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Ok... May I please have my pants back now? It's cold out here.

David Fulton @JackSmack

38, Male

Tabletop Game Dev

Orlando, Florida

Joined on 11/11/04

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JackSmack's News

Posted by JackSmack - March 22nd, 2010


Hey look at my drawing! Please take a look and tell me what you think.

My Venom Drawing

I got a new tablet and I'm spending way to much time working on random artwork with it. I need to go back to coding my next game.

I haven't drawn for fun in a long time and it feels good to know I still can draw.

In other news, I had a bet with Frozenfire before we released Primary and I lost so...

I love Frozenfire's man penis on my face.

Ok bai!


Posted by JackSmack - March 19th, 2010


Howdy everypeoples! I got a Cintiq Wacom Tablet used from FrozenFire. It's pretty awesome so far. I was just practicing on it and I've started making this little drawing. I will more than likely finish it but I thought it was coming out pretty cool for such an abstract piece.

If you have any feedback on the piece let me know since it's still being worked on I might work it in. I plan on filling in the whole square.

Oh, and what do you think the drawing is of so far? It's pretty abstract so I've just been letting it flow.

I got a Cintiq Wacom tablet!


Posted by JackSmack - March 10th, 2010


First... I put a ton of photos of the Flash Gaming Summit on my facebook account. PHOTOS!!! GET YOUR PHOTOS HERE!

So on a whim I decided to head out to the Flash Gaming Summit to meet and mingle with people that I have known for many years but have never met. I'm really glad I did but wowza it was kinda shell shocking to meet so many great developers and actually be accepted into the group by most of them.

I've been making flash games, movies, websites and applications for many years now and I finally got to go to my very first conference. I flew out from Chicago at the ass crack of dawn on Sunday and when I got to San Fran I met up with Luis, Mike, and BomToons. Who happened to be sharing a room together.

They tell me that they want to go see a musical together. While we are waiting for our tickets AlmightyHans shows up and we all start hanging out together. We enter a lottery for tickets and we only win 4 so Mike ditches and goes to hang out with his girl.

By the way feel free to make all the gay jokes you want to about this because lord knows I sure did. I have nothing against gay people but being in San Fran with a bunch of guys I don't know who wanted to go to a musical made me a bit uncomfortable... mainly cause we all liked musicals. :P

BomToons and I went out to a party that Armor Games was throwing since both of our games were sponsored by AG. We met with several other people including Greg from Kongregate who I put down without knowing I was sitting next to him. Along with Ben Olding, Tass, a bunch of the crew over at Hero Interactive, Gregory Wier, along with tons of others that I didn't even get to talk to so if you recognize any of them please tag them in the pictures.

After the AG party BomToons and I met back up with Luis, Mike and Hans, and all hung out for the remainder of the night then they were nice enough to leave me to walk 7 blocks after dark by myself in San Francisco after drinking 3 Heinekens, 3 Guinness, and 3/4 of a glass of some kinda fruity tasting beer. I made it past the rapists, murderers and one homeless man who was clearly trying to make love to a parking meter (I wish that was a joke...) to my hotel and crashed.

The next day was Flash Gaming Summit! I woke to find that my feet did not appreciate the fact that I needed to stand on them. I had many blisters due to following people who relied on technology for directions... this doesn't work when your phone dies guys, lucky for us the battery on my map in my pocket was fully charged and we found our way after walking up hill for 4 blocks in the wrong direction. Anyway the point is my feet were broked, and very not happy at all.

SO I walked 1.5 miles to the summit and stood around talking and walking up and down stairs all day and loved every second of it. I really enjoyed it, I learned a lot and met TONS of awesome people.

We then went to the Zynga After Party. This was where everyone wanted to talk to each other and to make that easier the DJ played the LOUDEST MUSIC HE COULD. I doubt that anyone came out of there without losing their voice. Still was great to hang out and meet people and get recognized for my work by other developers and fans.

After the After Party Luis and BomToons and Hans all disappeared, so I hung out with Mike and Zeebarf and EntropicOrder. We found out about an unofficial After Party After Party for old school flash game devs and headed out to that. We wound up spending the rest of the night there and it was a really surreal experience.

I got to talk to Sean Cooper, which was awesome. I am such a huge fan of his work. The guys from Nitrome, who apparently hate me for no damn good reason. Either that or British people just hate all their fans. Which might be the case.

jmtb02 and Dan from ArmorGames were there. John West the founder of Crazy Monkey Games, Hero Interactive and tons of other developers were there. It was a great time and really blew my mind being surrounded by people of such quality and all talking shop together.

The next day I had breakfast with Chris from Ninja Kiwi and got a lot of good tips out of him. Then he and I walked down to the Mochi Media offices and I met everyone down there. I also walked past the Kongregate offices I didn't stop in though cause I had to hurry back to the airport for my flight... and by this point my feet felt like they were bleeding out. Which come to find out they were bleeding pretty bad.

I got back on the plane and flew home and on the flight I got to see the ocean for the first time well a little bit of it. I saw the bay while on the ground but not the ocean side of town. I flew back home and when we landed we sat on the tarmac for a half hour... My buddy Keith picked me up and we had some Chipotle and I went home hobbled up the stairs got to bed and passed out. Until the dog started licking my feet and I almost kicked him across the room cause it hurt so much and startled me.

All in all it was a great experience and I really want to do it again.

Next year I'm going to try to go a little earlier cause I heard there was disc golfing on Sunday morning and I would love to go to that with other developers.

Here is a bad picture of me with Zeebarf! Enjoy.

Flash Gaming Summit Recap and Photos.


Posted by JackSmack - February 26th, 2010


So, I finally had some time to upgrade Primary so it now will let international players choose different keyboard layouts... however I have NO WAY OF TESTING THE GAME!

This just won't do so I really really really need some international and NON QWERTY keyboard users to test the game out and tell me if there are any extremely weird bugs in the game that make it unplayable.

PRIMARY INTERNATIONAL VERSION


Posted by JackSmack - February 19th, 2010


Howdy everypeoples!

So, in case you hadn't heard Frozenfire and I released a new game this week. It's called Primary. I thought it would be a nice idea to do a post about the game and the development of the game, kind of a post mortem but not extremely in depth.

I guess I will start at the beginning. I heard about the Power of 3 event a little late... at least it felt that way because all the good programmers were taken. The games had to be centered around the number 3, three of something... I landed on a puzzle game idea where there were platforms in the primary colors and you had to jump from one to another...

The initial idea was very different from the actual game that we created. And mainly that was due to not being able to come up with a great way to graphically represent the abstract concepts that the original idea had. It would have just been to complex for the player.

I was wanting to be the artist for the game and didn't really think of myself as a great programmer by any means. Hell just look at the comments on Primary and you can see that I didn't get everything right.

After not being able to find anyone willing to program the game I shifted gears and became the programmer and started looking for an artist. I asked a few big name people JohnnyUtah said I was the first person to ask him and this was a couple weeks into the event... I had a lot of people jump at the chance to have a programmer but no on really that showed enough promise for me to want to work with them.

Frozenfire saw one of my posts about looking for an animator and he showed quite a bit of raw talent, not the refined talent I was looking for but it was clear that he was more than capable of being a great artist if I was mean to him and made him redo stuff that I didn't think was good enough to be in the game. I have to say that choosing Frozenfire was a good decision because that kid is really a trooper. He stuck it out and cranked on this game for MONTHS.

We hit the ground running on Primary and hit a few snags. One of the first snags was when we had the engine up and running and the game started bugging out really bad for Frozenfire... I couldn't duplicate the issues that he was talking about at all, turns out that I was controling the game with the WASD setup and he was using the arrow keys. I tried the arrow keys and sure enough the game was nearly unplayable.

For any flash developers out there you might find this interesting... other can skip it....
The IF statement I had checking if the WASD keys were down included the arrow key checks. it was if w is pressed OR if UP is pressed both in the same if statement and one worked fine the other was buggy as hell... Exact same code... That was the first time my head exploded, and it wouldn't be the last on this game.

After working on that one issue for over a week and not coming to a good solution I made the call to lose the arrow keys as a control scheme. Apparently this is much to the chagrin of many players but you know what, the game was playable and still fun to me and I don't think it loses anything at all.

I built a level editor next so we could develop the levels for the game as we went along and we divided the levels up so we could both make an even amount. After trying several times to make good levels we both realized that it was really tough to make good levels. Never underestimate the difficulty in something like level design, it is extremely tricky to get right.

We put the level design aside after we hade built some levels to test the engine and put it through it's paces.

We worked really hard and then I got a little burnt out on the game and had to take some time off. At this point Frozenfire started to fear we had given up on the game. I just needed to go through my reset cycle for a few weeks and I came back to the development like a sledgehammer.

In one month I cranked out hundreds of bug fixes, the boss battles, menus, upgrade system, and a few levels that actually made it into the game.

Then... I kinda sorta got laid off from my job, and started freelancing. This kinda rocked my world a little bit and I lost focus again. Once I found it again I once again hammered the game into shape. I kept going this time until the game was as complete as I could make it.

During the development we had been trying to get the music right and there were several setbacks with audio that caused major headaches. Symphony of Sound did a bang up job, I just struggled to convey what I was trying to get across with the feel of the music. After I let go and just let the musicians make the music fit things went much smoother.

Then we waited for the right time to release the game. We were held up on a few minor musical issues for a little while there at the end so the release date kinda wiggled around a little.

We originally had not planned on getting the game sponsored at all. However when I posted the game on FlashGameLicense to try to get some site locked licesnes sold for the launch they pretty much told me to give it a shot and see if you can find a sponsor. I listened and we looked for a sponsor for a couple weeks finally settling on Armor Games.

The newgrounds version of the game does not have any branding in it because it is the Power of 3 version which Armor Games, Frozenfire, and I all thought was important to have because of the origins of the game.

It has been a hell of a ride making the game, and the process was really really really tough. I think it is fair to say that everyone involved with Primary pushed themselves to make the game happen and without everyone coming together with a strong belief in the project it would have never come to pass.

There were hundreds of teams for the Power of 3 event and 5 games have actually been finished so far. We are very proud to have been one of the few games to actually make it to the end of the process, it only took a lot longer than expected.

If I had to say what is the biggest lesson that I have learned from making Primary, I would say... risk management. When making a game of a large scope it is important to scale back the project to a manageable size and scope to where you can create it in a timely manner. No one likes to have an unfinished project, and the larger the project the longer it will stay uncompleted.

I think I will be working on some smaller projects for a few months then take a stab at something larger again, once I forget how much the last month of working on Primary took out of me.

I seriously doubt that anyone will read all of this but I thought I would share my thoughts about the development of our game with whoever is willing to sift through them. Perhaps you might learn something or you have a comment about something that I did that I could have done better...

Please share your thoughts with me here I would love to hear from you.

Primary:  Post Mortem of sorts.


1

Posted by JackSmack - January 26th, 2010


Howdy Everypeoples!

Ok so I know the Power of Three was a summer event... and what is it now Febuary next week? Yeah so the timing is the suck... BUT It got done! We have been busting our asses on this game for a long... LONG time and I hope you like it!

Hopefully it will be ready for releasing over the next couple of weeks. But we need your help. We need you to beta test the game and let us know your thoughts on it.

Here are some things to think about when testing the game...

First this is a beta test so if you don't plan on giving feedback wait till the game is done! I don't want you to come across a bug and get a bad impression about the game.

If you can't dedicate an hour to playing through the game, it does save your level, stats and awards. Don't worry you can come back later and finish up.

Please don't try to distribute the game, as previously noted it is NOT complete and it's site locked for beta testing. You can have a copy of it when it is done, and not till then. For now please just play the game and give feedback.

If you find a bug let me know about it.

How is the pacing of the game? Around what level do you feel like you have had enough of it and want to go do something else?

Is it to hard? To easy? Just right?

Does the control scheme make sense once you get use to it?

How can the game be improved?

Any issues with the audio being to loud or not loud enough?

Any in game text misspelled?

Any graphics look out of place or just wrong?

Just some things to think about when playing the game... Again please post feedback here as a response to my blog, or PM me your feedback. We really want to make sure that this game gets tested throughly since it is so massive.

Thanks again!
Here is the link to the game for testing purposes... again if you do not plan on giving feedback please wait for the final version in a couple weeks.

Power of Three: Primary -- Nearly Done! Beta Test Now!


Posted by JackSmack - September 18th, 2009


Howdy everypeoples!

If you live in the Chicago area you should come out and meet and greet with other game developers in the area at this meetup! We are just starting out but we have quite a few quality people signed up and the more the merrier!

So sign up and come out to see us on the 27th at the Starbucks in Streets of Woodfield!

This will be an ongoing group of developers that you can use as a resource for getting questions answered and critiquing work in a private setting and not on a forum so try it... you might like it.

Chicago Suburbs Indie Game Development Meetup


Posted by JackSmack - June 13th, 2009


So... I got an email today about thing thing called the Addicting Games Showdown... I thought "oh... Addicting games is having a contest on thier site and I was nominated for some little award or something for Build a Robot 3".

I was wrong... Turns out this is Addicting Games AND Nickelodeon TV together and I have a good shot at winning my category! Best preformance by a robot.

PLEASE go to this page and vote for me! This version of the game might not have any links to newgrounds in it but when it is taken it will have a site lock on it that points people to the version that does so the more popular we can get the game on this contest the more help Newgrounds gets too!

Here is a link to the page that has my game in it:
http://www.addictinggames.com/showdown /game.php?poll=6&item=1&game=Build%20a %20Robot%203

Also if you go there please grab the badge and post it places for others to see. I really want to have a shot at this.

Vote for Build a Robot 3 on Nickelodeon!


Posted by JackSmack - May 18th, 2009


I am looking for a team for Power of 3. I have a musician lined up tenitively but I really need the other designer/programmer more. There is no saying that we have to have an artist a programmer and a musician in the rules. I would love to have a couple of artists that could match styles well and a solid programmer or any mix of people capable of being an animator and programmer.

I am not looking for anyone who is not high caliber, if you don't have anything in the portal with a score of at least 3.50 I more than likely won't get back to you unless you have samples that blow me out of the water.

I have the ability to code well in AS2 and I can animate and draw quite well with flash. I make websites for a living and I am the flash guru at the company I work for so I know my stuff.

I am willing to join a quality team of people or have quality people join me so let me know if you are interested.

I already have a pretty good idea fleshed out a little bit but I don't want to go to in depth with fleshing out an idea until I get a team and can gadge what we would be capable of.

Here are some work samples but be sure to check out my profile here on newgrounds for more...

This is a sample page I made for the MochiAds batman the brave and the bold contest. From start to finish I made this in about 2 days of work from idea conception to turning in the samples. The animations are kinda half assed but they serve the purpose and were just stand-ins. I did all the coding except for the actionscript camera which is the normal AS camera available online.
http://jacksmack.com/samples/batman/

You can also check some of my work out on Altered Reality. It was a collab that I was in a long time ago. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
326282

Mine is the one where this happens.
http://jacksmack.com/samples/general-s amples/building2.gif

Here are some more samples of my character style...
http://jacksmack.com/samples/general-s amples/Marco_and_Bridge_Goblin.jpg

http://jacksmack.com/samples/general-s amples/Polo_on_the_Road.jpg

http://jacksmack.com/samples/general-s amples/BBQHERO_multigames.jpg

This is a character study for a cartoon I have been working on.

Programmer/Artist looking for team for Power of Three


Posted by JackSmack - April 29th, 2009


I have been playing around with Build a Robot 3 now that it is done and I personally can actually have fun with it.

It can do some CRAZY stuff... Take a look at the Venom I drew with it below. It's like an etch a sketch on steroids.

I don't think I will be using it to make robots I'm just going to make drawings with it whenever I can.

If you want to take a stab at making something that isn't a robot with Build a Robot 3 I have started an art thread about making unique pieces of art using only buld a robot 3, so if you want to you can post them there, or you can reply to this post with a link to your "robot art" in the robot gallery.

Remember if you post in the art thread to make a unique piece of art and not just a robot or you will get fussed at.

Here check out Venom made entirely with Build a Robot 3...

Doing some crazy stuff with Build a Robot 3. I just drew Venom with it!