Saturday, October 30, 2010

Testons NtN

Bonjour tout le monde,

Je viens tout juste de terminé mon prototype de maîtrise, il s'appel NtN. Si vous êtes intéressé à tester le jeu vous pouvez.


Si vous êtes du genre à vouloir comprendre le jeu vous pouvez lire le tutoriel. Et vous pouvez visionner un vidéo tutoriel aussi qui explique en profondeur le jeu.



Et maintenant, si vous êtes vraiment gentils, vous pourriez remplir un petit questionnaire sur le jeu afin de m'aider dans à terminer ma maîtrise.


Merci encore

Hello everyone.

I just finished my little prototype for my master's, it's called NtN and if you would like to test it you are more than welcome.


There is a little tutorial to learn more about the game.


Since, you are really nice and you want to help with my research, you could complete a little survey about the game.


Thank you

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer break is over now!


After spending a month in Nice France and an other month coming back to Canada. I am ready to continue my work on the sequel of Number to Number Combat. So far I like to use the code name NtN as Number to Number. It is kind of lame name but well it is a code name. Since I have been back, I worked on a new article for a journal, it is half done. I find it really hard to focus on the work when you can go outside and play in the sun. Although, this new article is about my new approach to Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA), as discussed in the last post, my last approach did not work the way I was expecting in Number to Number Combat. So I have been thinking about a new cheap (as easy) way to approach the problem of DDA. I saw a lot of model that were really complicated to implement and design. I want something easy enough to be design on any kind of games.

So how can I achieved that? well I think I found a good approach, but I still have to work on the algorithms to control some variables. So I will introduce the model in a couple weeks.

Meanwhile, I was going to implement NtN using GameMaker, but I changed my mind recently. As a sequel I think I have to use Flash again, more for the game's result than for the platform. I am designing NtN based on the comment I got on Newgrounds for Number to Numer Combat. My DDA system is important for my research at the university, so I have to make sure the result of the sequel are from the same kind of player. So that is the first reason why I changed my development from game maker to as3.

Number to Number Combat was implemented using Flash and FlashDevelop, I really liked to worked with actionScript 3 but not really when it is embedded with Flash. The only strong side I can see working with flash and flashdevelop is when you are more an artist than a developer. It is really easy to modify your art and see the result in the game. But it is a pain in the a.. to program, because you always have to come back to flash for all the little thing existing in the game. For example, if I want to had a little text in the top corner to see the value of a certain variable. Well I have to go to flash add a little piece of text, put it dynamic, give it a variable name that I can program and link it to a class. That little class is actually an empty class, so at the end of your project you have a million of empty classes that you need in order to control your game. I did like that approach, so I decided to keep working with ac3 but I changed the platform a little bit, I am now using Flex, which is open source and free. So far, it is really good, it is code-oriented and easier to debug than using Flash.

So far I finished a little tutorial that is really good : Tutorial. It was really interesting and easy to follow, I really like that the guy is using advance programming structure to implement the game. By the end you have more than just a little program, you will have a structure that cool be used with any kind of games. So if you are looking to learn ac3, you should check it out.

Hopefully you all having a wonderful summer.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The making of Number to Number Combat

I just got back from a conference in Valencia and it gave me plenty of ideas. I did a presentation about adaptive game mechanics, specifically on my adaptive model in Number to number combat. During my research last semester I got to learn about different adaptive models. I really appreciate the Dynamic Dyfficulty Adjustment (DDA) mixed with the flow design approach model from Jenova Chen.

I was really inspired by DDA back in 2009, so when I made Number to Number combat, I thought it will be great if the game had DDA, it would be more playable. So I was looking for a model that will always give a good challenge to the player. For example, if the player is strong, the AI will be stronger and if he is weak, the AI will be weaker. I wanted to combine the player experience with a great challenge.

The model uses the player's health after a combat, based on the level, the next NPC will have a certain level of difficulty : Low -> Easy : Normal -> Normal : High -> Hard (Health level - difficulty). In general the experience should always be interesting for the player.

So if you have played the game you can tell that the model fails monumentally at it's job. The game is not harder or easier for the player, the challenge is always about the same level and the player gets pretty bored after 10 or 15 combats. So what is the problem here? How can we fix it?

In general there are some mistakes with the DDA system and design issues. The DDA system does not use enough player data. For example, the system should use the time spent on a combat, number of good/bad answers, time spent answering, etc. By using more data it is possible to have a better knowledge of the type of player we are dealing with.

On the design side, the game has good basic game mechanics, but really poor decision making and narration. For any kind of proper game, these are essential for longer lasting fun. In light of this argument, Number to Number combat is not a proper game it is more of a prototype.

For the next few months I will work on a remake of Number to Number combat using classic adventure game mechanics and basic RPG systems. I will post more information about my design process soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No game for this month


This month is been really crazy, me and my girlfriend spent 2 weeks in England, it was awesome. England is so much cooler (and more fun) than I thought it would be. We went up to the Giant's causeway, it was amazing, the roman baths are so cool, the national gallery is so amazing, there is so much you can do.

Meanwhile, I learned that I earned a bunch of money from school, why? Hum good is a scholarship. So I decided to spend a little bit of that money on a nice reflex camera, Nikon D40x.

It made me think about artistic expression. Games, for me, are a way to express myself in an artistic way. Art could be seen as a way to express yourself, express your ideas, express your feelings, express who you are, etc. Expression is the key word here. In my last video game DeForest, I expressed the feeling I had when I saw forest vanished in order to build human constructions. I think by playing the game, you get a good idea of that feeling. Expressing something is part of what makes me want to continue in the video game industry. In a lot of my games I tried to express something.

So in the last year, I expressed myself using video games as a medium. Lately, I rediscovered self expression with an other medium, photography. Photography is a powerful medium, you can express a lot of ideas in images that you cannot express in other media. As they say, picture is worth a thousand words. So how do I make my pictures express thousands of words? What should I express, how should I express myself? So far, I am still using my camera to make "pretty" pictures, so I guess I am trying to express beauty... I am thinking about making a photo album about movement with inanimate objects.

Here is an example to express my point. The shadow and the contrast int this picture help to visualize a sort of movement from the left to the right. The curve on the stone makes our eyes roll over the picture. There is one guy standing out a little more than the others, it 's like he is going to pass them. You have the impression that you are looking at a sort of carousel.

If you would like to see some of my work you can check out my Picasa Web Album. I added a widget on the side too.

All I have been able to think about this month was photography, but I had an idea for this month's experimental gameplay project. The theme was 10 seconds, I had in mind a kid's game, you know those games where you have to put the form in their place. Like the picture on the top of this post. So it is pretty easy to do, you just click on the form and move it to the right place. So you have 10 seconds to replace the objects into their places. The challenge arises when, clouds, earthquakes, tremors (mouse shaking) and more get into the game. And we think playing baby games is to0 easy, maybe that how it is for them? What is the life of a baby really like?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cradboard Animation for Phono Alliance

Check this out, its an animation video from Phono Alliance's artist : Jade

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Be the first one to dominate the nature of this world. Be the mankind's best architect.

DeForest is a sim city like, where you are the new Architect of the town. You have to fill up the whole map with man's constructions in less years as possible. Its pretty simple you left click to choose a construction, right click to cancel. At first, the game is pretty slow, make sure you have enough money to put 2 houses and 1 industry. Otherwise you will go in the red, when you are there, there is no coming back.

Here the constructions : House (H), Industry (I), Mall (M), Hospital (O), Mine (N), Fuel Pump (P), Tractor Industry (T) and Farm (F). Reset (R)

I made this game in a couple of days, like 5 days. It is my first game using GameMaker v 8.0. It was a real treat to use. At first I got really confused with the drag drop, but when I found I could use code inside the drag and drop, everything started to be easier. Well I recommend GameMaker to everyone that would like to make a game and have it pretty easy. I really like that I spend as much time designing as coding the game. Usually I spend a lot more time coding then designing the game.

This game is not met to be hard, but to be joyful while you are dominating the environment and putting your houses/industries down. The mechanics of the game are based on expending the human world over the fragile nature. The game represents the euphoria that human have when they start to be in control of a situation and have a lot of gain. In other words, at first the game is slow, you have to wait to earn money, but you stay patient. When you have enough industries, the flow of the game accelerates to a paste where it is hard for you to keep up with the constructions compare to the income. Then you get really into the power you have over the environment, you are in control...

For the music, I had a super idea for a song with a guitar, but I do not have any guitar with me in Paris. So I choose this song : Son House - How to Treat a Man. The effect is lovely; the music has a super effect while you are playing. The music express a sort of melancholic pain, like you really want something, but it is really hard to reach it. That is how the song speaks to me. Then I needed a vision for the graphics, I wanted something as primitive as the song is. While I was at Orsay's museum in Paris, I had the opportunity to see a couple of painting from Van Gogh, I really enjoy how his paintings are simple and complex at the same time. It's like a 10 year old's painting but not at the same time, I do not know there is something so special about his work. So I wanted something like that for my game, I think I achieved the part where it's like a 10 year old's graphics, I am still looking for complexity... Well that how I created my game, I hope you enjoy it.

J Tremblay

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Live from Paris

Hello everyone,

It's been a crazy month, I just moved to Paris for the semester. I spend a lot more time in finding a place to live than I originally planned (took us 1 week and half). After that I had to start school. So I was not able to make a game for this month theme on experimental gameplay project.

I had a good idea and I will probably do it next month. It is my goal. I was thinking about a sort of mix of simcity meet a beautiful forest. The background is from my week in Toronto, I was in richmond hill. I was talking with my girlfriend's mum, she was saying how everything here and there used to be beautiful forest and now its full of townhouses. I am not use to that, where I am from the development is so little, that the forest is still everywhere. I was concern about the lost of the forest, well i like the forest. So I though that would be a good idea for a game, you start with 100 squares of forest, the goal is to fill up all the forests' square with human constructions. For now I will go play with blender/python a little.

PS life in Paris is crazy as hell, super cold and super crownded.
PSS I am from Canada, but cold is so different here.