Working on a some art
Jan 19th, 2014 by Joe

One of 2014 goals is to get better at creating art assets for games, so I have been doing a little practice. Here is something that I made a couple weeks ago.

I’ve also been experimenting with making small little scenes/random collections every couple days. I’m really trying to go beyond styles that I’m comfortable with and experiment with different palettes and layouts. Here are a couple of the scenes at 3x.



I tend to be a lot more comfortable working at very small resolutions, such as 8×8, but perhaps I will try larger tile sizes in the next couple weeks.

Math Based Puzzler
Apr 28th, 2013 by Joe

My game is almost complete. It’s a math based puzzle game. This is the first time I have made a ‘puzzle’ type of game. I normally stay away from that genre just because I don’t really enjoy them, but I decided to give it a try. It’s been a fun experience and much more laid back previous ludum dares that I’ve participated in. The only thing left is adding more puzzles, but creating them has turned out being a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. I’m hoping to have around 20 or so levels, but who knows how many I’ll actually get in time.



Current Project
Mar 26th, 2013 by Joe

If you have been looking at my twitter or my posts on reddit at all, you know that I am now working on a new project related to the terrain generation that I posted a couple weeks ago. [If you aren’t following my on twitter, you should, because I update it more often: @Joseph_Michels] I thought I should also share a lot of the screenshots that I’ve posted.

I’m really not sure exactly what I’m aiming for. I’m mostly just winging it and seeing what works. I’m thinking that there is going to be lots of experimentation and just figuring out what makes a good game. Obviously there are going to be similarities to Terraria, but I’m not sure to what degree. I want my combat to be different and more gun based. I don’t think you will have a pickaxe or anything in my game, but will use a mining gun/laser thing. I want the character physics to be a lot more fluid and faster paced. As far as gameplay is concerned, I want it to be a little more roguelikish. I want it to be difficult to survive.

My goal is to have a lot of different items that the player can find, but also at the same time make inventory management easier. I also want to change up the tech advancement in these types of games if I am able to. I don’t want it to be so linear.

General Ideas

I also like the ideas of generating a bunch of built structures throughout the world. These could include mines, catacombs, cave systems, tombs, ruins, various huts, underwater cities, underground cities, tree houses, random constructions, and a lot more. I think the more creativity used here the better.

I like the thought of the game not being so earth themed, yes the surface of the world will be dirt+Grass+Trees with occasional water, but when you go down perhaps you find a lot of alien looking stuff. Maybe there will even be some very alien biomes on the surface.

Crafting is an important part of these games and I want to make it as simple as possible. I also want to have some way of generating random crafting recipes for various endgame recipes as a way of mixing things up for the player. I have a couple ideas, but not sure of the best way yet.

Who knows though, these are just my basic ideas for the game, but right now I am still implementing the lower level systems. Also there is the problem of multiplayer. I’d really like to have it, but being as I’ve never written a multiplayer game before, I’m not sure if I have the knowledge to make it happen.

Screenshot Saturday
Nov 30th, 2012 by Joe

A shot of the new Stats Display. Shows the calculations for your attack and defense. Also displays current buffs as well as kills.


Screenshot Saturday
Oct 26th, 2012 by Joe

Here is look at what the Scroll of Mapping looks like:


Another character has been added to the hub, the enchantress:


Also I have slightly tweaked the color scheme for the Ascii Mode:


Screenshot Saturday
Oct 5th, 2012 by Joe

I posted a couple screenshots on twitter and thought I would post them here. I’ve been working on a Ascii Mode because I know some people prefer their roguelikes like that. Here is what it is currently looking like. I haven’t done the Ascii for items or enemies yet, but that will be coming soon. I actually kinda like the mix of Ascii tiles and graphical items and enemies, I’ll probably allow that as an option.



GTLAR Update
Sep 27th, 2012 by Joe

Just an update to let you know that I am still working on Grab the Loot and Run. It’s hard right now because so many good games have recently come out and I haven’t had a whole lot of free time. All the free time I do manage to get should be spent on this project, but Borderlands 2 has been sucking a lot of it away.

On to things that I have actually done.

  • Added several enemies
  • Upon Level Up the player is presented with three options – Restore to Full Health, Enchant an Item, Increase Maximum Health by 3 – So far they seem ok and present the player with a pretty meaningful decision. It strikes a balance between immediate survivability and long term viability.
  • Started working on enemy features and abilities – Enemies that poison, enemies that teleport, enemies that flee when injured, enemies that heal allies.
  • Lightened up the color palette significantly – I have done almost all development on my laptop and I guess the color is very off on my screen (or maybe a look at it from a weird angle), but the game looks way too dark when I’ve seen it on other monitors and displays, so I went through and tweaked the colors and brightness so that it looks better. I’m not done with this yet, as it might need to be made even lighter.


GTLAR Progress
Jul 14th, 2012 by Joe

I’ve gotten a lot done recently. Been working on the game a steady hour or two every day, so things are progressing nicely. Here are a couple screenshots showing off some of the things that I’ve done. I tweaked the FOV lighting to make it a little brighter because I realized it was a little too dark before. I also have added a ‘Discoveries’ or ‘Findings’ screen that shows all of the things that you have identified and what sprite represents them.



Grab the Loot and Run Mechanics: Combat
Jun 26th, 2012 by Joe

I now have added functioning armor to the game so I have been able to do significant prototyping of the combat system. There are still a lot of things that aren’t implemented that will make a difference, but I can still go ahead and state the basic design goals of the system I want.

The most critical goal of the combat system is that it is not random at all. This is something that I really liked from desktop dungeons and added a fun strategic element where you need to calculate several turns in advance. I’m hoping a little bit of that will rub off into GTLAR and allow for some strategic encounters. I achieve this by having all creature’s damage and armor values constant and visible on the interface. You can use this to calculate exact outcome of a turn. The formula is very simple:

Damage Inflicted = Maximum(Attack – Armor,1)

The maximum there just forces all attacks result in at least 1 HP damage be done, even if the armor would be sufficient to block it. This system is non random and is simple to understand… but it also is boring. It doesn’t really allow much creativity in weapons. For instance, in Brogue there are weapons that have a chance to inflict effects on monsters (Paralyze, Death, ect). This percent chance effect violates my non random rule, so it is not allowed. To combat this I have introduces a critical hit mechanic. It is currently a bar that is incremented when you are hit. Once the bar is full your next attack will be classified as a critical hit. The effect of a critical hit will be determined by the gear you are wearing (mostly weapon and rings) but will allow for interesting effects. I think this will add interesting dynamic of trying to build your critical hit up to use against certain enemies. The only downside is that its growth is triggered by getting hit, which almost encourages getting hit. I’m still brainstorming ideas to combat this.


The above screenshot shows the damage and armor indicator in the top left corner as well as the critical bar. It’s also possible that all of this could change as more of it gets implemented and it gets refined more. The end result is that I want combat to be fun and for the player to have to make meaningful decisions.

Screenshot Saturday!
Jun 2nd, 2012 by Joe




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