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Jared Ramone Burks's blog

8:47 PM on 10.09.2013

Capstone: Weeks 5 & 6

Last week I got my HUD designs approved to be finished, then took on the task of designing the Main Menu and its functions. This week I focused more on the drawings of the functionality of the main menu.

Looking at it now, its seems pretty simple but it took a bit of feedback and revising for it to get to this point. And once again, since I am no artist, I only used a photo from an existing game as a reference for a template to lay out my designs(being the text/font/graphical placement and style).


8:29 PM on 10.09.2013

Capstone: The Rundown of Weeks 4 and 5

During this point in class we have left meta teams and now are working in feature teams which are composed of designers, artists as well as programmers to complete feature of the game in small separate teams. I've assigned myself to the UI feature team where I continue to work on the player HUD and UI. I have completed the drawings of the HUD for player health, experience, points, weapons and powerUps. Most of the time during these weeks I worked on the documentation of the functionality of the HUD and minor adjustments the the drawings like scale and added examples of in game powerUps(the health pack pickup).†


7:14 PM on 10.09.2013

Capstone: Weeks 1 and 2

For the first week in the Capstone of Computer Simulation and Gaming(CSG) my teams Obscure Fish and Abyssive Creations combined forces to create Abysmal Ninja. They met before hand during the summer to discuss the project we'd be working on for the 2 semester long course. Extreme Exterminators, the action novel by Paul Drankiewicz, is now being created into a soon to be hit, arcade style top down shooter by our development team. We broke the group up into meta teams, Design, Art and Programmers and started setting up technical requirements of each group, getting signed in with silcat and making the road map of the game as well as user stories for poker planning. Being on the design team, I was tasked with making a list of interactive in the game, such as health on the character, character controls, PowerUps, obstacles etc. and I also made the Input Layout for a joystick and Keyboard and mouse.

I also choose to design the Player's HUD and UI and worked on what it would look like using google draw. Please note that the game used in the background was only used for a reference image. I'm only claiming the HUD in the top left corner of the screen.

8:42 PM on 05.19.2013

Woflie's Big Adventure?!?

Well it has certainly been awhile since my last update. The news is, Crux has been delayed and set aside as a future project. The scope of the project was†apparently too much for the group to handle. With only a few short weeks left to go in the class, we would not have had anything†substantial to show off for portfolio night. SO, we settled on a simpler project, a 2.5 Dementional arcade style hack & slash sidescroller! Yes, that's a genre. Anyway, it involves a young wolf pup, the son of the Big Bad Wolf from the Fairy Tale story, Little Red Riding Hood. This pup, Wolfie, is out to get Lil Red and Grandma, and must defend himself against angry villagers.

I've been working on Creating Scenes in unity for our win screen, main menu, and game over(lose) screen. It was more complicated than I initially thought but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I was all finished within a class period. The part that really stumped me was getting the buttons in the right position of the screen based off the screen's width and height. That took the most time, with a lot of trial and error.

I was given the responsibility of creating the layout of the level in our game. I have done 2D level design once before when I was working with ObscureFish, but my skills are still under developed in that area, so the level is really basic. Of course, my original design wouldn't be fully†implemented† because of the amount of time left before we need to present our project. Either way, I got in a bit of experience working on levels. I enjoyed it while it lasted, perhaps I'll continue working in that area on my own and for future projects. With the help of Dan, we got my drawing of the level in digital form on a google doc online for everyone to see in class. And Jon turned the flat images into the 3D world we now have in our build. One thing I learned while working on level design is to not forget to SCALE my designs. Scale is one of the most important things when it comes to levels, or a game in general..I'll never forget that, and of course, to electronically map out my designs, or at least use graphing paper :P

I took the responsibility to create the health bars for our main character, Wolfie, and the boss/bosses we'll have in our game, Lil Red(Red riding hood), and Grandma. I've worked with health before in small projects on my own before, so I didn't think linking that with a GUI healthbar would be that much different...It wouldn't, but having never done it before, it could be a real pain. It took me about 3 days, doing research, and playing around with numbers in unity to figure out how to get the healthbars to look right, and function correctly(go down when player gets hit). I come in to class that next week, showing off what I had accomplished, only to be showed up by, the only true programmer we have in the group. What took me 3 days and 8 lines of code to finish, he did in a matter of minutes using only 2 lines of code! -_- Not to mention, I made 4 different variations of the same script, until I finally got it right. I'm not tripping over it though, because I learned a more†efficient†way of scripting, which is why I'm in school, right? Anyway, I was glad it got done. Now I just need to figure out how to make lives, *sigh*...

Everyone loves respawning, and that's why I made a respawn script! My first respawn script was written so that there was only one respawn point†half†way through the level once you've reached that checkpoint. After you died, you would spawn there†every time.† Given the simplicity of our game, it was†sufficient†in serving its purpose, but with the criticism of our lovely programmer, he brought to my attention that if we were to have multiple spawn points in our scene, my code would be incomplete. He then told me what a "master programmer" would do to combat this†scenario.†All I had to do was make it so when the player collides with a spawn point, it sets that point as the primary point to respawn at. Thus, making the script's function more dynamic, rather than just designating one specific gameObject to serve as a spawn point. It was simple enough to understand, and just as easy to code, minus a small "if statement" argument that I over-looked.

A lot of play testing was done this week, finding bugs, and getting a feeling for difficulty and game flow as a gamer. Except for a few scaling issues, enemy behavior problems, and being able to run to either side of the level and jump off into the abyss, the game seems pretty much finished. It could use some good arcade style music though. I'll be sure to bring that to the groups attention.   read

8:18 PM on 05.19.2013

D&D: Final Days

I learned about D&D, how to play, what it's like to be apart of a CO-OP tabletop game. Playing and Modding the Forbidden Realms helped me see how to keep things interesting, how each game plays differently. Not just changing numbers for stats, but giving different effects and cost to such feats, like a stun or you having to sacrifice a turn to perform an ability. It was different for me, having so much freedom in a game, let alone a tabletop game, playing out a scenario where I had to come up with a way to scale a giant wall. It was a good thing I was a Ghost-like Shadow character, and it was as simple as projecting myself to the top.

In the last days of this class, our group has been given the task of play-testing the other group's modded levels, characters, and campaign. Minus a few missing essential components, like speed of a character and initiative, their mod played out pretty well.   read

10:57 PM on 03.18.2013

Default BattleChef and Sliding Doors

Today in my D&D class, I continued to work on setting up the Default BattleChef class to level 15 with the Crustmen race. This is what we have so far:

Male Crustman BattleChef
Level 15
Representing Jared B

Strength 16 (+3)+2+1
Constitution 14 (+2)+2
Dexterity 12 (+1)+1
Intelligence 13 (+1)
Wisdom 14 (+2)
Charisma 11 (+0)+1
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200lb
Skin: Red
Eyes: Sliver
Hair: Black Spikey; Peach fuzz
Maximum Hit Points: 131

Surge Value: 8
Surges / Day: 10 [includes constitution modifier] † † †

Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares, Swim 7, Burrow 6
Vision: Low-Light

Initiative: 1d20 +1 = + 1 [dexterity]
Base Strength Attack: 1d20 +3 = + 3 [strength]
Base Dexterity Attack: 1d20 +1 = + 1 [dexterity]
Base Constitution Attack: 1d20 +1 = + 1 [constitution]
Base Intelligence Attack: 1d20 +2 = + 4 [intelligence]
Base Wisdom Attack: 1d20 +2 = + 2 [wisdom]
Base Charisma Attack: 1d20 +0 = + 0 [charisma]
Armor Class: 12 = 10 + †[2 Leather]
Fortitude Defense: 14 = 10 + 2 +2 [constitution]
Reflex Defense: 11 = 10 + 1 [Dex]
Will Defense: 12 = 10 + 2 [wisdom]


Acrobatics: +6 =1+ 5 [class training]
Arcana: +6 = 1+ [intelligence] +5 [class training]
Athletics: +11 = 3+ [strength] +5 [class training]
Bluff: +6 = 0 [charisma]
Diplomacy: +1 = 0 [charisma]
Dungeoneering: +2 = 2 [wisdom]
Endurance: +9 = +2 [constitution] + 5[class training]
Heal: +7 = 2+5 [wisdom]
History: +2 = +2 [intelligence]
Insight: +7 = +2 [wisdom] +5 [class training]
Intimidate: +1 = 0 [charisma]
Nature: +7 = +2 [wisdom]
Perception: +2 = 2 [wisdom]
Religion: +7 = 2 [intelligence] +5 [class training]
Stealth: +2 = 1 [dexterity]
Streetwise: +1 = 0 [charisma]
Thievery: +2 = 1 [dexterity]


†Culinary Master: You can use a spot check and if you find any plants or meat you can use it to create food. †Food weighs 1 pound.
†Boomerang Axe: †if using a throwing axe, †you may throw it at one or multiple enemies in 4 squares. †The Boomerang will return to you to performing another attack. †Initial toss- 1d6 + (weapon Modifier). Return 1d4 + (weapon Modifier)
Scavenger- Can gain health when adajacent from dead bodies D6 +Intelligence
†Food Slinger- Can send food to a player from within 4 squares. †Player getting healed uses a healing surge (or however clerics healing mechanics work)

For the Abbysive team, I have completed a new script for playing animations for SLIDING doors. This script differs from the other door opener script in that it is proximity triggered, rather than pressing a button. The door will slide open when in range, and stays open so long as you're standing in the area.   read

11:03 AM on 03.18.2013

Completed ObjectViewer script and Crustman's creation

Finally! I've finished the ObjectViewer script! ^_^ Added it to the build, fixed a camera issue where the camera wasn't looking at the object and was just zooming in(field of view). The solution to the problem was parenting targets(the player) and the LookAt in the Update function. Also I disabled the 3rd person camera javascript file and 3rd person character controller so you can't move while interacting with objects. The object viewer will be used for viewing clue items that give info but you cannot take with you, like signs, doors that you can't unlock, pictures ect...Saved the rotation of the item in the script, so when you rotate it while interacting with it, it returns to its initial rotation after you're done interacting with it. †Here's an example:

Starting the game

First interaction with item(cube); Zoomed in camera...

Rotating the object with my mouse while holding left click

Now interacting with an adjacent item

End interaction, and item's rotation is back to its initial rotation

In VICOM 133 I came up with ideas for new classes for our Forgotten Realms mod. The Scavenger and Scholar classes. I have yet to come up with the attributes, but for the scavenger I was thinking it would be a class for, well scavenging, finding seemingly useless items and crafting them into utilities that can aid the party. As for the Scholar, perhaps it will be a jack of all trades class, with the ability to learn and develop just about any skill or feat.

During the 7th week of 133, I made a Crustmen(Crab People) Race while the team was discussing ideas for creating new D&D Races. I Also was helping develop the BattleChef class that Paul D. came up with, as that was be the default class for the crustmen race in the mod for testing. Here are the stats for the Crustmen:

Character Size: Medium
Average Height: 5í ft 8Ē in -6í ft 2Ē in
Average Weight: 180lbs-250 lbs
Vision: Low-Light
Speed: 5 Squares, Swim 7, Burrow 6
Languages: Common
Ability Score: +2 Strength +2 Constitution or Perception
-BattleChef class because why not? Crabs/Lobster is a fancy meal and chefs cook fancy things like caviar and such.
Racial Traits:
Focus:Either bonus to defenses like a shield(still in development), or when in an encounter with only one enemy, gain +1 initiative.
- Arenít affected by crippling attacks(stuns) because crustaceans donít have a nervous system, so they donít feel pain.
- Vulnerable to Fire attacks and hammer weapons

Working with the Abbysive group this week, I have made a script to open doors, or play a door opening animation script. The animation will play, when the player in in range, and presses "E"   read

11:01 AM on 03.18.2013

Specter NPC and Zoom Script

For this week, in my D&D class, I've been working on creating my enemy NPC(non-player character) that I have named the SPECTER. As its name indicates, it is a ghost like character that takes on characteristics of a ghost or phantom. Here are the stats I've created for the Specter...

Size: Medium
Hit Dice: 2d10 + half of possessed host's HP
Initiative: 1d6
Speed: 5 squares
Armor Class: 7
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+8
Attack: Melee 1d4 + (1d6 + host's strength)
Space/Reach: 2 squares
Special qualities: Melee attacks against specters deal 1/2 damage when its not possessing someone/something.
Abilities: Strength(4), Det13, Con19, Int15, Wis10
Environment: Any
Possession:Being a spirit, spectors can possess either a player or NPC within range. Must succeed on a DC20(+dex) or player is possessed. This lasts the entire encounter and player suffers half the damage of specter's HP at the end of the encounter or specter's death.
Vanish:Specters can appear and reappear at will. DC14(-perception) is what you'll need to be ableto attack the specter or it is invisible to you for 1d6 rounds.
Fear:Specters are the essence of fear, and can manipulate your thoughts, causing panic to overcome you. Succeeding on a DC16(-constitution) will cause a player to deal 1/2 damage on attacks and cut movement speed in half for 2d4 rounds.

I also bumped my character to level 15 to play in our mod, because to play in the Forgotten Realms you must be lvl 15+.

In my classes working with Abbysive, I worked on the Object Viewer script more and added to Spencer's ItemNPC.cs and PlayerController.cs. The Object Viewer now zooms in on the item you are interacting with and you ca pick up the item and rotate it with the mouse.
Below are pics of what it the Object Viewer does.
This 1st one is just starting off in play

Pressed "E" to start interacting

Carrying the cube around; it is now attached to the player

Rotating the Item(cube)

Just showing the same interaction with a different game object

11:56 PM on 02.12.2013

That Week Three

Alright, so this week, I'm grieved to say I missed VICOM 133 and 129 :( I was very ill and couldn't make it to class on Monday. Given a summery on what went down, I guess for 133 my team played through another mission, where they barely made it out of a lair alive. Needless to say 2 out of the 6 fell in a trap hole, and 1 person got impaled but survived from the help of one of our elves, getting teleported out of the spikes. In 129 our class went over user stories, which are specific statements of what we want to be put into our game. Today in 130, which is the same class as 129 by the way...we continued to go over user stories and poker plan. Poker planning is a process by which our team votes on the complexity, doubt, and scope to determine the amount of effort that will be put into a certain feature in our game. It is then broken down into task for our meta teams(design, art, programming) to work on so we can start to build our product in the game engine Unity 3D. We finished up with that today and are now awaiting for tasks to be made by our team leads.

Our MATC mothership meeting was very short today, since all that needed to be discussed was campaigning for the leadership positions in the mothership organization. Voting will be held next week, then we can start to plan out our events and get that ball rolling this semester.

For the past week I've been working on the design for the HUD we will be implementing in our game. I have a mock up of what I think it will be like but this is only a sample. I need to discuss the design more with my lead and the product owner. As for 133, my job this week will be designing an enemy character for Dungeons and Dragons. Our team will vote on which enemy they think is the best between our teams' designs, and the winner will have the honor of making the boss enemy for our modded version of the game.   read

10:10 PM on 02.12.2013

Week 2

Ok so continuing from last week...In 133 I choose to be an elf cleric, being a hybrid healer and damage dealer. We started playing our first mission in D&D. With a team consisting of mostly ranged characters, healers and 1 melee fighter, our first mission was defeating 2 wolves and 2 goblins. These enemies were very over powered, and we got torn apart. Surprisingly no one died, but we all got a good feel of how the game is played and what to expect. In 129 and 130, we have been going through design aspects of the game, and figuring out what we are going to do for our sprint 0. I myself, trying to stay busy, made a piece of code for the player's camera. The function of the code is to zoom in on a specific object in the game, so as to get a better look at a picture or read a sign in game. It took me about 4 hours. 3 and a half of those hours went into researching the best way to go about the design, the rest of the time went into writing it in java, then converting it to C#. I'm much more familiar in java than C# but that is our standard for our project, and our gaming program in general so I'll do my best to write in C#. Other than that, our class has just been doing a lot of designing.

LORE of my D&D character:

† † † Dejar Rubks, son of Emjas and Skirten, Overseers of Melewauik, is an elf of great wisdom and strength. Melewauik is a city inhabited by races of all kinds, that share a common love for sport. Competing in hunting, gambling, and fighting are favorable events in this city, and the competition is fierce. Spending most of his childhood sheltered by the gates of this great city, Dejar used this time to study sorcery, hone his skills with a bow, and learn what it means to be Overseer of Melewauik. The position of Overseer is as being on a council; They make laws, and call the shots to maintain order in their land. Now as a young adult, Dejar has become a prime example for what an Overseer should be. At the time there are no seats open for a position as Overseer. One must wait until a member steps down from their seat, dies, or is impeached and then be recommended for a interview hearing. Feeling his skills and knowledge go wasted waiting for an open seat, Dejar leaves his home on a quest, to explore the continent in hopes to gain more knowledge and make his name known.

Short clip of what my code does:

Today was our first MATC mothership meeting, which is our student government for the Computer Simulation and Gaming Program. In Mothership us students get together and discuss what we want the CSG program to be like and voice our opinions about the program. We organize game tournaments and also put together meetings to talk with developers in the industry, for pointers and so they can give us a run down about what its really like in the industry. There are a ton of things we can do in and for mothership because it is run by us, the students. For now, we are asking for volunteers to be the president, vice president, and all that; I am running for secretary, to help organize events and anything else we do or need done. We will be voting and hopefully have our positions filled within the next couple weeks.

Game club is held right after our Mothership meetings on Tuesday from 5 till 9pm. In game club we just hang out and play games. Any and all games are an option, but a favored one we play is League of Legends. I am a fan of LoL and had to get in on this. So far we just play for fun, either against ourselves or party up against unsuspecting randoms and just faceroll. Its pretty fun and I see myself being apart of that every week.   read

10:09 PM on 01.27.2013


Hey there fellow gamers, long time no howdy. Where have I been the last 8 months you ask? Oh just living life and experiencing all the lovely challenges that come with it. My schedule became overloaded with school and work, so I took off last semester. That still doesn't excuse my neglect to my blog, but I lost the will to go on after my departure from school; A part of me died the day I left. I wish I would have quit my job instead, but we all can guess what would have happened then...Well that was then, this is now and the important part is that I'm back on track. As for my team Obscure Fish, they are all taking a break this semester, which gives me time to join up with the noobs in the program and catch up to them. Our program was set up this way, so in the next semester(this fall) both groups of students will combine making a super team.

While I was taking my break last semester, I was working at BestBuy, and doing some independent study on game development. I increased my knowledge of programming in C# and Java, the Unity 3D game engine, and learned how to implement the Kinect with games using the ZigFu pluggin I found on the interweb. These skills will no doubt aid me in this semester, especially in VICOM119, which is an interactive display design class for students with Design as their track. Yes, I've switched from game programming to game design. I realized that programming isn't really my MAIN thing. I found myself doing mostly design tasks in the past anyway, and that's what I really enjoy doing. I will still continue to learn programming though, because it is still a very useful skill in my field of work; Plus, game designers still have to either do some art or programming in projects.

This semester, class started on the 22nd, which was my VICOM129 class; a continuation of 110. I missed the first day because it was so cold my jeep wouldn't start! I even tried jumping the battery, no dice...Today, I went to the first class of VICOM130, which is a continuation of the production class, 115. VICOM 133 also started today. That is an intermediate game design class in which students play D&D and modify the game, to provoke innovation, experimentation, all in the effort to increase our design skills. I don't know what to think of it yet, because I have never played Dungeons & Dragons before. It seems so overwhelming; the class is 4 hours long and all we did was choose which classes and races we were going to play as. I'm sure it will be fun though.

So I went to 130 and met my new team ABBYSIVE STUDIOS, and they seem pretty cool. We basically discussed team roles, design, programming, and art, and talked about how the semester should go as far as making our game. Will are making a demo for an RPG, at least getting it to Alpha stage with the allotted 16 weeks this semester. My job this time around will be both programming, design with UI/HUD, possibly level design, sound and anywhere else that I'm needed. Pretty much I'm floating everywhere, and the only tasks I won't be touching is art, like 2D/3D modeling, animation, textures you know, that jazz... That's pretty much it for now, so learn you next time!   read

12:23 AM on 05.16.2012

A brief summary of the last month

So this is my last week of the semester at school. Tomorrow I'll be presenting all my writings, but before that I need to write about everything that's happened since my last post. For VICOM110 we our feedback on our design doc. Pretty much we just needed a lot more pictures of our game and reference images. Another week our class was given some pointers/principals to go by when working as a team and on our game next semester. We also had peer reviews last week, that's always fun; I have to really work on punctuality. VICOM115 Has really just been working on the edutainment(educational) game. I've mostly just been play testing and debugging on certain parts of the code Chris(teammate) made. I'm unfamiliar with "states" or C# in general so I haven't been doing much scripting, but I helped out where I could. One function I implemented was if you fall threw the map, you restart at the beginning of the level. The game is pretty much finished now, or it is "shippable" to say the least. All in all, I'd say I've learned a ton and had fun; can't wait to get started on our next project(s) next semester. One thing that I would change or would have done differently is work harder on the projects. Between work and my other 4 classes I was getting tired and lazy and didn't work up to my potential. Next time around I'll be a better student and team member, and I'll achieve this hopefully by taking less classes at a time and not overloading my work schedule. Lastly I want to thank all the members of Obscure Fish, and our instructor Emil; through them I'm able to continue on my journey to become, A POKEMON MASTER!!..when we finally get a commercially available pokemon mmo out there. I'll make a super glitched account with all level 100s and over 9000 health potions. But of course this is after my journey to become a game maker(pro)..until then, check out Obscure Fish'es website and buy our free game ObscureWhirl.   read

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