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Andre La Barre
Lives in Norfolk, NY
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Andre La Barre

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I've hopped into the massive pile of uncurated Steam curators.  I went in order of my profile's review summary so my least helpful reviews are listed first.  You can probably skip my review links until the end.

As for game development, I've been writing and rewriting a procedural development library intended to help me with a multi-genre game.  It has taken me way too long.  Aside from the joys of C# garbage collection, the problem has likely been that I went too generic.  In the end, there's probably a simple, more specific implementation that does the bulk of what I want to do and the rest is best suited for another pattern.
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Andre La Barre

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NEStalgia is the first BYOND game on Steam.  I had nothing to do with it, but it's nifty. =)
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It was on my steam homepage today as a recommendation. Very neat.
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+Jacob Brennan (AKA IainPeregrine) is crowdfunding a new version of Casual Quest for PC and smart phone.  The IGG page is a bit bare, but here are some pics from the BYOND forum:

Right now, Mr. Brennan appears to be playing up the diversity of the cast and audience while offering little info on what the game actually is other than "real-time cooperative".  The old Casual Quest was a session-based, top-down brawler sort of like Gauntlet, but with a single screen map and class evolution.  The alpha of the browser version I jumped in ages ago had larger maps.  Other than that, I'm not sure, but there should be a new video demo next week.

The original Casual Quest took first place in a paid game dev competition while my Fused Finale took second.  My broke ass is pretending that's a donation. ;)
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I found a bug in my earlier mesh generation which randomized the supposedly predictable wave functions scaling the edges.  Once I made the waves predictable again, I realized they were boring as frell and purely random scaling was the way to go.  However, I still wanted predictability so I could create other meshes which looked like they shared the same theme.

I now store a looping array of random scaling coefficients.  A different starting position in the array is chosen by each mesh and the coefficients are then referred to in order.  The coefficients can be blended if the meshes have different numbers of vertices, but I eventually decided that sticking to a common number might make the set of meshes more distinct as a whole.

Below are two sets of meshes.  Each has its own number of vertices and its own array of scaling coefficients.  If you ignore the top and bottom vertices (which I'm currently scaling independently), you might notice how the curves continue around the initially circular meshes.

Here's my earlier post:

Other than procrastination, I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out a decent way to handle collisions in Unity with my shmup's bullet penetration and enemies built from my PCG meshes.  Unfortunately, compound colliders are built more for collisions than triggers.  I can respond to an event from a child or get confused by multiple events from the parent.  It then gets more complex if I want to count a bullet which exits and reenters as another hit.  Raycasting/sweeping every frame as some forums threads suggest seems much too wasteful with the amount of bullets I'll have on the screen. 

I'm currently toying with the simplified idea of choosing a single mesh as the collider and placing others around/beneath it as mere decoration.  I still have to experiment with Combine Meshes though so maybe there's something more detailed I can do.  I keep getting derailed by outdated forum threads.
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Aw frell.  The meshes with more vertices and higher frequency of valleys don't mix well for compound enemies.  The narrow points on the edges don't quite blend.  I might just increase the vertices of the meshes generated and use a single mesh per enemy.
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After umpteen false starts, oodles of mostly unnecessary research, and a bunch of tiny errors, I appear to have a decent mesh generator for the latest iteration of the shump I'm always procrastinating about.  I'm going to pretend the lovely butterfly it threw at me is a good omen.

The mesh starts sort of like an 8 or 10-sided die.  I use two vertices for thickness and then another two for the front and back.  (Consider the top of the picture to be the front in this perspective.)  A random number of vertices on one side are then assigned to complete a 180 degree arc between the front and back.  Vertices on the other side are eventually set in mirrored positions.

If I stopped there, the attached picture would look roughly like a circle.  Instead, I use a random wave function to scale the side vertices so that they jut outward or inward relative to the center.  (I could mess around with the other vertices as well, but I haven't bothered yet.)

The mesh's triangles are simple.  Each starts with the top or bottom thickness coordinate (the center from the picture's perspective) and two neighbors of the outer edge.  The last triangle of each top/bottom half needs to wrap around with the outer vertex the loop began with.

I use spherical coordinates for the UVs.  I'm not planning on doing anything special with textures so I just chose something simple to let me slap a material on without the mesh turning invisible.

My current plan is to generate a few meshes per level and then use different permutations of them to form enemies.  Hopefully, combining child objects and colliders will be easy enough.  I need to experiment with handling differing child scripts though.  I just spotted this post and am hoping it will set me on the right path:
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I love procedural content!
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I jumped on this.  I have Steam foil card money that I've been saving for tables not listed here, but I couldn't resist.  I've been dabbling with each.  Iron Man seems better than the demo felt.  Shaman not so much.  Thus far, I'm just trying not to be last on the leaderboards.
Help victims of the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan disaster and get tons of Zen Studios Pinball FX 2 games in the process! Proceeds to the American Red Cross go directly towards the Typhoon Appeal. 
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Andre La Barre's profile photoDave Toulouse's profile photo
I'm not playing on a regular basis but there you go. Maybe seeing your score will get me more into it :-)

I saw that Pinball Arcade passing by and didn't know it was score instead of time restricted so I pass at first but I'll give it a shot. Seems a nice way to try it out.
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Have him in circles
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I'm never well off enough to help anyone directly so I have to make do with signing petitions and sharing posts.
Reposting for the later crowd:  as part of the effort to #KeepTressaHome (helping +Tressa Green keep her house if possible) I am offering the following donation incentives of myself :

1) A +Cinematic For The People DVD - signed by as many of the cast and crew as I can wrangle.

2) I will design a cover for you - book, CD, DVD, whatever you want.  I am a once-upon-a-time trained artist and still wheel my skills out upon occasion, and for you I will do so again.

3)  I will lie my ass off to give you the absolute best review or cover blurb you can imagine.  "This book changed my life forever."  "I think listening to this song cured my cancer."  "I was addicted to drugs until I watched their movie.  Now, I'm addicted to drugs AND I've watched their movie."  Hyperbolic exaggerations upon request.

You can see her original post here - - and you can donate through her paypal or the GoFundMe that they set up here -
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Andre La Barre

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I took the Ghost Rider table back from +In-Game Chat 's Scott with almost double his score.  Before that, I took Mars as well.  I felt pretty cocky taking on a guy who doesn't revisit tables often.

In SS11, Scott made it a goal to smash me and almost doubled my score on Epic Quest.  I struggle with that RPG hybrid table.  On the bright side, I already have a Steam friend with a higher score that's been plaguing me.  I think I have decent equipment for the encounters I'm facing, but my actual pinball skill needs to level up.
Recorded live on January 26 at 10:37am.
Dave Toulouse's profile photoAndre La Barre's profile photo
I just took Epic Quest back from Scott, but I missed the highest score on my friends list by a mere 2 million.  ARGH!
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Recently, +Dave Toulouse regained his position in our pinball rivalry on the Starfighter Assault table.  It was hard enough to beat him the first time, but I was satisfied by defeating him by a decent margin on my first play of the Darth Vader table.

Today, Scott from +In-Game Chat beat my Ghost Rider score on his first play, scored even higher on the first ball of his second play and streamed my defeat live for the world.
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I don't even bother looking at global scores.  I know I'm going to be tiny in comparison.

I just got Ghost Rider back with almost double Scott's score.  Before that, I overtook him on Mars.  I'm feeling pretty good about it despite knowing that he could crush me if he actually spent some more time on the tables.

I'm dreading taking on Starfighter Assault again.  That table has made me so frustrated that I've almost twisted my controller in half.  Instead, I tried to assuage myself by playing leapfrog on Wolverine with our mutually piddly scores. ;)
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Andre La Barre

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I'm behind on my reading, but I like sharing my webcomic pull list so I'll bite.

Scott Christian Sava's The Dreamland Chronicles, Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court and Joseph England's Zebra Girl are easy choices, but I'm guessing they'll get mentioned elsewhere.

I'd instead like to mention the first webcomic that made me pay attention to the medium, Kagerou by Luka "Fireball" Delaney.  The main character, abused and questionably sane, is transported to another world in a fight between a goddess and her unwilling vessel.  Meanwhile, an even stranger ecosystem of diverging personalities and trapped ghosts exists inside him.

The comic is a mix of dark mental states and light fantasy that tends to click with me.  I bore witness to the art going from passable to gorgeous.  After sporadic updates, the project went on official hiatus in mid 2013.  I hope it gets finished.
What Are YOUR Favorite Webcomics of All Time??

It's the 6th Anniversary of The Webcomic Beacon podcast this month! In the coming weeks we will update with episodes on the Webcomic Beacon's past and present crew's favorite webcomics of all time! Following that will be the 6th Anniversary/Semi-Finale episode!

So, what we want is to hear about YOUR favorite webcomics of all time!

Please reblog this post with your answer (or comment), or email the Webcomic Beacon with the name, link (if possible), and a few sentences about what the comic is, and why it is your favorite webcomic of all time (please limit to your top three, please!)

The plan is to go over our listeners' top webcomics on a coming podcast.

No, this isn't any sort of ranking thing, so don't try to stuff the ballot box. We just want to know what webcomics that you just love. Including webcomics that no longer update. Be sure to catch The Webcomic Beacon in the next 3 weeks as we present our top 100 favorite webcomics of all time! All of which will be in no particular order, but there is a top 9! Why 9? Because of out of 100 comics picked by over 10 crew members, only 9 webcomics were picked more than once!

In the meantime, please post your opinions below, and please share this post!

#comics #webcomics
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You know, the last time I submitted an entry that didn't get mentioned, I won a giveaway.  Just sayin', +The Webcast Beacon Network ;)
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Advent calendar openings on +Toy Break are probably the only December holiday tradition I have left.  I was never much of a LEGO kid, but it makes me feel young anyway.  (I was more into Erector, Robotix and my cousin's Takara Blockman.)
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I agree I started at 2008 Advent calendar when I was 10 :D Now I'm 15 already, these videos give a nice christmas feeling :)
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Andre La Barre

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A variant of this is my preferred method of level generation.  I divide the map with a BSP tree, but I often throw out the notion that splits define the connections between the leaves.  I instead use the leaves to form a maze where connections can be formed with any geographical neighbor.  (The tree data remains useful to determine those neighbors quickly.)

Essentially, I keep the leaf shapes while varying the connections.  My theory is that the leaf shapes can help provide a unifying theme within a level.  Each room is then a unique maze using those shapes.

I also don't add thin tunnels.  If necessary, I merely remove walls between the edges of connected nodes.  While this sometimes makes sets of sibling rectangles look like a single large rectangle, the fact that I don't restrict connections to split parentage helps form some nice T and L-shaped variations.

Often though, I find it's just as good to start with the entire interior of the room open and then just solidify the dead end leaves of its maze.  This makes the maze data obsolete in terms of pathfinding.  However, it's quick and easy when all I care about is the room shape.
When filling in an area randomly with objects, like rooms in a random dungeon, you run the risk of making things too random, resulting in clumping or just an unusable mess. In this tutorial, I will show you how to use Binary Space Partitioning to solve this problem.
Erik Hogan's profile photoKyle J. Kemp (Seiyria)'s profile photo
Thanks! As a guy who likes level generation a lot, these sorts of things are great to read.
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I am ACWraith. When not procrastinating, I create games (or used to).

I used to perform unpaid volunteer work for BYOND (and occasionally still update their Facebook page). Once upon a time, I also handled featured games and wrote the link digests Along The Tech Tree and BYOND and Within.  Both of the latter were revised on my Gamasutra blog with questionable relevance.

I don't join social networks to fret over my privacy.  I likely won't post often enough to spam your stream, but be aware that my outgoing messages will tend to be unfiltered.  File me away in whatever circle you see fit.
  (I do add circle tags should Google ever allow people to subscribe to those instead of people.)

My apologies to those I circle if they get annoyed by notification spam.  I tend to catch up on Google+ posts during the weekend so all of my ratings/replies come in a short time period.
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February 2
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Andre La Barre's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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