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GMK: Studio – Code Snippet: Orbit


I know it’s been a long time since my last post…I just haven’t had anything to write about! So, with that, I am going to share my recent creation..because I couldn’t find what I needed elsewhere…at least in a simple piece of code.

Code Snippet: Orbiting
Engine: Game Maker: Studio
https://www.yoyogames.com/studio

In your rotating object’s CREATE event, drag over an, “Execute Code” block and type:

// Setup the orbiting object’s variables
pDir = 0; // Where the orbiting object starts (0-360)
pDistance = 100; // The distance from the main object this orbits
pSpeed = 1; // Speed of the orbit

In your rotating object’s STEP event, drag over an, “Execute Code” block and type:

// Set the movement of your orbiting object
x = [yourObject].x + lengthdir_x(pDistance, pDir)
y = [yourObject].y + lengthdir_y(pDistance, pDir)

// Based on which direction you want, you can use +/- when adding the speed
pDir += pSpeed;


I hope that this helped anyone looking for some orbiting planets, buffs, or tornadoes in the future!

Cheers,
Joshua Long

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The Non-Typical Game Designer


Most people think of a game designer as the guy sitting in front of a computer playing games all day. Although part of that is true, because most of the game designer’s day is spent debugging millions of problems, the game designer is found exploring life from one end of the world to the other. After listening to what other game designers have to say about the games we make, I learned about how fear and money can motivate a player through a one difficulty-only game, and I learned that we should start creating more in-depth characters all the way down to their movements and mannerisms as to be specific to what gender they are. I also learned that we are able to make tailored games for our audiences through crowd funding.

As an aspiring game designer, I find myself traveling and socializing more than I used to in high school. When I go talk to someone about my dream to design games for the younger generations, they instantly ask the stereotypical question, “Oh, you like to play games?” Of course, this is completely independent of me creating games, so I have to explain a little more about what I mean when I say, “design games.” After a quick conversation about who I am and where I have traveled to, my listener often talks about their experiences and relates them to the things I have done in my life; this creates the connection between us so they realize a game designer is not necessarily the stereotypical “gamer” they perceive us as.

My conversations usually start out with someone asking what kind of games I want to make and I tell them that I want to make “educational” and puzzle games. I want to redefine the way children play games in schools. Instead of the old flash card games, I want them experiencing a story to help teach them relevant content to their classes. Now, I know how I can motivate and encourage the stages of developing story with instilling a sense of unknown to the player (Papoutsis, 2013). That sense of unknown will engage the player (student in this case) and it will aid them in learning materials for the class they are taking.

Taking the motivation through fear a little further, I learned that the use of money motivates the player (Leydon, 2013) nearly the same amount as having the unknown.  Looking back to the educational game, what would happen if the students could play them at home (as homework)?  There is a bit of information the player needs to discover some test answers, and their parents must pay one dollar to get that information. Now, the student accomplished all of the tasks to get to the answer, and $1 USD unlocks the answer for them. Their parents are investing into their education (the money could go to the school for supplies and game development for the students), and the school is getting their teaching across to students.

In shedding some new light about game designers, I learned that not all game design has to be created on the computer. A game designer is only limited to their imagination and the development of new technologies proves this.  If the designer was limited to making mechanics based on the games they play, motion capture characters would not exist in varieties of gender like they do now (Boch, 2013). I personally thank all of the people who question my field of study, and I challenge those people to question me until they are blue in the face. Once I run out of answers, I can research a little more and validate why the gaming industry can only grow from here.

Resources:
Avellone, C. A. (2013). Crowdfunding [Web]. Retrieved from
http://criticalpathproject.com/?v=66746209

Boch, M. B. (2013). Gender assumptions in mocap [Web]. Retrieved from
http://criticalpathproject.com/?v=77997447

Hutchinson, A. H. (2013). No easy modes [Web]. Retrieved from
http://criticalpathproject.com/?v=66742906

Leydon, G. L. (2013). Coin op vs free to play [Web]. Retrieved from
http://criticalpathproject.com/?v=66693054

Papoutsis, S. P. (2013). Creating fear [Web]. Retrieved from
http://criticalpathproject.com/?v=66672287

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Becoming a Game Designer


Game design has always been a big part of my life, so where do I start? How about I start back when I was a mere child of 9 years old in the 5th grade! Before I get into the 9-year old story, I will give you a little bit of my background in video game consumption. When I was 3 years old, my father bought a SEGA Genesis with Sonic, The Lion King, and Booger Man. From the moment I could switch over the VCR to game mode, my father let me play the SEGA. I started early when it came to playing games, and it only went uphill from there. I found this great enjoyment out of playing games, but I felt I could do more; I felt like I could make games.
So, let’s go back to the 5th grade, now that you have some back story. One bright and beautiful day while I was sitting in art class, I decided to finish my work early. To my mistake, I was left with two weeks of nothing to do. So, I went to the back of the classroom and started drawing weapons (axes, swords, and bows). Slowly, that turned into me drawing some rough sketches of skeletons, beasts of all sorts, and different classes for characters. After school that day, I went straight to the computer and started typing the story for a board game called, “The Plague.” Everything flowed through me like hot kool-aid, and I could not stop making this game for the next two weeks!
Finally, the two weeks were over and I had the final game ready to be played by my classmates. With permission from the teacher, I took 7 of my friends to the back room and started playing this monstrosity-of-a-board game. The game took days to play through, and everyone stayed engaged through every moment. The game was the standard D&D concept with RPG elements and dungeon crawling with the chances to fight “scripted” bosses. No, I had no idea about Dungeons and Dragons at the time, so I did not know that I made a replica of sorts. After we enjoyed the game to death, I moved on and bought my first game-creation software, RPG Maker XP.

Ever since I started making games for the PC, things only progressed to where I am today. The story of my 5th grade board game only sparked my interest further in entertaining the people around me, and now I run my own business creating video games, software, and websites for clients. The other experiences that lead me to further my abilities were the events such as Future Business Leaders of America competitions (placing 2nd in my region and 6th in state for game design), teaching web design to a high school class of peers, and attending a speech for a 10-year old child’s birthday to talk about what it is like being a game designer. In order to wrap all of my experiences up, I decided to further my education and learn what tools I need to excel in the gaming industry.
PS. If anyone wants to see what the game looked like, I still have it in a PPT on a disk. Just send me an email. 🙂
– Joshua Long
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theHunter: Immersion by Nature


theHunter: Immersed by nature

by Joshua Long


Did the game immerse you as a player?  

Yes, the game immersed me as a player!

When did it get you?  

It got to me right when I jumped into my own game, and I had to track the animals. More specifically, it happened when I found my first sign of an animal and then I started my tracking.

Describe your playthrough of the game.  

I played, for the first time, theHunter. This game starts out very simple, and takes you through the basics of tracking and killing a deer. The mechanics were easy enough to learn, and I only needed to know how to move, switch between my items, and shoot the animal! I was a little upset that I could only get the free license to kill mule deer, but it made for quite the hunt once I got into my first game. I chose to go alone, rather than with up to 8 friends, and I experienced the ambiance of the game from the sound of the birds to the sway of the grass. While I was walking through the camp into the forest, I realized my first hunt was about to start. My objective: kill one mule deer. “Easy enough,” I said to myself as I set off looking for tracks.
After walking through open fields, large hills, and thick forest areas, I found my first dropping! Too my avail, it was the mule deer droppings I needed to track! The hunt was on! I started out getting the proximity of the deer do to the freshness of the droppings, and I set forth in the direction I figured it went: north. I searched for about 10 more minutes when I finally found tracks of the mule deer, and got my bearings on the direction of the animal! I started running towards the animal’s direction, and finally came up on some more tracks. I decided to take out my deer call and bait the animal. One call. Two calls. Then, the animal called back and it was right in front of me in the tress. I crouched down, pulled out my rifle and took a deep breath. BANG! I shot the animal right in the…and it ran off.
“What?” I yelled, “I shot it!”
My worst fear struck me: I missed. Half an hour into my hunt, I realized my moral was running out, but I trekked on anyways! Thirty more minutes passed as I headed back west to look for more deer, and I finally came across some more tracks. They were mule deer tracks for sure! I followed the tracks, the droppings, and the calls all the way to the road. Finally, I was coming up over a hill and decided to make my call. The deer responded and I pulled up my binoculars to see where he was. There he was, standing on top of the hill. I crouched down, pulled out my gun, and, “Where did he go!” I exclaimed, “He was right there!”
I backed away, and then decided to go forward anyways. His head popped up and I freaked out! I lay back down and pulled out my gun, “Maybe he didn’t see me,” I said and stood back up. He popped his head up again, so I crouched right where I was, took a deep breath, and took my shot. BANG! Right in the lung! He darted off, and I got upset and started chasing him. His blood trail did not last long, and I found him about 10 meters from where I shot him. I took my trophy picture, and ended the hunt by making my way back to camp.

Link to 20 minutes of the video: http://www.twitch.tv/radethdart/b/469142660

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The Surface: Resurfacing the blog!


The Surface: Character Overview


Hey everyone, it’s good to be back! After a really long time, I have been gathering life and putting it all into a basket. Now that things are starting to become routine, I can make a post! Instead of giving you a huge update, how about you run over to the main website, then come back here and read the rest of this post! So much has happened since our last post, so we welcome any new business! In the meantime, let’s have a looksie at the characters for the new project…and while we are at it, some art!

Zingo

Protagonist

Zingo is an ordinary Vergling looking to find the happiness that once filled up his planet from the very core. Ever since the new ruler, Gorri, took over Proper, she decided to wreak havoc on the planet by drilling to the core of Proper and draining the happiness. Zingo decided this drilling had to come to a stop, so he wandered off by the space station in hope of finding clues of getting to another planet for help. While searching the spaceships inside the space station, Zingo ran to hide from the guards. While waiting for the guards to leave, Zingo fell asleep on the spaceship and fell into the launch controls; the rocket started up and launched off into space before anyone could open the hatch and stop the rocket.
The alarm for the rocket started to sound off, and Zingo jolted awake! He ran to one of the windows and noticed he was not in Proper anymore; a new, beautiful planet emerged from the darkness of space. Zingo stared in awe as he drew closer to the newfound planet. Without any warning, the rocket burst into a speed he did not expect, and he fell to the floor and smacked his head on the way down, knocking him unconscious.
Once he awoke from the shipwreck, Zingo found himself on the shores of the new planet. Zingo picked himself up, looked around, and started to walk. He noticed walking was difficult on this planet; he felt like he gained 100 pounds! With this new discovery, Zingo was sad to discover he could no longer jump like he could back on Proper. Although this newfound hinderance made Zingo sad, he noticed the world around him was filled with happiness, which made him happy! Zingo did it! He found the happiness he was looking for. All he had to do was find out how to bring it back to Proper.

Bob

Protagonist

Bob came to Earth 16 years before Zingo crash landed his ship on the planet. The spaceship that Bob landed on crashed in the dead of the night where a couple found him and raised him as their own. They knew he was not from Earth, but they felt like they needed to take care of him until he wanted to leave. When Bob turned 16 years old, Zingo was born on Proper, and Bob knew that someone else from his planter would come to Earth. Bob’s Earth parents encouraged Bob to learn more about his race, so he knew how to communicate with his own kind, and he could relate to them once he decided to find a way back to Proper.

After the spaceship that Zingo was on made it to Earth, Bob set out from his Earth family in order to make it to Zingo. Bob felt he could mentor Zingo and help him out here on Earth. Bob knew the ways of the humans, and if he failed to find him before a human does, Zingo is doomed to be the next big science experiment for proof of life on other planets. Bob barely skirted by on Earth, so he knew exactly how difficult it is being from another planet. As an incredibly strong Vergling, Bob fought his way to Zingo before he discovered a human city; Bob warned Zingo of the dangers a human can cause to Verglings, so Zingo turned away from the city and went back home with Bob and his Earth family so he could figure out what to do next.
Now that you had the chance to look over our characters, how about we leave you with a wallpaper and a dev video!


Well, time to get back to work! If you have some extra time, make sure to check out the updates on our Facebook page, or come check out the website!
And with that…
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Rock our games and start your spring break late!


Rock Our Games!
By
James McCall III



            Come play JetCake! Hey guys, James here with a way to kick off your summer or avoid face-plants on your desk at work from being so bored! JetCake is a warm-hearted platform adventure of a cupcake that is after some sprinkles to wear proudly on his head. You’ll get to float around and enjoy the jetpack noises as you try to beat 10 delicious levels! Avoid touching the sides and gather sprinkles like a boss. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. Be careful not to run out of sprinkles or you won’t be able to buzz around in minty bliss. Master your timing in this sweet sugar rush. What could be better? Maybe Cupcake tries to rescue Princess Cannoli and Ninjabread Men threaten to stuff her in an oven if he doesn’t rescue her in time in the sequel. Everything else is just icing on the cake. New players be warned; your mouth may water after level 4.

            Want more of a challenge? Sensei Sayswill test your Tengu through 40 intense missions to see if you have what it takes to be a true ninja! Don’t blink or you’ll miss your chance to prove yourself. You can even play the game without sound, which is great if your boss at work is looking over your shoulder when you start making sword slashing noises. Make sure you don’t leave your Kunai in the break room. Take the original Simon concept and add a keyboard for a good hour to kill. What bothers you the most is how you’re giving your all and there sits that old man comfortably on a cloud thumping you in the head with new commands as you progress. It even gets worse as you climb to the top to try and be a ninja master. Sensei will not spoon-feed you when you get past a certain level. Make a mistake 3 times and it’s back to the dojo. This challenge is not for the faint of heart. I became exhausted and failed to complete my journey past level 18. “No Ninja For You!”

            And announcing North Sun’s latest development; Don’tDrop The Soap. Get wet and wild without needing to towel off. What you’ll like most about this new game is how it takes the classic bubble-popping formula and throws in a welcomed twist. Get slippery enough and you’ll get to carve your name on the leaderboards! You’ll have to be quick at your clicker to toss the bar in the air and get as many bubbles as you can before you miss the grab to keep the bar airborne. It’s better to play our game rather than destroy your own bathroom at home. Frustrated from only popping 6 bubbles until the drop? Download the app. It’s actually much easier to play on your iPhone rather than computer. More excitement is coming as we kick off our summer release. So there you have it, folks! Good luck to you and rock those games!

Level Design with Radeth: Update Videos 1


Hello everyone,

It looks like we are going to give a big blog update with a couple videos right from our youtube channel! Take a look at the level design I have done in the past month!

First Map, Completed

Temple Render 1

Temple Render 2

Beginning of my first “playable” level

Have fun and enjoy watching these videos! I had a blast creating these levels, and I am still not done!

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Video Game Release: JetCake


Game Engine: Game Maker Studio
Year: 2013
Genre: Platformer
Link to download: http://sandbox.yoyogames.com/games/213528

North Suns Entertainment does it again! I finally got around to making another game in “secret” so I could finally release something. Here we are, a cute little platform game where you can use your jetpack to fly around and collect all of the cupcakes in each level. This is the first release, and I plan on having more, but I wanted a stable release with all working features before I did anything else with the game. Please take some time to head over to YoYo games and play the game!

YoYoGames

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JetCake
Added: 26 February 2013
By: RadethDart

UDK: My First Map Ever Made!


Hey everyone! I am dipping into UDK for the first time, and I spent quite a bit of time in level design and I made my first map. Here is a video documenting the level. Enjoy.

Map Overview
The player is faced with an eerie setting as they jump into this dimly lit room. If they turn around, they can see a large, bolted-shut door behind them with a glowing red emergency light above it. In the room, glowing bio-orbs illuminated by a single fluorescent light bulb sit awaiting the player to stumble on through them. Right now, events are not placed in the map, so it is only the map, but the player can explore the back room where a portal-like generator fills the room and stairs lead to the top of the room. A broken down vehicle sits in front of the generator which tells the player something bad has happened to this lab.
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Play & Comment: Redder & Super Crate Box



Play and Comment: Redder & Super Crate Box
By Joshua Long
Redder

Every once-in-awhile we play games without words, direction, and no way of knowing what to do right from the beginning of the game. Some games start off with tutorial levels; some put you into the action. What happens when the game performs neither of those aspects of gameplay? Redder, a platform game based in space, throws you right into the “action” of the game without any descriptive words, tutorials, or way of knowing what to do. When we are not given direction, we normally start exploring. Redder throws the player head first into not knowing what to do as they are dropped off by a power-depleted spaceship. The exploration mechanic leads the player to discover more as they wonder around a grid-based map system without knowledge of what they are looking for.
The grid-based exploration of the map allows the player to focus on each map element as an individual, which is a great way to utilize the other mechanics on each grid of the map. Each grid contains numerous amounts of elements to hurt, help, or intrigue the player. Enemies within the game are things such as electricity and energy balls shot from turrets. While dodging and avoiding the enemy objects, the player is also faced with puzzled-based mechanics to advance through new areas. This enemy-puzzle combination forces the player to pick up checkpoints along the way that save progress for the chance to retry any missed jumps right into an enemy, who can kill you instantaneously with one touch.
Super Crate Box

Put aside everything you know about the standard survival games .Super Crate Box delves right into the action mechanics of survival as the player is given pistols, bazookas, and flamethrowers right from the start! The survival mechanic changes the style of this platform genre because you are limited to the direction you are allowed, and you can only be hit one time before you die. So, this means you can stand in a corner and shoot enemies the entire time? No, this means you need to jump over and shoot enemies while trying to accomplish one goal: collect boxes. With the variety of guns going through a random cycle each time you gather a box, you never know what you will have to defend yourself with. One second you are using a pistol, the next, a bazooka.
I only gathered 40 boxes and unlocked the next level of gameplay, but in that time, I found out there are different strategies available while jumping around the platforms and gathering boxes. First of all, the enemies run on each platform until they hit a solid wall, then they turn and go the other direction until they reach the bottom of the map where they fall into a pit of fire. Once the enemies fall into the fire, they spawn with a much faster running speed than before, making the incentive to kill them before they reach the fire much more likable  The shooting, gathering, and surviving combined together to make a fast-paced action game makes the gameplay replay-able each time you die, especially since the game remembers how many boxes you collected during the last run! Instead of forcing the player to collect 40 boxes in one play through, they can collectively gather 40 boxes at 1 box per play if they desired, thus allowing the player to move onto the next level of gameplay.

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