A new resource submitted, playing with Eric Forhan’s new content pack he’s building, more Torque vehicle physics, “And Now For Something Completely Different”, The Plan for Trajectory Zone changes without notice, I’ll quit whining about resources now, and more of my usual stuff in this wonderful drivel called a .plan!

SnapTo it, buddy!
Ever look at something in Torque, and wonder… why the hell didn’t someone do that already? Just had that experience tonight, trying to place roads. Sure, there’s the Grid that you can work from, but that doesn’t always cut it, so I put alignment tools in there. I put ’em in there… and it was no big thing. They felt like they SHOULD have been in there in the first place. How the heck did I do anything in the Mission Editor before without these? 🙂 So, I wrote it up as a resource. 
“We built this city… We built this city on Rock and Roll!”
The reason I was dealing with roads is Eric Forhan has a new kickbutt content pack he’s working on. It’s related to one of my contract projects (sorry, don’t ask, sworn to secrecy under threat of torture, death, then torture again. Eventually, it will be revealed though! 🙂 It’s a medium poly city environment – roads, buildings, etc. with LoD and all that good stuff. Basically, you can now have a pretty serious city environment without bringing the engine to it’s knees. And it’s fun to race through 🙂
Which of course is part of my work – still working on vehicle physics. Sometimes, it’s amazing how much difference something like having the right in game enviroment (a city in this case) can change the feel of the physics. Shows just how much of a game is about the environment and how much the mind works to conform what’s going on to what it expects when possible 🙂
“And now for something completely different.”
So, I’m minding my own friggin business, and “Knock Knock” – “Who is it?” “Opportunity.” I’m doing a little part time work for a LAN gaming center now – I’m their PR guy. Yeah, that was a little out of left field. The general manager is a friend of mine, and I went down a list of things they could do to drum up business when they got the doors open (which is probably going to be this Saturday). The owner walked in, and Greg starts telling him what I had mentioned… and the owner offered me the position on the spot. I told him – sure, part time only though. (Hey, game DEVELOPMENT is job 1 here.)
This is an interesting opportunity – I had be planning on throwing my hat in with a LAN party group anyway, since I’ve always figured as an Indie that I should be making ties into my local community. Now, I get to get out there, and make those ties both for myself, and for a friend. And get paid for it too. Not bad. If you happen to be in Kansas – drop by GamerZone (Harry and Broadway in Wichita, KS) and I’ll see if I can scrounge up a discount for ya 😉
There’s a second opportinity here too – want to put your game in front of a fresh crowd for play testing? Give me a holler – I could really use the extra content to help push this as “the place to be”, and getting feedback is always a wonderful (and important) thing (just ask anyone who’s shown a game at IGC!)
Once it’s open, I’ll take a couple o’ shots of the place with the digital camera, and try and post one to the snapshot gallery (which an explenation of why it’s Indie related, etc.)
Times, they are a’ changin’
I changed my mind on Trajectory Zone. I mean, a serious change. I talked to quite a few people, from Jay Moore to some of my gamer buddies and a number o’ people in between (IE – other Indies) before reaching a decision.
TZ is going to have an inital release online. Then, three months after that, talk to a mid-level publisher.
This is a bit experemental – right now, TZ is pretty hardcore gamer, audience wise (more so than I wanted it to be.) I don’t see much being done with hardcore gamer downloads. I can either look at that as an opportunity, or a problem. I think I see it as an opportunity, as long as I can talk to the right people and get the right coverage. Cross your fingers and wish me luck – though, it’s still a bit before I’m ready to ship a demo. Gotta finish the beta cycle first 😉
And since I’m sure someone will ask… am I sending this to GarageGames for online publication? Well, I’m sending them a copy – but, quite honestly, this isn’t thier area. They shoot for more “casual” territory than what TZ represents. I chatted with Jay Moore a bit the other night discussing my options with TZ and what his opinion was, and I told him I’d send them a copy – but to me I’m sending it more as a “well, here’s what it turned out to be” sort of thing rather than with the expectation that they’ll be publishing it. Of course, if Jeff T. contacted me and said “Yeah, we want it” I wouldn’t turn it down either. 
Longer term, there’s a couple of platforms that I’d like to explore for TZ, but, that’s down the road, and requires incredible amounts of luck.
Oh, quitcherbitchin!
Ok, I’ll quit whining about resources I guess. Either it’s blue car syndrome (IE – when you own a blue car, you see more blue cars) or it’s just a cycle, but it now seems like every other .plan file has a cool resource in it that I just HAVE to have my hands on 🙂 Ignore my previous mini-rant, sorry!
Life in general just got an improvement too – I’ve had $8800 tied up in a merchant account for a while now, awating release from the “Loss Prevention Department”. That’s a lotta money of mine to have held up, but, finally they are gonna let it go. This is a very very good thing, since I was seriously starting to run out of money. 
Very soon I’ll also be doing another contract game job – the difference this time is that it’s not something that’s six months to a year off in the distance before it’s shown off. After doing GID #2, I talked to the guy I was doing contract work with and told him about my experience, and that while you couldn’t do a complete game in a day, you could get in there an knock the heck outta one if you already had the resources set up. Well… he’s setting up the resources (art) ahead of time, and I’m doing essentially a GID project as a contract. It’s not a complete game at that point either – just changing some physics, incorporating a couple of resources, stealing some code from my other projects, and writing some more scripting to handle powerups, etc. I’m excited, because it will be nice to point at that and say “Yep, that was one o’ my contract jobs!” 🙂
However, I’m not doing it AS my GID #3 project – instead, I’ve got something else in mind for that. My next GID will completely underwhelm people, but, will show some of the flexibility of Torque (like we all haven’t seen that enough anyway 😉 and do something that I haven’t seen done with it before. And, it all ties in with The Master Plan! 😉 And it looks like Xavier may be contributing to The Master Plan – which helps things move a bit faster 🙂 So – get an idea, and come do GID with the rest of us 🙂
One more thing – last time I mentioned “But I learned a lot of rules along the way that I’m begining to apply to new projects.” and Jay Barnson said:
Okay – can I request a new .plan from you? If you get a chance, I’d love to see those rules written up. I keep re-learning the same lessons over and over again myself – maybe if I see them written down I’ll remember ’em!
Hm – one o’ these days. Probably not for a bit yet though. Why? While I think I’ve got it “all worked out” in my head, before I start recommending them as The Gospel According To Reverend Davis I want to see them actally used MULTIPLE TIMES successfully 🙂 (Ok, I’m completely joking about the Gospel part – if you read what I have to say it’ss free advice from a long haired dude. Consider the source, and you get what you pay for, take it with a grain of salt, the proof is in the pudding, I could keep going all day with this. Before I make a complete ass of myself by putting them up in a public forum, I want to see it work more than once 🙂
David Dougher   (Jun 21, 2004 at 15:13)
Davis, don’t stop whining about there being a lack of resources!!! If you stop whining they will all stop just short of being done. They’ll get posted as almost ready for primetime. As long as you keep whinin’ people will believe that there is a big demand for ’em and they can get lots of kudos if they just get theirs finished.
And you know what? They are RIGHT! You get kudos no matter how many resources get added out there because there is always one more cool thing to be added and somebody will appreciate seeing it done.
So, continue to whine so people will know that they are wanted.
That is all. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program…

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