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6:44 AM on 07.20.2015

son of a bitch....

For the last few days, we have been trying to get the feel down for Finn and the overall "game-feel". We are getting there...slowly but surely we are getting there.

Today's blog is about what a pain in the ass it is to get the things to look right. SPOILER ALERT.....it's a mother fucker :)

I have another video to show off a little of the movement, since that is what people have been asking about. Before I show that though, let me tell you how much of a chore it is to get it to look right. 

One would think that all you do is plug in the code and viola....it works. LOL, ya right. Getting the sprites to play with each other is a bitch. When Finn jumps, he is supposed to look like this:

The first sprite is jumping UP...hair is supposed to flow. The next is when he evens out at the peak of the jump...again, hair flow. And the third is when he decends...once again, hair flow. What we have at the moment looks NOTHING like that. We have both been over the code time and again and finally gave up for the evening because it was making us prematurely bald.

What ended up happening was the jump animation somehow completely doesn't work....yet we have lift off.  >:|

This WILL be fixed WAY before anything else gets coded, so know that.

Again, keep in mind that this is a WIP and like I said earlier, I will most likely give Finn a re-design. I kind of just wanted to show off the fact that we have movement AND controller support. I have been testing everything out with my Xbox 360 controller.

That part makes me happy. Not only because I am NOT a fan of platformers with a keyboard, but because the USER will also be playing with a controller when it eventually makes it's way to consoles......but that's another blog for another day. So take a look at the video and as always thank you for even taking the time to watch/read.

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5:47 AM on 07.17.2015

(#⌒∇⌒#)ゞ

So, in the never ending search of things to make Riva "POP", I came across a nice little program called Sprite Illuminator.

I won't go into detail about this sweet ass program, but know that it has the potential to make your sprites stand out in a dynamically lit environment.....its bad ass. :)

Here is the sprite image that of Finn that I used to test it out:

And here is the result after a little tinkering:

Again, not a big blog update....but I thought that maybe you guys would like to see what I have been doing :)

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5:36 AM on 07.09.2015

Tiny glare at a WIP....

I finally got around to messing with the HUD.

Before I show you what I have please keep a few things in mind....

1) The music in the background is NOT mine. It will not be in the game...it just happened to be on when I turned on FRAPS.

2) This game is still VERY much in ALPHA. I understand that some of the textures look bland or out of place or in some places...unfinished....and Finn doesn't look right.

3) This was ONLY a test for the HUD...but in doing so I was able to capture a little bit of the parallax clouds in action for you all to see.

4) I'm very happy with the resolution that we chose. This is running @ 384x216....full screen mode, perfect 16:9.

anyway, here is a little snippet.

So there ya have it....what do you think?

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4:13 AM on 07.08.2015

Baaaaack in the saddle agaaain...

I was feeling really itchy and had to get back into some asset making for Riva. I have been working on a few things like arches and fancy looking shit and what not lately and it struck me...I haven't even given it any time into making the clouds and sky yet.

I figured..."how hard can it be to make a cloud?". The short answer is very easy......but it is took me a while to reach that answer and to yet perfect it. I created the following cloud/sky pic to show you what I was working on. I know that this isn't perfect but I'm still working on it.

Each cloud was created on a seperate layer and I turned the opacity down on each layer slightly more than the previous. I think that the motion blur may be too much...I dunno, I will check it out when I put it IN GAME. But for now, for the testing/alpha purposes...it will work.

Oh, each layer will also be set on a seperate parallax layer...ya know...to give it that depth.

Anyway, that was a little something for ya folks. As always, it's been a pleasure to share a little bit.

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4:28 AM on 07.02.2015

small status update...

I just wanted to let you all know that development on The Tales of Riva has been suspended since 6-21 till about sometime in the middle of July.

This does NOT mean that the game is in development hell or that it's silently being cancelled.

I am a father. In my eyes a good one. It is my time with my kids for a few weeks and with me working full time nights as well, I just think that it is more important that I spend what free time I have with them until their return home.

That being said, I still do dabble around in creating the art a little, but rest assured....THIS GAME IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

My senior coder, Brendon, has shown me more of what he has been working on. Personally, I am stoked. I can't really show anything at this point to you guys yet but thats only because I am a perfectionist. I don't want to show you guys a big bag of dicks.....know what I mean? I want your first impression to the game, in real time, to be one that makes you say "FUCK YES....THIS...I WANT TO PLAY THIS!" :)

In other news, I have slowly been turning my twins onto a little gem known as The Ocarina of Time. They love the game except for the fact that Link's hat looks dumb. LOL. Oh kids.... I can't wait until my 2 younger sons are into games.

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2:52 PM on 06.16.2015

A little peek...

After the feedback I recieved from both the last post and through PM, I wanted to put this out there.

The Tales of Riva is an ever evolving monster. The sprite work is ALWAYS being updated until I find that retro sweet spot. I am aware that some things aren't animated like they should be and, believe me, I am working on that. Don't be surprised if FINN gets an update or two before the BETA starts.


Now that THAT is out of the way...I recieved a great idea from RadicalYoseph to use this blog as a way of showing you folks a....behind the scenes, if you will, of the trials and tribulations that come with creating a video game.

For those of you who do not know, I am currently using GameMaker: Studio. When envisioning Project R, as it was called then, I wanted to make a 2.5D metroidvania in UED3. The whole of my adult game development was spent learning the ins-and-outs of the Unreal Engine.  I had a full working corridor map with textures and a player model, then known as CHIP, but things just didn't "feel" right. My modeling was NOT the best and it is frustraingly hard to find people who share the same vision as you. So I decided to look at other engines. This was almost 4 years ago.

After realising that the best way for me to tell the story that I wanted to tell was to go back to my roots and make this beast a tribute to the SNES glory days, I looked into a few sprite based editors. You would not believe how many options there are out there!

Finally I settled on GameMaker.

I then began work on creating a few tiles and a player sprite. You can see the early work of the sprite in the "SAVE" mock-up from the last post. Once I had those limited, but workable, sprites created I began to dive head first into the editor itself to create a room. Nothing big, just a room so that I could test out the functions in.

Thus began the headaches...

I could not for the life of me get the things to do what I wanted them to. I was so used to using UED that learning this damn editor was making me......angry. After FINALLY getting GameMaker to do what I wanted it to do (courtesy of Shaun Spalding) I started to get a little more complicated with my designs. The out-of-the-box editor is ok if you are just kind of slapping shit together, but I needed something more robust to help out. Enter GMARE.

This bad ass little tool takes the already established fundamentals of the GameMaker room creation and upgrades it 10 fold. With this new tool in my arsenal I was able to create the layered look that I desired with ease. From the ability to create LAYERS on the fly and actually NAME them so that I can know exactly what I am doing to exporting everything back into GameMaker like a boss, this soon became my favorite new tool.

GMARE is a very light program that doesn't even force me to have GameMaker open to do any editing. It is light (boots ridonculously fast) and works like a dream.


^^^^^^^^^^^^ ROOM EDITOR IN GAME MAKER

^^^^^^^^^^^^ ROOM EDITOR IN GMARE


As you can see, GMARE is a life saver.

One last thing before I go. In order to get in the spriting mood to help with the mojo, I listen to things like this:

.....it really gets the juices flowing. So that was my little peek into the inner workings of The Tales of Riva. In the coming weeks I will have video uploaded to showcase how far along the engine has come.

'Till next time friends....

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2:15 AM on 06.12.2015

Realising my dream...

I have been coming to this site for quite some time now and I have decided that it was about time that I started to give back a little.

That being said, I felt that this was the best site, for me, to use as my official blog for my upcoming game "The Tales of Riva".

This has been a dream project of mine for over 3 years now and I have finally started to make real progress. In all of my 34 years of life, I have played MANY games, but my favorite genre of has always been "metroidvania". After playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the old school NES as a child I knew even then that I could do better. Ever since the 3rd grade I have known what I wanted to do with my life....to create games.

I have been designing my own computer games since I was 14. Starting with modding out games like DOOM, Half-Life and Quake. Being able to create my own maps and textures was the start of what makes me ME. Moving on from there I started creating full on original SNES Final Fantasy style RPG's and the rest is history.

I attended college in Illinois for game development but realised very soon that the school was LESS than adequate. Reading horror story after horror story, I knew that working for a major game company was NOT for me (I'm looking at you EA). I knew right then and there that staying INDIE was the path for me.

I have had my hands in a few different projects with other teams over the years sincce I first started making games but nothing ever really came of it. Now, as an adult, I have the means and knowledge to do the things that I relied so heavily on others to do.

Together with my friend Tyler Moulin (Music & Sound Effects) "The Tales of Riva" is making progress and I am now ready to show you, the best group of outspoken assholes, what we are working on.

Before I get on with the visuals I wanted to give a little info on the game itself. I am calling this game a "megavania". What is a megavania? Take your normal tradition of standard metroidvanias and add a big ol' splash of Mega Man.

I know that I'm not really conveying what I am talking about but in the coming weeks you will see what I am talking about.

All I have to show you now are a few of the images that I have uploaded to my tumblr account already, but I will be posting here FIRST from now on.

Riva is influenced by the anime Full Metal Alchemist, Chrono Cross and the 'Vanias of the NDS era. I will release plot info at a later time, so as to not bog this down TOO much.

One final bit of info: the sprite quality and resolution are that of the SNES, IMO the apex of gaming. I went with a true 16:9 ratio resolution of the snes....no bullshit 4:3 black bar resolution here son!

1)  Here is an example of my saving system

2) Boss Door

3) Coming soon......

4) Started work on the text boxes

So there are a few samples for you. What do you think? 

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