Beat Em Up, Bernie! Brawler Mechanics

I’ve managed to finish a draft of the first map and retool the game for brawling.

Muscular Joe Biden will eventually be replaced by Establishment Superdelegates for the first level, and his sprite will be repurposed as Wall Street Stooges for the second level.

Music is “Robot Loop” by Disyman, purchased from I plan to use it for the Wall Street level, at least.

Next up: give Warren’s playground fight a short cut scene, and finish the brawler rules, so you can’t just run past the goons.

Beat Em Up, Bernie!

Today I take the first steps towards converting the game to a brawler.

With the primary season likely drawing to a close soon, and the game about 60% complete, it makes sense to switch from a fighting game about the primaries to a brawler starring the eventual nominee.

So the game will *probably* be… Beat Em Up, Bernie!

Progress – Election Fighter

Sketch and early animation for Elizabeth Warren character in our Election Fighting game.

We’re doing this as a practice game to learn basic stuff like how to file an LLC and how to submit to Steam and iOS.

It’s also a good art challenge.

Warren’s character model is Kim from The Venture Bros, and her animation model is Momoko from King of Fighters.

New Voyage commences!

Matthew Carlin (the guy who runs this site, me, that guy) has retired from corporate work for a while and he’s making stuff full time! was for a different time. It’s done. We’re moving to and making a lot more stuff.

Gallery – 100 Days of Art Practice Days 91-100

And finally, the end! After 112 days (5/28 to 9/17), I’ve done 100 days of art practice.

It was a very good exercise, and I’m going to keep going (a bit slower) to 200.

A few sketches first.

I got to be my wife’s apprentice for a proper canvas painting! We did this for our new house, based off one of my favorite Kazu Kibuishi drawings.


Old Babushka.

My own first attempt at canvas. First a sketch, then a painting.

A tree from our friend Amy’s pottery making birthday party.

And my final practice picture. I like this one a lot.

But wait, there’s more! A few days after day 100, I was the apprentice for my wife again, for another large canvas, and this time I did a lot more. So this is kind of my final submission.

Progress Video – Some Kind of Poetry Game?

Here’s a quick progress video for an idea I’m chasing down.

It’s the core mechanic for either a school RPG or a dreamy adventure game. In either case, the idea is to have a poetry jam where the player has to know a poem well enough to pick the next lines at speed.

For the RPG, I think what I want here is to have the player and the opponent exchange verses; if the player fails a verse, the opponent automatically picks it up, and vice versa. The winner is whoever does it better.

I’ll post more later if this idea bears fruit, and if it doesn’t, I won’t!

Game Idea – We Sailed Through An Endless Sky

What’s your name, friend?

<player gives name>

When I was young, I used to hide in a quiet hallway at my school. I would sit in a comfy armchair and do my homework.

Out a grand picture window, I could see our beautiful tower, standing above us all in the bright blue sky. I used to imagine it was a control tower, and the school was a giant ship. There was no land above or below.

<the game title appears>

We Sailed Through An Endless Sky

The game is a swashbuckling mystery. You play as Sam, the rapscallion child of  Sailing School, one of many city-ships traversing the endless sky. There is practical knowledge of high technology, more engineering than science. Everyone remembers that humans used to live on Earth, in a solar system, with gravity. No one knows why people now live in the endless sky instead. Different cities have different character; Sailing School is mostly academic.

You can choose Sam’s gender, but either way, people often guess wrongly. Sam is a sort of natural pirate. There’s intrigue and politics and sword fighting. Sam falls in with the pirate city, but eventually starts to search for the mystery of the sky. And unlike all the other frustrated seekers, Sam finds the answer.

The endless sky is a simulation. Mankind did live on Earth, but grew in technical prowess, and eventually invented truly convincing simulations. Some stayed behind on the crowded, failing earth. But most uploaded themselves, leaving the real earth behind forever.

There were two flavors of simulation. Some favored untethering themselves from natural rules, to explore utterly bizarre new ways of life. Others just wanted to live human lives with more space, and settled on an infinite grid. They agreed on rules of travel to prevent anyone from teleporting onto anyone else’s territory. Have you ever walked off to the left in an old video game? Left the game structures behind, until it was just you walking? And kept on walking for so long you couldn’t find your way back?That’s what happened to Sam’s people. They wanted to explore the void, and they explored for so long they forgot who they were.

Sam’s group also finds protocols that promise a way back. The wild other simulation won’t allow the humans, because they’re… too different now. But Earth will repatriate some simula if they choose it.

This knowledge sparks a fight. Some want to bury it, some want to release it. The release faction wins. The humans of the city-ships learn their fate, and many choose to go back to Earth, to wake up. Most of Sam’s group choose to go back. But Sam has grown to appreciate the virtues of the simulation, and doesn’t think it’s any less valid. The game ends with a player choice. Does Sam stay, or leave?

If you choose to stay, there’s a poetic epilogue, into the sunset.

If you leave…

<name>, wake up. Look around. Stretch your limbs. You’re on Earth.