shawn's blog

Deadlines and Notes

Posted in MCE, Music by Shawn on August 29, 2011

Soo, there are about five weeks until the first indie game competition that I plan to enter.

Seven weeks until the second competition.

My schedule does not really allow me much time to work on my game, which does make things a bit disappointing. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop and such. I plan to (insert inspirational words here).

Anyway, in regards to progress, I recently put together some musical tracks that I am using for my game hubs. Let me provide a quick gist of non-playing part of the game.

First, there’s there ‘loading’ screen, which brings you to the title screen. Pretty basic stuff. The music loads in time with the title screen, unless a player gets bored/anxious and clicks a button. Title screen is pretty basic right now, you can exit or continue to the game. The music fades out, and you’re brought to a simple game hub. I have a few ideas for the game hub, which are both ideas, and cheap ways for me to work on other aspects of the game. Right now, while focus on proving solid game play, I’ll leave the hub alone.

On the game hub, though, I put together a musical track that I’m pretty happy with. It’s simple. It’s a semi-synth bass guitar, and some simple hi-hat clicks. However, clicking on a specific hub, will bring you to the level hub for that world, while evolving the music into something greater. While music isn’t a big part of this game (although I have toyed around with music game ideas), I’m pretty happy with how the music transitions. Each piece of music I have right now is something that I spent a lot of time on.  I think that the simple track on the world hub took me about an hour to finally get a grip on, and some time after that to finish.

In regards to what I’m actually doing in terms of evolving the music, when transitioning from the game hub to the city (the city is actually the first world that players will encounter), the notes stay the same, but the music becomes a bit more powerful with the theme being played with a different instrument, and the drums increasing in complexity significantly. When the player goes from the game hub to the forest, the second world, the basetrack that is playing within the game hub continues. The drums continue, and there’s a different layer of music added.

So, in a nutshell (hopefully, you skipped those two haphazard paragraphs above….I’m a bit focused on 15 things at once right now), I can either edit the main theme for the hub by editing the drums and the instrument that is being used, or I can lay a different complementary track over it. Options are good, as I want to include 10 worlds, which means I need to do this multiple times.

And on the OriGamInc front, the website was rebuild, it pretty rounded, and has a decent section for MCE. I’m trying to work on building decent web pages, rather than leave everything to a content management tool. They are great, yes. I do thoroughly enjoy what wordpress has to offer. I just also want to try things out on my own as well.

That’s it for now. I have too many things on my mind and need to organize things.

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OriGamInc is back! And it came with a game!

Posted in OriGamInc by Shawn on August 25, 2011

Well, it never left. Don’t want to read on? Go there now!

I just stopped paying attention to it to really focus on game development. However these last four days were spent restructuring the website, much of it on the back end, making it much easier for me to manage. There’s some php changes, navigation changes, and it is now being versioned by Git. I also set up a way to conduct test.Which is better.

Much better.

Seriously, before, I was just messing around with the main page whenever I felt like it. I would change the production site, and if someone was currently on it, the same page would change about 15 times in a minute. Pretty unprofessional.

And guess what’s announced? MCE! Don’t know what MCE is? Go to this page right now! Exciting stuff?

This is MCE

All this work went into OriGamInc mostly because I sill plan to start an independent game studio. And this is where all of that work will go. It’s a very simple site, partially my work, with the blog handled by WordPress. It is intended to be simple, easy to read, and direct. Also, I don’t have a ton of html/css skills, nor do I want to pursue that at this point in time. Of course, I’ll continue to update this blog. This is still more of a personal blog, but it has become about 85% about my game development .

However, I’ll be getting back to that later on this week. I have some new music that I’d added to the game, and it works out nicely! Also, I finished writing all of the music scripts that I need to manage within the game!Excellent, right? Now all I need to do is actually continue writing the music. Maybe I’ll post some snippets of that music script later on that week. But who really wants to read my code?

But that’s it for now! Yay for OriGamInc? Oh, and if you don’t haven’t played the game yet go here to download a copy! ( To download a window’s copy, you can use this link, for a mac, this one. Please note, the game (at the moment) looks/runs best on a window’s PC with a 16:9 display.)

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Demo v1.545/End of Iteration 6

Posted in MCE, Unity by Shawn on August 22, 2011

So I have a playable demo! And you can play! You’ll need to ask fiercely, as it’s quite a difficult process making the demo available for all to play. So, I figured I should make it just as hard to get the game. Make sense?

Not really. All you really need to do is click on one of these links:

Download for Windows!

Download for Mac!

Or if you’re on the super top secret list of people, then you have already received an email with links to game. If you’re not on the list (there are a few people who should be, but I’ve lost their email address….), then click on one of those links above. If you want to be on the special updates list, let me know.

And it also looks like this current iteration is over. I managed to get up to 18 task for the 6th iteration, finishing all but 2, both of them art related. This upcoming iteration will focus on some more level building and some more artwork. I want to add more traps as well, but I haven’t really thought of new traps yet. It would be cool to put things in that didn’t make sense in terms of gameplay (I actually just thought of one right now!), but since this isn’t your traditional puzzle/platform game, I can’t simply include anything and everything. I can still do a lot though!

Also, I want to start putting in the game music. I have a few scripts that manage my game music, but I’m not currently using them, nor am I using the music that I have created thus far. By the end of this iteration, this should hopefully change.

I also plan to use this iteration to address any feedback that I get! The next time I release a build will probably be a while from now. World one is not finished, and that is a milestone that I want to reach before I even think about including additional levels. Actually, I would rather finish half of world two before I put out another demo. That may be a bit from now. It all depends on how much time I have to work, and if they ever decided to add more hours to a normal day.

But that’s it for now! If you play and have feedback, let me know via comments/email/contact page/skywriting/telegram/sing-o-gram/encrypted message!

And if you do play, thanks.

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This Week’s Goal

Posted in MCE, Music by Shawn on August 15, 2011

So, I have been listening to older musical tracks that I have made for video game related purposes, while also thinking of music that I want to compose for this upcoming game. There are two tracks that I really enjoy, one called ‘Less’, and the other with a title that I’m not really too sure of. Long story short, I really want to use these tracks somewhere within this new puzzle game. I will need to make some edits, as I do not want to simply recycle (although it’s good for the environment), but they will be included in some way and form. This makes me happy in multiple ways. I have more music for my current game, and I have more music that I really enjoy.

Right now, my long-term dream and goals have me creating a large number of levels for this game. This also means that I will need to create a decent number of audio game tracks. Which means I think I may be cool enough to do something like make an official game sound track. Of course, the music has to be worthy of being listened to outside of the game. Audio quality is something that I aimed for in the beginning of the project, and something that I think most people aim to do.

Short term goals? Well, by Thursday/Friday, I want to upload  a demo online! It’ll probably have to be two .zip files (one for a mac, one for pc), but, it’ll be something that others can play. Exciting moments for me, I think. Feedback is always great/useful, and I hope to get good feedback, and no one trolling, saying “This game stinks. Why can’t I destroy everything?”. We will see though!

This means that I will need to add a few more levels. This demo will probably contain about 7-10 complete evels, which will basically give people a feel for the game. By complete, I mean that these levels are over and done with, and where they are found now is probably where they are going to be found when this game actually gets released to the public. There are other levels (we’ll call them experimental levels for now), which are incomplete, and crazy. Within those levels, there are more spikes, maces, crazy disappearing platforms, and a slew of things that I plan to include later on in the game. However, just to give people a better understanding of the game, I will include these levels as well!

Oh, and for now, there will be no music in the game for now. I have tracks that I have to add, but I will do so in a later version!

But that’s it for now. I really want to spend this week working hard on this playable build. For you!

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Title Screening

Posted in MCE by Shawn on August 10, 2011

Well, if all goes to plan (which it hasn’t for the last 48 hours), I will have a title screen very soon! I plan to spend the majority of the ‘free’ time that I have coming up to get this title screen functional. Why is this important?

Well, for me, this means that I’m *this* much closer to having a demo of some kind. Exciting, right? For me it is!

If I manage to finish the tentative title screen by tonight, then I’ll probably provide a sceenshot of said screen. I guess that means I’ll also have to provide a name for the game, right? Well, lucky for me, I have one in mind. Let’s hope for a potential update to this post later on today!

*UPDATED*

Almost done!

Almost done.....

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End Of Iteration 5!

Posted in MCE by Shawn on August 8, 2011

Iterations move much faster than I thought!  This iteration ends and a new one begins. What happened?

Well, I wound up with 17  task in total, but not all of them were finished. What happened this iteration was a lot of polishing up transitions and moving around. I did mention this in a previous post, so I won’t talk about it too much. If you want to read more, you may have to go back a few post. In a nut shell, fade screens and such have been fixed up.

Next iteration planning? A lot of level building. I do want to submit this to the Independent Games Festival. And I don’t want to submit 10 levels (even though I have a bit more than 10). One of the more difficult problems that I’m having currently is deciding what levels should go where. Every time I make a level for the first world (which is intended to be the easiest world), I need to find out where to place it.

Furthermore, the first world features mostly moving platform and spiked ball shooters (did I not mention this in the past? Well, it does). I’m considering adding a bit more into the end of world one(different traps and environmental tools), but we will see.

But that’s it for now. I want to finish a title screen for this iteration, as I want to put out a demo for others to play? Wanna play? Let me know!

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Reasoning: A Git Project

Posted in Music by Shawn on August 4, 2011

Oh music. I won’t forget about you.

I really enjoy collaboration, and have always somewhat wanted to work with others on fun project. Since I’m neck deep in my game, and don’t really want to have to explain a ton of things to someone who may want to work with me (at least, not right now), I have decided to try something else, musically.

https://github.com/jimjastajay/reasoning

This is a (experimental) project that I’m starting via github. If you know about git, then great! If you kinda know about git, you should read more(Pro Git is excellent in my opinion). If you have no clue about what git is, it’s basically a really cool magical device that can get you out of a lot of trouble that you can potentially create for yourself and/or others.

The goal of this project is to create music! But how? Well, I’ll start by creating a short and sweet track with a program called Reason. After that, I will tell anyone who wants to get involved, “Hey, take this and do whatever you want with it!”. So, Bob comes along and takes the file, edits it, adds more, then tells me “Look what I did! Let’s add this to what you did!”. So we put it together! Now we have a larger, and hopefully better (depending on Bob’s ‘skillz’) piece of music. But here comes Alice. Alice then takes the file that Bob and I collaborated on and makes it bigger by adding her own work. Now we have a longer song! Cool beans, right?

But let’s say Frank likes what Bob did, but loathes what Alice added. Well, Frank (by using the secret magic of git) can grab the file, make some changes, and replace what Alice did with his own work. He can then say “Hey, Alice! Since you broke up with me, I made something that’s better than what you did!” He’s bitter, I guess…..

Anyway, Frank can then create a new file, separate from the one that is also currently being worked on, and share that track with everyone else.  More and more people could get in on the action. Resulting in…well, hopefully fun?

We’ll see how this turns out. It’s an experiment, and could potentially blow up in a bad way, leaving me with a G-Clef scar on my chest…..which actually sounds kinda cool….

That’s it for now. I should stop before I draw a fake G-Clef scar around my belly button……

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