December Updates…and some of November as well

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It’s December!  It’s Almost Over!

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Thunderdome is an early music appreciator.

With November came the slightly early arrival of Baby Thunderdome, who will be turning one month old later this week.  Already. Holy crap.  And while progress on basically everything except laundry has indeed been slowed, it has not come to a complete halt like all the haters/doomsayers out there said it would.  Happily she sleeps in fairly large chunks and isn’t particularly fussy.  Now that I’ve said that, I’m sure it’ll start to suck.

Corrupting the Minds of the Youth

Starting up in February I’ll be back to teaching a little bit as well, although this time at UMBC with ART380 – The History and Theory of Game Design.  I’ve started putting together the syllabus and assignments for the semester and all I can say is, I’m sorry UMBC students.  Perhaps this was an easy course before but those times are now definitely starting to look good and over.  I have been called ‘draconian’ before in my grading and expectations, at multiple different institutions, so you have been warned. 🙂   But on the bright side, you’ll be making a non-digital game or two to apply that theory you’re learning to practice, rather than just taking tests, so that should be fun times.

If you are a UMBC student and have time free on TTH from 10-11:15, I believe there are currently 6 spots left in the class.  We’ll be covering ‘how’ to design games by analyzing old-as-dirt games like Senet, then moving up through board and card games, war games, classic pen-and-paper, arcades, and ending up in the modern console land…possibly ending with a discussion on GamerGate (time allowing – still working out the details).

If you’re a local industry person and you’d like to mentor when they start making their games, lemme know. I’ve got a few people already lined up but the more the merrier.

SNSSRPG

SNSSRPG might actually get a for-real name soon, now that I’ve got a running list of possibilities.  Sadly, many of the ones I liked have turned out to be small-time ska and punk college bands, all located on the East Coast. Like, multiple times this has happened…glad I took the time to look up trademarks and social presence in advance.  Maybe I should just make a living out of making up names for garage bands.

Once a small update goes live to the framework I’m using I’ll be posting an update to the demo which sees some minor bug fixes and a couple of functional additions:

  • Escape Key/ Game Options Menu is now functional.
  • Players can now select the main character’s name on New Game, either from a
    random assortment or by typing in their own choice. (Entering in a custom name still doesn’t work from controller input.)
  • Players can now change the screen resolution and graphics quality of the game,
    either from the Main Menu or from the Game Options Menu.
  • Journal no longer displays finished quests to streamline UX/UI. Completed quests
    will be displayed elsewhere.
  • Small updates to how quest activation/finished console text is displayed, hopefully
    no more messages showing up on top of each other.
  • Minor environment updates
  • Bugs in changing character jobs fixed. AP saved and recalled correctly per character, no longer resets
    to current level’s minimum. Old job skills removed when changing jobs.
  • Camera doesn’t clip as badly when traveling over steep terrain.

I’m sort of debating whether to lengthen the demo or just leave it where it is.  Maybe I’ll throw in some additional side quests I turned off in the area rather than extend the main story line further (since I do kind of like where it ends there).  I’d also like to try and get a few optimizations in (curse you lightmaps!) but no promises there yet.  A small setback with a blown out laptop power cord kinda stopped that in its tracks, but perhaps I’ll try again this weekend, depending on Thunderdome.

And since updates without pictures are boring, here’re some recent progress ones.

 

 

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