COMICOMPO 3

Comicompo 3 is a the third collaborative comic book written by the TIGSource community, this time with 77 pages by 77 artists, each with only the knowledge of the page prior to their own. There are 4 comics, and the ending of each leads into the beginning of another, so the comic never ends. My own contribution is page 34, enjoy!

026

INDIE KOMBAT 3-WAY

 

I have challenged Arthur Lee and Sophie Houlden to a 3-way round of Indie Kombat!
ABOUT INDIE KOMBAT

Established in 2010, Indie Kombat is the ultimate bare knuckle game development arena. Developers issue and answer challenges, battling for pride and glory. Ultimately the fans weigh in as each match is scored by public vote.
If you’ve been following it, you’ll know that the Indie Kombat debut duel between Rob Fearon and Farbs was nothing short of pure creative entertainment, and also resulted in two fantastic games!

u’ll also notice the general bring-it-on, cheerleader challenge, no holds barred vibe of the whole thing too. Fame and glory is at stake, after all. Now, cheeky wit isn’t something I have too much experience with, so I’m even more excited for this, since half of the challenge will not only be creating a better game than my opponents, but also being able to keep them on their toes.

ARTHUR LEE
Arthur Lee, known in some parts of the indie scene as “Mr. Podunkian”, is the developer of favored games such as Merry Gear Solid and the still in-progress The Underside. A fairly talented game developer, no doubt, but will be be able to keep at it while faced with my unrelenting cheerfulness and naive optimism? We’ll see.

SOPHIE HOULDEN
Sophie Houlden is the creative mind behind The Linear RPG and BOXGAME, to say the least. Her growing skills with the Unity game engine have become well-known, and her insufferable cheerfulness almost outmatches my own, making her a worthy opponent! But does she have what it takes to stomach the inevitable barrage of criticism from both me and Podunkian?
More info coming soon, so I’ll let you know when things get started. You guys know who to cheer for!

SITE LAUNCH & GOALS

Despite taking all summer, I finally got around to creating my personal website and blog! Since this is my official introduction post, I’ll explain what this site is and what my goals are with it.

If you’ve somehow managed to find your way here without knowing who I am, hopefully this page will clear things up. In short: I am Chevy Ray Johnston, independent game developer and lover of creative people and things.

It’s not just a place for me to show off, though; Around the site you’ll find that I’ve assembled many resources and useful links related to game development and other creative endeavors as well. Ever since I founded FlashPunk, I’ve become not only a disciple of the game development trade, but one of its teachers as well.

OPEN DEVELOPMENT

So this blog is going to be a place to learn as well as play, a place where I share with you cool finds, but also discuss the creative process and share useful tools and resources related to such.

One of my resolutions with this blog is to make my development process much more candid, giving away tips and tricks I pick up along the way, and sharing as much information as possible about what I’m working on and how I’m creating it.

PEER INTERVIEWS
Now here’s the scoop: one of my bigger plans is to begin and maintain a series of interviews on the website, which I am very excited about! Interview subjects will include fellow game developers, artists, musicians, and any other creative individuals I can get in touch with.

I chat and collaborate with dozens of creative people every day who appear regularly in magazines, websites, and even television; with so much access to these talented individuals, I figured: who better to sit down with them one-by-one and chat about the creative process?

JUST INTERVIEWS?
I think this interview series has potential based on one simple fact: these people are not my idols, they are not mysterious and mind-blowing to me, they are my friends and peers.

Interviews are usually conducted by writers, journalists, and representatives of the public; I am not. My interview subjects will be engaged in a sharp back-and-forth discussion regarding their process and trade. Rather than just listen and nod, I will challenge them, find the real answers behind the sugar coating.

Hopefully that doesn’t sound intimidating, I still plan on keeping things fairly low-key and indie, just less talk about money, fame, and publicity, and more about how to create amazing things.

CRATE: A LOVE STORY

If you haven’t heard of it, Super Crate Box is a new game by Vlambeer, a new indie game studio that’s made a great start with this title.

Super Crate Box is coming to bring back the glory of the golden arcade age, when all that really mattered was getting on that high score list. Grab your baseball cap and loosen your pants, it’s time to fight endless hordes of enemies and collect every weapon crate you can. Prepare for an arcade delight with interesting, refreshing game mechanics, cracking retro art and a terribly hip chiptune soundtrack.
One cool thing about the game’s release is that Vlambeer is doing a Paper Craft Contest in which contestants submit a photograph of this papercraft, and prizes will be awarded to the best photos. Instead of doing a single photo, I decided to submit a series of photos which tell a story, and here was the result…

WANT TO MAKE FLASH GAMES?

FLASHPUNK

FlashPunk is a free ActionScript 3 library I designed for developing 2D Flash web games. It provides you with a fast, clean framework to prototype and develop your games in. This means that most of the dirty work (timestep, animation, input, and collision to name a few) is already coded for you and ready to go, giving you more time and energy to concentrate on the design and testing of your game.

FEATURES

  • Framerate-independent and fixed-framerate timestep support.
  • Fast & manageable rectangle, pixel, and grid collision system.
  • Helper classes for animations, tilemaps, text, backdrops, and more.
  • Debug console for real-time debugging and information tracking.
  • Sound effect support with volume, panning, and fading/crossfading.
  • Powerful motion tweening for linear, curved, and path-based movement.
  • Z-sorted render lists for easy depth management.
  • Simple keyboard and mouse input state checking.
  • Quick & efficent particle effects and emitters.

WORKING WITH FLEX
This framework is designed for use with the free Flex framework, used for building Flash applications; by combining this with a code editor such as FlashDevelop or Flash Builder, you can import the FlashPunk library and develop games without the need of the official Flash IDE.

FLASH DEVELOP
If you’re running Windows, I highly recommend using FlashDevelop, a free open source code editor targeted specifically for ActionScript developers. Once you’ve downloaded it, I have written a tutorial which teaches you how to get your first FlashPunk project up and running.

USEFUL TOOLS & RESOURCES

Here I have assembled and organized a bunch of useful tools that help with the game development process. All the tools I list here are indie-friendly; since being an independent game developer doesn’t exactly rake in the dough, I have come to rely on (and love) free and open source software found on the internet. The following tools are all either freeware, inexpensive shareware (but worth the money), or have special licenses available for independent developers.

FLIXEL
Flixel is a free Flash Actionscript library created by Adam Saltsman which is distilled from a variety of Flash games that he has worked on over the last couple years. It’s primary function is to provide some useful base classes for creating 2D Flash games that developers can extend to make their own game objects.

GAME MAKER
Game Maker is a game creation tool for Windows. It’s an all-in-one package for game development, coming with a sprite editor, room editor, drag-and-drop object management, and also a script editor for those who want to try something a bit more fancy with it. My game development career started with Game Maker, which Skullpogo, Beacon, and Monster Pop were all created with.

UNITY
Unity is another all-in-one game development tool, but is much more powerful than Game Maker and oriented towards 3D game development (although it can be used for 2D if desired). Unity has recently released a free version that can be used by independent developers, although for more advanced features the pro version will still have to be purchased.

CONSTRUCT
Construct is another free, all-in-one game creator for Windows, and is designed for creating 2D games. It uses an event – based system for defining how the game behaves and provided a visual, non – scripting interface for defining this behaviour. It’s intuitive for beginners, but powerful enough for advanced users to work without hindrance.

FLASHDEVELOP
For coding Flash games on Windows systems, FlashDevelop is definitely my recommended code editor. It has all the bells and whistles, regular updates and feature additions, and is specifically designed for working with ActionScript. I have even written my own getting started tutorial for those who want to get starting making Flash games with FlashDevelop.

FLASH BUILDER
Flash Builder is a cross-platform ActionScript code editor provided by Adobe for working with Flex applications. It has more powerful functionality than FlashDevelop, and is also available for Mac, but is unfortunately not freeware. Still a recommended code editor for those seriously into ActionScript game development.

OGMO EDITOR
Ogmo Editor is a free cross-platform 2D visual level editor for independent developers. Creating levels in games is much easier with a visual editor, and Ogmo Editor is an editor designed to be used for many different kinds of game projects. The editor works with XML, which ActionScript has a good set of classes for working with, and the website has several tutorials to walk you through getting started.

GRAPHICSGALE
GraphicsGale is a shareware program designed for working with sprites and pixel art. While generally considered difficult to get into, those who know how to use it recommend it as the fastest and most useful tool for spriting. .

PAINT.NET
Paint.NET is a free graphic editing program for Windows, and is basically a more powerful version of paint with layering, more graphics and selection tools, and even a useful animation plugin that can be downloaded. Great intermediary program for people who cannot afford Photoshop; even if it doesn’t compare in power, it’s useful for quick graphic jobs and even pixelling.

GIMP
GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a freeware photo manipulating and image composing graphic program. GIMP is expandable and extensible, and designed to be augmented with plug – ins and extensions to do just about anything. Useful for people who cannot afford Photoshop and want a powerful substitute while working with graphics.

SFXR
SFXR is a tool created by Tomas Pettersson (aka. DrPetter) to provide a simple means of getting basic sound effectsinto a game. It was originally created for the 10th Ludum Dare competition, in which developers have to create their games in 48 hours; many of the entries did not have sound effects, so SFXR was naturally a success, and its use quickly became widespread to independent game developers everywhere. Just about all my games to date have used SFXR for sounds to some degree!

AUDACITY
Audacity is a free, open source, and cross-platform audio recording and playback program. A great tool for quick audio adjustments, and fiddling with sounds to get them suited up for your game. It can work with several different audio types and has a few useful plugins available providing extra features. Not a master tool by any means, and prone to crashing, but great for quick audio jobs.