Game Development

Blog 825: My Milkshape Brings All the Models to the Unity

I’ve been using Milkshape 3D for all my modelling and animation needs since I first discovered it in my Warcraft III days (though it wasn’t until Guesst finally cracked animation export to MDX that I really got going). To be fair it was the first 3D modelling and animation tool I ever used, but I fell in love nonetheless. It’s very simple; you might say it’s lacking in features, but I say it’s clean and focused, and it’s ideally suited to working on the low-poly creatures, vehicles and decorations that I enjoy/am capable of making.

There is one tiny wrinkle: in order to get that artwork into Unity, I have to export it to an interchange format. That’s a whole extra three or four clicks! What if… what if Unity could understand Milkshape files directly?

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Gaming

Blog 824: Wasteland 2

I read recently that gog.com was having financial troubles, which is a shame because they’re one of about two places that sells properly DRM-free games (oh well, if they do go bankrupt, at least I have offline back-ups of everything I’ve ever bought there). On the other hand, they keep handing out free games, which seems like a poor strategy for making money.

A while back, they gave out Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut, the Kickstarted sequel to the game that was (apparently) Fallout before Fallout; something in which I had a passing interest but wasn’t in the mood for… until now. After all, didn’t I always like to get a big chunky RPG from Santa?

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Game Development

Blog 823: Fragment v0.02

Of course Exon: Fragment is full of bugs; I’m only one man and it’s composed of flexible systems that can interact with each other in ways I could never have anticipated. Also people have deliberately been trying to break it rather than just playing it naturally… But hey, that’s exactly why I’ve released this chunk quietly: so I can get all that stuff sorted before launching into the rest of the game.

But what stuff I’ve got to deal with, ooft.

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Game Development

Blog 822: Exon: Fragment OUT NOW

For how many years have I been saying “this year I’ll release something”? Too many to count, I’ll wager. But this year — for real this time — this year I’m actually doing it. Have I wasted all those years trying to build something in which nobody has the slightest interest, or have I hit upon a formula that will spark joy in its players?

Only one way to find out: download Exon: Fragment from itch.io now.

Do I want your feedback? … Uh… honestly? Only if it’s nice. I’ve put… rather a lot into this. (But if you’re already following me, you probably know that by now.)

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Nondescript

Blog 821: Everything Eventually

My workplace recently started a scheme where they’d let total rando employees tell their “stories” through internal blog posts. Being the relentless shill and lover of blogging that I am, I reckoned that my story of bloody-minded solo game development was surely worth a pitch.

And they actually accepted! I’m quite pleased with the result, so I’m copy-pasting it here for posterity. So please, enjoy this more philosophical look at my journey from Warcraft III to Exon — but can you spot all the song references?

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Game Development

Blog 820: Use the Tools Available

My bots in Exon have been annoying me for a while. They’ve been totally serviceable, they’ve just not been using the Energy Thrower — the ranged EMP stun gun that can be picked up in the Arena. They have been picking it up, just never using it. They’ve been charging with the Rocket Boosters. They’ve beem pinging away with the Shard Rifle and zapping with the Laser Rifle. But not the Energy Thrower. It’s a powerful piece of equipment! They should be using it!

Maybe one month before releasing the demo is a poor time to completely annihilate and rebuild your bots’ equipment/ability usage logic, but on the other hand, bots using their abilities against you is kinda the whole game. Also I put loads of effort into that electric stun effect, I want you to see it more often.

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Warcraft III

Blog 819: Black Wind

I was feeling sorry for myself and replaying the Rexxar campaign earlier in the year, and decided it was time to try to make another Warcraft III map. Exon is supremely complex and World Editor has always been utterly beguiling in its simplicity and ease of use — you can make stuff so quickly and yet push it so far… if you’re that way inclined.

But this time I was not that way inclined. I just wanted to make something short and simple, inspired by the more innocent maps of those heady days when Warcraft III was new and I wasn’t so jaded.

So for all those who say “Robbie can’t limit scope” and “Robbie never ships”, I present to you… Black Wind: a Nightmare, for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Made from scratch in a few very spread-out weeks, between working on Exon (and, y’know, having a job).

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Gaming

Blog 818: Dragon’s Dogma

My old WC3 modding pal Dionesiist spent a lot of time urging me to play Dragon’s Dogma, to the point that I can barely type it without auto-correcting myself to “Dragon’s Diogma”. That was years ago, though, and I am not a man to rush into anything — but nor am I man to forget. So this one’s for you, Dio! (Give him a commission, why don’tcha.)

Besides, Dragon’s Dogma is a third-persion open-world action-RPG where you climb up giant monsters and stab them in the face; it’s totally up my street.

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