Following the example of some friends, I started keeping track of the media I consume. I thought it would make an interesting list to look back on at the end of the year. So without further ado, here we go.
The Witcher 3 – epic.
Oxenfree – creepy.
Disney Infinity 3.0 – not just for kids.
Star Wars Battlefront – pew pew pew.
Firewatch – breath of fresh air.
Mad Max – punch punch vroom.
Batman Arkham Knight – too many buttons.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider – masterpiece.
The Witness – pretty.
Adr1ft – keep breathing.
Californium – trippy.
Inside – brutally beautiful.
Abzu – zen fishing.
Virginia – look at all the cooolooors.
Just Cause 3 – EXPLOSIONS!
Kentucky Route Zero IV – too many words.
Pokemon GO – how could you not.
HITMAN 2016 season 1 – finally distilled perfectly.
No Man’s Sky – why?
DOOM – ballet of death.
Astroneer – fun-to-be.
Deadly Tower Of Monsters – king of pulp.
Sky Force Reloaded – one more game.
Assassin’s Creed Unity – they got me back.
Broken Sword 5 – digging through the mud for gold.
Overcooked – friends fun fantastic.
The Hateful Eight – long.
The Peanuts Movie – rote.
Deadpool – fun!
Inside Out – we get it.
Hardcore Henry – Sharlto Copley <3.
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame – about time.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – Oof.
The Secret Life Of Pets – woof.
X-Men: Apocalypse – fine.
Captain America: Civil War – muscles.
Dark Shadows – Depp.
Zootropolis – it’s so fluffay!
The Red Turtle – tears.
Cafe Society – the old days.
Star Trek Beyond – … great??
John Wick – meh.
Deliver Us From Evil – deliver me from this movie.
Escape Plan – old gods.
Snowpiercer – Jesus Christ.
Ant-Man – not bad.
The Finest Hours – fuck the sea.
The Signal – wait, what?
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation – return to form.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – magical.
Arrival – headache.
Non-Stop – just stop.
Edge Of Tomorrow – I want to do it again!
Catch Me If You Can – Dicaprio <3
It Follows – surprising restraint.
La La Land – glee.
Rogue One – nailed it.
Mad Men (rewatch) – still unbeatable.
Fargo season 2 – afro on point.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook – more Draper.
Breaking Bad (rewatch) – I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!
Stranger Things – nostalgia.
Mr. Robot season 2 – wait what?
How I Met Your Mother (rewatch) – old friends.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – baffling, but in a good way.
Jerusalem, Guy Deslile – oh man.
Naamloos, Pepijn Lanen – eat sleep rave repeat.
Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant, Tony Cliff – adventure.
After two weeks of intermittent development, I finished my gamejam game (late) last sunday! I’ve polished up a few bits since then, and aside from the save system that doesn’t work yet, it’s become a pretty solid offering. And more tweaks and polish are probably coming in the next few weeks.
You can download the game from https://hedgefield.itch.io/hollandhill. Let me know what you thought of it if you play it!
Hey there! This is my second missive from the WJ4 front – read the first one here.
I spent last weekend finalizing the geometry so I could turn it into a prefab and use it across all scenes. It mostly came down to adding some final furniture and building out the surrounding terrain and forest. About halfway through, I realized I was putting way too much effort into it, and it served its purpose just fine the way it was. So I packaged it all up and finally started the first story scene.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Adventure Creator was not 100% foolproof in turning everything into a prefab. The common interactions (opening and closing all the doors in the house etc) were especially dire; they turned up blank after being imported into a new scene, so I had to go into each of the associated objects in a new scene and hook them back up. Not great. Lost a lot of time troubleshooting that. But in the end I had a basic scene that I could duplicate, a sort of prefab if you will, so at least I could now set it and forget it.
Mid-week I finally had some time to dedicate to the game again and I set up the first scene’s logic, which went pretty quickly. That offered some hope for the remaining days. I got started on character sprites too. I wanted to try a more detailed style with thinner lines, like Californium, but in the interest of time I went with my go-to art style. I’ll fix that in post, as they say.
Once I got them in the game and had a few expressions to play with, things really started to come together. I also made a menu that displays which delivery you are embarking on, like the splash screen for the days in Firewatch. Then it was just a matter of knocking out more scenes and more character sprites. Which I did on friday.
I skipped after-hour drinks at the office to get into THE ZONE, and by midnight I had set up about half of the game. Granted, those scenes were the easiest to make and contain very little pithy gameplay, but it was nice to be able to punch those out real quick. I might still make the sunday night deadline with something half decent! It doesn’t help that there are a national holiday and a concert in-between me and that moment though, but oh well…
Hey there dear reader!
The last time I did a live devlog was when I was making 15 Minutes, my 24 parody game. And that was back in 2011! I’ve moved on to Unity since then and made a bunch of games, but I don’t often participate in jams. The last time was ol’ Wizard Jam 1, the Idle Thumbs community game jam. But this time around the planets and stars aligned and I had enough time and a good idea, so I’m participating in Wizard Jam 4.
I got a bit of a late start as I was at a conference on the island of Texel last weekend, but I managed to catch up in the free moments throughout the week.
A few weeks ago I had a dream. In it -among other things- I biked to a villa in the forest and met the man of the house and his maid. I don’t know why, but when I woke up that image stuck with me. I wanted to go to that place and look around more. So, in keeping with me basing games on dreams, I thought it would be a nice thing to make for this jam.
I wrote out some details about the game and its events in the past week, so I had enough to jump right into Unity. I decided to use my trusty Adventure Creator plugin, and since I’m not very good with 3D modeling I’m going for a 3D world/2D characters style like The Tell-Tale Heart / Californium / Trackless.
The player character will be a pizza delivery guy, so the first thing I wanted to get was a little scooter, and I found the perfect one on the Asset Store. And together with a first-person character I was testing last week I had the basics of the first scene. Next was greyboxing the essential geometry. I used assets from the Stylized Jungle Pack I purchased for Reconquista in combination with just regular grey cubes.
Then I started looking for forest villa reference photos.
This gave me the idea to add a driveway and carport around the side of the house – a nice hidden area you’ll only stumble upon if you go snooping around. And of course, a carport isn’t complete without a car. Then I got a little carried away… but hey at least this confirms the interaction system works!
I fiddled with the camera some more after that. It was really jittery, so I imported the First Person Drifter Controller, a neat little plugin I keep around for prototyping these kinds of games, and pulled the mouse smoothing script out of it to integrate with my player prefab. The result is really smooth!
Next was setting up the interaction system and UI, and I hollowed out the cube I had used to represent the house. I built some rooms and a glass facade, and then I really needed furniture. While browsing the Unity Asset Store I found some really great assets by OneSquareFoot. Their furniture mega pack was perfect to furnish the house with. And a nice opportunity to re-enact the Matrix.
I tried a few interior layouts and eventually settled on something that felt logical and looked good. Then I moved the sun a few degrees so that it would shine on the terrace for a longer period of time each day, justifying the reason the house was built at this angle. Would that I had such powers in real life.
I was getting antsy to try the character style so I added a quick 2D guy. I should really work on the gameplay a bit at this point, but I wanted to have the house ready so I can turn it into a prefab and use it across all scenes without cutting into my own fingers later. So I spent some time adding collision to the interior, interactive doors, a staircase into the cellar, curtains, outside lights that react to motion and a functional doorbell that summons the man of the house. Just a bit more sprucing up and it should be ready to go.