Thursday, November 22, 2012

On Finding the Right Tools

You know that feeling when you've found exactly the tool you were looking for? And it's cheap too? Well I got that when I found WebStorm.  It has precisely what I was looking for in a node.js IDE.  Some of you (non existent) readers may say, "bah!  IDE's are for teh noobz!" And who knows, maybe these phantom tech elitists are correct.  Throughout college I used emacs and programmed in C++ and I liked it.  But now I've been spoiled by Visual Studio and C# and I don't think I can ever go back. 

So WebStorm has all the features I love about visual studio, but works well with Node.js, and on my mac.  Code formatting, smart auto-complete, "jump to definition", easy to add JsDoc comments...  I'm actually surprised I hadn't found it earlier, since most of the VS features I love are from a plugin called Resharper, which is made by the same company (JetBrains).  And unlike VS, the price is pretty reasonable ($50).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sounds Like *Snatch*

I think I'm finally done polishing the game jam game. I was able to incorporate a bunch more of the assets Adam and Scott made that I hadn't been able to get to before. Plus you can actually win now. Getting to this point was kinda interesting. I had to quickly learn how to use two game creation tool. Being that we had a limited time, one of our first decisions was to go with a tool that allows rapid prototyping without needing to know too much of the inner works. So we started making the game with a tool called GameSalad.  It's an interesting engine in that there's no real coding.  Just rule creation.  However, after about half a day, we realized it's features were too limiting.  So I had to rapidly switch gears and learn something called Stencyl.

Stencyl has a lot more customization and an interesting visual programing form of writing it's scripts.  It also had a much steeper learning curve though.  I found myself often searching through their visual methods trying to find something that would work for what I wanted to do.  Plus their documentation isn't the best.  Most of it is pretty superficial and the only way to figure out the details is through trial and error.  Also, I ran into a bunch of small but annoying bugs in their editor.  It would really help if I got to know a more professional game engine before the next jam I do.  But without further delay, here is the final(ish) product:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Just completed my first game jam!  It was a 48 hour one called WammyJammy with the theme being 'sound.'  Kinda stressful, but fun.  With being the only programmer on the team, and not having really made a game before, I was happy with the outcome. On my team was Adam Rickert (a graphics guy) and Scott Looney (a sound guy) who bith did some excellent work.  I felt a little bad that I wasn't able to incorporate all their assets before the jam ended.  But I'm planning to go back and finish it up, just for the hell of it.  Here's the final product: