No matter the tools you use, if you are creative and you are making something with passion, you have my admiration.

People will tell you — directly or indirectly — that you’re not a real programmer, not a real artist, not a real writer, not a real…

Don’t create to prove yourself to anybody. Create to communicate, to release, to give meaning, to love.

Just create. And to me, you’re a real anything.

(via coffeedaydreams)

26 notes

Maya LT?

So autodesk is making a cheaper version of Maya aimed directly at indie devs? Interesting.

Looks like they’re going with the subscription model though. Guess that’s going to be the norm from now on. Blegh.

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me when i sit there for hours trying to fix bugs and then realize all i had to do was change a value


me when i sit there for hours trying to fix bugs and then realize all i had to do was change a value

(via caramelzappa)

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man i was thinking about sitting down and watching this … now i must

It’s a really good talk!

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AAA game control in an indie’s evening


Yeah.. ok.. that title may be overstating my case a bit.

So, something that got fashionable in AAA games, specifically third person AAA games, is smart input optimisation. Load up the modern third person game of your choice, and run at a wall at 45 degrees. If it’s a decent game with reviews that say the controls are smooth, £10 says the character doesn’t blink, and starts running along the wall in the direction you were pointing at the analogue speed you specified. Feels good, right? A bit cheaty, but it turns out, you suck at movement input (we all do), and that little bit of code means your character doesn’t share your ineptitude.. he or she will keep moving smoothly until your brain resets and you start controlling the game properly again.

So. I wanted this in Volume, because it’s a game of tight corridors, and getting snagged on corners is never fun.. I don’t want my player to even be aware of the existence of their collision volume.. so steering them around makes a lot of sense (my cover system uses the trigger, so keeping the player away from walls is fine).

I listened to an awesome talk from a coder on the original Infamous, a game which popularised this approach. It’s called “Reading the player’s mind through his thumbs”.. you can buy it, as I did, as a $4 download from the gdc vault.

Honestly, their solutions don’t really apply to the simplicity of my little game, and sound like they needed an army to set up all the splines ;D.. but one sentiment was important.. you can either catch problems when they occur, or you can catch input, check if it’s optimal, and if it isn’t, clean it up before you even move the character, and that is much smoother.. so that’s what I did. And I did it pretty cheaply, and pretty fast.

Disclaimer: I am a shit coder, but fuck it, my games work. This can certainly be done better. I’m not posting code, just my solution.. but there’s nothing in here an intermediate Unity dev can’t repeat.

So.. it’s simple. Let me walk you through it.

Step 1: I do my input code, which outputs a rotation for the player, and a velocity I want to apply to them. I use custom stuff, rigidbody based, but it doesn’t matter really.. all that matters, I have myself a rotation, and a velocity that I want the player character to use at the end of the frame.

Step 2: I cast three rays from the player’s location. One from each extent of the player collision capsule, and one from the centre of the player collision capsule. They all cast out in the direction of movement.. I then store the distance they travel before they hit a wall collider.


Step 3:

This is where it gets surprisingly straightforward. By comparing the distance these rays travelled, I can tell which ‘side’ of the player character any obstruction less than their maximum avoidance distance is. So.. if I see that the left ray has an obstruction that’s nearer than an obstruction at the centre, I can tell that there’s something (possibly a diagonal) to the players left.. ditto if the center is closer than the right, and steering to the right should avoid. The centre point makes corners easier.. I’m not convinced I need it, but.. fuck it.. try it without.. I’m sure I did it for a reason. If all rays have the same or similar obstructions, I’m probably trying to run straight into a wall, in which case, the player character stops.

Step 4:

Easy. Once I know which way to go to avoid, I rotate the rotation the player character should be pointing 5 degrees away from obstruction.. I check to see if the new movement is similarly blocked, if it isn’t, I leave the new value as the input, if it is, I repeat the rotation, again and again, until a clear path is found (I do stop checking once I’ve rotated the character through 90 degrees, if I’ve done that, chances are I’m in a corner that it’d look weird to run out of.. so I just stop movement ala running headfirst at a wall).

Step 5:

The original values, or the updated rotation and the original velocity if we noticed an obstruction, are passed to the player rigidbody, and the character moves.

Here’s how it looks, hope that’s handy to ya (those three prongs are the raycasts from my input, the cyan line is the generated path):

47 notes

GDC Vault - Antichamber: An Overnight Success, Seven Years in the Making

This is a really good talk about how Alexander Bruce went from a nobody in the industry to success, and just how much work went into what may look like luck from the outside. It’s really informative, he goes through all the important questions he asked himself on his road to success and the things that really helped him achieve it.

I admire this guy. I remember an interviewer asking him (before the game launched) what he’d do if the game was a failure. He said it couldn’t be a failure. Even if the game sold 0 copies, he had gained so much knowledge, so many friends, and so many business connections that he would still consider this adventure to be a success.

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If I moved all the Goombas in Super Mario Bros. one pixel to the left, would that change the gameplay in a significant way? Better yet, if I create new battle animations for Advance Wars, will that change any of the strategies, especially for the player who plays with animations off? In both cases, the alterations aren’t enough to change the gameplay in any significant way.

The minimum difference is the smallest degree of change needed for a change to be significant for a particular mechanic. This value will vary with each game and each mechanic. Finding the minimum difference will help quantify a mechanic for the purposes of analysis. In other words, it’s necessary to outline and define the smallest unit of significant change to give structure to the rest of one’s investigation. The minimum difference isn’t an objective figure, but rather it’s a way to keep the researcher and the reader on the same page. Because games are highly structured systems, chances are, there already exists units of measuring the game’s mechanics.


Richard Terrell, “Mario Melodies: Variation part 1”

(Source:, via anxietyofninfluence)

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Oh hey, PSM is FREE

So not only can your port your Unity games to vita really easily, the sign up doesn’t require the $100 fee it once had.

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A bullet hell game where you capture ripe judges in a horrifying bedroom, but it’s all in your head.”

Okay, that one probably already exists.

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Insanity Jam Official Idea Generator Demo #2


"A historical game where you whisper at chairs beside a stadium, and it really makes you think."

Here’s another preview for you lovely followers of mine of the game idea generator I’m working on for future Insanity Jams:

60 game types,
200 nouns,
1,345 adjectives (I found a big list…),
400 verbs,
66+ potential “additions” to be added to the end of the sentence,
And slightly more styling than before.

An atmospheric game where you teach English to ashamed quartz stones in a suspiciously dark ocean, and it really makes you think.

This is awesome. Great work.

8 notes