Thursday, March 1, 2018

My Assetto Corsa Teams

John Marine | 10:22 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
In #AssettoCorsa and with Content Manager, I assembled some teams. And in this "John's Creative Space" blog post, I will share you those team creations of mine. This continues my groove of car skinning for Assetto Corsa. You can view all of my work on my Weebly site, but I want to share my work here as well to keep this blog flowing.






My Assetto Corsa Teams


When creating liveries for Assetto Corsa, you can just create a basic skin for any vehicle. You and then program any number of racing suits for the driver and the team.

But before I show you my team liveries, let me share this with you...


Skins... AND Team?

I practiced looking at making a car livery along with making a team and driver set to make a complete team. This was my first practice:

Assetto Corsa team
This was practice on making a team. What isn't visible are the headphones on the teams underneath the tent.

There is an ac_crew.dds file to each skin in Assetto Corsa. The elements of that file determine the image details expressed by the team. Assetto Corsa offers a good array of default racing gear to where you feel you lack enough quality suits, gloves, and helmets. You kind of have to play around with the options of already-available content, but you should be fine unless you want to make completely unique racing gear.


Now on to my team liveries. I will share with you three teams I created.


Team: Victoria's Secret Racing.

Victoria's Secret BMW Z4 GT3 Team Assetto Corsa
This is "Victoria's Secret Racing" with some very sexy BMW Z4 GT3s.

My first team I attempted to put together in a team picture is "Victoria's Secret Racing." This is a team of thee BMW Z4 GT3s. The premise was to make a sexy set of paintschemes for a sexy race car. I initially planned on all cars to be black with pink accents. Eventually, I chose to make only one of them black with pink accents. The other two were two shades of pink and pink with white. The cars represent three different lines from the Victoria's Secret line. The first one is Victoria's Secret itself, the second one is the Juniors-oriented Victoria's Secret PINK line, and the third one is the Victoria Sport (or VSX) line.


Team: Sodexo Sport.

Sodexo Sport Porsche team Assetto Corsa
Three Porsche 911 RSRs make up this French team of the French brand Sodexo.

Sodexo is a company that specializes in quality of life services. It is a French company I learned of when I was hospitalized last year. I mostly know them for providing good food to stay nourished. In making my Sodexo team, I had trouble wondering how to utilize the template for the car. So I did my best and came up with the scheme you see for this team in Assetto Corsa.


Team: Roshfrans Racing.

Roshfranz Racing BMW M3 GT2 team Assetto Corsa
Meet this Mexican team of BMW M3 GT2s.

Of the three teams I am featuring here in this post, "Roshfranz Racing" is the only team based on freely-available cars in Assetto Corsa. So this is not downloadable content for AC. Roshfranz is a Mexican company that produces car care products. I picked to paint the cars black, but each team car features the three different colors that make up Roshfrans. Also among the sponsors is Volaris. Volaris is a Mexican airline.


Now you know about the teams I created. For more plans with my work, visit the next section.




My Plans With These Assetto Corsa Teams


Thank you for looking at my teams! I want you to know something if these pictures have interested you, though. I am thinking of providing my skins and other work to sites like RaceDepartment or NoGripRacing. I hope I can generate enough interest to be able to offer my work to all of you. So if I somehow get a good amount of interest, I will provide my work online for you to enjoy. Just be sure to thank me, of course!

All of the teams do not have actual drivers assigned to them. I'll leave that up to you in case you want to set up team liveries and such. To see all of my work work for Assetto Corsa, please visit my Assetto Corsa portfolio on JMDesigns.





I hope you enjoy my work here. Glad you could drop by! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Project Defiant

John Marine | 5:54 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Project Defiant is the codename for my ambitious eBook project. Previously, I made two eBooks as part of my "Proof Posi+ive" series- both nonfiction. This other eBook project is ambitious for many reasons. For one, this is a fictional piece of mine. I will tell you more about this project I am working on.


About the Label: Projects


Blog posts in this category relate to certain projects I am working on. They will fall under certain names and do not entirely represent the final product when finished, if projects are indeed finished.







Project Defiant


Here is a look at the basics of this eBook fiction I am working on.


Basic Overview.

A young male bored with masculine fashion plans to try a new sort of lifestyle. He decides to try wearing feminine clothes and try to live life as a male in feminine clothing. His journey and his adventures lead him to many different changes in perception and in acceptance. He finds out more about himself, and perhaps also take on new responsibilities and new perceptions. All the while, he begins to take on a new personality and has new thoughts about himself and the world around him. How far can his experiences go?


The "Ambitious" Elements.

I feel like this is an ambitious project because it involves elements much different from what I normally would focus on. For one, a few LGBT-style references are exhibited. I also have introduced romantic and seductive elements. Needless to say, this one will not be as friendly to all audiences. However, if I am going to express these elements, I am going to do it smartly and not casually swear on a constant basis. I am also not going to casually throw around seductive references just to remind you that this is not some not-safe-for-work piece of literature.


Inspirations.

The main inspiration is in the beauty of male androgyny. The protagonist of my story is an androgynous male who is (to quote from the LGBT realm) passable, or the ability to be perceived as a member of one gender as opposed to the one assigned at birth. I have no actual inspirations. It's more just fantasy.

Conversely, you could say that the beauty of the male body being as enticing as even the most seductive females is a major inspiration to this project. This project of mine does have some LGBT elements to it, but this is not meant to be exclusively LGBT literature.


Now that you know about some of my project, let me explain a little progress.




Project Defiant: Progress (as of February 14, 2018)


When I looked at my previous two eBooks, I noticed I have typed more than 50K characters for my work. My novel currently is at about 63K characters. I am carefully planning my story. I seem more interested in trying to piece together individual experiences rather than properly structure a story from beginning to conclusion. Formal writing is not my forte. So I am somewhat casual with putting the story together. I am doing things like limiting contractions, avoiding double negatives, and stuff like that.


I may want to try to provide further details of my work on Patreon, including some details too good to share in a blog post or even in a free post on my Pateron page. Even if just to revive my Patreon page, I'll do what I can to share some extra details about my work. Want to contribute to my work through Patreon? Here's your invitation:

John on Pateron





Once I complete my project (or if I do), I will surely share my work with you all to enjoy. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Assetto Corsa Skinning

John Marine | 8:23 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
Skinning for Aseeto Corsa cars is something I've done lately in trying to learn how to mod cars for this game. I have used GIMP for my skinning of cars. The really nice thing about this game is that all cars have templates for them supplied by the developer, Kunos Simulazioni. Part of the process is in trying to learn how to properly put in my material. I will share with you some of the skins I made for Assetto Corsa and what I have learned.

First, here is a decent skin I created:

Assetto Corsa skin
^ This is a 2016 Audi R8 LMS colored in my Moonlight Motorsports livery.

This skin was created by me after learning how to properly design liveries for cars using GIMP. Part of this involved some trial and error. Making a skin with GIMP is not really difficult; it is just not as efficient and intuitive as with Photoshop.

What are my recommendations? First off, save the PSD format template to GIMP's proprietary XCF format. If you try to save over the PSD in GIMP, you will lose the texture group information- and you don't want that. So try to save the PSD file into XCF before doing any painting in GIMP. Assetto Corsa uses the DDS format for textures. The recommended format is DXT1 for textures that do not use alpha channels. Use DXT5 format DDS for images that have transparency to them. Transparency options usually are reserved for things like windshield graphics and some car skins that are basically overlays to cars.

When you save a DDS file through GIMP, the car skin will appear light at first. It is as if gamma correction is provided when a skin is successfully loaded into the game or through some external viewer. Also, pay special attention to what layer is active in GIMP, because the active layer will be exported when you try to load the skin onto a car. So when you're done with all of the livery graphics, flatten the image so all visible layers are applied to the car. Make sure also to not have the wireframe layer active if a skin has a wireframe layer. What about the colors? The method I use is to darken the color lightness and add some saturation. Use the "Hue-Saturation" option from the Colors menu in GIMP. The settings I use are Lightness at -75 and about Saturation of 15. After doing this, the skin comes out properly when I upload the skins into Assetto Corsa.

So in review, here is the skinning process:
• paint your livery onto a given car
• flatten the image
• darken the Lightness of the image and add some Saturation
• save the DDS file in DXT1 format, and also generate mipmaps

If you have Assetto Corsa, I recommend using "Content Manager" to preview skins for cars. The program updates skins in real time, so you can edit the skins as many times as you like to sample your skin before playing it in the game.


Now for the trial and error process. Consider the following:


Skinning Too Light.

Assetto Corsa skin
^ This was a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport appearing too bright.

With this effort, the colors appear faded, like badly worn jeans or other clothes. The colors are not rich enough and real enough for my tastes. Actually, I had previously added more saturation just to make sure the colors appear right. Even still, there was that sort of gamma correction that made the colors appear brighter than they should be. I didn't want that kind of gamma correction hampering the quality of my livery designs.


Skinning Too Dark.

Assetto Corsa skin
^ This Mazda MX-5 Cup test car was colored darker than the original image.

There was a point where I sampled colors too dark. What I did was apply an all-black layer and gave it some opacity. This would darken my image without needing to apply Lightness or Saturation once I flattened the image. This worked well. However, it made some of my skins appear darker and less saturated than what they should be. So I then retired that method.


Lessons Learned.

Until I find a way around gamma correction, this is the method I use to try to apply proper color quality to my car skins in Assetto Corsa. The cars still come out beautifully once I import them into the game.





Happy new year, mates! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Second Life Plans

John Marine | 8:04 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Recently, I joined Second Life. Second Life is the most popular virtual world simulator today. I began thinking about offering creative work in SL after being active in Second Life. Currently, I have nothing to share. I do hope in the future to maybe offer some material to the SL Universe. Until then, there are no real plans of mine at this moment. I will keep all of you posted. Maybe in my "John's Blog Space" blog (my main blog), I will offer my thoughts on Second Life based on my first experiences with it this past weekend.

My biggest Second Life plans are to make avatars as well as making clothing for avatars. I may also consider making various props to be used by Second Life avatars. I currently haven't come up with anything. However, I do have a number of thoughts in mind for what I COULD create. So stay tuned!

Now you know what kind of plans I have in regards to Second Life.





Thank you for visiting "John's Creative Space!" I hope you can stay around to keep viewing my material. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

3D Track Modeling

John Marine | 8:17 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
(UPDATED: September 28, 2017)

As I returned to 3D modeling recently, I want to make cars and tracks. The latter is what I have mostly been doing lately in my return. This blog post shows practice runs of mine modeling tracks in Wings3D. It will give you an idea of what I hope to provide in the future for all of you.


LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):

SEP 28 2017 - added another section, edits made






3D Track Modeling


When designing a race course, you have to consider designing a course in regards to making something that will be enjoyable and fun. Your ability to create a virtual space that serves as a quality race track is paramount to making something memorable. I tend to believe you need quality locations to challenge the limits of vehicles in games. Without fine venues, a car, nor its driver(s) will ever shine. So it pays to build some quality material in your own world and with your own level of craftsmanship and expertise.

A long time ago, I had envisioned making tracks for rFactor. Nothing ever materialized from my work then, and I lacked the skill and desire to make 3D models. It wasn't until recently that I decided to give 3D modeling another try. You may remember I discussed why I abandoned the 3D modeling scene some time ago. Now... I'm back!

I want to show a bit of my evolution in trying to re-learn Wings3D and Blender. I still use Wings3D for my modeling, but I am doing more of re-learning Blender to put everything together. The next section will show some practice modeling runs of mine.



Track Designs


None of my designs here will be part of any project, but I did practice designing courses. I have shown a few of my practice runs in pictures in my Facebook profile, but never truly worked on them much since. So what you are going to see are mostly practice runs with a slow evolution of my skill.

NOTE: I am now using Flickr to display some of my images.


Practice Run 1: Oval.

TestOval

A lot of racing fans would find oval racing boring. However, these are some of the most basic courses anyone can construct. Just think about it for a moment- you have some simple straights and a few corners. Completely simple to make. If you want to do more complicated ones, though, you'll have some extra work to do.


Practice Run 2: Oval With Objects.

TestTrackModel

This practice run was about designing a race course with objects. The objects on this course include a gate at the Start/Finish line, grandstands, and a garage. Even the outside concrete wall is a separate object. The advantage to a design like this is that if the performance is low, certain track objects can be removed to help improve frame rate for games. I probably shouldn't have made the outside wall a separate object, but I did. Remember- this is practice. This probably will not likely going to materialize into a track.


Practice Run 3: Road Course.

TestTrackRoad

One time, I learned a skill important in the design of race courses- the ability to bend geometry. I made a road course once that was mostly a bunch of rough cubes. Learning how to bend pieces allowed me to make smoother corners for tracks. As you can see in my test run for a road course, you can see the smooth corners.


Practice Run 4: Elevation Changes and Overpass.

TestTrackRoad2

(ADDED: September 28, 2017) This unusual-looking track was created to practice making elevation changes and an overpass. Careful placement of vertices were key in making this possible. Selecting individual loops were key in preparing this model and making the different elevation changes. Elevation changes, when making a race track, are paramount on how you actually model them. Providing too steep an angle can almost make a vehicle seem like it is hitting a wall. So you need to be careful to not make the angle too steep for whatever vehicle(s) may maneuver around it.


Please note that in all of my pictures and in my test modeling runs before my 4th practice run, the track itself is flat. I have not yet gone to the level of making modeling runs of race tracks with elevation changes or overpasses. Perhaps I will share those runs in a future post. Stay tuned to my blog for more on that front! Meanwhile, check out the next section.




Explaining the Workflow


How did I create these in Wings3D, and how can you make your own work? Well, part of my workflow is to design the basic proportions of the course followed by drawing points through the center of the different edges. The center line drawn around the track is then beveled using the Bevel function. Three colors are used to mark the outer section (usually grass), the bounds of the course (usually the white lines marking the edges of a track, and the road itself (usually tarmac or non-tarmac). It is also possible to extrude the outer portions of the track to put up barriers to help keep the car in-bounds. Or in the case of temporary circuits, what could be used to define the boundaries of the road and the outer part can simply be used as the barriers as you see on most street course tracks.

You can build your courses any way you please, but this is how I've come to learn how to design courses.



An Interesting Observation...


I imported a model of one car from one game and did a little experiment on it. When you make a basic cube in Wings3D or Blender, you get a cube that is about 2x2x2 units. Each unit from the basic scale is one foot (or one meter for Metric measurements). A car with a measurement of two units wide and four units long will require about two cubes under it to properly fit it onto the ground. When you make a 3D model or a scene, you can always upscale it to your heart's content. So in the case of a 4x4x4 cube, a car of 2x4 dimensions would fit onto it but wouldn't look too good on such a small surface. So you would need to scale it up by twice or thrice as much for it to be used as a model to race on a track.

You can start small but then raise the scale to make it better able to be used in a game or in any animation. If you are making a track for a game, be mindful of performance limitations of whatever device(s) you are developing for.


Other than that... have fun modeling!





That's all for this post. If I do offer something fun, I'll share it with all of you. Meanwhile... thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

A 3D Confession

John Marine | 3:21 PM | | Be the first to comment!
There is a reason why I haven't made 3D models for some time. Now, I must confess. I had never successfully made a 3D model from start to finish until 2016. This was nearly 20 years of trying then. Once I got going, I had a stretch of success making merely basic 3D models. Nothing of mine was too in-depth or overly complicated. One day commenting on a message board, I came across someone who made a 3D model of his own. It looked extremely basic and with not much complexity. I commented that his work was very good but could be better. Another person more qualified said it was a terrible model and would not sell well on (this site). If that wasn't bad enough, this other guy who ripped the modeler wanted me not to encourage him, as if he'll keep making crappy models that won't make any kind of profit for that certain site. Both of us weren't professional-style 3D modelers, but at least I gave the benefit of the doubt to this other modeler.

One thing about me... if you say something convincing or in a convincing way, I will tend to look at things a different way and either not be into it anymore or make me appreciate something more. The former describes me when it came to 3D modeling. Being part of one community sometimes makes you think differently trying to come up with content as a content publisher. You know your level of skill will or will not be enough to satisfy everyone, especially in certain communities. You can only do so much based on your level of skill.

Having said that, the impact of dealing with this incident has led me not to be as active in making 3D models anymore. One person or a group of people can be just enough to make you not care about something or have the same level of joy and confidence in trying to make something. Parts of me do want to get back into the flow of 3D modeling. Trouble is, you have to ease into it- almost like exercising. You know you are not going to burn 50 lbs. in a day or in a week. Thankfully for me, Wings3D is not overly complicated to learn and use. So any 3D projects I may take on probably won't be as difficult. They will only be difficult if I intend on making something incredibly complex.

To see the 3D work I've come up with, visit my portfolio of 3D work on my Weebly site here: JMDesigns - 3D Portfolio. And if any of my 3D models interest you, you can shop for them here on my Weebly page: JMDesigns - 3D Store.





I can't believe it's been months since my last post on "John's Creative Space." Most of that, though, is because I have mostly been working on material for the PC fighting game engine M.U.G.E.N. Stay tuned to this blog and to my Weebly site for more information on these deals. How do you do that? Just click on the items below this paragraph! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Vector Practice

John Marine | 9:01 PM | Be the first to comment!
I have practiced vectoring lately. Vector art is a fine form of art if you are able to create quality material. A number of indie games even utilize vectored art rather than pixelated material. One major advantage to vector art is that you able to resize the art to be small or large without losing quality of the image. That is why a lot of today's games and art utilize vectors over pixels. Prior to recently, I have never successfully made any kind of vector art.

I took a picture of a high-heel platform pump and made a vector out of it. This was the result:

vector art practice
^ Original image on left, vector on right.

I tried vectoring an image while also adding some extra vectors for lighting detail. Check it:

vector art practice
^ Rather than fill in vector shapes, I instead made separate vectors to add some light details. I also modified the bezier curves to my liking to mold the vector image on the right.

Really, I think I can get better at making vectors. The real challenge for me is actually in trying to trace a basic outline and then try to make something look as detailed as possible. Some people make absolutely impressive vector graphics. I even have some vector graphics for logos for cars. I am grabbing skills from various vector graphic artists to refine my vector art skills. To be honest, vectoring seems like a lot of hard work, but it really isn't. All I have done was mostly take advantage of tracing and if need be, modify the vector paths.


Vector Plans?

I have taken on an interesting project. I am considering using Inkscape (the program I am using for my vectoring) to make MUGEN characters; but more importantly, I am also trying to design as many original characters as possible for 2D game projects. That even includes my host of original fictional characters. I may even come up with entirely unique personalities made exclusively though vectoring. So be sure to follow my work for more details.





I hope you got to enjoy this blog post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Historically-Accurate Car Skins

John Marine | 9:31 PM | | Be the first to comment!
I attempted historically-accurate GTR2 skins. It wasn't the period I initially hoped for, but I tried out some minimalist skins for the 1986 Volvo 240 Turbo. A GTR2 mod had someone convert "Volvo: The Game" cars into GTR2. So I took the opportunity to take templates for the cars and paint up some cars. My first attempt to try historic style cars was to be with "GT Legends" cars converted to GTR2, but I wanted to try the Volvo 240 Turbo because I was somewhat '80s nostalgic. I focused on computers and software, especially the likes of two companies as you'll see below:


^ 1986 Apple Volvo 240 Turbo


^ 1986 Microsoft Volvo 240 Turbo

I don't do period-specific style cars. Sure it offers authenticity and realism, but I am just not good at certain time-themed works. You can see more of my work by going to my "JohnMarineDesigns" page and going to the Game Mods page of my Portfolio. Or if you want to go there now, visit: JMDesigns - Game Mods.

What I really want to do in terms of historically-accurate liveries is work with the GT Legends cars. You amy see that work in the future from me.





Thank all of you for your support! Please continue to support my work if it interests you. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pizza Hut Cup

John Marine | 4:59 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Earlier in 2016, I made a skin for GTR2's Saleen Mustang SE Challenge. The motivation was to make another GTR2 video. The cars share the same Pizza Hut livery. There is a story behind making a one-off event, and this blog post details that storyline. As of yet, I haven't made any kind of video or anything on it. Rest assured I will be providing links to any video material or anything else I come up with in this blog post. As of the initial blog post, however, I am simply announcing the storyline.

Since this is my first post to this blog of 2017, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


DISCLAIMER:

This story and its contents are purely fiction. Any relation between this project's storyline, characters, or anything of that nature is purely coincidental.

Pizza Hut and its name, logos, and related marks are a registered trademark of Pizza Hut, Inc.






Pizza Hut Cup


Here is a look at the skin I created for the GTR2 mod:

Pizza Hut Porsche Cayman S
^ from: (my Weebly site) - This is the Pizza Hut Cup car, a 2011 Porsche Cayman S. I originally had a Saleen Mustang SE to serve as my race car for the Pizza Hut Cup.

And here is the story...


Pizza Hut Cup: Story.

The main story of this race is that there is a race sponsored by Pizza Hut and promoted to run a special support race. A collection of 20 identically prepared and identical liveried cars will compete among each other. While the event is a racing event, there is one important caveat. Each of the drivers paid certain fees that went towards providing vouchers for individuals. The vouchers allow for individuals and families to be fed to a proper Pizza Hut meal. Those vouchers will be part of a raffle. The meals these vouchers pay for include the following:

• a large size pizza with any choice of toppings and crust
• the customer's choice of wings or breadsticks
• pasta
• a 2-liter bottle of soda

Racing hard while also providing delicious dinner is the premise behind this series and how it is catching on. I want this to be a rather interesting story of "paying it forward." Good food and doing good for others. Win-win, right?


Pizza Hut Cup: The Competition Car.

The car is a Porsche Cayman S race car. The car is nimble and makes fairly decent horsepower. Prior to recent times, the car I intended to have as the competition car for this series was a Saleen Mustang SE race car. I only went as far as designing the outer skin. And just like the Summer Speed Series deal I created for GTR2, the drivers featured are mostly generated or generic drivers. I have to have some kind of way to identify the drivers so it doesn't seem like a bunch of drones racing each other.

JUST SO YOU KNOW... I also created a skin for rFactor long ago to make a Pizza Hut car for that game. However, I haven't made a proper set of cars to make it unique for rFactor. I also used a different car. For rFactor, the Pizza Hut car I created is a Panoz Esperante GTS race car. If I make something for rFactor on this topic, I'll be sure to share my work with you all.

One of the real challenges was in trying to design the car skin. I can't seem to load the skins for the car using 3DSimEd, so I have to load GTR2 to get a general feel for what I am trying to design.


~~~ this space reserved for a video - check for updates ~~~





I hope you enjoyed my work here. Make sure to Subscribe and Follow this blog (and my others) if you enjoy my work. Also be sure to follow me on social media for more of the goodness I have to offer. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Game Making Struggle

John Marine | 1:28 AM | | Be the first to comment!
The game-making struggle is real, folks. Most of my creative energy recently has been spent making game prototypes and learning game programming. I've had the furthest progress using Lua and Löve2D. So that is what I am using to make games. The ultimate goal is to make my first true game I have nothing to share at this point with you all, but I will offer thoughts on my journey of making my first game of any kind.






The Game Making Struggle


Let me go into a bit more detail about my work.


Putting the Games Together.

I am using Notepad++ to put together code for my games. I am using Löve2D for coding, a game-focused Lua interface. When I get around to audio, I will be using Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) mostly. Most of my art has been done with Paint.NET. To try to make material for games, I am taking inspiration from various games. Most of my concentration is on simply making some kind of game rather than the most spectacular material right away. You got to take baby steps before making big leaps.


Why Ask Why?

So...

Why Lua/Löve2D?
I am using Löve2D because it is the programming language I have most successfully been able to make prototypes of. I have no formal training in computer science or programming, so I am mostly relying on various online resources to program with. A lot of people use Löve2D for which to make games with. And while many others will fancy something like C++ or Java instead, you can quickly make progress using Löve2D.

I have been playing with Unity3D, Unreal Engine, and Godot. Since my concentration is on 2D games, it seems a good bit awkward using a 3D engine for making 2D games. I think I even looked at Blender to try to make a pixel-perfect 2D game. Programs like Construct2 and Game Maker are for easy making of games. For some reason, I feel it is better to work with proper programming languages for better porting of material to different platforms and more programming control.

Why Paint.NET?
While Photoshop is more powerful and has many more features, I am using Paint.NET mostly for comfort and for a lightweight solution for making art. You can do a lot more in Photoshop, but the Paint.NET usage is primarily for making some quality material without having some massive program.

Why LMMS?
It has been the best sort of program for making music. Most of all, like many of the other things featured in this post, it's free. It has been the program I slowly learned and enjoyed to make music with. You probably have heard some of my music in my YouTube videos and even on my Weebly site.


Admitting Problems.

One of the things that upsets me is when you have very few quality resources. And sometimes, the ones that are suggested best usually are not the very best. An example includes a video of something that ultimately is not very good because of poor quality expressing it. Or maybe you find some website or blog with a tutorial, and you end up not having the same results as what someone else put together. All of this leads to frustration.

Another weakness is in not being able to properly know how to put certain games together. I've been looking at all kinds of methods to try to build games and game levels. I have yet to make some kind of game I am proud of to share and to build. Part of the reason is because I am not as adept at programming. I don't have any comfort level to confidently build a game from scratch. Being so compelled by various programming languages, I often don't know what methods and functions I can apply to any programming language or know what programming speak is exclusive to one specific language.

I have also struggled trying to come up with a proper suite to parse levels. Methods have included trying to put together PNG images to even trying to make game level data based on an image. I have not been successful making a proper parsing system for which to design levels easier.

Not everyone is some kind of one-person studio. Despite my issues, I mostly want to try to do this alone. I think there is greater accomplishment in trying to get things done your way and on your own. Is it intense? You bet! However, I feel there is greater gratification in being solo. You are making something to how you perceive to be incredible.


Game Building Methods.

I mentioned methods of making games. Let me explain a bit further.

Let us take making game levels for instance. Some people design levels using a series of images- maybe a static background image, then have that image with various overlays of hand-drawn levels. Or in the case of game engines, a decent set of tiles to make a 2D type game. People have designed levels of 2D games using a bunch of PNG layers or even a Photoshop PSD file. Some games are even built upon CSV files, XML files, Inkscape SVG images, even Excel spreadsheets. There are methods in designing levels in layers from the artistic aspects to the collision layer. I have yet to actually perfect any aspect of this.

As for game mechanics, I am playing games that I see either as good or bad. Sometimes learning from bad games (as you see them) can sometimes be the easiest to learn from since they aren't all that good. It is sometimes the worst titles where you feel you could most make something better. There is that feeling where you have a chance you can make something better than what some other developer made. With some titles I've played, I either want to make something as fun as a good game or make a not-very-good game better. You learn to take concepts from other titles and try to make your own quality content.

The game mechanics themselves can boil down to learning how to make certain titles and how to take certain dynamics to apply into your own work. For example, you can examine the code of a player in a platformer game to apply and modify in your own work. This is certainly something I am looking into as I am trying to develop my own kind of game and/or game prototype. I don't have as many quality resources to look at and try to utilize into my own work. I certainly don't want to completely copy somebody else's work as my own (plagiarism).

I haven't given it much thought, but I have also considered the user interface (UI) as part of my game design adventures. It is something I haven't given much thought to since I am more focused on trying to build the game first and foremost before thinking of making a certain interface.


Having said all of this, the struggle to try to make something of quality is real. You all know I will share my work with you all when I come up with something I think you all will like. I am not sure how I would distribute my content. To test the waters of making and distributing games, I may look to resources like Newgrounds, Kongregate, and even itch.io as sources. I may also set up a Google Site exclusive towards featuring some of my games.




Would I Consider Game Jams? (Bonus Section!)


To me, no. I am too much of a perfectionist to try to make a game from start to finish in only two days or shorter. I am not as keen to make a mistake-ridden game that I can ultimately learn from to design future games with. I am a casual person who has a professional mindset on certain things. I feel things must be of acceptable quality as I deem acceptable. Also, I am not too good at trying to work with themes.

The appeal of doing a game jam will help people to try to manage their time and realize what all is important when building games. I am not ready for that kind of stuff yet.





All you have to know from this blog post is that the struggle to make games is real. This is why I have mostly seemed idle in making content. You do, though, at least know that I have been trying to develop content as best as I can. This concludes another post of my creative works blog- "John's Creative Space." Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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