Episodes 4&5 of 1G1M : First Playable

If you’re just tuning in, I use 1G1M to mean that I’m gonna do this series this month where I make a game and film it. It seems to be about 30minutes of development a day but I can ASSURE you that will increase especially as the deadline looms.

First playable is a big term. It’s barely that, but it’s enough to get people musing on what they want/don’t want in the game.

I feel like a spend a lot of time on the stream doing things that are un interesting but I don’t have good perspective. Anyways I’m just practicing. Just getting good.


TLDR here it is


So today we are starting to grapple with the really hard questions like “what’s going to be fun about this random collection of things?” We made some really basic parts in the previous episodes but this is the first demonstration of the absolute core gameplay working at 15% of total expected quality for about twelve seconds. It’s tough to not spend all your time making one part of the whole system perfect without looking at the others even though you want to and I struggle with this. Things like making the brush change color or not be able to draw when not hitting enemies that are in my opinion essential to it feeling good are usually about an hour of focusing on just one system.

For the first test, I just wanted to get everything to a bare minimum rather than have any one part shining without a working game. It’s what I’ve been taught and it definitely works, but you have to fight the desire to finish it before you want to show it to anyone.

This whole process has really helped me deal with vulnerability although no lie I don’t think I could stream without some beer/sake/whatever first.



Episodes 2 & 3 of 1G1M: Almost Playable

First Screenshot of pretty lines

First Screenshot of pretty lines

Routine? Yes.

Sorry for no post yesterday, I should be clear: I’m going to make a game this month but I’m not going to be making game every single day. Double videos to make it up to you anyways.

Most importantly, I’ve made an outline that I’m going to keep current and underneath it I’m going to have a constantly updating todo list with what is on the immediate horizon. Check it out:


My goal right now is to get it to it’s most basic state and distribute a build and get feedback so all the todo list is moving towards that. Once we get some feedback, we’ll re plan. I used to hate play testing but to be honest making games is like painting a picture that you can’t actually see. Because the nature of it is that you have to have very specific knowledge of every part of your game to make it, you will never be surprised/confounded in the same way other people (everyone who the game is actually for) end up playing it.

Today we got a lot done, the game is an episode away from functionally being fruit ninja (oh and Apple support… ). I’m gonna split the episodes into 30 minute chunks but it’s just as easy for me to do 15 or any other, let me know. I usually watch ten minute long Youtube gaming things but game dev takes a long time! So by that, we have actually two episodes today. Check it out:







Episode 1 of 1G1M, I suck at streaming

Ok. This is a habit now. Two points is a line right… I’m forming a good habit.

Today I mostly spend being nervous about streaming and setting up little things, streamed an episode and lost it to the void (I’m hoping to record them as if I just stream them, mostly no one will see it, also you can export from twitch to youtube now without video touching your hard drive so yay). Anyways I streamed an OFFICIAL episode 1 where I recapped and explained everything that I explained some of in the blog post yesterday but then I get into some good programming meat.

Anyways, here it is:

I’ve found that streaming is probably most useful as a tool to focus me on important work, only what I would consider “real” game design progress. Even if no one is watching just the ritual of setting up a performance and then being in the mindset of what you’re doing is also for the benefit of someone else made me super productive. It was also a little more stressful and tiring to work while streaming and to talk through it, and it also makes me self conscious ( I hid away in a outdoor office ) but I imagine that’s part of what focuses me and also that it’ll only get easier. As a serial procrastinator, just horseing myself to communicate and show people that I’m working puts a real motivation behind me. Even just by telling a few friends that I had this plan has changed my mindset about it completely.

Today was brought to you by Schmoylent, the alternative nutrient slurry powering this game developer.


Episode 0 of 1 Month 1 Game, Welcome back

The login page displayed an older username, at least five years old. I barely remembered the password, another older code, but it checked out.

The new interface has made the change from tadpole to frog, but I still know where the head and the tail are.

If websites could have dust…


Welcome back to Goodbye, World (not to be confused with our studio, GoodbyeWorld. Name change for the blog soon?). This time we’re talking about the games we’re making, not the games we’re playing.


Making a Game in a Month: Day 0

Today marked the first day in a little experiment to get myself motivated and making games on the fast. I’ve had an idea for a game for a long time and I should have been working on it before now that I’m going to finally get to. I’ll be posting and/or streaming every weekday (ok, probably 4/5, I’m just being honest with everyone)  and I’ll be uploading a web build of the game as I go. I’m going to focus on being as educational as possible while still getting done what I need.

If you want to catch the stream or the archives, find me at http://www.twitch.tv/goodbyeworldwil

The Game : Your Mark (Working Title)

I’ve made a couple of prototypes in the past trying to take stabs at the same idea, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of the direction already. Your Mark (or whatever it ends up being called) is going to be a Fruit Ninja -like iOS game where instead of sword swipes and fruits it’s brush strokes and…. right now circles. I haven’t decided on the best narrative justification for the “fruits” that will be the targets in my game but I’m going to start with some different designs and see if anything strikes me.

The main idea will be having similar play session lengths and style of play as Fruit Ninja, but every time you complete a 60 second arcade mode, you also end up with a drawing that is hopefully cool looking in correlation to how good you are at making efficient brush strokes. I want to experiment with how different enemy spawn patterns and “death” conditions and player loss conditions create different styles of painting, and even maybe use them to create painted objects. For instance, having a bunch of enemies spawn and form circular shapes in the top right to form the “sun” and then the next wave spawning all around the canvas and moving toward the sun which would then look like sun rays. Eventually I want to add a “custom composition” mode where you can choose what kinds of waves spawn in an attempt to design the kind of picture you’ll end up with. Hopefully people will tweet their drawings, right?

So even with that I’ve got enough to work off of in Unity and will know a little more once I can play around with my finger on an actual iPhone screen. This idea has been stewing in my stomach for a good two years, it’s definitely cooked. I’ve got a big ol’ notebook full of some of my early design ideas, I’ll try and upload scans as they become relevant.

Day 0 Report: Getting Set Up

Spent the morning getting OBS to work for streaming to twitch, which took very little time and was surprisingly awesome and easy.

Spent the afternoon setting up iOS dev but they got my name wrong on a thing and can’t change it until tomorrow, but learned a lot about the process of getting Unity all the way to an iPhone. Nothing you can’t google.

Finally got a little Unity project together on Git. If you want send me an email (willadhell@gmail.com) and I’ll add you to the repo, it’s private at the moment.

All I’m using so far is a plugin called SplineTrailRenderer which uses Catmull Rom splines to make trails rather than the super rigid Unity trail renderer. It also has a lot of good customization options for potentially making brushes (think more like photoshop brushes) and that’s what I’ll be using it for. I haven’t been able to hook up the project to build for iOS yet, but I’ll be making sure the controls respond to mouse click and iPhone touch for quick testing, so I’ll be setting up the mouse version as apple sorts out my name today.

And I had a delicious burger at the apple pan.

See you tomorrow





Point and Click Phoenix

I know you can totally see this at the link, but here’s the official abstract:

“Azriel Odin, ex-assassin, arrives on the rain-drenched planet of Barracus. When things go horribly wrong, he can only seek help from the very criminals he used to work for.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a man called Delta-Six wakes up in a hospital with no memory. Without knowing where to turn or who to trust, he vows to escape before he loses his identity completely.

As fate brings these two closer together, we discover a world where life is cheap, identities are bought and sold, and a quest for redemption can change the fate of a whole galaxy.”

Doesn’t that just send a shiver down your spine? I love me some cyber noir.

This game comes from a long line of adventure games from a two person company (plus dog) called Wadjet Eye Games so I assure, its pedigree is solid. Take this whole overview with the grain of salt that is I personally really don’t like point and click adventure games. More specifically, I don’t like games where I’m left thinking that I’ve tried everything that makes sense and now I have to brute force an obtuse object puzzle. I guess I don’t like bad adventure games, and you can read into the state of the genre from that. This here is a sweet game, point and click or not.

Only a handful of times, maybe three or four, during the entire game was my guess for what should logically solve the given situation not feasible. The moment to moment puzzles are rock solid, seamless, and highly rewarding. Aside from the inherent satisfaction of solution, what this really did for my experience was that it made me feel like a rad detective. Captain Deckard doesn’t ever forget to pick up that one thing that he needs to glue to his fishing net to open the door. He goes somewhere, he solves some shit, he does it right, and he gets narrative pay off because of it. That’s exactly what this game delivered: there was no disconnect between what the character was written to be and what my interaction created.

Any frustrations that I faced as a player my character faced in the context of the game, making them more into obstacles that developed a character. Any victories, even if they were the small victories of correctly negotiating with a clerk to borrow his ID, were not the victories of me, the nerd at a computer working systems in a game, but the victories of Azriel Odin, the over named private eye bad ass(Seriously that is some indulgent naming. I love it).

The more I look at it, the more this is an artifact of a top-down approach to narrative game design. The script was written first, and then each individual scene was designed with that in mind. Just like the design of the puzzle elements serve the narrative, the narrative does its best work in giving context for the puzzle. The most mundane puzzles regarding barely sci-fi every day situations become carefully chosen slices of a continuous narrative. it creates a feedback loop that keeps a quick but very measured pace. Pacing is this game’s middle name, (Gemini Pacing Rue) which is something that the entire medium struggles with every day.

If you love adventure games, this is the cream of the crop. If you hate them, this is your best opportunity to expand your horizons.


Gemini Rue 

What We Do

We didn’t start with Nothing. Nothing was six months ahead when we started. We weren’t even thinking about Nothing. We started in the neighboring dimension to where nothing would be, a window universe. We started, to be truthful, when we were born. In another way, we started a year and a half ago when we were thinking just ‘what would be so cool.’

After we had discovered ‘what would be so cool,’ the first gear spun. The bones were added to the cauldron: “Preproduction.” This stage lasted a while, but was generally considered to be far too short. This is where we would talk and draw on napkins and stand up from tables at night to illustrate with our arms. This is probably when it felt most complete, even though we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen.

This is the stage that anyone can live in. It’s window shopping, it’s daydreaming, it’s just messing around. It’s a safe place to be and tossing ideas around is just improvisational acting for some. It’s something we loved to do recreationally all the time. We had made a game out of this stage, that’s how great it is. We could play revolutionary all day.

This stage was the honeymoon. We had many more with us in this stage than we do now. At the end it was more of a “We few, we happy few” than “We the people,” but that’s how it goes. There’s no more bitterness there than there is when the sun sets. It was just easier to include everyone who wanted to have a say, the more the merrier.

Then we realized that we had to get to work on Nothing. Just to get existence out of the way so we could really start laying down some work. It was like jumping off a cliff and not knowing whether we had landed or not, but Nothing was there, and we could walk around at least.

There was a lull during this period. Sometimes we got witted down to just me, and that was truly frightening. All of the joy from before had to put on its tie and go to its job to pay the rent. Every once and a while there would be a moment of excitement, of discovering something new in what was Nothing. For the most part, it was the slow ponderous start.

That stage didn’t last too long, and soon we were back in our swing. We started laying down bricks, making flowers, writing scripts. The scripts were really the hardest part, but also what gave the whole thing life. We started at a crawling pace, stepping into the pool one toe at a time, and we left everything to crunch days right before deadline. Thank God we had deadlines.

This is the period during which we would dream about our project at night, after lying awake in bed thinking about it for hours. The biggest question on our mind was ‘How are we going to seriously pull this off?” Sometimes what we needed to pull off was making the sunlight look exactly right, sometimes it was making sure that running caused the world to move under the player’s feet just right, and that the world never stopped turning. Most of the time, though, it was just a general anxiety.

Then it got progressively more real. Each day the big deadline came closer. It loomed over the entire space silently, we never had to mention it. It would suggest things like taking out all the scaffolding, making a door that other people could use, and general polishing and spit shining all around. This was particularly daunting as most of us would be standing on said scaffolding while these ideas occurred to us. Vertigo is the closest description of what this feels like.

At the same time, we were doing what we loved every hour of every day. We would be in our space, our once Nothing space, talking and arranging and directing actors and teaching flies how to fly. Every day we had a new challenge of making this space and time experience feel exactly right to whoever found their way in. It’s an undescribable feeling, seeing it all come together. It’s kind of like watching a forest coming out of winter and crawling to life.

This love hate pull went on forever and then came to an abrupt halt. The moments before the deadline… I can scarcely remember them. We were firing white hot on all cylinders. Shaving corners off rectangles, trimming the grass, packaging and wrapping, putting away all of our tools. The deadline became a concrete entity about a week before it arrived, and it pushed us all into and through the crunch.

The crunch! We live and die for the crunch. The twilight rush, the cram, overtime, whatever you call it, it is incredibly painful. It’s somewhere between giving birth and speed solving a Rubiks cube at the World Rubiks Cube Solving Competition finals. It was all in anticipation of that final moment, lifting my hands from the very last object we had to put in, and boarding up the door that only we could use so that we could open the gates that everyone else would use. It’s hard to even look back on doing that.

Technically, our work was done, but that thought had never nor will never cross our minds. We are never done with anything. That is the heaviest price to pay, to only have the ability to get things to be good enough rather than complete. Technically speaking, though, we rest in the fact that it is complete.

The first night’s sleep after the last day is the best sleep we ever had. The sleep was our celebration, and it was the best party we had ever been to. It’s like that every time. It was empty, dreamless sleep that lasted well into the afternoon, for me at least. It felt relieving to have emptiness again, just for a moment.

I won’t talk about what happened to our Something after we were done. It’s out there, somewhere and God bless those who find our work and savor it. Aside from that, it is just a memory for us.

The period of that peaceful sleep only lasts so long, though. Sooner or later, we’re going to progress our science. New methods and lenses and procedures will have been invented for examining ‘what is so cool. We will likely reinvent the definition at least twice. ‘ ‘What is so cool’ may not even be recognizable from last year’s model.

And then, at some point during another new game of invention, we will all hear a single cog latch on to its brother, and we will all know what must be done.