Itch.io

Itch.io is an indie game portal and there’s some really great stuff going on there. I made a creator account and will be uploading the platformer games I made for my Level Design classes.

I’ve decided to rebuild Mustachio again, so it’ll be a bit while I add that to the projects I’m juggling. I haven’t messed with Mustachio in a while! Seeing all those assets again was like visiting old friends. <3

Photonica is uploaded. Check it out!

 

2018 Development Goals

2017 was ‘The Year of Trying Things.’

I had no idea what a great title that was when I wrote it. I tried things and there were trying things. There were wonderful trips and concerts and shows. But there were awful things seemingly everywhere. Natural disasters. Unsettling revelations. A year of whiplash.

For starters, a quick review of the items on last year’s list.

Things I Tried: Continue reading “2018 Development Goals”

FitnessApp Begins

The strength training that I do is taxing and concentrating on form is what takes most of my focus. With dozens of workouts stacked up in memory, sometimes I lose track of where I am in sets during a workout, particularly as volume has increased. Was that the 5th set? Sometimes I think an abacus would help, but have settled on using little tags of painter’s tape lined up on a shelf in my garage (where I work out). I move them back and forth as I finish sets.

It’s crude, but it works.

In strength training, I usually do only a few exercises per workout, but as many as 10 sets, depending on the exercise. My warmups and mobility routines have a lot more exercises. It was a lot to keep track of, so I created Continue reading “FitnessApp Begins”

Worldbuilding with Small World

It’s a world of slaughter…

The World of Obora

I have long suspected that the boardgame Small World, with it’s wild juxtapositions, would make a terrific way to randomly generate a history for a game world.

As a hands-on exercise in my Worldbuilding class, we played a game of Small World on our lunch breaks to do just that. I need a game world just now, so this is timely!

It worked even better than I could have hoped.

Continue reading “Worldbuilding with Small World”

2017 Development Goals

What happened to 2016?! Man… it up and took off and took me with it. A whirlwind to be sure. Looking back at my game development goals… I give me a solid D for Doing Other Things. Important things.

GOAL ONE – Blog Reboot

Partial success. I didn’t hit the one-a-month pace, but it’s steps in the right direction.

GOAL TWO – Play my Game Backlog

Partial success.

  • Dark Souls
  • Castle Crashers [PLAYED]
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Thomas Was Alone [PLAYED, FINISHED]
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Earthbound
  • Bonus game: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes [PLAYED]

Continue reading “2017 Development Goals”

Games for Class Part II: Photonica

In 2014, friend, board game aficionado, and former colleague from The Los Angeles Film School, Sebastian Sohn put me in touch with folks at USC who were looking for part-time faculty to teach a level design class. I was already teaching level and game design full-time at LAFS, but USC has very well-regarded game development programs and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

I met with the inimitable Tom Sloper and in short order had a new level design class to build. I couldn’t use the materials I’d made for LAFS, naturally, so I had to rebuild things from the ground up. Including a simple game for students to make level packs for.

I rebuilt a basic platforming game following Sebastian Lague’s platformer tutorials.

Continue reading “Games for Class Part II: Photonica”

Games for Class Part I: Mustachio and Friends

Flash editor for Sokoban levels (Jonathan Whiting)

When I started teaching level design, one of the important things I wanted students to learn was how to design a level progression that felt like it made sense and flowed. I initially had students make Sokoban levels.

Sokoban is a simple top-down puzzle game where you can push and only push a box or boxes on a gridded playing field with the goal of getting all the boxes onto their targets. It can make some delightfully simple and some delightfully mind-twisting puzzles, so there’s a lot of space to create a difficulty ramp over a series of levels. Continue reading “Games for Class Part I: Mustachio and Friends”

Training Shift

A quick check in.

Training is going really well. Mostly because I’m doing something – anything – positive for my health, but results help. 🙂 I’ve lost ~20 pounds and move and feel so, so, so much better. It’s great. I’m still VERY new to this – training, tracking, all of it – so I’ve made a study of Calisthenic Movement’s YouTube channel, scouring the comments and cataloguing the videos. It’s been very educational.

I’ve written pages of feedback to CM about my experiences, good and bad, some of which I’ve seen come out in videos they’ve produced. I like to think I contributed, but I’m sure they get tons of feedback from their viewership and clients. This picture went along with a testimonial wrote for them and I liked it well enough to make it my profile pic pretty much everywhere.

Continue reading “Training Shift”

Writing Design Docs

A friend asked me to give a talk in his class about writing game design documents. This is a challenging task. Not just the writing – even simple games have a lot more moving parts than it might seem on the face of things – but specifically the task of teaching people to write good documents.

STEP 1: MAKE SOME GAMES

Nothing teaches like the crucible of game development itself. So for me, the first step in knowing how and what to write is to make games. Learn firsthand what needs to happen, the multitude of mechanics and assets that need to be created, how communication succeeds and fails in the course of production. Roll up your sleeves and jump right into building the plane in flight.

Continue reading “Writing Design Docs”