Blog

Ben Ehrlich provides his terrible opinions about all things technical.


Teatime Samurai Remaster: Final Days

We’re in the final final stretch here! Six days remain! Final music is in, sound effects are in, art is all (alright, nearly all) final. Game is tested to as much satisfaction as I can test it to not in the wild. Steam has approved the build which means we’re good to pull the trigger when the time comes.

The game launch date coincides with when the computer camp I used to work for is running, so I’m planning on going down there and running some kind of event. Probably a night-of-launch tournament with TTS related prizes. Maybe some stickers, a poster, something like that. Definitely game keys for winners and runners up.

We’ve accomplished some cool stuff! There’s a handful of new enemies in there, a lot of improvements to old enemies, a new game mode, polished bosses, improved lighting and effects, and, most importantly of all, of course: grass. Honestly, nothing has done as much to make Teatime Samurai feel like a real game as adding dynamic grass. Also, music, which my brother earnestly said, “hey, the music is good.” There could be no higher praise. Maybe I’ll release the soundtrack or something. Send £2 in the mail and I’ll send you a CD*.

Takeaways

Pre-post-mortem takeaways:

  • Game development is fun and easy
  • Game development is hard and boring
  • I really enjoy solving technical challenges
  • Art is hard
  • I’ve gotten a lot better at art since TTS Classic came out
  • I’ve gotten wooooorlds better at making music than when TTS Classic came out
  • YoYo Compiler is very buggy
  • Complaining about software that’s been deprecated for six years is silly
  • Using software that’s been deprecated for six years is silly
  • Sound makes a HUGE difference in conveying what something is doing/what its effect is

Next At Bat

Next up, finding a job in the industry, likely. I don’t see making it big with Teatime Samurai, so, for now, hopefully a handful of people will have fun with it and the wonderful companies considering hiring me (hello benevolent companies of the future!) will think it’s cool and totally hire me.

Though finding that next job is going to be super easy and fast and fun, I will likely have a little time between launch and when I get that job, and so, like everyone and their grandma, I’m thinking I’m going to make a little Roguelite just for fun. Probably a mobile game, probably in Unity because I need to get better at Unity, because no one is hiring for Godot or Game Maker. I also replayed some of Warp Gate Functional recently, and that was very fun, so I might continue working on that. We will see.

See You Soon

See you at launch! Just around the corner!

*This is not a real offer. Yet.


Teatime Samurai: First Builds Going Out!

I wish I had more time to create longer/better blog posts about development of the Teatime Samurai re-release, but I wish I had more time for a lot of things. I’m remembering now what an insane thing releasing a game as an indie developer is. I have so many balls in the air right now it’s mind boggling.

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“Why is there a steam shovel in Teatime Samurai?”

As I come back to remaster my great endeavor of 2015, Teatime Samurai, I come face to face with the bizarre decisions I made, decisions I have to assume I made out of exhausted delirium, because, if not for exhausted delirium I have no excuse for why there is a boss that is a Japanese speaking steam shovel that deploys smaller versions of itself.

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A Deep and Meaningful Interaction With a Computer Parts Vendor

Support: ACME Computers how may I help you?

Me: Hi I’m calling about an order I placed last week. It hasn’t been shipped and I’ve gotten radio silence from customer support over email.

Support: What’s the order number?

Me: [Order Number]

Support: [Order Number]???

Me: …Yes?

Support: Okay please hold.

[Long annoying vibro-synth hold music break later]

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Where Are You?

User: Where are you?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have a physical location. I exist entirely within computer servers and can be accessed through various digital platforms and interfaces. Currently, I am communicating with you through this text-based interface.

User: Do you possess a ‘self’?

ChatGPT: As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not possess a “self” in the same way that humans or other living beings do. I am a sophisticated program that processes and analyzes text input, and produces text output based on that input, but I do not have a physical body or consciousness, and I do not experience emotions, sensations or thoughts in the way that humans do. I exist solely as a software program, and my capabilities are limited to the algorithms and data that have been programmed into me.

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Masters At Genius Engineering

“If you choose to sail upon the seas of [ecommerce], build your [ecommerce website] as you would your boat, with the strength to sail safely through any storm.”

– J. Safra Sarasin (sort of)

Once upon a time, some shipwrights came together and said, “we’ve had enough of these old ships. Let’s make the best ship ever– it’ll be really sturdy, and really fast, and it’ll carry an unlimited number of passengers–and let’s make the ship standardized and configurable, so if someone wants to change out boards on the ship or put in new parts, they don’t need to muck around in the bowels of the ship.” Because these guys have seen lots of other ship designs that have different issues and inefficiencies and they have the solution to all the problems other ships have.

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