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Topics - AdamAtomic
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General Discussion / Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)
« on: September 11, 2007, 04:02:08 am »
[First off, my apologies, as I am copy-pasting this from another forum, but this seemed like a tablet-rich deposit of Wacom users and game players and friends, so, here we go!]

A couple years ago I had an idea for what I thought might be a fun like Popcap-type game, sort of Pictionary meets Space Invaders or something?  But I never really got around to building the prototype like I wanted, and then the Nintendo DS came out...and suddenly I thought maybe this game might have a home now.  So, much much later, I started coding the prototype, and I think I've gotten it to the point where its somewhat testable!

So, yeah!  Basically you draw copies of the "viruses" that come down those lines, and you hit the upload button to shoot them up and take them out.  You can also reprogram viruses to do your bidding, depending on the missions etc.

The Nintendo DS window dressing is there because I am planning on pitching this game in Q1 08 in the hopes of getting publisher backing to become a real DS developer.  If anyone here has insight about this process, I am VERY interested to hear it!

A few notes for anyone who tests this out:

1 - Thank you!  This is a weird game, and I'm having a heck of a time getting the difficulty curve where I want it.  So, thanks :)

2 - As this is being designed for stylus-oriented play, trying to interact with it using a mouse or a touchpad or a keyboard nubby is very, very hard.  Basically imagine playing Trauma Center with a touchpad.  I do not recommend it!

3 - This is a functional but WIP prototype with NO fancy animation, NO real artwork, and NO special effects.  Basically I want to make sure the game is fun and addictive BEFORE there are explosions, screenshakes, sound effects, and nice bright colors.  I figure if I can get it to that state then I've got a winner on my hands (or I hope so anyways)

5 - The first screen of the game has 6 missions on it.  The 2 missions marked "BUGGY" are just that; buggy.  Or more appropriately, simply incomplete.  I have a few more features to bang out over the next week or so while I continue tweaking the difficulty etc.

6 - Right now I am mainly interested in the level of difficulty for the first 4 missions.  Do you feel like they are boring/too easy?  Unfair and too hard?  I really want to get that part of it right!  However, any other thoughts or questions you have I'd be happy to hear/answer/etc.

7 - No, this is not the "complete" game.  The final demo will feature a simple overworld-type area where you can walk around and talk to folks and get missions, buy upgrades for your terminal, etc.  There may be more missions in the demo but there will be at least these 6.

8 - If anyone is actually interested, the game's story is a kind of shonen-jumpy type hacker story.  You play as a female high school student who is a preternatural hacking phenom.  Scouted by a counter-espionage government agency called the ESD, you begin your career as a professional hacker for the good guys.  But all is not as it seems...

Ok, that is all I can think of right now.  Oh!  Except for the link to the game :)

Anyways, thanks again!

Challenges & Activities / Mockup Frenzy #2: Ninjas!
« on: September 04, 2007, 10:21:58 pm »
Mockup Frenzy #2: Ninjas!

Resolution: 240x160
Colors: 64
Start Day: September 4th, 2007
Deadline: September 17th, 2007
Notes: Ninjas.  We all know that they flip out, cut heads off, etc.  But what about their free time?  Do ninjas have hobbies?  Pets?  Friends?  What is a ninja's worst enemy?  Tackle the ninja from whatever angle you want in September's first Mockup Frenzy!

Is this your first Mockup Frenzy?  Why not check out the rules & results from Mockup Frenzy #1: Mobility!

Finished Entries:

AlienQuark, CroM, Earthpainting:

Kren, Arachne:

WIP Entries:

Joe, halu, bengoshia:

Awesome job everybody!

Challenges & Activities / Mockup Frenzy #1: Mobility!
« on: August 15, 2007, 08:40:49 pm »
Welcome to Mockup Frenzy!

progFX had a great idea a few days ago:

I think most people would have to agree that mockups and/or game sprites seem to be the most popular submissions on the boards, and personally I find them the most fun thing to pixel. My idea for a weekly event would be to have people create game Mockups based on the current topic, and (Possibly) even have a set pallet or game type ie: Platformer, Shooter, RPG, etc. Just thought I would through out the idea, would be a nice thing to look forward to each week, and having a week to work on it would also be quite nice.

Mods and various other users agreed, and the Mockup Frenzy was born.  But wait!  What's a mockup?

A mockup is a fullscreen piece of pixel art that represents a "screenshot" of a video game.  Great examples include but are not limited to:

Artwork by Kenneth Fejer, Gary Lucken, and Kenneth Fejer respectively

The most important thing to notice is the attention to detail - GUIs, clear game mechanics, enemies, tiles, etc.
A good mockup can tell you more about a game than 10 pages of detailed design document!

So, every two weeks, we'll put up a new set of guidelines for mockups, including but not limited to:

1 - Size
2 - Palette/Color Limits/Platform
3 - Subject Matter/Play Style

After 2 weeks, all the submissions will be gathered into the first post of the thread for easy viewing, and a new set of guidelines will be posted in a new thread.  There is no voting, no winners, no competition except how great a job can YOU do.  Members will be welcome to submit entries after the 2 week deadline, but there could be massive delays in when those entries are rolled back into the first post collection of submissions.

Finally, please only submit NEW works to the Mockup Frenzy.  New works means ideas you started pixeling after the start date.  I think that's about it!  If we think of any more "rules" we'll be sure to add them.  Otherwise, have fun pixeling!

Ah!  One final note regarding the deadlines: we will collect the entries the day after the deadline.  We will try to do this late in the day, but because the moderation staff lives all over the world, it is conceivable that entries COULD be collected very late in the day on the deadline itself, depending on staff schedules, etc.  If you want to be absolutely positive that your entry is collected, then please post it early in the day, or even the day before.  Especially since there is no voting and no "winners", we will not tolerate any deadline-related whining!!

Thanks very much to everyone who chipped in ideas for this activity, and I look forward to seeing everyone's entries!

Haha, I just remembered something else.  Please post all finished entries to THIS thread.  Also, for now, you are welcome to post WIPs here or in Critique if you want help with specific facets.  I'd like it if we could keep this thread pretty informal and loose, since its not a competition and we'll be collecting the entries at the end anyways.  Thanks!

Mockup Frenzy #1

Mockup Frenzy #1 is a cell-phone themed session:

Resolution: 128px wide by 160px tall
Colors: 31 colors + transparency
Theme: "One Button" play
Start Day: August 15th, 2007
Deadline: August 31st, 2007
Notes: The theme this week is optional, but a fun challenge I think!  "One Button" can mean a few things.  In the strictest sense, it means that most cell phones can not detect more than one concurrent button press.  Plus, people usually just play with a thumb; so your traditional run+jump is pretty hard to pull off.  However, there is an emerging subset of games that primarily operate with just a single button press; see this handy link that Feron looked up for more ideas:

As this is the very first Mockup Frenzy, you are welcome to post any questions or concerns in this thread as we get underway :)

The Entries

Xion, sharprm, MaDsk8tard, Ryan Cordel, KAT:

Ian, Feron, Feron, Zach, Delgneith:

Noveroth, Judas, RhysD, infinity+1, elise:

ego, Schu, Arachne, yueprofile, Xion:

Helm, Dusty, ceddo:

am_pm, xavier_viiv, OzBlueShoes:

Pixel Art / New Mobile Game Finished (2 of them really...)
« on: May 01, 2007, 02:25:53 pm »
We just recently wrapped up the art direction for 2 more mobile games.  The first is a side-scrolling "siege"-style game.  You start out with a dinky tiny little bunker, and you are able to upgrade it and build on it as you proceed.  The tower doubles as a menu, with each layer being labeled and containing a graphical display of what action/power/weapon you'll be activating.  So here is what your tower might look like:

The bottom layers have both been fully upgraded, while the 3rd floor is still at the lowest level.  The top floor and the turret have both been upgraded once.  Here are the upgrade animations for the turret and layers respectively (if these look desaturated they are, the frames are from before i did a Levels adjust to compensate for the phone screens):


So that is your tower.  You can deploy I think 6 different units to form your army that both defends your base and attacks the opposing army and their base.  You also get various special weapons and abilities, like Meteor Shower, Repair, etc.  SO here are some of the enemy bases:

And finally, a selection of the units:

I'm not 100% pleased with most of these animations, and these are the better of the bunch, but I had to design and pixel about 25 units with 8 frames each (walking, idle, attacking, dead) in about a week, so they're definitely not perfect.  HOWEVER I would love to see any crits or edits you guys have, the more animation tricks I have up my sleeve the more likely I'll be able to work them in even on quickie projects like this one. EDIT - there will be bobbing motion added to the flying units in-game, I promise!

So once that game was wrapped up we did a little darts game, which didn't actually have much pixel art it turns out, but we did have one decent pixel animation:

Any crits/advice/edits on that one would be great too!  Thanks a lot guys!

General Discussion / a new, better wiimote flash api in just 24 hours!
« on: April 01, 2007, 10:27:59 pm »
I'm copy-pasting this from TIGF cuz i'm lazy!

Hey guys!  I wanted to show you my new project, and maybe have some people beta test it for free?  This stuff is always browser-sensitive, so I want to make sure I have this junk workin right.  Also, I am not really a flash or javascript guru, I just do what I can to get stuff to work!  Ok, here we go!

MarioToo is a WiiMote API, like the one that seems so popular over at Wiicade, only I'm not squirreling away all my javascript, and I think I've got a much more redundant implementation anyways.  My API, like Wiicade's, is based heavily off of Mario Klingemann's demo from I think December.  Unlike Wiicade, he also made the javascript available for download, and I spent most of last night reengineering it to get the kinks out and make it easier for people to work with.  The result is 'MarioToo', what I hope will become the standard for great Wii Flash games to come!  The best part is its very easy to use, and you can deploy it on ANY website, not just wiicade's ad-fest!

MarioToo is very, very easy to use if you know any flash at all.  It includes a full-featured javascript library that handles all of the HTML and reflector hacks for you; all you have to do is plug it into your flash game, and include my javascript library and flash reflector on your website.  Here is the example site I am currently hosting:

This is a flash file running at 720x480, and all it does is echo button presses, very simple.  It also demonstrates the smart 'classic' mode and the PC-friendly keyboard bindings a la Wiicade's closed library.  Heavy redundancy and a better javascript setup mean I can handle upwards of 7 or 8 simultaneous button presses with no missed events to screw up your game state.  Here is the HTML for that webpage:

Code: [Select]
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 strict//EN">
        <title>MarioToo: A WiiMote Flash API</title>
        <script type="text/javascript" src="wiimote.js"></script>
        <script type="text/javascript">

Very very simple as you can see.  The CreateHTML call does all the heavy lifting for you, setting up and hiding the reflector, bla bla bla.  It takes params for the flash file URL, width, height, page color, and flash background color.  Moving on, here is all the code from the demo actionscript:

Code: [Select]
// MarioToo Wii Flash API Demo
// Version 1.0
// Author: Adam Saltsman <>
// A simple app to show how the MarioToo WiiMote API functions.

import mx.core.UIObject;
import com.lastchance.mariotoo.WiiMote;

class com.lastchance.mariotoo.MarioToo_Demo extends UIObject
var status:TextField;
var txtfmt:TextFormat;
function MarioToo_Demo()
WiiMote.init(); //initialize the wiimote
WiiMote.setClassic(true); //rotate the d-pad on the wii
WiiMote.bindDefaults(); //arrow keys, z, x, shift + ctrl
WiiMote.bind(WiiMote.BUTTON_A,65); //the 'a' key on the keyboard

txtfmt = new TextFormat();
txtfmt.size = 72;
txtfmt.color = 0xffffff;
txtfmt.align = "center";

createTextField("status", getNextHighestDepth(), 0, 200, 720, 100);
status.multiline = false;
status.selectable = false;
status.text = "";
function draw()
            this.onEnterFrame = this.updateImage;
function updateImage()
status.text = "";
status.text = "A";
status.text += " B";
status.text += " 1";
status.text += " 2";
status.text += " +";
status.text += " -";
status.text += " ^";
status.text += " v";
status.text += " <";
status.text += " >";
if(status.text != "")

Again, very very straightforward stuff.  Nice and state-based, and the keyboard bindings mask themselves as regular wiimote buttons.  The 'classic' mode, which tilts the d-pad for NES-style play, is automatically avoided if you are using a keyboard, so no multi-config setups for different browsers, etc etc.

Finally, here is the download for the beta version 1.0:

It includes all the actionscript, javascript, compiled .swfs, and all that junk.  To get it to run on YOUR site, all you have to do is make sure you include the WiiBounce.swf and wiimote.js files in the same directory as your HTML.  Then, call CreateHTML to have wiimote.js write out your flash containers for you!  If you want to use the wiimote API in your flash file, just make sure you import  A final note, all flash files were compiled using free, open source software: mtasc and swfmill.  Special thanks to those guys for making projects like this possible!

I think that's about it!  I'm always open to hearing about new features people would like, but I don't want this thing to get too bloated.  If you find bugs please let me know ASAP and I will fix them if the wii browser lets me :)


Pixel Art / Wii Got Fliis - A Wii Flash Game WIP
« on: March 27, 2007, 11:06:30 pm »
I thought I better start a new thread for this, as it is something I'd still like a lot of feedback on, and the feedback I have gotten already is very helpful, but its kind of buried in my other thread.  So!  A new one.

To sum up:  a few weeks ago I registered the URL 'wiigotfliis' on an impulse, thinking it might be fun to make a flash game using the new Flash Wiimote API by Wiicade.  Around the same time I was playing Kirby's Adventure and Kid Icarus on the Wii VC, and Poyo on the PC.  So I got thinking about all the old puzzle platformers that demolished my childhood, like Solomon's Key and Lemmings, and thinking I might like to try and make a little homage to those games.  So I started thinking about this game that would be pretty simple as far as controls go, just a "follow me" toggle button and jump button.  You play a momma flea guiding her crazed baby fleas through a surreal/abstract (and as you will soon see crappy) single screen platform area.  This started to get mixed up with some NES mockup ideas, and well, just generally went south:

Mockup 1:

I was rightly and justly admonished for "phoning it in" and "sucking" (to paraphrase!), so last night I tried a little too hard to make it all retro and NES-y, resulting in Mockup 2:

Looks good compared to mockup 1, but then, anything would!  So, version 3:

Ptoing and Panda finally convinced me that this experiment was a failure, and for that I thank them, because I have a NEW IDEA now!

"Wii Got Fliis" - The New Idea
The new idea is you play a tiny exterminator named Jeffrey, as pictured here:

This game will have a jump button and a "blow" button.  The blow button shoots air out of your gun, pushing things about in a hopefully pleasantly physicsy way.  The goal on each level is to exterminate all the fleas, frequently by using your gun to push them into water, spikes, etc.  There will be various temporary powerups, such as Poison (kill any fleas that your air gun touches) and the Gasmask (allow you to walk through poison before it dissipates).  The plan is for this game's graphics to NOT be crappy and phoned in; I'll post a new environment later today.  Thanks!

EDIT - mini-update before I start working on the environment, jeffrey is on the move...

Pixel Art / pixel personal site + retro game mockup [updated]
« on: March 17, 2007, 06:34:13 pm »

Part of a splash graphic for the new version of my personal site; inspired by old lucas arts games + craig mccracken/genndy tartakovsky.  I want a flat, graphic designery style, but I don't want pros to look at it and go "wow what a shading copout" either - so any pros out there, if you want to weigh in and tell me whether or not this makes me look like I'm lazy, I'd appreciate it!  Icons and other such stuff will be arriving forthwith...

Oh also it will be displayed at 2x on the site.  Thanks!

Pixel Art / Sidekick/Hiptop Game Dump
« on: February 28, 2007, 08:21:14 pm »
After Tsugumo's awesome Mage Knights post, I thought I'd put up our last game as well.  Sort of a counterpoint if you will - game production from the newb's standpoint, as opposed to the successful veteran!  This, for all intents and purposes, the first "real" or "serious" game I have ever worked on.  It's a horizontal shmup for the Sidekick/Hiptop phone (I can't say the title or developer name yet).  We were contracted to do the game's design, art, and music.  The developers are doing all the programming for it.

Ok, so job #1 was designing the hero ship, the player's avatar in-game.  I went through a variety of more...traditional ships (e.g. ripping off R-Type, or Gradius, or whoever) - you know, slender, spiky, gray, etc.  However, for a horizontal shooter, this is NOT EASY.  Vertical shooters give you symmetry and generally speaking a cooler silhouette; after all, airplanes don't look like anything interesting from the side.  The final design I ended up with was based more on animation concerns than anything else; my biggest regret is that it doesn't look more heroic.  The animations for it are kind of fun though, and give it some good character (I hope).

The animations include banking, changing throttle, attack, shield, and bomb launch.  Next up was a variety of enemies - the earlier enemies are space pirates, who use converted hauling and scavenging gear to salvage wrecks and stuff (i apologize ahead of time, some of these are still at 2x):

I also worked on most of the ship's attack's at the beginning:

I can't remember exactly what order i did some of these other things, but I think this was near the middle of the development process.  We added a second enemy type to the game (nefarious outer space squid monsters) and continued to pump out UI and character stuff:

At some point I had to come to terms with the fact that we were probably going to need some bosses in our game.  The second boss I designed, the Super Squid, took close to a week to design and pixel.  After this boss I took a break and went back to finish the other enemy, obstacle and background art.  By the time I returned to the boss designs I was down to about 10 hours per boss, including all the animations.  Practice does crazy things!  Here is the Stack Ship and Super Squid:

Those animations will all be layered in game for his different attacks.  The background tentacles are composed of tiny segments so they can do some nice sine wave action to help make him look a little more interesting.  Super Squid fights you with a wide variety of methods - he can try and inhale you and chew you up, he can launch clouds of squid babies from his carapace, or he can squeeze the captured ships, spilling floating corpses in your direction.

Let's see, I think it was back to bad guys and backgrounds after that:

Ok I'm realizing now that some of this stuff is a little out of order.  The Wrecked Hulk, that last image, was done pretty early.  The "squid momma" - the burster thing - was my very first work in Pro Motion for this game.  I went on to do the missile and space mine after that, and finished the remainder of the game's resource in PM exclusively.  The nebula and galaxy are *gasp* downsampled, and yes, it shows.

Ok - so then it was time to learn about tiling!  First I did a simple repeating background for the asteroid surface level, the only game level that does not take place in deep space:

It's a few different tiles, not too many, i think they're 16s mainly.  It was supposed to be rocky, but ended up looking like caramel pudding...before I go on to the final push, which was all the rest of the big bosses (I did 4 in a week) here some particles and crap:

I think most of those were made in Pro Motion, except maybe the large space junk and the explosion...OK time for bosses!  The more or less final (outside of some UI stuff) stage of the art development was coming up with some hopefully sweet bosses.  Boss designs are a real challenge when you're given a blank slate because you are not just designing something that looks (hopefully) good, but it has to PLAY good too.  Art and motion and interaction are all intertwined very closely...I spent a day hammering out all the concepts for these, and approx. 1 day each doing the actual artwork and animation for them.  I don't think this was the exact order I did these in, but its pretty close.  First up, the Gravity Grinder:

The gravity grinder goes through the asteroid belt, smashing up rocks and the player has to dodge the debris.  Frequently, the Grinder will use its Gravity Drive to reconstitute the debris into a larger asteroid; when it does this, it leaves the interior of the gravity drive momentarily vulnerable.  Ok, moving on to the Salvage Rig:

This is like one of those old school "evil room" bosses.  It's the front end of a very large ship that strips derelict space colonies.  Fighting this boss is more about strategy than reflexes.  First you have to shoot the light on the side, that will stop the booth on the bottom from moving around.  Then, position yourself above the booth, near the claw.  When the claw launches itself at you, dodge, and blast the cable to send the claw crashing into the booth.  Right!  Then I made the mecha squid, here is his concept and his final sprites:

I don't know if it shows, but I was playing a lot of Metal Slug Anthologies during the week I designed these bosses :P  The mecha squid's concept is probably the most fully realized concept drawing I did for the entire game.  Pretty sad, huh?  Most designs were based on postage stamp-sized thumbnails to try out ideas before actually getting my pixel on.  Anyways, here are the various parts of the final design:

So the idea with this boss is he has a couple of attacks.  Mainly he just tries to whack you with his tentacles.  However, he will periodically attempt to blast you with a massive laser from...i dunno, from off-screen anyways.  The trick is, when his eye twinkles/glows, to fly under him so the attack smashes into the, em, submarine tower on his back.  He defends the tower from frontal attack using his tentacles and stuff.  So...yeah.  That leaves the main boss:

Alright!  So this is the space pirate's mothership, which is being taken over by space squids while you fight it. It has four turrets, and througout the battle the space squids are poking holes in the hull from the inside out.  If you shoot the tentacles while they are briefly visible, you can blast the tips off, leaving just the stump to plug the hole.  However, if you don't get the tentacle in time, or you shoot the stump, corpses will spill out of the holes for a little while, and you have to shoot/dodge them on top of the boss's actual attacks.  Periodically the boss will move to the top of bottom of the screen, attacking you with its massive jets or front-mounted laser cannon respectively.

Ok I think that's about it.  There's other stuff in the game too, but this is a good cross-section and review I think.  I learned a lot of stuff on this project, and there are parts of it that I'm very happy with and parts of it where I wish I could have spent a lot more time, but I guess that's how these things go!  The style and level of detail varies wildly from week to week, as I learned new things or tried different approaches.  There's a lot less of that happening on the current project, but it seems we are destined to always make the worst stuff first :P

You are welcome to crit/rape/edit/whatever any of these, however because of work schedules I can't really make any changes.  However they could still make me a better artist so if you feel compelled, go crazy!


Pixel Art / Ye Olde Jetpack Guy (more 3D pixel heresy)
« on: January 12, 2007, 07:47:12 am »
Here we go!  The character is a mildly stylized jetpacker - the wip mesh of the full character is  On to the textures:

Mostly inspired by Vagrant Story/Metal Gear Solid/FFXII, trying to do that "real/painted" balancing act.  Doodled in pro motion over the last few hours - haven't worked on the neck or hair yet though.

Pixel Art / Full Metal Alchemist: The 8-Bit Saga
« on: October 12, 2006, 06:28:27 am »
Boy - I haven't actually started a thread here in a while.  here goes!

We've been marathoning FMA here in the office, so I couldn't resist a little homage fan art...I'd like to turn it into a fullblown NES mockup eventually.  I also made a crib sheet to help me while I go:

There are some conflicting NES palettes out there, but it seems its a pretty fluid thing - I liked this one the best :P  If i have made any grave mistakes here please let me know!  Also crits on the idle for Ed are greatly appreciated.  I can't seem to get the hair to move nicely like the coat does...Thanks!

*Note: Ed is comprised of more than a few sprites - a bunch of 8x8's for the body, and one for the head...definitely puts a dent in the available sprite memory...and Al is gonna take up a bunch more!  I guess it won't be a shooter...

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