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ATAVISM DEV LOG 18 – BIRD BRAIN

Update 18: June 14th – 26th

Two weeks, more progress. Also I’m sorry about the title, it’s a joke about making the bird AI. I think it’s funny.

On the personal side of things, I’m about halfway through Shadow of the Colossus (ps3 remaster) for the first time- something I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while. It’s moody and engaging -certainly worth another playthrough before I give my thoughts- and I’ll be playing Ico and Nier (2006) soon after.

Development-wise, most of my progress has been on animations and AI for the bird (named AveApex in the editor), but we’ll see how much I relate about them in the future. I’ve also updated the website! I’m officially rebranding as Red Glacier Games, which has a sort of mystery to it that I’m fond of with other studios named similarly.

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Atavism Dev Log 17 – Ornithology Obsession

Update 17: May 31st – June 13th

Two weeks, more progress, as usual. On the personal side of things, I’ve recently beaten God of War – something I enjoyed way more than I initially thought I would and turned into one of the strongest emotional experiences a game has ever given me. I’m immeasurably happy with the reception the public has give it too, both in sales and appreciation for Santa Monica’s hard work. Aside from that, I took a bit of time off from development on Monday to watch E3 with my friends (with whom I still haven’t started that DND game), and I came out the end of it rather satisfied, but anxious for the distant release dates.

On the development side of things, I’ve modeled a giant bird. This week’s post should be fairly short, as I’d rather not talk about the nature of these birds and have little to say on the modelling process, but this also brought to light the issue of whether I should make dev logs over certain things at all. The tribesmen and birds, for instance, are encountered fairly early in the game, so I see them as both a marker for my progress in beginning the development of this game and a marketable point for the piece without delving too deep into it. As I start developing later parts of the game (or just critical parts of it), however, I’ll probably have very little to publicly say about them, requiring a longer-paced style of dev log.

In short, I looked at some other blogs like this one from Lucas Pope (who made Papers, Please) and Nightdive Stuidos’ kickstarter updates, both of which are narrative-focused games and post infrequently to reflect that. I think as I move into later parts of this project, especially after building unique encounters and levels begins, I’ll shed the bi-weekly obligation to preserve the mystery.

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Atavism Dev Log 16 – Natural Elements

Update 16: May 16th – 30th

It’s been an unusually chill two weeks. My new living space has been treating me well, work has been easy-going, and dev time has been pretty productive. I’ve been planning a dnd game for my friends too, for which they recently made characters last weekend, and now I’m working on harder material so I can start running soon. In addition, I’ve been getting closer to finishing God of War and it’s really ramping up the tension, making a lot more emotional impact on me than I thought it would.

For dev-related things, the first week began with some bugfixing but was spent mostly on some interaction with the environment and experimentation with shaders, but the focus of the second was largely on learning the particle system and making a fire model and some effects.

I guess it’s time to get down to the details.

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Atavism Dev Log 15 – A Plague of bugs

Update 15: May 2nd – 15th

It feels like so long, yet so recent since the last time I typed one of these. Long because of all my semester finals, travelling, new living space, and new work schedule, but recent because I’ve accomplished barely anything since last time. In reality I’ve spent still nearly two-thirds of the usual time per week working on the game and I also can’t blame myself for not getting much done over finals, but the last two weeks have been extremely unfulfilling bugfix work that ended up generally much harder than they should have been.

Basically everything I set out to do was so hard that it took forever to fix (usually due to dumb mistakes, lack of familiarity, or obscure reasons) or so small that it’s not too notable anyways. Regardless, I shall list everything I did just to vent about it then formulate a plan for the next two weeks.

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Atavism Dev Log 14 – Parrying and a Demo Level

environment

Update 14: April 18th – May 1st

It’s been a busy fortnight between semester finals and Atavism, but everything is coming out pretty well. My work was generally split into two parts; the first week of which was spent on making a level to show off the Tribesmen for my Gamedev club and the latter week of which was spent implementing some new features. I’ll be talking about these things, a bunch of smaller stuff that got done, and then, as always, about what I’m going to be aiming at doing for next update. Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

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Atavism Dev Log 13 – Group AI, Health, and Feedback

Update 13: April 4th – April 17th

Hey I’m back again. Last week I announced that I decided to switch to a bi-weekly update schedule so that I’d have more to talk about, which is already paying off because I have a ton to talk about this update! I’ll first be talking about the changes to the AI that I made, then talk a bit about the health system and some of the feedback I’ve implemented before I talk about what I’m aiming for on the next update.

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Atavism Dev Log Delay And New Schedule

In short:

I’ve been busy this week about as much as I usually have been, but I’d like to say that I’ve thought about it and decided to move the blog schedule to bi-weekly, meaning that I’ll have one out every 14 days instead of every – on Wednesday as they always have been.

The reasoning for this relates to my general dissatisfaction with posting weekly while working at school, something I mentioned during last week’s report. While weekly posts made a bit of sense when I was working far more hours per week, they still take time out of my day to write and ultimately don’t convey a whole lot that’s worth drawing out just for a blog. I’d much rather write a longer blog every two weeks about more important notes of progress than struggle for something to write about every single Wednesday.

As this blog is more for posterity than for communicating with an active user-base, I’m pretty comfortable with doing things this way.

I suppose my aim with this blog was to chart my progress, meaning that as long as I have interesting information to chart, the timescale doesn’t matter. Twitter is better for posting the shorter kind of stuff I’ve been putting here, so I’d recommend that if anybody reading this would prefer it. As it stands, I’ve found a blog is more of a good way to reorient myself to my design goals, making it a necessary piece of the production as I brainstorm out my immediate goals and look at how they’ve been coming along.

With all this in mind, yeah: Two weeks, should result in longer posts. See my twitter for shorter-term but less consistent content. Next blog is next Wednesday.

Cheers!

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Atavism Dev Log 12 – Attack Process and a New Look

Week 12: March 28 – April 3rd

We are back to the regularly scheduled devlog with a busy week and some good progress. I mull over the art style a little, talk about the current and future state of combat, then mention a few small things I did before talking about what’s coming up next week.

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Status Update: GDC

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“Infinite Schism” by Leilani Bustamante

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming…

Hey folks, it’s Wednesday. This is going to be fairly sparse, but I want to get this out fast to get back to work, so I’ll try to recount what I’ve done recently and show a few pieces of art I’ve enjoyed recently to make it visually interesting.

I’ve been listening to a NieR Tribute Album recently, which isn’t a genre I typically listen to, but it takes a bizarre and super fresh take to what is probably one of the best soundtracks of last decade. Anyway, onto the blog.

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Atavism Dev Log 11 – Tribesman Combat AI Progress

AI KInda

Week 11: March 15-21

It’s still Wednesday somewhere in the world, which means it’s time to share what I did over the past 7 days – this time from a hotel in San Francisco. I talk a little about the AI’s current capabilities and what I hope to accomplish next.