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  Splosions 01:21 PM -- Thu May 8, 2008  

Semi-productive day in the other-computer mines. Now blowing up trash cans and dumpsters yields nice little explosions. But better than that, when ponies and their minions die, they fall over as usual, but then they vaporize in a puff of blue stuff. It's just a nice little effect, I like it a lot better than the previous "blink to death because apparently this is Double Dragon." Besides those various explosions, weapons actually have the right graphics now! Well, some do. The only one I am actually testing, the H.R. Puffencrush, certainly does. It fires big chunky marshmallows which are much more fun to see than the old red dots.

In addition to visual splendor, damage is now inflicted properly - the game actually knows at long long last that the marshmallows are Sweet Damage, and thus they have a 1% chance to cause Tooth Decay (and 150% damage) on impact. That was a major overhaul of half the files in the game, since damage used to simply be a number.

And if that weren't enough for you, along with some bug fixes, there's now an infinitely long highway leading out of town. Feel free to walk down it for all eternity. You will not reach America (and it's not some Escheresque trick where heading back up will send you right back to town - you really are however many miles away you walked!). But I am somewhat tempted to have it end in a border station at some point. Guess you'll never know unless you walk down it! For a long time. I'm debating how you'll appear in the game. Remember Rocket Keychains? Those are based on the model of Bouapha's rocket ship as seen (pretty much only by me) in SpisHulk. Maybe his rocket should be landed on the road there, indicating that that's how he arrived. Either that or he should have a car, but then there are issues of what kind of car he would drive, and you'd be able to drive it down the infinitely long road. Maybe if you drive far enough the game ends with you giving up and leaving London to its fate. Kind of like the beginning of Karateka. You can sure lose that game quickly, especially if your joystick isn't calibrated right.
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  Sneak Peek: Happyponygate 01:37 PM -- Wed May 7, 2008  

Today's sneak peek demonstrates the user interface of Happyponygate, as well as what was going to be a very secret enemy. I've decided to display this enemy today in honor of the holiday we are celebrating today. If you don't know what I mean, then you surely don't know what this enemy is, either! You'll just have to find out. The monster's still going to be secret in game - you may have seen it now, but you don't know how to encounter it in the game!

Obviously the monster is just pasted over the screen, not actually in the game at the moment. But I think it turned out great - it's remarkably close to the concept art I used, right down to the oddly tentacular roots! Anyway, this is the on-screen interface as well. The big block at top is the life meter, and all the white bars are meters for different things (all full at the moment for testing purposes). Weapons go in the slots down the side, click on them to select. You can also select with the number keys on the keyboard (and - and = for weapons 11 and 12). Click Menu to visit the menu (same as pressing ESC), and the intentionally blank spot is for something else you will find out about someday.

That's it! Nice and simple and easy to use.

I got much done today already, as you see in the picture. How did such a miracle occur? Quite simply, and I don't know how I didn't come up with this plan before. I realized that since most of my development tools only work on my old computer (non-Vista), it was ridiculous that I tried so hard to work on the new computer. It's always cramped my style dramatically, and I would procrastinate doing any art or sound for weeks and weeks just because I knew I'd have to go over, turn on that computer, fire up the needed programs, do the work, transfer the results over, and so on. So today I decided to move the code over there, and just do all the work there! The difference is splendiferous. That computer is also not connected to the internet, making it even more ideal for not slacking off. That is probably the reason I avoided being there before. I like to slack off.

Sol Hunt has given me a deadline on this game - it's supposed to be in a playable complete-ish state (not necessarily even beta, just something worth playing) by the time her school gets out. I have 5.5 weeks. I have a lot of work to do.
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  Perdon! 11:26 AM -- Tue May 6, 2008  

Ay! No he blogado mucho! I don't even know if that's conjugated right. But I do know blogar is not an actual Spanish verb. It means "to blog" in Jamulish.

So, results are in for LD48 #11! I did well. I got 1st place in Humor, 2nd place in Theme, 3rd place Overall, 5th place in Polish, 5th place in Audio, 6th place in Graphics, and far too low to bother even calculating in Technical, Innovation, and sadly Fun. I also got insanely low ranks in Food, Journal, and Timelapse, but I didn't try to compete in those.

I got a lot of comments that my game was really nifty but not fun. Oh well, I am happy with it! And the first place in humor is a triumph (note: huge success!), because it really was intended to be a joke in video game form. Looks like it worked! I thought it was fun to play too (though I can really understand not thinking that... all it was was trying to click objects quickly). Many people lamented the fact that you start over when you die, but my defense is twofold. First fold: the whole game can be completed in under a minute (and by "can be", I mean "must be", because you'd lose if you took longer!), so really how bad is restarting? And second fold: I made it work that way (and with a simple fade out rather than any kind of "GAME OVER") intentionally, so that it would seem at first glance that all you do is watch a leaf fall and then it returns to the title screen. The actual game is supposed to be sort of a secret... a really really obvious one, but nonetheless, a bit of a surprise. It's supposed to appear to be some kind of snooty art garbage, but then you subvert that by blowing it apart. I was going to have big gunshot noises too (I also considered having your clicks be used to target nuclear homing missiles), but that would ruin the surprise at the 4th level, since you'd already be in ridiculousness at that point.

So no, commenters! I do not regret the restart on death! I shan't repent! It's funny because I am a stickler for playability and ease of use, and I would never make a restart-from-the-top game normally, but this joke game truly calls for it. Although one commenter did mention limited lives, that would be nice (but again, they'd have to kick in on level 4 or something, or they'd ruin the joke).

By the way, the words that many people can't understand in the game are: "THE K IS SILENT!" (bad Sean Connery impression), "WHAT A DRAMATIC CONCLUSION!" (bad Strongbad impression), and at the end is an outtake from when I was recording rhino noises, where I am laughing and saying "Rhinos don't sound like that!". That's because I was actually making cooing noises, something I probably should've included in that sound clip. Come to think of it, that final rhino should've cooed as it fell.

So that's that game. Another game just finished was our first try at Heroes Mafia. It was so awesome! My wife thought I was crazy because I'd run around the house shouting out strategies and plans, and how things were working. I was a bit excited about it. I am dying for the next game of Heroes!
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  Sneak Peek: Happyponygate 12:41 PM -- Fri May 2, 2008  

As promised, it's a Chocolate Moose! Two, because I wanted to get a shot of him facing you. Surprisingly enough he has big googly eyes. This is also the lovely alleyway you begin the game in (it won't be full of monsters like this, though). You can see some debug text in there too, ignore that. I always feel a little guilty making the monsters just a bunch of spheres stuck together like this because it's so easy, but honestly it's exactly the result I want. That is my style, and it's just a coincidence that it's really easy to build. I love super round, super simple, characters.
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  Playtime's Over, Punk! 03:23 PM -- Thu May 1, 2008  

I feel like I've been spending far too much time playing instead of working lately, so I'm kicking my point system back into gear! It didn't last long because of some interruption or the other... I think it was when I got sick. But anyway, it was a good system that worked well for me, and I'm bringing it back! Today was my first day back on it, after yesterday indulging in too much Ratchet in the morning, and too much WoW all evening.

Today is the first of the month, so I've earned my points on maintenance type things - the newsletter is written, three addons are (almost) ready to go, new fan art is up, the monster contest is judged and done, and a new microntest is up. Oh, and I've finally finished judging LD48 entries. Right now I am working on the bills and writing a journal entry in which I am writing "writing a journal entry in which I am writing "writing a journal entry in wh... okay. Hey, and I did the dishes too!

So, I'm holding off on sending out the newsletter until I have the addons up, and I'm holding off on the addons until I get some files I am missing for one of them, but aside from that, it feels pretty productive. Tomorrow, maybe I can be productive on an actual project.
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