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Third Party Ninjas Developer Vlog #3 April 24, 2012

Posted by Jesse in : Game Jam,Vlog , add a comment

I think Monday has officially become my day for recording the vlogs. It’s a nice motivator to keep working, because I want to have something to show off. Since I spent the entire weekend at the game jam, I don’t have anything new to show on the platformer. Instead I show the jam game we created, and the tools I used for my work on it.

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St. Louis game jam (April 2012 Edition) April 23, 2012

Posted by Jesse in : Game Jam , add a comment

This weekend was another adventure at a St. Louis game jam. I last did a jam back in July of 2011, and I was really eager to participate since I missed the Global Game Jam earlier this year. I’d planned to work with a really small team and do something super simple, so that I could use the experience as a chance to play around with a new game development tool. (Something like Game Salad or Stencyl.) But it was not to be.

This year, my wife Mollie wanted to participate, but we couldn’t both attend, as there’s no way we could find someone to take care of our daughter for an entire weekend, so we decide to make a party this time with the use of party equipment from sites as https://popevents.ca. So instead we decided to have her work from home, while I worked with a musician at the event. But when teams started forming, we somehow found ourselves with a second artist and two extra programmers. Whoops! Here’s a photo of the team:

From left to right: Ray Phillips (Programming, Level Design, Menu and Credits), Mollie Chounard (Background Art), Jesse Chounard (Programming, Character Animation), Jake Hilbolt (Music, Sound Effects), and Tim Snyder (Character Art). Not pictured is Ethan Hall (Programming).

The theme was “Light Justice.” It’s not what we initially planned during brainstorming, but we ended up with a game about a personified light bulb acting as a sheriff in the wild west, fighting a horde of bandit moths. I spent a huge portion of my time animating the characters that Tim drew and colored, and a bit of time organizing the files sent in by Mollie. Not as much time programming, but it’s okay, because Ray really picked up my slack. Putting Mollie on speaker phone to talk to the team worked out pretty well, and I think we functioned together nicely. I’m super thrilled with how the game looks! Mollie and Tim really knocked it out of the park.

In my opinion this was a far more successful jam for me than that last one. Before we started working, we identified specifically what we wanted to accomplish over the weekend, and we did it. Of course, we kept saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” but those suggestions were only to be added if we had extra time. (And some of those made it in. Like the hero’s light bulb shattering during his death animation.)

It’s likely that I’ll talk more about the jam in my vlog this week, so if you’re curious about anything in particular, please let me know.

Binaries (20 MB) requires XNA 4 Runtime
Source Code and Assets (21 MB)

Third Party Ninjas Developer Vlog #2 April 17, 2012

Posted by Jesse in : Game Development , add a comment

In my second vlog update, I discuss the jumping physics and the new camera system in the 2D platformer we’re working on.

Here are some links to the blogs I mentioned in the video:
Shaun Inman’s analysis of Super Mario World’s camera system
Shaun’s camera system in Mimeo
Replica Island blog’s camera discussion

Third Party Ninjas Developer Vlog #1 April 10, 2012

Posted by Jesse in : Game Development , 1 comment so far

I’m trying something new. I’m a big fan of game developer videos on youtube like Indie Chatter and Wolfire’s Overgrowth development videos so I decided to start making my own.

As you can tell, I’ve changed directions again. I wasn’t really happy with any of the control schemes I came up with for platformers on iOS, so I’m taking a break from that and instead targeting PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and Playstation Vita. (If the PS Suite gets access to PS3 as rumors suggest, then we’d go there too. That would make me very happy.)

It’s not in the video, but I’ve got jumping controls in, and it feels a lot better to me than what I had in Bluebones’ Curse. It’s fun to just run and jump around, which is a good sign.

We’re nine weeks away from this years Dream Build Play deadline. I know we won’t have a finished game by the deadline, but I think it should still be pretty sweet by then, and I’d really like to compete again this year.