Contact Info / Websites
[200th blog post!]
One of the big challenges I've been dreading for the launch of Super Chibi Knight is the communication between AS3 Adobe AIR and Steamworks.
Steamworks lets you do Steam Achievements, Trading Cards, Cloud Saving, chat from within your game etc. Unfortunately, there is no official "wrapper" made by Valve for interaction with Adobe AIR. That means I had to turn to a 3rd party solution which is always a bit scary. Fortunately, I found FRESteamworks, an open source library of classes that uses an "Adobe Native Extension" to communicate with the c++ code that runs Steamworks.
There were quite a few things undocumented (or at least hard to find), especially for people using FlashDevelop, in the FRESteamworks example code, but with a bit of help from @mike from Newgrounds, who went through a lot of the same hurdles making Swivel, I was able to sort everything out and get the Steamworks API working with native AS3 code! Part of the confusion is that all the Steamworks documentation is under NDA, so people who try to make these extensions can only tell part of the story publicly. Valve really needs to address this issue IMO.
Here's a pic of the very 1st Steam Achievement ever earned in Super Chibi Knight (it's just a test, but it still worked right!):
After the native extension was up and running, implementing cloud saves literally took about 10 minutes to implement, so now Super Chibi Knight save states will persist across multiple computers! Woo! Trading Card art is being made by @jouste and it looks as awesome as you'd expect :-D
In other news, progress continues on Super Chibi Knight, though some day I want to write an article about the weird kind of creative block I have about the game ending... I want it to live up to my expectations and be AWESOME, but now that it's here, I'm finding it hard to START the final art and code because then I'm COMMITTED and all the awesome possibilities collapse into the finite choices I'll make which might ruin it all. But it HAS to be done, this game has dragged on for too long... must finish...
Here are some sneak peeks:
[INSERT CATCHY QUESTION TO STIMULATE CONVERSATION]
This post won't be as long-winded as my last...
Winners will be randomly selected from my Twitter list, so follow me there to enter!
Here's a look at new stuff in SCK:
I just spent a good amount of time reviewing my old blog posts. It was a pretty intense trip.
I'm really grateful to my past self (he's a guy I usually hate for making bad decisions, but in this case he turned out to be a decent fellow). I'm grateful to him for being consistent with posting and for being pretty honest.
It's helped me realize that, while I've still got a lot of growing to do and goals to achieve, I've made pretty decent progress in my happiness levels. This year was my best of recent years in dealing with the winter season slump. I barely noticed the short days and we're already starting the downhill slope to having longer days again.
Losing my job in early 2013 and becoming a freelancer has been stressful, and going back to school has also been a stress, having more kids has been a stress, but somehow I'm dealing with all of it better. I've even had less sicknesses this year.
What this tells me is that my happiness is, at the core, uncoupled from my circumstances/situation. If that weren't the case, I'd be ultra-unhappy right now. :-P
I'm not sure WHY I've been doing better this year. My hunch is that I've been humbled quite a bit... to the point where I've had to re-evaluate where I am and what direction I really want to be heading, and what's really important TO ME in my life. Making steps to work toward "my element," even though still early and only small steps, is more fulfilling.
Being forced to rein in my finances and operate "lean" has actually given me a greater sense of "control" over my future. I have much more detailed/specific plans for future "fat" days. I have a lot of hope and confidence that those better days are on their way.
One major shift in THEME of my posts from back then and now, is I was more focused on my FEELINGS when I was depressed in the past, the last year I've been super focused on what I'm DOING. My posts are perhaps less poignant, but I'm feeling better personally.
One thing I miss from my older posts are the old friends (it seems like the last 2-3 years have been transitional for EVERYONE). Some specific people that used to comment/read my stuff that haven't for a while: @deadspread83 @Luis @i-smel @mindchamber @poxpower @kenney @vicariouse @manly-chicken @cyberdevil @frozenfire @ricepirate @jouste @psychogoldfish @johnnyutah @thatcomposerguy @lilg @jacksmack @renaenae @starogre @sumidiotdude @tyler-glaiel @prettymuchbryce @hyptosis
Life is cyclical/sinusoidal (cycles through time). A series of expanding and contracting. We usually hate the contracting periods, but they do serve a purpose.
These times are the Rocky training montages in our lives... where Rocky builds his strength for his future successes. The irony of those movies is that, in real life, there is no soundtrack and the moments are not cross-faded into a neat 5-minute segment building anticipation and hope. They're actually pretty scary, uncertain, and overwhelming.
There was a good TED talk about "grit" (the "key" to success) that I watched recently, and it mentions that one of the best ways to increase your "grit" is to believe that failure is recoverable and non-permanent.
My favorite part of all the Rocky training montages is in Rocky 1 when the loneliness and difficulty of what he's doing is emphasized instead of all the "getting stronger" ridiculous rippling abs and biceps (and dancing in the ocean in short shorts):
His alarm goes off at an ungodly hour (4 am) and he drags himself out of bed ALONE. The DJ on the alarm radio says it's 28 degrees F outside (-2 Centigrade). He has a moment when he sits there on the edge of his bed and shivers... no doubt considering just covering up and going back to sleep. He musters some will power and gets up to go to the fridge (the light from the fridge is painful and he tiredly winces). He disgustingly slurps down 5 raw eggs, he does it fast to get it over with and the juice dribbles from the sides of his mouth onto his sweatshirt. The radio DJ playing in the background plays a prank on some poor lady who chews him out for calling at such an early hour.
He stumbles out the door and it is BITTERLY cold in Philadelphia. Sad, subtle music plays (NOT "Gonna Fly Now"). NO ONE is on the streets cheering him on as shown in an ultra long shot of Rocky's alleyway/street that is completely dark and lifeless with one solitary figure (Rocky) slowly chugging off into the distance.
Downtown, the only person outside is the early-morning newspaper delivery truck driver. Rocky arrives at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art steps (no one trailing behind him), but every step is a STRUGGLE. You hear only the sad background music and Rocky's extremely labored breathing as he just can't keep running anymore and slows to a cramping limp. He's doubled over at the top of the steps, clutching his cramped side. He snatches a glance out over the city as he turns and hobbles back down the steps. The sun is rising.
BTW, have you seen the documentary about the Rocky franchise? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tEbIMbKk_c
DID YOU KNOW...
The deadline is tomorrow, so get on it!
Artists I would like to see enter:
@mindchamber @jouste @turkeyonastick @luis @carrion @deathink @the-swain @xaltotun @grillhou5e @sucho @McGil @thdark @vincengrey @antiskill @ionrayner @sinclairstrange @johnnyutah @Farturast @test-object @poxpower @stamper @seenya @kamikaye @Nekow @enzob7 @liftyourskinnyfists @Laserkarl @butzboprud @thepsychosheep @ricepirate @jazza @scepterdpinoy
Here are some pics from the latest progress in the game.
HTML5 MESSINGS AROUND:
A friend had a Q about "html5 canvas" the other day and through helping him solve it, I felt the itch to explore more. It's VERY cool, I could see making some pretty decent games that don't require any kind of plugin! Here's what I made:
So... are you going to enter the art contest?
I sit next to this weird (I use this term lovingly) kid in the back of one of my university classes. Yesterday he brought his laptop and a video game controller to class and started playing video games discreetly under the table.
I noticed what was up and told him to check out Super Chibi Knight on Steam.
He started watching the preview video (which shows Abobo's Big Adventure and Castle Crashing the Beard) and got a really weird and surprised look on his face. Then he went total fangirl and kept asking incredulously if I had REALLY made those games.
Turns out, he follows me here on NG and has been playing my games forever. He also idolizes @TomFulp and Dan Paladin and was awestruck that I'd met them in person (he also loves Fancy Pants and was equally as impressed that I'd met Brad too). He's earned all 100 achievements in Abobo's Big Adventure. His parents wouldn't let him play "T" rated games when Castle Crashers came out, so he lived on Castle Crashing the Beard for quite a while... ha ha!
He's been playing my stuff for the past 10 years and said that Newgrounds' games inspired him to major in Computer Science in college. He couldn't stop talking to me during class which was distracting everyone else and frustrating the teacher. He told me all about some ideas for games that he wants to make and actually followed me out of class and walked me to my car gushing about my games the whole time. He thought my location tag on Newgrounds "Somewhere in Nevada" was just a reference to Madness and not actually true. :-)
Anyway, it was a nice reminder that REAL people play my games and my current projects will potentially provide entertainment for a lot more REAL people. He refused to tell me his NG username cuz he was embarrassed, but he gave me his email and I sent him a Steam Key for Super Chibi Knight.
Every once in a while it's neat to feel like a rock star. :-D
Super Chibi Knight Update:
I made a "FINAL PUNCHLIST" of to-dos to finish the game. It has 42 items and each is probably a day's worth of work. It's probably not comprehensive, but I tried to make it as close to comprehensive as possible. That's kind of exciting to see that glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some other pics and videos to show off the latest progress in the game:
ALSO: Coming soon to Super Chibi Knight, TROLL NIPPLES!
Hey y'allz, it's been a while since I've posted an update, so here it goes!
1. Super Chibi Knight Ice Castle Update Released!
Since it's taking a long time to finish the game, I'm trying to make a bigger deal out of incremental updates as I go and posting them on Steam Early Access.
This one was fun cuz I fashioned a "poor-man's shader" for Flash to have a cool ice-reflection effect on icy surfaces. The level also has nifty dynamic snow (each individual flake is under my control). All of this made possible in large part by Tony (The-Exp)'s expert optimization help. I use the snow control for some cool surprises in the final boss battle.
DYNAMIC SNOW + BOSS:
2. Super Chibi Knight Jungle Level under-way:
I struggled with the question of whether I should bother including water pools and water physics in the jungle level because it would be a one-off gameplay thing and require research and core-engine tweaking (read as TIME) and I didn't want to delay the game even more. Eventually I just said "screw it" and decided to put in the water. It'll make the game more fun and I think it's worth a slight delay to include it.
It was pretty fun researching 2-D water physics and getting them working in AS3, here are some progress vids:
AS3 WATER PHYSICS:
Final result is that I'm MORE EXCITED to work on this jungle level. Getting re-invigorated is a nice side-effect to doing research into new stuff.
I did a couple livestreams of Super Chibi Knight development last week, and they were quite fun. Biggest benefit is that I work a lot harder/faster/more efficiently when someone is watching. I think I'll keep doing them just because of that!
Here are the links to the archives on YouTube (I apologize in advance for the bg music on some of these):
Pengu Ice Boss Day 1-1 (art): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QBRc65odBE
Pengu Ice Boss 1-2 (art): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwnM98fF8Bg
Pengu Ice Boss 1-3 (art) (short leftovers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaNYgKAP6nM
Pengu Ice Boss 1-4 (art): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoM3zTNCUVI
Pengu Ice Boss 1-5 (art): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XpM6LpsBw8
Pengu Ice Boss Day 2-1 (coding): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyRs5fcmdPg
Pengu Ice Boss Day 2-2 (coding): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLj6kc2c9sw
LEAVE A COMMENT MY FREN!
I'm going to be streaming work for a couple hours on a new Super Chibi Knight boss, come join me pretty please!
EDIT: Stream over, here's what we did!
This week I'm showing off stuff in animated format:
That frst video is a preview of a new update to Super Chibi Knight on Steam Early Access!
2nd is a boss sneak peek from the same update.
3rd is a still pic of some new armor variations for the mobile freelance project I'm doing.
Aaaaaaand finally, there's a video I really enjoyed because you get to see the process behind the artwork of some extremely talented, yet stylistically unique, painters (old Disney behind-the-scenes documentary).
Comment if ya gotz questions or opinions!
Here are the winners of the Steam Key giveaways from last week:
If you weren't lucky enough to win, check out Super Chibi Knight on Steam as consolation!
Winners, I sent you your keys via PM on Newgrounds.
Here's an update on last week's dev progress:
1) I'm getting close to done with Super Chibi Knight, I'm estimating about a month or so, but you know how these things go, stuff always comes up, but I'm trying to be efficient with my level and enemy design to allow a lot of re-use (outfit/weapon/color swaps, slight behavior tweaks, etc.) without seeming overly generic (boss battles always get an extra helping of unique behaviors though). Here's a pic of a bunch of new enemies:
2) I'm still doing a little bit of freelance work to keep the lights on in my home, here's a pic from some main character outfit variation concepts I'm working on:
In other news, I saw this video today of a guy hacking the original Legend of Zelda on the fly and flashing his edits back onto the cartridge. I could almost follow everything he was talking about, except the hardware parts of it. I wish I had a friend who had these skills and could teach me, totally fascinating! Also, their game "Hack n' Slash" looks like a really interesting concept, though I'm not sure why the reviews of it are so mixed. Basically, you mess with the source code of the adventure game to beat the puzzles, wish I'd thought of that! Here's the vid:
One thing that's worrying me is that I'm starting classes back up next Tuesday and not sure how that will impact my development time. I tried to schedule everything at the beginning of the week for school, but it's gonna be tough. BUCKLE DOWN TIME!
What did you find most interesting from this post? Steam Key winners? Super Chibi Knight preview? Mobile freelance game preview? The LoZ video? Leave me a comment!
Winners will be announced next Wednesday!
Here are some Super Chibi updates:
All 3 worlds represented in this screenshot, starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel!
The Indie Game Magazine ran a "preview" article on Super Chibi Knight (p. 49), it turned out really nice:
Lots of positive reviews and feedback so far on the Early Access version of the game, it's getting more legit err' day!
In other news, I found this vid of a guy speed running Abobo's Big Adventure, I was thoroughly impressed, but I think it could be potentially done EVEN faster. Are you up to the challenge?
Finally, here's a never-before-seen screenshot of the newest dungeon in Super Chibi Knight, I love how this enemy turned out:
If you'd like to play the Early Access version of Super Chibi Knight, click the link below:
Has anyone reading this played it yet? Leave me a comment yo!