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kaiakairos
ough

kaia @kaiakairos

Age 21, they/them

Artist / Game Dev

Omahog, NE

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kaiakairos's News

Posted by kaiakairos - July 29th, 2023


This is it! The game is releasing soon. I'm so relieved to almost be done with this project. It's not great, its rough around the edges, but I hope yall enjoy it. Overall, I did enjoy making it, even if it caused me quite a bit of stress along the way. I don't have much to talk about in this devlog, and I plan on writing a 7th devlog once the game is posted and has been up for a few days, so I can address whatever the people are sayin'.


I'll just mention 2 things:

One, I've already gone ahead and posted the banner art, take a look!


And second, the official release date for the game is..........


AUGUST 1ST !!!!



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3

Posted by kaiakairos - July 23rd, 2023


Hello again! My last devlog stank a little ass! I was a little stressed, and I wanted to go into it a little bit before I give details on the game itself. This game project is taking me way longer than I expected or planned for, because I over-scoped a bit and let myself get a bit lazy too. However, just as I was getting into working on it again, I hit my head pretty bad and got stressed that I couldn't properly work on my project, I didn't wanna lose my precious time! In retrospect though, a break did me good, and now that I've returned to it I've been super productive!


So, levels...

In my last devlog, I complained a bit and how much I despise working on level design. This hasn't changed. BUT! I did realize part of my problem. I was worried the game was going to be too short, but I had forgotten that this is a puzzle game, and new players are going to be much, MUCH slower than me. Since this is also a game for the web, most people probably won't stick to it for long either.

I designed a bunch of levels and had 2 people playtest them, worrying it was going to be too short. To my surprise though, the game's length seems to be about 45 minutes or so (needs more testing to determine a more accurate playtime though)

I was stressing so much about making all these levels because I had seriously over estimated the amount I'd actually need. Now, I'm honestly considering cutting it down quite a bit and only saving the best puzzles for the final game. For now, I can say with confidence that the game is at an appropriate length and the level design is for the most part complete!


Still need to do more playtesting though...........


I have yet to show this on newgrounds, so I might as well now!

A bit ago I started work on audio for all the games mechanics. There's still a few sounds missing, but I'm liking it quite a bit! Check it out in this video.


Since the game is now significantly smaller, I've decided to go back on something I said I was CUTTING in my last devlog. Unique environments and environmental story telling.

The game's map is smaller than I thought it was going to be, and since a lot of areas don't need specific environment props, I have time to make some cool or important set pieces. I don't have much to show right now, nor do I want to spoil, so take this concept art:


iu_1030055_10418182.webp


okay its late im going to bed now goodnight


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Posted by kaiakairos - July 17th, 2023


I AM LOWERING THE SCOPE OF MY PROJECT I AM LOSING MY MIND


I am determined to finish this shit but I am struggling...

I have had an extremely hard time focusing on this project, mostly because mechanically, the game is complete. I have always found programming, making mechanics and adding new features the most entertaining and fun part of working on games. It's also very easy for me to create a goal, and hyper focus on it until I have something I'm happy with.


90% of the rest of the work is all level design. I HATE level design. Unlike something like a mechanic, working on levels is very iterative, and it's impossible to think of the finalized level and work towards that as a goal. I can sort of do that with levels that introduce new mechanics (because I have the goal of teaching the player a new mechanic), but otherwise it just doesn't come naturally to me.


iu_1025073_10418182.webp


I'm capable of doing so and making levels, its just takes me a while and is not an enjoyable time.


Also, I've had to take a break for a bit because I hitted my head and got a concussion (permanent brain damage).


All together, yes, I am still working on it, but man is it slow.


Regardless, I have been finalizing a visual identity to this game:

iu_1025075_10418182.png

iu_1025074_10418182.webp

apologies for gif crunch once again.... i will NOT be better next time >:]


For how I'm lowering the scope, here's everything I was intending on having in the final project and how I'm going to cut the scope:


Unique art assets for each level


  • Obviously this will take too much time. For story stuff this might be different, but otherwise I'm going to stick to the tilemap and perhaps background objects.


Story told through environment and finding dialogue recordings


  • Likewise, environmental story telling would require a lot of unique art assets.
  • Might still do recorded dialogue that the player could find through out the world.


A real good amount of levels


  • I never planned exactly how long I wanted the game to be, but I was thinking long enough to tell the story I had in mind. I want to make this shorter, and will need a simpler story to accompany this.


Unique music for each area


  • The music for this game is being worked on by Lemmy once again, so how much music there is is more so based on how much they want to make. I'd hate to overwork them or stress them out though, so I'd like to stick with as minimal music as possible. A smaller game wouldn't need as much music.


Proper intro and finale sequences


  • blah blah, story stuff. Not sure what I'd do with this tbh. I have ideas though, but I feel it'd be odd to have cool sequences at the beginning and end and have everything else in the game be simplistic.


prolly more shit idk


I'll eventually get something. Gonna keep working. Write some things down. Realizing now that getting the thoughts out of my head and onto the screen has helped me work my actual goals out. I have changed as a human since I started writing this. Or perhaps I'm just brain damaged, lol.


until next time, faggots!


2

Posted by kaiakairos - June 17th, 2023


Hello again! Sorry I'm late, I've been keeping myself busy since last update, but not everything in that has involved strictly game development. I tend to hard focus on one thing for a week or so at a time, I hard focused drawing critters for a bit, and this past week I've spent a bit too much time out and about with friends (which is all good to me, my social battery just ain't the best so I've been a little beat.) So, similar to last update, I don't have a whole lot to show BUT I thought I'd show it regardless just to inform anyone that I'm still working on shit.


I ended last update saying that I had the elements I needed in order to make a whole scrappy games worth of levels. This was true, and I started by making a handful of levels to test out, and made my partner playtest them. However, I quickly ran into a bit of a roadblock; I was insanely bored. Level design has never been my forte, and I often find it a pain to get through. It's a bit of a weakness of mine, some of my other games have a few levels that are thrown together haphazardly because I got tired of making levels. Its somethin' I've gotten a bit better at, it's just that I don't find it all that fun.


I made a handful of nice lil levels before taking a break for a minute to do all those things I said before. I won't reveal any of those levels here, since I don't wanna spoil the solutions for any future players. Once the game is finished I'll probably make a final devlog where I go over some specific puzzle designs and how I came up with them. It's taking me quite a bit of effort not to reveal what I've currently done, lol.


iu_998474_10418182.gif

A new look for the floor buttons!


I realized I had been focusing on getting the foundation in before doing anything else. For some devs, this works just fine and is preferable. However I've always been more focused on the art side of game dev, and I always have the most fun doin visual polish and making things look pretty. So, I did a little bit, and I've been feeling REJUVINATED and ready to get back to work!!


iu_998476_10418182.gif

New lasers! Fun fact: the new laser, laser receiver, and mirror all reuse the background shader from squadaddle!


For a lot of animations, I tend to use separate objects, tweening, shaders, and sprite masking in order to get effects. I prefer this over regular frame by frame animations, since doing it this way provides me a lot more freedom and allows much easier and smoother transitions between certain states. It also works really well for the style I'm going for here, where I want the pieces to look more mechanical. A lot of motion is done just by using linear interpolation [lerp() in godot] or sine waves, sometimes multiple sine waves layered on top of each other.

For example, the spinning motion on the laser emitter. It might just seem like the lines are moving up and then teleporting back, but that wouldn't look correct. It's a spinning disc, which means the lines would visually move less when they're near the visible edge of the disc. To do this, I used 2 sine waves that I could pull the position from.


iu_998475_10418182.png

Crude diagram, I know. The final position is set to the value of the third graph listed here. Doing it this way makes the bar ease at the edges of the disc, but still properly display at the correct position. I could have used a single sine wave, but it would look like the disc is spinning back and forth, rather than in one consistent direction.


I've found it quite fun to make each object have a more mechanical design. Being able to see the physical mechanisms of an object gives them life! It can also help communicate to the player what state an object is in, as well as draw more attention to the important puzzle elements.


iu_998477_10418182.gif

A new fan design! May change the colors on this later, but I like the motion.

The fan's spinning is done using sprite stacking, to make the fans look mildly 3D while still being able to rotate. There's no animation here, just rotating objects and a particle effect!


I know that wasn't much, but that's all I have to show for today! Follow me if you wanna stay updated, otherwise just wait for the game to come out! I will probably completely fail to update in a week like my initial goal but whatever. I've been takin' this project slow and I intend on keeping it that way >:]


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4

Posted by kaiakairos - June 4th, 2023


Hello.................

I don't have too much in terms of crazy things to show for the game project, but I just wanted to make an update to show that I am in fact still working on it.

Since the last update, I've been taking development a little slower. I've still managed to work on it daily, but I've only been doing wee little bits and pieces at a time.


I first off gave the player some animations. This wasn't too necessary, just wanted to have something a little nicer to look at. I'm aware that visual polish is something that should be done later, but for someone like me who comes from a more art focused background, getting a little bit of artsy stuff in earlier gives me more motivation for the rest of the project.


iu_988120_10418182.gif

awesome low framerate gif that doesn't show the true beauty of how smooth this animation is


I've added some more inputs and outputs for puzzle elements, widening the scope for what types of puzzles I'll be able to make. I don't wanna get to each and everything I've added though, you'll just have to wait and see...


iu_988119_10418182.gif

button that opens door, i made the buttons bigger at some point i dont have a gif for it though


Everything else I've done has been more technical in preparation for making real levels. Added stuff for level loading, level resetting, checkpoints, and camera zones.


iu_988121_10418182.gif

camera zones will allow me to make levels larger than a single screen size :]


I have basically everything I need to make a playable demo! An ugly demo, but a demo none the less. I'm probably going to attempt to make a whole game worth of levels with the stuff I currently have, then let people playtest it so that I can adjust it all before making it actually presentable.


If you'd like to help playtest, you can pm me here on newgrounds or message me on my twitter!

I'll try to get it to a playtestable state as soon as I can, and I'll update with another devlog once it's ready.


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2

Posted by kaiakairos - May 27th, 2023


Hello! Doing YouTube video dev-logs for my game projects has always been something I've considered doing, however making videos is a lot of work. Any attempts I've made to do so have just taken away from my productivity from actually making the games themselves and I've just found it to make the overall process more stressful. Still though, my interest in sharing the process has lingered around in my brain. Then I remembered newgrounds' news post feature! Just typing a few paragraphs isn't too stressful, it requires nothing of me while I'm actually working and it's linked directly to the website where I post my games. Seemed like the perfect fit for me, so I'm going to go ahead and make a dev-log for my current project!


so, where do we start?


Gamedev requires a lot of different skills, each of which must be learned individually. Even if I've made a thousand slow paced puzzle games, that skill probably wouldn't translate if I wanted to make a action heavy top down shooter.

I've always wanted to make a game with some kind of narrative. Telling stories though the medium of games is the reason I got into game development in the first place. I've never actually wrote a narrative for any game I've made however. So far I've just been sticking to shorter projects while trying to learn and become better at my craft.

If I want to make narrative games, I must learn how.

With that being said, I knew going into my next project that I wanted to have a story. I know its usually more advantageous to create gameplay mechanics and such BEFORE the story, so I started thinking about gameplay concepts I could easily mold into a story game.


Since I wanted to practice specifically narrative writing, I decided the gameplay should be something I already have experience with to ease the process as much as possible. My first 3 games on newgrounds are puzzle games, and I recently got platformer experience when making squadaddle.

I decided I was going to make a platformer puzzle game, with an overarching story.


I found inspiration from those hard ass puzzle levels in super mario maker, as well as the portal series, and began brainstorming with my partner to come up with ideas. I settled on a platformer game where your character can pick up "blocks" each of which have different properties and can interact with each other and other obstacles in interesting ways.


iu_980989_10418182.jpg

some initial concept sketches


getting to work!


The first step was creating the platformer movement. This is something I didn't struggle with, since I have done it quite a few times. The real tricky part was getting the player to fit the style of game I was going for. I initially made the character quick, a high jumper, and gave them the ability to wall jump. The movement felt great, and I was hesitant to change it, but I soon realized that their mobility was too good. Leaving their movement as it was could have taken away from the puzzle aspects, and made levels tricky to design as I would have to accommodate for all the crazy shit a player might figure out to cheese levels.


iu_980991_10418182.gif

mister placeholder's basic movement


Next on the list, block grabbing. I started by creating a block class that all blocks would inherit from. This made programming the grabbing mechanics universal and made creating new blocks a lot simpler. When making the blocks themselves, I wanted to avoid using Godot's rigid bodies since I wanted the player's actions to be consistent and reliable. This way, the blocks physics are all hard coded. Even if they aren't super realistic, nobody likes a puzzle where they've figured out the solution but struggle to execute on it because of some weird fluke of the physics engine. After much tweaking, I got the blocks and grabbing to a place I liked.


iu_980990_10418182.gif

block grabbing and throwing

Next up, specialized blocks.

The special blocks currently implemented are as follows:

  • Fan Block - pushes blocks and the player in the direction of the fan.
  • Spring - launches the player and blocks
  • Anti-Gravity Block - when throw, will float to a halt rather than be affected by gravity.
  • Mirror Block - Reflects lasers (I'll get to that)
  • Glue - Can be throw against a wall to stick. Throwing another block onto it will cause that block to stick as well.


I have a few more in mind, but I'll update yall on that in the future :]


iu_980992_10418182.gif

the fan block! it also changes the player's movement while held!


obstacles...


For these puzzles to work, I need other, non block objects for the player to interact with. I still have much more to do in this department, there isn't enough to start making levels yet. I got a good start though. Right now there is a door, a laser and a receptacle to aim that laser into.


iu_980993_10418182.gif

example of mirror blocks, lasers, and the door. The flashing thing is the antigrav block, it does not look like that my screen recorder gif software just bugged out apologies


One thing I have implemented are classes for power "inputs" and power "outputs". Inputs are anything that the player can interact with, and outputs are things that are affected by inputs. Using godot's "@export" I can link inputs directly into the output's code, so an output can read the state of its assigned inputs. This makes it really simple to tie elements of the puzzle together, and should hopefully make designing levels significantly faster.


future..........


There is a LOT more to do on this project before it becomes anything presentable (keep in mind all the current assets are placeholders). I think I have a very solid concept, I must only now spend the time to execute on it and make this game a reality. I also have a bit of a story in mind, but I wont reveal anything until its fully fleshed out. I tend to have a bad track record of over scoping projects way too big and never finishing shit, but hopefully recent practice with my other games and solid planning will keep me on track. I'm also doing this dev-log to hold myself accountable! Wouldn't want to disappoint anybody whom I've excited through sharing all this...

I'm going to try to keep this dev-log as a weekly thing, however that's not a hard schedule and I'm retaining my right to post late (or early, lol). I also want to do bits of this dev-log that are more personal thoughts rather than just game related stuff. I'll keep yall updated.


Feel free to ask any questions!! I'd be very happy to answer them!

As for now, thanks for reading. I've gotta get back to work!


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