Spring Catch-All

This blog post is kind of a catch-all of the last couple of months.

We’re working on an Isometric Voxel Engine and Multiplayer MMO for Grindcraftia.  We kind of have a shared video game technology universe, which allows us to progress in small steps toward Grindcraftia without trying to do it all at once.  We make some tech, and then make a game out of it.  And then all the game tech comes together to make Grindcraftia.  So here’s a couple of the games we’re working on.



We’re working with Tom Lintern to create a retro-future 80’s mall crawler.  It’s kind of like “Diablo, only Streets of Rage”.  It’s great to work with an actual artist, and a pre-defined IP so I can focus purely on technical coding.  You may recognize Tom’s work from the sci-fi/fantasy manga  Girrion .

From DeathMall, we’ll be creating an Isometric Voxel Engine.  Here’s Tom’s concept art, and a procedurally-drawn floorplan.  There’s no stores yet.

That top-down isometric look is what Grindcraftia will look like, only trees and mobs and things.


Hello Nooblets World

So, this is a funny mmo for young kids. Its super low tech so I can get my feet wet with how Multiplayer MMO works.  Why young kids?  It’s an easier audience, and we want to focus on multiplayer, not feature requests.  It will be hand-drawn to look like a kid made it. This allows us to make art very quickly.  For instance, here’s the player visiting a brick house in a forest, on a flatualant unicorn:

We’re using a decentralized network approach, where the first one to enter a room becomes the server for that room.  Grindcraftia will also have a decentralized network, and possible distributed ledger (blockchain) so that every action of every player in Grindcraftia is verifiable.  Why?  Players will be able to go forward and backward in time, so every action in the game needs to be saved and verifiable.  We’re going to launch Hello Nooblets World locally in my area. If kids like it, we may pursue it as a bigger game.


GrindCraft Mobile

This summer, we’re thinking heavily of making a GrindCraft mobile version.  There are a lot of clones out there.  But one thing we’ve noticed is that none of the clones are able to add more content or levels.  So, we’re debating doing a crowd funding campaign for something like “GrindCraft Mobile + a bunch of new levels.”  If we go that route, the Wither Expansion will be some of the new levels.



We’re doing some stuff with Grindcraftia.

The color palette is in alpha. We haven’t tested colors in-game.  (If colors are not reading well, then we’ll make alterations, especially for the skin tones.)  The palette was inspired by 80’s color palettes, both the neon ones, and the desaturated textile ones.  For all the neon, the 80’s was very brownish.  There are some rust/brick tones, skin tones, some khaki, vegitation, sky/sea/jeans, purple for whatever, wine, steel, and the regular RoyGBiv.

It takes the color at every 30 degrees on the color wheel, makes lighter and darker versions of it, and a desaturated column of those colors — six variations for each of the 12 colors in the color wheel.  With a grayscale column, that’s like 80 colors, and we want to limit to 64, so when colors are really similar, like yellow and light yellow, or dark magenta and desaturated dark magenta, one of those colors are removed from the palette.  Sometimes whole columns are removed, like the yellow-green and green-cyan columns, because they look very similar to yellow and cyan.  The darker greens are bumped a little toward blue to look a little more natural for vegitation, and the Magenta and Hot Pink are combined into one color (Magink?).  There’s a special blue-gray column of colors for creating UI elements.  All UI in Grindcraftia is made using voxels (yeah, even fonts), and uses the 4-shade approach that Windows 95 used.

Fundamental core game mechanics:
Supposedly, in order to time travel, you need to be able to adjust reality at the quantum level.  So, I’m figuring out how the quantum level would work in a video game.  I chatted with some theoretical physicists and read some “for Dummies” and I’ve come up with a simple, elegant idea which pays homage to the first building blocks of the video game industry.  I’ll post here when its done.  Grindcraftia is still an optionally idle sandbox game, meaning players are not required to build time machines and invent new atoms and mobs and weapons and things. You can play however you want. But its there, if you want to.

Character design:
Until the in-game Voxel-inator is complete, I’ve been using Minecraft as a voxel modeler. Here’s some early character design.  The characters will have internal biology and skeletons and this is how players will make new creatures, by making a skeleton (with four arms or two heads, or wings, etc.), and then adding brains and eyes and organs and skin and stuff.  Players will be able to make creatures as diverse as a fire elemental or a hyppogryph.  (and then battle them in arenas).

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading. [;]