Script Kiddies

Update: New Stuffs, Indie MEGABOOTH and Fantastic Arcade (GIF WARNING!)

So I worked on Dragons and friends for a semester or so. Such a needed break from Script Kiddies and a chance to stretch myself programming-wise. Now it’s full-speed ahead on getting Script Kiddies finished. The game has come so far and through lots of playtesting down at the Utah Indies meet-ups and hours upon hours with Drew, Script Kiddies is in a really comfortable place right now.

Here’s a bunch o’ quick GIFs of all the recent improvements made over the last few months:

Lot’s of new “LOSER” animations




Chronos and his special ability: BRUTE FORCE. It automatically completes a script and sends a virus. When asking for ideas on new special abilities, this was the top suggestion from lots of playtesters.

Isao and his special ability: REPLY_ALL. It sends a half-speed virus on all available floors.

CAP also got Social Engineering implemented, but the GIF is too big!



Death of the Virus Select Screen

The virus select screen would automatically pop up whenever your character had his/her special meter filled. The purpose was to give the player the choice of what type of virus to send. Even though you have your special ability doesn’t mean you always want to use it. The big problem people had is that it SLOWS YOU DOWN! When you’re in a really competitive match, every second matters and this screen popping up gives the other player the advantage, even though YOU have your special meter filled…

THE FIX: one of the playtesters down in Utah noticed this issue and I said, “Ya, you know, you’re not the first person to say that. What do you think the solution is?” He said, “I don’t know, like just press Y instead of X to access the computer.” That worked. Here’s Kiki using her special. You get a RAINBOW screen when you press Y:


Virus Speed-Scaling:

One other major issue in early playtests was that matches took far too long and were too hard to close out. Steve Taylor (of NinjaBee) suggested that you might be able to close out games in a more reasonable time if the speed of the viruses scaled with how many floors were down. After testing a few different iterations, Drew and I settled on the idea that virus speed increases by half when there is only one floor left.







New Winning Room Animations


Indie MEGABOOTH and Fantastic Arcade

The game is getting to a point where it’s time to start promoting and marketing the game. I have decided to submit to the Indie MEGABOOTH (PAX Prime) and Fantastic Arcade. I really really really hope we get in. The game is solid and I think our presentation is really unique and funny so I hope it works. I just submitted to the MEGABOOTH an hour or so ago! Fantastic Arcade is in July.

Choosing to have these events as goal-posts has really helped me focus on how to approach continued development of the game. Whether I get in or not, the game has improved by leaps and bounds because of them.


I look forward to what’s next for Studio TREX!



Side Project: D R A G O N S + Friends

It’s been a little while and I’ve been doing a lot on both Script Kiddies and this new side project. Here’s the story:

The Kickstarter didn’t meet its goal, but it was still a really really great experience. As you can see in the previous post, a lot of people really liked Script Kiddies and I was able to meet a lot of new people including many new press contacts. Pretty Sweet!

However, running a Kickstarter sucks the life out of you. It’s super super stressful. I knew that going into it but on top of school starting, I kinda just felt allย blah about Script Kiddies. I really love the game and I know other people have said as much, but I needed a bit of a distraction from Script Kiddies for awhile.

I did a little Blender-ing and learnt the basics of a 3D FPS in Gamemaker. I don’t have a picture from the FPS but here’s what I made in Blender:


Pretty proud of that! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, after all that I started tinkering around with making an Action RPG fighting system. (As a side thought, I was thinking about how even though I haven’t participated in any game jams, I pretty often do these little tiny games where I just get one idea to work or something. I would akin these mini games to making jam games. It’s really fun.) I was thinking about games like Secret of Mana and this really cool indie game called Momodora (1-3). Here’s a GIF of Momodora:


Stinkin’ awesome amirite? (check out Momodora 4 by Bomb Service)

The action is so fluid and crazy awesome, and I knew these guys were using GameMaker as well, but I just had NO idea how they were making this work and look so slick.

So I tweeted @rabbit_nabokov and asked him ๐Ÿ™‚

rdein-convo1 rdein-convo2

So basically the way it works is that every attack has two systems tied to it: a cosmetic system and aย hitboxย system.ย The animation is purely cosmetic, it doesn’t do anything, it just runs and dies. The hit box is what really does the collision with the enemy!

Okay so this has been pretty long so here’s the point. I fiddled around with this concept for a day or two and had a totally working prototype in like a week ๐Ÿ™‚ The result is a new little game I’m working on now called D R A G O N S + Friends.


D R A G O N S + Friends ย is a local-multiplayer long-minigame ๐Ÿ™‚ Each player is given a random starting weapon and they fight their way to the top and fight a dragon at the end. Each round should take less than 20 minutes and takes place in two phases:

CLIMBING PHASE: Spikes from the bottom of the screen force the player to climb the floors. Players cannot die from enemy hits but can be stunned which prevents them from attacking for a short time. The goal in the climbing phase is to destroy as many enemies as possible to level up your character without falling into the spikes.

DRAGON PHASE: Once players reach the Dragon they CAN be hurt and die when they’ve lost all of their hearts. Success at the Dragon depends on how well you’ve done in the climb (and how nice the random level-upgrades have been to you ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

The main idea behind the two phases: the game begins very competitively, and ends very cooperatively.

As of right now I have the 5 basic weapon types, 5 enemies, a miniboss, and a working protoype. CHECK OUT DOZ GIFs:



Sword collisions and early enemy AI









I’m excited to keep working on it! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

– Austin

Script Kiddies

Announcing: Script Kiddies – PVP Sequence-Platformer, Server-Hacking Game

Shake it like a polaroid pictcha!

Over the past month or so, I’ve been adjusting to Gamemaker, migrating from Python and Pygame. It has been a preatty powerful experience and lesson about the power of proper tools. I’ve had the idea for this game for a while but Pygame was too slow of a development tool to do it (or any other game really). But now that I’m working with Gamemaker and GML (which is a perfect mashup of Python and C++ if you ask me), this game is totally feasible in a reasonable amount of time.

The premise of the game is that each player manages three floors connected by ladders that have a server and computer screen. By accessing the computer on the floor, you are given a randomly generated ‘script’ of buttons to press. When you complete the script, you send a virus to the other player on that floor. That catch is, the other player can access that floor’s script at the same time, beat you at completing it, and send a virus your way. Things start getting crazy as players try to send viruses to the other player while also protecting their own floors by completing scripts on floors with incoming attacks. The player can run, jump, and access the computer. I hope as the game continues to develop it will feel really pure and fast paced. I anticipate normal matches to last no more than 5-10 minutes. The longer the match, the more perfectly matched the two scripters are!

Random facts:

– In hacking, the term ‘script kiddie’ refers to someone who can’t actually program their way into a vulnerable server, so they simply run pre-made, distributed ‘scripts’ of code.

– Yes I made all the art. I don;t have a clue how, but somehow I did.

– view a proof-of-concept gif here.

– hear a rough version of the (tentative) theme song:ย Script Kiddies Theme

– Hope to launch by Christmas.



Untitled: Demo-in-progress

Things are starting to come together. Basic mechanics, using the controller, time bomb all seem to be working. I’ve decided I’m going to make a little mini-game based on what I have right now. It will be a wave-based mini-game where you try to take on as many waves as you can. There will be some small RPG elements as far as leveling up the Painter’s abilities and maybe some aesthetic changes. It will be simple, but I think it will help me flesh out what is fun about the game so far, and I’m kind of burning out on just implementing new features ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it will be a needful detour.

So here is the primitive version of that experience. You’ll see the Time Bomb mechanic which is working well. Toodles:



Untitled: Good things accomplished

Got lots of good things done the last few days. The Time Bomb mechanic is implemented and works great. Really crazy that I was able to make that happen. The essentials are that the player can move it until it reads “0” or the player presses the button again and explodes. While exploding for ~3 seconds, shooting out particles in a medium area, the player can still move it up and down with L-R. This adds more functionality and makes it so you can get around large enemies, have it go off, and reach their weak-point.

Also got the game working with the analog stick which is much more natural. Starting to feel really great. Don’t know if I mentioned this but I also added a PAUSE feature which was like 6 lines of code. Don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Just rambling now: also added better bullet speed stuff, shield hit-area, and a splash screen! Oh ya, forgot to say that. Right now it just says STUDIO TREX but I’ll change it to the titel eventually.

Good stuff happening!



Untitled?: Recent Update

Just a quick update for personal record:

I was able to get the dodge upgrade working but it looked pretty lame. There’s some work I could do to fix it, but I think in the end it’s going to be too cheap of a move to use anyways so I’m probably killing it. I might end up working on a rewards system in the game that gives the player “upgrade points” they can use mid-game on special upgrades like dodge. We’ll see.

I’ve been working on the time-bomb upgrade and I think it’s going to be a really cool thing that can be used in a lot of different ways. I want to add in some levels that incorporate the time-bomb mechanics. Here’s the lowdown on the time-bomb: when the player presses the bomb button (assuming they have some in inventory) a bomb shoots out with a descending number on it; 2….1….0. While the number is descending, using L and R, the player can direct it up and down on the screen avoiding enemies. This would be useful for getting behind enemy shields or hitting lock-opening devices that are blocked from the Painter’s bullets. The player will be able to direct the bomb (with L/R) while still having full control of the Painter: shooting, dodging, even using the Chroma Cannon if you wanted to.

When the time-bomb explodes, either by getting to zero or hitting an enemy (can be used as a regular weapon), it shoots out ~50 bullets in every direction in an area ~200-250 pixels wide.

I think it’s going to be pretty sweet and add a lot to the game. I like the idea of having some new mechanics in sh’mups. It’s so often the same thing. One thing I would like to add is a level where you have to shoot certain orbs in a specific sequence to get the proper tone-sequence. It would be something familiar like the ding-dong-ding-dong some doorbells. It’s the first four notes at the beginning of this clip. That could be cool.

Anyways, my goals for the game in the next few weeks are (in no particular order):

– get time-bomb working

– add hit and death animations for enemies

– get Painter movement to work with the XBOX controller joystick as well as the d-pad

– screen shake (?)

toodles – ย Austin


Untitled?: Chroma Cannon

So the reason for the ‘Untitled?’ is because I guess there is a game on Steam I saw recently with that name. It may have Monochroma, but ya it’s still pretty darn close. So not sure what it will be called. I want to call it “Are You The Painter?” or “The Painter” but I think it would be kinda lame. Maybe “Van Gogh” or something artsy? idk.

Anyways, I got the Chroma Cannon working now. The Chroma Cannon is like a special attack. You will collect particles of color from the enemies you destroy and that will build up until you have enough for the Chroma Cannon. I want it to be something you can get frequently. It should add some strategy to the game and make you feel totally awesome for being able to use it. I think it turned out really well. The only drawback I see is that it makes the normal firing seem pretty lame and I need to fix that. Not sure what I’ll do yet but, that’s where I’m at. The CC looks great though. That feels good!