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My attempt at making a platfo... no, a game

2) Bug hunting

Posted by , 03 February 2015 - - - - - - · 668 views

Note: The following is a transcript of the most recent video found in Nigel B. F. Nigels' computer, two months after his disappearance.

Hello boys and girls, this is B. F. Nigels, adventurer, bug hunter and all around cool old guy, welcoming you to a new episode of Bug Hunting! Today we are travelling deep into the mysterious place of The Engine in order to hunt the last two remaining known bugs, both being extremely dangerous and/or annoying. Get ready for an adventure!

The Six-Legged Crasher is a well known bug in this place: mostly harmless, but also a pain in the ass, it was discovered over a year ago but this is the first time that its hunt is attempted. As its name suggests, this bug is infamous for provoking what the natives call a "crash".

According to our observations, this bug attacks when people walk to Editor Mode from Play Mode, but only some times. His unpredictability makes it quite the annoying little bugger.

Thanks to our most advanced tracking tools, we found its natural habitat: a zone called The Player HUD, a place known for keeping track of the more "special" travellers, known as "player characters". For some reason, when travellers walk back to Editor Mode, the player character is always brutally killed one way or another. Always. This has nothing to do with the bug: apparently, according to the locals, this is the way the Gods punish the players for having "free will", whatever that is.

Despite this unfortunate event, the HUD still has the player's contact information stored in a device known by the locals as a "pointer", without knowing that he or she is now deceased. It is when people try to contact this person using this device when the bug attacks, causing a "crash" in the process.

With this information at hand, we travelled to Play Mode with our collaborator Dave, a well known player who had no idea of the curse by the Gods, and as soon as we arrived, we ran back to Editor Mode without him. Unsurprisingly, the Six-Legged Crasher got out of hiding, and without thinking twice, my camera man crushed him with his right foot. Victory for the hunting team!

The homies from the HUD thanked us for our ordeal: the Six-Legged Crasher is no more, but this victory was achieved at a great cost: we will keep Dave, who was a victim of fate, deep into our hearts.

It was a long day, and as soon when we got back to our camp to celebrate our big victory and drink to forget our beloved collaborator, we get a distress call from a group of travellers near the coast: people, and even places, were going missing under very specific circumstances. We immediately grabbed our gear and went to the coast.

Before continuing, I have the need to explain to our viewers the science behind how The Engine works according to the experts: its theorized that this magical place only shows itself to travellers in small squared chunks at a time. These chunks, scientifically known as "sections", always appear in groups of nine at any given time: the central section, where travellers are standing, plus all the eight surrounding ones. If travellers move far enough, the sections shift to accommodate the travellers' new position, always in a group of nine.

Let's say that we are standing still. We will only see our current section plus all eight that surrounds it. Now, if we move far enough front, eventually the three sections from the back will disappear, and three new sections will appear at the front.

This phenomenon, known by the scientits as "Loading", is better explained with the following animation:

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Fun fact: some natives believe that this phenomenon is caused by the devil "Optimus", and that he does it just to piss the Gods off.

Back to the distress call, we arrived at the coast in the morning and met the travellers who witnessed this previously unknown bug. According to their observations, this bug only attacked when travellers had the audacity of travelling diagonally and triggering the Loading phenomenon both vertically and horizontally at the exact same time, which is quite the feat. A rare, deadly feat.

When a "Diagonal Loading" happens, our bug viciously attacks travellers -and even the terrain- that are in adjacent chunks of the one where the travellers who triggered the phenomena are standing on, if that doesn't sounds confusing enough. In other words, whole places where disappearing in front of travellers' eyes!

Without hesitating, my cameraman and I started travelling diagonally, and after several tries we finally saw the little bugger, to whom we fondly named "The Coastal Bastard". Ugly and vicious, he attacked the other travellers, who unfortunately where in an adjacent section instead of coming with us.
We couldn't catch the Bastard, so we tried to lure him again. After several tries, and after seeing the Bastard devour several travellers passing by, and even eating the trees and the ground far away, my good friend the cameraman finally put a bullet between its eyes. Hunting was over, the Diagonal Loading Anomaly was fixed, and we were going back home

On the bus, my cameraman had a big smile -he was surely mounting The Coastal Bastard on the wall- but I wasn't sharing his joy: all the way back to the city I was thinking about the Bastard, how he was discovered two years after the hunting started, and how those travellers found him out of pure coincidence. I got shivers thinking: "What if they didn't find him? What if this place opened to the public with that thing still out there?". That, like the locals say, would have been "game-breaking".

This is all for this week's episode. Next episode I will go alone with my handheld camera to explore the wilderness of The Engine in order to discover new bugs. I will try to bring home my own Coastal Bastard, and try to make The Engine a safer place for travellers and locals alike.

B. F. Nigels signing off.

1) Here comes Round 2

Posted by , 15 January 2015 - - - - - - · 965 views


I was trying to make a game half a year ago, but I got disheartened for several reasons and took a break. I got so disheartened that I deleted a year and a half worth of journal entries, thinking that I was going to stop for good, but now I decided to try again. That brings a start to this journal, Round 2.

Long story short, I have been writiing a 2D engine from scratch for two years (a year and a half if we don't count the break I mentioned), using C++ and SFML 2.0, and the thing handles... uhm... a bunch of stuff, and for Round 2 I want to use it to make something playable.

I want to make a small game, very short, something that can be completed in half an hour at most. I'm not going to sell this, and the only reason I want to make it is to get it out of my chest (after all, it has been two years). I want to make a game, no matter how crappy it turns out, and finally move on. If people happen to like the game, all the better; if not, that's ok.

Some characteristics of the game I have in mind:

- 2D Sidescoller / Platformer / Shooter, because I'm extremely original.
- Small open world. It will consist of a town, a forest and farm. Most of the game will take place in the town.
- It will be about an old man telling his grandchildren the story of how he met their grandma when he was a kid. The whole thing will be a flashback.
- The shooting will be non-lethal, as the kid will use a water gun to fight critters and bullies.
- Despite being open world, the game still will be somewhat linear.
- The game will not be called Round 2, that's just the name of this yournal.

I already have a lot of things implemented. Here's a couple of screenshots of the farm area:

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The blue thing represents the player character, and regarding the backgrounds, I want to use a sepia tone to have a "nostalgic" feeling, as silly as it sounds.

Here's my to-do list:

- Create the town area. The farm area and the forest area are almost finished.
- Create the characters.
- Play with the colors and the thickness of the lines, in order to help differentiate the background from the interactive stuff. Right now it's hard the tell.
- Implement a new collision detection algorithm, because the one I'm using right now is awful, and I frequenly pass through walls or the ground.
- Make a checkpoint system, so in case the player dies he doesn't need to start all over again. This is harder than it sounds considering all the crap that happens behind the scenes while you play, but I'll figure it out.
- Can't think of anything else.

It shouldn't take long to finish it. Maybe a month? We'll see.

As always, thanks for reading.

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