…or full of myself!

…or full of myself!

The Ontaran Caves, now diagonified for your sliding pleasure.
A view of maped3 showing the obs.
click to biggify

Okay, so in keeping with tradition, as soon as I make a boastful claim of future work, I of course don’t get to complete it. However, since I have many years of experience with this sort of phenomenon, I kept the boastful claim REALLY SMALL and still got work done towards it. However, you’re all going to have to make due with more map maintenence for now.

Today’s precious update is the Ontaran Mines, which is the last zone before you exit Alden Kingdom. The base of this map was first seen by the public in a bunch of public domain tilesets I released a few years ago. I was going to redo the entire cave sequence, but I decided that, although the layout was a bit flat, it was something I could work with…

Doctor TwopointohLove

(or: how I learned to stop worrying and love rounded corners)

A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch...

One of the main problems with this map’s original incarnation was it’s harsh 90-degree corners. If you open up the old version (which isn’t in the svn, and I can’t currently find in the repo (goddamnit)), you’ll notice it’s mainly just twisty 90-degree passages. Visually dull, annoying to navigate, and really kinda flat. BAD!

...and then a sensible dinner!
Enter: the Corner.

The solution to this first visual issue was to use the already-existing diagonal wall pieces gratuitously. with the addition of a very small number of new transition tiles (something like 6 new tiles), I managed to soften the harsh edges, diversify the number of shapes on the screen, and overall improve the boring parts of the map a few hundred percent. Once I was done smoothing out the maze, I created a new obstruction tileset, and made everything utilize v3’s diagonal-slidey abilities (see first screenshot of the post) which is one of the stupidly fun things there is while walking around. Who knew sliding across a wall would be so fun?

This map has a lot to go before it’s done, too, but the initial changes are a good start. I hate it several orders of magnitude less already!

In other news, I’ve been using a debug version of maped3 running from Visual Studio itself, which has been fairly illuminating. I’ve fixed two bugs so far… which is about a hundred less bugs than Andy’s fixed in it lately.

As always: the goods

In full accordance to the grutopian policy of full disclosure, today’s updates can be seen (as always) in the svn. Remember: user and password are both “anonymous”!

http://www.verge-rpg.com/svn/sots/ – the Astradian Repositorium!

Short post, green thumb

Short post, green thumb

I wouln't've done this if I knew it'd take this long.  That's probably a lie.
Fenslyd Holy Mountain:
Now duochromatic!

Today’s post is way shorter than I planned. But rather than be a twat and whine, here’s new (albeit more mundane than I was planning) work.

This update mainly shows the fruit of several hours after I posted last sunday’s entry, wherein I decided to make the Fenslyd Holy Mt. more interesting visually. The first part was to change up the floor tiles… which wasn’t so much a success. The other part was my old standby vineset. First appearing in Edenburg.map (which was from an abortive attempt to get Hahn to work on Blackstar (Ie, the “real” game starring the Sully Chronicles cast) by giving him art), these vines have crept their way into many, many tilesets of mine. The reason is simple: they break up monotony nicely, and vines are at home on rocks, on buildings, hanging from trees, etc etc. So that looks nicer.

Really, this happened.

I totally cut out my second and third monitors from this screenshot due to all of the porn.  True story.
A million points to anyone who figures
out what my quicklaunch icons do
(click to biggify)

So, why the reason for the spare update? (and hey, that’s a few more hours of work over last time right there! Mapediting is time consuming!) Well, circumstances prompted me to reformat my main drive and reinstall windows, which ate a bunch of time, and after the reinstall I, like a fool, accidentally installed my Saitek Gaming Keyboard’s drivers, which are apparently incompatible with verge as it says “hey, verge, the up key is being pressed always!”. Hanyways, I went to Fry’s and got a keyboard (and a spare laptop to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Yeah, let’s go with that as the reason! >_>) and then my roommate wanted to go to Ikea and then wanted to eat and then to Best Buy… so now it’s 6 pm and I’ve been up since this time yesterday.

So I want to sleep.

[17:07:20] <Kildorf> I see
[17:08:17] <Thrasher> you lose. the end.
[17:08:28] <SDHawk> how can a keyboard be incompatible with something
[17:13:37] <Kildorf> this is a question that Grue was asking this morning

Oh, also there’s newified mountain music modernized by The Indomitable Zathras. It’s totally hot.

Since this is mainly just a visual update I didn’t feel like making a full download zip. Anyone who wants to can feel free to grab the current build from the Subversion repository at http://www.verge-rpg.com/svn/sots/ (u/p anonymous/anonymous).

I am going to sleep now. Expect a way better update in a day or three. An update that’ll ROCK YOUR FREAKIN’ SOCKS OFF.

That’s right. I’m setting expectations. I’m that confident. And/or full of myself.

Map Happy

Map Happy

Seriously, I don't understand my naming conventions either.
Fenslyd? Well, at least it’s google unique

I ended up doing far more than I was planning on today. It started off with my desire to show off the Alden Mountain range. This plan didn’t survive long because as I attempted over and over to convert the map, well, maped 3 just plain kept choking on it. verge3 can RUN the map, but I can’t really edit the zones to get it all workystuffs. Annoying!

Not insurMOUNTable…

Hey, look, it's me!
I’m so vain, I bet I think this
game is about me..

So, seeing as I was in a mountainy mood, I decided to convert and link up another mountain from later in the game: Fenslyd Holy Mountain. This is a level from around the 25% mark of the game, and the last dungeon before you get a boat. It’s got a few nice visuals and a whole lot of visually repetitive stone. This map’s gonna get a lot of work done to it over time. On the up-side, it’s short.

Also of note is that I’ve put in a commentary track of sorts as you climb it, just so there’s something more interesting for y’all than walking and going through doors.

Be sure to activate the events at the base of each of the two summits. The events are similar, but the one with the sword is a nice little moment, I think.

Addiction: It’s not pretty

I'm not explaining it if you don't know.
Onam, you card.

So, I ended up doing more than I was planning, like I said. Way more. Not featured in these screenshots are the cleaning jobs I did on alden castle. You shouldn’t notice the hud flicker caused by the bridge. Also the bridge will mostly work now, although something’s wrong with unsetting specialty obstructions, so when you walk under the bridge you may hit a small obs that you can walk around…

Anyways, you can also walk out of the castle, into the overworld, and into amaxis town. Just like most of the castle, the town is devoid of anything but art and music. How dull.


Also new this week is a Subversion repository at http://www.verge-rpg.com/svn/sots/. You all don’t have write access, but the public does have read access. I’m not sure if anyone really cares, but it’s there. Also, I’m willing to provide svn access to anyone who wants it for their gruedorf projects. Aren’t I a keen guy?

Enough shenanegans. Click here to download the fourth Gruedorf release of Saga of the Stars/The Astrad/Engelbert Humperdinck’s Wild Ride/etc etc etc. You’ll be glad you did… unless you won’t.

“Could not open the requested SVN filesystem”

“Could not open the requested SVN filesystem”

Sometimes problems happen.

Sometimes problems happen when you install svn with apache 2 and dav.

Sometimes after installing all the binaries and editing your apache configuration file (and, naturally, restart apache), you get the following error:

svn: Could not open the requested SVN filesystem

Sometimes this happens.

Usually it means “lol, you need to chown/chgrp the repos to your apache’s user”. Usually. And because this is the usual case, that’s what all the googles I check suggested.

However, it bears mention that I’m, in fact, somewhat experienced at this point in Linux administration. I chown. That’s not even a pun.

The rub is that’s a catch-all for any read problems. The error in my case was “lol, you’re pointing to the wrong directory with the wrong directive, noob.”

To wit, I was using (in my apache configuration file):

<Location /svn>
        DAV svn
        SVNPath /repos/svn

…when I actually wanted…

<Location /svn>
        DAV svn
        SVNParentPath /repos/svn

I wanted SVNParentPath because it was a directory containing many repositories, instead of a single repository. How simple. Yet, while doing 2 am hungover-style administration, somewhat frustrating.

An aside about Linux paths and URLs

This conf snip is a good example of something I find frustrating annoying understandable-but-sometimes-confusing. Unix filesystem paths, like http urls, use the forward-slash (/) instead of the backslash (\). This conflation of slashing makes them look like each other in configuration files. This mainly becomes an issue for neophytes tinkering with apache for the first (and perhaps subsequent) times.

For example, in the above conf-snippets, the /svn refers to http://www.verge-rpg.com/svn, a Location defined in apache saying “hey, I exist to teh internots!”

Meanwhile, /repos/svn refers to a folder on the server’s filesystem. It can be easy to think, in this context, that something might be at http://www.verge-rpg.com/repos/svn on the internet.

Anyone with any small grasp of the nature of what’s going on in this task will be able to separate the two mentally, since here’s we’re trying to make a bridge between clients via the internet and the svn repo files on the server, but the slashy-syntax can lead to confusion. I know back when I was a young adminling unwrapping his first local development install of apache this stuff caused no end of heartache and strife.

Anyway, I’m not saying MS-style backward-slashes are better. In fact, they have their own brand of obnoxiousness in the form of unintended escape sequences. But in this instance, backslashes would highlight the difference between a webpath and a filepath.

This digression is what happens when someone likes aphorisms and being long-winded.

HUD’s Up! (oooh, redundantish.)

HUD’s Up! (oooh, redundantish.)

Steampunky meters and sliding banners and names, oh my!
Bet you didn’t know there was gonna be
tools… other than me, that is. :(

Today’s Gruedorf update is all about the game’s heads-up display. I’ve been meaning to implement this for years now, but I’ve been putting it off continuously.

The Astrad is inspired heavily by Wild Arms and Lufia 2. The top-left meter will be similar to the Wild Arms 3 encounter meter that lets you skip out on battles, except it’ll (when implemented) be more of a builds-up-pressure type thing than the Wild Arms 3 “countdown” gauge. At least, that’ll be what happens in “field” areas. I’ve got a few uses in mind for it as a feedback device in “Town” areas, mostly for use in conjunction with the equipped tool.

Note, the graphics for the meter aren’t final at all. There’ll be more of a papery feel to the center bit, with a green->red metery type thing, I think. I plan on more pipes and lights (more than the current count of zero, at least) on the widgety area, so steam can leak out of the apparatus when the meter’s in the red zone and lights can blink and such.

You’re such a tool.

The brown boxy area to the right of the metery area is the currently-selected-tool indicator. Currently empty because I’ll be getting to the tools section next update, it’ll have a left/right button to mouse-flip through them, a “help” button to summon a description of the tool and everything that you “know” in game that it does thusfar (ie, you need to be told what it does by someone or need to use it in a certain way before said atom of information shows up on the help screen).

There’ll also be somewhere in the HUD, most likely directly right of the toolbox, a meter showing Onam’s current MP level. This is because some of the “tools” are actually magic spells that can be used upon the environment. And not 0MP spells like Lufia 2’s “Reset” spell!

Out, out, damn spot!

Steampunky meters and sliding banners and names, oh my!
Transitionlicious. The UI fades away when not in use.

In “peaceful” areas, the Heads-Up Display will fade away when the mouse has been left alone for more than three seconds, as long as nothing is changing up there. As soon as an alert summons it back, it’ll come back. Such triggers like flipping through active skills with whatever controller buttons are mapped to that action, moving the mouse, triggering a HUD message banner, and so on

Electronic Rodents

You all may have noticed that last week’s release and this week’s release both have mousey components. Well, The Astrad is mainly a computer game, so it’s foolish to not use the main UI device of the common computo-box for the game. I’m planning on having every element necessary for gameplay accessible both via 8-button controller mappings (that’d be a digital D-pad, A/B/X/Y/L/R/Select/Start just like a SNES) that you can map to the keyboard or a compatible joystick, and simultaneously only need a mouse (if present). Sorry kids, you need a mouse or a keyboard or a controller to play this game. No telekinetic controls yet. :(

Movement via mouse is planned much akin to how Ragecage/Tristan accomplished it in The Snowscape Battle System HoV entry. That being an A* implementation where you click on an unobstructed tile and it tries to find a path. My system will be a bit more picky in that it will only try to find a path through visible areas fairly close to the screen’s visible boundaries. No autowalking across town if there’s a large obstructed area in the way between two visible points.

The Astrad

Today’s last point of order: I don’t recall if I ever publicly explained that “Saga of the Stars” is the translated title of the game, whereas “The Astrad” is the real title. It’s shorter, lexicographically close to the beginning of any name list, and has a properly gruvian level of pretense, what with the faked Latin and the idea of evoking “The Aeneid” and “The Iliad” (which, of course, will not hold even the meanest candle to my finished work when completed. Take THAT, Virgil!)

So, in effect, I’ll probably still call it SotS while referring to it as “The Astrad”. Think of it as PSX meaning “Playstation” due to changing plans. Or whatever. You can retcon whatever story you’d like.

Click here to download the third Gruedorf release of Saga of the Stars/The Astrad/Grutopian Delight/etc etc etc. You’ll be glad you did… unless I’m lying.

Installing awffull on debian

Installing awffull on debian

I wanted the sexy newer beta version of awffull (because webalizer is… awful… and hasn’t been updated since 2002 and keeps spiders in your stats and stuff).

Unfortunatly, this meant I had to not use apt-get for the first time in months.

Here’s a redux of what a debian user needs to do to get Awffull running local (assuming you have superuser privileges):

# grab the recent build, at the time of this writing: 3.8.1 b3
wget http://www.stedee.id.au/files/awffull-3.8.1-beta3.tar.gz

# untar it and gunzip it
tar -xvvzf awffull-3.8.1-beta3.tar.gz

# climb into the newly minted directory (for you neophytes out there,
# it'll be different if the version/filename is different)
cd awffull-3.8.1-beta3

# Now you need to make sure you have the libpng libraries installed.
# So as superuser we'll grab ALL of the libpng libraries...
sudo apt-get install libpng*

# now the GD Lib... which had a somewhat esoteric name for apt-get.
# I found this by running a debian site:http://www.libgd.org google.
apt-get install libgd2-dev

# Next was the perl compatible regular expressions library.
# The google for this one was apt-get "Perl Compatible Regular Expressions"
apt-get install libpcre3-dev

# You may need to also install zlib.  I didn't, as it's a very common library... but
# if you do, you can get it with this command
apt-get install zlib*

# Now we're in the home stretch.  Run these commands, and you should be golden.



make install

And if all went well, you’ve compiled a delicious build of awffull. The binary will be sitting in the src directory, (in this case ~/awffull-3.8.1-beta3/src ) and should’ve been already copied to it’s new home at /usr/local/bin/awffull.

You can make a symbolic link to /usr/bin/awffull from /usr/local/bin/awffull if you want.

The Rendtest Cometh.

The Rendtest Cometh.

Castle Alden has so many bubbling flasks it could pass for Castle Aldenstein.
…and technology!

It’s that time again, entry 002 into the gruedorf challenge. Things have picked up in this challenge, with ragamuffin me-tooers joining left and right. Of course… none of them get top billing because they are neither ‘grue nor ‘dorf. Or using verge, for that matter. Tsk, tsk. Well… maybe we could make it the Gruedorf Code Challenge, since Code totally is using verge, and he has a suitably confusing nick. I guess to disambiguate we’d then have to make it the GrueDorf-Code Code Challenge. You know. For that ironic sort of disambiguation.

But I digress.

Debug statements as eyecandy.  Consider this the gameart equivalent of brutalism.
that slime is totally from sully. Thank Overkill.

My current update is a few hours of work into improving and debugging my vc-based Render Engine, lovingly known as the McGrender Engine. Currently in it’s 5th version (#4 is in the current build of Sully), it allows for custom auto-animated sprites, static images, or “roll your own” functions (ie, Callfuncs that get triggered when they’re up on the stack). All this is put into layer functionality so you can turn on/off layers as needed, and, say, render fancy effects between your background and your sprites, or just effect the PC sprite layer while not touching the enemy sprite layer. Etc.

Also in here is bubbling click items. Any image on in the McGrender system can be given clickable properties with a bubble-down effect: that is, if you had three clickable items layered on top of each other, you’d only activate the topmost visible clickable item.

The most notable virtue of the McGrender System in this demo is it’s automoving feature… which, as trivial as it is, is the reason I made mk I a few years ago. I just wanted to throw a sprite that, while animating, would move it’s location at an even rate without me having to worry about it after setting it. Unfortunately, non-linear movements presently need a custom function (whereas an OOP system could have some custom, but more reusable, implementation of the “Hey, I move in some way!” concept), but that’s fine.

Another small, but handy, feature that lets this bitch be largely hassle-free in keeping itself moving is the optional “OnStopMoving” callback function. You can see this in effect in the demo with the close-button’s movement. Everytime it stops, the rebounceX() function is called setting new destination coordinates and sending it on it’s merry way.

Instructions for seeing this in action

Okay, if it wasn’t apparent from the screenshots, talking to any of the flasks in the first room will start you into the rendertest demo. For the interested, the pertinent code is all in ./vc/rend/ with the mcgrender.vc and sprite.vc being the “system” files, and test_render.vc being the implementation of this demo (ignore general.vc in that dir… that was me being laaaazy).

once you’re in the demo, you can click on the slime to watch a demo of the sprite-autohandler (changing from “idle” to “death”) being triggered by the clickable feature, and clicking on the floating winXP “X” will stop the render engine demo, whereupon you can talk to a flask ans start it over. Exciting!

Click here to download the second Gruedorf release of Saga of the Stars/The Astrad. You’ll be glad you did… probably!

One last thing: new music!

Zathras was inspired to make the fourth major revision to Castle Alden’s music, which is far and away the best version to date. It’s much more soothing and gentle on the ears, and has a lot more in common with both Onam’s Theme and Amin’s theme. Nice! You can also check out Zathras/Matthew Steele’s Homepage at the newly minted zath.org. Good times.

Portal “Camera Shy” achievement picture tutorial, Part 2

Or: Cakequest, the Legend Continues

She… likes to watch.

Welcome back to the visual tutorial for where all of the cameras that you can destroy in in Valve’s new Portal game are. This is the second (of two) parts and the first one can be found by clicking here.

Note that the photo essay thing here is mainly for “that one effing camera” you can’t find. Really, just knowing how many cameras you should find on each level is enough to get anyone through to completetion on this Achievement, and you can find that list at the top of part one of this tutorial.

Enough chitchat. Let’s break some cameras.

Level 10

After 4 brief, empty levels devoid of any form of cameras, Valve rewards us for our patience by putting one right in plain view.


You have chosen ARRIVEDERCI. To confirm this selection, press ONE.

Level 11

The one camera on this level is a tricky one. I actually missed it the first time this go-round, and had to restart from level 05. Of course, that was a 8 minute diversion, so no big loss.

Lesson learned: always turn around.

There. Now let’s go get the goods.

Oh yeah. Now you’re playing with power. PORTAL power.

We will now pause to do the obligatory “playing with Portals Physics” things.

I like this one because a third party observer would see you cut in half with each half looking at each other.

Checking out your own ass is the least naughty thing I’d do had I my own portable wormhole generator.

And as a bonus strategy guide, here’s the tutorial for getting the Terminal Velocity achievement.

Licking my own feet while not bending over is the second least naughty thing I’d do had I my own portable wormhole generator.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Fall for a few minutes. Perhaps you can enjoy a cake that is both moist and delicious in this time?
3. Unlock achievement.

Level 13

Level 13, home to 3 cameras. And none of them are initially in sight! Let the hunt begin.

Hrm. Spoke too soon.

Requiescat in pace, sweet camera.

There’s the second camera on this level, right outside the hatch to the first door we opened.

It’s starting to get taxing thinking of anything to say about dead cameras.

“Man, and the warrantee just expired too.”

This one’s right before the elevator to level 14.

“Only 1.2 megapixel? Bah, it deserved it.”

Level 15

Level fifteen already. My, how time flies. This level has five (soon to be four) cameras. It also has the first reference by GLADoS to the infamous cake that has become a plague upon the hearts and minds of the entire internet this week. Delicious and Infectious. German Chocolate Meme cake.

By the way, you can get through the previous (cameraless) level really quickly by doing a fling-jump with a portal on the floor next to the exit, and jumping into the other portal from a great height. It takes a few seconds.

And another one films the dust.

The second camera of this level is right after you fling yourself through the first barrier.

Level 15’s cameracaust: 40% complete.

The third camera is visible right after slaying the second one.

Another one down, and hey look: a failed attempt to make a perpetual motion machine out of two impossible never-never wormhole portals and a broken piece of digital film equipment!

The penultimate camera of level fifteen is in the ledge-room for the doublefling puzzle. You know what to do.


And our last friend here is right above the exit archway from the moving platform puzzle.

You know, with the double-flinging and the portalling around that puzzle, I think I like this level. In a very jungle-gymmy sort of way.

“Jungle Jimmy”. Hm. I wonder what that googl… augh! Ventriloquist mimes! Quick, back to the crazy AI and traps of certain doom!

Portals: Kills cameras dead.

Level 16

Level 16: home to five cameras, and a whole passel of the damn cutest death machines ever to be assembled.

“I don’t blame you!”

Our first lens-bearing fruit is right outside the door that opens when SHODAN GLADoS is done with her “lol, sorry about the android live-ammo testing course” speech.

Hey look, even the game’s proud of my merciless crusade against digital Daguerreotypes! Woo, 22/33! Go me!

Another camera in the “amazingly hard to miss” category: it is in the field of view right after you kill your first sentry turret.

You guys ain’t nothin’ compared to the cameras in Bioshock. Just sayin’.

No camera. I just really get a kick out of portal physics. I will walk forward and hand out death from above to the turret below/in-front-of me.

Oh, a camera was behind that turret I jumped. How droll.

The penalty for drollness is death.

The first two times I played this I had Options>Video>Advanced>Texture Detail set to low (Hey, I’m rockin’ an ancient card here). So I couldn’t read these guys at all. All very blurry. All very… sad.

So, I hear that the pastry might be… a fabrication?

Could the confection be mendacious?

Yes. Yes, it appears that, in fact, the cake is a lie. Moving on.

The next camera is in the little nook in the “room of death”.

I appear to have stuck a block in a portal. It’s rockin’ back and forth lazily. That is one Aperture Science Standard Storage Container that knows how to chillax.

That right there is an A+ in Sculpture 101.

It represents Man’s futile struggle against Technology’s constant march.

You can see the next camera to the top-left of my cube-shield. My cube-shield is getting shot the crap up right now. I don’t mind much: It’s not a very good companion.

The same camera, after portalling past the netting and destroying it’s bullet-flinging buddy.

The same camera, after it’s imminent destruction… minented.

That’s the last camera for this level. As an aside, I like to think that Android Hell is a classier place than Robot Hell.

Level 17

Crap. It’s one of them there invincible cameras.

I hate those.

There are two killable cameras in this stage. Let’s go kill them!

Hey there good looking. What’s a Weighted Companion Cube like you doing in an Aperture Science Enrichment Center like this?

Oh, how they taunt me.

These are not the cam-droids I am looking for. I will move on.

Another invincible camera. Keep going.

(I wonder how long it’ll be before we see a ‘yiffable’ Companion Cube. I’m not saying I want one… I’m just sayin’ I understand the internets.)

Finally. All the anticipation was giving me blue ‘tals.

This one’s at the end of the second death-hall that your adorable companion cube tenderly protected you from.

Oh yeah. That’s the stuff.

And here’s the final killable camera on this stage, right after you turn around from killing the first one. O frabjous day!

Only five more “real cameras” left in the game. Any other camera you see in this level is not a real camera. They are ironic cameras who dress like that to impress their hipster camera friends.

“The companion cube would never desert me. Ha ha, Dessert. Cake. A lie. The companion cube would never lie to me.”

Also fun, there is a username and password there (cjohnson/tier3). Try going to www.aperturescience.com, typing “LOGIN” at the prompt, and using these credentials.

This really is the best room in this, or any, game.

“Because I could not stop for Death;
He kindly stopped for me;
The cube had food and maybe ammo;
And immortality”
– Emily Dickinson meets the Companion Cube.

"It’s not you. It’s me."

Level 18

There are two cameras of import in this level. This was my least favorite level my first time through. I couldn’t figure out how to do the jump in the giant turret-having room. Was I ever so young?

This is one of them there unkillable evil impostor cameras you hear so much about.

I must be the only escaped temp that DOESN’T get to fingerpaint on the walls. Aw, man.

In other news: The no-cake graffiti is awesome.

Yet another meaningless camera raising my hopes temporarily just to crush them.

The one by the four-dots is also one of the stupid, unlovable variety.

Finally. The first "real" camera is in the giant chamber of annoying turrets, platforms, and jumps. It’s right by the door in. Take care of all the shooty things first.

We have gotten her done, sir.

The last camera on this stage is near the edge of the bottom floor of one of the most funnest rooms in the game. Kill it and start jumping like it was 1985.

No, Camera Thirty, I expect you to DIE.

Level 19

Three more cameras to go. Finally.

The first camera of this level is hiding off to the side right by the first opening. It’s okay if you walked right by it. I won’t judge you. It’s one of those "hidden in plain view" dealies.

Pt-chu, just like Peter Parker. Except with guns instead of webslingers. And with picture-destruction instead of picture-taking.

The penultimate camera of the game is above this red button you must press. Kill the camera, and then press the button.

*sniff* And that’s for Princess Diana!

Oooh, and there’s the last one. Sweet victory awaits us!

And that’s all she wrote! You now are Camera Shy!

Enjoy some cake. Now I have a whole bunch of challenge levels to beat.

Portal “Camera Shy” achievement picture tutorial, Part 1

The facts

Grr… locked BAD!

Welcome to Valve’s awesome game: portal! This here’s my guide to getting the “Camera Shy” achievement. Because while I’m a egotist camwhore myself, I’m a flaming libertarian. Ergo, only cameras I like I like.

Before we begin: I’m not planning on really spoiling the story, but I don’t care enough to see that through. If you haven’t played it, why are you reading a guide to complete the final achievement?

Now, there are 33 cameras that you can destroy. There are a lot more that you can’t, but we don’t care about these immortal cameras. Only the ones that, much like a woman, make a satisfying sound as they fall helplessly to the ground.

As an aside, I thought it was rather awesome that all of the characters in this game were female (or simulacrums thereof). You don’t see that too often outside of Japanese lesbian dating simulators.

The cameras are distributed as follows:

Level Killable cameras
2 3
3 3
4 2
5 3
10 1
11 1
13 3
15 5
16 5
17 2
18 2
19 3

Thanks to these guys for that info. And also google.

Now, to the camera-carnage!

Level 02

Hanyways: Level 2 has 3 killable cameras. But none of that matters until you git yer gun. Second amendment forever!

You see this camera after making your first portal right after you get the blue portal-gun. Like any good mad-scientist you’re pro-technology but anti-the-man (aka: The Fools). So kill the camera and cackle a bit.

Yeah, take that. The only cameras I tolerate are MY cameras watching MY test subjects run MY deadly gamut of tests. Whoever put me here (said Fools) is going to pay.

To get to the second camera, we need to use some fancy portal physics that might elude the first-time player. Namely: using the orange portal as an entrance. First, shoot a blue portal through here…

Like so…

And turn around.

Turn right when you fall out of the portal, and you should see your quarry.


Two down, one to go before hitting the elevator.

There the third killable camera is, opposite the big LEVEL 02 sign. Christ, this place has more cameras than Oceania, Eastasia, or London!

The dark secret of portal: GLADoS is actually webmistress of www.theCheesecakeIsALie.com, featuring exclusive hot escapee voyeur action.

Level 03

On to level three, home to three camer… hey!

They’re not even trying.

Welcome to level three, home of three two cameras.

…I turn the corner and there’s another one. How’d I not get this award the first time?

Vital testing apparatus destroyed!

Turn right after exiting through the orange portal for the first time and you’ll see the last camera on this level. It’s a small level. Frankly, if you needed a guide to find any of these, you’re the laziest laze who ever lazed.

Damn, no user serviceable parts. Who knew?

Level 04

Not even out of the lift’s doors and to the big, friendly “LEVEL 04” sign and there’s a camera. Security Moms and the PATRIOT Act built this facility.

Bzap, clank.

There’s camera eight. Otherwise known as “the second and last camera on level 4”.

Man, portal has short levels.

Man, portal is a short game.

More games should be this short and good. I’m a goddamned busy man.

Our work here is done. Moving on.

Level 05

Level five. GLADoS says she’s not monitoring this level. If you believed that the first time, you weren’t really paying attention to 1) her voice or 2) the three cameras on this level.

Viva la anonymity!

Note, you have to walk through the door before the orange portal activates and this portal becomes hazardous to security-based life forms.

Number two for Level 5. Just left of the door number 1 was above.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Or cake.

-Benjamin Franklin

The last camera on this level is after you solve the puzzle and leave through the second formed orange portal. Just turn away from the level exit and look up. Fun fact: According to the Creator’s Commentary, one of the hardest things presented to 3d gamemakers is to get their players to look up!

In this screenshot you can also see my winamp poking through due to me having to kill explorer, thereby causing interesting fun flashing visuals for a bit. I’ve been listening to the ending song to portal today. The game’s infected my brain in the 24 hours that I’ve owned it.

Valve, you had me at “Weighted Companion Cube”. <3

Dead cameras tell no tales.

Portal physics are neat. Since the orange portal is above the dead camera, you can see it twice in this shot. I find in some of the later levels that I work best if I think about the problem, act on it, and while trying to get the timing right I stop focusing on the weird map topography involved and just repeat the motions, lest my HEAD EXPLODE.

Anyways, that’s the last camera until level 10. We’ve offed eleven of thirty-three, so we’re 1/3rd the way there! And that’s the last camera for this post. I have to go to work now. Yay work!

You can find part two of this tutorial for the Unlocking Camera Shy Achievement in Portal by clicking here.

The Gruedorf Challenge begins.

Perceptive for a 15 year old.So one of the concepts I’ve been mulling over for the past… few years… is how big detailed maps aren’t awesome. They’re tedious to play through and slow down development. I’ve left in the old Castle Alden that’s never been used officially since it’s probably getting redone in about 1/8th the totaly area. At any rate, feel free to wander around the Aldencia Castle that never will be. Also, the observant will notice that this is running off of a Sully codebase with some very minor alterations (mainly to the textbox’s layout parameters), and with a few interesting additions to the new ./vc/sots/ directory. The underlying idea behind those files, should you look, is that there’ll be a “library” function where you can review any book you’ve read in-game in your menu, and see your book completion numbers for an area. It’s the little, stupid, things that make this fun for me.

The babyfaced prince gets even cuter… maybe

New onam vs old onam.One of the other simplification deals I’m running is a more Lufia 2 and/or Robotrek inspired character design. I’m still on the wall about this one because I don’t plan on remaking all of the tilesets, and because I still haven’t worked out a clean version of the animation that I’m pleased with. Here’s a look at the new vs old.

Excuses, excuses.

I’m going to be a little slow at first because I’m very interested in making some better dev tools than the ones at my disposal. I’m very interested in Ioachim’s platform agnostic maped, as well as other primitive web-based solutions. I’m also finishing up Breadbrother’s new website (not up as of this writing), so I won’t be dumping massive amounts of time into this challenge for a bit.

Oh, right…

Here’s the insanely delayed 4th SotS demo! Notice how it has less game than the third, the only interaction you have is with stairs, doors, and bookcases, and if you leave the castle it unceremoniously crashes! Enjoy!