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Butterscotch Shenanigans Forums • View topic - G+ Hangouts: Dev Chat (April 17th 2016)

G+ Hangouts: Dev Chat (April 17th 2016)

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Quick transcript of the discussion from the Google Plus Hangout's Dev Chat that just happened. (Note: I have the whole thing recorded on video and will upload if needed/wanted... also note I do transcriptions for a living, so this is going to be far more long-winded and directly taken from the video of the chat then what Jordan would normally provide for you all. #SORRYNOTSORRY!)

Note: Adam not present; he's currently hanging out with (their) Mom, she's currently in Texas getting a tattoo... a sweet tattoo, uh, inspired by all the cancer crap (a dragon wrapping itself around a big bouquet of flowers on her back).

Updates on the studio and how things are going at the moment.

Game Stuff

QoL patch out, went surprisingly smoothly, however, they updated to the latest version of X-Code and game maker which made the game run slower on iOS. Seth talking with YoYo about fixing it, but it might require a convoluted solution - the way to get around it is to reinstall the previous version of Game Maker and the previous version X-code and rebuilt it the way they used to be built. That would be a many, many hour long process and then they'd have to switch back to the normal version for anything else. Only a problem for iPhone 5 or lower, anything newer than that should be fine.

Job Jam

Seth and Sam are making a game for the job applications; probably about 8-10 hours into it, so it's completely rough and unpolished. Resumes are "DUMB", and don't do a good job of approximating how well someone will actually do, so they're building a Game-Jam game that they'll be handing off to some of the applicants who will be asked to do some changes to it.

The theme they randomly rolled was Cannibalism. A platformer using the Game Maker physics engine, that will be really rough... the point being to hand the game off to someone to do updates and fix some things, and make things smoother, and rebalance stuff.

You'll play as a little weird dude in a procedurally generated world who barfs out goo balls. They have enemies with no AI or purpose, but that will be part of the Game Mechanic's job to implement. There are spaced out focal points where plot points will be inserted but there's not much more to the game right now. The overall point, cannibalism... the theme of the game jam, so the way you gain health is wherever you die you'll come back on your next run and the only way you can heal is to eat your dead body (blame Seth).

So on Monday/Tuesday next week it'll be ready for final touches before being ready for people to put in their applications and potentially get their hands on the purposefully unpolished game.

Carol: How did you guys roll the theme? Was it just a random game jam theme generator?
It did, which normally they've had bad experiences with because they've found Game Jam games work best with action themes. They're better when they come from Mechanically-based themes, so having something come from a less concrete theme means a less concrete game idea.

It was a five minute brain-storming session; "cannibalism is pretty horrible and morbid but it felt less horrifying if you're eating yourself... or past versions of yourself". So it's going to play like a shoot-em-up physics-y platformer but with the idea that every time you die you leave behind your body at that spot in the level, so you choose whether you eat your body to regenerate your health or leave it there for your next run. That's up to you.

No clue if it's a good idea or not, but it's just a think that's going to happen. We'll find out when it happens.

Other Stuff

Besides general stuff with the studio and applicants, they're thinking about working on the next game is gonna be fun. They'll need to work out how to divide their time. The Creator patch will mostly be on Adam because of the server-side stuff, the main components are all web. Adam has to figure that out then Sam can come in and make it look pretty.

This will leave Seth and Sam free to figure out the applicant thing and work on ideas for the next game. No idea what that game will be, they've scrapped ideas after announcing them before, so they're not going to announce anything until they're 100% committed to it.

SHIRTS

Butterscotch Crashlands shirts are still available; the store's going/fixed and they need to sell enough to cover the design costs at least. You need to choose a shirt size before the cost will appear but they ARE available!

Carol: SLOTH CYCLING
Sloth Cycling they're still fully committed to, before life intervened. As well as another game called "The Captain" which was a 3 week project, trying to utilize procedural generation to build out content - problems being when you manually build stuff it takes a lot of manual effort to make something exist and it's static; so when someone goes back and replays it's still the same. So having PG means, if you do it well, a level of unpredictability.

Captain an RPG style game that was story-driven but where the story aspects themselves were PG. Seth thinks it's still possible, but their level of experience at the time wasn't good enough. it was too outside of their range of experience. SO maybe a couple of games from now it might be a possibility, but it would take a lot of testing to make sure it works well.

Productivity Extensions

Chrome: X-tab - caps the number of tabs you have open. It will either prevent you from opening another tab, or it will close the least used/oldest previous tab to make room for it.

News Feed Eradicator: which will nuke the news feed on facebook and replaces it with a quote about procrastinations. Which is among the greatest of goofy things to do. (Seth: I'd tell you what mine says right now, but I can't open a new tab LOL)

Stay FocusD: You can put websites in there and nominate a time for the day (ie 10 mins total) and once you max it all of the blocked sites are black listed until the next day. Anything labelled for work as well as "play", you can allow certain sub-sites (such as blocking reddit.com but allowing reddit.com/r/crashlands)

Note from Mea; This wouldn't work, because I'd reach my max and then just edit my settings to allow me more time. LOL.

SETH: Questions for everyone: What kinds of new items would you like to see in the game, built around the creator?

So one of the things in the creator is Puzzle Outposts - pushable blocks, switches that somehow connect to doors, and that kinda stuff. The difficulty is mostly in the ability to reset things. SO if someone pushes a block into an impossible spot we need some way to reset that, such as a reset switch that will reset the outpost when hit by the player. But it's going to be hard for players because you need to take into account certain things like Flux's teleport. So what do you do if you get stuck in the middle of the puzzle and then teleport outside, or die inside the puzzle and respawn outside it.

Mea: Toilet Car! XD

They're going to start manufacturing real toilet cars. The people want what they want, so they have no choice. XD

Saam: Puzzles and switches would be cool. or being able to set some logic for defeating monsters to open a room door.
OneDeadSaint: so like redstone from Minecraft? That would be interesting. And puzzle blocks? Hell yeah!
Mea: Could you do something similar to Minecraft Redstone that allows circuitry?

Minecraft Redstone is a hard one. SO here's what makes this weird: In Crashlands nothing exists outside of the screen. So if you built a really elaborate circuit that went off the screen and connected really far away, that thing doesn't exist until you went over there. This allows the game to function on mobile devices, and you have the added problem of every time you allows someone to change the resolution of their screen they have a different set of things existing. So someone playing on the 960 by 940 view has a small number of things visible on the screen, someone playing in the uber-max HD mode has a different/greater number.

Sam suggested a separate data layer where active things exist, but the complexity of doing a circuitry system when the world doesn't exist is really weird and hard. They want to try to figure it out because Logic gates would make crazy things happen in game, but they're not sure how with the current configuration.

The way things work right now is that the game has a number for each item, and a sub-tree of actions that can happen if/when that number exists in the world (which only becomes active when the item is there). If the item isn't there in the world (visible on screen) it can't do anything.

Randy: So it is similar to how I did the game maker weekend learning thing a few weekends back (where it removes things from the game and such when off screen)

Yeah, that's exactly right. So you're just constantly walking on an island in a void, but the island extends just one tile past the edge of the screen in all directions. We were kinda lazy about it in some cases, where you can see if you walk South in the Tundra you can actually see Glaciers popping into existence as you move. But whereas most other things you can't see that.

And there's actually an art restriction in Crashlands because of that, there's no sense of scale (in the art) because nothing could be more than 2 "blocks" tall otherwise because of this, they would simply snap into existence as soon as you walked towards it. So suddenly a temple would be right in your face, and that's bad immersion practices. Something they also want to do but it might have to be tabled until a future game.

They could have scaled the game to add additional tiles (off the edge of the screen) which would have made it do-able, but that would have been and area problem. Extra... explosive computation problem because it becomes extra ROWS of tiles.

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OneDeadSaint: what I'd like to see for the creator is the ability to randomize the looks of the bosses. I have an idea for a storyline for the return and death of Toomah.
Mea: Oh! As OneDeadSaint just mentioned... reskins on characters?
Mea: or HATS! And bow ties. We decided on hats and bowties, with Monocle DLC.

That is actually something they could do. The sprites in the game could actually be reskinned by Sam via spirte assest, OR alternatively they could add a "tint" bar to the sprites. The CC already has the ability to choose different heads/bodies (independant of their species) but it's possible to do the Tint option.

Saam: Will bscotch ever move into 3d games?

Seth's okay with it, that's up to the artists. Sam's cool with it. But right now their mastery and speed comes from getting good using the tools that they've been using. So switching into 3d, while definitely fun and allowing them to make cool stuff, would mean that they would have to remake a whole bunch of the same mistakes such as optimizing things. Right now they still feel like they're getting a ton of mileage out of 2d stuff, and Seth thinks there's not a lot of stuff that 3d makes possible that you can't also do in 2d, so they might maybe make 3d stuff later but right now they're fine with staying in 2d.

RE: Mea's hat question: Not for NPCs atm, but... they do actually want to do pet hats. So that would be a thing. They haven't figured out how to implement it, but it will be awesome.

Paul: How much of the new Game Mechanic position will be caretaking of legacy code, and how much will be social media things like writing blog posts and newsletters?

So just to clarify, you wouldn't actually write a newsletter... ever. But your blog about the patch you made would be linked to in the newsletter. So the vast amount of the work on that front is on an actual coding basis, and coming up with new designs to implement... if you wanted to put pet hats for example. It's mainly that they want everybody who's on the team to be proficient at writing and also adapting to that level that's sort of inherent in most of their style. So that's why there's a strong requirement for writing.

(I think that's the super good thing he said... Sam's audio kept cutting out even for Seth)

Randy: Would it be possible to add a way for external art to the creator? (like custom art for characters that already exist, and just change out the pieces of them. (my understanding is that characters are still animated largely through code, so I don't think that it'd be super hard.))

Yes, definitely possible. However, they decided against it because... Pensises.

Basically whenever you have the ability to have player created stuff, it ends up in penises... Sam has been guilty of this. In their previous game, that allowed you to create your own ship, they actually internally referred to it as "Dick Ships 3000" because everything ended up vaguely dick-shaped no matter what they did.

The Lego game had to dedicate a whole team to removing anything vaguely dick-shaped from their custom content; it's a kids game so they were obliged to keep a "Dick removal squad" on 24/7. BSS is already stretched pretty thing, so having to spend time trolling the creator for dicks would just be... no.

Dave: A lot of questions have come up about whether or not Crashlands would have controller support? Leaving your past statements exactly as they are, have you played Diablo III on PC and on Console, to be able to compare the ways that those games work? or Stardew Valley with and without Controller? I think of those two types of games being "related" to Crashlands.

They haven't played the controller versions of those games, but for them they know that it's possible. But right now it's a question of time and resources, and they're currently in the midst of the creator stuff, and adding controller support wouldn't really improve the game. Seth would argue that it would play either the same or worse, because the game wasn't designed with a controller in mind. So it would take quite a lot of dev time for either a side-grade or a down-grade from a player experience.

However, they've been trying to get Crashlands onto consoles, so if that becomes a definite possibility they will prioritize controller support particularly for those. But then again that may also be a job for the game mechanic; it's also a very big design problem. This game is completely designed for mouse or one-touch everything, and things like the combat is connected to the movement - so when you click on an enemy Flux runs over automatically and aims/attacks for the enemy.

But if you can move and act separately you have to pull that code apart and figure out how to make that work. And then all the different UIs and menus need to be changed to not require cursor. So do-able, but not priority.

Sidenote: Sam tried Dark Souls (2) for the first time the other day, and found... He was playing with a keyboard and mouse, and they didn't have the actual keybindings for K/M ... like, at all. During the menus it would be "hit A to proceed"... "what?!" ... "no not keyboard A, controller A."

He went into the settings and couldn't find the menu for keybinding at all. You could swap between keyboard or controller, but there was no listing for keys being used at all. SO Sam couldn't figure out what anything did no matter what he did. Seth claims this IS the difficulty of the game when people talk about it being a hard-core game; they dont' tell you how to control it, they also change the keys used randomly every time you play.

Smash Bros does this, when your character is confused and your controller is inverted for a few seconds. WildStar also totally scrambles your buttons - a crowd-control option (disorient) where it will scramble a player's controllers to confuse them long enough that you can sort of figure it out before it chances back. Enough to make them fall off cliffs and stuff.

Dave: Have you tried the Steam Controller? Thoughts?

No, they haven't, unfortunately. Neither of them have bought one. And they don't have a VR set either. There's a demo that Facebook did about 3 days ago, with VR, that is the trippiest thing. It actually reads your body language; there's a 5 minute video somewhere (google it; Facebook Oculus Demo).... and that level of stuff gives Sam the heebie-jeebies.

So many talk about how VR is the future of gaming... no, this is such a narrow view to take. Why would it be the case that gaming is the thing that VR is all about. Watch the video; the implications of this are insane, the amount of stuff you can do, it's going to be everywhere.

Espen: How comfortable are you in front of cameras now that you're getting your own documentary?

They've never been uncomfortable in front of a camera really. It depends on who's behind the camera. If you have an uncomfortable interviewer, it can be rough. But it's more about the company then the camera. They've had weird interviews before; or super awkward podcasts.

Some people have a build-in lag when you're talking to them. THey'll ask a question, and then you'll answer it, and then.... there are two types of interviewers: those who are too prepared in the sense that they have specific things they want to ask and no matter what they can't deviate from that. So you'll answer a question that will open up an interesting side-conversation, and they'll cut that out and make the final edit super-awkward.

Then there are people who use the questions as a guidance point and let things go to interesting places. And Alessio (@acsummerfield) and the [Forever an] Astronaut crew are really great as far as doing interviews. And if you guys haven't backed the Kickstarter yet, there's still ... halfway through and need more cash. So if you want to pre-order the documentary...

And there's been some confusion about their role in it, as they're just the subjects and a few people seem to think they're making it. But they don't have time for that, nor do they ahve the money to hire people for it when they started.

This is Alessio's first feature film too, so check it out. There's a 12 minute snippet (of the original cut according to Alessio ... you can see it on the Kickstarter page or in the Discord>Braceforimpactmovie channel) and it's pretty good. It's got a good gut-punch at the end so check it out.

Back the kickstarter, buy a t-shirt, hang out with us next time. They'll probably try Twitch next time, Google hangouts needs to get it together. They're going to aim to do more of these, possibly every 3 weeks... or on a predictable monthly basis - Brunch with Butterscotch, maybe.

Thank you for hanging out and joining the conversation. They'll see you on the Twitter or the Discords. So check them out (links at the bottom of the page)

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@MeaKitty daaaaamn those are some nice notes.

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Oh I see how it is, because Mea did it it's good, but had I done it </3

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@Mr.Jpesky I mean, you did a fine job. But come on. Just LOOK AT THOSE NOTES. They're STELLAR.

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FINE THEY'RE GOOD. I'll admit it.. Stupid Mea being good at things
Last edited by Etrusan on 18 Apr 2016 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Normal text or no text. Your call.

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MEA THESE ARE GREAT. Probably if Jpesky did it, it would have also been great. But the world will never know.

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Nah Mea has got these on lock. I will pass the torch to her.

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HEYO! Any chance of getting this lil beauty (The Dev Chat) on podcast?

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