Inspiration and meaning

Since the election, I have had such a hard time getting inspired.

As news unfolds, creating an unwelcome climate here in the U.S., but also news from other countries such as the atrocities happening in Syria, I find myself wanting to do something with my work, but don’t really know how to go about it. At the moment, the best I can do is donate my money.

As we think of the next game that we are going to make, or just little games I could make in my spare time, I keep wondering what I can make that has meaning. That makes a difference.

Of course, making games that make people happy can be important, too. Sometimes, we all need a little escapism, and it can be hard to stay motivated to get shit done if you’re depressed and worried constantly. If you can at least get some reprieve, you can work towards doing more good.

But beyond fun games, what else could I be making? To help support others? To teach others? What?

I’m not one to sit around idle while I wait for an answer to be fed to me, so I’ll keep going. I got hired on full time at my school, which means a steady income for now, and I can set up monthly donations. I can work on projects and work on making my business more viable, and perhaps once we have money (beyond what I put in out-of-pocket), my company can have more weight.

I’m just kind of stuck in a rut without any inspiration, because I have essentially been constantly worried since November.

Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers, November 4th

Back when I was an awkward 12 year old, I loved staying up late, listening to the radio, and building adventure games in Visual Basic 5 on my very own compy. Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers was one of these games, though I have long forgotten the ending of the game, as it crashes part-way through.

To get the Moo team used to RenPy, we’re having a game jam this month to build a short story with RenPy. It is the Moopy Jam. My project is to remake Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers.

Sometimes it is a lot of fun to step back from complex programming and just work with art and basic story. I’m terrible at writing stories, but oh well! I’m remaking a 16 year old game, so who cares?!

  • Original title screen
  • New (WIP) title screen
  • Original opening
  • New (WIP) opening

Jeopardy for Computer Science

Sometimes, class gets quiet. Especially during review days, students usually don’t speak up on their own to ask questions. So, this semester I wrote a little Jeopardy program and used it for both of my classes.

The students at the community college I’m teaching at seemed to enjoy it; I was even asked to make more questions and come back with candy as a reward next class. So I will. I upgraded the Jeopardy program and wrote new questions dealing with different topics in Computer Science / C++, and it’s all ready to go!

This program is written with C++ and SDL2, as well as my Kuko framework. Since the class is about C++, I thought that it would be good to write the program with C++, instead of doing it as a webapp (which would have taken less time, admittedly!)

You can download the game code here: https://github.com/Rachels-Courses/CompSci-Jeopardy

It also requires the Kuko library: https://github.com/moosader/kuko

As well as SDL2 and Lua 5.2!

Fin ‘n’ Kit DevLog #6

end of level

Some of the art is temporary and will be reworked.

Not a lot to update with at the moment. The semester is coming to a close, so I’m grading and preparing the final exams and such, so consequently I’ve slacked off on Fin ‘n’ Kit development — It has been 12 days since the last coding session I did. And I’m just coding now because I arrived to another campus four hours early for a meeting. But that’s good!

I got a few things done, and actually the game is now somewhat like a game! You can create a level, add obstacles and trinkets, extra lives and mark where the end of the level is now… Obstacles and Trinkets have their own behaviors (though they’re really rough at the moment). You can play the levels. You get a 1-to-3-star score based on how well you play the level.

Still plenty more to do! But we can start building levels together now. Yay!

Always remember to kick Analysis Paralysis in the pants! Any time I am “afraid” that a feature will be a pain in the butt to implement, it really only takes like an hour. Then I just feel stupid for feeling intimidated in the first place. 😛

IMG_20160425_164711

My portable dev studio – except I forgot my drawing tablet. But I can basically do all my work from any location!

IMG_20160425_164729

To-do list mostly vanquished!

Fin ‘n’ Kit DevLog #5

Today I worked on level artwork (though I’m still not done!) and updated object behaviors. It is all looking pretty spiffy! Right now everything is still, I will have to add in animations later, but the animations aren’t really necessary to have the team go ahead and work on levels.

Check out this video for more:


 

And here are screenshots!

All of the obstacles and trinkets on the screen

All of the obstacles and trinkets on the screen

Obstacles!

Obstacles!

Trinkets!

Trinkets!

 

Fin ‘n’ Kit DevLog #3

On today’s episode of “I meant to program for more than just 3 hours today (but the day isn’t over yet!)”, I worked on the Fin ‘n’ Kit level editor!

I was interrupted by a phone call that ended up lasting about 45 minutes. It was my dad, who put his brother on the call so that they could get my input on their idea for a vlog series. Vlawgz. Well, if they start a trucker vlog I will let you know.

Anyway, back to what I was doing.

So first, I updated the resolution of Fin ‘n’ Kit to 1280×720 by default. It was something like 960×640 before, but most phones seem to be much wider resolution than that. The game can resize to whatever based on what you put in the config file.

config

So I retooled the menu Lua files to look better for the widescreen menu, more space in the map editor and all.

Lua files woo

Lua files woo

Fin 'n' Kit widescreen menu

Fin ‘n’ Kit widescreen menu

Still seems like a lot of empty space, so it needs to be adjusted more.

Anyway, got that up, and worked on the level editor. Actually spent about an hour on artwork for new obstacles and trinkets for the first world of the game. Also added some features that Tea wanted that I couldn’t actually implement in Gideros (as far as I could tell from my research).

Temporary low quality art for tile types

Temporary low quality art for tile types

So basically, you can place tiles on the map now. They’re still constrained to a grid at the moment, but they don’t have to be. Not sure whether to keep it on a grid or just free placement. Tea requested the ability to right-click to erase a tile, so I implemented that, and at the lower-right of the screen I also added a tile to switch quickly between the current brush and the eraser.

editor

Each item right now is a small 80×80 icon, but when actually playing the level, they will be of varying sizes.

Still more to do…

To Do List

Want to get this minimum amount of stuff done, then port over the gameplay state so that the rest of the Moose Team can start working on levels with the new editor.

And here are some of my bonus sketches…

sketches

For all my gamedev projects, I buy a cute notebook just for that project. Here is my Fin ‘n’ Kit notebook :B

notebook

That’s all for now!

–Rach


Rachel Morris is the founder of Moosader and the lead developer/artist.

Fin ‘n’ Kit is a game by Moosader being developed with C++, SDL2, Lua, and the custom Kuko framework built by Moosader.

Fin ‘N’ Kit DevLog #2

I don’t have a lot of time to program today, since I teach class tomorrow and still would like to grade some assignments before then. Everything else I got done early today, so I snuck in some gamedev.

Beginning the set up of the map editor. The original version of Fin ‘N’ Kit (originally Delfino i Katyuno) has a map editor, but it was built with small mobile devices in mind. Trying to update the game with the old framework wasn’t working out, since it seemed like it wasn’t supporting much as far as desktop computers went. Due to a few constraints, I’m rewriting the game in C++ – but, it shouldn’t take *too* long, depending on how much time I have.

I’m redoing the interface, keeping in mind that it should be usable both with a mouse/keyboard, but also with just a handheld device’s touch-screen.

Anyway, here are some small screenshots. I would like to redo the trinkets and obstacles in the game, because they don’t make much sense I think. Or they’re not shiny enough. Or something.

The game may also support different sized objects (either scaling an item to different sizes, or some items are just bigger than others).

Oh well, that’s it for today!

Fin ‘N’ Kit DevLog #1

The Moo team is working on updating Fin ‘N’ Kit – an old mobile game I made two years ago with Gideros and Lua.

Because of some of the constrmain menuaints with Gideros when it comes to PC support, I’ve spent the day creating a Fin ‘N’ Kit C++ project using my Kuko framework, which is built on C++, Lua, and SDL2, with the intention that it will be our primary framework for all PC and mobile games (with Windows, OSX, Linux, and Android supported initially.)

In the Kuko framework, you can set up menus in .lua files, basically making use of Lua tables, so today I’ve mostly been working on menus.

So here’s some quick looks at the main menu and play sub-menu.

 

Screenshot-Fin 'n' Kit - Moosader LLC-1Haven’t worked on the Options or Help menus yet, but there is a language select menu in, with the languages English, Spanish, and Esperanto. We can add translations later, but these are the languages that people on the Moo team currently have expertise in.

The level editor is one of the big things to implement soon because that means that the Moo team can work on levels sooner, so we can get a collection of levels available for play upon first release of the game. Of course, we can also add new levels and themes over time.

The level editor will also be included in the game, just like with the current version that is available on Google Play.

 

 

Screenshot-Fin 'n' Kit - Moosader LLC-2Another thing that Lua is used for in the Kuko framework is language files, which allows us to have the game available in multiple languages. The menu lua files can take hard-coded text, or a text ID, which would correspond to a key in the language files.

 

Well, that’s all for now.

–Rachel