Old Coding Game Tests – Oval Orbit

Hi this is Gaben, welcome to half strife 4

Oval Orbit


QW,DF,AS,ZX,ER – manipulate orbit

Oval Orbit test was mainly a means of playing around with maths in game maker in order to pull of unique orbiting motions.

The combinations are quite varied, which is why I had several of them on screen so you can enjoy the variety that can be achieved.

I primarily used this for projectile attacks in games like nameless, I’m pretty sure I explored this coding test way after Frog Hop was done.

Do I use this in Ato? well…one can’t be too sure.

Do I use this in half life 3? yes.

-Gabe N

Old Coding Game Tests – Joint Flash test

Hi, this is gabe newell, welcome to half life three

Joint Flash Test


Joint Flash Test, is just a pure visual code test, the idea was to figure out means of making it easier to design bosses with joints without code.

I experimented with this idea using Macromedia Flash (which become Adobe Flash and then became Adobe Animate).

The concept was, instead of brute force coding a bunch of annoying scripts and math functions and timings, why not just create the animation ahead of time in flash then export it somehow.

So the idea was I animated some dummy characters above, and then I exported a low quality png sequence for the sausage thing and the stick dude.

The result was that indeed you could have motion tween animations, and you could then theoretically break it apart so that if you fought a boss and could destroy it’s arm, you’d have to export a separate png sequence for that arm. The challenge then becomes if you’re going to do different animations then it can be a bit tedious to handle the exporting and importing which from my experience is really tiring.

I’m not sure what I think of that approach now, but it certainly can work (even if it’s a bit jank because you would have to figure out collisions since the origin point of each joint doesn’t change). And the issue of wanting to work with delta time smoothness or even intentional game slomo sequences would make the result choppy instead of smooth.

So yeah, that was a test, this was a post, that was a gaben.



Old Coding Game Tests – Doodad test

This Brandon, here code game test

Doodad test


Left click – spawn doodad

Right click – spawn doodad extra

Doodad test was a means to play around with Game Maker’s built in code for things like direction, speed, friction, etc.

At first it seems like it’s not much, but in reality it breaks the fourth wall and becomes a game of the year game.

I used these a lot actually for Nameless, for things like bullet shells, impact particles, debris, etc..

Some of the ideas behind it are used in Ato, but Ato is a more modified version for things like the statues pieces when they get broken.

I don’t have much to say, I think I also used it for the magic drop soda bottles in the Frog Hop April 1st video (NOISE WARNING):


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 paper.io 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 (agar.io, diep.io (my fav), slither.io).

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.