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[WIP][3D Platformer] Suzy Cube!

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by Louis-N-D, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    [UPDATE] Ok! BIG news! I've left my job and moved abroad as my wife has landed herself a position at the Canadian Embassy here in Caracas, Venezuela. So what does this mean!? Well, it means that making Suzy Cube is now my FULL TIME JOB! I've written some stuff about this over on my blog: http://louardongames.blogspot.com but I will also be cross posting cool dev milestones and what not in this thread.

    What I've been working on these bast few days may not seem as exciting for the development of the game like new levels or enemies might but I'm really excited about what it will mean for this game as a learning project. I'm currently hooking up Everyplay. Now, I'm not even sure if I'll have it as a feature in the final game, I'm hooking it up to automatically record playtester's play sessions so I can then watch them play through levels to see where friction points lie! I'm so excited about this! Especially now that I'm working from home and so far from my usual game dev buddies.

    So, stay tuned! I'm so excited to share this amazing new chapter of my life with all of you!
     

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  2. kerafrymm

    kerafrymm

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    I'm not gonna lie, I had an inhumane amount of fun from just that small demo. You have something golden here.
     
  3. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Does it uses physic Platformer kit ?
    Awesome base game, would need some little monsters.
    Seems a good Mario 3D WII U style.
     
  4. bayunanda

    bayunanda

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    Yes, your game have the same base character control feel as one of those mario games, which feels so solid.
    I was trying to do a wall jump, or triple jump at this game as if i'm playing mario games lol.
    let's keep on developing.. :D
     
  5. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Thanks for the encouraging comments everyone!
    @zenGarden: The character is a combo CharacerController+CharacterMotor with slight edits for more platform agnostic input. I think they are the Unity 3.0 CC and CM. I don't think I left a single value at default trying to get it to feel just right. I was going to write my own at first but I'm glad I didn't. Once I got it feeling good I knew I had made the right call. The Character Motor script handles moving and rotating platforms like a friggin' champ!
     
  6. LilWiebe

    LilWiebe

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    Could you post some screens/videos? My computer is kinda terrible and I have problems with webplayers...
     
  7. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I won't be putting up screens or vid for a while. It's really all about the game play at this point, sorry.
     
  8. woulverene

    woulverene

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    Game Play is Very good coin collection is lil misplaced as the character moves around 3d space players wont be spending time in collecting coins very nice look and check points are exceptionally good placed correct camera rotation is smooth .What about the opponents..
     
  9. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I started laying the foundation for handling taking damage (instead of just instant death from everything) last night. It's the first step toward getting enemies hooked up.
     
  10. ANTMAN0079

    ANTMAN0079

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    "It's really all about the game play at this point..."

    What gameplay is there at this point? The character moves around and collects squares as you hope not to fall or get hurt by spikes. I'm pretty sure this is how every 3D platformer starts, so this isn't anything yet.

    It works, but that's it. Make it something, then you can start claiming that there's gameplay to be had. Even with what little you have there including the title, I could come up with an idea for a story you could build from.
     
  11. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Just a heads up that there is a known bug in the current build in which it is possible to both kill an enemy and get hit at the same time. This is because I moved the hit check and the jump-on check to different triggers so their radii could be tweaked independently. I'm hoping to have this fixed in the next couple days. Work is really busy with the OIGC coming up, so not much time to tinker this week.
     
  12. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Aaand fixed! The great thing now is that the enemies use one trigger that fits them snugly for damaging the player and a second, larger trigger for detecting getting bopped (jumped on). This makes it much easier to bop them but also allows me to tweak the two triggers independently from one another for perfect feel.

    Before moving on to anything really new, I'm going to spend some time fixing bugs with platform movement. I've got one bug in the timed rotation platforms that makes it impossible to use certain rotation angles and one in the timing of all platform movements that can cause them to get out of synch with time. I'll be re-factoring the platform timers so they are always evaluating according to the current game time rather than timers that get set and reset and accumulate errors.
     
  13. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Oh seems I missed the updated with the added enemies, I'll sure be playing it again when I get home from work ;)

    Btw, I was wondering if the character would look better with a different color, pink for example (it's a girl after all) ;) Cause now she's grey, like the blocks, it's as if she's made out of stone or something ^^'
     
  14. OJ

    OJ

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    Great camera work and level design
     
  15. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Ya.. still considering that. I'm thinking a light blue, perhaps. I'm keeping warm colours.. anything in the red family for dangers. Bigger fish to fry in the mean time, though ^_^
     
  16. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Thanks. I have to address the camera not adjusting itself until you move when you respawn though.. makes certain areas a little awkward upon respawning. I might try to detect if you're in a camera trigger when you spawn and simply setting the camera to the trigger's settings all in the start function or semothing... It's on the list to look at, anyway.
     
  17. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Updated the build with, what I hope, will be a natural feeling way of making side view level sections easier to play. You can read the updated post for ful details.
     
  18. tylernocks

    tylernocks

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    Good Lord! How does one create such amazing camera work! I've been trying to do a camera like this for one of my games, but I never figured out how to get the camera to smoothly follow and change rotation based on position, but you did apparently , excellent work!
     
  19. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    The short answer is that I don't try to move the camera around the player, but rather I have the camera parented to an object that simply follows the player's position using a smoothing Lerp function. This way, I can orbit the camera around the player by simply rotating the camera's parent. The transitions are then handled by placing triggers throughout the level to dictate new target Y and Z angles for the parent object as well as camera distance, which is simply handled by moving the camera along its local forward vector. Oh, and triggers can also offset the camera's X and Y local position so I can offset the player the the frame to give a better view of upcoming sections, etc.

    With all the resources and development brainpower behind the industry's biggest games, the best kept secret, IMO, is that studios know when to unload the smarts onto the content creators to do things like place camera triggers intelligently throughout a level.

    P.S. The brilliant camera work in Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS is what inspired this whole project in the first place.
     
    Kellyrayj likes this.
  20. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Lots of cool stuff in the latest build. Like a new new enemy AND a new power up!! Check out the list above for the relevant changes.
     
  21. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Big under the hood stuff, new power up, read the full list above and have fun!
     
  22. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Now running on Unity 4.6 beta with brand spankin' new HUD and other UI type additions. Check the top post for details!
     
  23. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Just bumpin' the update. Moved the game to Unity 5, which has been a bit of a pain, and am now using Cloud build, which I'm super happy with!
     
  24. SullyTheStrange

    SullyTheStrange

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    Aww, it's adorable! Very simple but still a lot of fun, I look forward to seeing where this goes.
     
  25. TheSin

    TheSin

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    Really nice little demo. Loving the influx of 3d platformers popping up in unity. Favourite of the bunch.
     
  26. Instability

    Instability

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    Really good foundations! Wonderful start.

    Can I ask if the resolution selection in the Webplayer is new with Unity 5.1? I am still using 5.0 and don't have that option.
     
  27. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Wow! Thanks TheSin! I'm actually going to be leaving my job next week and will be concentrating on Suzy Cube for the next couple year!
     
  28. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I generated it using Unity Cloud Build and the Web page it generates is stock.
     
  29. TheSin

    TheSin

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    Interesting.
     
  30. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    It has happened! I'm now an INDIEGAMEDEVELOPER™!!!
     
  31. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Cool gifs!!

    I also posted some updates on the blog.
     
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  32. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I've started work on a new level, level 3-3. Why not level 1-2? Well, I won't get into it but I wrote all about that on my blog.

    The level is lava themed with various timed obstacles that move to the music (some slight bugs to fix regarding this...) I also implemented a simple lava plane which follows the camera in X and Z but keeps a fixed Y height, giving the impression of the lava going on infinitely.

    I also did some work on some generic stuff that isn't necessarily for level 3-3, like a ghost enemy which will chase you by following everywhere you've been and some retracting spikes which can have their timing easily offest for cool effects.

    As always you can get more info about this on my blog. Let's look at some gifs!




     
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  33. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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  34. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Soooo... This week's update is kind of a bummer. I've spent most of the week working on the game's final boss/template for all boss fights and I'm considering scrapping my work... Ya... The rig needs to be redone to be easier to use, I'm not really in love with the boss' design.. I don't know. I'll mull it over this weekend and see what I decide to moving forward.

    This pretty much sums up how I feel about my week.

    I've also been plagued with the usual list of Unity upgrade bugs after installing 5.2. The worse two only seem to affect my target device (iPod Touch 5th Gen) causing my lightmaps to display without filtering (blocky... and no, it does NOT fit the style) and the other essentially cutting my carefully maintained 60fps in half!

    So, in order not to leave you all on a sour note, I invite you to check out my latest "Lessons from Suzy" post about how I'm avoiding ambiguous jumps in the game:
    http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2015/09/lessons-from-suzy-cube-measuring-up.html

    TLDR:

     
  35. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    It's good news this week! I've redesigned the boss! Remodelled and rigged it too! I've made a good bit of progress on the animations as well, which has been fun! My education was in traditional animation, so it's always good to have the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and breath some life into a model.

    Since this version of the boss has way less body segments than the old one (4 instead of 11) and that those body segments are simpler than the old ones (no spikes), I was able to put much more geometry in the head while still coming out of it using WAY less verts than the old model (624 compared to 2414!), yay!

    I also decided to forego the blend shapes for this new version as well, getting better results by simply rigging the brow up to three bones, left, middle and right. Here's an animation of the boss getting bopped on the head! Remember, bosses must always be mad and/or incredulous when you score a hit on them!



    Next week will be more animations as I'm only about half way through the list so far!

    See you next week!
     
    knmaciel likes this.
  36. NikProductions

    NikProductions

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    Absolutely awesome!

    I really like the animation.
     
  37. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Sorry about skipping the update last week. I ended up spending most of it working on a wedding card for my cousin who's getting married this weekend.

    Anywho!

    More boss stuff! Got all the animations done (as far as I can tell) and started hooking things up in Unity. I've got the state machine all up and running and I got kind of carried away hooking up effects and screen shakes and stuff. Here's a before and after of the intro sequence:



    So, as you can see, I have also been putting SOME work into setting up functionality such as for the intro sequence: locking out player control, switching camera view etc.

    I've also written a simple little averaging script which makes a transform stay between two other transforms (with a weighting value). I'm using this as a target for the camera in order to frame both Suzy and the boss dynamically. You can see it in action during this bite attack:



    So, even though Suzy isn't moving you can see the camera following the motion of the boss' head while also keeping Suzy in view.

    The next couple weeks are likely going to be spent making the boss actually functional and interactive. Kind of important!

    OH! I've also posted a new "Lessons from Suzy" blog post. This one is on level variety.
    http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2015/10/lessons-from-suzy-cube-level-variety.html

    Until next time!
     
  38. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    And the boss is.. like 99% done. I just need to polish up some stuff like effects, audio and things.

    I've spent the week adding functionality to the boss like making it so Suzy can damage it and it can die when it runs out of hit points. With that done, I moved on to building a big variety of actions the boss can perform, like spitting fireballs at you or causing things to happen, like lava columns to shoot up from below. You know, boss stuff! The idea is that each boss in the game will only perform a handful of these possible actions, with every encounter involving a different mix to keep things fresh.

    The boss was interactive but totally passive all week. I could set off the attacks using debug buttons but it wasn't a real boss fight until this morning when I wrote up the system that drives the boss. It looks something like this:



    If you want to know more about the inner workings of the boss, you can check out my full blog post about it here: http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2015/10/suzy-cube-update-friday-octobre-9-2015.html

    The system drives a number of different actions ranging from idling to a raging lava tsunami of doom!! You can check out some of this stuff in action below...



    Next week's update probably won't be as exciting as I'll just be doing some polish stuff and taking some time to refactor some scripts that need refactoring.

    See you then!

    PS: Yes.. that last GIF shows the boss with a couple of band aids on his head. I added these this morning to make it obvious where he's vulnerable.
     
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  39. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Slim update this week. I spent Monday playing Toto Temple Deluxe and Rayman Legends (both awesome, BTW) to recover from an exhausting long weekend visiting Angel Falls (also awesome, BTW!)

    So I spend the rest of the week mostly tightening stuff. I fixed some bugs I was having in the level select screen when using a controller.. which looks like this for those interested..



    I laid a bunch of ground work for flow through the game. I set up all the level buttons in the select screen (the coloured cubes) and created level stubs for every level I plan to have in the game. So.. I mean, technically, you can play through the whole game now, from start to finish... Only, like 98% of the levels are just a piece of flat grey ground with a goal object and three stars next to where you spawn.. Doing this actually let me sniff out a few bugs I wouldn't have other wise and all things in level select land are now nice and dandy.

    Oh, and I finished up work on the boss fight functionality. Again just a few polish items and some bug fixing. Any remaining little issues I'll fix as I create the individual boss fights for realzers.

    i also spend a day trying to update InControl to the latest version... No luck.. Man, it really does not like that my game is in Javascript (gasp! I know I know, spare me! The next one will be in C#, I swear!)

    Ok, gonna go spend some time properly prioritizing my tasks for next week so I have something interesting for the next update!
     
  40. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    It's update time, oh yes it's update time!

    Spent the week working on Level 2-3, a snow themed level, and a bunch of stuff relating to it. For instance, I wrote a script that allows me to create triggers that can temporarily change pretty much any setting related to how the character handles. This allowed me to create sliding slopes and icy slippery areas too!

    I created these pick-up style rings which make coins appear. Getting all the blue coins before the timer runs out will earn you a star. You'll want to find stars because some levels will be locked unless you have a certain number of stars.

    I also modelled and implemented these nifty archways which are really just invisible teleporters that make it seem like two parts of a level are physically linked when they are not. This should be really useful to have in my toolbox going forward.

    Oh, and I started the week by modelling a number of snow themed props to get into the spirit of things. You can see a small sampling below...







    Well, That's it for this week. I should have the first pass at this level done early next week, allowing me to move on to other stuff. Man... I can't wait to get to the point where I can make a new level without having to implement any new features... Alas, I'm not there yet! I must continue filling my toolbox!

    See you next time!
     
    kittik likes this.
  41. kittik

    kittik

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    This game looks highly polished, looking forward to seeing more updates on it. Which platforms do you plan on releasing Suzy Cube onto?
     
  42. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Targeting iOS first, but I'm not closing the door on any other platforms at the point. I mean, I'm putting in some good work to make it play really well on the touch screen, but MAN does she handle like a dream with a 360 controller! (And yes, thanks to InControl, MFi controllers will totally be supported on iOS too! <tested and confirmed awesome>)
     
    kittik likes this.
  43. JetDegree

    JetDegree

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    This honestly looks extraordinary!
     
  44. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    First I want to encourage all of you to check out the latest instalment of Lessons From Suzy Cube all about making the game feel great to play on a touch screen: http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2015/10/lessons-from-suzy-cube-mobile-controls.html

    Now for the update!

    I mostly did some bug fixing and getting around to backlog stuff this week.

    I started the week by making a variation of my chaser enemy which looks like a snowman head... And hides as a snowman's head!



    Getting these right also meant addressing some bugs in the chaser behaviour which were totally overdue.

    I also wrote myself a super useful debug script which follows the player around spawning cubes at regular intervals. What's really neat is that I can copy the cubes in play mode and then paste them back into the scene in edit mode to use them as a template for placing stuff like coins to perfectly match the player's path or jump arc. It's been extremely useful on level 2-3 with all the slides and jump pads.



    What else, what else? Oh! Wrote a little script to make particle effects that ignore the time scale. When Suzy is hit or gets a power up, there's a slight pause or slowdown that many people were assuming was a bug or chugging.. hopefully this will help make the effect look more intentional.. as intended...



    And, finally, I created a set of gradient assets using a custom vertex alpha shader. They should be really useful for making blocks look like they are cut off or receding into darkness.. OR LAVA!!





    Well, that's it for this week. Halo 5 just came out, so I make no promises for next week!
     
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  45. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    This is looking great.
    The only bad point is no textures at all , it looks too much bland.
    Why could you not use simple detail tiling textures like Mario World 3D for example ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  46. TheSin

    TheSin

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    Awesome work Louis. Awesome!
     
  47. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    The look I'm cultivating is a big part of what makes the project achievable on my own. I totally see where you're coming from, but I'm afraid you might be underestimating the amount of work Nintendo has had to put in to make 3D World look as great as it does!
     
  48. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I understand as a one man project and if you plan many levels and lot of gameplay it will already take ages to fnish the game. Well perhaps for some desktop sequel yu would make as a team who knows.
     
  49. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Okay! This week I started things off by making a placeholder tutorial screen:



    More importantly, though, I set up the first user experience flow. I decided to change things up if it's your first time launching the game. Instead of taking you to the level select, I will take you to the aforementioned tutorial screen and then straight to Level 1-1. Why make you suffer through clicking your way around a level select screen that means nothing to you yet!? Straight to gameplay, baby!

    Similarly, I've also set up the tester flow with an extra screen with instructions for logging into Everyplay using the test account and a button to do just that.

    And the rest of my week was spent working on a new level, Level 4-3.



    The level is split up into three towers, but when you're playing, you have the impression that you are simply racing down a single long tower, trying to outrun the giant spiked crusher that is chasing you down the whole time. A big part of why the level is spit up into three parts like this is to help accommodate checkpoints and the big crusher.

    Speaking of crushers, there are also many smaller ones sprinkled throughout your harrowing escape down the tower.. you know, cuz I'm mean like that sometime ^_~



    I also wrote another Lessons From Suzy Cube post which I invite you all to read. This one is all about the culling system I wrote to allow the game to run nice and fast, even on my iPod Touch.
    http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2015/11/lessons-from-suzy-cube-improved-mobile.html

    I am currently debating whether or not to attend GCD in SanFran in March. If I do, it will have a huge effect on my priority list as I will concentrate on making World 1 look all finished and stuff. Anywho, still on the fence about it so I will keep all of you posted.
     
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  50. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    This update comes a day early. I won't be available to do the update on Friday, so Thursday it is!
    It was a lazy week for me, so it won't be a very big update. I did get some work done on some desert props, though!



    And made some interactive sarcophagi!



    The Mummy Skull is essentially my take on Dry Bones from Mario games.



    And made some/ still working on some wall mounted blow torches!!



    Also wanted to mention that if all goes well, I'll be attending GDC in San Fran in March! This will mean re-vectoring my efforts to concentrate on making the beginning of the game as presentable as possible rather than painting the whole thing in broad strokes.

    I will keep you all posted on the GDC situation and let me know if you are planning to attend so we can meet up!

    See you next week! I've got to go finish that blow torch and then plan the next four months!
     
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