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@cas_kicks -- tylerdoak42@gmail.com
Tyler Doak / Culture Attack Studio
Dec 142011

Just finished the recent build of Aces Wild!

We’re almost done!!
I have lots of replay type combat in mind, but the first pass of arcade mode is basically complete!
Tons of great new tracks by the musician KgZ, faster action, more moves, 1000% less grind!
Get Hype on Aces Wild!!

I submit to the indiePub competition tomorrow so…
Check it out! (December 14, 2011)
Leave me feedback here, on facebook or my twitter!
Also give it a couple hours from when I publish this as it’s uploading.
Later, Wilders!

Nov 302011

There’s less than 2 weeks left for the next indiePub competition. I’m pretty much on track, but I wanted to have a full pass done by the end of the week which probably won’t happen.

I’m finishing up Rex, the final boss today, but then all the bosses, including Rex, need another pass before they’re totally finished. Most of them are pretty much there and are really fun. Barkley needs some work. Joan, needs better movement and patterns. Gene still has a gimmick missing and I need to get that going. Fancybeast still needs a good pattern and something fresh. Rex I’m working on right now! I really wanted to have coop done by this competition, but it will be a last minute thing only if I have the time, but will likely be the next big thing to add.
Regarding combat, I had a bit of inspiration, but I’m not positive it’s the best thing yet. In one of those RSA animate vids, they say great ideas are a slow hunch. I feel like I’m still riding that hunch, but every pass with the combat becomes better. Grind has been GREATLY reduced and that’s awesome. It still needs to be brought down more however. You don’t want everything to die in one hit, but grind is a big deal a lot of great games suffer from, especially beat ‘em ups. I really want to eliminate as much of it as possible.
Another design goal for this build is to have an easy mode that I can beat without taking a hit (or at least clear each room without taking a hit). I’ve been playing this game for 3 years and I tend to keep making it harder and harder. I’m beginning to appreciate the skill involved creating a well-designed easy mode. I think bridging those ideas will also help me realize fully what the skills developed while playing the game are and how to foster them, cut the fat and improve interest curves. /jargon

That’s pretty much it for now. Gotta get back to work. Next build is December 15th!

Later Wilders!

Oct 292011

One of the first things I learned about programming is that the more work you put in ahead of time, the faster and easier things will be down the line. There are cutoff points or ‘too much implementation’ but, generally, it’s a great rule to follow.
So, of course, I put something off for a long time. My ‘reasoning’ was that it seemed too daunting. I’d say knowledge was a part of it, but laziness was a bigger part.

Last night I spent but a couple hours to add in some more functionality to the map editor. Knowing I absolutely hated adding enemies to the maps was the spark to change things. I knew I wanted quick access to all enemy types and starting behaviors. So I just laid out a bunch of rectangles at the bottom of the editor. I was hoping to drag and drop them so that I could specify the starting position that way. One of my big fears was how to implement groups of enemies and timings and such. Without knowing a solution ahead of time, one hit me clear as day as I worked. I simply made the clicking write to the scripts I had already been using. In the end it was set up to highlight a certain enemy type and clicking into the map area writes a spawn script to the current script line and advances the cursor to the next line. I also added a delete line button as it took forever to backspace everything.



With only a couple hours of work, I eliminated a lot of my fears and frustrations of enemy placement. I’ll probably add a couple more things to the editor this morning, then I’ll get started on Stage 1~!

I also hope to have the enemy layout done by the end of November. That way I can just playtest for two weeks. BUT THAT RARELY WORKS OUT! Plus I have to finish up the last boss and a couple of enemies.

Stay Tuned, Wilders.

Oct 282011

Finished up laying out the main areas. There’s likely to be some changes, but it’s basically the final one!
Messed a bit with the mechanics. First, I changed armor regeneration on enemies. The old way basically forced you to build up wild. It was fun if you were good, but made more difficult encounters impossible unless you played expertly. This will also force me to change some other aspects on armor and how Wild works, but that’s a good thing.
Additionally, when you get hit, your wild goes up a bit instead of it all draining away. This means you won’t lose Wild all the time. And while the threat of that loss created great tension, the fun from blasting enemies with Wild attacks is a lot more fun. Further, the increased damage received from how much Wild you have still exists, so the tension is still very real.
I adjusted the properties on a few more things as well, but I won’t go into details as it pertains to some battle mechanics stuff I’m not finished with yet.

Also I updated my site a bit, but there’s not much to show. Just a twitter feed. HOW COOL!

EDIT
I also got some new backgrounds about done. I’ve only had like one since the game went to a city from the wilderness.

Oct 242011

During my break from Aces Wild, I worked on a concept/promo piece for Rival Century.

Here’s Arsenal Cyrus. He fights with a large sword and several smaller swords which he can throw and plant into the ground, then retrieve or explode them. Many of his attacks have fiery effects.

I’m about done with the final pass of the level layouts for Aces Wild. The stage order has changed (again!), but I believe this one is the best. It alternates inside/outside and ends with the museum, which I think is a lot more fitting. After my hard drive crash, I lost some assets for Rex, so I’ll have to redo them, but it’s not too much. Then I just have to finish up some enemy and boss behaviors and improve the existing ones.

I’ve been playing the Binding of Isaac a bunch lately. It’s crazy good. I highly recommend it. It’s only 5 bucks! Anyways, it’s influenced me to have some procedural stuff in Aces Wild. Originally I was gonna have just some extra ‘challenge’ stages and a couple of survival modes. Now I think it would be cool to have a ‘Random Arcade’ mode where you get a random stage order and random stages from a pool of premade stages.

There’s another south by southwest competition, so I’m gearing up for that!
Next update…
December 15th~!

STAY TUNED, WILDERS!

Sep 182011

BLARG!!
I meant to post this on the 15th, because that would be the 3 year anniversary of me dropping everything on Beyond the Veil and starting animations based on sketches of Aces I had done at work.

Anyways! I started a part time job, which has been full time for training and I haven’t had time to work on Aces Wild still.
It’s a drag, but hopefully I’ll be in a place to get this guy done finally.

Sep 142011

Another rejection. I had submitted Aces Wild to fantasticfest.com and just found out I didn’t make the cut.
I mean… It’s not super depressing or anything, but I’ve sunk a lot of cash into entry fees so far. That part is depressing.
There’s still a lot of work to even be a beta, so I suppose I shouldn’t be so mad.
Back to the lab again!

Sep 072011

So yeah… Crash attacks. Aces Wild has those. SO DOES MY HARD DRIVE!

My hard drive crashed and I had to get a new one. Lost a lot of game stuff, but essentially all the good stuff was backed up, so that’s not TOO horrible. Losing all that data really sucked though and not being able to reference certain things when finishing up the game is gonna really suck, but… OH WELLS!

I had wanted to get back to work a few days ago, but… you know… the crash thing!
So hopefully I’ll get back to it within the next hour or so.

As always… STAY TUNED!

Aug 182011

Aces Wild didn’t make the cut for the Microsoft Dream Build Play competition.

http://www.dreambuildplay.com/Main/SemiFinalists.aspx

There you can check out the finalists who did.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed out, but there’s only one game on that list that I would even consider playing. It’s a 2d action game with ninjas in it, just like Aces Wild. It is extremely visually stunning, but looks like it would get boring fairly quickly.

I guess all I can do is keep working! Only I haven’t touched the game in 2 months and am pretty eager to move on to new games. The Indie Games Fest deadline is in October and I hope to have another big build at that time.

Jul 262011

Sups!
So I haven’t really worked on the game for about a month. Every time I tried working on it, I got kinda sick to my stomach and worked on something else.
Usually art stuff. Some for upcoming games. Mostly just life drawing for practice.

I was also pretty depressed for about two weeks. I have no idea why, but I feel good again and am knee deep back in Aces Wild design.

I’ve been going back and forth on things on what to do to improve the combat. The main thing I’ve always known is just to keep improving enemies. So that will be the bulk of what remains to finish the game. The other thing is a bit more spice, skill and decision making with the actual fighting. I haven’t settled on anything specific yet, but expect some fun stuff and some streamlining.

A couple of competitions are coming up–Fantastic Fest and Indie Games Fest. I hope to get a beta done for the Indie Games Fest deadline which is at the beginning of October.

Welp… Back to work~!