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  Recent Biz 11:37 AM -- Wed August 3, 2022  

Feels like it's been a while, and I see it has, because it's been over a month! Let's see how the project is coming along...

New Project (title's a secret!) is moving along. Slower than I would like for a simple game, but I've built a ton of important infrastructure in GUI stuff, fonts, and so on. It is definitely not a game yet, but it has a fun feel. It is a top-down twin-stick arena roguelite shooter. There are a variety of heroes to play (well, one so far, but you know), with different skill trees and weapons. The skill trees are kind of the unique feature - usually all the upgrading in a game like this is about randomly choosing one of three upgrades. We have that here, for the weapon upgrades, but we also have the skill tree for a more fixed build aspect. You might want to adjust your build based on which weapons and upgrades you get.
This is the main menu, and as you can see, we plan to have several game modes, but currently they are all "20 Minutes Till Lunch" (which in itself is nowhere near done). As you may be aware if you have seen 20 Minutes Till Dawn (a game I recommend highly!), the game modes are sort of parodies of popular roguelites. Or at least some of them are. I have some ideas. 20MTL is a simple 20-minute survival against demonic foods, with fixed waves. At the bottom, you can select which hero to use (Bug Queen being the only one that exists so far), which weapon to use as their primary (you can gather five weapons as you play, but you start with one), and which special ability to use. The Bug Queen and her primary weapon, the Infestor, are actually at the more exotic end of the spectrum, definitely not the stuff you'll start out using. I wanted to start there to just dive into the deep end and implement some of the more complex skills and upgrades, so that when I go back to the simpler characters I can just buzz right through and not have a lot of special cases and new abilities I haven't already handled.
And here's the upgrade funtimes! Your skill tree has 3 columns, each with a different focus, and then you get a 4th column to upgrade your ability. You're definitely not required to match a particular weapon or ability with a particular hero, but there is some connection between their skills and their 'native' ability and weapon to encourage it (in this case, Bug Queen's left skill line is all about dealing damage over time, which means the Infestor is an ideal weapon for her). As you can see by the row of 3 swords at the bottom, I haven't implemented all of Bug Queen's skills yet. But I did make all the skills for Shell! Shell is a long-cooldown ability that gives you a decently long period of invulnerability. My favorite skill for it is Juggernaut - while it's active you can just plow through enemies and fling them aside, dealing big damage. The Lootbox at the bottom of the screen is how you upgrade weapons. When you kill enemies, they sometimes drop lootboxes, which give you the traditional choice of 3 weapon upgrades or new weapons. Weapons can also be leveled up (level ups appear in the lootboxes), all the way up to level 99 if you're playing a shockingly long game mode (as the name implies, 20 Minutes Till Lunch is not shockingly long). The level ups slowly increase the damage for the weapon, so you still have some way to get stronger at those really high levels when you've maxed things out.

Everything I do is a little slow these days as many other parts of my life require attention. Two of those are worth noting here: The Hamumu Halloween Home Horror Hoedown is on the way back! Theoretically! We've decided to try doing one a week forever and ever til death do us part, instead of destroying our lives for a month of every year. Of course, we decided that about 4 weeks ago, and since then, we've recorded 3 episodes, and watched a 4th movie, but I have yet to fully finish editing any. So once it does get going, I'm not so sure you can trust it to be exactly 'weekly'. I really love the conversations and the watching, but man, the editing is not in my wheelhouse.

In other news, the Rock Rose Foundation, which is the foundation my wife and I created over this past couple years, has finally opened up for grant applications! So if you are a non-profit operating in the area of Bell County, Texas - or just know somebody who is - check it out! We want to make Killeen and Bell County an amazing place to live. That's been a very big project for the last 18 months and it's very exciting to finally reach the point where we can actually give out some money.
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  What's next at Hamumu? 01:34 PM -- Wed June 22, 2022  

With the launch of the Sci-Fi Pack and Candy Quest, it's time to move on! There is probably a contingent hoping to see Moon Invaders 2 coming up, since it was pretty far along... and I might join that contingent, but as the guy who makes this stuff, I don't want to do the work that requires! It's gonna simmer on the back burner a bit.

Instead, working on Kid Hallow has really lit a fire under my simple-2D-game butt. It's been a blast to be able to have an idea and it comes to life in a matter of hours. And I do have lots of ideas I'd like to explore. So I am embarking on a project of unknown length, where I am going to create a series (possibly a series of 1, but let's hope more) of games that all follow some general criteria. I like to think of this as a fantasy console of sorts, because there are going to be technical elements they share as well. Here's the current idea, subject to change:
  1. 2D, obviously. Could be side or top view. Pixel art.

  2. 256px vertical resolution, with as much horizontal resolution as you need to fill the screen (For example, if your screen is 1920x1080, you'll get 480x256, at 4x zoom).

  3. Limited color palette. I haven't set a specific rule here, but for my first game, I went online and found a palette I liked which had 42 colors. It would be kind of cool to say that's the palette of this 'hardware' and do all the games in it, but I'd rather fit them to the style of the game, I think.

  4. 60FPS (just because it looks like an old console doesn't mean it needs to be clunky!).

  5. No transparency. In my current prototype, I've implemented shadows by having them be pure black, but only drawing them every other frame. At 60fps this makes a very nice transparency. Kind of a silly restriction, but I like the authenticity.

  6. Same options menu for all the games, and a unified GUI system - can be themed differently, but we need the same basic options for everything and the idea of only implementing that once is very exciting! Same simple profile system and all that.

  7. Small games, quick development time, cheap on Steam. Likely also releasing as Early Access. Besides Kid Hallow as my inspiration, Vampire Survivors has also been a big one. To see that be a smash success when it's such a small simple game (with a lot of Dumb stuff) really inspires me to try a bunch of quick games. I like to reach the end of my work a lot more than being bogged down in the middle of it! Of course if I do find something catches on like Vampire Survivors, I guess I'll be stuck updating it for a while! That's alright, I can do that... for a while anyway.
I'm into the idea of this as a pretend console, with a little boot screen and everything, but I probably won't go that far. Just a series of similarly-styled games.

My first release is going to be the slowest of the bunch, because (with the help of SpaceManiac) I'm building out the core of the whole 'system' - fonts, GUI buttons, sound, controls, profiles, all the basics which will hopefully only need to be done once, making the next game a whole lot quicker. I can't tell you what this first game is called yet, but it is a twin-stick shooter roguelite/like (who knows what terms mean anymore?) which is intended to be as meta as humanly possible. Here's a sneak peek of the prototype in development. The frowny faces are the badguys:

P.S. I cannot think of a good name for the fantasy console. Ham64? It's not very 64. The HamCube? HamStation? HamBoy? Maybe something without Ham in the name? I don't know.
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  The Sci-Fi Pack is here! 09:45 PM -- Wed June 1, 2022  

With a gigaton of big changes, the Sci-Fi Pack and Candy Quest are now here in Kid Hallow.

This free update adds over 150 new levels, an adventure mode to find them in, 3 new costumes, and a ton of new tiles, features, and weird insane interactions.

Maybe most interesting is a whole set of new abilities for all of the existing costumes, thanks to the Power Pill which can upgrade your costume. I mean, you want Santa to have a gatling gun, right?

Enough said - you can check out the many update videos that cover all the individual features if you want to see that, but I say just download and dive in! It's sci-fi time.

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  More Hamumu Source Code! 10:08 AM -- Mon May 23, 2022  

Surprise release! I dug up some source code to games that haven't had their code released yet: Eddie Galaxy, Spooky Castle, and Stockboy (I also tried to get Amazin' SPISPOPD but I can't find the code!).

You can visit this folder to grab them. Of course, as this was inspired by SpaceManiac himself, you should visit SpaceManiac's HamSandwich Github where he has set up a repository for his HamSandwich tool which is already updated to work with these new releases.

And don't forget to stop in the Discord chat where you can chat with other people who are messing around with this code.
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #16 02:58 PM -- Mon May 2, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 25 new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, 3 new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.

The Sci-Fi Pack is almost here! This is our final video hyping it up, and we will leave the last few tiles as a mystery - they include the 'final boss' of the pack and various tiles to help it function.

In this video, we get to see The Glob in action. This is far different from every other costume, as this one can just run straight up walls and stick to ceilings. It's tricky to get used to, but it's a slip-slidey good time, as you instantly consume any enemy you run into... unless you're already full.

Candy Quest is also finished now, barring testing and tweaks (of which there continue to be many!). It has over 150 levels and I admit they get a bit tricky towards the end, but it's a long smooth curve to get there and I think it'll be a way better introduction to the game than anything you've seen so far. Even veterans are going to learn a lot of nice tricks - at the very least they'll learn about all the new stuff they've never seen before!

Also in this video, I snuck in the new Buzzsaws (and Grooves, which guide the buzzsaws sideways). Nothing particularly special, just whirling blades of death as you would expect. You can use Chains (previously purely decorative) to guide your Buzzsaws vertically, or Grooves to guide them horizontally. Chains and Grooves also work to control Hovercrates in the same way, so you can now make nice little Hovercrate elevators and moving platforms without having to kick them off with electricity.
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #15 11:23 AM -- Thu April 21, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 25 new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, 3 new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.

The Sci-Fi Pack is almost here! This is our second to last video (oh, I'm so glad...). Behold the snowman's apocalypse beam, and the flaming penguin of doom! Also a really cool hologram. And hey, is that a new Snowman song? Well, not super new - it's music from Dr. Lunatic.

I've also been hard at work on Candy Quest (very hard - 143 levels are done so far!), and have nearly finished. I only have the Dumb Pack Power Pill levels left to do, plus the Vampire, and then any extra Challenge Levels I want to squeeze in before release. We are really finally getting close to this massive undertaking being complete. I'm glad I made Candy Quest for many reasons, but a big one is that it made me really test out the new features and abilities in real level designs, which led to an endless stream of tweaks and bug fixes before the features went live. Every day I make another few changes that would've been a nightmare if people had already made their own levels relying on the original way these features worked.
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #14 11:17 AM -- Fri April 8, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 25 new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, one or two new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.

You may have noticed that it's been a while since the last Sci-Fi Pack update... well, we are a little bit delayed, but, it's because there is a gigaton of extra content being added!

When adding the 3 new costumes, I knew I would have to add training levels for them. However, we also have power pills for 18 different costumes, which really need training as well. And then on top of all that, I sent the game to a whole collection of streamers and got to watch them play... and let's just say that wasn't pretty. Kid Hallow is a game of thousands of complex interactions between various blocks and monsters. If you don't already know what does what with what, a level is just a mess of random pixels and you die for no reason. And our training levels were woefully inadequate - they'd introduce an ability, ask you to use it once, then immediately give you another (and still left lots of things out!). Nobody could remember all that.

So we are introducing Candy Quest! It's a collection of well over a hundred levels, slowly introducing every single element and trick move in Kid Hallow. It starts off incredibly easy and ramps up to involve all the complexity you know and love. There's nothing forcing you to engage in it, but it is definitely the easy way into the game, and even veterans will enjoy the high score and low time challenges on each level. We also have a Candy Apple hidden in every level that usually requires some sneaky tricks to find. We're removing the existing training levels, so enjoy them while you can!

There's an overworld to explore in Candy Quest too! And we're bringing back Farley The Ghost Bat! Yes, you can still disable him when he annoys you, just like in Loonyland.

I'm currently making level 112. I don't know how many there will be in the end, but I'm about halfway into the Sci-Fi pack stuff now (all other packs are done), so I'm getting there! I expect somewhere around 150 levels at the end. The big part is making sure we cover all of the Power Pill abilities.
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #13 02:03 PM -- Mon March 14, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 20some new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, one or two new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.

A mighty new Sci-Fi enemy, the Pushbot is pretty tough to destroy, but that's okay - you might want to keep it alive, since every time it bumps into something, it tries to push it. It might just solve crate puzzles for you!


Yerfdog has an extremely unique Power Pill effect. It does nothing, except to give him the power to get powers when he inhales enemies and objects (makes sense, right?). Whatever he inhales, he inherits some portion of its power as long as it is in his mouth. There are some duplicates (like both Gargoyles and Bats give you the Air Yerf power), but there are still 35 different powers you can gain! It will be an interesting challenge for level builders to figure out exactly what to include since each new item means Yerfdog has access to one more different trick.
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #12 11:32 AM -- Wed March 2, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 20some new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, one or two new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.


This one's simple enough, but it's still my WIRE OF THE YEAR! It's always been tough to build wire layouts in Kid Hallow just because wires will connect to anything around them that they can. With insulated wires, you have more control and you can make much more compact builds. They only go horizontally, but let's not get crazy or anything. Who needs vertical wires anyway?

The Spaceman Costume offers some new things nobody else can really do. First of all, he has a laser which ignites things. He's not the first to do that, but he is the only costume that can set things on fire without using a Power Pill. Fire is very versatile, as you can see in this video. It can burn down normally invincible enemies like the Star Trees. As long as they're flammable! It can also burn up things like Crates which you might not want to burn up, so use with caution. Less flammable objects, like the Hovercrate in this video, get ignited but don't actually burn up. That allows them to ignite other things around them.

He also has a Drone he can control to use as a platform anywhere you like. It's permanent and he can use it for his own reach, or to help out his teammates.

With his Jetpack, he can fly quite a ways, but the fuel is limited (look closely at his helmet to see the fuel gauge!). The Jetpack can also light things on fire, incidentally, which can make platforming in wooden areas quite dangerous.

On the plus side, the Spaceman's suit is fireproof! As is his drone. He also has an oxygen supply (I mean, he'd have to, right?), so he can stay underwater indefinitely.

With the Power Pill, the Spaceman gets a menu when he presses Down+Action - from the menu, he can clip wires from the level, and place them anywhere else he likes (he has separate supplies of Wires and Insulated Wires, and can clip either one). It gives him a very unique capability to modify the level itself, and the potential for some very devious puzzles.

The Power Pill has one other effect, not shown in the video: it makes the Drone produce pressure waves when it's close to the ground, which act almost like a wall. Enemies (or friends) trying to walk underneath it will be pushed back. I'm not entirely sure how level designers will use that, but I anticipate some tricky surprises to come. It definitely will be used to hold the Princess back from falling to her death, I know that!
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  Kid Hallow: Sci-Fi Pack Update #11 02:20 PM -- Mon February 21, 2022  

The Sci-Fi Pack is coming to Kid Hallow! It will be a free update with 20some new tiles/monsters/etc, 3 new costumes, one or two new backgrounds, new music, and some special features.


The pack is coming soon, but we still have weeks more previews to preview! So I'm jamming them in at high velocity, and here's your latest funjection(tm) straight into your brain.

Security Lasers are pretty much vertical Dragon Statues, though how you deal with them is quite a bit different. They will vaporize anybody, and they don't have to recharge after doing so. But you can turn them off with electricity, or you can block the beam with something indestructible like a Crate.

The Knight gains amazing new Golden Armor when he takes a Power Pill (plus... emerald weapons? I guess? Jade?). This protects him from one hit and gives him the power to drop his shield, which apparently was stuck with his normal suit of armor. The shield works as a bullet blocker, an electrical conductor, and of course as a handy stepladder. But of course you won't have a shield anymore until you go pick it up again!

The Wizard actually gains two new forms of magic, making him one of my top 3 Power Pills! With Nature Magic, he can wrap enemies in vines permanently (one at a time), effectively turning them into crates, and he can summon Magic Beanstalks which are extra handy since any character can take advantage of them. Or even badguys.

With Wind Magic, the Wizard can summon his own column of upward wind anywhere he likes (one at a time), and he has the ability to levitate in mid-air, calming all the winds in the level at once. This power is very niche, but it can be used to stop things from getting pushed around, or just to hover in place in order to time your fall into a dangerous situation. It can also stop your upward momentum to avoid hitting spikes, but that requires some serious speed (so you know level builders will definitely make you do it...).

I am considering adding a "Wizard Limiter" to the level options, because once the Wizard gets a Power Pill, he can do just about anything, and it will probably be tricky for level designers to design around that. You can make a beanstalk, then make a wind column on top of that beanstalk, and end up miles high in the air (and then teleport sideways from that height!). So I think it might be nice to offer settings to define which powers your Wizard will have access to, if you want to rule some out. It seems a little strange to include level settings just for one specific costume, but if it means you can make better levels, tailored to specific wizard powers, it might be worth it. Plus it means the wizard costume alone is really 15 (slightly) different costumes! So that's something I'm mulling over right now.
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