Chill Update To Study/Relax To

I haven’t been doing my usual stuff for awhile, so here’s a long, chill update video to watch explaining what’s been going on and what’s going to happen!

If you don’t want to listen to me ramble for thirty minutes, then here’s the highlights:

  • A lot of stressful events have occurred within the past half-a-year that led me to experience heightened panic disorder symptoms and creative burnout (which I have since recovered from).
    • I decided to take a gap semester before transferring colleges later this year.
    • I was involved with a confidential project that currently holds an unknown fate.
    • I had a panic attack when I last streamed game development, which led to unhealthy avoidance behavior.
    • I got diagnosed with a sinus infection and was prescribed antibiotics, which indirectly heightened my anxiety.
  • I’m going to work on one or two small games to fully get myself back into the gamedev mindset.
  • I’m going to start streaming again, starting tomorrow! I will be experimenting with schedules to see what works best for me.
  • Garb & Corncob: Copyright Calamity is still happening, but it’s on hold for now while I work on the aforementioned smaller games. I will most likely rewrite the game’s code as well as redesign the battle system, while carrying over existing art and story elements.

Whether you watch the video or read the blog post, thanks for listening to what I have to say and keeping up with my stuff! Tis much appreciated!

Summer 2019 Plans

Hey all! Alex Garbus here with a blog post detailing my game development plans for the remainder of summer! I’ve divided this post up by project, so let’s dive in!

The Explors: Pyramid Explorers

With both the annual Kentucky State Fair and Kentucky Fried Pixels bundle coming up, I need to narrow my focus on a particular project for the next month. I have decided what that project will be.

Way back in 2012, I created my first original game in GameMaker. Titled Exploro: Pyramid Explorer, this game was not very good in my eyes. I took it down, but with the intent of one day revisiting the concept. Today is that day.

I am pleased to announce The Explors: Pyramid Explorers, a remake of the old GameMaker project. This remake will retain the original’s mechanics while adding in new features and challenges! As with my other projects, I will be streaming development of this game periodically on my Twitch, so be sure to follow me there!

Want to play that original 2012 version while you wait for the remake? No problem! Simply head over to the itch page to download it (at the time of this post’s writing, you need to use the password “exploro” to access the page, as of course I don’t have the remake ready to post yet).

Garb & Corncob: Copyright Calamity

I’ve been hard at work on Garb & Corncob: Copyright Calamity for the past few months, but I have decided to focus solely on The Explors for the rest of the summer. I believe that putting my resources into The Explors will help spread the word of my games, in turn benefiting Garb & Corncob. Once we wrap up development on The Explors , I fully intend to return to work on Garb & Corncob (unless something drastic happens; gotta put that warning in here because something drastic could very well happen).

I don’t want to leave you all clueless about Garb & Corncob’s development, however. Here’s a rundown of where I’m at, and where I’m heading:

  • The full game will consist of 5 areas. I intend to release a free demo that will span the first half of the game’s first area. This first half is what can be seen in the Vector demo, although it will actually have story content instead of lazy humorous meta jokes.
  • For the demo, all battle sprites and nearly all needed overworld sprites are complete. From here on out, any sprites created are either for beyond the demo or adding flare to the demo.
  • The base cutscene and battle systems are complete (not accounting for bugs I may discover down the road). Programming-wise, I still need to create code for the inventory system and any cutscenes that require programming not built into the base system. There’s also overworld puzzles, fast-travel, and the support system to develop, but these will not be accessible in the demo.
  • I can’t really gauge the completion of the game’s writing due to the fact that my writing is heavily improvised; I’ve written myself a general plot synopsis and am filling in the specific bits of dialogue as I go. So yeah; don’t wanna delve into any more detail regarding this because spoilers.
  • Clear Bertram is currently composing the game’s soundtrack. We plan to include 10 original songs in the demo, with plenty more to come in the full game.

Little Cuties: Your Virtual Best Friend

Back in March, I announced Little Cuties: Your Virtual Best Friend, a pet simulator I had been helping Candle Cat to develop. Unfortunately, I must announce that we have ceased development on this project for the time being.

We first began development of Little Cuties in January, using the 2019 Global Game Jam to write up a design document and set up the base Unity project. Development never got much farther than this. The project’s scope proved to be too high for our current experience level, and our ability to produce assets took a major hit when Candle’s computer broke down. We tried our best to have a pseudo-demo for the 2019 Vector conference that would demonstrate the game’s stylized dialogue, but we ultimately were unable to do so. Given all that has happened with this project, we feel that suspending development until we have more experience is the best route to take.

Because we have nothing playable that we can make public, I am removing this game altogether from my Games page. We sincerely apologize for this disappointing news.

Thanks you so much for taking the time to read this update! As always, I can’t wait to show what I’ve been working on!

Introducing Garb & Corncob: Copyright Calamity

Last night on Twitch, I made a surprise announcement: Garb & Corncob now has a subtitle! Garb & Corncob: Copyright Calamity chronicles the duo of Garb & Corncob as they go on a quest to free themselves from the shackles of copyright infringement! Catch the full announcement, including the reveal of Corncob’s Unoriginal Form and a tease at the game’s antagonist, below!

Garb & Corncob November 2018 Mini-Devlog

Hey everyone. A new month has started, meaning the time has come to post more info about Garb & Corncob. However, you may have noticed the sudden lack of development updates on my social media pages. Unfortunately, I have not been able to share any screenshots or the like for multiple reasons:

  1. Most of my work this month has gone towards behind-the-scenes efforts like commissioning assets from others and planning marketing materials.
  2. I got hit with a wave of illness towards the end of the month and needed to take some time to rest for my own well-being.
  3. There just isn’t too much more I can show at this point in development without spoiling various details about the game.

Taking this 3rd point into account, I intend to wait until more of the game is ready before I continue posting updates. I am actively developing the game, but I ultimately feel that the content currently being worked on should not be shown until it is closer to completion. I would explain further, but again, spoilers. Just know that the project is very much alive and I cannot wait to reveal more about it!

Thank you for your understanding. I hope you’ll stay tuned and look forward to what I’ve got in store!

Garb & Corncob October 2018 Devlog

The spooky month of October has come and gone. Unfortunately, development on Garb & Corncob slowed down this month, as I needed to focus on polishing up Package Handler VRI still managed to complete a few tasks, though, so let’s take a look at them!

Continuing with my focus on the game’s battle system, I started out the month by implementing win and lose screens. Previously, the game would simply cut to the overworld upon a win or to the main menu upon a loss. But with win and lose screens, these scene transitions appear much less jarring. The win screen currently just displays some win text, but in the future it will likely be updated to include a list of spoils from each battle. The lose screen, on the other hand, allows players to either restart the battle or return to the main menu and load previous save data. This screen also shows dead Corncob. Please do not allow Corncob to die.

Next, I implemented the AP & SP system. Previous screenshots included the UI elements for this point system, but functionality had not been programmed in until now. Players earn 1 AP and 1 SP for each successful standard attack. AP, or Attack Points, can then be used to execute stronger versions of standard attacks. SP, on the other hand, will be used for a mechanic that I intend to reveal much later down the line, as it will not become available until the second half of the game’s first area (and also because I like teasing).

That’s it as far as progress on the game itself goes, but I also began livestreaming work on concept art this month! Check out these 2 pieces of environmental concept art!

Yeah, they’re pretty scrappy, but concept art doesn’t have to be perfect!

Thanks for reading! I intend to continue work on the game’s battle system for the upcoming month, but I feel confident in saying that the basic mechanics are nearly complete. Be sure to tune in next month to see what progress I make!

Garb & Corncob September 2018 Devlog

After wrapping up development on Flewberry and moving back into college, I finally returned to development on Garb & Corncob! I spent this month continuing work on the battle system. Check out what I’ve accomplished!

I previously discussed the game’s 4 planned status effects. I implemented 3 of these effects at the beginning of the month: depression, stun, and burn. At this point, status effects would not expire over time, which lead to the humorous issue of Corncob being permanently stunned.

I then implemented the 4th status effect – yucky – and implemented status effect expiration. I also heavily optimized the code for handling fighters in battle. I originally used separate scripts for Corncob and enemies, but I realized that much of the code contained in these scripts applied to all fighters, regardless of side, so I combined this shared code into a single script. Of course, some of the code remained exclusive to either Corncob or enemies; so I kept the separate Corncob and enemy scripts and simply derived them from the script containing the shared code.

With status effects working for Corncob and the 2 fighter types linked, implementing status effects for enemies was a snap! I only had to make minor changes due to the differences between how Corncob and enemies perform actions (Corncob reads player input, while enemies randomly select an action from their repertoire).

For organizational purposes, I sketched up some custom icons for my enemy and action scriptable objects. I have these 2 types of objects stored together, but they originally shared Unity’s default scriptable object icon, making the assets a bit difficult to navigate. Luckily, setting custom icons in Unity simply entails placing a specifically-named image into the Gizmos folder. Now I can easily determine the 2 object types from each other. You know what they say: neatness counts!

Unfortunately, spending time setting up my Twitch channel and dealing with illness left the latter half of September devoid of screenshots. But fear not! Work is still getting done, albeit at a slower pace right now do to this little hiccup. For now, I am continuing to implement battle mechanics. Once the battle system is done, I plan on fixing up a few things based on what I learned during Flewberry‘s development, and then I will dive into creating the game’s boss battles, which will function a tad differently than regular battles. So get hyped and stay tuned as I work to bring these plans to fruition!