Weekly Update #2

It’s that time of the week again. Productivity is at an all time low. I think the smoke from all the bushfires honestly, though the 8.3 patch for World of Warcraft isn’t helping things.

I’ve revisited some of my old projects namely Realms of War. I’m thinking about completely rebuilding the site so I can host it on Heroku and using React instead of just having a static page for the front-end. I’ve actually started looking through the Udemy courses to learn about better practices and how to handle what I have planned. I have been looking at another project too. It’s my farming shooter that was a LudumDare game. Since it’s still in its early stages, I’m not really rail-roaded with the mechanics. I’m planning on adding co-op and making it more like an arcade-y, party game.

Basically with my projects, it’s been a bunch of research and brainstorming rather than doing. I’ve spent a lot more time playing the new patch. Launch has been a complete clusterfuck, its honestly amazing. I actually managed to break a quest because my dumbass didn’t realise what the intended solution was. In the halls of origination, you’re supposed to push this statue ontoa button to open a door. I thought the solution was something to do with pushing the statue to the wrong door and I accidentally ended up pushing it through the door so it was stuck there. I had to drop the quest in order to get the statue to go back to its starting location. There was a bunch of issues with the main feature of the patch not giving out loot and a whole lot of players were banned when they accidentally looted the weekly cache multiple times (even though there was no indication that it wasn’t supposed to be looted multiple times).

Anyways, here’s to hopefully this time a more productive next week and I have something about my projects to talk about.

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Weekly Update #1

Hello again! Not a very productive week this week. I had picked up a couple of games from the Summer Sales last week. Nothing from steam though because I have so many games on there already. I’m kinda iffy on getting more games on steam since you don’t really own the games, you’re basically buying a license to play the game while the service is still running. So, if one day Steam goes under what happens to the hundreds of games you have on their platform? Will they release a patch allowing you to play those games offline if you had the space to download them all? I used to think they would but I guess I’ve gotten a lot more cynical over the years.

I initially wasn’t planning on getting anything but I got an email about this really good deal for all the enhanced editions, since I already owned some of them.

I played a bunch of Dungeon Keeper 2 which I picked up from the sales and I’m in love! I love builder/ RTS games. It was super simple to pick up the gameplay, I was initially annoyed that you couldn’t directly select units and direct them to attack the heroes but when it introduced the Call to Arms spell, I was like yep, I’m loving this.

I’m only a little ways in but it seems really easy, my minions seem to always love me and I’ve only ever restarted because I found that I didn’t like how I was setting up the dungeon paths. The most interesting level so far was where there wasn’t any walls, so you had to build the rooms on these open platforms surrounded by lava. It was an good change from having to slowly cut out the layout of your dungeon. It challenged the way I thought about constructing my dungeons and got me out of my perfectionism.

It’s funny how much playing Dungeon Keeper makes me want to re-read The Divine Dungeon Trilogy.

I haven’t just been playing games. I’ve been slowly working on Aura of Worlds. We’ve got an update coming soon with the updated Hub and revised level generation. I also picked up a bunch of Udemy courses for web dev, which will help with developing Realms of War.

Here’s hoping that next week will be a lot more productive. I have some planned posts in the works, but depending on what happens it might just be the only weekly update post next week. Until next time!

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New Year, new goals!

It’s that time of the year again, and yet again I’m attempting to revive this blog. Last year was a mess. I took on way too much of a workload and didn’t get anything done to a good standard. I’m really disappointed in how I handled everything, but I got into a really stressed, depressed cycle that now since I’m taking a semester break from Uni I’ve finally broken out of.

It hasn’t been the greatest start to 2020 either, I live in Australia and our country is just burning… I don’t want to go all political but we are basically screwed with our current government.

I guess though, on the bright side, I’m finally fully into game development. I’m lead artist of Aura of Worlds, whereas before I was just a freelancer.

title

Aura of Worlds has been a project I’ve been working on and off for years. It’s been presented at multiple PAXAUS conventions but last year we were all so busy with our studies/jobs that we decided it would be a better use of our time focusing on the game and creating more content for it. It’s currently out for Early Access on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/841600/Aura_of_Worlds/

Speaking of creating content for Aura of Worlds. Currently in the works is a redesigned Hub. We’re still slowly implementing the design into the game but here’s a sneakpeak. It’s not going to look exactly like this but it’s pretty close.

jessica-turner-artstation-aow-hub

We’re working on the next world too. It’s an ice world called the Cold Crust Caves. We have numerous ice enemies implemented which players will be able to play with when the update comes. Story is coming in slowly too. The game isn’t a story-driven game but players will get an idea of what’s happened through the environment.

iceworld_preview

 Build Your Way

I’m still slowly working on Build Your Way. Once I’ve done GUI and added some royalty-free music, I’ll finally release on Itch.io for free. I’ve been working on the game on and off for since 2014 and finally decided to use assets from the asset store to speed up its development. I recently got Lean GUI to get the GUI done sooner.

It’s gone through so much design changes but I’ve finally chosen something that I feel fits it’s simple gameplay.

buildyourway_preview

I lost a lot of interest in developing this game because I couldnt get the AI working for ages, it wasn’t until I learned more from my studies in my Computer Science degree that I managed to throw together something that actually functions. It’s stupidly hackish and it’s embarrassing how long it took me to actually figure it out, but it works nicely.

One day, someday I’ll add the features I’ve thought up over the years but at this point I just want something decent looking on my Itch.io.

Other Projects

I’ve been just sitting on a lot of game projects not showing them anywhere, and I’ve decided that I’m finally going to change that. I’m planning on cleaning the ones that are pretty much feature complete, up a little so they run in a browser and uploading them.

The projects that I think I can upload with minor changes are:

  • Mushroom Racer – 2d, top down racer.
  • BlockUp – an experimental 3d platformer where players can pick up and move blocks.
  • Flower Smasher (when I find the project files) – a SHMUP with an experimental scoring system.
  • Space Runner – an infi-runner type game that uses a tonne of free assets.

Some of these I’m planning to go back to, namely BlockUp and Flower Smasher. I also have some other projects in the works too but they’re not at a stage to be shown:

  • Leaf’s Quest – an art platformer, with an emphasis on traditional art over game mechanics
  • Farmer Shooter – started this for ludumdare 41, it’s mostly coding atm but I’ve finally caved and bought an asset pack for the shooting part.
  • Realm of Wars – a web-based mobile-responsive idle incremental game.

Well that’s it for now. I’m going to be posting once a week about updates to my life/ game projects. Until next time, have a happy 2020!

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An Argument for End-To-End Encryption

Messaging apps have a become a daily part of, their use is widespread globally and is completely integrated into the average person’s every-day form of communication. As of December 2017, one of the popular messaging apps, ‘What’s App’ announced that it had over 1.5 billion monthly active users.1
Most messaging apps use encryption (such as protocols like SSL) to protect their users from those who try to get unauthorised access over the Internet, but owners of these apps have access to the contents of their user’s messages unless end-to-end encryption is used. Some messaging apps such as ‘What’s App’ already have end-to-end encryption as a feature included by default and there is a growing movement towards following their lead by making this a required standard on all messaging apps. The push for data protection and privacy is a needed due to the rise of identity theft and blackmail however there a those who argue against end-to-end encryption citing that it hinders law enforcement and that it kills lesser messaging apps who don’t have the means to conform to this proposed standard. This essay examines the reasons that end-to-end encryption must be built into and enabled by default on all messaging apps and considers the various arguments against its inclusion.

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[Short Story] Adam’s Kill

I have no idea when this was written but it was after I wrote ‘I’m Not Scared’. That story basically established Adam and Peter as my own original characters and I started making up proper backstories for them. Adam is a serial killer, I had a weird fascination with them… Probably because of the Dexter TV-show? Anyway onto the story, this one is pretty gruesome.
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[Short Story] I’m Not Scared

Creative writing assignment from 2008. The prompt required us to have a character get over their fears. I had a bunch of trouble keeping within the word limit.

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[Short Story] The Fight

This is a bit of a Kingdom Hearts fanfic I did back in 2008. It never went anywhere, this is basically the most complete part of it.

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