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Aug 02

The soothing summer of acre

Hello dear internauts, figured I should blog and let you know how I am doing. This is either a very late or very early blog depending on your levels of pessimism. Either way I write to tell you that I am high of spirit and low of fund. The birthday celebration I attended two weekends a go was most joyous and I even managed to get an invite to visit the fair city of Oxford out of it. I used my invite last weekend and spent an amazing day in Oxford. I have to say I was taken back by the energy there, I expected the beautiful buildings and to a degree the tourism but not the happy go lucky energy. Even the drunks in the park had a bounce in their step and some scampish banter about them. In other news I am desperately hoping I get the money owed to me by Microsoft come the 15th, as I previously mentioned I am all but out of funds and require the money to start my web design company.

As promised here is the finished version of the Miyamoto painting I did for the young Smith

Mario-Miyamoto

Acre wise there has been an awful lot of progress. I have rewritten the combat system, the collision detection regarding npc movement. I added a dialog mode to the text window system as well as backgrounds and character avatars. I also added npc item interaction (which proved complex to think about and easy to write) to allow using items no npcs and npcs picking up items. I also extended npc alternative targeting to allow for multiple targets, (ordered by importance rather than proximity) this allows much more complex puzzles. For example there is a guard dog that attacks you upon entering a castle. You can feed him a bone which will keep him busy for the time you are in the castle but if you leave and come back the bone will be gone and the dog will attack again. But if you combine the bone with poison (I mean doggy sleep juice) then he will be an ex-dog and bother you no more.

Below are some screenshots of how Acre is looking. Please remember it is entirely made up of placeholder graphics at the moment :P

Dialog

Examine

Dog attack

Dog sleepy time

I would love to stay and ramble some more but as ever I am late and have lots to do!

Much love

-Jon

May 15

Attic art highs

Hello dear friends!

Firstly some of you may have noticed that there was no blog last week. Last weekend I started what I have dubbed my weekend project. A little interactive statement (I am not even going to pretend to call it a game) for the X-box, still my favourite platform to code for. Sadly I spent so long playing around with various art styles that I never got around to blogging. I now have a style that I want to explore I just need the time to do it.

Grub continues to march on gloriously. I have switched the entire none-game interface (menu system, level select, etc) to use the mouse after a good friend (lets see if he reads this and notices) mentioned that almost every flash game these days uses the mouse for its menu screens. I also setup a singleton to store global variables allowing for things like music and sound muting and re-definable keys. The main musical elements are now in place thanks to the wonderful David Morrision

This weekend I got back into painting and started a new series called Literary Nutcases. My first subject was L.Ron Hubbard. He took a lot longer than I expect but came out rather well except for the odd school boy error I seem to make every time I paint. My hope is to create 4 or 5 more in the series and then sell them. Whatever money I make will go towards future game projects. I am thinking either H.P Lovecraft or Philip K. Dick next. Let me know if you have any suggestions

L.Ron Hubbard Painting

Well sitting up in the attic with all those paint fumes has made me sleepy so I will end things here.

Much Love

- Jon

Mar 18

The Mucus Monsoon

*sniff* *sniff* ello eople *cough*! This week I got infected with a deadly cold virus. Now I do not want to get into this whole man cold nonsense. The fact is the constant need to turn away from the monitor to sneeze or plug a leaking nostril is derailing my train of thought. Today I had a minor bug to resolve on my new game (more about that later) it took me moments to realize the problem but hours to fix because my snot mired brain just would not provide me with the answers. So I will be taking the rest of the day off to drink green tea and whimper. I may also take a little time to feel sorry for myself :P

As you can imagine the recent events in Japan has made my current game Bigfoot VS Tokyo seem in bad taste. It is after all a game about destroying Tokyo. So after considering the alternatives, mainly moving the game to a different city I have decided to shelf the game for the time being.

So with even less money than before I once again start the process of creating a new game. Luckily I came up with a new idea pretty quickly and with the Bigfoot code base development is going very quickly. I am aiming to get it done by the end of next week so gonna have to burn the midnight oil over the coming week. Wish me luck!

Below are a couple of screenshots of the new currently unnamed game. Hope you like it :P

screenshot

Sniff

Going to keep it short as I promised myself that once I fixed the bug and blogged I could go back to bed. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Much Love

-Jon

Feb 11

The Inspiration Imperative

Hello interested readers of JonCorp. Firstly allow me to apologies about the lack of blog last Friday. Things had conspired to confound me and I did not want to rage blog.

So last week I made the final changes to Love Hurts and lovingly applied spit and polish to the places that needed it. I also submitted it for review and watched as it failed on pretty much the same day it was added. Shockingly it crashes when you rip out the memory card out while it is using it. But sadly a crash is a crash regardless of how pedantic it is. As the deadline for games made in XNA 3.1 was last Monday and I took Love Hurts out of review on Sunday I had to spend the first part of this week converting it to 4.0. A task made worse by the ineffective 3.1 to 4.0 converter which seems to fail to convert any of the resources leading to "X resource compiled with incorrect version of XNA" errors. Eventually I discovered that I had to recreate the entire project and import all the resources again. I feel things would have gone smoother if they did not bother with a "converter" at all.

The rest of the week I spent implementing the A* algorithm for a future game I plan to do. Here is a screen shot of an earlier implementation. The path maker appears drunk because of its fear of moving in a straight line :P

Drunken A*

As I am awfully poor and constantly getting poorer I need to get something out there and some money in quickly. To that end I have came up with a new idea which I should be able to create in two weeks (I made a bet on it). I am slightly miffed that I only came up with this idea after spending 2 days working on something else, but the idea is great enough to surpass any feelings of miffed-ness. Behold some early concept work of my great new idea!

ProjectBFVT

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow will be spent testing Love Hurts and watching movies with some mates. Sunday includes a visit from the parents, Love Hurts submission, and possible enforced DIY :S

Have a fun weekend

Much Love Gov

-Jon

Jan 21

The hurts continuance

Tip of cap to you fine ladies and gentlemen of internetshire. This week has been an introspective dawdling of doubt. I have decided to work a little more on Love Hurts before releasing it although now that I have made the decision I am regretting it.

It all comes down to quality versus reward. Will the extra work on Love Hurts translate into additional sales? Sadly such a question can not be answered. My main objective upon entering this vocation was to create beautiful and unique works. But the need of an income seems to be in direct conflict with this objective. When ever I think of improving upon Love Hurts part of my brain (the part my farther would be proud of) reminds me that the game is only going to retail at 80 points (or about 69p with 17.5p going to Microsoft). So as noble as the plan is to make Love Hurts the best it can be without a decent financial return it could doom my whole endeavor and force me back into dare I say it gainful employment.

Sadly as I stated at the start of the previous paragraph it is all unknown right now. So I will bravely move forward with the improvements and hope that I do not have to resort to dusting of the old curriculum vitae!

In lighter news Love Hurts now comes with two new moves. The deadly uppercut and pleasing elbow drop. I am also in the process of adding weighted random health drops which will hopefully include a humorous touch. I have added a health based end of level bonus and made it so upon the start of each level you are greeted by a full and fresh health bar. Additionally I plan to tweak some of the enemy AI and possible rewrite the entire tutorial section.

My prototype for project sub-terra terror was not working the way I had hoped so I have shelved that for the time being for a new project (named capitalist resistance) which I hope to get working on next Friday as I have allotted from now until the end of next Thursday to improving Love Hurts

Love and kisses

-Jon

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