"I am H" ArtMy first participation in Global Game Jam marks my second time working as in a team with the Unity engine. This time proved especially interesting since I got a chance to work with people roughly around my age that had experience and skills to work with. Until then, the majority of any group work had either been on school assignments for general studies or in teams with less than motivated or enthusiastic people.

Fortunately, in the end, “I am H,” was conceived and developed. It isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it tried come off like other abstract and less than action-y indie games: have a deep and philosophical meaning. That is, aside from that arduous mountain climbing which is simply punishing. Good things come to those who never give up though, I suppose. That applies towards game jams as well.

Even if there were some perfectionists in my game jam team, I’d say that it wasn’t the hardest part. If anything, their drive to get it right would propel them to do even more with even less time, so I’d say that worked out just fine. What was arguably the most difficult part of me was working with a multi-coder project in Unity.

Dropbox as Version Control System

Most of the team chose Dropbox as the method for source control. Furthermore, we would be using a master project that the game would be assembled in which everyone else would simply create assets for and plop in the box for the person charged with assembly to put together. It would have helped to have the lead programmer and I on the same level of understanding, but since that wasn’t the case. Everything I was going to do would be imported as a raw asset that would then be reassembled into a game object, so I tried to design things that would work alone and with as little configuration as possible.

Keeping Nine People on the Same Page

While there was a team leader, we still managed to fail to get things communicated between “sub-teams” within the group. Programmers consisted of three people, of which one was myself. Artists were made up of the remaining six, which meant there were a lot of ideas bouncing around. While some may have considered this situation to have been a blessing, it was more of a curse in disguise since we had a lot more ideas of what was going to be implemented as opposed to what was actually being implemented and how.

Coming Up With the Idea

This was probably the most frustrating one, albeit not the most difficult. We spent the first two days  without a vision of the game. All we really had in mind was a mechanic and island. Towards the end of the second day, we had come up with the idea and levels proper, but it was rather ambitious and daring, though I wouldn’t say that was a bad thing. We built a lot of assets during the last hours of the game jam, but I can’t help but think about what things I could have achieved late at night after the game jam campus had shut down at 11PM PT.

All in all though, I’d say that I definitely had a good time. I hope that I’ll have more to bring to the table next year. I’m sure some of the issues that I’ve listed above are natural in game jams, but we won’t get anywhere by not asking for any better of others and of ourselves, right?

I should have done this a few days ago, but other projects took precedence. In any case, I did a small overhaul of the listen server setup script for Team Fortress 2′s listen server mode that fixed some bugs and made things a bit more extensible. Poor scripting caused servers to restart between maps while other issues made it difficult to make use of, but hopefully those problems have been solved..

The biggest change would be the transition towards renaming the map name aliases to no longer use the “map” command for map changes. A separate file redefines the aliases to use “changelevel” instead. This prevents the server from being created anew each map change.

Finally, support was added for all of the other missions that are available from the “boot camp” menu in Team Fortress 2′s MvM matchmaking system. A quick look at the population files in the game files made it easier to get the names of other missions that can be loaded into the game.

As always, the script is available on Github and contributions are welcome.

After starting to commit to a more regular tweeting, blogging, and status updating life, I’m finding out more and more as to why I left behind the whole “Minecraft tutorial” life. Making things that I feel look clear and very easy to follow seems to take absolutely forever for me! I always hated watching YouTube videos where I couldn’t tell what was going or articles that couldn’t clearly direct a lowly newbie towards successfully completely whatever task I wanted to get done. I didn’t want to make the same problems either, but in trying to do so, I ran into so many issues! Here’s one of them; it’s fairly recent too.

Working with Value

I’m not a graphic designer, but it doesn’t take one to see what’s wrong here. When I tried to revise my article about taking full page screenshots in Firefox, I noticed that I may have made a grave mistake.

Hovering over me won't give you any hints. :)

Spot the problem?

My super cool captures of my blog taken while I demonstrate the aforementioned functionality in Firefox are so clear, that it could be mistaken as a broken webpage rendering or confusing the most technologically illiterate but learning netizen. Thankfully, I only tore a few hairs out when attempting to come to terms with capturing desktop movement for the third time when I realized that I might have an easy fix on my hands!

My Firefox SNAFU Fixed

Ta-daaaah!

Black borders! However, it took a good 15 minutes for me to find a nice border width. It doesn’t help that I kept refreshing an old preview of it too, so there goes even more time down the drain. Oh well. I learned how to use LICEcap though, some nice software I picked up some time ago off of /r/gamedev.

iFEST isn’t quite ready to open to the public yet, but I volunteered to help exhibitors set up for today. Getting a peek at things behind the scenes was great as I got to meet some really neat people. All of the expensive gear from the Seattle VRcade guys made me really nervous though; their gear is incredibly expensive so handling their motion tracking cameras was scary, but manageable.

Other game exhibitors brought in presentation materials and of course, the actual games that are being shown, but I’m even more excited for the people who hadn’t shown up yet since there are some interesting names like  MOGA, which makes phone controllers, that will also be showing up on the day of the event. I’ll have to cut this short since I don’t want to give away too much before the event takes place, but it’s definitely not something I want to miss out on. I’m glad I get to not only attend this year, but lend a hand in running it.

I always wondered how people do this without an addon or plugin, and I finally know how! I’ll never remember it though, so here’s a blogpost on it.

1. Press “SHIFT” and  “F2″ buttons at the same time to bring up the developer console at the bottom of the screen.

Press "SHIFT + F2"!

2.Type “screenshot –fullpage” into the box or “developer console”.

Type "screenshot --fullpage"!

3. Press enter! It saves to your default Downloads folder. You can see the file path at the top.

Press the ENTER button on your keyboard!Now you can upload entire screenshots from 4chan or Reddit or whatever odd conversation you want to capture!

Here’s my entry for the 0h Game Jam of 2013! You are a lone warrior of with a nice tan who must defend a taco shack from flying burritos! Use the spacebar to shoot and hope you have a slow computer because there’s no frame limit on this thing! I’m tired, so hit up the download for more information and the game itself.

Requirements

Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)

Downloads

v0.0 – Initial (and probably Final) Release

If you’re looking for Monaco’s save file so you can back it up, give it to a friend, or just upload it somewhere online, then you should probably stop looking for it in the “steamapps” folder. Make sure that you’ve backed up your old save file if you want it for some reason, and disable Steam Cloud if you’re planning on stuff in a new save file in its place.

  1. Navigate to your Steam directory and open the “userdata” folder.
  2. Open one of the folders in that directory.
  3. Look for a folder named, “113020,” which is the “appid” or identifier for the game, Monaco. That’s where Monaco’s relevant Steam Cloud saves the save file to. If however, “113020,” isn’t in the folder you picked, then move on to the next folder that was in your “userdata” folder and try again.
  4. Once you’ve found the, “113020,” folder, open the “remote” folder in it.
  5. Congratulations! You have found Monaco’s save file! Save it, copy it, send it, do whatever you like with it!

In case it isn’t obvious, simply overwrite or replace the existing file with the new save file and run Monaco! You’re free to enable Steam Cloud again after that.