I’d never heard of Filmstruck before. As someone who does PR, I’d say this social media campaign is a resounding success. Filmstruck started by tagging four big people in film, who cascaded the modern-era chain letter until people who weren’t tagged started joining in for fun. Now there are permutations like #GameStruck4, and people are wondering where that came from and tracing it back to #FilmStruck4, even if they missed seeing it over the past couple of days. Filmstruck has put its name in front of zillions of eyeballs, even if not everyone bothers to research and find out that it’s a streaming service for classic movies.
I thought about doing #FilmStruck4 yesterday, but it was pretty easy to pick four movies and then I felt too lazy to actually put the tweet together. Then this morning I saw #GameStruck4 and had to stop and think.
I have a list on Twitter that just has amusing accounts in it. Most of those accounts are ones I don’t actually follow. I want them around to look at them when I have the time and inclination to do so, but I don’t want their tweets clogging up my general feed for everyday use. There’s one exception: Peter Molydeux.
Peter Molydeux is a fake personality modeled after Peter Molyneux. I won’t go into the whole tale of how this fake personality came about, but it has its own Wikipedia article and can otherwise be searched online easily. What comes out of this fake account are some pretty outrageous and thought-provoking ideas for games, none of it fitting standard molds.
Anyway, for the first time in several weeks, I was sifting through my amusing accounts list and came across a Peter Molydeux tweet from two days ago, which led to this:
The answer to this, for me, was obvious: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, the final DLC for Borderlands 2. It’s quite possibly the best DLC I’ve played for any game. I would argue it’s also the best expansion I have played for any game. I can’t recall any other time I’ve cried at an FPS. The reason this one hits so hard is that what appears to be a riff on Dungeons & Dragons is actually a story about the character with the saddest backstory coping with loss.
It’s been a while since I did any updates regarding my phonics shmup; the stress of leaving a job and moving intercontinentally took its tool. When I stopped working on the game in April, I had broken it in magnificent ways. Now the broken is gone and I’ve added some colorblind friendliness features and built all of my phonemes in the way that Unity really wants: using GameObjects. Continue reading →
Finally back with another Let’s Talk About video, this time on Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim. I like this game, but the devs had an overly ambitious plan for the budget they crowdfunded, and that makes this a great example of why we need both AAA and indie games. Transcript is below the break.
There’s some work to be done here involving the animations’ timing and the feel of things… but it functions. Hurrah!
There’s definitely a bug that allows one button to change position without the other button moving to swap places with it. I need to play around with it more.
Making it so that the player can/must choose which phoneme to switch to definitely makes the game more challenging. I’m going to need an extremely low difficulty option, which means I will probably have to have a two-phoneme option.
It’s been a while since I updated. To be honest, I don’t exactly remember all changes I’ve made. I’ve been working on it here and there in spare moments amongst busy times. Many things have been refactored; I undid some unnecessary future-proofing I did in the previous update’s refactoring because it was silly and hard to read. I abstracted out some classes, either as their own files or as subclasses, making some code much easier to read. Again, not much has visibly changed with this new build, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.
This has been an interesting week, so I got work in on the shmup in bits and pieces around other things. The menu screen, with a credits panel that pops up, is the biggest visible change. I also added some particles for the disruptor broadcast. Most of the work I got done, though, was refactoring.
This is just a quick post to say that I did get the phonics shmup caught up in Unity to where I had it in Godot.* It took me about as much time as I expected, though I didn’t get the work done on the days I expected. It now does everything the Godot version did and has random asteroids floating through as well because I didn’t feel a need to disable them, at least not yet.
Better than that, it’s more or less ready for level loading, so the next part of development is gonna be recording better quality phoneme sounds and doing it for the whole alphabet.
Best of all, you can play it online. I hadn’t figured out how to build for web in Godot yet, but Unity made that easy, too. Left click to shoot, right click to swap disruptor phonemes.
*Actually, now that I think on it, I don’t have even a basic broadcasting graphic on the disruptor. So all but that. Functionally speaking, though, the game is caught up.
I was thinking about the fact that my students are young and Japanese, and more easily impressed by flashy things than non-flashy ones. I am not a graphic artist, really, so I decided to rebuild my phonics shmup in Unity — the ease of grabbing things from the asset store makes it much easier to create something visually appealing.
I’ve spent the last several days learning Unity, and imagine my luck at finding that one of their introductory tutorials is a space shmup. The assets they provide with it are free to use, too.
If I were planning to sell this game, I would care about using assets from one of Unity’s tutorials; who wants to release a commercial game using assets that most Unity developers will recognize? But I’m not. This is going to be free, intended for educational purposes, and what I really care about is the likelihood that my kids (and the students of anyone else who wants to use it) will want to play it. For that purpose, these graphics are fine.