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Working on: Day 1001 (33) - Fall 2011 in Pics (59 / 110) - Zuma Blitz - Fall 2012 in Concepts (64 links)
Team: Americana Dawn (as Lead Programmer)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shop GUI v2

GTG's shop in AD: Foundations Tech Demo, design board. Jelly returns.

Almost a year after the menu pages were added, they were revamped in order to take advantage of the higher resolution of the game. The shop GUI was modified to look a bit more 'colorful', and to actually show an item description instead of requiring a keypress to switch between your inventory / compare screens. The former is used for selling items, and there's now a separate tab for that. Only things now on the right is item information, what characters can use that item, and how many is in their inventory, as well as their carrying capacity.

There has been debate between the team regarding item information; the one used in the base game only shows charge / recoil with three speed values, apparently damage is irrelevant on their end because I don't know. Might be informative enough for action RPGs when you're sending so many attacks their way you don't need to know exact values, but in a turn-based RPG, each of your moves count, and a couple of mistakes almost certainly ends with a party wipe, sending you back to your last save (although I've heard the game would be a bit more forgiving than this).

For the latter, the comparison feature was removed. In other RPG games a simple up/down was used since the only main feature of weapons and armor is increased attack / defense later in the game. But there's really no way to determine if certain effects are better or not, since average damage does not increase significantly over the course of the game. It's the player's job to determine those tradeoffs.

Inventory space is not really an issue anymore, since it is set to an arbitrarily high value (such as 1000), and item usage in battle is limited to what your party can hold, so you can only bring a handful of items with you into battle.

Item Description: Four lines should be enough to display stuff about the item. Maybe not enough for witty humor, however. (The description itself may change since it breaks the fourth wall and makes a reference to the fact that Jelly could be bought in only two colors when it was listed in the Etsy store seven months ago, despite screenshots showing them in other colors. I attempted to buy them via other means, without success.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chinese Culture Camp, Round 4

The fourth year of Chinese Culture Camp. Same as usual, with the addition of female lion dancers and a new buiding available for classes. Unlike other years, I was only present in the morning, so I didn't make the end of camp slideshow.

I feel like the camp needs to be longer (both time-wise and length-wise), as 40 mins seems a bit short, and no Lion Dance classes past Beginner level are taught... there are repeat students. And they should also raise the grade level up a bit (right now it's K-6), because there's more counselors (Grade 7+) than campers, they could offer more advanced courses, and those lions are... quite heavy.

No article about this year's camp on The Record, though it was mentioned a month prior.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is imo one of the more interesting exhibits in Balboa Park for its cost ($3 for students, and up to $8 for others). The exhibits are actually pretty large and detailed, considering it takes around a minute to walk from one end of the train exhibit to another. And there's six of them...

There's a second floor that is accessible on busier days, when more volunteers are around. It wasn't open when I was there, though.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Americana Dawn: Beta Testing + Download

After a bit over 15 months of development (at least since I came in) I'm ready to release a pre-beta version of Americana Dawn.

I was originally opting for a closed beta instead, but I am not in control of the game pages / Kickstarter so I cannot release it only to beta testers, so I will consider fans who view this page as the test audience.

I know it's not fully ready, but it's not my style to hold the fans back with 'a work in progress' pictures and artwork while they wait several months (or more) for a polished beta, especially when the game was completely reworked at least three times already over the past three years. (It is interesting to note that out of all the posts on the official game pages, only one or two are actual in-game screenshots, despite the fact it was possible to build maps for at least six months.)

Read before downloading:

  • Maps are loaded in the by downloading the individual map and dragging it into the game window to load it. Only alpha / beta versions of the game will be able to do this, and only beta maps can be loaded using this method.

    This was done since maps can change frequently and I didn't want to require testers to either have to redownload the entire (12MB+) game package or replay through the game just for a few map changes, unless it was necessary. It also avoids some potential spoilers for having parts of the game presented out of order.

  • The maps in the directory are the author's original maps or edits of official maps and are not representative of the game or the demo itself. Updates to maps can occur at any time.
  • A lot of music and sound is not present, because they were not finalized. Some maps may have errors when loaded directly since they were not intended to be loaded in that manner.
  • The battle system is currently under construction (it is map based, not engine based).
  • Menus are incomplete because they will be revamped in the near future.
  • Send questions / feedback to the beta testing page or comment below.
  • Below links will not expire when the beta is released, however demo / release version maps cannot be opened with the tech demo.


Americana Dawn Beta Builds + Pre-Alpha Maps

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

End of Asparagus Festival

Turning away from it, for the last time.

According to a news article, the Asparagus Festival will no longer be occurring.

Except on two occassions (this year included), I have personally attended the asparagus festival each year since 2004. Admission prices were raised 60% during those years, and I have seen most of the booths / things had to offer there (including running the Spear-It run and volunteering in the deep fried asparagus booth). Only thing I didn't do, however, was the zipline, which was introduced this year.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

End of Cunningham

Over the past six months at Delta College, Cunningham center closed down... and went through a process of being fenced, scaffolds around it, covered up, and eventually torn down. They're expected to finish by this Fall. A new building takes its place instead.

I didn't get a last look at the place before it did, but I did manage to see the planetarium during the few times it was actually open, and went to the computer labs during HS (which those computers were large, had CRT monitors, and computers had floppy drives). And took classes in this area. And where I notably met KY at.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Braddock Cutscene

The Braddock Cutscene in Americana Dawn is one of the first cutscenes that I made independently based on specification sheets. It's now unlisted due to a majority vote (out of two others). Despite the fact it is a draft and there is no sound to it, there are reasons why I am displaying it here:

  • It is 'unofficial' material. Since I am uploading this (and not Bit Bonton, which is run by someone else), it cannot be considered official. Additionally, there isn't a non-disclosure agreement on releasing material, so I am free to put this up.
  • There is (currently) no other video of gameplay or such of the game, the only videos that exist were that of the soundtrack; Previously there were clips of the the version before, but they were all removed.
  • This should be sufficient proof that this was from a game engine, and not created with Photoshop (like most other images).

The version seen here has some reworked dialogue compared to the original script, to make it flow better and to adapt to the timings of the map (centering on Braddock as he moves rather than having the background move diagonally infinitely while it's waiting for a button press from the player to advance the dialogue), and accurately portray when a character is suddenly interrupted.