Saturday, January 31, 2015

F2P - The go-to market plan for Magnificent Bastards around the world

It's a popular topic for people to slander Free 2 Play games. As an indie game developer myself I feel like I should be on the up side of the F2P debacle, but I really can't decide...

For starters, F2P is a veritable shortcut to riches for small indies (like me) working for their first break (like me). Mobile customers don't seem to view F2P as a bad thing, and since that is a logical market on which to release a small indie game I feel like presenting a F2P game to them will have minimal repercussions. So why does my gut tell me no?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Everyone loves Nintendo

I was just watching some videos about Nintendos Amiibo thingies and a thought suddenly struck me.

We used to love Nintendo. I know I spent days straight with my nose touching the screen of my gameboy. My hands weren't even big enough to hold the thing properly. Then came the snes and I couldn't believe how world-shatteringly awesome it was. We never had one in the house and yet I racked up some serious hours on it. Super Smash on the 64 was the mainstay of my teens, and was only dethroned by Melee.

But something happened.

I grew up and started demanding more gritty fantasy adventures. Link couldn't spill enough blood to sate my maturing entertainment needs. Metroid couldn't immerse me like it used to. I sought out obscure games in the hopes of something new and different, and found my way to PCs and The Internet.

Monday, October 6, 2014

BrokenFolx - sexual discrimination discussion in games

This is a tricky subject to talk about. Inevitably whenever a straight guy voices an opinion about sexuality someone is along shortly to yell at him. This post will offend some, but read it to the end. I'm not a bigot. I simply don't see gender roles/sexuality as a reason to discriminate. I don't see a reason to react to it at all. On that note I am going to dive straight on into:


I played Brokenfolx recently, a small game about sexual discrimination made by Arielle Grimes. I guess it succeeded in its mission, because it got me thinking. It's a game where you are presented four examples of stressful situations from a queer persons life. Three of the four options were legit. Abuse from the family for coming out, the internal turmoil that gay people feel about themselves and the general lack of acceptance they feel in society. The fourth one struck me as pure misinterpretation. It involves a 'chat' between a gay employee (the protagonist) and a 'boss'. The subject of the chat is that the employee isn't pulling their weight. The protagonists response to this allegation is immediate upset and "you just hate me because I'm gay". This is the part that slapped me in the face.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Source compiling issues AGAIN

So I recently tried to compile a model for source and received a semi-cryptic error in the form of:

WARNING: *** Encountered VTF file with an invalid minor version!
WARNING: *** Encountered VTF file with an invalid full header!

I also had two materials on my model. The materials were in separate directories. I don't think either of those points were the problem. Considering it said the vtf file has issues I figured it was the vtf at fault. I had been using vtfedit to convert my png's to vtf's and I guess I hit a flag somewhere or something.

I fixed the problem by exporting my vtf from GIMP instead of converting it with vtfedit. I get the feeling I did something else too though. If that doesn't work for you, read on.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I just spent an hour searching for the console command for source that shows your areaportals and visleafs in-game. I'm putting it here in case I ever forget and lest it's memory be stricken from the net.

Monday, September 1, 2014

FindPortalSide: How to fix a tricky Hammer editor compile error

FindPortalSide: Couldn't find a good match for which brush to assign to a portal

Look farmiliar? This error can be from an array of things, but most of them have an easy solution on the net. I got this error when trying to compile my map so I loaded up a pointfile only to find the pointfile points at some random direction and never enters my BSP level. Perplexing. After a little bit of googling I fixed it.

Go to edit > select all, and then tools > center origins.

The reason this exists is because all the brush entities and world geometry brushes have 'origins', the place that they were created. Sometimes after some editing, you may move the brush but the origin point stays the same. If the origin point is outside the map it will leak, but you'll never be able to see why. Try the above solution.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blend textures to add subtle wear and tear

I want to talk about tiles. Tiles are a nice texture to use because they have a lot of innate detail. They have grout, which provides opportunities for nice normal maps and variations in phong/envmap specularity, they can have cracks on them which looks cool, and the tiles themselves can have cool designs or just alternating colours. The problem with tiles though is that this inherent detail is misinterpreted for ease of use. As nice as it is to slap a tile texture down and give yourself a pat on the back as you sip you freshly prepared congratulatory cognac on the rocks, it's not at all that simple - as usual, como siempre.

Tiles are actually a pain in the ass to lay down in real life. I tiled my toilet and bathroom once. It was horrible. You have to cut here, lay there, measure this, and it's all such work. This experience led me to look at game tiles in a different light. No longer can I drop a tile texture down, rotate it 45 degrees and think no one will look twice.