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  An Encyclopedia Of Failures 11:21 AM -- Wed November 25, 2020  

There were more of these than I expected! Enjoy a selection of games I started and have not finished over the past few years:

"Little Wizard 2" - The wizard is purchased art, and the environment is freebie art. But I made that hanging monolith myself! And if you do shoot the glowy thing, there's an explosion and the rock falls and you can use it to jump over to a platform behind it. That's the extent of the gameplay in this game, although there is a evil skeletal mage standing behind you that you can kill, but he doesn't do anything. Also you press LB instead of RT to shoot, weirdly.

"DiabloWizard" - That obviously became this. Originally meant to have a top-down view (that's all the project name DiabloWizard indicates), I liked the over-the-shoulder system much better. The Dumb Golems are shockingly original art (can you believe that? All by myself?), but the rest of the models are purchased/free. There is actually a lot to this. The icons you can see are equipped spells, all obviously the same right now (the only one implemented, a stone shard shotgun which you can see exploding). You 'create' spells with those 4 crystal slots in the icon, by putting gems of 8 different elements in them. This one is "Launcher=stone (shotgun) and Impact=stone (does stone damage, and causes knockback/stun)", with the other two optional slots empty - one modifies the launch (like more shots fired, or homing, etc), and the other modifies the impact (like launching shrapnel, or causing a DOT, or healing you). It was very very cool, a roguelite thing with insane build variety that I was quite excited about!

"Keep It Alive" - I'm not sure where in the order this actually fits, but it was my start to a Ludum Dare entry! The theme of LD46 was "Keep It Alive" of course. It's a first-person puzzler where you are a robot in a spaceship trying to keep the spaceship alive to get to its destination as a wire-chomping alien is wandering about (inspired a bit by Alien: Isolation, it is not a hardcoded puzzle, you have to outwit the AI which is moving from room to room). What you see is about the extent of it as I could not get the wrench to point the right way in my robot's hands. You'd think flipping 180 would do it but it did NOT. The crazy pink glow is actually part of the debugging. At least I built all my own models here! I was mainly doing it as an exercise in how to do a pipeline for 3D art into an actual game.

"Tanky" - Again, not sure what order this goes in. This is a top-down game where you are a tank with big eyes who shoots aliens! The part of it I like is that hatch with the spinning lights - it's the "Dark Souls bonfire" of the game. If you drive onto it, your tank auto-drives into the correct position, then an elevator takes it underground and a roof closes on top, the game pauses (would have a various equip/upgrade menu options in there), and when you unpause, you come back out. It was a cool animation. Also really cool shooting effect and recoil. The part of this I don't like are those weird christmas trees - they are supposed to be coral or some sort of ocean rocks. Really bad.

"Lost In The Woods" - I've already blogged about this! It's pretty darn far along, and pretty cool. But I just lost steam, and mainly this whole process (all the games above) has been a string of me saying "that's too complex for a first full 3D project, let's take it down a notch and try again", which is what led me out of this game and into...

"Moon Invaders 2" - What!? Yeah. I'm excited about this, it's the one I'm still working on. Again, don't expect it to go anywhere based on the track record, but I'm liking it. As you can see, the aliens are actually made of separate cubes, which, on spawn, zoom in from everywhere to form the alien, and on death, fall out of the sky and scatter on the ground. The glowy eyes change color to indicate the health level (green to red). The one cube that's way out of place was just shot. It's actually a terrible effect right now, but I like the concept (they bounce back into place). There is currently no art in the game at all, all the cubes are default Unreal cubes and a default landscape. But one thing I've been too hung up on is building a "real" game of quality, and I'm trying to stop that for this one and just do what I used to do in the 90's - crank something out that is complete, and not worry about professionalism. Not that I want default cubes, but I'm also not going to build this so carefully and get stuck because I can't get that perfect style or hold back assuming I'm going to hire a pro artist later. I'm gonna make my own stuff and just go with it.

That brings you up to speed! That's what I haven't been blogging about because none of it's going anywhere. I'll try to improve on that over time. Just posting about it gets me a little more interested, so maybe that's part of the process.
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