tHERE IS NO GAME

That image has always struck a chord with me.

I’m not sure where this phrase came from – but when I saw this drawing, it kept nibbling at the dark recesses of my brain. I had turned it over, puzzling it out until I was trying to take a nap, and a daydream-ish vison came to me:

Booper, just in a sea of white, and no way to see where you are. Kinda like Morpheus in ‘The Matrix’ when he introduces Neo to the construct:

Except- its a maze.

And my daydream was that the only way you can find your way out is by walking. And as you walk, you leave footprints. I’m not sure if the walks would simply be invisible and the player would have to run into them and see they could go no further; or if the maze was high up and falling off the edges was instant failure and restart at the beginning.

Luckily, my kiddo LOVES drawing mazes.

So I grabbed one, a quick one he made on his Boogie Board that I managed to photograph before he deleted it, and cleaned it up in Photoshop, then ran it through the Cubester add-on for Blender.

original drawing above / 3d output below

I also just got the latest Unity Humble Bundle, which has the Aura2 asset – and its VR compatible. So I quick added some fog and BAM! – I have the start of a new level. I just gotta figure out where it fits in story-wise.

edit – my youngest solve part of the mystery. There Is No Game came from the days they were addicted to online Flash games (most notably, ‘Red Ball’) and they had discovered one called, ‘There Is No Game’ – its a lot of fun; you should give it a spin.

Small Measure of success

After the debacle of having my SSD (the one with my OS on it- of course) start disconnecting at random led to me having to run the gauntlet of reinstalling everything, frantically trying to recall passwords and resetting a bunch of others in an attempt to get back to a fully armed and operational battle station.

I did get everything up and running – was grateful to have a larger SSD just lying around to migrate to, and despite my system freezing up for a minute or 2 several times a day, I’m back in action.

Having lost a couple of days to the usual time suckage of taking care of kids and preventing my house from falling apart completely; I did have a small (but powerful) moment that got me reinvigorated and felt like a big ‘win’ on the dev front:

I thought up a game mechanic, added it- and it just… worked.

I mean, this is huge.  For the guy who seriously debated having a 3rd person game where the character (and the player) could ONLY look forward – no turning- because he did not know, or even consider that a Playmaker action for mouse look had already been made and was trying to reinvent the wheel from scratch. The dev who spent weeks (and still has problems with) getting a VR headset to fade on command – actually got something to work – and on the first try.

For all intents, I should not be so impressed with myself over a simple mechanic like this, its just a trigger zone in front of the door that plays a ‘door opening’ animation, and a black rectangle that fades the view for a sec while moving the player to a new location, in this case, a cube with a wall & ceiling removed and surrounded by a bigger black cube to blot out the sky and environs.

Now let’s see if that streak holds as I try and get my demo on Steam, 2 weeks before I’m showing my game a GDEX…

#$%^&*!!!

So, right after the youngest kid gets sick and I have to keep him out of school and I get my dream toy of a tablet / monitor so I can draw on my screen – my SSD dies.

Reinstalling everything now. Grr.

Fall, or when an old man’s Thoughts turn lightly to…

Kicking everyone the #$%^ out and getting some damn dev work done.

I’m busy trying to squeeze in dev time / prep for GDEX / fix broken stuff around the house and of course; the eternal struggle of what to make for dinner.

I’ve also found myself at a bit of a loss – Oculus isn’t offering all Start members the same deal as last year for Oculus Connect – we ‘older’ members are being offered a $200 ticket price for Connect this year; which when you add airfare, $300 a night hotel + incidentals – adds up to waaaay more than this solo dev can afford. I also did not make the Oculus Launch Pad program – so I’m feeling a bit down about dev work in general.

Introducing… Hop Rabit!

Nevertheless… He kept slogging on. I was helping a fellow VRTK’er with playtesting his game. Since I didn’t quite understand everything about his game, and my limited vocab was not getting the message across; I offered to record some gameplay and post it for him. In my usual manner, I jabbered away like a kid on a sugar rush, adding my own narrative as I explained why I was having difficulty in understanding how to operate simple things like buttons and levers. I must have provided enough chuckles because he repeated said I should start a YouTube channel and record myself being a fool while playing various games. Great – another thing for me to do that I couldn’t possibly explain to my mother in law. She still can’t comprehend hats in TF2.

Booper Loops cereal!

Looks like I’m still on for GDEX this year – hoping to up my game with a new banner and using a tablet to capture email addresses instead of the ‘paper on a clipboard’ method I’ve been using. Hope to get some new enthusiasts and to have my demo up on Steam. I’m also hoping people can take one of the custom postcards I’m having done up, courtesy of the Cleveland Game Co-Op. Also need to start updating my site to not allow spambots to flood my email list.

Perhaps I better get busy then…