Mo (he/she) or Marielle (she)

 

Animal Crackers Mini-Update

Another text-only update!

  • We have music for the game now! Other requirements for audio are forthcoming, but it’s good to hear the game in action like this.
  • My checklist of things to do is shrinking steadily, and that’s a really good thing. In terms of coding there are a few small wonky things I’m trying to work out, but there have been zero major problems since I have a “debug immediately” type of approach to game design.
  • I’ve also been doing a lot of the writing for this game, and that’s been flawless so far. I am normally a very fast writer, especially when writing character dialogue, so this isn’t surprising. Fast character writing is one of my strongest abilities, after all.
  • A lot of demand has been pushed onto the artist for this game and as of late I have reached points where development cannot progress without additional art assets. This is an interesting dynamic since I take a break for a day and then return and have stuff to do, then take another break and then return and continue. I can’t really say I’ve ever made anything like that since I’ve normally done solo projects, but it’s not a bad way to work, in all honesty.

Still pushing for this little game to be released by the end of the month! I have no idea how realistic that is, but having music now makes it all the more possible! I’ll try to put together a nice video trailer for you all in the coming days. :D

Today I played my second favorite Zelda game The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX while blindfolded with a “No Kangaroos in Germany” shirt. It was a short stream because I was trying to determine if the game was even possible whilst blindfolded. My end result was: yes it is. So I’ll do more attempts every week!

If you want to skip the intro, start the video at 3:40. I’ll stream attempts every week. Follow me on Twitter if you want updates on when I go live on Twitch.

Animal Crackers Dev Update!

Hey, so this is a text-only update. While I have plenty of new screenshots and videos, I’d rather keep those private for now because at this point I want the rest of the game to be a surprise for new players!

Let’s recap: Animal Crackers is a sidescrolling exploration game where you, one of the two independent members of the Animal Congress, must pick up items and guests for the President’s birthday bash. On your quest you will meet many different ideas, and you have to piece together information in order to figure out the President’s likes and dislikes.

We’re not quite at beta phase yet, but we are beyond alpha for sure. I don’t know what the technical term to describe our current phase of development, but it’s been going really well these past few days.

Here is a more technical look at what we have achieved:

  • Inventory system! This is huge since the entire point of the game is to pick up items for the President. I spent a long time trying to get this to work properly since you can swap items out if you find a different item you want, and I had to make sure that everything worked together as intended. I’ve tested it thoroughly and I think it’s fully working, so that’s really good!
  • Dialogue system! In the alpha animals were only able to say one line to you, which isn’t very useful for a game. I got multiline dialogue to work really well, which required me to recode a decent chunk of the base code. Luckily this has led to a lot of other things being possible that previously were not possible, including…
  • Event handler! This one is enormous. Certain dialogue triggers certain events to occur. For example, one animal’s lines might change after you initially talk to them, or another animal might change locations after a certain in-game condition is met, or an animal might drop an item upon dialogue completion. The event handler I coded is what I am most proud of with this game.

    I had to make sure that the handler was located as top-level as possible so that it could communicate with basically every variable in the game. This posed a challenge since speech bubbles are very low-level on the hierarchy. I didn’t want to pass an instance variable all the way down the hierarchy to achieve this. What I ended up doing was creating a Globals class that wrapped around the only global variable the engine allows (seriously, only one) and from that created some set/get methods. The code looks like something you’d expect from a database more than a game, but it works very nicely and allows me to do a lot of things really easily and efficiently.

I’ve stated previously that I want this game finished by the end of this September, and with this recent progress I’m starting to believe that I may actually reach that deadline. If nothing else, we will at least have a very near-complete beta by that time.

Hope you look forward to the game!

The Colorful World of Ping Pong the Animation | Moé Char

I reviewed Ping Pong the Animation on my anime review site, http://char.moe

This goes without saying, but it was an extremely positive review. Check it out!

Another brief Animal Crackers update!
I slept way early last night (6PM) and woke up way early today (3AM) so I decided to work on the game some more. I added something I’ve been incorrectly calling flavor text. When you pass by an animal a very brief mini-profile including a name and description will appear in the bottom left corner. The other empty squares are for items you can pick up throughout this game.
Ideally this will be done by the end of the month. I think it’s possible since I don’t have too much left to do on my end in terms of hard coding. Somehow I managed to code this thing somewhat decently, so maintaining it has been fairly seamless. You don’t want to hear much about those type of details though, so I’ll stop. :P
I hope you enjoy this when it comes out!

Another brief Animal Crackers update!

I slept way early last night (6PM) and woke up way early today (3AM) so I decided to work on the game some more. I added something I’ve been incorrectly calling flavor text. When you pass by an animal a very brief mini-profile including a name and description will appear in the bottom left corner. The other empty squares are for items you can pick up throughout this game.

Ideally this will be done by the end of the month. I think it’s possible since I don’t have too much left to do on my end in terms of hard coding. Somehow I managed to code this thing somewhat decently, so maintaining it has been fairly seamless. You don’t want to hear much about those type of details though, so I’ll stop. :P

I hope you enjoy this when it comes out!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Animal Crackers, but it’s also been a while since I’ve worked on it…

I finally updated what was an ugly awful outdated dialogue system and implemented a much nicer and more efficient one. This new system allows for multi-line dialogue (as opposed to the original Famicom Final Fantasy, heh) and we also have event handling built in.

In the above example, pressing A to advance the dialogue triggers Event 1, which quadruples the size of your character. That won’t be in the final game, but it’s a good way to see how efficiently everything works. Events can literally do anything since the event handler is located the the highest level of the code hierarchy. This means the event handler has access to every variable in the game apart from core engine variables that shouldn’t be touched, and private/protected class variables but that’s a little bit of a nitpick I think.

In short, one of the harder things to code has finally been coded and it’s pretty nice. Expect more updates on this project soon!

UPDATE: Ignore my horrible English in the first screenshot. I haven’t slept…

I’m not the best of artists, but I’ve been trying out some simplistic styles to draw characters and enemies from the Pikmin series and have been thinking about making a mini web comic out of them. The digital style emulates how I would draw and colour them on paper, which is normally how I draw during the rare occasions that I do draw. I’ve also been practicing with different poses, angles, and emotions for the monsters in particular.

Each one I’ve drawn has had a unique name and character as well, part of which is reflected through their drawn appearance. Here’s everything I’ve come up with in terms of “enemy” characters:

  • Molly, Swooping Snitchbug, happy-go-luck and friendly
  • Bob, Bumbling Snitchbug, very unaware of surroundings
  • Henrietta, Red Bulborb, playful but prone to tease
  • Beethoven, Bulbear, poor vision but a musical genius
  • Princess Johnny, Honeywisp, her command is supreme
  • Moses, Yellow Wollywog, a banker of sorts
  • Ibrahim, Subterranean Wollywog, a lawyer of sorts
  • Gustavio, Snagret, violently playful
  • Julio, Smoky Progg, a salesman and an entertainer
  • Peach, Beady Long Legs, she’s the oldest and wisest of all
  • Nancy, Sheargrub, a quiet but smart girl
  • Drew, Sheargrub, a loud but kind boy
  • Johnson, Shearwig, the “surfer dude” type insect

Oh, and the Pikmin we have, who aren’t as major for this story:

  • Sami, Red, he loves going on adventures
  • Aria, Yellow, she’s probably the smartest creature alive
  • Corgio, Blue, she has a large curiosity
  • Enrico, Purple, he just wants a simple life
  • Lil’ M.C., White, they are a rap champion
  • Chi, Black, Chi doesn’t speak, but Chi is always there, watching…
  • Suzy, Pink, she’s in love with Molly!
  • Jimmy, Mushroom, he doesn’t like the light one bit

So the real question is this: Since I know I can draw these dudes decently enough (up to my standards at least) should I make the mini web comic? It’d be just shorts most likely, but I’m curious what you would like to see. Let me know!

I did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge! Since I was challenged by a speedrunner I decided to tag other speedrunners and gamers.

Donations to ALSA can be made here: http://alsa.org

It’s finally time to talk about this project I’ve been secretly not-so-secretly hiding this entire time. I recently co-founded an anime and manga review site called Moé Char. The URL of the site is the real claim to fame. It’s this:

http://char.moe/

Yes, we did buy a .moe top-level domain name for this.

Anyway, I’ll post anime reviews on here every now and then. I likely will cross-post them here as well. If there’s a series you want me to review, just let me know. Currently I have two reviews posted. One for the Araki’s pre-JoJo manga, Baoh Raihousha, and one for a Lupin OVA, Return of Pycal.

This site will likely be my excuse to watch more anime and read more manga. I hope you enjoy it!