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Jeroen P. Broks

A member registered Feb 14, 2016 · View creator page →

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For me it really depends on the project. Most of my game projects contain music on their own, and then having another source of music is not really a handy thing for me to have.

Now when it comes to focus, I can lose it quickly too, but if I really am in a good mood to work, then things mostly work out fine. 

I have heard about CFS and you are not the first I meet with this syndrome, but I'm afraid I know almost nothing about it, but since this has little to do with development in general, but rather with a medical status, perhaps the best way to go is to medics, but also to people who suffer in the same way you do. I suffer from the Asperger syndrome myself, and speaking to fellow Aspies (and one of my ex-girlfriends being an Aspie as well) did help me a lot to deal with loads of things. And this basically goes for all medical conditions. Speaking to fellow-condition-havers can always be by fare more enlightening than speaking to medics does, and this goes for both mental as physical conditions. After all the only way to fully understand what it is to have CFS is actually suffering from it, but even then there might be aspects of your own condition you may not yet fully know or never thought about, and that's where people who suffer from the same condition can sometimes have good pointers. Of course, every person is different, so what works for them may not always work for you, but at least listening to how they cope with things, can sometimes give you some good ideas for what may work for you. It's one of the ways in which I explored the Asperger syndrome. That's the only advice I can give. It does not matter if what they do has nothing to do with game development, as you may still find some things they do to make what they do possible.

Now perhaps as somebody who has the habit of sometimes drinking too much coffee, I may not be one to talk, but drinking caffeine solely to stay focused is rarely the way to go. I prefer energy drinks only when I need to drive at night, to make sure I get at my destination in one piece, but since I rarely have to do such rides, the danger is minimal, but in your case I guess things are different. But if there's really no other option, you may wanna discuss with a doctor how you can go this in a relatively safe way, or if there are any alternatives. It's mostly not a good idea to see medical advice on an open forum.

And with that I've given all the advice I can give, I'm afraid. I don't know how many people you may find on itch who suffer from CFS, as well. Perhaps you should look up if there are any places where people with this syndrome seek each other, preferably in your neighborhood so you can meet them IRL (which often works better than over the internet). 

I really wish you all the best.

I'm glad I was able to help.
Good luck!

Well, I did the survey. Since I code my own engines in C++, I have no experience with RPG Maker, whatsoever, but when it comes to game development tools in general, and this goes for both high level stuff such as RPG Maker, as well as low level stuff such as C, C++, Pascal and so on, that it can be fruitful to make a few test setups first not for publication. No trouble if they are crappy or ugly or whatever, but just to get the hang of how things work. Dennis Richie, the inventor of the C programming language said  "The only way to learn a new programming language is by making programs in it," and in my humble opinion he is fully right, and his words do no only apply to actual programming languages such as C, C++, Pascal, BASIC, etc. but also to tools such as RPG Maker, basically any tool you can use to create games in. When looking for good tutorials for absolute beginners keywords such as "getting started",  or "beginner" or "newbie"  can sometimes help in your search requests. I cannot imagine there would be no absolute beginner tutorials on the RPG Maker website.

Now being experienced in doing big RPG projects (which you can all download for free, my avatar is a character from one of my games), I can say that you should not underestimate the task of creating an RPG game. Especially when you plan to add minigames, which do require extra programming work, things can easily give you a lot of work, and having tools such as RPG Maker do not always remove all that work. All it takes away is the low level coding (which was in my own RPG projects the least amount of work to be honest).  And balancing might be your biggest horror. Having a party of 4 members of which one is almost invincible and the other would even  be slammed to death by a common fly, is an extreme example of off-balanced heroes. Especially in my older projects (which are not available for download anymore) I noticed I clearly underestimated that department myself. Of course, properly balancing the enemies to the player parties can also be a challenge. Especially when you want your game to be hard. I've faced a few times, as my RPG games all have difficulty settings that some hard mode challenges where not hard anymore, but rather mathematically impossible. 

Now a very common beginner's mistake is making dungeons too much of a maze. A few mazes can be challenging, but one maze after another will get annoying. And be sure to add a bit of cosmetic detail, like a torch, or a skeleton in chains. It's stuff like that, which can prevent your game from looking boring. But don't overdo it. Too much detail can also kill a game concept.

Now when it comes to battles. Are you going for instant random encounters? Or having enemies running around in the dungeon starting a fight when they get too close? Or completely realtime? In all three scenarios you should take care that combat does not take place in a location where they can be absolutely annoying. That's most of all the locations were a puzzle has t be taken on. If you have a puzzle in which the hero has to push blocks to certain locations, it can be a good idea not to have any enemies in that room. In most cases it can also be preferable to have the bosses have their very own room in a dungeon where you meet no other enemies except for the boss (I mean in different fight situations. A boss grouped with other enemies in one fight, can especially in turn-based combat work out nicely).

And what can also be very annoying to having to go back and forth too much. A key in the ultimate west, then having to go very far east to open the door, only to find another key there with its down all the way west again, can work out boring. As well as forcing the player to do the same dungeon multiple times. Sometimes the story line requires you to go down that road, but try to prevent it. Of course, shortcuts that can only open up when you have completed the dungeon once so you can skip a major part if multiple runs are required, can be a good idea.

And lastly, especially when you are long on the way, RPG projects can at a certain point kill your motivation to work on. It's a high crapload of work to do everything alright. Work as fast as you can, but remember to take a break and be honest to yourself when you really notice the project is killing you. Working on an RPG without motivation is THE way to get a terrible product. Be sure to retire the project temporarily on time and set a kind of term in which you'll resume the project. Of course when you wanna do this for money, I understand deadlines can make this a bad idea, but on the other hand, I am not sure if I want to pay for a rushed game. 

I hope my pointers were useful. 

True. Licenses do not protect you or your work directly, but they can only help you if you want to bring stuff in court or something, but unless the offender is a bit commercial company or something doing this on a big scale it will not be worth the trouble (not to mention that such companies can easily put themselves above the law, so you'll need a good lawyer too, and some publicity). 

Now I do not know how the staff responds to clear license violations on smaller skills. For example, Scyndi's Creative Interpreter is a game engine I created myself and released under the terms of the GPL3. Makes you free to use my engine, even in commercial productions actually, but if you modify the original source code create a new game with it, sell it without releasing the modified source code, then we got a violation of the GPL3. Of course, I cannot prevent people doing that, but I take it the rules do ban that practice, right? That being said, it can still be handy to have a license included in your game. 

When it comes to protecting yourself against copyright infringement in general. I was young in the 80s and 90s and have seen the countless creative ways in which game developers put in copy protections to prevent piracy. They all failed as document with the codes so you could print them, or even hackers managing to remove these protections were countless, so piracy happened any way and for legal users they were only a big source of irritation. Long story short, it was futile.

Luna's Father

The game House Of Cards is a collection of solitaire card games, released under a General Public License, which I plan to expand over time with more solitaire card games.

Right now the game is only available for Windows, but as the game relies on SDL2, I think it should work with Wine and similar software on other OSes, (and if you think you can help me to port the underlying script engine, which has been entirely coded in C++,  to other platforms I'm all ears).

My motivation came up, due to me having the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, but getting more and more annoyed by the unskippable ads, which become more and more aggressive, almost getting to the point that you spend more time watching ads than that you are actually playing (unless you're willing to waste(!) money on a premium account). Since I knew I had the skills to create such a game myself, I eventually started this project, and now the alpha is ready. GPL3 licensed so the game is free (as in freedom) and the license does not allow anyone to deny you these freedoms, and no I have no interest at all to gain any money from this project. In the end I just had fun creating it.

The game has localization files to allow to play the game in English, Dutch, German and French (and I've also received an Italian localization by now). If you want to translate the game into a language I don't know, well, they are just plain text tiles containing nothing but variables and string values, so I guess anyone can figure out how they work.

The game has multiple decks of cards, and multiple backgrounds, and yes, if you want me to feature a deck you created in the game, then be my guest. (All custom decks require to be a series of PNG files in which the file name starts with the first letter of the suit name (so H for Hearts, C for Clubs, D for Diamonds and S for Spades) and the value of the card (in which Ace=1, Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13 and the numbered card just the number on the card WITHOUT leading zeros), with 2 jokers (Called "Joker1.png" and "Joker2.png" respectively), and with all that I can easily add your deck to the game. No problem).

As many solitaire games have some optional rules, the games have some own configurations you can set up, in order to play the game with either "official" rules or with optional rules (which can both make it easier or harder). 

What? You don't know how to play these solitaire games? No worries just go to this Rumble channel where you can find instruction videos I recorded myself, in which I explain the rules as clearly as I could (oh, don't get frightened, but I am a man, so don't let the sound of my voice surprise you. People easily make assumptions based on my avatar). I must note that there are videos in both the English and in the Dutch language on that channel, so check the language first before starting the video (all videos in Dutch have a Dutch flag in the thumbnail). 

Since the game has a free open source license the  source code is freely available on Github, which is also where my bug tracker is located. (Please note, that repository only contains the source of the script code, as the game itself is entirely written in Scyndi. If it's the C++ source code of the engine you're interested in, please go here, as that engine is a project on its own used for multiple games of mine).

One important notice.
The game is STILL ALPHA. Most of the features should work without any trouble, but bugs that can really mess things up may still be there. If you encounter any, please remain polite, hop over to my issue tracker, check if I already know about it or not and politely describe the bug in full detail for me, so I can try to replicate it and eventually fix it. 

House Of Cards 

(Note, the time was not yet scripted when I took this screenshot, hence it being 00).

-- And they don't all agree on what "adult content" is. --
And there you got a very good point. Since "adult content" is also a bit subjective.

And let's also be wary of false positives, as some words may imply "adult content" while in fact it's not. I've been banned on Twitter for 14 some years ago by a bot-moderator for using the word "trigger", as that was a death threat. (I was using that word in a completely different context, though).

Indeed, as soon as I see software packages of which the developers claim the impossible, I personally walk away as fast as I can.

Any time. Your deck has been put into the game under the name "Pixel".

House of Cards -

Yeah, you too een fijne dag. 😉

Well, I was to understand this was your first attempt to create a game, and with in mind I must say I'm impressed. This is far better than my first games, I tell ya.
It also brings back memories of the good old days when games like these were really "beyond cool".

I see you focused most of all on the design and the code, as the assets are most of all 3rd party. That's no shame. At least all the assets are well-chosen, which already an achievement.

Now I guess those stars on the background are just a kind of tiled wallpaper. Well, it works. Personally I'd just use objects for the stars so I can make them move independently and also at different speeds. Somehow that can create a less static effect. 

This could be a nice game for me to kill some time.

House of Cards.

Well, I guess they work, eh?

Putting in your backgrounds will be done later. The cards themselves were my prime concern.

This does look interesting.
I will take a look to see if I can add these as an additional deck in my House Of Cards project. I see that the license you set up doesn't require me to ask permission, yet it only felt fair to let you know. 😉

House of Cards
(Note: No link available yet, but that will likely come soon)

Luna's Father

Well, a "floodgate" would be an overstatement, but quite often I do take note of what to do next. The base stories of my "Secrets of Dyrt" and "Star Story"  were written around the same time and for me it was just the choice which of the two to develop first. Now I must also say that some ideas I start on, but never finish. Well, I guess in that regard I'm not that much different from the professional industry where that happens a lot too. 

Of course, we may all suffer some times that we don't have any new ideas at all, and then picking up some ideas you already had noted before can be a nice option. My game "Luna's Father" which has being developed now already had a few notes when I was working on the two games I mentioned before. 

In the end we must always make choices what we do and what we don't and especially since game creation is quite time consuming, I guess that counts here even more.

And yeah when my game is in the final stage, it always bothers me. Then I'm really though with a project, but the number of bugs popping up seems to be infinite. And when I am already wanting to do something new, that's even more troublesome. This struck me especially between Star Story II and Luna's Father, as the latter has a complete new engine from scratch and therefore I needed more preparations before I could get onto the project itself. Oh well.

Personally I don't see why everything has to be 3D these days. Quite often 2D is good enough to do the job. Of course, it also depends on the kind of game you are making. For an FPS I'd always go for 3D. For an RPG I actually prefer 2D and when it comes to a point-and-click-adventure 3D does in most cases more harm than good. 

Now 2D is indeed easier to learn, both on the coding side as on the artistic side. 3D graphics can very easily turn things into a mess when not done right. That was for me a reason to stick to 2D (when I began we only had characters), not to mention that for the kind of games I like most it's also artistically the better choice anyway, so it was a win-win. 

Luna's Father

Thanks for fixing this so quickly. I'm right now in the middle of system maintenance. I hope I'll find some time to test the new version after the maintenance is done. 👍

Okay, I've tried to take a spin on this. The music and the graphics already invited me, however the game did somehow not want to register my keyboard, so all I could do was play around with the flashlight, but the character would not walk and also not interact with the ghost (which I think I was supposed to be doing).  I just have a regular QWERTY keyboard, in case that matters. 

Not yet, but I have downloaded it. 
I may have some time tonight, though.

Luna's Father

I already expected as such. When you have admin rights over a server like that you cannot always see what other users would see, and that can easily lead to things going wrong some times. I'll check it out later, as your game looks too interesting for me to ignore. And I might even give some feedback on what I think too. Just hang on with me. 😉

Google Drive requires me to request access in order to reach the download. 
Before I do, I wondered if that was a kind of scam blockout or did you only desire a limited number of testers or was it just that you didn't set the access options right?

Now reading the description this game is a kind of psychological horror, and also an interesting one. The screenshot does look very interesting also. 

Now I think it *is* something for the administrators to look into that multiple tags can be excluded.

Personally I don't think malware reports should be done on a public forum. The fear for malware has already caused people to do strange things based on false public reports based on false positives by anti-virus-software.
Yet a good thing it's cleared up with a Virus Total result. 

Those are pretty charming tracks you got there. I think for the locations I have not yet put in the game, I might even use some of them. 

Thank you for the encouragement.

I've downloaded your tracks and I will listen to them later.
It's now past midnight in my time zone, so happy new year.

I am always interested in free music/soundtracks to use in games, especially fantasy styled, since I am working on a fantasy style game as we speak.

Just like DarkBloodbane, I am wondering how to download them, though, as I too don't see any download links on the page. Perhaps you should check on your dashboard if you made your downloads public. 

I guess this will be the very last screenshot I post in this thread this year. 🤪

Luna's Father

Now this is a very nice concept. Brilliant in its simplicity, yet it can still offer a challenge to get a score as high as possible. The hand-swap feature was very nice and I guess I will have to see which hand is the best to use. 

Perhaps a few nice cosmetic enhancements can be if reaching the end of a maze gives you a short "level complete" notice (which the level itself still visible), and when you die it could be nice to see yourself explode or something before the screen goes black with the "You died" notice. 

Oh, and using music in the chiptune genre was also an excellent choice given the game's theme and presentation in general. 

I see you also have a downloadable version (I now only tried the web version), which is something I applaud, as it does allow me to play the game too when my internet is out. 

I love it!

Now if I remember correctly you can filter the search feature to show only free games, or did I remember that wrong?

A few general tips I can give, regardless if you go for low-level programming (C/C++ or Pascal or those kind of languages) or for high level (Game Maker/Godot/Unity etc) or even no code (Like Clickteam Fusion):

- Expect your first games to be crappy, but not as wasted. The only way to learn to do it is by doing it. So those crappy games are a very nice learning curve.

- Learn from "the masters", as there's no need to re-invent the wheel. Especially to how they organized the their game interface. Now those can be both examples to how to do it right and how to do it wrong, as interface organization is not an easy task and even the professionals often doing wrong (Microsoft in particular being known as a very big offender here). 

- Learn from the things you did wrong in a project. Even if those wrongs won't save your current project, it can help to do it right next time.

- Learn to tell criticism and downright bashing apart. "This game is crap" falls in the "bashing" category and is just useless. Ignore those, but if somebody writes you negative feedback but manages to come up with very valid points why the game is bad and even comes up with suggestions how to make it better always look at them well. Now one trapdoor is, of course, is that you must also realize if the feedback comes from people who understand what you were trying to accomplish, as that can also be a problem.

- Ignore people saying low-level coding is better than high level or even codeless. Use the language you think is best and we all have our different approach on matters. I simply use C++ myself as I like to be as much in full control as I can and this way I can set up my game engines precisely the way I want, but this approach does not work for everybody and for a beginner I would definitely not recommend this. In the end it's the result that counts as that is what the player need to have a good gaming experience. The language/tool/whatever you used to create it is less relevant.  The best programming language simply does not exist. It just comes down to the personal insights of the person using a language. Both low level as high level have their pros and their cons.

- There's no shame in using 3rd party assets or code, as long as you respect the original author's copyrights and terms under which they've released this stuff. There's much stuff out there even particularly released for this very purpose. Just be sure that the license allows it and of course that you are honest about it and don't take credit for what other people have done. Even if the stuff is released as public domain or as CC0 you should not take credit for such things.

"The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it". That is a quote from Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of the C programming language. And I couldn't agree more. One quote which I also agree with is from Brian Kernighan: "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place, therefore if you write your code as cleverly as possible, you are, by default, not clever enough to debug it."  Now I don't want to scare you, but even with modern debugging tools that did not exist when the quote was originally uttered, I still agree with it. Finding the cause of bugs can be quite frustrating at times, and the trick is to find good ways to find out goes wrong. Adding a few extra lines of code to debug and removing them later is no shame, and cheating your game during development is also not a shame. Debugging would be impossible without it and when you play games only to test if they work it's not the game challenge you go for, but simply knowing if stuff works.

And with that I guess I've given my best advices. First pick the tool you think that might be the tool for you to create games and stick to it until you feel you mastered it.