Begin LD37!

just finished finals and it’s time to get back into gamedev!

Ludum Dare 37 just started (theme: One Room), which is great, haven’t been able to participate in the last couple.

I want to go more cinematic and visual with this entry, so I started with the intro:

Let’s get this party started!

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Fractals in Unity

Lately I’ve been experimenting with Mandelbrot fractals in Unity.

Here’s the basic script I used, It has some basic controls for navigating and exploring the fractal. Just attach to a quad and it works.

You can play with resolution and iterations amount as well.

It’s basic and unoptimized, so not the best for real-time. I’d recommend checking out the Mandelbrot Wikipedia page for info on optimizations: link

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Announcing Ptolem Infinite

I’m turning my old protoype thing PhaseRunner into a full game, along with giving it a way better name… Ptolem Infinite!

Also, a shot of the tile editor I’ve made for it:

DEVLOG: LINK

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Making AI’s that play games

For my Computer Science course we’re making AI’s that play a simplistic game called “The Robot Game” (two player strategy game, you can look it up, there’s a whole subreddit dedicated to it). Once we’ve finished our AIs we’ll pit them all against each other and see whose is the smartest.

Right before we were assigned this, I had discovered a page about machine learning in games (http://satirist.org/learn-game/). There was an interesting section(http://satirist.org/learn-game/systems/starcraft/) discussing the problem of making AI’s for StarCraft. Turns out, there are competitions where people make bots for StarCraft (the first one) and pit them against each other (On a side note, I also found out people make AI’s that speedrun games, thought that was cool). There are a plenty of challenges to making these AI’s, as StarCraft is a really complex game, but what caught my attention is that no bot has been made that can challenge a decently skilled human player.

This reminded me of Google’s DeepMind AI, which is currently about to take on the world-champion of Go (sort of the Chinese version of chess, if you don’t know what that is). It recently beat a professional Go player (the first time a computer had ever beaten a professional at Go), and it was trained using machine learning and neural networks.

I’m curious to see how machine learning will be used in the future for games. Right now, it’s not really necessary, as AI is pretty basic in most games, with simple state machines providing fun bots. But, in the future, games on the level of complexity of StarCraft might become more common, and developers will have to start experimenting with machine learning. I’m really looking forward to seeing where that will go.

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Self Review – Shadowless

Shadowless, my first game.

Pretty badly made, still has the old default Unity Gui. The animations are from the Standard Assets as well. All the art came from Reiner’s Tilesets.

But still, my first truly original game. The mechanic is simple: the bad guy doesn’t have a shadow, kill him within the time limit. I remember my first real ‘game design’ thoughts coming about, stuff like “how can I make so that this is always winnable but still challenging?”. I made all the gnome guys walk through shadowed areas, so you’d have to figure out the best spots to watch them. I’m a little surprised at how much depth there is in this game (not that much, but more than I remembered), though it’s not really noticeable considering how short the game is.

I was inspired to make Shadowless after reading Derek Yu’s article on Finishing a Game. I had been trapped in the cycle of “start a game”/ “I’ve learned so much! *drops project and starts something else*”/*repeat*, so I made a plan. I took an idea I had had of ‘bad guy with no shadow’ and decided to make it in one week. It took two, but I blame midterms. It was an incredible learning experience, not just with programming, but in what it takes to finish something.

I did everything it took to finish it; used public domain art, put some crappy music together (proud of this track actually) on a free music composing program, used really code, and of course the horrid Gui. But I did it. And I could show it to people. That’s my favorite part of making a game, watching someone else play it.

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