Blog 638: Continuing to Make Sense of Cellular Automata

When it comes to modding, I have to admit to a masochistic streak. I could use the 3rd party pre-processor to get structs and pseudo-object-orientated syntax that would make this a whole heap easier, but no, I’ve got to use the bare metal to feel alive.

So, that procedurally generated Warcraft III side project I’ve been fiddling with during lunch hour is a whole barrel of laughs. This episode’s consternation surrounds creature spawning.

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Blog 636: Saints Row IV

Saints Row IV is a Mass Effect parody that wants to be a Sonic game. Pretensions to being an open-world crime simulator are finally revealed to be just that — pretensions. There are many games packed in here and very few of them care to make much use of the game’s supposedly core mechanics.

Luckily, all of those different games are pretty well done and the parody is hilarious. Does that make it right? Let’s talk about it.

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Blog 635: So’s Your (Inter)face

I deliberately left off doing any UI work at all in my game, because when I first fired up Unity the UI system was on the cusp of being replaced. Well, with the advent of Unity 5 (well, the tail end of 4) that replacement has arrived — so maybe it’s time I put some thought into health bars and stuff so you can actually, you know, keep track of your own status?

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Blog 634: Textural Drama

We all know that I’ve never been any good at making textures. (Maybe I’ve never been any good at modelling and animation either, but let’s not get into that right now.) Making a game, however, requires lots of textures.

I’ve been surfing on two aging atlas textures for years, generic layouts I have ceaselessly wrapped around almost every single piece of geometry. While this approach makes it very easy to swap out varied colour schemes, I didn’t do that very much in Project Y4 and it turned out a bit monotonous in the end.

No, I need a new solution. One that will provide an endless variety of textures… without the need for any painting skill.

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Aside 55: New Vegas

Aside

I’ve been replaying Fallout: New Vegas over the past couple of weeks, and it strikes me that this is the logical end to what I want to create for myself. A sprawling world in which an action RPG takes place, replete with characters, factions, towns, quests and exotic landmarks.

I don’t know how I’ll get there yet. I don’t know how big I’ll be able to make my levels before the computer dies, I don’t know how many characters I will be able to put in them before my tottering algorithms collapse, I don’t even know how to load and transition to new levels.

But long-term, super-super-long-term, I’m pretty sure this is the end state: exploration, discovery, bartering, crafting, conversation, factions, reputation and, of course above all else, action. The only thing I’ll do differently is make my world(s) less brown. Damn, but FO:NV is brown.

Blog 633: Cute Laptoblet

A few years ago now, I needed a computer for commuting work. A companion for the monolithic base-station, something that sacrificed power for portability. I bought a cute netbook and named it Astradyne.

Technology has moved on since then, though. Astradyne still works but is not quite quick enough for my increasingly impatient brain. Astradyne is light but surely not as light as an equivalent machine from this age of pocket rockets.

So I started looking around…

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