Ato Progress Report December 2019

Hey hey gang, Brandon here just want to give a quick update with Ato.

So far I have scripted in most of the side content in, there’s still a handful of rooms left and some other fights. After that, I’ll have to get the music, sound effects implemented. Then code in the menu and map system.

Eventually when I have gone through the game several times I’ll announce the beta.

Don’t forget to join the discord so you can partake in playing that when it’s ready:


-most side encounters now functional

-2 new abilities added

-backer boss added

-side boss added

-shockwave effect

-projectile to projectile collisions

-twitch arena

-a certain pickup added

-15 rooms added

-fixed audio and volume adjustment functionality

-bugs like glitched palette swap shader

happy holidays,


Old Coding Game Tests – FPS Test

Oh hai thar, brendon here.

FPS Test


move mouse – look

ESC – quit

FPS Test was an experiment to see if it was possible to create the illusion of being in a “3d” space with 2d slides.

I don’t have mnuch to say, it’s extremely simple code wise and involves locking the mouse to the game window and then making any adjustments to your direction by checking each step for any changes that the mouse made.

really it’s just…

xLook += mouse_x * global.sensitivity

If it didn’t have mouse lock, the view would keep spinning and only stop if you brought the mouse to the very left of the screen.

It was cool to see if the idea would have worked or not, it does, though to make sprites for this would be much easier if you made a scene in 3D and pre-rendered them out.

Though certainly this can be done with hand drawn imagery.


Creating a Fake Multiplayer Experience in Paper.IO 2

Hey folks, today I just wanted to write up some thoughts of mine regarding the design of 2.

Paper.io2 (paper mahrio dos) is one of those games that toxic youtubers scream their heads off and overreact to the most minute stuff ever.

Well okay not really, if you’ve never player “io” games before, they’re generally very simple in design and usually involve players versing other players online. I mean you can literally just search for them and boom a whole bunch will show up (, (my fav),

Paperio is very simple, its really a battle royale esq. game and you spontaneously spawn into a game and you want to take over the entire map.

Your goal is to create lines outside your territory and take over the entire map. If you run into someone else’s line you take them out of the (ol’ ball) game

But my point isn’t to advertise you to play this, the point is to talk specifically about how they simulate the feeling of being in a multiplayer game with other “real” players. Of course when you play the game on your phone or pc, you’ll eventually realize that if you unplug your internet or go into airplane mode, that the opposing players are just bots doing their thing. They’re not real, they’re a lie, a fraud, it’s just bots pretending to be people.

To keep it short, the A.I. in general does not seem to have it’s own “behavior” though I could be totally wrong and that they give them parameters to change how cautious they are or how aggressive they are etc.

Whipping out the ol’ classics

in Counter Strike, you can actually go into a bot config file and each bot name has it’s own parameters for things like “skill”, “cooperation”, “bravery” etc.

The point of having a parameter like this is to make it so you can simulate the uniqueness of each human player in a game. (I don’t think Paperio does this but it certainly is one way to add to the feeling of fake multiplayer.)

Paperio does seem to store up to date player usernames into a database online (and offline they just have a giant file full of offline names to pull from). The advantage of storing the usernames is that you always are up-to-date with the latest meme names and in a way makes the game feel “relevant” as if real people are still playing it.

In this example, the player stared at this bot that was standing still, and then they taunted.

Team Fortress 2 AI does a thing where when they kill you there’s a random chance they’ll taunt. But what really sells it is that there’s a slight delay for the AI to realize they killed you. Actually just like real players if you stare at a friendly bot before the match starts they’ll taunt. (though other behaviors they could also have added might also just be stare back, run back and forth, or sometimes shoot you, duck spam)

I’ve seen some other clever attempts at this too where the “players” will actually text things like “owned” in the chat.

In some ways this sort of thing really takes me back to when I was but a wee lil’ lad playing counter strike and telling the bot teammates to “follow me”.

Really the trick to simulating real players in an offline multiplayer game is to emulate human behavior. These were just a couple of examples of how games pull it off.

What sort of offline multiplayer games have you played that try to emulate real player behaviors?


Thinking about the switch

I’ve played consoles for years but this one, this one is pretty great. The Nintendo Switch I think was pretty gosh darn impressive just from an execution standpoint.

I mean the switch was going to be the NX, a concept that they patended before they arrived to the switch design.

There would have been touch screen buttons, in this NX design concept

It does make me think about the niche that nintendo has had, in some ways people kind of expect nintendo to do “their thing”, which I think gives them a lot of power to attempt some very unique design concepts. Where as Xbox, Playstation and even Steam Machines have a very specific market and goal in mind. That’s not to say that Nintendo has it easy, quite the opposite in fact. Since it can be harder to arrive at a final destination if you are able to freely explore vs have strict guidelines. I’d be super curious to know what kind of iterations they had to go through to arrive at the final switch design.

I think my favorite thing about the switch though actually has to be just how detailed and efficient the hardware is. In the video below, this guy tears down his switch (oof) for youtube fame points.

But if you get past the cringe, you’ll see a really impressive use of space and unique computer parts in order to accomplish the portability and “power” necessary. They really had some goals to hit, and…I mean they hit them all pretty well:

  • Portability
  • Power (obviously not as powerful as other home consoles, but powerful enough for better graphics (though honestly most of the switch games seem to revolve around cartoony graphics vs realism)
  • Battery life (probably the most fickle one because some games drain the battery pretty fast)
  • Durability (nothing worse than dropping the switch down a flight of stairs or spilling coffee on it)
  • Audio quality
  • Controls (iffy for some if you have big hands)
  • Wifi and other networking functionality
  • “Everyone can play” motto, if you’re one of those perfect individuals in the sterile world of nintendo commercials, you’ll see people playing their switch, then some one walks in randomly and they both can play.
  • supah mario bros and call of duty

Yeah I don’t have much else to say, I’m pretty glad to have gotten it, though I feel that back when I bought it there was the problem of not having enough 1st party Nintendo games. (Though frankly Zelda breath of the wild and Mario odyssey had plenty of content to go around for me to care less)

Anyways, enjoy some random clips I captured since I got the console.



Old Coding Game Tests – Ball Room

Hi gang, looks like I have returned to look at some old projects I’ve made. So I decided to do something bite sized and show a “demo scene” test (quick programming experiments I made when I was learning game maker (though I still am learning even to this day)).

A big thing with these is that there’s not much in terms of gameplay and I mostly talk about the goal I was trying to accomplish and how I did it. Most of the time when you learn a new program, you just have this urge to try something out. Especially when you’re starting out and you have a bazillion ideas in your head. I believe I mostly did these Coding tests just to play with an idea and most of the time they didn’t really develop into an actual game (though I will eventually cover some of the misc games where this was the case).

Ball Room

Download (windows)

left click – spawn ball

right click – destroy the world

Ball Room is still my most legendary creation to date. Featuring revolutionary 3Dx Jigga-watt graphics (patent pending) and utilizing dynamic crash processing, the most latent computer feature to date. This game revolutionized and inspired metal gear solid.

Ball room was specifically designed as a challenge in my head where I saw an old NES game called Penguin Wars

Intense penguin action, rated M+ for maximum power! Nintendo power!!11

I saw the ball move towards and away from the camera along the table in the game. And then thought to myself, “I wonder how to code fake depth in game maker” and then thought “why do I even consider doing pointless coding projects that make me look like a chump with 1 million likes, yet I still manage to be able to finish making games-…

Oh sorry I got carried away there.

So anyways, Ball Room was my shot at just playing with fake depth with ball objects.

It’s really simple, I create a ‘z axis’ variable and set it to a random number. then I have that affect how big the ball will be and where it will be along the vertical space.




There’s also a fake ground value I have that has the ball check if it touches it’s own personal “ground” to then bounce off of. Actually that code aspect is very similar to how I did the jump feature in Frog Hop’s Map system.

The fake “ground” is his original spawn position, and whenever his fake z-axis goes past it, he will stop “falling along the z-axis”

It was actually super hacked in and probably not the best way to code the ball room. I’m trying to think back on why I didn’t make a game of it, unfortunately I can’t remember. I think this was one of those rare cases where I just made this little demo scene of balls bouncing around and was satisfied with figuring it out.

If I think about it now, I really don’t know what kind of game I would have made, maybe I would make a cowboy gunslinging game and shoot the bouncing targets? Or drive a toy car avoiding the balls? 3-d munchman (yes munchman, not pa-)? I suppose there are plenty of game concepts that could come from such an experiment.

Apparently I have this fascination with 2-D games that have a fake z-axis. Games like Mario & Luigi, Golden Sun, and plenty of beat-em-up games like Streets of Rage have this aspect.

I will say that as pointless as this coding test might have been (especially since I didn’t even accomplish the goal of making a game of it). That I do find myself going back to the source code from some of these projects to copy/modify them into any current project that I’m working on.

I look back on Ball Room and I gotta say it was pretty fun to code, good times good times.

Thanks for reading!

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