What’s Happening September 14th, 2015

‘Ello! So lots happening and lots not happening–I’ll try my best to sample a little from both. The big news is that I am OUT of Welcome to Nightvale episodes. Wait! That was the little news–the BIG news is that I have been hiring more artist like people to work on the Tavern project!

As we are in need of help obviously.
As we are in need of help obviously.

I looked around some for new talent but ended up asking a few work friends before asking people I don’t know. The only bad has been that they have also been busy like me. Turns out the first few weeks of Fall are just rough on everyone in education.

I met a few people at Wizard Con Tulsa last year that are professional artists. I thought about calling some of them up. I just worry. For these initial designs I want to really work with the artist to be sure our visions match up. Working with someone I don’t know for a portion of the project this personal feels scary. Once there is a design bible with examples I’d feel better.

ANYway… on to the really important matters: Podcasts.

I have been listening to Welcome to Nightvale and Fantasy Fiction podcasts. Both have been great for my morning commute. However I am out of both now. I really liked their story telling and it gave me some stability to my day. I haven’t had much luck with game dev podcasts (go figure that programmers and journalists aren’t sound engineers for some strange reason). I keep trying new ones but I can’t hear most of them over the engine, road, and air conditioner. Josh and Dom of FF said they use compression software to make their levels better–maybe that is it. Who knows.

My wife and brother have both said they were interested in podcasting. Since I have too many projects I haven’t looked into doing my own content that much–however I may get some practice with the process. My church has me managing their online content. I may try my hand at Youtube/Podcasting using their recorded Sunday morning services as practice.

Recently I watched all the Steven Universe there is… I really got way too involved. It was the perfect length and tone for my daily internet show watching. Then my wife and I got our internet at home set up. So I went through everything there was in short order. This may be why I didn’t get much game dev done as well.

Nothing new in reading except for lots of data science articles/books for school. So many articles. I’m starting my thesis (homerun stretch for school) so there has been lots of research to do.

For playing, I’ve hit Destiny fairly hard recently. I was pumped for the end of Year One. I didn’t get any expansions but I have lots of content still to work through with my alts. My main (awoken male warlock) is pretty fun to play around as. My alt titan and hunter just aren’t the same. I still want to get them up to 20 for the challenge.

Because of all the excitement around Taken King however I couldn’t log in for a few days. When it went down I tried out Defiance. It isn’t bad per say but it is rough around the edges. Enemies disappear and warp. AI is sometimes okay and sometimes silly. Missions and level design are basic and at time easily broken. I entered a mission area from the “wrong” way and sniped the whole level with minimal effort. Then I did that exact same thing to the next mission… and so on. So they really didn’t think about how to move a player through the level to make it uniformly challenging.

That said, Defiance really shines in ways that most MMO-lites don’t. Monster concept for example is actually pretty cool. Some jump under the ground, others have group dynamics that make them interesting to play with (like snipers mixed with melee fighters kind of stuff). Then the missions let you take on several missions but you can get distracted with side quests and then go back to what you were doing. It makes it have a less linear feeling. Also missions are broken into seasons with episodes. So your story follows a clear list of objectives but you are feel to go through them as you like. Also neat is the classless-class system. They just have a perk tree that you work through. Instead of classes they have backgrounds that are more look & feel kind of differences.

A very exciting thing was that my wife is taking up Unity. She is a talented musician and poet/writer. She has been interested in making glitch art as well as games. I think having her to help make project will help get some of my art game ideas off the ground.

She started a couple of online courses and I am excited to see what she makes. So far we have had some good couple’s time debugging scripts.

Things I’ve learned these past several weeks:

  • Story is sometimes as important as gameplay (so long as both feed off of one another well)
  • Just because you can gank a common mob with a rocket launcher from a foot away doesn’t mean you always should.
  • Don’t go into the dog park.
  • Sometimes the best stories are the ones that aren’t told but created by the player.
  • Maybe “Player” is a better term to describe the act of gaming as a hobby?
  • All hail the Glow Cloud

That’s about it for now. Thanks for reading. If you’ll excuse me I have some Science to attend to.



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