Category Archives: Dev Log

Building Worlds

It has been quite a while since my last post to either this site or twitter. The Real Laser Ball was released, which was awesome, and people actually bought it! I then had to start job hunting because, well, not enough people bought it. This was expected, but it cut the time I had to make games (and post about making games) down quite a bit. I am still making games, and I will actually be writing some posts about it soon (Dev logs, random thoughts, and my possible journey into finding a publisher). This post, however, is not about that. This post is about a new project I have started with a long time friend and fantastic writer, Tyler.

Tyler and I have known each other for over ten years and, during that time, we have spent countless hours crafting our ideas for worlds, stories, and games. Recently, we started on a proper outline for a new story and realized it would make a great tabletop campaign. Then we realized we had countless half-finished outlines and twice as many worlds/countries/planes of existence we had crafted histories, cultures, gods, religions, languages, and characters for. This brought us to our current project: Building Worlds.

Using a vast amount of notes, sketches, random thoughts, and some elbow grease we have started the process of making maps for our first official world. We are still early in the process, but our eventual goal is to release premium world guides/campaigns for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. These would include everything from world/detailed maps, a full world history/timeline, local factions/races/customs, a list of major characters/gods/religions/historical figures, and a full campaign. Our goal is to make “homebrew” content at the same level of quality as an official Wizards of the Coast published book. This will require some fun legal/copyright shit with using the SRD and OGL, but it seems so far that we will be perfectly covered. We may also do some campaigns in the Forgotten Realms to leverage the official 5E content, as well as the popular marketplaces, but for now, we want to make our own shit.

I will be posting more info soon (and I might see if I can convince Tyler to throw up some posts as well) but, for today, I will leave you with the above video and the below maps (Which are still very much works in progress).

Project Stuntman – Dev Log 1

Project Eats (Not the actual title) is a great idea. It will be funny, fun, and go a long way towards selling itself. However, Project Eats (again, not the actual title) needs a lot more time in the brainstorming oven to be something I would be proud to release. So, Project Eats (Actual title…No wait, no. Not the actual title) has been put on the back burner for now and I am moving forward with Project Stuntman (…not the actual title).

Stuntman will be a frenetic, high-score-chasing, twitch (the skill not the streaming service) based game. It borrows heavily from some old classics with some modern twists. I will have some more details as well as some VERY early gameplay videos shortly.

Today, however, I will talk about the first 12 hours of working on this prototype:

I was once given a solid piece of advice. “When making a game, make it for one person. If that person loves it, others will too.” This lead me to making a game for my good friend and sometime colleague Jovan. And Jovan likes weird games.

We began with a simple idea like frogger where the goal is not not to cross the street but instead see how close you can get to dying… without dying. Scores are not granted by staying alive for a long time but by dodging out the way at the last possible moment. Kind of like a pidgeon or seagull standing in the road in front of your car. They never move until the very last moment, most likely just to be assholes.

I started trying to determine if I wanted a vertical or horizontal layout, ending up on horizontal to utilize the screen space afforded with 16:9 monitors. From there it was a process of determining the level layout, amount of lanes, control scheme, enemy spawning, etc. I decided to not spawn in waves, instead having enemies always spawn in every lane from game start. The game will start with only four lanes of variable speeds and will expand as the player raises their score.

The biggest difficulty so far has been trying to calculate points on dodging an enemy and notifying the player on the best time to dodge. I have settled on each enemy looking for a raycast hit on the player within a certain range. While hitting the player with a ray, the color on the enemy’s shader will change hue over time, reverting if the player moves out of the way. Once the player moves, based on the distance between the enemy object and the player, points will be added. If the players dodges at an extremely close range the game will move into slow motion. While in slowmo, the player will be able to continue to dodge close objects to extend the duration of the slowmo. The time control system was, thankfully, very straight forward since I utilized Chronos (Asset Store Link).

Once I had a VERY basic playable prototype I found that it felt static and uninteresting. This brought me into the camera. Originally, this was to be a straight down shot with an orthographic camera to essentially keep the game 2D. However, I have since moved the camera to a perspective view and have it following the player with some basic scripts to allow for delay, spring, and zooming/rotating during slowmo periods. I really like the feel of it now but, I think I will move my camera operation over to Cinemachine once I have some more of the basic portions complete.

All that is left before presenting Jovan with a playable build for him to judge is to add a death/restart system, high score tracking, and complete the enemy color change based on distance scripts.  Once that is complete I may record some normal speed gameplay footage to post on here.

That’s it for the first 12 hours of work (spread out over a week). I will post again once Jovan can get his hands on the build.