Korlel Kisielewicz has just started a kickstarter for his new game, Jupiter Hell. It’s an old-school roguelike with a modern interface and graphics. If you enjoyed DoomRL, then you should definitely check this one out.
After yesterday’s post about GearHead-2, I started thinking about how the game reminds the player of the story so far. Instead of listing the history items as above, I wonder if it would be possible to generate a single paragraph describing the current state of the story? Something like: The space colonies of the Free …View full post
Sorry for the silence- it’s been a busy couple of months. I’ve been playing through GearHead-2 again. Tonight, my character Hawk finally earned the respect of his criminal space trucker rival. One of the things that makes GearHead-2 very different from GearHead-1 is the scale. In GH1, you will travel between a small number of …View full post
To briefly recap part one, one way to create a random story generator is to write a whole lot of story fragments, arrange a subset of the fragments into a list, and count on your player’s sense of closure to assemble the list into a coherent story. In this part I’m going to look at …View full post
I’ve decided to document my experiments in random story generation, in the hope that these notes will be helpful to other developers and hobbyists. This first post will define some of the terms I’ll be using and introduce some of the theory. My first idea for a random story generator came during a literary criticism …View full post
To practice both painting and faces, I’ve started doing fantasy portraits. Once I get enough of them I’ll upload the set to OpenGameArt.org and maybe incorporate them into Dungeon Monkey Eternal. I wanted to do the pictures in traditional media because in my mind that’s how classic fantasy portraits are supposed to be done. Obviously …View full post
Last week I mentioned that I’ve been playing around with procedural texture generation. The method I’ve been using takes an image sample, analyzes it, and then tries to reproduce its texture in several ways. For example, take this picture of grass from the public domain West’s Textures set.
The source image shouldn’t have too many colors in it, so before feeding it to the texture generator I edited it in Gimp and posterized it down to around 10 colors.
The first texture generation method is shuffle, which just takes all the pixels from the source image and spits them back out in random order. This is good for generating a noisy texture which has the same color composition as the original, but the output lacks structure.
Next, I tried a markov chain, which records left-to-right pixel patterns from the original and tries to replicate these in the output. This one has a bit more structure to it, but the generated texture often appears streaky.
Next I tried another markov chain type algorithm, but instead of checking the state of the previous three pixels it examines the pixel above, behind, and to the upper left of the pixel to be drawn.
Finally, I tried an extended version of the above algorithm, which looks at more nearby tiles and falls back to a previous algorithm if an unknown seed case is encountered. Sometimes this seems to improve the results and sometimes it doesn’t.
I’ve ported the new GH1 SDL shopping interface to GH2. A few things still need to be modified- the item images don’t show up yet because the GH1 code I copied and pasted doesn’t use them, and the descriptions for some item types don’t seem to be working right. Next stop: the character creation and training interfaces.
Also, I’ve been trying to procedurally generate new ground sprites using colors taken from old Sunrise mecha cartoons. This is grass. I’m not sure how it’s working yet; I want to see it in action before I judge.
The weekend before last I was in Japan for the Kaigai Manga Festa. This was my first time in Tokyo, and my first time at a Japanese convention. I met a lot of cool people, picked up a lot of new comics, and ate a lot of delicious food.
The best part was meeting a number of GearHead fans. One of them brought me a gift- this collector’s box of Dougram models. Have I ever mentioned that I’ve been trying to find a complete set of Dougram mecha for literally decades? This was an amazing gift and I’m glad I didn’t open it on the spot because I might have cried. Thank you so much.
I did well enough at the show that I may be able to justify going back again next year… though I spent enough money in Japan that I may not be able to.
This weekend I’ll be in Tokyo for the Kaigai Manga Festival, Sunday October 23rd. I’ll be at table L-1, so if you’re in the area drop by and say hi.
On a related subject, next year is the fifteenth anniversary of GearHead. Would anybody be interested in buying a GearHead anthology comic? Are there any artists reading this who would be interested in contributing to one? I’d love to do one through Polar Bear Comix, but have no idea how much demand there’d be.
I’ve been working to make the GearHead2 screen resizeable. Currently, the program compiles okay but many of the screen zones are in the wrong place. The work of fixing things should be simple yet monotonous. I’m going to bring in as many of the GearHead1 info display improvements as I can.
On that note, the UI borders and background should be a little bit different between GH1 and GH2.
I have returned from San Francisco and am now a certified master of fine arts. Yeah!
I’ve started on the process of making GearHead2’s SDL interface resizable, just like GH1. So far the screen size can be changed but few screen elements reposition themselves. Also, I’ve fixed a long-standing bug where “Ask About Rumors” will sometimes abruptly end the conversation. My next step is to get the rest of the screen elements working with resizing, then to replace the shoddy world map interface with a chunky map as in GH2.1.
By the way, the other guy in the photo at the top is Pete Glanting; you should check out his webcomic Tomorrow Jerks.
This Friday, July 29th, I’m going to be taking part in the CCA Graduate Comic Reading at 350 Kansas Street in San Francisco. The time will be from 6PM to 9PM. This event is free and open to the public; there will be food and drinks. If you keep your eyes open you may even notice a little bit of GearHead in the middle of my presentation.
On Saturday, one day after landing in San Francisco, I led some of the first year Comics MFA students on a tour of some of the best local comic shops. Our first stop was Isotope the Comic Book Lounge, followed by Comix Experience, Whatever (helpfully suggested by James at Isotope), and Mission Comics and Art. According to Google Maps that’s 7km of comics goodness.
On Sunday, I did the comics tour again with some different folks.
This annual trip to the states is my one chance to visit English-language comic shops. It is equal parts thrilling and heartbreaking- thrilling to see all of these books, heartbreaking that I can’t buy them all and bring them back to Korea with me. There’s a lot of great stuff happening in North American comics these days.
I’ve just uploaded GearHead2 v0.630 to GitHub. This completes the move away from the old repository, and sets the baseline for future development. It’s not a very exciting release, but it does fix some longstanding bugs and add a couple of interface improvements. Check below the fold for the full list of changes.