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Nice website landing page! 

So am I understanding correctly that Dayquest will  be like a front-end to whatever to-do list software/app we currently use? Sounds interesting but I'm curious how one would successfully integrate the two.

I've been using this app called "Bounty Tasker" every day for the past few years and it has similarities to what you're trying to do. It's a  gamified to-do list complete with loot, monsters and a leveling system.  

Though the "Bounty Tasker" app hasn't been updated in about 4 years and the allure of the gamification has worn off, I use it daily because it is still a fantastic and , most importantly, simple to-do list. I've tried stuff like Trello and was utterly put off by all the bajillion things you could do. One shouldn't need a tutorial for a to-do list. 

27 MAY 2023:

- This week's update ties in directly to the Quote of the Week. Last week's Final Boss design was ok, but not entirely to my liking. So this week I experimented with a new design that you can see above.  I like how this version has more symmetry and it's given me new inspiration for how the Final Boss battle should play out.

- I also made a cool beam attack animation in Embergen and tested it in-game. 


"If you aren't sure which way to do something, do it both ways and see which works better." -- John Carmack

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week! Remember the fallen!

I play a lot of hide-and-seek with my 10 year-old son, so here are some  furniture-related hiding places for a person to hide in:

Closets (to include shelves within the closets) and especially closets with clothes in them. 

Bathtubs (behind the curtains)

Behind doors

Behind curtains

Under tables (especially if they have tablespreads to conceal what's under them).

If you can get your character to go prone that would open up more hiding places:

Wedged between a couch and the wall

Under the bed

Underneath a pile of laundry

Inside a large box or suitcase

Hope this helps!

20 MAY 2023:

- Redesigned Final Boss model 

- Left and right guns for the final boss can be damaged separately

Above is the original model. But I quickly saw a couple problems with it. 

1) Too many unnecessary parts extruding out from it. This also meant that I had to zoom out to fit it all in the frame. By getting rid of the extruding parts, I was able to zoom in more for a larger, simpler image.  

2) I got rid of the right "machine gun". I still want there to be  a sort of "machine gun" weapon for the final boss, but not one that I have to have any fancy animations for (like on the battleship, which was an absolute headache to code).  Below you can see a preview of the new version:


"A game is a series of interesting choices. " -- Sid Meier

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Sounds feasible, especially if your 6  employees are paid. 

If the codebase for your project is very simple, then yes, one programmer should be enough. But keep in mind that the programmer is the one that glues everything together. You could have the best Graphics designers in the world working on your game, but if something happens to your programmer then your game development will probably  come to a halt. It will be imperative that your one programmer codes in such a way that others can make sense of it in a worst-case scenario. 

I also feel like Unreal is a bit overkill for a point-and-click adventure -- lots of visual-novel/point-and-click games use Ren'Py or modified RPG Maker MV.

But on the other hand, using Unreal might be a very good choice to make your game stick out from the crowd. 

Really cool how you kept the charts simple while staying true to the theme by adding the protractor, pencil and watch. 

And I spent a good while staring at that first gif because watching the sun rays on the water never gets old.

Nice start to a  Gradius-style shmup! How long did it take you to make what you have so far? 

- I like how quickly the game restarts when you die, it encourages the player to try again immediately.  

- The blue laser is my favorite (so far). I tried a couple different weapons but it's not very obvious how they're different. I think some shoot farther than others?  

- It's not too obvious, but I noticed that the star/galaxy background doesn't tile seamlessly. 

- There should be more color contrast in the grey "tunnel" area to prevent collisions. 

- I like how you can play it in the browser (with a keyboard!).

13 MAY 2023:

Hours of gamedev this week = ~9

- Final Boss can spawn in 3 different orientations (experimental)

- Enemies only become stunned after the final frame of the lightning animation

- Simplified main menu

- Enemies don't spawn when bosses are active

- Railgun won't scroll off screen and get lost

- Enemies won't hurt player when railgun is active


"If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased." -- Katharine Hepburn

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Very exciting! If you ever need an idea for devlog content, it would be fascinating to hear what  it's like to develop an indie game in a foreign country.

The success or value of any devlog is partly going to be due to how consistent it is. My game hasn't had anything playable for about 2 years now, but I still get page views on my project due to my weekly updates. 

But if you lack consistency, quality can make up for it. The infrequent devlogs for Atlantic '41 are amazingly detailed and really let you get behind the scenes of key design decisions.  

Even if nobody reads it, it's  a great way to see how far you've come and the challenges you've pushed through -- that right there could be the motivation you need to push through a difficult time in your development. 

One last benefit of devlogs -- they invite people to help you. A couple times now people have seen my devlog or Instagram and asked me if I needed sound effects or music for the game. Most of use indie developers are good at one or two things, but not everything. I can program, but I couldn't compose  a game soundtrack to save my life! There are tons of artists, composers, writers, etc all looking for projects to get involved with. This is invaluable because now instead of taking time away from development to find them they are now finding you.

6 MAY 2023:

- It took all week and lots of experimentation, but I finally made a lightning effect for the "stun gun"! 

- Below you can see my Embergen node tree for it:

- I always seem to encounter this problem -- rendering bloom. The bloom effect with the lightning looks amazing, but trying to capture it in the final render is elusive if not impossible. So I took the animations to Aseprite:

Here are the Aseprite notes I took on how add some Alpha  while still retaining the bloom effect of the original image:

Open your first image in Aseprite and select "Agree" for "load the following files as an animation."

Click the Layer "Continuous" button in the timeline (links all frames together for changes) (rightmost arrow in above pic)

Click the lock button to upper left of colors to unlock color editing. (leftmost arrow in above pic)

Click down arrow and sort by brightness (or whatever)

Select Sprite --> Color Mode --> Indexed

Use eyedropper tool and click on a color

Change Alpha value (below the color rainbow, not the two color bars below it (middle arrow in above pic)


"Hide not your talents, they for Use were made. What's a Sun-Dial in the shade?" -- Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

If you don't mind sharing, which country are you moving to?

29 APR 2023:

- There are now two different explosions when you hit an enemy. A smaller one when you use the "rapid laser" and a larger one when you use the "scrap cannon".

- More importantly, I reworked all of the explosion animation code so that I can show multiple "damage explosions" at once. This took a while to figure out. But it had to be done because there's no point spending time in Embergen making fancy explosions that are only going to be shown once per enemy. 

- One of the nice things about Embergen is that it has a nice amount of PRESETS: 

So I can take a prefabricated effect that is close to what I want and adjust it to my purposes.  Right now I'm trying to make a lightning or electric discharge sort of effect (which they don't have  a preset for, but a few come close in principle). I also saw that they have Premium Presets, the first one being clouds. So if you don't want to buy the Embergen software, you can just buy some presets. Think of it as Kitbash but for explosions, clouds and particle effects. Pretty cool. I'm not affiliated with Embergen by the way, I'm just happy that I found an "explosion solution" that fits my minimal  budget.

- The majority of my development time is going to be in Embergen the next few weeks, with minor code adjustments to get the explosions to line up properly over the enemies. 


"A problem is a chance for you to do your best." -- Duke Ellington

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

22 APR 2023:

Whew, glad that uploaded! It was 2.986 MB and the limit is 3MB!

- As you can see, I've been working with Embergen 1.0 this week.  Sorely missing from the game at the moment are explosions for minor hits on enemies. The above explosion comes pretty close to what I'm looking for although the in-game version will be much smaller. The actually rendering and exporting was pretty easy, but -- as before -- the hard part  was figuring out how to get the exported frames to look exactly like the viewport frames. 

In my RENDER--> Export settings I had to change my Alpha Blending Mode to Straight Alpha to get the right look. 

- I've found that 20 frames of animation is sufficient for these small explosions. Five frames show the explosion going from nothing to full blast. The next 10 are to ensure those pretty explosions stay on screen long enough for the player to see them. The explosion fades away in the last 5 frames. 

- Right now this folder of 20 frames is about 577kb, but I'll be able to get that even smaller by using a sprite sheet, which I successfully tested and integrated several months ago. 

- Ideally, each ship will have a different "minor hit" animation and possibly a different animation depending on what weapon you use.


"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

15 APR 2023:

- I use Embergen software to do all the explosion effects in Scrapship. They just launched version 1.0  a couple weeks ago, so I upgraded my version of it and started familiarizing myself with the new features. One of the biggest things missing in Scrapship right now are different explosions. I have a couple to work with, but obviously it'd be nice to have more variety. And now that I know how to use sprite sheets, I'm hoping I can have that variety with relatively little cost in game performance.

- So far I have 2 more scheduled business trips this year (4 weeks), so that's obviously going to cut into my development time but I'm hoping I can still get the game done or close to done by the end of the year. 

- I have a question for all of you: Do you prefer being able to play a game as it's being developed or do you prefer waiting until a game is completely finished?


"If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy." -- Alvin Toffler

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Excellent devlog as always! I've felt the same way about time manipulation in games -- totally detracts from any immersion.  A turn-based approach sounded a little worrisome at first, but then you mentioned Valkyria Chronicles which did an excellent job of using real-time and turn-based. 

Will be interesting to see how the ships turn out, the basic profiles look good but very flat in their 2D form. Maybe ship shadows on the water or adjusting the lighting on parts of the ship would be enough to give them more depth. 

I helped localize the English for this game here on Itch. The original language was Chinese (which I don't speak any of). But that experience gave me a lot of insight into the best way to approach localization:

1) First of all, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between localization and translation.  Translation is basically the attempt at a 1:1 conversion of words between languages. And quite honestly, if you're on a tight (or no) budget, Google Translate will get you 80% of the way there. 

Think of Translation as the beta version of having your game in another language.

Localization is what comes AFTER translation and focuses more on making sure that the translated text captures the spirit of a scene in the game. Localization is like the final version of having your game in another language. Google Translate will not help you at all with localization, because localization is very subjective and scenes can be interpreted a variety of ways. 

2) If you want to have your game in different languages, you want to find your translators and localizers sooner rather than later, but you also don' t want them to start working until the text of the game is pretty much set in stone. Don't be like the guys I worked with who were trying to find someone to localize the English of their entire RPG 2 months before release.

3) You might need a "Team" of translators, one for each language, but you shouldn't need more than one translator for each language. If you have 2 different people both translating English to Japanese, the style of translator A might conflict with the style of translator B. Just have one good translator per language to keep it consistent. 

4) For the best localization quality, you want the final localization done by someone who has the target language as their native language. 

5)  This one is very important! Keep save files at all major points of your game and/or upload Youtube videos of your own playthroughs (without skipping dialogue and narrative). Share these with your translators and localizers. Localization is only as good as how the localizer is able to interpret what is going on in a scene. For example, if a character says "I am mad", that can easily be translated into another language. But if the sprite on the screen is beet-red and has smoke coming out of their ears, then a good localizer might change it to "I am mad!!!" to better capture the spirit of that scene.

Hope this helps!

Epilepsy warnings are really good to have. Even though I don't have epilepsy myself, I've noticed that flashing lights can be very annoying if they go on for too long. 

8 APR 2023:

Finally back from my S. Korea trip -- and the jet lag sucks! It was 27 hours from the time I left my hotel to the time I walked in the front door of my house.

In spite of that, I was happy to sit back down to Scrapship and get going on it again. This week was mostly bug fixes and minor adjustments, but there were a lot of them:

- Fixed bug where earth would vanish when it was still on-screen

- Fixed bug where music restarted every time volume adjusted

- Music files stop and close when game ends

- Commented out scaling code for ships and explosions

- Fixed game tips

- Fixed opening animation graphics

- Adjusted player launch sequence (between levels)

As fate would have it, I have another business trip starting next week -- Ft Drum, New York ( at least it's not the middle of winter). I just can't seem to get a break, can I? Fortunately it's only for a week and a half and then HOPEFULLY my schedule should be free for a little while. 


How you do anything is how you do everything.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Rekkaturvat (aka Truck Dismount) -- the ragdoll physics and premise were absolutely hilarious for 2003. 

And of course lots of laughs while -- badly -- playing Surgeon Simulator (sorry patients). 


Very intuitive gameplay, but sometimes enemies sped up really fast to where they were just a blur. 

Not sure what the gold could be used for.

I only completely finished 2 games in this Game Jam. This was one of them.


I liked how there were different level backgrounds and enemy sprites.

Also cool how you are trying to find armor (instead of a weapon or treasure or princess, etc). 


Full screen! Easy on the eyes!

Cool music. 

No/minimal sound effects.


This game tied with STARCHASER for being my favorite game of this Game Jam. Congratulations!


Pretty intuitive. This was the first of two games in the Game Jam that I actually beat. 

I'm not sure why, but moving the player felt very sluggish. 


I've seen games like this before.


Pixel graphics are ok. Not very obvious what objects are. There was one graphic that looked like either a set of stairs or a boot. 

No music and basic sound effects.


This reminds me a lot of the games I used to play on a Macintosh in elementary school back in the day. Better graphics and faster player movement would make this more fun to play.


Controls were pretty intuitive. I like how you even thought to include an error message in case someone types in a letter other than "y" or "n".

I like how the user-interface shares the screen with the map, but the turn-based battle text is tedious to read. From a player perspective, I think a player would be more interested in the results of the rolls than the value of the die roles themselves. But I totally understand that including the die role values can be a great debug tool for the developer. 


As far as creativity goes this game felt average.


Very basic sound effects. No music. Not a fan of ASCII graphics but it was easier to read the map than some ASCII games. There is some screen flicker every time the player moves that is a little annoying. 


If the combat was more concise this would be more fun to play. 


Simple gameplay but very hard to tell where player is going to end up. I would often click on a star thinking my alien would set a trajectory for the star, only to launch in a completely different direction and vanish into space. 


Very creative game. This is the type of game I could see being played on a smartphone. Made it to level 6.


Great music and sound effects.

Backgrounds are a  little boring.


This game tied with NYDIA for being my favorite game of this Game Jam. This game has a nice casual feel to it and would be much more fun to play with more reliable game mechanics.


Controls were easy to figure out. Not sure what the black lanes on the floor were or the bug creature thing. No way to beat that game (that I could tell).


Basic maze type game. But I am always impressed to see 3D graphics in BASIC, so good job on figuring that out!


Cool 3D maze, but has clipping issues. Was impressed that you could also look up and down.

No sound. 


With a bit of work this could be very promising and could be the foundation for a variety of 3D BASIC games.

1 APRIL 2023:

Weekend 3 of 3 of my Korea trip, so no Scrapship updates this week.

South Korea has been a blast! Last week my coworker and I found a PC cafe and played some Starcraft (when in Rome . . . ) and some Overwatch 2. A lot of the games on the PC's required a Battlenet account to play.

Looking at other players in the cafe, I saw that they played a variety of games, not just RTS or FPS. Some were playing a soccer game of some sort.  

On the metro, just about everyone is staring at their phones. One guy was watching a playthrough of some FPS and I saw a girl playing a Candy Crush-style puzzle game. I think it's fair to say that mobile gaming is still alive and well. 

On TV, I found an eSport event going on (RTS), but I also found a channel where two players were playing Go (basically Asian chess with black and white stones). This just goes to show that people like the classics just as much as the newer stuff. 


"Failure is success in progress." -- Albert Einstein

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

25 MAR 2023:

Weekend 2 of 3 of my Korea trip, so no Scrapship updates this week.


"Live out of your imagination, not your history." -- Stephen Covey

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

18 MAR 2023:

Almost forgot it’s Saturday! 

I was able to work on Scrapship a little in the days before I left for South Korea:

- Level transitions now work all the way from level 1 to level 5. Even the music transitions correctly. This is a pretty significant step towards getting the game done. 

- Scripted one of the background images for the final boss fight.

In other news . . . So yeah, I’m in South Korea now for a business trip. 18 hours worth of flights just to get here. But totally worth it (I think travel is one of the best ways to spend money). 

My hotel room has a flat screen TV almost the size of the mattress and a DESKTOP computer in the room. Of course the IT tech in me is saying , yeah probably not a good idea to use the Desktop computer, who knows what it has installed on it (keyloggers, etc). Besides, I bring my own computers.

Speaking of computers, this brings me to an interesting thought: How much do you think about the hardware that your potentials players use? Unreal Engine 5 looks bloody amazing, but one thing that does scare me away from it is the fact that it requires such a beast of a computer just to develop or play games on. If you’re targeting players in countries that don’t have the income to buy the latest graphics cards then you might be better off developing in Unity or Godot. Surprisingly, I read that electronics (especially phones) are more expense in South Korea than in the US. 


“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” — Bo Jackson

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Hi Infini-Creation, thanks for the kind words and feedback! 

Perlin noise does sound intriguing and I've seen it mentioned quite a bit when I was researching procedural generation. Simplex noise is another type I remember being talked about. 

Your InfiniteTileMap looks like an efficient tool for debugging. Not sure if you are in the process of making any games, but I wish I had made more debugging tools like that early on because it saves so much time troubleshooting problems as the project gets larger.

11 MAR 2023:

It feels good to sit again!

I promised last week to elaborate, so here goes:

If I were in an RPG and there were stats for "Back Strength" or "Back Health", I'd probably have stats like 40 (out of a possible 100). My posture sucks most of the time and it doesn't take very much for me to pull a muscle or something that messes it up for a couple of days. 

Now I don't use the standing feature very often, but I am grateful that I had the foresight to buy a standing desk (pictured below).

Problem was, even standing still was sometimes painful. So this time I went to a chiropractor because I really couldn't figure out what I did to hurt my back. Apparently my lower spine was torqued a bit to the left. 

After a couple visits and days off I started to feel better, thank God. So because of that, I was able to get back to work on Scrapship!

Updates for this week . . .

- Scrap can move from right to left.

- Cargo Boss guns can be destroyed

- Cargo Boss can be destroyed

You'll notice that there are still some things missing: The guns need explosion animations and the explosions in general need to be reworked so they're not all the same. I saw that Embergen (the software I use for explosions) will be moving to version 1.0 pretty soon, so hopefully I can take advantage of that to make more cool effects for blowing things up. 

In Other News . . .

There won't be any updates for Scrapship until 7 April. Yep, another business trip. This time I'm going to South Korea, so that should be interesting! I might still do the weekend update, but also maybe not . . . it depends on my internet situation over there. So if you don't see my devlog get updated the next few Saturdays, don't panic! I'm just busy with work is all. 


"Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination itself." -- Jason Fried

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Windowed makes the most sense, especially initially because it leaves the taskbar available, but if the game is engaging then I do like to switch to Fullscreen. 

If your game is in the style of Skyrim or Fallout then First Person would be my preference for default view.

Thanks for the detailed explanation -- it sounds way more intimidating than it probably is. Good to know though that using xml won't "break old saves". I've seen SOOO many games here on Itch and on Kickstarter where the developer has to put out a notice saying something like, "Hey guys, v5.0 of my game is out . . . but old saves won't work with it." And of course the players get very irritated at that. But sounds like you got that part figured out, so good for you! :)

Congrats on getting featured in Alpha Beta Gamer! Did they approach you or did you ask them to check your game out? 

A blog on how you handle saving would be worth reading! I've been interested in how this is done in games.

Basically my game dev history can be broken down into 3 periods:

Late 1980s - Early 1990s

I followed the instructions to make a lot of games in QBASIC, but many of those games were very basic (pun intended!) and I didn't really understand the programming language itself at the time. Also I remember seeing ads and articles about Digipen Institute of Technology  in issues of Nintendo Power, but the cost of going to a school like that and the math involved scared me away from that route. 

High School and early College years (late 90s, early 00s)

Not sure which year it was, but I took a QBASIC class in High School. The class itself didn't teach me much, but I learned a lot by taking other QBASIC games and modifying them and reverse-engineering them to see how they worked. In my spare time I started making an RPG (with graphics) based off of Robert Jordan's book "The Eye of the World".  Things were going well until I hit some critical error and I couldn't find a solution.


I found my thumbstick with all my old QBASIC programs on it and found that I could run them with the new QB64 version of QBASIC. By this time of course, there were a lot more tools available for indie game development. So here I am! 

Nighttime looks amazing! I don't know much about 1-bit graphics, but it's pretty impressive what you're able to do with basically 2 colors. 

What's the book referenced above with the caption that says "original edition from 1941"?

4 MAR 2023:

No updates as I was on a business trip this week. And my back hurts (again). I'll elaborate more next week.


"Stay hard! -- David Goggins

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

25 FEB 2023:

Got a LOT done this week! Yesterday I worked off and on most of the day. 

- As I write, I'm in the process of re-rendering the opening animation. This time it will take up the whole screen and not just a square portion of it. This will be much more immersive. Only downside is that the .png files are pretty large, but maybe I can trim them down some to make it more practical. 

- Speaking of trimming down .png files, I cropped all of the images for the battleships and carriers. These were greatly impacting load times. A single battleship graphics folder would be 15MB -- but after cropping the files I got it down to 3MB. Load times also decreased which is excellent. 

- The player can now destroy the cargo ship guns. But I still have to make the destroyed versions in Blender and some explosion effects in Embergen. 

- Also re-organized and simplified some of the code, especially for the player bullets. 

- How convenient, Blender just got done rendering, so here's a gif of the new opening animation! The game is meant to be played in a widescreen format.

- I have a business trip all next week, so probably not much in the way of updates next Saturday.

REMINDER: It's almost the end of the month! You've been working hard! Make those 1s and 0s happy! Back up your harddrive!


"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." -- Muhammad Ali

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Let's say we have a painting of of girl daydreaming in castle. Which of the two backstories sounds more intriguing?

1) It was generated by an AI program in 30.67 seconds

2) It was painted by a 90-year-old blind man in Syria who could only afford one brush

Hands down, option 2 is the most intriguing. AI may be able to generate some very cool things, but humans are often not just interested in the thing itself, but the backstory behind that thing. AI will never have that advantage. For a video game analogy just think about the story behind the creation of Stardew Valley.

And let's not forget, a lot of these AI programs get their content to begin with by scraping samples from human-made art. If humans completely stopped making art, then the AI generators would only be able to sample their own creations which would ultimately result in some very predictable and boring results.

Great update! And good on you for deciding to rework your code. I had to do the same thing, but it all works better in the end. Pixel art skills are looking great too!