Development

Phonics Shmup: Rebuilding in Unity

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phonics shmup unity

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 aids in creating something visually appealing.

I’ve spent the last several days learning Unity. 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 and intended for educational purposes. 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.

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Development

Phonics Shmup Progress, 4/22

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Phonics shmup, now with shields disrupted!

I participated in Ludum Dare last weekend. Although it was far from my most successful LD in terms of getting a good game done, since I used the Godot Engine to make it I learned a lot. This is particularly true in the area of dealing with collisions. So it was that when I came back to my phonics shmup yesterday, I got a lot done in a small amount of time.

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Development

Phonics Shmup Progress, 4/15

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4/15/2016 Progress, now with shields

It’s been a few days, including a Ludum Dare weekend, since I actually did some work on my phonics shmup. It was a pretty productive time, though. As the screenshot shows, I added shields to the enemies. However, I also did a big reorganization of my Trello board.

Development Itself

Probably the biggest shift in my plans is how I want to represent phonics as weapon to the player. Before, I planned to have individual bullets be aligned with specific phonemes. That was going to be hard to pull off visually. Instead, I’ve hit on a more readable and natural approach: instead of phoneme bullets damaging only certain enemies, the player will broadcast a phoneme signal that lowers shields on certain enemies.

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Games

Yes, Let’s Evolve the IGF

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First things first: read Zach Gage’s Evolving the IGF and then come back. He argues that the IGF could be highlighting more games in general, and more interesting-if-not-perfectly-executed games specifically, by changing the judging categories. This is an idea I wholeheartedly support. I think there’s room for discussion about what exactly the new categories should be, though.

I respond to his proposal directly at the bottom of this post. However, I’ve been wrestling with my own thoughts on the IGF and how it might be improved for a while now. I haven’t said anything because I couldn’t think of any good potential solutions to the problems I saw. With Gage’s great idea in my face, however, I want to try to work through some of the thoughts that have been simmering on my brain’s backburners.

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Games

Pondering RogueliKes, RogueliTes, and Procedural Death Labyrinths

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It’s been forever and a day since I posted anything here. Fall is busy in general for me as a JET ALT who is very involved with her schools. I was also working on and releasing my first finished video game, Ultra Hat Dimension. It was a great, if stressful experience. Check the game out and look for a postmortem in the near future.

Now that’s finished, I’ve begun making videos besides my critical/reminiscent long-form FFX let’s play. My first one is about the terms “roguelike”, “roguelite”, and “procedural death labyrinths” — both how the terms came about and how I use them. It’s a lead in to a series of one-offs about games I’ll be doing. The video script is below the embed.

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