Wowsa. It’s taken several years, but this is the 300th post. I’ve taken to reading some of the old posts, including the one marked 200 from almost 2 years ago. The Lost Weekend seemed to just devour time and the posts with it. The project is different than the last post, and me along with it I think. I’ve come to the conclusion that, if nothing else happens, if my long awaited Exodus never materializes, I’m content doing this, right here, for as long as I can manage to open a laptop and create magic.
It’s a kind of odd epiphany, especially made now. One may wonder when the original whole point of this was to move on, why the change of heart? The answer is not so simple yet incredibly so. I find this, after 300 posts and the days weeks and months worth of work that I’ve invested, to be a wonder in and of itself. My projects, the whole Star Frog Games Studio, at some point has become less of a means to an end, and more of a means unto itself. I don’t work on these things because I’m hoping that they go somewhere, I do them because I have discovered the very act of working on them makes me happy. If this happens to lead to my Exodus (which seems more and more likely the longer I do this ironically yet appropriately) then so much the better.
So, here’s to a dozen projects and a dozen more that will proudly have Star Frog Games labeled at the front. Here’s to writing post 400 and 1000 after that.

– I almost called this post SohCahToa, an old Indian maiden that is also a mnemonic device for remembering which angles go with what sides when handling a triangle. Instead Blogger told me that this was post 300, so I went with that instead (a tradition worth keeping, although I almost instead went with “Spartan”). In case you’re wondering (more math incoming, so look out!) SohCahToa stands for Sine = Opposite / Hypotenuse, Cosine = Adjacent / Hypotenuse, Tangent = Opposite / Adjacent. The second part is the sides of the angle. I’ll spare the details regarding noticing them, and just move on.
Although that doesn’t have much to do with why I would have selected that specific title. Instead I got the Turrets to turn and work more or less. The problem with the little bastards was this equation : C^2 = A^2 + B^2
Yep, I totally forgot the squared business for the C, which caused the math to go all bonkers. Let’s see why. Say A is 3 and B is 4, then we can calculate that C should be around 25 since it didn’t do the square root part of the equation. When we then do the Sine math on it, it comes out to be a fraction of a Radian since it rotates all the way around and comes back around again.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that even though you move quite a bit, the turret will only rotate just a wee bit, which looks like it’s shivering from the cold.
So that got killed hard. Now they aim like they are supposed to. Little beasts.

-Along the way I also made a small modification to their aiming code. I thought that it was stupid that they could shoot below themselves. If you think about a turret, they usually don’t need to aim down. This is even more true for turrets designed to hit air targets. So now before they shoot they double check to ensure that the player they would like to shoot at is at least level with them. It works, and I like it from a design perspective.
The thing is, most of the design wants to push the player towards playing a specific way. Specifically, it’s the fact that things fall down after they get shot. Being below anything you are shooting becomes a terrible idea. The game is kind of built around that conceit. Consequently, whenever I can do things to force a player to explicitly not do that are good things. If being high is always a good idea it encourages the player to always be above regardless of the circumstances. Adding mechanics and play items that would prefer the player be below things, such as the new Turret code and the way the player can’t shoot downwards while carrying a bomb, force a player to always be evaluating the specifics of the game and change how they play accordingly. Add into that the ability to have up to 4 players simultaneously and the gameplay opens itself up quite a bit. As a designer, I like that.
I’ve talked at length about control as a designer, that having a tight grip on the control is how I can build fun. Sometimes though, especially when it comes to a game like Paper Zeppelin, the fun will come from a player figuring out how to do it on their own terms. At which point all I can do is offer up the toys for them to play with. Then it’s my job to design some damn cool toys.

-Speaking of toys I have decided that I need a turret that is upside down. I probably also need a Rocket Launcher that is upside down. This way I can put them on the ceiling, which would allow me to do some cool shite with the level designs. This came about after I put the code in that made the Turrets only shoot above them. It creates an odd disconnect since, logically, there can also exist Turrets that cannot shoot above themselves and only below. Normally, this would be an issue (see the last section of rant) but since inverted Turrets would be attached to ground, the player couldn’t be “above” them in any meaningful way. So that’s next on the hit parade. I’ll get that done and move along to the Rockets. That should be interesting.

Sine Sine Cosine Sine, 3 point 14159…

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