BMC Production blog 3 (predraft)

April 17, 2008

Today I will hopefully have the introduction and first two chapters of my IF finished and ready to go for class.  I’m just finishing the intro and finalizing the basic game shooting engine and also finalizing the contents of chapter 2.  So far it’s looking good, and all I’ll have to do after this is the other 4 chapters.  I’ve got an ending planned, I just need to make a path there.  The ending is heavily involved with one of the player’s choices in the second chapter.  I figured the second chapter due to the fact that player has to readjust to his surroundings after the cascade at the start of the first chapter.  It wouldn’t be fair to give the player the bad ending just because he messed up due to the fact that he wasn’t fully acclimated to his environment.  I’m also really not liking this new WordPress interface, it’s missing a word count.

BMC Production Blog 2

April 10, 2008

As my IF is based off a FPS, I figured it best to include a combat system.  it’s got the basic Half-Life weapons, plus a few new ones.   I had a lot of trouble with implementing shooting actions, an ammo count, and even reloading.  I’ve finally figured it out, (thanks to the kind people at Rec.arts.Int-fiction Usenet group) and have almost completed the whole of my new actions (even being able to hack doors with the laptop is now functional).  I’ve already got two of the story chapters finished, but I’m adding an interactive intro that will be the beginning that leads to the six story chapters.  One of the main issues I’ve been running into is things being ambiguous, or that alot of my code is written in a way that I7 recognizes two or more parts as the same thing, and ignores all but the last part.  One more problem is that since I haven’t finished the intro I cannot test the weapons in the later story chapters.  I’m also having some problems with size.  Because of the audio effects I am incorporating, the file has gone from 26kb to 26mb.  this a very large difference, and it could cause some distribution problems for the finished product.  I also found a forum friend who does amazing musical work.  He goes by the user name “Rezter” and agreed to make some background music for me.  The one catch is that I’m going to recode in flash and submit to Newgrounds so he can get more widespread of credit for doing the music.  I don’t really think that Newground’s ADD, sugar injected preteen fan base will be able to accurately judge an IF though.  At worse it will get “Blammed” which I wouldn’t care about, but Rez is quite popular on NG and that could affect his overall reputation.

Continued experiences with the Source SDK.

March 6, 2008

The Source SDK is an amazing software package that still bewilders me.  I would like to mod my own game, but I don’t have time to do anymore than mere experiments.  The other day I had some fun with zombies, enclosed spaces, and a few metro cops. Zombies always win in close quarters, this was no exception.  5 Zombies against 12 Metro cops in a small hallway left me with about 2 zombies taking down the last Metro Cop.  Aside from personal fun and amusement, the Source SDK is also a gateway to new experiences and other software such as the XSI Mod Tool and Visual Studio.  One of the best aspects of the Source SDK is its variability aspect of a much loved game; Half-life 2.   The ability to mod the game gives the player full “writerly” control.  Also I would like to say that I did not know at the time that there was a HL1 SDK, My assumptions about it not existing were wrong.  Another aspect of HL2 that the Source SDK improves is the modularity aspect.  Before, the different parts of the game (sounds, Textures, Models, and other things like the HUD) were all combined to make the game.  Now, The Different parts to make the game are available to the player and are combined to allow the player to literally “Make” the mod.

A New Media exploration of Bioshock.

February 1, 2008

I may be a little late to the Bioshock trend, but frankly the game sounded scary and I’m a wimp. In this story-driven console and PC video game you follow a silent protagonist who finds a lighthouse after a plane crash. Oddly enough, the lighthouse is in the middle of the ocean and contains a submarine-like transport that takes him to an under water city – or what’s left of it. A s you fight many genetically mutated humans called splicers and big daddies who look like hulking hunchbacks in armored diving gear, you learn of what happened to the undersea metropolis known as Rapture. The game contains all five parts of new media that Lev Manovich wrote about. It is entirely represented by numbers as it is a computer program. It is modular as the in game models and environments are separate files that are combined along with sound files to replicate the sights and sounds of rapture. The game engine automatically places the in game models and sounds where and how they belong – hence automation. You even get three endings, determined by your actions, that show variability. You can interact with the residents of Rapture showing transcoding. It also contains interactive sight, sound, text, and motion. One of the most interesting aspects of Bioshock is tactics and choice. The arsenal of weapons, genetic enhancements available to the player, and environments make it so that no two players play the game the same. I’m currently on my second play through and I’ve noticed that I am not even playing it the same as my first time. This shows variability in video games on a whole new level.

Update: 2/06/08

I have unfortunately broken my Bioshock disc and nothing seems to work.  I placed my disc in my laptop and while in transport the disc was scratched to hell.  Because of how the laptop is carried in the backpack (vertically) and how it was when it started running the disk (horizontally) the change in alignment made the disc fail to run ever again.  It’s funny how it still let play one last time as it had already verified the disc before the failure (Bioshock keeps all files on the local hard drive and only makes you insert the disk as an anti piracy measure).  I plan to contact tech support soon, as I wish to play the game to completion with all three endings and not just one.  Also, the game is just a damn good waste of time because it’s amazing.