is finally starting to break.
fox flux: I’m at the point where the protagonists are almost all done and I’ve started touching up particular poses (times ten). So that’s cool. If I hadn’t lost the last week I might’ve been done with it by now!
devops: Well, there was that whole computer thing. Also I suddenly have support for colored fonts (read: emoji) in all GTK apps (except Chromium), and that led me to spend at least half a day trying to find a way to get Twemoji into a font using Google’s font extensions. Alas, no dice, so I’m currently stuck with a fairly outdated copy of the Android emoji, which I don’t want to upgrade because Google makes them worse with every revision.
blog: I started on a post. I didn’t get very far. I still owe two for September. Oops.
book: Did some editing, worked on some illustrations. I figured out how to get math sections to (mostly) use the same font as body text, so inline math doesn’t look quite so comically out of place any more.
cc: Fixed some stuff I broke, as usual, and worked some more on a Unity GUI for defining and editing sprite animations.
I’m now way behind and have completely lost all my trains of thought, though I guess having my computer break is a pretty good excuse. Trying to get back up to speed as quickly as possible.
art: Doodled some expressions and an action pose or two. Ended up spending a day or two finishing this little beach picture (tumblr) with probably the best background I’ve ever produced? So that’s nice.
stream: I started streaming Oracle of Ages in two-to-three-hour chunks, on a whim.
writing: I did a little bit. Dipped my toe in the water, I guess.
fox flux: Still approaching finishing the protagonist, which I’ve been avoiding showing because it’s interesting spoilers, but god damn it’s annoying not being able to even show what I’m doing. Anyway I’m really close and then I can start building, like, the game.
cc: Stubbed out a scheme for moving between rooms, though it’s not quite usable on maps yet. Implemented one-way platforms. Finally finished splitting player input out of the player actor code. Gave up on finding any other way to do it and started writing my own GUI for defining sprite animations.
I seem to have spent the last few days fighting with obscure tech issues, which is getting pretty frustating, but it happened this week so it doesn’t count for the purposes of this post.
Other than that, I’m making steady progress on… stuff. Just not nearly as fast as I’d like. Never as fast as I’d like. Never enough time in the day, I guess.
art: Lots and lots of doodling, but ultimately not a lot to show for it. There’s a Splatoon thing which came out okay. Mostly just trying to get back into the habit, since I’m reeeally rough at the moment.
cc: I did a lot of physics and a lot of tearing my hair out. I changed ground detection to be based on collision, which opened the door to making slopes work, and clumsily hacked sliding into working. Then I wasted two days banging my head against a wall and getting nowhere.
(But spoilers for next week: I did get slopes working perfectly on Sunday.)
fox flux: Focusing just on player sprites since the game is fundamentally not playable without them. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel; almost all of the walking sequences are done, and about half of the forms are more or less done. So, like, 60% of the way there maybe?
veekun: Loaded and fixed a bunch of little things that were missing, and now the site is basically functional. Had to fix some more form ordering problems, little obscure connections we forget about with every game, and some issues with evolutions. But I do have a website, and that’s nice. Ideally I’ll have something worth publishing by the end of the month.
And, hm, that’s all. Looks like most of my week went to CC physics, which has me in a mood to work on my book again… horf, so much to do.
potluck: What? Yes! I worked on potluck a bit, believe it or not. I’ve decided to try procedurally generating the whole game — something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and a decision that has piqued my interest in potluck considerably. Step one was to clean up all my map code, which was entangled with parsing Tiled’s JSON format, to make it actually possible to generate a map. I finally did that and made an extremely basic proof of concept that just varies the floor height.
fox flux: The usual brief work on player sprites. The game has a lot of them.
gamedev: I made a video game with glip again! It was a birthday present for two of our friends, and it’s extremely specific to them and basically incomprehensible to anyone else, so I haven’t decided yet whether it’d be appropriate to release publicly. But we made something pretty coherent on a whim in two and a half days and that’s nice.
I’m currently working on veekun, which has finally progressed to the point that it has data appearing within the website! Hallelujah. I expect there’ll be plenty of stuff to clean up, but this is a tremendous leap forwards. I’ll be so glad to have this off my plate at last, argh.
The collective thoughts of the interwebz
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.