Category Archives: Video Games

Come…To the Fun Side.

The Crash

Over the years, I have worked off and on trying to build an RPG. Progress on it ramped up for most of 2018 up until a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I would post some info about it.

I put together a 3d procedural tile system which appears like a natural environment. Green forests, clearings, and hillsides which all fit together nicely. The archery system got some improvements. The compass was put in, and I set it up so that it rotated to the view of the camera and blips for enemies and POI appeared in the same direction as they would in the view. I put together a scripted AI system which can be changed in the editor, and hired another programmer to help me put together some behaviors towards that end.

Then I started working on some core game-feel things and I realized that I had a long way to go, and I was nearing the end of my budget, and have since put it aside.

I decided that I wouldn’t be going a ‘AAA’ style, and experimented with a new pixelated look. What do you think?

Art below was done by Marek Jarocki, who you can find on Instagram : ‘marekjarocki’.

Here are some screenshots!

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Action RPG Prototype Released

Streamfall.4 was just released to the Apple App store.

Find it here on your iOS device.

The app is a combat prototype which shows archery and the basics of melee combat as well as the camera system.

 

 

Many thanks to those who’ve contributed in some way!

  • Charles Gruenert
  • Chris Tran :
      • Instagram.com/thedorkarts
      tranmonster.artstation.com
  • Michelle Routt
      http://routtstanding.com/
  • Gabriel Cordero
      https://www.facebook.com/gviinoir
  • Meggie Rock
      https://www.facebook.com/meggie.rock
  • Darsyn Irwin
    • https://soundcloud.com/darsyn
  • Hanah Harris

Road Map

  • Demo with tutorial, mini-story, and refined gameplay
  • Better lead for archery
  • Lewt
  • Multiplayer/local co-op support?
  • Team formations and strategic pc play
  • Deep magic system
  • Randomly generated environments
  • Episodic story with linear and non-linear elements
  • All-new character models
  • Shield and blocking system
  • Android, iOS, other touch-based systems
  • Enemies with fun combat ai
~ feedback please ~

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That one time I worked on a movie franchise

Working 14+ hour days and sleeping under desks is no longer a thing I care to do, but I wanted to share with folks this fun thing I helped make.  Starship Troopers: Invasion “Mobile Infantry” is still up on the store with some decent ratings. Give it a download and play some time. I worked on the UI portion. I’m proud of this, and would like to work on games again.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/starship-troopers-invasion-mobile-infantry/id554052059?mt=8

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Pokemon Go and Education

“Gee offered the observation that, though the USA had long suffered from a stubborn academic achievement gap between poor minority children and white middle-class kids, he knew of no “Pokémon gap.” – USAToday

Update! With new ‘native’ AR APIs for Android and iOS for single camera devices, we’ll be seeing these tools get better and better, and with more battery life. BTW, Unity3D has a plugin for the iOS ARKit and will surely have an Android version soon.

The devices are ubiquitous. And behind closed doors and walled off areas, educational opportunities abound. For developers such as myself who want to help educate and perhaps make the world a better place outside of the trouble riddled world of public education, producing an augmented reality approach to education seems to be an obvious route.

Pokemon Go smartly generates content around the globe algorithmically. I need to think about how such a thing could be done for content that is very particular to the location. Wouldn’t it be great if user generated content could come into play here?

Some ideas :

  • Historical markers and other points of interest could be augmented to show speeches and moments along the timeline where important things occurred. How could that be user generated?
  • Layers of rock in a cliffside could be augmented to show the layer where the KT event occurred and show the abundance of life before and the relatively quiet period after.
  • Outside of an electronics station or power plant, students can learn about the insides of the plant and satisfy their interests about how power is produced there.
  • Hooking up with a site like Coursera would allow course content to be developed around a single topic which would be augmented to show meaningful real-world things and how they work.

Problem points

  1. The devices which are ubiquitous have capability for image tracking, imprecise gps, and an IMU. Pokemon GO likely has an accuracy of around 9 meters. This isn’t good enough for pinpointing interesting things. Notice – in GO, you can’t walk around a Pokemon. This is because the tracking is poor – likely something like a Vuforia user generated image target, which gives loose tracking to whatever is in front of the camera. These image targets are shareable but are likely very hard to reproduce. Lets say a person takes a snapshot of a rock formation. That image target uses points of contrast (or perhaps a SLAM approach, which is a combo of GPS + CV https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simultaneous_localization_and_mapping). Changes to the environment such as lighting or plant growth would dramatically make such a thing hard to place. Pokemon did it right though.. a gps coord + a loose tracking may just work.  (edit – this is no longer the case, as SLAM tracking has gotten really good!)
  2. Too much content. We are talking about a world worth of content. Server infrastructure alone could break this (this is likely workable..). However, developing content for this as a studio would be impossible.  So user generated content is likely the only way to go!

I want to think more on this. Please stay tuned.

 

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E3 2016! VR Galore!

13406762_10210336512948186_5627058712395522713_nMichelle had been really fortunate lately to have acquired tickets to E3! She had gotten them through a friend in the gaming industry, as a guest, and was extremely lucky to be able to attend. Attending E3 has been a long-standing dream for the team.

Of course, Michelle took the opportunity to do some research for Streamfall Interactive while there.

With VR on the rise, and devices becoming more consumer-friendly (price-point wise), there was a lot of content to be seen from all manner of developers. Unfortunately, no Hololens(AR) to be seen and no Nintendo NX, but Oculus and Samsung had a strong showing. All these new technologies are looking nice to get into, but we do wonder – which set will win out in the long term?

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Oculus’ Big Shiny Booth at E3

Samsung put together a great booth unusual VR demos. Michelle tried VR long-boarding a couple of times, in particular. With a 360 degree video coupled with a moving-in-place long-board to stand on, it was a unique VR / 4D experience that felt close to the real thing. A few qualms : since you couldn’t see your arms or hands, it was hard to balance, even if you had really experienced long boarding irl. Fortunately, handle-bars were provided to grasp on, but this did ultimately detract from the experience.

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Samsung had other 4D VR experiences to try, including a rollercoaster VR simulation. As Michelle had never been on a rollercoaster before in her life, the experience definitely was amazing and terrifying at the same time. It was incredible how much of a reaction such a simulation could elicit, even if you logically knew that it was merely a simulation. Needless to say, the crowd around the booth was amused, seeing her react as she did.

There were no shortage of VR games at E3, with some officially released by organizations like Oculus–Michelle had played a Zombie shooter type game that actually proved more difficult than anticipated. There were plenty of Indie devs there as well.  Michelle particularly liked “Sisters” from Otherworld Interactive. They had a horror game demo that looked to be promising, definitely a jump-scary experience!

Overall, the experience at E3 was unlike anything that Streamfall had experienced at other gaming-specific shows. With so much information on the new and emerging technologies, and up close looks at unreleased games, it was a truly packed week full of great opportunity, fun, and inspiration for future projects.

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Streamfall Interactive at PAX Prime 2015!

 

This has been a happy rest while working on excellent client projects. Being at PAX, surrounded by game makers and players alike have renewed the passion and interests we have in working with games, and game engines. It’s nice to see people excited about this artform, and to see what people have been coming up with – what is on the horizon.

IMG_20150831_150010620

It’s fantastic that indies and smaller studios are so heavily represented every year at PAX. More often than not, we get to talk one-on-one with these developers and talk shop a little. One of the  games that really caught our attention was Lucky’s Tale, from the guys over at Playful Corp. (http://www.playfulcorp.com )

Never have we experienced such a great Oculus game! This gives us such excitement and hope for the future of VR games, that they would be comfortable and fluid, as this one was (man, what a sexy camera rig they had set up!!)

Another exciting thing for us now: ECO. Yep, we’re getting into the modding community! (http://www.strangeloopgames.com/eco/) Walking by in the indie megabooth was exciting, and actually playing the demo gave new ideas as to what is possible with the source code (which we purchased). Can’t wait to see what’s possible with a little bit of tinkering.

The concept of ECO is as follows: a multiplayer Minecraft-like world that is on the verge of destruction by way of meteor. Work to gather resources and progress to technologies which can protect the planet. As you progress, the world is also impacted, as the waste byproducts of your production oozes into the environment. We really love this concept, and speaks to sort of the trajectory we were going towards in the Streamfall story.

Of course, panels were also really great this year as well (with a little bit of walking across the city, to get to the different hotels and locations, no less). A culmination of different thoughts, in regards to how to better think about Streamfall the game include but limited to:

  • Includifying more of a larger community, and being aware of disabilities players may have (autism, age, poor vision, lack of money for a fancy computer, noise / flashing lights, depression, people with large fingers, color blindness, nonstandard keyboards, etc)
  • Level design (concurrent voronoi nodes not separated by paths, room creators, generating lowest level of typography, cellular automata blocks, randomization of levels in general)
  • How to better present Streamfall the game at future conventions, and how to create better and better demos
  • Start testing early and often. Keeping a mind on the fact that people tend to get cloaked in visibility when you train yourself and others to ignore them or not ask what is up with them. Remember to entreat people of all manners to test and play!

All in all, another fantastic PAX. We do plan on being at PAX South in 2016 (just as attendees again) but hope to make more connections and keep attending panel after panel so we can keep gleaning more awesome information in regards to game making.
See you then!

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Bandit King

characterselect death

Your characters ( Phillip and Anita) power their way through the forest, following the footsteps of the Bandit King and his hordes. Use finger gestures to wield sword, bow, and shield to hack your way through the Bandit King’s forces in an attempt to reclaim your lost sister.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 10.52.29 AM

Voronoi Pathing / Areas + Runner + SwordStack mechanics = Bandit King! This will be a preliminary mini game leading up to full releases of Swordstack during production.

These are some of our initial stream-of-consciousness drawings, thinking about overall look and UI design.

Hold on to your pants.

WIP shown here

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