Follow me as I attempt to solve world hunger, find a sense of humor, and maybe develop a game or two on the side.

Stranded Pre-Alpha Gameplay

A few clips to showcase some of my work on my senior project in the past few months. This video was made for my oral presentation…

Well this has been a crazy past two months. I think instead of going in depth right now, I’ll just list off everything that has happened in a matter of a few weeks…

  • Car accident
  • First official game released on Android!
  • Ticket
  • Sectionals and M.E.L.s for my high school’s tennis team. I made it to the finals of our league so I have a sectionals match on Thursday. If I make it through sectionals then it’s state or something like that.
  • Senior project portfolio
  • Senior Project Boards
  • Prom
  • Started streaming gameplay on Twitch almost everyday
  • Getting a flood of new game ideas going
  • College applications

Needless to say it’s been hard to continue development on the game when I’ve got so many other things vying for my attention. Not to say I don’t like everything that’s been happening, but it’s tough. Really my first time having “real life” kinda be thrown in my face.

Anyways, onto Stranded. It’s been so great and I’ve learned so much through this project. It is nowhere close to a finished game, but quite a few of the base mechanics are there.

I presented my game to the panel of judges for senior project last Tuesday. I’m a fairly confident person and feel comfortable talking in front of people, but never in my life have I presented something so well. I was confident, didn’t stutter, presented within my time limits. After I finished, the judges sat in silence for a moment. All of them started smiling with mouths slightly agape, and proceeded to ask me questions about my career and college plans. I was even asked to come back to a middle school next year and give the same presentation to an animation class they’ll be starting next year.

That being said, there are countless things I realize now that I’ve done absolutely wrong when making it, inefficiency in my coding, scale problems with different sized pixel art, physics issues. I know that I don’t have the skill yet to be able to make my original vision a reality. While a sad realization, I’m excited for the future. I’m going to be taking a break from developing Stranded any further, but can’t wait for the day I come back to it. I will probably restart the project from scratch, and build it the right way from the start. When will this happen? The truth is that I don’t know. I do know that I’ve learned quite a bit about my level of skill.

What I will be focusing on is taking ideas that I can turn into a reality within a few days is what I want to focus on. Back about a month and a half ago I needed to take a break from Stranded, and wanted to work on something I could finish in a few days. Something that I could make from scratch, maybe learn a thing or two, and build my confidence a little more before making the final push on Stranded. I made “You Can’t Survive" in about 48 hours one weekend. I published it to a website called Wooglie after it was basically finished. On Monday I realized that the game I had made only had a one button control and would do great as an Android/iOS game. I pulled an all-nighter, bought a Google Play Developers license, and had my game published before school on Tuesday morning. I’m proud to say "You Can’t Survive" is my first official game release ever! It’s currently only available for Android, but I’ll be porting it to iOS hopefully within the next few weeks now that I have some more free time.

You can check that out here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ANastyThing.YouCantSurvive

Well, I think that just about covers the past two months as concisely as it could be. I seriously love writing blogs but for me it just takes a time to be able to sit down and write the entire thing in an hour or two. Without doing it all in one sitting I’ll lose motivation to write more of it and publish my thoughts. Thankfully I’m not so busy now and can pursue some stuff that I really want to do. Game jams, youtube gameplay videos, twitch streaming, and having a bit more of a social life.

TL:DR - cool stuff happened, more cool stuff’s going to happen.

Switch to Unity?

Yup, it’s happening. Over the past few months of relearning Flash and actionscript, I had to keep making really awful choices. Namely, cutting out key features to the game because I have very little time to get the project done. I was taking out platforming all together because physics in flash (without learning Box2D) was just going to be to complex to get implemented the way I wanted it to be. Although Unity does use Box2D for physics, it’s in a much more intuitive and understandable way. About three weeks ago I decided to just test out Unity for a week and see where I’d be. You know, just learn some basic C# and see if it would be any better.

    Holy mother of God. Unity has proven to be faster, more efficient, and all around awesome. In just under 2 and a half weeks I’ve managed to redo everything I’d done in flash but better. I can now climb ladders, run, and jump, PLUS swimming should be implemented within a few days! A combination of using a program meant for making games along with writing code in C# has made it very clear that this is what I should’ve been doing from the start.

    Unity is putting me right on track to finish for my deadline, and because I’ll be learning C#, I’ll know a programming language that will be able to apply to other areas outside of gaming. I couldn’t be happier with how things are working out right now.

    On a slightly unrelated but still related note, I just moved over the weekend, and am still getting setup in my new room! Seriously an incredible studio space that I get to work out of now.

Stranded

  I should probably give a synopsis of my game before I make any posts regarding features, changes, or things like that.

    Stranded is my senior project. Long story short, I’m getting to make a video-game to help me graduate high school. Awesome.

    The game was originally intended to be an Adventure-Platformer-Survival-Crafting game, but as you’ll see in my next post, it has definitely changed genres, and I think where I’m going with it now, will be much more doable in the time constraints I have. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it has to be finished by May of this year.

    Anyways, the “story” to the game, is pretty simple, but it sets up a solid foundation that I can put my gameplay mechanics and artwork on top of. You, the player, are the cartographer for a King during medieval times. You are sent to map out a series of uncharted islands, but end up crashing your ship as you made your approach. You find yourself stranded with nothing but a backpack, parchment, and a single quill for completing your assignment, You cannot return to the king without the finished map, nor complete the map without building boats to get to the next in the series of islands.

    That’s where the gameplay comes in, the player will explore islands, find pieces to build boats, and gather resources to survive. I don’t imagine the game will take very long to complete, maybe 20 minutes, but the challenge will be doing it very quickly. When you die, that’s it, start over from the beginning.

I think that sums it up pretty simply, and OH, if you couldn’t tell by the header of the page, it will be a 2D pixel-art sidescroller.

THERE, that’s everything…I hope.

Where do I even start?

For those of you that don’t know me, or talk to me, or have any sort of connection with me, let me start off with… I like video games. A lot. Probably way more than I should and I’ve probably spent more time playing them than I’ve spent sleeping in the past 4 years. I don’t know if that’s something I should brag about or something I should be ashamed of, but I do know that I enjoy it more than anything else I do.

And I do a lot of drawing, tennis, and other average teenage stuff, boring everyday stuff, job stuff, time wasting stuff, and I… well… I do a lot of stuff.

However the stuff I do is beside the point. This blog will follow my progress of building a 2D sidescrolling adventure, platformer, called “Stranded”. I’ll post video updates of the progress I’ve made, and an occasional written blog that details mechanics, features, problems, bugs, or whatever the hell I feel like talking about dammit.

Because I can.