Lostcast 73


  • Tiger Hat

    I’m very interested in CES / ECS engines. I didn’t realize (another reason that I wanna snoop through Djinn) that you were already employing such a system. In fact IIRC in the first Lostcast about Crafty, you guys didn’t know what a CES was (of course, this was a while ago :) ) I have actually been working on my own CES engine for HTML5. It’s very WIP, but if you or anyone is interested, here’s the repo. I call it “Blip” which is sort of based off the component philosophy, that it should be the smallest piece necessary to put a “blip” on the screen. :) It’s in the credits, but I have integrated (partly) PhysicsJS which I note because while it doesn’t say it, as I dug deeper into the code I noticed that it was in fact also a CES. I find that most of the data driven programming works out really well with systems/behaviors operating on entities based on the components in their bag, however the part that gets hard to wrap my head around is like with the rendering system. I basically have one system for render2d and it seems to get unwieldy, but as I type it, perhaps that’s a sign that it can be broken down into smaller systems. Anyway, I welcome thoughts and critique on that code or further discussion on CES/ECS.

    I often find that I want Lostcast to be interactive, it’d be fun I think to do some Twitch Lostcast sometime. Of course it’s harder to bleep out things that you aren’t supposed to say.

    I imagine that you won’t be distributing the bat game prototype, but I was thinking that whatever prototype(s) are the catalyst for your next game, that once you are “finishing” that next game, that you then release the prototypes to play so we can see the origins (like Spelunky classic).


  • LDG

    I’m really torn about how to approach rendering as well. Djinn’s rendering model is inheritance based and we treat the simulation and the renderer as completely separate. The simulation code is entirely entity/component, and the renderers “observe” the simulation, in an MVC type pattern. This is partly because we have so much Djinn infrastructure built up around the inheritance based scene graph, but also because I’m not exactly sure how (or if) I want to go about transitioning that code to ECS.

    It’s funny to think back to the Crafty episode, and how much we’ve learned since then. If nothing else, I’ve learned so many techniques in a shorter time frame than working at any other company.

    Interactive Lostcast does sound fun, and we have done a couple of development Twitch streams. A Lostcast stream would probably be a bit different as it would largely be discussion plus some code examples or screenshots. Anyway, interesting idea, we’ll mull it over some more.

    I’m totally on board with the prototype release. I’d love to release a little collection of prototypes some time down the road.


  • LDG

    @Warspawn said:

    you guys didn’t know what a CES was

    Haha wow that sounds crazy to me now. At this pace, the learning happens so fast that we lose a concept of what our prior selves knew. Does that make sense? I think it’s one of the reasons that we seem so stupid so recently ;)

    I often find that I want Lostcast to be interactive, it’d be fun I think to do some Twitch Lostcast

    This is almost viable. If we could commit to a time of day to record the show each Tuesday, we could do it live on Twitch. (From what I’ve seen, having a known schedule is the path to success on Twitch.) This would complicate some things of course, but it might be worthwhile.

    Oh, on that note we’re going to do a live stream for the Steam launch. Hopefully you can join us :)

    I imagine that you won’t be distributing the bat game prototype, but I was thinking that whatever prototype(s) are the catalyst for your next game, that once you are “finishing” that next game, that you then release the prototypes to play so we can see the origins (like Spelunky classic).

    Yeah I’m torn about the prototypes. I don’t see a lot of value in distributing them right now, in such terrible states, but I see no reason not to eventually.

    @geoffb said:

    I’m really torn about how to approach rendering as well. Djinn’s rendering model is inheritance based and we treat the simulation and the renderer as completely separate. The simulation code is entirely entity/component, and the renderers “observe” the simulation, in an MVC type pattern. This is partly because we have so much Djinn infrastructure built up around the inheritance based scene graph, but also because I’m not exactly sure how (or if) I want to go about transitioning that code to ECS.

    I was thinking about that recently, about how our “View” would probably be better as a “bag of data” that we talk about. But dammnnnnn that’d be a ton of work, and probably not for that much payoff. Our scene graph is kind of spectacular to work with as it currently exists. The model/sim code is getting very close…


  • Patron

    I often find that I want Lostcast to be interactive, it’d be fun I think to do some Twitch Lostcast

    This is almost viable. If we could commit to a time of day to record the show each Tuesday, we could do it live on Twitch. (From what I’ve seen, having a known schedule is the path to success on Twitch.) This would complicate some things of course, but it might be worthwhile.

    Having a public Google Hangout would be way more fun, but there’s the 10 people limit.
    I don’t think there would be that many people willing to participate anyways…
    @geoffb’s suggestion to do a discussionCast sounds pretty interesting…
    Maybe you could use Skype? The limit for audio conference is 25 people.

    But I really think you should interact more with the forum on Lostcasts.
    Maybe you could make forum showoff transitions, so, every time you change topic you highlight an interesting post/thread or just make fun of something on the forums.

    Maybe we could send you funny audio clips of randomness to use as transitions?

    I imagine that you won’t be distributing the bat game prototype, but I was thinking that whatever prototype(s) are the catalyst for your next game, that once you are “finishing” that next game, that you then release the prototypes to play so we can see the origins (like Spelunky classic).

    Yeah I’m torn about the prototypes. I don’t see a lot of value in distributing them right now, in such terrible states, but I see no reason not to eventually.

    I wanna play Flappy Bat!!!

    Ok, now onto my thoughts on this episode:

    • Guys, please, stop saying there are other game engine options out there. I only ask you to release Djinn because I tested the other options, and I didn’t like them.
      For me it’s now either using Djinn or making my own tools (or waiting until Ivan releases Polycode binaries and learning Lua).

    • Your next game should totally be a Metroidvania.

    • I have a nostalgic memory of me getting back from school, opening Minecraft and digging a huge 20x20 quarry while listening to you talk about project Warhead… Good times…

    • Geoff said 4 reallys.

    • I bet you could make an AWL postmortem just by cutting stretches from Lostcasts. I mean, you’ve been talking only about that for almost a year!

    • The more I listen to Lostcast, the more I reject the idea of being a professional indie. In one way or in the other, as a pro indie you have to make the games people want to play, and not the games you want to make.

    • One game a month gives you the chance to practice finishing, shipping and all those hard parts in game dev, with the guarantee that you won’t have big losses if your game doesn’t turns out to be a commercial success. I don’t see any reasons why an indie game company can’t survive just making One game a month games.

    You know, back to the seed metaphor, you should probably want to plant seeds everywhere you can, but only take care of those seeds which seems promissing.
    So, lot’s o’ prototypes and small games, but only a few big releases.

    • I think that games which stand out in the crowd do so because they’re very inovative or have a very high production value, just like as with any type of art.
      Mozart is know for pushing classical music to it’s limits in quality and production value. Beethoven is know for creating a totally new and expressive style of music.
      You can totally make another jump 'n shoot 2D sidescrolling game, but if you want it to stay out in the crowd, you’ll have to put a very high production value into it, which is very expensive.
      So, in a certain way, it’s cheaper to make inovative games. In the other way, it’s very hard to get people to accept an inovative game and to get what it’s about, so, it’s harder to get an inovative game done right.

    • Your talk about exploration really made me think a lot.
      In metroidvanias, shooting/jumping and all the other usual sidescroller mechanics are actually just a complement to the game’s core.
      At it’s core, metroidvanias are about discovery.

    I think a game can have exploration without discovery and discovery without exploration, but they just don’t feel right alone.
    Exploration without discovery is meaningless.
    Discovery without exploration is just telling the player what to do and make he feel like he discovered something.

    With that said, I don’t think discovery has to have something to do with rewarding the player.
    Our brain already rewards us for discovering things with dopamine.
    Instead of rewarding the player with loot, reward the player with more exploring, more theories to test.

    I was playing Proteus (what a beautiful game BTW) and I just loved how the game just drops you on the island without any previous instructions and without any physical limits.
    The exploration isn’t about figuring out how to get to places you couldn’t before, instead, it’s about exploring theories of what to do.
    As you wonder around in the game, you get very subtle but still noticeable tips of what you should do, like a different sound, or different colors.
    I only played like 10 minutes of the game, so, I can’t give you much information about my experience, just that I loved it.

    It’s like Antichamber you know. There’s no physical barriers that keep the player from beating the game in < 5 minutes, only knowledge barriers.
    Throw the player into the game, give him some hints of what to do and a big play ground so he can test his theories.

    I think this really speaks to that “the game I’m playing” thing you talked about some episodes ago.
    Making a game where the player can explore his theories, make discoveries, work on projects…
    I heard a game dev (don’t remember who exactly) say that his goal was to make games where most of the player’s theories can be answered positively, a game with lots of possibilities to explore.

    That’s my goal too!

    • You really should talk more about game design in Lostcast.
      At the moment, I’m really interested in knowing how people’s experiences can change the way they develop games, and how games can change people’s exeperiences.

    • I think you should focus as much energy as you can in making great content, instead of focusing on making a lot of content.
      On that topic, I have to make a confession: I’m pretty much done with AWL.
      I listen to you all hyped talking about new content in AWL and stuff, but the truth is: I haven’t experienced even 30% of AWL’s content, and I think I probably won’t, because I’m just tired of the main mechanics. I mean, I’ve been killing owls for almost 9 months now.
      There have been some new mechanics in these nine months, like running, but I would call these minor mechanics, as they are just variations on the main mechanics.
      My point is, if you want to make a lot of content, make sure you have a veeeery strong core to hold the player’s attention.
      Of course, I don’t mean AWL in it’s current state isn’t strong enough to keep the player interested long enough to experience all the content that there’s on the game, I’m just saying it might not keep players interested for nine freaking months.


  • LDG

    @Josue said:

    I have a nostalgic memory of me getting back from school, opening Minecraft and digging a huge 20x20 quarry while listening to you talk about project Warhead… Good times…

    haha cool. Maybe we should have a “post your Minecraft creations” thread ;)

    Geoff said 4 reallys.

    hahahaha!

    The more I listen to Lostcast, the more I reject the idea of being a professional indie. In one way or in the other, as a pro indie you have to make the games people want to play, and not the games you want to make.

    It can be yeah. The whole idea is that it won’t last forever tho, and eventually you’ll be able to make whatever you fancy whenever you want. That’s the dream, anyway!

    One game a month gives you the chance to practice finishing, shipping and all those hard parts in game dev, with the guarantee that you won’t have big losses if your game doesn’t turns out to be a commercial success. I don’t see any reasons why an indie game company can’t survive just making One game a month games.

    I’m kind of interested in “one game a year” or maybe much less than that, but of course supplemented with lots of little game jams and prototypes!

    Your talk about exploration really made me think a lot.
    At it’s core, metroidvanias are about discovery.

    I’m currently interested in granting players deep access to a game’s systems. Basically anything that exists in the game should at some point be at the user’s complete disposal, or it’s not being used as effectively as it could be. At least, that’s where my thoughts are going recently…

    I was playing Proteus (what a beautiful game BTW) and I just loved how the game just drops you on the island without any previous instructions and without any physical limits.

    I’ve been meaning to check that one out. It’s on the list!

    It’s like Antichamber you know

    That one’s not on my list. Worth playing?

    You really should talk more about game design in Lostcast.

    Agreed. I particularly enjoy game design discussion because in some ways it’s timeless. We could talk tech all day but it will be largely irrelevant to listeners even just a few years down the road. But game design is such a deep pool of possibility even within the first few steps.

    I think you should focus as much energy as you can in making great content, instead of focusing on making a lot of content.

    The goal is to do both ;)

    Good idea about interacting with the forum more on the show. Sorry you aren’t digging AWL anymore, but totally understandable. It’s not an “evergreen” game that can be played every day like Solitaire or Sudoku. However, hope you’ll check out some of the new features like totems etc.!


  • Tiger Hat

    while we’re doing AWL confessions, I’ve played approx. 5 minutes since I bought it…

    however that’s because there is no sound, whenever the patch is out I’m sure it will be great :)

    if you haven’t played this Metroidvania, I highly recommend it: Rogue Legacy


  • Tiger Hat

    @Warspawn said:

    while we’re doing AWL confessions, I’ve played approx. 5 minutes since I bought it…

    however that’s because there is no sound, whenever the patch is out I’m sure it will be great :)

    if you haven’t played this Metroidvania, I highly recommend it: Rogue Legacy

    Man, I really should start listening to the Lostcast…

    But Rogue Legacy is great. Would really recommend it.


  • Patron

    @richtaur said:

    Maybe we should have a “post your Minecraft creations” thread ;)

    Yeah, but a quarry is kinda the opposite of creation… XD

    It can be yeah. The whole idea is that it won’t last forever tho, and eventually you’ll be able to make whatever you fancy whenever you want. That’s the dream, anyway!

    Maybe some day so many people will play video games that whatever you do people will buy it.

    I’m kind of interested in “one game a year” or maybe much less than that, but of course supplemented with lots of little game jams and prototypes!

    Yeah, I’m just saying that sometimes it sounds like you’re against game jams, at least as a company.
    Finding a prototype that is worthy of being a full game is way easier if you do a lot of prototypes, and what better occasion to make prototypes than game jams?
    I think One game a month is specially great because one month is not only enough to make a small prototype, but also to make a relativelly big commercial game.

    I’m currently interested in granting players deep access to a game’s systems. Basically anything that exists in the game should at some point be at the user’s complete disposal, or it’s not being used as effectively as it could be. At least, that’s where my thoughts are going recently…

    Hmmm… Interesting. Can you give examples of what would that be like?

    I’ve been meaning to check that one out. It’s on the list!

    Didn’t you buy it on Humble Bundle?

    I still didn’t figure out what it’s about, but it’s beautiful

    That one’s not on my list. Worth playing?

    I don’t know exactly because I didn’t play it, I just watched some videos on YT.
    What I can tell is that it’s puzzles will completely destroy everything you know about euclidian geometry.

    I particularly enjoy game design discussion because in some ways it’s timeless. We could talk tech all day but it will be largely irrelevant to listeners even just a few years down the road. But game design is such a deep pool of possibility even within the first few steps.

    I kinda disagree.
    Of course, tech gets old and useless, but the experiences you had developing software and the way you solved problems will be helpful as long as we develop software.

    And while game design talks are interesting and very inspiring, I don’t belive you can directly apply what other game designers learned into your games.

    I love Jonathan Blow’s design talks because basically all he says is: “So, this is the effect I want my games to have on people. Here are some examples of how NOT to do it. Wanna figure out how to do it? So do I.”

    The goal is to do both ;)

    Yeah, that’s the game dev utopia, but in the real world you’ll have to sacrifice one for the other in some point.

    Good idea about interacting with the forum more on the show.

    By the way, is it normal to feel like you’re going to have a heart attack when someone mentions you on your favorite podcast?

    Sorry you aren’t digging AWL anymore, but totally understandable. It’s not an “evergreen” game that can be played every day like Solitaire or Sudoku. However, hope you’ll check out some of the new features like totems etc.!

    Yeah, I might want to get those achievements.

    But playing AWL in my computer is just… an exercise of patience, I would say.

    Seriously man, Zombie Warlord drops my FPS down to 1, I’M NOT KIDDING!


  • Patron

    @Elite said:

    Man, I really should start listening to the Lostcast…

    What?! You mean you don’t listen to Lostcast?! Sacrilege!

    I feel like our community is kinda split between Lostcast fans (like me) and AWL fans (like @Mew).

    Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

    P.S: Rougue Legacy looks seriously interesting… But 15 bucks… Man…


  • Tiger Hat

    @Josue said:

    @Elite said:

    Man, I really should start listening to the Lostcast…

    What?! You mean you don’t listen to Lostcast?! Sacrilege!

    I feel like our community is kinda split between Lostcast fans (like me) and AWL fans (like @Mew).

    Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

    P.S: Rogue Legacy looks seriously interesting… But 15 bucks… Man…

    Rogue Legacy (as well as AWL) is on sale for 50% at the Humble Store right now…that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

    And I promise I’ll give Lostcast a try! Just got to set aside some time.


  • Tiger Hat

    @Josue said:

    I feel like our community is kinda split between Lostcast fans (like me) and AWL fans (like @Mew).

    Don’t forget us Lunch Bug fans.


  • Patron

    @Elite said:

    Rogue Legacy (as well as AWL) is on sale for 50% at the Humble Store right now…that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

    My parents gave me some money on Christmas. I think I’ll probably burn all of that in the Humble Store.

    I mean, Monaco for 2 bucks man! WTF?!!

    And I promise I’ll give Lostcast a try! Just got to set aside some time.

    I can’t listen to podcasts while doing something else, so, I listen to lostcast while I’m going to school.


  • Patron

    @Affordable_Desk said:

    Don’t forget us Lunch Bug fans.

    That’s just a myth.


  • LDG

    @Warspawn said:

    however that’s because there is no sound, whenever the patch is out I’m sure it will be great :)

    Ahh sorry about that! Drives me nuts that we flubbed that so hard.

    if you haven’t played this Metroidvania, I highly recommend it: Rogue Legacy

    I had fun with it, good times.


  • LDG

    @Josue said:

    Maybe some day so many people will play video games that whatever you do people will buy it.

    Maybe! Word has it there are now about SEVEN BILLION mobile users… tho, we are focusing on desktop… :{

    Yeah, I’m just saying that sometimes it sounds like you’re against game jams, at least as a company.
    Finding a prototype that is worthy of being a full game is way easier if you do a lot of prototypes, and what better occasion to make prototypes than game jams?

    Oh that’s good to know, we don’t mean to come across that way. We’ve done Indie Speed Run twice and we really enjoy it. One reason a game jam doesn’t always appeal to me is because of the restrictions. Themes and elements one must adhere to are great for practice and stuff, but sometimes I want to explore my own ideas and mechanics, without pressure or deadlines.

    But game jams are great and I want to do a bunch of 'em.

    Hmmm… Interesting. Can you give examples of what would that be like?

    In AWL we have various systems like code that understands size, physics, velocity, the ability to spawn projectiles… most of these are made available to the player in one form or another, but not always, and usually in very controlled ways. I’m interested in seeing what ways we can give the player access to these complex systems while remaining fun and easy to play.

    Didn’t you buy it on Humble Bundle?

    Probably. I often stumble upon games I didn’t know I owned!

    By the way, is it normal to feel like you’re going to have a heart attack when someone mentions you on your favorite podcast?

    haha! stay calm…

    Seriously man, Zombie Warlord drops my FPS down to 1, I’M NOT KIDDING!

    Ouch! Yeah it’s definitely not the fastest game, hmmmm…


  • Tiger Hat

    @Josue said:

    I mean, Monaco for 2 bucks man! WTF?!!

    Does ‘WTF’ count as swearing?


  • Patron

    @cheersphilip said:

    @Josue said:

    I mean, Monaco for 2 bucks man! WTF?!!

    Does ‘WTF’ count as swearing?

    It depends… why do you ask, exactly?

    You aren’t going to tell my parents, are you?


  • Tiger Hat

    @Josue said:

    @cheersphilip said:

    Does ‘WTF’ count as swearing?

    It depends… why do you ask, exactly?

    You aren’t going to tell my parents, are you?

    Who knows what the diabolical cheersphilip has planned, check that your Christmas money is still all there…


  • Tiger Hat

    @Affordable_Desk said:

    @Josue said:

    @cheersphilip said:

    Does ‘WTF’ count as swearing?

    It depends… why do you ask, exactly?

    You aren’t going to tell my parents, are you?

    Who knows what the diabolical cheersphilip has planned, check that your Christmas money is still all there…

    LOOOOOOL!!!


  • Tiger Hat

    @cheersphilip said:

    LOOOOOOL!!!

    Totally forgot I actually clubbed this thing together at 7:15am this morning while in bed because I couldn’t drag myself to work, just got home from a late night trip to ASDA (peanut butter) and only remembered when I saw your avatar change that I actually did this thing.


  • Tiger Hat

    @Affordable_Desk said:

    @cheersphilip said:

    LOOOOOOL!!!

    Totally forgot I actually clubbed this thing together at 7:15am this morning while in bed because I couldn’t drag myself to work, just got home from a late night trip to ASDA (peanut butter) and only remembered when I saw your avatar change that I actually did this thing.

    It’s brilliant. Really captures his wickedly cool appearance.


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