The Digital Home of Brandon C. Jones


Every week I talk about progress on my personal projects, what else I’m currently working on that’s not immediately gaming related as well as big tech news.

Virtue of Progress

What a week this has been!

With CES hot off the presses, and NVIDIA announcing that they’re opening up G-SYNC to be enabled on almost any display that support adaptive refresh rate technology. That and their BFGD monitors (or TVs?) are coming out next month, with HP being the first to market. Seems like there’s actual progress on the horizon for these products and services. Especially G-SYNC, which I would’ve thought to have been NVIDIA’s walled garden ecosystem.

An Unexpected Retrospective

As you may know, I’ve been making an effort to post more on social media and yesterday I uploaded a video showing off some of the changes I’ve been working on since the start of the month. And I saw that tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the first video I uploaded on Project: Phoenix, that would eventually become Hell’s Asylum. And I went back in my head to think about all the old and outdated logic I had thought was top notch at the time (Most, if not everything that could change in game was running on Event Tick, with the only exceptions being the checkpoint markers and the very limited level scripting).

I’m using a combination of C++ and Blueprint now, with certain condition checking, like enemy pickup drop, UI events when nearing an interactable object or describing damage applied using Timers, Blueprint Interfaces and DamageTypes respectively. But even with this new knowledge, there is still a lot more I have to learn, like using Function Libraries or Macros.

Major Progress Does Not Happen Overnight

While the core gameplay loop has been retained, defeat enemies, collect pickups, solve a puzzle or platforming challenge before moving onto next area or level, I feel that are more iterations necessary before I’m truly confident in that design. For instance, I feel the AI should be able to know how often the player uses a certain type of ammo or certain abilities, they should be able to counter or at least temporarily prohibit usage. This would force the player to use multiple strategies even when fighting lower level enemies. This is an idea expressed by Mark Brown from the Game Maker’s Toolkit YouTube channel, citing examples from MGSV:The Phantom Pain and the Batman Arkham series. And it’s going to be tough to complete systems like this. I don’t expect this to happen quickly and there will be bugs but for me it’s all about the learning process.

More Coming Soon

As I stated in my last post, the next update for Hell’s Asylum will be next Wednesday, with Derelict, my new platforming focused map, the big update. There’s also been some UI improvements in Mission Mode, that may have a new map to play in next week as well. Stay Tuned!