Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bro and BFIG, Barnacling and Bullet Splattering

BFIG has come and gone. Kevin and Courtney are up and married. And I remain. In Starbucks. With my empty fruit and yogurt parfait cup.

My step bro, Matt Borchert, ran my booth at BFIG. And! He also has provided some music for the game. Anyway. BFIG seemed cool for the 1.5 hrs I was there, (before I left for Kevin and Courtney's wedding) before any attendees showed up. And I heard it continued being very cool all day. One of the coordinators and leader of the Game Makers Guild, Tim Blank, said that BFIG had perhaps a BFIG record attendance and he hadn't heard one negative statement about it. I put in a lot of effort getting the introductory/demo level working and figuring out the flow of introducing how to ride a flying dog, how to pilot a flying whale, how to heal injured dogs by feeding them them from the food sack, how to heal the whale by feeding it from the fruit tree, how to attach whale attachments, how to mop the whale, how to store gems in the belly of the whale, how to enter the belly of the whale to get your gems back and/or anything the whale has swallowed, how to use keys, how to shop, how to sleep in a bed together...anyway. Some of those things are taught much more clearly than others. But about a million things that used to go wrong don't go wrong. But it's kinda like when you hear about how a hand sanitizer cleans like 99.99% of bacteria and then realize that the remaining bacteria, that .01% accounts for like millions of little entities out there, trying to survive, placing its life before yours...willing to do whatever it takes.

Apparently, people still get stuck in walls. And sometimes you get flooded with oodles of dogs. Harpoons stick into things they shouldn't. Playeres somehow walk off the whale and just trot around in the air, leaving dirty foot prints everywhere, that people don't understand what use it is in mopping them up, and also, a giant black square will appear sometimes. And players don't know what to do with empty sacks of dog food (the answer is to toss them out, which is littering, and before you get upset and start forcing your own own moral predilections onto Flock of Dogs, it's definitely unclear what is or isn't biodegradeable or what kind of sustainability is possible really in this world).

While Flock of Dogs didn't win the curator chosen award for Multiplayer/Connected Gameplay (not surpring, the build I submitted in May was wildly buggy, visually unclear, and had a laughable tutorial), Matt said we did get a lot of attendees votes for game of the show. Flock of Dogs didn't win that either, but that's ok. The winning game (http://nextgenpants.com/refactor/) and many of the competing games have a much more public profile, bigger teams, and are much further along in the development. Actually, many had already been released.  And maybe it's ok to not be a winner? It would be nice to see how many attendee votes other games received or even get an exact number for how many Flock of Dogs received. Matt collected a bunch of emails of people interested in the game, so I guess I'll have to write a newsletter soon.

Anyway, I made some new particle effects leading up to BFIG, which is some of the only new visual polish the game has received in a while, so I'll share that with ya:

See how the bullets splatter? Jawesome. I also made the destructible environment have some particle effects and also split in to smaller pieces  instead of just disappearing. This is in accordance with the principle of 'barnacling' where, in nature, when there's large things, there's usually some medium sized things near it, and some small sized things near those. It still doesn't have a sound effect.

The simle, blended color gradients that generate when I take the base color of either the giant, floating tetrominoes or the players' bullets' colors, then choose 3 other colors that have slight, random variations in their RGB values absolutely thrill me. I'm also now going to try stockpiling gifs and start posting them to  Twitter for #screenshotsaturday in the future.

This is part of my whole plan of, you know, telling people about my game and maybe even letting them play it. I told a few people I'd send them access to a playable version of the game. One guy even said he wanted to play it for his YouTube channel. Craazy.

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