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  1. @Rikifive Just my honest thoughts and what I learned from experience, hopefully it helps. I can definitely relate on juggling a job and irl matters all the while focusing on game development, in all honesty it can be incredibly stressful and sometimes it can ask too much of us. It can also be incredibly frustrating to not be able to deliver on certain things, be that lack of knowledge (coding, etc), or assets. It's a bit of a balancing act, but sometimes it's probably best to take a step back and reevaluate what you're doing and when necessary- compromise. It also largely depends on how you work though, find what's best for you. In terms of the end of G4, there may or may not be a dip in relevance, but it certainly will be the end of an era, but I find it's best to not see the show as a giver of deadlines as that's not the best for development without a clear-cut plan. Again, hope it helps.
  2. Spike’s Time Off Post Dev Log First order of business, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS PLAYED SPIKE’S TIME OFF! And to everyone who’s been following development, it’s great to have ya’ll around! Let’s put on some easy tunes while we go over everything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT9hLgjvGZ4 This was pretty much my entire soundtrack during development ============================================================== Thanks to ya’ll for getting it to the Newgrounds frontpage! And here’s some metrics to see how well it’s been doing! And that’s how it’s been doing up to the time this goes up! It’s really great to see it was able to reach a broad audience by being able to played on a browser. Despite my efforts in putting as many characters as possible, there was one pony I accidentally forgot to put in despite already making the sprite… Sorry Granny Smith, but if you were implemented, the old ponies’ side quest would’ve needed more assets. Speaking of quests, the quest design in this chapter of Spike’s point and click adventures took a bit of a page from open world design. Ultimately, you would only be able to finish either 2 of the 3 questlines in the game due to one questline requiring an item obtained from the end of another questline (you can tell I’m trying to avoid spoilers). But having access to all areas and being able to start any questline does create a sense of open-endedness, in which all questlines eventually tie together. Anywho, I hope that Spike’s Time Off put ya’ll in the mood for summer. Thanks everyone! Got a question? Contact me oates.pixels@gmail.com
  3. Spike’s Time Off is COMPLETE!!! Play it NOW at Newgrounds! https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/714724 Spike’s Time Off is a story-driven adventure game and is the third installment of Spike’s mundane adventures. Want to download Spike’s Time Off? WINDOWS http://www.mediafire.com/file/u9id0b830eng8ro/Spikes_Time_Off_WIN.zip Mac OSX http://www.mediafire.com/file/cbtip4zsbhaebdz/Spikes_Time_Off_OSX.zip Check out the past 2 games here on Newgrounds! https://sonicboy112.newgrounds.com/
  4. Spike’s Time Off Sizzle Trailer Check out Spike’s Time Off Sizzle Trailer below!
  5. Spike’s Time Off Dev Log #3 Happy Summer everyone! Got some good news here! Spike’s Time Off is content complete and will be hitting your computer screens soon! All that remains is to polish this bad boy up before delivery! But before I get back on that, let’s discuss a concept that makes a game stand out- its theme. Beyond just its purpose in the storyline, a game’s theme can be conveyed through other elements as well. Things such as UI design to gameplay elements can do a great deal in putting the player in the right mindset. For Spike’s Time Off, the theme is that of the “family vacation”. We even got a brochure for ya’ll to look at… Activities for their stay include relaxing on the beach… Trying new, exotic flavors… “Chilling” in the hot spring… and y'know, what usually goes down… Aside from the aesthetics, gameplay must also take into account user experience and what encounters they’ll most likely trigger. This largely depends on the type of game, but any immersive experience is seldom coincidental as the developer(s) are in charge of accommodating user decisions, should their expectations be set appropriately. An example would be introducing a mechanic one way, but failing to communicate that it can’t be used another way would skew the player’s expectations about that certain mechanic. Proper, but subtle communication can go a long way in establishing player expectations. Anyway, Spike and company have got some time off, but like in any video game, destiny takes no vacations Thanks ya’ll
  6. Spike’s Time Off Dev Log #2.5 And now… some things out of context…. Got quite a lot of assets done this past few weeks, but its mighty busy over here so can’t stick around for too long. Thanks
  7. Spike’s Time Off Dev Log #2 Howdy ya’ll, let’s talk about text and dialogue in game development. Specifically in how such elements are presented to help convey the story. In the Spike games and in Day Dreaming Derpy, text is predominantly displayed at the top of the screen like this, Basically just a standard textbox with a mugshot, typical for most rpgs. But break it down further and we got a good amount of design decisions to consider. Firstly, the font. Of course, the standard font RPGMaker first loads up is, while perfectly readible, clashes much with the aesthetic of the pixel art around it. Hence the obvious choice to use a “pixelated” font was made (Earth Momma seemed to fit best). Previously in rpgmaker VX Ace, the font functioned and looked as intended, but with rpgmaker MV’s larger scale and resolution, anti-aliasing becomes more noticeable and pixel fonts would lose their, for lack of better words, “crispness”. It was a bit hard to give a specific name to the issue I was tackling, so google search wasn’t too effective at first. But after some digging, certain solutions and workarounds presented themselves. Credit for this goes to the guys over at rpgmakerweb forums! Of course for those curious, the entire thread is still up for research. The issue isn’t permanently eliminated, but it allows for a more presentable format. Essentially the plugin removes the near-transparent pixels in the font, giving it an overall cleaner look closer to that of its appearance back in VX Ace. There was also the matter of adjusting the transparency tolerance somewhere in the general .js file too, but that applies to font that’s slightly more transparent- an unavailable option, for example. Next subject on the dissection of the textbox is the mugshot. Interesting thing about the mugshot is that it’s not always necessary and can be considered as purely a visual element. The mugshots in previous games however, have usually been able to change expression to make up for the lack of sprite animation during a cutscene. This primarily involved changing expression and the like. But to do so effectively, conventional artistic endeavors had to be done. Honestly, I hear various opinions on the art style for the mugshots (some high, some not so…), but I chose to go with the kind that accentuates the expression the most. The migration of these assets proved to be slightly more difficult when it came to MV, as mugshots are 144x144, thereby either leaving too much space around the head if the resolution was maintained, or too close up if the resolution was scaled appropriately. It was a bit of a dilemma, but to illustrate, here are Spike’s mugshots through out the games starting from Spike’s Day Off/Out to his look in Spike’s Time Off. With the steady increase in resolution, the importance of how concise the mugshot must be to properly fit in with the textbox’s look and spacing. You can see how the attention went from the entire bust, to the head and all its features, and finally to zooming in to just the face, Granted, the resolution creep could be avoided if I just drew up new mugshots, but for the sake of visual accuracy to the game series and to keep with the pacing of development, older assets are used. Next up, alternative presentation. I’m deeply sorry for the profanity, but it’s an amazing game. Textboxes can be situated in various places, and in the example above, Lisa the Painful and its other games utilize a unique approach with presenting text as it appears over whoever is talking, making it more definitive and closer to feeling like actual dialogue. The example above is an experiment with how such dialogue can be established in rpgmaker MV, and while it’s probably not completely superior to the complete mugshot-textbox arrangement, it does have its benefit in conveying information or flavor text rather quickly without the need for additional assets. Basically, striking a balance when using both is what would be ideal for Spike’s Time Off. Thanks for stopping by, if ya’ll made it through the blocks of text. Hope this gives an idea of the kind of obstacles that are tackled in game development. Interesting thing about everything mentioned is that it’s all research and information that was done some time earlier this month, which puts development pretty far ahead! But not too far, as there are still assets to be made and dialogue to be written. It’s still a pretty good time though! Deuces
  8. Spike’s Time Off Dev Log #1 What’s good ya’ll, summer is upon us and I’m sure many of us are raring to get their ‘vacation’ on. For those of us who work, I hope there’ll be some time to get your toes in the sand. To celebrate the season, Spike and company decided to take some time off. I would also like to share some development history on the previous Spike games and how they will contribute to Spike’s Time Off in terms of scope and technical specifications. Spike’s Day Off and Spike’s Day Out were both made in Flash CS5.5 and because of their proximity to each other, used basically the same infrastructure when it came to coding and work flow. Here’s a nightmarish look at what development looked like… Yeah, I totes had my own riggedy, proprietary system going on. But it largely came with many inconveniences, of which many programmers would look upon and weep bitter tears at. One of the advantages of revisiting an older game series is being able to improve on older assets in a 20/20 hindsight kind of way. A great example is Spike’s walk cycle. Spike’s Day Out Spike’s Time Off In Day Off, the cycle had one extreme arm frame but lacked another for the other arm. It also lacked dynamic head movement, unlike the current cycle which adds more bounciness to his spikes as well as a hop to his step. The same can be observed in Spike’s GET Animation: Spike’s Day Out Spike’s Time Off Another approach to the previous games’ technical specifications would be the game’s resolution. There’s actually a plugin that comes with RPGMaker MV that lets you change the resolution, but I used Yanfly’s Core Engine to achieve this. Default resolution is 812 x 624 while the previous flash games were 600 x 450. Luckily, the current resolution, 960 x 540 falls within the widescreen 16:9 ratio and happens to accommodate 3x the original sprite size, the same enlargement proportion used in the previous games. But this doesn’t always work as intended as MV’s tile size is 48 x 48, thus 540 px would support just over 11 tiles. This did cause some problems when importing the parallax map, however this was remedied by changing the resolution to 960 x 528, wherein the 528 supports exactly 11 tiles. Here’s a look at how this looks in MV now. It’s not a perfect widescreen resolution, but to capture the same look and feel of the previous games, small trade offs are required. It’s great to be back making games for you all and I hope that following these logs would provide some insight into what obstacles and matters are faced in game development. In truth, Spike’s Time Off is largely another personal game jam to help get familiarized with how RPG Maker MV works as it is an extremely helpful tool in prototyping and provides export formats with multiple operating systems in mind, enabling a wider player-base. As for Spike’s Time Off, ya’ll can expect it on newgrounds just like the last 2 Spike games for convenience’s sake when it’s done. Thanks for stopping by!
  9. Spike’s Time Off is the third installment of Spike’s mundane adventures coming Summer 2018! Play the previous games here: Spike's Day Off Spike's Day Out DISCLAIMER Spike’s Time Off is an UNOFFICIAL fan-made game. My Little Pony and its characters belong to their respective owners. PROGRESS COMPLETE!!! PLAY IT NOW! https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/714724 Want to download Spike's Time Off? WINDOWS http://www.mediafire.com/file/u9id0b830eng8ro/Spikes_Time_Off_WIN.zip Mac OSX http://www.mediafire.com/file/cbtip4zsbhaebdz/Spikes_Time_Off_OSX.zip You can follow frequent development updates here and at DeviantArt | Tumblr | Twitter
  10. Day Dreaming Derpy (Post) Dev Log #19 Sprites and Assets Download If there’s anything I’ve learned from programming and making games, it’s that shared resources available to the community are, essentially invaluable to both those who wish to improve upon projects and those beginning to learn the craft. I believe I discussed this WAAAAY back in this dev log’s infancy- that those interested in all steps of the game development process could take a look at this, post-by-post and see what would potentially lie ahead. I am, by no means, a professional, but making your own game isn’t as beyond common understanding as most may think. After all, there are plenty examples in the market today that serve as proof of that very thought. So in the interest of helping future developers and for those who want to poke around the game’s files, I’ve compiled all the game’s assets as well as the game’s RPGmaker project file in 2 handy .zips! Sprites and Assets RPGmaker Project File Go crazy everyone! And just to give an idea of how beefy these files are, here’s a little preview of just how many regular, major character sprites I’ve made for Day Dreaming Derpy. Hope you don’t mind the mild mess some of the files are organized in. Thanks everyone!
  11. Day Dreaming Derpy Dev Log #18 Post Release Update and THANKS What the hell have I done… One year of development and a season of MLP later, Day Dreaming Derpy went from a weird fanfic in my head to a full-fledged game… with mechanics… and nuances showcasing subversive JRPG design… and a gameplay formula that reinforces the role of a struggling single parent within the world of magical horses.. Yeah, I didn’t know that could work so well, but here we are. So post-release dev log! For the bugs! For those who have v1.0, there was a rather poignant one that replayed certain cutscenes near the end of the game, thus letting certain party members to follow Derpy outside their intended area. It is essentially harmless as it doesn’t affect gameplay on the first playthrough. But to tie things up, the v1.1 patch can remedy that if it causes any problems, however it isn’t necessary as the full game can be experienced without it. For Mac-users! It’s probably pertinent to mention that since the file that contains the game is an .exe, you wouldn’t be able to unpack it normally- the same goes for the RTP that is required to run the game. There are, however emulators that can help you play on Mac (I believe a reliable one is Wine). As for future bugs, feel free to report more to me if encountered! It will only help make a smoother experience for future players. Didn’t think it’d be here so soon, but I really want to take the chance to say THANK YOU to everyone who’s taken the time to download, comment, and even look up Day Dreaming Derpy! It was a great learning-experience from start to finish and it’s amazing that it’s gotten this big! Also BIG thanks for the all the music provided by the talented individuals who volunteered! I’ve linked them before but I’ll link them again here. Check them out! CassettePone (Joel Basar) TheNGVirus - thengvirus.newgrounds.com thengvirus.bandcamp.com KaminaKat - www.youtube.com/user/KaminaKat/ kaminakat.deviantart.com Thank you all for the opportunity. Now for future plans… honestly anything’s possible, but I will need to take five before throwing myself back into the fire again. However, I would like to continue making games and other quirky doo-dads for you all.
  12. Day Dreaming Derpy v1.1 patch Just wanted to put out a quick v1.1 patch! It fixes minor issues exclusive to the endgame, but doesn’t affect anything before that. The save files from v1.0 WILL work with this don’t worry about losing progress! ========================v1.1 changes================== -Lightside of the Moon, cutscene initiate after boss fixed -Final boss EXP increase Thanks!
  13. Day Dreaming Derpy v1.0 is COMPLETE!!! I’m glad to announce that Day Dreaming Derpy is now COMPLETE and available for download at rpgmaker.net! After a year of juggling life, work, and responsibility- Day Dreaming Derpy is now complete and ready to be shared with the world. I hope you enjoy what I have created. ==========TO PLAY, JUST DOWNLOAD THE NEW .ZIP FILE============ *** SAVE FILES FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO WORK WITH v1.0 *** *** I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING SAVE FILES FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS WITH v1.0 *** *** BUT IF YOU DO, BE WARY OF POTENTIAL RIFTS IN THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM *** ==========DOWNLOAD THE ORIGINAL OST ON BANDCAMP =========== https://oates.bandcamp.com/album/day-dreaming-derpy-ost ============================================================== ===BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE RTP FOR VX ACE BEFORE RUNNING=== http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/download/additional/run-time-packages ============================================================== The following is v1.0 completed version of Day Dreaming Derpy. If you find any glitches or bugs, feel free to let me know! Thank you for letting me share this with you all!
  14. Day Dreaming Derpy Trailer (v1.0 Early 2018) It’s gonna happen everyone! The full game (v1.0) of Day Dreaming Derpy will hit your computer screens early 2018! It’s been quite a year, but I’m glad to be bringing this to ya’ll soon! Special Thanks for Music: CassettePone (Joel Basar) https://thengvirus.newgrounds.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/KaminaKat/
  15. I recommend scaling by whole numbers like x2 or x6 so the pixel proportions and image would be preserved. Doing it by decimals often transforms the pixels in unfavorable ways Good luck!