Boston FIG and AAC

Apologies on the lack of updates in the game and tab space, but I’ve been busy. I’m currently finishing up the first version of the newly designed armor, and trying to get it done for AAC – hopefully I can make it, as I love AAC. I’ll be there with the Nerdfit crew, and we’ll also be heading to Alternicon in Boston sometime in November.

But minor stuff aside – HOLY CRAP Boston FIG. We had entered for their showcase a few months back after missing another contest, but not only did we advance but we got to go to the showcase, and if I have one complaint about that – it’s that I was too busy to check out anything outside of our table (I the video game developer/major didn’t even see a video game)


We had some great playtesting and feedback – and while I’ve done various playtesting amongst groups of people – it’s a far different environment than a quiet sit-down, and if anything I prefer it. You really figure out what of your game you can say to draw them in more, and what parts you don’t need to have because if it’s too hard to explain when they can just as easily pick up and leave – you really get down into what you need to do for your game.

Another thing which my compatriot was beaming about was how much the art was complemented (we didn’t get the Figgy award, but then we didn’t have a sign up thing/code/any real sort of planning (we actually had to rush to get a tablecloth), but it was enough that both of us are excited to bring something next year which means good for me because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to steal Chris away from his animations to do my tabletop art.

There’s some changes to the game that we’ll be doing based on feedback, and some others things we wanted to add, but stay tuned. I also have an email list so feel free to email to be added for when the game is released (although it’ll be here too)

Death by Tabs

So some updates on various fronts:

The game Chris Daley and I have been working on for the Flux Capacity Challenge/Boston FiG is coming along quite well, hopefully once we start ordering stuff I can post it here (and once we get a name.

There’s been some major rework done to PunchDrunkMagic based on feedback, but with the above, and my following news – it’s a little backburner atm.

DEATH BY CARDS! I finally ordered a full print-card version for further testing. It’s intoxicating how great it is to have the full thing in a form that’s ‘almost’ finished versus my print and play – or like with my other games where I have written on parts. I’ve posted some screens below of the card pile (it came unsorted) and what it looks like in the box all pretty with the added counters/dice/dividers.



On to tabs – I have a new weave added both here, and at Intructables I’ve had it for a while, but I needed to upload instructions. It was added as a part to this scarf thing (pictured below) which is something I can bring to events/cons so that people can see how diverse they are, and get a real feel of it (as opposed to the ‘petting’ I usually get)




I also have some images of some one-off things I did with string and leather in response to someone asking some questions on overall armor design. Now while I follow some of my fellows who do this often with yarn and other materials – called Tabistry (visit their FB!) I shied away from string due to some earlier bracer experiments which ended in disaster under a few days at an event. The doubling effect I show here, and especially the leather seem to be fairy rigid, and I may end up doing a piece – it’s oddly very time consuming compared to some of my stuff (not all)




Obscura on ModDB: Working on updated ver.

Well this is delayed, but regardless Obscura is now fully integrated with ModDB (go here: ) There you’ll find new videos, photos, concept art, downloads, just about anything we could get from the game.

This also leads into another point. We’ve had a tiny amount of bug fixes based on more feedback, but we also plan on working on the game further. While there are certainly a few technical bugs for me to work out, mainly we need an artist so if you find this page (and not the ModDB) please send me an email via my contact page, or message me on ModDB about working as an artist on Obscura. We’d like to have it for IGF, but we’d need someone to do about 5-10 models, 5 animations, and about 50+ texture asset work to make the game look nice and polished.

(Obscura) C-Term Post Mortem

Now we have a trailer at the end of this post showing off some of our game, but before that I have another end of term post mortem.

Our game is technically finished having been turned in for our senior project; however the game is not done and we’ll still be doing some development until May when we release the game to the public.

This past term has been interesting, between the playtesting sessions, fixing and tweaking almost 200 bugs, and importing our art into the game. Playtesting was a very humbling experience, and it was interesting to see how easy it was to break our game. We’ve made a bunch of changes and fixed a lot of things, and our game is nearly complete. Considering our art wasn’t imported until the end half of the term we still need some more testing and modifications, but everything is going well.

Now the trailer was created for the Made in Ma event that precedes Pax East which I will also be attending. I hope everything at Pax is as awesome as my friends who last year say it is, and I’ll enjoy the break from working on the game for a week until the next term starts.

Obscura Trailer:

(Obscura) B-Term Post Mortem

So B-Term ends with Obscura somewhere between alpha and beta. While the mechanics and main level design are in place there is still quite a bit of work to do and nearly all of the art to get in. I still feel though that we’re in a good place for 2/3 of the way done and I am confident we can have a fully playable game by March, with a more finely tuned game released to the public sometime in May (Post Project Due Date).

That isn’t to say there haven’t been some issues surrounding development. We had originally planned to implement shaders in our mod, for use in 3 separate effects; however it would appear compiling shaders is a really tricky problem in the Source Engine. Despite communication on the forums it would appear only a lucky few can get shaders to work on their systems. Despite trying various different methods and tutorials we could only get shaders to compile on one of our systems yet they never worked.

We had originally planned on using the L4D glow effect in our game to differentiate selected objects, but were unable to due to missing files. Thankfully as we gave up on shaders working the files were restored and we decided that using this glow effect for different aspects of our game would be able to replace the work shaders would have accomplished.

While this wasn’t our initial idea the effect works well within our design, and considering how much time was wasted on shaders it’s better to go with what works rather than timesinks. Beyond that though developing the levels in hammer and testing/fixing/modifying the puzzles worked well, and we got a lot of work on the game done. We’ll have a little bit of time next term to work on a few things, but then we get down to playtesting sessions. One of the benefits of working in our game design class was how much we learned by having playtesting sessions. It really tells you a lot about your game that you would have never found out.

Again it’s comforting to see how far our come, and I really enjoy how it’s coming along.