Eric's Blog

Verloren Postmortem

Earlier this week I created a space-themed game called Verloren for a unique competition whereby each submission had to be no larger than 13 kilobytes in size. Despite having an entire month to work on the game, I threw it together in just two days.

Fitting all of the code and assets into a 13 kilobyte package was difficult, but the end result was a simple, but fun, game about avoiding enemies in space. You can play it here.

A preview of Verloren.
A preview of Verloren.
The Plan
The competition kicked off on the 13th of August, but it was not until the 9th of September that the idea of creating a space-themed game came to me. I wanted the objective of the game to be about maneuvering a spaceship, firing projectiles, and avoiding enemies and asteroids. Due to size restraints, I had to cut asteroids in the middle of development, but enemies and projectiles survived.

At one point, enemies would fire projectiles toward the player, but due to a bug involving the speed of projectiles versus the velocity of enemies, I had to remove them. I instead changed the behavior of enemies to ram the player, and then ultimately decided upon having them carry out individual kamikaze attacks.

What Went Right
What Went Wrong
All things considered, I am happy with how Verloren turned out. I put the source code on GitHub for anyone who is interested, which can be found here. If you had fun playing my game, or found this post to be interesting, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to also take a look at the other 253 competition entries here.

Rewriting Kitten Kerfuffle for the Web

Three weeks ago, I rewrote Mori in JavaScript so it could be playable in Web browsers, and today I am happy to announce that Kitten Kerfuffle is now also playable in Web browsers. You can play it right now at this link.

A preview of Kitten Kerfuffle.
A preview of Kitten Kerfuffle.
I originally made Kitten Kerfuffle during KrampusHack 2016, a game-making event inspired by "Secret Santa". While I was happy with how the game turned out, I felt like I could have done more with it. As I was working on rewriting the game in JavaScript, I decided to take the opportunity to add just a little more content and polish. I am happy with the results.

Changes
Like with my other games and projects, Kitten Kerfuffle's source code and assets are open and freely available on GitHub. Viewing source code is a good way to learn code. ;)

What do you think about Kitten Kerfuffle? Let me know in the comments!

Rewriting Mori for the Web

Last year I created a simple game about an eyepatch-wearing blue blob whose mission is to blanket a randomly-generated forest with snow. I made it in just 72 hours for a weekend game jam—where it scored 2nd place overall—and named it "Mori".

Mori in all its pixelated glory.
Mori in all its pixelated glory.
I decided to rewrite Mori over the weekend from scratch in JavaScript using a library of my own making called "Momo". In short, everything went better than expected, and the end result is a near one-to-one recreation of the original experience with a few extras.

What's new? Visually and mechanically, the game is the same now as it was in its original form, but now it's conveniently playable in your Web browser. And just like with my other games and projects, Mori's source code is open on GitHub. Click here to play Mori now.

What do you think about Mori and it being playable on the Web now? Would you like to see me rewrite my other games for the Web? I'd love to hear from you, so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Pictures from My Trip to California

My family and I recently flew out to California to visit a few family members and some old friends. Our first stop was my grandmother's place outside of Placerville. Here are a few pictures I took while I was there.

My grandmother's home.
My grandmother's home.
The remains of a tree house my dad, brother, and I built a decade ago.
The remains of a tree house my dad, brother, and I built a decade ago.
A view overlooking the property surrounding my grandmother's home.
A view overlooking the property surrounding my grandmother's home.
An old rope swing situated on a steep hill. It's too frayed to swing on now.
An old rope swing situated on a steep hill. It's too frayed to swing on now.
What's left of a teepee I made out of nails and old boards when I was a kid.
What's left of a teepee I made out of nails and old boards when I was a kid.
Visiting my grandmother and exploring her property again was a great treat. I have fond memories of climbing trees, sifting through sand in nearby creeks for gold, and building forts out of old materials on her property. Being there again was really nostalgic.

Since we were already in the area, we also decided to take a day trip to Sutter's Mill in Coloma, where the California Gold Rush began. Here are a few pictures of that.

The back side of the titular sawmill.
The back side of the titular sawmill.
A plaque describing some of the history of the area.
A plaque describing some of the history of the area.
The remains of a stone-block prison which saw use from 1857 to 1862.
The remains of a stone-block prison which saw use from 1857 to 1862.
A teepee across the way from Sutter's Mill.
A teepee across the way from Sutter's Mill.
The South Fork American River. The water was cold and moving rapidly.
The South Fork American River. The water was cold and moving rapidly.
We later visited Union Valley Reservoir, a massive reservoir that doubles as a fairly popular camping site. California was in a drought last time I was there, so the water was quite low. This time though, the reservoir was surprisingly full.

We used to go camping here every year with some friends.
We used to go camping here every year with some friends.
The water was surprisingly warm. People were swimming not too far from here.
The water was surprisingly warm. People were swimming not too far from here.
There are some high jumping rocks I used to kayak out to beyond the trees there. I didn't get to visit those rocks this time though.

After seeing Union Valley Reservoir again, we made a quick stop by the waterfall where my grandfather's ashes were spread.

The top of the waterfall.
The top of the waterfall.
I had never seen so much water from this waterfall before.
I had never seen so much water from this waterfall before.
The waterfall eventually makes its way to a series of smaller creeks from here.
The waterfall eventually makes its way to a series of smaller creeks from here.
After spending a few days in Placerville, we drove down to Santa Rosa, which I where I used to live before moving to Louisiana. There my brother and I played laser tag with a few old friends, enjoyed pizza with our old church members, and then later we drove to the next town over and spent an afternoon at a barbecue catching up with more old friends. My time in Santa Rosa was so much fun that I totally forgot to take any pictures. Whoops!

Have you gone on any trips this summer? Let me know in the comments!