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?

Continue reading “Blog 821: Everything Eventually”
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.

Continue reading “Blog 820: Use the Tools Available”
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).

Continue reading “Blog 819: Black Wind”
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.

Continue reading “Blog 818: Dragon’s Dogma”
Game Development

Blog 817: Growing Pains

I noticed recently that Exon now runs like shit on my big game-dev laptop.

This is a problem for two reasons: one, the game looks like it’s from the late 90s so I feel like it should be able to run on at least a 5-year-old laptop; and two, half the reason I even bought the laptop was so that I could use it to demo the game out in the wild. If it can’t demo the game, it’s basically useless. (Okay, that’s a bit harsh; it’s still useful as a dev machine so I can work in Levels for a bit each week. Please come visit me on Friday and Saturday afternoons!)

It is, thus, time to descend into the Profiler to find out what the hell is going on…

Continue reading “Blog 817: Growing Pains”
Gaming

Blog 816: RoX

I’ve been meaning to write properly about Safrosoft RoX because I’ve mentioned it obliquely a few times since I built my Windows XP machine — it’s one of the straws that broke the camel’s back, which, along with the inability to play Age of Empires II and Atrox on my real PC, made me take the olde worlde plunge.

I mean, this will be a mostly academic discussion, because you can’t play RoX anymore — it’s a hoary old piece of 32-bit Visual Basic shareware, and while it might be possible to rig it up on a modern OS with some decidedly unseemly DLL registry shenanigans, nobody’s realistically going to take that risk. Which is a shame because RoX is a fantastically compelling little game.

Continue reading “Blog 816: RoX”
Game Development

Blog 815: The Next Level

The Exon Academy is complete! The first level of the first campaign of Exon is fully playable, a self-contained lump of quests along with the tentpole minigame of The Arena. Bookended by the “Insert Disc 2” notice that appears if you actually try to leave the area, it could be shipped as a demo — give or take any traditional bugs that still linger.

But I’m not going to do that just yet, because with the first level complete, it’s now time to… make more levels.

Continue reading “Blog 815: The Next Level”
Gaming

Blog 814: Metal Wolf Chaos XD

There are two things I like in a videogame: mechs and explosions. The bigger, the better.

Metal Wolf Chaos XD involves the President of the USA driving a mech around and blowing half the country back to FREEDOM from a villainous coup led by his Vice President.

It’s a questionable mech shooter but it’s hilarious and I spent most of my time with it almost crying with laughter.

Continue reading “Blog 814: Metal Wolf Chaos XD”