Season’s Greetings from Squiggleville! Hey, that should be a Christmas card…
I just uploaded the Christmas build of World 2 back to Mochi, play it here!
I’m pretty sure that that’s the latest build… maybe…
And be sure to check out Fairly’s review of the first two Professor Layton games below. A pretty good way to understand more about World 3 is to understand how we both feel about the games we play. Remember, I’m just a gamer making games that I would want to play!
So Flipnote Studio was just released on the DSi for download, and I like animating so I played around with it a bit:
Of course I go and find a bunch more options that would have helped out more after finishing the thing (a guide layer, particularly), but hey, it’s a fun little program, good for practice. I have to go upload all the pictures from Comic Con somewhere and I’ll make another post soon. Got some new test animation for World 3 that I’ll post after that, heh.
So this isn’t technically a review, yet. I just finished Okami for the Wii.
Guys, I have never had a game make me feel this absolutely emotionally involved before.
I cried. The friggin game made me cry, it was that beautiful.
I don’t even know how I am going to go about writing this review, it will come soon. Tune in for it guys because I want this review to reflect exactly how I feel about this game.
Hey guys, Brad will be doing a full wrap up of comic con later (complete with picturez ZOMG!!!) but here is something to hold you over. I actually wrote this on the plane ride home. This is me thinking y’all care what I think again 😉
As most of you know, I had the pleasure of attending Comic Con 2009 with Brad this year. My apologies for breaking off from my regular gaming reviews, but I hope that some of you would be interested in hearing a little about the experience of Comic Con.
It’s crowded, horribly crowded, and I’m sure the excessive amount of Twilight fans that decided to attend this year didn’t help. You go through over 5000 booths and sometimes you end up lodged inbetween a booth you don’t want to see and another booth you really don’t want to be caught dead even glancing at.
However, the whole experience gave me a strange sort of glimmer of hope. I saw appreciation everywhere, even in those crazy cosplayers, there was just utter appreciation. I’ve never seen any kind of celebrity act as graciously as the ones from the “interwebz”, and there are quite a few big ones. I’m sure there are a few bad seeds every now and then, but I didn’t meet one in my whole experience.
As a 24 year old sometimes it can be a bit disturbing to see what can pass off as art or as animation nowadays. When you are raised on the good ol’ 80s cartoons of yesteryear you tend to cringe at the popularity of things like SpongeBob Squarepants and . . . well . . . every single CGIed version of a cartoon that hangs around on TV nowadays. You don’t see the same talent and love for smoothness and lines or even for general beauty. It’s slap it on a lunchbox and sell it as soon as possible.
I was sorely disappointed to go to a panel and hear about how they’d released their game on everything except for maybe a box of wheaties and they reveled in it. REVELED in being total sellouts (I’m looking at YOU EpicGames). Even more disturbing were the hordes that worshipped that kind of behavior but I won’t get into that . . .
On the OTHER side of Comic Con I managed to see a completely different side to all of it.
Delayed flight = missing all subsequent flights = travelling all day = teh suck
They need to update the SkyMall magazine, some of the crazy scams in there are already outdated by crazier, more futuristic sounding scams!
I just realized that there’s an ad on the back of the magazine… Isn’t the whole thing a magazine full of ads…?
Sorry about the last minute weekend blackout there. Still haven’t gotten back home yet, so this post is quite late, heh.
Anyways, music is a big part of The Fancy Pants Adventures, not just the in game music, but the background music that I listen to while working on it. See, I do a whole lot of sitting and working at the computer (makes up a good majority of my work, really), so to keep sane, I usually have a constant stream of music in the background.
Very gameplay focused animation is extremely rhythm centric, so having something with a solid rhythm in the background helps get my mind into a good state for animating. So in a way, you could consider a good deal of these songs as alternate background music for whatever games I was working on when I listened to them the most.
Gameplay is an art, music is an art. Both can create emotions that can’t be easily conveyed in words, so during production, I usually run into a few songs that I dig that seem to help convey the intangible qualities of gameplay that I’m going for.
Click on for a big ol list of musics!
So here’s an interesting last minute change of plans. Apparently I’ll be at the Flash Gaming Summit in a few days, as well as most of GDC.
Anyways, from what I hear, everything will be streamed live, once I get some details on that, I’ll update this post.
Anyone who’s going to be at GDC who wants to get in touch with me, shoot me an email. Sorry if I told you that I wasn’t going earlier, this is all super last minute…
Update: Ah, here’s the stream’s channel. Got a spiffy little chat there and everything.
And of course, here’s the programs. The award show and the panel that I’m on are the ones to watch 😉 Wish me luck!
So, apparently my site’s been down for quite some time and I just now noticed because I don’t have internets at my house for the time being.
Also as a side note, I have a plugin for WordPress that’s half working, if anyone wants to get emailed every time there’s a new post on my site, just send an email to the address on the Contact Me page. If you want to keep it simple, just put ‘add me’ as the subject.
Anyways, figured I’d expand this post a bit, since Newgrounds is a huge part of my Flash games career, maybe even the only reason I ever got into Flash in the first place. So here’s a nice little story for anyone who really cares 😀
Click below to read it!
Just in time for Christmas Eve!
World 2, Santafied 😀 Click the picture to play.
Wish I could have changed more, but I had vastly underestimated the amount of hair clips I had to change (seventy billion, I believe). There’s probably a few mistakes in there, but oh well.
Here’s another present. When the game is paused, you can change the jump button to whatever you want. If Fancy Pants Man isn’t jumping, you might have accidently changed the jump button. Hit space to pause and press whatever you want jump to be. It’s still just a little quick and dirty hack, but I figured someone might want to use it.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, so I figured I should come out of radio silence to wish everyone a merry Christmas or whatever happy holiday of your choosing.
We’re still way hard at work on Mirror’s Edge 2D, but I still wanted make some noise on the internets and send a few Fancy Pants digital presents to everyone out there.
Don’t worry, I’ll add more as I make them.
Click for full size version (1920×1200, pretty massive). If you need a different size, go ahead and request it in the comments.
“Christmas: If it moves, put a Santa hat on it.”
I knew the little guy would come around, eventually. Hmm, wonder what’s in the box…
Also, feel free to request anything, icons, wallpapers, character art, (art for a different religious holiday?), etc… Tis the season of giving, after all (though I know I’m cutting it sort of close to Christmas day, I know!).
Maybe I should make it a New Years resolution to post more art and fun stuff on the site :/
Play World 2 on Facebook! Add it to your wall/boxes/whatever it is now and invite all your friends (plz)!
Woo! Finally, some real news! This has been one of my side projects, to got FPA in it’s own app on Facebook, thanks to the guys at J2Play.
So, what does this mean to the users, besides a new set of badges to collect, and yet another rainbow of pants to earn? Well, awesomely, the J2Play wrapper addresses one of the most common problems with online games: if someone were to play a level or two at school, or on a public computer, their progress is lost the next time they play the game. Not to mention that Flash’s local saving doesn’t work 100% of the time. Through J2Play’s API, I’m able to save all of your achievements and settings, and retrieve them again based on your Facebook profile. Basically, you can play World 2 on any computer and still have your game saved as long as you’re logged into Facebook. Very useful when you’re trying to save up 100,000 squiggles for the final squiggle badge!
If you don’t have a Facebook profile, J2Play supports a bunch of other social networking sites, but Facebook is the first that we’ve published to. Let me know what networks you want to see FPA on! Here’s their list of supported social sites.
(added the full sized version of the Faceboook app icon to the art section)
Hey again. Sadly, still nothing new to report, but I figure I could try something a bit different for this post.
I know a lot of people out there are trying to get a grip on making Flash games, and a good lot of you would settle for being able to create something fairly simple. So, what I want to ask of all you readers out there is this: what would a platformer level editor need in it to be worth making levels in? And before you ask, I’m thinking something tile based, like Super Mario Bros., not exactly a Fancy Pants Adventure fully featured level editor. I’d like to know what you would consider to be absolutely essential to you, and what would be just cool to have. What sort of set pieces would you want? How much control over the terrain would you need? Items, keys, weapons, doors, gates? That sort of stuff. Well, now that I’ve opened the flood gates here, be creative! Let’s see what ya got.
Sheesh, has it really been over a month since I posted on here? Guess so… [edit: almost, I was looking at the posts from the iPhone app, it was missing a post] I had to take on some contract work to pay the bills again, so there’s really not much I can talk about there. Fraser’s Ride is still being worked on slowly, now sporting even more nifty graphical enhancements. We’re in the processes of replacing all of the old temporary sounds with new stuff created by TommyLM, and getting sounds in Flash, organized, able to play in stereo, and not load on the first frame is the longest, stupidest workflow that I ever did see. Also need to adapt the backgrounds to work with the new graphical code, blech.
Can’t wait to be working on stuff that I can involve you guys in again. Remember the days of the
Worlod World 2 beta? Good times indeed 😀
Case anyone was wondering, there’s a big stupid hurricane approaching my house at the moment. I’ll be driving over to Fairly’s parents’ house with Chuck and Norris and my computer and some other stuff. I’m backing all my Flash stuff up to DVDs at the moment, I’ll try to keep you guys updated…
[4:43 AM] Update: that didn’t go so well, took us 2 and a half hours to drive 10 miles. So we’re back at the house for now, going to try again tomorrow when all lanes are outbound (Hey kids! Today’s word is ‘contraflow’!). I’m fairly positive that the city won’t take a beating that it can’t recover from (I live in Metairie, we were one of the first to bounce back after Katrina), but any damage whatsoever could destroy morale over here and absolutely kill our ecconomy.
I’m sure we could use as many prayers as possible right now.
That, and European levees, I hear those things rock.
God help us…
[Update, Sunday night-ish] The short story is, heading east would have taken forever with the traffic and road closings, so we headed west to stay at an aunt and uncle’s house, so now I’m here, along with Fairly, all the cousins who live here, a smattering of other family members, and everything that I need to stay dry for work.
While the power’s still on, we’ve been playing Brawl and Castle Crashers, major congrats to Tom and Dan on that one, it’s a blast to play with 3 other players.
Poor Chuck and Norris, they’ve been stuck in a cage in the garage, along with two other cats who are just a bit too old to make new friends… (not all in the same cage!)
Funny, though, I don’t really mind the idea of all this blogging stuff right now, guess it’s because I’m not just going about my boring daily life today…
Anyways, hurricane winds should start up in, oh, about 8 hours from now, fun :-/
[Monday morning] Right on time, power’s out. Cell towers feel like they’re overloaded. Bah.
[Monday night] Syphoned gas for the generator from my uncle’s car after some trouble. Finishing watching Jurassic Park with Jenna and the family on VHS on my 40 inch LCD I plugged into a backup generator: Serious Business.
For the record, my friend and I played Starcraft on backup power in our college library after Katina hit 3 years ago. Also Serious Business.
Fun fact: The days we got off from school after Katina hit was the first time I started seriously working on FPA.
First off, sorry for the complete lack of posting lately, I’ve got so much going on behind the scenes right (some ‘pay the bills’ client work, as well as some really exciting stuff) now that getting to the blog isn’t as easy as I’d like. I still try to leave comments and poke around the forum while stuff is compiling (around 15 seconds for Fraser’s Ride, a full minute for World 2, yikes!), but for the most part, here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been holding off on that I wanted to try and address.
My last post mentioned the Too Human demo, and gaming sites have been reviewing the game sense, but the sort of stuff that really bugs me about the game is stuff that you never find in reviews. Game reviews always try to stay objective and non-biased, and I really think that that’s the worst possible way to review a game. Anyways, the first thing that really bothered me about that demo how you can shake the joystick back and forth, and your character freaks out back and forth, facing whichever way you were turning. Now, I know I always discount realistic physics in games, but I think there’s an important distinction to be make. I love physics in games, even (especially?) animations that imply physics with no sort of real impact on the game. I love taking sharp turns in Jet Set Radio and watching the skater lean into the turn, I think the heavy weight of the main character in GTAIV feels great, if not a bit unresponsive. 2d RARE games always had a great sense of momentum (Snake Rattle N’ Roll, DKC, even Battletoads). I always stress games giving feedback to the player, and when a game can portray a sense of weight, that’s what much more data being sent to the player to round out the experience. The original Metal Gear Solid had a problem with that, and today, letting your character turn on a dime is just unacceptable. Holding the joystick at an enemy and watching Balder hack away at a enemy just feels terrible. It’s basically the polar opposite of what the Wii is about, I intend for that enemy to be attacked, and Balder just does his thing, everything in between is left out. In this case, there’s not even a mashed button or tilted joystick to relate to each strike.
Anyways, thought I’d just like to address that, since it seems like ‘next-gen’ means something different to everyone. Plus, I guess I just really, really liked Silicon Knight’s awesome Gamecube game, Eternal Darkness.
[fyi: I’m terrible at writing long blog entries, I keep getting distracted and walking away from my computer]
Lets see, what else can I throw my 2 cents in on… Ah, the age old debate of ‘games as art.’ Duh video games are art, and not just because they’re made up of other arts, like music and graphics. Art is nothing more than a creation that’s meant to be interacted with. Most art is one-sided, to be looked at, or to be listened to. Today, people like to make crazy things that they consider art, like a leaky faucet, or a light up floor. Gameplay itself is an art, the way a person interacts with a game, the emotions and other data sent to the player, and the player’s reaction. This itself is an art. I would argue that video games as they are today are an imperfect art, in the same sense that gazing at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel through a 3d ViewMaster would be an imperfect interaction with the art.
‘Game feel’ just isn’t emphasized enough nowadays, probably because people have such a hard time putting their finger on exactly what that means in the first place. You can’t really bullet-point that in a sales pitch or commercial. But I would say that the ‘feel’ of a video game is the most artistic part of it, the purest interaction, best when it’s subtle and detailed, and even mostly subconsciously conveyed to the player.
To an extent, though, I almost want to feel insulted when games are called art. I mean, that’s it? Only ‘art’? Like Oscar Wilde once wrote, ‘All art is quite useless’ (This is, however, the internet, where the more useless something is usually means the more awesome it is).
While I’m at it, ‘realistic’ physics rarely help gameplay, or the feel of a game. I tried out the Force Unleashed demo on ps3 recently, and sheesh, did they forget to put gameplay in there? I mean, grabbing a stormtrooper and watching him flail about was fun, well, the first time. After I was able to clear out a room and get one guy left so I could actually appreciate the ragdoll instead of just getting grenades exploded at me, there wasn’t all that much left to do with him. But the camera follows them if you throw them really far. Because throwing baddies really far is epic. Apparently.
Less tech demo and more game, please!
P.S. Almost forgot, behold! Chuck and Norris!
Here’s something neat to start out my barrage of posts with. Every summer my grade school/grammar school’s men’s club does a summer cabbage ball program for the kids. It’s all over with now, but I had sponsored the team one of my younger cousins was on, so they got this on the back of their shirts, instead of the usual business card scans:
Close up of the logo on my cousin at bat:
And they’re orange! Woo!
Ever since I let it slip in World 2 that Fancy Pants Man was at one point in time planned as a fighter in Newgrounds Rumble, several people have asked me to somehow get him into the game, quite a few even going so far as to suggest that I make my own fighting game! Looks like enough people ended up spamming NegativeOne’s inbox, because he finally gave in and, yes, I finished Fancy Pants Man’s sprite sheet for Rumble.
To mark Rumble’s 1 year anniversary, and incidentally, Rumble’s winning of the 2008 Newgrounds Tank award, NegativeOne and I finally got the little guy into the game. It’s a definite clash of styles, but I think he’s a lot of fun to play as. So, NegativeOne, thanks for letting FPM be a part of Rumble (and sorry about all the code I used in his moveset! haha). Also, a big thank you to MindChamber for making the menu art assets for FPM.
As a warning, Newgrounds Rumble is rated teen for mild violence, mild text, and mild adult themes. It is, after all, a fighting game based on Newgrounds characters. Play Newgrounds Rumble here.
So, there’s the latest reason why I haven’t been updating my site. Well, that and I’m at Disney World, haha.
I was holding off on this to make sure everything’s right, and there were a few bugs left in the 1.5/1.6 update, but this patch should fix everything. Actually, I don’t think I mentioned the 1.6 update here, but it changes a lot of the platform and wall code so that the shell is now aware of ledges (will roll off them, bounce off them properly). I’m kind of glad that I figured that stuff out, though, I think it would work really well in the tile-based platforming engine I have lying around here somewhere…
Yeah, I know, I’m spending all my time fixing World 2 when I should be making new games. But think of it this way, if I spend so much time on the FPA engine, I pretty much have to make World 3… eventually 😉
Also, I have a really cool surprise for everyone that should be ready before the weekend 😀
(Hey, textboxes, how useful. Now I can post the embed code without the game being embedded. Have fun!)
Version 1.5 is released, gah, finally! If you’re a site hosting my game, grab the latest version from here, if there are any sites that you guys especially like, tell them to update, or give me their address and I’ll try to get ahold of them.
Next up on the to-do list: Standalone versions with full quality audio. Woo!
I’ve also been getting requests for FPA art lately, would anyone be interested in some icons, desktop wallpapers, or things like that?