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Posts By Caleb J. Ross

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Is it impossible to not cheat in a video game? Well, to answer that, we first have to agree on what “cheating” actually is. In this video I explore what constitutes cheating, whether cheating is even possible with single-player games, and if game developers themselves are even capable of defining what cheating is.

Given that modern games allow–and actively encourage–players to bend the rules and change configurations, is cheating–outside the context of competitive play–an outdated concept? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below.

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The credits have rolled on South Park: The Fractured But Whole. I’ve made videos in the past that not just insist on the importance of judging a piece of media according to its authorial intent, and to a larger degree, its entire context–even the context of its own lineage–as I’ll discuss more later–but also I’ve made videos that extol the beauty of a piece of media that understands context really, really well. That’s something the South Park television show has always done and South Park: The Fractured But Whole is no different.

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For those of you who know me as a wanna-be video game developer, you may know that I have been documenting my journey learning various game engines and coding languages at my Game Dev Log page. For the rest of you, well, I guess I’m sorry you weren’t let in to that part of my life. But in my defense, you could have asked. I mean, how much do you really care about me if you don’t even ask about my passions. What a jerk you are.

Anyway, I recently completed my first GameMaker Studio course. I took to GameMaker faster than I thought I would. Compared to my first game engine attempt, Unity3D, GameMaker is so much simpler. However, it’s only because I’ve attempted to learn programming–and had become familiar with programming at a conceptual level (knowing about loops, statements, functions, etc)–that GameMaker came as easy as it did. That being said, I still spent way too much time on my very first game, Towering Tom: Toilet Defender.

Towering Tom: Toilet Defender is a simple single-screen point-attack game. I would be scared to let a true developer look at my source code, as it’s certainly bloated with if statements and redundant code and the executable file is full of unused assets (there’s no reason it should be 57mb to download), but still I’m proud of the results.

Download and install Towering Tom: Toilet Defender here.

As for what I learned:

  • How to make terrible pixel art
  • How to use countdown variables (I’ll never figure out how to use alarms properly)
  • How to spawn enemies
  • How to implement a very non-graceful series of triggers to guide enemy behavior
  • How to stay motivated by making a game that’s designed for a very specific group of people (my day job coworkers who know the real life inspiration behind Towering Tom, and Towering Tom himself, whom I hope sees this game as nothing more than the laugh it is supposed to be).

Title Screen

Story Intro

Game Screen

Fail Screen

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I’m a firm believer in an easy video game. The challenge isn’t what drives me. And that’s what I want to focus on in this video. Video games aren’t simply a vehicle for challenge. And if we can accept that, then the rest of the video should be easy as pie

What are your thoughts on game difficulty? Should games have variable difficulty selections or should games ship with a single difficulty inherent to the experience?

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