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Lone Star Blog


Upgrades and Bug Fixes

Posted by Emzee , in Game Dev Aug 07 2013 · 143 views
power lies beneath and 2 more...
My Character Controller system, a vital asset that I use for my game mechanics, got a big update last week, and I decide to take the plunge and try integrating the new version into my current project. It's not going to be easy, and it's probably not going to be fun, but the new features that the new version has has way too many advantages to pass up. Not only will it make developing the player character much easier, I'll even able to add some new tricks that the player will be able to do.

In other news, I did a test build on my first level and discovered that there are some rather disastrous glitches in the build of the game that aren't present when testing inside the Unity engine.

That... could be an issue.

I have one idea to fix this bug and I hope it works. Otherwise, it will probably call into question the integrity of any features I implement. Exporting a build takes a lot of time, and this project won't work if I have to do that after every new feature.

Other than that, Power Lies Beneath is moving at a steady pace.


BrickFair 2013

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Aug 06 2013 · 193 views
It was awesome and weird* and refreshing. The con featured great MOCs, great presentations, and great people. It was a pleasure meeting all you. Special thanks to those who came up to say hi to me. 
I'm still kinda tired since I got in very late and had to continue my job today. Caffeine is keeping me in good shape for now though. Back to normalcy, I guess.
*=in a good way of course


Fan Created Games Contest Entries

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Jul 29 2013 · 136 views
monster contest
So... you guys are all still working on yours right?
It's a little less than two weeks until the deadline, so you still have time. But yeah... hopefully there will be lots of cool ideas come August 9th. 


War is Coming

Posted by Emzee , in Game Dev Jul 25 2013 · 103 views

  • kongu
  • Cc
  • ring menu
  • throw projectile

It's been awhile since I posted an update on my upcoming Bionicle game. During the period of silence, I've actually gotten a lot of features completed (though they're still virtually all core game features). Anyway, I just thought I post some updates to my project. Check out this entry to learn more about what I'm working on.
Character Customization System
You can probably guess what this does. In Power Lies Beneath, players, upon creating a new character / save file, will be able to choose their character's gender, name, primary color, secondary color, mask color, and mask shape. I may put in other customizable parts like arm and leg type, but these would take considerable amount of work, so we'll see. Also, you can zoom in/out and pan the camera to get a good view. Lastly, the character will do some sword movements to give an idea of how he/she moves.
Spinning Main Menu
If you've played Secret of Mana, then that's pretty much what you can expect the main menu to look like. Five or so icons rotating around the camera. It's one of the very few scripts that managed to be carried over from Influx (that's one of the main reasons that I'd like to keep it, plus it looks cool). 

Dialogue System
Dialogue in this game will be simple. Player says something, NPC says something, then player says something, etc. This is an action adventure game, so the branching dialogue isn't really needed, except perhaps exposition. Though I would prefer to do almost all of my plot-explaining through discovery of objects and clues, with some slide shows here and there for massive events that took place in the early days of the Bionicle universe.
Ranged Combat
Your character, lacking any innate elemental powers, must use the objects on the mysterious island of Mata Nui to his advantage. Among these objects is the Madu Cabolo fruit. For enemies who are difficult to fight up close, you can simply throw an exploding fruit at it using the same "sword attack" key, but with your sword sheathed. Also, enemies can shoot their own balls of dark energy. That script has a couple glitches that need fixing though.
Bionicle-themed GUI
I've been taking pictures of my own sets in order to incorporate Bionicle set pieces into the menus and GUIs, like in the cancelled PC game. So far, it looks goooood.*
*Not quite good enough to post yet. Still needs more pieces.
More Sound FX
As per my last entry, I need snag some free-to-use sound FX for the character and enemy's actions (e.g. unsheathing sword, shooting poison blob, throwing madu fruit, walking).
While this may seem like a lot of progress (and it certainly felt like that), all of these accomplishments are, in fact, a mere drop in the bucket in what's needed before I release the public beta. There's still so much to do, but the fact that I'm making semi-consistent progress is really helping me stay motivated. 
Right now, I'm working on two major things:
A Complete Walking, Talking NPC Matoran
So far, unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to custom script each and every NPC if I want them to do more than just walk in a circle, which I do. Very much. Ideally, every moving NPC in the game will have places to go and people to see, like in MNOLG2. Otherwise, they'll be behind a table or inside their huts. The pathfinding system I have set up works. Now it's just a matter of programming exactly where I want my Matoran to go, and what that Matoran will do when he gets there.
Addition Enemy AI features like dodging
Honestly, the dodge / deflect mechanism is really the only big thing I need for this enemy AI script. Outside of some glitches and animations that I need to make. The enemies in this game are almost complete. The dodge mechanism won't be very complex at all. I intend to mostly use random values along with a little bit of logic (e.g. it the enemy's at a corner or near a cliff, don't bother dodging, but deflect if possible). 
Most of my attention is being given to this NPC Matoran (who is Kongu -- he'll likely be the first Matoran you speak to in this game). I want to know what all it takes to get this character operating like it should. Hopefully I'll be able to use at least some of it for a template for other NPCs. 
Lastly, I'm doing more storyline stuff. I may have to change the synopsis slightly when it's all done. Basically, I want Power Lies Beneath to have no ties to my past games. There's no point.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading these updates, and I'll catch y'all later!
Visit my Gallery to see the screenshots!


Fan Created Games Contest YES!

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO, Game Dev, Uncategorized Jul 21 2013 · 112 views
My home forum is finally getting another contest if its own. And guess what? You don't even need to be a programmer or an artist! No, the entries in this contest are going to be detailed ideas for games that (if they're BIONICLE) will probably never get made. (Of course, OTC game ideas are allowed as well, but make sure those go into the OTC forum). 
Here's the link to the advert topic.  The only thing I can say now is that this contest really needs the skills of non-FCGers in order to work. If you written up an idea for the RPG Contests, what I expect for this contest isn't terribly different (mostly that it's not text-based and that you can't edit your entry once it's posted). 
Putting this entry in all three categories because YEAH!
SIE SIND GERMAN GERMAN GERMAN (that's German right? Or is it Spanish? ;) )


In Case You Haven't Heard

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Jul 17 2013 · 180 views
brickfair, lego convention
I will be attending Brickfair in two weeks, from Friday to Sunday (I leave Monday morning). I look forward to putting many names to faces, as well as seeing Chantilly set the bar on LEGO conventions once again. 
You will likely find me either with Black Six's crew or the BZPRPG crew, or both, if we merge, haha. I hope to meet everyone who's attending sometime that weekend! 


Brick Fiesta

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Jul 06 2013 · 88 views
dallas, lego convention, texas
... was awesome! I'll just put that out there right now.
I'm going to do a full write up of everything I remember from my few hours in the Mesquite convention center tomorrow. Hopefully it can get posted on the front page along with my pictures.
Until then, good night. 7+ total hours of driving with no one to talk to. I'll take a break tonight. 


Ninjo Appreciation Day

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Jun 25 2013 · 135 views
ninjo, awesome admin
I don't mind this being a thing.
Thanks Ninjo, for setting the bar high. :) 


Brick Fiesta Announcement

Posted by Emzee , in BZPower and LEGO Jun 22 2013 · 131 views
brickfiesta, texas
Hello BZPers,
If you happen to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on the weekend of July 5th - 7th, I recommend making a visit to Brick Fiesta. I will be there on the public hours on Saturday (around 10:00 am and leaving at 4 PM). I believe Toaraga also is planning to be there. You'll know it's me because I'll be wearing one of the BZP shirts that I own. 
Definitely consider it, if you have an opportunity to attend. More info on Brick Fiesta is here


A Lesson in More Money Than Time

Posted by Emzee , in Game Dev May 16 2013 · 109 views
fantasy ai, new game
Hello everyone, I'm back with another entry.
I never thought that I would get to this point, but I can't say that I'm surprised. Since I started working last year, I have been able to get a steady cash flow, which means that I can set some income aside for savings and for feeding my hobby. This has led to me buying assets that I normally would not have purchased (mostly graphical assets, but sometimes I do spring for robust coding solutions like this AI code package that I bought).
Obviously, this income requires a lot of my time, so I don't have the free hours I once had trying to hack together an AI system or a 3rd-person character system. And that's just coding! There's still all of the modeling and animating that has to be factored in (fortunately, thanks to old friend Mihunai I don't have to do that much 3D modeling. Hope to see you around the forums again someday!) 
So, I thought I'd share a visual of my progress since my last entry. The bare, bare basics of the combat system are done, there's still a lot to be done though, including:
  • New and accurate sound FX (the ones there came with the AI package)
  • possibly altering the enemy's AI (right now it just looks a little awkward, though that may actually be due to the size of the monster. I have no issues shrinking certain Rahi to make things more smooth)
  • Graphical indications that a character has been hit (e.g. sparks, color flash)
  • A "death" (the Rahi's actually just disoriented :P ) sequence for the enemy. The player model already has a death sequence that isn't shown in this video.
  • An actual HUD
  • Other aesthetics that will come during the polishing stage of development. 
I almost didn't want to post this video because it's not that impressive, but then I looked at the combat video for my original 3D project, Influx. That video doesn't necessarily look worse (it has a lot of things that this video doesn't yet have), but some things like the player characters animation really highlight the need for buying solutions (as I know that natural looking animation isn't my thing). 
Check out my website's home page to see all three of my videos and make your comparisons between the first two and this one I just made. 
Next on my agenda, I plan to do much of the tasks that I listed above. Further down the road, I will start on the trap laying system or the NPC dialog system, whichever one is easiest. :P Thanks for reading!

My Bio

Age: 24
Gender: Male
Location: Austin, TX
Favorite color: Cyan
Occupation: Software developer
Games I'm current playing: TES: Morrowind
TV shows I'm watching: House of Cards, Community, 24: Live Another Day
Interests: Bionicle, Ninjago, Game Grumps, RWBY (Rooster Teeth in general), assorted genres of music (electronica, alt. rock, classic rock, instrumental, classical, and hip-hop), music composition/remixing, programming, and game development.
Attended Brickfair VA 2009 and 2013, Brickfair AL 2012, Brick Fiesta 2011 and 2013, Bricks Cascade 2014
Also attended PAX East 2013 and RTX 2014.
Lactose Intolerant
Pumping more iron than I probably should
Actually a liberal arts guy who just majored in Software Engineering

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