Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Suppose I should do another update.  I may not post often, but you can bet your butt that I still come back to it again and again...as I do with everything in life.  Everything.

We've got non-personal advertising stuff, game stuff, and life stuff to go over.

On Wattam finally getting released

Wattam, the crazy game I worked on for 2 years at Funomena, finally has a release date and will be coming out for PC and PS4 this December on 12/17, just in time for the holiday season.


You can pre-order it now with a 15% discount, just go to http://www.funomena.com/wattamgame

Wattam is not really a normal game...in fact it's abnormal in a crazy way that you kind of just have to play.  This game has been a LONG time coming and as one of the engineers on the small team that brought it all together I worked on quite a lot of it directly.  I hope that you'll give it a try, maybe even with a friend with 2-player co-op for double the laughs and fun.

On Day of the Devs and Chicory

I stopped by "Day of the Devs", an indie game event in SF which I was also at 2 years ago when I was first joining up with the Wattam team.  Back then 2 years ago I believe both Rain World and Hollow Knight were exhibiting there, along with a number of other games of course.

This time around my main focus was on Chicory, a charming little game by the same developer of Wandersong (that one game about a singing bard):


I got to play the little demo build of Chicory and it basically ended up hitting most of the notes that I expected it to (which is great!).  It's got a fun and playful energy and looks to be a world that will make you smile as you go around and meet its inhabitants.

I also ran into quite the assortment of random people at Day of the Devs...I brought a pair of glowsticks in case there was some apt music playing and indeed, there was at one point, so I did some freehand....literally within the next 15 minutes I got recognized by like 4 separate people whom I had no idea would be there......so funny haha.

On the upcoming "Fusion" album

I've got a new album coming out in just a bit!


This is a 4-track collaboration EP between me and A-zu-ra, with whom I've also worked with in the past on "Twin Wings".  We've had this music finished for quite some time and were just waiting on a good album art design to put everything out, so I'm happy that it's finally getting a release.  It's been quite a while since I've put out any actual high quality original music, so I hope you guys like this one.

On Super Punch Out

Super Punch Out playthrough is complete!  It wasn't too bad at all, honestly, especially after watching some guides.  The Special Circuit opponents took some getting used to, but weren't crazy difficult once you got the hang of it.  I didn't end up getting a 4-0 on the special circuit, but didn't really bother, as I'm sure I could, just a matter of trying it one or two more times.  Anyways, calling that game done!

On Super Metroid

My "Reverse Boss Order" run in Super Metroid continues, and I've got into the most exciting segment -- Lower Norfair!  I have pretty much the =maximum= amount of energy tanks, reserve tanks, and super missiles/ammo that you can reasonable have before going in there, so things are definitely on the easy side, especially now that there is so much more information out there on how to optimize movement through rooms as well as the Ridley fight.

It's even easier than it was the last time I was doing an RBO run, since I have a couple of extra items: I have the botwoon energy tank, and also the maridia reserve tank, which definitely help.  The maridia reserve tank is quite tricky to get without gravity suit as you need to do some really tight underwater walljumps, but I eventually managed to get it.

Anyways, I did the lava dive (though I failed the bounceball in that room, d'oh), did my save, and went through the first part of lower norfair, stopping by to get screw attack and get the supers from the golden torizo room as well as farm up a bunch of ammo.  Went through the Worst Room In The Game (yes, it's actually called that), grabbed the energy tank, went down and saved.

I've now been practicing the Ridley fight a bunch and I have to say it's actually....way easier than I remembered it to be, mainly because of ShinyZeni's great tutorial on the ridley fight, covering ridley's AI as well as how to manipulate his pogo attack, and how to set up a wave beam X-factor right at the beginning of the fight to do a bunch of damage up front.

I've got so much energy and ammo to spare that besides the ridley fight itself, the rest of this section is actually not that hard at all, I could probably even do an extra crystal flash if I really wanted to.  I feel like I'll probably get this segment on one of my first tries if nothing too bad goes wrong.  I think the main danger is ridley doing something unexpected and running into me during the fight, or failing to get grabbed properly by ridley.



I've been watching some Super Metroid randomizer videos and it's something I'm actually considering getting into, maybe not super seriously but at least to some degree, at least just trying it.  Now that I've refamiliarized myself with a lot of the movement stuff and the general layout of Zebes, it's probably a great time to give it another try...

On Dance

Dance has been taking a bit of a backseat ever since I had a "bad experience" at a certain dance event -- not that anything actually went wrong, just I got put in a really bad mood unfortunately.  I'll be bouncing back from it I'm sure, but I wanted to just take it easy for a while.  I didn't want to write about it at the time, but it's been long enough now that I figured it can't really hurt anymore.  It ended up putting me back into the mindset I had while I was DM, something which hasn't really happened in a long time.  That's not a place that I want to be in.

I did some glowsticking the other week, that was fun.  As always, it's hard to improve, but practice is practice.  I wish I could say that I was invested in improving in dance in general (solo and/or partner alike) at the moment, but as I'll explain later, now is not the time for it.

Sayuri made an appearance at dance too, that was really interesting and I am actually really grateful for her presence there.  It has been a long time...too long, perhaps.  But she is not gone, not gone I don't think.

There is another dance this Saturday...against perhaps my better judgment I am cautiously hoping to be more outgoing again for this.  But we will see if that ends up playing out, or whether I will need to just again retreat to safety.  There's not that much point in forcing it.  But I also know that there is light amidst the shadows.

On Life

I hit a bit of a hitch lately, been bothered by something that was nagging at me in the background until finally I figured out what it was.  It's good that I figured it out, but doesn't quite make it suck any less lol.  I spent a good chunk of today in recovery mode giving myself the luxury of taking it easy and focusing on just doing whatever I needed to feel OK.  Mainly taking a long bath, which was nice haha.

I'll be bouncing back from this, too, but there's no need to rush it.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Ludum Dare 45 voting ended, and my game got 3rd place, as well as 1st in audio, 3rd in fun, and actually really high scores in theme (11th), graphics (12th), and mood (15th).  That graphics score is particularly impressive and I think is quite appropriate considering how much of a level-up I've had in my artwork over these years.  The rankings are always a crapshoot anyways, but it's nice to know that people enjoyed the game regardless.

The total number of LD submissions was about the same as last time, which is nice to see.  As some of you may know LD is...not exactly the greatest-run event in the world, but it serves its purpose "well enough", which I've written about before.  For now LD somewhat seems to be the defacto large yet casual event to do, though I see there are some other jams hosted on itch.io that are gaining traction, such as the Game Maker's Toolkit Jam which had 2,629 entries this year, pretty much the same as LD.  I guess considering that LD is down to two events per year instead of three, I could theoretically look into doing either that or Global Game Jam as well.  But that's something I'll have to play by ear, really.  (if anything I should be putting that time into Rhythm Quest lolol)

I'm finally nearing the end of my Inktober letters with only one more to go...hoping that next month will be slightly less busy as a result, but I'm also not really holding my breath, haha.  Phew.....

In gaming news, I've been playing a few different things here and there.  I'm working my way through some random SNES games:

- I played through and finished Super Earth Defense Force, a short side-scrolling space shoot-em-up that lets you choose a weapon type to equip for each stage.  The game was sort of a middle ground in terms of difficulty (I played on normal mode), but I found on the last stage in particular that I relied sort of heavily on slowdown to make some of the attacks easier to dodge.  Which was interesting because it meant choosing specific weapons that caused additional slowdown while they fire...  in the end it all worked out though.

- Making my way through Super Punch Out, currently going through the World Circuit.  I watched a few guides for the rest of the fights, but we'll see how hard everything ends up actually being.  I don't think the World Circuit will take a ton more tries, but the Special Circuit might...

- Continuing to gather more items for my Super Metroid RBO run.  I'm currently in Maridia and will probably try to kill Botwoon for an extra energy tank.  This is something I don't think I did in my previous console-conditions RBO run, so theoretically it will make things that much easier.

I've randomly been playing Risk of Rain 2 once in a while, but not super often, and still practicing some Puyo chains, though I don't really know what for besides the fact that it's fun.

I had another go at cooking Gumbo -- and got a lot closer this time!  This time around I did a "wet" roux in the oven -- but doing the roux dry in the oven would probably work ok as well.  I think being a little conservative with the darkness of the roux is a good idea as it darkens up slightly when it's being incorporated.  I sort of "broke" my roux whilst working with it and trying to incorporate it though, will have to try once again next time, as well as allowing for bunch of time for it all to simmer.  I will say that it's getting closer for sure -- this batch in particular started to taste better the next day.

Will be hopefully doing some other cooking experiments as well.  I forgot to mention, but I ended up giving a one-pot salmon chowder a try.  It worked well enough, though I added WAY too much dill, which was kind of unfortunate.  Either way I don't think it's really a keeper though, I feel like the salmon would have been much better suited for something different and the chowder itself was.....ok.  Cream/milk based dishes are a little hard for me I think, I don't really have any in my regular rotation at all (I don't actually like milk straight out).  I remember trying a seafood baked rice/doria recipe as well which was....ok.  That one is probably a little more promising than this one, though also a little more work.  But yeah, I don't think the salmon chowder recipe is a keeper, which is unfortunate.  Maybe I'll try an instant pot clam chowder at some point?  Speaking of salmon, I watched a video that advocated for a slow-baked salmon fillet, so that's actually something I'd maybe like to try, as a sort of almost-sous-vide dry cooking method.  Aside from that, I'm probably going to try doing some sous vide lamb riblets...

I have really been enjoying the company of the meowmies lately.  I didn't see them for like a whole week, but got to visit them last night, which was really nice.

Things to do:...

- One more Inktober letter
- Work on music...I've been slacking
- 4-wide Trainer needs to get finished
- Post-compo easter eggs for Unlock Everything??
- Music.....I really need to work on more music...
- I haven't done any glowsticking for a while either...
- Xmas shopping...
- ...

On the plus side, the (easier) arcade machine project has been completed!  The old pac-man arcade thingamajig is now in working condition and even has a better interface and all that.  Unfortunately the original system was pretty much kaput despite best efforts to repair it, but it's now got a RPI running RetroPie and I put a bunch more interesting games on there as well.  Probably spent a bit TOO much time on that, but it was fun sort of raising that old piece of junk back from the dead and giving it some actual purpose.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

If you had never left...


where would I be now?

I found this scrawled in my drafts folder.  A single thought, lingering from a state of mind that is no more.  Yet reading it again, I am certain of what I was feeling at the time.  And I know I'll feel that way again sometime.  I always do.  For there are some things that I cannot, would not, will not escape.

Sleepless nights
Both liberating and lonesome
I relish in the stillness of these moments
Yet still wish that I could be with you

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Friday, October 25, 2019

I want to make an exploration game where the reward for exploring is simply to find different music.

To all of my fellow creators out there,
you are all amazing.
Your work inspires me to continue searching, exploring, and making everything I can dream of.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Inktober progress: 20/31 Xmas letters done so far...We're almost 2/3rds of the way there!

Should be able to do it...there are a couple of things I need to be aware of along the way though:

- Have another birthday letter to write (one that I sorta missed, too...)
- I've only got a week and a half left in the month and still need to do my monthly pixel art album cover...
- Some of the letters that I haven't done yet are the hard ones...one that needs to be written in Japanese, and three that I imagine will be quite on the longer side.

But hey, progress is progress.  Even more than that, I started up my writeups on Unlock Everything, my Ludum Dare 45 entry.  You can read the first one at https://ddrkirby.com/articles/shader-based-transitions/shader-based-transitions.html.  I also reorganized my website a bit - you'll notice there's an entire tab for articles (https://ddrkirby.com/articles/articles.html) where I've moved all of my post-mortems to.

I haven't forgotten about all of the other things I need to do either...haha.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

It's always a really fascinating feeling, seeing people from other countries interacting with your work.  The communication barrier is there, yet somehow you still created something that someone else interacted with and shared.  Whenever it happens, a part of me feels the need to reach out to these people, to tell them a thanks, and to make my presence known as a person.  But at the same time, I know that it's not necessary.  For the work itself is already a form of communication alone.  You perhaps can't judge a creator solely by their works, but that doesn't make them any less valid a form of expressing things.  I think that's why I always feel a very interesting respect and connection with other creators whose works connect with me in the same way that I'd like my works to connect with people.  Even though we may be on different wavelengths, it still gives me the feeling that I share a commonality with these other creators.  It's a vague feeling of understanding, to have started from maybe-wildly-different places yet still end up speaking a similar creative language.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I'd need to write 64 more letters by the end of the year if I want to hit a 100 letters/year statistic, hahaha...don't think that's going to happen unfortunately.  Right now I'm sitting at 96.521 letters per year, which doesn't seem TOO far off, but it's a lot to make up for when you consider that it's across 12.29 years...